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Brawn calls for greater transparency in penalties


On and on and on it goes... be it fans, team bosses, drivers or world champions, everyone has their own opinion on that penalty... and they are determined to share it.

As he works on the regulations aimed at taking the sport forward; making the playing field more level, curbing spending, creating great looking cars that produce wheel-to-wheel racing, F1 technical boss, Ross Brawn already has his work cut out.

However, as the furore over Sunday's race-changing penalty continues, with much of the media putting the blame for the situation firmly at the door of the rule-makers, the Briton knows that all his work can be undone at the stroke of a steward's pen.

As a result, the self-admitted poacher turned gamekeeper, who won F1 titles with Benetton, Ferrari and his own team, is calling for greater transparency.

"I can understand how Vettel feels," says Brawn in his sum-up of Sunday's race, "and I know Ferrari intends to appeal the decision.

"I also know what a difficult job the stewards have," he continues, "as they have to reach their decision in a very short time, producing a verdict that can affect the outcome of the race.

"As such, I don't want to give an opinion on the decision, because in my position it would be wrong to do so," he admits. "I have a lot of respect for the work of the stewards and for their professionalism and I believe they would be the first to say that they would prefer not to see a race outcome decided via a penalty.

"At the same time, I understand how difficult it must be for fans to understand why the driver on the top step of the podium is not the one who crossed the finish line first.

"That's why transparency is important when it comes to explaining the decisions of the stewards, especially in such a complex sport as Formula 1.

"It is in football, where despite the arrival of VAR, there is still discussion as to whether a handball should be punished with a penalty or not," said Brawn, a keen Manchester United supporter. "Therefore, it might be useful to work with the FIA on solutions that would allow the stewards to explain their decisions to the fans and to elaborate on how they reached them."

"I would emphatically add is that there is nothing sinister about a decision like this," he insisted. "You might agree with it or not, but none of those who take on the role of steward each weekend has a hidden agenda and fans can be certain of that."


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1. Posted by kapoorplastics, 19/06/2019 10:03 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 19/06/2019 10:14)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

Rating: Neutral (0)

2. Posted by TokyoAussie, 12/06/2019 4:44

"I wish the FIA would announce the whole decision process used in reaching decisions. Maybe the stewards hands were tied, and given the circumstances had no choice.

My own opinion, which has no worth, is that Vettel deliberately went across the track to block Hamilton, and not that he ended there by momentum or lack of control. I also think that blocking Hamilton was perfectly OK. Hamilton was able to slow down, and was not forced off the track. It was a close thing, though. If Hamilton was half a second closer, then Vettel would have forced him Hamilton off the track (or caused a crash) and a penalty would be deserved. If Hamilton was half a second further behind Vettel, this discussion would not even exist.

All chitchat about the race being stolen is rubbish. Vettel should have spent the substantial remaining part of the race building a 5 second gap to Hamilton instead of bitching over the radio the whole time."

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3. Posted by DRAGON F1, 12/06/2019 2:02

"Absolutely 100% Correct Penalty Decision, with the FIA having all the videos and data available of what Seb was actually doing!!

Was the Penalty Right or Wrong?
Hamilton/Mercedes Fan = Absolutely Right Decision!
Vettel/Ferrari Fan = Definitely Wrong Decision!

Lol "

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4. Posted by C5, 11/06/2019 18:53

"I don't agree that Vettel should have been penalized - borderline, sure, but not clear enough for a penalty. But all that is beside the point I want to make...

My point is, time penalties are idiotic.

If the stewards, rightly or wrongly (and reality is that you can't be right on every call), decides someone is guilty of an infraction and should be penalized, the penalty needs to result in an immediate visual change on the track.

Like: Swap position with another car (no matter how many other cars may have gotten in between in the meantime), or pull off the racing line on the main straight and slow down to x km/h for x seconds. And in more severe cases, short of a black flag we have pitlane drive through, stop-and-go, and stop-and-hold for x seconds.

I suspect one of the reasons the stewards prefer to give time penalties is that drivers (some are worse than others) have an irritating habit to ignore position penalties until track developments make them a moot point.

So the penalty rules need some teeth:
- All penalties must be taken within two laps from the time of issuing.
- In the case where there's less than three laps left of the race, the penalty must be taken immediately - i.e. on the lap the driver is currently on - before crossing the start/finish line.
- Ignore a penalty and the driver gets black flagged. Ignore a black flag and the driver's superlicense gets revoked with immediate effect.
- If a team is not relaying the penalty to the driver within 30 seconds of receiving notification the team is fined, deducted championship points or in severe cases kicked out of the series.

With rules like these, even if I don't agree on the penalty, at least race order will be the correct order and all battles will be a battle for that position. And in the end the cars will cross the finish line in the order they, well, finish the race. Which is all a pretty big deal to me.

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5. Posted by ZJAY, 11/06/2019 16:26

"Very “funny”.
Just pay five people to be stewarts for the entire year so the decisions are consistent. "

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6. Posted by nonickname, 11/06/2019 15:46

"Just another one passed his use by date."

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