Dear FIA, something has to change

Dear FIA, something has to change

The fans of every sport indeed want to see the spectacle and unexpected twists. However, what happened last Sunday in Melbourne during the Formula 1 GP was not something true supporters are interested in witnessing.

The whole race had been enjoyable to watch up until the last few laps, with an early red flag, a fight for the lead, and many overtakes. It's true that after the second restart, Max Verstappen took the lead and was never shown on TV, except for when he went wide in the penultimate corner. However, it was interesting to see the fight between Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly, and everyone was waiting to see Fernando Alonso get closer to Lewis Hamilton to revive some 2007 vibes.

Then, Kevin Magnussen hit the wall at the exit of turn 2, leaving much debris on the track. Therefore, after deploying the safety car, the FIA decided that it was better to wave the red flag for safety reasons.

With just two laps to go, the decision taken by the FIA was to make a third standing start and let the drivers fight on track. This shows that the main goal is to create spectacle, which is fine, but not when the need for it surpasses the principles of the sport itself.

On Sunday, that is exactly what the FIA did: putting the show ahead of the sport and ahead of the respect for the teams and drivers. Because, if it is decided to make a standing start with just two laps to go, all the drivers will risk a bit more to overtake and bring home as many points as possible. Thus, there's the possibility that a dangerous situation might create (which actually happened in Melbourne), and the effort that teams and drivers put in throughout 98% of the race is thrown away and becomes insignificant.

Casey Stoner said it right on his Twitter account: "FIA, you have embarrassed yourselves today with F1. What an unnecessary mess. Please remember everyone, this is a sport first and entertainment second, not the other way around."

The race direction could have taken a better decision in how to resume the race: either finish the Grand Prix behind the safety car, as it happened in Monza last year, or restart it with a rolling start, thus creating less danger while still entertaining the crowd.

The mess doesn't stop here, however. The way the final results were decided left many people unhappy. Basically, for some drivers, the lap after the last standing start was canceled since their positions were reinstated. Alonso got his third position back even after the crash, Lance Stroll went back to P5 (P4 after Sainz's penalty) even though he lost all the positions due to his mistake. However, for others, it did count, and it completely ruined their whole race. Sainz got penalized for touching Alonso, even though the Aston Martin driver got his position back, and the two Alpines scored zero points since they both crashed, meaning every other driver gained free positions.

This is not fair because Stroll and Alonso, for example, were lucky enough to continue since their cars were not damaged, and could end the race and got their positions back. Stroll made a huge mistake by himself in turn 3, and still finished fourth. Therefore, it's as if he never went wide and lost all the places. On the other hand, both Alpine drivers saw all their efforts vanish only because their cars could not get back on track and follow the safety car until the checkered flag.  

The fair decision that should've been taken was to cancel the last lap for everyone, and reinstate the positions before the last start, no matter what happened after the lights went out, thus not penalizing anyone for the chaos. The other fair solution was to leave the final order as it was after the mess. Then, assign the penalty to Sainz, leave both Aston Martin out of the points (penalizing the driver's mistake made by Stroll, and the unlucky circumstance that affected Alonso). Finally, leave Sainz in P3 (12th with the penalty) with all the other drivers behind. By making this, the FIA would've penalized everyone that crashed or made a mistake, without favoring anyone.