Why The FIA Should Shit On The FIA After Verstappen’s So Called Community Service Punishment
The FIA, governing authority of Formula One, wanted to make an example of Max Verstappen after he was given a penalty for shoving Esteban Ocon at the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix. Verstappen’s punishment was to carry out a community service order. Cleaning the streets? picking up litter? saving the whales? voluntary work? the latter is getting close.
Max Verstappen’s actual punishment was to effectively promote the FIA Formula E Series. Free marketing, Max-imum publicity from the next generation golden boy of Formula One.
Verstappen’s punishment was as easy as putting up your feet on a desk and reclining back in a high-back office chair. He served one day at the Formula E race in Marrakesh, observing the stewarding process.
The FIA, arbiters of fair play, advocates of sportsmanship and driving ethics, got cold feet when it came to enforcing a proper punishment.
We’re not saying the FIA should have thrown Verstappen into a high-security prison cell for the day. We’re not saying a suitable punishment is to see Verstappen in ball & chains. Nor are we saying he should be publically flogged.
Using Verstappen’s superstar status to promote the Formula E championship is as obvious as it is a non-punishment.
The FIA should have docked points or banned Verstappen for one race.
The so-called punishment didn’t go unnoticed by British Formula E competitor, Sam Bird:
“I didn’t see him, it’s nice that he’s here, I mean, to call coming to a Formula E race community service I think does Formula E a bit of a disjustice… it shouldn’t be a punishment to come here.”
On the other hand, Audi Formula E team principle, Alan McNish, thought the punishment would be beneficial:
“He’s been in front of the stewards many times – not necessarily like that!” McNish told Autosport. I actually think that it’s a good thing for a driver to do, generally.”
“When I stopped racing I acted as the drivers’ steward in F1 on a few occasions and it changed my opinion of stewards.”
“You get a better understanding of the mechanisms of the sport – one that you only ever see as the policemen, if you like.”
However, seeing at how bored Verstappen looked, it’s probably a fitting punishment.