FIA rule change likened to ‘police state’ as opposition builds

Michelle Foster
FIA flag on display at the F1 Dutch Grand Prix. Netherlands, September 2022. Budget cap Red Bull

FIA flag on display at the Dutch Grand Prix. Netherlands, September 2022.

Richard Bradley is not a fan of the FIA’s decision to tighten up the right to review regulations, the racing driver worried it is creating a “police state” where teams have no right to complain.

Nearly two weeks after the United States Grand Prix, Haas requested a right to review the race result after footage emerged of several drivers allegedly exceeding track limits.

Getting the documents in within the 14-day limit, Haas’ request was rejected as the FIA said that while the evidence against Alex Albon was significant, it was already available to the stewards in the Grand Prix.

‘It feels like you’ve got no right to complain, no right to review’

Instead of Haas winning their protest, and potentially a point, the American team learnt that the next time they request a right to review the rules will be different.

The FIA have changed the regulations by shortening the current 14-day period to four days, or 96 hours, while in addition a fee will be introduced.

Bradley, the 2015 Le Mans winner from the LMP2 category, isn’t impressed.

“I’m not a fan at all. This feels extremely… I don’t know it feels a bit like, dare I say, it’s like being in a police state,” Bradley stated on the latest episode of the On Track GP Podcast, produced in collaboration between PlanetF1.com and DR Sports

“It feels like you’ve got no right to complain, no right to review, and every single time that you do complain, and someone finds a loophole in the regulations, they just all of a sudden go ‘Oh, no, we can’t do that’.

“And of course, then the money thing comes into it as it always has. In fairness, the money thing is not too bad, I kind of agree with that.

“Because in a normal way, it goes with the protests. Because you’re going to waste everybody’s time potentially is that you have to pay an extortionate fee. But if you win your protest, then you get that feedback.”

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“I really, really don’t like this, it leaves a very sour taste,” he added. “It’s been run by them, and you can’t complain against what they decide and that’s it effectively.

“So I hope that it doesn’t get implemented. And there’s somebody within the sport is a bit more outspoken about this. Because if this, especially if it comes down to categories outside of F1, where we don’t have as big an influence over the FIA, then I’m really uncomfortable with it.”

The Briton reckons the 96-hour limit unfairly penalises the teams as that’s not much time in which to gather evidence.

“If you’ve got three races back to back, and then you’ve got to travel around the world to get there, how are you going to have the time to be able to look at that and review all the evidence?

“If you actually look at the last thing that they said about Austin, Haas were actually right, and it kind of reminds you a bit about what some of the stuff that’s going on in the Premier League right now with the referees. Haas were right, and they acknowledged that Haas were right, but they said that they threw out because has had no new evidence that came to the table.”

He added: “As a fan of motor sport it leaves quite a sour taste.”

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