Rob Dylan wrote:....These days the FiA is... barely even there? Especially when it comes to in-race decisions, there hasn't been an in-race DSQ since probably 2007 or 2008 or something, and there have been PLENTY of incidents that have warranted that kind of action*. There doesn't appear to be any kind of leadership from Todt at all...
I've been thinking about this point about not taking strong action against some dangerous (or at least pretty risky) driving, and I tend to agree with the point that the FIA doesnt seem to set a clear and high standard for the stewards to apply. There have been a number of incidents for which I feel F2 or F3 drivers would have been penalised/ castigated etc and yet F1 stewards havent felt able to take strong action. Strangely the stewards have issued small penalties ( and very strangely also penalty points on the licence) for plenty of small misjudgments that lead to tangles ( I think they judge the outcome and not the offence) , but cases of completely unnecessary endangerment of others have been given a light touch.
I agree - the FIA should be seen to be setting a high standard for driving conduct which should be seen to be paramount and sit above all the 'specific' rules about where/when it's acceptable to 'weave', run people off the road etc . And that's not been the case recently
Same goes for 'leading' on dealing with rule breaking. A strong FIA position on the consequences for rule breaking would be welcome as we go into budget caps , frozen engines etc where there will be grey areas
There does seem to be the twist that, whilst Todt seems to be quite interested in his road safety campaigns, safety within F1 seems to have gone backwards in some areas. Whilst I don't want to be overly harsh, I do feel that Masi and the stewards under him have been rather inconsistent and that safety standards for marshalling work in particular has markedly worsened.
Last year, we had near misses in Imola, where race control allowed lapped cars to travel at high speed even though there were still marshals on the track, then qualifying being restarted in Turkey whilst marshals were still trying to recover a Haas from a gravel trap because Masi didn't wait for confirmation the marshals were clear and a marshal running across the live track in Bahrain when Perez's car caught fire.
Those are the most worrying aspects - it felt as if Masi was acting because of psychological pressure to make sure that action could resume as soon as possible in some cases, such as in Turkey, and Imola also showed a worrying trend that communications between race control and the marshals seems to be prone to breaking down more frequently.
There was also the accusations levied against Mika Salo after the Russian GP that he was passing information from the stewards room to broadcasters during official investigations. When the investigation into Hamilton was taking place, Niki Juusela reported on Finnish TV that Hamilton would be getting a penalty about 10 minutes before the official announcement was made - Salo, having also presented on that show and reportedly being pictured using his phone at around that time, was suspected of leaking info, though that was denied by both men.
That, to me, is also a pretty bad sign if stewards were looking to abuse the investigation process to give a scoop to the press - we shouldn't have that sort of behaviour occurring.