Opinion: the expectations of 2022's new-look F1


That makes sense, though, because opinions vary on what constitutes entertaining racing. And my concern is that every dull race will spark knee-jerk calls for change that could lead to F1 chasing its tail, rather than doing what it does best.

Don’t get me wrong: F1’s new rules do excite me. They seem to get a lot of things right, and anything that might mix up the order is welcome. But we must keep our expectations in check.

How it works: Penalty decisions in Formula 1

The Red Bull and Mercedes-AMG team leaders haranguing F1 race director Michael Masi over the radio at Silverstone to penalise or let off Sir Lewis Hamilton was not only unseemly but also pointless.

The stewards make that call, not Masi – and they have four punishments to choose from: in order of least severity, a 5sec penalty that can be taken at the driver’s next pit stop; a 10sec penalty applied in the same circumstances; a drive-through penalty during which they can’t stop for fresh tyres or for repairs; or a 10sec stop-and-go penalty.

In the case of the latter two, “the relevant driver may cross the line no more than twice before entering the pit lane” after the team has been notified of the decision by the stewards.

Hamilton’s 10sec penalty, served during his only pit stop of the race, was deemed mild by Red Bull after he was judged to have triggered Max Verstappen’s 51g crash. It certainly didn’t match their expectations as they lobbied Masi.

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