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

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. pflugi said on 14th October 2008, 22:25

    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.

  2. 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…

  3. David - BR said on 14th October 2008, 22:32

    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.

  4. ceedas said on 14th October 2008, 22:47

    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.

  5. Oliver said on 14th October 2008, 22:54

    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.

  6. Brad P said on 14th October 2008, 22:56

    First two, tit for tat.

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

  7. ceedas said on 14th October 2008, 22:56

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

  8. SoLiD said on 14th October 2008, 22:57

    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

  9. David Watkins said on 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

  10. Adam D said on 14th October 2008, 23:19

    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!

  11. David Watkins said on 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

  12. 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.

  13. Oliver said on 15th October 2008, 1:36

    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

  14. Melanie said on 15th October 2008, 1:42

    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.

  15. 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

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