The New F1 Dilemma : Fight for First or Risk Penalties?

Richard McMillanContributor IMarch 19, 2009

Although the premise of the new "most wins" rule is that we want to see a dogfight for first place, leading to fewer processions to the finish line, will this be allowed to happen?

Picture the scene. It's the last lap at Silverstone, Raikkonen leads coming into Priory and Hamilton lungs up the inside just before the Luffield corner.  There is contact, both cars are undamaged but Raikkonen and Hamilton now are side-by-side.  It's a drag-race up the straight up to the line, and Hamilton wins.

Chances are, in the 2008/09 season Hamilton would have been reprimanded by the stewards and penalised with a time penalty, or lose places on the grid at the next race.  If this is allowed to happen during the 2009/10 season, we have a status quo. The new rule becomes pointless.

The racers should be allowed to race, not recklessly but with a significant appraisal of the risks involved.  When a driver goes wheel-to-wheel with another driver they risk damaging their own car.

We all look back to Senna\Prost and Schumacher\Hill clashes where there were blatant, callous attempts to win at all costs. Of course these need to be stamped out.  But nearly all overtaking requires planning and risk-taking, but it doesn't always come off.  However, when it does fail don't blame the drivers. The new rules are trying to force them to accepting greater risks.

Just make the stewards penalties fair, for all drivers and teams, and remove the input of all teams and the FIA from the decision making process.  Then this system might work.