Wednesday 1 September 2010

Stewards continue to baffle

A bit more musing on the Spa race.

You may recall Martin Brundle mentioning in the BBC commentary, as the cars were poised on the starting grid waiting for the green light, that Felipe Massa had overshot his starting slot by a couple of metres.

Well, what do you know, amateur footage has appeared on You Tube (better move quickly before Bernie twigs). Felipe looks bang to rights.

While I'm generally a fan of stewards butting out, it does seem odd that this wasn't even investigated, let alone punished. Even some kind of warning or fine to ensure no one would seek to use this sort of stunt as an advantage in future (as with Hamilton setting his fastest qualifying lap on fumes in Canada, and thus running out of fuel before getting back to the pits) would have been something.

Some of the You Tube commenters speculate that the powers that be may have acted had, ahem, certain other drivers been the guilty party. I of course wouldn't be so cynical...

I've also just been listening to the F1 Weekly podcast, and they wondered why Vettel got a drive through penalty for hitting another car at the Bus Stop chicane, and Rubinho escaped without punishment after doing the same thing. Perhaps, they thought, it was because Vettel was able to keep going and Rubinho not - but is it not the offence, rather than the outcome, that the stewards are assessing?

UPDATE 02/09/10:

Oop - the FIA have gone some way to answering the Massa grumble on starting ahead of his grid slot. Turns out the detection device in the tarmac, which should have made an automated signal of a jump start, didn't work. It also turns out that the marshals didn't spot Felipe's indiscretion. And, what do you know, none of the other teams complained about it either. So, a cock-up rather than a conspiracy.

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