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

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  1. Oliver said on 16th October 2008, 9:41

    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.

  2. Gusto said on 16th October 2008, 10:42

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th October 2008, 11:11

    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.

  5. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th October 2008, 12:06

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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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