October 10, 2014

Charlie Whiting confirms nobody lifted.

In a press conference held at Sochi Friday evening, in the presence of FIA President Jean Todt, F1 Race Director Charlie Whiting confirmed what many suspected:  none of the racers slowed down much for the double yellow flags which were flown in Sector 7 at Suzuka following Sutil's accident.

Official confirmation of what was fairly obvious just from looking at data displayed on the F1 app.

As a consequence, F1 will be looking into options to take speed control in these situation away from drivers.    This would likely result in a procedure similar to Endurance Racing's Code 60  which mandates a maximum speed through a problem area.

Aside from this, journalists present were shown CCTV footage of the crash which, as Sky Sports Ted Kravitz reported, showed Bianchi had a tank slapper before he went off and hit the recovery crane.  No sign of mechanical failure has been detected so far.

The FIA once again was forced to confirm (and I can't believe anyone working in F1 media still asked about it) that the Green flag seen in the video clips was indeed correctly displayed.

There was a mention of looking into fitting recovery vehicles with some sort of protective skirt  and that the vehicle was dispatched by Race Control.

Whiting denied late starting time for the race was a factor although they had offered the organizers a chance to move it up.

Whiting shot down Felipe Massa's assertion that he was "screaming on the radio" for race direction to stop the race.

There was no talk of canopies.


  1. OMFinGEE!
    That is what a corvette wishes it looked like.

  2. Is this Ferrari's response to diMontezemolo's "Ferrari will become American" comments?

  3. in terms of already ongoing research, not as a knee jerk reaction. Reading around the web I find all the articles condemning Whiting and the FIA ludicrous and baseless. It's really a shame. I guess blaming the FIA makes for a good title.
    Also this whole " you can't blame Bianchi" attitude does nothing to improve the situation. Everyone has to understand that drivers, all drivers, did not slow down nearly enough for the double yellows. you can't blame race control for that except to say that they have not been severe enough in enforcing rules.

  4. This is absolutely a case where some control is going to have to be exerted over the drivers, which is counter to the recent 'NO TALKING!' radio rules recently imposed. Without strong communication from the team (i.e. the hand of god telling a driver if he likes his paycheck he'll follow instructions) the drivers will turn to instinct and instinct is to go as fast as possible every lap everywhere. Part of being good at that is ignoring the base instinct most other folks succumb to - that self-preservation bug that has people dragging brakes and slowing down on the interstate when it starts to rain.

    Without the possibility - or administration - of serious fines or penalties the drivers will not be properly encouraged to slow down and lose lap time. Ever. And without that communication from the pits advising them that they need to slow the f*ck down in that area/sector, the drivers can't really be expected to know if their relative speeds in those double yellow sectors are appropriate.

    I think they shouldn't make wholesale changes on this immediately, rather give the teams and drivers a chance to reflect on this situation and then get together and find some other way to moderate speed in these areas. Automatic 5-spot grid penalties, post-race time added, etc, all would be effective in getting the point across that drivers need to respect track conditions and flags and adjust their driving significantly in those places. Throw in some sort of administrative communication from CW or the pitwall to ensure a driver is aware of the situation and the required response, as well as some indicator on the wheel to gauge their response (TPS readings, for instance, and a requirement to be under 90% for that sector), and you've got the making of a system that could increase safety.

    In the end CW and FIA just need to lay down the law on this issue and make it known exactly what they expect and where in double yellow sectors - and to make it known that they can and will monitor that moving forward. They've got written rules and formulas that dictate every other aspect of these cars, to eliminate wriggle room and excuses - this is absolutely an area they could do the same for.

  5. Right ...

    Bianchi lost it and nobody lifted.

    Nobody ever really lifts, unless they're forced to, either by circumstances or by flags.

    When I was a kid there was this book called "The Cruel Sport" by Richard Daley. There's an unattributed quote in it: 'Whenever I see people slowing down, or a warning flag, I put my foot down. Hard.' (It was later paraphrased by Yves Montand in the movie Grand Prix.)

    Most of the race drivers I've known since then have the same attitude; it is both a chance to make up time AND embodies the idea that "I won't crash, I'm too good for that."

    As far Bianchi as goes, there's a quote very much attributed to Mike Hailwood: "The twist grip goes both ways."

    This isn't golf or football or some other stick and ball game. The penalties for mistakes here are much more severe.


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