The penalties imposed by College Stewards during the Austrian Grand Prix have left some controversial implications. Was it right to punish both Lando Norris and Sergio Perez by five seconds (in Mexico it was a double trespass) for maneuvers seen at Turns 4 and 6? Are the decisions made in the control room at the Red Bull Ring correct?
The answer is yes. Stewards attendees at Spielberg carried out their mission by enforcing applicable regulations.
The Austrian Grand Prix College has implemented one of the regulations in the International Sports Code (ISC), the code that brings together a set of rules valid for all motor racing governed by the FIA.
Norris’ and two’s violation by Perez violates Section 2 of Chapter 4 of Annex L, a passage of the Regulation often used to judge violations of the kind seen yesterday at Spielberg.
The list is very clear
The passage of the ISC is very clear: “Any maneuvers that could hinder another driver, such as deliberately pushing a car over the edge of the track, are strictly prohibited.”
The driver should always leave enough space for a car next to him, without the latter having to leave the track, which is exactly what the Stewards competed with Norris (against Perez) and the Red Bull driver himself. .
“On entering the ‘4’ curve, Perez and Norris were side by side – says the hosts’ report – but at the exit Norris did not leave enough room for Perez, and therefore had to go off the track.”
If there’s anything worth discussing, it’s not the work of Spielberg’s judges, but the Sports Regulations. Three years ago, after the wave of protests hitting Formula 1 following the penalty imposed on Sebastian Vettel at the Canadian Grand Prix, it was announced that the shirts would be expanded, meaning more freedom of action for drivers in the body and body.
However, it is not just a matter of will and declarations, but it is also necessary to adapt the regulations to the new directives, because the work of the rulers depends on these.
If drivers consider this regulation incorrect, they should address the issue at the traditional briefings they take part in every weekend, including the race director and a proposal to discuss the new rules in the Formula 1 committee.
Alternatively, submit a request for a review of the International Sports Code through GPDA, the drivers’ association currently chaired by George Russell. Post-match arguing brings nothing, and oddly enough, even some sports directors, when they sense an injured party, complain about legislation they should know well because it’s long been included in the ISC.
Asymmetry ignites souls
There is also another aspect that often causes controversy, in which case the grievances of the teams and drivers are justified and backed by facts. It’s the irregularity of judgment, a problem that has been lingering for some time and is displacing the pilots themselves, who on some weekends find themselves immune to similar or identical maneuvers.
The impression is that often the scale is used related to the damage received, i.e. being pushed off the track where the escape route is asphalt (and thus with ‘limited damage’) it ends up passing to the cavalry, while there is gravel (such as yesterday Spielberg) here are tougher penalties.
Spielberg’s commission was linear in its decisions made during 71 laps of the race, but will that still be the case between two weekends at Silverstone?
What judgment criteria will the British Grand Prix judges adopt? This is the first aspect towards which efforts should be directed, if this type of punishment does not appeal to the public, drivers and even the experts themselves, it is necessary to establish and amend the rules.
Without making a fuss every time, there is a penalty for “breach of Annex L, Chapter IV, Article 2 of the FIA International Sports Code”, a provision that remains in place despite years of debates and controversies.