A full race review will come later. But I have to talk about the stewards’ investigation because it is so pressing.
I was hoping — as was everyone else who loves sport — that the World Championship would be decided on the track. I was hoping that there would be no irregularities found after the race. After the year Formula 1 has had, to have the World Champion decided in a private room between three men was the last thing we needed.
Unfortunately, the nature of the sport means that it is not always that way. Sometimes the scrutineers find something on the cars that causes a result to be changed after the fans have left the circuit. It happens a few times a year. This is a regrettable reality of Formula 1, but it is the reality. It was just unfortunate that it had to happen on this of all days.
Once it was announced that the Williams and BMW cars were being investigated for fuel irregularities, it was clear to me that the FIA were stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they disqualified the four drivers, they would be accused of handing the Championship to Hamilton. If they didn’t (as they haven’t), then they would have been accused of stealing the Championship from Hamilton.
Surprise, surprise, now that the decision — that the drivers will not be disqualified — has been confirmed, sure enough I can hear Stephen Nolan on BBC Radio 5 Live doing his nut about it (luckily David Croft is rather more balanced). There is no doubt in my mind that the reaction from some other people would have been equally angry had the decision gone the other way.
Earlier on this evening I was listening to the 606 phone-in, and everyone seemed to have a different conspiracy theory about the race. Depending on who you listen to, the FIA are pro-Ferrari, pro-Hamilton, anti-Hamilton, anti-McLaren. McLaren are pro-Alonso, anti-Alonso, anti-Hamilton, pro-Hamilton.
It is a sign of the bad management at the FIA that this could happen. Here we were in a situation where the stewards’ decision, whichever way it went, would have been criticised. And whenever anything slightly abnormal happens there is somebody out there ready with a conspiracy theory about it.
Murray Walker always used to say, “Anything can happen in Formula 1 — and it usually does.” Today it would be better to say, “Anything can happen in Formula 1 — and when it does, point the finger at the FIA.”
This has come about because Max Mosley has politicised the sport to a poisonous degree. The FIA has created far too many ridiculous rules, making the sport more convoluted than it should be. And Max Mosley does business on the basis of personal grudges rather than what is good for the sport.
It is sad — but understandable — that people can not have confidence in the decisions made by the FIA. It is yet another sign for me that the sooner Max Mosley is removed from his post as President of the FIA the better.