Sunday , 23 June 2024
Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

FIA have a communication issue

The FIA has a massive communication and common-sense problem with two issues showing during the Japanese GP.

Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

The first major issue was the tractor on track while the cars were still going round and the visibility was minimal, many other series inform the drivers when and where vehicles are when this happens, but for some reason F1 just doesn’t do this? Blame Gasly all you like, but he was running to the delta he’s told to, that’s not a Gasly problem, that’s a rule problem.

The safety car train also drove past the tractor, at the front of the pack, no real issue, it slowed down and the first few drivers could clearly see, but past that and further back, nobody knew it was there or could see it until late due to the visibility and spray. Seriously how hard is it to just send a radio message to all cars to tell them it’s there and to be alert, other series do it!

And then you have the points confusion, the race became a timed race due to the long delays, rain and visibility, running to just 52% of the scheduled race distance. Everyone assumed this would then run to reduced points, the fans assumed this, the commentators assumed this, the only thing that didn’t was the live standings graphic, which everyone just thought were wrong because of how rarely reduced races come up and because the graphics being wrong isn’t anything new.

When Verstappen was awarded champion as Leclerc got penalised shortly after the race everyone was confused thinking Verstappen needed one more point to win it and then everyone, including me, started checking the sporting regulations to understand just what happened. After reading them, it turns out the reduced points only apply if a race finishes under the red flag, so even if a race is shortened due to the time limit, full points will apply. This isn’t a new regulation, but something that should be changed, even if it is a rare occurrence.

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 FL
Less than 2 racing laps (not SC) No points awarded
2 racing laps to 25% distance 6 4 3 2 1
25% – 50% distance 13 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1
50% – 75% distance 19 14 12 10 8 6 4 3 2 1 1
75% – full distance 25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1 1


This means that you can technically start a race 5 minutes before the 3 hour limit, get a few laps in, and then award full points. It seems ridiculous to me that they can award different points depending on the percentage of laps run, but that it ONLY applies if it finishes under red flag rather than a time limited chequered flag. The FIA fixed the problem caused by Spa 2021 and rewrote the points to the above, if you ran that Spa race today it wouldn’t be awarded any points. But surely it’s an oversight that when they rewrote those they didn’t think about timed races and applying the same reduced points, surely it shouldn’t matter if a race ends under red or chequered flag, it’s the same distance in the end, so shouldn’t you apply the same rule to points?

If this was at least communicated better and the commentators and media knew, I’d dislike it less, but it should still be changed. And seriously, how hard is it to just tell the drivers when a vehicle is on track, why they don’t do this is beyond me, Gasly is incredibly frustrated with the situation and rightly so. The FIA need to be better, they’ve improved massively over the years at being more consistent with penalties, but they need to be better at communicating to fans, drivers and the F1 media circus about what is going on.

About JackStatMan

The F1StatMan, mostly known for coming up with useless F1 related stats about burgers.

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