The International Tribunal: A beacon of hope for #F1

The Tribunal and past such occasions

Today should give F1 folk and followers hope of a brighter future for the sport. The mood in Brackley is high, whilst in Milton Keynes it may be more subdued; but more of that later.

The International Tribunal was part of the FIA disciplinary reforms and now serves as the FIA’s main disciplinary arm, in effect the governing body’s court. It was established for the start of the 2011 season as part of an overhaul of the FIA’s judicial system, a policy which had formed a key part of Jean Todt’s manifesto during the last presidential election of 2009.

In days gone by Formula 1 did not always appear to the casual observer to deal with regulation breaches particularly well. Formal protests amongst the competitors were far more frequent than in recent times, and the FIA disciplinary procedures at times were typified by smoke filled rooms, kangaroo courts and back door deals being done based upon influence and power.

The International Tribunal is presided over by independent judges who have a wealth of experience in a variety of judicial systems. The point of a judicial system is to deliver justice which is equitable without favour being shown to any party involved.

However, the concern for many was the possible restricted nature of the IT’s remit. The decisions of the court must address whether FIA regulations have been broken or not. Clearly Mercedes were in breach of FIA Article 22 over in season testing, but in mitigation the FIA had a parallel agreement with a non-competitor which conflicted with the sporting regulations for competitors.

These mitigating circumstances would not allow the IT to give a not guilty verdict to Mercedes and this gave rise to the fear a guilty verdict would see punishment handed down to Mercedes similar to Honda’s 3 race ban or a huge fine as was the decision for McLaren in the ‘spygate’ affair.

Of course not everyone will be happy with the verdict, and there are definite winners and losers as a result of this matter being dealt with by the FIA’s formal procedures. So far the consensus I’ve seen from the F1 chattering media classes is that the result seems about right.

To this end, the F1 participants can now be confident there is a structure in the FIA which will be fair and impartial and whilst this may be one small step to the reform challenges facing the sport, it is clearly a step in the right direction. In a sport where there is a continuing shifting of alliances of self interest the International Tribunal has proven to be a beacon of hope.

Yet should this matter ever have reached the International Tribunal? The regular formal protests of yesteryear have been replaced in recent times by teams who are concerned about breaches in regulations making informal enquiries via the FIA officer Charlie Whiting.

Red Bull

Red Bull claim they have been subject to a disproportionate number of these ‘informal’ enquiries in recent times, and they may feel this is driven by jealousy of their winning package.

Yet Red Bull have been found ‘guilty’ by Whiting over breaches in regulations, such that on race weekends their car has been modified amusingly with bits of FIA tape. Another occasion saw the decommissioning of a device thought to provide illegal adjustment to the car during the race.

The decision by Marko and Horner to press this issue via ‘formal’ channels may come back to haunt them and this for them is a lose-lose… and maybe lose again. It would not be a surprise to see their car the subject of a formal protest from Mercedes or another team before the end of the season. Lose #1

Brawn speaking to Sky Sports today observed that the he was delighted with the independence of the new FIA procedure and said that F1 should be encouraged by this “because other teams will surely find themselves sat in front of the tribunal”.

Further, Marko and Horner have been highly vocal in demanding the Tribunal issue a sporting penalty for a sporting regulation infringement. The high rhetoric emerging from Milton Keynes has consistently threatened should Mercedes not receive a sporting penalty they will then go testing themselves.

A subdued Horner re-iterated this last night when asked what would happen were Mercedes not to receive a sporting penalty when he responded, “if it’s only a financial penalty, then that becomes the cost of going testing”. In other words we’ll take the financial penalty as part of the cost of going testing ourselves.

Lose #2. Red Bull cannot now do this. The reason the IT did not issue a fine or points deduction penalty to Mercedes is because they sought the opinion of the FIA and therefore acted in ‘good faith’.

Were Red Bull to decide to breach Article 22 on in season testing, the verdict of the IT has ruled out they could be doing so with the same ‘good faith’ as did Mercedes. In fact this act of defiance would surely lead to a charge under Article 151c and Red Bull would be accused of, “any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition to the interests of motorsport generally”. This is the clause that cost Honda a 3 race ban and McLaren a $100m fine.

Lose #3. There’s a rule of common sense expressed as follows, ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you’. Red Bull were the primary cause of Pirelli ending up in the dock, which no doubt was not an inexpensive affair.

Whilst there will of course be no retributive action from Pirelli, but as the teams opinions are sought on the matters of tyres, it would be hard to believe any previous advantage Red Bull had in terms of influence due to their status as triple world champions is now somewhat diminished.

In fact Paul Hembery speaking today on Sky Sports News when asked about the verdict included in his comments that Pirelli must remain neutral, no matter how loud the voices were from “certain teams to change the tyres, because they would like to gain a performance advantage”.

Only Horner and Marko will really know why having found out about the Pirelli/Mercedes test late Saturday night, they acted hastily to lodge a formal protest before the Monaco race. If they believed Mercedes were likely to score a 1-2 in the race, they may have believed their drivers in would benefit from an FIA sanction and be promoted in the final standings.

Now seeing the big picture, those who made that decision may feel differently.

Mercedes

Is this a good result for Mercedes? For Mercedes this may be seen as a win-win-lose. It’s a win #1 because had the Judges agreed with the ferocious attack made on Mercedes and been pursauded by the FIA counsel that they were in breach of Article 151c, the verdict could have been most harsh.

Yet it emerged today that Lauda had negotiated some back door deal which would have prevented Mercedes from having to appear before the IT, so long as the management in Brackley admitted they were guilty of a regulatory breach.

If we are to believe Lauda, Brawn and Wolff chose refused this solution and chose to face the music in Paris. Their motive was for the facts to be heard in full, and they were justified in their confidence in the procedure to which they submitted themselves.

Win #2. Mercedes have emerged with their reputation in tact, and this was a concern for many who felt the global manufacturer may withdraw from the sport were their image to be tarnished.

It’s a lose #1 for Mercedes because the sporting penalty that has been handed down – namely they are excluded from the young driver test – is in reality a real disadvantage. Horner commented last night that exclusion from this event next month, “would be no penalty at all”, yet is this the case.

As has been observed here, Mercedes have tested in Barcelona with a 2013 car with experienced drivers but with no opportunity to try new parts and driving on prototype rubber which is an unknown variable. They lose the opportunity to test – yes with inexperienced drivers – on the rubber they have found so troublesome in this year’s competition.

One other matter worthy of note is that following the hearing yesterday, a number of commentators were confused as to why Mercedes had suggested if found guilty an appropriate penalty would be to miss the young driver test. They believed this to be an admission of guilt.

It is important to understand in many judicial processes a verdict is declared and then mitigating circumstances are presented by the guilty party for considering before the sentence is passed. This is not the process for the IT.

Mercedes merely accepted they would be found guilty (as discussed above) but were arguing that acting in ‘good faith’ meant they should receive a minimal penalty. This clearly sat well with the Judges, who may not have considered this option without it being suggested.

Ferrari

To Ferrari. We must remember this was Marko’s decision to demand a formal protest be made. He stated after the event he spent hours on the Saturday night in Monaco studying the relevant regulations to see if he had missed something. Ferrari were contacted in the morning and agreed to join the protest.

Yet Dominicali quickly backed off, and repeatedly called for ‘clarification’ unlike the Red Bull demands for sporting penalties. Could it be having been suckered into joining the protest they hoped the matter would be resolved prior to a tribunal hearing.

The Tribunal commented that had Ferrari adopted the same approach as Mercedes when testing in 2012 and 2013, “it would appear to be equally unsatisfactory that this consent was also given by Charlie Whiting”.

Ferrari have chosen not to comment, except by way of a rather incoherent and rambling rant from the Horse Whisperer who appears to have learned a whole new communication style. That may be because his original incarnation has been banished to India.

Maybe there is a sigh of relief in Maranello tonight.

The FIA

Shortly after the verdict the FIA issued a short statement as follows,

‘The FIA duly notes the decision handed down today by the FIA International Tribunal against Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team and Pirelli Tyres.

This decision follows (i) the disciplinary proceedings instigated by the FIA, on the basis in particular of the report by the Stewards of the Monaco Grand Prix, forwarded to the FIA following the two protests made by Scuderia Ferrari Team and Red Bull Racing respectively, and (ii) the hearing that took place yesterday before the International Tribunal with the participation of all the parties concerned.

The FIA wishes that lessons are learnt from this case and from the decision handed down. To this end, the FIA will make sure, in association with all F1 teams, that its control of the testings is strengthened.

It is recalled that the notification of the FIA International Tribunal’s decision opens to each of the parties concerned the possibility of bringing an appeal against this decision before the FIA International Court of Appeal within 7 days.’

The FIA does not say it accepts the decision, as have Mercedes and Pirelli. Of course they can appeal the matter within 7 days should they so wish. This would appear to be a most foolhardy thing to do, but you never know, and the statement clearly hedges their options.

It is clear that the FIA are culpable in this matter, and their statement appears to suggest they are prepared to move to address the incoherent testing rules. Of course this may not be as simple to do as to say because the agreement of the teams will be required and as we’ve seen over tyres – that is a tricky path to tread.

The FIA should have resolved this matter prior to the Tribunal, however they appeared incapable of managing this. There may be changes in the way the teams interact with the FIA over regulatory matters, and Charlie Whiting will surely no longer operate as the ‘interpretative opinion’ of the FIA on regulatory matters.

Yet Jean Todt is to be commended. The International Tribunal was part of his reform programme and it has been a tremendous success in it’s first sitting. The randomness of conflict resolution over regulatory matters should now be part of Formula 1 history – and to underestimate the monumental importance of would be to be ignorant of what really faces F1 in the coming days.

48 responses to “The International Tribunal: A beacon of hope for #F1

  1. “The Tribunal commented that had Ferrari adopted the same approach as Mercedes when testing in 2012 and 2013, “it would appear to be equally unsatisfactory that this consent was also given by Charlie Whiting”.

    As Ferrari were not the ones “on trial” the statement is irrelevant and outside the scope of the IT mandate, and should not have been made.

    “Maybe there is a sigh of relief in Maranello tonight.”

    Today’s Horse Whisperer column, which as I previously mentioned, would certainly have been approved at the highest levels of Ferrari, doesn’t indicate the least amount of relief that the IT decision has been made as it has. Ferrari clearly believe that Mercedes got away with an illegal test and to put that belief into writing indicates the matter is far from over.

    What I believe actually happened was it was made crystal clear to the FIA and the IT that any serious penalties would result in Mercedes withdrawing from F1. The big winner today is Ferrari and probably Renault, who can make it quite clear, that if they are brought before the IT, and receive a sanction they don’t like will withdraw from the sport. The decision today renders Ferrari untouchable.

    • No evidence for your supposition. And as to the Horse Whisperer – I cannot believe what I read. He used to be subtle and clever, even mysterious.

      That was a blunt, incoherent and rambling rant of diminished intellectual worth.

      I feel sorry for Ferrari fans, this must be like losing someone of tradition and much loved – and seeing them replaced with an uncouth peasant.

      Bring back Colajanni, the kid who has replaced him is not worthy to lace his fetlock bandages 🙂

      • TJ13 calls it as it is. Got lambasted for criticising Lewis and Merc earlier this year. Same for Ferrari when they had wind tunnel civil war.. McLaren were under the microscope over Dennis’ treatment of Hamilton… And now Red Bull for being churlish and opportunistic.

        It’s F1. This is the way it is. My boyhood team Williams are like a revolving door and morale is low… Maldonado is crazy and their cash is drying up…

        In the words of old Blue Eyes… “That’s Life”

  2. Alright, just finished writing (and posting) for your last article, but I don’t see any loss for Merc (aside from Lauda) as their participation in the now completely impossible to do tests for Pirelli guarantee they will do much better with tires, as Ferrari have generally been better this year since doing one of these tests for Pirelli last year. Really, what Pirelli have been saying all along is that without data from all the teams, we can’t design tires that are fair for everyone. This test was never going to help Merc that much this year, but for next, watch out.

    And the biggest loser was Jean Todt, on whose head this fiasco entirely rests. He had the power to settle this and refused, for reasons that aren’t still entirely clear. So now, instead of having tire testing with all teams and a better out come for next year, which is obviously where Charlie was headed, Merc and Ferrari have the advantage and the dysfunctional FIA have enabled it with their incompetence. In addition, the IT has declared itself as a truly independent entity, which makes Todt look even weaker by comparison.

    And Red Bull have completely missed the boat with this move, while putting themselves in serious jeopardy the next time they wish to test the edge of the technical regs with some dubious part. So not only are they excluded from testing with Pirelli under a fairly current configuration, they have put themselves at the mercy of Ferrari and Merc and made it impossible for them to try the tricky bits on their car without asking Charlie first. Who probably remembers some of the things they got away with last year. What an epic fail, to use current slang.

    Fantastic stuff, wish the racing could always be this good!! xD

    • I don’t see how Jean Todt is the biggest loser – the IT is his creation and is the only positive thing to come out of it. It showed itself to be independent, as Todt intended, even going so far as finding the FIA as culpable as Pirelli and Mercedes by splitting the cost of the investigation equally between all three parties.

      Yes parts of the FIA messed up but the important part is that Todt put in the mechanism to fairly, and transparently deal with it. Bonus points for Wolff and Brawn for having faith in the IT.

      The only real downside is Lauda’s deal, or rather how he is still able to go around the IT. THAT behaviour is exactly what Formula One can do without.

      • Yes well. Todt creates an organisation that is so good at being independent it tells him his organisation is woeful. Just need phase 2… The rest of the FIA. But you are right, at least it’s a start.

        • Or maybe Todt is cleaning up an organization whose finances and image had been severely damaged by the former head of the FIA who sold F1’s TV rights sold for a mere $3M a year for 99 years to his friend and found that he liked to frequent S&M clubs. Yeah, lets start a campaign to bring Mosley back. He’s the height of integrity.

      • Ok, getting a chance to to reply Todt is a three time loser
        1. Because he represents the FIA and they are responsible for the poorly worded regs and less the established hierarchy for dealing with these issues

        2. Because as President, he could have easily overseen an agreement in which Mercedes would acknowledge culpability and by referring tire testing to the appropriate commission establish an acceptable way for Pirelli to get the data it needs to build fair tires for everyone.

        3 Because the IT was given an inch and it took a mile. While they technically stayed within their charter, it was so narrowly written that many believed (myself included) they would not be able to come up with an equitable decision. Although I’m hardly one to impugn motives directly to individuals (at least non fictionally) by reading the rules of the IT it is clear they are not meant to consider globally the fairness and equitability of a situation, but merely whether or not a rule was broken. That they were able to do so and at the same time say between the lines that this was the FIA’s cock up and that Ferrari was lucky not to be hit with the same hammer is extraordinary, and clearly not what JT had in mind. In MY opinion, he wanted a body that would have to give him the cover he wanted by only saying guilty or not, while making it look like he was maintaining a neutral facade.

        Why do I think he could’ve and should’ve solved this without recourse to the IT? Check out these quotes from Brawn

        ““We won’t pretend we were faultless on our side but I think they also acknowledged there were faults on other sides as well and they all accumulated to give us the situation we had. I think the fact that they established that we’ve acted in good faith, we’ve not attempted to get any performance advantage, and the fact that we believed we had permission on two levels to do the test, were all taken into consideration.”…..

        “Formula One is a very competitive business, we know that. But I think acting in good faith is a very important point. That’s why I was keen that we actually presented the facts in front of an independent tribunal in order to establish what had happened so that judgement could be made.”

        Clearly the sticking point for Merc and Brawn in the Lauda deal was the FIA not accepting that Merc was acting in “good faith”. Had JT been willing to cede that, a deal might’ve been done, and lots of legal fees might have been avoided. The question is, why was he not willing to do so? Was it ego, did he have nefarious plans for Michelin, was it all a power play trying to remove Charlie as the last of “Bernie’s Men” in F1, hard to say really. Maybe a little bit of each. At any rate, a victory for F1 and the IT, not so much for JT and the FIA, save inadvertently.

  3. So you don’t like Red Bull, we sort of got that already…
    Your piece, which in German would be called a “Mercedes-Jubelpostille” (I simply don’t have an English description negative enough to describe the utterly biased nature of it), makes me cringe. The only winner in this whole debacle is Mercedes. They got away with a blatant breach of sporting regulations and in contrast to all other teams (RB, Brawn, Ferrari, Renault), who in the past got into trouble with suspicious parts or technical solutions (of course your article suggests that such things only have ever been committed by Red Bull) they setup their breach (secret test) in a way that no FIA representative was present, so we don’t even know the full extent of the breach.
    Ross Brawn & Co must be whinnying in laughter right now. They got a meaningless reprimand for one of the most blatant actions of cheating since Renault’s race fixing in Singapore 2008. As if the exclusion from the young drivers test was any penalty. That’s a laughable idea. They have three days worth of testing with the current car and the current regaular drivers as opposed to maybe three days with an inexperienced driver that the other teams get and if long time weather forecasts are to be believed, half of it will be washed out. I wouldn’t put it past Merc that this has been part of their scheme to suggest this ‘punishment’ in the first place. Ross Brawn has a history of being so utterly cynical and disregarding of the sporting rules, the whole RB brigade could take lessons from him.
    Sorry, but lauding this travesty of a verdict as a good thing is utterly ridiculous. It merely manifests, that the big teams get away with everything. A smaller team like Williams or Sauber would not have gotten away with something as blatantly unsporting as Mercedes’ illegal 3-day private tutorial lesson with Pirelli.

      • Then I don’t get why you spend half the article slagging them. Mind you, most Germans will very much welcome that as RB is about as polular as Dr. Mengele around here, but I think their complaint was very valid and we shouldn’t forget that they weren’t the only ones protesting, but that seems to be an irrelevant detail.
        The fact is, this whole debacle is about Mercedes, not RB or Ferrari. They’ve all sold us a line of bull with that ‘acting in good faith’ malarkey. So is it no ok for me to rob a petrol station, off the clerk and then say the homeless man on the corner gave his ok for it, so I only acted in good faith?
        Whiting has no authority whatsoever to waive the rules for anyone. I know that, so Merc should have known, too. They didn’t act in good faith, they acted in the cynical calculation that they’re too important for F1 to really be seriously punished for fear of them withdrawing. I don’t call that good faith. Where I come from that’s called cynicism.

        • Where’ve you been, Danilo? Charlie has been advising and providing “clarifications” on what’s legal and what isn’t for some considerable time. Is his word 100% final or an absolute substitute for the World Council? No. But ALL teams have used this route time and time again. Seriously, how many times have we heard about teams asking for a “clarification”? And where do you think that comes from?

          I think it’s perfectly reasonable to argue that Merc could, or even should, have sought 100% definitive permission to support Pirelli’s test (so did the Tribunal – they were found to have broken the rules, after all), but I also think that most (including the Tribunal, apparently) believe that Merc thought they had an “ok” through the usual channels.

          THAT is why they claim to have acted in good faith – and I think the judges (including the 13th judge) agree with them.

          I admire and appreciate your passion in this debate (as in others) but I do think you’re in the minority on this one. Not that that in itself makes you wrong, by the way…

          • Where I’ve been? In the free business I have been. If I get permission to deviate from company rules, I get it in writing, not by Email from someone, who’s just one representative of the management. Charlie Whiting is just one person, he’s not the law and he’s not sole representative of FIA. He doesn’t have permission to waive the rules, simple as that. If anything, Whiting overstepped his authority massively and Merc went along because it fit their agenda. That doesn’t make it right, though.

          • I wouldn’t argue with your assessment of Charlie’s position in your posting here…………….but………………….(you knew there’d be a “but”, right?) this is how it’s been operating for quite a while. That doesn’t mean that Charlie has the authority to waive rules, nor that he overstepped his authority. Indeed, there is the possibility that a side story to all this is that Charlie will, in time, be removed (as was Gary Hartstein) as a result of failing to fit into the New FIA Model.

            If I’m right, and I may not be ;-), an email from Charlie – especially when backed up by an email from an FIA lawyer (side note: an email IS in writing) – has been taken as de facto “FIA rules law” for some time. You may think that wrong and you may certainly feel it doesn’t fit your (or my) daily experience of how people do business. But, I would suggest, this is EXACTLY how F1 has been doing business. Dodgy? Maybe. Vague? Certainly. But all teams know it works this way and they have all been working exactly this way. I think that’s why ChrisHorn said that there was “some ambiguity”, even thought he he also said the rules are clear.

            And, to round back on a previous point, THAT is one of the reasons that RB probably regret causing this to go to the Tribunal: a logical outcome is that the casual, “gentleman’s agreement” of asking Charlie to “soft-rule” on an issue could well be gone forever.

            I understand the desire for clear rules and clear process. I would argue the same in MY line of work. But it hasn’t worked that way for a while in F1 – that may or may not be a good thing, but I would suggest it is (was?) a fact.

            Remember, F1 is about as far away from the “real world” that you and I inhabit as it can possibly be….

          • Thanks guys!
            Discussions like yours are exactely why i like this site so much:
            passionate, controvorsial but respectfull – that’s the way it should be!

            To add my 2cents:

            I get both of your arguments and it’s not a clear cut case for me.

            Im leaning towards agreeing with Danilo though, for 2 main reasons

            First, i think it makes a big difference if you are just seeking clarification regarding some grey area in the technical regulations – like the postion or size of a hole in the bodywork or something similiar – which Charly customarily was accepted to provide
            OR
            if you are looking for an outright excemption from a pretty distinct rule, which i think the testing clause is.
            I’m having a hard time to believe that they didn’t know better and not go through the propper channels.

            Which brings me to my second argument. Why all the secrecy if they supposedly were acting in such “good faith?

            In the end, i don’t really buy it.

          • I do love the whole drama and differing opinions on all this, hopefully we will get more of these in the future.

            If I go to a shop to buy a TV and ask the assistant ‘will you throw in that DVD player if I buy today?’ And he agrees, we sort the paperwork and I’m about to leave, but the security guard stops me on the way and takes me to the manager who says ‘you stole that DVD player, your going to court’. In court, the judge would laugh it out saying that it was a mistake, but not my fault as I took the DVD player in ‘good faith’. This is how I see it here.

  4. If this is indeed a brave new world of a new, legitimate and truly independent hearing process the FIA have at their disposal doesn’t it just show how much Lauda is out of touch and of the old school with his pursuit of an out of court settlement. The shady back-room dealings have been banished or is this just some decent media filler between races for all and sundry?

  5. I still don’t get it, why is everyone so sure that Mercedes gained anything from this test? The way everyone is going on you would think Merc sent their car out on this years tyres and with full knowledge of what was being run and with hint and tips coming from Pirelli to help them dial their car in. It was a blind test with next years tyres and limited information from Pirelli. They did right having Nico and Lewis in the cars as to give proper feedback to the ‘testers’.

    Just as a side note, what other things do teams have to inform all other team they are doing? I find it farcical that Merc had to tell the other teams that they are providing the car to the tyre supplier for its test, surely that was Pirellis job.

    • Whether it was Mercedes’ or Pirelli’s job to inform the other teams – neither of them did, so even with the most benevolent look at it, they did every mistake in the book.
      Mercedes gained massively from this test. First of all, due to their and Pirelli’s secrecy about it, they could have tested updated parts on the car and I’m even sure they did. Also, the additional track time (more than a GP distance for either driver) in itself is already a massive advantage over everyone else. I don’t buy the ‘blind running’ bull. Nico himself said that he knew what was going on. If the driver knows, the engineers sure as hell do, too.

      • Danilo, dear heart, your arrogant insistence on having the last word, usually by repeating previous points, adds nothing to the usual high level of debate on this blog…
        Just saying… 😉 😉

      • Danilo, don’t hate the player, hate the game…
        Which, funnily enough, I do think you’re in agreement with TJ13 (and most of the commenters) that its the shambles of the FIA that is the biggest single problem here… You’re trying too hard to blame anyone and anything else!

  6. It’s mighty streams of politics masked by a nonsense. It’ s bright as the day that Mercedes gained a consistent, yet unfair, advantage in doing this, and thinking they acted in”good faith” it’s ridiculous. To me, this is another nail in the sport’s coffin. It’s disgusting.

    • Hi Antonio – Overall I would agree with you but I’ve witnessed so many nails hammered hard into F1’s coffin… and it’s still going fast and furious, lap after lap…
      I was first ‘disgusted’ in the 60’s but have learned to live with it. Maybe it’s just ‘human nature’… and therefore, just life… Maybe it just keeps on coming around…
      Maybe it’s just ‘tJ13’ that keeps me going… 😉

      • In the eighties and nineties i did enjoy myself much much more: we are addicted to this sport, but it’s becoming increasingly shaped for the likes of the occasional viewer.what we’re seeing hasn’t got anything to do with f1 any more. Do you think that kers-drs aided overtakes are what makes the difference btw a good driver and a champ? Or it’s the tyre management, maybe? Or are those nosense technical regulations and the loopholes anyone is desperately looking for? I am seeing LeMans, As i write, and we’re talking about a totally different breed of cat; this formula one is worth irl.

        • The 90’s were my nadir and look… I’m still around… Maybe there’s hope for both of us… 🙂
          Things change constantly – sometimes for the better…

  7. I’m sorry to repeat myself, but this is site is just excellent. Serious kudos, not only to the judge, but to the contributors.

    The quality and range of articles is fantastic, and the comments well thought out (even when i don’t agree).

    But i think my favourite thing is the levels of respect shown (usually) by everyone on the site.

    Thank you one and all for your class and decorum

    • Thank you Colin – great to hear your appreciation

      I have to say I love the fervent passion from the likes of Cav and Danilo – even when they’re completely wrong 🙂

      when you write articles you have to choose bits to leave out – otherwise they would be 5000 words long – yet these points nearly always get picked up by someone now the number of commentators is growing

  8. Excuse my ignkrance judge, but what is it F1 is going to face in the coming days? Joe Saward indicated an earthquake was waiting to happen. If i remeber correctly when somebody asked him about the magnitude he said “about an 8”. Are you talking the same thing?

    • The 3 headed monster – as I describe it , FIA, Teams, FOM, are going to have to work together like never before and make many decisions which are against their individual interests.

      This has never happened, I think there have been quakes of a magnitude of 8, so I’d put the number even higher.

  9. I wonder if the costs should be split between the FIA/Merc/Pirelli AND Red Bull?

  10. What happened to June 22th’s ‘News and comments’? Were the emotions of the FIA tribunal too much for the Judge?

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