For the second year in a row, the smell of amateurism at the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) mingled with that of champagne and burnt rubber at Max Verstappen’s title party. “Nobody in the whole world knew the rule by which Verstappen is already world champion. That is completely ridiculous,” said Kris Wauters in De Tribune.
Federation Internationale des Amateurs
Not at first, then yes, then not again, but eventually yes. Max Verstappen is Formula 1 world champion for the second time in his life at the age of 25.
It took a long time before he knew that himself. That had to do with a time penalty for competitor Charles Leclerc that was only handed out after the finish and with a rule that nobody knew until then.
“After the sad display in a rain-soaked edition of Spa-Francorchamps last year, where two laps were driven behind the safety car to officially have a race and to be able to hand out points, new regulations have come into effect,” explains Kris Wauters again.
The new regulations state that the number of points awarded is determined by the number of laps completed: 0-25 percent of the laps, 25-50 percent, 50-75 percent or more than 75 percent. Only from 75 percent of the rounds or more are all points awarded.
Max Verstappen was stripped of all the emotions that come with a world title when you cross the finish line.
“In Japan there has been 1 lap more than half of the laps, so everyone assumed that half of the points would be awarded and Max Verstappen would be 1 point short of the world title.”
“Only afterwards does it appear in the regulations that those alternative points are only awarded if the race is interrupted (for example due to the weather or an accident) and can’t restart the race.”
“But nobody in the world knew that! Not the drivers, not the teams, not the commentators. Completely ridiculous,” commentator Kris Wauters said.
“Max Verstappen was stripped of all the emotions that come with a world title when you cross the finish line. I sent a text message to some friends.”
“FIA stands for Federation Internationale des Amateurs.”
Hearing for Red Bull on budget cap
Also in another case, the FIA has not done well in recent days. Max Verstappen’s team, Red Bull, had not yet celebrated when the rest of the Formula 1 world had long expected a ruling on the investigation into a possible exceeding of the budget cap by Red Bull last year.
“The FIA was actually going to make a statement about their investigation before the weekend, but I don’t think they wanted that statement to stand in the way of a possible world title for Verstappen,” says Kris Wauters.
Not only was there a sign of life long gone, the announcement that it is a “slight overspending” by Red Bull offers few answers.
The team will have to appear at a hearing, after which a possible sentence can be pronounced. No one knows when that hearing will be.
“I do not rule out that the FIA has also covered some things with the cloak of love in this case. Or rather with the cloak of the current success of Formula 1. They do not want to jeopardize the popularity of the sport at the moment.”
“Obviously, if mistakes have been made, penalties must be imposed.”
“There are several sanctions possible, but now that we know that it is officially a small overrun, it may just be a fine or deduction of points in the manufacturers’ standings.”