Video: Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen investigated over blocking

Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen have been summoned to appear before the Malaysian Grand Prix stewards to answer questions about why they apparently delayed BMW’s Nick Heidfeld and Renault’s Fernando Alonso on their final qualifying laps.

The penalty for delaying other drivers in qualifying is typically five grid places – which would move the back from third and fourth to eighth and ninth. Should they be penalised?

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44 comments on Video: Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen investigated over blocking

  1. Fer no.65 said on 22nd March 2008, 12:57

    they should be penalised! i’d be very surprised if they don’t do it…

    okey, drive to pits slowly, but not on the racing line.

    Others were penalised for less…

  2. oliver said on 22nd March 2008, 13:04

    If u watch the replay, it was more Heikki than Hamilton that was responsible for blocking both Nick and Alonso.  He was more in the braking zone. Nick didn’t lose time going past Hamilton.

  3. Matt C said on 22nd March 2008, 13:18

    No question that they should have moved off the line before slowing.

  4. Scott Joslin said on 22nd March 2008, 13:38

    Guys they have now been moved 5 places back on the grid. So Kovy 8th and Lewis 9th!

  5. Josh said on 22nd March 2008, 14:24

    How difficult would it be for them just to impose a 110% pole lap time limit for their final inlap – if it’s the same for everybody, then nobody can gain an advantage? Seems rather obvious to me, but then that’s the FIA for you.

  6. Josh that’s what they should do but I think they’re having trouble working out what kind of penalty to impose.

    How about you loose a place for every lap you do > 110% speed?

  7. Both Mac’s were in the way, they get the penalty they earned. As Josh stated they had the in lap requirement last year and inexplicably dropped it this year. Look for it to be reinstated next race. They’ll figure out a penalty as well, but won’t impose it unless someone is blocked. Unless it’s a McLaren of course and can help Ferrari!

  8. Although as it’s an in-lap it’s quite hard to measure presumably.

  9. Rohan said on 22nd March 2008, 15:28

    Only giving McLaren a 5 place penalty was rather lenient imo. But then teh FIA and stewards are generally lenient when it comes to McLaren anyway, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.

  10. craig said on 22nd March 2008, 15:44

    well it does’nt much matter what the boys at the FIA do or don’t do as the rules thes day seem to be written on the fly from race to race…Blocking   yea the Macs sure had the look of blocking.. now of course besides the being set back 5 spots will the FIA and Mad Max start an invetigation to see who "ordered’ the blocking..galds the F1 seasons are turing into really bad soap operas….how about for qualifing  we send one car at a time out with whatever fuel load they want  than make everone top off to start the race…naw to simple for thes boys

  11. Number 38 said on 22nd March 2008, 16:19

    One of my favorite rants is none of the teams have ever got out of the “one hot lap” mentality. They wait until the clock runs out and then ‘roll the dice’. One wide turn, one off, one missed brake point their entire qualifying is worthless. What a foolish way to qualify.  And at that point they are ALL running in ‘traffic’. Why they don’t turn their hot lap sooner and then wait to see if they have to improve puzzles me.  Fuel load is NOT an issue, they’re only runing 5 or 6 minutes of the 10 minute session, perhaps 12 pounds of fuel in a 1600 pound vehicle, immeasurable.  With the threat of rain it looked like Kova was going to try that routine, he came to pit exit early, but then didn’t. Heidfeld and Alonso…’s their own fault, they should have tried earlier when there was less traffic. If you want to penalize someone……it looked to me like a McLaren crossed the circuit directly in front of the on-coming Alonso. That is worth more discussion than any “blocking” complaint.
    Blocked for a micro-second, this is nothing more than a minor ‘racing incident’ not worthy of discussion.
    Penalties, penalties, penalties, hasn’t the FIA got something better to do that manipulate the event?

  12. Arun said on 22nd March 2008, 17:11

    I really was waiting for a time when the arrogance of LH would come out (man, 22 years, world champ, driving for McLaran!!) and it has now. Clearly George has a point in the comment no-2 but he should not be going in the faster line anyway to begin with, the point of not moving to avoid collisions is less beaming here!! Anyways, got sick without sleep and couldn’t watch the quali, if anyone has a video link, please please send it to, gonna sleep now for 15 hrs – race comin up guys..

  13. Fer no.65 said on 22nd March 2008, 17:14

    another question… i remember some cases similar to this (or even less important) that the stewards decided to penalise a driver by deleting his fastest laps at qualy… For example, Monaco 2006, Fisichella was penalized by blocking Coulthard so they deleted his fastest lap.

    why now a 5 place penalty?

  14. Arun — I think Lewis was simply following Heikki and wasn’t paying attention, so not sure you can call it arrogant (silly, yes … arrogane, no)

  15. Brad Pitney said on 22nd March 2008, 18:00

    FIA are lenient towards McLaren at all, but the stewards were doing there job. Not much to do with the FIA in actual fact.

    Heidfield is a fine one to talk about blocking, not like he’s never got in someone’s way before now is it?

    Why 5 places? who knows, they just might as well as delete their qualifying times.

    IMO, this qualifying still is not working aswell as it could be; it would be a lot more interesting if in all three qualifying sessions each car carried just enough fuel to go on an out lap, hot lap and in lap, with a mandatory minimum of three tries, with each session all being 10 minutes whilst having a 110% rule for the in lap.

    or even better, on Q1, they should all run for one lap before getting in their car :P who ever is still running, well tough! j/k.

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