I’ve talked about the obvious bias and corruption in Formula 1 many times before, particularly when it involves Ferrari and McLaren, where McLaren are almost always penalised and Ferrari almost always get away with whatever has happened.
The last two events in the last two races have just sickened me of the sport and I think it’s time that some of these teams walked away from the FIA and either dropped Forumla 1 as a “sport” or start a newer, more honest organisation.
In the last race in Valencia we saw Ferrari’s Felippe Massa pull out from his pit lane almost into the side of a Force India car, race side by side with him down the pit lane towards a brick wall, and only at the last minute stop and pull in behind him.
During the race we heard that the stewards were investigating the incident but that no decision would be made until after the race, and even then it would probably be nothing more than a grid penalty – at the time Massa was in the lead and went on to win the race. Some time after the race it was deemed that since no one was hurt there would be no penalty.
Today in Spa Lewis Hamilton was passed by Kimi Raikkonen and chased him throughout the race. Then in the closing stages the rain hit and the combination of tyres and the McLaren in the wet gave Hamilton the edge. He caught Raikkonen and they were battling for position on the chicane, side by side with Raikkonen edging him off the track and pushing forward, Hamilton went off the track and cut the chicane.
He rejoined the track ahead of Raikkonen and immediately backed off, letting Raikkonen race past him to take the lead. As soon as Raikkonen was fully ahead Hamilton put the power back on and passed him again, taking the lead.
Then the rain came and the last few laps were pretty dangerous. Raikkonen and Massa were losing ground while the McLaren was making it, not through any advantage from the chicane, but because the car was better in the wet. Then Raikkonen spun off in the wet and hit the wall. Hamilton won the race.
Now we hear, through ITV F1, that the race stewards have decided that, despite Hamilton slowing down and letting Raikkonen pass him before racing him once again for the lead, that he broke the rules, and this punishment was not going to be a grid penalty for the next race, no they decided to take the win away from Hamilton.
They docked him a full twenty five seconds and moved him down to fourth place, giving Massa the win.
Interestingly McLaren asked Charlie Whiting, the race director, if they had complied with the rules when they had allowed Raikkonen to retake the position before going on to pass him again, and he said they had.
Regardless the key is that he allowed Raikkonen to drive fully in front, when in reality before Hamilton went off the track they were almost side by side, so in effect he gave Raikkonen an additional advantage.
Later on, before Raikkonen crashed, he was clearly faster than both Ferrari’s, neither of which were handling well on track.
So Massa in his Ferrari can pull out alongside another car in the pits and race dangerously for the line and a brick wall only to break away at the last moment, and have the audacity to blame the other driver for daring to enter the pit lane at the same time, and he receives no penalty.
Then there’s Hamilton who gives back the advantage he gained, and then some, when he was forced off the track only to legitimately retake the position and then race faster than either Ferrari for the rest of the laps while Raikkonen crashes into a wall unable to control his car, and he has the race win taken away from him and he’s demoted to fourth.
You find the logic in that? I could if I was a Ferrari fan, but then I’d either be working for the FIA or be a steward.
There is some positive news, again from ITV F1, McLaren is appealing the decision. However I really don’t see that they’ll get it overturned, even with the footage being so obvious and with the word that the data supports their take on events. I can’t see them winning it, and looking back in my support of F1, I’ve only seen one appeal overturn a stewards decision like that.
I’m not holding out much hope for a great miracle, a change of heart, or F1 made into a real sport once again with corruption being rooted out or the teams breaking away into a rival racing series. I imagine the appeal will fail, and for whatever reason Hamilton will not win the championship, neither will McLaren.
I am now officially done with Formula 1. I cannot give my support and help advertising revenue run into a “sport” that is so obviously biased and filled with misinformed and corrupt decisions as these, and this isn’t a one off either, this has been going on for years and years in various bizarre decisions.
How can I sit there any longer and support any driver or team when there is next to no chance that they will be granted a win unless it’s in an approved car, or if a certain team decide not to challenge them off the race track?
Formula 1 is no longer a sport but a money machine bent on letting one team dominate to continue revenue streams pouring in and merchandising at a high.
I am sad. I wanted to support Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and particularly David Coulthard on his final season, however I feel I can no longer watch them without thinking that they are just being graced the positions as they aren’t in a championship contending position.
My apologies to the good people of the sport, particularly the drivers I support. I may see you again if things change, or if there is a breakaway series and the FIA is put to rest. In the meantime, if I was McLaren I would pull out of the sport, and if I was a sponsor of Ferrari or the FIA I’d be pulling the plug right now.