Trulli penalised, Hamilton takes third (Update: Video of Hamilton’s pass)

Lewis Hamilton has been promoted to third place in the Australian Grand Prix after Jarno Trulli was handed a 25-second penalty by the stewards.

Trulli’s penalty, for overtaking Hamilton during the final safety car period, relegates him from third to 12th.

Hamilton had taken third place off Trulli when the Italian ran off the circuit. During the confusion following the deployment of the safety car after Vettel and Kubica’s collision, Trulli re-took third place from Hamilton.

I’m disappointed to see the stewards bring such a harsh penalty on Trulli. If he overtook Hamilton unfairly under the safety car, it’s entirely clear what the consequence of that misdemeanour was, and the punishment should be for him to be relegated to fourth behind Hamilton.

Giving him a 25-second penalty is especially unfair in this context as the race finished behind the safety car, and so it dropped Trulli many more places than it would have done had the races ended normally.

Toyota are apparently readying a protest. It is Trulli’s second penalty of the weekend, the first coming for Toyota’s rear wing infringement during qualifying. Despite starting in the pit lane he drove an excellent race to finish third on the road.

The full revised Australian Grand Prix standings are here: Australian Grand Prix result

Update: Added video of Hamilton passing Trulli,. courtesy of F1 Zone

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141 comments on Trulli penalised, Hamilton takes third (Update: Video of Hamilton’s pass)

  1. James B said on 29th March 2009, 12:31

    We didn’t see what happened on TV (BBC), but if Trulli was in the wrong, then the penalty is justified.

    I remember Massa in Fuji 2007 overtaking under the safety car to get his position back and he got a drive-thru penalty.

    Because Trulli’s incident was in the closing stages, a drive-thru would become a 25-second penalty.

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th March 2009, 12:36

    Strange to say, I have some sympathy for the stewards. They have the penalties they have and they followed the rules correctly. Unfortunately it gives a disproportionately harsh penalty in this case. But if the alternative is to let a driver get away with passing someone during a safety car period then we obviously can’t have that. Lesser of two evils.

  3. Chris said on 29th March 2009, 12:37

    Whether it is harsh or not is now not the point as the punishment has been handed down.

    What is intresting is what/how toyota are going to appeal as i thought the long drawn out outcome of the whole SPA disaster was that a 25sec penality cannot be appealed as it is effectivily a drive through penalty. And drive through penaltys cannot be appealed.

    I hope toyota realise this before they waste a load of money taking it to the court of appeal again.

    On that point where can you apply to be a judge in the FIA court of appeal because it would seem to offer very good job security with all these appeals!!!

    The Vettel punishment totally confuses me? Does someone actually know what is a “racing accident” as it might clear this up.

    Secondly tho i think the red bull fine of $50,000 for making Vettel drive on with only 3 wheels is far to low as in all likelyhood Vettel driving on sprayed rubish “all over the track” making it more dangerous and if there was longer to go in the race extending the period of time the SC would have to be out.

  4. napalmblower said on 29th March 2009, 12:42

    What a shame for a Mclaren driver , he need to rely on other drivers ( in better cars) mistakes to get into top …… it stinks

  5. Oliver said on 29th March 2009, 12:42

    25 seconds penalty when the cars are finishing in a single file is nothing short of murder.

  6. Achilles said on 29th March 2009, 12:53

    I think in this case, demoted to fourth would have been sufficient, I sincerely hope that on appeal this will be the case.

  7. Clare msj said on 29th March 2009, 12:59

    The 25s penalty is the fair one to give, its the standard one for the ‘crime’, so i have no arguments with that, but i sympathise with him as it is just in this case it is particularly harsh – you usually have at least a handful of laps to pull out a bit of a gap to the people behind you after a late safety car for damage limitation – Trulli had none, so he didnt stand a chance of finishing anything better than last (ignoring Webber and his lap down). when a driver usually recieves that penalty it wouldnt drop him from third to last – it would lose him a handful of positions, put him maybe 7th or 8th and still in the points. there isnt really any grounds for appeal though, if he did indeed go fully off the track.

    Vettel’s penalty for the Kubica incident is a little harsh though – i thought the 50/50 analysis was quite accurate – maybe a little erring against Vettel but not enough for a penalty. Barrichello’s incident with Kimi was much more one sided, although i dont think he particularly should have had a penalty either.

    Goodness me, race one and a penalty debate already! somethings never change! lol

  8. Peter Boyle said on 29th March 2009, 13:06

    watching the onboard on Hamilton earlier in the race behind trulli was awesome (when they had the fancy telemetry on screen).

    He was losing time & dropping back constantly throughout the lap except at the two points in the lap he applied
    the KER’s when he absolutely leaped towards that toyota.

    I really think he pulled himself into that race
    with really good use of kers (both passing and in
    general use in straights) and did a superb job
    living with the minimal grip.

  9. kimster46 said on 29th March 2009, 13:18

    Patrickl , i am sure u will feel proud , when FIA makes diffuser illegal , then ur big boy is in top of the podium…. what a shame

  10. Paige said on 29th March 2009, 13:32

    The stewards were following the book when they handed out this penalty, but it’s still not a just penalty. The just penalty would have been to give Hamilton 3rd and Trulli 4th. But the stewards had to hand out a book penalty in a way that would give Hamilton the 3rd place he deserved according to the rules, so this was it.

    The FIA should use this as a test case for instituting the “drop one position” penalty for situations like this.

  11. If Trulli’s version checks out there was nothing else he could do..According to Trulli Hamilton almost stopped and got to the side of the that situation and not having seen the event i think its a bit “harsh”..should he have stopped? Put yourselves in his shoes..
    If the story doesn’t check out i think its a bit harsh but fair..Trulli for me was the driver of the race alongside Hamilton..

    (Someone who respects and admires Hamilton for what he can do and has achieved but not a do or die fan)

  12. Oliver said on 29th March 2009, 14:12

    Those who claim Vettel wasn’t in the wrong failed to observe that Kubica was on the racing line and that Vettel was never going to make that corner except to go very wide or run straight on.

  13. I agree Rui – according to Trulli, Hamilton did pull over to the side to let him “regain” his place

    “Jarno Trulli (12th*): “I can’t say how disappointed I am to finish third but have the result questioned. When the safety car came out towards the end of the race Lewis Hamilton passed me but soon after he suddenly slowed down and pulled over to the side of the road. I thought he had a problem so I overtook him as there was nothing else I could do. “

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th March 2009, 14:57

      Maybe this story has further to run?

    • David said on 29th March 2009, 15:43

      If in doubt, Trulli could have checked the situation via race control and giving back the place. Maybe LH was being ultra-safe letting Trulli past (not unlikely given his penalties last year) but even so it’s not up to Hamilton to decide on the legality of their relative positions under a SC during a race! If Trulli was just ‘avoiding a collison,’ obviously even he would know he had to give it back asap…

  14. Matt said on 29th March 2009, 14:25

    One thing about the safety cars that really annoys me is the time it takes to make the decision to get the thing out on the track. When the BMW went into the wall it seemed to take forever for them to put it out, I would’ve thought one shot of the position of the car and debris on the track would’ve been enough… instead of waiting for everyone to do a lap or two first

    • Patrickl said on 29th March 2009, 16:37

      It was even worse with the Nakajima crash. It was almost as if they were waiting for Button to make his stop and only then send out the safety car. Then they even missed him coming out the pit and they had to wait for Button to gain almost a full lap on them.

      So as a result we get 6 lap safety car period for something that could have been cleaned up in 1 or 2 laps.

    • Matt said on 29th March 2009, 22:50

      I should’ve been more specific, the Nakajima crash was the one I was referring to.

      You’re spot on there, it’s like they were thinking “wait, wait, wait,.. ok go with the safety car now”.

  15. sparky said on 29th March 2009, 14:25

    Hey, so if the appeal court do penalise the diffuser gang in two weeks time, the record would state that Hamilton won the 2009 Australian grand prix??

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