Kubica and Vettel collide (Video) (Update: Vettel handed penalty)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel clashed in dramatic fashion in the dying stages of the Australian Grand Prix.

Kubica was catching Vettel and leader Jenson Button at the time and looked set to mount an improbable bid for victory – instead his race and Vettel’s ended in the barriers.

Kubica had a clear run at Vettel and tried to pass him around the outside of turn three. But the pair banged wheels, and both ripped off part of their front wings.

Both continued but both got no further than turn five. Vettel put his wheels on the grass on the way into the corner and clattered into the barriers. Kubica simply under-steered straight on and met the same end.

Then followed the bizarre sight of Vettel trying to drag his now three-wheeled Red Bull around the track. At first the other cars hesitated to pass him as the safety car had been deployed, but Vettel eventually gave up and pulled his wrecked RB5 to a halt.

The drama meant the race ended behind the safety car for the first time since the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix. Vettel and Kubica were classified 14th and 15th.

Update: Sebastian Vettel has been handed a ten place grid drop penalty for the Malaysian Grand Prix for the incident. To my mind, it looked like a standard racing accident and wouldn’t have apportioned blame on either side. But Vettel immediately apologised so he must have considered himself at fault.

190 comments on “Kubica and Vettel collide (Video) (Update: Vettel handed penalty)”

  1. Hamilton, driver of the race. Sure the SC helped him out, but he was driving one of the worst cars on the grid and he nearly got onto the podium! Completely unexpected compared to a Brawn 1-2 which was obvious considering their pace.

    1. Terry Fabulous
      29th March 2009, 10:01

      I dunno mate, he was mightily impressive but what about Vettel!!! He was mighty all race long! Or Trulli, he started behind Lew and finished in front.

      But yeah Lewis was a lot better then I expected. I was expecting a sulk and a prang, not in that order.

    2. dont know how you could call that. the toyotas started behind and outpaced him. there’s plenty of winners in that race none of them i’d call hamilton.

  2. Bit of both on this one for sure. Vettel for braking too late on his slippery softs and Kubica not giving any room for error.
    Kubica was on fire though last part of the race.

  3. Pedro Andrade
    29th March 2009, 9:14

    Just a correction Keith: the last race to end behind the safety car was Canada 1999.

  4. both made mistakes, it could be great season start for them, but anyway it was a great race!

  5. poor KUBICA, he was going so fast and trying so hard but made the mistake. it shows the speed of the BMW.

  6. hitchcockm00
    29th March 2009, 9:30

    They were both equally to blame for the first crash and both equally stupid for now slowing down for the next turns.

    Just showed a replay on the BBC forum thing and it looked like Vettel went off trying to avoid a piece of Kubica’s wing in turn 5.

    1. hitchcockm00
      29th March 2009, 9:31

      *not

  7. kubica just too fast and vettel didn’t pull back…its a 50 50 error from both driver….i really love to them both in podium..but yay from brawn gp..well deserved 1-2 !!!!

  8. what a shame. KUB was flying and #1 was within his reach. wondering why Vettel was going so much slower on that last lap before the crash.
    looks like bmw has a good car this year or Kubica’s skills are superior as he has no KERS and no diffuser.

  9. hitchcockm00
    29th March 2009, 9:32

    Vettel, Kubica, Trulli and Hamilton are all seeing the stewards.

  10. Apparently the stewards are investigating the incident and have summoned both drivers.

  11. Vettel drove a very good race today. The Red Bull ran second when it didn’t deserve to. A bit too ambitious from Kubika I feel.

  12. christopher
    29th March 2009, 9:40

    awful job on Kubica’s part. surely he could have easily passed coming off a corner onto a straight? what a waste of 2 fantastic drives.

  13. poor KUBICA? plizz, make that “stupid KUBICA!” He had a race win in his sights and couldn’t control himself to give Vettel enough room so he could take him on the next run!

    Anyway, great and mature drive for Hamilton, my driver of the day considering the car. He is the only one of the none “diffuser gang” in the top five, and overtook some cars i never expected him to come close to. Notably he outpaced Alonso who arguably was in a better car.

    Happy for the Brawn pair and Brawn himself. They didn’t look as devastating as expected but still brought the one-two home and for a rookie team that was a great result. Nonetheless, it will be hard for them to hold onto that dominance.

    Great result for Buemi and STR who continue punching well above their weight. Overall, a great race!

  14. think brundle called it spot on, vettel put a wheel on kerb exiting previous corner allowing kubica who was on a mission to put himself in an overtaking position. I think if vettel had a bit more experience he would have conceded and been happy with 3rd. Cant blame he for trying though he had a good race up till then.

  15. All that is the fault of the wider front wings as was being speculated after the rules change. It was quite a bit of a problem in the start also.

    1. yes, but they’ll get used to them. It’s only the first race and the drivers should be good enough to adapt their driving to suit.

  16. Zarathustra
    29th March 2009, 9:50

    Vettel error which he was admit and go to BMW box to say sorry for Kubica.
    Let’s forget it, they both were today awesome.

    But still I feel sorry for Robert, 1st place was in the reach cause Vettel and Button drive on soft not good tires in the end.

  17. chaostheory
    29th March 2009, 9:51

    Vettel had enough room but his soft tires didnt had that much grip that is how he ended on Kubicas rear right wheel. Normal race accident not mistake like those two mistakes by Rubens when he was ramming Raikkonen and someone else…

    1. One mistake by Rubens. The first he was clipped from behing by Heikki.

  18. I can’t believe Vettel has apologised to Theissen. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like Vettel didn’t have a part in that mess.

    But for someone lapping 2 seconds faster surely Kubica would have took him on the next couple of turns, it was very arrogant of Kubica to squeeze Vettel and leave no room.

    Former employer or not, I wouldn’t have apologised and would have told Mario where he can stick his opinion on the incident!

    1. Indeed. I’m starting to worry that Vettel is just too nice to be a WDC!

      I think he’s comprimised himself, like Brundle said on the BBC coverage. Next time they are side by side, I can’t see how it’s going to be a fight.

  19. Am I the only one to notice how close Kubicas tyre came to his head!

  20. A driver with a bit more experience would have known when to concede. Although its hard for racers to have a clear head when there is so much to gain. It did seem like Kubica wanted to make sure Vettel could not continue with the race.

    1. Oliver.. that sounds for me a bit like a conspiracy theory. Where can you see Kubica raming Vetel? What makes you think he wanted to put him out of the race? That was a very clear overtaking manoeuvre with plenty space for Vettel to brake down. The problem was – Vettel was not interested in braking down even if he knwe there is no space for him. And honestly I can see VET hiting KUB rather than KUB hitting VET. Can not understand your weird suspicious. Please be objective, ot at least try to be. We all have seen this race.

    2. you have just get a BBC judgement as a undisputed true. Take look on video from the heli camera – PLENTY of space to brake down for Vettel. But to brake down you need to bush brake pedal. Otherwise it may not work.

    3. Vettel actually started braking before Kubica.

      If I was Robert, I would have left him more room – but it’s of course easy to say sitting here at my keyboard – they had just done about 55 laps of the race.

  21. I can’s really see Kubica’s fault in here, especialy if you will look from the birds view. He left plenty of space to Vettel to allow him to brake down. Vettel was aware his tyres are in bad shape, he must knew he has got no chances – anyway he decided to push Kubica out of the track. Not the best idea I think. And RedBull team radio explains everyting:

    Team Radio S.Vettel:
    “I’m idiot… I’m very, very sorry…”

    I think with these words Sebastians explained very clearly whos fault was it.

    1. Sherman Tank
      29th March 2009, 10:10

      Give him a break hes just a kid, besides that he was apologising to his team for letting them down. 50/50

    2. hitchcockm00
      29th March 2009, 10:27

      It didn’t look like he tried to push Kubica off the track to me. He (Vettel) braked early for the corner and tried to stay tight and just wasn’t given enough room.
      Perhaps Vettel should have slowed down even more, perhaps Kubica should have given Vettel enough room. It was a racing incident and both were equally to blame.

      If the new rules are going to increase overtaking they’re also going to increase incidents like this so the stewards will have to become a bit more lenient. Hopefully neither driver will be punished today.

    3. The bird’s eye view is very misleading though–at least it is on my monitor, because the dark livery of the RB5 disappears in the shadows as the cars go behind the trees on the right side of the track. It looked to me like Kubica had over half a car up on Vettel going into the corner when really, the entire front of Vettel’s car was invisible to me and Kubica was never more than a nose ahead and then only under braking, after both drivers had already committed. Vettel was a nose ahead as they hit their braking points–I don’t see what else he could have done, short of rolling over for him.

    4. Swaveck…I’m not reffering to the initial contact which I’ve already said in another post Kubica had the racing line and Vettel refused to concede. I’m talking about the second contact.

    5. Aside from the terrible result of the incident, it was funny as hell to hear Vettel’s radio transmission after it happened- he sounded like a little kid who threw a baseball through the neighbor’s window :)

  22. Yeah Kubica was already accelerating from the corner had Vettel behind. He already lost sight of Sebastian.

  23. IMO… 100% Kubicas fault… he had the speed, he knew he had the speed… we are talking about 2nd place with a few laps to go, no TRUE racer will ever concede a corner in those circumstances… Vettel drove well, defending the corner well, was alongside on entry… Kubica knew he was there, knew he was going to defend hard (2nd place, 3 laps remaining)… Kubica should have given Vettel more room, Kubica could easily have held the line around the outside on his tyres, and traction out of the corner would have given him the place… IMO… Total lack of experience on Kubicas part… lets not forget 20years ago these kind of moves were ten a penny and the drivers acted professionally and with respect for their counterparts and the racing was awesome.

    1. DOUGIE What you talking about ? Why Kubica should give Vettel more room ??? Kubica’s nose was up in front of Vettel ! Kubica has a winning mentality, he’s a fighter, 3rd or 2nd place is not good enough for him. He could easily pass Button later on.

    2. Because if Kubica had any intelligence he would know that by not giving the room he would risk a big collision… by giving the room he will have the place on the exit of the corner.

      What happened?… there was a big collision… enough said. Vettel defended the corner very well, he had the inside on entry, Kubica drove into Vettel not the other way round.

    3. I think you have watched different race. Look at this pic how much space Vettel had on his right. http://strony.aster.pl/sim/misc/KUB-VET.JPG
      Thank you, that explain everything. He had no intention not to hit Kubica. Even German’s commentators on Premiere TV agreed it was Vettel’s fault.

    4. Mike, he was sliding under braking.

    5. I will go with Dougie on this one.
      Although; I hope no one gets a penalty.

      Kubika had no business turning in so sharply after Vettel had well and truly covered the inside line.
      Both the drivers could have passed side-by-side through the right-hander. And the BMW engine would have given the position to Kubika then.

      Vettel was just trying to make it difficult for Kubika by braking as late as possible. In spite of that; Kubika had his nose ahead. If only Kubika had kept his cool; he would have been second.

      I don’t buy Mario’s theory that Kubika was winning the race. The Brawn car didn’t seem as it was pushed to the limits. Infact; it was fueled to the finish at the first pit stop itself.

    6. But they’re already exiting the corner in that screenshot–nobody on the racing line would be any closer to the kerbs than Vettel is at that moment. Furthermore, Vettel was actually ahead of Kubica when they hit their braking points. And my German’s a bit rusty, but I thought they were saying “Beide, beide”, placing blame on both drivers, comparing their duel to Glock and Alonso’s earlier, in which they gave each other room and didn’t take each other out.

  24. It was obviously Vettel’s stupidity.

    Sure, Kubica could have lifted, and wait for another clear opportunity.

    But with his rhythm broken, it might have been yet another 0,5-1 lap before another safe chance is presented.

    That 0,5-1 lap lost could have cost him victory – as all this was happening just 3 laps from the end.

    He simply couldn’t afford to wait for another chance – it was reasonable risk-taking on his part.

    On the other hand, just what the f… was Vettel thinking?

    He had ZERO chance to keep Kubica behind for 3 laps with a car skidding around and 5 seconds slower.

    By not conceding (like many intelligently did, when Hamilton was charging from behind), he was either to help Button against Kubica (by causing significant time loss for RK) or take both of them out.

    He succeeded in the latter.

    A totally brainless act from him, while Kubica just took a risk he HAD to take for the win. Not for second place, of course, but he wasn’t going for second place…

    1. If the drivers are thinking as MJ4 says they should be thinking then what has happened to Formula 1!?! That’s not racing, let monkeys drive the car… right Benjy get in the car,drive it fast, the car is fast enough for 3rd, the other drivers will give you the place if your are faster in the last few laps. No problem. Oooh ooh eee aa aa!!

    2. Geoffrey Raymond
      30th March 2009, 2:33

      “He had ZERO chance to keep Kubica behind for 3 laps with a car skidding around and 5 seconds slower.” THAT’S your rationale for suggesting that Vettel just let Kubica go past? Vettel’s job is to hold his position. If the history of contemporary F1 teaches us anything it’s that a slower car can frequently hold off a faster one for at least a couple of laps. I put it the blame squarely on Kubica–no way was he far enough ahead to come down on Vettel like he did–and I attribute Vettel’s apology to youth. I can assure you if Vettel had been Schumacher they would have kicked Kubica back to go-karts.

  25. The drivers know best if they did something wrong, so Vetels apologies mean more than all your speculation.

    It looked to me as Vetel had plenty of space, plus Kubica had 1st in mind so he couldn’t wait even till the next turn to take Vetel otherwise he wouldn’t get close enough to Mutton.

    1. Vettel is unusual in that he feels responsibility even when it is not his (I know that feeling well)… would he have apologised if he had taken more time to properly analyse the footage. I don’t feel Vettel can take any blame here, I think it was pure racing, everything was spot on until Kubica squeezed way too much too late.

  26. In my opinion this is Vettels mistake, I suppose he just made his mistake on the early braking otherwise Kubica would have no chance to leave him little room, probably overshooting that corner.

  27. I agree with Sherman Tank, Vettel was not apologizing to Kubica or BMW over the radio, he was pretty clearly apologizing to his team because he knew that he couldn’t possibly continue their good work and get the podium that he and they deserved.

    There are heaps of could’ve and should’ve for both driver to make but they didnt happen. The way it turned out, the blame is 50/50 in my book.

  28. I can see very clearly that there was plenty space left for vettel.

    http://strony.aster.pl/sim/misc/KUB-VET.JPG
    This when the contact was initiated.

    KUB did not pushed him out of the track. He just forced him to brake, but Sebastian was not really keen to do so.
    Can not see KUB fault in here.

    Even later, when VET have seen KUB spinning, he did not brake down – he just rammed hist front wing.

    Honestyly I think VETTEL is agreat taent but blaming KUB because VET is in fasion now is a bit wrong way.

    Saying about the VET Team Radio I ment the first part of what he have said. He knew he has made a mistake.

    1. What that image doesn’t show is that Kubica was coming across Vettel, and that Vettel was moving to the inside of the corner. Vettel was not moving out to Kubica.

    2. It was clearly 50/50.

      You have to remember a racing incident like this is caused by two drivers not one.

    3. Most of commentators agreed it was Vettel’s error. Rules are simple, before the “touch” Kubica was before Vettel so simply young german should let him go first without having no movement to either left or right.

    4. A single frame does not tell the whole story. Take one about half a second before, and you find Vettel on the kerb, with Kubica having completely blocked him in.

      By that point, there was nothing that could be done by either driver to prevent the accident. So by the point of your picture, the accident was already inevitable. In fact, it looks like Vettel was touching the kerb with his right wheel when his left wheel first touched Kubicas sidepod.

      The incident was started by Vettels early braking, and Kubica assuming he’d reach the corner before Vettel as a consequence.

  29. Toby Thwaites 93
    29th March 2009, 10:56

    PAUSE THE VIDEO AT 10-11 SECONDS AND SEE HOW LITTLE SPACE VETTEL GIVES KUBICA. KUBICA WAS REALLY QUICK THE LAST HALF OF THE RACE AND COULD OF WON IT. HE DID NOT DESERVE THIS
    IM VERY DISAPOINTED IN VETTEL!!!

    1. I think this was 50/50 to be honest now. Although I think this, and others, clearly demonstrates the difference between overtaking now with the lack of opportunities and therefore lack of experience and overtaking 20 years ago… Mansell & Senna (whichever way round you want to put it) would have come through this on the track and still made the move as close and successfully.

    2. How could Kubica hgave won the race? He still would have needed to catch Button and overtake Button. Kubica wasn’t really faster than Button. So where people get this nonsense is beyond me.

    3. I disagree. Yeah Kubica was faster but this was both drivers racing right on the edge and of course sometimes this is going to happen. If anything, Kubica could have given Vettel more room as he had over a cars width to his left through the corner.

    4. I disagree. Yeah Kubica was faster but this was both drivers racing right on the edge and of course sometimes this is going to happen. If anything, Kubica could have given Vettel more room as he had over a cars width to his left through the whole corner.

  30. @TommyB

    Yep I saw it to, really dangerous those flying tyres, I don’t understand how this is possible since Senna. Big error by BMW…

  31. @Dougie – watch the video again. If Vettel would go or heading to the inside – there would be no incident. I mean the moment right out of the corner – watch it from heli cam.

  32. Daugie,
    I’m affraid you are not saying the truth:

    Frame by frame:

    http://strony.aster.pl/sim/misc/p11.jpg
    http://strony.aster.pl/sim/misc/p12.jpg

    Vettel is moving OUT of the corner pushing on KUB car.
    I’m sorry man. You don’t have to like KUB but please be objective.

    1. hitchcockm00
      29th March 2009, 11:04

      That’s because Vettel was forced to take a very tight line…

    2. Can’t argue with that… but I was already coming to the conclusion it was 50/50 to be honest…

      btw… I like Kubica a lot and was rooting for him in the first half of last year, and was appalled to see BMW not support his championship challenge. I have no favouritism between these two, I just said it as I saw it.

    3. Look at the first frame, Vettel has no space to go, and his wing is in contact with Kubicas wheel, by the second frame it’s already been sheared off.

    4. I tell a lie, it looks more like it’s that Vettels wing got caught by the front of Kubicas sidepods, not his wheel.

      Something, I hasten to add, that could only have been caused by Kubica turning in too steeply.

  33. To all those who still try to igure out whose fault was that.

    By Sebastian Vettel:

    “It’s a shame as it meant the end of the race for both of us. Should I have let him go? You always want to fight. Maybe I should have said let him go and bring third back home, but that’s life.
    I tried to defend and, up to the mid-corner, I had reason, but then I had no grip to avoid a collision. I’m sorry to the team and also to Robert, as it didn’t just mean the end of my race, but also his.”

    1. Fair play to him and I stand corrected… but this makes me sad for F1…

      Maybe I should have said let him go and bring third back home

    2. Vettel deserves credit just for blaming no one but himself. How many others would’ve done the same without pointing the finger at the track, the car, the other driver, anything to avoid taking the blame?

  34. Lol :))

    VET was forced to brake down – not to take tight corner. Clear rule. You have got no space to take the corner – means you have been just overtaken – slow down and try to recover at te next corner – and don’t ram!

    1. Well I think this just concludes our discussion:)
      Another thing is how do you feel, did Kubica with his paca have any chance for a succesful fight with Button driving on those super soft tires?

  35. Toby Thwaites 93
    29th March 2009, 11:18

    VETTEL SUCKS! KUBICA RULES
    Thats the only outcome i can find

    1. Oh what are you talking about? Vettel proved last year – and today – hes a great talent. Kubica did the same since hes in F1.

  36. OMG people need to get in touch with reality!

    @ Swaveck
    Your picture is ridiculous. Come on, get real!

    The fact that Vettel had some centimeters of space on the inside of the corner means NOTHING.
    A car canNOT always go anywhere the driver wants it to go. There are LAWS OF PHYSICS that you cannot go round only because you want to.

    Vettel was 1) forced to take the inside line into the corner and 2) he was braking very late (duh!).
    Because of this, he couldn’t go into the corner as tightly as one wishes. It was obvious – and Kubica should’ve known that – that Vettel would not be able to keep to the inside of the corner all the way through.
    Both cars braked as hard as possible – as they always do, but Vettel was forced to do it on the verge of skidding. He couldn’t have braked harder than he did. And if he turned right more rapidly he would simply spin and throw them both instantly from track.

    Robert lacked imagination to prevent the accident that was inevitable under circumstances that he himself created.
    He should’ve given Vettel more room. Because Vettel couldn’t vanished in the air or jump over Robert’s car.

    Final verdict: Kubica’s fault all the way.

    1. Toby Thwaites 93
      29th March 2009, 11:36

      Why did Vettel get the 10 place grid penalty then? I think you should leave the deciding to the Stewards as they have better equipment to assess the crash and seen as though Vettel apologised to Dr Mario and Robert he knows he could of done more and he got the penalty, shows that this was VETTEL’S FAULT not Kubica.
      Dr Mario as did the math, he new Kubica could of won the race http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7970558.stm

  37. Dougie,

    Racing does not mean a total lack of cooperation between pilots.

    Letting someone ahead when he’s

    1) already ahead
    2) way quicker than you

    is intelligent cooperation for the interest of both, not a fear/inability to race, as you imply with those monkeys.

    1. Letting someone ahead when he’s
      1) already ahead
      is intelligent cooperation

      Duh!! You first, no you, no you, I insist.

      Mansell & Senna (and Rossi & Stoner) have showed how intelligent cooperation does not detract from the racing and still give a great show.

    2. Problem is, Vettel was ahead of Kubica when they reached the braking zone. Should Kubica have rolled over then? Of course not. But when you’re on the edge like that you’ve got to give each other some room.

  38. Vettel gets two penalties after the accident.

  39. Damon:

    “Vettel was 1) forced to take the inside line into the corner”

    LOL – do you thing KUB should slow down and let VET take better position to take corner? KUB was there which means there is no place for VET. If he had no space to make a corner properly he should brake down what he has even admitt – but somehow you still trying to defend those weird ********.

    ” and 2) he was braking very late (duh!).”

    :>>>> Now I’m just wondering if for sure you have been watching 2009 Australian GP. It is a bloody clear VET was braking much, much earlier. please watch this race again, and if neccessary, watch it again and again. Maybe you will se how early were VET’s brakes.

    To help you out – please watch the 7th second of the video on the top of this page.

    Vettel’s 100% fault.

    1. Toby Thwaites 93
      29th March 2009, 11:56

      Well said

    2. hitchcockm00
      29th March 2009, 12:49

      “LOL – do you thing KUB should slow down and let VET take better position to take corner?”

      Well you seem to think that Vettel should have slowed down even more to give Kubica the position….
      Like you say later in your post, Vettel broke very early for the corner. He obviously did this because he wanted to *avoid* a collision, it was a sensible thing to do and he still went into the corner side by side with Kubica. Kubica has said that he thought he was clear of Vettel and turned in. So even though he’s not man enough to admit his part in the accident, it does seem that he was at least partly to blame.

      Either way it was an accident so blaming Vettel and acting as though he did it deliberately seems a bit silly. He didn’t want to go out of the race either.

  40. Penalty is apparently for his driving round after the accident, not the accident itself.

    1. That makes much more sense, thanks for mentioning it.

    2. Penalty for Vettel is for accident, $50,000 for the team is for driving round after the accident.

  41. Ethnic_Tension
    29th March 2009, 11:36

    I was at corner 3 when the incident occurred. Kubica was clearly ahead by the time they reached the corner. Kubica was on the racing line. He left enough room for Vettel however Vettel’s tyres were in a poor state and he was on the dirty side of the track. Vettel started to brake before Kubica, however by then it was already too late.

    It was neither Kubica’s nor Vettel’s fault. It was just an unlucky situation. True that both of them are experienced and could have handled it better however nothing you can do now.

    By the way, from where I was standing it looked like after the initial impact, Kubica intentionally tried to send Vettel into the wall.

    1. hitchcockm00
      29th March 2009, 12:52

      “By the way, from where I was standing it looked like after the initial impact, Kubica intentionally tried to send Vettel into the wall.”

      I thought that as well actually. But I thought it was more to do with Kubica trying to keep his foot down after he had been hit, to get out of the crash before Vettel, rather than him deliberately trying to ram Vettel off the track.
      A bit silly.

  42. Actually NO!! I stand by what I initially said… I’ve just watched the footage yet again.

    Going into the braking zone, Vettel was well ahead of Kubica and Vettel was still alongside on turn in… Kubica should have given him more room. My very original comment still stands.

    I got to go now, its been fun. Have a great Sunday guys.

  43. for those who prefer to be blind than objective.

    Sebastian Vettel has been given a ten place grid penalty for the Malaysian Grand Prix after the Melbourne stewards judged that his late-race collision with Robert Kubica in Australia was an ‘avoidable accident’.

    Source http://www.itv-f1.com/News_Article.aspx?id=45387

    and Kubica and Vettel opinion:

    Kubica: “Sebastian went wide in corner one and then he braked early,” “I was already in front, but he didn’t want to let me by.
    “Then he had a lot of understeer and touched me.
    “My front wing was under the car, therefore I crashed in corner 5.
    “I think Sebastian was a bit too optimistic.

    Vettel: “I had a stupid racing accident with Robert,” he said.

    “At the time I turned in I was ahead, but I couldn’t keep up speed in the corner and Robert was on a harder tyre, so was much quicker.
    “At the time we collided he was in front, but I had nowhere to go, I couldn’t stop the car, or turn to the right and my tyres were gone.
    “Should I have let him go? You always want to fight.
    “Maybe I should have said let him go and bring third back home, but that’s life.
    “I tried to defend and, up to the mid-corner, I had reason, but then I had no grip to avoid a collision.”

    All clear? or still not?

    1. Nope, again the stewards get it wrong and take a racing incident, apportion blame incorrectly, and prevent proper racing in the future.

      It was a racing incident, Kubica could have given more room, Vettel could have been more cautious on worn tyres, in the circumstances I think Kubica (but that is just my opinion) and ultimately it was a racing incident and no penalties are required.

      Massa driving into the side of Hamilton after a clean pass is an “avoidable incident”.

      ps. I like Hamilton, was well impressed with his drive today, and I was rooting for Massa in 2008.

  44. Dougie,

    You don’t WANT to understand what I’m talking about.

    I don’t think people should let faster opponents by, especially when no overtaking manoeuvers are taking place, just driving close to each other.

    But there IS a point DURING such an overtaking manoeuver where you should accept that – for the time being, at least – you are defeated. Maybe you have a go again in the very next corner or straight but that one is lost.

    Not accepting this won’t miraculously turn the situation around, producing some GREAT racing, it’ll just ruin it for both drivers.

    Oh, and I don’t see how your Mansell reference is is contradiction to anything I said. I agree on what you say there, and I also love action like Kubica-Massa in 2007.

    This was just not that kind.

    1. Hi MJ4, I do hear what you are saying and do appreciate your point of view…I agree with you in the main on the last comment, just I feel this is not that situation… I think Vettel had the right to the corner, he was ahead in the braking zone and alongside on turn in (watch the view from Kubicas car cam), and that Kubica could have given more room and gone around the outside.

  45. Somebody who is not wearing KUBICA merchandise explain to me how only Vettel got punished for that incidence.

    For all those exonerating RK i recall the moral argument against Ham on his Spa move on Kimi last year being that he should have held back since he was the faster car anyway.The argument then was that it was a sign of maturity in a driver. I would expect that between Vettel and RK, the pole should be the more mature driver?

  46. What a joke!! A racing incident thats all! Wheres the Barrichello penalty, the Kovy penalty etc.

  47. Vettel also fined $50,000…

    “Because of his damaged car Vettel was obliged to park it but he didn’t, instead trying to continue through to the last lap as other were not allowed to pass him.” <PF1

  48. Really a joke? simply racing incident? 3 laps to go! Kubica is fighting for P1 and P2 and for you this is joke?

    1. Toby Thwaites 93
      29th March 2009, 12:05

      YEAH kubica could of won this race! Not a joke at all

  49. Having red those:

    http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/090329114744.shtml
    http://www.itv-f1.com/News_Article.aspx?id=45387
    http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2009/3/9098.html

    i cant belive there are still those who blame RK for the accident. No matter Vettel admit that this was his mistake… they know even better than him. What a specialists.

    To make it clear:
    Penalty is for driving damaged car (cash fine) and for causing a collision (10-place grid penalty).

    1. barichello cause at least two crashes… where is his 20-place grid penalty?

  50. Slowing it down and using screen grabs as evidence of fault means nothing for an incident that happened at high speed over the course of a couple of seconds. Vettel could have let him through, Kubica could have given him a bit more room. It’s an old fashioned “racing incident”.

    Giving Vettel a penalty is ridiculous. Can anyone tell me whether any of the stewards have racing backgrounds? I’m not aware that they do and until race stewards are ex-drivers with plenty of first hand experience of such things we’re always going to see stupid decisions like this one and the farcical penalty handed to Bourdais after the Massa incident at Spa last year.

    FIA – if you want to encourage overtaking, please STOP penalising drivers every time there’s a slight misjudgement from them!!!

    1. Well you say it right there. They penalised Bourdais for a similar incident (Massa was actually much more to blame there). How could they not penalise Vettel now?

      One steward is a Czech national level Rally driver with years experience as a steward and the other an Icelandic rally co-driver and also a steward in previous F1 events (since 2001).

  51. Sorry guys, this looks like a no brainer. Vettel had to give Kubica track room for a fair pass and didn’t, causing a collision.

  52. New race, new season of F1.. and new collisions. But it looks like normal racing accident.

  53. I think that Vettel was to blame for the incident. It was completely useless to fight Kubica that hard.

    I don’t think the grid penalty is warranted, but it’s in line with the new harsh attitude of the stewards. They were this harsh with Hamilton (and others) last year, so why not now with Vettel?

    I’m appalled by Theissen and Kubica’s claim that Kubica could have won. That’s just utterly lame.

    Kubica was not 2 seconds faster. He was half a second to a second faster than Vettel, but only about a tenth faster than Button. There is no way he would have caught up to Button let alone pass him.

    1. Toby Thwaites 93
      29th March 2009, 12:21

      If you watched the race you could of seen that Kubica was catching around 0.6 or 0.5 seconds PER SECTOR over the last 5 laps and even Brawn said he was relieved when Kubica was no longer a threat.
      Dr Mario was right with that claim

    2. yeah kubica was flying .3-.5 per lap and only a handful of seconds away from button – and vettel was also trying to get close to button, he was also catching at .1+ a lap.

    3. What race have you guys been watching?

      Kubica gained 2.4 seconds on Vettel over the last 5 laps (lap 51 to 55). That’s an average of 5 tenths PER LAP. Indeed he was catching him faster and faster and on the last lap it was nearly a second per lap (0.922s).

      Vettel was LOSING time on Button. The last lap he lost 1.5s! Over the last 5 laps he lost 2.3s on Button.

      Kubica gained a whopping 0.07 seconds on Button over those 5 laps. That’s 0,014s per lap!

      On lap 55 Button held a lead of something like 3.8s so at the rate that Kubica was gaining on him it would take 220 laps to catch him. The last lap Button was actually pulling away from Kubica by half a second.

      Of course Brawn was happy that Kubica (and Vettel) was no longer a threat. Button could go slow and Barrichello gained two places.

      Theissen must have had a brain fade when he was talking about 2 seconds a lap and thinking that Kubica would come even close to Button (3.8s in 3 laps), let alone past Button.

      But then Kimi claims he would have been second hadn’t he crashed into the wall. I guess these guys all don’t have any sense of reality.

    4. You wrote:
      “A real racer would have made that pass and would not have hit his opponent.”

      Wow! This is a Mount Everest of non logical thinking!
      What kind of argument is that? Is this a joke or what? Using your way o thinking I could say that;
      “A real race driver would not have hit Kimi’s car but would have gently stopped behind him”
      It is really funny!

    5. It’s ok Chris. Maybe if you think a bit longer you’ll understand.

      Or you must really think that Kubica could have done nothing to prevent that accident. Then you’ll never understand no.

    6. I have been thinking enough about that,it is not a big brainer, you do not have monopoly for that, trust me. Kubica did what he should do. Vettel made a mistake, drove to wide, then he pushed the brakes in the corner. When he saw Kubica in front of him he released the brakes and accelerated which caused the crash. Should he not have done it, it wouldn’t be any collision. It is only his fault and he admitted that and apologised Kubica after the race. But you know better than him.

    7. “When he saw Kubica in front of him he released the brakes and accelerated which caused the crash.”

      Have you got any basis for saying that? The rev meter shows no increase in revs. The cause of the crash was the removal of Vettels front wing by Kubica.

    8. Kubica should have realized that pushing Vettel off line might make him miss his braking point by a few inch. By giving 0 inch room, Kubica was just begging for an accident.

      Cutting it so close is just not good practice if you want to overtake people. It’s way too risky and you end up in the gravel more often than that you succesfully make a pass.

      The only way this would have worked is if Vettel just let Kubica by. Not just that, but Vettel should have committed to letting Kubica by even before they went into the corner. By the time they turned in it was too late already.

      A good racer doesn’t rely on people committed to letting him pass. He makes the pass, but also makes (reasonably) sure both cars comes out the other end intact. Look at what Senna used to do. Or what Hamilton and Rosberg did today.

      Either completely push your opponent off-line so they cannot even enter the turn inside of you (ie make them close up behind you even before the turn starts). Alternatively, if you have that much more speed, give them space to take the corner and just accelerate away after the corner.

      Kubica’s overtaking move was a half assed attempt. He tried to be bold, but to late into the corner. It’s the same thing Massa always does and then he acts surprised afterwards that the opponent actually thought he could defend his position while they both went into the turn.

  54. As I state in my blog (f1nerd.net) I think Vettel signed his own death warrant so to say in this incident. He was far too apologetic in something that could pass the blame either way.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he just held his hands up in the stewards meeting and took the blame without question.

    As for Red Bull it was a stupid decision to keep him on track, and I can’t believe they expected any different then this fine.

    1. yeah when i was watching it i put kubica a bit more in the blame for it, obviously vettel was having traction issues, to go around the outside is the wrong way around, out braking into the MANY braking zones would be better… but in saying that, he was on the way to catching button, so secrewing around wasn’t an option.

  55. If 2008 Brazil was anything to go by, that one point to Lewis may prove very valuable later on in the season. I am happy the World Champion seems to have learnt to keep a cool head from his erratic performances in the last year. I can’t say the same for Kova who seems to have learnt nothing about his requisite contribution towards McLaren’s bid for the Constructor’s championship.

    Good PR from Ham’s dad congratulating Button’s old man.

  56. so many winers so little common sense.

    no hamilton wasn’t the driver of the day (get off your british horse), yes its unfortunate that kubica and vettel collided but that racing, vettel had worn tires and they both are racing each other, it’s open wheel racing, it’s going to happen.

    penalty, sure its tough but that’s the game.

  57. IMO Vettel has been treated extremely harshly by the stewards re penalty for the actual collision, the penalty for not stopping being a different matter altogether.
    At the very least this was a 50/50 racing accident and merited no penalty whatsoever. At the very least!
    But if Kubica was so fast he was going to win (according to Theissen) he simply didn’t need to squeeze Vettel on that corner. Should have engaged brain and taken a well deserved second place.
    Speed-wise these two guys are clearly awesome. But why do BMW still use Heidfeld? Sorry, that’s obvious.

    1. hitchcockm00
      29th March 2009, 12:59

      “Speed-wise these two guys are clearly awesome. But why do BMW still use Heidfeld? Sorry, that’s obvious.”

      Don’t forget that Heidfeld got a pretty big hit from Webber in the first corner. That’s why he was so far down the field today.

    2. Heidfeld was just as fast as Kubica all weekend. He narrowly missed Q3 by 0.1s. After the start he was caught up in Barrichello’s mess.

      Sam with Webber. He was faster than Vettel all weekend, but I guess something went wrong for him in Q3 and he was also taken out by Barrichello.

  58. John Spencer
    29th March 2009, 12:31

    I’ve seen the footage and read the posts and I’m still not sure. I would put it down to a racing accident. I’d but the blame on Vettel, but in his defence, there were collisions like this at Australia last year that went unpunished.

    But were the stewards swayed by Vettel’s immediate confession and apology? If he had acted a bit more like a typical F1 driver, and blustered that he had the inside line, Kubica turned in on him, left him no room, etc – would he have been treated more lightly?

    1. hitchcockm00
      29th March 2009, 12:58

      If Vettel’s apology did have an effect on the decision then that’s very poor form from the stewards.
      Just as drivers often claim in the heat of the moment that they had no part in an incident, they also may claim that it was all their fault (as Vettel did).

  59. Yes I must admit that Vettels behavior was really top class. He felt he made a mistake and apologized all the people he let down.
    Still think both Kub&Vet are one of the best drivers on the track. I also have a thought that Kubica has really good pace when he has a clear track in front of him but isn’t very confident on the overtaking. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    1. Toby Thwaites 93
      29th March 2009, 13:03

      Yeah i would say your right on Kubica there, dont forget about how confident he is defending though (Japan 06&07 vs ferrari’s), top class driver

    2. you are wrong, see his chasing with massa from 2007 and many other overtakings

    3. Oh yeah baby, even today first few laps when Kubica was blocking Raikkonen. I’ve never seen anything like that before in F1. Brilliant stuff, top driver.

  60. My question is this, as i see the accidente is 50/50, Vettel has a mistake, and the Kubica does not give the pace nedeed 4 the german pilot. Vettel get’s 10 positions?
    What about Barrichelo in the 1st curve that with space and no path send’s 3 cars out and nothig happens?

  61. John Spence, does it mean you reccomend Vettel to lie to save his own ass? I thought it is a sport for gentleman, and it looks like VET is aware of that.

    I have a lot of respect to him now, since he had balls big enough to admitt it was his fault. Unfortunetelly some of the guys on the forum still trying to defend him even after his addmision.

    1. I thought it is a sport for gentleman

      No, that’s cricket.

  62. Mussolini's Pet Cat
    29th March 2009, 13:12

    Internet, as usual your grasp of f1 is totally flawed! How can you say Hamilton was the best driver today?Button having a great car is only part of the package. He drove a faultless race, using his smooth style to full effect. Remember, that car has had very little testing, so it’s reliabilty was always going to be a uncertain variable. Hats off to you Jens, you and Brawn GP earned & deserved that win.

  63. c’mon I can’t believe what i’m reading here.

    KUB was gaining and had a shot to overtake. However, as a racing driver you need to be aware of the fact that not pieces of matter can be one and the same place. If you force someone onto to the inside curb he will run wide a little after (less grip on the curb). There was nothing vettel could do. Braking into a turn is ont the edge; VET couldn’t brake harder to leave room. The overtaker, even if faster by 1.5s per lap has to ensure his room for the overtake. KUB gambled and lost. It was edgy racing from KUB but not worth a penalty. The penalty for VET is plain wrong, has to be appealed AND overruled. It is not a matter of opinion. VET did nothing wrong: this enalty is not called for.

  64. hitchcockm00 says:
    March 29, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    If Vettel’s apology did have an effect on the decision then that’s very poor form from the stewards.
    Just as drivers often claim in the heat of the moment that they had no part in an incident, they also may claim that it was all their fault (as Vettel did).

    I do agree. I think stewards have made their decision based on VET statement which should never happend. Since VET has confirmed his fault, punishment should be rather simbolic. Moving back about 10 places on the grid is far to heavy punishment.

  65. Mussolini – Lewis started 18th and finished 3rd in a car almost two seconds and at least a second off the pace of the Brawn. On the other hand, Button started 1st and finished 1st with the fastest car on the grid. As has been said of Ham in similar positions in the past, that doesn’t require much skill to win. Just on the basis of race craft, i would easily give Lewis my driver of the day over Button.

    1. You’re funny guy NDINYO. Hamilton got points only because ofmany top drivers retired and also because of safety cars. Give me a break. Top 3 drivers: Button, Kubica and Vettel.

  66. Lewis lucked into the position through good tactics and lucky timing of the first safety car, along with accidents of other cars.

    Much like his Monaco win last year, it was more of a case of being in the right place at the right time, not amazing race craft.

    1. hitchcockm00
      29th March 2009, 13:42

      Really? So he didn’t do more overtaking than most of the other drivers then?

      Come on, I’m not a big Hamilton fan either but even I can see that his car is a dog and he drove very well.
      He obviously lucked into such a high position but he also drove fantastically.

      I’m watching the race again now and I think Kubica should do the same to get some overtaking tips.
      Hamilton pulled off a very similar overtake on Piquet around the outside of turn 3 and gave him plenty of room like Kubica should have with Vettel.

  67. cptslow, it is interresting what you have written, especialy after what Vettels have said. :))
    Take look on the camera from heli again – VET started braking very early, and as soon he realised he is being overtaken he release brake pedal not to allow KUB go into the corner – which finally lead to the collision due to VET lack of grip on his tired tyres. I’m sure he was aware that his brakes performence was a bit lower thank KUB since he was catching him every sector about 0.6 sec. He is just young.. anyway – too bad for both of them.

    And at the end (I hope) of this topic – please read Vetter statement where he agreed it was his fault.

    1. hitchcockm00
      29th March 2009, 13:44

      You said it yourself, he braked early. He did that to *avoid* an accident. He just understeered into Kubica.

      Why would he deliberately throw away a podium by hitting Kubica??

    2. Because he’s dumb ?

  68. I disegree that there was no room for Vettel, it was­ enough of space, besides, firstly, Kubica was in front­ of Vettel anyway, secondly, Kubica was faster because­ Vettel was on a softer tyres,and thirdly Vettel had no­ chance to keep second place with 3 laps to go so why­ the hell he did not let him by??? Those who are saying­ that Kubica could wait for a better chance to overtake­ Vettel are wrong and completely do not understand­ Robert’s intensions. Kubica could not waste much­ time for overtaking Vettel because he was chasing­ Button who was struggling on a softer tyres as well as­ German driver. And if not that act of stupidness by Red­ Bull driver, Kubica might have done it. If you do not­ believe it, check the last lap times. Of course he­ could easily be third and gain vital points. But Kubica­ showed that he is a real race driver, same mentality as­ Schumacher and Senna, I am not scared to say it.­ Fighter who do not calculate when there is a chance to­ win. Stewards made the only right decision. Despite­ their previous controversial verdicts they were­ absolutely right this time. Even Sebastian Vettel­ admitted his fault by saying to his team through the­ radio just after the accident: “I am an IDIOT, I­ am really, really sorry”. So taken this honest­ declaration into consideration what can you expect from­ the stewards? Not to punish him? To punish Kubica? Of­ course not.

    1. Toby Thwaites 93
      29th March 2009, 14:16

      Agreed ^^^

    2. A real racer would have made that pass and would not have hit his opponent.

  69. Mmm, from BBC site…

    “In the key part of the incident, which stewards deemed to be the German’s fault, the Red Bull’s front wheel tagged the rear wheel of the BMW after the Pole had given Vettel room.”

    Except by this point, Vettel had no front wing. The first contact removed Vettels front wing, and consequently any control. The second contact was the one mentioned as Vettels fault.

    At the point the front wing was removed, Kubica hadn’t given him room. There’s a few frames where you can clearly see both Vettels wing falling off, and Vettels front right tyre still on the Kerb.

    The stewards obviously didn’t check the video for that long, and have come to the wrong decision, judging by what they’ve said.

  70. hitchcockm00 says:
    March 29, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    You said it yourself, he braked early. He did that to *avoid* an accident. He just understeered into Kubica.

    What you have forget to mention is that I have also said that as soon as VET realizsed he make mistake by too early braking he RELEASE brake pedal to speed-up a bit to be in fron of KUB at the enter to 3rd corner. Nufortunatelly it looks like he have forgotten that his tyres are in bad condition so he simply crushed into KUB.
    PLEASE – WATCH IT AGAIN from the birds view – clearly VET has released brakes not to allow KUB clear way into corner and he MUST knew it will lead to smaller or bigger collision. This time it was a bit bigger so they both have lost their points.. and the question – was it worth it? KUB would overtake him anyway. So VET has nothing to win and a lot to lose. Thats why I see VET move as a pure stupidity.

    1. hitchcockm00
      29th March 2009, 14:59

      He released the brakes to turn into the corner…you can’t turn in with your brakes on.

      Watch Hamilton’s move on Piquet earlier in the race on the same corner. He gave Piquet plenty of room and the move worked perfectly. Then compare it to Kubica, who did not give Vettel enough room to make a mistake. Vettel then made a mistake and hit Kubica.
      They were both to blame!

  71. It was a racing incident. Vettel grid gird drop for the next Grand Prix is just yet another injustice in Formula One in recent years.

    Yeah yeah Vettel could have conceded, and yeah Kubica could have left more room. Whatever… some times drivers collided. These things happen, and are part of what makes motor sport so great.

    As for Kubica being in the running for the win… I think some people just have some very big dreams. I’ll agree second place was probably his, but not first. Button didn’t seem to be pushing too hard, I’m sure he had more in him to fight of Kubica.

    1. Toby Thwaites 93
      29th March 2009, 14:48

      No WAY, Kubica would of caught up to Button easily, it would of just been the case of, if Kubica had a good enough oppertunity to take Button in the final corners.
      It wasnt a dream, Kubica had great chances for winning today

  72. Racing accident. End of story. We need more of this kind of aggressive driving, and I expect to see this continue from Vettel. Hopefully the rest of the drivers also start behaving like racers.

    Vettel was supposed to “let him by”? What a joke.

  73. StrFerrari4Ever
    29th March 2009, 14:52

    Well to me this was 50/50 Vettel made a mistake in turn 1 and Kubica got a run on him Vettel braked first and he took the racing line but you cannot blame all of it on him due to the fact those super soft tyres had no grip at all and Vettel’s front wing had made contact with the BMW Vettel didnt mean to he just lost control of it underbraking i dont think he deserved the 10 place grid drop the fine yes because it states in the regulations but the grid drop i was a bit uncertain

  74. I have to admit that I was not surprised to see Kubica and Vettel come together like they did. During the race, even the commentators mentioned how aggressively Robert was defending his line from other drivers. He was just really on it today.
    However, I am disappointed more for Vettel after he had been so consistent over the course of the majority of the race. He deserved that podium, and I could not help but be reminded of Fuji 2007 on seeing his three wheeled car come to a halt trackside.
    As for the accident, I would have to point accusing fingers a little bit more at Kubica. The onboard shots prior to the crash clearly show Vettel struggling for grip, on soft compound tyres rapidly using any cohesion.
    After watching the replays, you can clearly see Vettel’s Red Bull well over the apex of the corner. He had no where to go, except into the BMW Sauber. That is the risk you take when trying to pass someone on the outside, on rapidly degrading rubber, three laps from the finish.
    Vettel positioned himself correctly, blocking the inside and hugging the apex, denying Kubica the opportunity to pass on the inside.
    Great drivers take risks, chances, especially when they are as ambitious and as talented as Robert Kubica.
    However, I find it hard to believe that Robert did not know or realise that Vettel was struggling with his tyres. The tv shots show it quite clearly.
    Thankfully, they both survived their shunts without any injuries except to their pride. I have to admit, for a second I thought Kubica had been struck on the head by one of those loose tyres post impact. It was a big hit, but I thought the teathers were supposed to stop the tyres coming off like that?
    Come what may, that won’t be the last time Vettel and Kubica go at it this season, mark my words

    1. That is the risk you take when trying to pass someone on the outside, on rapidly degrading rubber, three laps from the finish.

      That’s a very good point – a bit like Montoya and Coulthard at the Nurburgring in 2002.

  75. Apparently Vettel was demoted in Malaysia for the incident with Kubica and the team were fined for the aftermath, i.e driving around on 3 wheels trying to finish (as instructed to do by Toyota). The stewards have now clarified that, according to F1-Live.com.

  76. http://www.abload.de/img/v0zx.png
    http://www.abload.de/img/n6iz.png
    http://www.abload.de/img/75jb.png

    my conclusion of these pix is that noone should be penalized… its a mistake by vettel but he had to less space to live

  77. What happened to the tire tethers? The wheela are heavy and this one carried a lot of momentum out of that impact.

  78. Did Sebastian Vettel have the inside line or are my eye playing tricks ??

    Kubica had to go the long way round so carnt see how vettel did any thing wrong……….

    Silly penalty …….

    Well done lewis !!!!

    and of cause jenson !!!

  79. From the point of view of a Jense fan I can only say that if Kubica had to take someone out, I’m glad it wasn’t the Brawn. If he had got past Vettel in one piece who can say he wouldn’t have pulled a similar stunt on Jenson in sheer desperation to win at all costs?
    Yeah, well if that looks as though I think Kubica bore most of the blame (in what was after all a racing incident), right, I do.
    The stewards should bow their heads in shame for an appalling decision.

  80. Barrichello should have been penalised for the 1st corner, absolutely atrocious. Kubica defintely was the fault here, Vettal had the inside corner…

    1. Barrichello was not to blame for the 1st corner , it was one of the mclaren’s that push him in to the redbull !!!

    2. I just looked at the start again and Barrichello picks up speed just when Webber passes. He then stays just in front of Webber’s back wheel and follows him into the corner while they are 3 abreast (Heidfeld, Webber and Barrichello).

      Sure Kovalainen taps him on the rear, but Barrichello was going to have that accident without that tap too. Even if he might have avoided crashing into the sidepod, at the very least Webber’s rear wheel would have gone over his front wheel.

    3. Nick, watch out because you’re being seduced by the steward’s penalty-giving bol***ks. Because of the precedent they have set over the last couple of years, people now think you should give penalties to drivers who happen to make mistakes, not reckless or dangerous moves; this makes me very sad for the sport.

  81. …well then imagine it was one of them: Alonso, Kimi, Hamilton or Massa. What would you say? That Fernando/Kimi/Lewis/Felipe was brilliant but and young, still unexperienced Vettel ruined his dream!…What would you say?1

  82. I agree with Keith that Vettel and Kubica crashed in a normal racing incident… but I think Vettel deserved to be punished for not getting back to the pits when he had the chance… trying to finish the race with a three-wheeled car meant he ran in unsafe circunstances, putting all the other drivers in danger…

  83. Toby Thwaites 93
    29th March 2009, 18:00

    Im pretty sure Kubica had the racing line, i mean the corner is a right hander and so the drivers stay on the left (where kubica was) and turn into the right to hit the apex (where Vettel was) and the videos show that kubica was trying to do just this.
    Someone please correct me if im wrong

    1. If there is a car in the way, you don’t go for the apex.

    2. The racing line is on the inside of the corner.

  84. Kubica was in front of Vettel already ca. 95m before “red/white” starts and that gives ca 110 to the point of collision. Vettel had more than 2 sec to think about it and avoid “touch”. Vettel did have enough “space” to turn knowing Kubica was all the distance (100m of braking) before him. Kubica took a risk and left Vettel exactly what he expected of driving skills of Red Bull mate. Friends…I will repeat myself from first post… Imagine, that was Alonso/Hamilton/Kimi/Massa driving hed to hed with Vettel…what would you say?

  85. …sorry for my English…some letters are missing after “submit comment” push.

  86. I believe the nature of the mentioned penalty is saying the Vettel should have lifted.

    I worry about something different, though; in the past, such a tap would have had wheels falling off of both cars nearly instantly- why didn’t the cars break in the corner where the contact happened?

  87. swaveck… looks like the topic isn’t going to be closed until someone forces it closed.

    it was, and discussion is futile, a simple racing incident. the grid drop is typical of f1 stewards meddling. first the FIA makes rules to promote tight racing with lots of overtaking, which i love. then they punish people when it happens.

    each point presented to say it was either KUB or VET at fault, i can rebut with little effort. as for the feathering of the braking. all drivers do that on every hard-braking turn entry, escecially with the outlawing of ABS. above a certain speed, your tires can handle all forces presented to them by the brakes dissipating energy. as speed goes down quickly under braking, downforce decreases making the car ‘go light’ so the tires tend to lock up, hence you feather the brake to remain in control. had VET not done that, then he would have understeered into KUB at the apex rather than after it.

    in fact the explanation of the braking technique is not complete. there’s also a little physics involved: kinetic energy vs. traction budget but that would be way beyond scope for a post such as this.

    good luck closing the argument, i’ll help keep it alive but by invitation only :-)

    btw, superb race this morning!

  88. Kubica had only a couple of laps left to catch & pass Button so he had to go for it, and with a mistake from Vettel in Turn 1 it was the ‘perfect’ opportunity.

    Vettel was falling back due to the Super-softs going off and in hindsight should probably have let Kubica go and perhaps have consolidated third place. But he’s a young charger and a racer and the decision to hold his ground was the 2nd mistake he made that lap. Because of Vettel’s rush of blood and Kubica’s impatience in getting past we were slightly robbed of a Button vs Kubica final lap showdown!

    In my books, it was a racing incident and I believe that there were no reasons for the Stewards to get involved (although it was right to fine Red Bull for telling Vettel to keep going with a strickened car, which could have wrecked someone else’s race). A 10-place grid penalty for Vettel is too great a penalty in my view. The loss of a possible 2nd/3rd/4th place would have been penalty enough.

    I also think that such naive honesty from Vettel should be commended, especially in an environment of big egos, he had big enough shoulders to apologise to the team instead of being bitter about getting squeezed by Kubica.

    Great GP. Overtaking in F1 = w00t. We’re in for a great year!

  89. Won’t really comment on the accident that much. For me it’s clearly a racing incident, 50/50. Ofc VET understeered into KUB, nobody denies that. But if Kub left VET a bit more space, maybe nothing would have happened. IMO he didn’t even had to pass Vettel on that corner, since he would have been on the inside line for the next corner. It was a high-risk maneuver, and Kub decided to take the risk. He could have waited, you know :S
    But boy oh boy, there’s a lot of i-know-it-better-than-you (all of a sudden ppl know where and how much Vettel braked?!) and fanboyism going on after that race, as you can see after reading these comments.
    Not only all of a sudden almost everybody is jumping on the BrawnGP bandwagon (not necessarily readers of this blog, but e.g. a lot of my british facebook friends are all of a sudden rooting for BrawnGP) and ofc they always believed in Button (yeah, right, that’s why almost no-one cared about him in the last 3-4 years), but also that “gotta be fan of my countryman” behaviour is a pain in my neck. Did I enjoy the race, although there was no German on the podium? Hell yeah, it was terrific, Button had a great race, as did Hamilton. Buemi did a nice job, too. I don’t need to be British or Swiss to acknowledge that, i just wanna see good racing. I think sometimes ppl get worked up way too much because their favorite driver is involved in sth. On the one hand it’s nice to have some passion for sth, but at some point it gets ridiculous. As seen in this discussion. Your opininion isn’t the be all, end all. Sometimes a IM(H)O helps ;)
    – Gerdoner, German, Mika Salo Fan ;)

  90. Well this is what Bernie wanted to see right? racing for the win -hence the ‘medals’ proposal. Vettel is a racing driver, he was hungry to prove himself and hold 2nd place. At speed/in the heat of the moment he obviously hesitated in letting Kubica by, when the possibility of holding the inside still seemed viable. I put it down to a split-second misjudgment that happened to have critical consequences.

    After encouraging ‘racing for the win’ and overtaking, I think to penalize him for this again sets a bad precedent and is inconsistent- so many other incidents like this go unpunished? ridiculous.
    The fine is just however.

  91. @Keith.

    Yes. Or the Michael Schumacher / Montoya incident at Imola back in 2004. Montoya taking Michael around the outside, though giving Michael the chance to run him wide and onto the grass. It is always risky trying to pass on the outside, as the defending driver can always force you back across the racetrack.
    The inside line is always more preferable, and if executed correctly, gives the defending driver less options. It is understandable, three laps from the end, what the mindsets of these two drivers were.
    Vettel had put in a superb performance, yet was on the wrong tyres and the worst possible moment, and knew that Kubica was faster. You only have to look at poor old Nico Rosberg to see how badly the super soft compound went off when undergoing the degrading process.
    Vettel just simply did not want to see is hard work dashed at the last. Kubica on the other hand, with the hard compound tyres, knew full well Vettel’s predicament, and had no alternative put to go for it. The Red Bull was handling so poorly, that Vettel was really just easy meat for Kubica, but as Martin Brundle said ‘these are just two hungry young men’.

  92. The SPEED guys put it around 50-50 blame for both drivers, and that’s what it looked like to me. It was a classic “racing incident”- these things happen in the course of such an event. I’m sure Robert wasen’t happy about the whole thing, but I also don’t think Vettel deserved the penalty he’s gotten.

  93. I agree with Brundle, to me it looked like a simple 50-50 racing incident. I think Vettel accepted blame to easily, he’d have been better to say nothing. With regards to the $50,000 fine for driving around on three wheels – I know it’s a long time ago, but didn’t Michael Schumacher do that at Spa ’98 after he hit Coulthard? I don’t remember him getting a fine for that.

  94. Swaveck

    When I talked of Kubica making sure Vettel couldn’t continue with the race, I’m talking about the second contact. Kubica knew his car was damaged but didn’t know to what extent, but he then tried to drive Vettel into the wall. Nonetheless, Vettel did have much of the responsibility for the accident, as he was not on the racing line. Other drivers had been passed under similar conditions and had conceded their position.

  95. Its amazing the number of psychologists we have in here. Who can look into a drivers mind and state what he’s thinking even if the driver himself is admitting something else. And all this done from thousands of mile away via text.
    Spot on to those who noticed Vettel braked very early then accelerated into Kubica. If Kubica had given Vettel more room, I am almost certain we would still have had an accident, as Vettel would have tried to push him wide also.
    I will just put it down to a momentary lapse in concentration on the part of Vettel. Kubica would have seen him braking early and thinking he had conceded, only to be surprised by the impact, hence his anger as he later tried to force Vettel into the wall (Secondary impact).

    1. I fail to see Kubica force Vettel into the wall- as i see it he gets shoved horizontally and then accelerates away as he straightens the car, not much else he could have done right?
      But like you say, no-one but they themselves will ever know what they were thinking, so all this hypothesizing is prob. futile

    2. Oliver & Kallan… the Internet, and Forums/Blogs in particular, are a great place where like minded people can come together and air their views, pass opinion, cast judgement if they must, and argue the toss, much like going down the pub with your mates.

      Nobody is 100% right, nobody is 100% wrong, nobody really cares, its just great banter we wouldn’t otherwise have.

      ps. Vettel didn’t accelerate into Kubica, he just eased off the brakes while K was still braking hard… and K certainly did not intentionally force V into the wall (well I hope not anyway). Also, V would have been well within his rights to push K wide on the exit as long as he gave him enough track space and didn’t push him off onto the grass. Its called racing… something a lot of people seem to have forgotten the meaning of.

  96. I thought it was just a racing incident that a few years ago may have earned a telling off from the stewards. I would have said that Vettel was more to blame but not enough to warrant any penalty. After all that went on last year though I am disappointed but not surprised that Vettel has been punished.

    I think because Vettel is a nice guy he has been taking more of the blame than he should have, I bet most of the drivers on the grid wouldn’t even have owned up to making a mistake even if privately they believed they were in the wrong.

  97. I was very happy to see the BMW chopping time so fast with 5 laps to go, but I also knew that it is very easy for Robert yo get in over his head. This is the third race he has thrown away by trying to hard from third place
    (I will take 6points over 0 anyday), he is a good driver but its little things like this that make him and Hamilton chancey bets. That race was his to win and he blew it he could have waited and passed him outta turn 5 and would have then been able to push for victory and he could have make up the 2.139 secs in the next 2.5 laps. The Brawns are not faster on the straights as we saw the second car being passed twice on the main straight

  98. According to F1.com, the stewards decided to penalise Vettel for ‘causing a collision and forcing a driver off the track’.

    Clearly they didn’t bother looking at the replay much, as Kubica only got a couple of tyres on the grass, and at that point, Vettel was well and truly off the track. Were the stewards implying that Vettel was *pulling* Kubica off the road? :)

    If you look at the tyre marks on the entry to the corner, Kubica seems to follow these very closely, implying that he hardly changed from the standard line. Furthermore, the freeze-frame of Vettel losing his front wing whilst almost still having his front wheel on the inside kerb says a lot of Kubica’s lack of space given. Despite all this, I still think it was pretty 50-50. Vettel wouldn’t have lost much downforce at that instant due to the slow speed anyway.

    What really bugs me is that I basically believe Vettel was penalised effectively because he’s such a refreshingly nice, honest chap. Who happened to be overly harsh on himself. But the stewards must be objective, and look at the video, not just listen to driver testimonies. One of the key differences between this scenario and a road traffic accident is that this was filmed from several angles, so the drivers’ statements are of relatively lesser importance, even if self-incriminating.

    I also thought it ironic that Hamilton’s action led to Trulli’s penalty. The reason for that action, of letting Trulli by, was to avoid that very penalty, due to his pananoia following some harsh decisions against him in the past. Can’t blame him. Effectively, what they should have done is both park up, say, “After You,” and test how long their engines can last… They couldn’t just ask Charlie Whiting to clarify, as he is not a steward, so is not the authority on the matter, as Hamilton found out in Spa…

  99. All this leads me to believe that this is the type of racing that we will see under the ‘Winner Take All’ method of rewarding the drivers that Bernie has suggested. Final few laps with this sort of aggression and accidents resulting in handing out constructor points to the ‘lucky’ ones not involved. Easily avoidable accident, though the stewards should not have apportioned any blame on either driver. Normal racing incident.

  100. Dougie
    Take a look at the accident again.After Kubica was forced into a spin, he did drive into Vettel. Its like a football player throwing a leg at the opponent who brought him down.

    1. Hi Oliver, having watched the footage again (on the BBC as no longer available here) I don’t feel Kubica deliberately drove into Vettel. The fronts were locked together and Kubicas BMW skipped round on its back wheels, both still had their foots in. Not deliberate at all.

      I also firmly believe 100% racing incident, no driver can be singled out for this one, both played their part.

      I don’t understand what the authorities that be want from these decisions but it won’t be true racing that’s for sure.

  101. Racing incident!!! The resulting penalty is just the kind of thing that nearly made me boycott F1 last year.
    Lets get some perspective here: these two men are racers. They are both in the heat of battle. Nobody did anything dangerous or reckless. Racing incident! Retrospectivly it is very easy to say, ” oh Kubica/Vettel should have done this”, but that’s missing the point. Also, one thing that really annoys me after these kinds of racing incidents is when you commenters try and defend a driver (Kubica in this case) by essentially saying (I’m paraphrasing here) “well X driver was so much faster than Y driver so he should have realised this and let him through”. Let me repeat: Racing drivers. It was a similar thing with the Hamilton/ Raikkonen incident at spa last year – I bet it was those same people here who said that Hamilton was so much faster so he should have just held back and waited instead of attacking at the first corner. Anyway, I’m digressing nad losing the point of what I was originally trying to say. And my blood pressure’s getting up :)

  102. @Oliver

    Well pointed out. The onboard shots from Kubica’s car clearly showed Vettel braking first into the corner. I have to admit, when I first saw the footage, it looked like Vettel had conceded.
    The Windtunnel show on Speed Tv suggested that maybe Red Bull should have ‘ordered’ Vettel to concede, as
    obviously Kubica was faster. However, very difficult for both team and driver to make that call with so much at stake.
    The simple fact is that it was three laps from the end, and had up until then been the dream start to Vettel’s career with Red Bull’s A team. They didn’t want to lose track position, and neither did Vettel.

    @. Jim.

    100% right. Both drivers made mistakes, but that is what makes life interesting. In any sport you have to apply pressure to a rival in order to force a mistake.
    More often than not, it pays off. Hamilton and Raikkonen both forced each other into making errors during last years race, as have Vettel and Kubica this time out. I like you cannot see the point in trying to stiffle this aspect of motor racing. If Hamilton had made all of his racing moves in the pits, would he have finished the race where he did?
    Ofcourse not, and the other drivers are no different. Two destroyed motor cars, no points, and two very cheesed off team owners will be penalty enough for Vettel and Kubica. They have been punished enough, as have we, with these nonsense penalties.
    If a driver delibrately endangers the fans, marshals, or fellow drivers by his actions, then that is different. Everything else should be par for the course.

  103. The Limit, well spoken “Two destroyed motor cars, no points, and two very cheesed off team owners will be penalty enough for Vettel and Kubica.”

    Vettel made some mistakes that caused his already slower car to loose time. Kubica was probably told on the radio that he has a mathematical chance for a win. With that in mind it seems logical that Kubica went for the overtake. It wasn’t for 2nd it was for 1st. Vettel had just a split second to make up his mind. He chose to defend and quickly realized that he didn’t have the grip to do so. Hot blood on both drivers. Respect to Vettel and Kubica. It was a great show, but a shame that they got replaced by BAR and HAM.

    Also when Vettel admitted fault, I think its because he blamed himself for thinking he can hold his line and defend when in fact he didn’t have the grip. Racing period.

  104. I do believe it was a racing incident.Sory 4 vettrel,but what a start 4 d season.It shows RedBull has d pace,i will tip them 4 a win somewhere in d season

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