A missed alternative
I believe the commonest response to the information that Vettel had prevented any additional penalty for his conflict with Hamilton in Baku was shock. The outcry that had adopted the incident made it appear inevitable that the Ferrari driver could be hit with one other sanction. Sources inside one crew even indicated that it believed disqualification from Baku – on the very least – to be the probably end result.
The extent of the penalty may be debated broadly, however the truth that the FIA didn’t give Vettel any additional punishment – apart from his dedication to become involved with “instructional actions” within the FIA’s championships – means this can go down as a missed alternative to essentially make an announcement and clarify that such behaviour on-track is not going to be tolerated.
The FIA has proven assist for its personal stewards by not doling out any additional penalty. That’s comprehensible, as you wouldn’t wish to seem to undermine the very system you set in place. Nevertheless, the truth that the stewards in Baku have been uneasy about disqualifying Vettel from the race altogether as a result of potential influence it could have on the drivers’ championship reveals a flaw within the system. It ought to have had zero affect on the penalty being dished out.
The stewarding system in F1 has been talked about typically lately, and the FIA shouldn’t be afraid to notice the place errors have been made. If it really believed that Vettel ought to have been black flagged, it ought to have carried out precisely that.
As Hamilton mentioned within the aftermath of the race in Baku, Vettel’s transfer and the penalty that adopted set a harmful precedent. It sends out the fallacious message to drivers developing the ranks, hot-headed and attempting to make an impression. Strikes of this ilk must be discouraged at each potential alternative.
Vettel had a penalty that ruined his race, sure, and Hamilton could have been much less outraged had his headrest not come free and he received the race. However there was nonetheless a very good probability right here for the FIA to ship out a warning shot.
Vettel will race in Austria this weekend as if nothing occurred. He wants to remain alert to on-track incidents given he’s simply three penalty factors away from a race ban, however the incident itself has no precise influence on the race on the Pink Bull Ring. Not even a grid penalty to essentially make him sorry for what occurred…
Time to speak on monitor
While I’m admittedly stunned the FIA opted towards making an instance of Sebastian Vettel within the context of its personal devoted campaigns in direction of street security – to not point out the ‘suspended sentence’ we assumed the Ferrari driver was on after Mexico -, I am glad this title battle will in the end be decided by what is going on on monitor and never within the boardroom.
To make clear, there is no such thing as a condoning Vettel’s actions. They don’t seem to be befitting of a world champion and would see the robust arm of motorsport legislation come down him at any degree of motorsport, proper all the way down to entry degree karting. Name it pink mist, hot-headedness or a second of insanity, it’s irresponsible and, when you could have the world’s gaze upon you, pointless frankly.
Alternatively, he did serve a penalty in the course of the race. A 10secs cease/go penalty is a agency and now hardly ever used in-race punishment quick solely of a full-scale exclusion. On the time it was decided a black flag – which was thought-about – could be seen as meddling an excessive amount of within the title battle and it seems the identical precept has been utilized to the decision-making course of right here.
A probably harmful precedent certainly, albeit one with noble intentions. A part of the difficulty right here is Hamilton completed behind Vettel for a wholly unrelated situation – would the FIA have felt the necessity to assessment the incident had Hamilton gone on to win the race as he would have carried out with out his headrest situation? Maybe not…
This story won’t ever fairly be over, however at the least the FIA has largely eliminated itself from the ‘what if’ of future debates.
Whatever the FIA, Vettel will not be allowed to maneuver on from this so simply. He’ll nonetheless face ‘trial by media’, whereas Lewis Hamilton – not like Charlie Whiting – will certainly be comfortable for this to play out within the public area.
And so it ought to, as a result of it is going to serve to show what was a pleasant (considerably boring) rivalry right into a fractured dynamic that would properly flip the second-half of this already simmering season right into a tantalisingly explosive one.
There aren’t any Guidelines of Engagement and behind the scenes ‘clear the air’ talks available right here, only a fierce title battle between two fired up drivers in two iconic groups proper on the market on monitor… in spite of everything, is not that what we actually wish to see?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Ought to Vettel have been made an instance of or do you contemplate the matter to be closed?
If you happen to may ask Sebastian Vettel something on this weekend’s Press Convention, what would it not be?
Ought to the FIA take title battles under consideration when making selections?