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I tihnk Guenther and Marko put their finger on the big issue this season.  Pirelli put us in this situation.  Tyres that only work well for only 2 out of 20 cars on the grid.  It's not a good situation.  Pirelli should have got the 5 second penalty.

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I have said it many times over the years, the FIA need to appoint stewards that are the same people for EVERY race. I have always felt that some stewards are biased toward "some" drivers (Of cour

F1 needs a Friday program including testing or the race tracks are going to lose a lot of ticket sales.  As a TV viewer, I find the Friday practice sessions quite enjoyable.   On par with the rest of

WILLIAMS CONFIRM SIROTKIN TO RACE AND KUBICA RESERVE Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin will race for Williams this season after being chosen ahead of Polish rival Robert Kubica on Tuesday in wh

I get that Vettel impeded Hamilton there, but Vettel had basicaly 2 options.  What he did, or crash out and take out hamilton with him.  I'd call this one a racing incident.  But i do get understand why there was a penalty.

Why is it that Mercedes have these tires figured out and the rest of the grid hasn't? With how much money these teams spend on R&D, how is it that Mercedes is the only team on the grid to crack the tire code.

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Brutal. Not sure what more he could have done after going through the grass and not having control to do much else.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Just to add some salt to the wound, I saw some video from Monaco from a few years back.  Hamilton is in the lead with Verstappen in hot pursuit.  Hamilton loses it into a chicane, cuts it short and re-enters the track right in front of Max causing him to slow up and for Lewis to keep the lead.  Surprise, surprise, no penalty given then.  To be clear, that was the right decision back then but baffled why the same approach was not used today.  FIA really dropped the ball today.

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I’m done for this season, possibly longer.

F1 needs a complete top to bottom overhaul. I don’t think it’s coming. I was really hoping that Bernie’s exit would finally move things along, but I was sorely mistaken.

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Thank god motorcycle racing hasn't YET been ruined with politically biased "stewards" who are investing every little stray move and penalizing the riders they don't like and ruining the races. I can still watch and enjoy motoGP, WorldSBK, MotoAmerica, Pro Motocross/SX. Thiis same sort of thing is actually going on with some stick-and-ball sports, namely the NFL, and they are ruining that sport also by over analyzing every play and "investigating" EVERYTHING! For crying out loud, LET THEM PLAY, and LET THEM RACE!

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After 30+ continuous years of watching F1 (I'm 37), I have finally have given up this year, I watched the first race of the season and was disgusted. Then, i had the unfortunate privilege of watching yesterday's debacle. Am I a Tifosi? Yes. However, my issue with yesterday has more to deal with racing in general. "Racing" is finished in Formula 1. After Ferrari was dominant during the 2000's, the British were so incensed, they put their finger on the scales. This formulaic BS is actually hurting the sport and the quest to try to earn green credentials is actually limiting competitiveness from teams not named Ferrari or Mercedes. F1 is a guilty pleasure, it should be about building the fastest car within a certain set of loose specs. Brink back re-fueling, no tire restrictions, get rid of these engine lifespan requirements. I'm listening to the announcers tell me yeterday how Seb's car will be shit in the last few races of the year because he was in setting 1 for so long to try and win yesterdays race. The wear and tear will eventually catch up at the end. Wow, really exciting stuff there guys.

On another note, all of these new tracks are also ruining things. Its the same souless track over and over again in places people don't care about. If you loosened up the rules and some up-and-comer set the world on fire with a scrappy team, I'd be excited as hell. Think Schumacher with Jordan or Senna with Toleman or when Red Bull burst on the scene (I get it, Ross Braun). I mean seriously, can we just let them race. I guess F1 is just one more victim of political correctness. 

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56 minutes ago, MIKA27 said:

I have said it many times over the years, the FIA need to appoint stewards that are the same people for EVERY race.

I have always felt that some stewards are biased toward "some" drivers (Of course there is no proof) and their decisions are always inconsistent from one race to another.

I also believe HERMAN Tilke tracks should be scrapped.

The FIA need to put such jobs out to tender and appoint other firms because we aren't the only forum complaining so surely, everyone has heard similar complaints? 

If there was no penalty the outrage would be as equal.   There's no winning.

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Embarrassing is all I can say as I watch the dust settle on the Canadian Grand Prix, a race which Lewis Hamilton should not have won but did and also a race that Sebastian Vettel should have won but didn’t – same old story.

This tale is one of those that will split fans forever as a talking point that is at fever pitch while the two camps lob grenades at one another and us bystanders watch. That passion that so divides us all weekend in and weekend out, more this past Sunday, is what unites us in making F1 one of the most talked about sport on the planet.

For me the real spoilers on a day in which I think we were in for one humdinger of a final 20 laps was spoilt by the referees, make that the FIA appointed race stewards – who normally should be inconspicuous – were summoned to make a big call and did so correctly but in retrospect the execution thereof was regrettable, in the light of the circumstances of the championship and our sport in general.

A different colour at the front was a welcome change, for the neutrals among us.

With a spotlight on the incident I will try and put down some facts from where I sit amid the noise of too many opinions:

  • Seb and Lewis make good starts, with the Ferrari up ahead and the Merc in tow;
  • Until the pitstops it was a stalemate with little action after a surprisingly subdued and incident free start;
  • After the pitstops Seb’s lead is around four-point-something seconds ahead of #44;
  • Hammertime starts to happen;
  • Seb also gets on the gas but Lewis fills his mirrors, pressure mounting on the leader;
  • On lap 47 with Lewis in DRS constant range, Seb goes too deep into the hairpin but no harm done;
  • A lap later the #5 Ferrari gets it wrong into Turn 2, skirts over the grass before Seb gets it in check, with a substantial loss of speed he flicks it to the right as he spears across the track forcing the Merc driver to step on the anchors and moan over the radio.

Not long after the stewards delivered their verdict: “Car 5 left the track, re-joined unsafely and forced another car off track” and the consequences: “5 second time penalty (2 point awarded, 7 points in total for the 12 month period).”

From that perspective, you cannot argue with the verdict Messrs. Gerd Ennser, Mathieu Remmerie, Emanuele Pirro and Mike Kaerne.

Seb did rejoin the track unsafely, although carrying much less speed in that split second he twitched it to the right – an instinctive move to slow down the stalker behind.

Coming off the gas or swerving out of the path of the driver in pursuit is not a modern racer’s instinct simply because they don’t get killed as often as their ilk did not too long ago. In days when you did not survive crashes often, you would be crazy to try any shenanigans at high speed.

These days the opposite applies actually, you can crash hard and survive thus why not take out your annoying rival in the process of you fucking up. It’s the way it works and starts at karting level.

Back to sports where one ball is required… in these, referee sometimes gives the benefit of the doubt when it comes to fouls or penalties in the interest of allowing the game to flow. Indeed they are even coached to see the bigger picture. Sport has evolved, policing it should also.

And from this our F1 race stewards could learn something and on Sunday they might have been heroes instead of villains.

Before they decided to give the penalty, in the interests of the race why did stewards not radio Ferrari to tell their man to cede the position to Lewis within two or three laps? If Seb refused then slap him with the five seconds.

The penalty was correct but they could have kept the race alive, if not fire it up even more, but instead they immediately killed it as a contest. No wonder they were boo-ed in the aftermath. It was an avoidable embarrassment.

If warning or option such as this is not a rule in F1, then it should be. And they might’ve written it into the book this weekend in Montreal.

I cannot see Mercedes objecting with a position swap at that stage of the race, afterall Lewis tells us all the time how he relishes a good battle and often wishes there were some butt kicking rivals in his playground, winning easy ain’t cool for our champ. And we get it.

Ferrari, on the other hand, would have been foolish not to instruct their driver to cede the position. And should that have happened, with 20 laps or so to go, we would have had a riveting finale to the race.

Angry VET chasing down on form HAM would’ve been a killer battle that might have happened had smart thinking prevailed when the heat was turned up in the stewards’ room.

The mandate to “Let Them Race” went out the window with this latest display of flat-footedness.

Instead, we were denied, so you can hardly blame fans on the Ile who were robbed of a great race, while Ferrari and their army will be wondering what they need to do to catch a break and when their star driver will stop making costly errors under pressure.

In closing, was it only me or did you get the impression that even Lewis was rooting for Seb and Ferrari? The guy really wants them to step up to the plate at some point…

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Red Bull report from the Canadian Grand Prix, Round 7 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Île Notre-Dame in Montreal.

Max Verstappen: “It was a controlled drive today. We stayed out of trouble at the beginning of the race and there was not much more I could do in the closing stages. I did a very long first stint which worked quite well to clear the traffic and once we pitted I quickly cleared the Renault’s. From there I pulled away and was able to focus on my own race but we were not quick enough to catch the leaders. It was at least fun doing a bit of overtaking and we scored good points again but I think realistically fifth was where we expected to finish. It was not our weekend and I would of course like more but we have to work hard now to try and close the gap at the next race.”

Pierre Gasly: “It was a pretty difficult day but the car actually felt quite good so it is disappointing to finish where we did. We expected to be stronger than this. We struggled with traffic and had to save the brakes, which compromised us a bit, and I of course wanted to finish better than this. We need to analyse everything and see what we can improve but I also need to work hard before the next race. I hope we can find more pace and come back stronger for my home race.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal: “Another strong race and a good recovery drive for Max today progressing from ninth to fifth. He lost quite a bit of time in the early laps clearing traffic but running long on the hard tyre was a strategy that worked well.”

“He managed a small brake issue in the last few laps but finished the race comfortably in P5. With Pierre we tried to get the undercut on Daniel during the pit stop, we nearly made it, but he unfortunately got stuck behind Stroll which pretty much ended his race, allowing Hulkenberg to sneak ahead.”

“Fifth and eighth were not the results we were looking for but heads down and the focus is on Paul Ricard.”

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Renault F1 Team secured its first double points finish of the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season with Daniel Ricciardo sixth and Nico Hülkenberg a close seventh in the Pirelli Canadian Grand Prix, Montréal, on Sunday.

Starting from a superb fourth on the grid at a hot and sunny Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Daniel maintained that place in the early running, lapping strongly before his pit-stop on lap eight. A quick wheel change from the crew allowed Daniel to extend his gap over Pierre Gasly.

Nico too was clean off the line from seventh place – passing Valtteri Bottas on lap one – and ran longer than Daniel on Soft tyres to build up a gap to Gasly, which ultimately led to Nico passing the Red Bull Racing driver after his pit-stop on lap sixteen.

From there, it was about maintaining positions and seeing home an excellent team finish, with Daniel finishing closely ahead of Nico.

Nico Hülkenberg, 7th: “We can be pleased with that today as it’s a really good team result. I had strong pace throughout the race, kept the Softs in good shape, and then had fresher tyres at the end. I had to back off a little bit to stop the car overheating and from there we settled for a solid team result.”

“We’re leaving here with a smile on our faces. The last three or four weekends have been compromised for various reasons and today we achieved the full potential of the car. It’s an excellent reward for the team’s hard work at both Enstone and Viry and now we have to aim to keep the momentum going.”

Daniel Ricciardo, 6th: “I did all I could out there and I’m happy with the end result. It’s the team’s first double points of the year and it’s a big one in sixth and seventh, and we can’t ask for anything more than that. There are definitely positive signs this weekend.”

“We know the top teams are superior at this stage, but still, it was a lot of fun to battle Valtteri [Bottas] for a few laps out there. We’re realistic in our approach, but the team should be proud of this weekend. They have that drive and determination to push on now and that’s really encouraging.”

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal: “This weekend is no more than the blueprint we set ourselves as an objective and the demonstration that we are able to achieve it. We need it to continue in the upcoming races and Daniel’s sixth position and Nico’s seventh, the best possible results at this stage under normal conditions, restart our season.”

“The drivers were faultless all over the weekend. Daniel was exceptional in his qualifying lap yesterday, he gave us all a smile nearly as wide as his!”

“The rest of the team executed everything impeccably giving us confidence back while also not forgetting errors made at the beginning of the season. We remain very concentrated and conscious of the work there is left to do.”

“We’re moving forward to the French Grand Prix from tonight, as it marks the second stage of our recovery plan after the first one on the engine side, which has benefitted from the visibility and the recognition it deserved on the most challenging circuits of the calendar.”

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Sometimes, you just have to read the signs. We don’t believe in fate, we believe in hard work and in our abilities, but when things start off in a poor way, you know it probably won’t be your day. And we saw the signs straight from the drivers’ parade.

The classic cars used in these parades have broken down on occasions. We even had a driver arrive late and miss out on the parade altogether (looking at you, Charles). But never before we had a driver go AWOL during one.

And yet, this is what happened today, as Kimi’s car returned to base without its famous passenger, leading to a scramble for the missing Finn (who, unbeknownst to us, had hopped out of the car and made his way back to hospitality). It’s as if Kimi had known already that the afternoon had nothing positive in store, and had chosen to make an early exit…

We leave Canada with no points but with our spirits unbroken. We fought, we gave everything we had, but we weren’t able to make progress in the race. We pledge to keep working hard to overturn this phase, get back where we belong and fight our battle in the championship. France is in two weeks: hopefully the signs will point the right way then.

We were happy to see all three drivers on the podium, their very different emotions notwithstanding, spray their champagne. Hopefully, in 11 years’ time, no under-pressure media officer will feel the need to question whether one of them REALLY uncorked his bottle…

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal: “After being very close to getting into Q3 yesterday, we were convinced we could have a good race performance. However, an unscheduled stop for Kimi due to a visor strip – not his own, this time – in his brake duct and Antonio suffering contact in lap one prevented us from competing against the rest of the midfield.”

“We are working hard to understand the performance of the tyres and we’ll make the most of the developments we have lined up for the next few races. I am confident we can recover the speed we showed earlier in the season and get back in the fight for points.”

Kimi Räikkönen: “Not an easy weekend, not an easy race, as we didn’t have the speed to fight for position. Some laps it felt better, then there were laps where we struggled to find grip. We have work to do and we also will get new parts and this should help us to get back into the fight for points.”

Antonio Giovinazzi: “Finishing in P13 is quite a disappointment, especially since we thought we had the speed to make up some places in the race. The pace wasn’t really there, easy as that. We need to find a solution because we appear to lose our competitiveness on Sunday and that is really hurting us.”

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Williams report from the Canadian Grand Prix, Round 7 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Île Notre-Dame in Montreal.

Race Notes

George Russell finished 16th and Robert Kubica 18th in the Canadian Grand Prix

The Brit started 18th and Robert 19th on the grid, both on the medium Pirelli tyre

George ran a one-stop race, pitting on lap nine for the hard Pirelli tyre

Robert pitted twice during the race, on laps eight and 38 for the hard Pirelli tyres

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: “The hottest day of the weekend threw up some new challenges and led to many drivers managing their car, be it for brake temperatures, tyre degradation, or engine temperatures.”

“Fortunately for us we had most things under good control and were able to race cars around us. For George, this meant that he was able to race Magnussen and, until his retirement, Albon. For Robert, who struggled more this weekend, we opted to make a second stop and use our full complement of Prime tyres.

“We made some small improvements to the car this weekend, and we managed a difficult race well. The team continue to do a very good job with the pitstops and both drivers again completed well-constructed races and brought both cars home with no damage.”

George Russell: “The car was feeling relatively nice to drive and we made the most of the package. We now need to bolt some downforce on it and hopefully we will find some laptime. Overall, I was pleased with my performance today and we made the most of the situation.”

Robert Kubica: “Unfortunately, there is no magic. Yesterday the handling was difficult, but today was harder. I had no grip with high fuel, hotter conditions and longer stints. Overall grip is missing, we know it’s like this, so we are not able to push.”

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Rich Energy Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen brought home finishes of 14th and 17th, respectively, in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, the seventh round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

Grosjean, making his milestone 150th career Formula One start, lost four spots from his 14th grid position when he was forced to avoid a pileup that scattered pieces from the car of Toro Rosso driver Alexander Albon’s car in front of him. Riding on a set of Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires during his initial run, Grosjean made steady forward progress and reached 11th place by lap 13.

He pitted from 13th for a set of White hard tires on lap 36 and resumed in 15th. He moved up to his finishing position of 14th when Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen pitted for a second time on lap 60.

Magnussen started the race from the pit lane in his Haas VF-19 after a completely new car build following his accident in qualifying Saturday. He did his best to preserve his hard tires during his opening run and climbed as high as 14th on lap 11 before pitting from 16th on lap 41 for the set of medium tires he rode to the finish.
Today’s results dropped the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team from sixth to eighth with its 16 points in the constructor’s championship, one behind seventh-place Toro Rosso and three ahead of ninth-place Alfa Romeo.

The 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship resumes with the French Grand Prix June 3 at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet.

Romain Grosjean: “It was a long afternoon. Everything went south at the start; the guys take a lot of risks going three-wide. I just picked up all the damage. I was dead last, and after that we didn’t have much pace. A few laps were good, then others were very difficult. We need to analyse everything, get a better understanding of how to go fast in the race.”

Kevin Magnussen: “We have such a good car, and qualifying is brilliant, we can fight anyone in the midfield – and we’ve been on ‘best of the rest’ pole many times this year. So, it’s very hard to keep emotions under control in situations like today. There was nothing meant towards the team over the radio.”

“They did an amazing job this weekend. I made a mistake in qualifying, and they’ve been able to build me a completely new car for the race today. We just have these tires that don’t work in the race for us. It’s hard to not be very disappointed, I know the whole team is. They deserve a lot better.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: “The weekend didn’t end better than yesterday. We got two cars to the end, but the result is quite disappointing.”

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Toro Rosso report from the Canadian Grand Prix, Round 7 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Île Notre-Dame in Montreal.

Daniil Kvyat, 10th: “It was a cool race! I really didn’t want to finish P11, it would have sucked if we didn’t get any points today. It was a good fight with Carlos at the end, I like having battles with him on track as it’s always on the limit, and it was nice to get the overtake done. I think we got pretty much everything we could out of the car today, so I’m very happy with how the race went. Now we’ll continue to work hard to score more points in the next races.”

Alexander Albon, DNF: “It was a tough race, we had some front wing damage at the start which pretty much put an end to my race. Maybe I could have braked later in the corner and Perez could have gone on the inside, but it is what it is. After that to be honest, the pace wasn’t so strong, so we need to have a look at that. I’ve been struggling a bit on the long runs this weekend, so we have some work to do to understand why.”

Jody Egginton, Technical Director: “Today leaves me with mixed emotions really. On the one hand, we had a good race with Dany scoring a point following a nice little end of race battle with Stroll and Sainz. On the other hand, unfortunately, the opportunity for Alex to be involved in the midfield fight has ended at the start of the race with contact, necessitating a front wing change and no possibility to come back from this.”

“On the team side, the guys performed well in the pit stops, the engineers managed the tyres and race strategy well and we have learnt a few things about our car here in Canada. We now look forward to the next few races, which we expect will suit our package a bit better.”

Franz Tost, Team Principal: “From the beginning of this weekend, our performance showed we weren’t on the same level as in Monaco. Nevertheless, the engineers and drivers did a very good job to compensate for the deficiencies we had. We started the race from P10 and P13 and both drivers had relatively good starts. Unfortunately, Alex had a collision with Giovinazzi where he lost the front wing, so we had to pit him early to change to a new one and move him onto the base tyre.”

“At this point, the race was more or less over for Alex because he lost too much time after the collision, so we retired him to save mileage on the PU. Daniil had a fantastic race and defended his position very well against Perez at the start, and towards the end of the race, he was able to increase his performance which enabled him to pass others and score a point.”

“I think this was the maximum we were able to achieve here, so we have to analyse all the data and figure out where we were losing here in Canada compared to others, to come back in the upcoming races with a stronger performance and get both cars finishing in the points.”

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McLaren report from the Canadian Grand Prix, Round 7 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Île Notre-Dame in Montreal.

Carlos Sainz: “We had good pace at times but 67 laps were just too many for the tyres, and not even the extra tyre management was enough to maintain the fight for points. We weren’t able to show our true pace today, which I think was a solid points finish had it not been for that early pit-stop.”

Lando Norris: “I had a problem with overheating at the back of the car which led to my retirement – I have no clue what happened and until the team have looked at it in detail we don’t know for sure. I didn’t hit a wall or anything so I’ve no idea.”

“It’s annoying because until then it had been a fun race, battling with Max in the opening laps. There was good potential to maybe get some points today so it’s especially frustrating. But these things happen, so it’s a case of now looking ahead to Paul Ricard.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “After having some good Sundays at recent races, there were several incidents today which meant we weren’t able to score the points we hoped would be on the table with the pace we had in our cars.”

“Unfortunately we lost Lando’s car quite early in the race due to an mechanical issue at the rear of the car, which we still need to investigate in full once the car is back in the garage.

“For Carlos, we had to pit on lap three as one brake corner was overheating. Frustratingly, we found some parts of a tear-off visor inside one of the brake ducts, which we tried to remove as best we could. At the same time we had to put him on the Hard tyres, and try to manage the pace over the remaining distance of the race to make the strategy work by not adding an additional pit-stop.”

“Carlos did a great job managing the tyres for 67 laps but unfortunately ran out of tyres in the last five laps and there was no way for him to hold the two cars behind.”

“It’s important now for the entire team to leave this weekend behind us as quickly as possible and focus on preparation for the French Grand Prix.”

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Ferrari have decided to appeal against the five-second penalty that robbed their driver, Sebastian Vettel of victory in a dramatic Canadian Grand Prix – ultimately decided by a controversial a race-changing decision by FIA stewards.

The incident has been well reported on these pages and has F1 social media, forums and indeed this website buzzing with debate over the contentious penalty that cost the Reds a much-needed win and handed a hollow victory to their rivals Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes.

After the race in Montreal, team boss Mattia Binotto told reporters, “We are not happy. From our perspective, he could have not done anything else and he was even lucky to remain on track.”

“No intention in what he did, he was still ahead and he tried to keep his position and simple as that. We disagree with the decision but we all may have our own opinion.”

Vettel explained, “It’s not making our sport popular with these kinds of decisions. People want to see us race and that was racing. It is a shame when we have all these funny decisions.

“I was trying to survive, to keep the car on track. I came from the grass, the tyres were dirty and I was fighting to get back on-line and get control back of the car.

“I don’t know what I can do differently. It is a very short time. I lost the rear on entry. I had to make the correction. I sailed through the grass. I was lucky not to spin, once I regained control I had a look in the mirror and Lewis was right behind me. I was lucky he did not try to go on the inside and just drive past me.”

Hamilton countered, “Ultimately the rules say when you go off you have to come back on in a safe manner and I was alongside and I had to back off to avoid a collision and I guess that’s why they made the decision.”

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff added, “It is clear you want to win on the track in a clean fashion because incidents like this create controversy.

“My view of the incident is that it is very difficult for the stewards to interpret regs so everyone is satisfied and that incident could be judged 60-40 on either side but we mustn’t put the stewards under pressure so they struggle even more in the future to come up with consistent decisions.

“Sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it goes against you. I think the penalty was what the rules say. it was according to the rules and the stewards acted according to the rules.

“If we are not happy with the rules because we like harder racing, then the stewards will take another decision because the rule will be a different one. Let’s get it right for 2021 so we encourage hard racing and then the verdict will be a different one,” added the Mercedes team chief.

The race stewards categorised the offence under Article 38.1 of the Sporting Regulations.

Ferrari have 96  hours to lodge the appeal from the time they notified the FIA of their intent. Thereafter the process will go through the FIA’s International Court of Appeal and could takes weeks if not months to review the incident, the appeal and then make a second decision.

Whatever the outcome, the damage to the sport – beyond the destruction of what was turning out to be a fine race – they kicked F1’s credibility out of the park. racing drivers should be allowed to race as motorsport legend sums up better than this author can:

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Sebastian Vettel jumped to the defence of Lewis Hamilton when the crowd in the front of the podium boo-ed loudly as they showed their disdain for a race that was decided controversially while denying fans a cracking final few laps.

Once again Vettel made a mistake as he lost control of his Ferrari briefly through Turn 3 and Turn 4, over the grass he skipped before stumbling on to the track and nearly squeezed Hamilton, alongside him, into the wall. A five seconds penalty was issued by the FIA stewards for the transgression.

Amid the boos, that clearly irked Hamilton, Vettel said, “People shouldn’t boo at Lewis. It wasn’t his intention to be in harms way, so people shouldn’t boo at him, they should at those who make the decisions.”

Of his race the German said, “Well I think first of all, I really enjoyed the race and the crowd on every lap. Seeing them cheer me on it was very intense. I think you should ask the pitwall what they think we had a great show and Lewis showed some good respect.”

“It is not about the title now, we deserved to win now and that is our opinion. It was a great race, they [the crowd] cheered me on all the race. it’s a bit weird now, I don’t know what else to say.”

“It is not making our sport popular. People want to see us race, and it was racing. Just a shame when we have these funny decisions” added Vettel who dropped further behind Hamilton in the standings as the Briton racked up Mercedes’ seventh straight win of the season.

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Emotion versus Regulation - analysing Sebastian Vettel's penalty

Sebastian Vettel in parc ferme at the Canadian Grand Prix

The 2019 Canadian Grand Prix had one driver winning, the other victorious, but neither truly emerged triumphant, on a day in which Formula 1 fell into a hole that sparked general discontentment, as Motorsport Week analyses.

The Canadian Grand Prix should have been remembered for an epic tussle between two of the sport’s greatest champions, representing iconic manufacturers, in front of a passionate fanbase on a gloriously hot and sunny day on the picture-perfect Ile Notre Dame. It should have been remembered for a tense race in which Ferrari finally kick-started its 2019 season, with Sebastian Vettel returning to the top step of the podium for the first time since last August. But instead the discussion has been on penalties, fine margins, the black and whites that are in reality 50 shades of grey, and of a sport struggling with its current identity while trying to shape its future.

The incident in itself was almost a snapshot of the last two years. Given Mercedes’ dominant start to the 2019 Formula 1 season and Ferrari’s difficulties with its SF90, particularly through the slow-speed corners and in tyre warm-up, the Mercedes/Ferrari battle had yet to truly spark into life. Heading over to Canada there were expectations that the high-speed nature of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve would play to the strengths of the SF90, ie, the advantage it holds in a straight line. The timesheets reflected such a trend, with Mercedes’ W10 quicker through the first two sectors and Ferrari’s SF90 on top in the final sector of the lap.


Vettel’s pole position was reminiscent of the Vettel of old, a lap from a driver who has skulked and erred his way through much of the last year as one title bid collapsed and another failed to kick into life. It was a shot in the arm for Vettel, Ferrari and Formula 1, even if the pure results have made Mercedes’ dominance more pronounced than the reality of the pace divide. It was Red Bull-era esque from Vettel early on as he opened a two-second advantage, preserving it through the first stint, with Hamilton’s later stop leaving him four seconds adrift. That gap soon reduced. On lap 34 of 70 a 3.7s deficit was reduced to 3.0, then 2.9, 2.4, 1.9, 1.5, 0.7. Hammer Time well and truly enacted. Hamilton was nonetheless not error free. A couple of lock-ups into the hairpin, where he was able to run deep, occasionally thwarted his efforts, while the positioning of lapped traffic also meant the gap began to ebb and flow. On lap 45 a radio message to Vettel hinted of problems, as race engineer Ricardo Adami informed him “the numbers on the steering wheel are correct, take actions,” thought to refer to fuel consumption, an element which Ferrari is still struggling, according to rumours. “Where is he quicker than me,” Hamilton asked Mercedes. “Turns 1, 2 and 8” came the reply.

The defining moment came on lap 48. Everyone has watched the video. Vettel got a snap of oversteer as he chased the lapped Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat, ran wide across the grass while making frantic corrections to save the car, re-joined, and did so with Hamilton in close pursuit, thus wrenching open a can of worms.

It took approximately 10 laps for a decision to be reached between the four-man stewarding panel and the penalty was a five-second sanction for Vettel. The justification was that Vettel had re-joined the track in an unsafe manner and forced Hamilton to take evasive action. This is where Formula 1 has backed itself into a corner. If it has been judged by the available footage that Vettel did indeed transgress against the regulations then the stewards have no choice but to issue a penalty, of which a five-second time drop is the most lenient. They cannot judge Vettel to be guilty and not issue a penalty. It was also suggested that upon re-joining they felt Vettel continued to move across the track, with a cursory glance in the mirrors a hint that he knew where Hamilton was – though Vettel himself insists that was not the case. The decision of the stewards is bound by regulation. The emotional approach is that this was a race taking place between two greats and that such regulation has led to an unnecessarily complex situation that means every small incident has to be scrutinised. Where do you draw the line? There is the regulatory factor and the entertainment factor. There is the clamour for consistency – note the penalty dished out to Max Verstappen in Japan last year – but also the desire for races to be decided on track and not in an office, while even very similar incidents have different nuances. Every major sport has a penalty system to combat incidents of pure cheating or outrageous actions, but the inflexibility means it leaves itself open to being hoisted by its own petard.


Hamilton was not error-free in his pursuit

“I just feel that nowadays we look at so many things that maybe we didn’t look at in the past because nobody was really making a fuss,” said Vettel after the race. “Now, obviously it’s worth making a fuss for everything because you have these decisions. I sympathise in a way with the stewards. I’ve said many times when I’ve been in there that they are sitting in front of a piece of paper and they’re watching the race and they also came back to me and say we agree but look, we have to do these kind of things so I think just the way we are doing these things now is just wrong but it’s our times, we have regulations for everything.”

Vettel’s post-race actions were dramatic live viewing but ultimately a little bit of showmanship, and the focus was thus placed on his antics – most comically the sign swapping – than of another incident in which he made a definitive mistake under pressure. But it is possible to hold the view that, even though the sanction was of his own making, it was still equally correct by the rule book and an extremely harsh result that denied the watching world a grandstand finish, and heaped a swathe of negativity on what should have been a positive day for Formula 1. It was also a reminder that, for all of the technology, the computers and the data, the greatest interest comes from the narratives, the battles and, most importantly, the human element.

“I’m a purist, I love going back and looking at the old times, the old cars, the old drivers,” said Vettel in a calm manner, his tone laced with sadness, not anger. “It’s an honour when you have the chance to meet them and talk to them; they’re heroes in a way. So I really love that but I just wish I was maybe as good, doing what I do, but being in their time rather than today.

“I think it’s not just about that decision today, there’s other decisions. Just hear the wording when people come on the radio, that we have now. We have an official language, I think it’s all wrong. I think we should be able to say what we think but we’re not so in this regard I disagree with where the sport is now. You have all this wording ‘I gained an advantage, I didn’t gain an advantage, I avoided a collision’. I just think it’s wrong, you know, it’s not really what we’re doing in the car. It’s racing, it’s common sense.


Vettel switched the #1 and #2 boards around

“I think a lot of the people, the old Formula 1 drivers and people in the grandstands and so on, would agree that this is just part of racing but nowadays it’s just… I don’t like it, we all sound a bit like lawyers and using the official language. I think it just gives no edge to people and no edge to the sport. Ultimately it’s not the sport that I fell in love with when I was watching.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff described the decision as “60/40” and was understandably pragmatic in his views.

“I think the penalty was what the rule says,” he commented. “It was according to the rules and the stewards are thinking according to the rules. If we’re not happy with the rules, because we like harder racing, count me in. Then the stewards will take another decision because the rule will be a different one. So let’s look at the rules and see how we can get it right so we encourage hard racing and then the verdict will be a different one.”

Ferrari is in the process of determining whether it can muster enough evidence to launch an official appeal against the offence committed by Vettel, which would then take the matter to the FIA’s International Court of Appeal. It is perhaps a little bit of a wry joke that even the rules regarding appeals are tricky to understand and open to interpretation. The verdict – the time penalty – cannot be appealed, under Article 38.3, and yet Ferrari is still able to lodge an intention to appeal (as is their right according to the Stewards’ report) under the FIA’s International Court of Appeal and judiciary service. Still with us? Good.

“He had no intention to what he did, he was still ahead and tried to keep his position on track,” said Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto. “It is as simple as that. We disagree with the decision, no doubt, but all of us have our own opinion. The crowd had a clear opinion, not only the crowd but whoever you may ask. We are really disappointed with what happened and I think there has been really similar situations in the past which have not been judged as today. Overall I don’t think it has been the right decision.”

Ultimately this was a dramatic headline-producing race for Formula 1 but the negatives overshadowed the positives. The catalyst for the sequence of events was down to another mistake from Vettel. He screwed up at a crucial moment. But what followed suggests that Formula 1, along with the FIA, needs to think of a bigger picture or risk fans drifting away from their TV sets.


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Ferrari forgot to tell Charles Leclerc about Sebastian Vettel's penalty

Charles Leclerc at the Canadian Grand Prix

Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto says the team forgot to tell Charles Leclerc about Sebastian Vettel’s time penalty, accepting that it was a mistake.

Vettel led Lewis Hamilton at Formula 1’s Canadian Grand Prix but was issued with a five-second time penalty after he was judged to have re-joined unsafely and forced Hamilton to take evasive action after running wide at Turn 4 on lap 48 of 70.

Notification of the penalty for Vettel came on lap 57, at which point Leclerc – who stopped later than the leaders – had begun closing in on the duo up front.

Once Vettel’s time penalty was added he had just 1.038s on his team-mate, who revealed post-race that he had not been told about the situation.

“It was a mistake from our side,” accepted Binotto.

“We are very busy on the pit wall. We forgot. We should have done it but we didn’t.”

Binotto also backed Vettel’s stance on the penalty, with Ferrari having lodged a notification of its intention to appeal the offence.

“Obviously it is not down to us to decide as there are people there to decide which counts as their decision but certainly we are not happy and disagree,” said Binotto.

“From our perspective he could not have done anything else compared to what he did and I think he was lucky to remain on track.

“He had no intention to what he did, he was still ahead and tried to keep his position on track. It is as simple as that. We disagree with the decision, no doubt, but all of us have our own opinion.

“We are really disappointed with what happened and I think there has been really similar situations in the past which have not been judged as today.”

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Bottas 'not feeling pressure' despite P4 finish in Canada

Valtteri Bottas, Canada 2019

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas says he isn't feeling any pressure despite finishing fourth in the Canadian Grand Prix after team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton won the race in controversial circumstances.

After making a mistake in qualifying, the Finn had to settle for sixth on the grid. A tough start to the race also saw him get jumped by Renault's Nico Hulkenberg which saw his afternoon's work become even more difficult.

"I have no pressure," said Bottas. "I’m happy about the situation, how things have been going since the start of the year and really enjoying it.

"Yesterday I made a mistake and at the end of qualifying I was maybe trying too much to recover, but that can happen. I wouldn’t say that anything from the last couple of races had anything to do with pressure, including this weekend, so I can’t confirm that.

"I don’t think that’s what happened and I can say there’s no pressure."

Once Bottas had made his own pit stop on lap 30, he came out behind both of the Renaults. However, Bottas quickly caught them and got into a tough fight with Daniel Ricciardo, which Bottas described as 'on the limit'.


Bottas and Ricciardo battled hard in the race

It was actually a pretty good fight with Daniel," he added. "Sometimes he was defending quite at the limit of the regulations, because he was kind of waiting for me to make the move and then he would kind of block me after, at pretty high speeds.

"I wasn’t complaining, because I like hard racing, so it was on the limit. It was some good defending from him and definitively didn’t make it easy for me to get past. But it was all OK."

In the latter stages of the race, the Finn was able to pit for soft tyres with three laps remaining to claim the point available for the fastest lap of the race, ensuring he eased the pain of Hamilton's victory and subsequent points gain over him - but admits he can't be satisfied with the result.

"For sure I can’t be too satisfied with P4. At least I made up a couple of places and also got the extra point for the fastest lap – that is positive.

"The beginning of the race was tougher than what I was hoping for, I lost one position after being boxed in; in Turn 2, then there was a bit of a train of cars with DRS in the beginning and I was quite a bit limited by engine overheating and also brake overheating, so I couldn’t really get close enough to push past.

"I was kind of just waiting for the opportunities and eventually they all boxed. By the time they stop I had already lost a lot of time for the top three cars and then I was OK in clean air. It was OK, no big issues, the second stint felt quick but everything came down to what happened yesterday.

"That’s how it is."

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Jenson Button and Mark Webber defend Sebastian Vettel over 'mental' penalty

2009 F1 champion Jenson Button

Sebastian Vettel's peers have come to his defence after he was handed a five-second time penalty in Canada, costing him the race win – which would have been his and Ferrari's first of the 2019 season.

Vettel lost the rear of his Ferrari and ran across the grass whilst Lewis Hamilton was chasing him for the lead of the race. The German rejoined alongside Hamilton and forced the Briton to take evasive action, otherwise he would have either collided with Vettel or the wall.

The stewards deemed it an "unsafe rejoin" and handed him a time penalty, which elevated Hamilton to the top spot.

However former F1 driver and 2009 champion Jenson Button believes it was an unfair penalty and one which robbed fans of a great battle.

"It’s really sad. It’s always disappointing when there’s a proper fight on between two greats, two multiple World Champions, and the stewards come in and take that away from us as viewers, so it’s a shame," Button told Sky Sports.

"For me, it’s a racing incident. Yeah, Seb made a mistake, but you’ve got to realise he’s doing over 100mph here. You can’t just stop the car and stay off the circuit.

"He’s come onto the track with the rear moving around. It doesn’t deserve a penalty for me personally, but it’s a regulation, and they’ve decided to punish it," he explained.

"On a circuit like this – it’s so narrow, it’s a street circuit, the cars are massive and you just end up over that part of the track, you don’t choose to be there. Seb doesn’t want to crash into Lewis either.

"Both of them drove a really great race, they really did, and it just leaves a bit of a sour taste in the mouth."

Vettel's former Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber agreed and described the penalty as "mental".

"Any of the stewards ever raced at the front in F1? I didn’t watch the race...have now seen the 'incident'. Mental penalty," he wrote on social media.

Ferrari have lodged their intention to appeal the penalty, though it's not certain the FIA will allow the appeal to go ahead as the rules stipulate such a penalty cannot be retroactively amended.

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Ferrari lodge intention to appeal Vettel penalty decision

Ferrari have submitted their intention to appeal against the decision to punish Sebastian Vettel with a five-second penalty that cost him victory in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Vettel lost the rear end of his Ferrari, when under pressure from championship rival Lewis Hamilton, on the approach to Turn 3, causing him to skate across the grass before rejoining in the path of the Mercedes.

The stewards deemed he re-joined the track in “an unsafe manner” and “forced car 44 (Hamilton) off track” and handed him a five-second time penalty, which demoted him to second at the chequered flag.

Vettel was furious with the decision, both during the race and afterwards, and it has now emerged that Ferrari have decided to inform governing body the FIA that they intend to appeal the decision.

The stewards categorised the offence under Article 38.1 of the Sporting Regulations.

Ferrari now have 96 hours to gather evidence and decide if they wish to pursue the appeal.

Vettel Full Radio:


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