Drivers as stewards make presence felt as Hamilton gets black-and-white flag

CommentPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The stewards said Hamilton's defence from Petrov was too aggressive
The stewards said Hamilton's defence from Petrov was too aggressive

Lewis Hamilton was shown the black-and-white flag during the Malaysian Grand Prix for weaving in front of Vitaly Petrov. He didn’t receive a penalty, but was warned not to repeat his actions.

It’s been a long time since anyone was shown the “unsportsmanlike driving” flag – and its appearance in today’s race is a sign the addition of experienced racing drivers to the stewards’ office is having an effect.

There is no written rule on what a driver who is defending his position is allowed to do. But it’s generally accepted they are allowed to make “one move” off the racing line and a subsequent move back towards the racing line as they approach the next corner.

Hamilton obeyed this principle when he first passed Petrov at the end of lap five. Then Petrov re-passed him.

But when Hamilton got past the Renault driver again at the end of lap seven, his defensive tactics clearly went beyond what is normally accepted.

As they crossed the line to start lap eight Hamilton crossed from the right-hand side of the track over to the extreme left, pausing briefly on his way, then came back across to the right, back over to the left again, and then to the middle of the track.

This clearly went beyond what the “one move” rule allows. Here’s how Hamilton explained his reason for moving around on the straight on the radio during the race:

I wasn’t weaving for him, I was weaving to break the tow.
Lewis Hamilton

I think what we’ve seen today is the benefit of having experienced drivers assisting the stewards. Driver-stewards have been introduced for the first time in F1 this year. Today it was Johnny Herbert’s turn, and with 160 F1 starts and three wins to his name he knows the sport as well as anyone.

Drivers like Herbert are far better placed to make a call about whether a driver is attempting to run their rival off the track or simply trying to stop them getting the benefit of the slipstream.

Rapping Hamilton’s knuckles without ruining his race with a penalty was the smart thing to do – particularly at a time when so much attention is being paid to overtaking in Formula 1.

When it comes to overtaking, rules and technology stack the odds heavily in favour of the defending driver. The defending driver can have a car that’s two seconds per lap slower and aerodynamics will help keep the chasing car behind.

On top of that the “one move” rule – with its liberal interpretation which allows drivers to return towards the racing line after making their defence – makes it even harder for a car to overtake. Consider that in some series, such as IndyCar racing, drivers aren’t allowed to make defensive moves and are ordered to give up their position if they do.

But I do wonder if the stewards’ decision leaves us with one problem: drivers may now think they can expect to get away with one act of weaving per race with just a warning.

What’s your take on the penalty? Also, can anyone remember the last time the black-and-white flag was used in F1? Have your say in the comments.

2010 Malaysian Grand Prix

Image (C) Renault/LAT

333 comments on “Drivers as stewards make presence felt as Hamilton gets black-and-white flag”

  1. I think it was handled well.

    It previous seasons we would of seen a pointless penalty or drive through which would of wrecked the race.

    1. I agree. It didn’t even look dangerous as Petrov was simply following Hamilton and not attempting to pass at that point.

      Stewards made another good decision by not penalising Vettel for overtaking Trulli under yellow flags too.

      So far, having ex-drivers involved seems to have made a huge improvement :)

    2. Yes it would wrecked his race, but it is ok to wrecked someone else race ! You British should be more fair and apply same rules to everyone. I can bet u if would another way round all brit would make big problem of it !

      1. I’m tired of hearing this ‘you Brits are all biased’ rubbish. We’re no more or less biased than any other nationality and I can think of plenty of British people on this site who dislike Lewis Hamilton.

        The truth is that one misjudged act of weaving did not ruin Petrov’s race, whereas a drive through penalty would have deprived us all of Hamilton’s magnificent run.

        The fact remains that there are plenty of biased F1 fans who say they want wheel to wheel racing, but look the other way as soon as their favourite drivers commits some kind of indiscretion, or scream for a rival to be given a drive through the second they do anything vaguely suspect.

        1. Interesting to hear Vettel got away with passing under a yellow flag, right at the end with the Lotus, even though Trulli waved him through.

          Its nice to see the stewards don’t need their power fix and give out constant penalties. Having drivers on the panel is clearly a wonderful idea.

          1. The presence of a former driver as a steward doesn’t necessary prove that the idea is making the difference – far too early to tell.

            The stewards’ decisions in Malaysia (letting Hamilton off with a warning, not penalising Vettel’s yellow flag offence) were absolutely correct, but we don’t know how much of that was actually due to Johnny Herbert. It’s entirely possible that the stewards could have come to the same conclusions without an ex-driver present.

            There are signs that we can be optimistic, but co-relation does not prove causation – especially after just three races. I reckon it’ll take at least a season (and perhaps a bit of insider info on the impact, if any, of the ex-driver stewards) to be able to tell whether it makes a real difference.

          2. Jarred Walmsley
            6th April 2010, 8:51

            That was because Trulli’s Lotus was dying and so the only sensible thing to do was go past, and also it was lapping which I believe is different from what it would have been if both drivers had been on the lead lap which Trulli wasn’t even before Vettel passed him.

        2. polishboy808
          4th April 2010, 21:46

          Hamilton’s magnificent run? It was luck, not all of it but most of it. I’m tired of hearing Lewis this, and Lewis that. He’s like the Britney Spears of F1. Everybody talks about every single one of his moves. ‘He broke up with his girlfriend’, truth is, nobody watching f1 cares. When do you hear about Kovalainen’s life, or Buemi’s? Speed, the channel that play’s f1 in America, Constantly talk about Hamilton, and even if he is doing nothing, and there’s a battle going on somewhere else on the track, they will show him and say, ‘look at that magnificent driving’, as he goes off. Now I’m not saying Brits are biased towards Hamilton, but I’m saying that he is over rated. I saw the battle between Alguersuari and Schumacher shown one time in Australia, and as Hamilton was doing nothing spectacular at the time, we had an on-board camera, for about 2 laps with him. Why? Why do you think that there are two pages to this topic? Because it’s Hamilton. Truth is, had it been any other driver, the investigation would be much longer, or he would be immediately penalized. It’s time we turn the spotlight towards other drivers.

          1. If you’re tired of hearing about Lewis Hamilton, perhaps you should stop coming onto forum posts that are specifically about Lewis Hamilton.

          2. American_F1_Fan
            5th April 2010, 9:04

            Uhhhh polishboy, Hamilton can’t be the Britney Spears of F1, because Britney already drives for Mercedes GP!

          3. actually you cant say that. hamilton has been in tons of positions in the past where the stewards have penalised him for doing nothing wrong, when the other drivers (especially ferrari) always got away with things. at least now its fair. and also hamilton is’nt the most focused on driver in F1. It’s actually schumacher because he’s a 7 timne chamo. and your comment about how in australia we followed hamilton round for two laps wen summit excitin was goin on well. the bbc always do tha and so did itv but always with different drivers to show how they each handle the track and corners even if there is other stuff going on. although i do agree with you that no-one cares particuarlly about his private life and i think Nicole Whateverhernameis is dragging him down as a driver.

          4. Jraybay-HamiltonMclarenfan
            8th April 2010, 0:14

            Go away hater stop crying because Hamilton is good.

        3. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
          4th April 2010, 22:31

          “vaguely suspect”

          Don’t make me laugh, that was the most blatant disrespect of the “Drivers Code” that I can remember for a long time.

          The one move is not actually a rule but it should be.

          Surely breaking the tow from the other car is a defensive move and so should be included in this rule.

          1. To clarify, that wasn’t a comment specifically about Hamilton’s weaving manouevre. It was a comment about the biases of F1 fans and how they’ll have a different opinion of similar moves, depending on which driver it was that did it.

          2. His moves were almost comical, The black and white ruling was, just perfect,
            I don’t care if Hammy was doing well, It doesn’t matter, He did do the wrong thing, but saying that, It isn’t good for the sport to have itself sanitised.
            Oh and the Black and White flags do work, notice Hamilton was playing very fair for the rest of the race.

            Anyone notice that Massa did something similar on the back straight of Melbourne? (not quite to the same extreme though.)

        4. You are biased. If Michael Schumacher had been the culprit the condemnation would have been deafening. However, given that it was Hamilton – he who lies to stewards and is given to behaving like a brat – you Brits have eyes only for what you say was “Hamilton’s magnificent run”.

      2. I’m not british…….I thought it was a great decision by the stewards……..Lewis should not have done it, but it was not dangerous, and did not effect (at that stage) a passing opportunity……As a result, warning the driver (whoever it is) for their behaviour is the right move…….Why destroy a drivers race in those circumstances……
        As for Seb passing a backmarker under yellow, the passing rule is there to stop drivers still racing under yellow. Had the stewards done anything, there would have been uproar. The drivers ensured safety on the track and also the safety of their cars…….

      3. @P,

        Another arrogant opinion that thinks that this is a nationality issue. To be honest in most cases the British sports fans are some of the most knowledgeable and unbiased in the world. You may note that pretty much every British sports fan for instance thought Maclaren and Hamilton were entirely wrong to lie to the stewards last year in australia and you will be very hard pressed to find a British fan that is not willing to admit that Alonso, Vettel, Schumacher etc are very good race drivers.

        I personally welcome this new common sense approach from the stewards and I am loving the fact that drivers are no longer being punished for simply racing. The last few years have been very dark for stewarding where they have punished practically every overtaking move by what has seemed like inventing new rules and interpretations as they have gone along. Hamiltons weave was a bit dramatic but the Petrove was not making an overtaking move at the time so Hamilton was not really blocking. He did not ruin anyones race as Petrov was highly unlikely to make any move stick. To prove a point too, there was a situation in the last race that you may have noticed where Hamilton was taken out by an overly aggressive Webber and his race was truly wrecked as he may well have got past Alonso. However most British fans were more than happy to see Webber getting just a warning. I for one would much rather see my favourite drivers getting taken out my racing mistakes than the old stewarding that punished them from even trying to overtake.

        Also if it does lead to drivers breaking the rules a bit more (thinking they can get away with minor rule breaks) then this is a far better situation than races being decided by stewards after the race by using rules that are not even published for public consumption! Race driver stewards are in a great position to decide if someone has made a genuine mistake or are purposefully ruining other drivers races.

        Also @P, Did you see Massa weaving in a much more dangerous manner in front of Button in australia? Also did you see many British fans calling for Massa to be punished?

        1. Polishboy808
          5th April 2010, 2:19

          No, because what u, i geuss did not understand is that it is not about nationality, it is about f1’s drama queen hamilton. I never said anything about britts being biased towards british drivers. I said that i think they are NOT biased towards them, i said that much of the world is biased towards HAMILTON!

          1. Not P either
            5th April 2010, 10:34

            Now whos the drama queen, i think the @P text was directed at the poster “P” and not “Polishboy808”, notice the subtle difference ?

        2. But Massa didn’t even weave in front of Button?

          1. I suggest that you watch the Australian GP again then….

          2. I suggest you stop confusing Button with Webber, then.

          3. Massa didn’t weave in front of Webber. Webber weaved behind Massa, feigned to try to pass. Brundle made a typically snarky comment, but it was directed at Webber, not Massa.

          4. @Kirk- thanks for the info.

          5. Any chance we can get footage?

            My impression was that Massa was weaving, but not nearly as much as Hamilton did…

      4. It’s odd people get cross when there is no racing action and a boring race and then get cross when there is racing action and a relatively entertaining race.. Hamilton’s move clearly wasn’t illegal, but was ‘unusual’ enough for stewards to make a sensible intervention. Vettel’s ‘pass/overtake’ was again more a warning to drivers to be very aware of any overtaking under yellows.. it’s clutching at straws to develop either into a slanging match about national biase etc

      5. I do agree on both fronts. It was a good decision, and yes if Petrov or (dear I say) Michael Schumacher did what Hamilton did, it will only take the will of God to hold back Martin Blundle from talking to Charlie Whiting himself.
        Martin could not say it was a fair move or not and was more confused on an answer when asked if Schumacher did that, what would the outcome be.

        I wouldn’t say brits, but certain brits would be a good suffice.

      6. If you are that biased against our own apparently biased perspective, why do you read the comments of a British website?

    3. I disagree as this was clearly, clearly not a blocking maneuver but rather a “I don’t want this guy to get a draft on me down the straight” maneuver which is fine. There is no imminent danger involved and waiving a flag during the race screams weakness and boring. It was a smart move on Hamiltons part. If he was blocking I would completely agree but he was just not doing that at all. The first half of a straight is no place to sit there and help set the other guy up. I’m sure Vitaly knew what he was doing and didn’t feel it was dangerous or against any regulations. Poor move.

      1. Agree totally. Petrov was more concerned with getting a tow than pulling an overtaking move.

        1. Just saw a clip, and by the way, Vitaly gets alongside on the run into the turn, I’m sorry, but it is clearly dangerous.

          Do you actually think Petrov wasn’t trying to overtake him?

          1. not while he was weaving.

            Hamilton didn’t weave at all in the breaking zone, which to me should be fine. Its entertaining to see people actually fighting for position rather than just sitting there and watching it happen.

            ayrton senna was the king of this. watch some of his old videos and you’ll see he used to squeese people nearly off the track. It was “fine” then in F1’s golden era it should be the same now.

    4. Like next year?

  2. It was a bit silly but no where near as dangerous as what Massa did to Webber in Melbourne weaving about in the braking zone.

    Glad to see Stewards haven’t made any stupid penalties now drivers are onboard with the panel.

    1. It was a bit silly but no where near as dangerous as what Massa did to Webber in Melbourne weaving about in the braking zone.

      Great point Tommy!

      1. Thanks, it’s more a talking point simply because it’s Hamilton who always causes controversy.

        Nothing ever came up on Massa’s driving in Australia, Funny as he is often the one having a go at other drivers.

        1. Scott Joslin
          5th April 2010, 21:52

          Massa also nearly pushed Hamilton off the track at Turn 3 at the start in Bahrain, but no one made a fuss about his dangerous driving either.

    2. Was it really weaving or just that Massa’s tyres were in a really bad shape and he couldn’t control a slide?

      1. Saying that is almost a worse excuse as saying something like Lewis was warming his tyres in front of Petrov :P

        1. I agree Tommy, and was wondering why nothing came up regardinging Massa in Melbourne for the move. It was very close to the turn-in for the corner, ans if they had collided, it could have been very serious, and there were a lot of other cars around at the time. The track was also damp, and no doubt the while lines, which Melbourne has a lot of, would have been very slippery.

          Now while it was unusual to see a driver weave like hamilton, he did it for the majority of what must be approaching a kilometre-long straight, and once he was into the breaking zone, which is where the weaving becomes dangerous, he stuck to his lane, as it were.

          But yes, a warning was fine, and he knows now not to do it again, but a penalty would have been harsh.

          1. Agreed. Especially when you consider how he pulled away from Petrov after defending his position. I bet Bernie loved every second of that. :)

          2. Whether Hamilton was faster or not doesn’t come into it….

      2. Yeah, as webber tried to get along side to Massa’s left MAssa’s car ‘slid’ to the left, then as Webber tried to get along side Massa’s right Massa’s car slid the right on a part of the track that is almost straight. No, it wasnt realy weaving, it was blatant blocking !.

    3. Webber smashed into Hamilton! I would say it is just an accidental racing incident involving tire wear and an earnest interest in making a race of it. Be glad that they are trying despite the lame aero problems we have these days.

  3. David Johnson
    4th April 2010, 14:50

    Weaving is very different from breaking the tow. Proper racing over robotic time trial racing surely…

    1. Yeah, I watched the video again, and I think the difference is that Hamilton started each change in direction and Petrov followed.

      Rather than Petrov repeatedly trying to come out from behind Hamilton with Hamilton blocking, which is obviously unsafe and against the rules, it was Hamilton trying to not be in front of Petrov with Petrov repeatedly trying to fall back behind him.

      In a way he was doing the complete opposite of blocking by trying to give Petrov a clear road in front of him.

      1. I think so too, when I saw it I thought every time Hamilton moved Petrov followed, so it didn’t look like blocking. But I guess he deserved the penalty because only one move is allowed along the straight..

  4. Hmmmmm Hamilton thinking “outside of the box” which nearly gets him into trouble again. Shouldn’t of done it but lets be realistic about this and know he won’t be able to do it again in the future without some sort of punishement to show for it. Same applies for the other drivers.

    But somehow I don’t think Renault are going to let this go without a few grumbles.

  5. I think if we see more of this occurring it will quickly be relayed during a driver’s briefing “no more”.

    I wouldn’t be too worried about this setting a precedent, I do think they’ll crack down on it if it becomes prevalent.

  6. I don’t remember anyone making this much of a deal about a Ferrari weaving in Australia to present a pass. In that case, the red one changed directions twice to block a faster car, clearly preventing the overtake.

    Watch this incident again, and watch Petrov keep following Hamilton. Given that Petrov made no atempt to actually pass him, you could argue equally well that the Briton was trying to pull out of the way of the Renault driver, so why then should he be warned for moving off line to allow the car through?

    But I guess you’d need to be able to look at things objectively to be able to answer that one, and when it comes to stories like this, objective analysis usually takes a back seat to just having another opportunity to complain about the big bad Mclaren man.

    1. What are you on about?

      The whole purpose of weaving is so that Petrov can’t get a tow and can’t overtake – so the fact that he wasn’t able to is definitely not proof that it didn’t stop overtaking (it’s opposite).

      But don’t let me get in the way of your ‘objective’ analysis ;)

  7. I think it was a good decision – they let McLaren know that kind of behaviour isn’t allowed but as this is the first time in the season Hamilton did it he was left with warning. He did zig-zag a lot to avoid the same move that Petrov pulled on him lap earlier so it was all right to ”penalize” him. It will be interesting to see what will happen when another driver does the similar thing – was this black and white flag a warning to other drivers as well or will their first punishment also be a warning.

    And I must say it is great to see the return of the various racing flags that exist in the rules but are seldom used – we saw black and orange flag last season and now black and white.

    A good call and it could have to do with having a former racer among the stewards.

    But is the word of the former driver outweighing the voices of other judges? I already heard cries of favoritism because both Herbert and Hamilton are British.

  8. Can’t believe I’ve missed, what seems to be, a nice race! After reading your take Keith, I believe the steward’s decision to be fair but also do not want the drivers to believe they can do what Lewis did.

    Instead of this being interpreted by drivers as something they can get away with, it should be considered a warning. Also, with the introduction of assisted stewards, they should watch out for many of the unwritten rules.

  9. It’s great to see the difference the input of the drivers make in stewarding decisions :)

    I think this was the right decision, if Petrov had been making the moves first and Hamilton blocking them that should be a penalty, but as this was Lewis moving first and Petrov following it’s just part of racing. I do it all the time in racing games to try and stop people getting a tow on me hehe.

  10. chaostheory
    4th April 2010, 15:05

    When I was watching the race it didnt look to me like someone did something wrong, so I was surprised to hear Hamilton received a black-white flag. It looked like Petrov was desperately trying to keep himself in Lewis car stream, and the Briton was desperately trying to shake him off of his back. So there should be no warning or both drivers should have been warned, not just the one in yellow helmet.

    1. Weaving like that is dangerous, and by now we all should be aware that he was just trying to break the tow,

      But we should also be aware that weaving like that is both dangerous, and unsportsmanlike (hence the black and white flag)

      Why the hell should Petrov be warned?
      Are you suggesting him being reprimanded for trying to use the faster Mclarens slipstream?

      1. sorry, but petrov was also weaving. there is no distinction between trying to get a tow and trying to shake a tow, both drivers were snaking down the straight. if petrov had the intention of passing hamilton on the straight he would’ve done so, he didn’t. petrov was positioning himself to out brake hamilton into the corner.

        it’s racing, and i’m glad it’s back!

  11. Bad decision in my opinion.

    Now we have a precedent that making multiple moves won’t give a driver a drive through.

    Lewis said that “I wasn’t weaving for him, I was weaving to break the tow” but in my opinion, that’s total nonsense. I think it’s completely irrelevant what was (or what he says was) his intention. He had another driver trying to overtake him and he took multiple moves.

    Towing has always been part of Formula1 and other drivers haven’t tried to “break it” as Lewis did. I wonder how Lewis reacts if in next race a driver in front of him “breaks the tow” and thus prevents any chance of overtaking.

    1. Well no, if another driver had done it in race he would have got the warning. But now if a driver does it in another race he’ll get a penalty. Breaking tow has effectivley been outlawed by this desision. No driver will be stupid enough or stewards leniant enough to make the rule, weave once an i’ll get a warning. Now it’s weave an probably get drive through.

      So the law has been layed down in a unclear area of the regs with a warning for future an no controversy. Brilliant.

      1. “But now if a driver does it in another race he’ll get a penalty.”

        What makes you think so? Wouldn’t that in fact be unfair? This precedent says that first time a driver make multiple moves in a race he gets a warning.

        Excluding this case, I think driver stewards is a great idea. Fantastic job so far, if we don’t count this case.

        1. No the precedent set is the warning. In race, it’s a warning. But as he was warned an the drivers will be warned next briefing, doing it again will merit punishment. Now that the race is over all drivers must consider themselves warned in future. Otherwise why even warn him?

          1. Because he might have done it again in the race (in fact that is very likely).

            If a player gets a yellow card for touching the football with his hand in football, that doesn’t mean everyone touching the football in the future will get a red card.

            I’m not saying the situation is identical, but it doesn’t seem logical that everyone in the future would get a drive-through for making more than one move just because Hamilton got a warning once.

          2. Well put hot err,, nice name ^^

          3. Jarred Walmsley
            6th April 2010, 9:06

            Hotbottoms, that is a completely different scenario, as the hand balling is something that is quite clearly covered in the football (soccer) rules, whereas the weaving done by Hamilton wasn’t clearly covered, by giving a warning to Hamilton and I imagine warning all drivers in the drivers briefing at China they are laying down the law. So, what Hamilton got wasn’t equivelant to a yellow card it was a talking to, and in the future any driver will get a penalty or in keeping with your football analogy a yellow card

          4. no hotbottoms, thats because footballs rules are even more unclear than f1’s

            its a non contact sport, but most of the time grabbong eachother in the box on a corner, or shirt pulling is accepted…. only sometimes people get yellor/red cards for it, but only sometimes, when one reff actually does a good job….

            i think we can safely say the problem is not the actions of the drivers, its the actions of the rule writers. If it’s not black and white, it just wont work.

            The “grey” areas in regulations also led to this double diffuser which is “against the spirit of the rules” and has killed the overtaking oppertunities the aero mods in 2009 were meant to produce.

          5. if the rules were clear there would be no “against the spirit of the rules” instead only “against the rules” which could be punishable without question.

            that stands for driving rules, and design rules.

            (sorry for the double post)

    1. Did you see that incident in television? Vettel almost stopped his car to avoid overtaking in that turn, but Trulli did so also. Vettel didn’t have any other chance but to overtake.

      1. Trulli went very slow, it looked as though he was trying to let Vettel past, correct decision by the rule makers again,

        Brundle (I think) noted they were both being too polite in trying to let each other go first, And I suspect that like him and myself, Trulli may have not realised he was racing under yellow flags at the time….

  12. Sush Meerkat
    4th April 2010, 15:09

    I’d forgotten how camp Johnny Herbert was, brilliant to have him back.

    This shows another point to the races though, that Renault is good at following other cars, but its not good to follow.

  13. What a load of crap.
    The “one move rule” is in regard to blocking a driver attempting to overtake as it makes it more dangerous. You could easily say Hamilton was moving out of the way to allow Petrov to overtake as it was very clearly Petrov following Hamilton, not Hamilton blocking Petrov.

    What Hamilton did has nothing in common with any of the previous weaving calls we have had in years, seems like sour grapes that Hamilton once again is willing to think outside the box when others didn’t.

    1. I agree 100%. Finally someone who actually watched the race! I would add that if the maneuver that Lewis executed was warned against, why was Petrov not warned also when he executed the exact same maneuvers?

    2. No, it’s not about being ‘dangerous’, it’s about being sporting. Or, in this case, unsporting.

      1. Can someone post a link to what Petrov supposedly did?

  14. Keith, I disagree that drivers will be allowed some sort of a “one act of weaving per race”.

    The next time Hamilton does it (even if it is the first time in that race), I am pretty sure he will get a drive-through. A repeat offense will and should be handled strictly.

    But a welcome decision nevertheless.

  15. Correct decision. A bit naughty, but entirely fair by Hamilton, but not something he should be encouraged to do, hence a warning being the right penalty. At least he wasn’t weaving in the braking zones, unlike Massa in front of Webber in Australia (and there wasn’t any action for that, so at least there’s been some consistency). It looked as though Hamilton really was just trying to break the tow, and it was Petrov reacting to Hamilton’s changing of lone, not the other way around, which would of course been more of a transgression.

    Meanwhile Vettel gets away with overtaking under a yellow flag:
    Again, sensible decision, because he was lapping the Lotus and it wasn’t done dangerously. I just wonder what the uproar would have been had it been another driver? Hamilton? Schumacher? Alonso?

  16. For a long time I have known exactly what the problem with stewards is – they represent the governing body and it is in their interest to make the races as ‘exciting’ as possible.

    Today was a good example of this. Hamilton clearly deserved a penalty for performing several dangerous swerves in front of Petrov. However, he didn’t receive one and there’s one reason for that.

    Had the stewards given him a penalty, we wouldn’t have seen him chasing and overtaking the cars in front. The penalty would have dropped him back in the field and we would have missed the opportunity to see this former world champion racing through the field.

    The penalties themselves can provide excitement and interesting twists to races, but in this case the excitement that a penalty for Hamilton could have created was far outweighed by the excitement of him making his way into a points paying position.

    Until we see a truly independent body of stewards, poor decisions like the one today will keep on happening.

    1. Yes, let’s have tedious races, nobody should dare to try bending the rules a bit. More FIA bureaucracy please!

      1. So, according to you it’s okay to risk safety in the name of not having ‘tedious races’ ?. That’s nonsense.

        1. The question is whether Hamilton’s weaving *was* dangerous and this a safety issue. I don’t think so and I seriously doubt anyone else directly involved did.

          1. He wasn’t weaving, more drifting across the track followed by an aggressive change in direction (or three). I thought it was an absolutely stunning piece of driving, both from Hamilton and Petrov – well done what a show! (but please don’t do it again)

    2. The thing is, Hamilton was trying to move away from Petrov. Petrov followed, so Hamilton moved away again. It’s different compared to Hamilton moving in front of Petrov had Petrov moved away from behind Hamilton first. The only way a collision could happen is if Hamilton braketested him, or Petrov misjudging how close he is to Hamilton.

    3. It is precisely because we had race stewards who were politicos and not drivers themselves, that we did see so many poor and intrusive dicisions which interfered with the racing on track. This year every race will see ex-F1 drivers joining the 3 race stewards to give a realistic drivers opinion. Thus today’s good decision.

      There was nothing dangerous about Hamilton trying to break the slipstream tow. Petrov wasn’t pulling alongside Hamilton and they weren’t passing any other cars. Over-zealous stewarding was deciding races off the track instead of letting the drivers race. Today we saw a good example of the reversal of this trend.

    4. For a long time I have known exactly what the problem with stewards is – they represent the governing body and it is in their interest to make the races as ‘exciting’ as possible.

      I don’t think there’s a serious amount of evidence to support that. On the other hand, look at the races and Spa and Fuji in ’08 and you have plenty of evidence the stewards do the exact opposite.

      1. Historically some of the decisions made by the stewards have made them look like they were just pompous, overbearing, nincompoops drunk from the success of rising to the frothy top of the club hierachy. The antithesis of Johhny Herbert in fact.

        Thank god that era is over then…..and good riddance to it (and him – you know who).

  17. I think that’s a good decision. Don’t know why I think that, but I just do.

  18. “drivers may now think they can expect to get away with one act of weaving per race with just a warning.”

    This is my only concern.

    1. I don’t think the decision to issue a warning rather than a penalty is a free pass to do this once a race. If a driver receives a warning about poor driving then continues to drive in that manner a penalty is then on the agenda. And I’d expect the stewards to consider driver behaviour over the balance of a season, not just race to race.

  19. I think Martin Brundle on the BBC got it right: Hamilton wasn’t blocking Petrov so nothing should have been said or done. Petrov wasn’t making an attempt to pass, therefore Hamilton was well within his rights to try and ‘break the tow’. Had we seen Petrov jink out behind Hamilton and Hamilton following suit, then Petrov jinking the other way and Haliton moving again, then, yes, that would have been one move too many. This case clearly had Petrov reacting to Hamilton, not the other way around.

    1. “This case clearly had Petrov reacting to Hamilton, not the other way around.”


      1. James Alias
        4th April 2010, 18:41

        Great cheeky move by Petrov though, I’m beginning to like him already! ;)

        1. spot on, the first respectable decision by the stewards in years :)

          more fuel for the blind hamilton haters that can’t see he’s the most exciting of the top team drivers out there :P

    2. If Petrov wasn’t attempting to pass then why was he desperately trying to stay in the slipstream?

      A pass encompasses more than just driving around a competitor – it is getting a better exit from a corner, closely following a rival out of the corner, and then gaining track position before or into the following corner.

      Lewis going out of his way (swerving is not optimal) solely with the intention of disrupting the tow (i.e. interfering with the pass) is definitely unsportsmanlike. Which is why he got the unsportsmanlike flag.

  20. Breaking the tow is different to blocking because the former is active and the latter is reactive (hope that makes sense). The weaving was excessive and the stewards did the right thing, but this isn’t the same situation as the one move ‘rule’ in my opinion.

    Of course had he been doing this in 2008 I think a penalty would have been given immediately!

  21. Simple. Petrov thought he could get head to head with Lewis and trying to act as if he’s good enough to spank Lewis. Then, Lewis bullied him by making fun out of him in front of million viewers to awaken Petrov and let him know where he really stands and he’s not yet good enough. Lesson learned! Hahaha! :-)

    1. Give Petrov a stalling rear wing and a Mercedes engine and then do it again and we will see how he fares.

  22. Correct decision. He wasn’t reacting to Petrov moving out on him, but obviously trying to break the slipstream. He failed to do so and Petrov still didn’t manage to get the jump on him into the first corner, again underlining that it was the right decision. Well done to the stewards – we don’t know if it was Herbert’s call that swayed it, but either way, a better response than we have seen in recent years.

    As for the move itself? Entertaining and unorthodox, very Hamiltonesque then. Probably won’t see too many repeat performances anytime soon.

  23. I’m not defending Hamilton here, but goddamnit, it was fun to watch this overtake attempt! So rarely can we see some really original/surprising/brave etc. overtake, so why ban such actions? In my opinion driver should do everything he can to defend his position, as long as he is in front (apart from certainly dangerous moves as aggresively pushing off the track and various forms of making contact with other car). I want to see some good racing and if drivers have more way to defend it’s good for fighting. We’re not talking about IndyCar series, F2 or other ones. This is Formula 1. The set of the best drivers in the world race there and they really know what they are doing, I don’t see any point in making any boarders around them.
    I am not saying that they are perfect and their every move is well-thought-out – mistakes happen. Aggressive driving as well. But aggressive is when sb really causes an accident, opponent’s spin or whatever.

    Vitaly and Hamilton’s fight was very fun to watch, one of my favourite parts of the race and I don’t really see why such defence moves are banned. You get the driver, you get the car. And then do everything else to get a good position and maintain it. If nobody’s hurt – it’s perfectly good. If it’s also fun to watch – what’s wrong with it now?

    1. agree with absolutley everything you say up until the first exclamation mark…

  24. I don’t see the problem. Lewis picked his own line and Petrov followed. There was no blocking and no danger (and if the weaving was dangerous then Petrov was equally guilty of an offence). The drivers are not obliged to take any particular line in any or straight corner, the no blocking requirement is to stop drivers moving in reaction to a passing car and particularly in a braking zone, that was clearly not the case here. I think it was a poor steward reaction to an unusual situation just because it looked strange and not because of any rule or issue of danger. Fortunately the use of the flag warning meant that the stewards didn’t ruin the race as they have in the past.

    Vettel ‘infringement’ was nonsense, he had no choice but to overtake due to Trulli stopping on the track.

    1. Interesting choice of quotation marks. If Vettel passed another driver under a yellow flag then it counts as an infringement – he either infringed the regulation on yellow flags or he didn’t, it’s black and white, one thing or the other. But the stewards considered the individual circumstances, exercised their discretion and decided (correctly) against a penalty.

      Not long ago, it was a bit of a mantra among some fans that the rules around penalties had to be made “clear” and effectively tie the stewards’ hands. This is a prime example of why a degree of flexibility and discretion in the regulations is just as essential as consistency.

  25. Drive though in my opinion.

    He still disadvantaged Petrov..and there is a reason for unwritten rule…for safety.

    1. What was the dis-advantage exactly? Petrov could have just driven straight on, but chose to follow Hamilton to keep in his slip-stream. There was no blocking involved.

      A warning (to discourage the same kind of behaviour in the future) is a much better decision than a drive-through.

      Providing a clear message is sent out as to what a warning means with regards to future races, it seems like a good way to refine the rules.

      1. Ironically Petrov would probably have passed him had he drove straight on!

  26. they handled it perfectly as he wasn’t blocking just breaking the tow… Brundle’s take on it was spot on!

  27. Aaaaallll the way to the right, then aaaalll the way to the left. Then aaaallll the way to the right, than aaaalll the way to the left,then aaaalll the way right to the apex. No hindrance at all, and plenty of oppotunities for Petrov to pass. Sure. Aaaaall the middle open to him!
    Honestly, this one move rule has been there for some years, and aaalll other drivers obey it. One defensive move per straight, and one move back to the racing line. Makes 2 swerves per straight maximum. So you take the inside or the outside, and the other driver has a chance. Review Alonso vs Button today for how it works between gentlemen.
    And Hamilton got no benefit whatsoever for staying in front of Petrov and in clean air. None at all.

    1. Exactly: between gentlemen. ‘Nuff said.

      Unsportmanslike drivers should be banned forever from F1, no matter their showiness.

      1. I think you’re over reacting, this is why there’s no passing in F1, because whenever we see a interesting and exciting battle for position, then there’s something wrong or illegal.
        I’m glad there was no penalty, otherwise it would had suck

      2. If you think that, then I suggest Michael Schumacher should never be allowed to race in F1 again.

      3. Yeah, I remember the good old days too when millions stopped watching F1 because it was sooooooo dull. And why are LH’s personal qualities always an issue, I wonder? Actually, don’t bother, I know why. But don’t try pretending *nobody* has tried to bend a rule, break a rule, get round a rule, ignore a rule, or challenge the sheer utter pointlessness of some rules before, because the list in reply would be enooooormous.

  28. He was clearly doing it to stop the slipstream attack. You can’t weave to stop someone overtaking – when that person is a couple of metres behind your car, it without question is like Hamilton said, and also how it appeared.

  29. In my opinion the stewards got it spot on.
    I don’t care as much for the reasoning the fact is it happened and therefore something should be done. As to what lengths they go to then the act and then the reasoning has to be looked at and I don’t think it was to block Petrov and as such the penalty was rightly fair by being just a warning and not excessive.
    I don’t agree with arguments that this is only being talked about because it is Hamilton. There is not some anti-Hamilton conspircy but thisn is a British site so I expect he has a lot of interest. Renault will undoubtedly be arguing for a more severe punishment and it was an unusual incident which had to be looked at which is why it is getting the attention.

  30. Wrong decision. I really don’t see why we should be applauding the stewards for penalizing a racing move on track that wasn’t a risk to anyone.

    As salty points out, maybe a bit inadvertently, this decision means yet another ‘exciting and unorthodox’ maneouvre (I’m quoting salty) won’t be seen again soon. It’s like: whatever you dream up Lewis, we’ll ban it! Two questions: is he really the only driver who’s willing to be unorthodox, push the envelope? I don’t think so. But if so, that seems pretty dire for the sport. And if not, that seems to indicate LH is picked out far more. I go for the latter.

    1. To give him a penalty would have been madness – but a warning is fair enough, we should cars weaving down the main straight with 300 km/h just to break the tow. But it seems he is the only one able to really pull off some overtaking, even though you “need a car that is 3 seconds faster” than the car in front of you to overtake. Hands down he had a beautiful race.

  31. hang on a tick. As Petrov hadn’t made an attempt to pass on the main straight how was Hamilton blocking him?

    To summarise- there was no blocking involved as Petrov wasn’t close enough and was not pulling out to overtake Hamilton.

    1. On which side do you pull out to overtake a car that’s weaving as much as HAM did ?

      1. fare point, but i think Hamilton wouldn’t of bothered if Petrov wasn’t hogging his rear as much.

      2. Well, Petrov didn’t need to pull out to overtake since Hamilton did move out of the way. Since Petrov moved back behind Hamilton to get closer, Hamilton moved away again. Fact is, had Petrov not follow behind Hamilton, Hamilton won’t be swerving and the this whole topic would be a non-issue.

        1. Your right, it was wrong, indecent and improper for Petrov to try and use the slipstream of the much faster Mclaren! Evil Petrov evil!

          Seriously, It could have ended with a very big crash, I can easily believe that Hamilton was trying to break his slipstream, but weaving like that is dangerous, no matter what the car behind was doing.

          (I suppose if there was an army of streakers….. but I disgress)

      3. you can’t decide! that’s what HAM was trying to do to PET, try to make him unable to choose which side to overtake on.

  32. Here, in Argentinean motorsports, such thing IS a rule. You can’t move twice. Only once. You get penalized if you do so.

    The stewards even ask the circuits to paint a white like dividing the track in half through the whole lap. It doesn’t look good but you it’s easier for them to see it and take actions.

    Maybe it’s time to clear those grey areas in F1. If it isn’t a rule everybody will do it. Not that it happens that much often, but still.

    1. The stewards even ask the circuits to paint a white like dividing the track in half through the whole lap. It doesn’t look good but you it’s easier for them to see it and take actions.

      I never heard of that before. So they treat the track a bit like a ‘court’, really? That’s very interesting…

  33. Hamilton was agressive as usual and on the edge of breaching the rules, that’s how he won his title. But to wave the car all over the track is quite dangerous.

  34. I was disgusted at Hamilton’s driving. I’ve supported the Brits for years but what Hamilton did today offended my sense of fair play and honour amongst sports men.

    Many people have levelled a charge of arrogance against Hamilton and after today it is impossible to deny. Clearly he thought Petrov was a lesser competitor and Hamilton was prepared to use any tactic to beat him as he fails to respect his fellow competitors.

    It is about time governing bodies took a stronger line in teaching these sports ‘men’ who fail to act better than spoiled children a lesson.

    1. Really, can’t you go and be offended about something a bit more serious going wrong with the world?

    2. I don’t believe you!


  35. As an answer to Keith’s “other” question… wasn’t the only time this flag was used before Spa 1989 on Eddie Cheever blocking Mansell in the wet?

    1. That’s what I thought but surely it’s been used in the past 21 years? That was about the third F1 race I watched!

      1. It’s rare to use this flag, so surely any season review would emphasize the fact that it’s been used. But watching through season reviews from ’89 to present day, there’s absolutely no mention of it except for Spa ’89, so it’s pretty much certain that it hasn’t been used since.

  36. I think its the right decision. But i think they should be clear about penalizing the next person who does it. Here we are complaining that we don’t see sufficient overtaking, but we’re encouraging drivers to ‘break tows’ so as to defend and discourage overtaking. Slip streaming is about the only main source of overtaking that we see already and ‘breaking tows’ will totally kill it altogether.

    I say right decision based on no other precedence, but should be prevented in future.

  37. Quite clear really. Hamilton moved first to break the tow, and then Petrov followed him on each swerve. It’s not as if Petrov moved out first to start a pass and hamilton comes to block him. Big difference. Hamilton did not cut in front of petrov but moved away from him. Petrov merely followed. I highly doubt hamilton would be swerving had Petrov not followed him. It’s not Hamilton’s fault if the person behind him wants to follow behind him.

    1. Some people here obviously don’t know the difference between blocking a move and breaking away from a tow. Watch carefully as petrov reacts to hamilton moving aside instead of Hamilton reacting to block Petrov. In this instance, Petrov WANTED to stay behind Hamilton. It’s like the difference between cutting right in front of someone walking beside you as opposed to moving aside so someone BEHIND you stops following directly behind.

      1. You are missing the point. Hamilton was defending his position and he was allowed to make one move but he did more. If Petrov wanted to stay behind Hamilton, Hamilton should’ve let him.

        Many of you talk like there would be something wrong in following the driver in front of you in order to get less air resistance, but all the drivers have been doing it for years – yes, even Hamilton.

        1. Yea, and I’m not saying slipstreaming is wrong. I’m just saying, it’s not dangerous, so why penalize? The only way a collision could happen is if Hamilton braketested him, or Petrov misjudging how close he is to Hamilton.

          1. I agree wakenabeb. People are totally losing sight of the fact that weaving is banned because it’s dangerous – if it wasn’t, it would be a perfectly OK maneouvre. But if no attempt to pass is being made, it’s not dangerous – or no more so than driving a car at 300kmh anywhere might be. So why was Ham weaving? To break the tow. Why should that be punishable?! I don’t see the need even for a warning. Of course it could be argued letting it go would encourage people to do this all the time and at *some* point someone would weave when the other really was trying to pass. But that strikes me as over-anticipation.

          2. I agree with hotbottoms – in fact, we see drivers gaining slipstream advantages behind each other all the time. Take Massa at this race – he was gaining an aero advantage behind Button before pressing his ‘overtake button’ and moving inside. Pretty much the happened when Alonso (unsuccessfully) tried to get past Button. Overtaking in such a “slipstream” manner is only normal on the dry track. And yet, the defending driver almost never starts swerving in the braking zones to “break the tow” or otherwise.

            Petrov wanted to gain a slipstream advantage – and according to the rules, Hamilton should have let him do that (albeit only after the former survived the first two swerves – Hamilton is allowed to do as much).

            Whether such swerving should be allowed in the case if it doesn’t constitute dangerous driving – is another issue. I firmly believe it should be – I’m never in favor of artificial rules and believe that driver can defend his position as long as it doesn’t involve wrestling your opponent off the track. To be honest, some of the current rules of F1 regarding overtaking are quite restrictive – for instance I don’t see why the defending driver should “leave room” or not move across when his opponent is waiting to stream past.

            Obviously, the stewards’ job gets tougher as the complexities of those rules get appreciated. For instance, if rules allow not “leaving room,” the drivers will start brake-testing each other and calamities will result. Similarly is drivers are allowed to swerve, they’ll also start blocking each other even if the attacking car is already in the process of an overtake. Then we’ll just see lots of “unsportsmanlike behavior” and crashes. That is why I see that current rules, while being restrictive, allow for the sensible relationship between the opposing sides in a track battle between two cars.

            In the case with Petrov, I believe that Hamilton was morally justified “to break the tow” as long as it wasn’t dangerous towards Petrov – and since the track at the segment was quite wide and the latter had space to “escape” – I believe it wasn’t. Though considering the overtake rules, he should have let Petrov gain a slipstream advantage.

            All in all, I believe that stewards released their statement in accordance to official F1 rules that ban excessive “swerving,” and yet decided not to penalize Hamilton according to the racing principles I described above. So we’ll only have to sing praises for such a decision.

          3. That’s reasonable Einer. But the point is that a warning is a deferred penalty. So we have to presume next time breaking tow like that will be punished. We can have this same discussion next time – when this kind of ‘undangerous weaving’ costs someone a race because of a penalty – or think about its implications when we decide whether or not the stewards apparent ‘compromise’ was a good precedent for future races. I don’t think so.

          4. Great post Einar AI. One issue needs clarification here though. There is no ‘one swerve’ rule. It’s a driver ‘understanding’ which is used with regard to defending lines into a corner. It purpose is to prevent early blocking and breaking into corners. Even within the bounds of the understanding, Hamilton was not doing that.

            Like you, I believe the current regs on what a driver may or may not do are overly constrictive. When Senna was racing people used to think he pushed a little too hard, was too aggressive. Schumacher played the tactical game a lot harder, but was a slightly less aggressive driver. Hamilton has Senna’s aggressive arrogant style. No idea if he is as quick, but that is where Hamilton comes from. Hamilton hasn’t the tactical brain of Schumacher, or possibly even Jenson, but he does share the big cojones that made Senna damn fast.

          5. Correction – there IS a written rule – International Sporting Code, Appendix L, Chapter IV, article 2.b – tis more than a bit fluffy and open, bless the FiA, to interpretation.

            Thanks to Lawrence Southern for the edification. Check down the thread…

  38. I think it’s wrong that Renault are bringing this back up after the race, even with the steward giving a warning to hamilton. Hopefully the Stewards will hold their ground and tell Renault to be quiet. This wouldn’t of happend if Prost was the race steward.

  39. the driving didn’t deserve a penalty. Nobody was in danger, Petrove didn’t attempt to overtake he, followed Ham line Ham stopped before breaking zone. Warming tires way to much weaving for that and looked to “planned” with the stop at the edges, tire warming they do multiple weaves in a fluid motion and then stop. Dangerous weaving koybayashi in Brazil last year. That is the weaving that needs to be avoided and penalized. I’m not a Ham fan but didn’t see this warrant a penalty, warning yes I think that was justified. Now precedent is set that hey guys this is NOT ok to do. Now all drivers know next driver doing it I could see will get a penalty.

  40. Non issue, let them race, and race Hamilton does.
    I smell the stench of political correctness in some of the comments here… “lesser competitor”… “It is about time governing bodies took a stronger line in teaching these sports ‘men’ who fail to act better than spoiled children a lesson.”
    How many races have the ‘governing bodies’ already messed up with their all seeing wisdom?
    Petrov was following…..and obviously slower.

  41. I don’t even think the main problem here is if there were illegal moves or not. Some people already mentioned it; what Hamilton did was unsportsmanlike. For me, not because it was illegal, but because he was probably making fun of Petrov. That move, the way I saw it, that was Hamilton hurt for having passed Massa, Alonso and Button “easily” to get there and have a comeback from the russian rookie. Then he went right and left and back again, almost like saying “I’ve got my McLaren here, dude, try to follow it! Or will you try to stay straight? Ahn? Ahn? Where am I now? Gone…”.
    Great driving; the most exciting moment of the race, in my opinion, also because Petrov did a hell of a job in the first attempt. But Hamilton is not exactly a gentleman.

    1. What relevance have your personal projections concerning Hamilton’s character got to do with F1 regulations? The issue with weaving is safety. If LH wasn’t a risk to anyone and on-track, any outside intervention strikes me as over-regulation.

      ‘Hamilton is not exactly a gentleman.’ I wonder why that makes you sound like a 19th century colonialst?

      1. “‘Hamilton is not exactly a gentleman.’ I wonder why that makes you sound like a 19th century colonialst?”

        Well, that’s just because some people are always eager to jump to stupid conclusions and start arguments on the internet.

        I’m just saying I THINK it was not nice of Hamilton to do it, and if I were to be right, I think Petrov would be much more offended with that than “weaving in break zones” or stuff like that.

        1. Well that was precisely my point: jumping to stupid conclusions is precisely what *you’re* doing by interpreting Hamilton’s racing in an entirely personal and negative why. How does it feel?

          1. Feels quite ok. I just jumped to stupid conclusions as everyone else here (some of you are getting the right ones, of course), I’m not trying to start arguments.
            Cool man, you don’t agree with me. And Hamilton doesn’t care, really, so why should you?
            Anyway, it’s just a way of seeing the more humane side of the whole thing. We all know it’s not really just those smiles and photos they take together after they’ve raced each other.

          2. Fair enough FLIG. I still think the answer’s more practical, though: he was weaving to shake off Petrov. Winding other drivers up unnecessarily is never a good idea (not that Hamilton hasn’t indeed done that in the past) since you’re certain to come across them on the track in the next race or so. And they *never* forget.

    2. I doubt that’s the case. It’s probably more of the opposite where Hamilton probably game Petrov some respect, knowing that he is perfectly capable of passing him if he continued to let him drive in the slipstream. The only way a collision could happen is if Hamilton braketested him, or Petrov misjudging how close he is to Hamilton. Not illegal, not dangerous, not unsportsman like.

  42. I’m sorry Keith, but that’s rubbish. Hamilton weaved back and forth more than twice and it was clearly dangerous driving. It’s what I’ve come to expect from the hoon.

  43. Well Petrov did the same (only 2 changes not 3) on the back straight one corner earlier and still nobody talks about that…

    1. I believe drivers are allowed to change side once and then back. So technically that’s two times. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      (Having said that, I can’t recall the episode you described so I don’t know if that was the case).

  44. So, if we put today a rule about speaking to the team through the radio and tell all the drivers; we should penalise the second driver that does it leaving the first one with hos promise not to doit again,or should we start with a penalty from the first one who breaks the law?

    I just cant understand how you get to fool yourselves,
    he is a liar and no gentleman

    1. The point is that there has never been such a rule. Had a rule been broken, fair point, but no such rule exists so how can you penalise any driver for breaking it?

      1. I’m sure dangerous driving is mentioned and I’m sure there is a clause that says the stewards may improvise at the time…

  45. ConcedoNulli
    4th April 2010, 17:57

    If that is the rule so be it… but “breaking the tow” is still blocking. The following driver has done the hard work of getting into the dirty air of the leading driver and so deserves his overtaking opportunity. I say ban all blocking/weaving/”one defensive moves”, and we’ll have a lot more overtaking.

    1. A lot more overtaking, but not real racing. These guys have been racing, that is catching a tow, jinking, wrong footing and out driving the opponent, since they were kids. They know how to deal with it a lot better than the stuffed shirts who get to steward these races. Let them race. This is a race track, not our town center. We need to promote real racing, not more legislation.

  46. both Hamilton and Vettel decisions are ok to me.

    Hamilton trying to avoid giving Petrov slipstream (that’s not blocking, that’s being stupid to let the other pass).

    Next briefing it’ll be discussed. If accepted, we’ll never see again another pass in F1. If not, that’s accepting the aerodinamics are so terrible that they must collaborate to gest past.

    Vettel is another case of Hungary 2006 free practice Schumacher penalty, with the other racer running so slow it could only overtake him.
    Fortunately somebody with some brains was deciding the penalties today.

  47. What did Hamitlon do wrong??? He was in front. Petrov didn’t have to follow him. Petrov hadn’t made a move to overtake. If petrov had moved out at any point to be side by side then of course you cant weave in front of him. I hate the way good driving is again and again supressed. what a shame he even got a black and white flag – he should be praised for quick thinking.

  48. So then, all the other 99,9% of drivers with a f1 license (with a 7 time world champion among them) are stupid for not weaving 4 times when they have another car behind them in the main straight?

    1. Oh get real. So a 7 times world champ parking his car on the track during qualifying has never thought of testing the rules? Or Alonso making regular use of run-off to motor past rivals (Spa being a favourite)? Some tricks turn out OK, others not so (Schumacher’s being a case in point – stopping anyone else from actually driving being an extreme interpretation of ‘reule beinding’ some might argue!)

      Stick to the point at hand.

      1. Nice way to try to trash a fair question, Antonio is saying that nobody else was doing that kind of weaving in THIS gp (2010).

        Schumacher was penalized when he did that in Monaco btw.

        Antonio was sticking to the point IMO.

        1. No that’s not what he was saying IMO.

          1. David, read it again,

            Would you like to see this happen every single time one car tries to use the slipstream of the car ahead?

    2. So then, all the other 99,9% of drivers…are stupid for not weaving

      I can’t imagine what made you think that was my point.

      1. I don’t think Antonio was refering to your article but to the discussion and the argument that “Hamilton is just thinking out of the box” in general :)

        1. Stealing is acquiring property through “out of the box” methods, then…

          Hamilton was clearly protected by the stewards. There’s no other interpretation, there’s no way around this.

          The point at hand is simple: there are rules and rules exist to be followed, not to be tested or broken. If you want weaving to be legal, making Hamilton the ultimate “moving chicane”, then push for a change of rules.

          1. I think you misunderstood my comment, I was just clearing Antonio’s comment. If you read my other comments in this thread, you’ll notice that I agree with you.

  49. Well, Renault have lodged a complaint according to here

    Let’s hope this gets taken further.

    1. Ooh that is what F1 has been missing recently; a race decided after the podium ceremony. Excellent idea to improve the show, this should be adopted in all races I think. Let’s spice it up a bit and say that penalties are dished out to ensure a 1-2-3-4-5-6 finish of new teams. :-)

      1. So you’d willingly accept miscarriages of justice just so the results of the race wouldn’t be changed once the race has finished? Good thinking!

        1. No, that’s not what I said. My statement implied unnecessary interference post-race. In this case; unnecessary.

          1. You may have noticed from my other post that I strongly believe the black and white flag was justified, But a drive through would have been excessive, and a penalty post race? unthinkable.

    2. At least Renault are making a late attempt at an April fool.

  50. That should had happened on a Xbox game, not a real race.

  51. If he was blocking then why was petrov clearly following him back and forth across the track? Of couse Hamilton was trying to break the tow. It is absurd he even got a warning.

    1. Most people think that a warning was fair, myself included.

    2. That’s exactly what Martin Brundle thought at the time before Lewis’s radio transmission was known.

    3. Trying to break the tow is unsportsmanlike.

  52. Jean Alesi said that that move deserved a drive through penalty.

    1. Marc Gené and Carlos Sainz said the same

  53. Sporting regulations (Art. 16.1)

    “Incident” means any occurrence or series of occurrences involving one or more drivers, or any action by
    any driver, which is reported to the stewards by the race director (or noted by the stewards and referred to
    the race director for investigation) which :

    -illegitimately prevented a legitimate overtaking manoeuvre by a driver

  54. Captain Caveman
    4th April 2010, 19:03

    I may have my dates wrong and my analogy could be regarded as weak, but was there not a precedent in 2006 in Monza when Alonso was penalised for affecting the turbulance/tow in qualifying when ahead of the Massa ferrari. ( which was rubbish in my view)

    I appreciate it is very very weak, but if it was regarded as something that could be penalized a few years ago, then it goes to show it should apply now. ( at least if they want to be consistent,

    Personally i felt it was fair enough today, as Petrov seemed to be following, so i am not looking to be seen as putting down lewis, as i was genuinely enthralled during that part of the race.

    1. I agree with you about the Monza 2006 penalty – but would you prefer the stewards to make consistently bad decisions or inconsistently good ones?

  55. I haven’t read any comments from Petrov but I am pretty sure if asked he would say that Hamilton did absolutely nothing untoward. It was his decision to follow him inch for inch.

    1. He said that he enjoyed it. Eric Boullier said it was “an exciting battle”. clearly they forgot in the post-race excitement that they’d clearly been robbed by that dastardly cheating Englishman….

  56. Certain drivers past and present have an agenda against both Mclaren and Lewis so you cant always take an opinion of a driver as being fair. I have no idea what the relationship between Petrov and Lewis is like. If its good Petrov wont complain I am sure of that.

  57. Captain Caveman
    4th April 2010, 19:13

    @ Gazzap, a good point, although i would add that some teams have issues with others.

    i.e Renault complaining heavily about the legality of F-wing when it was deemed legal by the authorities. Renault were not happy…..

    I can imagine that petrov my just be a pawn on this issue.

  58. I hope Renault get their protest thrown out. I think it’s about time that protests were banned. Results should stand at the end, no further arguing allowed. Stupid decisions by stewards made a mockery of race results over the last few seasons, both during and after races. Let’s leave it on the track. Done and dusted.
    If we have to have protests there should be potential comeback on both sides. If the protesting teams argument is upheld the infringing driver is penalised, if not the protesting team should be penalised, make em think twice.

    1. I think Renault should keep very, very quiet for the next, what? 20 years while we all forget Singapore 2008.

      1. Not to mention getting away with spying on Mclaren.

    2. Renault haven’t made a protest – the team boss mentioned he was unhappy with Hamilton’s driving but hasn’t lodged an offical protest.

      Leave it on track? But what happens if someone wins a race in an illegal car? In a sport as technologically sophisticated as F1, results will always be provisional until cars can be inspected after the race.

      Ban protests? So anyone who feels a decision was unfair has no comeback? Sounds a bit iffy to me.

      There has been at least one example of a protesting team being punished – Jordan protested Eddie Irvine’s one race ban in 1994 and got it increased to a three race ban.

      1. Maybe not a protest, but apparently a complaint that Hamilton “blocked” Petrov. Which is absolutely absurd. he didn’t block Petrov, he tried to get Petrov in clean air. It’s quite the opposite.

  59. Lawrence Southern
    4th April 2010, 19:28

    I think Hamilton could consider himself lucky to a certain extent with this move.

    The ‘one move’ rule is NOT unwritten, it is quite clearly written in the International Sporting Code, Appendix L, Chapter IV, article 2.b):

    “2. Overtaking, car control and track limits

    b) Overtaking, according to the circumstances, may be carried out on either the right or the left.

    However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited.”

    The fact that Hamilton was not strictly blocking the Renault is irrevelant – the rule does not state anything about blocking necessarily (although, of course, weaving/blocking can be very dangerous and is therefore governed in other sections of the rules) – it says that more than one *change of direction* to ‘defend a position’ is ‘strictly prohibited’. And I think it’s hard to argue that weaving across the track four times to disrupt slipstreaming is not an attempt to defend your position. Further, the part that states that ‘any abnormal change of direction’ is prohibited pretty much has this move covered.

    I think we simply need to think about any other instance of slipstreaming in F1 to see that the drivers understand that weaving around the track repeatedly to disrupt a tow is not acceptable; and that the ‘one move’ rule clearly applies here.

    As it was, the stewards didn’t consider this to be an Incident (as defined in Article 16.2 of the Sporting Regulations) worthy of formal investigation and decided to go for the safe (perhaps sensible?) option of using the flag system to warn Lewis about unsporting behaviour.

    Indeed, I think this is technically shown on the request of the clerk of the course, not the stewards – Appendix H of the International Sporting Code, 2.4.4.

    Had the stewards investigated it as an Incident, they would have had to either punish him with a drive-through or stop and go and, whilst this may *technically* have been the correct option to go with, sense has prevailed in this case. It would have ruined a good ending to the race (although seeing Hamilton having to pass a bunch of cars again would have been fun!)

    Conclusion: technically speaking, a rule breach which could have been punished quite severely, but in the end, perhaps the most sensible option was taken.

    Given that I think drivers already knew this kind of move was not allowed (hell, even Lewis must have, I can’t recall him ever trying it before!), the warning will probably suffice to prevent a repeat.

    1. Okay…

      “However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers,”

      Petrov was not within striking distance, so was not hindered. Do you think his telemetry will show him having to lift? Hamilton moved Petrov followed – flat out I’m sure.

      “such more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track”

      Hamilton wasn’t defending as Petrov wasn’t moving out on him. Hamilton positioned his car, Petrov decided to follow. If Hamilton was weaving to stop Petrov getting alongside, thus threatening to put him off the circuit, then fine, but he didn’t. Hamilton and planted his car in the middle before they hit the braking zone. Most recent case of “deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track” was actually Alonso on Button at Melbourne last weekend. Although Kimi at Spa on Lewis also fits that category.

      “or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited”

      Weaving to warm tyres? Vettel’s exuberant weaving across start/finish today? Any car going off the racing line? Cornering? Ban overtaking perhaps. This is a rule that indicates, if taken literally, that if a driver doesn’t drive processionally, if he shows any flair or tries to ‘improve the show’ he’s gonna get punished.

      We want and need passionate racing. Stop trying surpress it.

      The move was one of the highlights of the race today and expect it will be on shorts of this race, and the season, for years to come.

      1. polishboy808
        4th April 2010, 22:00

        Salty, are you crazy? Hindering. If petrov wanted to draft, and he weaved four times, i’m quite sure thats hindering. Your last two examples are very poor. Weaving to warm tyres? Really? Yes that should be done before the start, but unless any other car is there, it is legal. Same thing with vettles “exuberant” weaving. Cornering? WHAT! You use cornering as an example of abnormal change in direction!? Highlights of the race….. What, do you watch F1 just for controversy?

        1. Crazy – somewhat. Was trying to make a point that racing cannot and should not be defined by bureaucrats. This rule is hampering racing. All the examples I provided could be cited by an over-zealous steward.

          Let me turn this on it’s head for you.

          You are driving a car with your butt 6 inches off the ground at 200 miles an hour at 50°C. You need to get past another guy doing the same thing. You pass. He gets back because you weren’t aggressive enough to negate his response. So you sweat round another 4 miles, he loses it wide, you dive through. He’s trying to get in your slip. Do you in 4 seconds down the Sepang main straight;

          A. Cover your postion. LOL. He’s trying hard. Yep, still there. Okay hangon. Position. Brake. YESSS!!!

          B. Recall International Sporting Code, Appendix L, Chapter IV, article 2.b and know that you STILL have not ‘shut the door’

          1. Lawrence Southern
            5th April 2010, 17:42

            To keep it short and simple:

            1. Yes, the move hindered Petrov. If Hamilton made the one allowed move to the inside and had Petrov on his gearbox down the straight, Petrov would have been in a position to overtake into the corner.

            2. Hamilton *was* defending his position. He didn’t take this line on any other lap, did he? The only reason for him to weave was, as he readily states, to break the tow. This is done to defend his position from attack, clearly. Hamilton got on the radio to say something along the lines of “I wasn’t weaving to block him, but to break the tow” – so he clearly thought this was fine. To put it plain – he obviously isn’t aware of what he is and isn’t allowed to do on the track as defined in the ISC!

            3. Weaving to warm the tires would not be covered by the ‘any abnormal change of direction’ element because weaving to warm the tires is not liable to hinder other competitors. Cornering…well…if it isn’t obvious why this is not an issue, just think about it. The drivers are expected to take the corner – it is not an ABnormal change of direction.

            To repeat some other important points:

            – Every other driver until now (including Lewis!) seems to know that this move would not be acceptable – I certainly can’t recall anything like it before.

            – I don’t think it would have been a good decision to bring Hamilton in for a drive through despite the rules technically saying it should have been so. He was always going to win the fight against Petrov whether that lap or the next. This warning should suffice to let him and the others know that the move is not allowed and, in future, will be punished more severely.

            – Clarifying that this is not allowed will not decrease overtaking – as I said, I can’t recall anyone else defending like this before. Allowing ridiculous weaving like that prevents the following driver from attacking and would DECREASE overtaking. Only allowing one move means that the following driver will have the chance to line the guy ahead up for a pass. This is ideal.

        2. I think he was joking lad… calm down

    2. What Is “abnormal” about trying to break the tow by moving from side to side – it’s been happening for years in most forms of motor sport so is not abnormal surely?

    3. @Lawrence Southern

      This kind of response is what makes it worth digging into a thread with “Lewis Hamilton” on the title. You have my respect.

  60. F1 needs more overtaking and Hamilton was stopping this by trying to stop Petrov from getting a slip stream. I think this is against the spirit of the rules and the stewards made the right call.

    Hamilton has done this before to Kimi Raikkonen at spa in 2008 after eau rouge.

    1. After Raikkonen had nudged into him deliberately at La Source? And before Raikonnen had used the run-off to get better grip and catch and overtake him at Pouhon under yellow flags?

      Talk about selective memory.

      1. I do not have selective memory I remember it very well.

        What Raikkonen did is not relevant, the issue I was commenting on was Lewis Hamilton weaving to break a slip stream.

        “After Raikkonen had nudged into him deliberately at La Source?”

        When did Raikkonen tell you this?

        I think Lewis was slower on the apex and this caught Kimi out, can’t see him wanting to lose his front wing on purpose, can you?

        But I agree that leaving the track to gain an advantage is wrong.

        1. Actually, yes – I mean, not that he told me, but I do think Raikkonen was so rattled by Hamilton’s pass he wasn’t really that bothered about the end result – hence the manic driving by him afterwards! There wasn’t any real room for him at La Rouge (and KR also weaved fairly manically at some point after btw). I’m not criticizing at all. I’m just saying that both drivers pulled stuff out of the bag, so to speak, not all of it legit. But Hamilton’s weaving to shake off the tow at Eau Rouge seems okay to me and probably the least offensive of a whole string of rule bends. Still you do make a fair point in pointing out he’s done it before.

  61. When I first saw it, I thought Lewis was trying to snap Petrov out of the slipstream he was getting.

  62. I’ve heard for a long time that you can’t change a line more than once. Don’t know if it is a proper rule or a best to have. But that’s exactly what Hamilton did today.
    I’ve heard so many times people complaining about Schumacher bad habits…well, that’s something similar to what Hamilton did today.
    So: if you think that there are some kind of rules that drivers need to comply with while fighting for a position, well you can’t say anything different that Hamilton was to be blamed and penalized. No doubt on that.

    Having said that I’m happy with a certain freedom to fight. Formula 1 is not a ladies game, you have to struggle for position. I’ve had enough of penalization for unfair overtaking moves or similar. That is racing. Hope the marshalls are coherent with this for the whole season.

  63. I was wondering when they would start the ‘Hamilton chase’… I had hopes that, with the end of Mosley reign, it will go away, but this new little guy (Todt) is as bad as the old one, with a vengeance… He was (and always will be) a Ferrari supporter… so… Hamilton is target number one…

    All this is stupid. The rules are stupid, they are killing Formula One and now a drivers can’t defend his position… and we’re not talking about a car 2 secs. slower… in that case give it the blue flag and force him to allow the other to pass… We’re talking about a normal battle with similar cars in the middle of a race… If he overtakes the Renault and after that he can’t defend the position… we go back to the same – why risk overtaking at all… We see the qualifying and already know the final race places… No bother to run… save fuel… save the rain forest… Bah!

    This is so stupid… I’m wasting time even writing about it…

    1. “I was wondering when they would start the ‘Hamilton chase’”

      Look mate, Hamilton clearly broke the rules and got a warning. You call that a chase? Surely you must understand that rules are rules and they must be obeyed even though it’s your favourite driv… Oh, wait

      “The rules are stupid”

      Never mind.

    2. My goodness, NetSticks, you must be having a bad day! What you’ve written appears rather incoherent. One driver successfully overtakes another and you are lamenting that now that he is ahead it is so difficult for him to defend that position, that it was too risky to have overtaken at all? Well, boo-hoo?

      And I do think the stewards got it right today.

    3. “I was wondering when they would start the ‘Hamilton chase’”

      Right at the point he starts breaking the rules again.

      1. Or when they rephrase the rules so in hindsight he broke them (spa 2008)


    In the GP Update section about Renault are complaining about Hamilton weaving they say “Very frankly, it is very clear in the regulations that you can have one change of direction,…”.

    But is it written in the regulations?? I thought this was an unwritten rule, an agreement between all the drivers of sorts. I can’t find it in the regulations.

  65. Shreyas Srivastava
    4th April 2010, 21:09

    I think what hamilton did today was outrageous….i think he got away with it..after all warning is just as useless..he should have been given a stop go penalty…
    You cant weave like tht..once or twice is maybe ok but 4 times is just too much. I think he survived a penalty as herbert is a fellow brit….

    1. “You cant weave like tht..once or twice is maybe ok but 4 times is just too much”


      “after all warning is just as useless..he should have been given a stop go penalty…”

      Nope, Warnings work because of the threat of a penalty, after this, did anyone see Hamilton do anything suspicious?

      “I think he survived a penalty as herbert is a fellow brit….”

      Yes it’s all a big conspiracy, actually, shouldn’t this balance things out?
      I mean, some suggest Todt will favour Ferrari and Schumacher, now everyone can enjoy some favouritism ^^


  66. Mark Hitchcock
    4th April 2010, 21:35

    I really don’t understand why some people can’t see the difference between blocking and what Hamilton was doing.

    The way I see it, blocking is reacting to an overtaking attempt by swerving in front of the other driver. Hamilton wasn’t doing that at all. Petrov was the one reacting to Hamilton’s movements.
    If Petrov was close enough to attempt an overtake he could have kept his line when Hamilton moved across the track. Then Hamilton would have had no right to make a second move because he would have been cutting in front of Petrov’s line. What happened was that Hamilton moved, Petrov followed to try and slipstream Hamilton. Rinse, repeat.
    No-one was cutting in front of anyone, no-one was blocking anyone. No-one was doing anything wrong!
    It was good, clean, intelligent driving from both drivers.

    For the record, if Hamilton (or anyone) HAD blocked Petrov, moved in the braking zone etc (like he did in Monza a couple of years ago) I would be outraged because it’s dangerous and just ruins good battles.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      4th April 2010, 22:13

      One more thing.
      Many people are clamouring for more overtaking in F1, but whenever we actually get any there are always calls for one of the drivers to be penalised in some way.
      Can’t have it both ways.
      If there is always a punishment for every mistake, or marginal piece of defensive driving, or over-optimistic lunge, then the drivers will learn not to bother trying.

      Hamilton showed today that overtaking IS possible on a dry track, yet many times we don’t see much. Perhaps the drivers are already so worried about being harshly punished for a mistake that they are reluctant to even try any moves.

      1. There should have been a penalty for Hamilton’s action which were taken to avoid being overtaken. Hamilton’s swerving did not assist overtaking – its purpose was to stop overtaking.

  67. If this is “thinking out of the box”, then why was Hamilton given a warning? If there is a warning, then it means there’s something wrong or unfair attempt. Give it a go, guys and imagine from now on that all drivers will feel that it’s right to wave for the sake of “avoiding slipstream effect.”

    I think this is what we call sportically correct explanation of what was a terrible thing to do.

  68. Re: “The Hamilton Weave”
    For what it’s worth:
    Appendix L To The International Sporting Code

    Code Of Driving Conduct On Circuits
    Chapter IV Article 2 b)

    “Overtaking, according to the circumstances, may be carried out on either the right or left.
    However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such
    more than one change of direction to defend a position,
    deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited. Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will be reported to the stewards of the meeting.
    Did this muddy the waters anymore? lol

    1. Well he was reported and he was warned. Case closed.

      1. shoulda been a stop & go penalty! If and that’s a big if – many of the people who claim to want more overtaking truly mean it! Seems to me that 1 move is allowed but twice? Thrice and then a fourth? Petrov would haved been allowed to set him up and attempt a pass! Isn’t that what we want? Overtaking? Except when it’s our favorite Roary the racing car.

        1. “will be reported to the stewards of the meeting”

          Again, he WAS reported to the stewards, they looked at it and gave him a warning.

          The rules obviously are talking about blocking a driver. The stewards looked at the situation and decided that Hamilton didn’t block Petrov.

          You quote the rules, the rules were applied correctly, so … case closed.

  69. I don’t understand overtaking is already so tough and with all these rules FIA is only making it tougher.
    FIA should do everything to improve overtaking and first and most easy step is to reconsider/modify the ‘unsporting’ rules especially overtaking related ones.


    1. JUGNU, could you clarify which ‘unsporting’ rules need modifying in order to improve overtaking? Are you suggesting that defending not be allowed at all?

  70. Sometimes I wonder if half of these comments are coming from people who watched the same race as me.

    Doesn’t even warrant a warning.

    1. Educate yourself on racing rules and code of conduct before you make this sort of statement. It is very clearly an unsporting move. That’s why the stewards investigated, and he was given the unsporting black/white flag.

  71. I don’t know if the decision of the stewards was right, in any case I was quite surprised to see Petrov being able to slipstream Hamilton’s McLaren twice and in one occasion even being able to overtake him.
    One of the slowest cars against the fastest, one of the toughest drivers to overtake against a rookie.
    This makes me think two things: or that Petrov is not that bad as expected or that there was a big difference between option and prime

    1. Maybe the stalled rear wing somehow makes it easier to follow the car too? Or maybe Petrov simply got out of the corner better than Hamilton.

      The latter was obviously the case the first time. With his wide line he lost time and position on Hamilton, but he came out of that with a higher speed.

    2. I’ll bet all the drivers will be reviewing the Petrov overtake – hats off to him!

    3. Petrov aint that bad. And the Renault is superior to the Mclaren on high speed corners. Not on the straights nor the slow speed corners though. That Reault engine has some grunt & yeah less rear wing seemed to be noticeable on the Renault.

  72. Imagine everybody doing the same at all times. No one could ever even try to overtake. That isn´t racing. But what bodors me more was that was Hamilton, he is,at least for me, the most enjoyable F1 driver to watch and i´m not his fan at all. It was a rokie in front of him, sooner or later Petrov would have made a mistake. Next race, maybe, we´re going to see in that big straight in china everybody dancing. So if you wont more overtaking this is´t the best way to go.
    Remember that this rule came because there was a lot of dancing some years ago.
    Finally, to bring back great overtaking manouvers, you will need:
    1. great drivers (no need of dancing)
    2. two real simple wings for the car (less aerodynamic)
    3. more than one tyre suplier (make the diference)
    4. bring back steel brakes ( the distance of braking to the corner will increase so it will give more space to try to overtake). This maybe controversial because of the safety, but at the same time, circuits and F1 cars are much safer now than it was before.

    1. Stuart Hotman
      4th April 2010, 23:54

      I agree bringing back steel brake discs would improve the show and reduce costs.

      1. No it wouldn’t – Williams experimented with steel brakes with Zanardi in 1999 and founf that they didn’t increase braking distances at all.

  73. Forgot one thing, with all that things KERS will not be needed and F1 will be cheaper too.

  74. “We just raised our point of view,” Renault F1 Team Principal Eric Boullier told Autosport after the race. “Very frankly, it is very clear in the regulations that you can have one change of direction, so when you do three in a row something is wrong.

    So all you experts saying its not written in the books, does this mean this guy does nto know the rules. Johnny Herbert is English, hmmmmm. I dont care who it is or was, but it was definately unsportsmanlike, and if hadnt have done it Petrov would have certaily passed him again.
    If its ok to do then, then the guy in the lead can do it all race then huh, to not let the guy behind get a free tow!!! Tell me im wrong with that statement!!!!!

    1. I totally agree with you and my post a few posts before yours quoted the exact regulation:

      Appendix L To The International Sporting Code
      Code Of Driving Conduct On Circuits
      Chapter IV Article 2 b)
      Petrov had him dead to rights and Hamilton knew it! He freaked and drove like a drunk.
      If we all really want to see racing/overtaking, then take of the blinders when it comes to our favorite driver. Otherwise don’t whine about processional racing!

      1. Quite right. Get the men in the office to tell the chaps in the overalls how to drive properly.

        Bound to make the racing much better.

        Well done.

        1. You wanna let the inmates run the asylum?

          1. No, I would like to see the guys who have actually driven a race car police the sport.

            Ever bother to check out who sits in the FiA making these rules? Same guys as end up as race stewards. 90% of these guys have zero race or sports credentials. I’d make a humourous point here, but actually. It isn’t funny.

            The 4th steward, each a previous F1 driver, is there to redress the imbalance that has obviously happened between the reality on the race track, and the reality of lots of FiA commissioners, from all over the world, having lunch in Paris and then deciding on the right way to race a car, that despite many of them not having driven themselves for years.

          2. Chill out about the people in the rooms for a minute and read the rule and look at the video of what hammy did and then tell everybody that he didn’t intend to prevent petrov from trying to overtake him 4 Freakin’ times!!! Do you want overtaking? End of story.

        2. You’re kidding right? You think they just pick stewards up from the street? You think they are the politicians from the FIA? They work for the relevant motorsport body, they are both experienced in motorsports (I doubt there are any stewards that have not raced a car) but thoroughly know and understand the rules, and they have vast experience of racing.

          By your incredible logic we should just let the football players sort out who gets penalties or free kicks – the referee is not a player so how can he possibly make the right decision?

  75. Stuart Hotman
    4th April 2010, 23:52

    I want to see drivers battling it out, especially if it is dangerous (i dont think it was today), thats why we love f1. They should do whatever it takes to defend their position. No point castrating them. If you want them to be safe, tell them not to bother getting in the car again and watch them all playing poker instead.

    1. That’s against the rule! Firstly, and secondly, we would have seen drivers battling it out – Petrov & Hamilton! What is the sense of a waltz – sashaying back and forth?

    2. “especially if it is dangerous”

      It’s not why I love F1…..

  76. Well, I think we all agreed that it’s good to have ex-F1 racers as stewards compared from the previous years. They now know what the driver’s attempt in doing. :)

    1. Agreed. Nice to see a little sanity back in the control box.

    2. It would help if they got succesful, unbiased drivers, unlike Herbert, to do it.

  77. I cannot see the argument!! HAMILTON DID not WEAVE TO BLOCK !simple answer & finished!! Petrov did not make one move to go alongside or anything to make a move to pass!! He followed exactly in Hamiltons tracks. do we want racing or not — all these people on about no overtaking bla bla – but when it comes to Hamilton they talk with forked tongue!!

    1. I don’t think you understand the rule. Please read it slowly and carefully. A defensive manoeuvre can be something other than a block! Get it?! Hammy weaved so that Petrov wouldn’t be able to line him up for the kill! that’s defensive. And it’s ok once! But not 4 times!!!! Do you want racing and passing (forwards and backwords) or do you want sideways dancing? Seems to me passing and re-passing is a heck-of-a-lot more exciting than swaying side to side aroung a racetrack for 2 hrs!

      1. Max? Is that you?

        Seriously, you can’t seriously believe that F1 needs to enforce a rule that restricts overtaking in a period where overtaking is SO difficult already?

        Tell us how YOU would make next weekends race better. Am really intrigued now – honest – not being funny.

        1. Hey Ace, read the rule. C’mon I know ya can do it. It promotes overtaking! And don’t worry about being funny – your not.

          1. I read the rule and responded in an earlier thread on this site, good argument he made too, but you didn’t respond to my question.

            How would you free up the drivers to race? That is what I think we all want to see.

          2. Salty, Bud, listen up real carefully – the rule allows 1 (One) imi 1 (One) move!!! If you allow a guy in front (given the limitations currently in F1) to go drive all over the track like a child then you won’t have ANY overtaking! The reason Hammy did what he did was Precisley because he was going to be overtaken!!! Get it? We don’t need to reinvent the wheel here, just apply the rules that presently exist!

          3. Have already pulled apart the rule, earlier in this thread actually, and responded to each part.

            For the third time. How would you improve the racing?

          4. No ya haven’t! Hammy believed Petrov had a chance to overtake him. Hammy’s silly/grotesque actions say this loudly to the world – just as loud as he spoke over the team radio and threw his teammates under the bus in Oz! His actions speak volumes of what HE believed re: Petrov’s ab ility to overtake him. Applying this rule will help to improve racing/overtaking/passing/diceing etc. Your defense of hammy doesn’t jive with your words re: wanting more overtaking. I aint got a dog in this fight. No fav team nor driver – BUT – I want the rules applied fairly. If hammy hadn’t thrown his temper tantrum and allowed petrov his due we could have seen quite a dice between the two.

          5. Perhaps you missed it sir. Pulled apart the rule in response to an entry by Lawrence Southern way up the page and really didn’t feel like going there again (long diatribe).

            I guess we are not going to agree on this one buddy, but my problem is this. These guys have been racing since before you or I knew what a car was. Not driving, racing.

            They all know how to drive around a 4 mile circuit within 1 second of each other. They react and think faster than us, and will do so under 4G of lateral pressure.

            These are the best drivers in the world. They want to drive the fastest cars in the world around amazing circuits like Spa and Monza. But that’s not enough. Thank God they still want to beat each other. To be the fastest. Win the F1 WDC crown. Same as Ferrari want the WCC, just as much as McLaren, Force India or HRT.

            To do that, you have to let the drivers race each other. It’s crazy right now, you get within 300m of the car ahead and the air is turbulent, the car doesn’t stick or turn in. But still they try.

            FiA thinks they can make these amazing drivers follow their rules of racing, forget their instincts, neuter them, and improve the show for everyone at the track or at home. How does slowing down a racer make things better?

            Less hampering of the drivers will make for better racing – no brainer.

            ps. Lied in paragraph 2 – older than Schumi – I win!

        2. older than ya both!

          You just don’t get. Hammy slowed down Petrov! Got it?
          But I’m done. I’m just a race fan – don’t know how impedeing someone time and again and again and etc is exciting versus a dice back and forth. Saw plenty in the 60’s and 70’s.
          Happy Trails

          1. Ah well, twas fun ranting with you though sir.

            Until we cross tyre irons again ;)

            Take care bud

          2. The rules that we are talking about – one move, unsportsmanlike, blocking etc – are attempts to formalise racing etiquette between gentlemen.

            Racing is not about blocking, defending, etc. It is about being the fastest. There is a very limited amount of defensive action tolerated, and it is quite regulated. In a sanctioned car race, if another vehicle is faster and behind, you can take reasonable measures to ensure you keep track position, but you are not supposed to actively attempt to block that competitor.

            Just try racing a car and you will soon learn. These rules are in the interest of the sport. And all the fools who claim that the rules are ‘stopping overtaking’ should consider that this rule is trying to limit the actions of a driver who is blantantly trying to stop another driving from getting tow. It is extremely unsportsmanlike.

            I’m not disappointed (or surprised) that Hamilton was not penalised, but it is clearly unsportsmanlike. If he was faster at that point, he wouldn’t need to resort to this sort of tactic.

  78. How many good oportunities does a driver have to advance someone? I think a “defensive warning” is useless. Petrov didn’t have any more goes to pass lewis. Unacceptable driving should be mildly punished. A drive through is too much. Let the driver you were defending from pass you should be OK.


    1. Everbody’s been screaming to high heaven abut overtaking (or the lack thereof) since the start of the year. This was a perfect and obscenely obvious case of impeding a driver with an irregular move 4 times off the racing line- going down a straight. Plain as day. The stewards/fia missed a golden chance to send a clear and stern message. For the fans, I might add (at least those of us who want some serious racing)!

      1. Agreed. Took a look at the highlihts of the race and that Hamilton / Petrov blocking manouver is just a joke to promote overtaking.
        This history hasn´t finished yet.

      2. TMTR @ The stewards/fia missed a golden chance to send a clear and stern message.

        A message something like a – wait for it – *warning* you mean? Unless you think they won’t penalize a repeat occurrence, a warning is a clear message.

        MondoL’s point is more valid in the sense that, if Hamilton was indeed cheeky/wrong/utterly-despicable (take your pick) then Petrov lost out. Maybe.

        1. The kinda crap hammy pulled needs to be dealt with fairly. Petrov got the screwed! And we the fans lost out on an exciting moment of which there are far too few in F1.

          1. So why are you getting so over-excited about this incident then?!

      3. I think you made your points more than a few times – give it a rest. think we all know the issues by now.

  79. When that happened, stewards should have given a penalty to Hamilton. Give the place back to Petrov in the next 2 or 3 corners ahed. Like in basketball, when the ball is coming down to the basket and someone take the ball away, then gets a penalty and the other team gets the points anyaway.

  80. TMNTR – You are blinkered! how can Petrov be impeded if he FOLLOWS exactly in the car in fronts wheeltracks!! He CHOSE to follow hamilton and never once tried to take a different line nor did he try to go the opposite direction. Had he done so and Hamilton moved back I would have been the first to agree this was impeding!

  81. NO cpeterip your blinkered. I’m going to walk the cat backwards for ya just this last time and I’m outta here! Why did hammy do what he did 4 times – to keep petrov from lineing him up because he (hammy) obviously believed petrov stood a chance of passing him!!! Hammy had a defensive move and then eschewed the racing line for the cheap tourist route all over the track. It was past a joke.
    Again, you may not agree with the rule but it is the rule and definitely, if applied will stop juvenile behavior on track and help overtaking.

    1. But more overtaking is only going to add excitement if the front driver is making some attempt to defend!

      Again the solution isn’t over-regulating. You need cleaner air behind, bigger braking zones and *particularly* more driver error – e.g. manual gear changing. I also think strategy should be left as far as possible to the driver – less radio communication and advice. That’s why I’m all for drivers driving in whatever way they want on track IF (a) it doesn’t pose a significant risk to anyone else, and (b) it’s not conditioned by inter-team orders or favours (which relates to the passing back marker issue: teams blocking the drivers of some teams but not others). Saying a driver has to be allowed to hitch a tow just seems lame to me.

      1. over-regulating? make one move folks. that’s a toughy huh. This thread began, and I’ve remained focused, on hammy’s sad display and how if it was dealt with decisively, instead of giving him a mulligan, then it would put the rest of the field on notice and help overtaking. Which is what everyone “says” they want
        full stop

        1. TMTR: ‘it would put the rest of the field on notice’

          In slow-mo for you:

          t h a t ‘ s
          w h a t
          h a p p e n e d !

          It’s called a

          w a r n i n g!

          1. Yeah and in simple language for you –

            hammy stuck it to petrov –

            and a slap on the wrist.

            worked well for the guy who cheated.

            Real Nice

          2. Am sorry but this is stupid, he did not cheat! He was swerving out of the way to prevent Petrov from getting in his tow. Ask your self if Petrov did some how get by how long would he have stayed in front?

            If another driver did this you probably would not be fussed! I think this is just because you didn’t get the chance to see a good driver get over taken by a rookie. And also the fact for some reason you hate Hamilton.

  82. A few too many and a little too sharp in the weaves because it stopped or baulked Petrov from his chance to decisively get out of the slipstream. Formula Ford would even cast it that way. Right to limit the penalty though but next time its a stop go because the field is on notice.

  83. Roberto Fratelli
    5th April 2010, 2:01

    Hamilton should have be punished (returning the position to petrov). Apart from “not acceptable” as keith stated, it was unfair, imho.

    1. Wasn’t about returning a position. Hamilton was ahead because Petrov ran wide on the last corner.

      Petrov got the tow all the way up the straight as followed Ham every step until Ham stuck it in the middle for the braking zone.

      What do you want to give back?

  84. What load of nonsense! Any driver can take any racing line they want as long as they don’t cut up anyone trying to overtake. No driver’s obliged to give anyone else a tow – aerodynamic or otherwise – and if Hamilton moves out of Petrov’s way and Petrov prefers to follow him instead of driving pasts then that’s his own fault. If Hamilton drove off the track and Petrov followed him you muppets would blame him for that too.

  85. My goodness, I can’t believe how many people can’t accept that the right decision was made by the stewards and continue to insist he should have got a stop-go/ drive-through penalty! He was only trying to break Petrov’s tow, so while he weaved across the track in doing so, he wasn’t doing it in a braking zone where it could have been more dangerous. A warning was the correct decision!

  86. I bet that if that was Petrov’s move he would get a drive through penalty, at least. Hamilton was only flagged because he is a champion and Petrov is an unknown driver from Russia.

    I think if FIA wants to put former driver as stewards, they should put good drivers who will punish anyone who breaks the regulation, instead of just waving flags. For that, they do not need former drivers; just put any F1 enthusiastic and that is going to be enough.

  87. I have no problem with his move. He is one of the few drivers who is constantly thinking how can he get in front of the this guy in front.

    Watch his lines in the the corners when he is following, he is always changing his line and taking a different line to the car in front to find what ever extra speed he can find to help make a pass.

    If weaving is such a danger perhaps we need to ban the celebratory weaving guys do when they win the race. Ban the tire warming weaving they do behind the pace car, and ban the weaving to find wet parts of the track when they are on wet tires and the track is drying.

    Twice Hamilton has been squeezed toward the barriers by other drivers trying to block him from passing. Barrachello and Massa have both done it to him. and both have had no warnings or anything. This practice has is far more dangerous.

    Ok new rule. Once on the straight one must follow a nice painted line all the way down the straight until they are in the breaking zone. This should include any cars trying to pass as we would not want them to weave either. Ok i know this may pretty much end all passing for the rest of eternity but it in the name of safety.

    1. I seriously don’t understand how can you defend what Hamilton did with the phrase “we need more passing so don’t make it harder”.

      It was HAMILTON who was in danger of getting passed. One-move rule makes passing EASIER. Punishing such weaving makes passing EASIER.

      As much as i love the way Hamilton fights for positions, he was obviously doing everything possible to not let Petrov past him (which, mind that, has happened for a brief moment). So as i see things, yes, we need to encourage drivers to pass. And we should discourage them to defend illegally, even if its a driver who is usually the one passing.

  88. Plink Plonk Plunk
    5th April 2010, 5:08

    here’s a thought….on what could be considered a minor infraction of the rules…what if the FIA penalized a driver say .500 a second to his next Q1 session.

    this has nothing to do with hamiltons race today. just a thought as to how the FIA could potentialy handle future infractions that arent serious enough to warrant points deductions, or drive thru’s, yet warrant some sort of penalty to get a driver/teams attention.

    i know it’s kinda odd…….any thoughts?

    1. I like the idea, but penalize for Q1 would be a bit of discrimination ;-)
      Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren would not be (normally) affected by that, but it’ll give a huge impact to teams like toro rosso and Sauber.
      I’d say like a .225 second for the actual time that’s set (in Q3 if you made it through there, in Q2 or Q1 if that’s the best you could manage)

    2. what if the FIA penalized a driver say .500 a second to his next Q1 session.

      this has nothing to do with hamiltons race today. just a thought as to how the FIA could potentialy handle future infractions that arent serious enough to warrant points deductions, or drive thru’s, yet warrant some sort of penalty to get a driver/teams attention.

      It already happens – Vettel got a ten-place grid penalty at Malaysia last year for his collision with Kubica in Australia.

  89. It should have been a penalty instead of warning, it’s just dangerous and unfair, it’s as simple as that. The black and white flag is just ridiculous, nobody cares about a warning! The only good thing is that it won’t happen again now.

    What if Hamilton sweeps to the right when Petrov is still following to the left, yes indeed, kaboem! crash, and a nasty one

  90. Incidentally, what should a driver do if, in the middle of a race, the guy in front (with the fastest car on the straight) starts weaving from one side to the other on a long straight? (I’m not talking about installation laps or following a safety car.) Some have said you can ignore the weaving and choose to go straight but how safe is that unless you slow down considerably? Sounds to me like the equivalent of blocking, or maybe playing around, which is getting away from the racing.

    And what’s the desperation about breaking the tow? Is it just because the driver behind gains some speed? Or does the tow slow down the front car in open-wheel driving? Arriving at the corner will break the tow anyway.

    Sounds to me using the front car’s slipstream on the straight is a natural way to match the speed that has been gained by what the f-duct does.

    Somebody mentioned a possible difference in turbulence behind an f-duct car on the straight making it is easier to follow. Has anyone seen any articles about that?

    1. I would imagine a stalled wing would give a lower rooster tail turbelance, therefore the turbulent air would settle closer/quicker to the ground for the car following, You can see the sense in all those pitot`s runs!

  91. A warning was fair. But don’t do it again Lewis. Other drivers are allowed to overtake you as well! :)

    The very fact that Lewis said that he was “breaking the tow”, implied that the following car would probably have overtaken Lewis or would have attempted to overtake Lewis had he only moved once. He was lucky Herbert was the FIAs ‘special guest’ in Malaysia.

  92. Dave the rave
    5th April 2010, 12:22

    Say what you like about Hamiltons weaving. I was sitting at the last corner from that straight and it was spectacular to watch it from behind as they sped away. And congrats to the Russian ‘rookie’ he performed well.

  93. Petrov was FOLLOWING hamilton, he was not blocked nor impeded in any way other than having to re-gain a tow.

    A great battle, unsportsmanlike? Maybe but still perfectly legit moves on each drivers part nontheless.

    1. He was FOLLOWING Hamilton because Hamilton was weaving. Should he not, Petrov would probably do what he did @ lap 6.

      Anyway, we can easily drop all the “what-ifs”. What Hamilton did, for whatever reason he did it, was illegal. Wasn’t race breaking though, hence no penalty.

      1. Mark Hitchcock
        5th April 2010, 18:34

        And if he hadn’t followed Hamilton then Hamilton would not have been allowed to move across the track more than once.
        The fact that Petrov followed Ham instead of staying where he was and making a move is what makes all discussion of weaving ridiculous.

        1. The way i see it, Hamilton did his dancing part to not get overtaken back, see lap 6.
          So, clearly, weaving was played to intentionally stop Petrov from overtaking. That obviously counts as more-then-one move while defending.

          1. Mark Hitchcock
            5th April 2010, 21:22

            The weaving was to brake the tow that Petrov was getting.
            Of course he was trying to avoid being overtaken. But he was doing it fairly.
            When a driver defends the inside line he’s trying to stop being overtaken. And as long as he doesn’t cut in front of the attacker’s line he’s not doing anything wrong either.

            If Hamilton had cut in front of Petrov I would be arguing with you guys that it was dangerous and against the rules.
            The reason I think it was fine is because Hamilton was moving into clear track and Petrov was following.

            I’m getting a bit tired of repeating the same simple points over and over again and I’m sure everyone else is also getting tired of me banging on about it so I’ll shut up now!

  94. The partisanship displayed here is extraordinary. Half of all comments in here would fit quite in a “Lewis Hamilton rules” forum.

    Hamilton has shown a complete disregard for the safety of his fellow competitors. Not punishing him for his inappropriate behaviour will only encourage it.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      5th April 2010, 21:14

      And the other half could be part of the “Lewis Hamilton sucks” forum…

      Anyone who looks at this incident without any bias can see how it differs from blocking. If any other driver did this the fuss would be minimal and people would be more sensible instead of trying to find someone to find something wrong with it.

      Massa’s much more dangerous blocking in Australia being completely ignored proves that.

      1. Agreed, after trying to discuss this with a few friends that are hardly a fan of Hamilton all seemed to be able to see the difference between braking a tow and dangerously swerving in attempt to stop someone overtake.

        Having said that, it was worth a warning, and I totally agreed with that dicision.

        1. That should read “unable to see the difference”

  95. I think the FIA don’t really want to give penalties out this year….

    For me..its a clear drive through. Petrov did have a chance to overtake, and maybe he should have stayed on his line, but thats not against the rules…he was only following Lewis who was moving way way too much. It really really surprised me when he did it. I dont remember seeing it before.

    I dont think it was a black flag thing (point came up somewhere else), a warning and a drive through would be fine..but he got away with it really and he got past Petrov earlier than he might have done.

    Quite a few people have been saying.” Ask yourself..if Shumi did it, would that change your opinion?” Wouldent change mine.

    and..”Would Lewis have defended like that on someone like Alonso or Shumi or Massa?” I say no he wouldn’t have.

  96. Ways to improve overtaking:
    Stop messing with the cars and tracks.. and simply remove Lewis Hamiltons mirrors.
    That was some of the worst sportsmanship I’ve seen in a long time.

    1. Worst sportsmanship? Am sorry but racing is all about winning, so why on earth is Hamilton going to give Petrov or any other driver the chance to pass him?

      At the end of the day he wasn’t blocking Petrov from overtaking he was preventing him from getting in his tow!

      If Schumacher, Vettel or any other of the popular drivers did this no one would be complaining, you would all probably be hailing them saying how well they blocked the driver from overtaking!

      1. If he blocked Petrov from overtaking like that it would be deemed dangerous because he obviously has the speed to overtake and could cause an accident if he keeps on doing it, thus breaking the rule.

        Not the same as preventing a driver from getting in his tow!

      2. If Schumacher had done it, there’d be at least as much complaining, with people coming out of nowhere to scream “CHEAT!”, striking that point out of the ballpark. Vettel on the other hand, wouldn’t attract so much whinging.

        1. I’d be surprised on this forum because there are a lot of people on here who seem to lick Schumi’s back side!

          1. Remember, I said coming out of nowhere! ;)

  97. I’m not a Hamilton fan nor a hater, however I thought the move was clever, trying break the tow. It was fun to watch. Hamilton wasn’t blocking he was trying to get Petrov out of the slip stream. It was a fun game of cat and mouse. It would be nice to see more drivers engaging in battles like that, rather the standard get passed, then follow 2 seconds behind move.

  98. Ok lets try this again.. obviously my last statement did’nt make it past the moderator of this topic.. (must be a hamilton fan)

    Lets set aside the fact that all of you think you are professors in racing cars, and you sit here and argue amongst yourself with your computer keyboard’s about what you think is right and wrong about this swerving issue..

    lets take it from a spectators point of view..

    I saw someone blocking another driver from having a chance at outbraking into turn 1 (because of the additional swerve)..

    Therefore I was denied a chance to see an overtake on the track.. (which is what this motor racing is supposed to be right?)

    Isn’t this why they designed the cars to be able to be drivable within the tow? we can see some outbraking into a turn?

    And again, I’ll say that was the least amount of sportsmanship I’ve seen in F1 since Fernando Alonso sat in the box while Lewis Hamilton waited to get in..

    1. It’s racing, it is nothing like Alonso blocking Hamilton in the pits, ask your self why on earth is a driver going to let another driver by so easily, would that be fun to watch cars be let by so easy? It’s not going to be racing if a faster car lets a slower car by just to overtake it again, for the audience, when he could be going on to catch the next driver and try to overtake him, I think that would be better.

      I have no idea why people are taking this so seriously, oh yeah sorry I forgot the topics about Hamilton!

  99. I happy there was no penalties in these times f1 is becoming bland the last things we want to see is drivers getting punished for racing

    if they start doing this like a few years ago when penalties where giving for overtaking a driver. webber would have probably got some sort of grid drop for the little racing incident in austrailia

  100. love it, plenty of blogs on the Grand Prix – about 40–80 comments generally. “Lewis weaves” blog and its in the hundreds.

    Lewis was asking for trouble really and if Sutil had done that to him then im sure Lewis wouldve been straight on the radio. Like Alonso and Cheatmacher, the best are always looking & thinking of new ways to push the rules to the limits.

  101. Oh how Mr Hamilton splits the viewers!!!!

    Personally i thought his weaving was excessive and he would be in trouble, nice to see the “referees” now excercise the full use of common sense and offer warnings where sensible. I suppose it is a bit like a referee having a word with a football player instead of just reaching immediately for the yellow card
    I thought Webbers incident in Oz was a mistake, but as he was to blame (he said so himself, he locked up)it was sensible to have a word or warning without the need for either ignoring it or slapping a fine or grid penalty.
    As far as i am aware Schumi didnt get a penalty for wheel banging the Torro Rosso in Oz either.
    These were almost cerainly the result of the driver stewards influence as was the decision not to penalise anyone in the first corner of Oz where Fernando caused an accident by turning into Button.

    Note i am not a Hamilton fan, just an avid F1 fan; lets give the drivers a bit of leeway in order to try and see some real racing in F1; and punish repeat offending or really serious issues only.

  102. seems fanboys still think there is a massive anti – Lewis brigade out there. Theres not really, well not much, even the most myopic Spanish Alonso fan would say Lewis is a class act but he did push his luck. The rules say no weaving for good reason and if you let Sundays incident go completely unchecked then drivers will use “breaking tow” to justify more dangerous examples until we end up with a serious accident. Its not touring cars, planes take off at lower speeds and open wheels make it super dangerous to touch on a straight. You cant have drivers weaving in front of rookies at 300km/h, quite simple really.

    1. He wasn’t weaving, get over it – it was unsportsmanlike in that he was trying to break the tow (a vital overtaking tool at Petrovs disposal) nothing to do with blocking or weaving.

      1. To clarify, I mean weaving in the braking zone, there is nothing at all to stop a driver changing line in any other situation.

  103. “It’s not why I love F1….”

    f1 has never been about drivers putting other drivers at risk, quite the reverse. When drivers were killed often in f1 it was rarely as a result of another drivers deliberate actions. Im not sure which sport you need to sate your thirst for sportsmen to have their lives put in danger but its not this one.

  104. So what did Petrov think of the weaving…

    “The first half of the race was great fun and I enjoyed fighting with the cars around me, especially the battle with Hamilton.”

    Seems he wasn’t too upset :)

  105. There is a huge difference, in my eyes, between breaking the tow and blocking.

    I think breaking the tow is skillful and cunning, not unsportsmanlike, and the sight of LH weaving left and right was one of the best bits of the race. By breaking the tow LH was actually avoiding NPs path, not blocking it, NP followed his path.

    Blocking is totally different, trailing car is quicker and on its way past and defender blocks its path, clearly a very different scenario.

    How can there be no defined rule on what is allowed? “One move” is pretty vague too.

  106. Ex F1 pilot Johnny Herbert (R S)gave L H the black an white…well i can’t wait for Schumacher to get on the pole an handout a start line chop …

  107. “i can’t wait for Schumacher to get on the pole an handout a start line chop …”

    you may have to wait and wait and wait. Has anyone asked MS if he is actually RS with a false chin?

    1. Funny all these years Schu never got a Black an White…with many high risk moves

  108. Pablo Castel
    6th April 2010, 14:04

    Do you imagine the next pole in China doing the same in the first lap?
    Someone tells me, Mark Webber is repeating that movement for the future, and maybe with his teamate…

    1. We have seen the same thing happening in every race this season so far.

      Alonso already did it to Massa in Bahrein and Button did it to Alonso in Australia.

      The both simply braked too late and too the line.

  109. What a load of rubbish race fans are willing to write! Since when is Hamilton or any driver obliged to give a following driver a tow? No one was saying anything of the kind before sunday’s race. Besides which if a supposed aerodynamic tow is now so important than why all the talk over the last few years about F1 cars being hard to follow and the need to reduce the effects of “dirty air”? So now it’s a disadvantage to follow a car closely except when you follow Hamilton’s car whereby you conversely gain an advantage.

  110. My opinion is that established racers have a prerogative over the new ones, which is a shame, since they cannot make a name for themselves quicker.
    Petrov showed he has skill, if he had done Hamster in that maneuver, he would have taken another scalp, and in F1 they do not come more often than that.
    F1 is troubled by lack of passing, and making it harder for the new guys is not what F1 needs.
    It is 100% guaranteed Petrov would have been punished for a similar move.

  111. Clearly Hamilton was just trying to get some heat into his tyres.. Don’t know what all the fuss is about ;-) jk guys

  112. judo chop. you should be careful what you write before you say everyones comments are rubbish.

    this is a bit 11+ but dirty air isnt really a problem on straights, hot air might be for the engine cooling on a hot track but not dirty air, thats just a problem on fast and medium fast corners. Getting a tow still reels in the car in front. Lewis wasnt obliged to give him a tow but he is obliged not to drive dangerously, its F1 not touring.

    i stood on the bridge at eau rouge last season and you truly appreciate their pace and ferociousness, telly makes it a bit anaemic but in the flesh, at 180mph cars weaving all over the shop to “break tow” would certainly be daft in the extreme

    1. I never said “everyones comment are rubbish”. Though I do believe it’s fair to say that comments claiming, as some have, that Lewis is oblige to give Petrov a tow are.

      “a bit 11 +”? If it’s as simple as you write then how come Petrov was the only one hogging a car’s tailgate in this way? Playing caravan to Lewis’s Volvo. Most overtaking moves on long straights involves blasting past on straight line speed and/or out braking the car in front. Old school slipstreaming has gone the way of the Dodo. Look at the the back and forth battle between Button, Massa and Alonso. No tailgating there.

      “Getting a tow still reels in the car in front”. Petrov already had him reeled in from the beginning of the straight. I believe he had it in mind that the best way to pass was to stick as close as possible and then make his move but when Hamilton started weaving he was too concerned with sticking close than actually passing him.

  113. I don’t thinl Lewis did anything wrong. The stewards were a little harsh but I understand they needed to tell Lewis they were watching him closely. Indeed its obvious to most Lewis was trying to “break the tow” and not block him. He made long slow sweeping meadering moves and Petrov chose to closely follow him on those moves instead of just trying to grunt past or outbreak him driving his own race. Thats not Lewis’s fault.

    The furor is because its Lewis of course. As the media like to say he is a polarizing driver. If it were Schumacher I expect fists would be waving from many. But if it were a smaller minow, then most would be back slapping each other and whooping a great tactical manoever by a driver.

    I hope the same common sense approach by the stewards continues.

  114. I just saw what matt90 replied as an example of ‘breaking the tow’ and it’s more of an example of a poor attempt at ‘blocking’ by Kimi on Klein rather than ‘breaking a tow’.

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