F1.com reacts to criticism of Fuji penalties by releasing new videos

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Did Hamilton or Kovalainen force Raikkonen off the track at Fuji?
Did Hamilton or Kovalainen force Raikkonen off the track at Fuji?

Following criticism of some of the penalties served to drivers during the Japanese Grand Prix Formula One Management has published a montage of footage showing new angles of the incidents.

Most of the angles were not shown to fans who saw the standard F1 television footage as provided to ITV and many other stations during the race.

I’ve had a look at the videos and it’s given me some new thoughts on the incidents. Have a look for yourself and post your comments below.

Hamilton and Raikkonen

I’d seen the first two shots before. The third, slightly higher angle makes it very clear that it was Heikki Kovalainen, not Lewis Hamilton, that put Kimi Raikkonen off the circuit.

Watching the onboard from Hamilton made me realise he hadn’t actually out-braked himself by as much as I originally thought he had – he did go off the circuit, but not as far as I first thought.

This made me realise Raikkonen must have braked a bit late for the corner as well – though not as late as Hamilton – or surely Hamilton would have shot past him and Raikkonen would have been able to turn into the corner, as we’ve seen happen many times before (think Massa and Hamilton at Sepang last year).

Read more about this incident: Hamilton and Raikkonen?s Fuji clash – the penalty they got wrong (Video)

Massa and Hamilton

Not much new here – Mass clearly hit Hamilton and deserved a penalty. But the onboard camera from Massa gives me the impression it was not an intentional take-out, as some people have suggested, just a bad misjudgement by Massa.

Read more about this incident: Massa and Hamilton?s Fuji crash – the penalty they got right (Video)

Bourdais and Massa

I wrote before that I didn’t think the external camera angle made it possible to say will total certainty that Bourdais was innocent. Unfortunately none of the new angles help answer that either. For me the key question is: was Bourdais right up against the inside of the corner when the two touched?

However it seems clear to me there was more Massa could have done to avoid the incident. He has space to his left to use to avoid Bourdais, Bourdais had very little space to his right, if any at all.

I think the stewards should have stayed out of this one – it was a racing incident. By getting involved, they will find themselves expected to uphold this dubious precedent in the future. And the same goes for the Hamilton/Raikkonen incident.

Read more about this incident: Bourdais gets 25s penalty

Still, it’s good to see F1.com making worthwhile use of their enormous media resources. Here’s a few more suggestions for them.

A similar thing happened after last year’s Fuji race when the incident between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel was re-investigated after new footage emerged on the Internet that had been shot by a fan.

Have these new videos changed your interpretation of the three penalties handed out at Fuji this year?

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113 comments on “F1.com reacts to criticism of Fuji penalties by releasing new videos”

  1. Nice shots, especially the on-board shots.

    None of them changed my mind though, The fist corner was the result of several drivers mistakes, mostly Lewis & Heiki but others too.
    I didn’t think any penalty was needed though.

    Massa & Lewis was just a coming together during an overtaking move, all fair game in my book so again, no penalty needed.

    Massa & Bourdais looked mostly Massa’s fault, Seb had nowhere else to go. They were fighting for position & Seb would have made the corner if Massa had left him a cars width on the inside rather than trying to close the door on him.
    So Massa deserved a drive through for causing an avoidable accident.

    I can understand why the stewards saw it differently to me, I just don’t agree with them.

  2. I think the camera angles show that Kimi tried to turn in on at least 2 occasions, but was however blocked by Hamilton’s out of control car. I still believe whilst harsh, the penalty had a clear reason. Hamilton stopped Kimi from turning in, and being the first corner, Kimi knew that 18 cars were behind him, and he couldn’t have braked harder without causing a larger accident.

    Also, Kimi was at the right speed to take the turn, Lewis couldn’t have turned because his tyres weren’t giving him any kind of grip, and what little it did was needed for braking. You can’t use grip for braking to turn as well. It’s a one or the other kind of thing.

    The second part (Massa/Hamilton) pretty clearly sums up that it wasn’t intentional, but was probably a pretty stupid decision on Massa part. Regardless I think it was a racing incident; Lewis wasn’t a car length ahead and should have probably given a little more room. Not that I’m excusing Massa for not slowing further or taking the grass more. It really seems to me like 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

    And the Bourdais incident looks to me like he lost control of his car. You can see just before they collide that Bourdais makes 2 corrections to his steering. Also in the on board with Massa, a split second before they collide, Bourdais back end steps out. Seeming to show that he got some oversteer on his cold tyres, sliding in to Massa. Finally, when Massa car comes round, you can see Bourdais quite a way off the apex.

    Although again, Massa could have made it easier on him self by giving a little more room.

  3. On the Bourdais penalty, the footage from Massa’s mirror makes me think that Massa thought that Bourdais was a bit further behind him.

  4. The new angles haven’t done anything to explain their decisions really. Turn 1 – I still think that’s a racing incident and if you wanted to be really picky you’d have to penalise Heiki, but I wouldn’t.

    Massa/Hamilton – I agree with you here Keith, a mistake from Massa rather than anything more sinister. Hamilton’s onboard show that he had a look, then tucked in behind Massa to follow him through the corner. It was Massa’s mistake that he ran wide and Hamilton just went through as you’d expect. Massa should have backed off.

    Bourdais – other than slam his brakes on to let Massa past, I still can’t see what else Bourdais was supposed to do, especially if that directive from Whiting that cars exiting pit lane have right of way is true.

    Cavaet – I’ve tried to look at these incidents separately, without bias toward any driver just as if they all took place among backmarkers and had no bearing on the Championship.

  5. form the onboard Kimi was about to turn in, had to turn back twice on lewis and wouldn’t have made the turn and then Kov pushes him completely off.

  6. I think both Hamilton and Kovi are to “blame” for forcing Kimi wide, but I don’t think that that in itself warranted a penalty. I don’t know how two-thirds of the field can use the huge run-off apron at La Source on the opening lap of the Belgian GP and noone there be deemed to have done no “forcing wide”. In fact most race starts we see features someone optimistically outbraking themselves and making someone else take avoiding action – so this one is just a bit, well, made-up.

    Massa-Bourdais is pretty much the dictionary definition of racing incident. Massa slightly more in the wrong, but not really worthy of a penalty. To give it to Bourdais was just completely wrong.

    Massa-Hamilton is the most clear cut of the three, but 4 or 5 years ago all three would have been deemed racing incidents and the only recrimination might have been a quick stern talking to of the driver involved in private after the race was over.

    As an aside, it’s nice that the FOM/Bernie official site is actually acknowledging that there are controversial decisions, whereas normally they stick their heads in the sand and hope it goes away. And if they are going to go round youtube taking the videos down, at least if they put them up on their own site it is more acceptable/understandable.

  7. My Opinion hasn’t changed much. If you check the live Blog my responses were what they are after watching the Official Videos.
    First lap first corner incident – This is most common incident on race start in F1. I used to have tickets at 1st corner of Indianapolis the breadth of the tarmac on T1-T2 was half that of long straight and almost every year we had first corner pile-up I have taken photos to support my view. Never remember any Penalties given Before. Same thing almost every year happens at Monza race start where at least few cars end up missing the Chicane.

    Massa/Hamilton – I had mentioned during in Live Blog as well. Massa had no other place to go at that point. Other option he had was to brake hard and get rear ended by driver after him, that would have ended his race on the spot. rather losing nose and making stop for nose change was better alternative. When I look at this incident other incident comes to my mind is due to lack of visibility Lewis who had off track excursion, came back on track and had incident with Kubica at Fuji Last year. I don’t remember any one talking anything about that incident. It was candidate for potential DT for Hamilton.

    – Did any of the Knowledgeable stewards tell Bourdais, the line he should have taken? I would love to hear the Stewards rationale in this absurd penalty. In case there was guilty party here it was ambitious massa.

    Incidentally Ted Kravitz has named the leader of stewards at Fuji its one They were headed by Graham Stoker, who is the chairman of the UK Motor Sport Association.
    Knowing this I wonder why Massa backers are not claiming victimization of Massa by Graham. Massa Hamilton was more than anything a “Racing Incident” Just think of all Coulthard incidents this year. Don’t remember DC or the other party given a Drive Through.

    Its just that the Stewards have become over cautious post SPA and hence the gaffes.

    Another talk during Live Blog was Independent Stewards who travel with the circus. With the above example rest assured they would be facing ire of fans for their rulings. The root cause of the problem is inconsistencies and non professionalism in general way FIA operates.

  8. Too Good – the Fuji stewards were Stoker, Jose Abed and Kzunari Yamanashi, plus of course Alan Donnelly (PDF of Hamilton penalty document).

  9. Part of the problem with “Over Agressive” Approach of Lewis is for some of his indiscretions on the track in his rookie year the Stewards/FIA/FOM took Softer approach as all of them were trying their best to let him win Championship in rookie year,which would have been a great boost for F1 in Particular and motorsports in General.
    Its that over confidence that has resulted in Lewis crossing that fine line of agression and fool hardiness

  10. hehehe I saw it a while ago and was amazed they put it up. I guess it’s a start, but alas yet again they fell short by not showing it from more angles and from all those drivers involved especially with more from the in-car camera perspectives to help us get a better objective view.

    I take a different view regarding the Lewis/Massa incident. In my view it shows he deliberately hit lewis. You can clearly see that no one part of Massa’s car was on the black tarmac in the second part of the ‘S’ bend with half the car on the grass and half on the raised red and white curb indicating he was comprehensibly beaten (not to mention he clearly out braked himself) and chanced his luck by deliberately ramming Lewis and got away with it by not receiving at the very least a 10 second stop go penalty and 5 place grid penalty at the next race for bad sportsmanship. Surely if it was a street circuit he would have hit the wall as was his remark regarding Lewis and the Spa controversy.

  11. Keith as a Non FA /FM/LH supporter, I am just pointing that, if Lewis and his fans feel that persecution by FIA. Massa and his fans can claim the similar. and the resulting situation will spiral out of control.

    EPL referees , NBA Umpires and even “Neutral” Cricket umpires have not fully addressed the “persecution complex” the teams & fans feel their “team was done” on purpose. And even Bunch of “Neutral Independent Stewards” will not alleviate the problem. Fans will always find some connection to prove that their team was “done with”

  12. The videos are helpful.
    Incident 1. Its clear that HAM and KOV out break themselves. RAI would have held the road but not the apex. But KOV is the real stinker here. Why was he right up his teammate’s chuff AND even later on the breaks? He was actually out of control. If Hamilton had braked properly, there would have been two McLarens on hooks. If we are grading on forced-curve, penalty goes to KOV. And the penaly on HAM is inexplicable–RAI would have actually gone under him on the exit but for KOV.

    Incident 2. It was not deliberate, but Massa was out of control. Its not like he tipped Hamilton on the way in as Hamilton closed the door—he made a nice chord through the grass as if to build more speed for the attack. Foul on Massa.

    Incident 3.
    Looks better for Massa. Bourdais was clearly behind. However, Massa had all the room in the world to avoid this. He did not have to slam the door mid-corner to get past. This is “racing,” but a massive brain-fade by Massa.

    We are lacking this topic, but foul on the Fuji feed. Our feed in American was disgusting. I had never seen so may slow-mo replays of the 18th place car getting lapped.

  13. Too Good – I know, was just making it clear everyone knew there’s more than one steward.

    Before the season began the FIA were talking about not allowing any stewards that shared nationality with any of the participating F1 drivers, but they must have dropped the idea.

  14. It doesn’t really change my view of anything, really.

    – Yes, Hamilton blocked Raikkonen, but without Kovalainen there, Raikkonen would still have made the corner. You can’t be held responsible for what other drivers do. The entire point of overtaking is to block the other car from the ideal line, but without Kovalainen, another line round the corner would’ve existed.
    -Massa was at fault. You should know if you go that drrp into the first corner, then you’ll have to go slowly at the second corner in order to make it through, and haven’t a chance of racingthe person in front if they’re already that far infront of you. Interesting to not the parts of bodywork flying off though.
    -Massa was at fault. He had the entire road to use. As far as I can tell from the inadequate clips they’ve provided, Bourdais front right tyre is still tight to the kerb, and so there’s little else he can do. There’s certainly not enough evidence that Bourdais was in the wrong to give him the penalty they did.

  15. The first corner penalty is dubious, I can see both sides of it really and don’t feel comfortable coming down on either side. The one thing I would say is that in marginal situations I would err on the side of not giving a penalty.

    It’s very clear from the Massa and Hamilton incident that Massa had to drive completely outside the white lines – and thus off the track – in order to get his car in a position capable of nudging Hamilton. If he had stayed on the track then it’s a racing incident but because he cut the corner it’s a straightforward penalty.

    The Bourdais Massa incident is just asinine. Massa either thought he was lapping Bourdais and ignored him or just plain did not realise he was there. If he did know he was there then the move was an entirely unnecessary risk as was his veering across the pitlane exit to overtake on Webber.

    Anyway, these videos just underline that neither of the top two title contenders is looking remotely like a complete world championship winning package at the moment. Hopefully the title will be decided by who can hold it together best, rather than a mechanical fault.

  16. I suppose the thing that bothers me the most about all of these penalties is that Hamilton didn’t cause anything at the first turn and gets a drive-through, Bourdais doesn’t cause anything and gets a 25 second penalty (determind after the race for who knows what reason), and Massa causes two accidents and drives so bizarrely on another pass, but only gets one penalty for something so obvious that it’s hard to fathom him being excused for it. Bourdais’ comments were right: if you don’t roll out the red carpet for Ferrari, you’re penalized. I guess we shouldn’t expect anything less from a massively biased governing agency and a driver tutored by the most ruthless of them all: Schumacher. I like Schumacher, but he drive like an ass; I don’t like Massa and he has been driving like an ass.

    It’s getting to the point where I might stop watching Formula 1 because I HATE watching a great race only to be annoyed that some nannies decided that someone looked at a Ferrari wrongly. If a race can’t be fair most of the time, what do you have? A freakin’ circus. I miss the Champ Car world series.

  17. I´m still trying to see how Lewis has had pushed Massa “a little bit wide in the gravel” as my fellow has claimed…

    The footage from Massa´s onboard camera shows that he just missed the brake point and Lewis did a free and easy pass…

    This kind of Massa´s attitude annoys me. He never admits his mistakes…

  18. 1. No Penalty. Hamilton just overbrakes, the rest is just recovery (he doesn’t really change angle). As someone said, Raikkonen taking an excursion off track at the start is hardly a novelty – he used it in Spa to really good effect.

    2. Penalty. Massa has slowed down for the second corner, sees Hamilton ahead and accelerates again while cutting the corner deliberately, I think, making hitting Hamilton a near certainty. Iffy indeed. I thought this was OK with earlier footage but a definite penalty and maybe deliberate.

    3. No Penalty (but Massa’s fault). Bourdais he simply cuts up. But it really looks like Massa he had no idea Bourdais would be there with him at the corner: I guess he assumed 100% that Bourdais would give way since it was obvious he (Massa) would lose out if he didn’t.

  19. Either they’re all racing accidents which don’t deserve a penalty or they all deserve a penalty. Three or four years ago none of these would be punished, now they are.

    Hamilton’s driving on the opening lap was shocking, he was far too busy thinking about the poor start, as in Brazil last year. He really needs to cope under the pressure better because this is his championship to lose now, and he’s doing a good job of doing just that so far.

    Massa’s counter attack was clumsy to say the least, but you can’t really hit someone without risking damage to your own car, so to suggest it was intentional is just silly.

    And as for the Bourdais thing, well, I wouldn’t have given a penalty, but if you give Massa one earlier for tipping someone into a spin, then it is fair that the next person to do the same thing gets the same penalty.

  20. I’ve seen the videos and it doesn’t change my opinion.
    Lewis, outbraked Kimi, but Heikki was carrying even more speed through the corner. Almost every driver ran wide.
    Lewis’ move was risky but not dangerous. Also, preventing a driver from turning into a corner has always been the essence of overtaking. Conclusion, Risky but nothing out of the ordinary.

    On Lewis – Massa, Massa ran wide, lost momentum, saw he was already behind then accelerated too hard to make the corner at the same time going over the kerbs. He was not forced wide at any point. Lewis didn’t put a wheel near the kerbs. Its even obvious that Massa’s front wheels where already slightly behind Lewis’ rear wheel, before Massa accelerated. Conclusion, Massa refused to accept he had lost.
    As for those who said Hamilton was too impatient to get past Massa, I want them to show me where on that patch of the circuit he could have waited for Massa to sort himself out. If he had. Massa would force him so wide he might still have been passed by a few cars

    In the last incident, I am angry with Bourdais, he should have made no attempt to hug the inner kerb, but rather drive straight on. He gave Massa the room to give the impression Massa was in the right. Bourdais was only trying to protect the senior Ferrari. Whoever’s decision it was to penalize him, should get jail time.

  21. First two, tit for tat.

    As for the third, Massa clearly wasn’t looking..

  22. Having just watched the extra FOM footage, I’m actually more inclined to think that it was a 50/50 racing incident.

  23. I Must admit that Hamiltons first corner looks more agressive from the higher view!
    But still racing must be supported and they are not doing that atm. All those extra ppl watching f1 arent going to stick around if they keep trowing penalties like this around

  24. David Watkins
    14th October 2008, 23:03

    It was obvious anyway but at least that extra footage further confirms that when Massa says “Lewis pushed me off” he is talking nonsense and he knows it. Lewis didn’t get anywhere near him as they made the turn in.

    Nice footage of the tyre destruction too! As it moved off the line LH’s car sounded like a 30-year old Trabant on a freezing December morn

  25. Guys, gr8 fact that F1.com finally put some footage up of that.

    The Lewis/Raikonnen one shows that Lewis was rightly penalised, he did push Kimi off and Heikki actually pushed him off more. Saying that though that kind of thing’s been going on for years at the first turn. Schumacher got away with it all the time. Anyway in my opinion the penalty was fair enough.

    Massa’s on Lewis – spot on. Enough said. Massa made an error and he paid for it.

    As for Sebastien Bourdais well im sorry but that was a joke. Bourdais had no more room left on the track and broke to seemingly let Massa through. Felipe got his turn in wrong and wrecked Bourdais’s race in the end by costing him 3 brilliant well-earnt championship points that the frenchman throughly derserved. Instead of leaving the decision alone the FIA have ruined this because its so clearly wrong. Surley they should change it so these 25-second penalties can be restored. In my opinon Bourdais did zilch wrong, he gave Massa enough room and Felipe didn’t use it.

    I hope that that penalty dosn’t frustrate Bourdais in the remaining 2 races and makes him lose his race seat because for me since Valencia he’s more than earnt his drive for next year. Its a joke that you cant appeal this decision because its so clearly wrong!

  26. David Watkins
    14th October 2008, 23:33

    I’m sure STR will take the quality of his Fuji performance into account and will have an asterisk next to it on his report card

  27. I don’t think Bourdais deserved a penalty, Massa did, Hamilton did not. What he did deserve was a good talking to from the race director/team/other pilots about his driving.

    About halfway (maybe a little further) down the pitlane exit (white line) would be the start of the braking zone in my book, but it is at this point that Hamilton first moves out on Kovalainen. He then chops back to the left at Raikkonen, then a flick left immediately before he turns in. There is a definite reaction from Raikkonen to this flick that, I think, would have sent him off the circuit without the assistance of Kovalainen. Reckless driving from Hamilton, but since he didn’t ultimately push Raikkonen off (Kovi did), there shouldn’t have been a penalty.

    Massa obviously had similar brain-fade in both of his incidents. The guy should know that two cars don’t fit in the same space on both occasions. Again, reckless driving that did result in an accident, therefore his penalty was justified.

    As for Bourdais, no penalty required, but if there had to be one, I’d have given it to Massa for stupidity.

  28. Another point. Its obvious Hamilton didn’t touch with Kimi as he claimed in the press conference, things just happened to fast and he probably thought they did

  29. I think the video onboard with Hamilton is incredibly enlightening.

    From that you can see that Hamilton after being passed by Raikkonen just goes straight and almost flat-out, (and of course in the process Kovalainen has to also take evasive action).

    But Hamilton just goes straight and flat-out, now Hamilton knew where Raikkonen was on the track, (and he knew Raikkonen was taking more of a normal racing line). Hamilton only slams on the brakes when he is mere inches away from Raikkonen, which of course result in that big lockup. But now here is the question, he was going in way to deep and at much to high a speed, he was never going to make that corner, and at the angle he was travelling at he was obviously going to cross paths with Raikkonen. So I have to wonder what exactly his intentions where, when he was going that fast and on a collision path with Raikkonen?

    He did not just outbrake himself he braked way too late and only when he was inches away from Raikkonen.

    Why does he do this? I don’t think he wants an accident (that would obviously take him out of the race), but that would have been exactly what would have happened if Raikkonen didn’t get out of the way, by slowing down and running wide. The only conclusion left is that he braked late because he was counting on or hoping that Rakkonen would get out of the way, so that means he was bulling or pushing Raikkonen out of the way.

    People were thinking from the premise that he only accidentally locked his brakes which causes the whole cycle of events, but from Hamilton’s onboard it is clear that he purpusely pursued a very straight path, a strange line and that he purposely brakes very late. My conclusion is that his action was not an accident, it was a plan very purposely executed by Hamilton (after being passed at the start), which makes all the difference in the end.

    The thing is, we cant have rivals driving around like this on purpose. What if in China for example we have Raikkonen pushing Hamilton off the track so that Massa can have a better result or what if next time no one gives in and it causes an accident or a pile-up. I don’t think Mclaren or Hamilton himself would be very happy with the results if the Ferrari drivers would start to use the same type of tactics. It is a bit strange and ironic that Haug was so outspoken about such tactics before the start of the race. I don’t necessarily think the whole thing was planned, but the point is we just simply cant have these types of tactics going on.
    I would like the stewards to give out less penalties, but unsportsmanship shouldn’t be encouraged.

    The whole incident is actually very similar to the Hamilton and Massa incident, so I think this penalty was fair.

  30. wow, F1.com actually did a little something we would expect them to do after every race :-)

    a) kovi was the who touched Raikkonen but Hamilton was the one who made him to run wide. but still, a normal race start to me

    b) Massa – misjudgement, racing incident

    c) it does look, although still not clear, that Massa was ahead of Bourdais there. still, that does not justify the penalty for Bourdais

    so, I still think that tere should have been no penalties at all in Fuji

    P.S. they forgot to show us the less talked about but still controversial Massa on Webber maneuvre

  31. Like I said before LET THEM RACE!! They got all wrong.

  32. All this fresh evidence just highlights the folly of the FIA and the stewards, and only adds value to the claims of the conspiracy theorists. The beginning of the race was brutal, hard racing, but no more extreme than we have seen in recent years.
    How can we forget the infamous Schumacher ‘chop’ at the start of grands prix, inwhich he would slice infront of opponents, often resulting in near misses. There was never any question about penalties then, it was just explained away as good race craft on the part of Michael, which it was.
    Hamilton saw space at the beginning of the race, a chance to pass Raikkonen on the inside, however Raikkonen allowed for this leaving his braking especially late. In one shot, you can see Raikkonen attempting to make the turn only to find that Hamilton is still there, and they ‘nearly’ collide. Kovalainen comes off the worst, as he actually tags Raikkonen, by which time Lewis is long gone. Now if there had been contact like there was between Hamilton and Webber at Monza, then the penalty handed out would have carried more weight.
    The real reason Hamilton was punished was because it appeared that both Ferraris had lost out badly at the start due to this altercation, which probably resulted in a complaint being made to race officials from the Ferrari pitwall.
    When Massa tagged Hamilton, McLaren almost certainly returned the favour. This debate is far more clear cut. Massa clearly gets the chicane wrong, entering it far too fast as he knows Hamilton is behind him. Lewis gleefully takes the space Massa’s Ferrari should have been taking, and makes it stick. After that, Massa has two options. Follow Lewis through the chicane and attempt to nail him later on the lap, or cut across the kerbs and attempt to nail him there and then. He takes the latter option, with predictable results.
    I have read Massa’s explanation for this incident, and for me it does not hold water with the reality of what happened. His comment that Hamilton pushed ‘me onto the gravel’ resulting in the collision is crass. Massa clearly came back at Hamilton after making the mistake with a clear inclination to overtake, come what may.
    He saw an opportunity, a chance that in that split second he could not resist, and took it. In many ways, it was not too disimular to Adelaide 1994, and the Schumacher/Hill shunt, inwhich Michael, wrong footed, gave Hill space to overtake, only to close the door at the last moment. Massa had the same mindset, he knew he could not let the McLaren stay infront of him.
    As for Bourdais, he has my complete sympathy. The poor guy is really in a hole, and his penalty was the last thing his career needed. ‘What was I supposed to do, roll out the red carpet?’ Bourdais’ words sum up nicely the current enviroment of Formula One, inwhich some cars you can race and others you can’t.
    And we all wonder why Montoya went back to Miami and his ovals?

  33. since when do u get penalties for first corner incidents?! all these year, all those pileups and the FIA chooses to give DUBIOUS penalties now, You’re all missing the point, giving penalties for everything isnt what racing is about.

  34. @Mann

    That is exactly the point 90% of bloggers to this site are trying to make. The internal politics to this sport are crooked to put it mildly, and when you see videos like this, inwhich there has been no crime committed other than serious racing, it does seriously rankle.
    Years ago, drivers won championships by delibrately running into a rival at the first corner and were never stripped of the title. Can you imagine, Hamilton hitting Massa at the first corner at Interlagos at 160mph and winning the championship, without getting a penalty? They would takeaway his superlicense and probably deduct McLaren fifty points from the 2009 season! Yet back in 1990, it was perfectly ok. The car Senna hit back then, a Ferrari.
    Why have things changed? Because the sport is not run properly, and has been contaminated by scandal. There are now suggestions that Jean Todt may replace Mosley when perky retires. The ex Ferrari team principal as FIA president, ofcourse he will serve the sports interests very well won’t he. It will make Mosley’s reign look like the guilded age.

  35. listen to what the master, Sir Jackie Stewart, said..

    i totally share the same view as him if you remember what i said in [ Hamilton and Raikkonen’s Fuji clash – the penalty they got wrong (Video) ]

    Hamilton > Deliberate,
    Massa>Not intentionally but just silly

  36. LOVE IT. the FOM have finally got something right. all they need to do now is release even more and build a whole video section of the website.

  37. kovi based his braking point on when hamilton braked, hamilton was reckless into turn one, they are punishing hamilton for being reckless time and time again.

    his late stupid braking (after he almost hit his team mate again) not only screwed up his teammates braking point, but also forced the 2 ferraris off the track from the chain of events that he caused.

    he was jumped by kimi at the start in a HUGE way, KILLED by kimi at the start, if he braked right he had the inside line, he could have made kimi run wider (off the apex) and him on the apex, but that was just stupid braking. he killed his tyres too. useless.

  38. haha watch massa’s incar video, then watch hamiltons into that turn where they hit. hamiltons car is super bumpy from those flat spots, shaking all over the place.

  39. Both Massa and Hamilton drove appallingly. Neither of them were WDC material on Sunday.


    Hamilton braked late at turn one and actually stuffed his own race. He touched nobody, he didn’t impede anyone really in a racing sense even if he did in a legalistic sense. But Jarno is always impeding people racing him, that’s his job. No penalty, he committed no foul – he made a mistake. A biggish one. Where the hell Kimi got the idea they both hit him is beyond me, but he did say afterwards that it was racing.

    Massa drove into Hamilton because, and I may have said this before, he’s an idiot. If you doubt me, watch the way he drove into Bourdais. The temerity of the stewards to hand Bourdais a penalty is extraordinary. While Massa probably could have got away without a penalty, he did create an avoidable situation and the way he rejoined made it look as if he were slightly bewildered – no gestures or hand-waving just body language that said ‘***?’

    The most serious of these indiscretions is Massa’s off-track excursion to nerf Hamilton. No it wasn’t a Schumacher-esque move (I actually don’t credit Massa with the intelligence) but it was terrible, vengeful go-kart racing. I remember on the live blog everyone moaning that Hamilton can’t drive sensibly under pressure (he can’t) while conveniently forgetting Massa’s inability to do the same. They’re as bad as each other, but Massa lost his mind on that corner. He lost the position because he outbraked himself and only got it back by driving off the road. Penalty deserved, and a tongue-lashing from all concerned is in order too. Not WDC material.

    Now, before everyone starts yelling at me about being pro-Lewis, I think Lewis the person is a little so-and-so who needs to learn manners, respect and class. He’s a twerp who needs to remember he is in a privileged position. He is also brilliantly, nail-bitingly spectacular to watch. Just not to listen to. Massa is becoming the same, especially after suggesting that Bourdais shouldn’t have been there. I’m with Bourdais – what more could he have done?

    I think it’s hilarious that FOM video makes the FIA stewards looks stupid two times out of three…we can clearly see that in racing terms, Hamilton came nowhere near Kimi who was himself in serious trouble to make the corner. The Bourdais incident is so utterly, crystal clear one wonders if someone was behind the monitor the stewards were watching and kept showing skin mags to them at the crucial moments…One wonders where Heikki’s on-board vision has got to…

  40. I do find it odd that those who claimed Hamilton should be penalised in Belgium for cutting a chicane don’t think Massa should be for the same act. If he hadn’t punted Hamilton off, he could’ve just given the place back and waited for the next corner. However, that option wasn’t open, so a drive through penalty was about the only choice available.

    Of course, I’d argue they were different, because Hamilton didn’t kick off his opponent, damage his opponent in any way, did give back the place, and the wet track/dry tyres/Raikkonens aggressive defense made actually taking the corner as normal impossible, but there you go. In light of Belgium, there was no way they couldn’t give a penalty.

    Also, Massa wasn’t in anything like a position to take that corner normally, due to the action he’d had to take to avoid Trulli. Having had to pull off to the left like that, there’s no way you can expect to immediately retake someone who was less than a car length behind you before your mistake. That’s not just optimism. Very reminiscent of his Sauber days.

  41. Pleased to see that FOM realise that all these ridiculous stewards decisions are making people lose faith in F1, and that they need to do something to restore faith. The fact that the three videos show that the stewards got it wrong more than they got it right in many ways improves my view of FOM – it was already clear that penalties 1 and 3 were unjustified, but they released the videos anyway and we must give them some credit for that.

    Frankly I hope the stewards now stop watching the races and let the rest of us just get on with enjoying it. Let’s face it – would the race have been better or worse if there had been 0 penalties instead of 3?

  42. So ….. what have I learned from the previous 38 postings, the first turn incident deserved no penalty, okay I’ll accept that but few if any considered the INCREDIBLE brain fade of young Mr. Hamilton. WHO is he racing against? He could have let Kimi win the race and it would have made no difference to him, as long as he finished ahead of Massa and that surely didn’t happen, eh? The response “I drive to win EVERY race” …..and I say few races are won in turn one! He is arrogant and often immature.
    The Massa/Hamilton incident, again the lot of us is split nearly 50/50. Hammy was NEARLY past Massa and seemed to close the door and squeeze him off. I’m not going to quibble that part but some readers seem to think Massa DELIBERATELY drove into Hammy…………
    that’s a hard one to accept. The Ferrari is plowing
    rice paddies, grass and dirt flying everywhere, the car has bottomed and been tossed by the berm (kerb), Massa is no longer ‘driving’ the car, he’s lost it ! There is no ability to brake or to ‘drive’ when you’re off the tarmac. Hasn’t anyone ever locked the brakes on an icy road, you slide faster! DELIBERATE is absurd. Bottom line ….. a mere racing incident. I can’t understand why either of these incidents warranted penalties and I have to join with many others venting my frustration at the INCREASE in penalties, the inconsistant application of penalties, changing results AFTER the race, this is the FIA out of control. What can we do?

  43. the corner 1 incident could be viewed as deliberate, brake late push the ferraris off the track and have an easy race…

    i dont but it though, hamiton just choked again. losing count of how many times it has been this year.

    if hamilton gave massa more room through the apex it would have been fine, massa was fine coming in along there, it was his only line and he’s racing for position. hamilton didnt see it and by the time massa was close he was bumping around too much to brake or turn. racing incident.

    Mr Soap, in what way does spa and that fuji incident match up. spa hamilton cut a corner and was in front. here massa was on the offensive and looking for position when they touched. it’s a totally different incident. absolutely no comparison at all. how you can call it the same is redicioulous.

  44. I don’t think any of the incidents deserved penalties . The first corner incident reminds me of last years race (think it was Spain) , when Fernando pushed Lewis wide – no penalty given. The next incident , Lewis was ultra aggressive (knowing he had to change tyres) and Felipe’ was ultra defensive (knowing he had to be ahead of Lewis) , so I don’t see why one gets a penalty there and not the other. Then the third , Felipe’ as a result of the penalty given , is having to push extra hard to get a point , so collides with Bourdais . Unfortunately this years championship , at least a large part thereof , has already been decided by unnecessary interference of the Stewards. I don’t think they are pro or against any teams or drivers in particular , instead trying to manage the championship results so it goes down to the last race – a Brazilian fighting for it in Brazil , WOW ! Maybe out of the millions of fans there are a lot of fools , or so they think ?

  45. Cameron aka. SkinBintin
    15th October 2008, 7:21

    I agree with many others here. The turn one Hamilton/Raikkonen incident didn’t warrant a penalty. It was a simple turn one racing incident. Seen it all plenty of times before.

    However, I feel the Massa/Hamilton incident DID warrant a penalty. My reasons for this view are different to others though. We all remember when Hamilton cut the chicane and apparantly gained an advantage right? Well, clearly Massa cut a corner, and gained an advantage. That advantage was he was in front of Hamilton, and Hamilton was at the back of the field.

    I know this post reads like a rant, but I rushed it. Tryed to make my point the best I could manage.

  46. It is clear that HAM din’t allow KIMI to take the turn twice!!U can see that KIMI’s car trying to turn right twice but been bumped up by lewis .And ofcourse lewis was asleep at the start.U should not do that lewis when u r fighting for WDC…..

    Hey guys u got to accept that it was only because of LEWIS move KIMI could take the corner and was off the track,,,,

  47. Varun.S.Murthy
    15th October 2008, 7:27

    Totally unrelated question..
    Hamiltons on board video shows him rejoining the race after the first lap fracas just behind Kubica..but then something happens and the next we see him is that hes behind Massa..did he flatspot his tires that bad?? what happened??

  48. changes to the above comment..Hey guys u got to accept that it was only because of LEWIS move KIMI could not take the corner and was off the track,,,,

  49. What Lewis did would be a black flag in Geoff Crammond’s GP4 ;-) He came in too hot. This is not a computer game. He almost caused a huge accident before the corner. See how close he was to Kimi’s right front. Just like what he did to Webber in Monza, and what Webber did to Massa on the home straight this Sunday. When these things go unpunished, drivers get revengful. That’s why Webber was so aggressive in defending his position against Massa. It was because of what happended with Lewis in Italy. Webber closed Massa out completely, pushing him to the right.

    I like Lewis’s driving, but only when he shows confidence, not despreation. This, I’m afraid was desperation after not getting the start he wanted.

    Bourdais shouldn’t have got a penalty. Massa was seeing red mist at the time and he didn’t want anyone to get in front of him during his recovery drive. The FIA should have accounted for Massa’s psycology at the time. Massa caused an avoidable accident there and with Lewis.

  50. @Milos

    Yes, Webber pushing Massa out to the edge of the track was probably the worst incident we saw at the weekend, and the one that went unpunished.

  51. Hammy/Kimi: Its interesting that the video shows that the Stewards were wrong – they have penalised Hammy for Kovy’s mistake – if it needed penalising at all!
    Massa/Hammy: Conversly this shows that no matter what Massa says, he still drove into Hammy after cutting the corner – if he was in control of the car it was deliberate, if he wasn’t in control then he’s as bad a driver as Hammy – and remembering that Hammy had previously been penalised for cutting a corner and NOT hitting Kimi in Spa!
    Massa/Bourdais: This is purely a racing incident, and at the most Massa forgeting that there are other cars on the track, and at the least believing that everyone will give way to him. Maybe he thought Bourdais was a backmarker?

  52. Okay, so having watched all 3 vids I don’t think any of them deserved the penalties they received.

    The first 2 were definately racing incidents, and the 3rd whilst a little careless on Massa’s part resulted in him facing the wrong way so he got punnished already for it.

    I would like to say that I loved the slow-mo of the Massa-Hamilton coming-together and would love to see more of those during races!!

  53. My verdict:
    HAM – (No Penalty)
    I see this as a racing incident. Consider Alonso and Kubica’s explanation from the post race conference:

    Alonso: I saw the people in front of me going quite aggressively into turn one. I myself locked the front tyres and I went a little bit wide. But I think it surprised us in a way as with the cold temperatures most of us started with the prime tyres and then we locked the tyres and everybody went long

    Kubica: I braked really too late and if someone had managed to take the apex I would have for sure hit him but suddenly everybody was straight. I locked the front wheel quite a lot but managed to stay on the track, I think I was the only one who did really.

    To me that says it all. Only Kubica made the track. Everyone else went wide. So if this caught out our double world champion, it’s certainly going to catch out Mr late braker, Lewis Hamilton.
    Verdict: Racing incident.

    MAS – (Penalty)
    Massa made a mistake on entry that opened up the opportunity for Lewis. Massa could have eased off an made it behind Lewis or tried to stay on the track to make a pass. He opted for the later, that resulted in an angle that put him in a position to cause an collision. Not intentional, but avoidable as he had a clear choice. It was a fine line between him making it and not. I wish he had made it clean, but then that’s the risk he took.
    Verdict: Penalty for an avoidable collision

    BOU – (No Penalty)
    Still looks like Nakajima Coulthard @ Monza this year. Same thing. Massa moved over too early.
    Verdict: No Penalty – racing incident

  54. The main thing I can’t help thinking is that Hamilton was hugely lucky with how all this turned out. I mean massively lucky, he has had a total escape from his first corner screw up.

    If Massa had just played it cool after the first corner then Hamilton would have had to pit for new tyres very early on and Massa would have had an advantage. Hamilton would probably also have got a drive through for outbraking himself at turn 1 further ruining his race.

    Instead Massa lost it at the chicane, went wide then paniced and drove off the road to try and come back and Hamilton, incurring a penalty of his own. If Massa had just left well alone Hamilton would have pitted handing Massa some decent points.

    Hamilton and McLaren must secretly be breathing a huge sigh of relief at how that weekend turned out.

    Finally I really would love to know if Hamilton would have received a penalty for his first corner incident if Massa wasn’t also under investigation. The way the penalty came up was very suspect, “incident between cares 1, 2, and 22 under investigation”. We’ll never know, I want to see these incidents come up separately.

    Let’s hope all the title contenders can string together a more professional race this weekend, and that we don’t see a mechanical failure decide the title.

  55. Chalky – Those are great quotes that really help us understand what happened.

  56. For me its pretty simple:

    1) Hamilton at he start: Lewis made a dumb mistake, but it was a driving incident seeing as it was first corner and noone crashed. No penalty needed. He was just pushing too hard.

    2) Massa vs Hamilton: Massa made a driving mistake was not deliberate, and although it caused a crash really was just a driving incident and not deliberate. No penalty needed. He was just pushing too hard.

    3) Massa vs Bourdais: Massa made a pretty dumb driving mistake but once again it was not deliberate, and just another driving incident. No penalty needed. He was just pushing too hard.

    4) Race Stewards vs Sport: The racing stewards keep systematically and deliberately taking Sport off the track. Race after race they have crashed into the results, wander way off the track and generally failed to even qualify. They should receive a 2 race ban.

  57. Sorry if someone else has already mentioned this (I’m supposed to be at work and 55 posts is a lot to read through; not looked at the footage yet either) but the bigger question to my mind is why F1.com feels the need to justify the decisions made by the FIA stewards???

    Am I reading something into this that isn’t there, or is someone behind the scenes feeling as though they need to placate the likes of us who can’t tell which planet those decision makers were on, on Sunday??

  58. Morgan:

    Race Stewards… They should receive a 2 race ban.

    Love it :-)

  59. Chalky – Those are great quotes that really help us understand what happened.

    Probably should have put this in too. Even though Alonso admitted they all went long, he still thinks Lewis should have got a penalty.

    Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) To all drivers: the stewards decided to give Lewis Hamilton a drive-through penalty for what happened at the start. Do you consider that was fair?
    FA: I agree.
    KR: I don’t know. I didn’t see the whole thing. I only saw him when he came up next to me. I’m not sure if he hit me or not but they make their decisions, so I have nothing against it.
    RK: I don’t know what happened in the first corner, so it’s difficult to judge.

    But then Lewis doesn’t have many friends in the pitlane. I wonder if Alonso would have changed his view if it was another driver? :D

  60. I think Alonso’s reply leaves you in no doubt why he thinks Hamilton should get the penalty.

    Interesting that Raikkonen didn’t say “Hamilton pushed me off the track” because, it seems, he didn’t, although he got punished for it.

  61. Actually Alonso later admitted that at the time he was asked he didn’t even know what Hamilton was getting a penalty for, he just agreed with it then and there to be a bit of a cheeky monkey.

  62. Diseased rat – At least he’s consistent :-)

  63. We were close to a 17 car pile up. Would you guys change your mind if Lewis’s antics had launched a car into the air on Sunday? The drivers were lucky that Lewis didn’t cause a disaster. The penalty is warranted, because now he will remember that he should be mindful of those around him while still being aggressive. This way we can save lives in F1. I don’t want to lose another driver!

    Chalky, the quotes are good, but the point is that people braked late but still made the corner. Kubica was the only one to make the apex. There were three possibilities: the apex, the corner and going wide. Not making the apex doesn’t mean you go off the track. Alonso was on the track. Don’t misread the quote. Watch the video again.

  64. Alonso’s hilarious. He’s fuelling this and the media are falling for it. They are too easy ;-) I wonder what Alonso will say next. He’s making this season end a little more interesting.

  65. Michael – If “the penalty is warranted, because now he will remember that he should be mindful of those around him while still being aggressive,” then shouldn’t Fisichella have got one for hitting Nakajima at Turkey earlier this year?

  66. Can’t remember the Fisi incident, but if it was dangerous driving, then definitely. I’ll do a quick check on youtube.

    In saying that, the FIA must not go overboard. Bourdais shouldn’t have received a penalty. There is so much emotion around these decisions because it’s the main protangonists who are receiiving these penalties. If we are all paranoid about chicanes and whitelines, then the penalties are overkill.

  67. Michael – I didn’t misread it. It just shows that all the drivers struggled to make the apex at turn 1.

    The penalty is for Hamilton forcing Kimi off the track.

    If all the drivers went long at a corner then that leaves little track left. So being penalised for “Forcing another driver off the track” seems harsh considering that all the drivers have effectively out-braked themselves for the first turn.

    When I said:

    Only Kubica made the track

    I should have said, only Kubica made the ideal line. Hence he came out in the lead. Only half the field seemed to stay on the track.

  68. I think the fact of the matter is without the skill of the other drivers Hamilton could have caused a huge incident.

    We can’t just say it was reckless but didn’t cause an accident, so no penalty is required.

    As I read somewhere yesterday – The problem here is we accept driving that yesteryear would have been classed as attempted murder.

    I think it’s right that drivers who drive recklessly be punished. Even if they are the only person within 100m of themselves. Reckless driving shouldn’t be accepted in F1.

    Lastly I wish more people would really look at the Bourdais incident. You can see Bourdais back end step out before they collided.

    Bourdais tried to match an up to speed Ferrari around a tight corner, right on the inside of the corner. He took it to fast and too deep on cold tyres, and his back end stepped out because of it.

  69. Michael 15 October 2008 at 10:55 am

    We were close to a 17 car pile up. Would you guys change your mind if Lewis’s antics had launched a car into the air on Sunday? The drivers were lucky that Lewis didn’t cause a disaster. The penalty is warranted, because now he will remember that he should be mindful of those around him while still being aggressive. This way we can save lives in F1. I don’t want to lose another driver!

    True, but that single penalty could have dramatic consequences on future starts. We might see drivers being far more careful at the start. Now I understand why you feel this is a good thing, but for the sport it may be the killer. The most exciting moments in F1 this year have been either:

    1) The start.
    2) The pits.
    3) Safety Car Restarts.
    4) A driver doing something dumb and having to fight back through the field.
    5) Rain.

    Rain we cannot rely on, Safety car we should not hope for, and Pits MUST have fanatically applied rules. If drivers now have to fear penalties at the start all we have left is hoping some driver goofs up and has to fight back through the slow drivers. Is that really what we want for F1?

  70. Morgan – Okay let’s take an example. I find Lewis vs Alonso in Spa last year fine, because that wasn’t dangerous. It was agressive, but no one was out of control. Here, we had Lewis unable to stop. So, we can still have aggressive starts but there must be a line. In my opinion, Lewis crossed the line on this occasion. I am a fan of his driving when he is confident, but after losing the place at the start, he drove out of desperation rather than confidence. We can still have confident, agressive starts. And I, like you, hope this incident doesn’t mess things up for us viewers.

    We must all not forget that we want more passing in F1, and Lewis provides us with this. I hope Lewis doesn’t change too much. He’s great, but safety must be a priority.

  71. It’s interesting that there’s such a variety of opinions of the incidents from F1Fanatic’s commenters, given that we have all seen the same (still quite limited) footage. It seems that the disparity is due to the lack of clarity in the rules (written or unwritten), which get murkier with every stewards’ decision. You just have to treat each stewards’ decision in isolation, because if you try to string them together as a set of precedents, your brain will hurt as you try to figure out the difference between apparently identical incidents with big differences in penalties.

    Lewis out-braked himself into turn 1, which obviously wasn’t deliberate, and hasn’t ever been punished before. Felipe punted Lewis, which is sometimes punished (Kubica on Lewis, Fuji 07?), but more often not (eg in 2008, these incidents have usually involved DC as punter or puntee). Massa on Bourdais is perplexing. I don’t think there has been anything like this before.

    There are clearly two fundamental and related problems here. The first is the written rules, which are plain stupid. The best example is that drivers must stay on the track (between the white lines). This is infringed all the time, but is punished sometimes when it is noticed that someone gains advantage by so doing. The second related problem is then the implementation of the rules, which is pretty random, and completely inconsistent. One way to improve this would be to provide a sensible set of rules with examples of what is and isn’t permitted (including video footage of both types of example). This would enable stewards to be more consistent. I also don’t understand the role of Charlie Whiting. He gives the drivers’ briefings, making clear what they are and aren’t allowed to do, but then the stewards contradict him and Max Moseley says the teams shouldn’t consult him after an incident anyway.

    There’s a classic football photograph of Vinnie Jones grasping Paul Gascoigne firmly by the, uh, front of the shorts. The expressions on their faces is just perfect. In Formula One you can do a Vinnie and get away with it a lot of the time, especially if you’re not a front-runner. But other times, you get punished even when you’re in the Gascoigne role (like Seb Bourdais).

    I can’t imagine that there’s anyone who thinks that this level of random (or possibly biased) intervention in the outcome of races is anything other than completely crazy and bad for the sport.

  72. Chalky – Hmmm, why did only half the field stay on the track? Was it a knock on effect from Hammy’s incident. Could prove my point ;-) hehehehe

    Actually, looking at the vid, most of the guys made the track. We had one or two at the back straying off. Well done to the guys for making the corner. Such chaos at these starts.

    Chalky, not sure if penalty is just for forcing Kimmi off, otherwise Kova would have got one too. I think it was for dangerous driving. Well it should be, because if not then the stewarts were as clueless as everyone says.

  73. @Micheal
    You said Kubica was the only driver to make the corner, Perhaps you didn’t see him go very wide, with Alonso having to take avoiding action. Kubica didn’t take the ideal line, he almost took another driver out.

  74. Whoa! Looking at the Massa/Lewis incident, I’m not sure what I would have done if I were Massa. The Toyota put him on the wrong foot, and then he had nowhere to go with Lewis sqeezing him. He went off the track, but sheesh these things are getting complicated. Watch the inboard from Massa’s car. Great stuff Keith. Thanks for the link.

  75. @ Oliver – Umm, I said Kubica made the apex. He took the line perfectly. If he didn’t he would have nowhere else to go on the inside. Alonso was fine. There was enough space for two cars there. But this is precisely what I’m talking about. We start getting paranoid about who is forcing who off line.

    Kubica also said he was the only one to take the line well. He didn’t go “wide” as you say. That’s the line of the corner. See the following laps when it is one car at a time.

  76. I do understand your reasoning. And I sort of agree, because his move went beyond aggressive and right into just plain stupid. But I worry that this penalty will encourage every single team to complain about any perceived block, push, nudge or aggression at start “just in case”. In the current F1 climate what would have happened to Raikkonen at Monza? A 10 place penalty next race for late breakin in the rain?

    Remember in none of these incidents are the officials looking into someone cheating. When Schummacher tried to take out Vilneuves car, it was blatant, unrepentant cheating. EVERYONE watching knew it. EVERYONE said so immeditately. It was clear cut. You didnt need to wait three hours to hear the stewards decision to have an opinion. Now people are asking for Raikkonen to get banned for 2 races because his exhaust pipe was damaged.

  77. Mussolini's pet cat
    15th October 2008, 12:57

    This issue aside, when are we going to get these so-called better camera angles etc etc?????

  78. @ Too Good:
    I don’t think Brazilians have an homogeneous position about rulings in F1. But if you want to hear what a Brazilian(me)has to say, I will tell you that I don’t tend to cry foul or decry the stewards’ honesty every time their decisions do not suit my wishes (not even when the nationality of the chief stweard is the same of the adversary). Furthermore, if the driver I support starts to get a penalty after another (from different steward teams), I would be more likely to believe that the problem is with him rather than with the stewards.

  79. Captain Caveman
    15th October 2008, 13:12

    @ Antifia

    A very good point, the fact of the matter is that Hamilton has been the common denominator at different tracks with different stewards. More over even his fellow drivers (assuming their quotes are at least 70% correct) seem to have the same criticisms.

    There is rarely ever smoke without fire

  80. Antifia 15 October 2008 at 1:04 pm
    Furthermore, if the driver I support starts to get a penalty after another (from different steward teams), I would be more likely to believe that the problem is with him rather than with the stewards.

    Are you saying because all the controversial rulings involved Ferrari, it is Ferrari’s fault? Because I think that is just coincidence to be honest no matter what conspiricy theories you hear. Ferrari are just in every incident because they are the constructor championship leader.

  81. Captain Caveman 15 October 2008 at 1:12 pm

    @ Antifia

    A very good point, the fact of the matter is that Hamilton has been the common denominator at different tracks with different stewards.

    Actually the common denominator in ALL of the contraversial penalties has been Ferrari. Hamilton had nothing to do with the Bourdais incident and nothing to do with the pit lane release in Valencia.

  82. Captain Caveman
    15th October 2008, 13:22

    @ Morgan a fair point, I should have been clearer.

    I was looking to address the incidents that have occurred throughout the season and not just in this race. And even then those that are most typically talked about on such blogs. i.e the front runners etc.

    I was following on from what i picked up in the Antifia blog.

  83. Ok, but still there are really only 5 contraversial decisions this year. 1 in Spa, 1 in Valencia, 3 in Fuji. All the other “incidents” this year that ended up in penalties really were a no brainer for the most. Hamilton may have had more than his fair share of penalties, but most of them were not contraversial. eg Canada. Anyone here want to argue that was not his fault? :)

    The decisions that have been “fishy” have all centered around Ferrari. But thats just the nature of being the front runner in my opinion.

  84. A few questions
    Why did we not see this footage during the race?
    Why did they not show the onboard footage from the camera on top of Massa’s airbox for the Bourdais incident?
    Why did they not show footage from the camera on the inside of the first corner for the Bourdais incident? (Does anyone recall seeing footage from this camera at all during the race)
    If they wanted people to make their own mind up they should have released all possible camera angles (I’m sure ITV had another onboard shot from the start). If they wanted us to agree with the stewards decisions, then I personally would not have released what they did as it defiantly does not do that, especially on the third one.

    The Hamilton penalty was a typical start of a Grand Prix first corner incident that we have seen countless times before, so I don’t see the need for a penalty. If there has ever been a penalty issued for a incident at the start of a GP could someone please tell us about it.

    For the Massa penalty, I agree it doesn’t look deliberate but it did deserve a penalty. I remember after Hamilton’s Spa penalty some people on here and some of the drivers said that if there had been a wall at the chicane then he would not have cut the chicane.

    As for Bourdais’s penalty, I thought at the time, when they announced an investigation, that it would have been harsh to penalise Massa as he had already spun and he did not damage Bourdais’s race. It never even crossed my mind that any fault could placed with Bourdais, let alone enough to penalise him.

    I also agree with some previous comments that most of the penalties dished out this would never have happened just a few years ago.

  85. why did only half the field stay on the track? Was it a knock on effect from Hammy’s incident. Could prove my point ;-) hehehehe

    :D Yes I thought that too. But then the other drivers were not concentrating on what they were doing. You can’t rely on using another car as a braking point.

    not sure if penalty is just for forcing Kimmi off, otherwise Kova would have got one too. I think it was for dangerous driving.

    It’s for forcing another driver off the track (regulation 16.1).

    Interestingly enough a driver cannot be penalised for dangerous driving (single incident). You’d have to have more than one incident of dangerous driving.
    To make this more clear, here are some extracts from the regulations. I searched them for Dangerous.

    You need to first breach 16.1 Incident
    constituted a breach of these Sporting Regulations or the Code.

    The International Sporting Code Annex L, Chapter 4, section 2c states:
    Curves, as well as the approach and exit zones thereof, may be negotiated by the drivers in any way they wish, within the limits of the track. Overtaking, according to the circumstances, may be done either on the right or on the left. However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers such as premature changes of direction, more than one change of direction, deliberate crowding of cars towards the inside or the outside of the curve or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited and shall be penalised, according to the importance and repetition of the offences, by penalties ranging from a fine to the exclusion from the race. The repetition of dangerous driving, even involuntary, may result in the exclusion from the race.

    So you can get away with “Dangerous Driving” once per race. :)

  86. Thanks Chalky. Nice insight.

    The rule could catch all drivers out then, and that’s what Morgan and I hope won’t happen. If we follow this by the letter then drivers will always have to prove that they were merely reacting to circumstances around them, rather than deliberately changing direction and forcing people off the track. We still want aggression and passing in races, and this rule could leave us all paranoid at every start, which is the best part of every race. I hope the FIA stop dishing out penalties for every single thing.

  87. 86.
    Michael 15 October 2008 at 2:16 pm
    I hope the FIA stop dishing out penalties for every single thing.

    Basically teams are going to realise the way to win is complain and the stewards will get so many complaints every lap that they have only managed to review up to lap 7 by the time the race ends and we have to wait till the following tuesday to find out who won the race.

  88. Antifia – How I wish more and more Fans are like you :). Who are ready to put the blame at your driver’s foot if he is getting penalized again and again. Most of the fans unfortunately nurse that persecution complex.

    Keith – It was good idea to put the link and have open discussion on this. Some other websites now have floated identical story and forums are chewing on the bones :)

    All –
    If you have noticed, most of the participants didn’t change their initial opinions (not that the quality of video helped to change). The point, like most of us formed our first opinion based on instincts and then try to justify our opinion using the same set of evidence that other party interprets its the other way this is case of Six Blind Men and Elephant only in this case the We are not blind and can see the complete elephant. So Stewards in whatever format we have them now (or even in future) are going to commit gaffes and raise cry of foul play

  89. The first corner incident penalty is rediculous. Schumacher did far worse almost every start. But who cares. It’s no longer F1. This was my last race.

  90. rob from inverness
    15th October 2008, 17:08

    Like Mr Murthy, I could not see on ITV coverage how LH lost places on Lap 1. I saw LH rejoin the track in 3rd place after the first corner fracas only to show up 7th when next seen. The answer is on the Planet F1 forum site. LH ran off the road at the next corner ( the lefthander ) and was overtaken by three cars. Look for the excellent still photos from helicopter.

  91. @Morgan,
    I don’t know if I understand your point. What I was trying to say is that sometimes drivers get penalties that one would not necessarily agree with. That doesn’t mean there is a cabal out there trying to get him. It could be that the stewards made a honest mistake, it could be that we (the fans) are sometimes biased in our analysis – when you are a supporter, it is difficult to avoid it. My second point is that if a driver is penalised time and time again by different groups of stewards, chances are that he is out of sync with the rules book (or the interpretation of it).
    Some people are saying that F1 is becoming a bit “sissified”, everything now is worth a drive-through or something like that. I still did not form a firm opinion about it. Sure ,the stewards seem to be much more thrigger happy than they were, say, 10 years ago, but on the other hand, one could never phantom a front driver making a start like that of LH in the 70’s, for example – there would be a very real possibility that he would kill himself and others in a manouver like that.
    It reminds me of a popular PC racing game. The car doesn’t brake and you cannot get hurt, so one of most employed the tactics is bumping your adversary off the track (yeah, Massa did that, although due to recklessness rather than intention, in my opinion). This seems to be the case in F1 these days, it is difficult to get hurt and, if you do it well, the car is more likely to remain in one piece after an “accident”. I believe the heads of the sport have also noticed this “new opportunities” and are trying to prevent the practice by handing out penalties any time something seems deliberate or deliberately reckless (with the sad side effect that genuine driver mistakes get punished too).

  92. Finally footage that shows, he didn’t deserve the penalty and you can say what you want, raikkonen wasn’t even off the track untill Kovilinen forced him off the track. How can people say that there is no favouritism after this.

  93. The fact Kovi touched him is irrelevant. Kimi wouldn’t have been in a position for Kovi to run into him had Hamilton not pulled the stunt he did.

    If I’m speeding round a corner in my own car on a road, and force a car to swerve, and in doing so put him in the way of another car, which then runs into him, it would be my fault. Simple as.

  94. “Watching the onboard from Hamilton made me realise he hadn’t actually out-braked himself by as much as I originally thought he had – he did go off the circuit, but not as far as I first thought”

    you have GOT to be kidding me Keith.. “not as far”… hes is COMPLETELY OUT of the circuit.. more out would mean he would be at the tirewall. … please stay objetive keith.

  95. It amuses me that there are still some who are pinning some blame on Hamilton for the clash with Massa. Whether it deserved a penalty is a matter of opinion but how anyone can say Hamilton did anything wrong is beyond me. Same goes for Bourdais.

    Look at the outcomes of the incidents. I would say that Hamilton ballsed up at the start, but didn’t hit anyone and didn’t gain an advantage – you see it all the time where one driver outbrakes attempting the pass, the leader just brakes normally then retakes them on the inside. Could Kimi have done this? If Hamilton was so much later than him on the brakes then he should have been able to quite easily, shouldn’t he?

    Massa/Hamilton, not deliberate but Massa did gain a big advantage so a penalty is deserved.

    Bourdais – Massa at fault, SB needn’t have backed off as it was for position, Massa lost a few seconds so no penalty either way. As someone has suggested, his back end stepped out a bit. So what? He’s defending his position, and Massa was pitting soon anyway! So it was an avoidable accident and Massa was the one to avoid it, not Bourdais.

    Also, people talking about Hamilton “pulling a stunt” at turn 1 and also some suggesting it was a tactic to drop the ferraris back, devised in the couple of seconds after Kimi took him off the line. Classic. It was a mistake! And there are people asking Keith to be objective! It was a stupid move, no questions there, but talk of cars launching up into the air and people dying left right and centre. Really? They were deep into the corner and braking zone. Pile up possibly, but the track was wide with large run off areas so any driver worth his place would be able to avoid an accident. Besides, it’s a moot point considering he wasn’t done for dangerous driving, he was done for forcing a driver off the track. And you could point to multiple incidents of that going unpunished – you could accuse Hamilton of that himself a couple of times at Monza.

    Drivers have to be allowed to race but if someone’s driving is thought to be dangerous they should be pulled aside after the race, told they were on a warning then if they do it again next time give out a 1 race ban. Just don’t mess with the enjoyment of the race for the fans.

  96. michael counsell
    15th October 2008, 23:54

    I don’t really think any of them should have bee ngiven penalties as they were all racing incidents. Hamilton didn’t really do that much wrong apart from out break himself but it does look like he’s almost aiming slightly at Raikkonen not the corner, but thats only because the corner starts when he’s still braking in a straight line. It was fully Hamilton’s fault but not that serious for a penalty.

    Massa was side by side when he went to take the corner, but travelling slower than Hamilton at the wrong angle for to take the corner well. Hamilton perhaps could have given him more room considering they were racing wheel to wheel and the pass wasn’t yet completed. I would say it was 75% – 25% Massa’s fault over Hamilton. Massa didn’t need to go for it as Hamilton’s tyres were ruined by this stage and he did musjudge his approach and their relative speeds. Hamilton probably should have given him a bit more room. I don’t think a penalty should really have been given as both could have avoided it.

    The Bourdais-Massa incident was again very minor. Massa could have given him more room and Bourdais probably clipped the inside of the kerb a bit to send him wide. In this it was probably 50-50 and no one should have received a penalty.

    Gerhard Berger was right when he said that he agrees with investigations but too many are finding someone guilty.

  97. One of the problems that I have with the penalties currently is that it does not take into account the extent of the damage.

    BOU’s hit of Massa delayed him by a few seconds (for which BOU paid); but it eventually gave the place back to MAS by the 25s penalty. However, the drive-through penalty for MAS still had HAM separated by 14 seconds.

    If a car running in position 5, hits a car running in position 4, effectively making the car move from position 4 to 15; — car that was earlier in position #5 should let car that was originally running in position #4 to take its lead back. This will put car that was in #4 before the incident ahead of car #5 ; have the same order after the incident.

  98. I think that everyboy agree much then ever. And so
    need to add to that all the mess startes with Hamilton´s penalty at SPA!

    When the stewards saw the Massa incident they new it was inpossible not to give him a penalty after all that SPA event.

    Then, when they saw the video at the start they decided to punish Hamilton to. Perhaps for “Hamelin effect” of atracting the f1 cars out off track.:-)

  99. I completely agree with Michael (post 49).

    The only penalty they got wrong was Massa’s incident with Bordais, which was surely a simple racing incident. As a Felipe Massa fan, I think he was absolutely right in his decision to risk taking that corner considering his championship circumstance. What he didn’t account for was Bordais’ decision to stick to his line without lifting the throttle, which was completely legal.

    Felipe had just had two fastest laps in a row, and was hoping Sebastian would have been ‘understanding’ of his title chase. But that’s the beauty of racing: drivers are not machines, lapping like clocks. They have their own agendas, racing styles and histories, not to mention the unpredictable factors. Lucid drivers are the ones that are able to assess situations effectively to their own advantage.

    In my opinion, this was the first FIA mistake this season. Let’s hope it’s the last one.

  100. Heidfeld wants permanent steward return

    I did not see the race in full, I only saw the highlights quickly afterwards, but the one on the start with (Lewis) Hamilton was for me not worth a penalty at all. It is just racing. What did he do (wrong)?

    The other one with (Sebastien) Bourdais was also not understandable. The one that is acceptable, maybe arguable, but you can at least follow what they may be thinking, is the one that (Felipe) Massa got for turning around Hamilton. In my view it does not need to be given, but okay it could be. The other two I don’t understand.


  101. Owen – Hahaha. People dying left right and centre. That was never said. But this is open wheel racing. There is always a risk of cars launching up into the air, especially when one is out of control (as Lewis was). We just want safety to be a rpiority. There’s risk, and driving with no consideration for others can lead to dangerous situations. I say again, we don’t want to lose another driver. I didn’t say people will be dropping like flies, as you propose I did ;-)

  102. Great to see one of the drivers speaking up about the inconsistent stewards decisions. I did not expect that to happen, those guys are all competing against each other at the highest possible level and thus are extremely unlikely to speak out against perceived injustice toward their competitors.

    I really think it’s time for properly trained full time stewards who are open with their decisions. We’ve all seen how much we all disagree about what actually happened, if the stewards make the decisions for a living and have some guidelines to follow which I understand then I could get behind their decisions – irrespective of whether I agree with them.

  103. At last a driver speaks out(Heidfeld.

    Preventing your competitor from making a turn into a corner is what over taking is about. Go through the history of racing, any dive down the inside involves late braking and missing the apex, more often than not.

    All those claiming its a penalty are doing so because a penalty has already been given, but if there had been no penalty in the first corner incident, they talk would have been that Lewis was very aggressive.

    Heikki tapped Webber into a spin at Spa, likewise Massa did in this situation. Lewis in a similar situation at Spa, opted to take the escape road to avoid an accident, yet he was accused of cheating. Massa had the option to lift off or take the grass, but he opted to race.

  104. I just watched the highlight video on F1.com it looks like lewis came very close to kimi first time they towards each other, and we can Heikki and kimi touching wheels, it also shows a Renault and Lewis touching wheels.

    Watching the onboard from Hamilton made me realise he hadn’t actually out-braked himself by as much as I originally thought he had – he did go off the circuit, but not as far as I first thought.

    if you had watch video closely you would realize this by now, anyway you can see in the video, that lewis and kimi came close twice on both occassions kimi trying to turn into the corner and lewis still braking and going straight. this face should be a great insight in to how late hamilton breaked. that is really really late.

    This made me realise Raikkonen must have braked a bit late for the corner as well – though not as late as Hamilton – or surely Hamilton would have shot past him and Raikkonen would have been able to turn into the corner, as we’ve seen happen many times before (think Massa and Hamilton at Sepang last year).

    are you trying to suggest kimi is responsible for what happened in the first corner? or that kimi should have just let hamilton pass him?

  105. Hamiltons penalty…totally right decision! Hamilton did locked he´s wheels very long time and did also went long at first corner. He blocked Kimi to turn. Heikki did also have little much speed and he also is a part guilty.
    …could say butterfly effect…=)

  106. Those who even accused Lewis of trying to take his team mate out, should look at his on board video, – you will see that he looked in his right mirror before he moved to the right. The helicopter view of the start shows there was quite some gap between Lewis and Heikki, even if only about a meter or so.

  107. So now you get penalty for outbraking yourself, so in China will anyone with smoking tyre`s get a drive through?. As for Massa to complain about cutting a chicane and gaining a advantage by making your rival face the wrong way on the track beggars belief. And then Boudais, well what can you say, if this doesn`t convince you of FIA bias for Ferrari then absolutely nothing will. No wonder the French have cancelled the GP, F1 is the laughing stock of the sporting world.

  108. You know folks I’ve read many of the comments here and its interesting to note that nobody (and yes I’m open to correction of course) has mentioned to fact that Lewis was on the inside dirtier line. Its common knowledge that taking that line is riskier and likely of overshooting not to mention the usual bunching up and jostling we always see at the start of every race. As I say the inside line is commonly more precarious which we all know means he was likely to over-run the corner and thus ended up sliding further than probably he even anticipated. This is not an excuse or defence of his actions which I think were a little hot headed. He did say after all that he would “not allow himself to be beat off the line again” when Massa beat him to it at Valencia was it? In summary it was a racing incident of the kind we have seen in every motor racing event start since racing began and thus the penalty not warranted.

    Based on many articles I’ve read all over the net by knowledgeable motor sport figures and ex-drivers, the Lewis / Massa incident is now widely regarded as very cheeky on Massa’s part and he was lucky to get away with a much deserved but relatively minor penalty. Massa was clearly at fault treating his Ferrari like a tractor he was so far of the track which is defined as being between the two white lines.

    As for the Massa / Bourdais incident, the FIA really need to be made to answer serious questions. Even stupidity needs to be explained. It is now time for detailed reasons of decisions made and not these insulting two line pdf released statements. Bourdais clearly not at fault and “no red carpet” was needed.

    Furthermore the drivers meetings with Charlie Whiting need to be televised. Remember the days (I think it the 70’s as I recently saw highlights of 70’s GP racing) when drivers did this in front of the crowd in the open and on a loud speaker an hour or so before the race.

    I still want to know why the Massa / Webber overtaking maneuver was not investigated. Massa passed Webber so far on the right that he was in the pit exit lane which I thought was illegal. If a car was exiting the pits at the same time we would have seen an accident of the magnitude we have not seen since Kubica in Canada last year and quite possibly even worse or fatal considering the speed they were doing at that point.

  109. Chaz – Actually the Massa/Webber incident was investigated – but the stewards were concerned about Webber’s driving, not Massa’s. Apparently they thought he went too far to one extreme of the road in his defence. However they didn’t punish him.

  110. More drivers have spoken out against the quality of stewarding: story here.

  111. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=IJJXIgnjug0
    Montoya vs Shumacher on the first corner 2002. Parallells to Massa vs Bourdais, the difference? The faster car on the outside line was punished in 2002 while the car taking the inside line was punished this year.

    Massa vs Webber
    Pause and watch this closely at seconds 13-14, it is clear that Webber made his one allowed move to the right seeing Massa coming from that side. Pause at 13sec and Massa could clearly see that there was no room on the track for an overtaking on the inside. He decided to leave the track (crossing the redstriped lines, jeopardizing any pitlane safety there should be) to complete his ballsy maneuvre. Now what did we learn from Spa? If you overtake while leaving the track you yield the advantage, right? Instead Webber was investigated for doing his one legal defensive move.

  112. Michael, sorry mate, I exaggerated the comments that have been made. I just feel that despite braking very late I don’t think a dangerous incident was on the cards. Or, more accurately, no more so than many other starts where drivers in the midfield make a mistake in their braking and cause/almost cause accidents.

    Does this mean that we are now going to penalise every first corner instance of drivers locking up and running wide? Given the comments on here, it sounds like several people think it should be done. Which will ruin the spectacle of a standing start. Or is that the next step to improve safety – a rolling start like IRL?

  113. an interesting vedio and yes Hamilton do nothing wrong he close on kimi car and thats right for him, but when you look into the vedio we see massa come in front of Hamilton from cutting a corner, isn’t he deserve a 25 penalty for that?

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