After the FIA failed to penalise Max Verstappen for some very aggressive driving, Raikkonen joins the angry chorus against them.
Sebastian Vettel is not alone in having a bone to pick with the FIA. Fellow Ferrari driver Raikkonen is now just as incensed by the alleged inconsistency with which they have enforced rules. At the Hungarian Grand Prix, Red Bull’s Verstappen and Raikkonen were neck to neck in the final laps of the race. Both were fighting hard and Verstappen employed some rather combative defence tactics, swerving across to protect the inside line. This resulted in contact at Turns 1 and 2 and front-wind damage on the Ferrari car. The FIA’s failure to penalise the teenager for aggressive driving has Raikkonen questioning the need for rules that aren’t going to be enforced.
“The battle became more difficult when I lost part of the front wing. I could no longer follow closely in the last corners of the lap and didn’t manage to get past. For me, he moved once to the right, I decided to go left and the other car moved left. Once I decided to go and he decided to move back, I did everything I could to avoid contact… Once you decide to go one way, you cannot move back.
“I was good to somehow half miss him. I lost a bit of the front wing, but there are rules this weekend, and I’m not just talking about what happened between me and Max. Why do we have rules if stewards can decide it’s OK here and not OK here. If the rules don’t apply all the time and to all the people, then we shouldn’t have them.”
This is far from the only instance where he’s observed blatant double standards in F1 ruling. In Q1, eleven drivers flouted the 107 percent rule, which stipulates that drivers must reach the necessary 107 percent time to qualify. FIA only applied the rule to the six who failed to progress and not the five who went on to Q2. As one of the five who made it to Q2, Verstappen again benefitted from the FIA’s oversights. The discrepancy between words and actions here is actually blowing Raikkonen’s mind to bits.
“The Stewards or the people that decide how things go here, it’s a joke with the rules. Yesterday’s qualifying was a good example with the 107 percent rule. They applied it to the guys who didn’t go through from Q1, but they didn’t for the rest. How can you suddenly have the same rule and apply it in different ways during the same session. Can someone explain to me how that works?
“This is Formula One these days and something has to change, because this looks bad to people outside, to you guys and I think it’s not fair. There’s a rule and it should apply exactly the same way, every time, to everybody.”
As ever, marketing seems to be at the forefront of the FIA’s mind, not fair play. We foresee the dissenting voices piling up for the remainder of the season, but we think we’ll be waiting a lot longer till the FIA does anything about it.