The Scrutineering Bay is Badger’s way of taking a hot topic of Grand Prix racing and getting people from the Sett involved to get their opinions across. From predicting races, arguing stewards decisions to just deciding who was/is/will be the best, anything is fair game!

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Scrutineering Bay, Badger GP’s breakdown of all things divisible and down right debatable. After the Malaysian Grand Prix, there was only one way this article was going;

“Was any penalty required for Lewis and/or Fernando?”

The Badgers who piped up and wanted a crack at this are Benson Jammichello, Adam Millenueve and first to go (with an opinion we weren’t expecting) is Runoff Area’s own Red Andy;

For virtually all F1 fans, one of the most frustrating things to happen is to log onto your favourite F1 site a few hours after the race has finished, only to discover that the finishing order has changed thanks to some action in the stewards’ room. It happened again at Sepang, with penalties levelled against Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, pushing the British driver down the order.

But with this temporary frustration should come the realisation that the stewards are doing an important and necessary job in upholding the regulations. If a driver is judged to have fallen foul of the rules, it is only right that he is penalised, even if (unfortunately) sometimes that can’t happen during the race itself.

Hamilton in particular has been warned about his conduct during the races before. In this very race last year, he attracted criticism (and a stern warning from the stewards) for weaving in front of Vitaly Petrov. When questioning why Hamilton’s blocking manoeuvres on Sunday earned him a penalty when others, like Sebastian Vettel at the start, appeared to have similar moves go unpunished, it is worth remembering that Hamilton has form for this sort of behaviour.

The drivers are there to race, and to entertain, but they also have a responsibility to do so safely and fairly. When a driver oversteps the mark, and does so repeatedly, sometimes something more than a gentle slap on the wrist is needed.

Well, Andy certainly raises a point that many have missed; the stewards are there for a reason. Plus, Lewis has been a naughty boy before, was it just deserts?

Next up is Hot Rod or Hot Dog writer Benson;

I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that there’s been an improvement in the consistency of decisions since the revamp of stewarding under Jean Todt.

We’ve seen a marked reduction in the number of “what?! whose idea was that?!” stewarding decisions in the last couple of years, but every so often one slips through the net.

This is one of those times.

Never have I spent so long looking at such an unremarkable F1 accident. It looks as though Alonso just misjudged his line of attack.Of course, if Hamilton braked, then that would be a different matter,but why would Alonso have been penalised? All very odd.

It just looks like a racing incident. Obviously we don’t have all of the data and telemetry available to the stewards but, still, from the TV pictures it doesn’t seem that strange.

I’m not angry, I’m not even particularly disappointed, I’m just bewildered.

Short and sweet from Benson. Just an innocuous collision that drew the ire of the stewards, no matter how many times you look at it. And he did. A lot. We missed the BBC Forum becuase of it!

Last, but of course no means least, is Adam‘s point of view:

The definition of Formula 1 racing is:

“Formula One, officially known as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). Racing is a motorsport involving the racing of cars for competition. It is one of the world’s most watched televised sports.”

Ok, so nothing new there and for the purpose of clarity, the term ‘Formula’ refers to the set of rules that competitors (teams and drivers) need to adhere to in order to compete. The ‘1’ bit just denotes that it’s the highest form of racing, as mentioned above.

With all this in mind it’s not surprising that, following the stewards decision on the Hamilton/Alonso battle, we’re here now in the Scrutineering Bay asking this question – it made no sense and still doesn’t.

Yes Alonso crashed into Hamilton while attempting to overtake, but for that move, the Spaniard should be praised for having a go, not handed a penalty. Earlier on in the battle between the two, Hamilton is said to have weaved too many times, whether he did or not is up for debate as well, but really – it wasn’t dangerous and it was racing – just as Alonso was racing when trying to duck from under Lewis and take position. Fact.

What makes this even more of a joke is that the FIA (yes that lot) embraced the introduction of the drag reduction system (DRS) and the re-introduction of KERS, primarily to enhance the racing. Yes, ‘enhance the racing’ – it’s this fact that makes a mockery of the ruling on Sunday which just contradicts their gimmicky efforts.

Part of me thinks that the FIA would rather have F1 as large Scalextric setup, with cars in dedicated lanes, overtaking only possible when they press the button to allow it. also, such a setup would be ideal for Bernie and his sprinklers – maybe he’ll even have a cross over section and a hump back bridge.

Strong words from Adam there, comparing F1 to Scalextric and also referencing Bernie’s ridiculous sprinkler idea.

There we have it guys, more scrutineering completed and throughly inspected. As always, we want to know, what do you think?

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