Should slower cars let the front runners pass when racing for position? (Poll)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Alonso found Trulli much easier to pass than di Grassi
Alonso found Trulli much easier to pass than di Grassi

Lucas di Grassi gave Fernando Alonso plenty to think about when the Ferrari driver came up to pass the Virgin driver early in the Monaco Grand Prix.

But after Alonso got past di Grassi he made light work of passing Heikki Kovalainen, Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli.

Did the other drivers make life too easy for Alonso? Or should di Grassi have yielded as well?

For

If two cars are racing for position, why should the car in front yield position even if it does have a much quicker car behind?

Enrique Bernoldi famously refused to let David Coulthard by in the same circumstances at Monaco in 2001 – the McLaren driver stared at the rear wing of Bernoldi’s Arrows for 41 laps.

Di Grassi’s defence from Alonso was impressive while it lasted as the VR-01 clearly had vastly less grip and power than the F10. But Alonso clearly wasn’t impressed, waving his hand at the Virgin driver as they climbed towards Massenet on one lap.

Against

For the tail-enders, holding up a faster car can be costly to their race. Pulling off-line to defend position can make their lap times even slower, spoiling their chances of beating other cars that are roughly as quick as they are.

But how slow does a car need to be before defending its position is pointless? Three seconds per lap? Four?

The Lotuses were less than three seconds off the pace at this point in the race. Jaime Alguersuari was only one second faster, so should he have waved Alonso by too?

Vote

Should slower cars defend their position from significantly quicker rivals? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should slower cars let much faster cars by when racing for position?

  • Yes - Slower cars should always let much quicker cars past (13%)
  • No - Slower cars should always defend their position from quicker rivals (87%)

Total Voters: 2,902

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149 comments on “Should slower cars let the front runners pass when racing for position? (Poll)”

  1. Sush Meerkat
    17th May 2010, 10:36

    Of course a slower car should defend their position, it wouldn’t be a race if they didn’t.

    1. Seconded. It really is a no-brainer. For position, the guy behind should have to work to get past. Although I think the same should go for when being lapped too.

      1. Umar Farooq Khawaja
        17th May 2010, 10:52

        I agree with that. I do no see why a slower car should yeild position to a faster car while being lapped.

        1. I meant any car, as in get rid of blue flags and make the leaders pass the proper way… with skill and grid and determination. But yeah, it can apply to slower cars too, a-la Eddie Irvine and Ayrton Senna

          1. Sush Meerkat
            17th May 2010, 11:15

            I’m with Ajokay on this one, take away blue flags, the big teams would quickly stop hitting on the smaller teams since no one moves over for rude people.

            It would set a dangerous precedent of people being nice to each other in F1.

          2. if you got rid of blue flags there would be way too much favouritism going on during a race. if ALO comes up to lap ALG, I’m sure he’d be let through easier than if it was HAM trying to lap ALG. (coz ALG is same nationality as ALO and torro rosso has ferrari engines…)

          3. Yes and it would also cause Torro Rosso to let the Ferrari’s through easier because Ferrari supplies there Engines.

            But that’s taking an equally extreme view.

            And I don’t think It will stop Ferrari from hitting on the little teams, in fact I’d expect it to happen more.

          4. on the same coin you would think Alg and Bue would let Vet and Web past after all team have very similar ownership… I would think they might make it a bit harder on Alo to pass IF it would be advantage for RBR. BUT that is a lot of hypotheticals because that would mean that they would need to know where everyone else is on track and the pit would have to basically tell them what they should do and all a sudden you have team orders so to speak.
            I don’t see that happen really with those teams. But it’s a possibility.
            However if you look at Indy you can see what can happen with no blue flags. Last race at Kansas Speedway. Danica blocked a driver for lap after lap and she had a poorly setup car and had to lift in the corner. She constantly blocked expertly until she slipped up a little and then she “gave up” and more cars easily made past her. She was a good 0.5sec of the pace (on a ~25sec lap that is a lot). On a oval on a clean lap it’s 100% throttle for the entire lap so when a driver have to lift they are off the pace.
            Good bad or indifferent? I feel pretty bad BUT that doesn’t mean I am for the blue flags as is. Keep the blue flags but relax the rules don’t force the driver to give away ASAP as it is today. Give them at least a lap before they need to give away. Say the same blue flagger shouldn’t have to blue flag the same back runner car to let the faster car behind past.
            This way if the driver is fighting for position he can choose when to let the front runner past on the circuit that works best.

          5. That’s a thought, how bout make it so they have one lap from the time they get a blue flag to give up the place, That way, there’s reason for the faster driver to want to have a stab, yet it won’t running the leaders race entirely if he can’t get past…. might be a good middle step.

    2. should have added an option of
      drivers and teams own choice for strategy, and safety
      or something apart from back and white..
      Some drivers may let 1 drive past because of a number of reasons and not anther driver for other reasons…

      Either way it shouldn’t be mandatory thats a complete joke, and if it was…where does the interpretation end? RBR over Mclaren on some tracks or occasions?
      Renault to move over for Ferrari?
      and does defensive driving become evil over talent, and does that hypothetical mandatory rule also include a car with worn tyres that is slower than the car behind on newer rubber?????
      ETC on and on.

    3. Of course. Plus, why should they move over if it was Alonso’s own mistake that put him behind the slow cars. It’s all part of the penalty for making a mistake at Monaco!

      1. Di Grassi probably thought this is the most fun he is going to have all year! So why not make the most of getting to race at Monaco for position with a double world champion! :P

        1. why did alonso get so stroppy afterwards about it?!

    4. on monaco or even singapore the bottom 3 teams should yield cause they are far too slow ridiculous they are worse than minardi and x3

      1. But they are still racing. Sorry mate, but it is up to the “better” driver in the faster car to probe his metal and overtake.

        If not, where do you draw the line? If someone’s having car trouble on the last lap, should he move over and let someone through, or defend his position and RACE?

        Forget “they are too slow” comments, this is racing. If not, why not replace it all with each driver doing a lap and the fastest wins?

        1. sorry, spelling mistake makes that sound like a weird sexual activity. Of course I meant “prove” his metal, not probe

        2. im not british i dont care about spelling mistakes i like to see overtaking but it was a fact that all cars but di grassi yield and on a normal track overtaking a lotus or virgin or hrt is as fast as overtaking on blue flags

      2. So say Webber made a small error during qualification and got 2nd on the grid and Alonso took pole. Should Alonso move out of the way to let Webber through as he is in a clearly faster car?

        Alonso and the back markers were racing for position and if they kept him there for the whole race and other in front retired they could have picked up points. Why on earth should they let him through?

        1. exactly. where do you draw the line.

          1. You draw the line at the last few races when you are not fighting for the championship AND you are not losing points that would change your or your team standing in the championship.
            :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
            Schumy suffered to Hill in the last race in Japan 1998 exactly becuase Hill wanted revenge and nothing to do with his points!

          2. @heliwave

            In which case lets just do away with the race and finish the GP after Qualifying 3. That way pretty much guarantee the fastest driver around the track wins without any of that horrible racing stuff getting in the way.

          3. In fact thinking about it why not just use the simulator data to see who is likely to be fastest and then the cars do not even have to turn up at all.

    5. of course!!! agree!

    6. We Want Turbos
      18th May 2010, 1:40

      There should be no rule either way, although I can understand why drivers move out of the way especially established ones, as they may be taken out of the race by a frustrated driver. However its’s a great way as a young driver to get noticed, If Di Grassi had Glock’s car I don’t think Alonso would have got past and everyone would be saying he’ll replace Massa next year.

    7. I think that Sush said everything. I have to say that I felt infuriated when I saw the image on TV of Alonso complaining because DiGrassi didn’t let him pass… Absolutely ridiculous. On top of that, as usual, Alonso made demeaning comments about DiGrassi, just because the guy was fighting like a lion to keep a slower car in front of Alonso.
      As Sush said, it wouldn’t be a race is everyone just moves out of the track.

      1. More or less as Lewis did on fisichella Bahrein 2008………..

        1. As far as I am aware Hamilton did not question Fisichellas right to defend his position.

  2. Thought Di Grassi’s defence was excellent yesterday, and Alonso getting a bit riled behind him, waving his hand and sliding about behind him was fun to watch!

    1. I am also for the drivers battling not to give up position, wherever they are.
      The point is DiGrassi probably had nothing to lose.
      Trulli, Timo and Heikki clearly rather let him past then risk their races (pace-wise as well as not feeling good having a fuming Alonso behind asking for an accident). But that should be up to the driver in question.

    2. Di Grassi did a superb job, trying to keep Alonso behind despite oversteering in the tunnel!

  3. Keith, the poll question does not match the title of the article or its content. I almost clicked the wrong option!

    1. I’ve changed it to make it clearer.

      1. It’s still kinda weird…

        Below the ‘vote’ subtitle it says

        “Should slower cars defend their position from significantly quicker rivals?”

        and then it suddenly gets changed to

        “Should slower cars let much faster cars by when racing for position?”

        quite contradictory… :) I almost clicked the wrong one too!

  4. It depends on how the rest of the race is unfolding.

    Apart from the Hispanias, who are usually in a race of their own anyway, di Grassi was the last runner apart from Alonso. It made sense for him to defend against Alonso because he wasn’t going to lose so much time doing it that it might cost him a position later in the race.

    Trulli and Glock were probably thinking about racing each other, and knew that time lost defending against Alonso could have proved critical in a later part of the race. So they let him by and got on with their own race.

    1. Thing is, di Grassi didn’t lose much time defending from Alonso – he was still keeping up with Trulli.

      1. That’s interesting. I imagine that the effect is less pronounced at Monaco since there are fewer passing places and the track is narrower, so less effort is needed to defend. But at other places it could mean the difference between gaining a position and losing one.

        1. ultimatly its up to the team and driver them, after a lap or two or three of fending off a faster car, if your loosing ground to a comparable car ahead, it may be wise to let him through to fight the next car and hopefully take an opportunistic chance to follow him through. Wishful thinking but its part f strategy more so then anything.

  5. I also enjoyed Di Grassi defending his position yesterday. If racing for position of course you wouldn’t let anyone through regardless of the speed advantage-sure people are saying it was pointless for de Grassi to defend but if Alonso went off trying to get past it would have benefited him so I think applying pressure to a faster driver behind can be beneficial, its called racing.

  6. Ned Flanders
    17th May 2010, 10:45

    Maybe Lucas di Grassi would have lost less time by simply letting Alonso through- but I hate it when drivers play the percentage game. Di Grassi went up in my estimation yesterday; Jarno Trulli went down.

    Similarily, I have a lot of respect for the way Lewis Hamilton keeps on pushing no matter how matter what. Sometimes he looks like a champ (eg Silverstone 2008, winning by a minute), other times he looks like a chump (Monza 2009, crashing on the last lap). But, whether you like him or not, you’ve got to respect him for it.

    OK, so I’ve gone a bit off topic. My point is- every driver should fight for his position all of the time, whether that position is first or last, whether the driver he is defending from is his best mate, whether the driver is a championship contender etc etc

  7. No!

    I know it may be good manners to get out of their way but what would be the point in being there at all if you had to give everything over and let the guy past.

    It was Alonso’s fault he had to start from the pit lane & therefore he is to blame for having to fight at the back.

    The slow guys did nothing wrong, they didn’t crash, they qualified where they always do. It was Alonso’s cock up so he paid for it.

  8. Ofcourse they should defend there position! Race positions matter for the championship (See how webber is in front of vettel because of his two wins). Plus it is very funny to watch a much slower car hold up a fast car. I can still remember that race with Enrique Bernoldi and David Coulthard.

  9. Thats 2 valid points by Ned and Cube, actions and skill by De Grassi gets noticed and the reason Alonso was at the rear was a result of his own error in qualifying.

  10. Vincent1972
    17th May 2010, 11:00

    No. This is F1 racing. Go race!

  11. The driver has to do everything he can to drive the fastest race he can. Period.
    If holding up a faster car behind you, which requires you to constantly compromise your racing line, makes you lap slower than you would normaly do – then what’s the point of blocking him??

    You cannot force a driver to do something only to serve the entertainment of the fans. This is not real racing then, it’s fake racing.

    You can block the faster car as much as you want to, but if this results in you making slower lap times and exploting your brakes and tyres more than you can afford – then the decision to let him past is the most logical thing in the world.

    1. I think you are right here, that is why i voted NO.
      Let the guy in front decide, if he feels it makes sense to fight do it, when he wants to concentrate on his own race strategy and speed, let the car by.

    2. What if this occured at the end of the race, and di Grassi found himself in 10th place? Should he give his place up to Alonso then?

      1. “What if this occured at the end of the race, and di Grassi found himself in 10th place?”
        – Is what I’ve said so confusing that you can’t think of an answer yourself or what?!?

        If it occured at the end of the race then OBVIOUSLY he would only lose by letting him pass, so the only freaking logical thing to do what be to block the hell out of Alonso and fight for his position!!
        DUH!!!

    3. What!? The point is to defend your track position!

      What is the point to let faster car overtake you??? what is the point to go quicker/finish the race sooner when you actually lose track position? As if that way the slower cars had a better chance to overtake the car in front of him?

      To drive the fastest race he can, that is rally BTW.

      1. “What is the point to let faster car overtake you???”
        – The point is that if blocking the faster car makes you go slower you are losing time that eventually may cost you positions.

        You gotta see the big picture, kid!

        Imagine you are fighting off Alonso, losing 1sec. per lap by doing so, and after 15 laps of such battling you have lost 15 seconds on the track.
        Then another round of pitstops comes up. You go to the pits, leave the pits – and the 3 cars that were behind you have now gone ahead of you, because you had “fought for position” against Alonso (!!!).
        And now instead of finishing the race in the 8th place and scoring points, you finish the race in 11th place and get nothing.

        WHAT’S THE POINT IN THAT?!? HUH?!?!

        1. well, then it is up to the driver to use his head, you know, personal judgement.

    4. And the poll is bad, because it’s biased. The third poll option should be: “The driver is entitled to and should do WHATEVER IT TAKES to make his race faster and score the highest possible position”.

      1. FelipeBabyStayCool
        17th May 2010, 11:29

        Yep, I agree. I didn’t vote for that reason (well whatever it takes sounds maybe too strong. Shotguns shouldn’t be allowed ;))

        1. “Shotguns shouldn’t be allowed ;)”

          Why not? :P

      2. I don’t see why you think the poll is biased. It’s a pretty clear either/or option.

  12. Mark Hitchcock
    17th May 2010, 11:10

    I expect Virgin appreciated the tv time they got when Di Grassi held up Alonso.
    So that’s another argument for defending

    They’re all racing drivers and if they have any pride or passion then they should be fighting for every position.

    1. Ned Flanders
      17th May 2010, 11:32

      That advertsing really grabs you attention too. Straight after the race I went out and subscribed to Virgin Media an bought a Marussia sports car, all off the back of di Grassi’s TV time!

      1. I bought a lotus *whoops*

  13. i think as an alonso fan, di grassi did very well, perhaps a little desperate but i much prefer that to the way everyone let hamilton through in brazil 07 and how they used to for michael in years gone by. which used to be so annoying. i remember once at indy jenson letting michael through and that was for the lead! ok Button had a much slower BAR(in 03 i think) car but he was in the lead that day.

    so overall id praise di grassi. tho it was a little frustrating at the time as an alonso fan. but he did exactly the right thing and got his team and himself some exposure which they need cos iMO they have been the worse of the new teams considering the backing and time they had compared to the other 2.

  14. Drivers has always to racing, that’s why they are paid for.

    Alonso complained because Di Grasi was moving to one side to another, but I’m afraid is just a consequence of Alonso’s own anxiety to not loosing much time.

    At the end, he has cried a little bit, but not so much!!!

  15. When I say “Enrique Bernoldi”, what comes to mind? His vigorous defense against DC won him many admirers that say. But we also forget that he got beat by his Arrows teammate Jos Verstappen simply because his defense slowed him down as Jos pulled away.

    So should they race? Yes, but only to a certain extent. Drivers have to make sure that their defense, good as it may look on TV, does not end up scuppering their own race.

    1. *against DC in Monaco 2001 won him many admirers that day.

      awful typos, if i ever saw them.

  16. I can understand backmarkers who will try to put up a fight at a normal circuit – because it’s a relatively safe environment. But it is not advisable at a street circuit. There is a big risk of both cars receiving damage during an overtaking pass, which is particularly bad for the backmarker team, who don’t want to waste their limited resources to repair or replace the chassis.

    1. ..which brings us to the taboo elephant in the room situation..

      Isn’t it time we brought up the obvious answer… stop racing super-wide 200MPH cars around this circuit.. it’s not safe and it’s not racing.. if a faster can’t overtake safely, then what real “racing” is actually taking place at all???

      DOn’t get me wrong, i love watching the cars thunder round monaco as much as the next guy.. but if we don’t accept the simple facts.. that monaco is NOT fit for F1 – then we’ll keep trying to “fix” the sport at this circuit, when it’s the circuit’s own characteristics that create the problems.

      1. Don’t go there man, just don’t. Monaco is as much F1 as F1 is Monaco. Now, keep in mind if they replace Monaco it will probably be another Tilkedrome, do you want that?

        Did anyone notice that the stands were full, the buildings were full, and I swear I saw a guy on a roof. Anyway…. Remember China? there was a whole stand converted to a giant advertisement! A whole stand!

        Maybe Monaco isn’t fit for F1 cars, but it never produces a race not worth watching.

        1. You must have been watching a different race to me. There were a lot of empty sets in the stands on the TV shots I saw (BBC).

  17. Robert McKay
    17th May 2010, 11:23

    Di Grassi’s defence from Alonso and Alonso’s subsequent passes on the other slower cars were pretty much the most interesting bits of the race, a couple of crashes and Schumi’s final corner excepted.

    Taking those battles away would have not left much actual interesting racing in that Grand Prix.

    I can understand why the slower guy might say “ok, I won’t lose time overly defending against him, he’s much quicker”. But if you’re not actually losing that much time, then keep defending.

    Besides, it’s important for the integrity of the race.

  18. FelipeBabyStayCool
    17th May 2010, 11:25

    Should they? Well, it’s up to them, I guess. But of course it would be totally unacceptable to FORCE them to yield, as it happens when lapping.
    Fact is, the backmarkers are in a different race than the top contenders. When they happen to have a much faster and aggresive driver behind (as it has been pointed out in another thread), they are likely to get either overtaken or involved in a crash, unless they are nearing the end of the race and can hope to hold their position up to the finish line (which was not the case yesterday).
    So why bother to hold up a faster driver, lose time and risk a crash? Well, it’s the sportsmanlike thing to do, you earn kudos, and probably get extra TV coverage. But there are good reasons to yield also. And fans of course see it differently if they support or hate the driver behind (I was not exactly happy at Timo yielding in the last corner of Interlagos 2008).

    About yesterday in particular, well I wouldn’t say that Timo made it easy for Fernando (as Jarno certainly did, but I’m not sure about Heikki). Fernando got him in the outside of the chicane when Timo was trying to block the inside, and except for crashing into him there’s little he could do. Lucas made a mightily brave defence yesterday but maybe he weaved a wee bit too much. Along with Mark, Robert and Fernando, I’d pick Lucas for driver of the day (no, I wouldnt pick MSC. Rules are rules, even if they are pointless).

  19. Slow cars should indeed defend their position. Did you note how much screen time di Grassi (and Virgin) got while defending his position against Alonso?

    It doesn’t really matter whether you are 16th or 17th in the race, but the attention you get for several laps for succesfully defending your position against Alonso is priceless.

    1. Right on! The only one who loses from all this, is Alonso. His rivals win, slower drivers and teams win, spectators win.

      Back to the basics of racing I say! I’m not just interested in gaps and lap times and points. What intrests me the most is the duel, the fight, the rivalry between two cars. The competition I can observe directly and not as much the indirect battle between drivers for points, fastest laps etc.

      A good show with action means it’s more thrilling to watch, which means there will me more viewers, which helps the sport to get stronger.

      Racing is all about the X factor and less about fixed things. More man on man action I say :D

  20. I think if that was the case it would just get stupid, as many things do in F1. Up until how far up the grid would a car have to yield to a “faster” car? If you can’t pass a car slower than you well thats your fault, thats the penalty for a lacklustre qualifying. But then I suppose that comes back to the fundamental problem with F1 these days….

    1. Well, if you are going to allow the faster cars to automatically overtake anything going slower than them (once you have defined ‘faster’), you might as well go all the way and have two separate races, one for the slow cars and one for the fast cars.
      Oh dear, that would mean smaller grids (with the bigger one being full of ‘slow’ cars?)
      And if you really want to push this point, why did nobody complain at ‘slow’ Schuey holding up most of the other ‘faster’ cars in Spain?

  21. This is a no brainer, of course the slower car should be allowed to defend. There definitely should not be a rule saying that a backmarker must allow a “front runner” through, even for position.

    Ultimately it is down to the team and driver of the slower car to decide on each occasion. The points against are very valid, but ultimately that is up to the team and driver to decide what is right for them in the circumstances.

    I’d ban blue flags completely as well.

  22. Slower cars should always defend their position from quicker rivals

  23. If a slow HRT was winning in Monaco, it would have the right to hold everyone off to take the victory, so it should be no differant at the back!

  24. If it’s for position, they should be allowed to do whatever they like.

    The Lotuses let Alonso go fairly easily, but di Grassi was up for a scrap – and good luck to him.
    He’s getting his sponsors on telly (as Brundle rather cynically said) and making a name for himself – it was him that went past Schumacher in Melbourne as well wasn’t it.

    When they’re being lapped – that’s another matter. Just don’t do what Trulli did to Karun – classic piece of Monaco lunacy.

  25. Definitely NOT. Why should slower cars make it easy for faster cars to pass? It is already quite easy for faster cars to pass the backmarkers, then you get the media fawning over Alonso’s “amazing carving through the field” hyperbole, when he’s done nothing of note when you consider who he was passing (a bit like the Button fawning in Brazil 2009 when he overtook a bunch of rookies).

    It would stick even more in the craw to see media hyperbole with the knowledge that the cars actually had to let the faster ones by.

    Let them race and fight their way past – they already have the better cars and better salaries – let them bleeding well earn it!

    1. you get the media fawning over Alonso’s “amazing carving through the field” hyperbole

      I haven’t seen any examples of this. Have you got any links?

      1. You might have to look Spanish press.

        1. @Bleu, Spanish driver, Spanish media, so what? I’ve read the BBC articles on Hamilton – British driver, British media & I dare say the Australian media is all the go about Mark Webber at present.

          1. Alas Brake Bias, Webber hardly rates a mention in the news down under. He doesn’t play football, you see. Australian news sources haven’t quite caught up to the fact that there are sports other than footy out there.

      2. I’ve seen Alonso fans say he had an “awesome” race yesterday. Was tempted to link them to your article!

    2. What about when the media fawns all over Hamilton and his stated ability to over take other cars – what is it 32 overtaking moves this season alone? Or is that a different story because he is British? Bit of double standards there me thinks.

  26. Of course the slower car drivers should always defend their position.
    There are reasons why the fast car drivers are at the back, and none of those reasons justifies back markers giving way. Except for maybe one case that I can think of, and that is when faster car is unable to set a good qualifying time because of actions by a third party.

    If you take this reasoning to its logical conclusion, this season everybody should pull over and let the Red Bulls move to the front, until it is proved the other cars have caught up.

  27. Well the obvious answer is no. But when you’re so far off the pace like the back three teams are, it’s down to what the individual driver thinks. It was good to see di Grassi defend his position, but we all knew that Alonso would inevitably get past.

    Hispania got straight out of the way – maybe it will benefit them down the line…

  28. I would like to have seen the result of this poll just when Timo Glock gave way to Lewis Hamilton in the Brazil 2008 GP without the slightest hint of a fight.

    1. Glock was on the wrong tyres for the conditions, he was massively off the pace (as was his team mate who was on the same tyres) and could do nothing to defend. It wasn’t just Hamilton that went past him, Vettel did too.

      If Glock had tried to get in their way he probably would have caused an accident.

      It really is rather boring the way some people have to make everything partisan.

      1. Agree with all Keiths sentiments here.

        It’s not so much that Timo let them past without a fight. Timo’s fight was in keeping his slithering car on the track, while he was doing this the others (on wet tyres) just simply drove around him on the wide track.

      2. I think after Spygate 2007 Ferrari made a deal to win the driver championship but keep the McLaren drivers in the show.
        Hamilton then was robbed of 17 points in the last two races by his team agreeing to keep the show otherwise the season would have been unwatchable.

        THIS IS WHY KIMMI was not happy to have won the world championship this way. But he had to keep silent and THE SHOW had to give him few extra millions to keep him quite.

        In 2008, they told Hamilton they will make sure he wins it to bring interest from the colored community as Tiger Woods does.

        The plan was about to be thawed away by Massa so they ORDERED Glock to give up the place to these two and “adjusted” you know BE has the control room to himself, they adjusted the laps of both Toyotas to be almost identical to each other which WOULD NEVER happens normally as they were on different parts of the track and facing different challenges.
        Too good a lie :) :) :)

        Guys we are watching a show, don’t forget that. The Red Bulls will not be allowed to run away with it because that will take viewing figures away.

        This is why Button was held back last year.
        As a matter of fact this is why the Double Decker Diffuser was allowed to spice up the show.

        And look who’s making appearances in Monaco ;)

        1. *to keep him quiet :)

  29. Of course “slower” cars should defend their position.

    Who decides which cars are “slower” and which are “faster”? It may be fairly obvious when its a Virgin Racing versus a Ferrari, but what if the cars were more evenly matched.

    Where do we draw the line?

  30. I think they should defend their position, but not to the point where it becomes dangerous.

    Kobayashi’s defending in Brazil 2009 was way over the edge. He was driving very slowly and he was taking cars out with his ridiculously aggressive defending.

    I think Di Grassi was slightly being over the edge too. He was locking his wheels on almost every corner and he nearly lost the car in the tunnel. That’s just too dangerous for something as useless as trying to keep that much faster car behind.

    So “yes” I think they should be able to defend their position, but I do think they should be a it more fair than when defending against a more equally paced car.

  31. If he’d just let Alonso through we would not have enjoyed the fantastic site of De Grassi opposite locking through the tunnel at 170mph.

    They will not get much sympathy from the viewing public who want to see a proper overtake not a “bend over-take”
    a la Trulli.

    Id go further and let backmarkers race on the racing line. It used to be a fundamental part of racing, how you deal with back markers. Senna used to be awesome, in fact Lewis is probably closest to him in how he deals with the back of the pack if hes out of position. Be nice to see aggression rewarded. How about a poll on backmarkers Keith?

  32. I also think this depends on the track. If its a track where you can’t overtake (i.e. Monaco) then it seems silly to keep a faster car behind. This is because they are not behind on pure pace, they are behind because the track says no. I’m all in favour of all the cars racing, but if this is purely because of the track, then I can completely see why the top teams would be frustrated

  33. If Alonso doesn’t want to loose time with slower cars then don’t crash in Practice 3.

  34. I don’t think there’s a straight forward yes or no answer, it depends on the situation and what the slower driver has to gain or loose from such an act. The slower car can gain or loose time against other similarly slow rivals depending on if they let the faster driver through. They can also get air time for their sponsors/team by holding back a more distinguished teams car which is also good so it depends on what the priorities are. It’s also nice to see a bit of racing isn’t it ;)

  35. if slower car would have to let faster pass it then lets finish race weekend after Q. :)

  36. Entirely up to them. Having raced in slick shod cars myself, I always let the faster drivers through. If you get fun holding up a championship front runner on a narrow street circuit, then so be it.

  37. It’s racing. The drivers are babied enough with the blue flags as they are without being given positions too. In Monaco, I would make lapped cars yield after one lap in front of a fast car, but having a convention that a slow car should yield position? I thought these guys were meant to be world champions!

  38. I think slower cars should always defend their position.

    During the BBC coverage Martin Brundle and David Coulthard said that for political reasons the slower cars should do the quicker cars a favour and let them through. While it is probably true that the quicker teams may hold grudges if one of their cars are held up I find that pretty sad.

    Eddie Jordan said he would tell his drivers to let quicker cars through because the slower car would loose too much time defending his position. I understand this position more but it could be the best strategy in some cases.

    We saw how much difficulty Alonso had getting past Di Grassi even though he was significantly faster so it just shows how hard it would be for a driver to make an overtake on a more evenly matched car at Monaco.

  39. silly question! Everyone is equal – every driver and every team, so teams which has much faster cars shouldn’t be favoured

  40. Alonso was at the back of the pack due to him loosing control of his car and trashing it. That does not give him the right to expect ‘red carpet’ treatment to the front. What happens when a fast driver gets a penalty and is dropped grid places? Are they to be ushered to the front? It would make a mockery of racing, as all grid penalties would mean nothing. You can guess how I voted.

  41. F1 is racing…. not charity work.. if those overtakes are not earned then Monaco would have been derided of any real racing yesterday no matter to what position the racing was being done…

    Alonso made a mistake, and that is why he was last… he pays for his mistake by having to fight his way through th efield… or else why waste time then… just put the ferrari ahead of all the other team and back in 6th position on the grid then…

  42. At Monaco, do you really lose much time “defending”, I dont think so, its so tight anyway.

    Di Grassi should have brake tested him when he was having his tantrum, that would have been priceless.

    Also, how many times are you allowed to blatantly cut a corner? Massa had four wheels off the track at the chicane out of the tunnel circa lap 20 (?) and no penalty. Hamilton would have passed if Massa had been forced to correct the error, or brake hard enough to stay on track. I think it should be zero tolerance, if there was gravel there he’d be out, its either a chicane or it isnt.

  43. Generally, I’d say that guys do have the right to defend…possibly I even agree with getting rid of the blue flags altogether.

    However, Alonso had already made his pitstop … so while Lucas may have been entitled to defend, I question the wisdom of doing so. I can’t see what benefit there was to di Grassi. I would think it caused him harm, probably losing ground to guys he truly was racing against over the long haul, eg, Timo & Heikki.

  44. Not only the slower cars should make difficult the life for the front runners but also when they are going to be laped.
    This is racing not going for a ride in a beautiful sunday afternoon.
    Of course they should know accidents must be avoided since not runing for position.

  45. The reason was because the Lotuses and hiekki knew that there was no way that they would reach the points. Plus even if they made it hard for Alonso, i htink that he would still finish in the same position.

  46. Prisoner Monkeys
    17th May 2010, 14:27

    Hell, no.

    I’m sorry, but why should the likes of di Grassi moved over for Alonso? Because it was Alonso? If the Ferrari driver was leading the race, then I could understand it. But they shouldn’t just get out of the way because the car behind them is faster. If they have racing position, they have the right to defend it. End of story.

  47. Slower cars are also part of the game.

  48. Drivers should have to fight for the position. Where would you draw the line on the lead car being slower? This is all based on the lead car not taking any more action then that presently allowed to maintain his position. The ability to keep a position itself is a skill of a driver. Just as much a skill if not more than being the fastest on the circuit. If a driver sees where it would benefit him more to allow a faster car to pass to prevent him from losing time to the rest of the field to allow his strategy on the track to work then that is up to him.

  49. Only for the lead lap. And only if there is no chance of the two cars wrecking…

  50. I wondered how the poll would have looked if the driver stuck behind Di Grassi was Hamilton or Button….

    1. People thought it was hilarious when Button was stuck behind Kobayashi.

      Hamilton wouldn’t have gotten stuck :)

  51. Ok, so lets paint a white broken line down the middle of the racing circuit, slow cars to the left, fast cars to the right, lets put indicators on the cars for when they are changing lanes to pass the car in front…………..

    Just ain’t racing

  52. Well… the vote is bias that it coulnd’t be more… youre asking guys who probably havent even raced a normal simulation so they dont have any kind of idea what they are talking about…

    I never said backmakers should just let past faster cars, its only up to their brain activity to decide what is better for their own good.

    Giving it a good fight is one thing, blocking headless is another. You as a driver just have to know when you are in position to fight for position and show aggresion, and when its best for your own race to just let past much faster car.

  53. And all this discussion is of course because Fernando made it to the 6. position… if he didnt, no one would give a damn

    1. Rok, all discussions on this site are of things that are current. It would be boring otherwise and no one would come here if non topical and old news were the norm.

  54. Younger Hamilton
    17th May 2010, 16:47

    Well i think during the Monaco Grand Prix Glock and Trulli should have defended their position from Alonso they werent being lapped and plus it was for position

  55. The question is a bit too extreme, IMO. Always give way vs. never give way. Even if the “always give way” got 11% of the votes, nobody seems to be defending it. Not surprisingly: it would ruin the races, and the line would be almost impossible to draw. Besides, its a lot more fun watching fast drivers knifing their way trough the pack than winning straight from pole.

    My opinion is that slow drivers should have the choice to give way or not as they see fit, as fight an uphill battle is not always to their advantage. And my guess is that many of the “always give way” voters would have chosen less extreme option if given the possibility.

  56. And even with the risk of spoiling the race for defending too much, it’s much more valuable for the driver, that is showing his skills to the world and, mostly, for the bigger teams, and also for the teams his currently driving for, who gets to show his sponsors for much longer then it would in normal circunstances…

    So, they should defend it with their lives!

  57. No! And get rid of those blue flags too!

  58. I’m not going to vote on this one, because there’s no third option, almost deliberatley by the look of it, the answer clearly isn’t black and white.

    A young driver trying to make his name might well benefit from putting on a solid deffensive display, as might his team, like Di Grassi, a driver with a solid an growing reputation like Kovalinen has no need, slow down his race, so instead he forced Alonso to take the dirty line but otherwise carried on with his own race.

    Don’t see that there has to be a black and white answer, the driver in the slower car has no need to make the life of his agressor easy, but otherwise must act in a way that will most benefit himself, whether in terms of his reputation, or his race.

  59. What do you mean by slower car, who decides? What’s the cut-off?

    Senna was driving a much slower car than Mansell at the end of Monaco 1992, should he have moved aside for the faster car?

    Thought not, but if you voted for Bernoldi having to let Coulthard past, then you voted for Senna moving aside for Mansell.
    You can’t arbitrarily pick and choose who has to submit to a rival, that’s not fair, it is one race, same rules front to back, even if you are in an unfashionable car or have an unfamous surname.

    Whether it makes sense for a slower car to compromise their own race-pace defending a faster car, is a different question, but that is the choice of the driver and the team. It is not a matter for the rulebook or, as we all saw yesterday, the hapless and shambolic clowns in race-control to decide.

    1. What do you mean by slower car, who decides? What’s the cut-off

      I think this is an important part of the debate.

      Would Alguersuari have pulled over for Alonso too? At what point are you fast enough for it to be worth defending your position?

  60. Not sure if this is the most pointless discussion for some time! Surely it’s quite simple:

    Of course drivers in slower cars should defend their position. Don’t think anyone here thinks Senna should have let Mansell past in 1992. Doesn’t make any difference if it’s for last or first, the same principle applies.

    The blue flags are an essential part of all motor sport, it would be chaos if backmarkers could just block the leaders. However I do believe it should be at the stewards discretion what is considered blocking rather than the blanket 3 flags rule currently.

  61. Voted no, but in the end it’s up to the driver, if he thinks it’s tactically better to let him past then I dont have a problem with that.

  62. Of course the back markers have the right to defend their position against “cars that are faster” than them, otherwise, we should just forget about racing, and end the weekend after qualifying.

  63. Slower cars should always defend their position if they are racing for position.

    Di Grassi is just a rookie and was trying to prove a point maybe, but he was dead right to make it difficult for Alonso. He made his car as wide as he could without doing anything illegal. We’ll have more of that please.

    Alonso is a twice World champion.

    If he can’t overtake a slower car for position, that’s his tough luck. Let him sit there till he finds the gap. That’s what racing is supposed to be about isn’t it, or am I missing something?

  64. It comes to the appeal then, is it racing? If they had the ability to keep Alonso behind, that could have gained them a 10th place later on, if circumstances changed, or else they could have given their point to Alonso. Defend at all tmes.

  65. Too bad Trulli didn’t take out Webber….this pole would be a lot diff.

  66. Why isn’t there a voting choice of “HELL NO” ?!!

  67. Of course, they should’nt. If a driver has to pass another driver, it means there is a quicker and a slower : it could be a Ferrari and a Virgin or a Ferrari and a Mclaren.

  68. race 2 (rs)
    n.
    1. Sports
    a. A competition of speed, as in running or riding.
    b. races A series of such competitions held at a specified time on a regular course: a fan of the dog races.
    2. An extended competition in which participants struggle like runners to be the winner: the presidential race.

  69. If two cars are racing for position then one has no obligation to yield to the other, regardless of any difference in performance. I never agreed with Coulthard about the Bernoldi thing – it may have been really annoying for him, but Bernoldi was just doing what you’re supposed to do in that situation – hang onto your position. The same with Di Grassi.

    If the performance difference is as great as it was with Di Grassi and Alonso, then the faster car is bound to prevail eventually, and if they pull a move on you then there’s no point doing something stupid to try to keep them behind you – that would just be counterproductive. That doesn’t mean to say that you should make it easy for them though.

  70. Slower cars should NEVER be forced to give way to being overtaken UNLESS being lapped – note that a car lapping another is actually at least ONE WHOLE LAP ahead so the 2 cars in question are not racing directly with each other.

  71. For me, one of the most entertaining aspects of this race was watching Alonso having to work his way up through the back markers, and good on the TV director for staying focused on that. If they had just rolled over and played dead, his march back up through the field would have been pretty boring.

    1. Agreed. We all knew Alonso would get the job done eventually, but wasn’t it fun to watch him having to work for it ! Besides, in sport you are always going to come up against opponents who are either better or poorer than you. Life would be dull if you only competed against someone with the exact same skill level as yourself.

      Plus, isn’t the revenue divvied up, at least in part, based on the amount of points scored by the team over a season?

      For some of the mid to low fielders, the mixed grids are the only opportunity they have to score points, and thus gain a bigger share of the money. Why should they just get out of the way because a bigger name ‘expects’ it. A few others have mentioned too, you don’t see a lot of the backmarkers during the TV coverage, so a duel with a front runner gives them greater exposure & may increase sponsorship opportunities for that team. I imagine BMW-Sauber would be looking for those very sorts of opportunities to present themself & maybe get some sponsorship from it. Not to mention the fact that Di Grassi’s stock went up with every move he blocked Alonso on, and may be a factor in getting him a drive with a bigger team in the future.

      There is simply too much at stake for backmarkers to just yield for the bigger teams.

  72. If Alonso didn’t put it in the wall & miss Qualy then he wouldn’t have an issue. Fair game i say.

  73. Fair game I say, The issues for the slower cars is that Alonso was gonna get them at the pitstop in anycase. They new that. So if i was in one of the slower teams and out of the points as they where on the weekend, there best off letting him pass with out a fuss and concentrate on beating there main oppositon being lotus HRT. They were never a chance of beating alonso, so why comprimise your race defending when you could concentrating on lapping quicker and beating your main rivals.

    Bernoldi was right to defend, but the time he lost defending he potentially could have ended further up the grid. I never rated DC as a driver and no doubt if Alonso, Hamilton or schumi was driving that car that day they would have passed him a lot sooner.

  74. No way. They are racing for position then why will they? It was fun & probably the most entertaining part of the race when Lucas di Grassi was holding up Alonso & to pass him Alonso was all over the place.

  75. No, they don’t.
    The slow driver has every right to defend his position, it’s just a matter of judgment on his part whether he lets the faster driver through. There shouldn’t be an expectation from anyone that backmarkers (excluding those that are lapped of course) should yield.

    It makes for interesting racing on tracks where overtaking is not easy, seeing a frustrated fast driver sitting on the tail of a slower driver weaving about looking for gaps, while the slower driver defends their position is fun to watch.

  76. I think ALO got furious because Di Grassi was off the race line a bit. That’s part of the game and the stewards didn’t saw anything wrong. IMO nothing really happened, Alo just got frustated (quite understandeble). On the other hand the other drivers defended his position well but ALO was just more focused.
    Interesting that without Di Grassi’s fierce defence ALO could have ended 5th just in front of HAM

  77. De Grasi holding up Alonso was one of the best parts of the race!! That kind of action is what we’ve been yearning for, isn’t it? If you think De Grasi should have let Alonso by earlier, then you’re either watching the wrong sport, or need to check the definition of the words “MOTOR RACE”.

  78. I’m ferrari fan, an I agreed that even if Alonso was waiving, De Grassi had all the rights to defended his position and he done it really in a nice way, it was for sure the most interesting part of the race.
    Waiving has been seen many times in the races, is yust pilot’s moment of frustration, I don’t see the reasons of all this fuss about.

  79. Zero overtaking apart from Alonso who struggled to get past cars 5 seconds slower than him?

    If these guys had just let him past, I would have slept for the whole race, rather than 75% of it.

    Take away the hype created by the media and drivers etc., and it is generally the most boring race on the calendar.

    I’m an avid F1 fan, but always have something else to do whilst watching the Monaco procession.

    I get sick of the media and F1 circus trying to tell us how thrilling it is. Maybe for drivers, but it isn’t going to bring new fans to F1. For me, total boredom.

  80. I can remember at least one precedent of a slower car being showed blue flag in order to let a top driver racing in the same lap to go through and gain positions.
    It was 1999 Austrian Grand Prix, won by Irvine on Coulthard. Hakkinen spun when hit by Coulthard during lap 1, falling in the very last position. His charge through the field, that eventually was worth of the third place, was made easier as the blue flag facilitated his first overtakes (I can remember De La Rosa in the Arrows opening the door to him under blue flag).
    It is notable that in the A1-Ring circuit overtakes were much easier than in other circuits, as Monaco, and Hakkinen performed many successful overtake manoeuvres for position during the race (without blue flags, of course), in the last one passing Frentzen for third in a very aggressive fashion.

  81. Alonso was lucky to start the race at all. I thought a driver must start qualify to enter the race or did they change the rules on that too?

    Moving up is just part of a race so you should have to do any effort to get ahead. Alonso was lucky he didn’t gave him a braketest (maybe because that is dangerous) but he wanted to continue his race.

  82. it is all down to be a sporty gentelman or not.
    If I am alone on the track and the car behind me is 3 sec faster, I would let him go, don’t even want to be noticed on tV.
    If I am chasing a car as slow like mine and I am racing that car for position, …sorry, but the guy behind me in a faster car than mine will have to work hard to take my position. Very simple. DeGrassi was racing, Virgin got the much needed publicity for 3 laps or so. Nothing wrong with that.

  83. Keith, I am not willing to vote here.

    I do think that slower cars should defend their positions against frontrunners if it makes sense for THEIR OWN race. If it doesnt, then I wont hold it against them if they simply let them past. But I certainly dont want it to be made easier for the fastest guys, simply for their own benefit.

  84. Yes they should defend their position. However, I believe it is up to the driver concerned. Even the slow cars are doing 200mph, and to spend the whole race looking in your mirrors must really get on a driver’s nerves and increases the chances of them missing a braking point and crashing. For a back marker, your competition is with the other backmarkers, but from a driver’s perspective, going wheel to wheel with a double world champion and causing him problems can’t harm ones career can it?
    Eddie Irvine certainly made the headlines following his tangle with Aryton Senna back in 1993, which if I am not mistaken did not go down well with the Brazilian.

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