Webber loses out in safety car incident

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.

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168 comments on Webber loses out in safety car incident

  1. Mark Shen said on 18th April 2010, 15:40

    F1 is sport, just like boxing. We don’t need gentleman drivers like Barrichello, Webber or Trulli, who always grumble about dangeous driving. Today Webber’s radio complaint is just like a cry to Mammi.On the conttary,we do need “dangerous” drivers like Hamilton, Schumacher, Alonso or even Montoya. If this action is penalized, then F1 is really dying.

  2. “F1 is sport, just like boxing.”

    F1 is a sport, but it’s not like boxing. Maybe you should go and watch banger racing? That’s more like boxing!

  3. Stig said on 18th April 2010, 16:34

    FIA just published the list of guest stewards for the next few races on formula1.com
    They are Mika Hakkinen, Niki Lauda, Ron Dennis and Anthony Hamilton.

    Amazing how McLaren has avoided penalties just before de suspended ban ends on April 29th

  4. I don’t beleive the steward are lenient on Hamilton at all. I think they have been fair with most of if not all their decisions, the pit lane incident was dealt with perfectly by the stewards. Two drivers racing each other, unwilling to yield, neither with the clear advantage. If anything it was Vettel who was being agressive by pushing Hamilton over towards the garages.

    Hamilton’s biggest problem is his dopey team costing him race wins and points. He is clearly much faster than Button, but is undone by stupid mistakes, mostly to do with tires, he needs to over-rule his team sometimes like Button does.

    Webber needs to stop moaning so much, he has caused plenty of collisions himself over he years, most recently this season when he slammed into the back of Hamilton. This incident was a combination of Button being an idiot and going far too slow, and below safety limits in my view during a race and the other drivers not paying attention. However, you cannot expect them to anticipate Button slowing down to crawling pace, he didn’t need to do that, and the same effect can be achieved by choosing the correct point to slow and then accelerate.

    If there is any punishing to be done it should fall on Button, due to that silly idea.

    However, I will entertain one conspiracy theory from the race. That is the ludicrous inclusion of the 2nd safety car spell for what appeared to be a handful of debris on the track. It seems to me the safety car was going to be brought on for the slightest little thing as soon as the cars were seperated by massive gaps. All so as to increase the spectacle instead of safety in my view.

    • BasCB said on 19th April 2010, 10:21

      Wow, jou must have seen something different from me the last couple of races, where Lewis is clearly much faster than Button.

      Qualifying – 3 : 1 for Button.

      In the races Hamilton often drove the car faster around the track (and with great overtaking on track), but then again he lost time with pit stops where Button did not have to make up this time in the first place because of some good calls.
      I think Button is really good at the moment and Hamilton can learn something from that efficiency.

      As for the safety car I was puzzled by this one as well and a “make it more exiting” motive sprung to mind as well. Maybe they thought it dangerous, because the parts were hard to see in the spray from the car.

      It would be good if the FIA gave some good grounds for bringing the SC out there.

  5. DaveW said on 18th April 2010, 16:59

    I haven’t scrutinized the replay, but this is not a complicated issue.

    Virtually every single race will feature some one attempting to pass on the outside in a slow corner and getting pushed off the track. It simply is not against the rules, or practice, of F1, to escort a competitor to the grass if you “have the racing line.”

    Let’s also recall the related Hamilton Rule promulgated at Spa—if Webber had actually got around or regained his spot in this situation by running off track, he would have had to give the spot back. People forget the clear the implications of that terrible bit of rule-making: if you are not definitively, probably all-four wheels, ahead on the outside pass, you proceed at your peril, and any gains you make by “getting pushed off the track” will be taken away anyway. So Webber’s whinge is moot.

    Anyway, I dont hear anyone complaining about Michael being Michael and chucking Massa off the road at the hairpin in similar fashion. (It seems that is the only racing skill Schumacher has not lost.)

    In brief, Hamilton’s move was by the book, consistent with prevailing mores, and not unsafe.

    At the risk of falling into hooliganism, let me say it takes gall for Webber to make this claim given his now notorious habit of chopping and blocking, and the fact his interesing-theory passing style caused him to ram the man he now accuses in the last race.

  6. Mr Zing Zang said on 18th April 2010, 17:06

    You are so blind. Did you not see Vettels’ redbull pushing Hamilton into Webber?

  7. It wasn’t Jenson’s fault as I see it (or saw it). He didn’t slow down suddenly, he slowed down gradually, and as Rob B said, Rosberg left a gap, accelerated and then slowed down to quickly which caused the bunching up. I think the 4 drivers behind Jenson at that point should be reviewed if at all. And regarding Lewis, I think it was okay as the safety car line was crossed when he made that move and it was legal as per my understanding of this year’s regs. What demands a review is the Vettel/Lewis pit incident which was clearly unsafe and unwarranted for. Both were at fault equally.
    Also, Alonso’s move on Massa at the pit lane entry was not very legal imo.
    Well, stewards’ call it is and as it stands, there was no action taken. Whatever..

  8. KnottyBwoy said on 18th April 2010, 17:31

    C’mon guys! It’s racing! Good for webber, he had a taste of his own medicine. That’s now considered “equal”! Hahaha! He’s like a kid who lost his ice cream for being stupid enough not to protect it. Even Vettel was on the tip of his anus to snatch Lewis, but sorry for the redbulls! They thought they’re always the fastest…wrong! Redbull…owned!!! Bwaaaahahaha!

  9. kowalsky said on 18th April 2010, 17:39

    when the fia were giving penalties people complained, now they are acting in a different way, and people complain even more. Make up your minds.
    I think bernie is right, f1 can’t be a democracy.

    • Agree with bernie – rational and dispassionate fans are a rare commodity so best to do what Bernie thinks is good racing and we can pay our monies…..

  10. The bunching only happened because of a very long straight into a very slow corner and one following driver (2nd or 3rd) wasn’t paying enough attention (or was trying to be too clever). This cascaded in them all almost stopping, just like someone hitting the brakes on the motorway an it all stopping for no reason. I don’t think there was much wrong with what Button did I’ve now watched it about 10 times) but it was towards the limit.

    As for HAM, BUT, VET it was effectively one RBR causing the other to go off, HAM just happened to be piggy in the middle.

    I think the pit lane moves by HAM, VET, ALO, MAS were just as bad if not worse, but nothing should be done about those either.

  11. locostbuilders.co.uk said on 18th April 2010, 17:45

    Yeah! lets try and dock the british guys some points! Lets try to make show a brit doesn’t win – and all from a UK website. Just stupid

    • Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion said on 18th April 2010, 17:50

      What does it matters? Ancient nationalism….. I thought that was something we had left behind some 60 years ago. Maybe I’m proved wrong.

  12. TIPpla said on 18th April 2010, 17:59

    wasn’t it not so long ago that we all thought they were handing out too many penalties???

  13. SoLiD said on 18th April 2010, 18:20

    Stewards are doing a great job!
    No more useless penalties for being racy.
    Hamilton gave us another great race, glad to see him keep second!

  14. Chris said on 18th April 2010, 18:31

    Everyone should quit whining about penalties and just let the drivers sort it out themselves. Amazingly, they were able to do this for 50+ years before now. We don’t need any more nannies with rulebooks.

  15. bob80 said on 18th April 2010, 20:21

    Kubica lost podium because of safety car. Before it happened he had 20 sec advantage over fourth Pertov.

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