Apr 3, 2009

Frag the friggin FIA

First, they demoted Trulli to 12th, which was unfair. Then, they changed their mind and disqualified Lewis. Do these people have any accountability? They regularly impose harsh penalties on drivers and teams (with the exception of Ferrari) just because they can. WTF?!

Let's understand what happened in Melbourne. Trulli went off-track. Lewis overtook him, and this was legitimate. But McLaren weren't sure the FIA would agree. So they instructed Lewis to let Trulli past. Lewis disagreed. In the ensuing confusion, Trulli passed (or was allowed to pass) Lewis again. The way I see it, BOTH Trulli and Lewis were unsure who was supposed to take 3rd and who was to take 4th. Race Control, who were contacted by McLaren, were 'too busy' to clarify. Seriously?! When the safety car had been out for several laps, and everyone was peacefully following it, what could POSSIBLY have kept them 'too busy' to consider what was happening with positions 3 and 4? Also, they had access to all radio communication logs during, as well as after, the race. They also had access to speed trap recordings, to check if Lewis had indeed slowed down and deliberately let Trulli past. What is the point recording all this data, if decisions are to be based on interviews with parties who are directly and significantly affected by those decisions?

Here's the transcript that decided the issue finally:

Team: Lewis, you need to allow the Toyota through. Allow the Toyota through now.


LH: He's slowed right down in front of me.

Team: OK, Lewis. Stay ahead for the time being. Stay ahead. We will get back to you. We are talking to Charlie.

LH: I let him past already.

Team: OK, Lewis. That's fine. That's fine. Hold position. Hold position.

LH: Tell Charlie I already overtook him. I just let him past.

Team: I understand Lewis. We are checking.

I don't know what you will make of it, but all I see is evidence that a driver and a team were completely confused, and seeking a clarification from Race Control (Charlie). And Race Control had this transcript all along. I do not see damning evidence of Lewis and/or McLaren cheating.

If I was one of the stewards, I'd see this as a couple of guys making genuine mistakes (Trulli and Lewis) and BOTH trying their best to avoid breaking any of my rules. I would use my judgment to decide who ought to be classified 3rd, and who ought to have been 4th. I would NOT punish either driver, and would own up to my responsibility for sorting out the situation. In stead, FIA decided that at least one of the poor guys was not going to get any points for the race. Simply because they can...


  1. What do you mean you see no evidence of McLaren cheating? They were ASKED if they let Trulli pass. "No". So Trulli got rammed (in a decidedly arbitrary manner). Then "Yes...but it was an honest mistake...we just thought you'd read the transcript and still handed Trulli a penalty" after the transcripts came out.

    They got punished for that dude. I dont know how you can say McLaren are blameless.

  2. They issued an order to 'let him pass', and then an order to 'stay ahead'. And finally, 'we are checking with Charlie'. Is this an unequivocal decision? I don't think so. So, what matters now, is the semantics of the interview between the stewards and them.

    Did FIA release that transcript? No.
    Did they deal with the situation properly during the race? No.
    Did they deal with the situation properly after the race? No.

    But, if you still want to blame McLaren, go ahead. I'm not going to argue further.

  3. Also, ALL radio communication is public this year, as far as I know. The stewards, for sure, had access to the audio/transcript ALL ALONG. So what exactly is their story? "We didn't bother reviewing the evidence. Instead, we asked McLaren some questions. They had no right to be confused, even though we act arbitrarily all the time, and hadn't bothered clarifying things when they asked during the race. Also, they shouldn't have assumed we'd review the evidence in our possession. So now, we're gonna spank 'em. Toyota withdrew their appeal? We never gave a shit, anyway."

  4. dude, looks like u stopped writing