The Mexican Grand Prix sparked so much controversy in the Formula One paddock due to actions that were taken against some of the drivers. Third place on the podium changed three times after the race as both Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel were given penalties.
Both the Red Bull drivers, Ricciardo and Verstappen, were unimpressed by the stewards’ decisions during the race as they both said Hamilton and Rosberg deserved penalties for cutting corners on the first lap of the race.
Verstappen did the exact same thing as Hamilton, cutting the corner at turn one, but Hamilton got no punishment and Verstappen got a five second time penalty.
However, some may argue that because Hamilton and Rosberg’s incidents were at the start of the race it would just be classed as a race starting incident. Also, the safety car was deployed during the first couple of laps so neither of the two Mercedes gained an advantage.
Ricciardo gave his views to the media after the race and said that Hamilton deserved a penalty as he did the exact same thing as Verstappen did. Verstappen agreed with his teammate and deemed the situation to be ‘unfair’ and ‘ridiculous’.
Track limits are a big factor when it comes to giving out penalties in Formula One. Daniel Ricciardo, again, had a few things to say about track limits. He suggested that gravel traps would be a better idea than having asphalt run off areas. Ricciardo said that if gravel traps were put in place then drivers would be punished for running off track instead of gaining an advantage.
The boss of Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone, said in an interview with F1 that there should be 40 centimetre walls on parts of the track where it is possible to gain an advantage and to “remind them that this is the white line”.
Race Direction are very inconsistent right now when it comes to giving out time penalties to drivers in Formula One. For two drivers to cut the same corner at different points in the race should result in both of the drivers getting the same penalty as they both gained an advantage.
Also, the time for Race Direction to make a decision should be capped. It took race direction five minutes to make a decision to give Max Verstappen a time penalty in Mexico but it took them around two hours to decide on whether to give Sebastian Vettel a penalty.
If two drivers make the same mistake they have to make sure that both drivers are punished otherwise it’s unfair. Race Direction have to be more strict on track limits because, again, it is unfair if a driver gains an advantage where they shouldn’t be. If their decisions do not improve and don’t become more consistent then there will for sure be many more complaints from the drivers and teams.
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