Welcome to another fan-led edition from the home of debate, Badger’s Scrutineering Bay!
Race stewards have been in the spotlight more than most this season, and not just due to the fact that big names from the past are being included on the panel. They also seem quite fond of calling up Lewis Hamilton for such things as breaking a nail…
So, looking back at the Japanese Grand Prix, we’re asking the question:
“Were the stewards too lenient in Japan?”
Our first fan Scrutineer this week is…Laura Wooton, from Lincoln.
Yes to some extent.
Looking at the incident between Vettel and Button, I find it impossible to imagine Vettel missed a great, big, silver McLaren in his mirrors – so either it was a sneaky but totally deliberate move or Sebastian just didn’t check his mirrors. Regardless of which one of those it was, as the best driver in the world, he is setting an example to everyone else, and can’t just drive around not checking his wing mirrors or crashing into other drivers.
Also seeing as both the drivers involved were still in championship contention, and Button was impeded by the move (he fell back behind Hamilton), the stewards should have been stricter on enforcing the rules. I understand that sometimes the stewards are wary of handing out penalties from incidents in the race start, because it is hard to be consistent in making sure the rules are abided by throughout the whole grid at the start and penalising those who break rules, but the Vettel-Button incident was clear, and I think the stewards should have penalised Vettel for the incident.
I think for drivers not in contention for the championship, enforcing of the rules should not be so strict for racing incidents like the one between Hamilton and Massa. If they had been in contention for the championship, then it would have been a different story, and Hamilton perhaps deserved a drive through penalty for causing a move which damaged Felipe’s car.
Good stuff from Laura there, who can also be followed on the world of Twitter (@lau_amyf1).
Speaking of Twitter, what did some of our awesome followers think? Here’s a small selection;
@lauaustin88 Stewards were lenient but that’s not the problem. The problem is consistency.
@SuzieGracie They were not! Let them race!
@mev202 most definitely not, it was good to see a pure race, button had to work for his win, not have it given to him through penalties.
The next Scrutineer this week is…Darren Hurndall, via email.
It’s about time they became a little more lenient. Far too many episodes of stewards getting involved in ‘racing incidents’. I was under the assumption that was the reason for the former driver being with the stewards, to assist from a drivers perspective. I think we are at danger from the sport being ‘over policed’ by the stewards.
I completely understand their reasons and this does stem back to safety however, slight contact in a car with the aero additions that these have (wings front/rear for example) is inevitable.
I think they need to stop scaring drivers into being over conscious and allow them to get back to what are the most exciting scenes in the spectacle that is formula 1…….wheel – to – wheel racing.
Another great point of view from Darren there.
So, what do you think? Were the stewards a bit to lenient in handing out penalties for some incidents? Or was the fact that they didn’t start slapping wrists mean that we were treated to a much more exciting race? Let us know!
Thank you for all your entries this week. If yours didn’t make it – don’t worry, there will be plenty of opportunity to be involved in another week’s edition.