In The Driver's Seat

Race stewards' hands tied by rigid 'impeding' rules

It's not difficult to appreciate how bad it is for the Formula One box office if fans leave a race believing one driver has won, only to find that another did because the first was penalised.

F1 escaped such a thing when Max Verstappen was unable to overtake leader Lewis Hamilton in Monaco a fortnight ago, and thus pull away to overcome a five-second penalty for an unsafe release during a pit stop. His failure to get past alleviated a situation in which, had he opened a gap of 4.5 seconds, he would have "won" on the road but been dropped to second, half a second in arrears.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2019, with the headline 'Race stewards' hands tied by rigid 'impeding' rules'. Print Edition | Subscribe