Not a good record, is it? Four consecutive grands prix, and (at least) seven controversial stewarding decisions. Add in Lewis Hamilton's escape after blatantly weaving - for whatever stated reason - in Malaysia, and the number spirals up to eight or more. However, worse than these bare statistics are the seeming consistencies in the handling and judging of incidents, with a distinct lack of explanations for the decisions - despite the FIA having undertaken to provide same - further compounding the situation.
The most recent run of controversial decisions started in Monaco after Michael Schumacher nipped past Fernando Alonso under a safety car. This resulted in the FIA first issuing a clarification, then forwarding an amendment to the regulations to its World Motor Sport Council for ratification.
Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel collide in Turkey © LAT
Then, in Turkey, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber collided in what could arguably have been deemed to be an 'avoidable accident' of the type regularly investigated - and punished - by the stewards.
The decision in Istanbul? No penalty - in itself a decision - with a source in the know subsequently suggesting that conclusion had been reached on the basis that the high-speed incident involved team-mates, and no outsiders. Maybe, but surely the drivers concerned were (and still are) embroiled in their own battle for motor racing's greatest prize, are targeting the absolute pinnacle of their careers, and, if one jeopardised the other's title chances, surely that should not go unsanctioned.
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South African-born Dieter trained as industrial engineer before holding down a variety of senior motor industry marketing and manufacturing positions. At the age of 40 he decided to follow his passion, and became the first and only South African journalist to cover Formula 1 regularly. Dieter joined AtlasF1 at the beginning of 2004 – a year prior to its merger with Autosport – and his regular column offers an intriguing analysis of F1’s politicking and commercial chicanery. Although now also proudly Belgian, he gives his domicile as "Wherever F1 duplicity lurks".@RacingLines More features by Dieter Rencken