April 06, 2003

When obsolete rules raise their ugly heads.: Today's F1 Brazilian Grand Prix saw what would have been the highly-regarded veteran racer Giancarlo Fisichella's first win, made all the more impressive since he was driving for the underdog Jordan team. However the race was stopped after a bad crash that ended the race, and while Fisi had taken the lead from McLaren's Kimi Raikonnen the previous lap, the F1 rules state that, on a red flag, the race order is taken from two laps previous. [more inside]

posted by Space Coyote to other at 07:02 PM - 7 comments

I haven't been able to find a good explanation for such a rule, but my guess is that it's from the days before computerized scoring when it would have been harder to immediately judge the order of a race just a lap before it was called. In the end it's a shame for Fisi, who seems to have given up on ever driving for the Ferrari team, but everybody who watched the race knew who the winner was. Oh, and that Michael Schumacher guy everybody says is making the sport so dull? He crashed out on the wet track.

posted by Space Coyote at 07:05 PM on April 06, 2003

Jordan had a case of premature celebration. My guess is that the rule is two laps to guarantee that everyone has, at the least, completed a full lap before the crash. If a driver in the middle of the pack crashes, it is possible that the drivers in front of him are already on the next lap. In which case, the last completed lap for the race leaders AND everyone else, including the guy that crashed, would be TWO laps before. I don't really know the rules, so I could be completely off... but that seems to make sense to me. (although it's hard to explain).

posted by mkn at 01:43 AM on April 07, 2003

This has been the most bizarre F1 season in memory. The bigger question was the FIA decision to only allow the teams to bring ONE type of wet weather tire to each race. Of course, the teams are bringing the intermediate tires as a moderate choice. Early conditions on the Brazil track were monsoon-like. As an aside, is there a driver with a chance to win the championship that anyone gives a rat's ass about anymore? I can't seem to get excited about any of them.

posted by machaus at 02:51 PM on April 08, 2003

Premature victory? The saga continues with the announcement that Raikkonen may now lose the race, because it's uncertain how many laps Fisichella had completed when the red flags came up.

posted by BigCalm at 12:01 PM on April 09, 2003

wow, thanks for that, BigCalm

posted by machaus at 01:02 PM on April 09, 2003

The interesting bit is that had Fisi not crossed the line at the last minute, then the race would not have been 75% complete, and thus only half points should be rewarded under FIA rules. So it works out well for both Fisi and McLaren if Fisi is ruled the winner.

posted by Space Coyote at 03:56 PM on April 09, 2003

Fisichella wins it! And in other news, the countback rule is being reviewed.

posted by BigCalm at 03:06 AM on April 11, 2003

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