It’s easy to blame the car. It’s easy to blame the wrong strategy. It’s easy to blame something other than the driver. In the case of Scuderi Ferrari, however, it’s the driver. Namely, Sebastian Vettel. While he is a 4 -time FIA F1 driver’s champion, when was the last time you remember him actually making a clean, strategic pass on someone for position? For the race win? Sure, he’s terrific when out front, but he’s a dog when behind. Just look at what happened during the 2018 season. And look at the shenanigans he’s pulled in the past.
While I am not as enthusiastic about the 2019 season – more so because my favorite driver is not on the grid and kicking ass elsewhere – I sincerely hope Charles LeClerc comes in and proves once and for all that Vettel is #OVERRATED.
Finally, the FIA has put the final rubber stamp of approval on the disputed “illegal” diffusers in use by Formula 1 teams Brawn, Williams and Toyota. The FIA’s International Court of Appeal rejected claims made by Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Red Bull, stipulating that the diffusers being used by the aforementioned squads were in breach of the technical regulations for 2009. Furthermore, they backed the decisions of the FIA stewards at the recent races in Australia and Malaysia, where they deemed the diffusers in line with regulations as well.
It all boils down to Brawn, Williams and Toyota being smart and ahead of the curve, whereas the contesting teams were left holding the bag. Now, the “race” for the losers will boil down to retrofitting their existing chassis with look-alikes of these disputed diffusers. But considering how aerodynamics is such a black art, and with no testing allowed, how they will manage to make it work is a mystery. With this decision, it’s not a long shot for Brawn to potentially take the F1 Constructor’s title and perhaps Jenson Button taking the Driver’s title for 2009.
Here’s the statement from the FIA:
“The FIA International Court of Appeal has decided to deny the appeals submitted against decisions numbered 16 to 24 taken by the Panel of the Stewards on 26 March at the 2009 Grand Prix of Australia and counting towards the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Based on the arguments heard and evidence before it, the Court has concluded that the Stewards were correct to find that the cars in question comply with the applicable regulations.
Full reasons for this decision will be provided in due course.”
Now that this particular saga is over, LET’S GET BACK TO THE BUSINESS OF RACING!
You may recognize the wrecked Porsche Carrera GT in the photo above. “Pops” Hamilton, father of 2008 Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, drove the German supercar into a fence wreaking heavy damage onto the BORROWED car. Well, like father, like son, good old Lewis drove his reputation into a fence last weekend at Australia.
After the mayhem and confusion that ensued after the finish, Jarno Trulli of Toyota was penalized 25 seconds for overtaking under yellow. FIA stewards investigated the case and bumped Hamilton up to 3rd as a result. The F1 circus packed up and left for this weekend’s race in Malaysia.
But something reared its ugly head…
Trulli’s 3rd place was reinstated and Hamilton was disqualified from the race. Apparently, Mr. Hamilton misled / lied to the stewards by withholding certain bits of information. And in his defense, he claims that he was told by McLaren’s Sporting Director, Dave Ryan, to lie to the stewards. Excusez-moi? Since when did F1 drivers do everything they are told to do by their teams?
It seems that Hamilton was caught with his hands in the cookie jar and he’s deflecting his responsibility on someone else. EVEN IF he was told to lie, how much integrity does this guy have by following what is outside the lines of sportsmanship? And now he’s snitching on Dave Ryan? Why in the world would he tell Hamilton to lie? Certainly, he would have no such authority unless someone higher up – Martin Whitmarsh? Maybe Ron Dennis himself? – told him it was okay. Regardless of whatever the scenario may have been, this seems like a case of Hamilton covering his own ass and trying to save his reputation. His reputation isn’t particularly a good one, as many have called him “arrogant”… “self-centered”… well, you get the picture. And his behavior before and after the stewards’ investigation certainly seems in line with the aforementioned adjectives.
Man up, Lewis. You screwed up.
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