Sebastien Bourdais gets grid penalty

Sebastien Bourdais will start 19th for tomorrow\'s Hungarian Grand Prix

Sebastien Bourdais will start 19th for tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix

Sebastien Bourdais will be moved back five places on the grid for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Toro Rosso driver was deemed to have impeded BMW’s Nick Heidfeld during the first part of qualifying. It prevented Heidfeld from being able to reach the second part of qualifying and left him 16th.

The feeling on the live blog during qualifiyng was that Bourdais shouldn’t get a penalty, but the stewards disagreed. Here’s a look at the revised grid:

2008 Hungarian Grand Prix – provisional grid

1. Lewis Hamilton 1?σΤιΌ??20.899
2. Heikki Kovalainen 1?σΤιΌ??21.140
3. Felipe Massa 1?σΤιΌ??21.181
4. Robert Kubica 1?σΤιΌ??21.281
5. Timo Glock 1?σΤιΌ??21.326
6. Kimi Raikkonen 1?σΤιΌ??21.516
7. Fernando Alonso 1?σΤιΌ??21.698
8. Mark Webber 1.21.732
9. Jarno Trulli 1.21.767
10. Nelson Piquet Jnr 1?σΤιΌ??22.371
11. Sebastian Vettel 1.20.144
12. Jenson Button 1?σΤιΌ??20.332
13. David Coulthard 1?σΤιΌ??20.502
14. Nico Rosberg no time
15. Nick Heidfeld 1?σΤιΌ??21.045
16. Kazuki Nakajima 1?σΤιΌ??21.085
17. Rubens Barrichello 1?σΤιΌ??21.332
18. Giancarlo Fisichella 1?σΤιΌ??21.670
19. Sebastien Bourdais 1?σΤιΌ??20.963*
20. Adrian Sutil 1?σΤιΌ??22.113

*Five place-penalty

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20 comments on Sebastien Bourdais gets grid penalty

  1. diseased rat said on 2nd August 2008, 16:31

    What seemed to happen was the Bourdais was building up to starting his final hot lap and wanted a bit of a gap between him and those in front of him. As such he was running slow into the final corner and reacted slowly to Heidfeld coming up behind him.

    On the ITV feed we hardly saw him Bourdais running slowly though, he reacted to Heidfeld coming up behind him, but just late enough to make a few tenths or even more of a difference.

    That’s why I think this penalty is justified. Heidfeld is having a bit of a laugh thinking he would be allowed to go through into Q2 though. The lesson there Nick is that you can’t leave it all down to one lap. I expect Nick to perform well in the race tomorrow though.

  2. Lady Snowcat said on 2nd August 2008, 17:01

    This wasn’t vastly different from Heikki at Magny Cours so no big surprise…

  3. Robert McKay said on 2nd August 2008, 17:14

    Ridiculous. I don’t get it at all.

    If that was deemed blocking, we might as well forget having all the cars on track at once and just go back to single-lap quali. I’m not sure what Bourdais was supposed to do, and I’m not sure what the penalty is for.

  4. Lady Snowcat said on 2nd August 2008, 17:19

    Bourdais should have been informed by his team that Nick was coming up fast and made absolutely certain that he was off the driving line….

    Not always easy but then it is F1…

  5. Robert McKay said on 2nd August 2008, 17:27

    “Bourdais should have been informed by his team that Nick was coming up fast and made absolutely certain that he was off the driving line….

    Not always easy but then it is F1…”

    Halfway round the lap, I would have agreed. But Nick was a long way back from the Toro Rosso in the last couple of corners. In the moment when he would/should have been told about Heidfeld he would have been building himself towards starting his own hotlap.

    I don’t deny Heidfeld might have lost time, but I don’t think Seb should have been penalised for it. Sometimes that’s the way the cookie crumbles and you just get on with it. Heidfeld threw his toys out of the pram because he did a lap that was not particularly quick in the first place.

    Like I say I think if Nick had caught him earlier in the lap it might have been justifiable.

    The drivers are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Alonso went flat chat to stay in front of Massa and not hold him up at Monza and got done for that. If Bourdais’ crime was trying to make a little bit of space then so what, that’s what quali is all about!

  6. Lady Snowcat said on 2nd August 2008, 17:34

    But everyone knows that Heikki got caught out in France but still wasn’t given a bye…

    If Nick was so far behind a few corners out then Bourdais must have been driving like my granny…

    Sorry but he’s had enough racing experience not to get himself into this position… and even if he was unlucky it was still a foul a la Heikki in France…

    The stewards had to call it…

    The funny thing is that Nick thought he could be allowed into Q2… where on earth did he get that from?…

  7. Robert McKay said on 2nd August 2008, 17:53

    I can’t remember exactly what the situation with Heikki in France was, I think it was a bit different and so not exactly comparable, but I’ll have a look.

    I think the point I’m trying to make is that, yes, the driver on the hotlap should be given the benefit of a clear track and expect people to get out of the way in advance. But at some point the driver on the outlap should be deemed to be “starting the hotlap” even though they’ve not physically crossed the timing beam and as such are treatable exactly the same as someone on a hotlap. Once you are past the apex of the final corner I think you are effectively building up to the hotlap and as such should not be regarded as interfering with anyone.

    If for example Heidfeld had caught Bourdais a few metres further on should Bourdais have got off the racing line even though he was just about to start his own lap? He would technically have been holding up Heidfeld for a few seconds then, so I think technically the rules would say yes, but morally, surely not?

    With 20 cars or whatever on a race track at once, plus the effect of the dirty air which is now deemed enough to be blocking, you cannot possibly avoid situations like this and sometimes you just have to say “that’s part of the territory” and get on with it.

  8. If Heidfeld hadn’t have stuck his hand up in the cockpit (for an excessively long time, so that the stewards would definitely notice?) they wouldn’t have penalised him.

  9. Lady Snowcat said on 2nd August 2008, 18:03

    If a guy is building for a hot lap surely he won’t be doing a “granny type” approach to the corner…

    Seb is meant to be a very intelligent guy and F1 drivers must have a great feel for pace and spatial awareness…

    The one thing it is clear from a number of races this year is that on your in lap or out lap you can’t be seen to block a guy doing a fast lap….

    Those are the rules and there have been a lot of penalties already this season that make it clear it is enforced…

    I will be very surprised if Seb whinges or Gerhard lets him….

  10. Dorian said on 2nd August 2008, 22:49

    ‘Halfway round the lap, I would have agreed. But Nick was a long way back from the Toro Rosso in the last couple of corners. In the moment when he would/should have been told about Heidfeld he would have been building himself towards starting his own hotlap.I don’t deny Heidfeld might have lost time, but I don’t think Seb should have been penalised for it’

    I complete agree with Robert here. Heidfeld definitely lost time but there was absolutely nothing that Bourdais could have done about it unless he was told by his team to get outta dodge within a reasonable time-frame.

    Unfortunate for Heidfeld but a penalty on Bourdais?…not justified.

  11. Sush said on 3rd August 2008, 0:27

    ridiculous quite frankly.

    the quali penalties that have been handed out this year have been unjust.

    did he impede Heidfield; yes he did.

    reason being… the qualifying format is too tight… hence all cars on track will end up blocking each other.

  12. Salty said on 3rd August 2008, 2:12

    Agree that this is a completely duff decision.

    Lady Snowcat: “Seb is meant to be a very intelligent guy and F1 drivers must have a great feel for pace and spatial awareness…”

    SB was setting up for his own lap, does not have any decent peripheral vision due to a helmet, HANS device, airbox and 180 corner between him and unlucky Heidfeld.

    If I remember correctly, and quite happy to be corrected if anyone has footage, as Heidfeld was cresting the last bend Bourdais was slightly off pace due to a car in front of him (could be me, please feel free to correct).

    Surely it was down to Heidfeld’s engineer/pitwall to tell him to take a wider entry to last to avoid dirty air and maybe regain the tenth with a healthy tow to start/finish. Hell, why not penalise drivers if they get an advantage from a tow – which Heidfeld nearly did.

    Fact is you can’t provide same conditions for all drivers for their quali laps if run individually, due to rubber lay down and weather. I don’t want to see that either. Boring and dry option.

    These guys have been driving for all of their adult life and most of their childhood too. The onus is on them to shoot for the best they can produce on the day. Heidfeld struggled throughout and was royally unhappy when he failed to make Q2. That wasn’t Bourdais’ fault and he certainly didn’t deserve a 5 place penaulty for trying to set up for his own flying lap when Heidfeld was not visible.

    The current system isn’t perfect but it works, however penalties like this make it a nonsense. These guys need to be allowed to race, it’s what they know best. Please don’t tell me you want some faceless bureaucrat in race admin deciding the grid. We have already had enough of Max trying to engineer that.

    Salty.

    nb to Snowcat: apologies for picking your post to quote, perfectly acceptable opinion, just not mine. No offense intended.

  13. Lady Snowcat said on 3rd August 2008, 8:12

    Salty

    No offence taken…

    Glad we can all have different opinions and stay civil….

    We’ll agree to disagree on this…

  14. spectre said on 3rd August 2008, 9:59

    I agree with the commentators on Swedish TV: this is becoming ridiculous. As soon as someone feel they have missed out by some mistake, they wave their hand in the air and complain about some other driver. The drivers should sort this thing out on the track by themselves. They know the situation. There is always a good chance during the session to get a “clear” track. It is up to the team to plan it the right way and not always wait until the last minute of the session.

    The thing with Kovalainen in France was different. He had made his lap and was on his way back to the pit. In the last very tight corner before the entrance to the pit, he got caught up with cars running their timed lap and had nowhere to go. It was a bad call by the team who could have notified him 10 secs earlier that cars were coming up from behind and he could step on it for a few secs and get into the pit and out of their way. It is impossible for a driver to see wether a car behind is on a timed lap or not. The teams, however, have a graphics that shows exactly where every car is at the moment so it should be fairly easy for them to notify the drivers.

  15. Lady Snowcat said on 3rd August 2008, 10:04

    But the on board with Nick did show that Seb clearly wrecked his lap….

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