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. James Alias
    16th May 2010, 17:51

    I think FIA needs to learn a thing about entertainment PR.

    1. I would rather the rules were enforced fairly than selectively applied on the grounds of “entertainment.”

  2. So I guess the drivers now have to receive directions from race control telepathically rather than relying on the instructions and signals of the mashalls and track lighting system.

    A sad step backwards for Formula One stewards.

    Australian Autosport Community

  3. 40.13 was too clear about this, think is the right decision

    1. Exactly.

      Yellow and green flags should not even be a part of the argument. It was the last lap and the article explains clearly what is expected of the drivers. Brawn interpreted the rules incorrectly, and Scummy executed it.

      Rules are Rules.. no matter how harsh they might seem. If Scummy didn’t want a penalty he shouldn’t have tried a cheap overtaking move like that one.

      1. It’s extremely childish when people nickname him “Scummy” which reminds me of that buffoon mp4-19b who used to post on this site.

        1. Sorry Keith about the insult.. *embarrassed*

  4. Right or wrong(I don’t know), it was the only signifigant manouver in an otherwise incredibly boring race. If this ruling was correct they need to change the rules.

  5. Well, I’m just glad that MSC made that move. It’s good to see he hasn’t lost any aggression in those split-second decisions he makes.
    This is the Schumacher we know- the one who sees an opportunity and definitively takes it, no prisoners, no sorries. It happened in Adelaide 94, then Jerez 97, and maybe even Monaco 06. But that commitment to always go for the win and just take every chance he gets is what made him great; glad to see it hasn’t gone away.

    1. You just pointed out all the low points in Schumi’s career. If you think those actions make him a great competitor, I really do not know what you think of true sportsmanship.

      1. That would make Ayrton the worst ever… by far and in some time to come… Do you agree? Cos it can’t be both ways…

        1. That is exactly why I wouldn’t use Senna’s first corner collision with Prost as an example that defined him

  6. Mark Hitchcock
    16th May 2010, 17:53

    I can see why he was punished but 20 seconds is unduly harsh in my opinion.
    What’s the problem with just putting Schumi back to 7th?

    1. Under the rules the only penalties that the stewards can apply are 1) a drive-through, 2) a 10sec stop/go penalty, or 3) a grid penalty for the next race. If an incident happens in the last 5 laps of a race 1) or 2) can be substituted with a 20-second penalty. Unfortunately there is no provision in the rules for simply swapping the drivers around, though I agree it would have been a more appropriate punishment.

      1. Mark Hitchcock
        16th May 2010, 18:07

        Oh yeah, forgot about the last 5 laps thing.
        It would make sense to give the stewards the power to apply a more appropriate punishment if they see fit.

      2. I think the list of arbitary punishments they still choose from just shows that the FIA simply don’t learn from their previous mistakes. In last year’s Australian Grand Prix, Trulli was initially handed a 25 second penalty, when the FIA should know that under safety car conditions, the field gets bunched up and such a penalty would be far more severe than it would have been under normal racing conditions. The fact that a simple position swapping penalty still hasn’t been considered for these situations is very worrying and saddening for the governing body.

  7. TOTALLY UNFAIR :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

    We the fans demand an explination!!!!

    Brawn MUST appeal the decision if upheld then I would like to rose some certain Hill to Hell.

    God > infinity

  8. I agree that this is bad call.

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

  9. very bad decision, thats outrageous for penalizing so much as it was a badly written rule, its a joke having damon there, at least just put him back to 7th


  10. The law is clear, good decision

  11. Well, is it written in the rules or not ?
    If it is, then it is fair, albeit quite harsh. I’d say, swapping positions with F Alo would have been too soft though… I really don’t know.

  12. Wow people are quick to blame Hill!

    Surely this decision was down to the exact wording of the rules, and the legality of the move in relation to those rules and their initial (supposed) intention, not by an ex racing driver with a grudge!

    1. For all we know, Hill might have supported Schumi’s actions but the other two stewards voted against! Very unlikely, but could’ve happened!

  13. This was the correct decision according to the rules. I agree that it would have been enough to simply put Schumacher behind Alonso in the standings, I’m surprised the stewards cannot be ‘lenient’ and just do that.

  14. I’m not worried, Brawn will send the lawyers and they’ll win, because they’re right.

    Otherwise, the message is “don’t trust in-race messages coming from FIA”

  15. This is outrageously ridiculous!

    …In the meantime Mark Webber was handed only a fine for being 10 kph over the pitlane speed limit during a race…

    So does this mean you stewards are now prohibiting overtaking at all times and encouraging driving through pits at full speed if your pockets filled with enough cash?..

    Such a shame.

    1. If you look at the time you’ll see that the incident was before the race, when he drove on the grid. A stupid thing to do, but you csn’t punish him in the race for that.

    2. So, pit-lane speeding is not given a penalty!!!

      But Schumacher is!!

      Damon Hill, you sore sore loser!!

      1. Ohh, before race!! Didn’t realize that.

        But still, too harsh a penalty for a non-infringement of the rules!!

        Damon Hill, you sore sore loser!!

  16. For people here who claim that the rules have been broken…

    What part of “track clear” and “green flags” don’t you get…?

    If the race finished under SC rules, the track would not have been officially cleared and we would have waved yellows.

    Which we didn’t. Ergo, the race was on.

  17. What on earth is the new “safety car line” rule trying to achieve? Just get rid of it, straight away.

  18. FIA & F1 stewardship should be ashamed of themselves. The rules & the track situations with regards to the lights were perfectly clear.

    The safety car had come in
    Green lights were on
    Overtake was done after the restart line.

  19. My bad, Webber was speeding when he exited the pits to drive onto the starting grid.

  20. Nobody seems to have mentioned 40.11: “As the safety car is approaching the pit entry the yellow flags and SC boards will be withdrawn and replaced by waved green flags with green lights at the Line. These will be displayed until the last car crosses the Line.”

    Note “… until the LAST car …” – so green lights do not cancel 40.13 which is absolutely clear about no overtaking.

    1. Green flags/lights are only displayed from the last safety car line (or in previous years, the start-finish line), so it still cancels out 40.13 for me.

    2. but it does not say when the SC is no longer in, it just says they’ll wave green flags.

    3. As of 2010, the no overtaking line has been pulled back from the start finish line to the pit-lane line.

      And this finish was NOT A SAFETY CAR FINISH. Teams were clearly told that “Safety car coming in”. If it were a safety car finish, then this message would not have been given to the teams, the safety car lights would have been flashing throughout the time as it entered the pits. This wasn’t such a case though.

      So, it did mean, that we had a 1-corner (200 meter) sprint race finish.

      And Michael beat Fernando in this short race. Why a ridiculous 20-second penalty is beyond me

      1. If I had too choose, that’s what I’d say, too.

      2. I agree with you sumedh.

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