Sunday, April 5, 2009

Disastrous Start to New F1 Season

As the new Formula One season get under away and our neighbor Malaysia holds the second race of the season today, I have to wonder what the hell is going on in F1 this year.

Only 2 weeks into the season and I believe everyone will have to agree that the season has thus far been a total disaster. Before the season even started, there were already mass complains and appeal when 3 of the teams found a loophole in the new rules and modify their cars to achieve more speed. One of the cars won the opening race Australian Grand Prix and the rest of the padlock are appealing the decision to allow the cars to race.

That however is nothing compare to the furor surrounding defending champion Lewis Hamilton. In Australian Grand Prix, Hamilton exchange of third place with Jarno Trulli while they were behind the safety car. You are not allowed to overtake when the safety car is on track unless the car in front of you went off the track. That’s what happened when Trulli went off the track to avoid the debris from the collision. Hamilton took over third place but later Trulli took over third place again while the safely car was on the track. Trulli said that he had no choice as Hamilton slowed to a crawl and allowed him to overtake. In 2 hearings after the race, Hamilton and McLaren racing team said that they never did so and that Trulli overtook them illegally.

The race stewards ruled against Trulli. He was out of the points and Hamilton was placed third in the race. Now a fresh stewards' hearing into the Melbourne race was held this week after they got their hands on new audio evidence of the team radio transmissions. That plus an amateur video taken by a fan at the Australian race made it clear that Hamilton did slowed down to allow Trulli to pass him and orders were given to him to that effect. The stewards realized that they had been lied to (twice) and promptly disqualified McLaren and Hamilton. Now there is talk about disqualifying McLaren and Hamilton from the rest of the season.

I fail to see the problem here. McLaren and Hamilton clearly lied to the race stewards (twice) and even the British press, faithful defender of Hamilton till now, has condemned him for it. McLaren has gone into damage control by suspending its long-standing sporting director Dave Ryan but no matter who masterminded the lie, one thing is clear. Hamilton was the one who lied! I fail to see the reason why he shouldn’t be kicked from the season.

Just suspend him for the rest of the season and hopefully we can get back to the racing.

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