I will stop watching F1 unless they change and start caring for the fan
UPDATE: by now you propbably know the Ferrari won the appeal. It turns out it is FIA who can't do a measure and doesn't understand its own rules (sic). I bet they read this article and changed their minds :-O. So, lets watch the race tomorrow and see who wins!
Like most fans of Formula 1 racing I stay up until 1:00am last Sunday to watch the Malasyan Grand Prix. The race was great I had fun, my team won a decisive victory. Ferrari with Michael Schumacher was back on top both in the Constructor Championship and the Drivers Championship (with Eddie Irvine). The last race of the season, the Grand Prix of Japan, was going to be one for the books! The next day I find out I had wasted my time when I read
Ferrari was disqualified for violating the rules about the size of the side wing of their cars. Ferrari claims its specifications were fine, but the manufacturer didn't do its job (exceeded the specs by 1cm.), nor does Ferrari had a measure tape to check it. The McLaren team ask for the car to be checked (hey, it was running a second per lap faster than theirs and they were cheating so...) and Ferrari was found out cheating, even if it was not intentionally. FIA, the ruling body of F1 racing, decided that Ferrari had won the points unfairly and striped them of the points. This is pure bull-shit since 1 cm. in the front wing won't make such a difference. If you claim it does, here is how you can convince me: Build me two wings for my Miata one exactly one cm bigger than the other in ONE ,measurement, and show me that it is noticeably faster than with the smaller one...
The conclusion is that the race I saw had no bearing on the championship, that the next race is irrelevant for the championship, and that Ferrari, FIA, and all F1 racing teams are cheating the fans and making fools of us. Of course, Ferrari, after admitting guilt, is appealing the decision. Great argument... "you see, judge, I did commit the crime, but it was quite unintentionally so..."
When do you see a result changed in other sports? When there was intentional cheating that clearly change the result of the contest. One clear example is running. If a runner is found using drugs that enhance his/her performance he/she is disqualified and his/her record strip. He/She is also penalized by not being able to compete for a long time, sometimes even forever. In Football (Soccer for the Yanks) is even better. A game can be annulled for a grave offense (e.g., a team bought the referees), but the game will be replayed (and the offending team will be severely punished).
But in F1 racing the decision is to strip you of your points even if the cheating you did (quite unintentionally, you see) would not have affected the result of the race. This is so ridiculous it defies credibility. But is true, at least in this case... Briattore claim yesterday that his Team/Driver was disqualified in 1994 for 1 millimeter! But this is a flat out lie. His Team/Driver (Benetton/Schumacher) was already under warning for ignoring a black flag in a previous race and using illegal software (and I am not talking licenses here...). But they were not penalized with loss of points but with suspensions in following races (three if I remember correctly). This harsh penalty didn't preclude M. Schumacher winning the drivers championship that year... Quite a difference, no?
I wouldn't mind so much if Ferrari was penalized with not running the last race. They would still have a chance, albeit a small one, of winning the championships. I have no pity for Ferrari, actually I think they are an accomplice to this situation...
You see, I have a theory. F1 racing without Ferrari would not exist. Actually, if Ferrari decided to run in, say, the CART series, that would be the de facto F1 series. Ferrari is the only Team with strong following in every single country. F1 racing without Ferrari, would be as important as the F3 series or worse. So, how come Ferrari isn't threatening to quit F1 if this decision is upheld? How come they do not seem as angry as I am about all this nonsense? Easy, they are in on it and F1 racing is as false and staged as World Wide Wrestling.
When M. Schumacher had the accident three months and six races ago, we all thought, naturally, that the championship was over. At that time Hakkinen was beating Schumacher by more than 10 points and Schumacher was the only competition McLaren had. Suddenly, Irvine tied Schumacher and even Hakkinen with two spectacular wins, McLaren/Hakkinen started making mistake after mistake. When Ferrari is out of form other people start winning races (Coulthard, Frentzen) so much that there were 4 drivers with championship possibilities. Who wrote this Script? Sylvester Stallone? Who believes it? Wait, it gets better. Schummy returns and shows that he is still the greatest winning the Malasyan Grand Prix (twice!) and giving his victory to Irvine so that Ferrari can win the Drivers Championship. He the most egotist of drivers, the one who intentionally crashed against Villenueve in 1997 (penalized for it, by being strip of all the points, so all races that year were irrelevant) and, perhaps, against Hill in 1994 (not penalized for it), is suddenly a Hero, a very generous man and the best first and second driver in the world at the same time.
But the reality is that Ferrari wants Schummy to be the next champion not second fiddle Irvine. So, the 1 cm controversy ensues...
When will FIA decide about the absurd Ferrari appeal? Easy, after the next race. That way Ferrari has to compete in it (they have threatened they won't), the fans have to watch it, and they can manipulate the decision afterwards. In this case, or if the decision comes sooner against Ferrari, I will not watch the race or any other race for a long time. I think that watching a race that has no bearing for a 1 cm difference in a wing in a car is ludicrous. I won't do it and these will be the only reference to F1 in these pages.
Las opiniones expresadas en estas páginas son las de sus creadores, y en ningún momento representan la posición oficial del IVIC, ni de ninguna de sus dependencias.
Last Modified: Octobver 29, 1999