Schumacher handed 20-second penalty, loses points finish, Mercedes to appeal

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Michael Schumacher has been demoted from sixth to 12th place
Michael Schumacher has been demoted from sixth to 12th place

Michael Schumacher has been stripped of his sixth-placed finish by the Monaco Grand Prix stewards, who handed him a 20-second penalty for overtaking Fernando Alonso at the final corner of the race.

The result drops Schumacher from sixth place in the original standings to 12th and out of the points.

The verdict promotes Alonso back into sixth ahead of Rosberg, Sutil and Liuzzi. Sebastien Buemi gains a point for tenth place.

Mercedes have said they will appeal the penalty.

The stewards explained their decision as follows:

The Stewards received a report from the Race Director that car Nr 3 – Michael Schumacher overtook car Nr 8 – Fernando Alonso when the Safety Car entered the pit lane at the end of the last lap.

As the overtaking manoeuvre was in breach of Article 40.13 of the 2010 F1 Sporting Regulations, the Stewards decided to impose a drive through penalty but, as it occurred during the last five laps, 20 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time of car Nr 3.

What do you think of Schumacher's penalty?

  • Schumacher was at fault and he should have got a tougher penalty (3%)
  • Schumacher was at fault and the stewards gave the correct penalty (17%)
  • Schumacher was at fault but he should have got a less severe penalty (18%)
  • Schumacher was not at fault and he should have got no penalty at all (62%)

Total Voters: 2,290

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404 comments on “Schumacher handed 20-second penalty, loses points finish, Mercedes to appeal”

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  1. Jules-Pierre
    16th May 2010, 17:40

    A fair decision! Forza Ferrari! :-)

    1. I had the chance to see the whole situation again, and now I agree with Brawn. Stewards gave no indication that the race was ending under safety car conditions. They informed the teams that the track was clean, they waved green flags and the light was green. Green means GO. Michael shouldn’t be punished for doing his job.

      Go home Hill!

      1. EXACTLY, THIS IS RICIDULOUS!! What a disgrace Damon Hill!!

        What counter arguments did they have for what Ross Brawn said here???

        1. We may see when the verdict is published. It’s not out yet.

          1. That’ll be interesting.

        2. If they really want to punish him (and it looks like they do), they still have an option of “a drop of any number of grid positions at the driver’s next Event”. Let’s hope there is someone reasonable out there.

          1. I don’t think a grid drop at the next race would be a good choice, because it means MSC would keep the points for 6th… a position that the FIA deems he should not have taken.

        3. Either stewards got this wrong, or race control did. Michael acted as per the on track instruction. It was clear there were green flags and green lights displayed rounding Rascasse as the SC pitted. If race was supposed to be finishing under SC why was a “track clear” message issued and green flags shown? Green flag means clear to race. Appalling decision. Fully hope Mercedes do appeal and Schumacher gets his rightful place re-instated.

          Was hoping we had seen the last of steward result tampering, apparently something is still rotten in the state of Denmark… well, Monte Carlo.

      2. I had a look at all of this as well. Certainly he was at fault, both McLaren and Ferrari were very clear in instructing their drivers not to overtake. Not sure about Renault etc. Alonso clearly did not even think about defending his position.

        Mercedes/Ross/Michael saw the green flags and reacted on that as well as on the message, that the SC was coming in.

        So far clear, it was against the rules and Fernando should not have lost his place.

        On the other hand, the punishment is somewhat harsh, when taking in account the confusiong information leading Mercedes to the impression they were actually allowed to overtake.
        It was the first time the new rules about this were used, so maybe a penalty in resulting Micheal to end behind Alonso, or behind Rosberg, would have been more appropriate, if such an option was available to the stewards.

        No Hill bias in there.

        1. I think the fact that other teams specifically instructed their drivers not to overtake is being overlooked a bit. They weren’t in any doubt about the rules.

          1. I wouldn’t use that as an argument. They might have told them so simply not to risk any penalties. Kind of like “Don’t overtake [because we are not quite sure how to interpret the rules]”.

          2. McLaren’s instruction to Hamilton was pretty unambiguous:

            Lewis this is the last lap of the race we’ll be finishing behind the safety car. No overtaking.


          3. Interesting that Mclaren chose to edit that radio feed when they told Lewis about his brakes overheating. They chose not to disclose the ‘What the hell how did this happen’ part.

        2. You can bet if Brawn saw an old lady drop her shopping list in the supermarket queue, he’d be telling Schu to nip his trolley past her. I mean, it’s that level of ‘overtaking’ we’re talking about! They seem desperate for any points and frankly ridiculous. Admittedly, being put back into 7th and told to sit in a corner with a big dunce cap on his head would be more fitting.

          1. @ David BR. I completely agree.. and Im laughing my ass off.

          2. Aussie Fan
            17th May 2010, 5:04

            Back into 7th? He was 6th….

          3. Aussie Fan
            17th May 2010, 5:11

            whoops sorry he was in 7th b4 I forgot about Massa :-)

          4. Umar Farooq Khawaja
            17th May 2010, 9:45

            David BR, they are racing drivers, on a racing track, on race day, under racing conditions. He wasn’t queuing up for postage stamps at a post office.

            I would totally agree with the decision, had the flags been yellow, but they were not. The flags were green. The McLaren instruction was them being overly cautious, probably due to their history.

          5. There’s a thought, F1 drivers in a post office, Rosberg would have the post ladies around him, Schumacher would be jumping the cue, Hamilton would push, Piquet would knock into someone to let Alonso get in front and Liuzzi would be asking about future employment!

        3. Just noticed Brundle actually says “They can still theoretically overtake on the last corner.”

          1. Gavin Campbell
            16th May 2010, 20:33

            Yeah i was under the full impression that the race was ending under the green light and not saftey car. The track had all been cleared so one more corner of racing.

            That race ended under green not yellow flags.

      3. Remember Damon Hill is only one of four stewards. If they put it to a vote, there would need to be at least two others voting with him.

        And he addressed the matter of his rivalry with Schumacher before the race began and said he wouldn’t let it cloud his judgement.

        And we haven’t heard the full reasoning behind the decision yet.

        So perhaps now’s not the time to crucify him.

        1. Does the ex-driver have a vote in his advisory role? I thought he replaced last years’ non-voting chairman, so you would expect that he wouldn’t get to vote either.

          Either way though, it doesn’t affect that at least two of the stewards would have had to have agreed with him for the decision to carry.

          1. I though there were only 3 stewards including Hill? Thats what he said on Saturday when he was on BBC sport.

            I also think the punishment was handed out by the race director thats what ive read on other, far poorer, forums.

          2. Decisions in the stewards’ office are done by consensus, so everyone would have had to agree before a decision (either way) was announced. Damon doesn’t have a vote but he does have input. Given the open-and-shut nature of Article 40.13, I don’t think that input would have made much difference.

        2. Whatever the reasoning, twenty seconds is a lot when all cars are next to each other. Especially when there are other, more sensible penalties available.

          Given that, it’s hard to believe that the decision isn’t biased.

          1. I clearly see an option:

            “c) a drop of any number of grid positions at the driver’s next Event.”

          2. I wouldn’t necessarily call that a less harsh penalty, but OK.

          3. “Any number” can be anything and I’d suggest “one” :)

          4. “I wouldn’t necessarily call that a less harsh penalty, but OK.”

            Errr, ill pretend i didn’t read that. Clearly it “is” a much less harsh penalty. Everyone can do the maths and so can the stewards at the time when the penalty was given.

        3. NomadIndian
          17th May 2010, 5:51

          So with Damon Hill present, they would need only one more steward to vote in favour…

          Just coz I say that I am a Ferrari fan but will vote impartially on a McLaren penalty, does not mean I will.

          And the issue that has been totally ignored is Barrichello’s stupid and childish act of throwing his steering wheel on track. I mean how cranky and foolish can he get and at his age too! Has he already forgotten Massa’s injury or the consequences of a heavy object on the racing line?? How can the stewards not punish that??!!

          1. An excellent point. Did he even get a ‘reprimand’?

      4. i cant believe schuey got punished for this. and all along this season ive been saying what a good job the stewards are doing having ex racing drivers there. today i was totally blown away by this decision. alonso and ferrari where caught napping. and in my opinion there has been far more straight forward decisions on breaches of rules gone unpunished this season. the fia(ferrari) win again…..

        1. yep….Jean Todt doing his job perfectly:))just like mad Max …and for me is far more serious accident yesterday blocking move by Massa than this, but Massa drives for Ferrari

          1. “yesterday blocking move by Massa”

            I agree, i think having ex racing drivers as stewerds is silly idea. You may be a good driver but it doesn’t mean you will understand what judgments need to be made. There is a difference between a judge and an executioner.

            Rules are rules and they need to be followed by the book. Clearly we are seeing irregularities specifically in terms of Massa blocking Button.

          2. I think it is a good idea to have ex racing drivers, I just think the issue is misunderstood, the driver do not have any actual say in what happens, and so far, I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest they even play a small role in the decisions. I suspect its just so the FIA can look good.

      5. The race ended on the last lap with the safety car on track until it pulled into the pits, what do you mean gave no indication of ending under safety car conditions – there were no laps left?

        40.13 If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

        This is EXACTLY what transpired – my replays clearly show the safety car on track with 78/78 laps being displayed…

        1. If they wanted the SC to be deployed at the end of the race they should have left the lights on the SC, race control should not have announced that the SC was coming in, the marshals should have continued to display the SC board and waved yellows.

          The rules say nothing about the last lap, just the end of the race. The end of the race is when the driver crosses the finish line and at that point the SC was no longer deployed as the shown by the timing screens and waved green flags.

          1. Spot on, thanks…………………….

          2. Yes, I agree Ross Brawn was quite clear about this. I was never a Schumacher fan, but when I saw that move on Alonso I thought it was brilliant! I will be a fan from now on. If Hamilton had not been warned by his team he would have done the same thing, guaranteed!!

        2. Jason Lopez
          17th May 2010, 12:59

          Yes, but there becomes mixed signals when they show the green flag, which clearly means, the race is on.

          Even the commentators (ex-F1 drivers) in the likes of DC and MB, ruled that to be a good move.

          If they want no overtaking, YELLOW FLAGS, PLEASE!!!!!! (no apologies for shouting)

      6. Jason Lopez
        17th May 2010, 10:23

        This is a total outrage. Rightly said, If they didn’t want overtaking, why give out the green flag, why not end it under Yellows? Why did Alonso floor it and become almost sideways coming out the corner if he was told to hold station? Damon has got to let it go! Quoting his statement from BBC’s website, “… But there was a wry smile from Michael. Slightly ironic you could say.” What has a “wry” smile got to do with doing your job? Did the “wry” smile influence his judgement? Did the 2006 incident influence his judgement? Was that what he meant by “wry” smile?
        Total crap!!!

  2. Unbelievable. F1 shoots itself in the foot once again. I thought F1 was all about overtaking? Damon Hill have much influence on this?

    1. Yep it’s pathetic. Punishing drivers for racing until the final laps, why spend loads of time changing rules constantly to promote overtaking then when someone does it penalise them.

      I’m surprised we didn’t get the decision that Damon Hill had been given the 1994 world championship too.

      1. He got his own back in 1998 Japan for blocking MS for 12 laps while not in the title race. Such a selfish Hell-bound soul.

      2. sulzerpower
        16th May 2010, 18:15

        Lol, nice one. He did say in the pre-race build up something about telling the other stewards he may be biased towards an individual driver and so to keep him in check, surprised nobody mentioned that here. So it’s not all Hill’s decision. Where’s the rule clarification? I’ve never been a Schumacher fan but thought it was a great bit of opportunistic driving in an otherwise dull last half of the race.

        1. As I understand the Stewarding process, the ex-driver gives his view and explains the situation, like a driver would see it.
          He does not have a vote in the actual handing out of the penaly.

      3. If anyone else feels like over-reacting about this, please go ahead, it’s Global Toys-out-of-Prams Week.

        1. As Barrichello shown us!

          1. lol! his excuse to Brazilian TV was he needed to ‘get out of the car quickly’!

          2. Well, Actually I think that’s a good excuse considering he was on the end of a fast blind left hander….. oh, and reportedly his car was on fire as well… motivation enough?

            The steering wheel thing I thing was just a stupid mistake, a fine should see the end of it.

      4. There’s a statute of limitations about that – unless the FIA declare otherwise in the middle of an investigation, no result can be changed after the final WMSC meeting of the year in December…

    2. It does seem stupid, both sides thought they were right, so there was no one “trying” to break the rules. The problem came because the rules were fuzzy.

      The sensible punishment would surely just be to swap the places back as all that has happened is Ross Brawn has misunderstood the rules.

      1. i think it’s a fault in the rule book ie. the rule that states ‘if the race ends under the safety car, then no overtaking’ needed to be updated in line with the introduction of the safety car line (which alonso clearly crossed first).
        i think there should be a function in the rules that allows them to simply reverse the positions (as they should have in australia ’09 with hamilton and trulli).
        there are holes in the rules here which mercedes cleverly exploited: the punishment is just ridiculous.

    3. Anyone reminded of Spa 2008? Hamilton fighting all the way to the end to a victory, only to be taken away from him after the race.

      1. That was a fair decision. Watch Suzuka 2005, when Alonso passed Klein in a similar manouvre. He was asked to wait till Klein caught up and passed him, and to try a fair move once again. In Hamilton’s case there was no waiting for Kimi to catch up.

    4. they have to change that stupid rule, but if the rule is there, they have to apply it, so hill is not here to blame. But schumi can be happy to know that the fans are on his side this time, well done michael. The kaiser is back, and we like to welcome him.

      1. Yup. I had no love for MS before this. His moves against Hill & JV ensures that. But today, I find no way to justify the harsh penalty as in my interpretation of the rules (If a rule can have multiple interpretation, it’s a bad rule), it is a 100% valid move.

        Whatever happens, this time MS got himself a lot of new fan (Including me).

        1. Todfod

          Wrong I’m afraid, Hamilton let Kimi past, never mind catch up, and then overtook him again at the next corner.

  3. MacademiaNut
    16th May 2010, 17:41

    Too bad for MSC and Mercedes.

  4. I think that is wrong.

    Damon Hill and Jean Todt (ex-Ferrari) obviously influenced the decision.

    I’m no fan of Schumacher (nothing against him either) but I think that is wrong wrong wrong.

  5. Ridiculous. So you can’t overtake under a green flag now?

    Even if there was cause for a penalty, the worst that should have happened was that the positions should have been changed between him and Alonso. This genuinely comes across as a misunderstanding of the rules.

    Worst decision of the new stewarding era, a shame too as there will no doubt be calls of bias since Hill was a steward.

    1. Yeah, either there are green flags and you race or there are yellow flags and you don’t race. I’m disgusted with this.

      1. Absolutely. Green flag means free to race. Race control and stewards are not singing from the same hymn sheet here. No way FiA or WMSC can punish a driver for racing under a green flag – they have no leg to stand on.

  6. Teflonso strikes again!

    1. It hurts, doesn’t it?

      I think there’s a safe chance on this one that the rules were applied fair and square.

      1. I don’t know. All the evidence Brawn showed pointed to the opposite. And all the BBC panel didn’t think it deserved a penalty. This is another case of giving out arbitrary penalties and extremely opague rules.

        I cannot understand why F1 has such open to interpretation rules!!!!!!!!!!

        1. Do you think Brawn might have been just a little partisan?

          My interpretation of what Brawn and the BBC team were saying was that Schumacher didn’t pass Alonso until after the safety car line. They are right – he didn’t. But they did not take Article 40.13 into account, which says that on the last lap no overtaking is permitted, even between the safety car line and the finish line.

          I do agree that the rules need to be clearer though.

          1. But Brundle said during commentary that the rule had been changed for 2010. As soon as anyone goes past the safety car line in the pits, overtaking is permitted now so surely Schumacher was not in the wrong?

          2. If the safety car is out, overtaking is not permitted on the last lap even after the SC has gone into the pits. Basically, if it’s the last lap the rules are different.

          3. Red Andy is bang on here. The regulation specifically states the rules are different if it’s the last lap. Had this been Lap 77, then there would have been a lap 78 to follow, and when the safety car came in, the race would have “continued”. As it was, the safety car came in when the race ended.

            So while Ross might be right in that the teams were told “safety car coming in” and “green flags”, they forgot that on the lasp lap, that doesn’t mean they can charge for the line and overtake.

            The penalty for overtaking under the safety car rules is a 25 second penalty, so Hill’s alleged axe grinding doesn’t come into it. The problems we’ve had with stewards in the past isn’t “did they stick to the rule book”, it’s “Why did driver X get a penalty when driver Y didn’t for doing the exact same thing?”

            I don’t think there’s a case for pointing the finger at either Ross, Schumi, Alonso or Ferrari for this one, Brawn made a judgement, but the rulebook overrides them, mush feel harsh, but it’s not the steward’s fault either.

            You know who’s loving this though, and crowing his way through the motorhome laughing his ass off, though?


          4. Umar Farooq Khawaja
            16th May 2010, 19:10

            I do not think Rule 40.13 applies because of all the marshals waving green flags and the track-side lights flashing green.

            As for Keith and others saying that McLaren and Ferrari told their drivers to not try to overtake, well, that is them being over-cautious. McLaren and Ferrari do not make the rules. The FIA does, and the FIA rules state that drivers race under green flags.

            The confusion here has been caused by it all happening on the last lap. If the safety car was coming in due to it being the last lap of the race, then yellow flags should still have been out. We all clearly saw green flags and green lights.

            For me, this is an open-and-shut case of Damon Hill getting his own back. He was too weak to get the better of Schumacher on-track so he decided to do it track-side.

          5. Why did they not just stop the race with a ‘Red Flag’. With 3 laps to go why put out a safety car if the cars cannot overtake in the final lap!!

      2. not really. Safety car was out.

        1. was the SC in or out. That seems to be the crux of the issue. If the safety car was out then why the green flags?

      3. Well, considering that the green flag was clearly out, they were under racing conditions, so it’s hardly certain that this fair and square.

        And S Hughes only just pointed out that he is not a Schumacher fan.

        1. I meant opaque rules, sorry, not opague.

        2. Everybody is suggesting that green flag means race and overtake in every condition. I think that might be mistaken, even if ross brawn says so. If not, show me the rule about the green flag.

          Apart from interpretation of the rules, I think it was clear for almost everyone that the race was finishing on SC conditions. On my own interpretation, what i undestand is that if the SC is out in the last lap, end of the race.

          1. Then it should pel off without putting out the message “Safty car in pit this lap”.
            THE FIA MUST BE PUNSHIED 20 millions for this and Hill must pay at least 10% of that. And the money goes to a charity or charities nominated by Schumacher himself.

          2. “Everybody is suggesting that green flag means race and overtake in every condition.”

            Green flag-
            All clear. The driver has passed the potential danger point and prohibitions imposed by yellow flags have been lifted.

            The definition provided by the OFFICIAL F1 WEBSITE.


    2. I’m sure even Fernando would think this penalty an over reaction.

  7. Some people forget that is car racing. Less competition and more stupidity. I don’t care if it is Schumacher, Hamilton or Alonso, I want to watch a race with cars getting to the finish line racing each other. I hate the safety car thing.

  8. This does seem wrong i hope the FIA issue the justification for there decision. Just in case we are missing something

  9. good decision in my opinion

    1. You must be Dyslexic Deksel to think so.

  10. Wrong decision!!

    It was a grey area in the rules, which was very shrewdly utilized by Brawn and Michael.

    If they felt it was wrong, they should have just reversed the positions.

    But Damon Hill seems to have some old score to settle, that is why the 20-second penalty!! Outrageous!!

  11. Any chance of a poll?

    1. Great idea, Keith??

    2. I assume Keith is on it.

      This article would be woefully incomplete without a poll.

      1. Oh, please NO poll!!
        80% of the commentators here didn’t even bother to read into the details of the issue and have got no clue what has actually happend except for what they saw.

        1. Damon, why are you so worried about a poll on this? A poll tells the FiA what fans really think.

          I’m fairly sure that Michael wasn’t thumbing through the rule book coming through the Swimming Pool complex. If race control issue a track clear message to the teams and show a driver a green flag, he WILL race – what else is he supposed to do?

          The poll will reflect our opinion.

          1. Somebody at Mercedes should have known the rules and reminded Michael. I believe Ross not fully grasping the rules in this area either was a major influence on the situation. While I grant that the structure of Article 40 is flawed (which sequences as if Article 40.7 covers all Safety Car scenarios even though it doesn’t), someone at Mercedes should have ensured they understood everything in the document long before the season began. For once the regulations were settled in time to enable that to happen.

          2. Alianora, missing your reply button dear ;)

            This whole situation is unfortunate, but if the fault lies anywhere, it is with race control for lack of clarity with marshalls. Green is green. Drivers do not get emails. A driver obeys the flags. Flags must take precedence over radio instruction. Drivers are governed by marshalls not race control, yellow means caution slow, green is free to race. Marshalls said race, so Michael did.

            Noted your mention on 5Live crew during the practice dear, made me smile for you.

  12. This is such nonesense. So, they say “safety car in this lap”, give the “track clear” sign, green flag the race and then… penalize the driver who was actually alert and doing his job? They penalize the only decent overtaking move of the race? Which was after the SC line and under green flags?

    This is bloody outraging. They reward Alonso and Ferrari for sleeping and penalize Schumacher for being within the rules and for providing us entertainment.

    Really, Hill, is that axe grinded enough now?

    1. Wow…. what a great overtaking move that was…..

  13. We’ve seen some stupid and reckless driving this season, but this was a legitimate pass under waved greens. So it’s okay to do something crazy and get a away with it but a simple pass = 20 sec penalty? Ridiculous.

  14. Robert McKay
    16th May 2010, 17:48

    Rule 40.13 seems pretty blatantly obvious to me and the fact there are green flags does not supercede that rule.

    But I’d rather have seen him demoted to 7th than 12th.

    1. Agree fully.

      I see the gnomes have already started coming out with their predictable “Ferrari bias” nonsense.

      1. Of course it’s Ferrari bias RED Andy.

        1. :D….the “Red” is actually a political thing, not an F1 thing, but I’ll forgive you!

          1. Trust me S Hughes, the Red really is political for Andy.
            Daft saying bias anyway when Todt is the head -ex Ferrari and Schumacher surrogate son? Hmmm easier if he just flipped a coin really. Anyway, the stewards rule mostly and they’ll have look at it. I do think it’s an over reaction and clearly I misunderstood the rules in previous threads.

          2. Gosh, you’ve suddenly gone way up in my estimation comrade.

    2. If I see a Green light and I get a fine for passing, I’d be very upset.

      1. Actually in the highway code, Green means GO if it is safe to do so.

        But on topic this is very wrong. Just as I was starting to regain respect for F1, this crap happens.

        Shumi was within THEIR own rules, why did they bother to change it.

    3. Its not blatently obvious at all – how can the safety car be ‘deployed’ and in the pits at the same time? Another piece of idiotic rulemaking IMO.

      1. Robert McKay
        16th May 2010, 18:09

        The SC is deployed on the final lap, by definition, if it leads the field over the start-finish line, regardless of whether it is coming in that lap or not. Rule 40.13 then applies, which says on the final lap the SC peels into the pits and the cars cross the line without overtaking. It’s blatantly obvious.

        For the people saying the race didn’t finish under SC conditions because the SC didn’t cross the start finish line at the end of the race is irrelevant, because rule 40.13 is in application.

        It’s a daft rule, but as written it’s blatantly obvious.

        1. The big question is did the ‘race ends whilst the safety car is deployed’?
          If the track is already cleared up and the SC scheduled to come in on the last lap, do that mean the ‘race ends whilst the safety car is deployed’ or not? Not to mention that they signaling that “safety car in this lap”, means that the first car can dictate the pace (40.11).. basically preparing himself for racing. Remember, the safety car must be deployed, even if it need to enter the pit lane for the photo finish, so they need to at least keep the yellow flags on and not give the green lights/flags.
          And at the end, most of the people are racing till the end (except Alonso) even if there wasn’t any overtaking.

          If they should gave a penalty, give them to the one who make this stupid ambiguous rules instead of the drivers/teams.

          Hey, safety car in this lap it’s a sign that race is going to be restarted, they even give the green lights and flags… but no, there is this 40.13 rule that probably were made to get a better photo in the finish line.. we don’t want SC to get in the way, do we? Without 40.13, SC would just continue like it supposed to do when the track isn’t safe and there wouldn’t be any controversy over this. But what if the track is safe? Without 40.13, they will race right after they crossed the sc line.

          In the end, what is the purpose of 40.13? if the track isn’t clear, why SC should go to the pit lane? it the track is clear, why they can’t race since there’s a gap between the SC line and the finish line?
          Is it really to get better photos at the finish line? How do you implement 40.13 correctly? Did they implement 40.13 correctly? Why do they have the sc line instead of using the start/finish line if they are going to have 40.13? The best part about moving the sc line before the start/finish line is that we can have a race at the very last second instead of just ceremonially cross the finish line.

          Argh, I just don’t know anymore…

        2. Umar Farooq Khawaja
          16th May 2010, 19:14

          Did you not see all the green flags being waved and the big huge green lights flashing? Why were they green? They should have been yellow, if the safety car was coming in because of Article 40.13.

          Article 40.13 is NOT applicable here.

          1. CORRECT! ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

        3. You’re wrong, Robert, 40.13 does not talk about final lap but of safety car deployed at end of race – that’s an important difference! Today, the race did not finish under SC because of the “SC in this lap” signalling earlier (and green flags, well…) – Per the rules, 40.13 should not apply to this situation today!

      2. Pretty clear, especially in Monaco where the cars then park on the grid to receive the prizes, the SC has to get out of their way for them to finish the race.

      3. the reason why the safety car gets into the pits, is to get a nice picture of webber and the flag, but in reality is like the safety car was there, and the positions were already unchangable. Sad, yes but not all the gp finishes are like brasil 2008. Schumi we are with you though, and we hope your penalty gets reduced to a more reasonable level. Back to seventh will be right.

    4. Completely with you here. Especially as this was the first instance of this new rule coming into the play.
      With the green flags out, it is easy to argument, that the situation was far from clear and offered room for interpretation.

      Maybe Ross should protest it to get this cleared. I am not sure, it is possible to protest these kind of desicions though.

      That would be a nice chance to see the new procededures at FIA applied.

    5. I agree. I’m definitely not Scummy fan, but being demoted to 7th would be fair.

  15. Schumaher is loosing his reputation day by day… Not nice to see…

    1. James Alias
      16th May 2010, 17:57

      I beg to differ. This incident only goes on to increase his popularity even more! No other driving in F1 has the nerve and the audacity to do things like this, he is legendary!

      This ruling though it will please anti-Schumi fans but eventually will create more pro-Schumi fans from neutral base those who simply want entertainment, exciting racing and fighting drivers!

      Damon Hill, sour grapes, not even 1/7th of a driver that Schumacher is.

    2. If anything it’s Damon Hill that’s losing his reputation here. Overtaking under green flags should not be penalized. And if you want to argue that it was safety car finish, well, then just swap back their places and be done with it.

    3. Why on earth would Schumi lose his reputation from this. I think it was a great move, far from controversy for most fans.

      OK maybe it was judged not to be allowed in the end, but great for having a go at it and provide exitment in the very last corner.

      Way to go Schumi, this is the right Rascasse move to improve your image.

    4. On the contrary, this is going to boost Schumacher’s reputation as a really good sharp driver for those young enough not to see him race before, and the non schumi haters (we know the haters are not going to change their mind about him)… he passed Alonso driving a ferrari. This also would give him support from the ferrari haters, so people would start seeing schumacher as a driver, not the “ferrari driver” he still is in a lot of people minds.

    5. i think the opposite it’s true here. His reputation is getting stronger with these type of actions. He is a warrior, and we like that.

  16. too harsh, they had to swap their positions and stop. i don’t think it’s a Todt plot, remember that Todt was in Ferrari but he was also in close relationship with Brawn and Schumacher. And Hill was helped by 3 other FIA commissioners (a mexican, a swiss and a monegasque… seems the intro of a joke :D )

    1. Sure does. But the punchline was sick :/

  17. Seems a bit harsh. If you have 2 rules saying different things then you can’t penalise someone for following one and not the other.

    Unless there’s something more to this decision this is a bit of a joke, and I hate Schumacher.

  18. 20 second penalty is completely over the top, especially after the safety car when it’s guaranteed to lose him so many places. I hope they cross out this rediculous rule so the drivers can actually race without having to leaf through a rule book first.

    1. I think the penalty is too harsh but they weren’t able to give him a softer one – there’s no provision for it in the rules.

      1. James Alias
        16th May 2010, 17:59

        There is! A fine! they gave Webber a fine for speeding in the pit-lane, wasn’t he supposed to get a drive though penalty instead?

        1. They can impose a fine for pit lane speeding but not for this type of “incident”. Rule 16.3:

          The stewards may impose any one of three penalties on any driver involved in an Incident :
          a) A drive-through penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane and re-join the race without stopping ;
          b) A ten second time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop at his pit for at least ten seconds
          and then re-join the race.
          c) a drop of any number of grid positions at the driver’s next Event.
          However, should either of the penalties under a) and b) above be imposed during the last five laps, or after
          the end of a race, Article 16.4b) below will not apply and 20 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time
          of the driver concerned in the case of a) above and 30 seconds in the case of b).

          1. There is another option, rule “not guilty”.

          2. Hello Keith, i was wondering about this. Is there any real chance of Ross appealing the decision?
            Or is this one of those where no appeal is allowed to decisions of the race stewards.

            As the situation was not 100% clear (SC was out, came in before finish line. But green was waved and a “race free” was given), i am with you and would have preferred a penalty resulting in Schumi ending in 7th or maximum behind his team mate in 8th.

          3. Not sure about whether or how they appeal exactly, obviously McLaren got theirs thrown out in 2008.

      2. There is no provision for not penalising a guy who overtakes under green flags?

        1. Robert McKay
          16th May 2010, 18:15

          It doesn’t matter how many green flags there are. Rule 40.13 is in effect. It’d be less confusing if they weren’t there, but it doesn’t matter that they are.

          1. “Track is clear” in my opinion means that the track is, well, clear. That was the information given to the teams. It wasn’t “hey, it’s a safety car finish”.

            They could just admit it, and say “our bad, we didn’t make the situation clear”.

            And if they really wanted to impose a penalty, they still had the option of “a drop of any number of grid positions at the driver’s next Event”, instead of 20 second penalty.

            What they did instead is ridiculous.

        2. Green flags mean race. The last time a race finished behind the Safety car we had yellows waved –

          1. Robert McKay
            16th May 2010, 18:21

            That’s why I think Schumacher should be 7th, not 12th. But not 6th.

          2. The last time a race finished behind the Safety Car you couldn’t pass before the start/finish line, under ANY circumstances. Nowadays you can, UNLESS it’s the last lap.

            Technically, of course, the last race to finish under SC was Monza, but I know what you mean….:D

          3. That was last year, Tommy, the rules have changed since then.

          4. This is for Red Andy…
            Then why are they waving the green instead yellow? If it were going to finish under the SC, even if the SC is going into the pit lane (because being forced by the 40.13 rule), it should be yellow instead of green all the way to the finish line.
            The race need to end with the SC in order for the 40.13 to be in effect, so when the yellow flags were replaced by the green flags, it effectively cancel the 40.13 because it doesn’t end with SC situation. Remember that the race doesn’t end until they cross the finish line.

            Can we punish the officials instead of the driver? it’s basically the officials fault instead of the driver/team.

          5. Umar Farooq Khawaja
            16th May 2010, 19:19

            Keith, the rules might have changed, but the flags haven’t changed and the rules governing flags haven’t changed either.

            If no overtaking is to be allowed, then the flag to be waved is Yellow, not Green.

            Please take your anti-Schumacher glasses off for a second.

          6. Totally agree Tommy, a green flag to a driver means one thing, race.

            If race control has made a poor job of communicating their intentions to stewards or marshalls over the restarting, or not, of racing conditions, then it is their error and the result must stand.

            Schumacher waited until he was past the SC line and had a green flag. How can he be punished for an overtake in these circumstances?

      3. you are right, they have to change that rule, like some others. I hope todt, takes a look at some of this rules, and uses his common sense, to make them more sesible.
        But the fans are clear, and todt, must be clear about.

      4. They could have dropped him one place on the grid at the next race – that would be much more fitting, under the circumstances

        (Not that I think he should have got *any* penalty ;-)

  19. Yet another example of the FIA outlawing anything which makes the sport good or interesting. They’re ripping the heart out of the sport. Already this season we have a ban on innovation with banning the f-duct, which discourages teams from inventing new things, because the FIA ban them for no reason. Now we have this decision, which unduly penalises a great driver for making a daring move against a driver who clearly thought he’d finished the race.

    One question to the FIA, if the race had ended, why did the safety car pull in? Why didn’t the safety car just carry on over the line under yellows, and end the race that way? The safety car pulling in, and the green flags being waved, is a universally acknowledged sign that racing has recommenced, which should be the case whether they are on the first or last lap.

    If Ferrari had not been involved in this case, the decision would have been very different. I am disgusted with the FIA over this.

    1. One question to the FIA, if the race had ended, why did the safety car pull in?

      Because that’s what it says will happen in the rules:

      If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

      Which was quoted in the article earlier:

      Schumacher courts controversy with last-gasp pass on Alonso after safety car

      1. But the Safety Car had been pulled in, and the green flags were clearly out???

      2. But that doesn’t address my issue. I understand why Schumacher was penalised, but why do we have that rule? What purpose is it serving? Is it safer? I’d say no.

        As the guys on the BBC coverage pointed out, if a person had crashed on the last corner, they would be allowed to overtake, as they would in racing, so why are we allowing the drivers to get to racing speed, but not overtake? What if Alonso had gone wide, leaving a clear gap for Schumacher, but Schumacher stopped so as not to overtake Alonso. There would have been a pile-up behind him!

        Bad bad decision by Hill and the FIA here.

        1. Yeah I think the rule is a strange one – why not just keep the safety car out? Bringing it in in this fashion just creates confusion.

          1. Bringing it in is a one thing. Waving green flags instead of yellow is another, just as is informing teams that the track is clear.

          2. Robert McKay
            16th May 2010, 18:16

            They want the “money shot” of the leader crossing the line unsullied by a big safety car in front of the pack.

          3. Not at all. There is no confusion if the yellow flags are waved and “SC” boards are on display.
            This however wasn’t the case today.

          4. Like I said earlier, with only 3 laps of the race remaining the race should have been ‘Red Flaged’. What is the point of the cars just going around in circles and not been allowed to overtake?

      3. they don’t want the picture of the gp winner, behind the sc in the magazines all over the world. That makes sense.
        I think schumacher and brown were way too hungry. But on the other hand the fans have spoken loud and clear. Schumacher must be demoted to 7th, and that rule to be clarified.

      4. But if the race ends under safety car, the flags and lights would still have to be yellow.

      5. This sentence means the IF the SC IS DEPLOYED but Race Control said SC coming in THIS LAP which means the last part safety car line to finish is to be raced that is why the green flags are waving for.

        Green means any restrictions are removed (short version) and back to normal (rules) IF RC wanted to ended the race under SC they should NEVER give the order SC coming in this LAP.

        SO race control made a BIG mistake here. so any conclusions is for the account of the FIA.

  20. Honestly, I’m not surprised. I thought Ross Brawn’s explanation was questionable and I think it’s telling that both McLaren and Ferrari instructed their drivers not to overtake after the safety car line. Mercedes’ view of the rules was not correct.

    However I don’t like seeing drivers getting punished for overtaking and a fairer penalty would have been to put Schumacher back behind Alonso in the standings. Unfortunately that option wasn’t available to the stewards under the rules.

    1. Why was Mercedes’ view not correct? Wasn’t the track officially given the “clear” status…? Yes it was. Wasn’t the “green light” on, as opposed to waved yellows under SC? …Yes, it was.

      So, ALL the indications demonstrated a clear track, green status and not finish under SC rules. How was Mercedes to know that the track was in fact NOT clear and that the green light was a MISTAKE….?

      The only mistake was from race control who did not advise that the SC would pull in but the race would finish under SC rules. I.e., the track should NOT have been cleared and the green lights should NOT have gone on.

      Simple as that.

      1. probably the mistake hasn’t been made by FIA but by the stewards, who shouldn’t show green flags.

      2. absolutely correct, disgusting decision, especially when you take into account the ‘offences’ drivers have only got reprimands for in the previous races.

      3. Track clear doesn’t mean the safety car is in, track clear means the obstruction is removed. Then notification came that the safety car was ‘coming’ in, but not in yet. However i agree the green seems to have been a mistake and so feel the penalty is harsh, but sadly unavoidable under the rules as they’re written.

    2. +1 on the putting Schumacher back a place, but Brawns explanation to the BBC team seemed perfectly understandable?

      Anyway if the race should finish with a safety car it should lead the drivers over the line, what possible reason should their be to bring it in?

    3. +1 on the putting Schumacher back a place, but Brawns explanation to the BBC team seemed perfectly understandable?

      Anyway if the race should finish with a safety car it should lead the drivers over the line, what possible reason should their be to bring it in?

    4. Keith,
      I agree with you that it would have been better if they’d just reverted the positions back to what they were when the cars were following the SC.
      Basically MSC gained a position because of the SC being out. He couldn’t pass Alonso legimately during the race so why should he gain a place because of the SC? My gut feeling says that isn’t right.
      As far as I can see the rule is there because it’ll look naff for the fans and promoters if the race finishes with the SC going over the line first – it’ll spoil the finish photos. So bring the SC in just before the Final Flag whilst finishing under SC conditions.

    5. Have to agree with Keith. Yes, the rule is vague and the penalty is too harsh. But McLaren and Ferrari were not racing at this point. Why? Because they interpreted the rule correctly. It’s clear that the safety car will not cross the checkered flag, if racing should happen around the last corner, that should be stated in the rules too. However, the way it’s written now, no overtaking. End of story.

    6. MacademiaNut
      16th May 2010, 18:30

      I agree that they should have done what you said without handing over a penalty to MSC. It is too said that they have to pick a punishment from the rule book.

    7. Alonso seemed to be thinking that he was racing at that point. He clearly overaccelerated, going sideways as a result.
      Why would you do that if you didn’t think the guy behind had to right to try and overtake you?

      1. I assume he thought that because of the green light flashing ahead.

    8. exactly my view… since this specific rule is new, and confusion was obvious in the de-brief… Alonso should have been given his spot back, overtake annulled… a 20 second penalty is completely disproportionate especially that the race ended bunched up behind a SC.

      but you got to give it to coincidence, Shumi under doubt when his former nemesis is steward… i have a feeling Bernie directs these things from his invisible director’s chair…

    9. I disagree with you Keith. As a lot of people said before, the FIA or whatever is in charge of the race control, should HAVE NOT waved green flags and should HAVE NOT used the same terms that are used when the SC comes in during NORMAL race circumstances. The race control should have used a NEW WAY to signal these new rule situation. The fact that McLaren and Ferrari interpreted the rule the same way (not he Mercedes way) is as relevant as their interpretation of any other fuzzy rule in the past (not relevant at all). ie. the famous double diffuser affair last year, when the interpretation made by the majority didnt stop Brawn to do it and be legal.

    10. Well, I don’t understand why the safetycar was coming in on the final lap if you’re not allowed to overtake.

      1. By the way I don’t understand why the rules have to be so unclear. Ihadn’t even heard about the “safety car line” before China, despite followin, and during the winter. There was a lot of fuss about changing the point system twice both for 2009 and 2010 and that it would be confusing for the fans, but the safety car line rules are in my opinion much worse.

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