Amongst the driver antics at the Monaco GP, Rubens Barrichello was set to incur a penalty or at the very least a fine for his unprofessional conduct at a mechanical failure caused a heavy crash. The Brazilian pilot threw his steering wheel onto the racing line which is in direct violation of the sporting regulations. It has now been revealed that the Monaco stewards have overlooked the tantrum due to the Michael Schumacher pass on Fernando Alonso.
There has been a lot made of the Rubens action this past weekend with some even saying he endangered his competitors by throwing the steering wheel onto the racing line. I am not going to go that far and blame him for that, but I think this excuse by the FiA is ridiculous as well. The Rubens accident happened well before the Schumacher incident and the stewards should have rendered judgment immediately. It was a cut and dry case which could have been dealt on the spot. Rubens claimed that he threw the wheel because he was turned the wrong way and the car was on fire so he needed to escape quickly and not worry about the $10,000 piece of equipment. Last time I checked the replay, yes you were turned the wrong way but the car was NOT on fire. The safest place he could have been was in the car. Had he tried to get out and got hit in that process, then it would have been even worse. The only thing in that car that was on fire was Rubens Barrichello’s temper as he is visually frustrated with his new residence and expects more from the team.
The real problem here is the FiA and there slow response as well as their amateur approach to governing a sport. As soon as Rubens began to walk away from the car with the wheel not intact you penalize him or issue a fine. There is no sense in waiting for the race to conclude to issue it. Who is to say at any given moment that another incident (Schumacher) could take place? Why procrastinate on the problem? Issue the penalty and be done with it and we move on. What we have is two sporting regulations being broken, one that was debatable and one that was not. The problem is that only one person was penalized and the other was not. There has to be some kind of standard in place for these things. First we saw reprimands handed out for conduct at the season’s start and then this weekend people just walk away off the hook because the governing body of the pinnacle of motorsport FORGOT to render a judgment on a situation that was as clear as the Monaco harbor on Monday. I am not new to F1 and I know these things happen, but I thought that things like this would have went away when Max Mosley left.