It’s amazing. I don’t normally link to ITV’s web site, but if you go here, make sure you’re on the Belgium GP page and click the Spa controversy link (assuming you’re in the UK), At 18 seconds into the video you can watch a silver car get past a red one, get forced off the track, regain the track, tuck in behind the red one so as not to benefit the move, and then pass it a second time.
At 1 minute 37 – 46 you can see the red car make a bigger excursion off the track than the silver one did, notice how it closes, and the commentator talks about the momentum it gains, and it uses this to force the silver one off the track when the meet a recovering Navy blue and white one. Any advantage the Silver car had gained is wiped out as it has to recover from the grass.
As the video reaches 1 minute 55 the Red car spins. And the Silver car re-takes the position.
At 2 Minutes 32, the camera shot changes to show the Red car leaving the track to the left of the shot (the driver’s right), turn through nearly 90 degrees and spear across the tack into the wall on the right of shot (the driver’s left). The three incidents listed no have no bearing on the outcome of the race.
The manager of the silver team told the ITV after the race that they had confirmed with the representative of the governing body that their car’s move to hand back the place cancelled any advantage they could have been said to have gained.
Yet the stewards of the race said he indeed gained an advantage and constructed a Penalty for him such that it promoted the surviving Red car into his place.
So far as I can tell , this means three things
- If you drive for Ferrari you can push others off the track safe in the knowledge that they, not you, will be penalized
- If you drive for Ferrari, don’t need to win on the track because you can do it in the Stewards’ room.
- When there is ample evidence available in public to show that one team has the the officials in their pocket it’s destructive for the image of any sport. (And let’s face it after the whole business of Max Mosely’s private life the image of F1 isn’t all that great)
If you go ITV’s site, pull down the list of GrandPrix on the right and have a look at Canada, and the “Hamilton’s Howler” video. At 31 seconds watch the Ferrari on the right of shot leave its pit box, and keep to the right instead of joining the pit lane behind the white car (a BMW), as it is required to do by the rules. Both cars stop side by side at end of the pit lane. We have no way to tell if it was the Ferrari’s intent to beat the BMW away as the lights change, or if it would have tucked in meekly behind it, because moments later Hamilton arrives – apparently without paying due care, and swerves into what should have been an empty space which is full of Ferrari. He might feel a bit aggrieved at getting a penalty for hitting a car which – if it had followed the rules – would never have been there.
And if that doesn’t convince you then have a look at the European GP and Ferrari’s dangerous release of their car (again on the ITV web site – go to the European race, and click the video “a near miss”). The driver escaped any sanction because he was said not to have gained a material advantage.
So it’s not as the FIA don’t have form in this regard.
“It seems some of the most powerful people (in F1) are more aligned to Ferrari than anybody else. The FIA have historically been very close to Ferrari, closer to them than anyone else. There are more Ferrari representatives on the World Council than anybody else.”
Not my words, Jackie Stewart’s (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/6988645.stm)
Quick note to Acer, AMD, Shell and other Ferrari sponsors. I neither buy nor recommend the products of any Ferrari sponsor. I’d call myself a Williams fan (tough times for me !) but Ferrari is the only team in any sport whose sponsors I boycott.
Update. McLaren to appeal. Nice to see they think they’ve got some chance of justice.
Update 2. Niki Lauda says he now thinks there is pro Ferrari Bias (last 30 seconds of this BBC interview)
Update 3. ITV have shown film of Schumacher (Ferrari) cutting the chicane to keep the lead in Hungary in 2006 where he cut the chicane to keep the lead. The Ferrari got the benefit of the decision. They showed Alonso using an identical move to Hamilton in Japan in 05 (I think – possibly 04) and getting no penalty – that precedent was over turned to benefit Ferrari.