Because we live in Italy I’d better be careful how I phrase this but I can’t help but believe the FIA has pulled yet another stroke in their determination to assist Ferrari to win the F1 World Championship at the expense of McClaren and Lewis Hamilton. Did you watch the event yesterday? – probably one of the best races I’ve seen in years with Hamilton finally winning after a thrilling tussle with Raikonnen’s Ferrari. But after the race the FIA’s stewards called Hamilton and McClaren into their office and imposed a 25 second forfeit for gaining an unfair advantage on Raikonnen’s Ferrari as he cut the chicane to avoid hitting the Finn’s car. Yes he overtook his competitor in the processs which is not allowable but under guidance from his team Hamilton dropped his speed to concede the advantage and leading position in the race to Raikonnen. Effectively he self-moderated his error. He went on to overtake Raikonnen, fairly and thrillingly, shortly afterwards. Yet the post-race penalty dropped him to 3rd place, allowing the Finn’s team-mate, Masse’s Ferrari to win by default (Raikonnen having crashed out just before the end of the race). Masse never headed the race at any stage yet he comes out the winner, a result which puts him just 2 points behind Hamilton in the race for the driver’s Championship. Just in time for the upcoming Italian GP at Ferrari’s home circuit at Monza.
Neat eh? Remember the $100M fine imposed last year by the FIA on McClaren for being caught receiving technical information on the Ferrari team. Ferrari were later found to have done something similar but were let off with a slapped wrist. What about Ferrari driver Schumacher being let off after appeal for illegal us of the base board? And the Ferrari team being merely fined for letting Masse out in front of another driver in the pit lane, thus deliberately impeding him. When another team were found to have done the same thing, the punishment was far more swingeing.
So as far as the FIA (the sport’s governing body let us not forget) is concerned it’s OK if you’re with Team Ferrari but a little punishing if you happen to be employed by Ron Dennis. Well done Max, yet again you’ve allowed F1 to be besmirched. Surely even more people are going to turn off watching if this is allowed to continue. A great race has been utterly devalued by petty politics. What’s the point in following a sport whcih does its level best to ruin its own repuatation. Does anybody share my view or believe I’ve got it entirely wrong?