Webber loses out in safety car incident

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber was elbowed off the track in the second safety car period
Mark Webber was elbowed off the track in the second safety car period

Mark Webber was pushed off the circuit and lost several places in a controversial incident behind the safety car during the Chinese Grand Prix.

Webber made contact with Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren as the field was very tightly bunched up before the re-start after the second safety car period.

Should the stewards get involved over the collision?

Webber had jumped in front of Hamilton and team mate Sebastian Vettel by making his final change of tyres earlier than his rivals.

As the second safety car period came to an end race leader Jenson Button slowed the field behind him causing several cars to run side-by-side and forcing Hamilton off the track at the hairpin.

As they approach the final corner Vettel, Hamilton and Webber were alongside each other and contact was almost inevitable. Hamilton and Webber banged into each other and the Red Bull driver lost out.

The regulations warn drivers not to slow unnecessarily during a safety car period, a charge that could be levelled at Button. And Hamilton may get in trouble for being too close to the car in front of him.

Should the stewards get involved or leave this one alone? Was anyone at fault, or was this just a racing incident? Have your say in the comments.

168 comments on “Webber loses out in safety car incident”

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  1. They need to go after them, that’s the only way you can expect to terminate this type of behavior. Let’s face it, rules were broken, and if you look at the FIA’s track record the aprropriate actions probably won’t be taken.

    1. Terminate what behaviour? Racing? Webber should blame his team-mate just as much as Hamilton. This is the same guy who banged into Barrichello and felt hard done-by by getting a penalty. Two wrong (decisions) wouldn’t make a right.

      1. Both McLearens should be punished, Jenson for suddenly slowing and Lewis for bumping into Mark.
        I like aggressive RACING, but not primitive car boxing. I think stewards should notice this difference. Their lack of rule enforcement puts me off.

        1. So do you think Mark should be punished for taking Hamilton off the track in Australia or had you forgotten about that one?

          1. I don’t remember that one indeed. But I don’t care who did wrong and who is punished, I like racing.

          2. I just watched it on YT. You are right, at first it’s not clear what is different there and here. But, the point is that in Australia it was racing. Here it was under safety car, not while racing. If we go down the road Icthyes is suggesting drivers will try to hurt themselves on the way to the racing venue.

          3. dragonhead08
            18th April 2010, 22:39

            Didnt he knerf him on two different occasions in that race?

          4. you’ll find it wasn’t under the safety car Mac. They had already crossed the safety car line which was before the last corner so racing had resumed. Therefore, racing incident. Webbers punt of hamilton at australia was far more dangerous and speculative. Also vettel should be punnished for squeezing hamilton towards the mechanics in the pitlane, that was unneccesary dangerous behaviour.

          5. OK mike-e. I think that changes things as rules would treat it as any incident disregarding the SC period prior to incident.

            Regarding the Vettel vs. Hamilton pitlane, I don’t know the rules. If he broke them, he should serve a penalty. Sure. But Hamilton (actually McLearen) should be penalized for leaving pit in front of Vettel too. Clear simple, part of the game.

            To everyone. The essence of sport, any sport, is to compete within boundaries of rules. Otherwise is not sport anymore. You brake the rule, you are penalized. The choice is yours.

          6. bernification
            19th April 2010, 3:43

            Actually Mac, the cars had passed the point at which they are allowed to race- in China it is just before the last corner.

            Stupid place, but racing incident

          7. Mac,

            Hamilton was released before Vettel was on the fast lane.

            The reason they got so close was because Hamilton had some wheel spin. The second time they stopped together, Vettel was away quicker too, but Hamilton simply came out in front.

            Think about it, two cars going in the pitlane together. The trailing car stops first and thus also leaves first (if both stops take about the same time).

            There i no rule that says that the lead car should be out first.

            For that matter there is no rule that says that cars cannot drive side by side in the fast lane. It happened lots of time with no penalties handed out at all.

            What people don’t seem to understand is that the penalties for Hamilton and Vettel were give out for dangerous driving.

            Hamilton was getting too much sideways and almost took Vettel out with that and Vettel was driving dangerously when he purposefully touched Hamilton’s car and pushed him into the Williams pitbox.

    2. I’d be interested to see some more replays of the entire incident (are there any available?).

      My first impression was that, as Martin Brundle said during the commentary, Button did potentially break the rule regarding dangerous maneuvers before a restart.

      The Webber incident just looked like 3 cars side-by-side, with two colliding. Not sure that’s anything more than a racing incident, but I’d like to see it in more detail.

      1. I don’t see why the lead driver behind the safety car should be the only driver who can’t choose his tactics for the restart.

        If the lead driver has to drive in a prescriptive way then the other drivers have complete control over jumping the leader at the restart.

        Anyway, my concern is WHY the safety car was called in this place ?

        It seemed a relatively minor problem which could have been covered by flags – at least for one lap to see if the debris could be cleared without the safety car.

        Being cynical I wonder whether the stewards were under pressure to wipe out the enormous advantage that the leaders got from their very clever decision to stay out on slicks.

        The safety car wiped out all advantage from that fantastic call.

        1. x2 in regard to the cynical comment.

      2. “The Webber incident just looked like 3 cars side-by-side, with two colliding. Not sure that’s anything more than a racing incident, but I’d like to see it in more detail.”

        They are not allowed to pass before the start/finish line at the new start after safety car. So it should not be allowed to push other car ot the track…?

        From Official F1 web site under Regulations and “Safety Car”:

        “When the safety car is ready to leave the circuit it extinguishes its orange lights, indicating to the drivers that it will peel off into the pits at the end of the current lap. The drivers then continue in formation until they cross the start-finish line where green lights will indicate that they are free to race again.”

    3. don’t encourage the fia to get involved in racing incidents. May be just a few words with button, and that’s all.

  2. Button and Hamilton should both get penalties for those incidents. But they won’t – as I said elsewhere, today’s Special Guest Steward was a McLaren driver for six years.

    1. Spot on mate. This is why having ex-drivers as race stewards is an awful idea.

      1. I think it’s a good idea in principle but the FIA should be more careful with who they appoint. I think Wurz was a driver too recently.

        1. Do try to keep in mind that he is only an advisor and they stewards don’t actually have to listen to him, I think the FIA stewards are bull headed enough not to be bullied by an ex F1 driver…

      2. Mark Hitchcock
        18th April 2010, 20:17

        Pretty sure Wurz had nothing to do with the penalties (or lack thereof) today.
        And if he did, and is so biased as some people are claiming, why didn’t Vettel get penalised for his role in the pit-lane incident?

        1. Why didn’t vettel get a penalty for pitlane incident?….Well he did nothing wrong….LOL
          He was in the correct lane and irrespective if he moved towards hamilton he never left the fast lane of the pit road..!!!!!!!!!

          Simple fact is the pit road is not a dual carriage way, it is a single car lane, to be honest the only time a car should be allowed out of the fast lane is when they are entering their pit bay and leaving. Hamilton should have never been side by side he alone was endangering everyone.

          Then add Buttons stupidity b4 re-start…
          F1 should look at nascars pace car rule book, it’s designed for safety and fairness for all cars

          The add in Hamiltons nurfing off Webber…

          To be honest Hamilton should have been DQ’ed for pitlane incident for needlessly endangering the whole of pit lane, Button need to be handed a 10sec stop and go penalty and Hamilton also needed a drive thru for the nurf on restart.

          It’s a bloody joke and if this sort of behavior is left unchecked it will kill some one…dangerous driving especially on re-starts should be dealt with harshly and needless pit lane shanagans dealt with even harsher to provide a minimum level of safety alone for all the workers etc in the pits..

          1. I agree that stupidity in the pit lane needs to be cracked down upon hard. It’s already a dangerous enough place without two drivers racing each other wheel to wheel.

          2. The pitlane is not a single car lane it is part of the racetrack and the racetrack rules apply (abeit the speed limit). There is nothing wrong with two abreast (ala Kubica in Qatar I think). Vettel should have been penalised for forcing Hamilton to drive off the racetrack (The pitlane in this case). If he had done this on the main straight we would all have been shouting for a penalty.

    2. both i dont agree but ham could have been less agressive but thats impossible because according to the fia he he is more important than other drivers

      1. I still remember when ‘according’ to the FIA the red cars were most important. :P

    3. Completely agree Red Andy. Wonder what would have happened if it was an ex-Ferrari driver in the steward room this weekend? Both drivers deserve penalties.

      1. Red Bull was involved in both incidents and came off worse in one of them. If you’re going to talk about bias, I have to wonder what would have happened had it been you in the stewards’ room? Enough conspiracy theories, especially given the stewards’ record on penalising Hamilton.

        1. Hamilton gets penalised more than other drivers because he breaks the rules more. It’s a fairly simple correlation. He’s been allowed to get away with some howlers in the past too, which is rarely pointed out.

          1. I hate to get shirty, but don’t make me laugh. Hamilton has so often ended up on the wrong side of marginal calls and criticised for stuff other drivers have received none for that it’s not even a joke anymore, and therefore refreshing to see the stewards looking at everything in context of the incident rather than spicing up the points table.

            The only concrete rules Hamilton has ever broken, to my recollection, was in Australia 2009 and Canada 2008; the rest were matters of interpretation. You can hardly complain about him “getting away” with stuff considering the rubbish that’s been handed his way, and at least be thankful from your point of view that he’s been punished for stuff in the past, as I am from my point of view for everything starting to really even out now. But then, nothing’s good enough when you have a bias.

            I dislike the proper fanboys too, but apart from a few I see on here they’re not nearly as actively biased and vocal as the opposite extreme.

          2. “Hamilton has so often ended up on the wrong side of marginal calls and criticised for stuff other drivers have received none for that it’s not even a joke anymore”
            I think you summed it up perfectly earlier…
            ” Two wrong (decisions) wouldn’t make a right.”
            Him getting let off at times is just as bad as when he got punished maybe harshly. To your list I would add Monza 08 with Glock. That should have got a punishment.
            To be honest though this in some ways is a different era. I’m going to forget all the decisions before this year because it’s a new FIA, president and stewarding system. Everything that could influence how and why the decisions are made have changed. I’m not saying there was bias before as I don’t think there was the great pro Ferrari movement many think but things before at times were over the top but worst of all, ridiculously inconsistent. Things are looking better now or at least different.

          3. I’m sorry but Webber being run off the track is the definition of a racing incident, if he chooses to leave two cars on the inside of a tight corner, what more can he expect?

          4. “He’s been allowed to get away with some howlers in the past too, which is rarely pointed out.”

            With The Hammer (and the rest) it is called: ‘playing the advantage’.

            And, like football refs, they sometimes get it wrong. Ah well, life goes on …

          5. bernification
            19th April 2010, 3:51

            @ steph
            I’m not saying there was bias before as I don’t think there was the great pro Ferrari movement many think

            They had a technical veto. How much more biased can the sport be.

            And it’s funny how Schumacher isn’t quite so dominant now his team can’t have competitors (better) cars downgraded.

    4. you are obviously not a maclaren fan then? biased stewards, what ever next racist f1 fans get a grip sucker.

    5. Well… and the FIA president was Ferrari’s top man up until three years ago. :S

    6. After watching and rewatching slo-mo footage of the incidents it is clear that Button did not slam his brakes on, he was slowing for quite some time before the corner. I agree though that he slowed a bit too much which is what caught the other drivers out.

      Hamilton was trying to avoid Vettel who dived down the inside of the last corner forcing hamilton to move over and thus forcing webber off track. If anyone is to blame for that incident it is Vettel. If you watch in slow motion then you will clearly see this.

      So it looks as if the stewards got another one right. I really wish everyone would stop calling for every driver to be punished for what are simply racing incidents. After all I bet you are the first to complain when there is no overtaking…..

    7. Also I am surprised that if you have a problem with the hamilton webber incident then you have not also asked for Schumacher to be punished for bumping hamilton off track?

      1. When did that happen?

        1. As Hamilton tried to overtake at one point they were side by side and Schumacher moved to the right to push hamilton off track on a straight. Hamilton slowed to avoid an accident. I am not saying schumacher should be punished but if anyone is calling for hamilton to be punished for then this was far more blatant move.

  3. I do think that Button was at fault here, blotting an otherwise-perfect copy book for this race day.

    If he’d wanted to bunch the field up he could have done it earlier where there’s more space such as coming out of the previous corner onto the straight. Although the TV replays do show that Button was already slowing and everyone was caught out by it.

    It was always said in the past that once the SC has come in the leader effectively becomes the safety car until the overtaking line is crossed. Was Button justified in going so slowly, I’m not sure. Do the drivers following have a right to expect the lead driver to drive at a constant pace or should they be on their toes and expecting every eventuality?

    1. In the shots shown at BBC after the race you could see, that Button eased a lot early on the straight before the hairpin and braking. Nothing wrong with that.

      1. i’ll second that BasCB

      2. well there is…

        I cant understand why anyone would try and defend stupid driving…There was no need for it, and the rules need a over haul to stop this sort of crap.

        Lets also remember when hamilton was try to overtake the safety car a few years back causing accident behind him…

        Like I said they need to look at how nascar does it…not only is it fair to all drivers it is also designed to be safe..and not cause unnecessary carnage as highlight in the 2 incidents I mentioned above.

  4. marius van list
    18th April 2010, 11:21

    To much steam in heads of those four drivers anyway. Sport is sport. Rugby it is not. It is F1. Racing is for gentlemen. They all should get some penalties during race. Now it is too late and I doubt stuarts giving any to them now after race. That only would shattered already scratched face of F1.

    1. Funnily enough Rugby is one of the best sport at dealing quickly and fairly in my opinion and the players all have a great deal of respect for each other.

      A final little point is that the fans can hear exactly what the referees are saying because of live radio links. Something F1 should look into?

      1. Absolutely agree.

  5. If anything this was Button’s fault, not Hamilton’s. When you’re not expecting to go that slowly, of course people will bunch up wheel to wheel.

    1. This was everyone at the rear of the packs fault for jumping the gun and trying to make a place up on the restart. If they haden’t assumed he was going faster, it wouldn’t have happend. Completley within the rules, the “spirit” of the rules and his rights as leader of the race.

      Wish everyone would stop mclaren bashing. Schumacher used to do this kind of thing all the time at ferrari, bet no one had a problem then.

  6. Lewis had Vettel on his left so he had no way to go – should he have crashed into Vettel and saved Webber’s already poor race?

    Common sense people.

    McLaren always got the worst penalties during the Mosley years when others managed to get away with stuff.

    I guess even when you on the team radio stuff like:

    -“[Alonso] Lewis is behind you”
    -“I don’t want to hear that”

    you know why people aren’t comfortable having a genuinely good aggresive driver in top 5…

    Since Vettel wasn’t doing that great, nobody wants to look into his actions either

    1. I don’t think Mosley has anything to do with this, I might as well be arguing that Todt had button do in on purpose so they would crash because he was trying to help Schumacher…

      These conspiracy theories are just crap, Maybe Mosley did dislike Mclaren and act accordingly, but what exactly does this have to do with what happened today?

      1. that wasnt the point

        just said it to show McLaren can’t be the most favourable team in this sport… they used to be the scapegoats and now get to race and get the wrists slapped if the drivers aren’t being safe enough (yet neither has caused another car to crash like in thecase of all the Saubers and Toro Rossos and Webber)

        common sense is back from the FIA and i like it

    2. yeah, that was a great exchange on the radio!. I mean, it was when you made it up.

      1. No, the happened in Aus of this year when Hamilton was catching Alonso was Ham was on fresh rubber.

    3. My interpretation of the radio exchange (which I’m fairly sure you’ve misquoted – the engineer was telling Alonso about the gap to Hamilton, not the fact that he was behind) was Alonso meaning “I have no use for this information at the moment” rather than “oh no, not Hamilton, how awful, I’m terrified”.

      1. I heard the radio exchange (I was watching in Japan) and it was funny in English (“I don’t want to know”) but the meaning was definitely like Tim has it – I’m doing my best so it’s irrelevant info as opposed to fear.

      2. Tim – that is the correct interpretation.

        1. danish Hanif
          18th April 2010, 23:23

          he convey 2 importent points to his team.

          1. he knows HIM is catching him on the reash rubber.

          2. as it is because of his team mate who was fighting for the position and team knows he is slow.

        2. it was totally fear. :)

  7. I don’t know, Button did do something unsportsmanlike, but whether it warrants a penalty? I’m not sure,

    I think the Webber bit was just bad luck, If Hamilton was too close before the line they can pass, then he should get in trouble, but was Vettel to close too? just because he wasn’t involved in the collision doesn’t mean he was doing the right think.

  8. Button and all the rest of the cars were in a traffic jam and when you’re in a traffic jam – you go slowly and have your foor ready to hit on the break pedal.

    He was a leader of the race behind the safety car and had the choice over whether to slow down before going full throttle.

    Seriously, would you be watching Formula 1 if everything was like in Bahrain? I guess nobody would be happy either

    1. I suggest you read section 40.11 here http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/sporting_regulations/8687/fia.html

      “In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre which is likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart.

      Button clearly broke this rule, and therefore must be punished.

      1. There was no ‘erratic acceleration or braking’ from Jenson. He slowed down gradually at the end of the back straight, so the drivers behind him should have done the same. If anyone was ‘erratic’, it was some of the drivers behind him.

        1. Exactly Jezson. Seems pretty clear that the rule is trying to outlaw ‘brake testing’ while under SC. Jenson was the opposite of erratic, sure he got slow and probably slower than a lot of other leaders have done in the past. But these guys are professionals and should be able to keep their cars apart and be on the lookout when under SC conditions.

          I wonder what Rohan’s feelings would be had it been anyone other than a McLaren driver?

          1. my thoughts exactly…

          2. I watched several replays of this. When I first saw it I thought Button had done something deserving of a penalty. After watching the replays its clear he didn’t brake suddenly. It was a gradual slow down, which should have resulted in the other drivers slowing down too. I think there were a few other drivers up near the front who were focused too much on what they were doing to do after the safety car came in, and as a result weren’t paying any attention to what was going on around them at that moment. Because of that the cars farther back had no idea Button was slowing, and the whole bunch up happened. After watching it several times its clear that it wasn’t Button who caused the situation, it was a handful of drivers behind him not paying attention.

      2. Why are some F1 fans eager to see punishment for every infraction of the rules and every race incident?
        This is a adrenalin filled sport, with decisions being made by drivers in microseconds – in the heat of the moment.
        We want competitive racing, but we want them to behave like gentlement at a chess game. Madness!

        1. I second that kbdavies. We should be happy, the FIA stopped killing every move on track with a potential penalty.
          A lot of great battles have been ruined that way in the last few years.
          Lets have penalties only for offences, really dangerous driving or for repeated ignoring of behaviour rules.
          The racing should be on track, not in the Stewards room. I am relieved the FIA stopped meddling with the results far to often.

  9. Webbers a fine one to comment after his “Cock up in Australia taking Hamilton off

    1. So two wrongs make a right now?

      1. No, but it does make that Webber shouldn’t complain about other people’s driving.

    2. Webber hasn’t complained, neither as far as I know at this point have Red Bull. Webber’s only comment was they weren’t fast enough and have work to do.
      People need to get off Webber’s case.

      1. He complained to his team over the radio

        1. He told his engineer what happened, that’s all. I wouldn’t call it complaining and certainly not afterwards, publicly like other drivers have do.

          1. I think he was told not to push the issue publicly afterwards, because if there was any penalty it was just as likely to fall on Vettel as on Hamilton. While Webber got pushed off the track by Hamilton’s car, Vettel’s car was just as close to Hamilton’s on the opposite side. Vettel made a push to move more inside, pushing Hamilton closer to the inside, which forced Webber off track. It would be very hard to make the argument that Hamilton had anywhere else he could have been on track. In any case pushing the issue definitely would be worth the risk for Red Bull, considering any penalty against Vettel would hurt their title chances.

          2. He told it in a tone of voice that indicated he was quite upset about it.

          3. Webber’s engineer asked him how he ended up in 11th after the restart because he missed it. He said, “I got punted off by Hamilton”. Simple statement that was very free of “tone of voice”.

          4. You’re just making that up. Please stick to the facts.

            All we heard was Webber saying: “Hamilton bashed me off!” reply “We saw it happen”

            So they saw it happen. No need to ask what happened then is there?

    3. has hamilton apologised to webber? after australia, the first thing out of webber’s mouth was his acknowledgment of his mistake and apology to hamilton. i would hope hamilton has done the same. end of the day, racing incident, let’s move on to spain (if physically possible!)

      1. Webbers race wasn’t ended, and you could possibly argue that Webber should have yielded.

  10. Hamilton should get a penalty.

    1. for what exactly? the pitlane incident where they were released at almost identical times? dont think it could have been closer unless it was a machine with the lollypop.

      or the webber incident which actually vettel caused?

      blatent hami hater.

      1. during the race i thought he deserved a penalty too. i don’t think you need to hate hamilton to have that opinion. but after watching the replay of each, maybe not. and true, it was vettel who forced hamilton into webber. for the pit lane one, it could have gone either way, i think the thing that saved him there was that vettel held his line and was not forced to take avoiding action.

  11. I think the stewards should have been involved, but its the car with #1 on it they should have been looking at. I seem to recall Fisi getting a penalty (or reprimand) last year for bunching people up in the pit lane entry, what Button did today was far more dangerous & had the potential to be Spa 1998 all over again. And without which, I doubt that the Hamilton/Webber incident would have taken place.

    I’m not a fan of race results changing after the chequered flag has fallen, so I don’t necessarily think Button should be penalised now, especially when the Stewards had 35 odd laps to do so. But they definitely should have done so during the race. First major blot in the Steward’s copy book this season, IMO.

  12. Richard Brown
    18th April 2010, 11:37

    I don’t think Button should get a penalty for his restart. The differential in speed wasn’t negatively draconian, the problem with bunching up was caused more by how long the straight was and the spray.

    However, there is a hint of irony from yester-year. Someone might care to remind Button that he did retire from the Italian GP 2000, in his rookie year for Williams, when Michael Schumacher bunched the field up before Parabolica and Jenson tried to wheel-spin his tyres, slamming into the barrier. And with 5-odd rookies in the field, it was an unnecessary challenge to place on them.

    1. Yep, good point. Schumacher got away with that one too. As did Hamilton when he did the same thing in atrocious conditions at Fuji in 2007, catching out the similarly inexperienced Vettel.

      But, the Fuji incident was exactly why Article 40.11 made it into the regulations, or at least was clarified. So Button should get a penalty in my view.

    2. I think the hair pin had a role in the problem, if it where a easier corner…… having said that, F1 drivers are notably for their impatience.

  13. Sorry but this is just plain incredible. Hamilton got dissed, though not penalized, for bunching the field behind the SC in Japan 2007 – including by Webber. Now Button bunches the field and it’s Hamilton who’s at fault again?? It’s getting boring!

    1. Webber dissed him in Japan? Rubbish. He was talking about Vettel punting him off the road under the safety car, if you’re referring to Mark’s interview straight after he retired.

      1. Bit of an injudicious use of rubbish David:

        “It definitely contributed to Sebastien hitting me up the back because Hamilton wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be doing, clearly,” Webber explained. “He spoke in the drivers’ meeting about how good a job he was going to do and he did the opposite. Still, we know for next time.”

        Feel free to retract and apologize for wasting ten seconds of my time finding this quote! ;0)
        I seem to remember some more colourful expressions from Webber concerning the incident, but I really can’t be bothered tracking them down.

  14. this was Button fault, so both McLaren drivers should get a penalty.

    1. Why should both get punished?

  15. Hamilton compromises too much in pursuit to overtake. But it’s worth to note that Vettel is not much better recently, as I see it.

  16. Both Hamilton and Alonso passed other cars in the pit lane entrance. Is this alowed?

    1. yes there aren’t any rules against it, as noted by Anthony Davidson on BBC 5 Live

  17. From what the BBC commentators said, the SC line was before the turn, this “accident” happened at the end of the corner after they were allowed to overtake, nothing wrong with it.

    Button slowing… maybe an issue there. but he did seem to start slowing a lot before the corner to try and bunch it up (as EVERYONE does) and just did a really good job at it because people weren’t slowing in time

    1. From what I saw Button was driving steadily, but it was Rosberg leaving a gap, then accelerating up behind a slowing Button that caused the bunch up. Watch the reply and see Rosberg steam in behind a slowing Button.

      It seems a culmination of several factors. Rosbergs eagerness to get a good run, Button going slower than normal and the saftey car line being before the final corner. Throw some wet track into the mix and somewhere there is going to be some accidents.

    2. From what the BBC commentators said, the SC line was before the turn, this “accident” happened at the end of the corner after they were allowed to overtake, nothing wrong with it.

      No, the cars are not allowed to overtake until they’ve crossed the start/finish line. Unless a car goes off the track, which is why Hamilton, Vettel et. al. weren’t penalised for passing Webber under a safety car.

      1. Nope. They changed the rule for this season. Now they can start overtaking from the first safety car line.

        Article 40.7:
        “overtaking is forbidden until the cars reach the first safety car line after the safety car has returned to the pits.”

        1. They need to change the rule back, then. What the hell is a “safety car line”? Why not use rules that people can understand? That would improve the show.

          1. I guess they want the race to get underway as soon as possible. It makes for a more natural start than waiting for the cars to travel all the way past a few corners and then to the finishline.

        2. A shame, nobody really informed the viewers of this. Why did they not show a coloured line on screen from which point everybody could overtake?

          We were all suprised to see action there and more confused than enyojing it!

          FOM get your act together.

          1. Legard must have referred to this line about half a dozen times.

  18. There was no ‘erratic acceleration or braking’ from Jenson. He slowed down gradually at the end of the back straight, so the drivers behind him should have done the same. If anyone was ‘erratic’, it was some of the drivers behind him.

  19. It was pretty sneaky by Hamilton, however if they were past the safety car line then I guess he didn’t do anything wrong, just capitalised on a good opportunity, and I say that as a Webber fan. It hardly messed up Webber’s race. It was already gone with the tyre strategy and the pit stop stuff up, that front right tyre change seems to be a continuing problem.

    I do wish that the stewards could dish out penalties faster though. Hamilton and Vettel’s incident in the pits probably should have resulted in an instant penalty for both. They are both guilty of putting the safety of pit crews in danger, and Alonso’s jump at the start was obvious after one replay, yet it takes so long to dish out punishment.

  20. In this case Hamilton should have had a penalty.
    Actualy i think only after passing the start/finish line they could be racing hard.
    F1 should use the same system as Nascar uses after a caution which is put them in double files before the safety car goes out, but they could only race which other after passing the start/finish line
    It whould spice even more the race.

    1. The rule states that they can start racing when they cross the SC line so they were perfectly valid to be racing. Also if you actually watch the incident you will see that hamilton only moved over to avoid Vettel who was diving down the inside!

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