FIA urged to set 'precise' racing rules to avoid 2021 inconsistencies

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

The FIA is under pressure to set "precise" racing rules for stewards and drivers to follow in a bid to avoid the inconsistent decisions seen last year.

Though both sides benefitted from questionable calls at times in the 2021 championship fight, there was general unhappiness at how penalties were given for some incidents and then not for others during the year.

This was particularly the case in the closing races, where Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton had several on-track skirmishes as the battle for the title heated up, and Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko led the calls for greater clarity. 

"There is no consistency to be seen in the decisions and therefore we get the feeling that it all looks random," he told Austria's ServusTV.

Also Read:

"The rules need to be more precise, but the stewards also need to express themselves more clearly and make better decisions.

"We need to know that if we do this or that, we will get this or that penalty. Not this one time and that one time again."

That view was shared by 2016 champion Nico Rosberg, who cited the Lap 1 incident in Abu Dhabi when urging new FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem to come up with better solutions.

“Big respect to [former FIA president] Jean [Todt] for his career, but now with a new person, there’s an opportunity. The sport needs to make progress,” he told Sky Sports.

“It starts even with all the overtaking, the wheel-to-wheel action. Let’s not forget that in the [Abu Dhabi] race, Max Verstappen passed Lewis [on lap 1] and kind of pushed him off a little bit.

“Lewis stayed flat out, cut the corner and came out in front again. Even all of us experts said Lewis should let Max by here, but they didn’t ask him to.

“The FIA needs to tighten all that up so that we don’t have all these discussions.”

Given how intense the arguments get on social media too, Rosberg also thinks it would benefit fans to have clearer racing boundaries.

“It would be better for the sport if it was much easier to understand,” he said. “Also in wheel-to-wheel racing; who is now right and wrong, what needs to be done. A quick decision is made, and we go on.

“We need to get rid of all of these discussions, that’s important.”

Upon taking office as FIA President, Sulayem vowed to do all he could to improve F1, with Marko believing a key change would be restricting radio communication with Race Control.

"Just imagine, [FIA race director Michael] Masi sometimes only has seconds, maybe 10 or so, to make decisions," the Red Bull chief argued.


"The team manager should actually take messages from team bosses and pass them on to the race director because he should be free to decide.

"The race director should not have anyone nagging at his head and a decision should be made without anyone being able to influence the decision.

"Then I believe that all the incidents, which mainly affected us at Red Bull, but also other teams like Mercedes, can be avoided."