Experts Reflect on FIA’s Controversial Decisions and Future Regulations
Discover the insightful analysis of our experts, Toni Cucurella and Antonio Lobato, regarding the recent controversial decisions made by the FIA and their vision for improving future regulations.
Proportionality Debate Reignited by Carlos Sainz’s 10-Position Sanction
The FIA’s decision to impose a 10-position sanction on Carlos Sainz following the incident involving a protruding sewer during the Las Vegas GP has sparked a renewed discussion on the fairness of the organization’s application of sporting penalties.
Antonio Lobato and Toni Cuquerella, our esteemed experts, share their thoughts on DAZN about the discretionary powers of the commissioners and propose ideas for creating a more equitable Formula 1 in the future.
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Antonio Lobato’s Perspective on Carlos Sainz’s Las Vegas GP Incident: “Determining an External Cause is Obvious to Anyone with Basic Reasoning”
The Las Vegas GP got off to a chaotic start for Ferrari when a sewer protrusion on the track collided with Carlos Sainz’s car, causing significant damage to his SF-23 and necessitating the replacement of certain parts.
The FIA’s decision to penalize Ferrari for replacing the damaged battery under the Sporting Regulations has raised eyebrows. Lobato explains, “What has upset Ferrari is that the car was destroyed due to a poorly placed sewer. This incurs not only an enormous economic cost but also potential implications for circuit insurance and the overall sporting outcome,” he adds.
He questions the logic behind imposing a 10-position penalty for modifying the battery, stating that it seems unreasonable to penalize competitors for damages caused by external factors beyond their control. However, he acknowledges that the current regulations cannot be altered mid-season but suggests that changes can be made for the following year.
Toni Cuquerella emphasizes the need to clearly define what constitutes an external cause and suggests that all teams should agree on any last-minute changes to the regulations. He believes that a line must be drawn to avoid prolonged debates over external causes.
Read more | Marc Gené and Ferrari’s reaction to Carlos Sainz’s tremendous scare at the 2023 Las Vegas GP
The Challenge of Subjectivity in Determining Dangerous Maneuvers
Lobato acknowledges that determining whether a maneuver is dangerous and warrants a sanction is subjective, much like interpreting laws. He suggests that regulations should be simplified to facilitate decision-making by commissioners, as complex rules can complicate matters further.
Cucurella adds, “We must define the criteria for external causes in such a way that it doesn’t depend on the individual commissioner’s interpretation. Subjectivity will always exist, but we can minimize its impact by establishing clear guidelines.”
Read more | Fred Vasseur reveals all the damage to Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari due to the incident with the sewer at the 2023 Las Vegas GP
Professionalizing the Role of Commissioners
Lobato suggests that the voluntary nature of commissioners, which the International Federation prides itself on, should be reconsidered. He believes that commissioners should undergo professional training to ensure consistency in decision-making.
While acknowledging that subjectivity cannot be completely eliminated, Lobato and Cuquerella agree that having a consistent group of commissioners would help maintain a certain level of subjectivity rather than leaving it to individual discretion.