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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. @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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

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