Did Hamilton try to stop Alonso getting in front of the safety car? (Video)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso’s race was ruined when he got stuck behind the safety car during yesterday’s European Grand Prix.

Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton finished second despite getting a penalty for overtaking the safety car.

Video footage suggests Hamilton may have done his bit to make sure Alonso got stuck behind the safety car.

In the video above it’s clear that Hamilton is behind the safety car when he crosses the second safety car line, then overtakes the safety car. That explains why he got a penalty under article 40.7 of the sporting regulations which says:

With the following exceptions, no car may overtake until it has passed the first safety car line for the first time when the safety car is returning to the pits. […] Any car leaving the pits may be overtaken by another car on the track before it crosses the second safety car line.

However it looks as though Hamilton could have reached the second safety car line before the safety car, but slowed down before he got there. Why was that?

In the press conference after the race Hamilton was asked twice about the incident:

Q: Lewis, you had your drive through penalty. Talk us through what happened when you saw the safety car coming out and you were side-by-side on the track.
LH: I don?t remember too much about it to be honest. I was coming round turn one and literally as I got to the safety car line I saw that the safety car was pretty much alongside me. I thought I had passed it, so I continued and that was it.

Q: Can you comment a little bit on this penalty with the safety car? Did you see the car coming out of the pits? Did you hesitate to overtake it?
LH: No, when I came down the straight, I was accelerating, I didn?t see the safety car coming out and then as I came round turn one, we know that obviously the safety car was out but I was able to push until the safety car two line, I think, and at that point I saw the safety car alongside me and I thought I was passed, so when I noticed it, he was already behind and so I continued.

Looking at the video replay it doesn’t seem to me that he was ‘pushing until the safety car two line’.

Two interpretations seem likely. Perhaps Hamilton hesitated because he wasn’t sure whether he was allowed to pass the safety car as it was in the pit lane. But given his words in the press conference, it seems he was aware of the rule concerning the safety car line.

Alternatively, perhaps he was fully aware of his obligations under the rules and chose to slow down to hold up the Ferraris, hoping he could get ahead of the safety car but they could not. If that was his plan, it backfired, because he failed to get over the safety car line before the safety car did.

As it happened, the ensuing penalty was not as damaging for Hamilton’s race as it could have been – but he would have had no way of knowing at the time that would be the case.

Beyond the few facts we know we can only guess at what actually happened here. But I suspect Fernando Alonso believes Hamilton was trying to hold him up, and that would go a long way to explaining the fury in Ferrari’s reaction to yesterday’s race.

Do you think Hamilton was trying to get the Ferraris stuck behind the safety car? Cast your vote and leave a comment below.

Did Hamilton try to stop Alonso getting in front of the safety car?

  • Yes (56%)
  • No (34%)
  • Not sure (10%)

Total Voters: 3,784

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321 comments on “Did Hamilton try to stop Alonso getting in front of the safety car? (Video)”

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  1. No, otherwise he would make sure he would make himself the line which he didn’t. Lewis looked confused as if he didn’t knew what to do, probaly his engineer told him to race again.

    1. Yeah it seems a little hard to belive he thought all that up in so little time an still mess up, an how was a he supposed to know Kobayashi would save his race.

      Still he’s selectivley forgotten things before.

    2. miguelF1O (@)
      28th June 2010, 23:24

      mclaren is not that smart but they have been implied in some safety car gambles so im not sure i reaad an article in a portuguese newspaper about mclarens safety car “luck” it sounded suspicious but it may also be an small conspirancy the article onl refer cases from 08 til last weekend there is a case pretty similar to the renault scandal

  2. I’m always disinclined to give drivers the benefit of the doubt. They can be incredibly devious. Alonso would probably have done the same in Hamilton’s position.

    1. And maybe gotten it right ;-)

    2. The question is not the fact of whether he overtook the safety car…. indisputably he did.

      The question is WHY…

      It is clear that he slowed and then sped up and then slowed again before speeding up to finally overtaking the safety car.

      Why would he do that ?

      Only three answers…

      1. Accidentally…. not likely

      2. Deliberately but through confusion about the rules… by his own words he wasn’t confused.

      3. Deliberately for some other reason…. eg trying to disadvantage the drivers behind him…

      I’m sorry but the conclusion is clear… he did it deliberately to manipulate the situation to his advantage and got it wrong.

      He has shown in the past that he isn’t averse to acting in a devious way. Its exactly why the British will never take him to heart in the way they did Mansell or Hill or many of their other favourites.

      1. I think no.3 is the case. Alonso probably would have done the same. And I don’t think that it’s against the rules. the seriously bad move was to send a SC out to split first 3-5 drivers. than again the long wait for the decision. In this case Hamilton was very lucky and Alonso unlucky. though I don’t know why Massa wasn’t called in earlier. They knew sc is coming a they knew that it’s going to be very tight. Tactically very bad decision.

        1. I’ve said this many times already.

          To have sent the safety car out in front of Vettel would have either meant:

          A. The safety car would have waited in the pitlane for nearly a full lap.

          B. The saftey car would have been called out before Webber’s accident.

          Clearly we cannot expect B, and A would not be considered on safety grounds.

          1. so they should have waited until first 4-5 pass. it would be couple of seconds. they just ruined the race. I know, they probably can’t :)

        2. “Ah, there’s the safety car. Better not pass it, look what happened to Schumi, if they slap his wrist, imagine what they’d do to me. I’ll slow down, at least Fred can’t pass me under yellow. Wait, where’s Seb? Blimey he’s buggered off. I’m off after him, the sneaky chap, I can just squeak past the safety car I think…”

          1. BelkinEdimax
            29th June 2010, 15:26

            I agree with you scal, that is probably exactly what went through hamiltons head. Also Hamilton would have only just got through at full pelt, so surely the ferrai’s would have got stuck behind the safety car whatever happened.

        3. in order to answer your question about Massa why not entering boxes, he told that the pitlane was closed and that he got surprised when he saw nobody behind him, suddenly the pitlane was open for everybody… Charlie knew very well what to do…

        4. Speak for yourself Mark, I’m British, and I love the boy, I actually believe that was a genius move from Lewis, I love it. Unfortunately the timing wasn’t perfect otherwise he would have had the chance to wreck the Ferrari’s race, and still manage to give Vettel a run for his money, for me that’s like killing two birds with one stone, what a shame, next time Lewis please get it right.

      2. I’ve heard stories of Mansell pulling some sneaky stuff as well on teammates.

      3. I feel that the British get little enough sporting sucess that we do acept the few winners we get, maybe he’s not as popular as Button but his fan following suggests otherwise.

        1. Im sorry to dissapoint you, i’m British and can confirm that Button is not half as popular in britain as LH is. We Brit know how to shoot ourselves on the foot by destroying our own. We seems to be expert in that.

          1. Well I’m yet another Brit an can confirm it’s all speculation really an none of us have a clue about eithers real fan following.

            Regardless I’ve met just as many Hamilton fans as Button fans, an all the Button fans I meet are happier if Hamilton wins than Alonso, except the Ferrari fans, who are well ticked off.

          2. Well, I’m yet another, another Brit, and I can definitely confirm, I’m enjoying all the ferver around the show.

            I’m a Button/McLaren fan mainly, but with a solid hinkering for Lotus. I really enjoy all the drivers at different times depending on the kind of drives they put in.

            I love these forums where everyone gets involved, blames people, suggest conspiracies and scandals, and yet it’s all very subjective.

            Still, it’s the best season in years, and I’m all for it!! :)

      4. not bein funny but lookhow far back el grumpo is when ham starts to slow. even if he didnt slow down alonso still wouldnt have crossed the line in time. P.s. didnt hear Ferrari maon about useing filming day to test car flat out, what goes around so they say.

        1. well he maybe could have gotten passed but it would have been extremely tight! Too tight probably. And the filming day is allowed under the test ban. Lotus did the same thing.

      5. I think there is a 4th option – he wasnt sure if he was ahead or behind the safety car the moment he saw it as he was coming out of turn 1. He paused, said “looks like I’m past it” and just went. Turns out he was wrong…

      6. Has nobody else noticed that Bert Mylander nearly crosses in front of Hamilton as he exits the pit in the safety car. I don’t know what the rules say about how the safety car can exit but it would have been a drive through for Bert for crossing the pit lane segregation line:) Luckily Bert sees the error and changes his mind and exits corretly.

        Its no wonder Lewis slowed a second time. A crash into a parked car in Canada is one thing but biffing the safety car would be ground breaking even for Hammey!!

      7. What Ham was thinking, or what happen during the race should not be confused with he said after the race. There is plenty of time for the propaganda machine to kick into action…….

  3. I think Hamilton was hesitating whether to overtake the safetycar or not. He had to make a decision in a split second, and eventually he gave it a go. In my opinion he wasn’t trying to hold up the Ferraris, but he was not pushing. At that point, he couldn’t know that a possible penalty won’t hurt him that much.

    1. Yeah, I don’t think Hamilton (or anyone else for that matter) would be smart enough to think of such a devious plan in such a short space of time.

      1. Exactly, especially as he was risking being penalized if something went wrong (which it did eventually).

        And a thing that was crucial for Hamilton was to estimate the Safety Car’s speed in order to figure out whether he would make to the line before it or after it. And that’s not an easy thing when you are going 300kmh and the SC somewhere between 150 and 200kmh.

      2. Schumacher Monaco 2006. Oh yeah, That was in a Ferrari…

        1. I wouldn’t say that was as devious or would require as much thought though, and even if Hamilton did it intentionally (which I doubt) it certainly wasn’t as blatent and blatently despicable.

    2. I gave him the benefit of the doubt too until i read his comments above. If he had hesitated because he was unsure, he would have remembered it and he probably would have mentioned it instead of saying that ‘he pushed to the safety car line’. That’s just wrong – we all saw him lift off.

      1. I agree that it was a bit dirty, but was it illegal?

      2. I think he may have been unclear about the event. Whenever he’s been asked about something which has happened, he seems unsure recalling the events properly, such as the pitstop in China. Perhaps he has a poor memory, perhaps he’s lying, or perhaps he has such focus on what he’s doing that he doesn’t store a memory like that for very long or that extracting an event like that from his memory is very difficult. That’s why I’m not necessarily taking his comments as proof he’s lying. He well have been flustered by receiving the penalty and was defending that rather than realising he might be accused of blocking Alonso. I think there’s a chance he’s lying, but there’s also a very good chance that after a long race you may not remember an incident like that in full clarity.

        1. Thing is, he KNOWS it’s on TV, and it’s recorded, whats the point of lying, and saying he’s ‘pushing’, if the he knows the cameras will say otherwise.. I think he didn’t remember it properly. He’s not an idiot to make things up on TV, he’s been through that before.

          1. Exactly. In Australia 09 as well there’s the possibility that he WAS lead into it and then just blustered through, unsure of himself. That was proof that he doesn’t seem to handle things well post-race, and I just don’t think that his comments necessarily suggest that he was trying to cover up a malicious act- maybe it was just confused/blustered comments, in which case they shouldn’t be used to support the arguement that it was intentional.

    3. Yeh, He could have got a 10 secs ‘Stop & Go’ penalty which would have put him down in 5th.

      1. An you’ve got to keep on taking into account that the fact he benefitted so much was completley out of his control, how could he have factored in Kobayashi, I just don’t think he’s clairvoyant. An how ever devious he might be, he’s no Prost.

        Still I can acept that he may have on purposley screwed Alonso’s race. Though I do think the fact that he damaged his own race does point to it being hesitation and not deliberate skullduggery.

        1. @Scribe,

          Obviously just speculation, but he could have tried to screw Alonso’s race, then just misjudged the amount of time it would take to beat the Safety car to the line. The video seemed to show that he slowed then accelerated quickly to the line, but those are just my eyes, maybe the telemetry can tell us more?

          1. That could’ve happened, but as you say, it’s speculation the telemetry will tell us he hesitaited, this is not a question any of us can answer.

          2. I think he is lying. He is not vague or claiming memory losses about any other part of the race. And frankly, since he was interviewed only an hour or so after this incident why would he not be able to remember it clearly? It’s a definite sign of malingering when someone can answer clearly and concisely all other questions put to them, yet become vague or claiming memory lapse on the pertinent details.

  4. Yes. Any other answer is just wrong.

    1. Definitely no, Any other answer is just silly.

      But even if he did try to keep Alonso back, then that would be legal:)

      1. If you ignore article 151c)…

    2. In what universe could Hamilton have held Alonso up when the Spaniard maintains he is the righteous one that stuck to the rules? To say Hamilton held him up is to imply that he was trying to do the exact same thing as the Brit, that is to beat the safety car to the line.

      Australian Autosport Community

      1. Indeed and surely if he was holding Alonso up, Alonso would have been closer to hamilton during the incident (which he was not). Alonso was nowhere near close enough to Hamilton to be held up.

      2. But overtaking the Safety Car BEFORE the Safety Car line is within the rules. This is what Alonso was intending to do until Hamilton got in the way.

        1. @Jonathan,

          If you seriously think Alonso was close enough to get to the safety car line before the safety car then you are clearly mad! Neither Lewis or Alonso could have planned that very well as the only time they could get a visual on the safety car was when they rounded the corner at the end of the straight. It is a ridiculous conspiracy theory as this incident was merely down to luck. Alonso was not showing any intent to push to get ahead of the safety car so to say he was is just fanboyism. It looked to me as if Hamilton initially thought he was too far behind to beat the safety car and then had a change of mind which was the hesitation that caused his penalty. It was lewis’ own fault but Alonso and Ferrari have both benefited from slightly iffy stewarding in the past so I think they need to grow up a little. Alonso was furious that he was rubbish in front of his home crowd and is now looking to divert the attention.

      3. michael mair
        28th June 2010, 18:12

        ofcourse he was trying to hold alonso back ,he knew he needed a new front wing, and would certainly have fallen behind alonso if they had pitted together,he and his team both knew that ! please dont be fooled by the saint lewis image he likes to sport to the media, he knew what he was doing, schumacher would have been proud of him for that move

        1. Even if he held Alonso up, SO WHAT! This is racing. Alonso, an Alonso fans, get used to it. He got punished, so an extent.

          I like this type of racing, it’s more enjoyable than watching red cars run around in circles followed by other types of cars like we used to see in the Schumacher era.

          He held up Hamilton in the pits in 2007, to stop hamilton getting final lap in on time, saying he was talking to his engineer. Alonso fans back then were supporting his side of the story, and now they’re attacking Hamilton.. blah blah blah..

          This is FUN!, For me at least. I like seeing Alonso get angry, I like seeing him overtaken, but this is because I like seeing racers go at each other! I like racing, and I like F1. I watch the tele cos it good entertainment.

          I find them ALL entertaining! Hurah!! Finally!!

  5. Keith, I can’t understand the criticism you get sometimes because of leaders on your site. Whenever something happens comments always refer to previous events and races. When something happens in a race it has to be looked at singularly and objectively not with thoughts of earlier incidents. Alonso’s race was stuffed by the safety car full stop. Hamilton if he was to be given a penalty as it could be seen that he did slow down it should have at least lost him one place and a 5 second smack on the wrists for the rest was a joke. All drivers have in front of them a time that they must do and 9 didn’t. Alonso and Ferrari have to move on and take some comfort from a car that has made good progress.

    1. Yeah, the 9 cars that sped into the pits…I really don’t think all 9 drivers all decided on the spot to ignore the rules. I think the timing of the safety car simply meant that they were most of the way through the sector at high speed before they got the time to stick to, leaving them very little time to slow down. Under such circumstances, the punishment was fair.

      Yes, they broke the rules, so they had to be punished, but they would have had a hard time *not* breaking the rules, so giving them the minimum penalty seems absolutely fair to me.

      1. I can’t really understand totally how the judgement was made regarding the ‘speeding’ cars – to take Button as an example (purely because he commented in the post-race press conference), he said the safety car light came on as he was going round the final corner.

        Surely it would be dangerous to brake or slow down half-way through a corner because it could cause an accident, and then he has a minimal distance to cover and for the delta time to be calculated. Should he have slowed down to a crawl after the corner as he headed for the pits to compensate for his high speed beforehand and caused a dangerous situation (as people wrongly accused him of doing in China)?

        To me that hints towards why the punishment was pretty lenient for those drivers: it is not as cut-and-dried as overtaking a safety car.

        1. I think, that if he knew that he could not meet this limit, then he should not have entered the boxes and should have continued and follow Ferrari’s behind SC – the same for all the cars in the last sector. This way there would be no doubts and it would be more fair for everyone. As somebody mentioned before, since we do not have refueling then we can have a pit lane closed again when deploying SC.

          1. Agree with the above. Pits should be closed since cars are fueled for the entire race. And disagree with those who couldn’t slow down for reasons of their position on the track. The yellow flags are out and they should be slowing especially if SC signs become deployed. If anyone can remember Alonso in Brazil 2003 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJaZ9I-556w running into Webber’s debris when he never let up. He was aware of yellow flags but happened to push in the wrong place and got caught out. The 9 cars were probably aware of where the accident took place because they were called in to the pits. But if they didn’t it could easily have been around one of the corners they say they couldn’t let up just like the Brazil accident. So I believe the penalty was not suffient for the infringement as they all knew they could push even under safety car deployment. So in my opinion they had prior knowledge and pushed to get to pits. The open pits gave unfair advantage.

          2. Brutus is right, why are the pits open?

            The rule was changed (last year?) to allow cars low on fuel to not risk running out of fuel due to a closed pit lane. There is no such problem with cars fueled for the entire race.

            The pit lane should be closed either until all cars are formed up in correct order behind the SC or for the entire length of the SC period.

      2. @Chris – completely agree

    2. Sorry rampante I don’t understand what you’re written.

      It would be useful to compare this with a previous instance when the safety car came out behind the leader like this but I’m struggling to think of a comparable one.

      1. Sorry Keith, I wanted to say header not leader. It was with reference to many comments made yesterday.

      2. Keth this topic is ********, you don’t need to posted because is nonsense that Hamilton deliberately slow down

        1. That’s your opinion. It seems plenty of people disagree with you.

          1. True lots of people disagree, but this article is just troll baiting. Last one was shumacher when you posted little detail about the facts and had people complainign about Damon Hill.

            If he slowed down on purpose, he would of got more then a penalty for just overtaking the safety car, he would of contravined the rule about going to slow and blocking other competitors. The facts show the stewarts only penalise for one.

          2. I’m not baiting anyone. Yes, it’s a controversial topic but I believe I’ve presented it as fairly as possible. And I don’t think the responses have been ‘trolling’ at all.

            I think what we have here is an interesting question about how well-versed the drivers are in the rules. If Hamilton or some other driver did do this, and spoiled the race of a competitor, it would have been rather clever – though certainly unsportsmanlike.

            You think that because the stewards didn’t punish him more severely, he didn’t do it deliberately. Fair enough, that’s your opinion.

            As for the Schumacher penalty at Monaco, I wrote at the time that the criticism of Hill was wrong and I stick by it. On other sites the Hill connection was emphasised to sensationalise the story, something I tried to avoid doing.

          3. @CapeFear – he baited you? ;-)

          4. Keith you need to step back, your article and the way it is presented, gives everyone else the opportunity to comment, the fact that you were willing to start a bunfight with this touchy subject, and with a poll, shows you knew the possible reaction, so your job is done…

  6. I think Hamilton was only guilty of dithering over whether or not to pass the safety car. He hesitated just a bit too long. I really don’t think there was anything malicious in it.

    1. I’m inclined to agree with this, although since his comments don’t match his actions I’m not certain.

    2. Then, why did he said “I don’t remember!”.
      LH said lies before, and he will do that in the future. Everyone does that, until they are caught. He didn’t get caught this time…

      Additionally, it is **impossible** NOT to remember the action he took when this action lead to a penalty!

      LH had exploited SC before (remember Japan 2007) and he tries to do it anytime he can. So there is no doubt that he did that on purpose: Slow down the Ferraris, so he had all the time of the world.

      Anyway, the point is not about what Hamilton did, but what FIA did. SC driver surely noticed that Hamilton passed. Did he communicate it to the race director? What was said over the radio between Hamilton and his race engineer?
      Regarding the severity of the penalty: It’s a regulation breach regarding safety. DT is just inappropriate. A 10” stop n go would be a more appropriate penalty.

      Speeding under SC: It’s ridiculous. I believe that FIA requested from MES ECU to calculate the appropriate lap time given each driver position in track. If so, then Buttons comments are just stupid. I regard highly JB, and I really hope that he is not lying. I would hate that.

      Alonso: He must grow up. He cannot change anything. I understand his anger, but he is a F1, professional, driver. He must stop whining and step forward.

      1. Well this Hamilton forgetting thing, while it probably is possible, drivers do trance, he does seem to forget things conveniantly.

        I’m not sure either about a 10 second stop and go, sure it might have been fairer in the context of the race but in most races that penalty would have dropped him 3 or 4 places at least. Should have been given quicker though, he shouldn’t have been able to hold position. Still really it’s just racing an Ferrari have to realise that, F1 hasn’t really been disgraced in the eyes of the world.

        1. Come on guys, why would he lie AGAIN, about something that he KNOWS has been or is going to be replayed again and again to millions of people! (I dont have an opinion on this, but it needs to be said)

          If he got black flagged, there would be armies of people saying how stupid the FIA is, how biased it is, how inconsistant it is.. all subjective opinions, based on their own perspective.

          All I know, is I’m really enjoying F1 more and more, this is getting better. I’m glad the FIA didn’t black flag Hamilton, because it they’re not being overly harsh this year.. But it wouldn’t bother me if he did.

          The fact is, F1 is more and more entertaining this year, and I for one, think this is a good thing .

  7. I saw this tweet earlier:

    Dear Ferrari – Can you explain how you and Alonso got mugged by F1 back marker Kobayashi today? Hamilton and the FIA’s fault was it?
    The problem for ferarri was they weren’t fast enough to keep the gap small enough

    1. Kobayashi was on very fresh rubber. All the guys he passed had pitted during the safety car. Very obvious really.

      1. Very obvious. But an easy way to work out the intelligence level of those criticise Alonso.

        1. Webber had fresh tyres and a vastly slower car ahead of him. The only way he could get past was up and over. Thankfully he is ok. Perhaps it might have been easier for Alonso to defend if he didn’t have another car so close ahead of him.

  8. I know F1 drivers are supposed to be quick thinking, but we need to remember it’s not just a wheel and pedals in those F1 cars.

    The drivers have a delta time to drive under the safety car, plus numerous over settings, that are probably relayed to the driver from the pits, to change to save fuel etc as soon as he passed the start \ finish line.

    It then seems that Hamilton spots the SC alongside and hesitates, trying to work out what to do.

    With no time to confirm off his team, he makes a decision to pass the SC, assuming he was ahead before the SC was officially on track.

    After all this, we are expected to believe that he thought.

    “Well if I back up Fernando and then gun it past the SC, Fernando will get stuck and 15 other drivers maybe will pit and get out before him. That’ll work out nicely and really stuff up Fernandos race.” – I just don’t think so.

    It was wrong to wait that length of time to penalise Hamilton. FIA should look into how NASCAR sort out cars behind the SC.

    I feel for Fernando, but it’s just luck and Ferrari did not have the luck today. Fernando’s radio transmissions were amusing though. Having the radio transmissions really bring the race alive at times.

    1. This almost sounds plausible… but look at Hamilton’s post-race comments. He knew that he was entitled to push until the second safety car line, and he knew exactly where the line was.

      So why did he slow down before the line?

      1. maybe he got told that AFTER the incident, we’ll never know

        1. maybe FOM can give some background to that in their race edit? like information from the team what went on there and what to say in the press conference?

          I am pretty sure Hamilton hesitated, then decided to take his chance and get in front to the SC there. But everything is possible, i am not sure.

        2. ^^^ This is what i think happened.. He did not know what to do at the time so he hesitated. Then when he was advised to push because of the possibility of a penalty was explained why he would get a penalty. Then after the race “off the record” was advised what to say to the press to avoid blow back.

          These guys are not dumb. They get themselves into situations and the team look at the situation and present the best response to minimize damage.

      2. Agree with Chalky but on Jonathans point, it’s possible the team just told him what to say.

        Hopefully some light gets shed on this in the race edit, as BasCB says, should be facinaiting.

  9. I don’t think Lewis thinks about Fernando actively. He is not obsessed like Alonso. He slowed because he was making a decision about his own race. Alonso just happened to be there.

    I bet he is laughing his nuts off today though.

    1. Correct. LH looked after his own race.

      1. Alonso is a bit obsessed isnt he? (if that’s not an oxymoron?)

        He and Lewis were asked by a Spanish Newspaper before the race if they would partner each other again. Hamilton said yes, I want to race with the best, Alonso said ‘No’.

        Seems to be that Alonso can’t forget that Hamilton put him in the shade at McLaren. He can’t get over it?

  10. It’s a strange one. Lewis is not going 100% here. Compared to any other lap during the race, the engine should be at, or close to, full revs at this point – Lewis wasnt. Looks like a moment of indecision, but considering that the safety car rules have changed this year, I would have thought the drivers would have known what rules were?

    1. the yellow flags were already out, so they should not been going at 100%

    2. Of course he wasn’t 100% there was yellow flags and SC signs.

      How fast was the SC going and there was 3m in it?

      Looking at the on-board he was along side, I be surprised if he knew exactly where the SC was, just a mistake clear and simple.

      1. Going by his post-race comments, he was actually pushing into turn 1. Hamilton has had the benefit of the doubt once too often for me now. Either he’s really unlucky on several occasions or he’s taking the ****.

        1. Well the pushing into turn 1 was not really what you can see happening in the feed. A shame FOM had that video pulled.

  11. No chance, you can’t possibly make such complex decisions in such short time, look at Webber who cant even make simple decisions!

    1. Also one important thing to see in that video is that Alonso did not think or notice that Hamilton did this deliberately, if he had he would have gone mental with his hands outside the cockpit as he usually does with the smallest of issues, only later as he realized the disadvantages of this did he start thinking ‘Hamilton****** me’, and this shows us two things – drivers(or anybody for that matter) can not make or consider such complex decisions in such short time, and also that this is a 2007 problem not 2010.

      1. Yeah, that too.

        1. I think you’re on the right track Mateuss.

          ( nice dig at Webber, I like Webber a lot, but he’s fun to make fun of :) )

  12. couldn’t bernd tell charlie that lewis had passed him, then charlie tell mclaren to tell lewis to slow down and slot back in behind the safety car?
    or at the very least, investigated it at the time and hand down the drive through penalty within a lap or two. what a kerfuffel.

    and i don’t think lewis would have done it deliberately (or at least, i hope not). a agree with DC’s assessment there that he just had that moment of indecision.

    1. he probably didn’t even realise

  13. Yes Yes Yes
    And if he was confuse about what to do passed SC car or not
    He should be punished painfully because he made bad feeling that you can brake the rules and still be better than anybody who obayes the rules.

  14. How people can say that Hamilton did this deliberately is beyond me.

    I do think that Hamilton should take it upon himself to study the rules. A while ago he said in an interview that he doesn;t feel the need to learn the rules by heart. Obviously he does since he cost himself a needless penalty here.

    He needs to know in an instant what to do and not hope that he can rely on his race engineer for these things. Especially when his race engineer(s) always seems to get these things wrong anyway.

    1. But look at his post-race comments!

      He knew he could push until the second SC line and claimed to have done so. But the video shows otherwise.

      1. Yes, but only under yellows, he couldn’t drive flat out..

      2. He was probably briefed by the team at this point.

    2. Well Patrickl, most drivers dont bother with safety car lines when moving at high speed. Only when they have a safety car do they think of such things, at the time he saw the safety car, he was probably not expecting so he tried remembering when the safety car line was, and appeared to hesitate.

      1. Indeed. He shouldn’t have hesitated though. It cost him the chance of a win.

  15. Watch the video again.

    All the time Hammy seem’s indecisive he’s on the radio to the team, getting confirmation of what he should do!

  16. No, I think he simply hesitated. That is all.

  17. If Hamilton did it on purpose it was a clever move from him, to put the SC between him and Fernando, brilliant. But he failed and surpassed the SC. Then he should had been punished harder, and definitely earlier.

    1. yeah man, the most logic answer

  18. I think he was just looking for the safety car line. He probably stalled initially because he thought the safety car was already deployed and they were already past the safety car line. But when he realised the so called line was still ahead of them, he then accelerated.

    Perhaps if he knew it was going to be an issue he would have kept the state of his mind at that time in long term storage, but I can understand why he can’t exactly remember what transpired at that point.

  19. Having looked at it again I agree. Simply hesitated.

    It would of taken amazing ability to weigh up the options, and do it on purpose.

  20. I would actually be mightily impressed if, in those few seconds between the safety car being deployed and Hamilton passing it at turn one, Hamilton calculated that he could slow down sufficiently to split his McLaren and the two Ferraris with the safety car – leaving Alonso and Massa to follow the safety car whilst he got ahead to make a pit stop without dropping down the field. Wouldn’t that be a brilliant example of calculated, cunning racing – of seeking every advantage against your rivals? The sort of manoeuvre, like Alonso’s on Massa in the pit lane entrance, that shows that ruthless desire to beat your competitors using any means?

    Unfortunately, however, I’m afraid I can’t credit Hamilton with that sort of devious genius. Surely, if he’d planned to carry out such a plan, his first priority would have been to make sure he got past the safety car before the line? Unless you’re telling me that he factored in the likely punishment of passing the safety car after the line against the potential benefits of pitting early in those few seconds too (in which case, we’re talking about whole new levels of genius)? I think it’s clear that, in light of Hamilton’s multiple safety car mishaps (Japan in 2007, Canada 2008, Australia 2009), he was simply being overly-cautious.

    On another note, isn’t it funny how when Alonso was a Renault, the whole of F1 was a conspiracy designed to benefit Ferrari yet, now he’s at the prancing horse, the whole world’s out to favour McLaren?

    1. Splendidly put bpacman! Saw your post and abandoned one in a very similar vein (not nearly as cogently written!).
      Strange isn’t it that the those who decry him at other times are now so willing to belive him capable of this level of smarts?

    2. I think you overestimate the “genius” required to pull this off.

      Hamilton knew where the Safety Car line was, he knew where the Safety Car itself was, and he knew where Alonso was.

      Being aware of these three facts, he could hardly fail to notice that he had time to pass the Safety Car before the line, and that he could prevent Alonso from doing so by slowing down a bit.

      In fact, he messed it up by slowing down too much, landing himself a penalty.

    3. Totally agree.

      I wonder how many of the ‘Yes’ voters are Ferrari/Alonso fans. Who probably littered the internet with Timo Glock conspiracy theories in 2008.

      I disagree with comparing Hamilton’s comments after he just got out of the car with the video. Do drivers really remember correctly every application of the throttle for the whole race?

      What happened with Hamilton didn’t affect Alonso’s race in the slightest. He should focus on his own performance rather than throwing his toys out of the pram. Again.

      1. And I wonder how many of the “No” voters are Hamilton/McLaren fans.

        In fact, I wonder how many people (on both sides) voted or commented without bothering to read the article or watch the video.

        1. I think the only real answer in this case is not sure, because how can we know? Both yes and no can only be pure speculation or loyalty, as you say.

          1. I completely agree. The possibility that it could have been a deliberate act, with the intention of getting Alonso off his back and buying the time to change his front wing, must be accepted. But in all honesty, who knows? We can’t know. Hence why I voted “not sure”.

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