Incompetent F1 made to change regulations

FIA management of Formula 1 inaugural weekend forces changes in regulations – The ambiguity of the FIA and F1 race director Massi’s judgment of race regulations of the Bahrain GP appears to be epitomised by the F1 written press as an utter joke.

The ambiguity of the FIA regulations and F1 race director Michael Massi’s interpretation of them for defining the track at the Bahrain GP appears to have been generally couched by the F1 written press as an utter joke.

On every level this failure was arguably a miss of epic proportions.


Surely a multi-billion dollar sport’s regulator/chief enforcement event officer should be able to adjudicate what is ‘in and out’. This was spectacularly not evident in Bahrain’s F1 season opener

Lewis Hamilton was presented with a nigh on impossible task, as Mercedes strategists quite rightly realised they had to go seriously contra to the Pirelli pit stop timing recommendations based on tyre wear analysis.

Such was Mercedes desperation it saw them put Hamilton on a final long run on a set of hard tyres way outside the Pirelli pit stop and lap projections.


The Brackley strategists gamble was even more desperate given the normative expectation of a late safety car in the inaugural race of a season due to car failures. A safety car deployment anytime in lap 45-56 would’ve made Mercedes strategy a complete fail.

Yet the race result saw Sir Lewis (not yet actually given the sword treatment due to thesmall matter of Covid and the isolation of The Queen), exploit the incompetence of the FIA regulators to regulate the track limits properly. This mitigated the extreme Mercedes strategy allowing Lewis to recover 4-6 illegal seconds of lap time over the course of the race.


Dutch F1 analysts suggest this Hamilton flagrant disregard for track limits – a matter for which he was eventually warned to stop or suffer sanction – created lap time benefits of no less than 2/10ths per lap. Turn 4 was specifically discussed at the driver briefing, and the drivers agreed to not repeatedly transgress those T4 curbs.

Clearly some people need legally binding edicts and Michael Massi would do well to remember this in future.

So lap after lap eaked out this turn 4 track limits advantage. The FIA and Merc argued this lap by lap violation of track limits delivered each time a mere ‘minimal time advantage’. Not “a significant advantage” – which the rules prohibit.


Yet Max Verstappen’s one off transgression on the same corner saw the FIA race director instruct Red Bull to relinquish his one lap 0.2 second track limits breach as illegal and force Rd Bull to allow Hamilton to retake the lead position. Lewis has been stealing this 0.2s time lap after lap without sanction.

Moot is the point that Verstappen had actually fully completed his pass on Hamilton before leaving the track, which was partly cause by a back marker inside Lewis forcing him to run wide.

The race result of the 2021 season opener is now fixed. There are other issues we could discuss, like RB protesting Verstappen the instruction from Massi to back the place. This would have created more time to allow Max to give up the place in a more appropriate area of the track.

Though since initially drafting this article, Max Verstappen has been reported as saying he had thought about handing the place back on the pit straight but decided against it because it wouldn’t be fair on Lewis.

(Who said the spirit of sportsmanship as demonstrated by true greats like Sir Stirling and Graham Hill is dead).


In conclusion, the glaring failure of the FIA and its F1 officers to properly regulate it’s own sporting events has filled millions of column widths around the globe today. It is the FIA’s job to deliver a consistent and reliable level playing field for the drivers to enjoy fair parameters of competition – and make it easy for the fans to follow. They must change this ambiguity in the regulations over track limits – after all there is plenty of white paint on the ground to define it.

As an aside, also sad is that many in the British F1 TV media, reviewed the Bahrain GP as an acceptable and ‘exciting first race result’ rather than rail against FIA race weekend rulings, which is clearly were beyond understanding and competence.



12 responses to “Incompetent F1 made to change regulations

  1. I don’t really think you are being Honest here Are you just a bit one-sided ?Perhaps reporting should be a 50-50 judgement Hamilton had NO lasting advantage and when told not to do it stopped. max would not have made the corner without going off track to pass.

    • If you go off track ( and why would you do it unless it’s an advantage ?) and save 0.2 seconds ( and save your tyres ) 20 times …….. that’s a 4 second lead that the chasing driver has to make up ….. so how can it be said that a 4 second advantage over a race is my a lasting advantage ? If it wasn’t a lasting advantage why was he told to stop doing it ?
      It isn’t really fair to have made the 4 or more seconds over the race and then on lap 46 being told to stop and then claim that theirs no lasting advantage
      Then study his lap times , calculate the Advatage and add the time onto his finishing total time

    • Rubbish. Stealing a cent from 100 million people is of little consequence to each victim. The thief becomes a millionaire

  2. Agreed Mike

    I was under the impression from reporting leading up to and during the race, that the FIA position was…
    “the track limits at the exit of turn four will not be monitored with regard to setting a lap time, as the defining limits are the artificial grass and the gravel trap in that location”

    When it became evident during the race that (some) drivers were exploiting it (note, RedBull advised MV to do it as LH was doing it), they reviewed and made the subsequent change – ergo, LH stopped following instruction from the team.

    Then, MV made an overtake and the rest is history.

    “What was mentioned and discussed with the drivers at the drivers meeting is that if an overtake takes place with a car off-track, and gains a lasting advantage, I will go on the radio and suggest to the team that they immediately relinquish that position. And that was made very clear.”

    “Red Bull were actually given an instruction immediately by myself,” he added. “I suggested that they relinquish that position as listed in the sporting regulations, which they did.”

    “It wasn’t for exceeding the track limits,” Masi clarified. “It was for gaining a lasting advantage by overtaking another car off the racetrack.”

    There is a fundamental difference between the 2, as “The Judge” should know. The article above just smacks of yet another sensationalist rant against the FIA

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt – ABRAHAM LINCOLN

    • The incompetence is in the inconsistency. Fine when making laps, not fine when overtaking. (TBH: aren’t we all for more overtaking? Above would make overtaking less likely)

      Tracklimits should be tracklimits. That our heroes go over them to find the fastest laptimes: they are scoundrels and we can only forgive them for it. That they go over them to save tires: in my book less ok.

      Somehow not all drivers interpreted the rules the same: hence RedBull advising MV to do the same as LH.

  3. Who wrote this article! Upto now I’ve always enjoyed reading your reviews, thoughts and predictions but this article seemed to be so one sided to make me think did we actually watch the same race !!! Very strange ?

  4. It would have taken a major set of cajones for Michal Massi to have called a five second penalty on Britain’s little darling. But that’s Lewis, and you don’t want to disappoint the fans.

  5. Haha. Bitter Verstappen fan. Beaten by an inferior car and superior driver. Not long before Perez takes over and burys the myth of Verstappen being a top driver. He might sneak ahead of Perez this season but won’t be long before he goes the way of Vettel. Before a more talented driver like Ocon takes his seat.

    • They said he is not good because he has a better car . Then he was given an inferior car , but that is not enough now no one heard the monitoring of track limits lol … what’s next why does his car have four tyres … lol

  6. They said that track limits in turn 4 would not be monitored hence the reason why he didn’t get a penalty. Half way during the race though, they said it will be monitored, so that is why they said to Hamilton next time he goes wide it is a black and white flag then after, a 5 second penalty; and that is when he and every other driver who may have been using the turn 4 beyond the kerbs stopped.

  7. Amazingly they are only looking at LH44 and track limits, what about all the other drivers also gaining that so called”advantage” which in reality is only about 0.1 tenths if that… lets see the lap times to see that they were incrementally faster each time by the alleged margin to prove that advantage… the Redbull was the fastest car on track with a 0.4 advantage in qualifying, therefore MV33 was quicker per lap than the alleged advantage LH44 was gaining so made absolutely no difference at all against the faster Redbull… A very one sided piece of reporting from a butt-hurt MV33 fan no doubt… being beaten by a slower car with the best driver…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.