Hamilton and Raikkonen’s Fuji clash – the penalty they got wrong (Video)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton made a rash mistake at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix – but did it deserve the drive-through penalty he received?

Or to put it another way, has a driver ever got a penalty for forcing another driver off the track before?

After losing the lead to Kimi Raikkonen at the start Hamilton dived down the inside of the Ferrari driver to re-pass him at turn one. He clearly out-braked himself, and locked his tyres hard, forcing Raikkonen wide and onto the tarmac run-off.

Predictably, there’s nothing written in the rules about it. Article 16.1 of the sporting regulations allows the stewards to penalise drivers for forcing each other off the track.

But we’ve seen drivers force each other off the track many times in recent races, but I’m struggling to remember an occasion when anyone has been penalised for it. Hamilton wasn’t penalised for it with Timo Glock at Monza, nor Kimi Raikkonen when he forced Hamilton off the track at Spa.

It’s hard to see how Hamilton deserved a penalty for the move. And the precedent it sets is extremely strange:

Raikkonen out-braked himself at Monaco and took another driver out (Adrian Sutil) but didn’t get a penalty. So the rules seem to state that if you force a driver off the track and out of the race, you don’t get a penalty, but if you force another driver off the track and he stays in the race, you do get a penalty.

Where is the logic in that? Once again the FIA stewards have rendered a baffling verdict that leaves themselves open to accusations of inconsistency and favouritism.

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193 comments on “Hamilton and Raikkonen’s Fuji clash – the penalty they got wrong (Video)”

  1. It looks like both McLarens forced Raikkonen off. Hamilton started it, and Kovalainen finished it off.

    But I agree Keith, when has there ever been a penalty for someone forcing another driver off?

  2. Well ive gone and seen it all, penalty for that, and then Bam Bam skittles him of tha road, and looks like he may get a Bam Bam ticket for thinking Boudouis was a mug. think ill join the new viewers there looking for and only watch it for the crashes. Absolute Joke, bring on the clowns the circus is in town.

  3. I think Lewis really deserves it for stupidity alone… but yes, there are no precedents for this type of incident (except of the many precedents of the FIA setting new standards when Mclaren and Ferrari are involved.

  4. May God strike me blind I swear i,ll never spend another penny on F1

  5. the unwritten rule just got rewritten;)

  6. Hamilton is really cracking under pressure like last year at the same point. Raikkonen is not playing anymore championship so why overdriven to overtake him at the first corner !!! Unbelievable.

    Need to be confirmed but on TV there is yellow flag indication when he is overtaking Massa.

  7. Well, Hamilton deserved if not for forcing KImi for the amount of dumb stuff he did on this start.

    The worst thing for him is that this should make the pressure over him worse.

  8. 12 months ago Kubica and Massa make a good show forcing each other out … and also this time it was first corner incident … every time it looks more and more stupid from the stewards

  9. I’ve already proposed the theme – should McLaren continue to race? This is the only team that races against rival teams AND FIA … or rather FIA races against McLaren >:-(#)

  10. It is just amazing to me how this blog is so biased towards Hamilton. “The penalty they got wrong”? C’mon, there isn’t a global conspiracy against Hamilton or something, just stop crying.

    Both drivers, Felipe and Lewis, were not so good at the start of the race. If both had been more careful, they should’ve had better positions. But still, you gotta give credit for Felipe’s race on the second and third stint’s. Hamilton just disappeared at that time.

  11. 12 months ago Kubica and Massa make a good show forcing each other out

    Never mind 12 months ago, in this race Kubica pushed Kimi off the track when they were battling for second and he didn’t get a penalty (rightly).
    No way did Hamilton deserve a penalty, it was a stupid move no doubt but as others have pointed out, it happens every race in the first corner and no-one’s been punished before.

  12. Are you guys complaining about the enforcement or the rule itself? It is in the rules that the stewards can enforce an penalty if a driver forces another driver off the track under 16.1 The stewards can then impose one of three penalties 1) drive through 2) ten second penalty or 3) drop of ten grid positions… except in last five laps
    It is looking like history repeating itself with Hamilton trying too much when all he needs to do is finish in points. Kubica may be the dark horse who wins as Massa & Hamilton incur penalty after penalty in next two races

  13. Hamilton is a PlayStation pilot. If everything goes smooth, he wins. But as soon as something goes unpredicted, he just goes mad. He threw away this race. He was pole and championship leader for God’s sake!
    With Ferrari so bad this year, HAM+McLaren should have already won this, but they can’t. The problem is that probably they will not win… again. It’s sad that the F1 championship candidates are so mediocre this year.

  14. As a F1 and motorsports fan, I am just glad we have someone that goes for the win every time whatever the cost rather than playing the percentage game and settling for points.

  15. Kimi says that he was actually hit by each maclaren, in turn… If by “forcing off the track” the FIA actually mean “nudged off the track” then the penalty becomes a no-brainer.

    It was a stupid move, so bad that he needed some fresh rubber even without any massa-related pirouette.

  16. Also what’s the record for the amount of penalties handed out to a single driver in a season? Hamilton has had quite a few this year.

  17. Cameron aka. SkinBintin
    12th October 2008, 7:38

    @Robert. I don’t think this post has been spawned from Lewis favouritisim, but from the FIA’s blatant inconsistancys.

  18. What happened to Hamilton after the first turn? It seems as if he came out of the first corner in third. Then after the crash when the cameras catch up with the front runners he is back down fighting with the Ferrari’s?

  19. All these penalties are becoming a bit tedious, James Allen is literally ‘I wonder If that warrants a look from the stewards’ at anything.

    China is going to be equally as messy I feel.

  20. Kate – good point I’ve fixed that part (I really should have remembered that after writing this!)

    I’ve said many times before they should penalise drivers for pushing each other off the track but it’s never been enforced before. From Schumacher on Hakkinen at Spa, to Hamilton on Glock two races ago, there have been loads of incidents that have gone unpunished.

    It’s the same old story: we can debate the rightness or wrongness of a particular rule, but it’s totally pointless until we start to see some consistency from the stewards.

  21. I’m sure I remember a battle between Hamilton and Alonso last year where Alonso forced Hamilton off the track. Ive been on call all night so my memory is a little fuzzy. I tried trauling youtube to no avail. Anyone else remember?

  22. They penalise Lewis for pushing Kimi off, they penalise Massa for hitting Lewis. Where is the inconsistency?

  23. DC – Loads of people have pushed other drivers off the track and not got penalties – until today. There’s the inconsistency.

    Also, Hamilton didn’t hit Raikkonen, whereas Massa hit Hamilton (and went off the track to do it) so we’re really talking about two very different incidents. That’s why I wrote two separate posts: Massa and Hamilton’s Fuji crash – the penalty they got right (Video)

  24. At Spa Hamilton had no chance to overtake Kimi, he just brake too late at chicane (I was there watching very near). He made same mistake today and caused very dangerous situation, it´s not racing, it´s dangerous driving

  25. I agree with you, he shouldn’t get a penalty here.

    But Massa also, shouldn’t have got 1 for his move on turn 10

  26. Rob – a battle between Hamilton and Alonso last year where Alonso forced Hamilton off the track

    They both were as bad as eachother the whole season, only Alonso didn’t keep a cool head..

  27. Spa 07, Alonso does a deliberate force of the track, no problem its racing, Lewis outbreaks himself drive through, Iam sick to the back teeth with F1

  28. What struck me more than all the drive-through penalties, was the fact that Hamilton tried to win the race in the first corner by a rather silly outbraking manoeuvre, and Massa trying to keep is hopes alive a few corners later. Not World Champion-like driving, that.

  29. I hope Kubica wins the championship, Hamilton and Massa have both made too many mistakes to deserve it.

  30. But while he admitted his move on Raikkonen was incorrect, Hamilton was not happy that he received an equal penalty to Massa

  31. I’m starting to doubt Ham, Rai and Mas worthiness to be called WDC. Neither of them seem to ‘well-rounded’ or consistant enough. For years Ive disliked Alonso and been a devout Hamilton fan, but I’d rather see Alonso win the title again than any of the 3 I previously mentioned! It’s making the title interesting I have to admit but it seems the title winner in ’08 has been decided by the stewards and their decisions rather than racing on (or off! in some cases) the track.

  32. Bizarre decision by the stewards, which I suspect was dreamt up to balance out Massa’s inevitable penalty. If they’re right about penalizing Hamilton (and it was Kova who sent him off!!) then there probably should have been another 20 or so penalities this season alone for ‘forcing a driver off track’. I mean, it’s surreal.

    Bad start from Hamilton, but what happens next is stranger. After Raikkonen cuts in front of him, he possibly slows (bunching up to let Massa get closer). At the same time, Kovaleinen pulls alongside Hamilton, but (I think) eases off slightly to let Hamilton through inside, which he does. This is a split second decision and almost forced on Hamilton. If Raikkonen is slowing, he has to pull out and try to take him to ensure Massa doesn’t pass by. Kova duly gives him the space to try. Hence, I think, Hamilton’s attempt to repass Kimi is more or less forced on him.

    The same can’t be said for his pass on Massa afterwards, which seemed headstrong, but he actually got past very cleanly – only for Massa to effectively take him out of the race.

  33. He did outbrake himself, but a penalty for that was he fell 2 or 3 places – no need for the stewards. I agree with Brundle’s comment in the race… nanny state paranoia!

    It certainly wasn’t intentional like Massa’s. Saying all that, Lewis needs to grow up, and start to learn how to be cool in these situations if he wants a WDC & some respect.

  34. Alianora La Canta
    12th October 2008, 8:06

    I’ve heard of drivers being reprimanded for forcing drivers off the track before – Michael Schumacher got a penalty for forcing Heinz-Harald Frentzen off the road in Canada 1998 – but it’s the first time I’ve seen one for a first-corner accident. That said, it was a particularly bad start. Any driver who nearly hits his team-mate, actually hits the driver in front of him and nearly hits the same driver again should probably expect official sanction. A drive-through was a reasonable way of dealing with the situation.

    I grant that there are no precedents for this precise situation. But on this occasion I think a wise precedent has been set and that was something that I had almost despaired of the FIA being capable of doing.

    As for previous unpenalised incidents, there is a regulation for that. Article 16.2 is the universal get-out clause for not penalising incidents that the stewards opt not to investigate. It’s an annoying rule at times, but I suppose there has to be some sort of statute of limitations in place.

  35. Canada 1998, M Schumacher came out of the pits and forced Frentzen off, according to this http://grandprix.com/gpe/rr621.html he got a 10 second stop and go penalty.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiSQP-267QA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYt8dfJrVLk

    Having said that, it is obvious to me that the FIA strive to punish McLaren when they can justify it and strives to clear Ferrari when they can justify it.
    edit, I see I got beaten to it, I type to slow ;)

  36. In no case should Hamilton and Massa receive egual penalty.
    Formula 1 is a joke right now, it should be called Ferrari 1!!!

  37. Alianora – good point about Schumacher. But a very different incident I think – Schumacher came out of the pits as if Frentzen wasn’t there and quite literally pushed him off. What Hamilton did was, I thought, more similar to what Raikkonen did to Sutil at Monaco – except he didn’t actually end Raikkonen’s race!

    I can understand why Hamilton doesn’t get much sympathy for this. On top of all the usual reasons, he did make a bad mistake. But one worthy of a penalty? Definitely not in my view.

  38. What struck me more than all the drive-through penalties, was the fact that Hamilton tried to win the race in the first corner by a rather silly outbraking manoeuvre, and Massa trying to keep is hopes alive a few corners later. Not World Champion-like driving, that.

    World Champion-like driving, that doesn’t mean anything, not every race can be won cleanly with a total eye for overall race result. The moves by both Hamilton and Massa showed maybe not clear thinking at the wheel but they both want to be looked upon as the best in business and therefore don’t want to be overtaken easily.

  39. I grant that there are no precedents for this precise situation. But on this occasion I think a wise precedent has been set and that was something that I had almost despaired of the FIA being capable of doing.

    Alianora – It seems the Stewards are too eager to set precedents this year. I agree maybe more care should of been taken, but where is the line drawn between allowing drivers to race and saftey? My concern is that despite the revisions to the ’09 cars nobody will dare to try a pass for fear of a reprimand/drive-thru. The penalty has been given and as we are aware they cannot appeal it so it all seems a bit of a moot point now.

  40. Rob,

    I doubt drivers are going to be cautious about overtaking..

    If it was so, after Spa : we would have seen boring races.. drivers are willing to take the risks

  41. Once again Lewis has screwed the pooch, apparently believing in his own invincibility. Did he deserve the penalty? Absolutely not, but he also should not have put himself in the position to be arbitrarily penalized by the Stoopids.

    This does not bode well for the last two races.

    As for Massa, what’s left to be said? Can’t wait for the Stoopids decision on his contact with Bourdais. The reality is it shouldn’t be penalized either way, a racing incident. No doubt there will be a sanction against Sebby of some kind.

  42. Obviously Lewis made a hash of the 1st corner but I think to receive an equal penalty to Massa is unjust. If Lewis deserved a drive through (which was harsh) then Massa should have received a 10sec stop and go (not sure if the rules list this as punishment?).

    I am a big Lewis fan but he did make the mistake and let himself down. Being behind Kimi wasn’t the end of the world as there is every chance he had the pace to win it later on in the race.

  43. The decision to impose a penalty for Hamilton was bizarre. It’s one thing punishing someone for doing that during the race but this was the first corner. When talking about chicane cutting penalties, it was mentioned about Alonso gaining places by going off the road at the start in Singapore, but this was ignored because it was the first corner. And rightly so! With 20 cars all bombing into the same corner at roughly the same time, several cars abreast, it’s to be expected that there will be outbraking, slight nudging, running wide etc. But has there ever been a penalty for it before?

    Let’s take the blinkers off and look at the 2 incidents without the prejudice of who people want to win. How those 2 incidents can be punished in the same way is utterly baffling.

    Brundle had it spot on when saying that we’re getting paranoid about penalties. And that’s the fault of the FIA. I’d much rather see most incidents (first corner, Massa v Bourdais) be classified as “racing incident” without penalty, and the punishment be given to obvious punting of others off the road (Heiki v Kimi at Spa and Massa v Hamilton today). Now every little incident is being scrutinised to the finest detail to the detriment of the sport. And we can’t be far away from teams appealing for penalties claiming precedent. Let the drivers settle it on the track.

  44. It will be interesting to see if Hamilton can throw away a third WDC in 2009

  45. This is just surreal, Bourdais penalised, Massa gains another point.
    http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns20875.html

  46. It will be interesting to see if Hamilton can throw away a third WDC in 2009

    Well, is better to wait and see if he throw away this one. HAM still has a good advantage and the rivals (Ferrari) are not the best in consistency this year.

    A 1-2 ferrari in the next two races could seal the title for Massa. Difficult to think about that; this year is a roller-coaster season for every team/driver.

    I love to see Alonso putting some more emotion for the title contenders!

  47. Being a Hamilton fan I’m sure I could be considered biased. That said reverse the incidents today, and say Massa had done what Hamilton did at the start, I would NOT have deemed a penalty fair. On the other hand if Hamilton had done what Massa did, then I would have thought Hamilton well deserving of a penalty.

    IMHO the stewards only penalised Hamilton to ‘even thuings up’ as they had to penalise Massa.

    F1 stinks at the moment. IMHO rotten to the core. Give the title to Ferrari, just get it over and done with.

  48. This website is becoming H1fanatic instead of F1fanatic. After every race I see you crying on this blog. Hamilton is making stupid mistakes like last year.

    Today, as we saw Alonso let Hamilton pass (while Hamilton was lapping) because it makes no sense to hold Hamilton. If it was Hamilton, he was going to fight. Hamilton has no brain in his head and has not learned lesson from last year.

    Hamilton has nothing to do with Kimi now. He needs to focus on his own game and just keep ahead of Massa. But he will ruin his own chances of winning championship.

  49. Oh, and Massa gains another point due to Bourdais penalty!!! Clearly this is laughable. Shocking decision. Ferrari tinted glasses again.

  50. Also look at Hamilton and Alonso in Spa 2007–Alonso pushed Hamilton off the track (and onto asphalt runoff) right after Turn 1, and it was even more blatant since Alonso was fully in control of the car–no locked wheels. Today had two terrible decisions by stewards.

  51. Rahzam – I call them like I see them. I’ve explained above why I think it wasn’t a penalty. If you don’t think so then tell me why you don’t agree. But don’t give me this ‘you’re just biased’ nonsense, give me hard facts and a proper argument.

  52. Keith, you say HAM made a mistake but didn’t deserver a drive-through penalty. So what penalty would you have been OK with then?

    Or is it ok for title competitors to make “mistakes,” take their competitor out of the running and carry on?

    RAI was mathematically still in the running, in fact given that RAI lead the race at the start, we would potentially have had an identical situation to last year going into the last two races.

    Mistakes that impact other drivers have to be penalized, surely. The question is what penalty applies that’s below a drive-through in terms of impact to the mistakee?

  53. Keith

    I am regular reader of this blog. And I see these types of comments after almost every race. I like to be F1fanatic instead of H1fanatic. It is really boring to read these types of comments after every race.

    There is no use to argue with you. I will say something and you will write something. I just want F1fanatic type of things.

  54. What about the pass of Massa to Webber????????
    He passed him using the pitlane!!!!NO PENALTY??
    What about Bourdais??Where he was wrong, He was punished just because massa is unable to overtake…
    And of course You can’t punish someone for agrressive driving.
    In china stewards will punish Hamilton for being too silvery…

  55. The penalty seemed fair enough to me – sure, he didn’t hit anyone but that was purely by luck rather than judgement. He could have caused a major pile-up through his rashness.

    Until the Bourdais penalty came through, I was thinking the stewards had done a good job this race.

  56. There was no big accident in first corner only because Kime is fair and clean driver. If he would be guy like Hamilton or Schumacher he could have knocked out both McLarens, and Massa would have been on lead after 1st corner. Hamilton knew that he had no chance to stay on track, he made it on purpose and that´s penalty was right. First time I heard he agreed that he made mistake, only what he don’t agree is that they got same penalty with Massa.

    Penalty is right if driver makes dangerous movement on purpose.

  57. Navs – no penalty. Just like Raikkonen and Sutil at Monaco, it was a racing incident.

    Rahzam – “I will say something and you will write something.” Yes, it’s called having a discussion. If you just want a site where you can slag off people who don’t agree with you there are plenty of those already.

    Eddie Irvine – Massa did nothing illegal at all by using the pit lane exit. It’s 100% legal.

  58. It’s a fact that the controversial decisions this season have involved Hamilton, and just because people disagree with the stewards decision doesn’t mean it’s because they’re blinkered toward one driver or the other. Especially this site, where there have been reasoned arguments backing up any position taken. All that’s come back today arguing for Hamilton’s penalty is that he was stupid, rash and didn’t need to race Raikkonen. That’s irrelevant. The question is, was Hamilton’s move at the start worthy of penalty, irregardless of whether he needed to make the move or not.

    Also, having watched it again a few times, how was it not Kova who was penalised? Not that I think he should be either, but it’s him who nudged Kimi off the track is it not?

  59. Keith, this is for sure you; You can’t use the pitlane
    (Alonso was penalised -10.000$- in Valencia for this in practice and warned that a severe punishment will come if he reapete this in the race.)
    What if someone was going out of the pits ?…We would experience a big crash

  60. Keith, Hamilton had control of championship and He can avoid these types of accidents and penalties. He just needs to use his brain if he has little bit in his head.

    Otherwise he and H1Fanatic fans both will be crying about these penalties after every race.

  61. Keith,

    ah we’re back to talking about precedents. Fair enough. I for one believe the rules should stick even if the stewards made a different decision earlier. But I will grant that it is strange that they’re being sticklers for the rules at these specific incidents and not at others. If that is your point, then I agree with you.

    But looking at this incident on its own merits, I would call for some penalty or the other. If there was contact, it would definitely reinforce my position.

    Regarding RAI and Sutil: RAI didn’t gain a racing advantage from his mistake. HAM made a mistake and gained a racing advantage. I don’t see how the two can be compared?

  62. @Gusto and @MrPippy

    Please check what happened on Spa 2007 before start talking nonsense.

    In Spa Alonso was ahead of Hamilton. Now compare it with what happened today.

    F1fanatic mutating to H1fanatic? Despite Keith efforts, some users try to make it happen.

  63. Maybe drivers who forced others off the track and caused serious result like this race will get a penalty.

  64. Getting a penalty for outbraking yourself is laughter!
    And the stewards should have judged anyway that massa hitting lewis was a good enough punishment!

  65. What a load of tosh! Lewis certainly overcooked it into turn 1 and paid the price at the next corner, but he gave Kimi plenty of room – Kimi tucked in behind Lewis. It was Heikki who “pushed” Kimi off the track. I think if you are going to comment about this, you should make sure you are clear about where the cars were at the time of the incident.
    And Bourdais? Please…. this is beyond a joke.

  66. This is so ***** BENT. Outside of the other (valid) debate about other cars that have forced each other off the track (where was Kimi’s penalty at Spa 08 for doing just that! All the focus was on the “cut” chicane but the Ferarri forced Lewis off!!), I have just watched the replay about a dozen times.

    Objectively, while it is clear that Lewis’ locking up prevented Kimi from taking the normal racing line, it is also CLEAR AS DAY that he did not “force” Kimi off the track.

    Seriously.

    Watch it again in slow-motion and you’ll see that while pushed wide, it was arguably Kovi that finished off Raikonnen, not Lewis. That’s a statement of fact. Anyone who says anything else is lying, either to us or to themselves.

  67. Watch it again in slow-motion and you’ll see that while pushed wide, it was arguably Kovi that finished off Raikonnen, not Lewis.

    I did think that myself on re-watching the video, but I’m not sure. As with the Massa/Bourdais incident, the low camera angle at turn one makes it a bit hard to tell. Would be good to see the onboard camera views.

  68. Hi Keith,

    Wouldn’t it be great if BernieTV released on-board footage from every camera-carrying car at the end of each race? As in a full video stream of the full race. I’m sure future “interactive” services will get that far in a few years (if the sport lasts that long!)

    Incidentally (if you excuse the pun) here is a good image I’ve borrowed from the PlanetF1 thread
    http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff189/dew1e/fuji.jpg

    Says it all IMO.

  69. Pope – thanks for the pic. The thing I can’t tell for sure from it is whether Raikkonen is already heading off the track at that point because of Hamilton’s move. If not then it’s an even poorer decision than I thought in the first place.

  70. The_pope – I think your right, Ive been watching it a few times since and seems like the penalty is debatable, but the wrong car appears to have been picked for the punishment.

  71. Kov should get a 10sec stop/go penalty and Massa too for hitting Hamilton plus a drive through hor hitting Bourdais.

  72. Hamilton’s move endangered the whole field and such extreme foolhardiness had to be penalised…

    Sorry guys but this could have been truly awful if Kimi and others not got out of the way, and had Lewis gained from it that would have been very very wrong….

  73. If you watch the replay Kovalainen was the one who forces Kimi wide and he should therefore get the penalty. But of course it’s the FIA trying to massage the results to get a close finish yet again, which is why Bourdais got his nonsensical penalty.

  74. Having just got some sleep and having played the video a few times back that looks another very flimsy penalty.I know the stewards have access to other camera angles and telemetry but what Hamilton did , although foolhardy isn’t enough to gain a penalty.

    Same thing as in Spa – there seems to be no benefit of the doubt here and this is why there is a perception that Lewis is being penalised whenever it’s possible , hence the “Ferrari International Assistance” stuff going round.This lot of cronies aren’t helping themselves at best to say the least.

  75. OK, so here is an honest question: can someone provide any reason why the stewards shouldn’t explain their actions whenever they apply a penalty? I mean, are they afraid if they present “evidence” that their decision would be further questioned?

    I can only assume there is a good reason that escapes me as to why we have to be kept in the dark. Let’s get some full-time pro-stewards and have the Head Steward available for questions from the press at the end of the race!

    Hell, I’d LOVE if we had fly-on-the-wall cameras in the Stewards’ box and have them all mic’ed up. How’s that for transparency, Mr Mosley? :)

    OK true, so I don’t think we get that level of accountability / transparency in other sports where there are TV-replay judges (like cricket / rugby etc) but since these guys have a rulebook and replays, why aren’t the public privvy to every available angle?

    For the record, while I agree that Lewis’ move was “ill-advised” I dispute the fact it was *dangerous*. Too many people are saying “but what if…” but it’s not about What If, it’s about What Was.

  76. francois, don’t forget the Bourdais incident. He suggested in an interview that maybe he should roll out the red carpet the next time? That is exactly what FIA’s has been busy with: rolling out the red carpet for the red team. I wonder how FIA can be that amazingly consistent in their inconsistency of interpreting or making rules in favor of one team while applying the same set of written and unwritten rules disfavoring others. Well some say it is totally random, as if these little Ferrari miracles just keeps on “happening”. Today’s result: FIA corruption vs Ferrari incompetence 2:1, thereby yielding another undeserved point to Felipe.

    Btw Hamilton drove like an idiot, not like a crook.

  77. I think the second camera angle on the above video, from the inside of the corner, makes it a bit clearer that although Hamilton held Raikkonen wide, Kovalainen also went too deep into the first corner and in doing so prevented Raikkonen from staying on the track.

    To me, this still adds up to ‘racing incident’ and certainly not the sort of thing the stewards should be getting involved in. The fact they punished Hamilton and didn’t so much as investigate Kovalainen is strange.

    As ever, they’ve given no reasoning for the penalty, and the teams will not be allowed to appeal (not that the penalty could be reversed anyway). I don’t see how anyone can be satisfied with such an inconsistent, arbitrary and unaccountable means of dispensing justice.

  78. screen capture from f1.com live timing commentary:
    http://i.f-e-n.net:6666/3/aac42c2b566f5770094f9cce811ef33a.png

  79. I agree with PJH. McLaren have to do it cleaner and better than anyone to win this. The Max and Bernie show and money is all that this sport is becoming. Makes us lot the mugs for spending so much following this ‘sport’.

  80. Keith: I don’t know if you have the time but you are certainly the one with the expertise to compile a few articles of the arbitrary decisions that has been going on for god know how long. Don’t draw any conclusion, just put the cases there and everybody can believe what they want to believe and we could have a fair discussion. I am afraid on your last sentence that a lot of people are pretty satisfied as long as the decisions go their way.

    About Kova, was he out already when the investigation was announced?

  81. dear keith, i think that there is consistency from the stewards, becouse they penalised , in this race , hamilton , but also hamilton. if hamilton did what raikonen did (backing off) he would maby have a race with points. sorry for my bad english.

  82. i think a good way to resolve all of these dodgey steward decisions is for the stewards to veiw a screen with all the cars the same colour so they cannot tell whether the car is a ferari or a mclaren etc. this would make the stewards decision a lot fairer and they will not be biased toward any side as they don’t know which car is which.

  83. hamilton but also massa
    srry

  84. Tom – easy tiger. I agree generally but careful old chum.

  85. The FIA has made a real mess of things.

    First corner incidents, (START OF RACE), have never, from my entire memory of racing, attracted a penalty. Hamilton didn’t hit Kimi, it was Heikki who touched with Kimi, though I admit its Lewis who pushed Kimi wide.

    Forcing a driver to go wide, when you are fully side by side by side with him, has never been considered a transgression.

    Massa in his incident with Lewis, clearly drove off track and was always on the losing end of that move. His was a clear penalty similar to what Heikki was given at Spa.

    Massa didn’t use the pitlate to over take, He used the run off between the pit wall and the inner white line of the race track, which appear to be outside the race track.. and he had both wheels in there.

    Massa – Bourdais incident, well draw your own conclusions.

    Those who complain of bias on this site, need to question their own prejudice. This articles question the stewards actions, and inactions. The fact that certain drivers we may like or dislike happen to be the subjects of these penalties, is just besides the point. The issues here are about the penalties not the drivers.

    Take you back to monaco. Kimi’s race crew committed an infringement at the beginning of the grand prix, before the race had even commenced. The FIA appointed race stewards were aware, yet they allowed Kimi to drive well into the race before calling him to serve his penalty. By that time he had established enough of a gap to come back out still capable of scoring healthy points. The fact that events later overshadowed that shortcoming of the stewards doesn’t in any way absolve the stewards of questionable conduct.

    Emotions run high, but we should always not allow our love or hatred for a driver to always cloud our judgment.

    Like Keith said, put your argument forward.

  86. @Tom – what a load of C**p!!!

    Keith, I generally agree with you and think these penalties are getting rediculous. I don’t think you can compare this incident with the Rai – Sutil incident as in that instance the track was wet and very tricky and Rai crashed trying to avoid the barriers. Here Lewis simply braked way too late.

    Still, when are we just going to let them race? I think 5 years ago this race would have passed by without any penalties being applied (rightly or wrongly)

    Any true F1 fan would not be happy with the way the penalties went today – regardless of who would benefit, because who knows, next week it could be your driver/team on the receiving end.

  87. I like Massa a lot, and feel he has been underrated for much of his racing career. But I cant understand his madness in this question and answer session. Claiming he was pushed when in fact he was given plenty of room.

    If this isn’t madness then I don’t know what else is.

  88. Thanks for your comments guys, sorry to those of you who’ve seen a few disappear but one or two remarks made were potentially the type of thing the type of thing I could get in trouble for.

  89. im sorry but penalties these days in F1 are just stupid,they ruin the on-track action. Instead drivers who break the rules should be spanked with a paddle until they learn their lesson.

  90. Both HAM and KOV went off-track after braking late and going incredibly wide on the first corner. Neither were pushed into doing that by other cars on their inside. It almost looks like they were looking at a much wider chicane than everyone else. RAI tries to turn in twice but HAM and KOV just kept coming.

    I don’t know about precedents and inconsistency, but if this approach to first corners remains unpenalized, pole position would take on a whole different meaning. Just look at how long HAM locked his tyres, he flattened it almost to the canvas I would think. He was simply skidding along ready to take out anything in his way. The rest got out of his way, otherwise we’d have a nice pile-up.

    Tough but fair would be nice for a change.

  91. Looking at the evidence, I think the penalty was the wrong decision. Raikkonen, by backing up the pack the way he did, was always going to come under attack at the first corner. Hamilton, realised, following his bad start, that he had to make the pass or risk being passed himself by Kovalainen and Alonso on the inside.
    If there was contact, in looked, from that angle atleast, to be small. Kovalainen certainly gave Raikkonen’s car a good lick but was not given a penalty.
    Lets remember, that Alonso ran Hamilton off the road, at the first corner, at Spa last year. There was no penalty, and rightly so. If you take away this aspect, which is just a product of good racing, then you will see alot more races like Valencia in the future. The whole event though, would have been different, if Hamilton had made a better start. His poor getaway from the grid really cost him some serious points today. A great, great race to watch, even at 2 in the morning!

  92. NAVS, I agree. HAM is a predigious talent and I’m a massive fan. Fingers crossed he will still win the championship.

    Whilst there may not be a hard written rule about recklesness, there’s no doubt he could have cause carnage in the first turn with his desperation to make up for his poor get-away. I think frankly, over the course of the race, he was pretty lucky to end up only 2 points down.

    The stewards have showed more to worry about with their delayed Sebastien penalty which, once again, favours Ferrari.

    The FIA should stop post race decisions like this. I want future steward decisions to be made within say 5 laps of the incident and for the driver to have to carry out the penalty immediately. This will lessen the very credible charge of bias, one way or the other.

  93. first full onboard races can be seen via premiere (german pay tv)
    Also if you caught the press conference you hear Alonso and Kubica tell about the conditions and all running wide by a bit late braking… clearing Hamilton even more I think!
    This years stewards need to be fired, first Spa now this, it’s clear they are Hamilton haters imo

  94. DC – Loads of people have pushed other drivers off the track and not got penalties – until today. There’s the inconsistency.

    Also, Hamilton didn’t hit Raikkonen, whereas Massa hit Hamilton (and went off the track to do it) so we’re really talking about two very different incidents. That’s why I wrote two separate posts: Massa and Hamilton’s Fuji crash – the penalty they got right (Video)

    Afraid he did hit Kimi Keith, as did Heikki actually…

    There are some pretty damning photos apparently taken by one of the official snappers which, no doubt we will see in time… verdict of those who saw them is that the stewards had no alternative but to give Lewis a penalty…..

  95. Please just change the name of this blog to Hamilton Fanatic Already!

  96. This has started to look like 2007 all over again. conspiracy theorists are out and about. However, the truth is, the chap could/ should have had waited and could have avoided the incident. Ham would have gone back home with a bigger lead on Massa.

    @ Keith
    As someone rightly pointed out, Kimi spun in the wet(in Monaco) and the car was fishtailing quite spectacularly, when he collected Sutil and BAMMMMMM. In Spa, Kimi held the inside line and the apex at the Bus-stop chicane. Ham was on the outside line and braked rather too late, so technically speaking, Ham ran himself out. Kimi can’t be blamed as he had the apex and the lead on track, till Ham shot ahead with a cunning stunt(he has done it before, hence…).

  97. @Lady Snowcat – could you be kind to point us these photos?
    meanwhile I make just a couple of screen shots from video which is published here frame by frame where I can’t see actually when Hamilton hit Kimi:
    http://f1.f-e-n.net/2008/Japan%2010.10%20-%2012.10.2008/FirstCorner/first_corner.html
    this is the closest moment which I can see …

  98. I think everyone here is a little over the top. Hamilton’s move wasn’t just a “first corner incident”, he nearly took 4 drivers off in one incredibly stupid move.

    I’m no fan of Ferrari or the FIA and their incredibly obvious and ham-fisted attempts to skew the championship. But I am also disgusted with McLaren and Hamilton who continuously go looking for problems – bad race strategy, bad driver management and poor racecraft. They deserve what they are getting. A bit of humility and a mature driver and McLaren would have had this championship locked up at Singapore. Intead they put themselves in this position (again!) and are almost begging the FIA to screw them.

    You get what you ask for in this life.

  99. Lady Snowat – I can’t see where he hit Raikkonen on the video but if you can show me, fair enough.

    Fernando – I’ve explained my point of view, and if you can’t be bothered to explain yours then you have no right nor basis to accuse others of bias.

  100. I’m not a Hamilton fan, but must say that this decision was bizarre. These incidents happen every race, and are never penalised.

    Also, Hamilton didn’t take him off. After Hamilton turned into the corner, there was still room for Raikkonen to take it. It was Kovalainen that actually stopped Raikkonen from taking the corner. If anyone should have been punsihed, it should have been him.

    I’m baffled. Moseley & Co., please explain.

  101. Keith – Fans like you and me think from heart and not from brain and it is but obvious that every thing we say or do would be tilted if not completely biased towards the driver we like the most. I wont present any views here but here is what and expert had to say about the incident ..

    “We’ve given the FIA Stewards some stick this season, but this time their decision to impose drive-through penalties on both drivers was without doubt the right one.

    Hamilton’s precociousness could have caused a multiple pile-up and as it was damage from the ensuing melee put at least two drivers out of the race and Massa’s move on Hamilton was quite simply bad judgement. It shows though, just how much pressure is on the two contenders.”

  102. AJ – I understand that quote is from Star Sports’ Steve Slater. I don’t know his work at all, other than that there often people on the Live Blogs complaining about his commentaries.

    I don’t agree with Slater’s interpretation for the reasons I’ve explained above. He seems to be saying ‘it was a bit dangerous so Hamilton should have got a penalty’ which is his opinion but it misses the point because the stewards penalised Hamilton for forcing a driver off the track not for ‘dangerous driving’. The issues as I see it therefore are (a) whether he did, and whether other drivers such as Kovalainen may have contributed to it, and (b) whether it’s appropriate and fair to punish him for it given how unusual it is to ever see drivers get penalties for pushing each other off the track.

    That’s my take on the situation, and it comes from the head, not the heart.

  103. Just got back home and found that Bourdais was given 25-second penalty giving one more point to Massa

    Well done FIA

  104. Well, Lewis wouldn’t have been alongside with Kimi if he would have breaked normally. It’s not really relevant to say that he (re)overtook Kimi before since he simply just didn’t break until it was far too late. It’s really not that hard to overtake someone if you ignore breaking. That kind of move would probably make sense on his Playstation, but not on a real track. I’d even say that it was Kimi who saved the day for Lewis, Heikki and himself by discovering what was about to happen and decided to go straight ahead loosing a lot of positions as a result.

    Looking at the Youtube clips on this, Lewis doesn’t exacly out-break himself a tiny bit. His tires was smoking really bad a good 2.5 seconds before deciding to go go straight ahead forcing Kimi to do the same. It was plain and simple dangerous. I think they let him off easy with just a drive-through.

  105. Keith: Would you be ok with HAM being penalized for “dangerous driving?”

    The way I see it, the “dangerous driving” had consequences; one of which was pushing RAI off-track. And the FIA chose to penalize HAM for the consequence instead of the cause.

    Same difference.

  106. I do not see the point of disccusing this as the proper Ham “regrets the first corner move” as stated in Autosport.com, after an interview on ITV.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/71343

    He knows what has done, better than anyone, mainly because he was there, at the core of the action.

    The rest is pure speculation.

    By the way a privileged spectator was FA as he is just behind of both cars. He should be asked aswell, although I can imagine the answer………

  107. Navs – No, because I don’t think it was ‘dangerous driving’. If we’re going to set the bar for ‘dangerous driving’ so low that we start penalising drivers just for out-braking themselves and getting in each others’ way, then we’d have loads more penalties. I think we have too many as it is.

  108. The way I see it, if the guy who’s no. 2 on track pushes another driver off the track gets away with it, whats the appropriate compensation for the guy who got pushed off trying to avoid a crash?

    Agreed, it shouldn’t be a drive through penalty. But some kind of penalty should be there, surely?

    Now, the guy who got pushed off is leading the race at that point, and your little overaggressive driving pushes him really down the positions, whats the compensation?

    I think its different from a normal racing situation where two drivers go at it, both refuse to back off, and one finally has to blink and go out. Thats aggression on both sides, with no one giving up, and one finally being sent on to the grass / gravel.

    That I think is qualitatively different from a situation when one is ahead, and another charges in, outbrakes, is out of control, his teammate bumps him. Possibly he bumped him too.

    Given the circumstances, I believe Hamilton should get kicked in the butt. Should it be a drive through? Maybe not. Then what, would Max Mosley giving him a lecture would suffice?

  109. Keith,

    I am sure all drivers know when to do a bit of outbraking themselves. So let this go, and then w might as well bring Montoya back, that man knows a bit about muscular driving.

    The rules are inadequate. Forget having less rules, we may need more for every specific instance. Or the argument will never stop.

    We cannot argue about new precedents being set, or rules being interpreted wrongly if the rules are few. If we dont have rules, and probably more rules the way someone complains about every decision in anybody’s favour, we are asking for Grand Theft Auto or Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. Do something stupid, give that guy some damage and take off.

    Absolutely clear rules which take care of every conceivable situation may be the only option. With their decades worth of videos and centuries worth of collective experience – and one of the team’s supercomputers would be able to visualise any potential scenario, I am sure.

    If dangerous driving it is not, maybe it is stupid driving. As Ham himself sorta admitted, for the first time ever about himself! Do we need a stupid driving penalty? Maybe yes.

  110. On many occasions this year there has been instances where people have been driven off the track. But I’m pretty sure this has been qualified as dangerous/stupid driving rather than forcing someone off the track.

    And everyone seems to have short term memories because I remember Hamilton forcing a few drivers off the road in Hockenheim when it was all fair game. So no I don’t think this penalty was down to forcing someone off the road.

  111. Rabi – the stewards’ documents says the penalty was for forcing a driver off the road (see here).

    I can’t remember when Hamilton forced anyone off the road at Hockenheim, but he certainly didn’t give Glock much space at Monza, and Raikkonen did likewise to Hamilton at Spa. But this just proves my point: why has the FIA suddenly decided to punish this sort of thing when they didn’t before on many occasions far beyond the two I’ve just quoted? It’s not consistent.

  112. Keith: Ok, we’ve narrowed down our difference of opinion to how dangerous we each think HAM’s move was and whether or not it was a normal out-braking.

    I agree with Erik (comment #107) in that it was _not_ a normal case of HAM just out-braking himself, it was much, much longer than a regular out-braking. The amount of time he spent with his front wheels locked, he might as well have been on ice, with regards to the control he had on that machine.

    It was also not a case of just two drivers going head-to-head where an out-braking would have caused only one collision.

    If you look at it from the perspective of “danger,” you need to consider:
    1. How deviant it was from a normal racing mistake
    2. What was the potential impact from the mistake

    You can’t just call it “out-braking” and make comparisons to all other instances of out-braking; you need to consider #1 and #2 above, within that category of mistakes. How bad the out-braking was and when it happened need to be included in the decision-making, shouldn’t they?

  113. Navs – Even if I did agree with your interpretation of how dangerous Hamilton’s mistake was, I still don’t think we’d be anyway near a situation where the stewards would have considered giving him a penalty for dangerous driving.

    To take an obvious example that a lot of people will remember, at Spa in 2000 Michael Schumacher deliberately swerved into the path of Mika Hakkinen at 200mph on the Kemmel straight. That to me seems far worse than what Hamilton did today, because (a) Schumacher did it on purpose and (b) the speeds were greater. If the stewards don’t consider a deliberate swerve at 200+mph dangerous, then would they consider an accidental out-brake at a lower speed to be dangerous? Logically, you’d have to think not.

    To take a more recent example, was Hamilton’s loss of control worse than Raikkonen’s at Monaco when he hit Sutil? I think they were certainly comparable. And in terms of end result, Sutil was elimiated from the race at Monte-Carlo, Raikkonen wasn’t at Fuji.

    But let’s not lose sight of the point: the stewards didn’t punish Hamilton for dangerous driving, so we’re off on a bit of a tangent here!

  114. Keith: Fair point. We are indeed off on a tangent (sort of) and we’re entering subjective areas. I’m now much closer to your point of view but not all the way there, so let’s agree to disagree.

    Thank you so much for participating actively in the comments and running a well-informed and unbiased site.

    Cheers.

  115. Navs – You’re very welcome. I try my best :-)

  116. Boudais gets the penalty, its true what they say “Truth is stranger than Fiction”, can you hear that whirring sound…..its Senna spinning in He`s grave

  117. I worry for Lewis`s safety, corruption has no bounds in search of its goal, if Lewis wins and they cant fix the result after the race who knows what length they will go to.

  118. Don’t know if this point has already been made, but it seems as if in Japan Lewis was penalised for pushing Kimi off the circuit, yet when Kimi did the same to Lewis in Spa, Lewis got penalised for “not using the circuit”…

  119. About the incident at Monaco. If you remember, he didn’t overcooked it… The car jumped when they were about to brake, it was out of control. He braked, but it was nothing to do.

    That can’t be compared to this in any way!.

    The incident between Hamilton and Raikkonen at Spa was also different. It was also different to Massa’s ram on Lewis at the chicane today. I think you discussed that penalty Hamilton got at Spa long time ago, but i still agree with the stewards, he was really behind Kimi and Kimi only took the racing line.

    Then you have this, Hamilton going far far away from the braking point. It doesn’t matter realy how they shoul dhave penalized him. But i can’t understand how he wants to be a World Champion.

    You see, when Michael had JUST centimeters of advantage, he would kill you in a minute. This guy has that gap on WDC and starting from pole, HE SMASHES ALL OPORTUNITIES!…

    can’t belive how bad all championship contenders are racing these year…

  120. Keith, is this new video footage?

    I have to admit seeing the start from a new angle (49-55 seconds in the clip) Hamilton’s maneouvre definitely takes both Raikkonen and himself off track. Sure that’s because he locked up, but once again he gives the FIA stewards room to penalize him – which they duly deliver. On this point, he can’t be under any illusions. Balanced with Massa’s own red mist incident shortly after, where he effectively took Lewis out of the race, I’d simply question whether it was right to penalize one and not the other. Neither driver was concerned whether the maneouvre would take the other driver (Rai or Ham) out or not. Either punish both (as FIA did) or neither. I’d prefer neither, but I think it’s also arguable that not putting a lid on this kind of cahotic driving would simply prejudice both drivers in the run-in. Probably to Kubica’s advantage!

  121. In all the years of racing, and first corner incidents, has there ever been a penalty given for taking someone out of the race, let alone running someone wide? All this talk of ‘almost causing a massive pile up’, the same could be said of anyone making a mistake at turn 1.

  122. With regards to Hamilton´s penalty, Let´s keep it simple, we´ve seen and will continue to see drivers chuck their car up the inside of another into a corner and miss the apex as a result of going in too deep.

    Can anyone remember a single time a driver having done this and been penalised for what is pure and simply a racing incident? I doubt it.

    How many other cars went wide at the first corner today missing the apex? pretty much everyone.

    If Hamilton´s actions deserved a penalty how the hell does Kovaleinen get away with actually bumping into Kimi?

    The FIA are creating a big problem for themselves here because the next time a car goes in too deep attemptng to overtake and in turn forcing the other car wide, they´ll be forced to hand out the same penalty. In the end drivers will be too scared to chance a move like this through fear of a drive through and so a sport crying out for a bit more excitement will become less and less entertaning.

    Well done to Max and his puppets, keep up the good work!!!

  123. Hardly compares to this other first corner incident:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLYC1lnVAic

    Senna was allowed to keep the championship even after that one so I’m thinking Lewis didn’t really deserve a penalty for outbraking himself in turn 1.

  124. I think that this start was so horrendous that you either must give penalties to half the field or you must simply not penalize anyone at all.

  125. Well….I think Hamster got away with the warning from stewards in Monza for the move on Glock. This today was the same…Hamy kinda move and it’s about the time to make him stop driving with no respect for others. What I do not get is the ppl who think he should not have gotten the penalty…I have one question for them then: if Kimi did not went of wide and Hamilton would have crashed into his right side…would’ve that been Kimis fault?

  126. A drivers natural style takes over when he starts a race.Hamilton will be a champion.He is a natural racer,like Senna.

  127. How ridiculous, is everyone blind? That kind of driving is so dangerous. It only shows that Hamilton is desperately doing everything to get the WDC. I remberber playing the BTCC on PS2 few years back. I always get a message “dangerous driving” when i try to pass rivals by getting inside of them and late breaking. The way Hamilton did on the first corner. It was impossible for him to take that corner with that speed. It’s absolutely a stupid move.

    Of course, that stupid move deserves penalty. But having a penalty equal to Massa’s, that’s a different story. I think Massa should have a harsher one.

    “Am a ferrari fan who really hates (loud mouth)Massa”

  128. Hamilton deserved it, he ruined Kimi’s race. Hamilton is showing what it would be like with Sato in a McLaren.

  129. we want overtaking and great moves, but when someone gives it a go, they find it to dangerous.
    Real racers like Lewis have a ‘set’ and goes for it.
    It’s a pitty it gets penalised

  130. The only penalty ‘they got wrong’ was the penalty for Bourdais.

    I used to like this site…

  131. @owen,

    That wasn’t a mistake. That was intentional, not to take Raikkonen off but to pass him in a dangerous manner. and also, hamilton would not be able to take that corner on that speed. and he kew it.

  132. *knew it (i mean)

  133. @CD.

    That kind of driving is so dangerous.

    I beg your pardon, but what did you expect to see? Mud wrestling, twenty men just ambling around and no overtaking, like the F1 we have experienced for years?
    Let me remind you, that every second those drivers climb into those cars, they have ‘chosen’ to put themselves in harms way. Risk, danger, balls, is what ‘real’ racing is about, and trading the odd paint now and again.
    As John Lennon once said; ‘To succeed in life, you have to be an ****hole.’ Never a more true word mentioned! Michael Schumacher, Aryton Senna, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Alberto Ascari, Fangio. All of these men are legends, and deserved to be. Everyone of them, at some stage, pulled the kind of move we saw today. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t!
    The truth of the matter is, that the nice guys, like your Rubens Barrichellos, Jean Alesi’s, Jenson Button’s, Gerhard Berger’s, never won championships because they would seldom ‘go all out’ to win. That is the name of the game, that is racing. That is life.
    The strong get stronger and the weak get eaten!!

  134. well said limit! :)

  135. @limit

    ok then. why don’t you celebrate WDC now with the ******** champion Lewis.

    You can be champion without those harsh moves. It’s their choice. Maybe title is much more important to lewis than respect.

    I would prefer a champion with so much respect than an ******** champ.

  136. @limit

    do you mean world champion is synonymous with ********?

    What about Mika Hakinen? Btw, am a shummi fan.

  137. Robert, good call!
    “It is just amazing to me how this blog is so biased towards Hamilton.”

    It had been a few accuse like this about this blog many times, I choose not to believe & I come back to visit again every time because Keith do provide some good analysis & insights..

    But after this “The penalty they got wrong”… no, I have to say this blog is really bias..!!

    We can really see that that was a deliberate move by Hamilton, just like a kiddo who just can’t admit he screw up the startup & clearly again we can see the childishness of Hamilton when the final lap he trying to un-lap him from Alonso… cannot deny that he got the talent, but he needs years to gain the experience & shake of the overwhelm ego & childishness.. We can’t put a kid who thinks he is the “God” there to fool around in the track, harming other drivers.

  138. Before everyone yells “conspiracy, conspiracy” .. you have to remember that the stewards have more access to more footage and more technical information than we do.. Generally fans only see one set of footage from their host broadcaster, whereas the stewards have access from all cameras at all times. They also have access to all the technical information. We don’t. The other thing is to look at the drivers comments afterwards. I respect what Kimi says as a driver, he is known as the Iceman and not given to hysteria or propaganda comments. He says that he was actually hit by both McClarens in the first corner incident so the surprise is not that Hamilton got the penalty, the surprise is that Kovaleinen didn’t, perhaps because his race was largely over by the time the decision was made? More importantly, is the comment by Kubica. Kubica is fond of Italy, but he also used to be a friends with Hamilton and Kubica has said that it was a dangerous move on Hamilton’s part and deserved a penalty, no question. It was really Kimi’s skill which helped avoid a more serious accident. Kubica also said that he was surprised that Hamilton should have got a penalty at Monza for dangerous driving and didn’t, instead he was given a verbal warning at the next driver pre-race briefing. Again, we don’t have all the facts so really second guessing & bagging the stewards might be a fun side game to F1, but fairly pointless

  139. To oricon and kate:

    two thumbs up to you guys… and that says it all. Amen.

  140. I’ve lost a lot of respect for young Mr. Hamilton.
    He came on the scene last year as McLaren’s saviour, after a few podiums he started thumbing his nose at Alonso and the decay continues. Concerning the Japan GP first turn incident …… that was as DELIBERATE as anything I’ve seen in years, his penalty should have been given for UN-SPORTSMANLIKE conduct. Kimi should have been give a 25 second CREDIT for his actions in avoiding what could have been a real mess! The Massa incident also, Hammy was at ease pushing Massa off, Massa made the classic error of straight lining the turn and earned his penalty, contact with Hammy was of no consequence, unless you’re biased towards the Mclaren driver. At the end of the day Hamilton got what he deserved ………. NOTHING!

  141. Ever since his arrival on the F1 scene 2 years ago, I have been a fan of Hamilton. I found him to be an exciting & naturally talented racer. Last year when he made mistakes and messed up his WDC chances I thought that it was understandable. He was a rookie then and needed more time to mature. He was yet to understand that success is not about going full throttle all the time. You need to down-shift and slow down at times.

    After yesterday’s Japanese GP, I have given up on this guy. He does not have the right temperament to be the best in the world. Forget Massa and the stewards. Lewis has the natural ability to self destruct. He does not need external help.

    If you put all the current pack of drivers in same (or very similar performing) cars and run a whole championship I feel that many others (including Alonso, Kubica & Vettel) could be above HAM and MAS in the points.

  142. Hamilton is a no-brain racer. Give him a Force India car and you would never see him in score a point, but you can bet he takes everyone out in the back of the field. A shunt here and a nudge there.

    He’s a child thats playing a race game on a console. So what if Kimi passes him in the first lap, he had 67 other laps to try and pass him.

    He’ll never win a championship in his entire career.

  143. Isn’t this more FIA inconsistency? When Kimi forced Hammy off the track a few races ago, it was Hammy who got penalised for taking a shortcut.
    Now we get Hammy forcing Kimi (and a few others, admittedly) off the tracck and he gets penalised for dangerous driving? Shouldn’t a precedent be followed and the other cars be penalised for taking a shortcut? Or another precedent be followed and Hammy not get penalised, since it was this rare thing called ‘racing’?

  144. Let me just point out a few inconsistencies about Stewards. Massa makes an unsafe release from the pits in Valensia and doesn’t receive a penalty. He makes another one in Singapore and receives the penalty. But guess what, he was allready last, and there are no overtaking opportunities in Singapore. Kimi outbrakes himself in Monaco, Sutil race (race of his life) is ruined, and doesn’t receive a penalty. Lewis gains an unfair adventage in France (while overtaking) and receives a penalty, he does same thing again (in stewards opinion) in Spa and guess what, receives a penalty. All I can deduce from this is that Hamliton would have not received the penalty if Massa didnt make an obvious mistake and deserved the penalty.

  145. Trig – On the post about the Bourdais penalty I wrote: “I’ve only seen the external camera angle of the Bourdais/Massa collision, I can’t say for sure whether Bourdais did anything wrong until I see an onboard from his car. But it doesn’t look as though he did anything wrong.” I haven’t seen an onboard yet. If I do, and Bourdais is up against that kerb, expect a similar post.

    Oricon – “That was a deliberate move by Hamilton, just like a kiddo who just can’t admit he screw up the startup” Hamilton said afterwards: “You can always look back and wish you’d done something (differently) – I made a mistake and I paid for it.” Sounds like he’s admitting it to me.

    “I come back to visit again every time because Keith do provide some good analysis & insights.” Thank you for those kind words. Can I suggest that the measure of whether a writer is a fair one is not whether you agree with them all the time, but whether they consistently apply the kind of rigour you’ve described all the time. That is what I try to do though I’m not saying I manage it successfully every time. I think the points I’ve made above about Hamilton’s penalty are fair, based on facts and informed by recent events. And I thought exactly the same about this other post where I criticised Hamilton for his mistake passing Vettel at Magny-Cours.

    On the ‘deliberate’ question, I think I’ll do a separate post on that later, because it takes us into a whole other and potentially even more controversial area…

  146. really appaling driving from lewis ,although i am a through mclaren fan i must say that lewis is not worthy of his seat at mclaren.even if he wins the wdc he is not worthy of it just for sheer number of mistakes he has commited.every time in a crunch situation his brain just switches off. The penalty was obviously expected, knowing how biased the stewards are towards ferrari, lewis must have been extra careful. and by the way why did kovi’s engine blow up. mercedes have been so reliable since the mid 2006. Hope lewis’s doesn’t blow up in china,even if it does i wouldn’t be surprised . mclaren have been blackmailed into submission by ferrari & their sister organisation FIA. I expect it to be just like last year where massa takes the title in front of his home fans & lewis retires with some kind of a mech problem. i’m more intersted in WCC than WDC. hope Mclaren wins it. its been 10 years & a long wait.

  147. Keith:
    Oricon – “That was a deliberate move by Hamilton, just like a kiddo who just can’t admit he screw up the startup” Hamilton said afterwards: “You can always look back and wish you’d done something (differently) – I made a mistake and I paid for it.” Sounds like he’s admitting it to me.

    Yes, i see that, he admit after the race..

    what i mean in my last statement is, he can’t admit when he was inside the car, when Kimi passed him from his perfect start; and the Hammi yelled “oh no you don’t”; floor the accelerator & do the monkey show in Japan 1st corner.. (darn, i sound like Jeremy Clarkson)

  148. Oricon – Ah I see what you mean now and yes, you’re right, it was a total misjudgement and a very costly one.

  149. oricon: So are you saying Hammy isn’t allowed to try to overtake a driver who has just passed him? Are other drivers allowed to do it, but not Hammy? Or would you like a nice orderly queue round the circuit, in Q3 order (or do you want to determine the order into the first corner using your remote control?)

  150. Keith
    Why to not write to FIA, GPDA, FOTA and asking them to have former F1 drivers (Stewart, Prost, Lauda, Villeneuve, …) doing stewards at F1 Grand Prix. Don’t you think it’s the best way to not have anymore ridiculous decisions from stewards this year ? If we have former drivers and former F1 World Champions, decisions should be more fair and understood ?

    I didn’t think to Schumacher because he’s still be involved in a F1 team (and what team !!)

  151. Captain Caveman
    13th October 2008, 10:42

    I genuinely have to ask how many of the bloggers here have been f1 followers for more than 2 years, i.e pre Hamilton.

    The fact of the matter is that F1 is about racing and racing incidents do occur, but when need be the stewards need to get involved and I believe they did so correctly in 2 of the 3 key moments yesterday.

    Bourdais I saw as a racing incident and it was too harsh. Massa and Hamilton were well metered in my eyes. Lewis counter argument of “well I did not hit anyone” is plainly farcical. He only avoided a serious impact because of the attentiveg driving of the like of Kimi. if Kimi had not changed his line drastically there could have been a 3 if not 4 car collision.

    If Hamilton was just as attentive against Massa may-be he would not have been hit. I say this purely as a point of argument, because I don’t believe it is for Hamilton to forecast or accommodate Massa’s mistake, in exactly the same way as Kimi having to accommodate lewis’s mistake.

    Both drivers got what they deserved. Fair and square.

    Question I have : Was Lewis given penalty for forcing drivers wide, which he did. Or was it for his aggressive change of line forcing Kovi to take measures…. I am not sure, but for future reference it might be worthwhile finding out.

  152. Caveman – He got the penalty for ‘forcing another driver of the track’ (see comment 114). Presumably that means Raikkonen, although it does look like Kovalainen was at least as guilty of doing that as Hamilton was – if not more so.

  153. Keith:
    mp4-19: what was the need to take such a risk. It isn’t the first time that a driver has lost a place to the second placed car & come back to claim it back within the same lap. We all remember 2005 istanbul where kimi was passed by alonso, but kimi reclaimed the place within the same lap & went on to win that race. Just recently lewis was quoted saying that he has learnt from last year’s mistake & has come out stronger than last year. What is that he has learnt? Lewis has to change a lot if he is to reach great heights. In my opinion lewis has underperformed since his debut. I mean mclaren is such a well balanced car,yet he manages to throw away race wins & championships. In my opinion it is because of lewis that mclaren have lost WCC since 2001.They put all their efforts towards the failed cars namely mp4-18,19,19b,21.all similar looking cars.The mp4-22 as a result was an evoution of all the previously mentioned cars.so in theory it took mclaren 5 complete seasons of compremises to arrive at a race winning car. The sacrificial goats in the process were hakkinen,coulthard ,montoya. Lewis is a grossly overestimated driver. The car was purpose built to suite him. Raikkonen’s career took a beating at mclaren indirectly due to the immenent
    entry of lewis into the team. Its because of hamilton that the team failed to win any race in 2006. They choose to develop the mp4-22 instead of its predessor. Lastly this may sound as an allegation of astronomical proportions: IT IS BECAUSE OF HAMILTON THAT JUAN PABLO MONTOYA QUIT THE SPORT. i’ve been a mclaren fan since the launch of the mp4-12 in 1997 & by the way i despise everything about ferrari & i have a lot of respect for mclaren just for joy of watching their cars . i think its time for ron dennis to step down either martin whitmarsh or norbert haugh must take over ,otherwise this team is going nowhere espicially with lewis as its lead driver.

  154. FIA should just forgo all the tedious racing and just decide themselves the drivers and manufacturers positions for the end of the season.

    Itd certainly save all the sponsors and teams alot of money.

    Really, whats the point? Sure it makes the end of the season somewhat more exciting, but at what expense? And does it really if you cant really on the ppositions actually being decided on the track.

    The first corner incident was a typical first corner-first-lap incident, everyone arrives at once and some break early, some late, some gain, some loose, some stay on the track, some go off. So long as no-one rams other drivers its all good.

  155. @Robert, comment 10:
    “It is just amazing to me how this blog is so biased towards Hamilton”
    Clearly youre a new reader.

  156. schumi the greatest
    13th October 2008, 11:30

    Ive read every comment about this now and to all the people compalaining about bias, this is keiths blog, its his opinion, whether its right or not isnt the point, if you dont like his opinions, dont read them FFS!

    Back to the penalty, i would say that in every grand prix start something like this happens, a driver out-braking himself and in doing so forces another driver to take avoiding action, the thing is it probably happens towards the back of the field, if it had been fisichella squabbling for 18th place and he nearly took out couldthard for example do you think we’d all be arguing about this now? No, because the stewards wouldnt have done anything about it. There are plenty of people claiming the penalty was right because LH doesnt need to be trying to win every race, but just because he doenst need to necessarily win the race does that mean he should receive a penalty for doing his job??? im not saying it was the right move, obviously it wasnt, but its easy to say that from your armchair. The kind of presssure the guy is under, at age 23 is something none of us can understand. No doubt LH will look back on this race with bad memories but hes still young and hes still learning. hes only in his 2nd season of f1 and hes having to learn the hard way.

    @: the limit – i couldnt agree more, finally someone who reads this blog isnt naive enough to think you can get to the top of a world sport by being a nice, fair guy. The reality is, no matter how much people dont want to accept it, is that cheating/gamesmanship happens in sport everywhere, always has, always will, and the ones prepared to go that little bit further are the ones who reap the rewards.

    Hamilton has them traits, and in time it will come together and he will win multiple championships. Hes proven hes got the talent, his pole in fuji demonstarted that, once he sorts his temprament out he’s going to be a hell of a hard guy to beat.

    all in all a rash move by hamilton and one, at this stage of the championship he didnt need to make but at least the guy tries to race and the penalty was unjust.

    I can understand why alot of people dont like hamilton, he is very sure of himself and he says a few things which dont win fans over but, if you want to watch a soap opera on a sunday, where the nice people win out, watch the eatsenders omnibus instead!!!!

    Rant over

    crongratulations once again keith, dont let the people who dont respect other people’s opinions stop your great site.

  157. “all in all a rash move by hamilton and one, at this stage of the championship he didnt need to make but at least the guy tries to race and the penalty was unjust.”
    Yes indeed, at least he’s not just sitting there racing just enough to win without trying that little more and maybe pushing it too much.
    Watching the Fuji race really showed me how lacklustre and middle-of-the road ferrari’s drivers are. they seemed to make no effort whatsoever, no risks, and really dont deserve to win the championship. Lower team drivers like Kubica, Bourdais, Heidfeld, Glock and Vettel – to name but a few, put in more effort and took more risks
    Maybe Im biased.

  158. Keith, I have to admire your efforts with this. The FIA have so soured F1 for me with their blatant pro-Ferrari decisions now that I can barely be bothered with it. To carry on with this blog and all the time and effort it must require shows commitment, particularly when so many of your readers have such poor grasp of what the sport is supposed to be about and accuse you of a thousand different forms of bias. Well done.

    As I find myself beginning to wonder if F1 is worth it any more, perversely after every ridiculous decision goes against him I also find myself wanting Hamilton to win it more and more. Perhaps that’s the point and there is a method in the FIA’s madness but if they succeed and Massa gets gifted this championship then F1 and I are done.

  159. DG:
    Please, be rational, everybody love overtaking, we are debating here just because we love F1.

    There were times when we watch the Pro’s doing overtaking maneuver, we punch air when success, we “awww” when fail; they all doing it in style, not causing harm to others (my favorite is when Hakkinen over take Michael back on SPA 2000, It’s just plain clever!!). But look at Hammi “The God”. At that corner, he got totally not chance at all to have a successful overtaking! He just reacts as a child when his toy was grap by other kids, & he just tries to grap it back!

    Almost everyone (drivers) who at the scene saying that was a silly move (of cause they not giving name & phrase it politely).

    *DC:(or do you want to determine the order into the first corner using your remote control?)

    No.. no me, but Hammi will love it! Ferrari not good in Qualifying this year remember? hahaha….

  160. I will keep saying this, that a lot of readers on here, do not base their comments on fact, but on sentiments.

    I have been following F1 for over 20year, not 2 years, I don’t base my analysis or comments on a video game warning me that it is a dangerous move. While I admit the move was risky, Hamilton was side by side with Kimi when he started to brake, and we see this kind of move in racing all the time, late braking.

    Hamitons move could never have caused a pile up, because they were well ahead of everyone else.

    Virtually every driver ran wide at the start. Some ran wide but were still able to stay on the track, while others couldn’t stay on the track.

    Massa was not directly involved with the 2 Mclarens up front, but he still ran wide. This is the first time these drivers have had a proper race start on this circuit, so there was no reference point on braking.

    Rosberg’s pass on Trulli in Singapore was an outbraking move. And he had his wheels locked for just as long as Hamilton had here. So the length of time a driver locks his brakes is irrelevant.

    @ Number38
    Your version of events in the Massa – Hamilton Accident, frightens me.

    On the Bourdais incident:
    Bourdais should have put his car in the middle like every other driver and completely block Massa, his attempt to be fair, and give Massa room has been used against him.

    Finally:
    This is an open blog, its not pro Hamilton, I was mad with Keith when he criticized Hamilton in France, because I thought we viewers didn’t have a second angle of the incident. His reporting is fair, just we bloggers that show emotions.

    Lets not forget when we discuss these stewards decisions, we are questioning the decisions, the drivers who happen to be in the car at the time, hence the actors, are only used as a reference, hence we must always speak based on fact, not motive or emotions.

    Have a clear head and present your argument, a thief convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, is still injustice, even if poetic justice.

  161. oricon: Yeah, I had to get your attention though, didn’t I?
    If you read any of my comments you know I want to see real racing and decent moves – and in this race neither Hammy or Massa did any decent moves.
    But, in the run down to the first corner, its winner takes all isn’t it? So you try to judge it calmly, and WHAM, where did he come from? he was miles behind? I gotta go for it again!
    Watch all the front runners, I think they all did that and Hammy lost out, with nowhere to go…..
    And I repeat, I wasn’t impressed with him at all during the entire race, and not with Massa either!

  162. Right on Oliver! I think its the pro-ferrari camp thats biased here. Massa definitely does not deserve to win the WDC. He is an idiot who spews nonsense whenever he opens his mouth. Lewis is a bit over enthusiatic at times but thats the type of racing I love to watch. Drivers going for the win. And for those who dont like Keith’s blog, stop reading. BTW, I’m not from the UK and I respect Keith’s opinion even though I might not always agree with him but this time I think he’s right.

  163. Oliver & Schumi: great posts. Every Hamilton thread ends up in a lot of Hambashing, its getting as predictable as tiresome. I mean just read this from mp4-19: “In my opinion lewis has underperformed since his debut. I mean mclaren is such a well balanced car,yet he manages to throw away race wins & championships.”

    Poor Lewis has raised the bar so high for rookies that anything but 1st is a failure? In that case Kova and Kimi shouldn’t be in a racecar this season, neither should Alonso. Come on, it’s funny how a less controversial driver such as Bourdais gets nothing but sympathy in that thread, even though his teammate has a whopping 8 times more points than him he gets all the benefit of doubt from our readers.

    FIA screwed up, again, in favour for one team, again. Admit as much.

  164. Independently of the penalty, Ham should try harder to get some points, overtaking people… I’m disappointed. Massa at least tried it, in his way though…

  165. @ Oliver – well said, Sir!

    I have been a fan of F1 for 25 years or more and have never seen so many penalties awarded, and for so many pathetic reasons. In 25 years of watching the sport I must have seen nearly 100 starts like yesterday’s, and a penalty has never before been given.

    The difference between the two judgements is the intent of the driver’s awarded penalties. In my opinion, Hamilton looked like he just wanted to regain his position, Massa looked like he deliberately wanted to knock Hamilton out.

    Separately to that, a lot of people knock Hamilton for his (undoubted) arrogance. Those people should read Massa’s comments from yesterday. Hamilton amazingly comes across as being far more humble.

    And as for the Bourdais penalty – it is hard to see of any other way in which it could be construed, other than as a way of fixing the race in favour of Ferrari. Bourdais committed no crime.

  166. roser- ham had an extra pitstop and a drive thru penalty. He had floor and barge board damage. He was catching Massa at 2 seconds a lap till he was drive thru’d but yeh he shoulda tried harder…

  167. schumi the greatest
    13th October 2008, 13:53

    Good point about the start oliver, i was thinking this was the 1st time the drivers did a proper start at the circuit and that might have had something to do with it, it wasnt only hamilton who ran wide, plenty of the drivers did.

    Rightfully so plenty of people have alluded to the hamilton bashing that happens day in day out on this site by some commentators. What i dont understand is the animosity towards LH, ok so he may not be everyone’s cup of tea but i dont see why some people let the fact that they dont like his personality cloud theier judgement about his talent. He is a remarkable driver and with time & experience he will get better. just because he started out with one of the best cars on the grid doesnt make him any less deserving of a tittle than raikkonen because he started at sauber. He still had to deliver, and he has, maybe not to the extent this year as some hoped, myself included, but he was bound to make some errors at some point due to his lack of experience.

    I wonder though, if the same people complaining that LH started out in a race winning car were so disgusted when david coulthard started his first few grand prix in the 94 williams, which went on to win the constructors tittle that year and had his 1st full season in the 95 williams which had the speed to be a championship winner only for schumacher to blow them away. Were you so critical of dc for that?? i dont think it matters what LH does people will criticise him. If he won from 22nd on the grid youd make up some crap excuse.

    Im talking in general here, im not saying every 1 who comments on this site is the same, luckily a few who dont like him do see the talent he has and admit it when he has a great performance (silverstone this year for example)

    i cant wait to see hamilton win the tittle this year and laugh at all the ridiculous comments about luck and other nonsense.

  168. I am a Ferrai fan, but first and foremost I am an F1 fan. The inconsistancies that are being littered over the season are ruining it for the fans, whatever your allegiance.

    I would love to be able to take a look at the video of every first corner run in the last 15 years and see how many times this exact scenario has played out. I could be wrong, but I do not ever remember a penalty for such an incident.

    If you look at the video it is clearly Kovy that forces Kimi wide… OK so Lewis started it off but how far down the grid do you go when someone at the front makes a move that affects the followers… should he get a penalty for DC coming off????

    Take a look here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN4heMtDCRQ … Tell me this is not Kimi forcing Hamilton off the road for which HAMILTON later got a penalty..

    I am all for hard racing, even the odd argy bargy Schumi style, but when the FIA are your third driver it is dark, dishounorable days for the Tifosi.

  169. hey i think

    what the fia(ferrari assistence) is doing in front of us,they may be planning what can be done behind the scenes.(screwing with car) rember ham’s gear suddenly comes to neutrel(brazil 2007),f1 sterring wheel is fully electronic and can be programmed to beahave.
    keith i want u reply my question
    whether after qualifying where top 8 cars are kept?
    .

  170. Keith

    I know you’re probably not looking for more F1 related things to do, but you should really start an F1 version of this website: http://www.rightresult.net/

    Whenever there’s a clearly wrong or bizarre mistake by a Premier League referee, they correct it and keep a new table with the Right Result!

    It might make watching F1 worthwhile if we could check the actual result rather than the FIA massaged version! You could even appeal drive-thru penalties!

    Obviously FIA will never consider the outraged feelings of F1 fans. We are irrelevant.

    One championship for us, one for Max Mosley.

  171. Hey my friend Oliver……..

    @ Number38
    Your version of events in the Massa – Hamilton Accident, frightens me.

    I’ll give Hammy credit it did look as though he was PASSING Massa (not yet past) but what he did next is what got him in trouble. He “closed the door” on the Ferrari and forced Massa off. View the video again, Massa has his two left wheels throwing grass and dirt,
    Massa COULDN’T stop if he wanted to! His car no doubt bottomed going over the berm. Massa was not in control. It was a mere racing incident although clearly less than ‘sportsmanlike’ on Hammy’s part. And of course Hammy now has the gaul to blame the Ferrari driver, classic Hamilton. And we’ve got 10 more years of this guy coming.

  172. For years we have moaned about F1 becoming like a Scalextrics, then we moan that he didn`t race like Scalextrics. Me thinks we want our cake, and we want to eat it, while at the same time we criticize the chef for making such a tasty cake.

  173. @Gusto – we want over-taking. We don’t want ridiculous penalties awarded for every over-taking move.

    @Number38 – Massa could easily have avoided the accident, and in my opinion, deliberately casued it. After the first corner in the chicane, Massa accelerates too much to simply get him round the next corner of the chicane (regardless of where he is on or off the track) – the only way he could have slowed sufficiently for the second part of the chicane was by driving into Hamilton. Which he did.

  174. Funny, Hamilton managed to avoid an accident in a similar set of events in Spa.

    Massa just had to break earlier and steer LEFT rather than RIGHT. He was Shumacher-esque in his fit of pique driving into Hamilton.

  175. El Gordo Iam with you on that one, what I meant is that in people`s eyes he can do no right, whatever race strategy he uses people say `I wanna see this` and `I wanna see that` and whatever he does we moan about it, and as for Massa saying stuff like `he pushed me wide and then my move was hard but fair and I dont Understand why a got a penalty, and the Boudais penalty was fair` is the talk of a jibbering Idiot, I should know, Iam one :-)

  176. I dare say hamilton did deserve the penalty, he did a stupid move and put half a dozen drivers at risk of crashing as well as making some go off track. He almost his his own team mate in his desperation to keep Kimi behind him, if he goes on like this it will not be long before he hurts someone.

    Massa will be WDC 2008 and not because of his own driving skills, but because of hamilton’s lack of them when the pressure is on, I thought he had learned from last year but he hasn’t and he will do the same again.

  177. Well one things for sure. Thanks for the updated video. It explains to me how Lewis ended up behind Massa on lap1. He not only stuffed up the 1st corner he did it again at the 2nd corner. :D

    I reckon these are the “Mistakes” that he said he made to the press, following the race.

    Looking at the overhead shot on this new video (I didn’t see it on the ITV coverage), there simply didn’t appear to be enough room for everyone. The distance from the start line to this 1st corner hairpin resulted in a high speed to low speed stop for the whole field. I’m impressed only 1 driver was eliminated mid field.
    Hardly anyone made the apex and you can’t therefore really penalise a driver for locking wheels. Especially when they didn’t hit anyone else!
    Kimi was still on the racetrack until Kovi bumped into him. Another bizarre F1 moment from the stewards.
    I guess this year is “Penalty-gate!”

  178. @ El Gordo: Have to disagree with you mate. I don’t believe Massa DELIBERATELY caused the accident anymore than I believed that Hamilton deliberately rammed into Raikkonen in Montreal. Loads of people accused Hamilton of running into Raikkonen but I rigorously defended Hamilton by saying that it was nonsense for the same reason. Why would they want to risk taking themselves out??

    If it was the last race of the season and a driver was ahead his rival in points then YES it would make sense taking out your rival as well as yourself (think Schumacher). But this was not the case with Massa as it was not the case with Hamilton in Montreal.

    Did Massa make a mistake? Yes, Did he deserve the penalty? Definitely. Was it intentional? Ludicrous, and I think Hamilton accusing Massa of that was very unsportsmanlike (though I’m none too impressed with some of Massa’s comments of late either).

  179. @Number 38
    I have seen replays of the incident between Massa and Hamilton, even without the benefit of those replays, I am certain Massa was in the wrong.

    He had run very wide, so wide that he was, perpendicular to the next corner he was going to negotiate. Also, he had lost momentum and was already fully behind the Mclaren. Hamilton took the proper line through the corner, yes he still gave Massa almost a cars width at the following corner.

    If you claim you watched the replay, you hould have seen that he did not make any attempt to climb the kerb. The car following behind them, Kimi’s, took the corner the same way Hamilton did, so how did you arrive at your conclusion?

  180. (Steam coming out of ears down to a trickle) Are there m/any examples of a driver being penalized for losing it under braking into the first corner of a race?. and considering it was Kova that done the dirty deed, makes it all the more bizarre (well not to me!). I think Massa was just praying that the move would stick, he had more to lose ie suspension failure, lost nose cone, puncture etc.. than Lewis ,the fact that Lewis spun and he`s own car was ok is a bonus, then a racers natural arrogance will kick in and say “nothing wrong with that”. The day you stop going for the gap, is the day you stop being a racing driver and become a `also ran`. But as they were gonna nail Lewis they had to nail Massa as well or they would`ve `let the cat out of the bag`. And then they do the Boudais decision.???????..You couldn`t make this stuff up!

  181. Oh, I nearly forgot, You know, Massa `leaving the track and gaining an advantage`, Webber shuts the inside door as to make Massa take the outside line and all that slow in fast out *********, No I`ll drive straight through the Pit Hatchings and frighten the life out of Him`… quality….. but as Martin implied “That could of ended with a very big accident”……..but if there`s a gap, I`am your chap…. thats what the new punters want, thats what the new punters will get.

  182. @Jolene
    …and for those who do not like FIA/Stewards decisions, stop watching F1.

  183. Without Hamilton, and with Alonso, McLaren and Mercedes would have had consecutive world championships last year and this. Mercedes’ board should be pushing for them to dump Dennis this year and Hamilton the next if he keeps his record of screwing up when the chips are down. That would mean luring Alonso back for 2010.

  184. Motion….let me guess, Ferrari fan?

  185. raikkonen got a drive through penalty in melbourne for forcing schumacher go off track on turn 1 once

  186. Dcal, no a slightly disappointed RBR/Webber fan (not bold or good enough recently – I hate watching 1 stoppers who can’t race from P6 down).

    Otherwise it is pure business in my views of Ferrari/McLaren/Alonso. Hamilton is fast but ratty and his being a choker is on record and he should only be given 1 more year. Dennis lost the plot last year as a team manager and will never recover.

    Alonso and Kubica are the two top performing drivers this year by far and I think McLaren should give de la Rosa a steep pay rise for holding the development side up after Alonso’s departure.

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