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Video: FOTA Fans Forum Part 2 – Drivers discuss stewarding decisions
Video: FOTA Fans Forum Part 2 – Drivers discuss stewarding decisions
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Jun 2011   |  1:34 pm GMT  |  13 comments

Here is a video with Part 2 of the FOTA Fans Forum in Montreal, featuring F1 drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Nico Hulkenberg as well as Team Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne discussing the stewards’ decisions on overtakes, collisions and “racing incidents” this year and also explaining to fans why F1 changes technical rules mid season, such as the blown diffuser, part of which looks set to be banned from Silverstone onwards.

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Why aren’t you on the Telly man? You’re so good at what you do – you are completely enveloped in F1 culture and facts and right with the breaking news. Still miss your voice commentating. Myself and the Missus were really pleased to hear you doing the post race interviews.


James – can you chase this up with FOTA please?

I am hung up that drivers get no penalty when going off track onto tarmac run-off at unabated speed and getting no penalty or even improving their position. If the white line defining the track was a concrete wall, then there would be a penalty!

I would propose that if drivers use the extended tarmac safety run-off, then they must stop, engage neutral, then set off again, or we have some form of marked out “penalty” chicane in the run-off through which they must pass, thus taking a small penalty for going off track.

Tarmac run-off is a great idea as we all want to see cars running and not skating across wet grass into gravel traps or walls, but there must be a fair benefit to competing drivers who stay on the marked track versus those who have made a mistake.


By the way….. I can see the tarmac run-off being an issue as regards “no penalty” at Silverstone both at Club (now the last corner) and Abbey (now the first corner) after watching the GT1 race there a couple of weeks ago!


Running off track at Club was actually the fastest way around last year, I expect it will be more of the same this year despit the rules sying the track is only the part between the white lines.


Kovalainen has joined a long line of Finns with a prospective career in stand-up comedy (Mika and Kimi come to mind – i guess three people counts as a line).

Not sure if it’s the deadpan delivery or how they structure their sentences in English but even the most mundane topics end up with little gems in comedic timing. 😀

Back to the topic, I would definitely like to see more of this.


James, thanks for the forum clips and audio.

On the stewards – as Kovi pointed out overtaking at the hair-pin is possible (as long as the leading car doesn’t turn in, Mr.-“It’s-not-possible-to-overtake-there”-Massa) why is this act in itself not seen as causing an avoidable collision? penalties always go on the car trying the pass. that alone doesn’t ‘aid overtaking’ does it.

Also, ex drivers as stewards – good idea, unless of course they come out vocally against one of the drivers before the race – Fittipali pre Montreal. Not very professional.

They seem more trigger happy. An accident used to mean a car stopping in some way or becoming damaged and therefore hindered. Now, not so. Alonso on Ham in Malaysia for example, didn’t effect Hamilton, so why give Alonso a penalty? Unless of course they wanted to get away with the ‘weaving’ one for Ham, balance it up a bit… Or maybe I’m just paranoid.


I’d like to see the stewards drop investigations in situations where natural justice has already penalised everyone involved. They can always give the drivers a talking to after the race but when an ill judged dive up the inside leaves you limping back to the pits, there seems no need to further modify the race result.


“…and also explaining to fans why F1 changes technical rules mid season, such as the blown diffuser, part of which looks set to be banned from Silverstone onwards.”

It doesn’t actually contain this, it stops right at the point Heikki was about to start answering!

Let’s have the full version please!

Richard Baldry

Any chance of you uploading the full forum video please? If you could upload onto itunes to download as a podcast as they seem to becoming a bit more regular?

Thanks for sharing this though its fantastic to here the guys talk in detail like this.


James, these are great!

Whats up with Gascoyne’s conan-the-barbarian wrist wraps?


I’m glad that somebody brought up the point of stewarding but I was disappointed with Heikki’s answer as it reffers to more than just Monaco. For years now fans have felt that stewards are far too trigger happy in some instances whilst ignoring blatent bad moves in others and in several cases have made bad decisions. Montreal was another case of the stewards being trigger happy with every little incident being looked at when almost none of them deserved to be. I think Di Resta has the right to feel hard done by with his drive through since his lunge had absolutely no consequence to Heidfeld.

I’m very much glad that an ex driver is part of the process now, but I think it would be better to actually have them as one of the three stewards rather than just advisers too them.

I love these fan forums, its great to have our questions answered directly by members of the teams.


Seems to finish just before they answer the question – tease! looking forward to part 3…



Go back a few posts, and the entire audio is posted on Soundcloud. Sure, you don’t get to see their pretty faces, but you get all the audio! 🙂

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