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”

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  1. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ?

  5. 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.

  6. 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,,,,

  7. 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??

  8. 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,,,,

  9. 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.

  10. @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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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!!

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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??

  18. Morgan:

    Race Stewards… They should receive a 2 race ban.

    Love it :-)

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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