Custom, or what can also be called regulatory use is a right of law. It consists of a permanent and uniform behaviour (diuturnitas,) held by associates with the conviction (opinio iuris) that such behaviour is right and proper and can be considered a moral obligation.
Often in Formula 1, these customs are created artificially, just because they sound nice or because they can be made to fit one’s theories about something. One of these states that the Scuderia likes to announce its driver line-up for the following year at the Italian Grand Prix. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint all those with feverish imaginations, who are awaiting Monza in trepidation, but this particular presumed custom is a non-starter. In fact, and as is normal practice in the law, all one needs to do is look at the facts: from 1991, when the Maranello press office first began to put its official pronouncements down on paper, until now, only twice, in 2006 and 2008, has the team’s home grand prix provided the backdrop to an announcement regarding the drivers.
And when it comes to those bird fanciers and their obsession with tweeting, they can calm themselves, because there are no announcements on the horizon. Why? Because no decisions have yet been taken. Furthermore, as happens in the best families, important decisions are taken together at the right moment and not because a certain date on the calendar has been reached.
To stay with the ornithological theme, one swallow doesn’t make a summer, just as one announcement doesn’t make for a custom…