Sunday, June 30, 2019

Maybe the Rules Are Wrong.

I swear, Formula 1 deliberately looks for ways to screw up their product. They finally had an exciting race today. Close racing pretty much start to finish, with a pass for the lead on lap 89 of 91. Then the officials announced that there may have been a rule infraction on the winning pass. When the television station had to leave the air, 45 minutes after the end of the race, officials had not yet announced a decision as to the possible infraction, so we did not know who actually won the race.

How are the race drivers supposed to comply with the rules when the officials do not know how to enforce them? It takes as much as an hour to decide whether or not a driver's action was in accordance with a rule, so how is a driver supposed to make that decision when he is piloting a car at speeds in excess of 200 mph?

NASCAR has a similar problem. The cars go through a "technical inspection" before each race, which they often fail as many as three times. A three time failure draws severe penalties, even though a failure may be by as little as .001" from the standard. Perhaps the problem is not the teams and their mechanics. Perhaps the problem is the ridiculous expectations set by the rules.

Update, 12:20pm: Formula 1 finally announced no penalty for the pass, and Max Verstappen was allowed to keep his well earned win.

Unlike the race in Canada where the win was taken from him because the stewards deemed that he had made an "unsafe return to the track." It took them more than 20 minutes to arrive at that conclusion, but somehow Max was supposed to arrive at the same conclusion in a fraction of a second while driving a car at over 100 mph in the grass with treadless tires. Sort of like driving on black ice and hitting your brakes. It would have been a disasterous move on his part, would have wrecked both him and the car trying to pass him, and yet after 20 minutes of deliberation that was the decision the stewards concluded he should have made.

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