Verstappen’s ‘unsporting behaviour’ – FIA rules on blocking

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By TJ13 contributor @F1theAJ

Defending vs Blocking: Is it time for F1 regulations to differentiate between the two?

The incident between Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikonnen in Spa does seem a long time ago, but it has raised one question, why do the F1 regulations not differentiate between defending and blocking while trying to maintain track position?

Verstappen’s ‘late’ defence of his lead position against the overtaking attempt by Raikonnen at Spa caused a furore, with Raikonnen later claiming the move was dangerous and Verstappen protesting he had done nothing wrong.

What is the difference between ‘defending’ and ‘blocking’? For the purpose of this article, lets consider ‘defending’ as being when a leading driver, moves FIRST when trying to maintain his track position (when challenged by another driver) i.e BEFORE the second driver attempts an overtaking move.

Whereas ‘blocking’ would be when the lead driver waits to see where the driver attempting the overtaking manoeuvre moves before the lead driver moves to defend, i.e. the lead driver moves SECOND, AFTER the overtaking driver has started the overtaking manoeuvre.

What do the regulations say regarding this? Look to the current F1 website we see  ‘‘More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. If a driver has moved off the racing line while defending their position, they may move back but must ensure there is at least one car’s width between their own car and the edge of the track.’’

i.e no mention as to WHEN the lead driver is allowed to do this.

The FIA regulations(2016) states:
‘’27.6 More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off-line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.
27.7 Any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move, provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason. For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ‘significant portion’
27.8 Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted. ‘’
Again, no mention as to timing.

From the above, it is very clear that Verstappen was correct when he said he had done nothing wrong, yet Raikonnen was equally justified in saying the late move was dangerous and if he had not braked hard once Versappen ‘defended’ his position there may have been an incident.

We now know that Charlie Whiting had ‘a quiet word’ with Verstappen ahead of the GP in Monza regarding the incident in Spa. It has been reported that during the conversation with Verstappen, Whiting may have mentioned that if a similar incident occurred in the future then the driver concerned would be shown a black and white flag (i.e one step ahead of being shown a black flag) for ‘unsporting behaviour.’

It has also been reported that Whiting (allegedly) told Raikonnen that he had perhaps been too lenient with Verstappen over the incident.

Did the move on Raikonnen constitute ‘blocking ’ rather than ‘defending’? and is it time the FIA rules were modified to take this into account or is it taken as read that by the time drivers get to the dizzy heights of F1 they should KNOW not to do this?

59 responses to “Verstappen’s ‘unsporting behaviour’ – FIA rules on blocking

  1. I am interested in your use of the terms “defending” and “blocking” as the second of these is not mentioned in the rules. Can you explain the difference you see between the two terms. Defending can be moving to cover a passing move legally as it is not disallowed in the rules. Legally defending can be also be placing you car on a line that would make it difficult for the following car to pass.

    An illegal defensive move is (as described) moving twice to cover passing moves either side of the original car position.

    All of these scenarios could also be referred to as “blocking”… both legally and illegally.

    • Not sure if you missed the top half of the article but the author did explicitly spell out what he defines as defending and blocking in the 3rd and 4th paragraph.

  2. Take a look at Ocon’s fights with Vertappen in Formula 3, Verstappen always did this, driving looking at the mirrors and then moving to the place Ocon -or any other driver- was moving. If the other driver succeed with the overtake then Verstappen took the inside line and braked late enough to push the other driver out of the track in the next corner. The same thing he did several times in Spa. There is a very good -and dangerous- move by Ocon blocking Verstappen immediately after overtaking him -in Spa too- to avoid Verstappen’s trick, he didn’t push Verstappen out track after that, however, and Verstappen recovers the position. Formula 1 drivers should probably look at it:

    • That is the way to do it.. What amazes me is that none of the attackers up till now first made a fake move to trick Verstappen into moving. Used to see this a lot in motorracing but nowadays not so much.Fake move always should be in direction of the racing line otherwise the defending can legally move twice (it is allowed to move back to the racing line).

      • If you put a trick on your attacker with a dummy, it doesn’t mean that you block some one in the first place. The way Kimi always put himself in this kind of situations is because he think that other drivers should have respect for the difference in speed in the DRS zone. So if it comes to that, the real danger is the big difference in speed in the DRS zone. It’s not up to the defender to recognize this, but more for the attacker to make a dummy in the first place to let the defender make his move first. I always see Kimi (for example) make a move on the very last moment caring to much speed with him to react properly on a defending move of the defender. I saw Vettel passing Max on the moment he knows that his Ferrari has the upper-hand against the RBR12. Coming closer behind Max in the corners, and making sure he have the better accelerating speed out-coming corner. So he can easily pass Max halfway the straight.

      • That’s because reactive defensive manouvres has been sort of reintruduced by Verstappen, and others are just starting to cope since the FIA stated that it doesn’t seem to have a problem with it.

        Look at Vettel’s pass on Verstappen at Spa, we are going to see more dummy throwing in the near future.

    • It’s really boring to see all these Max apologists turn up here only when there’s the merest hint of criticism of F1’s new Chosen One.

      Endless backlit explanations.

      “It’s all fun and games ’til someone gets hurt”

        • Well, throwing a red herring comment can be considered to be unsporting behaviour by itself.

          If you consider projecting your boredom, maybe you should be pointing it to TJ13 for publishing an article and actually soliciting debate over it, and not at you’re so called Max apologists which you have a problem dealing with.

          • I have zero problem with the comments. The more the merrier.

            My problem is that the Max mob have nothing at all to say about anything EXCEPT that driver.

          • It’s not just the Max mob Roger, everybody has an opinion which they want to ventilate about Verstappen’s doings. More so then on other items at the moment. The spotlited Verstappen gives something to talk about and the evidence of that can be found right here like virtually everywhere else. It’s pretty much clickbait in which every fan seem to bite.

      • It’s also really boring to see all these Max-is-immature-and-dangerous posts here.

        Endless flow of fuel to keep the fire going.

      • Well, throwing a red herring comment can be considered to be unsporting behaviour by itself.

        If you consider projecting your boredom, maybe you should be pointing it to TJ13 for publishing an article and actually soliciting debate over it, and not at you’re so called Max apologists which you have a problem dealing with.

      • Roger, I’m so sorry for you that you can’t remember what proper racing and defending really must look like. Max show the F1 world again what true racing is all about. He don’t mind to get criticism about his driving style. The hole F1 have a history of drivers who where criticized about there driving style. If you are the attacker, gear up and try to beat the guy in front of you, don’t start whining because you don’t have the skill’s and the ball’s to deal with it. And please don’t start about regulation 27.7 of the FIA regulation standards. The put this regulation as rule with notice of the teams involved. No one actually knows what the regulation actually means if you have to put in practise. So you always should have a pro and contra reaction between the stewards of the race about this matter. That’s the only reason Max never did get a penalty for this.

  3. The cars in F3 are much, much slower- only capable of top speeds of 170mph and a lot lighter and nimbler. Ocon got away with his move on Verstappen in Spa 2014 because Max was alert to what was about to happen. There has to be a modification to rules regarding blocking in F1, as Verstappen needs a wake up call. At the start of JRM’s shared video, Ocon is being given a driving standards flag! If F3 can do it, then F1 can surely do it too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX1aXl80ORI

  4. There we go again … how about driving in the opposite direction … is that allowed by “the rules”? This is racing and that includes defending your position (Verstappen’s ‘unsporting behaviour’). If the rules will prohibit the Verstappen style of driving, then F1 will become very boring.

    • I think you’re 180 degrees wrong there.

      If F1 allows dangerous blocking then the racing will become very boring as everyone does it and prevents interesting racing.

      • Somehow we forget how sports should be in this time of unlimited and endless instant satisfaction. In football 10 – 0 is often more boring than a hard fought 1 – 1.

        So maybe I’m misinterpreting, but it seems you think overtaking is more important than a good fight. I’d rather see 1 really good fight then 10 DRS ‘overtakes’.

        No offense if I read you wrong. In that case, could you elaborate?

  5. The main problem I see is biology. This isn’t a dig or even a rant but an observation. A teens brain isn’t as developed as a full grown adult,many studies have found that the youngsters brain lacks the reasoning of a mature specimen and has in built programming of a risk taker. A teen has a need to push the envelope and doesn’t fear normal risk and that’s what’s dangerous here. The young Max has an instinctive need to win and take risks without realising the consequences. Give the kid time and he will out grow this phase, he should become a more rounded driver but we will lose all this excitement. Inho F1 is no place for an inexperienced driver no matter how much talent they have shown,let them get this phase over with in a feeder series where the speeds are lower.
    Spa was a perfect storm for max, so much pressure and such a bad start,the red mist fell and he let off steam. Yes,in the letter of the law he did nothing wrong but most sane people agree it was right on the edge of a huge accident.

    • Another obsevation is that pretty much everybody, including RBR when it suits them, uses age or immaturity to grade ‘the kid’ and his actions. It’s arguably the easiest and cheapest argument that can be played and to be quite honest, its getting to the point that its getting a little tacky.

      The same goes for the inexperienced driver argument which keeps poping up, that assertation does not hold up when you have a driver that has been competing professionally for nearly ten years and by now has become an established Formula 1 driver at an established team.

      As for changing his driving style, Time will tell, but I sinceraly doubt he will ‘learn’ like many state is needed or probable. There is nothing that points in the direction that he will adjust in the foreseeable future.
      He’s been driving like this for a very long time and frankly, he’s good at it. Since day one (in Formula 1) there is one thing that he stated very clear and keeps repeating. He is not going to change his style. That mindset has been drilled in by his father to near perfection, probably the only critic he will listen to.

      Risky? yes, but within the edges of what the rulebook state and only if you completely ignore an attackers responsibility. Because the same rulebook applies for an attacker who has to be mindfull of any legally approved defensive manouvre, failing to be mindfull of these manouvres is at own risk, which easily but wrongly gets looked over these days.

      If the general feeling is that there can’t be any reactive defensive manouvres against an attacker which has his DRS activated, then get rid of DRS which is the underlying cause of the dangerous speed difference on the straights, and lets get back to real racing.

      • His father probably trained him to drive exactly this way. Jos never had a hope of winning a race driving with respect for others and probably taught Max that he cannot win just driving like everyone else too.

        So far Jos has been correct and it has worked in GP3 and probably Karts too. Let’s hope Whiting slaps it out of him fast now he is in the big time.

      • Some very valid points and I fully agree to getting back to real racing, Max has polarised the sport,and its a good thing but I do still stand with the road to F1. This isn’t a sport that you could fast track into, for all his faults,Lewis did his apprenticeship the same goes for nearly all the drivers and that argument goes for paid drives,unless they feed into the sport then money shouldn’t get you here. It’s not just about age,its the whole mindset. Who can honestly say they that at that point in life they honestly believe they are the best,they know more and can never be faulted. I know at 19 I fully believed I was the second coming and it took my workmates to bring me back to earth with a bang. They taught me the ropes and how to behave and that’s what is being played out here, Max is having the ultimate Apprenticeship and only time will tell if he has the staying power.

        • It’s understandable that we compare ourselves when we were younger, we are usualy not far off when doing so.
          But then again, who can say that they set their goals in life at the age of 5 and stick by it with the discipline and dedication needed? Now that is a mindset that baffled me.
          It’s that same mindset that made him stood ground when he was pulled to the spotlit snakepit called Formula 1 at age of 17, with the brightest spotlight F1 has seen in over a decade shining down on him.
          And now it’s basicly the same mindset that’s being argued over.

          Lewis however might not be the best of example’s that a longer apprenticeship would help in creating the right mindset, when he hit Formula 1 at 22 he had a lot of critisism for his aggresive drivingstyle himself just like Verstappen does now, and he did not give in either.
          But so do many, if not most drivers throughout their whole career when critisism hits them, yet somehow many do seem to demand acceptance from an 18 year old.
          It’s a small step from there on to be deemed self-righteous, juvenile or arrogant.

          • Maybe the easy answer to this is a more intensive driving partnership with the lower formula. If every team was a partner to,lets say two, younger drivers and provide training, sponsorship and two years min in Gp2 we could see a raising of driver standards, I am not singling out Max here as in the past we have seen some pretty poor decisions. Pastor/Roman are two to mention and even though they progressed though GP2 they still didn’t have all the skills needed in F1. There is a fine line which needs to be measured and maybe just like in the recent changes a more fair points system could operate. I don’t think the current method is enough and maybe the points needed for a super license needs to be raised. Max, as we see with the number of posts in this forum, is a breath of fresh air but I wish he could have sharpened his skill in a less public way, these fault have a way of sticking with a driver and with him being so damn young,the blame is always going to be pointed that way and this is wrong. This year will hopefully see him rise but he needs to remain grounded and not fall for the glitz and glamour. I would love him to be the kid who arrived in F1,all smiles and thankful rather than a petulant kid who can’t accept blame but this is a tough ask and in all honesty,if I was in his shoes at that age..I would have been the same so this is where a mentor or a strong PR person is warranted.

          • @Oddball
            I really can’t see the point in what could be gained in either. I think it’s generally not a good idea in trying to mold a driver into a makeable and likeable driverstandard, Everybody is going to have there own standard that one would want to implement and I don’t think we should also micromanagement driverstandards as we micromanage the rest of the sport.
            If anything I would say that Formula 1 needs characters, it’s funny that you mention Pastor, who can honestly say that he is not missed on the grid spicing things up?
            But it’s not just Maldonado, I’ve seen virtually every driver thoughout the grid making downright dumb@ss and silly drivererrors, (former-)WDC’s included, That actually seems to be forgiven and forgotten pretty quick. I don’t think it we are going to ‘up’ the driversstandards.
            I don’t think Verstappen is viable to not staying grounded, and in all honesty, he is a humble guy, he just doesn’t cave easily into critisism, which almost any driver in Formula 1 doesn’t.
            And we do already have a constantly smiling driver, what we don’t need is 22 Ricciardo’s, we absolutely need driver diversity.
            Anyways, Formula 1 never was about a fair competition between the very best of drivers, it won’t be getting there any time soon.

    • Well, you even can speak out your concerning about the behaviour of a adult mind setting here. The way Kimi with his knowledge of DRS speed crawl in the back of Max on the end of the straight, is not one of the smartest. He still expect that no one defend him self in the DRS zone when a faster car try to overtake. That is an underestimation error that the FIA and the drivers still make. We now have a driver in the field who do know to defend in the DRS zone. I’ve even already heard from several drivers that they have to adapt to this new phenomenon.

    • Another obsevation is that pretty much everybody, including RBR when it suits them, uses age or immaturity to grade ‘the kid’ and his actions. It’s arguably the easiest and cheapest argument that can be played and to be quite honest, its getting to the point that its getting a little tacky.

      The same goes for the inexperienced driver argument which keeps poping up, that assertation does not hold up when you have a driver that has been competing professionally for nearly ten years and by now has become an established Formula 1 driver at an established team.

      As for changing his driving style, Time will tell, but I sinceraly doubt he will ‘learn’ like many state is needed or probable. There is nothing that points in the direction that he will adjust in the foreseeable future.
      He’s been driving like this for a very long time and frankly, he’s good at it. Since day one (in Formula 1) there is one thing that he stated very clear and keeps repeating. He is not going to change his style. That mindset has been drilled in by his father to near perfection, probably the only critic he will listen to.

      Risky? yes, but within the edges of what the rulebook state and only if you completely ignore an attackers responsibility. Because the same rulebook applies for an attacker who has to be mindfull of any legally approved defensive manouvre, failing to be mindfull of these manouvres is at own risk, which easily but wrongly gets looked over these days.

      If the general feeling is that there can’t be any reactive defensive manouvres against an attacker which has his DRS activated, then get rid of DRS which is the underlying cause of the dangerous speed difference on the straights…

      …and lets get back to real racing.

        • I think I didn’t see you here before. I guess newbies get their comments standard ‘in moderation’ 🙂

          Welcome!

          • TY 😉
            Been wandering around a bit for a good discussion forum since recently they shut down my favourite old one. I have been reading TJ13 for a pretty long while now, and I do like the way they profile themselves a little of grid and questioning Formula 1 like others do not.
            The comments are also great to read through, I find it they are usually prety mature and seated on reality, I might stay and give some input of myself. 😉

        • @919, from alittle earlier 😉 like most fans I agree with yourself, we don’t need a conveyor belt churning out Hamilton/Alonso/Button clones. There is a good stream of new drivers heading our way and hopefully,like Max, they will stir the pot and provide a slanted view on our sport. Even so I just can’t help but remember a line from a distant film, ‘he’s not the Messiah,he’s a very naughty boy’. Max has some skill and is showing the old gaurd some moves but many of them have been tried before and many have an un written law which the drivers follow,time will tell if Max will bend with the pack or if he will still remain as ruthless,all I will add is that some drivers won’t take this much longer and will push back..I say..bring it on, I love a good scrap but we have to also remember that this isn’t BTCC or Mario cart.

          • I fully agree with you there, Vandoorne, Ocon and Verstappen have already met and battled fiercely, so there bound to meet again in the future, there is even a good chance of Verstappen not being the youngest on the grid next year if Lance Stoll would enter the sport.
            The warning of Whiting however is genuine, he is risking a bad name amongst drivers and spectators, and there could be repraisal on or off the grid.
            But then again, unwriten driverstandards are just what they are, not set in stone and subject to change.

            And if you look at the next video, and fast forward it to 20.00 minutes…

            …it took just 1 race for some packmembers to ‘adjust’.

            “So if that is legal then I will do the same next time.” is a quote that comes to my mind.
            Not much talk about the manouvre when the FIA chooses not to broadcast radio rants to colour spectators opinions to ‘exite’ Formula 1, nor did you hear Hamilton speak of deteriorating unwritten driverstandards afterwards.

            I would not deem Verstappen a messiah, but it’s hard to deny there are signs that at least some of the pack is taking note on his more uncommon ways of defending and making them their own.

            So the actual contenders of the sport seem to adjust quicker than the sidelined spectators.

    • Farth…
      If nothing happens its oké.
      If aan accident happens, its not oké
      Unless its an accident caused by an older driver, then again its oké…
      Is it not???

  6. I don’t see what is bad in blocking when only moving once to block and beeing able to legally move a second time to get back to the racing line. It’s just racing hard. Drivers got DRS lazy and Verstappen is the first to defend against DRS overtaking. Interesting to know why no other driver in today’s F1 ever thought to do it this way. F1 one used to be like this in the eighties with the slipstreaming fights, fake moves, blocking etc. Makes fights that much more spectacular

      • However Schumacher left it too late. He initially made a move to the middle of the track, paused for a brief moment, which made Hakkinen choose to go to the right, and moved again. You have to look at the outside footage to see Hakkinen isn’t an idiot who drives into a closing wedge at 300+ Km/h.

        Bottas did the same thing one race later at Monza against Hamilton and no one cared (lap 10). He waited on the straight for Hamilton to move and reacted to it on high speed while Lewis was close behind. The difference however was, Lewis didn’t complain about it and so it wasn’t a problem.

        Only 2 drivers complained about the Belgium moves, Raikkonen and Vettel, but the rest saw no problem with them. Button and Alonso, just as Vettel and Raikkonen, had problems with the moves of Verstappen in Hungary. Perez only wanted to have clarification of the rules after Hungary. Massa and Bottas came in support of there nothing being wrong with the moves in Hungary. Perez and Hulkenberg also openly came in support of there nothing being wrong with the moves in Hungary and Belgium, just as Hamilton, Sainz and Kvyat. So the truth is, only a few off the older drivers have been complaining, but the rest of the grid actually don’t want the rules to be tightened.

        Verstappen only got told by Whiting, he could in the future face drivers wanting to get back at him when he would be doing it too much, so he should be smart not to push it too far because that would not help him when fighting for championships.

          • I guess you mean Schumacher – Hakkinen? @ 1:27m you can see it here https://vimeo.com/70736273

            And in case you meant Bottas – Hamilton, you could look for the Monza race (look at the race itself and not some GIFs about it).

          • Erm.. No
            I mean about what Charlie said
            (“Always tell your mother before you go somewhere” – totally unrelated prodigy quote, couldn’t resist)

            So I’m looking for your source on what Whiting said to Max, because ive read the black and white flag story in several media. And your story not.

          • A black & white flag is only warning you could get a black flag if you continue with what you were doing.

            Whiting revealed Verstappen “could have been shown” a black-and-white flag for unsportsmanlike behaviour at Spa, and “could be shown” that in the future.

            “The main thrust of what I said to Max is that whilst we like the competitive type of driving he’s providing us with, he needs to be careful not to go over the top,” Whiting told Autosport.

            “Sometimes he is just a little bit too aggressive, shall we say.

            “He just needs to be careful he doesn’t get a bad name for himself because if, heaven forbid, there was an accident caused by what is judged to have been Max’s over-exuberant driving then all these things will come back to haunt him.

            “He fully accepted it. We had a very amicable chat, and he got the point.”

            http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/126032

            I remember both him and Ocon got one at Hockenheim in F3 for going through a corner with wheels interlocked (which was awesome). It seems with all the complaining, Whiting wanted to make the impression he did something, however they actually don’t want to tie him down too much. Thanks to all the idiots who don’t know the rules and who were out on a witch-hunt, it got all blown way out of proportion…Like Lauda said, “they want the drivers to sort it out themselves and if Max wants to fight for the championship, he would be smart to not have a target on his back.”

    • Because other top drivers believe they can win without trying to make other drivers either crash or submit.

      NASCAR is spectacular for it’s crashes. You could get your thrills there if F1 racing isnt exciting enough danger wise.

  7. It is not in the rules, so it is allowed. And while Charlie can threathen to blackflag, there is no real basis to do so. When Red Bull take such a decision to the sporting tribunal, Charlie will loose and he knows it. Charlie is bluffing. Only when a real accident occurs you can look at “avoidable collision”.
    So change the rules or shut up. If I got a penny for every block I encountered in karts, I’d be filthy rich now.

    • What sort of driver do you find does the blocking in Karts usually? The top drivers with real potential or the wannabes who never will be top drivers?

  8. How about how many yards (or meters) until the corner that you are not allowed to move? Or once the car behind you appears in your mirror you are not allowed to move anymore? Or you can (technically) implement that if a car is within 30 yards (or meters) your car will block the steering wheel. Come on guys, check Schumachers move on Hakkinen on exactly the same tarmac on Spa… Are you guys talking about racing or do you want a parade?

  9. If the rules say verstappen was oke…it is oke.
    You also have to think, if i change the rule…what would happen.
    So if blocking needs to be avoided by moving first….the one in the lead is a sitting duck after his first move.
    Also if the attacker closses in to the car in front by just 1 inch to make his move….it will always look like the one in the lead is “blocking” (and not allowed to move???) again sitting duck.
    This sport is a fast reaction sport….Riakonen reacted well (fine)…verstappen is within the current rules(fine)
    So lets go racing…

  10. Stop al those silly rules and let race drivers RACE! They will figure it out themselves. The more rules, the more on-board-‘crying’ 👎🏼

  11. All of the young ‘supertalents’ that ever entered encountered conflicts with the established drivers of the day. Senna with Lauda, Schumacher with Senna…etcetera. It’s natural, as drivers get older, for them to calm down a bit and lose their sharp edges. They live a dream life of wealth, are respected and admired globally. In comes the new kid, young, fearless, insanely ambitious and ready to show the world he’s the best driver that ever lived. Without that mentality he would have never made it to F1 in the first place. So I think it’s really funny to see this entire soap opera unfold yet again and looking at history, it’s only adding to Verstappen’s credit. Only the true great of F1 have shown to be able to cause this kind of fuzz. Given the fact that Ocon and Vandoorne now also entered the circus, I think we will finally be relieved of boring single team dominated races. Hamilton will be anxiously waiting to fight the young guns for sure. Cheer up guys, I think we’re in for another classic period in F1’s history. Given the fact the Americans won’t f**k it up like they did with James Bond. 😉

  12. There were seasons we hardly saw any on track overtaking at all. The ‘only one defensive move’ rule could never change that.
    There used to be a time when overtaking was something the strategists did for the drivers (clever pit stop strategies).
    Artificial measures like 6.6 seconds of KERS or the use of DRS (only for the attacking driver) gave us some kind of overtaking. A kind of overtaking not much liked by racing purists.

    But obviously the tides are shifting and nowadays a DRS overtake seems to be a given right, a certainty, a fate the overtaken partly simply has to concede to…

    Until some boy wakes up the sleepy bunch on track that now start to realise they have to, and can fight for position. A boy that woke up the sleepy bunch that dozed away in front of their TV sets the last couple of years. A boy that made several ex drivers, now pundits state that F1 has to get rid of most of those rules and that they were never in favour of the ‘only one move to defend’ rule in the first place.

  13. A further tightening of the rules is not a good idea.
    I think the ‘reactive’ definition is a bit of a red herring. As has been pointed out, dummy moved by the attacking driver ought to deal with this if the timing is right (and this is where the one move rule probably is necessary, as if the defender is allowed to jink back the other way then collisions really are going to be inevitable).
    Clearly there is always going to be a grey area – pulling across so late that the overtaking car has no chance to take evasive action and hits you is obviously unacceptable (possibly even for Maximalists); an early defensive move which is early enough not to require the attacking driver to lift off a la Raikonnen is going to offend no one. Where one shades into another has to be a matter of judgment; rules are both too precise and not precise enough.
    Each generation of drivers reach their own accommodation of what’s OK and what isn’t. Max is currently taking advantage of unspoken conventions shared by the other drivers (in the braking zone, too). If he doesn’t get the occasional slapdown from Whiting, everyone else will have to adopt the same attitude (and I don’t really buy the argument that he uniquely has the skills for such moves), and we’ll see a lot more collisions.

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