Formula 1 has greatly improved, especially in the excitement factor, or are making great strides. However, some feel that it is not enough and the sport is slowly being sterilised. In 2019, former McLaren team coordinator, Jo Ramirez declared that even Ayrton Senna would have disliked the sport’s new direction.
Ramirez was a long-time McLaren team coordinator who worked closely with the late F1 legend. According to the Mexican, Ayrton Senna would be most upset about the penalties dished out for risky racing manoeuvres.
“If Ayrton is watching, he will be turning in his grave because Formula 1 is so different. Especially the amount of penalties. Let them race!” Ramirez told AS newspaper.
“They are punishing the essence of the sport. Ayrton said when you saw a gap and did not use it, you are no longer a racing driver.”
Some notable examples was when Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton clipped each other in Monza. The Monegasque driver managed to get away with a black and white flag and he managed to sober up.
For the 2019 season, the black and white flag has been revived, and will serve the same purpose as yellow cards in football.
However, repeated actions will result in a penalty, and Ramirez was unhappy about that. He was also of the opinion that, had he been alive, Ayrton Senna would have shared his opinion.
The black and white flag was first used at the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix, with Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly as the first victim.
According to race director Michael Masi, discussions on the flag began as early as the Canadian Grand Prix. During that race, Sebastian Vettel was controversially penalised for rejoining the track in an unsafe fashion and was robbed of a win. So, he had to wait a few more races to finally break his winless streak in Singapore.