Hamilton’s pit lane dice with Vettel could cost him second (Update: no penalty)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Vettel and Hamilton banged wheels in the Shanghai pitlane
Vettel and Hamilton banged wheels in the Shanghai pitlane

Update: The stewards have given Hamilton and Vettel reprimands and no penalties have been applied.

The results of the Chinese Grand Prix may change as the stewards consider whether to take action against McLaren for an incident in the pits.

Lewis Hamilton was released alongside Sebastian Vettel during their pit stop – a move which could earn him a time penalty.

The pair even went into the pits side-by-side as Vettel moved alongside Hamilton on the way to the pit lane.

Replays suggest the cars were released at approximately the same time but Hamilton got away from his pit box more slowly. In the press conference after the race he said he had wheel spin on the damp surface in the pits.

What happened next was also potentially controversial. With Hamilton now alongside Vettel the Red Bull driver edged right, squeezing the McLaren dangerously close to the air lines of other teams’ pit boxes. Hamilton took a hand off the wheel and gestured at Vettel, saying afterwards:

He was pushing me a little bit to the right. We touched wheels.
Lewis Hamilton

If McLaren get a penalty for the pit lane incident it would likely take the form of a 25-second penalty which would drop him to fifth behind Robert Kubica. Or he may get a grid penalty for the next race at Catalunya.

Do you think McLaren should get a penalty? Should Vettel’s move be investigated as well? Have your say in the comments.

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364 comments on “Hamilton’s pit lane dice with Vettel could cost him second (Update: no penalty)”

  1. I think it’d be unfair to do that. Vettel stayed ahead and there was no contact.

    If anything, give him a grid place penalty at the next race.

    1. i think the stewards were very easy on hamilton hes lucky not to be disqualified hes just a bit to agressive mclaren clearly had the better car they were able to put nice downforce because of the f.stuff could have been a better race too many pit stops not enough real fights with cars with similar paces

      1. ham maybe could have been disqualy or at least an penalty for next race surely if he was an redtoro he would have made the penalty on the race i dont like redtoro but mclaren r just too powerfull in f1 to run on the same rules than others

        1. What are you talking about? Is that you EJ ?

        2. Are you being serious?


          Did you actually see the incident? Vettel was let out probably a tenth of a second before Hamilton which for a pit crew to take notice of is effectively no time at all. Hamilton then lost traction while accelerating which further brought Vettel next to him. They were then both too aggressive coming down the pit lane with Hamilton not giving up and Vettel aggressively pushing Hamilton into the garage areas. I would have been surprised with the new found common sense from the stewards that either would be given penalties and thankfully they were not. To the naked eye the difference between 0 and 1 tenth of a second is almost impossible to see which is why they have photo finishes in athletics. (trust me I have been on the wrong side of bad hand timed decisions when competing in local athletics leagues when it has involved differences this small).

          1. Totally agree, simply a racing incident, no damage, no injuries, no effect on final points positions, I just wish people would get off Hamilton’s case and let him race. If people think Mclaren are powerful in F1 did they miss the 2008 season?

          2. They were released at approx. the same time, Vettel a bit earlier I would say. Not enough to detect him though, from Mclaren’s pit.
            That said: when you come out and see there’s someone next to you on what is the designated track in the pits, you should lift off as the pit is not the place where you should be racing. Vettel was right not to yield, Lewis should have given way instead of staying next to him.
            I find the reprimand very light, considering the danger of these antics and their potential of being repeated.

      2. that wrong ….Vettel got lucky he is the one that should get discqualified for the next race

        1. No, NEITHER of them should be penalised.

        2. It seems that it is one rule for Hamilton and one rule for the rest. Other instances of rule bending have been evident in the past. It seems that Hamilton is untouchable. I am just glad that none of the mechanics were injured in a potentially catastrophic situation!

          1. Can you give an example of a driver in a similar situation to Hamilton who got a penalty?

      3. Uh what nice downforce? the F-duct takes away downforce and the mclaren dont have the mechanical grip like the red bulls do.

    2. As Brundle pointed out during the race, the new regulations for this year dont give the option of a 25 seccond penalty any more – either a drive through, a stop and start drive through (10 secs in pits) or a grid penalty at the next race.

      MiguelP hamilton is not lucky to be disqualified, its called racing, and the release from the pit box was not up to him. And you’re getting confused with McLaren and Ferrari; if you think back moseley had a vendetta against McLaren, and was often very harsh on them.

    3. Hamilton must be sucking the stewards cranks – because he always gets away with pit lane infringements.

      1. i think you are confusing hamilton with ferrari… cough (valencia 08′) cough.

        no penalty for either drivers, because the release from both teams were at almost the sae time so you cant blame either team, nor driver, but vettel pushing hamilton into the tyre guns could have ended very badly

        1. Then he should have not forced the issue and breaked a little to avoid a dangerous situation, a little more common sense and a little less testosterone!

  2. I think he wont get penalty, cause these are moments why we all love F1- overtaking, and aggresive fights

    1. Yeah, we all love that.

      But not necessarily in the pit lane

      1. Why not? It was funny and interesting. I love it

        1. Because its not entirely legal to shove someone towards the air lines! Vettel’s move should be investigated as well. Also, why did Lewis go up beside Vettel when Vettel was ahead after their respective releases.
          They should both be investigated. But, if found guilty, they shouldn’t be stripped off their finishes, that’d be unfair. Rather should be handed grid penalties in Barcelona.

          1. Oh grow up all of your with your kindergarten to-the-back-of-the-queue penalties! Next it’ll be because he didn’t brush his teeth properly before the race.

          2. Did you see the reprimand for Vettel David BR?

          3. Yes Patrickl, not quite sure what your point is. I just get exasperated with the endless demand for so-and-so to be penalized. I have my favourite drivers, but I really don’t want races to be decided by penalties, whether they’re applied during the race, afterwards or to the next race as a grid penalty. Steward ‘reprimands’ are better, I guess, but they’ll soon lose their effectiveness if they’re not turned into penalties, so I don’t see dishing out them as a great solution either. Was the Vettel/Hamilton incident really dangerous(to pit crews)? Didn’t seem so to me at the time, but maybe a reprimand was in order.

            But I thought the race was great, seeing Schumacher being beaten in the rain by the new generation (and getting soundly roasted by Rosberg, I’d add) was superb fun, but there were lots of other incidents (Alonso and Massa being a prime case). But then you read the internet discussions and its penalties, penalties, penalties people want… more FIA burueacracy, backroom intrigue and politcking, endless character assinations, rather than appreciate the battles on the track – and leaving them resolved there.

          4. Just saying that Rits was right that both moves needed to be investigated.

            I think the problem is that the rules are simply unclear. At least to me they are, but from Hamilton’s reaction in the press conference they seemed prtty much unclear to him too.

            Apparently also to Vettel since he got a reprimand as well and he claimed he didn nothing wrong. In fact he blamed Hamilton for touching him.

            I’ve seen countless times when two cars were going along the pitlane side by side. Yet I’ve also seen penalties handed out for situations like that.

            There is plenty space in the fast lane for two cars. So why not let them run side by side?

            What’s allowed and what not?

          5. Good question. Strange that this race showed a lot of doubts about pit lane protocol in general – people cutting across the grass into the pit lane, overtaking on entry, trying to run side-by-side on exit (and blocking this maneouvre).

        2. Funny until someone gets hurt, like Buemi’s wheel, we are lucky no one got hurt.

          1. As i said- we need flatter pitlane

          2. What do you mean Flatter? It’s rather flat as it is isn’t it? do you mean wider?

          3. A-Haha! If we require flatter in china god forbid what happens in Intergalos or Monaco…

        3. Because it’s dangerous and potentially catastrophic for the drivers and everybody working in the pits and pitwall area. and that makes it NOT FUNNY and NOT INTERESTING

          1. Well Vettel got a reprimand for that. That’s about all they can do I guess.

  3. Mclaren maybe wrong to release ham so soon, it was clear they were going to be close in my opinion and it’s just because rbr were infront in the pits but vet was a bit aggressive.
    Doubt there will be a penalty.

    1. *RBRs behind I mean. Sorry, early morning!

    2. One point to remember is that Renault got a one-race ban last year essentially for making a mistake in a pit stop (though it was later overturned on appeal). The pit lane is such a marginal place in terms of safety, it’s possible that McLaren could get a penalty even though they didn’t do anything malicious or deliberately wrong.

      1. Renault got that penalty because they KNOWINGLY sent the car out with a safety device missing.

        That’s not a mistake that’s cheating.

        1. And proved a danger to Alonso, who they didn’t advise.

          McLaren’s release of Hamilton was probably just a fraction late – undeliberate. But Vettel’s crowding out of Ham, which was the dangerous bit, if any, to pit crews, WAS deliberate. Yet all the fuss is – as always – about Hamilton.

          They sparred, Vettel got the better of it, nobody hurt. End of story!

        2. Mclaren had no way of knowing Vettel was coming out even on the slow-mo replay it is really close.

  4. Monkeypeachy
    18th April 2010, 10:23

    Whatever started the ham-vettal incident (who was released first etc) vettal made it dangerous by squeezing ham.

    And – grid penalties are better than post race penalties for the sport’s reputation

    1. Completely agree here.

      I think that in the heat of the moment, the releases themselves were safe and they were expected to be equal, until hamilton got wheelspin.

      What Vettel did was penalty worthy. If Hamilton’s wheel had been caught in one of those electric wires (which i assume power the air guns?) then that would have been horribly dangerous. He should have let Hamilton alongside him – and, lets be honest, he would have emerged ahead anyway as Vettel had the track position. Bad show by Vettel, dangerous and unsporting in my opinion.

      1. I think the hoses are air lines as the guns are pneumatic not electric but it would still be dangerous having a high pressure air line getting tangled up in the wheels.

        Vettel was certainly pushing the boundaries of acceptable behaviour with that one as he had loads of room between him ad the pit wall to move into to prevent Lewis from hitting him and had no need to push Lewis to the right while moving down the pit lane.

      2. The air guns are powered by compressed air lines, not electricity.

      3. I am not on a particular side here. Hamilton got wheel spin and was unlucky. Vettel got position in the pit lane. None of that was anyone’s fault. Vettel took legitimate advantage. Hamilton got unlucky.

        Hamilton at that point should have dropped back behind Vettel though, as driving down the actual pit lane was the dangerous part.

        It’s most likely that action on Hamilton’s part which will cause him to be penalised. If he is I expect a grid penalty at the next race.

        Just one of those things. But Hamilton had it in his power to drop back, and he was off line throughout the incident.

        1. I agree, Vettel was driving in the right place and was ahead, Hamilton should have dropped back and complained later if he didn’t like it.

          1. Vettel had a least a cars width room between him and the pit wall. He squeezed hamilton over towards the pit crew side. Hamilton could do nothing because their wheels were overlapping. If Vettel has moved the other way then Hamilton could have dropped in behind him. That was a completely unecessary dangerous move by Vettel.

          2. Vettel was ahead, Hamilton could have SLOWED DOWN, overlapping wheels don’t stop that, regardless, Hamliton should have backed off much before this incident.

            Yes what Vettel did was wrong, I recognise that, But nothing in the rules says he has to let another car be next to him pit lane or not.

            Side by side is not ok, and Hamilton did just that, or do you suggest Vettel should have let Hamilton past?

          3. Shouldn’t Vettel have backed off earlier? They were released at almost the same time and hamilton got wheel spin forcing poor acceleration. At this point should Vettel not have backed off and remained behind rather than overtake him in the pitlane?

            It can be seen either way, racing incident is all.

          4. I agree about the racing incident thing,

            By the time they were running as per normal, Vettel had track position, There’s nothing to say that Vettel can’t try to get ahead of Hamilton with a faster pits stop or a better exit and that’s just what he did, Now if Vettel had poked his nose in so that Hamilton couldn’t move over that would be different, but in this case he was clearly ahead.

      4. Thats right it was an unsporting move by Vettel they were released at the same tame…vettel is the one should get punished but…give him a gird penalty for the next race…not for this one…

        1. But he had every right to be where he was! he had every right to move over! At what point did he leave the acceptable area to be driving in?

          1. Exactly.

            This is not about being for Vettel or against Hamilton.

            It’s about the rules and safety.
            I am not sure 100% about what rules were broken here, if any. As both releases were legal.

            But Hamilton behaved in an unsafe way, and Vettel did not.

            Having said that I wish that Hamilton would just get a warning or a fine.

            I actually hate results, or future races, being affected by decisions made off the track unless they are for blatant regulation violations.

          2. I don’t agree with the no penalty, It was a pit lane incident, which is not ok, Even if both drivers just got a severe talking to from their mothers…. but nothing?

          3. Stephen,

            Vettel did behave dangerously by pushing Hamilton to the inner lane

          4. What Vettel did IMO was to make it clear to Hamilton that he should slot in behind.

            It was Hamilton’s fault that he did not take the hint. There is not enough room for two cars to safely exit the pit lane side by side so one car would have to back off sooner or later. If you watch the replay Hamilton is inches from pit lane equipment and two safety cars at the end of the pit lane where it narrows. Only then did he slot in behind Vettel.

            Vettel was in front and therefore Hamilton would have to back off sooner or later.

            I repeat that I am glad that no-one was penalised. But if *anyone* should have been it should have been Hamilton.

          5. Well the stewards don’t agree with you.

            If anything, Vettels actions made it impossible for Hamilton to slow down and/or move further right. His front wheel whould have touched Vettels rear if he had braked.

          6. I think the stewards do agree with me. I said no penalty should be imposed. That’s exactly what happened. They decided it was a racing incident and knocked their heads together for the incident, and left it at that.

            Watch the video dude. Hamilton had plenty of opportunity to get out of the way and fall in behind Vettel. He chose not to until the end of the pit lane when they were at the closest they had ever been, and the pit lane was narrowest. Yet he still had room to move over and fall back.

            Also Hamilton himself made no mention of being locked in-between Vettel’s wheels. He would have certainly mentioned that if that was the situation. Don’t you think? I know I’d remember if I felt I was being forced into a dangerous situation by another driver. And I would say something about it. Especially if I needed to explain my actions to an interviewer or the stewards.

            Your interpretation of the incident is wrong. Period.

          7. You say “But Hamilton behaved in an unsafe way, and Vettel did not.”

            They don’t agree with you when you claim that Vettel did nothing wrong. Period!

          8. @Stephen Northcott

            “It was Hamilton’s fault that he did not take the hint. There is not enough room for two cars to safely exit the pit lane side by side so one car would have to back off sooner or later. If you watch the replay Hamilton is inches from pit lane equipment and two safety cars at the end of the pit lane where it narrows. Only then did he slot in behind Vettel.”

            If you watch the replay there is room for both cars where hamilton almost hit the equipment, Vettel had moved over to push him into the garage, you could drive a bus through the gap on the other side of vettel at that moment!

            However I think the stewards got it right, vettel needs to be told not to do what he did and Hamilton should be told to back off a bit more next time. It is great now that drivers are involved in the stewards as I do not want to see drivers punished for being competitive especially where there is no real contact. Much better than new rules being made up on the spot and random punishments we have seen over the last few years…

      5. quick aside to my above post – didn’t realise they were pneumatic lines, but the same rule applies. Interesting point raised by gDog as well, that Hamilton’s and Vettel’s wheels were interlocked. Therefore Hamilton couldn’t brake without Vettel going over the top of him and damaging both cars potentially beyond repair.

        What a great race though :P

        1. Except that Hamilton did not mention that at the post race interview. Their wheels weren’t interlocked all of the time either. So it was obviously not a concern that stuck in Hamilton’s mind and a reason for him staying alongside Vettel.

          And there wasn’t an entire car widths space to the left of Vettel either!!!

          As I said. I am not on either driver’s side. Hamilton was the one who made the bad decisions though.

      6. Vettel should have let Hamilton beside him??

        Vettel was ahead, Hamilton should have slotted behind him. That’s what cars do normally.

        Maybe Vettel shouldn’t have squeezed him, but if you watch the video it’s clear that even if Vettel had kept going straight, Hamilton would have been in a dangerous position anyway. He was way off!

        1. Exactly. I’ve basically said the same thing as you a few lines further up. I am even more certain of this having watched the replay multiple times and having seen how narrow the pit lane exit is, and how close Hamilton was to equipment and safety cars.

          It is not possible for two cars to safely race each other down the length of the pit lane regardless of how much room Vettel had given away, or not.

          Hamilton was behind, thorough sheer bad luck, but regardless he should have yielded.

    2. +1, and both should be penalised imo, for the next race’s grid though.

      1. No Penalty. Reprimand for both.

        Good decision by the Stewards.

  5. I don’t think it was such a big deal…and I am not a Hamilton fan.
    Actually it was a great drive from Hamilton today.

  6. Ned Flanders
    18th April 2010, 10:24

    My heart says Hamilton shouldn’t be penalised. My head says he should (and will) be. It was a very dangerous move with those Williams mechanics right beside them

    1. but these are reasons why you and me love f1

      1. Ned Flanders
        18th April 2010, 10:35

        Yeah, but rules are rules. I’d find it entertaining if cars simply punted each other off all the time- but that wouldn’t be fair, or safe

        1. So you need flatter pit lane :D

        2. so we must have the boxes in a huge parking lot, just to be safe. There was no danger, don’t get drawn into this safety obsesed mainstream.

      2. Yeah, I watch F1 exclusively to see Williams mechanics nearly getting run over. Top notch entertainment.

    2. So you expected him to keep going straight while Vettel leaned on him to push him out of the way? Onboard footage even showed clearly Vettel purposely steering onto him. If anyone should get a penalty, it’s Vettel.

      Looking back at history, drivers only get fines from such incidents.

      1. Mark Hitchcock
        18th April 2010, 11:11

        Onboard footage showed he ACCIDENTALLY moved slightly when he was peering into his mirrors to try and see where Hamilton was.
        If (IF) anyone is to blame here it’s Hamilton, he could have avoided any danger by backing off and slotting in behind Vettel.

        1. Accidentally? Come on, Vettel is better than that! He can’t keep his wheel straight?

          In my opinion, both should have had penalties. Hamilton started it but Vettel made it worse.

          1. Mark Hitchcock
            19th April 2010, 0:24

            It’s quite easy to do.
            I know I’m not a racing driver, but if I’m staring in my side mirror for too long I might move a couple of inches to the right. Your body tends to follow you eyes, so if you’re staring into your right mirror (as Vettel was) you might move right without realising.

            I dunno, maybe he moved to find out how far alongside Hamilton was, he can’t have had much of a view.

        2. @Mark- LOL! Accindentally? That is the funiest thing! I guess thats why you are not a “racing” driver…and if your body follows your eyes(dunno how that can happen. I guess you mean your hands)when looking in the mirror, you cant be much of a “normal” driver either!

      2. Hamilton should not have been next to him, When they were released chance saw them side by side, but Vettel was in front and IN the correct driving area. Hamilton should have backed off.

  7. Of course he should be punished, and same is for Button for that safety car slowing down stuff

    Alonso and Hamilton for they pit entrance fight

    1. yer i thought Alonso and Hamilton were both pretty dodgey overtaking into the pits but looks like they won’t penalise either. They’ll prob just discuss it amongst the drivers at the next race.

      1. Apparently the stewards are thinking about penalising Alonso for that also. Even though he passed Massa on the track as they entered the pit entry lane.

        No mention of Massa trying to overtake back in the pit entry lane itself. If there should be a penalty anywhere it should be for that.

      2. that wasnt illegal

        and both vettel and lewis had no idea who was coming into the pitlan until the last moment – since both were following own strategies.. and both had the same strategies.. that’s how you do it – don’t released the throttle till the last minute to avoid losing time

        alonso on the other hand cheekily squeezed in front of massa on purpose knowing both would be pitting in at the same time (they are in the same team)

        1. As Alonso said : If Massa wasn’t his team mate there would be no discussion. Massa had that move coming, especially as he admits losing control of his own car approaching the pits.

          The Ferrari Team Principal said that the pit crews had “no problems” managing multiple double pit stops the entire race.

          From the last 3 races I think the Ferrari team were probably relieved to have their faster driver in-front of their mobile chicane for once.

          1. You are not allowed to make a overtaking move in the pit lane! I do not think Alonso should be punished but he should be warned never to do that again. I am sure if hamilton had done the same thing you would be calling for his head! (And no hamilton and vettels pit entrance was not the same before anyone comments as they were simply side by side going into the pit entrance).

    2. If they decide to allow drivers to overtake one another on the pit entry, so be it. But I’m not sure I’d really like to see the consequences of that when the same ruling has to be applied at Monaco.

      1. You miss the point. Watch a replay. Alonso passed Massa *on the track* as Massa slowed to much to enter the pit lane entry. Massa is pants in the wet. Alonso is not.

        Massa was either asleep or slowing dangerously. Alonso took advantage. Massa needs to wake up or learn to drive in the wet.

        All I am saying is that if there is to be a penalty for that then Massa, Vettel and Hamilton should all get a penalty for actively trying to overtake whilst *in the pit lane entry*.

        1. If you refer to my later post above you’ll see that Massa even admits losing control of his car on the track.

          1. I guess Alonso took his opportunity, not wanting another race ruined by his team mate. If I were Massa, I would have stayed were I was and not yield – ‘did not see him coming’; both cars would have been out but now Alonso has clearly set the order within the Ferrari team.
            I remember Berger not letting Senna through when they were team mates at Mclaren, taking them both off: ‘I don’t want Ayrton to think I am going to give way to him’ – simple as that.
            Massa has just shown Alonso that he can be pushed aside …
            Although it was exciting, not sure whether the FIA should allow racing in pit entry/exit. Don’t see it repeated any time soon, because the pit entry at China is pretty unique…
            As Brundle mentioned, JB’s coming to almost a complete stop is hardly in the spirit of the rules when restarting after the SC – but then again, they should be paying attention behind him.
            I guess we can say ‘the gloves are off’ now in F1 !

  8. Everybody knows that only red cars can do dodgy pit exits,ask Bruno he knows all about it.

  9. theviewingfoot
    18th April 2010, 10:25

    There shouldn’t be a penalty, its things this that make the whole thing watchable.


    1. I absolutely agree with you even I cant stand Hamilton. :D

      1. I can’t stand at least 3 of those over-exuberant drivers, behaving like goons in a race. I think we know which 3 I’m talking about. They should be given a lesson or two on sportsmanship!

  10. Oh yes, he deserve that.

    1. He deserves that? I’m probably the oldest “anti-Hamilton” posting in this site, as many can rememeber from the past years, but I really think he was absolutely brilliant today, deserved to win and if anyone deserves a penalty it’s Vettel for pushing him like that.

      1. He deserves that today, because 2 weeks ago Stewards gave him a chance. Looks like, Lewis never learn…

  11. See new team “McLaren Safety Car”. Hope Hamilton will be dsq forever.

    1. LOL why? It was small incident

    2. I hope all the drivers are disqualified! why not? they must all have done something wrong at some point….. at the very least every driver should be given a 10 place grid penalty at the next race.

      1. Seems the kids are out in force today with all their childidh comments.
        Real fans dont want any driver DSQ and they dont have drivers they “cant stand”
        You guys should go on to PF1, you would be really welcome there. Bob, Rits, Ganmarau and Mario, you know who u are!

        1. Mine was a sarcastic comment by the way….

  12. if anything button should be penalised for what he did behind the safety car, it was very dangerous and if lewis can be penalised for what he did at fuji 08 then jenson should be today, he nearly took many cars out of the race

  13. If there is a penalty it should have been a drive through in the race… you can’t give a penalty for Alonso, and then wait until the end of the race for Hamilton.

    For what its worth – I think Hamilton deserves a penalty.

    I think a big fine is on the way…

  14. Hamilton was clearly released later than Vettel and he got slower off the line. The delay was so small that it was only visible in a slow motion replay though.

    So realisticly Hamilton should not get a penalty for that. You cannot penalize a driver for getting away slowly.

    What Hamilton did do wrong was to sit side by side with Vettel. He should have yielded the position to Vettel immediately.

    At the same time Vettel was being incredibly annoying pushing Hamilton off the fast lane. If anything he made the situation dangerous when in fact there was no need for it to be so.

    I really hope Hamilton and Vettel don’t get a penalty for this. It was such a racing incident and a penalty would spoil the whole race (or perhaps the next one)

    I would hope they could clear up these rules though. The 50 meter release rule only works for cars who are already in the fastlane.

    Now they need to make sure how to deal with a situation where they start at the same time. Yield position or carry on together on the fastlane? This needs to be clarified.

    1. I completely agree with this! You wrote it all out much better than I could.

    2. Yes, but if someone should yield in this circumstance, which car should it be?

      The car in front has position, but it’s going slower so quickly loses the position, does that count as the second car overtaking in the pit lane?

      1. In this case Hamilton was behind Vettel by the time they both were on the limiter speed.

        I’d say Hamilton had to yield.

        If Hamilton hadn’t messed up his getaway he should have been allowed to keep the position.

        The big risk in all this is that the pit lane box order becomes too important. Of course Vettel is going to be released a blink of an eye sooner. He had to drive less distance to get to his pit box.

        It would be incredibly unfair if having a pit box 50 meters in front of your opponent means that you should be allowed to get past.

        1. you forget that vettel was in a very similar situation as hamilton was back in germany 08′, except alonso was in the position vettel was in (china 10′).

          vettel was released next to alonso, they were neck and neck down the pit lane except vettel was the one who got out in front of alonso, (dry track) but no action was taken by the stewards. it would be disgusting if either, vettel or hamilton got a penalty and im very glad neither of them did

  15. I’m generally against ruining the drivers result after he crossed the finish line. The stewards had a lot of time to give him the drive through penalty during the race.

    Right now Lewis should pay some kind of fine or maybe suffer a five-place grid penalty in the next race.

  16. So most of you think only these dangerous moves made the race watchable? That you watch F1 for these? Are you serious?

    Hamilton was in great form today, but providing the best spectacle and best racing should not mean that as much as 3-4 stupid or illegal moves should be ignored in compensation.

    1. MJ4 why dont we just take away Hamilton’s license and kick him out of formula one?

      1. Can I ask why you don’t like Hamilton?

        1. Someone is being sarcastic there, Sheep :-)…. ern …Me thinks.

    2. Which move that Hamilton made was illegal exactly?

  17. I thought that the 25 second penalty can only be given instead of a drive through penalty if there was no time at the end of the race, like Belgium ’08. Because they did have time to give a drive through but decided to decide after the race so can only give a grid penalty at the next race.

    1. Martin’s has just said this on the forum as well.

  18. I think he’ll get penalised. I haven’t seen the incident, but he’s had dodgy incidents in consecutive races now. The stewards probably won’t let him off the hook again. I hope its a grid penalty in the next race, I want him to keep 2nd place.

  19. With Hamilton always pulling these controversial moves (racing in to the pit lane at the last moment, weaving to block on track, etc), I think he’s due to be penalised for something. Even if it’s just the build up of all these acts that apparently aren’t quite enough to be punished for individually.

    Otherwise, he had a great race though and was very impressive. It’s just frustrating that he gets away with so much, while others are penalised.

    1. WHAT? Hamilton should be penalized for racing in to the pit lane? It was Verttel trying to overtake Hamilton in the PL! Hamiltion wass ahead going into it!

      1. Funny, but Hamilton overtook Vettel in the pit lane at the entry for the same pit stop in the telecast I was watching ………

        Vettel had the line period on the exit. Hamilton should have yielded as he was not first away. Wheelspin – well was Hamiltons’ foot on the accelerator, nobody elses.

        Hamilton has been given enough lee way. Time he was penalised for his driving indiscretions.

        Agreed though, the stewards should have made the penalty call during the race & not after the race.




      2. I do not think either driver knew the other was going in to the pits until they found themselves next to each other. I certainly do not think either was trying to overtake the other.

    2. What about Alonso yielding purposefully in front of Massa when coming into the pit lane?

      Both Vettel and Lewis were on the same strategy and both had to break at the last minute before coming in since neither knew who was coming in.

      There are no rules against this.

      Vettel pushed Lewis into Williams’ space and that was a dangerous move, especially when it was that wet out there

  20. Don’t think stewards should act. Maybe a suspended penalty 3 races.

    1. What? Three-race suspension? Why not ban him from F1 for couple of years… Some people have really crazy ideas ;)

    2. Of course. Team suspended with 15 million pounds…

    3. A suspended penalty? Fine. So long as they’re suspended over a crocodile-infested well….

    4. Wow, that’s harsh with 3 race penalty. I thought 5 place grid penalty for Spain should be fair.

    5. Are you kiddng? I’m assuming he means that they should be under probation for 3 races.

      1. That’d be far too lenient given Hamitlon’s past transgressions. Hell, a 3 race ban would be too lenient as well imho.

        1. I don’t think they hand out penalties for driving a great race.

          Maybe we need a ban for people who overly “fanboy” here though.

    6. I actually think a penalty of some sort (one-race ban perhaps?) suspended for a few races should be considered given that it was endangering the lives of the mechanics. Imagine if one of the hoses for the air guns had got tangled in a rear axle… could have been nasty. Eugh :-(

    7. I believe Salty means that if Hamilton does it again in the next three races, then he should get a penalty. Not a three race ban.

      1. LOL – correct. Gosh – that riled the troops. I mean’t something along the lines of a 10 place penalty suspended over 3 races. No further infringements during the next 3 races, no penalty.

  21. How long do we have to wait?

    1. It’s a four week wait now, until the Monaco Grand Prix (well there’s some event in Spain in three weeks time, but that’s usually a snoozefest).

  22. Defenetly no, but Vettel squeezing the McLaren was defenetly something dangerous! If its done on track – fair enough, but in pit lane, which is full of equipment and people, is something hazardous. I dont think he shoud be penalaised but defenetly given a warning, so others are more careful in the future.

  23. If hamilton will get a penalty it would be unfair

  24. Today’s “Special Guest Steward” was a McLaren driver for six years. I imagine Hamilton will get away with barging Webber off the road, and Button for backing everyone up unnecessarily (and potentially dangerously – Hamilton himself had to take avoiding action by running onto the grass). Though I would penalise both.

    On the pit incident, I can see it being penalised purely because Hamilton wasn’t technically in the “fast lane” while driving down the pit lane. However Vettel might get a slap on the wrist because there was probably enough room for two cars down there, had he been more generous with the space!

    1. Well, we’ll see – but your point is a good one. There’s an inherent tension between appointing driver stewards with recent F1 experience and potential conflicts of interest.

      Justice must be done and be seen to be done – if McLaren escape a penalty in China it’s meat and bread for the conspiracy theorists out there.

    2. How about Schumacher “barging off” Hamilton and later Massa?

      I don’t think there are penalties for staying on your line.

    3. So you didnt see Vettel pushing Hamilton into Webber then?

  25. I’d say, racing incident, let it be.

    Hamilton certainly didn’t do anything wrong, whereas Vettel arguably did behave dangerously.
    If anything the Mclaren team should get a penalty, and Vettel maybe should drop places at the next race. Really I think that there should be no penalties though.

  26. Hamilton will get a 25 second penalty for his pit lane antics. Button should get a warning for ‘doing a Hamilton’ behind the safety car and nearly crashing the entire field.

    1. Agreed 100%.
      Hamilton :
      1. Nearly going wrong way on the track to enter the pits way late. Penalties for that have been handed out before.
      2. Nearly hit Vettel doing a dicey moves coming into a slow part of entering pit lane. Luckily, Vettel yielded.
      3. Not yielding to Vettel in the main lane of the pits and running up against the side of him. Should’ve yielded and pulled in behind.
      Button: Dumb move slowing the whole field down at the hairpin. Many driver had to take evasive actions. Very well could’ve led to drivers damaging parts on their cars or puncturing tires. See Fuji 2007 Hamilton-Webber-Vettel safety car incident.

      1. I know he’s great in’t he!!! Very entertaining.

  27. On BBC f1 forum Seb just said about the incident “I don’t know why he was so keen to touch me”

  28. Literally falling over with laughter at how you’ve managed to blame Vettel for Hamilton’s dangerous driving.

    Usually, you’re pretty much spot on, but here I’m afraid your bias towards Hamilton is evident in this article.

    1. Could not agree more. Hamilton is dangerous. Exciting but dangerous.

    2. Because HAMILTON decided when he was to be released, because HAMILTON pushed the lolly-pop up, because HAMILTON put water on the track so that he skidded pulling out, because HAMILTON thought it would “be more fun” to drive closer to the pit crews.

      Neither driver wanted to yield, Hamilton should have, but by the same token Vettel didn’t need to squeeze him towards the mechanics

      1. But Hamilton benefitted from the illegal release and therefore should be punished. Or can’t you understand that?

        1. I thought that although the RBR was released first, it was almost at exactly the same time and was too close to call. The lollypop man can’t watch two cars at once. I think that Hamilton should get a penalty for this (or perhaps the team), but Vettel should be warned too as his driving also contributed to an already-dangerous situation.

        2. First off it is not decided it was an illegal release. Second Hamilton did not benefit from it. Get your facts right.

          1. How didn’t he benefit from it? If Hamilton had not endangered the mechanics in the pitlane and yielded to Vettel by slotting in behind him in the fast lane (as he should have done), Hamitlon would have been further behind Vettel than he was once they’d exited the pitlane. Hence, Hamilton benefitted from his dangerous driving.

          2. What’s your opinion on Vettel’s pushing Rohan?

          3. What pushing James? Hamilton forced himself alongside Vettel in the pitlane, Vettel did nothing wrong. As I have said elsewhere on this site, to suggest otherwise is a desperate attempt to excuse Hamilton’s inexcusable actions.

          4. @Rohan – Vettel starts in the centre of the pit lane (with approximately 1 car width between him and the wide blue strip which runs along the front of the garages), and by the time he’s past the Williams garage his wheels are encroaching on this blue area. This would indicate that he moved over towards the garages.

        3. No he didn’t, he came out of the pit lane second.

          1. you’re blind or pathetic

            either driver should have got a penalty (financial perhaps since it’s late now)

            but the video replay (if you want to see it) shows he moved to the right and pushed lewis further into the pit stops of other teams

            lewis couldn’t have overtaken him on the pit lane – noone can do that

            and lewis should have stayed right behind vettel – either way he wouldn’t have benefitted .. thats not how he got P2

        4. How on earth was that an illegal release? They were released at the same time considering their pitbox location.

          Of course the trailing car is going to be released sooner. He gets into his box sooner.

          By your claim a trailing car will always be able to overtake the car in front of him in the pitlane (assuming they have the same pit stop times)

        5. Hamilton came into the pits in from of Vettel but exited behind him so how did he benefit??

      2. I don’t think the release was illegal. What Hamilton did afterwards was.

        Even if Vettel hadn’t moved at all, Hamilton would still have been dangerously close to the mechanics and the equipment. He shouldn’t have been alongside Vettel, he had plenty of time to slot in behind him.

        Unless you expected Vettel to move to the side and allow Ham to overtake him!

        1. Well there obviously IS enough room in the fastlane for two cars:

          1. Well, yeah, but why should Vettel give him the space given that he was ahead? Vettel didn’t create the dangerous situation, Hamilton did, by staying next to Vettel!

          2. Why shouldn’t he give the space if it’s there? There is no rule that says that only one car is allowed in the fastlane.

    3. First, you’re talking complete BS- you seem to have invented the incident in your head rather than actually watching it- and second you accuse Keith of being biased on probably the most unbiased site on the web. Go away if you think that.

  29. Why Safety Car had to stay on track for so long ? Somebody wanted to start this race again ?

    1. The Safety Car is supposed to stay out until all the cars are lined up behind it, which takes quite a long time now that they have this silly “lap delta” rule. I think they should go back to closing the pits when the safety car is deployed, now that refuelling is banned it shouldn’t be an issue with drivers getting caught out by an unexpected SC period.

  30. NO WAY, hamilton is the most spectacular driver in F1 races, he never cause crashes!

    1. Remember Canada?, remember Kimi? He went straight into the Ferrari rear when the light was red at the pit lane. Lol.

  31. If FIA decides to give penalty than give it to both the drivers as i think Vettel also pushed Hamilton too far on the right when there was clearly lot of space. He did it on purpose.
    But i hope the results stay the same and there is no penalty at all just warning.

  32. Sheep wrote: “I’d say, racing incident, let it be.” Racing in the pits?

    1. It was during the race, so maybe ‘race incident’ would be a better way of putting it:
      if you’re complaining about racing in the pits, then surely you don’t like the way that Vettel overtook Hamilton in the pit lane?

      1. Because of his wheel spin, Hamilton was behind Vettel and tried to get ahead of him in the pit lane. Driving beside Vettel was stupid and dangerous, and Hamilton should be penalized.

        1. At no point did Hamilton drive faster than Vettel, so you can hardly say he ‘tried to get past him’.

  33. Undoubtedly he should be penalised. Too many incidents that are controvertial with Hamilton. He needs to be thought a lesson. Dodgy Dodgy driver.

  34. Hamilton must stop making obvious moves which do not favour him at all. Otherwise he drove well again. Pity Alonso’s jump start drive through, but still he stormed through to 4th. Overall the race was fantastic as the rain was just adequate to mess things up.

    1. Hamilton gets himself into positions where he needs to race to get a good result.

      I agree he should make sure he gets a good qualifying performance and make the right pit stop calls. If he can just cruise at the front like Button he would get himself in a lot less trouble.

  35. Hamilton is deserved a penalty. He’s been driving like a hooligan out there on the track. Twice he crossed the white line when he entered the pitlane and the first one was a slamdunk penalty.

    1. By the same token though, Baricello left the track to avoid an incident in the first corner with his direction being similar to that of Hamilton’s dive into the pitlane, should he get penalised?

      And a lot of drivers, not just the ones overtaking in the pitlane entrance were jumping over the white lines in the pitlane entrance, +25 second penalties for Alonso, Massa, Vettel, Webber, Schumacher too?

      1. marius van list
        18th April 2010, 10:58

        What regulations say? I know about +25c when you drive out of pit and cross line…like Rosberg last year for ex….what when drive in? I don’t know…

  36. I thought the whole point of the 25 second penalty was to replace a drive-through if there wasn’t time to investigate an incident during the race. There was clearly plenty of time to make a decision during the race, which may have allowed Hamilton to drive the rest of the race accordingly. So if any penalty is given, it should be a fine or grid-drop at the next race.

    To be honest though, if a penalty of any kind were to be given it should be for Hamilton overtaking on the entry or Vettel squeezing Hamilton on the exit. The releases were nearly simultaneous, and Hamilton would almost certainly have been ahead of Vettel if he hadn’t had so much wheel-spin- the release itself was justified.

    If Hamilton is being investigated, I would have thought that Alonso should be as well- although I was just relieved to see him finally escape from Massa after the last few races. I’m not even an Alonso fan and its been annoying me seeing him held up by his team mate.

    1. “I’m not even an Alonso fan and its been annoying me seeing him held up by his team mate.”

      Totally agree.

      1. Totally agree too, but on the other hand, it’s his own fault for ending up behind a slower Massa so often.

        1. Fair point, but regardless of if the team says that the two drivers are free to race, it seems silly when particularly in Australia Alonso may have had the pace to get past Kubica and claim an extra position for himself and the team.

          1. In fact the team (Domenicali) said they are not allowed to race each other during the last stint.

            These days basically the last stint is the whole race. In a dry race at least.

  37. marius van list
    18th April 2010, 10:53

    It was great driving by Hamilton. Anyway, he did dangerous drive in pit. Rules are rules. He can do more on track… not in pits. Vettel was dangerous as Hamilton getting in “game” there. Both should be penalised. And this should be done during race. Stuards were too slow for F1 today. They should be judging in snooker from next time maybe. From different hand now, it was not necessary to get second SC on track. It was at least curiosity. Few tiny parts on track… stuarts did not like advantage of Jenson, Nico, Kubica and Petrov… not good for show. Overall… I would give a penalty -drive “over” all stuarts team today. Race was great anyway:9!

  38. Massa and Alo been to stewards because stewards weren’t happy about Alo’s move on Massa in pitlane.

  39. Most of you are obviously biased fans…….Okay, so you argue that he was released late and was slow out of there, but why not just accept the fact the other guy was in front and not take such a risk of running equipment or unaware pit crew for a position? Id be startled if ANYONE did it, let alone the young and ambitious LH…. I mean, how many warnings will it take? Maybe till he harms himself or someone else…

    1. I agree… it’s time to prove to Lewis that he has to follow the rules like everyone else.

    2. As a Hamilton and McLaren fan I agree there. I just hope that Lewis is penalised with a grid place for the next race, not this one.

      Red Bull fans who are saying that it was Hamilton’s fault they didn’t do so well should listen to Christian Horner’s words – “we weren’t fast enough”.

      1. The problem that I have with delaying it to the next race is that it happened in this race.

  40. Brundle: I would penalise Lewis on grid in Barcelona. Reprimand Vettel.
    DC: hope no penalities but I think Martin was right

  41. Also, hate these stupid post race penalties… hire an extra guy to look into race incidents or something.

    1. They have the people there. Problem is they want to talk to the drivers, team and see the telemetry.

  42. No penalties should be awarded, I think. The pressure is on the lollipop man to not release his team’s car if there is another car coming down the pit lane within a certain distance. Yes, Lewis was released *slightly* after Vettel was, but the time at which Lewis was released, Vettel was still hidden behind the McLaren mechanics and possible even the #2 car itself. The Lollipop man had no way of seeing that Vettel had been released because he’d have been looking a) at the rest of the McLaren mechanics to see that they’d finished and b) down the ‘fast lane’ in the pits. When he was released, Vettel wasn’t there, hence: no penalty should be awarded.

    Another point, though: Vettel squeezing Hamilton towards the slow side of the pits with the air hoses and such: dangerous.

    1. totally agree chris, vettel had no need to squeeze hamilton. It was in the pit lane so there was a max speed limit so hamilton was never going to overtake. Yes, hamilton maybe should have slotted in behind but its racing.

  43. The second SC was a scandal! Debris was on pit lane, not on the track. It was done only to make it possible to the rest to join first three cars. The stewards and Charlie Whiting have lost anything in my eyes. It was set for Lewis Hamilton and for him only! I know you will probably disagree, but anyone who will try to give it a honest look will have to notice, that second SC was not needed on the track!

    1. Had Vettle and Webber ended up on podium would you have said it was done for “Red Bulls”?

      I do agree though that second SC was a total scam and was only there to bunch up the field again and make the race interesting…. for You and Me!!!

    2. Hamilton was between both Red Bulls during the safety car.

      By the same token you could claim that they did this to help Red Bull win the race.

      In fact Schumacher gained 70 seconds from that safety car and ended up close behind Rosberg again in P5. Did they send out the safty car to keep Schumacher from being embarassed too much?

      Or how about Alonso who was in P10 almost a lap down? Didn’t he benefit from the situation?

      Try to stay objective …

      1. Pretty much everyone except Button, Rosberg and Kubica benefited from the second safety car call. If it was a questionable call it certainly wasn’t for the benefit of one driver or team. And given that those three drivers all finished in the top 5, it wasn’t that big a hindrance for them.

  44. Hamilton has a green light to do as he pleases in the field. Riding alongside Vettel in the pits and, in his first pit stop, he entered the pits through the gravel instead of using the exit way. Did he overtake Vettel before crossing the finish line on a SC out lap?
    Also Button breaking too much on the safety car out lap was pretty amazing.

    I dont care much about them getting penalized but the special treatment Mclaren receives is hilarious.

  45. I am very surprised by the general view with this, They both got out at about the same time so there is no problem there, and when they were side by side initially there is still no problem, Because Hamilton got wheel spin so they became level by chance.

    But the issue should be with what happened next, Hamilton should have backed off, and forfeited the place. I don’t care if he thinks it’s his rightful place, you cannot be side by side in the pit lane, yes Vettel may have moved over on purpose, but he was in the pit lane where the cars should be driving and he was ahead, Hamilton was the one driving in the dangerous area, He should have backed off, and complained to the FIA later after the race. or even got his team to complain for him earlier.

  46. agreed with mike.

  47. when do we find out?? DOES ANYONE KNOW?

    1. As long as it takes. The stewards have quite a bit to discuss today.

      I’d rather the decision was slow and correct rather than rushed and wrong.

  48. I think the point deduction is more fitting, when they lose 5 grid positions thats just 5 spots he will end up making up the next race anyway.Shouldve just backed off. Overtaking shouldnt occur in the pitlane

    1. neither should be pushing a car into other teams’ space…. Vettel had a terrible race and can blame anyone, especially Lewis… Reb Bull are good at accusing McLaren of things… McLaren used to be the black sawn of racing unfairly penalised for “stunts” other teams got away with (Renault using “foreign” technologies was ok, but not in the case of McLaren and that “honest” guy Alonso)

      Look at what Alonso did to Massa when he yielding right in front of Massa when coming into the pit lane?

      Great job from Rosberg and the Brits

  49. I think Hamilton should be disqualified for all of his antics, that way it will be learned that the FIA will come down hard upon drivers and teams, that way maybe drievrs will start to do things right automatically rather than have it messy like it is now and having to sort it out.

    Button should at least be penalized/reprimanded for backing the field up at the hairpin as well.

    1. Lewis got penalised in his championship year for backing the field up but not in the Safety Car conditions when the cars were driving slow

      If you think Lewis should be penalised, what about Alonso (coming into the pit lane right before Alonso) and Vettel (pushing Lewis into Williams’ pit stop (with mechanics in it))?

      Great racing drivers will have many people annoyed by their style, yet would people watch this race and think of it the same way, if you took away all the overtaking by Lewis?

      Great drive it was!

      1. Vettel did not push Hamilton in the pitlane. Hamilton himself chose to drive alongside Vettel in the pitlane, endangering the mechanics.

        It was Hamilton’s actions alone that endangered the mechanics in the pitlane – to suggest otherwise is a desperate attempt to excuse Hamilton’s actions.

        1. watch the replay… he just steered to the right… watch the replay

    2. Yeah cause we want to see drivers just drive behind each other. Heaven forbid they actually try to overtake each other.

      So I agree that Schumacher should be banned for pushing Hamilton and Massa off track repeatedly. Hamilton should be banned for pushing Webber off track. Alonso should be banned because he pushed Massa off in the pitlane entry. Massa should be banned because he went through the gravel entering the pitlane (for his first stop). Webber should be banned for hitting Hamilton twice in Australia.

      I say we go through all the footage and find every instance where a driver defends his line and BAN THE LOT OF THEM!!!

      OK, I’ll top the insanity now. Sad fanboys just have that effect on me.

      1. I personally expect drivers to be behind each other when in the pitlane. I thought the rest of the world did too.
        Overtake when on the track!

        1. What if two cars start from the “slow lane” at practically the same time and end up side by side? Then what? Who should yield and why?

          There is a case for both. Vettel overtakes Hamilton in the fastlane which you claim shouldn’t be allowed. On the other hand Hamilton got away slower and thus was overtaken and then should yield.

          It’s not that easy to call.

          1. Vettel didn’t overtake Hamilton. He was released first, and when Hamilton got close to the fast lane Vettel was already ahead. I really can’t see how there could be an argument in which Vettel overtook illegally in the pitlane!

          2. They were relased with at best a tenth of a second in between.

            Which is perfectly understandable since Vettel had stopped the same amount earlier than Hamilton.

            When two cars go in, both wait 3 seconds and then go again. Which car leaves first? The lead car or the one behind?

            The main issue is that Vettel was still in the inner lane when Hamilton was released. So it wasn’t an unsafe release. That much is clear.

            Now the problem comes when Hamilton has too much wheelspin and Vettel is able to overtake him.

          3. BTW YOU were the one that said that overtaking in the pitlane should not be allowed. Hence my point that Vettel did just that.

            I’m not the one saying it’s illegal.

  50. Red Andy says:
    April 18, 2010 at 11:07 am

    As long as it takes. The stewards have quite a bit to discuss today.

    I’d rather the decision was slow and correct rather than rushed and wrong.


    Does that mean it will be today? in THE NEXT HOUR? or maybe tomorrow or the day after?

  51. Whether or not they were released together Vettel had nowhere to go. Did anyone expect him to slow down in the pit to let Hamilton pass? He could not speed up and Ham should have given way and got back into the pit lane. I can see a grid penalty for Spain. Hamilton is a good aggressive driver but this is another incident with him involved.

    1. He had a a good metre or so to his left though, didn’t he?

      Of course it’s another incident with him involved, precisely because he’s a good attacking driver. You can’t have racing without cutting things close, and with saftey as good as it is, that danger line is rarely reached, let alone crossed. Or shall we just feed Hamilton valiums before the race and wrap up everyone else in cotton wool? I notice Hamilton is dangerous (not that you yourself are saying that, to clarify) to people who don’t like him but other drivers pulling off similar incidents are barely criticised at all.

    2. There is no “but” in there.

      The line should be “Hamilton is a good aggressive driver which means he’s bound to get into incidents with him involved.”

  52. I am a big fan of Hamilton and believe he is a fantastic racer. But I think he needs to get his head right.

    Too many incidents today, not necessarily his fault but how many can be forgiven?
    – Cutting across Vettel in pit lane (he lost traction and track position to Vettel)
    – Pushing Webber off track at restart (even though Vettel might have a hand in it)
    – Cutting across pit lane again!
    – Racing in pit lane. He should have yielded when he realized it was dangerous.

    I think a penalty is due and he should suck it up and get his head right.

    However you have to admit he is a fantastic racer. Vettel and Hami were near each other at 2 different times on the circuit and watch the difference in their finish.

    1. “Cutting across Vettel in pit lane”
      – both had the same strategy and neither knew they were gonna pit at the same time – last second breaking and coming into the pits is what you do and that was far…. Alonso deliberately cut across his teammate Massa yet he’s been receiving almost no critisism – because there is not rule forbidding that

      “Pushing Webber off track at restart”
      – Hamilton had no way to go otherwise with Vettel on his left… Webber has been driving rather poorly all morning, but he has a big mouth however but needs to stop making so many mistakes (I like the guy though)

      “Racing in pit lane. He should have yielded when he realized it was dangerous.”
      – he was released at the same time as Vettel and neither could race with a speed limit (it’s illegal to race anyway).. Vettel later pushed Lewis into Williams’ pit stop space with people in it… that was dangerous

      yes he should have yielded but both were safely driving in a straight line until Vettel moved to the right pushing Lewis into other teams’ pitstops

      1. Yes we know you can try to make excuses for everything that happened. Thats probably why he wasn’t penalized yet and its still being discussed, as it wasn’t perfectly clear.

        What winds me up, its always Hamilton. When controversy pops up during a race, somehow, Its. Always. About. Hamilton.

        Yes, he always managed to get away with it without a serious incident. But ask yourself this – for how much longer?

      2. Yeah what is the rule about two drivers ending up side by side in the pitlane?

        I remember last year when Kovalainen and Fisichella going side by side in the pitlane and Kovalainen got the power down sooner and overtook Fisichella.

        Is it allowed for two cars to be side by side in the fastlane?

        1. Some places it is, some places it isn’t. I remember it specifically being said that at Monza, for instance, two cars were allowed to go side-by-side down the pit lane because it was wide enough to accommodate them.

          1. How about here then?


            Looks like plenty space for two cars to me.

  53. I know the article is about Lewis *but* I can’t beleive we are discussing whether Hamilton should be penalised, yet Button gets off Scot free for his move behind the safety car. And there barely seems to be any discussion about it ! Yet remember how Hamilton got roasted alive for the Webber/Vettel incident in Japan 2007 – which was far less dangerous IMO than Button today.

    And look while I think that Hamilton was being a bit cheeky & should have fallen in behind Vettel since he was clearly in front (and then this talk about Vettel driving into the side of him would not have occurred) it does seem a little like the Stewards pay particular attention to Hamilton (and Victoria Police too, but that’s neither here nor there :) ). I am not saying he commits more penalty-worthy offences than anyone else, but that for some reason others can get away with things Lewis can’t.

  54. Why some penalties are decided during the race and others afterwards??. If hamilton gets a 10 grid penalty could harm him harder that a drive through today. Is there any rule or is just the marshals’ call??.
    I would give both of them a penalty HAM for not backing off (and having a bad record already) and VET for making the situation more risky for the guys around him.

    1. agreed. they had tons of time to do that, now they need both drivers to apologise and pay some sort of significant sum (100k) to the FIA… taking away points and stuff is just too Mosley like – it would discourage racing or whatnot… similar situations can occur easily in Monaco when it rains (it was slippery everywhere on the pitlane, give he drivers a break and let them fight for the title)

  55. Any penalty for anyone would be over-harsh. Hamilton’s release was too marginal for neglect or intention to be concluded with any certainty. Vettel should have left Hamilton some room, but Hamilton could have also lifted. Webber being forced off was just as much Vettel’s fault. Taken into context, none of the incidents deserves an outright penalty, and if one does then they all do, for everyone, including Button’s handling of the restart if you’re going to punish for the Webber “incident” too.

    Racing incidents, and should be left as such. Certainly no penalty that changes the result of today’s race. After sensible stewarding so far this year, F1 doesn’t need to return to the ad hoc result alterations of the past, not in these kinds of incidents especially (if it was on the last alp and someone gained a position illegally, sure, but neither happened).

    1. this is racing baby! F1 is alive!

    2. The last Alp? This is F1, not the Tour de France. Pay attention! :P


    1. Calm down. It could be 15mins the way things are looking but possible more. It will be today

  57. My opinion on the 2 vettel hamilton incidents firstly on the way in to the pits and the way out is that Vettel was unnecessarily aggresive in both circumstances. On the way into the pit lane Lewis clearly pointed to vettel that going into the pits was his intention. When lewis got in front at the corner, vettel got a bee in his bonnet about lewis being in front, and vented this frustation from then on on lewis in the race. Lewis wasn’t released unsafely as vettel wasn’t in the fast lane of the pit lane at the time he was released, which is where the lollypop man is looking when they release him. Vettel then pushed him dangerously into other garages which is ridiculously dangerous. My opinion is that vettel should be penalized for this and there should be some clarification on giving way on the way into the pit lane.

    Then on release of the safety car when lewis pushed mark webber wide, this again was clearly caused by vettel (and the bee in his bonnet from the earlier incident).

    1. You need to watch the incidents again – Vettel is blameless in both. Your attemepts at shifting blame from Hamilton to Vettel are transparent and pathetic.

      1. You can’t blame Vettel for holding the position when Webber had nowhere to go when being on the right of Lewis. Lewis couldn’t go left to free up space for Webber either.

        Nevertheless, Vettel should’ve carried out going straight on the pit lane with Lewis behind him, and not steered to the right endangering the Williams’ mechanics. Watch the replay

    2. Lewis and Vettel were released at the same time. Lewis should have stayed behind (right behind, not on the side) the guy but then Vettel went right and pushed him aside into Williams’ pit stop. Look, Lewis couldn’t have overtaken Vettel since everyone knows you can’t do and risk getting a drive through straight away

  58. what! i like jenson but it seems to be him that responsable to the incident a the restart!
    hamilton is not responsable for every incident in the race.
    Hamilton is just responsable for all the greatest overtakings in this season.

    1. Amen brother Amen… They’re paid too much anyway, get them to donate money to charities and clarify the rules (luckily noone got hurt and we saw some of the best racing this year so far)… Hamilton can’t be held responsible for everything, the other drivers need to learn to think outside the box and show they can race (otherwise they’re just drivers)

  59. Caution the drivers and take €100,000 from their wallets… They had all the time in the world to penalise by subtracting seconds or giving drive-through or 10 seconds pit-stops



    yet Lewis is getting the stick again

    1. Yes, but as I said earlier, I doubt that Alonso did it deliberately as noone would be stupid enough to think that they could get away with it!

    2. stop shouting, your giving me a headache.

      an, er, the two things you’ve said there kind of explain why no ones talking about it in this thread about Hamilton and Vettle.

      1. “You’re” ;-)

  61. This will go on and on as it gives the numerous tedious blatant Hamilton-haters a forum to spew their hatred. So pathetic.

    1. Over 300 comments yes, but most people here feel he shouldn’t be penalised. You’ll also inevitably get a few of the ones you’re taking about.

  62. Zero penalty Hamilton would be unfair.
    Clearly deserves a penalty.
    The English tenieis carte blanche.

    1. what about zero penalty for Vettel?

      both driver should at least pay some money… great race from McLaren and Rosberg

      sorry that the Spaniard didn’t do well

  63. The English you have carte blanche.

    1. David Watkins
      18th April 2010, 11:53

      Rubbish. Do you remember Spa 2008?

      1. a lot of nerve.

        1. David Watkins
          18th April 2010, 12:00

          yeah you do.

          Button has been DQ’d for illegal fuel in the past too. Hamilton has had grid drops before some fair some not fair.

          What on Earth are you talking about?

    2. fia disqualified mclaren in 2007.

  64. No penalities…I think. I’ll try to get more info

  65. Just reprimand no penalties. It’s over now

  66. JonathanProc
    18th April 2010, 11:53

    I think that a reprimand is fair but what did Vettel get reprimanded for.

    Keith do you know what happened with Alonso-Massa and there hearing.

    1. For trying to drive Hamilton into the mechanics peut-être?

      1. JonathanProc
        18th April 2010, 12:00

        thats what i thought. what about Alonso-Massa

  67. It is a bad call. There should have been some penalties (probably to both Hami/McLaren and Vettel). The stewards are setting a dangerous precident that you can get away with irresponsibility.

    I fear we are going to see a serious incident in the next few races. Bad for safety.

    1. Don’t be ridiculous – at the time they didn’t realise that the releases were simultaneous and in the heat of the moment, that is what happens. I’d hate it if we returned the the blatant anti-Hamilton penalties dictated from above by the dubiously motivated Mosley that nearly cost Hamilton his championship. You cannot be a fan of F1 and racing if you want that or are just another boring Hamilton-basher.

      1. Sorry -100% agree.
        This is a very bad precedent.

      2. David Watkins
        18th April 2010, 12:06

        People are also calling for a penalty on Button but the rules state that such braking or accelerating would have to be erratic.

        It didn’t seem to be erratic. He just slowed down a lot but the braking was smooth

      3. There are rules and they need to be enforced strictly. Its called policing otherwise everyone will bend the rules and eventually we will reach a breaking point and something bad can happen.

        F1 has had a fantastic safety record for over a decade now but everyone seems to forget the pre safety days. At their speeds these guys just cannot be irresponsible.

        Let’s hope the GDPA or whatever drivers group beat some sense into Vettel for his recklessness and Alonso, hamilton for “bending the rules”.

        btw if you read my other posts you will realize I am a diehard Hamilton fan.

    2. 100% de agreement.

    3. You hit the nail

    4. I am really concerned by job quality of those stewards.
      What is a name of this person who decided, does anybody know? I smell favoritism for the British driver and/or McLaren team.

      Hamilton engaged in this accident because his previous actions were not punished. Now he is again unpunished so he could feel he can engage in another accident.
      What’s also important by this decision, no punishment means his chances to catch up other top drivers where saved.

      Such “help” by judges is exactly what I hate in sports, and F1 has a bad reputation.

  68. David Watkins
    18th April 2010, 11:55

    The stewards are really letting them race this year. Better that than the absurdities we had in the past such as the Bourdais penalty at Fuji against Massa. That was a low point

  69. tbh being a vettel fan on race day but looking back on the BBC replays as unbiased as can be, yes hamilton went off about a second after vettel which was as close can be, yes lewis tried to push his luck again trying to get infront and vettel made sure he didn’t. But the problem after was vettel pritty much boxed hamilton in a place where he couldn’t move he had to stick with Vettel the whole way since he was trapped.

    What could Hamilton do in a situation like that? Either he swerved to the right and maybe hit pit crew, expensive equipment or the garages, or should hamiton slow down and clip vettel’s rear right tyre making a very likely double pile up in the pit lane messing up both their races and putting even more lives at risk.

    Hamilton chose the safest option out of the 3 and nothing happened which was a good thing, he then backed off close to the end and let vettel through when he had the space.

    same thing goes for vettel, either he allowed lewis past and nothing would of happened or fight for his posistion since he was the first person out so really he has every right to still be infront of lewis.

    He tried to stare down vettel and vettel kept on staring and went abit further in his face, which I think is kind of scary to see.

    Strike 1 for vettel, strike 2 for Hamilton carry on for Barcelona please, and lets keep it sensible.

  70. ConcedoNulli
    18th April 2010, 11:59

    Hamilton tends to be overly aggressive on the track and in the pits. He should have got a drive through during the race for leaving the track to overtake Vettel in the pitlane entry (ditto Alonso v. Massa). Having lost his advantage he then attempted to race Vettel in the pits – Vettel was on the pit lane and had “right of way”. Hamilton straddled the blue divider for a significant length of the pit. Surely the dangerous driving was conducted by Hamilton?

    Despite the red mist he still raced well, although Button’s and Rosberg’s smarter race craft was eroded by a safety car blatantly brought out to improve the spectacle.

    1. I agree, why do the stewards give “gung ho” penalties for pit exit line crossing (even by half a wheel) but let entry lane passing go like that?

  71. Update: The stewards have given Hamilton and Vettel reprimands and no penalties have been applied.

    Both VETTEL and HAMILTON weren’t right… still good that both can carry one fighting for the Championship

    Both drivers should apologise publicly (and to Williams mechanice) but not to Webber :))

    1. i thought there weren’t any mechanics around?

  72. who had to make the decision? 20 britons?

    1. Wurz was the ex driver who was with Mclaren for a while -not implying anything just saying- and then the usual stewards I assume. I doubt this was a Brit conspiracy :P

    2. there are three other Stewards and the guest-drivers DO NOT MAKE ANY DECISIONS… there are only there to give advice from a driver’s point of view

  73. phew!!! that could have been bad for f1. we didn’t need another change of results after the race.

  74. Wow, an amazingly fair call from the stewards to give both of them a reprimand.

    It seems like hell did freeze over …

  75. Sensible decision concerning all parties and incidents. The stewards are doing very well this year, both fair and consistent, and letting the racing stay on track.

  76. The FIA have finally learned that viewers (except the rabid Hamilton-haters) do not want to see penalties dished out left right and centre for things that were partly unavoidable. Alonso’s drive through was correct as it was so blatant and individual.

  77. marius van list
    18th April 2010, 12:12

    Reprimands! And maybe they should apologize to each other with hand shake in front of cameras…and run around next track in “chicken” outfits and what else…this is not SPORT! This is politics influencing great sport! SHAME on F1! It brings cheaters and crooks in to the highest level of F1. BAD, BAD, BAD.

  78. Hamilton, as usual, no penalty. What a shame!!

    1. David Watkins
      18th April 2010, 12:16

      As usual?! He’s the most penalised driver out there!

      1. he is a bad boi… good girls like bad bois

        on the serious note, he has had the worst luck

  79. Stewards is very fair so far. They did not found any rule broken by Hamilton and Vettel. But I hope that safety should not be compromised. To avoid the same scenario for the sake of safety, pit lane rules should be drafted.

  80. theviewingfoot
    18th April 2010, 12:21

    A reprimand is about right, there’s no give and take between drivers like SV and LH that’s the reason we watch. Who blinks first, who’s the bravest and who’s got the edge over the other.

  81. Mark Hitchcock
    18th April 2010, 12:26

    Reprimand is probably right, they did both drive a bit dangerously, but I don’t think they were trying to be stupid. Just got a bit caught up in the moment.

    I do still think that most of the blame lies with Hamilton though, it was his own decision to not lift off and just follow Vettel.

    1. Magnificent Geoffrey
      18th April 2010, 12:29

      My thoughts exactly. Now I’ve analysed the incident I fully agree with the steward’s decision.

    2. David Watkins
      18th April 2010, 12:31

      Yep. Too be honest I wouldnt have argued with a drive-thru or a five-placer for Barcelona but I’m glad the benefit of the doubt is now going to the drivers.

      Plus it will send the Spanish ‘press’ into a huge sulk a la 2007, which is always a joy to watch

  82. I am glad sense prevailed

  83. Not commenting on Hamilton or Vettel, but here’s a suggestion: What about a rev limiter penalty for dangerous or irresponsible driving? For the following race set the driver’s rev limiter say 200 rpm lower.

    Kind of like saying, “Reduced power for you until you learn to handle it responsibly.”


    If it’s a team error, such as early release from the pits, it’s not fair that one driver must carry the whole penalty. It should be split: Each driver two or three grid places, rather than one driver five grid places.

    This would have the effect of increasing animosity between teammates. Not a bad thing from a spectator point of view.

    1. Rev limiter? For a whole race? Hmm, that’s pretty drastic don’t you think?

      At least a grid penalty can be recovered from with great driving, but limited revs? Yeah that’s a bit over the top in my opinion.

      1. 200 revs is about 1% down on power. Maybe 50 revs? I’m not sure what the effect will be, to be honest, but it has the merit of being scalable: 50 revs for a mild offense, 200 revs for a bad offense.

        Of course, with a rev penalty you’d have to drive dangerously close to the limit to make up for the loss of power…

    2. “What about a rev limiter penalty for dangerous or irresponsible driving? For the following race set the driver’s rev limiter say 200 rpm lower.”

      No, that’s something like what happens on the Playstation.

      Time or grid penalties are fine.

      1. I remember that happening on F1 06 and Gran Turismo 4, and even there it was an outrageous way to punish someone.

  84. I guess this puts an end to “Hamilton chase” crying.

    1. Yeah. I think things are finally the way they should be. Fair rulings for everyone.

  85. Posted this in the Webber post but I think its more relavant here.

    Button probably isn’t going to get a pentalty an apparently the only penalty Hamilton can receive is a grid drop for reasons Martin Brundle mentioned, regardless of whether they deserve them.

    This is because of the rules on issuing penalties. From what I understood from what Brundle was saying, to give out a 25sec penalty or a drive through the stewards must inform the teams 20min after the incident that it is being investigated. They didn’t do this for Button at all so the window has closed.

    For Hamilton, the incident happened early enough for the Stewards to award a drive through, but instead they chose to investigate it after the race. It didn’t happen late enough in the race for a 25sec penalty to be awarded but as they did inform the team managers in time, they can give Hamilton a grid penalty for the next race which I would expect to be 3 to 5 places. But remember Vettle receving 10 from the Aus incident last year, although that was very harsh.

    I’ve checked the regs since posting this in the webber thread an they arn’t specifically mentioned, so I’m not sure if Brundle new what he was talking about.

    1. Well it’s reprimands then, personally I though grid drops would have sent a stronger message. I’m starting to think the Stewards might be a bit to leniant this year.

    2. David Watkins
      18th April 2010, 13:11

      No penalties have been issued, Scribe

      Agree about the Vettel/Kubica incident too. Thankfully that sort of stewarding seems to be a thing of the past

      1. Vettel was lucky not to get a race ban after that incident in my opinion. Not because of the accident, which was his fault but no worse than many we’ve seen before, but because he tried to finish the race in an extremely badly damaged car, which was very dangerous indeed.

  86. If I was a great racer and didn’t have any haters, I’d be quite worried

    Noone’s ever achieved greatness by doing things by the book

    Having said that, they have to be careful and not endanger those around them (losing a wheel or two during the race is also a concern, trying to overtake on slippery tarmac in difficult conditions with little racing experience, as well as bumping into someone’s rear during the race when you had every chance to avoid just that)

    And those who fail do like to point the fingers at others but themselves… Wish some drivers just had enough time during their careers to go through the school of life and acknowledge that it’s immature. Walk the talk, this isn’t politics

  87. Again, just reprimands. Ridiculous, safety car stays on track for so long and now “reprimends”. What the hell is going on ! :/

  88. So Hamiltons poor bully boy racer tactics are not penalised.

    What a farce

  89. The releases by the teams may have been fine but when Hamilton realised Vettel was in front, Hamilton should’ve yielded.

  90. QUESTION FOR STEWARDS: Are you going to start giving him penalties before he kill someone on the track or after ?

    1. Who are you talking about? Vettel?

      What he did was dangerous, but not that much was it?

  91. Rubbish Dave
    18th April 2010, 13:36

    Brings back memories of Germany 2008.

    Where Vettel and Alonso raced side by side in a similar manner (with Vettel on the mechanics side) and where Vettel forced Alonso over the white line at the pit exit.
    Nothing heppened there, although it was pretty outrageous.

    Squeezing people in the pit lane is certainly not on – and something Vettel seems to be guilty of on more than one occasion, but they should introduce a requirement for position to be yielded by the one rejoining the pit lane in the case where they are side by side.

    It would be a bit contrary to penalise them for racing down the pit lane though, as similar incidents (for example Kubica/Raikkonen Canada 2008 in addition to Germany 2008) haven’t even really been mentioned, let alone punished.

    1. Yeah, I seem to remember these things happen a lot too.

      I wonder when it is allowed to drive side by side and when not.

      The rules are unclear about this.

    2. Perhaps mandate a wider pit-lane, split into two marked lanes? Might help.

      1. Rubbish Dave
        18th April 2010, 14:11

        May be a problem at circuits such as Monaco where space is limited.

      2. This has been posted already:


        There is plenty of room, Vettel didn’t give Hamilton anyway.

  92. This is a good outcome for the sport. Clearly having a driver on the stewards board is having a really practical impact. It was right Hamilton and Vettel got a ticking off today – it’s always going to be risky to have cars racing in the pitlane and it has the potential to be dangerous. But equally today’s incident was not worth changing the result of a cracking race over.

    1. I think a better outcome would have been to leave the outcome of the race, an give both drivers a three place grid penalty for the next race. Along with that clarification is needed on the pitlane rules, a yeilding to the car ahead rule should be established, like under yellows, an racing side by side in the pitlane should be banned, it’s too dangerous.

      What if Hamilton had hit a Williams mechanic at 100kmh, he would have killed him, or taken of his leg, the more I think about this the more I think the stewards decision was wrong and bad for the sport, it was potentialy fatal driving from both of them, due to their own competative spirit, an unclear rules.

      Pitlane rules should be made clearer an safer to avoid a situation like this occurring again. Hamilton should receive a 3 place grid penalty an a fine for not yeilding, Vettle should receive a 3 place grid penalty an a fine for pushing Hamilton outwide, acidentally or not, in a potentially fatal situation. This may seem harsh but in a situation where there are unprotected people are standing there drivers have to reign in their compatative instincts.

      1. I’m with you on this one Scribe – We’ve seen in the past ridiculous penalties but this was one which some kind of reprimand such as a grid drop or a suspended race ban (is that not what Renault ended up with after Alonsoswheelfallingoffbeforeaspanishroundgate?)

        To put it into context dangerous driving in the pitlane has warranted less punishment than:

        Cutting a corner in the wet
        Cutting a corner in the dry
        Rejoining the racetrack beside a leader
        Having a car which is a few kg too light
        Changing a faulty part without which the car wouldn’t function
        An internal team squabble which culminated in two cars being stationary in the garage

        We seem to have gone from one extreme to an other

        1. Indeed, however what F1 still needs comming out from Mosley’s keep the rules fuzzy so we can manipulate them to our liking era is more clarification on all this issues.

          If a driver knew he was going get a penalty for something, he would avoid it no matter how marginal it might be.

          I still think reprimands was to weak, an I say this as a known McLaren an Hamilton fan, hopefully what we get out of this though is a clarification for next time, which might just be the route the stewards are taking, reprimands on unclear rules, harsher punishments next time.

  93. hamilton did nothing wrong in my eyes..
    what about vettels attempt to pass him even though he was heading for the pits.. and it also looked like vettel still tried to overtake hamilton down the pit lane..

    vettel was the one who was agressive in my eyes.. Hamilton was just defending his position..

    1. other than that..

      good call by jenson on tyres yet again and a blinding race by hamilton to come from the back again..

      roll on barca..!

      1. BTW I’d like to add that Hamilton was the one who got the tyre call righ the last stop gaining 5 seconds on the guys ahead of him. It’s how he got passed Rosberg and closed right up to Button.

        1. i’d have to agree..

          thought that move button made on the restart was a tad silly.. :\

  94. polishboy808
    18th April 2010, 14:02

    Didn’t something like this happen to Webber in Spa when the team released him from the pits right alongside hiedfeld? What happened to him? Drive through. Vettel at Germany? 10,000 euro fine and reprimand. Hamilton at China? Nothing. This shows whats going on in f1. As for why they do it, I still don’t understand but that right there is enough proof to win me over that the stewards are biased towards Hamilton. Vettel’s move should have also earned him a reprimand, but had McLaren not released him in such a fashion, said incident would have not have happened.

    1. Yeah, the new “fewer penalties” attitude baffled me too when the season started. Webber cause many incidents and didn’t even get a warning. I’ve gotten used to it now.

      It IS for the better though. All these “Allen Donnely penalties” were beyond ridiculous. Before this loon came into power we didn’t have penalties for the drivers “farting on track” either.

      So see it as that the penalty regime is back to before Mosley and his friend Donnely took over stewarding. A huge improvement in my book.

      BTW there is a huge difference with releasing a driver in the path of a car that’s already on the fastlane and what happened here.

      In this case Hamilton and Vettel were released at the same time (keeping their pitbox locations in mind). That’s hardly an unsafe release.

      Vettel didn’t even have to brake or swerve. So he wasn’t hindered by Hamilton at all. In fact it was Vettel who opted to swerve INTO Hamilton and have the audicity to later claim that Hamilton purposefully ran into him.

  95. Just my humble opinion for the records:
    Both should be penalised: the pit is not a racing area.

    Vettel shouldn’t have steered to Hamilton: that was dangerous for the mechanics. So, penalty. A 5 places grid penalty means he will start from 6th place next race ;-) Not the end of the world.

    Hamilton could have let him by. Was he really thinking he could overtake there ??? Penalty. Hamilton gets too rough. I mean OK, try to overtake, be quick. But the weaving ? Overtaking while entering the pitlane ?? IN the pitlane ? Come on: if we had 24 Hamiltons, we’d have a great distracting race: 5 SC, 12 drive through, 3 25s pens… He has to calm down a bit. OK he wants to be the king, but that is a bit like an over-motivated too hasty child.

    1. It was Vettel who was trying to overtake Hamilton while going into the pitlane. Hamilton defended his position.

      Maybe you are confused with Alonso who overtook Massa?

  96. I think this decision will come back to haunt the FIA. This was potentially a very dangerous incident with so many people in the pitlane, you have to draw the line somewhere. Personally, I think both Vettel and Hamilton were at fault and should have been punished for it. For this to happen on the racetrack is one thing, but the pitlane rules must be followed or one day we will see people killed by this kind of thing. As I say, I hope this does not come back to haunt F1 in the future.
    I can understand why they have done what they have done, but at what cost?

  97. Button was not investigated because his acceleration and deceleration behind the safety car was not considered to be “erratic”, unlike some of the other stuff that happened elsewhere.

  98. even if he does push the limits of the rules, you cannot say Lewis’s driving is unentertaining :D It’s what formula 1 needs.

    1. David Watkins
      18th April 2010, 15:05

      Amen. He’s F1’s biggest asset

  99. it is Massa’s fault. Senna would have thrown the spanish prima donna on the wall for being “pushy”. Massa is a disappointemnt when it comes to mind games.

    1. ” spanish prima donna” …
      The future tri-champion.
      ja, ja, ja…

  100. …………….SHAME.

  101. Reprimands for both parties seems like the right choice. This is competitive racing – why on earth would anyone want to see penalties for either driver over it? Last year at Spa showed that stewards were getting too involved – changing the outcome of races after the event – making it a bit of a farce.

    As has been pointed out, both drivers were released at the same time, Hamilton got wheel-spin and they ended up side by side. Hamilton should probably have dropped back, Vettel should not have squeezed him. Not worth a penalty for either, in my opinion.

    Good to see less steward intervention so far this year. Not to mention some fantastic races (even if that’s mainly due to the rain).

  102. Good to see common sense prevailed. All that was needed was a good talking to and that’s all that happened.

  103. Correct decision. It was an odd incident, both had parts to play. Its sport and in the heat of battle you can’t always be squeaky clean things happen to fast and if you haven’t got the winning instinct what’s the point.

    Good to see this championship could be decided by racing. ;-)

  104. Hamilton gets away with most his infringements, “weaving” is “weaving” not trying to break a slip stream. The Pit lane dice with Vertel, was just that, Vertel was in front and Hamilton was running along the Pit area. Furthermore, his penalties are always awarded at a later stage, and he takes the points up front. Hamilton, the new Montoya?

    1. Lehonardeuler
      18th April 2010, 17:57

      Not to mention last year’s 3 race ban in suspension…
      I mean, I understand he was sent out besides Vettel on the pit lane, but actually fighting with him until the last possible moment a limited speed and width street, with people alongside, it’s a very dangerous thing to do, and as a Super Lincese holder driver he must know that.

  105. The comments in here would fit much better in a Lewis Hamilton fanatics forum.

    In F1 nowadays, there are two kinds of drivers: Hamilton and the others. The rules apply only to the others, not to Hamilton. He does whatever he wants to, not fearing any kind of penalty.

    Soon enough, Hamilton will cause a major accident with his temerarious driving. It will be too late, then.

    Something must be done now to placate this person, who thinks anything goes as long as it makes you win.

    1. Change the record, i suppose Spa in 08 was a major issue and just deserts. The stewards have made their decision, this anti hamilton stuff is getting boring

    2. You can argue all you like about whether or not Hamilton is an over aggressive driver, because it`s a matter of opinion. But if yo`re going to make the argument that Hamilton never gets a penalty, you might like to choose a driver that doesn`t have the record for most penalties in a season (5, 2008).

      1. The way Hamilton disregards general safety, he should be penalized at every GP, multiple times.

        Anti-Hamilton… that’s fanboy talk. I’m just someone who’s not biased towards this kamikaze.

  106. My opinion on the 2 vettel hamilton incidents firstly on the way in to the pits and the way out is that Vettel was unnecessarily aggresive in both circumstances. On the way into the pit lane Lewis clearly pointed to vettel that going into the pits was his intention. When lewis got in front at the corner, vettel got a bee in his bonnet about lewis being in front, and vented this frustation from then on on lewis in the race. Lewis wasn’t released unsafely as vettel wasn’t in the fast lane of the pit lane at the time he was released, which is where the lollypop man is looking when they release him. Vettel then pushed him dangerously into other garages which is ridiculously dangerous. My opinion is that vettel should be penalized for this and there should be some clarification on giving way on the way into the pit lane.

    Then on release of the safety car when lewis pushed mark webber wide, this again was clearly caused by vettel (and the bee in his bonnet from the earlier incident).

    If anybody has been dealt with lightly by the stewards it is Vettel.

    So to summarize I’d like to say a “big finger” to all Hamilton haters, and an even bigger finger to the button haters. Mclaren for the Title, I don’t care whether its button or Hamilton but its british domination from here forwards, all you germans can get bored of the same guy winning for 5 years!

  107. Marc Gené, Ferrari test driver, said on TV he didn’t know how the rule really was, and should there be a penalty he didn’t know what kind of penalty would the stewards give to Ham.
    It looked very much as drivers don’t care much about rules and just rely on common sense. Either way, stewards would decide whatever, and the driver would have to accept it.
    I think the “reprimend” method is ok, but without someone getting a penalty from time to time is going to be little effective. A reprimend should include one place on the grid. Something mild, but some punishment.

    Let’s hope next race in not Borecelona. (it’s quite rainy this year >:)
    Great championship so far.

  108. DO people want to see boring processions or real racing? Todays race was amazing and take it as that. I don’t want to watch a race that is resulted by stewards.

    As for the weaving fanatics.


    2 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.
    Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will
    be reported to the stewards of the meeting.

    Make up your own mind, but personally, I don’t think petrov was overtaking.

  109. Jhonnie Siggie
    18th April 2010, 21:15

    It is easy for the armchair drivers here to criticize Ham and Vet, but these guys once released from the pit, had a fraction of a second to decide what to do. With the adrenaline pumping it was hard of either to back down. I think the FIA took these factors into account when deciding what sort of penalty to administer. I am sure also that the FIA will raise this in future driver’s briefings so that drivers become better aware of where the line should be drawn.

  110. I think that hamiltom have to get the penalty

  111. Alonso and Hamilton are basically the same drivers, will run over their grandma to get in front of other drivers and never think about safety and always cross the line with the rules but imagine F1 without them…

    1. ..what some would call a PROPER racing driver

  112. Hamilton seems to be single-handedly rewriting/testing the rules of ‘racing’.

    In the last race he received an official warning for ‘weaving’ in front of other drivers (Petrov).
    This race, it seemed that the clearly marked pit-entry lines are to be taken with a grain of salt, as he radically changed direction from mid-corner, through a gravel-bed, into the pit-entry lane.
    It is also normal to dice it out with another driver, again from a non-pit entry line (which Vettel clearly had) and pass him before the tight left-hander. This feat being copied by Alonso on Massa several laps later.
    Subsequently, racing another driver in the zone where mechanics are allowed to work on cars in the pitlane, as clearly marked by a blue-line.
    Finally, pushing Webber of in the last corner before restarting the race under SC/yellow, is fine too.
    Add to the equation his warning from the last race, it almost suggests that the warning only last for the race they were given. Which would mean that both Hamilton and Vettel can be as aggressive as they please in Spain in a few weeks.

    In addition that this, Button seemed to have forgotten his crash behind the pace-car in Monza 2001, when Schumacher slowed the entire field down. This slowing down by Button ultimately leading to Webber being pushed of by Hamilton, when he noticed that Vettel was on his inside.

    I also thought I heard the Speed commentators mention that Alex Wurz was the driver with race-control overseeing if something should be penalized or not. You would almost wonder if his McLaren years have influenced his suggestions to race-control with regards to both Hamilton and Button’s ‘race-incidents’.

    Seriously, Hamilton should have been penalized this race, just alone for history (being the last race). Whether or not he is a marvelous driver, which he clearly is. He, again, drove a magnificent race, but if driving a magnificent race means you can do what ever you please without any serious consequences, I wonder what’s in store for us in the races to come.

  113. how about the entrance to the pits, was hamilton allowed to overtake vettel? if vettel wouldn’t have used his head an allowed him to come in front of him, hamilton would ahve ruined the race for both of them. If any penalty is to be given to hamilton, it would be for that stupid move

    1. Same thing happened between he two Ferrari’s.
      Alonso like Hamilton passed Massa in the pit entry which I think have helped him to finish fourth & left Massa struggling.

    2. Vettel was overtaking Hamilton. Hamilton was pointing that he was going to go into the pits.

      When it turned out they were both going in, Hamilton had the inside line. It’s the same as all the other corners.

  114. The rule should state that if a car is ahead of the other car in the pitlane then the other car needs to back off, in this case Hamliton should have back off & sit in the slipstream of Vettel in the pitlane. I don’t think Hamilton was doing anything wrong by going wheel to wheel with Vettel but the frustrating thing was Vettel was pushing Hamilton toward the teams garage in order to force him to slow down. Another thing why is a modern F1 track don’t have a pitlane where two cars can drive side by side.

  115. Kevin Eason (Times-on-Line) seems to think only Vettel got a reprimand,as does the author of the ‘Chinese GP analysis’ on the formula1.com website.
    I have also read two differing web reports, both supposedly quoting the FIA statement, one stating:
    “the Steward’s decide that Sebastian Vettel drove in a dangerous manner and therefore impose a penalty of a reprimand.”
    and the other saying:
    “the Stewards decide that Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel drove in a dangerous manner and therefore impose a penalty of a reprimand.”

    Can you clear this up Keith? Did they both get a reprimand or just Vettel?

    (I guess if it turns out the latter it will start a further frenzy of posts!)

  116. I don’t think it was an unsafe release by McLaren as it was just after Vettel’s release.

    But after Hamilton had wheelspin and so was side by side with Vettel but slightly behind he should have eased off and gone fully behind Vettel as even in relatively wide pit lanes drivers shouldn’t be side by side. Vettel did seem to drive to the right trying to force Hamilton out which was out of order as well considering that is where all the mechanics would be.

    I think Hamilton is quite lucky just to get a reprimand, I would probably agree with Martin Brundle who said Hamilton should have received a grid penalty for the next race and Vettel a reprimand.

  117. I think only one person mentioned Hamilton’s grass track pit lane entrance, David Coultard did comment on it being’ technically driving the wrong way on the circuit’. It seems to me that Hamilton is a law unto himself, I remember the days when good sporting manners ruled, think back to the 1950’s and 60’s.

    1. “I remember the days when good sporting manners ruled, think back to the 1950’s and 60’s”
      Have you actually been involved in any competitive sport yourself? I think not, otherwise you would not be making the comment – “It seems to me that Hamilton is a law unto himself” for something which was cleary the result of miscommunication between him and the garage.

  118. I think this is pathetic once again the stewards decided on the outcome.

    At the end of the day if Hamilton got one so should Vettel, this forum is getting abit pathetic with everyone against Hamilton.

    All I can say is if Hamilton is “re-writing” the rule books, what did drivers like Schumacher do?

    1. “I think this is pathetic once again the stewards decided on the outcome.”

      So just get on with it….end of!

  119. Good decision by the stewards…

  120. Just one question why didn’t Vettel move over to the left a bit, there was clearly room. As for the rest of the incident, thats racing…………

  121. Looks like the traffic could be a real problem in Monaco.

    BTW: Why McLaren wasn’t punished for unsafe release of Hamilton during Chinese GP:
    Lollipops were up at almost same moment(well, there was just 1/10 sec difference).

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      27th April 2010, 11:23

      Why McLaren wasn’t punished for unsafe release of Hamilton during Chinese GP:

      You answered your own question:

      Lollipops were up at almost same moment(well, there was just 1/10 sec difference).

      How could you justify punishing McLaren or Red Bull for an unsafe release when the only way to tell the differences between the timing of their releases was invisible to the naked eye?

      1. I did not want say that McLaren should have been punished. It wasn’t a question – I was just explaing, why they were not! ;)

        That was meant as McLaren’s defence as I was reading on many forums posts where people wonder how it was possible not to penalize Hamilton.

  122. I did not want say that McLaren should have been punished. It wasn’t a question – I was just explaing, why they were not! ;)

    That was meant as McLaren’s defence as I was reading on many forums posts where people wonder how it was possible not to penalize Hamilton.

  123. this has happened before many times in formula 1 and the only penalty given is unsafe release from the team. in this case they both came out at almost the same time. So no penalty for either. but vettel shouldnt be moving right.

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