Rosberg gets a penalty, loses points

Nico Rosberg has been given a 10-second time penalty for radio assistance from his team in the British GP. This means that he drops to third place, behind Max Verstappen. This also means that He loses three points and so the World Championship situation is now Rosberg 168, Hamilton 167 and Verstappen has increased his total to 90. In the Constuctors’ Championship this means that Red Bull closes up on Ferrari even more with Mercedes on 335, Ferrari 204 and Red Bull 198.

The Stewards, having received a report from the Race Director, heard from the driver and team representatives and examined audio evidence, have considered the following matter, determine a breach of the Article 27.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations and imposed a 10-second Time Penalty.

The stewards said that they had considered the matter “extensively” and determined that the team gave some instructions to the driver that were specifically permitted under Technical Directive 014-16. However, the Stewards concluded that the team then went further and gave instructions to the driver that were NOT permitted under the Technical Directive.

65 thoughts on “Rosberg gets a penalty, loses points

    1. agreed, and Perez in Austria.

      Where does the 10 seconds come from for Nico’s penalty? Fixing the issue and explaining what he could/couldn’t do saved far more than 10 seconds. It all seems rather inconsistent.

      1. If I remember correctly a 20s penalty would have not only lost him 3rd place but also the Championship lead to Hamilton.
        A 5s penalty would have probably looked too lenient (but would still lost him 2nd place).

        So I think the stewards tailored the penalty to act as a punishment, but not in a way that it would affect the Championship ranking.

  1. I hope that the team appeals the stewards decision, so that the entire radio ban subject is brought up again and discussed in depth. Even if Nico’s penalty stands, hopefully that entire nonsense of the radio rules can be scrapped.

    None of the teams like the rule and I hope that some of the fans who initially supported it also see the farce that it causes now.

    There are enough rules in F1 already now and the sooner we get rid of the silly ones, the better it is.

    1. I agree, messages like Nico received should be allowed. Messages like Nico used to receive ie ‘ your team-mate braked 25 metres later than you at t9’ should not – it seems simple enough. I’m not really sure how F1 has made it so complicated?

      1. Rich, it got complicated when they threw away pitboards……well, yes, they are still about, but wouldn’t it be great if someone had to put up a pitboard with “Nico turn to mode 118- do not use 6th gear-be kind to your tyres for the next 12 laps “……there could be extra jobs for the teams of pitboard handlers required!

    2. no, the team had decided to drop their appeal, Mercedes and Rosberg had gained more than they would have lost by breaching the radio rules and taking a penalty

  2. Can you provide a link to the technical directive mentioned? The Sporting Regulations are easy to find, but I can’t find this directive online.

  3. I have a couple issues with this;

    1-I have read elsewhere that ROS could have lost his gearbox totally without help and incurred penalties in the next race. Makes a 10s penalty seem a bit weak .

    2-The team are always spouting that they have equal treatment for the drivers but they way they left HAM out to dry in Baku yet were “on the hotline” instantly to ROS says a different story.

    Anyway a great race by HAM and a better one by VES.

    I think HAM will win the title even with the handicap of inevitable engine penalties.

    1. I think the difference between Baku for Lewis and Silverstone for Nico, is that for Lewis it was a setting affecting performance but not necessarily likely to cause imminent failure, and the team were rightly wary of handing out advice. For Nico, the team feared a terminal failure unless they instructed Nico to make the change, and knew this was supposedly allowed under Charlie’s directives. From what I understood from the stewards ruling, they were ok with the instruction to change the setting to avoid terminal failure but felt the team’s clarification of how to handle 7th gear went beyond what was allowed. If Mercedes do follow through with an appeal I’m sure they’ll argue that it was part of the same imminent failure avoiding instruction…i.e. can Nico only use gears 1-6 and avoid 7th altogether or can he still pass through 7th to also use 8th without risking failure.

      Part of me hated the level of driver coaching the teams were employing regarding how to drive the track, but I think the cars are so ridiculously complicated that advice limited to settings on the car should be allowed. It’s such a difficult one to police and if they take what might appear to be some common sense on this case it might open a flood gate of coded messages that are supposedly ‘avoiding car failures’. F1 teams given an inch, will typically take an extra thousandth (because of ‘tolerances’).

      1. I think it’s more a case of in Baku they asked the FIA first, in Silverstone they didn’t. Without asking you can plead ignorance, once you get a definitive answer you can’t.

        At work, I’d rather not ask, act on instinct and then once done argue your case for why you did it. Works more often than not for me. Certainly worked for Nico, presuming I’m right.

    2. I wondered how long it would take someone to pull the fake-Joe stunt in these comments. Surprisingly long, actually (unless Joe’s never let one through until now).

  4. Ah its all about the exact wording of the Regs. Just as the hoops behind the exhaust pipe on the Merc look illegal at first but close reading of the wording seems to clear them.

    However Nico must be gutted as he did nothing wrong but the team stuffed him basically.

    1. I don’t see why Nico would be gutted. Had the team not told him how to get the tranny unstuck, he would have retired.

      Third place is better than none.

  5. does a 10 second penalty seem too light? had the teams given advice to kimi and lewis in baku, could a 10second penalty be offset from the potential points gain they could have made?

    anyway looking forward to more radio chatter for the rest of the season

  6. Do we know which instructions fell into each category?

    (Silly me… if you knew, you’d have told us…)

    1. If we assume that instructing Nico how to get the tranny unstuck was deemed legal… and that the illegal part was advising him to shift thru 7th on his way to and fro 8th was the illegal part… then we do have a new and very different line in the sand.

      As best I can tell, it is now kosher to give the driver info about the technical aspects of the car but illegal to tell him how to work around the car’s limitations while driving it.

      This seems like progress to me…

    2. The second telling him to shift through 7th.

      Telling him to switch to default chassis setting is specifically allowed. Presumably it is a Cntl, Alt, Delete instruction. Double shifting through the gear, presumably initiates the reset, as Horner insists he was using 7th afterwards, to hold off Max.

      It is a complete shambles.

    3. Hi RShack.

      Mercedes got permission from the stewards/FIA to tell Nico about all the technical gumff, and the bit about avoiding 7th Gear was okay, but when Nico asked what that meant, and the engineer responded, it was that final bit of help that was beyond what had been permitted.

  7. Stupid rule. The team should always be allowed to give technical advice or information on the operation of its own car. If they want to restrict radio comms to “enhance” the racing it should be limited only to providing info about other cars on the track.

  8. How much time could Lewis Hamilton have saved in the Bacu race if Mercedes had told him how to fix the problem? A lot more than 10 seconds. Not that I’d expect Whiting and the Stewards to treat all drivers equally when it comes to handing out penalties.

    Force India should send the FIA the bill for the repairs to Perez’s car that was damaged in an avoidable accident last week. A crash that Whiting was totally responsible for.

  9. I think that’s the right call based on current rules. Otherwise Force india might have an opinion to share after not being able to tell Perez his brakes were marginal in Austria. Having said that, a revision of the rules to allow a team to help a driver stay in the race would be a good idea. Perez being a good example.

  10. That was probably fair, given the current rules
    Why the rules are like this is a conundrum though, no-one seems to think it’s a good rule.
    Driver coaching – no, technical assistance – yes.
    Is what most people want, and recognising that radio provides some of the entertainment.

    Nico was a bit unlucky, I hope Merc protest so at least the FIA have to define the current rule better, so far other teams only know that ‘chassis default 01’ is OK. The team didn’t actually tell Rosberg to shift through gear 7 to gear 8, they just confirmed to him when he suggested it. Otherwise he wouldn’t be able to shift past gear 6, which must have limited his top speed by a lot (10%?)

  11. Speaking of the radio rule, and how it restricts us from knowing whats happening:
    I also liked the brief period when you could get decent timing information on a laptop during the race without paying more for it. At the moment I’m restricted to the limited info on the TV, which is usually giving me timing info I don’t want. Free up the timing data FIA! I’m paying enough already, don’t try and salami slice my enjoyment of F1, you’re not the only game in town.

  12. Sad and illogical.
    There is nothing in the second advice (“shift through 7th”) to punish Nico for – more than possibly his own mistake to follow up with a clarification request..?
    Joe, why don’t we get more clear messaging rules?

  13. Well that had to happen.
    It was a blatant infringement as they come.
    They didn’t give a hint to Lewis in Baku.
    But ! it was all hands on giving Rosberg everything but the kitchen sink.
    Surprised he didn’t get a bigger penalty.

  14. Anyone that follows F1 closely, and knows the radio communications rule. Knew while the exchange between Rosberg and Merc pit, was going to far into the details. So why did it take a few hours for the FIA to make a decision ??? Other than that I enjoy the race, great to watch them work in the wet. Cheers..

    1. Because they had to pause for tea before convening… you can’t get clotted cream just anywhere….

    2. “So why did it take a few hours for the FIA to make a decision ???”

      I imagine to allow for all exchanges of radio traffic to be considered, and all opinions and pleadings to be put forward before they made their ruling, in the interests of justice and fairness to everyone

  15. I sorry, but this has got to stop! The whole F1 management of F1 has gone to the dogs. I cant believe that the teams haven’t gotten together and just told the FIA where they need to put their rules interpretations. The people that are getting the real shaft are the fans that are fronting up in all conditions, paying for the continuation of this BS. The sooner the FIA/Charlie is parked, the better. Everything from radio communications, Halo’s, Grid penalty’s for engine and gearbox’s changes, lap times dropped for exceeding track limits, it continues to be the spectator that gets the shafting. When I hear that Charlie Whiting has said that “The honeymoon is over” I cant believe someone hasn’t taken him outside and explained to him who ultimately pays his salary

    None of the driver talent that grace the TV screens seem to remember that they also used to explore the track limits on a regular basis. The continual harping on about Monaco and its brick walls as a justification for track limits is beyond belief. When tracks/Bernie get Mt Tilke to introduce safety barriers at the edge of every track they race at, then they will truly have screwed F1 out of existence.
    People want to see cars exploring the limits, if you don’t acknowledge that cars are going to cross lines at some point during qualifying and races, then the bubble you are living is very thick. Just stop and think of the potential for fans disappointment if Lewis Hamilton had not made a second lap in qualifying and hence had not got pole? How many would understand that some “blazer” had made a rule that meant they went home not really knowing why LH wasn’t on pole? Would they be paying large amounts of money to return next year? They cant keep giving fans the ammunition to not rock up again in a years time. I guess they can, but how sad.
    The FIA now having introduced the most complex and unsustainable engine formula known to man, now want to screw with more things so that they can manipulate results. They clearly have no understanding of the economics of building Grand Prix motors. Its the design, tooling, manufacturing and development of the power unit that’s the real cost, not fitting another engine/gearbox that is where the real cost is hidden. The token system was a sad attempt at some sort of cost containment and the fact that it wont be around next year shows how useless it is.
    The FIA should spend more time making sure curbs are properly fixed down, as in Bacu Azerbaijan, than worrying about radio conversations.
    They FIA/teams seem to have forgotten that it really is about entertaining people and not who can come up with the most BS rules. I suggest that these people go and pay money and sit in the stands and then see if they want to inhibit fans listening in on team/car communications. They are, sadly, so out of touch with what people want to watch.

    1. I 100% agree. You have listed most everything that irks me. It’s a team sport, and now they do everything they can to make it not be so with the silly radio restrictions. I would add to your list the amateurish stewarding that has always been a problem. The interpretation of rules depends on who happens to be in charge for that weekend. Considering the size of the F1 industry, this is just not acceptable.

      I have watched almost without a fail every race since 1975, been present at 5 GPs. But no more. They can scrap me from their viewership statistics. I won’t be watching Hungary or any race thereafter.

      At the end of the day this is supposed to be enjoyment and entertainment. I just find myself more and more annoyed. Why would I spend 2.5 hours in front of the TV, 20 times a year, just to be annoyed? No thanks.

    2. +1. Amen.

      Unfortunately Tony, like me, you are a real racer so we have no place in 21st century F1 (I remember you from my days at Leafield)

    3. I know you’ve been around the block a few times so you know what you’re on about. I’d just like to say why is it that only Roebuck sees the things you commented on? Back when i was a kid DSJ would have cut through all this rot in a concise fashion, but these days the media seem to hold the view that the Circus has, which is ” spectators/fans? what spectators/fans?” It is almost as if the whole series is just predicated on the ” bubble ” itself and anyone looking in from the outside is just a damn nuisance who should be heartily discouraged!

  16. Another example of a good idea gone badly wrong.

    Also another example of Mercedes giving Nico help, yet failing to do so with Lewis in Baku. They should have told Lewis there was a software issue in one of the engine modes, so he would have known how to resolve the problem himself.

    Instead they tell him he has a wrong switch setting so he loses even more time playing with everything on the wheel.

  17. rosberg gets away with it for a second race in a row
    I have been converted into a conspiracy theorist

  18. The whole thing needs a rethink. Elsewhere my chum Spesh has suggested that all communication should be allowed BUT it has to go through a call centre in Mumbai while my other chum Vince reckons one of those semi-automated systems: “Press 1 for chassis problems, press 2 for engine problems, press 3 if you are feeling lonely and neglected…”

  19. A ridiculous penalty, in keeping with the ridiculous rule. What is the team supposed to do, let the gearbox malfunction / possibly destroy itself? Reminds me of the grooved tyres days when some drivers’ tyres were “allowed” to wear more than others. Discriminate penalties are not a good basis for a quality sport’s competition.

    Compared to the Vettel shunt on Massa, way over the top.

    1. I am in agreement. Don’t have the engine/gearbox rule if you are not going to allow the team to “save” the components!

  20. The ‘technical directive’ needs clarification. I thought it was brought in to prevent ‘driver coaching’ and not to stop drivers being advised how to fix car problems… The first is just wrong but with the complexity of the systems on the cars the second should be a given.

    1. Am probably in the minority here but feel the pit-to-driver ban should be absolute (except from Race Control to driver).

      The series is awash with micro-management based on computer aids, sensors and modelling that reduces the notion of F1 as a sporting contest. It also reduces the element of chance to such a degree that ‘upsets’ or underdog feats are rare if non-existent.

      If this is a sport, then the onus should be on the driver. Yes, there is a team element – and where that should be most evident is in the chassis/engine design and pit crew element. Beyond that, if strategists should exist in F1 – let the communication be restricted to pit boards (and on these let the team state whatever they like). If the driver is adept at picking the information at 150mph (which they were in previous era), then they benefit. If this skill is a challenge for them, they lose out. Jolyn Palmer has stated that the lack of guidance from the pit wall is no issue for him – so its only those who have grown accustomed to it that are struggling with the change.

      There is an argument based on the technical apex of an F1 car needing such hyper-sensitive control and management. Yes, its great to wonder at F1 cars as engineering marvels however if the designers and engineers are as clever as claimed to be, then perhaps their ingenuity ought to work towards autonomous engines that require less manual intervention rather than more (we are, after all, on the cusp of driverless cars in the automotive industry). In F1, if you channel that ingenuity, it will ultimately find a solution – just look at where KERS was in 2009 and where we are now with ERS systems today, seven years on.

      Finally, there is the talk of safety and risk. While some of the racing in the 1980s was fairly processional, the one thing that did introduce an element of unpredictability were the number of retirements. Currently, a gearbox issue is deemed a safety risk. Well, it doesn’t work that way in MotoGP – if there’s a mechanical issue that threatens the safety of the rider, he finds out in the most direct fashion possible! F1 is too santized these days, particularly when compared to its two-wheeled counterpart, and this risk-averse culture only serves to reinforce the notion and gives the drivers the perception of being the motor-racing equivalents of hypochondriacs.

      Others may disagree, and I respect that too.

    2. @ Chris Neale-I think half the problem with F1 today is that its over engineered and over analysed. The software systems allow the drivers and engineers to finesse the settings of the car to the max. Just have fewer settings to fiddle with. My washing machine has at least twenty programmes and if you factor in pre wash , temperature control spin speed, eco mode, timer delays and and crease control the engineers have given me approaching 100 permutation: I reacon I need three.

      If you ask me, and granted no one has, then the cars should be simplified. Agree a few simple settings that can be adjusted,brake bias and perhaps a couple of different gearshift modes to accomodate wet weather for example and then the rest remains as it left the pits.

      OK I have no statistical evidence to back this up but I am pretty sure we get better races when the practice doesnt correlate to the race and drivers are left with sub optimal set ups and out of place on the grid. The best will still win but driving round problems shows us the true talent of these folk.

  21. I see that several people think this was a pro-Nico, anti-Lewis move on the part of (Mercedes/the FIA/moles from the EU/Max Mosley in drag). Not that I expect anyone to change his mind, but there are at least 2 other possibilities:

    1. The Baku business stuck in MB’s throat, they decided enough is enough, and chose to exploit Nico’s situation as a test case;

    2. The risk of sanctions was a no-cost option here (as Nico would have retired had he not learned how to get the transmission unstuck), whereas a draconian penalty would have damaged Lewis’ result in Baku.

  22. For once i watched a whole F1 race. And Hammy certainly did the business! He is i’ll grant you, something of a ” marmite ” character, but there’s no doubting his racing ability, especially when it is wet, which made the Safety Car Start such a bore…..and just wrong. If the cars need changing a bit so that they can handle the wet as they used to, then fine, just alter them. But don’t degrade the sport by putting them into ” get you home mode ” because it is raining…whatever did JYS think of that, when compared to his 1968 German GP win??
    Apart from that the move of the day must be the Boy Max on Rosberg!! Now that lad is a racer for sure…..i thought he might have been a tad overblown but not he’s got the proper RedBull all he needs is a little more BHP and there’s a title beckoning there.
    Back to Lewis, he does get emotions going, and i wish he would show up more of his normal side, as in his C4 tv interviews. Sometimes he comes across as a spoilt brat with double shoulder chips in a vain attempt at balance….and then other times he comes across as a very normal guy with a lot of spirit, a real love of racing, and an inspirational man for young people to emulate…..i like him much better when he’s in that mode!

      1. And you Sunny Stivala, are qualified to judge whether he is a jerk because you appointed yourself to that position?

  23. This is the theater of the absurd.
    The car has failed due to some fault. The team is allowed to tell the driver to reset the car but tell the driver to avoid doing what caused the fault (which the driver already knows) is driver coaching.
    It only takes a couple hours for the stewards to make a ruling. If it is coaching, the steward should have made a decision before the end of the race. If there is debate then the rule garbage and unenforceable. I wish he had won the race so we could have seen the stewards come up with a different decision. And even more controversy. (At TMS they did crown the wrong winner in an Indy race and did not figure it out until the next day. These stewards seem to have been from the same crew)
    NR gets more press than the winner because of this ruling. Got to love the dysfunctional family of Formula 1.

  24. Joe F1 has just lost another fan, myself. I will not attend, I will not watch, I will not support, I will not purchase from F1 sponsers but I will continue to read you blog to keep up with the stupidity of FIA.

  25. Formula1 has ” jumped the shark “. Used to ensure that I watched all sessions and races. After Sunday’s fiasco, who gives a damn, anymore?
    Safety car until the track is dry, stupid radio restrictions, “halo”. Enough already!

  26. I’m a bit surprised to see so many negative reactions. These radio rules exist because of public demand, no? Initially I was tentative about these rules but now I’m convinced they’re great. I see a lot of negativity about the effects but not really any about the real cause. To say it is absurd to expect a driver to remember 200 settings seems strange to me when one should say that it is just the car that is being too complicated. It should be more easy to operate or simply just have less different modes. In theory there is now a setting for every conceivable situation, but now in practice all these modes are starting to be a hurdle on its own. Why is there not a reset button for the gearbox? What’s wrong with telling Nico what mode to use through the pit board? They can fit ‘Chas D01’ on there no problem. Equally, brakes don’t overheat to critical level within 1 lap. What’s wrong with letting Sergio know through the pit board? Is the car too complicated and the driver can’t fix the problem, then he can pit and have the settings changed by the team .. Now the worst thing that can happen would be that they will make compromises with the rules. It should be simple, allow it all or allow none. Grey area’s won’t help anyone and are frustrating for the fans

    1. The radio ban does not mean that coded messages can be delivered through the pit board.

      The ban is to support some old time rule about “drivers operating the car un-aided”.

      1. @Torchwood Five
        I’m aware of that.

        I just have gripe with how complicated they made it. Seems unnecessary. It should be clear, not open for judgement by the stewards. ‘Mode assistance’ could be allowed through pit boards, that seems doable. At the same time it seems quite hard to micro manage a driver to take a later apex at turn 2 and short shift through turn 6 just through a pit board. It would solve the ‘problem’ they now have created.

        (my 5 cents)

  27. Joe

    Maybe we could change some of this around for the drivers & fans.

    So let the drivers and pitwall talk all they like on Friday & Saturday, but for the race, the pitwall is only allowed to talk to the driver while the car is in the official pitlane. Then they can give them all the help they need. It is like a standard drive through.
    During the race the pitwall is not allowed to talk to the driver, unless to tell them to park the car. As for safety, Race Control can talk directly to the driver any time.

    Now the next thing I would do is allow the pitwall to send to the driver – up to say 10 standard txt messages, which all the teams can use. The additional 5 txt messages are team related. At the same time the driver gets the txt message we the fan see it on our tv screens. I would limit the txt messages to less than 50 letters per txt. We and all the other teams can guess what the free 5 txt messages mean over the course of the race.

    So if a driver needs help then he drives through the pit at a slow safe speed and makes the changes, then re-joins the track and gets on with the race.
    What we don’t really know is what sort of time penalty they will put on the driver. It is not that clear from what we have seen so far. So if a Driver needs help, then he and his team know the amount of time he will lose on a drive through and can bring him in. It is a standard penalty that everyone understands no second guessing.

  28. I follow F1 because I have since Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme, Chris Amon etc., were racing, and i also follow Indy Cars, Moto GP, Nascar, WRC, and other forms of motor sport as well! I used to compete myself in saloon cars, jet boats, Karts, Motorcycles etc. If I was not such a dedicated enthusiast of motorsport in general, I’m sure I would have given up on F1! They’re stuffing themselves up with many of their stupid rules, and I’m finding it extremely frustrateing! My advice is that those in F1 who are responsible for the rules should study the rules of some of the other successfull series around the world and perhaps adopt some of those, in particular, research the NASCAR system/rules/regulations. (And while they’re about it observe how the commentators present themselves!)
    PK (NZ)
    This comment is in response to the idiotic restrictions to the comunications between team and drivers!

    1. “My advice is that those in F1 who are responsible for the rules should study the rules of some of the other successfull series around the world and perhaps adopt some of those”

      I think this was some of the intention behind the restrictions on comms from team to driver as MotoGP prevent all comms from the pitwall to rider apart from via the pit board. Of course F1 implemented it in a half-hearted fashion and added a myriad of exceptions which is where it started falling apart.

  29. How was this advice from Merc any different to that of other teams we have heard numerous times throughout the season? Many times we’ve heard advice from the pit wall to pull over and switch off the engine, or to pull into the pits to retire the car. The purpose is to prevent further/greater technical issues or unnecessary damage to the car, just as it was in this case.

    In those instances a time penalty or something similar would be a moot point but neither has there been anything from the stewards/FIA etc to indicate that type of communication isn’t allowed. Some warning or advice would seem useful if it did in fact breach the regulations.

    Now it seems that if you do it in the above circumstances it’s OK but if the driver can continue it’s not OK. By that logic the content of the communication itself isn’t the issue but the resultant effect of it is. I’m not sure if the regulation is written in that way but it seems at odds with everything that has been stated so far.

    1. Telling the driver pit to retire the car is on the list of allowed messages. They may also tell the driver to select “driver defaults” (whatever that is) to clear problems with sensors etc, as long as that action does not enhance the performance of the car beyond what it was before the sensor failed.

      Rosberg wasn’t penalized because of the instruction to select chassis defaule 01 and avoid 7th, but because of the following conversation, where he was told how to drive through the problem (shift through 7th). And that conversation was apparently a fair bit longer than what was broadcast, with a discussion of what to do if it gets stuck in 7th again.

      Personally, I think these rules should go – the 2015 rules worked to remove the blatant driving tips, and IMO there was no need to further restrict communication. Of course, now that the teams know what the cost of breaking the rules is, they can factor in a 10 second penalty in their strategy calls (which will inevitably lead to the rule itself becoming irrelevant). As I said, I’d rather they just went back to the 2015 rules. But if they really want to make the stricter stance work, make the penalty an instant black flag. At the same time, inform the teams that they may tell the driver whatever they like while the car is in the pits (inside the speed limit zone). Then the cost of fixing a problem that the driver can’t figure out would be a longer pit stop or an extra visit to the pits, and the teams can calculate that into their strategy (leaving the penalties to be just that, rather than strategy factors).

  30. @Snowy-“Now it seems that if you do it in the above circumstances it’s OK but if the driver can continue it’s not OK.”

    Isn’t that the point of the rules, inform the driver of a problem to avoid danger, but leave the driver to drive the car UNAIDED. If you are pulling off the track or pitting then you are not capable of driving the car unaided, if you need help to drive the car then its not unaided, simple.

    I seem to recall Schumy finishing the Spanish GP in a Benetton stuck in fifth gear doing that by thinking on his feet. Different times I know

    The real issue is make the cars simpler to operate.

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