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Formula 1 United States Grand Prix 2023

Stoddie Straight: Bulls**t rules a threat to F1

RacingNews365's expert columnist, former Formula 1 Team Principal Paul Stoddart, takes aim at the constant problem of track limits.

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Max Verstappen lost his pole lap to what could only be described as a couple of inches, clearly gaining no advantage, and Nico Hulkenberg also had his weekend ruined.

If we are not careful, track limits are going to take over, and it is not something that's going to be in the interest of the FIA to keep doing this.

Let's have some clean racing where everybody knows what the rules are - and when the rules like track limits are interfering with the race, change them.

They put a little bit of white paint on to make it a bit easier in a couple of turns at the weekend, but why is it a problem in the first place?

Track infringements is when somebody clearly goes off the track and gains an advantage, fair enough - but when we're talking about millimetres of tyre going over a red line, that's just rubbish.

Track limits and planks under fire

We shouldn't be talking about track limits, and we shouldn't be talking about post-race scrutineering where selective cars are thrown out.

That is not a criticism of somebody like Jo Bauer who actually has to make that decision, he's only working from the regulations he's got, but I think a serious look has to be had at the regulations.

To stop interfering with the results because I can tell you for one thing, the American audiences will get very sick of this very quickly. That's not to say other people don't get pissed off around the world, but the Americans will really turn off if we keep changing race results.

If somebody is chronically illegal, i.e runs out of fuel just after they pass the flag, I can understand why that is a real violation.

But nobody went into that race with a plank that was too thin to do the job, they just had a rough track, we saw the bumps, the sparks and everytime you see sparks, guess where they are coming from?

I'm not super surprised that one or two failed, and I guess if you'd checked all 20 cars, even the ones that retired, we'd have found half the field with the same problem. It's a little unfair.

Jo Bauer has been around for so many years, he knows exactly what he is doing, but I'm curious as to whether all the cars were checked or whether it was just random.

Because given the bumpiness of the track, I fail to see how the other cars wouldn't have been in the same situation as Lewis or Charles.

I certainly don't know all the details, and there's no point in speculating, but it doesn't help the image of Formula 1 to be changing results, particularly in America where so much good has been done for building the sport up.

It doesn't take a lot, as we saw at Indianapolis 2005 for the Americans to walk away. The decision came out hours after the race, so it doesn't create a good image for the sport, it really doesn't.

But there you go, we have to abide by the rules, I guess, even if they are stupid.

I have a lot to do with Americans, built a business out there, and they don't see things the same as perhaps Europeans and others do.

You can undo a lot of good by having results like this, where hours after the race, results completely change. It is really not healthy.

If we're going to build a super sport, which is effectively where it is heading, it is not going to be helpful if we start changing and messing around.

If it's not for track limits, it's for the plank wear and to do only four of the cars and find that half of them are guilty as charged, then wouldn't that give you an indication to do the rest of them?

I would think that Lewis and Charles would be pretty pi**ed off to be honest.

Hamilton Qatar case rubbish

What is also a load of rubbish is the FIA re-opening the case against Hamilton for walking across the track in Qatar.

I know he defended it in a nice way by saying that he shouldn't have done it, that he apologised and all the rest of it, but that's just Lewis being a role model.

Lewis had enough sense to look left and right before he walked across the track and there was no danger.

And the other thing is that this million-dollar fine drivers and team can now get, what a joke. I thought we got rid of all that.

We got Max Mosley's 100 million dollar fine in 2007 to McLaren which was just personal between him and Ron Dennis and had nothing to do with the spygate offences.

We have got the sport into such a good place, we don't want to let this bulls**t creep in, that just takes us back to the dark old days where politics and rubbish could interfere with the race results.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

F1 2023 United States Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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