Hamilton’s third place under threat again (Update: FIA opening new investigation)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton's version of events in Melbourne are in dispute
Lewis Hamilton's version of events in Melbourne are in dispute

Lewis Hamilton may have thought that Toyota’s press release announcing it would not appeal Jarno Trulli’s 25 second penalty was the end of the matter.

But according to a report in Auto Motor und Sport (translation here) Hamilton could still lose the third place he inherited from Trulli at Australia – and potentially a lot more.

Hamilton passed Trulli for third place during the safety car period after Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel’s crash. Amateur video evidence later showed Hamilton had done this legally, as Trulli had gone off the track at the time:

However there is not yet any footage of the moment Trulli passed Hamilton, which is at the heart of the stewards’ concerns.

The AMuS story claims Hamilton told a journalist after the race that he was instructed by McLaren to let Trulli past. But Hamilton either did not tell the stewards this, or told them it didn’t happen.

The stewards are now investigating what radio communication there was between Hamilton and the pits at the time, and whether Hamilton’s claim he had slowed down because he was examining his car’s display is true or not.

Toyota accepted they are not able to protest the decision for the same reason that McLaren were not allowed to protest Hamilton’s penalty at Spa last year. However the stewards may choose to investigate of their own volition. And if Hamilton is found to have lied or misled them, the punishment could be severe.

Or, failing that, this is just a strange German April Fools’ joke. What do you think?

Update @ 20:57, 4/1/09 – No April Fools’ joke – the FIA are officially investigating

According to Autosport the stewards are examining a new record of the McLaren radio transmission. The decision will be announced tomorrow, but it’s safe to assume they wouldn’t be calling for a fresh investigation if they hadn’t found something significant.

Update 2 – Thanks to Rob B for posting this recording of Toyota’s radio traffic from the final laps. If only we had McLaren’s too we could do the hearing ourselves!

Read more: Trulli penalised, Hamilton takes third (Update: Video of Hamilton?s pass)

133 comments on “Hamilton’s third place under threat again (Update: FIA opening new investigation)”

  1. I remember hearing this fron Trulli after the race so no April fools joke I’m afraid…

    1. Heard what from Trulli, exactly? That he was privy to the info displayed on HAM’s steering wheel, what was said over the radio or just that Trulli said HAM offered two explanations (one to the FIA stewards and one to the media?) All I have seen from Trulli is his account of the situation where he felt the pass was legal as HAM slowed considerably and pulled off the racing line.

  2. I just want to see the next race. Kinda sick of all the post race politicking that is going on. I really hope this is an attempt at an April Fool’s joke though. I can’t imaging Hamilton being so stupid as to tell the FIA one thing and then a few minutes later, the media something else.

    1. tEQUILLA sLAMMER
      1st April 2009, 19:23

      why not? he was stupid enough to drive into the back of a stationary car in Canada last year!!!! Win at ANY cost!!!…..even your integrity if it means the 1 point that wins you the title at the end of the day!! lets hope there is some discrepancy with the radio timing and maybe he gets off with it, seeing as Toyboys decided to drop their appeal!!!! #:)

    2. Whewbacca the Cookie
      2nd April 2009, 6:55

      GPUpdate site corroborates the story. Hamilton might have had two different accounts of the incident within a few minutes. But I don’t think he has lied. Looks more like a “selective-truth” situation to me :)

  3. “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. I would still like to say thank you to the team who have made a huge effort. The fact we were able to fight for the podium despite starting from the pit lane is down to them.”

    quote there from Truli

    If Hamilton did let him past like that, by pulling over to one side, surely the place was as fair to take as Truli also being off the track earlier? You shouldn’t be able to trick a person into taking a place only for them to be handed a 25 sec penalty later?

    1. Agreed. I don’t think McLaren were trying to trick anyone, I think they were being cautious to avoid the same penalty being applied as Spa last year and what Trulli inadvertently received after the race.

  4. A bit more on the story from James Allen’s blog:

    It is written by Michael Schmidt, who is one of the most respected journalists in F1.

    […]

    “Trulli drove past Hamilton between the turns 4 and 5. The Toyota driver said that Hamilton so strongly deviated from the racing line that he thought Hamilton had a problem. Under these circumstances passing him would be permitted. Hamilton denied the allegation of intentionally slow driving. He changed line, because he was busy reading off the Safety Car instructions on the dashboard display.”

    But after examining this, the stewards have apparently discovered that at that point in time and on the circuit, the dash display would have been cleared and there was nothing more on the display, which could have diverted Hamilton.

    1. hamilton said in an interview on speed tv that his team told him to let truli back through since he passed truli under the safety car (when truli went off by accident).

      it came from hamiltons mouth in the speed tv interview.

  5. it’s a shame for f1 …
    pinnacle of motorsport …
    telemetry, radio, cameras, onboard … and we have 19 century methods to verify what really happened … annoying …

    1. Indeed. With all the coverage we see from the “International TV feed,” you would think that some camera, at some point on the track, would have caught the move when it happened.

  6. Oh, FFS. Leave the results alone !
    Let peoples driving speak for itself !

    1. yeah, leave the results alone, give it back to trulli, he beat hamilton fair and square before the whole saftey car incident.

    2. In my book, position changes while under yellow isn’t racing…

  7. I agree with Mail123456.

    each of these cars have onboard cameras and telemetry. This should not be a difficult situation to diagnose. If Lewis lied shame on him. we shouldn’t have to rely on amateur video.

    1. It’s not about amateur video … it’s about stewards … how can they throw penalty without check all data from telemetry, onboard, radio & etc … are they amateurs? or they just don’t want to learn anything …

  8. http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/090401093727.shtml

    Check out that link:

    I almost fell for it…….. almost i said.

    You never know though give it a couple of years……..

    Then again I got April Fool’ed several times today in work. I’m quare gullible :D :D :D :D

    1. tEQUILLA sLAMMER
      1st April 2009, 19:36

      i didnt look at the link you supplied but is it the story that Lewboy is going to Brawn GP for the next race!? and you NEARLY fell for it?? i spotted it straight away that its bull!! #:)

    2. much better one here

      http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_news_item.php?fes_art_id=37402

      shame they’ve admitted to it now. Quite subtle, I fell for it at 1st

  9. I don’t think this is an April Fools’ joke because yesterday I read a friedn’s analysis of the race on a forum, and he already mentioned that Hamilton slowed down to allow Trulli pass due to McLaren’s orders, since McLaren was afraid of being penalysed for the overtake, as they had been before (wrongly pnealysed of course).

    He also mentioned the surprise from McLaren to being handed the 3rd place, and I believe they did not protest Trulli’s pass, which can also be indications that they did order Lewis to slow down.

    And I believe my friend’s had already seen the mentioned interview because he wrote that Hamilton had stated it was not Trulli’s fault to re-pass him when he slowed down…

    So what will happen? I don’t know, but in my opinion any way is fine with me. It is true taht Trulli went off-road hence it was correct for Lewis to pass him. But nevertheless if indeed McLaren told Lewis to slow down, then Trulli should not be penalised for repassing.

    Who merits the 3rd place the most? I guess probably Trulli because when Hamilton passed him they were already under the SC, but it was his fault that he lost car, so who knows? maybe if the SC didn’t come, Hamilton would have managed to pass him eitherway…

  10. It should be easy enough for the Stewards to make a decision. They can look at:
    1. Radio communication records
    2. Car telemetry records
    3. Race control broadcast timings
    4. Dig out footage from somewhere (helicopter).

    Off-track excursions during safety car periods may be pretty frequent this season if the teams continue to have difficulties getting and maintaining heat in the tires.

    1. tEQUILLA sLAMMER
      1st April 2009, 20:08

      they can even dig out my dads 8mm footage of me and my mates when we was little!!!! just before we all became career criminals!!1 but i doubt the fia(sco) will look at any footage if it dont have spanking, suspenders and discipline all in the same movie; so you can forget them really having a clue as to what to do next!!! #:)

  11. I’m sorry but I can’t follow the logic that says Hamilton is driving along in 3rd and lets Trulli past into 3rd, so that Trulli would be penalised, leaving Hamilton in 3rd. What???

    1. It seems to me the only reason McLaren would have instructed Hamilton to let Trulli past would be because they thought Hamilton might have passed Trulli illegally. Perhaps they were trying to err on the side of caution.

  12. The Germans are quite good at the April Fools….at least, BMW’s are quite funny.

    It’s probably an April Fools – it’s almost too contrived to be real.

    1. tEQUILLA sLAMMER
      1st April 2009, 20:19

      loki…..do you play on Wolfenbstein-Enemy Territory!? There is someone on there with the same name! #:) what you mean you dont get it? read it man!!! its on News Now F1…………#:)

    2. tEQUILLA sLAMMER
      1st April 2009, 20:27

      sorryt loki…i meant that nunuts el jayby!!! read it man!!!!…news now f1!!! #:)

    3. lol, my ‘name’ is rather ubiquitous for a username. Except that’s what I’m actually known as!

    4. and are you perhaps the same Loki from Celica.net way back in the day?

  13. Was it me or did Glock have a very similar incident in that video?

  14. I’m not sure why they gave Trulli such a bad penalty anyway. If Hamilton drove off the racing line and slowed, who wouldn’t think he had a problem? Trulli was obviously mislead.

    1. only penalties they can apply are drive through (converted to 25s penalty if within last 5 laps) or grid penalty for the next race. Seeing as the alleged infraction was to do with overtaking/places the drive through is the correct (if a little heavy handed) one.

  15. hitchcockm00
    1st April 2009, 19:59

    Whatever the details, if Hamilton lied to the stewards then that was a really bad idea.

    If it turned out Hamilton pulled over because he was instructed to, does that mean the stewards should give Trulli back his 3rd place?

  16. Yes, Glock had the same off track incident.. that the TV cameras did caught, I noted that when watching the race on TV

  17. I vaguely remember in the post-race paddock interview with Lee Mckenzie, when asked about the closing part of the race, LH made a comment about whether Lee had heard what was being said on the radio. I remember being disappointed at the time as she did not drill down on this comment to find out what was said.

    1. good call. there is the smoking gun

  18. If Hamilton believes that he legally passed Trulli and then Trulli repassed him, wouldn’t Hamilton be complaining to his team that he was illegally passed?

    It seems odd that Hamilton was so content with letting Trulli stay in third if he believes he legally should have been there. More likely is that Mclaren feared the FIA’s wrath and turned a blind eye when they decided persecute Toyota this weekend.

    The penalties will not stop until a Ferrari is on top.

    1. I suspect McLaren were in two minds about whether Hamilton had passed Trulli legally or not. Given their track record with penalties, and the lack of clarity in the rules, I’m not surprised.

  19. So after one race we have

    3 Teams Protested
    – Protest Fail – Leading to Appeal

    Diffuser Appeal at Court

    William Protest
    – No Result as Williams withdrew to make a point or somthing

    Toyota Sent to Back of Grid

    Mclaren 5 place penalty (for Gearbox change)

    NOW THE RACE

    25sec Penality to Truli
    – Appeal to above that failed – then taken further toyota told to reconisder then droped

    IN THE NEXT RACE

    Like to be another protest against the diffuser gang
    -Leading to appeal bah bah

    Re-opening of 25sec penalty (what ever way you look at it if the stewards had done there job probably first time around this would not be required).

    If i was an FIA steward i would be asking for a pay rise!!!!!

  20. Toby Thwaites 93
    1st April 2009, 20:45

    Looks like we are going to face another dispute. Im not bothered though, seems to make things more interesting and after reading comments around the web.
    It looks like Hamilton may of let important bits out when questioned about Trulli after the race.

  21. (assuming he lied)

    This has got to be the dummest thing Hamilton has ever done… for one freaking point!

    Rooting for him, but this is just stupidity when it’s worst.

  22. Hamilton under investigation? why am i not suprised

    1. Yes – I think this has become a complete charade.

      I’d hope if Hamilton was ordered to slow down and let Trulli repass they’d reverse the original penalty and fine McLaren for telling their driver to drive very slowly.

      I wouldn’t think Lewis has deliberately misled the stewards by not telling all the story but it strikes me as quite a foolhardy thing to do.

      The worse thing I think deserves to happen would be a fine for Hamilton/McLaren and a reversal of the penalty handed to Trulli.But this is the FIA so I suspect they might black-flag him after the event for good measure.

  23. I’m really interested in knowing if these dash displays will be functional while its raining hard.

    Is it the FIA that determines how long a message stays on the screen, or is it the team?

  24. With cars weaving about during the safety car period, is there any such thing as a racing line?

  25. Shouldnt they just take care of this DURING the race? This is far from rocket science. If someone passes under yellow, tell them to get back in order or black flag them. This 25 second penalty after the race is just silly.

    1. Indeed- if NASCAR dose it that way, the FIA and all of their high-priced resources should have no problem ;)

  26. Surprised that Hamilton is under investigation not – he was awarded – much to his surprise 3rd place – not very surprised the stewards then find issues too change their ruling(max and bernie – where were you?)
    No surprises here just more taking of the proverbial by the gruesome twosome, playing us like pattsies

  27. Ferrari has done badly in Australia , so Lou tells Mo :
    ” Mo, dont let the rest of the cars get too far ahead, throw the rules book at anything thats not a Ferrari”

    Bernie tells Mo to let Brawn get away with their diffuser so he can claim an exciting new sponsor joining F1.

    However after a while Mo will get instructions to do something against Brawn if they regularly beat Lou´s cars.

    1. Who are Lou and Mo?

    2. Lou is Monty the Molo and Mo is the big mojo of the FIAsco. :D

    3. Clive explained it well

  28. Can everyone just shut up about Ferrari! It has nothing to do with them, so lets just assume they have nothing to do with it.

    Trulli was unfortunate to lose the initial place to Hamilton. McLaren are obviously unsure about the situation so they tell Lewis to let Trulli past. Hamilton then lets Trulli past.

    After the show they ask Lewis what happens he mentions to Speed TV that his team told him to move over and let Trulli past (he said it so lets assume he is correct). Trulli gets penalised for overtaking Hamilton.

    So two things:
    1. Why did Lewis change his story?
    2. Why didn’t McLaren hold their hands up when Trulli got his penalty and say.. actually it’s our fault we told Lewis to let him past… therefore not deserving a penaly..

    I feel really sorry for Trulli and if Lewis did lie to the stewards then he should be in some serious trouble. Liars never prosper.

  29. I find this really sad and so corrosive to the spirit of racing. The FIA have created such pervasive atmosphere of fear and confusion, due to dodgy decision making last year, that teams like McLaren are on egg shell trying to keep out of trouble, so much so that they MAY have hamstrung Lewis on this occasion.

    – Jarno makes pigs ear of corner, Lewis drives past, as anyone would
    – Lewis gets orders to slow down and let the Jarno have place back just in case
    – Lewis does as he is told
    – Initially FIA does nothing (v strange)
    – FIA demotes Jarno and gives Lewis what he had already given back
    – Again Lewis does as he is told, after all Jarno did fall off the track on his own
    – Now Lewis is to be punished for for doing as he’s told and keeping his head when Jarno lost his

    What does this guy have to do to get a fair break in this series, its getting a bit silly now, not to mention the damage being done to the sport. Lewis is a great british champion a highly talented, exciting racer and an outstanding ambassador for F1 around the world. Yet what ever he does or doesn’t do seems to generate controversy.

    FIA: let the boys race race for goodness sakes!!!

    1. What I want to know is, what evidence did the FIA use against Trulli in the first place, that this apparent contradiction in Hamilton’s position has suddenly undermined?

      Surely they didn’t just take Hamilton’s word against Trulli’s?

    2. Indeed. I’m with you Keith. Why the heck didn’t they analyse Hamilton’s radio communication WHEN they were looking to aaply the 25second penalty to Trulli (I mean, it’s not as if it wasn’t a serious decision or anything!).

      It just beggars belief in my opinion. Very sad.

    3. Excellent comment Sym, I totally agree!

    4. MacademiaNut
      2nd April 2009, 6:06

      Well said.

      This investigation better not result in any more penalties. I have the same question as Keith. What evidence did they use in the first place to penalize Trulli?

  30. Am I the only one that thinks it’s really weird that Trulli drove off the track during a saftey car period at low speed? And poor Lewis, probably just trying to follow orders and be cautious and avoid another unjust penalty. The FiA truly should have investigated this more thoroughly before penalizing Trulli, that way we wouldnt have all this muck. Too much politics, we want unadulterated racing this weekend for a change.

  31. can the fia not even get through the first freakin’ race of the season without this mess!

  32. Even if Hamilton/McClaren allowed him to pass, the reality is that Trulli and Toyota should never have attempted and stuck to 3rd place.

    The enquiry mentioned is just for administrative purposes to confirm the fears of both teams which are all understandable. However, the eyes are on the ones who took advantage rather than those taking caution.

  33. Here come the Mclaren conspiracy theorists again…

  34. Hamilton should be DSQ if that’s true…

  35. michael counsell
    1st April 2009, 22:43

    There is pressure on the stewards to make a decision fairly quickly which encourages drivers to omit certain truths and not accept the blame. Vettel didn’t follow this and got punished. Hamilton probably omitted the fact tha the slowed down becuase it could leave him open to be blamed. Trulli effectively received a 6 point penalty for accepting a genuine offer to retake the place. Neither of them were cheating. McLaren appear to be the only ones at fault even if they thought they were doing teh fair thing not Hamilton, so Trulli and Toyota should not be punished. The penalty should prbably be waived and teh rules clarified. I don’t think either team could really dispute this, but I don’t think it will happen.

    1. I think that’s a pretty reasonable interpretation – not really what I’m expecting from the stewards tomorrow…

  36. Yes – he should be disqualified for the rest of the season… shame on him!

  37. Hamilton has issues under SC conditions. Really odd.

  38. chaostheory
    1st April 2009, 22:55

    By the way, what happened to that post-race videos showing accident/incidents idea from last year? They (F1.com – I dont know if it was official FIAs initiative) did it for Japan – if I remember correctly – and then it disappeared…

    1. It doesn’t seem like they managed to catch either incident on video. Rather like Fuji in 2007, we’ve got a bit of film caught by a spectator (which FOM are having taken down from the video sites) of Hamilton passing Trulli, but so far nothing of Trulli going past Hamilton.

      If anyone has got footage of it and wants to send it in, you can upload it to the F1 Fanatic drop.io quickly and easily.

    2. chaostheory
      1st April 2009, 23:45

      But isnt this valid anymore?:
      “In a significant change the FIA will ensure all video evidence relating to controversial moments is made available to the public via its and FOM’s websites.” – its from your post.
      Did FIA forgot about this?
      OK, no Ham vs. Tru video exists, but there were another controversies – Kub vs Vettel, (and Barichello weird moves)?

    3. Oh yeah I’d definitely like tobe shown what they saw to make them think the Vettel/Kubica incident was worth punishing anyone for. It was a racing incident, np need for a penalty at all.

  39. What a suprise hamilton under investigation!

  40. Trulli span off, Hamilton had no option but to pass him. Trulli then regains his position (unseen). It seems very likely that Hamilton/McLaren relinquished the position to be avoid a penalty and leave Trulli/Toyota with the onus of deciding whether to stay ahead or give the position back to Hamilton. Whether through a decision or simple omission, they decided to keep 3rd.

    The question, then, is how both Hamilton and Trulli chose to interpret Hamilton slowing down. Neither driver acknowledged that the position had been given up by Hamilton, which, in my view, suggests neither were confident that saying they were second-guessing the FIA regulations/stewards interpretation of the incident would be sufficient to clear them of any penalty.

    In other words, Hamilton may have been ‘economical’ with the truth, but no more than Trulli being ‘disingenuous’ in claiming he thought Hamilton had some kind of problem. Both were convenient non-truths. Just worth pointing out before everyone comes down solely on Hamilton.

  41. Macademianut
    2nd April 2009, 0:25

    Here we go with more stupidity. They should have simply given the 4th place to Trulli and not penalized him. I say give back the fourth place to Trulli. Let’s get on with the next race.

  42. With the diffuser row and the inability to make any decision that can’t be reversed, particularly one feels if not a ‘favoured’ ream – the FIA continues to make a mockery of itself and the sport.. embarrassing ..

  43. Macademianut
    2nd April 2009, 0:31

    Or even better, let Trulli take his third place. Please don’t massacre the sport for the heck of it. Both drivers did what they did just to avoid the 25s penalty. Let’s see the “stewards” go with the “intent of the rule” and not “letter of the rule”.

  44. Getting really tired of this now.

  45. simple as this. the stewards dont like lewis hamilton.

  46. *groan*

    Really, really, really over these sorts of FIA/Stewarding debacles.

    Seems that all of these after the fact ‘clarifications’ are just muddying the waters further. Keep the race result as Trulli third and Lewis fourth and change the wording in the rule book so this doesn’t arise again. Simple.

  47. McLaren and Hamilton supporters can’t apologise for this one if proved. At some point a cad is a cad.

  48. let trulli gave 3rd place and hamilton 4th finished

  49. Trulli left the track, he lost 3rd place without question.

    I agree with Macademianut that the obvious solution ought to be awarding Trulli 4th position.

    The stewards/FIA are going to play a bigger role in this season than the drivers.

  50. The only fair result really would be to put Trulli third and Hamilton fourth. Basically, Hamilton rightly passed Trulli when he went off, and McLaren foolishly, with an excess of caution, let Trulli back in front again. That would be just, and give everyone the rightful consequences of their farily informed actions.

    Nonetheless, the narrative of Trulli being blamelessly dispossessed of the position, post race, against a deceiving Hamilton is a little rich. From Trulli’s point of view, why would he think he rightfully gained a place from a suddenly crippled McLaren when that car promptly resumed on his tail after he went by? A reasonable person would immediately conclude that there was mix up related to his preceeding off, and whether it constituded enough of a gaffe to lose his spot. He would even ask his team whether he should cede to spot to avoid making the clearest and most readily punished delict in the sport: passing under yellow.

    Let’s hear Trulli’s radio tapes and see if he expressed this view or simply gloated that some fool had just gifted him back the spot he likely fairly lost. I’m a big fan of Trulli and always have been, but I’m not buying any story in which he is some victim here.

  51. For all of you complaining about the FIA already ruining another season of good competition- perhaps the best we have seen in some time- I’m with you all the way!

    I understand that driver safety and fair competition are important, but it’s getting to the point where if a GP involves any action at all (and even sometimes if it dosen’t) then we are already looking at the podium and standings after it ends and asking ourselves “Will the results hold up? Who is being summoned to see the stewards? How many more times will we need to put up with this junk?”

    We’re getting to the point where every move in every race is coming under suspicion, and fans obviously don’t appreciate races that are decided in the steward’s lair and not on the race track. Let’s get on with it, FIA, and let we the fans get back to the racing we all love!!

  52. The stewards made the correct decision with Trulli passing Hamilton under yellow, on all of the evidence that they had at the time.
    If more evidence comes to light, its not their fault if they reinvestigate it.

  53. These situations challenge the sport’s credibility. Why do they always do this? It seems like no one knows whats going on in the FIA.

    Having said that, this is the case with most Multi Nationals/Global Operations anyway..hhahaha

    In you guys’ opinion, which is the most well run sporting body in the world? I’m going with UEFA.

  54. @Jay: There were two changes in track position under the yellow flag when the race was still in progress – it would hurt the sport’s credibility if all this wasn’t investigated!

    This could get interesting: Has there been a precedent of a driver clearly lying to the stewards before? If there isn’t, and HAM is found to have lied, the stewards may have no choice than to be very draconian, since they would want to discourage teams deciding to consider the “tradeoff” of lying or not disclosing the whole truth in the future. They need to make it clearly not worth it.

    1. Kurtosis,

      I’m not questioning the FIA’s decision to investigate the matter, just the manner as to how its being done. Instead of flip-flopping, they should have issued a firm directive from the right get go of this whole thing. Its obvious there is a discrepancy somewhere, be it Trulli, Toyota, Hamilton, Mclaren or the Rules itself.

      They should have come out and said something like “There is a discrepancy in the final standings of the cars of Lewis Hamilton and Jarno Trulli at the finish of the 2009 Australian GP. Until further notice, these standings will remain conclusive (Trulli to remain 3rd and Hamilton 4th). The FIA and stewards will launch a full investigation into this matter and a conclusion will be annouced at a later date at which point the results may be overturned based on the findings of the respective committees.”

      Doesn’t that sound a lot more professional? I’m sorry for sounding like a *****, but I work in a large corporation, this is the classic politically correct statements that I am used to writing and getting when we find ourselves in a bit of a bind.

    2. How about the Massa/Trulli incident at Fuji last year? We don’t know exactly what Massa said to the stewards but, if it was anything like what he said to the press, it was a load of BS. And the stewards bought it…

    3. Clive, not exactly the same. I agree that Massa version of his incident with Bourdais is BS, but it’s still his version and one can’t claim he was telling something he knows is false. He could as easily just be an arrogant driver suffering from delusion. The Fuji stewards decide to believe in Massa over Bourdais, but I imagine they thought Bourdais was wrong in his believe that there were nothing else he could do, not that he was liying to them. Most drivers never think they are wrong about this accidents, anyway.

      The Lewis story is likely much more specific. It all depends on what happened when he was called into question as they might just had made very general questions while Lewis gave equal non-specific answers, in which case he might had been desingenious, but hardly a liar. But if their questions were more carefully done and Lewis gave a specific excuse about why he might have slow down for while and what was on radio tells something else it’s not a case of driver giving his version of an incident anymore, but something that can be verified.

      Most collisions are a matter of interpretation, this is much more particular situation.

    4. Okay, Filipe, I admit I was being somewhat mischievous in introducing that one. Just thought I’d stir things up a bit… ;)

  55. Ok, I did not want to comment on this but I am like most my word this is messed up. This sport is skew with junk that it makes watching it hard to do cause at the end of the day we still dont know the whole stroy of who is where in the standings. I dont know if this is worth it anymore. This may be my last year of F1, I feel that I can not support a sport that cant get its act togeter and I am sure F1 will go on long after I stop watching but this is a sad thing to see. IMO Hamilton and Trulli did what they thought was right. Trulli went off Hamilton went by. Hamilton 3rd Trulli 4th. Simple!

    1. Not exactly. If Hamilton was economical with the truth when he talked to the stewards, and new information comes up, the stewards SHOULD reopen the investigation.

      I’m sure the FIA would only reopen this if something of huge significance came up in the last 7 days.

    2. Don’t tell me Pedro de la Rosa has been writing emails to Fernando again! :-O

    3. Journeyer

      Yes, here:

      The FIA has called the meeting under Article 179b of the International Sporting Code, which gives the governing body the right of review of events if ‘a new element’ is discovered.

  56. MacademiaNut
    2nd April 2009, 4:38

    Can someone clarify this for me.

    When the stewards gave 25s penalty to Trulli, did they question Hamilton and Trulli before giving the penalty? If so, what questions were they asked?

  57. Refereeing and umpiring exists in all sports. Unlike in other sports, in a Formula 1 race the action cannot be stopped while the officials ponder and review evidence (third umpires in cricket, and line reviews in tennis, for e.g.), so it has to be done retrospectively. It’s part of the sport.

    For those whining that this detracts from the sport: be advised that it is not going to get any better this season. Cars have wider front wings, regulations have created more opportunities for cars to tangle, there is a massive difference in tire quality and hence speed differential while racing, and world champions are racing from the back of the grid. There will be many more reviews and incidents. Get used to it – it’s part of the sport.

  58. As we say it here in our country: “Don’t tell a lie coz Liars go to Hell.”

  59. If this news about FIA investigation is true, then why is it not reported in http://www.formula1.com (the official website)?

    1. Whewbacca the Cookie
      2nd April 2009, 6:53

      The official F1 site usually reports news / incidents that have been finalized :)

  60. Whewbacca the Cookie
    2nd April 2009, 6:47

    In my opinion it’s McLaren’s fault. I don’t think Hamilton or Trulli would lie about the situation. McLaren had probably feared a penalty and told Hamilton to let Trulli pass. It cannot be Hamilton’s or Trulli’s fault. They have done what they were supposed to do. Hamilton could not really refuse to let Trulli pass when his team told him to do so. Neither could Trulli refuse to pass Hamilton and come to a stop in the middle of the track. All in all it’s an honest mistake on McLaren’s part. The fair decision would be to grant back Trulli his 3rd place and relegate Hamilton to 4th.

  61. Go Renault 09"
    2nd April 2009, 7:37

    Mclaren should have investigated with the stewards first as to whether they were required to let trulli back past.
    if hamilton has just pulled over then you could only expect jarno to keep going .
    Give trulli back his spot on the podium and give hamilton 4th.
    Or if ther is evidence that he has been intentionally misleading then give him the 25s penalty.
    Personally i would rather see the latter but that is my opinion, Hamilton has never been picked on by the stewards if he and the team didn’t put themselves in these situations then it wouldn’t have to be looked at.

    1. Mclaren should have investigated with the stewards first as to whether they were required to let trulli back past.

      After the Spa debacle last year the teams were told they’re not allowed to do that. Which I think is wrong – it happens in other championships and, as this sorry mess goes, it could spare us a lot of trouble.

    1. That’s really cool thanks for that Rob.

  62. keepF1technical
    2nd April 2009, 8:06

    why, given all the post race video clips and evidence, cant we just get the sensible outcome to all this.

    That the FIA throws out its own previous penalties…

    just throw out their previous investigation of trulli and let the race result stand (if maclaren erring on the side of caution gave them fourth instead of third then so be it – it was their call). Or even use the rule that allows time for a repass to take place if its deemed necessary – in the old days when the teams trusted the communications from whiting! If that was immediately after the race, so be it. Plus the fact you see cars overlapping / passing each other momentarily all the time behind the SC without penalty.

    and just throw out their previous vettel / kubica investigation and decide what everybody else had already decided as a racing incident. Again, no team was complaining about this. Let the race result stand.

    and throw out the appeal on the diffusers. they had after all confirmed their legality during the off season. Let the race result stand with no impending appeal which could change it.

    why cant the FIA just grow balls and stand up as men to their own mistakes.

    whilst i like the intrigue of the politics in f1, these decision and appeals and just bullsht and incompetence. If only there actually was a political element of ferrari vs maclaren for example… but there is no way i give the fia enough credibility to achieve it. This just really makes me mad and this is just round 1.

    and another point… Wasn’t it speculated recently that a gambling company was to become a big sponsor? Surely no bookie would come near this sport because there is no way of knowing which result is the correct one. I think as it is, the bookies all state they pay out on the finishing line order and they ignore the post race melee.

  63. Are we heading into a season where EVERY move to pass between the cars is going to be disputed, and every ‘Racing’ incident is going to incur tough penalties? This is just SILLY, and not in the spirit of F1!
    Moan over.
    I thought it was reported early on that McLaren had asked Hammy to let Trulli through again as the original pass had been made just as the SC period had started, and McLaren were trying to keep on the right side of the rules.
    And, thinking about it, under racing conditions, isn’t it correct that if the car in front slows down suddenly, or falls off the track, you are entitled to pass it legally and above board, even if you have no idea what has made the car (or driver) behave strangely?
    Or is this the local FIA Stewards (and can we have their names please) taking the ‘No Team Orders’ ruling strictly by the letter and not even allowing a Team to think on its feet? If so, the FIA Stewards deserve the punishment, not either Hammy or Trulli.

  64. Hugo Bourgeois
    2nd April 2009, 8:49

    It is a straightforward pity that the FIA and the stewards want to get into the racing so much. They are so afraid of screwing up that they meddle too much. Trust the drivers a bit more and just get on with it!

    Either Trulli passed under SC or he didn’t. Surely this is a straightforward fact? And honestly, if I were McLaren, I’d have told Hamilton to slow down, too, regarding last year’s farces about letting through/not letting through…

  65. Hugo Bourgeois
    2nd April 2009, 8:50

    Moreover, if you intend to have more cars pass each other, you’re going to have more incidents, because there will be more racing.

    => More racing equals more meddling from FIA and stewards? Please don’t!!

  66. haha, it was Jarno who took the decision to overtake him and waited Hamilton to overtake him again during a safety car period(who will risk it?).

    If this turns out to be a farce, I will stop following F1.

    It is serious this time because they will be suggesting that Hamilton/McClaren fixed the race. If I was summoned by the stewards, I will send in lawyers instead.

  67. someone like him with such a great talent
    but arrogant and clever(stupid) should have his
    Super License stripped off!
    he just thought he could get away with everything
    it’s not schumi era anymore

  68. Interesting that Surinder will be present in the meeting. How can he let down an Italian?

  69. Prior to the start of the season we were promised more openness in regards to the steward’s decisions, so can anyone tell me what records of the stewards meetings are kept and what have been made public. Do they simply keep minutes of what is said, I know during the race we had that brief camera shot of race control but something tells me they wouldn’t film any stewards meeting. If the drivers are interviewed do they have to sign a statement if it is a relatively important incident, or is more like a informal chat.

    Also I find it strange that we have seen no official footage of either pass. I appreciate that the cameras by the side of the track could have easily missed them, but Hamilton at least had an onboard camera during the race, was it malfunctioning at that time or have they simply not thought to look at it or make it public.

    With all the possible sources of information at their disposal such as telemetry and radio transmissions even if they could not find any film of either incident you would have thought the stewards would have been able to know enough of the facts to make such an important decision without relying on either driver’s word.

  70. Have we realized that anything involving Hamilton, he definitely has to take the blame. Couldn’t believe when Hamilton was handed 3rd place. Hamilton has never come out of anythn with the FIA the victor, so definitely I couldn’t believe that. All for this to come out. What a shame to F1. They definitely have a problem with one guy and that is Lewis Hamilton!! Its a pity that they didnt learn from last year. You can’t put the guy down, he will only come back stronger!!

  71. if anything trulli should not get any penalty. they did everything right and by the book, and they even withdrew the appeal even though it was all in their favour.

    props to toyota.

  72. Yet more rubbish in F1. Why can’t the end of a Grand Prix just be the end of the Grand Prix? All this court case garbage is a joke.

    Hamilton deserves 3rd place… Trulli made a disaster of a corner, while under the safety car. He should be 4th, NOT 12th!

  73. If he lied, he is patethic! I’m dissapointed

  74. Just seen this on the Planet-F1 site: “In addition to Olafur Gudmundsson and Steve Chopping who were both stewards in Australia, the FIA has designated under Article 179bis Surinder Thatti as the third steward for this hearing.”

    That’s Surinder Thatti, one of the stewards at Spa last year, and one of the FIA stooges who endorsed Bernie’s ludicrous winner takes all scheme. He appears to be doing the devil’s work.

    Something is rotten in the state of F1 AGAIN!

  75. All far too confusings, if only Hamilton and Mclaren had admitted in the first place that they had slowed down to let Trulli back past – then Trulli would still have his hard earned third, Hamilton would have his hard earned fourth, and a lot of confusion would be saved. Now there is a chance that neither of them will score any points (well you cant really reinstate Trulli, for the same reason you cant appeal a 25s penalty), despite the fact that neither of them really did anything wrong on the track. Silly situation!!!

    They cant really give Lewis a ten place grid drop at Malaysia – the only fair thing would be to match Trulli’s penalty – a ten place grid drop is a much lesser penalty than the 25s one that Trulli got – so it wouldnt be fair, as it is technically the same infringement.

    The best would be to let the original result stand – but im not sure if that can be done – you wouldnt be able to take back a drive through penalty, so you shouldnt really be able to take back a 25s one – even if it was given wrongly :S

  76. Weasel Chops
    2nd April 2009, 9:37

    For me the most telling thing is that McLaren/Hamilton were willing to sit back and let Trulli take the penalty when they knew they had relinquished the position (should all this prove to be true)

    I realise F1 is an very competitive sport and all but I think this shows a total lack of integrity and sportmanship from McLaren if not Hamilton himself. This is the same sort of debacle that used to tarnish Schumacher and Ferrari in their days.

  77. haha,

    Just like I thought of the Indian conveiniently braught in to reprsent Africa. LH is out and the Italian reinstated to 3rd position.

    I will stop following F1 from today.

  78. Lewis Disq…… :)

  79. He has been excluded from the GP *sigh*. All the after race interference is tiresome no matter who benefits or losses out from it.

  80. Go Renault 09"
    2nd April 2009, 10:16

    Mclaren should have investigated with the stewards first as to whether they were required to let trulli back past.

    After the Spa debacle last year the teams were told they’re not allowed to do that. Which I think is wrong – it happens in other championships and, as this sorry mess goes, it could spare us a lot of trouble.

    thanks Keith i forgot about that:)

  81. BowtNetterToDo
    2nd April 2009, 10:19

    From the radio the team asks Jarno when did Hamilton overtake you? Trulli replys saying when he was out joining the traffic, which i assume he means he was off the track about to rejoin.
    The team then tries to clarify if Hamiltons pass was under SC, Trulli replys thats its difficult to say.
    The team then asks if it was under the area of the yellow flag, Trulli confirms it was under yellow flags, which is kinda obvious because if the yellows wernt already out because of the SC they most certainly should have been waving for Trullis car off the track.
    Trulli also tells his team he passed Hamilton and slowed but Hamilton didnt pass again.

    Clearly confusion over how to proceed in the Toyota team, i imagine similar confusion for the McLaren team. Its a shame they can no longer trust or rely on Charlie Whiting’s interpretation of the rules or his guidance.

    IMHO, after the race the stewards should have declared Hamilton 3rd and Trulli 4th. Though i suspect Max is still hurting after being forced to stand next to Ron Dennis and clarify his position after virtually calling RD a liar to the worlds media last year during the McLaren witch hunt. Regardless of the outcome of this issue i wonder how much longer we have to tolerate a vindictive FIA boss, despite what he said last season i fear he still has scores to settle and will campaign to remain in power for another term.

  82. Terry Fabulous
    2nd April 2009, 10:20

    Wow, he really knows how to rub the FIA up the wrong way doesn’t he!!

    Feel a bit sorry for him.

  83. I’m reading that he has been stripped of his points, I mean Hamilton.

  84. I’ve a question, How you can listen to the radio communication teams?

  85. with advice like Whitmarsh & co’s (re giving place back to Trulli and then obfuscating this), it feels LH’s most sensible option is to drive for a team in which Bernie has a commercial interest (whether declared or not in some tax haven). It appears incongruous for someone to drive out of skin for 99% of the race and then let muppets take over.

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