Controversy as Lewis Hamilton hits Kimi Raikkonen in pit lane

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

The Canadian Grand Prix took an astonishing twist as Lewis Hamilton eliminated himself and championship rival Kimi Raikkonen in a pit lane crash.

Hamilton had been leading the race but as the field pitted at once during the safety car Raikkonen and Robert Kubica left their pit boxes before Hamilton.

But the three had to stop for a red light at the end of the pits and Hamilton, apparently not having seen it, hit Raikkonen’s Ferrari. Nico Rosberg then ran into the rear of Hamilton. Raikkonen and Hamilton were eliminated while Rosberg pitted for a new front wing and continued.

Hamilton appeared to have turned to avoid Kubica’s car and hit Raikkonen’s instead. It probably was been that he was trying to avoid the pair of them.

But the less charitable will suggest that, faced with the inevitability of hitting either car, he preferred to take out the driver who was his more likely championship rival.

Afterwards Hamilton said he’d seen the red light but didn’t manage to stop his car in time.

The stewards will investigate the collision after the race.

132 comments on “Controversy as Lewis Hamilton hits Kimi Raikkonen in pit lane”

  1. Raikkonen was able to drive off and park after the crash, why not get around the track once and try and at least get some points? Surely that would be better than nothing?

    1. Marked One
      21st May 2009, 9:05

      If he pass the line until red light,he has been disqualified!understand?

    2. very dirty hamilton

  2. Did he drive off or just roll to the side?

  3. Dr H&S: Look at the rear wing, obviously not fixable. Quite plain to see he moved to try and clear the area.

  4. His rear suspension looked in quite bad shape I think. Besides, rear wings aren’t easily replaceable like front wings…

  5. He drove off but he had no rear wing. I’m guessing it would have taken too long to repair.

  6. Blimey, clearly my page didn’t refresh quick enough. Ignore my comments.

  7. ‘The less charitable’ might suggest that Hamilton chose to reflex situation, andhit Raikonnen rather than Kubica? Rather the chronically unknowlegable – there was absolutely no time at all for Hamilton to even register which car was which before he had locked his brakes and slithered into the back of the Ferrari. I’m surprised that you even gave voice to such an idea Keith!

  8. Argh – cut and paste garbage in last post – try again:

    ‘The less charitable’ might suggest that Hamilton chose to hit Raikonnen rather than Kubica? Rather the chronically unknowlegable – there was absolutely no time at all for Hamilton to even register which car was which before he had locked his brakes and slithered into the back of the Ferrari. I’m surprised that you even gave voice to such an idea Keith!


  9. Kinda new to F1, why on earth is that red light there to begin with? If the pits are open, why cant you leave them? It obviously causes problems. Does anybody know the spirit of the rule?

  10. Hamilton…must have been a little excited since he was behind Rob & Kimi and tried to get a slipstream out of the pits. Great job BUDDY!

  11. Steve,
    Letting cars onto the track when the safety car is coming around with a big train would cause a huge amount of confusion…

  12. TommyBellingham
    8th June 2008, 20:20

    The cars were coming round the track. Isn’t it to stop them feeding out into the way?

    I think Lewis had no idea who he was hitting. I think he yanked the wheel to try and avoid both cars not to purposely hit Kimi.

  13. MacademiaNut
    8th June 2008, 20:22

    From the picture below it appears that there was enough room to the left of RAI that Hamilton was going for.×231/tvimages/2008/canada/sunpic11.jpg

  14. I definitely think it was just a plain old garden variety mistake and Hamilton did not intentionally hit Raikkonen rather than Kubica.

  15. What penalty will hamilton get?
    Will rosberg also be penalised? Still red when he broke his front wing by hitting hamilton?

  16. Hamilton was aiming for the space beside Kimi while braking, after he realised that the cars in front of him had stopped. Its likely those lights where green when they pitted and changed to red while they were about to leave the pits. But I still believe the team should be updatating the drivers on the tract status especially in such changeable conditions, I mean in terms of traffic lights and a busy pit lane.

  17. Well!
    I really think Hamilton shoudl shot his mouth and think a little! Lately he started acting as a F1 superhero or something like that. His mistake today clearly shows that he has a lot to learn to earn a champion’s title! i dont see any appropriate explanation for him not seeing the red light! How come the others did? Besides what the hell was he watching???

  18. This’ll be interesting regarding a penalty. As was stated in Monaco, if a rookie had made that error, they would have gotten a penatly. Although the incoident wouldn’t have warranted it (to me, anyway), I could have seen that being the case.

    I’m guessing Hamilton will get away with no penalty, though, as ever, the hypothetics of if a more inexperienced driver had made the mistake had got a penalty will remain.

  19. Add: By the Moncao incident, I’m making reference to Kimi on Sutil

  20. Sigh. Why are these lights not bigger?
    Just make it the size of a 60″ television.

    Or send the signal electronically to the cars.
    You know, just like the indycars have in a yellow zone.

  21. Also I don’t buy the safety car passing by story.
    How come 1 second later the light DID went green?
    Did the whole safety-car pack roll by in 1 second? I don’t think so.
    What was the reason the lights were red?

  22. Duh, It was because of the last few cars behind the safetycar……

  23. It was the pack passing. Bear in mind they all dived into the pits once the pit lane had opened while following the safety car, there were still drivers a way back behind that had to catch up. So the pack would still be passing, but the very tail of it. That was the reason for the red light. That’s the reason Massa, Fisi and Montoya have been disqualified from this race in the past, and may have caught out Hamilton if no-one was there in front judging by his speed.

  24. Afterwards Hamilton said:

    It is a lot different if you crash into the wall and are angry, it is not like that. I apologise to Kimi if I cost him the race, but these sort of things happen.

    P5ycH0, I would expect it was because of the safety car and other cars going past. We’ve had drivers not see or ignore red lights at Montreal in 2005 and 2007 under very similar circumstances.

  25. i was juggling other things while watching and don’t really multi task well so forgive me for being stupid, but when they opened the pits for refueling, didn’t everyone already know the safety car was out? surely they don’t close pit exit every time the safety car goes by?

    i think there were a couple of things in play here: a. dumb to close the exit when everyone already knows the sc is out on track-especially when the pit gets that busy, i mean that was asking for a pile-up b. whoever is talking to the driver while they’re in the pit should know & advise them the exit is closed c.hamilton made a really silly error by not paying better attention, but i’m sure with the traffic in that pit lane he was distracted. i’m not giving the kid a pass here, personally i was laughing my tukas off even though it was one of my guys he hit, but let’s face it plenty of world champions with several years of experience behind them have done silly stuff.

  26. video being taken down from youtube in 5… 4…. 3…. 2…

  27. Why not leave the pits closed until everyone is lined up behind the safety car? It just seems stupid to not allow a car back on track from the pits at any time. Red flag the race then. (Not a Lewis or Kimi fan)

  28. It was no Hamilton fault at all.. In fact that guys that seem to be called drivers?… ejem… named Raikkonen and Kubica should have stepped apart or even jump the red light when they saw coming a future world champion at meteor full speed. They must receive a penalty inmediatly, 5 or 6 races freezed would be fantastic. And they should come and offer our beloved and glorious Hami half the WDC points they have at this moment just to remember they can’t do this again. I’ve said.

  29. Steve K – They do leave the pits closed until they’re all lined up. Once they’ve done that, the pitlne is opened and drivers can pit. Some drivers choose not to and stay behind the safety car. They continue around on the track and over the pitlane exit. Until the last car still behind the safety car has left the designated area that would be dangerous for joinging drivers to enter at if cars are coming past, the re dlight at the end of the pit lane stops the drivers from coming abck on the track.

  30. Robert McKay
    8th June 2008, 21:19

    Both Hamilton and Rosberg docked ten grid slots for the French Grand Prix as a penalty, says

  31. So basically what I am being told is humans driving cars with steering wheels are incapable of driving them next to each other at slow speeds. No wonder there isn’t much passing in this sport.

  32. From the replay in rosbergs car, i had trouble seeing the light… it’s just around that little bend… and not that big.. not to say Lewis isn’t at fault, but it’s a human error.

  33. Indeed a big miscur for Lewis…I don’t think it was intentional, but perhaps he could have kept his head a bit better and been more alert of the situation. It’s easy to say these things while tuning in at home, but still….coulden’t he see the cars stopped at the pit exit?

  34. The red light also stops confusion being caused by coing back on the track in the middle of the pack; where would they be in the queue if they came out in the middle of the pack, bearing in mind they miss a corner coming from the pits…

  35. lol architron! if hamilton was a ferrari driver i’m sure that’s exactly what would happen now…well, maybe not-is max actually speaking to luca these days?

    steve-that was my question- had the sc been out for a full lap at that point? that’s the part i missed. it took them forever to decide on dispatching it.

  36. Hamilton usually doesn’t make mistakes, but when he has one… It’s huge!!!!!

    After China and Brazil, now this

    Lewis has style ******* it up


  37. David Watkins
    8th June 2008, 21:34

    Hamilton penalised ten places on the grid in France

  38. Lewis was joking before the race in an interview about how did his dad crash at 30mph, well his at 50mph is a little more public and sure hell of alot more expensive….atleast he can keep watching his and work it out, hopefully not looking back at the end of the season and seeing it might have cost him the title. Nice 2 see another team fighting thou, even if i’am a merc nut and it’s bmw lol.

  39. Is this penalty confirmed or still speculation??

  40. Dorian – all the major news sites are reporting it.

  41. David Watkins
    8th June 2008, 21:49

    Lewis’ team should have informed him about the red light due to the configuration of the Montreal track but that doesn’t in any way excuse his mistake. Even if Lewis had stopped in time, Rosberg would have clobbered him even harder and put him out of the race anyway.

    Good for Kimi for showing restraint. Imagine if it had been Schumi or Nelson Piquet senior.

  42. Cheers Keith/David

  43. bobmarshall
    8th June 2008, 21:54

    Autosport reporting hamilton and rosberg 10 place grid penalty for magny cours


    Hamilton and Rosberg get 10 place penalty, I think its harsh on Rosberg as the time and space he had to react would have been greater if lewis hadn’t have farced that incident out. Hamilton deserves the penalty and I know kimi took out Sutil but that was a wet race in Monaco, besides, Sutil would have got a 25 second penalty for overtakin double yellows.

    Loved Kimi’s reaction, just pointing out the red light to lewis.

  45. 10 place grid penalty?

    If Hamilton had run the red light, he’d have been black flagged. As it was his race ended anyway because he missed the red light and wrecked his car.

    Because he hit a (red) car, his next race is ruined too.

    Surely the penalty for failing to obey a red light is a black flag – if your race is over, that should be the end of it.

    Well done Robert, hope to see him keep the pressure up in the driver’s championship. I’d be pleased to see Lewis win the title, I’d be over the moon if it was Robert.

    Also, great to see DC on the podium again.

  46. AJ – The FIA did deny that Sutil would have gotten a penalty.

    I don’t understand your point about Rosberg – he had more time to react than Hamilton because he got their later, surely?

    But regardless if drivers have difficulty seeing these lights (and going on past experience they certainly seem to) both their teams should have told them the exit light was red.

  47. This incident was clearly a terrible blunder on the part of Lewis Hamilton, the light was obviously red, as Raikkonen and Kubica stopped in time well before Hamilton arrived on the scene.
    In my opinion, this mistake was out of frustration on the part of Hamilton. McLaren, in my belief, made a big mistake by not bringing Lewis in to the pits before the safety car.
    When you see the Force India car of Adrian Sutil parked up with the front tyres smouldering, a reasonable amount of time passed between that moment and the safety car being deployed. Going on the assumption that a safety car was imminent, and that Lewis was running light on super soft tyres, why not bring him in straight away?
    As we all know, a team cannot add fuel to a car during a safety car period.
    I believe that this indecision from McLaren contributed towards the crash, as Lewis saw his race lead evaporate behind the safety car.
    If Lewis delibrately crashed into Raikkonen, we’ll never know? If he, i.e Lewis, had avoided the Ferrari, he would have crossed the white line and that would have been that. Remember what happened with Massa here last year.
    I would love to have been a fly on the wall inside the McLaren garage between Sutil’s retirement and the pit lane crash.
    I think a penalty is going to be given, and when looking over and over at the video of the crash, I think it is justified.
    Like in China last year, McLaren and Hamilton dithered, and it cost them big time!!

  48. David Watkins
    8th June 2008, 22:11

    the krut

    I can understand McClaren’s decision because Sutil’s car was parked in a fairly safe place and some time passed before it became clear that his car was on fire and that marshals would have to go on to the track to extinguish it. By which time it was too late.

  49. McLaren has suggested the penalty is harsh given that Raikkonen was not punished for hitting Sutil in Monaco.

    I don’t agree. Raikkonen lost control of his car. If he hadn’t hit Sutil he’d have hit the barrier. Hamilton clearly did not leave himself enough time and space to stop his car in time (and the same goes for Rosberg).

  50. David Watkins
    8th June 2008, 22:15

    Completely agree Keith. If Raikkonen had been punished then they’d have had to punish Alonso and many others too. McClaren should just suck it up and work out how they can get Lewis some points from 13th/14th on the grid in France.

  51. The big mistake for Hamilton was although he was the first one going to the pit lane, Kimi and Kubica passed him on the pit stop.

    Even without the incident he’d lose two positions in the pit stop.

  52. Yes Keith, spot on. Raikkonen lost control of his Ferrari exiting the tunnel at anywhere between 175/180mph. Doing so well to avoid clouting the barrier, Kimi just ran out of road and straight into the rear of Sutil.
    Hamilton, on the other hand, and Rosberg, were only doing 50mph in the pit lane, fully aware that a large section of the pack were pitting at the same time.
    Completely different accident altogether. Albeit, not so many years ago, didn’t Michael Schumacher run into Mark Webber in the pits?

  53. Can i ask someone to clarify the rules regarding cars being released from pit boxes?? My initial reaction moments before the crash happened was that Raikkonen should recieve a penalty for being released dangerously close to Kubica. He then proceeded down pit road alongside him which i believe to be an offence?? Someone on another forum said it was quite ironic as if he had slotted in behind Kubica he wouldn’e have been crashed into, fair point!! Due to Kimi’s actions which was dangerous and or illegal, it also helped in blocking Hamiltons escape route. I think Kimi or Ferrari need a talking to and a punishment. Can someone give me the exact rule definition as i have seen other penalised for it before???? Cheers.

  54. Really don’t see how they can penalise Nico when the incident was entirely Hamilton’s fault – if Hamilton had stopped in time, then Nico wouldn’t have had to take avoiding action imo.

  55. uhm if hamilton stopped his car, Nico would have hit him even harder (cause Lewis would be further back)

  56. Here’s one for you guys. Has anybody considered the idea that Lewis may have been driving above 50mph in the pits?
    Maybe this is a contributing factor into why Hamilton and Rosberg were both penalised. It would make sense, wouldn’t it?

  57. the limit:

    The video clearly shows the limiter light flashing on hamiltons car, it looks like he simply got caught napping when they stopped

  58. The thing in which i am baffled about is that why is it when Sutil crashed the safety car was brought out when it didn;t need to be and when fisi crashes they don’t bring it out when it needed to be? Do you know Keith?

  59. I.m sorry Sutil didn’t crash. My mistake!

  60. I think the incident was Hamilton’s fault, however i am furious to as why Rosberg’s been penalised. it was to late for him. There is one question
    why was Raikonen and Kubica two apiece at the end of the pits?

  61. William Wilgus
    8th June 2008, 23:19

    Gee, according to Lewis and his fans, He’s perfect. Kimi must’ve backed up into him. After all, everyone knows that Ferrari is guilty of everything.

    Actually, I think Lewis saw a way to save points in respect to Kimi—and took it!

    Harsh penalty? Schumi spin in Monaco qualy and got sent to the back of the grid. Lewis takes a rival out and gets 10 positions? Crap.

  62. David Watkins
    8th June 2008, 23:22

    If you penalise Lewis you must penalise Nico. If Lewis had stopped on time behind Kimi, Nico would have clobbered Lewis much harder than he did.

  63. David Watkins
    8th June 2008, 23:24


    Which Lewis fans think he’s perfect? Where has anyone tried to exonerate him of blame?

  64. William: Schumi didn’t spin in Monaco 2006, indeed he PARKED at Rascasse!

    I think Hamilton’s punishment was fair, but he didn’t choose to hit Raikkonen instead of Kubica…

    Well, and with Kovalainen very far from showing any real threat to Ferrari, Magny-Cours will be an easy ride, unless BMW Sauber surprises once again…

  65. David Watkins
    8th June 2008, 23:37

    There are enormous run-off areas at most of Magny Cours so the chances of safety car action are lessened. Ferrari 1-2 there I think. This was a terribly costly mistake by Lewis.

  66. Lady Snowcat
    8th June 2008, 23:53

    The idea that Lewis said he’d learned from Senna’s mistake at Monaco to take the win but then failed to remember the lesson of Felipe from last year…

    Pride comes before….

  67. … the fall.

    Well, I’m guessing Kubica, having won a race now, will be super-quick at France. If he wins or even just finishes on the podium, with Hamilton going after relative scraps (5th at best), Kubica will really put himself in a good position in the WDC. Also, that would put BMW very nicely in the WCC, and they may threaten to leave McLaren behind for good.

  68. As costly a mistake as this was, Hamilton is still in the championship race. Far better for him that it was in Canada and not in say, China or Brazil unlike last year.
    McLaren have to pull themselves together from this weekend’s balls up and concentrate on France in two weeks time. A little bit overshadowed by Hamilton’s gaffe was the poor performance from Heikki Kovalainen,
    in a car that had all weekend, the fastest straight line speed of the whole field.
    Martin Whitmarsh suggesting that McLaren have been treated unfairly is insignificent to the fact that Ferrari are not McLaren Mercedes only rivals for the championship.
    Canada in general was a big smack in the mouth for both Ferrari and McLaren, and neither team can really walk away from the Circuit Du Gilles Villeneuve happy.
    The fact remains that the McLaren showed good speed in Canada, which makes for Lewis’s gaffe all the more painfull for his team.
    They will need every once of speed at Magny Cours.

  69. I think “the limit” has called it right, though it will take some time before we notice.

    For all the debate over the circuit being unsafe, who knew the most dangerous part of the track is a red light at the end of the pit lane?

  70. Silly mistake by Hamilton but I can’t believe he didn’t admit to his mistake on the live ITV coverage (or did I miss it?).

    Seriously the teams shouldn’t have to warn the driver a red light is at the end of the pitlane, if they have to do that then they may as well tell the driver where every turn is on the track and the direction that needs to be taken.

  71. MacademiaNut
    9th June 2008, 5:21

    Here’s my problem with the red light at the pit lane rule.

    1. The rule is clear that when someone pits and comes out when the safety car is out, they will join the end of the car train.

    2. Once the pit line is crossed, there’s no overtaking under the safety car regulation.

    So, the crossing of the pit line clearly indicates the position of the drivers in the race. If that’s the case, what’s the point in stalling them at the exit of the pit?

  72. Harold Hopkinson
    9th June 2008, 6:32

    Why do F1 want to penalise the two drivers is beyond me. Do F1 for one instant think a F1 driver will crash into another and spoil their race? Ten places, these persons in F1 should know who makes them money. Stop lights in a race! What hogwash!

  73. @ Rabi 9 June 2008 at 3:20 am

    No, Lewis didn’t really admit to anything. What I thought was funny was when he was speaking with Lousie Goodman, and she tried to blame it all on the team, saying they should have told Lewis the light was red !

    I know that according to ITV Lewis can do no wrong, but that was just laughable.

    Every year Montreal has saftey cars aplenty, and pitlane controversies. Blind Freddy should have seen that coming.

    Anyway, chalk it up to a learning experience, and WOO HOO Robert Kubica !

  74. @Rabi

    Somebody has typed some text from his comments(somewhere above), which goes like:

    “I apologise to Kimi if I cost him the race, but these sort of things happen”

    LOL, “if”?

  75. @Pink Peril

    Blind Freddy should have seen that coming.

    Sorry, but it was too funny for me to see and not to laud you… very good dig on the situation indeed.

  76. Has anyone noticed the ridiculous situation in wich Kubica, having winning only one race, is ahead on the championship?

    I insist that the scoring system needs revision. It pays too much to consistency instead of winning.

    Pity for Kimi, but really, that red light is very small. Now, Massa the other day had a black flag. Lewis should get one, but he managed to take himself out too. Is a 10 grid penalty fair?

  77. Haplo – indeed, in fact there’s more on that here: Canadian Grand Prix facts & stats

  78. In a way those penalties for mistakes are crap.
    They are humans, don’t forget that.
    And you do get punished for being human and making a mistake.
    It’s another thing when you go out and be too dangerous and hit someone more or less on purpose.
    I expected a warning, but then Ferrari ppl would be mad i guess.
    I do feel the team needs to keep the driver informed about the lights aswell ( I said that with the previous light problems with Montoya etc).

  79. steve thompson
    9th June 2008, 8:35

    I am beginning to think there might be something of the Nigel Mansel about Hamilton – I have a sneaking suspicion he might be a balls out driver and not the sharpest of intellects. Is that his weak point in something as complex as F1? Think of the errors he has made, they tend to be tactical howlers, wrong choices and failures to anticipate. That being said no one should doubt his speed…. he was awesome over those curbs.

  80. steve thompson – I’ve had similar thoughts to yours as well.

    BBC Radio are reporting this morning that Hamilton’s got a 10 place grid penalty for France. As daft a piece of motoring as it looked when the collision occured, I’m not sure I understand why Hamilton’s got a penalty? Which rule did he break? “Failing to pay attention to a red light” isn’t the rule is it? It’s failing to obey that disqualifies you. Perhaps causing an avoidable accident?

    A more serious issue, to my mind, is that Raikkonen was racing Kubica for position in the pit lane. Should the Ferrari lollypop man not have waited until Kubica’s BMW was clear? If he had then Raikkonen wouldn’t have been in the one place that Lewis could have swerved into?

  81. @Haplo – whats wrong with being consistent? A consistent driver is far better than someone who wins the odd couple of races but can also end up in the gravel or way down amongst the back-markers! Consistency needs to be rewarded to promote BETTER DRIVING! I understand Bernies ‘Fantasy F1’ will include kudos only for winners. How many drivers/teams are going to be willing to race if theres no point in even finishing second?
    As for Hammys incident, I am glad that Nico was punished too, as I was worried that the marshals would blame Hammy for everything (and all the other incidents in the race too). But a 10 grid position drop is a bit much – that sounds like punishment for hitting a red car more than forgetting to stop. As for the comparison with the Kimi/Sutil bash, it ranks about the same as I think Kimi could have dived down the escape route if he had wanted to, whereas Hammy had nowhere to go – has anyone found the rules about overtaking in the pitlane?
    I’m sure theres something about ensuring other cars have gone past before you leave your box.
    But I also agree with the comments that McLaren should have told Hammy about the red light – maybe they did and he ignored it. Either the ‘Lollipop’ man or someone on the pit wall should be watching for it, especially when its SC time. Also shouldnt there be repeaters on the pit wall, in the garage and in the cars? Since the new ‘Pit Lane’ rules, surely the powers that be (Old Charlie again?) should have thought to enforce it better in the pit lane itself. Thats 3 or 4 races now where the teams have been caught out by this. If I was McLaren, Williams and even Ferrari, I’d be demanding better notification of the pitlane status from the FIA during the weekend. Or is that too difficult?

  82. Yes, while everyone is busy slamming Hamilton for running into Kimi ( silly mistake I know ), why is Kimi’s pit lane antics being overlooked? It seemed to me that he was racing Kubica in the pitlane as he was riding alongside him. If he was behind Kubica where he should have been, this accident could have been avoided. Just what exactly is going on F1 lately? It seems to me that Ferrari has become untouchable and I used to be a big fan.Or do I have the wrong end of the stick here?Note, I am not a Hamilton fan.

  83. TeamOrders
    9th June 2008, 9:15

    As I see it Hamilton got a penalty, while Kim didn’t in Monaco, because he (& Rosberg) disobeyed an important safety indicator/rule. To show how serious FIA takes leaving the pit lane under a red light then just look at the DQLs a year back of so.

  84. Lady Snowcat
    9th June 2008, 9:45

    If you are wondering why Lewis was penalised here is an extract from the rule book…

    40.11 Subject to the requirements of 40.6 above, whilst the safety car is in operation, competing cars may enter
    the pit lane, but may only rejoin the track when the green light at the end of the pit lane is on. It will be on
    at all times except when the safety car and the line of cars following it are about to pass or are passing
    the pit exit . A car rejoining the track must proceed at an appropriate speed until it reaches the end of the
    line of cars behind the safety car.

    And it’s not like Lewis needed a long memory to remember what happened to Felipe the year before… and Macca have confirmed that they warned him about the light but that he was not paying attention as he was anxious about being passed by Kimi and Kubica….

  85. Jolene

    Something to consider is the fact that Ferrari have the very last garage in the pits and so have a straight run out onto the track, therefore can release themselves pretty much whenever they feel like it.

    The question I have is whether it is permissable to overtake at all in the pits under a safety car? Ie. even tho Lewis had a longer pitstop, should he have been allowed to resume his position upon re-entry onto the track (if the pile-up had never happened)? Can someone enlighten me regarding the rules?

    Another question is reagarding the light at the pit entry – I assume that one goes red to signal the pits is closed under the safety car, should they not just let anyone enter the pits and stack them at the end of the pitlane until it is regarded as safe for them to leave?

    As far as Hammy saying on ITV that they were looking at a comfortable win, that is laughable. What planet is that boy on? He had just lost his advantage under the saftey car, Kimi was way quicker over the preceding 6 laps or so, and he had just lost the lead in the pits.
    I think Kubica or Kimi had the best chance of winning before Hammy messed it all up.

    As it turns out, the car he missed ended up winning.

  86. A rookie error from Hamilton, at least the Lewis Hamilton show on ITV talked about some of the other drivers on the grid!

  87. Snowcat, have you got a source on McLaren saying they told Hamilton about the red light?

  88. DASMAN,
    The pit lane was open, and once the safety car is in the vicinity with the snake of cars the exit closes, until the snake has passed at that point the red at the exit changes from red to green.

    Yesterday, the end of the snake had not passed hence the light at the exit was still red

  89. Ok, first of all, here is what happened in my view:

    Kimi was racing Kubica to the exit of the pitlane, nothing wrong with that, if there should be, please check the rules and come back with the appropriate one. You’re not going to find anything as what happened there is quite common, especially taking into account that Kimi is in the last pit before the exit and it was very close to see who could be ahead.
    Then, of course, Kimi and Kubica are professional enough to see the red light, which you would expect anyone to do. It’s not unlike traffic lights, you know…
    But Lewis obviously had some red mist moment trying to make sure he gets past the two cars who overtook him, meaning he overlooked the red light AND two stationary cars blocking the exit. Rosberg was doing the same thing and was punished accordingly.

    Now to some more detail, why was Lewis punished harder than Massa?
    Well, first of all he missed the red light AND two cars. How anyone can do that in normal road traffic is beyond me, however these things do happen. Unbelievable rookie mistake. And why is he being punished so “harshly” even though he was out of the race already then? Well, my dear Lewis fans, the penalty isn’t only about him, he took out another car needlessly, so he deserves to be punished harder, especially taking into account the snails pace that they were driving at.
    And the light is awfully small you say?!?!?!?!? How would that go down in normal traffic as an excuse to the police: “Sorry, I didn’t see the red light, it’s really quite small , you know.”
    And these are F1 drivers we are talking about here, who should be able to handle the pressure, let alone see stationary objects in front of them.
    What a joke, that excuse is just clutching at straws. Lewis cocked up, in an unbelievable way like he did towards the end of the season. If that would’ve been Senna he took out, he would’ve gotten a slap for that, and that’s really what he deserves on top of his punishment.
    Lewis is fast, but can’t cope with the pressures of F1 as he has shown many times now already.

    And for anyone who still thinks Lewis was hard done by, imagine if it would’ve been Lewis being taken out by Nakajima, what would you be saying then??
    Of course, everyone would demand that he would never be allowed to race again…

  90. If I can remember correctly, Ron Dennis once said that he told Hamilton that he if his to be the best driver in F1 he needs to learn the rulebook back to front. That was last year.

    My opinion it was Lewis’s mistake. Even an insurance company would fault Lewis. It’s a shame we don’t have the McLaren radio transmissions. What should have happened was for someone at McLaren (and they have enough people down there) to keep Lewis informed of the red light. Lewis transfixed on the two race cars in front was only thinking of racing them and not stopping. It’s a natural reaction for an F1 driver to race, but the last minute he realised they were stopping. Yes, restraint was required and calm once he saw the BMW and Ferrari in front. This restraint and calm should be provided over the radio by the team. “Lewis – prepare to stop, red light!” – repeated…..

    Given Lewis’s in car reaction after the shunt of “WTF?” jesture with his hands, I am assuming he failed to realise why they had stopped (makes me wonder if the team had told him about the red light) and if the Kimi had not been there he would have driven right past the red light.

    Overall – Lewis \ McLaren mistake. I feel sorry for Kimi, but he really cracked me up with his pointing at the red light afterwards. :D
    Lewis didn’t pick Kimi to hit. He clearly aimed for the only gap available as there was no gap to Kubicas right.

    Lewis penalty correct – I would say so. It may seem harsh but it was a safety reason the red light was on and any breach of rules under a safety car will not be taken lightly.

    and my comments about Lewis \ McLaren are reciprocal for Nico \ Williams.

  91. KB,

    I realise that, my question is, are you allowed to pass in the pits under a SC situation? I don’t think the rules say anything against it, but then isn’t the racing moving from the track into the pits under SC? Surely this is dangerous?

    I’m a Kimi fan BTW, so was delighted he passed Hammy in the pits – and gutted when Hammy hammed it up….

  92. The pit-lane collisions are penalisable because they fall under the category of “incident” in Article 16.1 of the Sporting Regulations. Since it also occurred during a Safety Car period, it also comes under Article 40.7 of the Sporting Regulations, whereby any car driven “slowly, erratically or potentially dangerously” will be reported to the stewards. If a double collision does not fit into that category, it is unclear what does! The fact that Hamilton pushed Raikkonen over the pit lane exit line against a red light (and therefore caused him to break Article 40.11 as quoted by LadySnowcat) probably had something to do with it as well…

    Ferrari should have penalised for releasing Raikkonen into Kubica’s path under Article 23.1 i), which makes it the responsibility of a team to release a driver safely from the pit lane. This is generally in the form of a $5000 fine (more for repeat offences, but in this case I’m not aware of any this year). However, once that occurred, what Raikkonen did was perfectly legal, so he himself would not necessarily get a penalty if the rulebook was fairly applied.

    If a car is in the slow lane of the pit lane, it is permissible to pass it, in the same way as it is permissible to overtake a car that is much slower than you under the Safety Car (in the latter case because it usually means technical trouble for the slow car, in the former because passing a pitting car presents no safety hazard). This is permitted under Article 40.8 of the Sporting Regulations.

    The light goes red in the initial phase of the Safety Car, goes green when the lane is open but the exit re-closes (with accompanying blue flashing lights) when the Safety Car snake is passing. This prevents a potential pile-up when cars re-join (as nearly happened when Montoya disregarded the red light back in 2005). In any case, the pit lane “closure” only bans re-fuelling. Everything else (including scheduled tyre changes) is permitted at all times, subject to queuing.

  93. Peter Ostacchini
    9th June 2008, 12:34

    A rookie mistake by Hamilton whose normal composure was lost in the post event interview that was shakey and confused. His body language and acknowledgement to Raikkonen was at least honourable when they got out of the cars – Raikkonen also showed good restraint. I would remark that Raikkonen got away with a deserved penalty for driving(quite recklessly)into the back of Adrain Sutil in the Force India car in Monaco.

  94. IMHO, there are three sets of rules in F1, one for the untouchables Ferrari, another for Mc Laren and then the rest of theteams. What is a red light doing in the pit lane! The video I have seen it was flashing means proceed with caution, it was not solid red. Mc Laren must know anything against the prancing horse will incur the wrath of F1. It looks like F1 thinks they can make money with ferrari alone. I bet all my money (ten quid) that if it was Raikkonen that crashed into Hamilton, Mc Laren would have been penalised for going over the line!

  95. A few things strike me as odd in this.

    Firstly, can Lewis not simply say that he made a mistake? Is that a sign of weakness and to be avoided at all costs? His statement that this was just something that happens is crazy.

    Secondly, he claims he saw the red light and stopped but stopped too late – being on top of Kimi is certainly too late! He has since said the team did indeed warn him about the red light, and if that’s the case then it makes it all the worse that he wasn’t more aware of the situation.

    Thirdly, people have criticised the placement of the light as being too high and out of the drivers line of sight, and I can see this being a problem for those first on the scene but for Lewis coming from the back if the light is high Kimi and Kubica couldn’t have been blocking it which again makes you wonder why Lewis didn’t see it.

    Had Kubica and Kimi ignored the light and drove on I could have understood it to be honest given that they were in their own little race side by side down the pitlane, but given that they still had the sense to look for the light despite all that was going on is credit to them.

    It wasn’t a spectacular crash by any means, but any accident in the pitlane could be serious and this has put a big black mark against Lewis in my book.

  96. The red light may be difficult to see at Montreal, but how difficult can it be to see two cars at a complete halt in front of you? Hamilton once again shows his appalling arrogance…

  97. I just saw the video that the F1 was trying to stop from being seen. I now know why!!!! It showed that the light changes, and flashes, as far as everyone behind knows, it is go, go, go. That is why Hamilton get rear ended too! The visibility factor and focus is to the front, not up in the air! There should be in car alarms for the activation of the red light. This is the time of technology. As a racing driver, we have tunnel vision or else, we would be side tracked by the nice girls in the stands. If it was only Hamilton who rear ends Kimi, I would have taken a lot of $$$ from him. I shows that there is something visibly wrong with the placement of the red light in the pit lane. Ten spots F1! What a load of unfairness on a Ferrari tainted punishment trend!

  98. The competitive nature of race car drivers seems to preclude the acknowledgment of anything that slows them down. “I’m leaving the pits and leaving now” kind of mentality.

    Not only was the pit light red, it was a series of three stacked blinking lights, two red and one green. A split second after Lewis hit Kimi, the light went green!

    The worst part of the incident was Hamilton’s seeming inability to ‘fess up and admit he’d screwed the pooch.

  99. Stupid? Yes, but, you come out of your pit box behind two of your main rivals in the race and see them side by side, apparently fighting to see who will get out of the pitts first, surely watching what will happen there will tend to concentrate your mind a bit? If they both then proceed to stop I imagine it would be easy to be caught out.

  100. i’m not surprised at hamilton’s reaction. that’s just hamilton and we’re certainly going to be seeing a lot more of it. but, the dumb quote of the day has to have come from dennis. it’s difficult for a driver to decide what to focus on? isn’t one of the job requirements to be able to focus on quite a few things at once? i should think if a driver is unable to do that his career -and perhaps life-wouldn’t last long.

    did i hear that they had actually changed the light configuration this year so it would be more obvious to the drivers?

  101. Lewis Hamilton acted in a fussy and overzealous manner after the safety car period made his advantage fading away…he could not could not digest the fact that he might not win the race anymore.
    This was an amateur mistake…to take someone down in the pitlane under a speed limit and red light at the exit(not even Schumacher did this) is really questionable.
    And comparing the Kimi-Sutil incident with the pitlane crash is totally insane….!
    Traveling more than 100 mph on a wet track in Monaco with slippery conditions is completely different from the pitlane crash!
    But I hope that with a bit more experience and driving maturity Hamilton will correct these amateur like mistakes!

  102. Please Hondo:
    Stop this conspiracy theory and illusion…BMW did their job well and will replace McLaren as the Ferrari competitor!

  103. Wow I was at the race and I loved that incident. It was great watching Hamilton do that I was laughing so hard. All the McLaren fans around me were so mad and anguished. It sucked that he took out Raikonen, but being a Massa fan it worked out my way the whole incident. Except for the fact that Ferrari again screws Massa on their pit strategy.

  104. @ Verasaki, agree with you there re: Ron Dennis.

    Is it just me or should McLaren only submit their press statements via Martin Whitmarsh? Whitmarsh is more eloquent and concise than RD. And here’s the kicker, he actually seems to have a personality unlike Mr Dennis.

    Anyone agree??….or it that just me? :-)

  105. Fireblade, I have the Tower of London to sell you cheap if you believe,that any other team can be competitive as Ferrari and McLaren. Let BMW enjoy this temporary glow in the sun.Ferrari and the Mac will be back in the prisoners. I do hope that F1 clean up their act and be fair to all teams and stop picking on teams that do not let them have free cars painted red. I just saw on Wind Tunnel that the $100,000,000 fine went allegedly to the persons /organizations that voted Mosley back in! Peter Windsor said so! Please let it be known officially THAT red light was only to be used when the pit lane went straight into the racing traffic. The Canadian track was reconfigured to stop this. The bloody light was never removed.

  106. I wasn’t sure if the light changed while they were approaching either. You can’t see from the Youtube vid. You might be able to see from the onboard shot from Lewis’s car, but that doesn’t seem to be on Youtube.

  107. William Wilgus
    9th June 2008, 14:37


    There’s nothing wrong with being consistent. It just doesn’t necessarily equate to the word `winner’, as the word `champion’ does. After all, one can be consistently last.

  108. Lewis didn´t do it for purpose that´s for sure. All drivers do mistakes and it´s the name of the game. If someone do this kind of thing to ruin others race,then we must start to blame drivers and give BIG consequences. Like Schumi did it in Monaco when he stopped His ferrari to driving line or when he crash to Damon Hill in battle for world champion, and try to do that for Villeneuve also. These are things what are for judging.

    Kimi is the fastest driver today when He has weekend or day without problems. He is still man to beat when He is not in lead in points. Hope He won´t lose tittle because of this.

  109. @ Michael K ”he took out another car needlessly, so he deserves to be punished harder” You could say that for EVERY SINGLE accident!!! And specifically the Adrian Sutil incident i must add…. what you say has no substance.

  110. I would say, before we all get carried away with this… but we already have. It was an incident. These things happen. The pitlane exit at Montreal has caused a few problems over the years, especially during safety car periods. This isn’t the first time something has happened at this circuit in this situation and therefore it might be worth the FIA and the GPDA taking a look at potential alterations to the way that the cars feed back onto the racetrack at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

    As for the incident itself – it’s easy to sit in judgement when we sit and watch the replay over and over again, freeze-framing at will, assigning intent and exectution of action. The whole thing was over in a sequence of split-seconds. Even the very greatest racing drivers don’t think that quickly. I’m not saying that it wasn’t Hamilton’s ‘fault’ in the sense that it was his unforced error. I’m simply suggesting that it was probably all over before even he realised what was happening. I do think that the penalty is a little harsh, though I can see the FIA’s reasoning.

  111. @DG
    Nothing wrong with consistency per se, but winning should be regarded higher, after all this is about who wins, not who finishes second consistently. I’mm happy for Kubica, but it’s really ridiculous that he’s leading the WDC.

    Now, to those comparing this to the Sutil/Kimi incident… I asume most of us have driven really fast, or at the very least on a simulator: you can’t control a car in a situation like that, Kimi lost it, managed NOT to hit the wall and just when he was regaining any sort of control of the car, he hit Sutil. It’s really different and I can’t see how can you compare a pit lane exit at snails pace, with Monaco, wet, and under hard braking.

    And for those that say Kimi was racing Kubica and should have let him by, well, Ferrari has the last spot on the grid, wich means they have pretty much clear exit and can release their cars whenever they feel like, and there’s plenty of room even for three cars in the line, look at the pictures, there could be 3 cars lined up.

    And for Lewis, mistake that’s all, he gets his pentaly, wich I still think is on the light side.

  112. Oh, I forgot!

    I really think all this could be avoided if the marshals didn’t feel like taking out the SC one more time!

    Mmm who was it they took it out for? Can’t remember now, but if you see the replay, there’s PLENTY of room and the racing line is on the other side of the incident! That safety car was unneeded at all!

    One of the fox sports commentators was saying that it was a “SUTILeza” from the marshals (sutil in spanish means subtle, so subtlety) implying that it was a load of ***.

  113. @ Hondo, you’re blind sighted by being a hamilton fanboy.

    Can anyone remember in Japan when Hamilton was driving recklessly (and like an idiot!) behind a safety car and caused an accident between two other drivers?(and didn’t get penalized, so ferrari surely isn’t favoured by the Stewards over McLaren, but Hamilton is favoured by those *BRITISH* ITV commentators, haha.) maybe it’s just hamilton showing his true colours under pressure (It can’t be called a rookie mistake anymore.) You can’t compare someone to Senna in one race and then say he made a rookie mistake the next (you can’t be a rookie and Senna all at once!)

    In Monaco, Hamilton actually hit the wall. ‘He didn’t hit Sutil so it’s not that bad.’ BullS.,I mean, Raikkonen didn’t hit Sutil on purpose, he lost control and Sutil was accidentally in the way, he would have cut the corner if Sutil wasn’t there (and sutil wouldn’t be there if he took the corner correctly as shown in the replay!)

    I mean, remember China and Brazil etc. and since the FIA did find McLaren guilty in the spy saga, they should have penalized the Mclaren drivers as well, so maybe it’s karma for hamilton.

    And talking about the spy saga, didn’t anyone think it’s weird that McLaren went from the worst team (durability wise) to the “best” team in a few months? (and the drivers didn’t make all the difference!)

    I can’t believe that he didn’t accept responsibility for the accident, all that he probably thinks about is the fact that the red car in front of him cost him the race and the lead in the championship. He should have personally apologized to Kimi, like Kimi did to Sutil directly after the incident. I mean, Hamilton could have (and i say “could have”) cost Raikkonen the race and the lead in the championship because Kimi could have finished in front of Robert and Lewis but it was more that a 50% chance, since the ferrari is faster than the BMW and could have passed Kubica from the pits.

    And lastly, I don’t think it’s wrong for two people to “duel” in the pitlane (doesn’t matter who it is) because you can overtake someone in the pits if you leave before them as long as they don’t drive recklessly and not try to pass one another while in the pitlane and as for Hamiltons silly mistake: he did it, he is paying for it and thats that (they don’t NEED to tell him there’s a red light, he gets paid (a lot) for the whole package, not just for driving, if then they could just as well give him an automatic gearbox and gears or pay someone to tell him when to do what and this counts for all drivers, they should drive and look for themselves and abide by the rules for thats why they get paid so much more than their engineers. :p

  114. Several points have been raised about why F1 fans react so strongly to Hamiltons’s antics rather than supporting him. Simple, we don’t care much for his arrogance and conceit regardless of his ability. I had hoped that his “monkeys at the back” comment of early last season was just a slip of the tongue but it appears it was merely the tip of the iceberg.

    Kimi may appear less than dynamic, Fernando may be a tad petulant, but what you see is what you get with them and others, it’s real. Lewis just doesnt appear to have that integrity and is willing to hype himself at every opportunity to an irritating degree.

    My advice……..wind your neck in and just drive.

  115. Afterwards Hamilton said:

    It is a lot different if you crash into the wall and are angry, it is not like that. I apologise to Kimi if I cost him the race, but these sort of things happen.

    I apologise to Kimi if I cost him the race!
    I apologise to Kimi if I cost him the race!
    I apologise to Kimi if I cost him the race!


    Someone give him a reality check :D

  116. ’bout time we had some brake lights on F1 cars really.

  117. Been informative and less passionate as Mr Zander above, I heard Luciano Burti, former Ferrari test driver, said in Brazilian coverage that after a pit stop the drivers needs to check some car systems on the steering wheel panel, fuel mix, box speed limitation, etc. Lewis and Nico could lose a half second doing that and this probably caused the incident.

    About Lewis haters I think Keith must to write another post for them express their feelings…

  118. Wow… 116 comments… that must be some kind of a record, Keith… as far as the incident goes… it just made me think… does Lewis ever pay attention to the pit wall or is he just too engrossed in his day dreams of being the 2008 WDC… honestly, this incident reminded me of Lewis running into the back of Fernando earlier this year, and McLaren coming out with a story no one could validate or rebuff, and to top it all it was Fernando who was blamed for that… I think Lewis came into this season thinking the title was his for the taking and is now learning the hard way that he is going to have to fight even harder than last year.

  119. They say what goes around comes around, Raikonnen certainly received this week. I wonder whose going to go into the back of Hamilton next week?

  120. I now know why this happened and its so simple but worthy of note.

    1) Hamilton is coming from way back with a longer distance to cover.

    2) Kubica and Kimi are at the end of the pitlane hence a shorter distance to the line.

    3) Hamilton is already at the 50 km speed limits.

    4) Kimi and Kubica accelerate and begin to slow down almost immediatly.

    5) Kimi is still moving like he is about to pass Kubica. By this time Hamiliton has already seen the red lights and is on the brakes like wise Rosberg.

    6) Unfortunately, that is the dirtiest part of the pitlane since its not a regular braking zone with the net effect being that they cant stop in time, more so Rosberg as he was by this time carrying even less speed yet the dirty track made stopping all but impossible.

  121. great sight Oliver.
    And as said above, with stoplights Hamilton would have seen them stopping much easier!

  122. Another interesting fact (which really only adds to Hamilton’s blunder) is that Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren CEO) in his post race Q&A session states that Hamilton was ALSO warned about the red light over the radio!!

    Q: Did you give Lewis a warning about the red light over the radio?

    Whitmarsh: “Yes.”


    And as for some of the previous comments regarding pitlane behaviour; this is an area that is supposed to be a non-racing zone (hence the pit lane speed limit), and this is also the reasoning behind the (only on the face of it seemingly harsh) penalty of a drive through for just exceeding the speed limit. If anywhere on the race track a driver must expect the unexpected it is there – other drivers pulling out (being let go to early by their lollypop man), team personnel crossingthe pit lane. After all, going down the pitlane on the speed limiter – there isn’t much else to do but to look out…

  123. Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren CEO) in his post race Q&A session states that Hamilton was ALSO warned about the red light over the radio!!

    Q: Did you give Lewis a warning about the red light over the radio?

    Whitmarsh: “Yes.”


  124. @ Hondo: I believe you are talking out of the wrong orifice IMHO. There are no provision for any flashing red light meaning “proceed with caution” in any racing rule book I’ve ever read. The closest parallel to a difference in a steady light to a flashing light would be stationary yellow and waved yellow flags – and in general a waved yellow is considered the stronger warning. A stationary yellow flag is considered to mean (yup, you got it) “proceed with caution”, whereas a waved yellow flag is usually interpreted to add the words “be prepared to stop”…

    In fact, even if there had been no red light at the end of the pitlane, the cars are not allowed to rejoin the track unless the GREEN light is lit.

    From the current sporting regs:
    39.2 During the race, drivers leaving the pit lane may only do so when the light at the end of the pit lane is
    green and on their own responsibility. A marshal with a blue flag and/or a flashing blue light, will also warn
    the driver if cars are approaching on the track.

    40.7 Any car being driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or which is deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers at any time whilst the safety car is deployed will be reported to the stewards. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane.

    40.11 Subject to the requirements of 40.6 above, whilst the safety car is in operation, competing cars may enter
    the pit lane, but may only rejoin the track when the green light at the end of the pit lane is on. It will be on at all times except when the safety car and the line of cars following it are about to pass or are passing the pit exit. A car rejoining the track must proceed at an appropriate speed until it reaches the end of the line of cars behind the safety car.

  125. Withmarsh said that they did warn Hamilton. Thus, discussion is over. It was Lewis mistake. Nevertheless, I agree that bigger lights would be helpful.

  126. @ William and Haplo
    Sure, being consistently last isn’t much good to anyone – apart from getting track experience, and I agree a ‘Champion’ is someone who wins every race. But thats the point – there is no driver this season who has won every race, but Kubica has nearly always been on the podium, as Hammy was last year. If there was a definitely better driver who was consistently winning this year we wouldn’t be having this argument.

  127. Terry Fabulous
    11th June 2008, 12:25

    Ten years later, addding my two bits…

    Did anyone else notice James Allen’s comments immediately after the incident?

    “Oh the pit lane is closed and Hamilton has hit the back of Kimi Raikonnen. Presumably the red light was on, it’s green now. I would love to know if it was red when Ferrari stopped. But Lewis Hamilton has smashed into the back of Kimi Raikonnen in the pitlane.”

    So in the heat of the moment, one and half seconds after the incident. James Allen’s first thoughts were that Kimi had break tested Lewis, presumably willing to have his car smashed up for the ability to destroy Hamilton’s.


  128. Yeahk, that and “his team should have informed him about the red light” or something like that.

    I can’t believe a F1 driver can’t see a red light and or know the rule book, at least the bit about racing.

  129. Chris Harrison
    26th June 2008, 14:02

    Radioed from the team or not, it’s in the rules that there will be a red light shown whilst the safety car is passing.

    Hamilton should have known that, and should have been prepared for it. As he wasn’t, he was given a completely fair penatly.

  130. Jraybay-HamiltonMclarenfan
    13th June 2010, 18:04

    going down pitlane you’re supposed to be single file. I think hamilton turned to avoid kubica but Kimi was parked inside there.

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