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ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 04: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 leads Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari F1-75 and the rest of the field into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on September 04, 2022 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Red Mist: F1 needs black & white rules not grey

ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 04: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 leads Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari F1-75 and the rest of the field into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on September 04, 2022 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Ferrari made a stern statement in recent days about grey areas in Formula 1’s rule book, if the team felt so strongly about the matter why did our team not boycott the next Grand Prix? Enzo probably would’ve…

Let’s not dwell too much on Ferrari’s results so far this year. Enough has been said and done about that, everywhere. Truth be told, our team underwent a huge change very late before the new season. It will come right. Be patient!

But Scuderia certainly has a point about F1 and its governing body following the latest casino in a seemingly insurmountable pile of FIA cock-ups: “We are now looking forward to entering broader discussions with the FIA, F1, and all the teams,” the team statement promised following the FIA’s dismissal of the Sainz appeal.

It went on: “With the aims of further improving the policing of our sport, in order to ensure the highest level of fairness and consistency that our sport deserves.”

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What would Enzo Ferrari do about the F1 rules grey zone?

That’s a big statement from Formula 1’s biggest, and probably most important team. In Enzo’s day, we’d probably not have shipped the cars to Azerbaijan. Just saying. But this is the woke 2020s and dare anyone make a stand like that!

Anyway, Formula 1 is broken. Everything about how it’s run and policed these days seems cursed by some sort of red tape bungle that just ruins the last two hours we all wasted watching the track action. Little grey men in the control tower seem to do their utmost to make the result what they want, not what the drivers have risked their lives to achieve dicing in a multi-billion dollar grid of supposedly motorsport’s finest show on mother earth. Why?

Look, there’s nothing wrong with the technical regulations, although they too could be so much simpler. Or the basic sporting regulations. To a point. And that’s the point where our little grey men come to play and penalties are willy-nilly handed out. Apparently without any real thought or consistency behind the majority of those calls.

From there on in, it’s just cock-up after cock-up. Just look at the first few races this year. Never mind Australia. Seems F1’s right hand is clueless about what its left hand is doing. Or what the rules say. Formula 1 needs black & white rules. Not grey.

Consistency in F1 rules is key, an action should be either right or wrong

This leads to the conclusion that maybe it’s those critical rules that need to change. So that the little grey men charged to apply them actually have tacit set of regulations that clearly lay out what to penalise, how to police it, and what penalty to apply. Every time, without fail. So there’s no two ways about it. And it’s all black and white. Not grey. Like our FIA folks.

That also calls for another kind of consistency. There’s now one FIA Race Director. So why is there not one set of FIA Stewards too? The same men (and women – maybe there’s an answer to that lack of gumption and compassion) to hand down consistent penalties every race?

To make that work, the FIA also needs to take its rulebook and burn it. It must search its soul and start again from scratch. Come up with a fresh and simple new set of regulations on how to consistently and fairly run and control F1 races. And how to police teams and drivers.

Get rid of contradictions and conflicting regulations, take out superfluous, duplicate laws and procedures and put together a straight and simple set of rules and guidelines. To be applied and controlled by professional full-time FIA F1 Stewards who will be consistent in what they do.

It’s a huge grey area in F1 that must be addressed ASAP

And please God, do it in such a way that it complements the racing. Not destroys it. Because right now, all this is making a mockery of Formula 1 and it’s destroying the spectacle. Your woke new F1 audience won’t stand for much more of that. Which makes this all that much bigger an issue that needs to be addressed. And urgently too.

Were it me, I’d do what Enzo probably would have and called F1’s bluff. Like he often did. And yes, this situation is more than serious enough for the Old Man to have done just that.

Sort this out F1 and FIA! You owe it to us all.