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?

Comments have been split across multiple pages. If you are having difficulty viewing the pages, click here to see all comments.

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

  1. Antonio said on 15th October 2008, 2:06

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

  2. the limit said on 15th October 2008, 2:41

    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?

  3. mannn said on 15th October 2008, 2:55

    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.

  4. the limit said on 15th October 2008, 3:42


    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.

  5. oricon said on 15th October 2008, 4:31

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. zerogee said on 15th October 2008, 5:00

    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…

  10. Mr Soap said on 15th October 2008, 5:55

    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.

  11. Sam B said on 15th October 2008, 6:02

    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?

  12. Number 38 said on 15th October 2008, 6:03

    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?

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ?

  15. Cameron aka. SkinBintin said on 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.

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