Monday, June 26, 2017

Even racing drivers get red mist

If you didn't watch the F1 race from Baku yesterday, spoiler alert.
The face-off between Hamilton and Vettel yesterday demonstrates that even the best trained, fittest drivers at the top of their game suffer from red mist. Hamilton had been told to maintain 10 car lengths behind the safety car twice, and twice he didn't. Under the second safety car, he brake-checked Vettel (correction : telemetry would seem to indicate maybe he didn't), who then ran into the back of him and then made it so much worse by going around Hamilton and deliberately bumping wheels with him whilst giving him the finger.
Vettel got a ten second drive-through penalty - totally agree with that. But Hamilton got nothing for the brake-check (or the double safety car rule violation). In the end it didn't matter - Hamilton had to come in for a replacement cockpit bolster and once he came out behind Vettel, he lost his fire.
When it comes to dangerous driving, where do you draw the line in racing? Vettel risked both their cars when he deliberately bumped wheels with Hamilton. But then so did Hamilton with the brake-check and SC rules violation. In my mind, Hamilton should have been handed two separate penalties - the first for not maintaining proper distance from the safety car (twice), and the second for what he did to Vettel. (correction - maybe just the SC violation).
Apart from that, Baku was a good event again - I hope it stays on the F1 calendar.