The 2021 Formula 1 season saw Lewis Hamilton’s hybrid car era dominance coming to an end as the 7 times world champion was beaten at the last lap of season finisher in Abu Dhabi by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. The season saw aggressive driving style of Max Verstappen going wheel to wheel against a more collision avoiding Lewis Hamilton.
The season didn’t lack controversies though on the contrary it was full of it as the race director and FIA stewards failed to be consistent in decision making on Racing Incidents or matters related crashes as the even championship contending duo of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton crashed multiple time with each other.
The 66 years old former McLaren and Ferrari driver in formula 1 and 24 hours of Leman’s winner Stefan Johansson has accused formula 1 being lenient towards Champion Max Verstappen in 2021 in his on-track racing incidents with rivals Lewis Hamilton.
Find out Stefan Johansson said
Stefan Johansson wrote on his blog that 2021 F1 Champion Max Verstappen has taken notes from Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher and brought it another level. Stefan Johansson went on to say that the current group of drivers have a good code of conduct who races hard but clean but the great battles between theses drivers goes unnoticed as it happens mostly outside the top 5.
“The issue we have right now on track is that Max has taken the Senna playbook and the Schumacher playbook to a whole new level,” wrote Stefan Johansson.
“Generally, I think there’s a good code of conduct between the drivers, most of the current crop of the new generation of drivers are racing very clean but hard, there’s been some really great battles this year but they’re not at the front and therefore it goes unnoticed for the most part. No one cares about the guys in fifth or sixth place,” Stefan Johansson added.
Stefan Johansson went on about how he isn’t optimistic about any relevant regulation’s coming up as the regulation’s are getting worse every year with more grey area every year. Stefan Johansson added that other drivers will follow Max Verstappen’s path if regulations’ remains and explained that getting rid of huge run of areas can solve the issues.
“I don’t have a lot of optimism for the changes from the officials, every year decisions about driving standards and enforcement are getting worse, more and more muddy with more grey areas,” Stefan Johansson wrote.
“If Max can get away with what he’s gotten away with in certain cases this year, then like Leclerc said, ‘Ok, fine. If that’s how we’re going to race, then that’s how we have to race,” Stefan Johansson added.
“However, a lot of these incidents would automatically be avoided if they changed the design of the tracks and got rid of the huge run off areas, we currently have on nearly all the tracks, this sanitization of the tracks has brought on more problems than the ones they were trying to solve in the first place,” Stefan Johansson explained.
Stefan Johansson on need for new regulation system
Stefan Johansson went on to explain that the driver with exact knowledge of the limits will stay there and the current large run of areas are seeming like a joke to him as drivers tend to go past the track limits in the start or turn late when defending positions, Stefan Johansson added that its up to the race control to fix the flowed system.
“It’s ironic that we don’t seem to have anywhere near the number of incidents in Monaco for example, where the track limit is basically the guardrail, If the drivers know where the limit is, they will obviously stay within that limit, because if you go past it, you will end up in the guardrail and your day is over,” Stefan Johansson wrote.
“But when you have a run off area the size of two football fields, and no clear rule of what is or is not allowed it becomes a complete joke, seemingly it’s ok for anyone to go past the track limit on the starts for example, likewise it seems ok to not even attempt to turn until you’re actually on the white line or even past it, when you’re fighting for position,” wrote Stefan Johansson.
“It’s then up to the guys in race control to decide what is right or wrong. It’s a horribly flawed system and there must be a way to avoid this going forward,” Stefan Johansson added.