Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Sepang, 2011

Hamilton and Alonso handed penalties

2011 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Sepang, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Sepang, 2011

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have both received 20-second penalties following their collision during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was penalised for making more than one move to defend his position. Alonso’s penalty was for making contact with the McLaren driver.

Alonso’s finishing position is unaffected by the penalty, but Hamilton drops from seventh to eighth.

Kamui Kobayashi inherits seventh position.

As these are time penalties imposed by the stewards, McLaren and Ferrari are unlikely to be allowed to appeal the decisions.

The text of the stewards’ decisions are as follows:

Facts: The Driver of car 3 made more than one change of direction to defend a position
Offence: Breach of Article 20.2 of the 2011 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations
Penalty: Drive through penalty, imposed after the race in accordance with Article 16.3 (20 seconds added to elapsed time).
Stewards’ decision 51 (Lewis Hamilton)

Fact: Caused a collision with car 3.
Offence: Involved in an incident as defined by Article 16.1 of the 2011 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations
Penalty: Drive through penalty, imposed after the race in accordance with Article 16.3 (20 seconds added to elapsed time).
Stewards’ decision 52 (Fernando Alonso)

Did Hamilton and Alonso deserve their Malaysian Grand Prix penalties?

  • Hamilton deserved a penalty (17%)
  • Alonso deserved a penalty (12%)
  • Both Hamilton and Alonso deserved a penalty (7%)
  • Neither deserved a penalty (63%)

Total Voters: 465

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Updated race results and points:

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

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427 comments on “Hamilton and Alonso handed penalties”

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  1. If you watch the replay of the incident there is no weaving involved its just a misjudgement made by alonso behalf, but with this being F1 then there has to be some kind of drama thrown in at the end, we’ve all seen these crazy decisions made in the past so it comes as no surprise.

  2. This kind of penalties lead straight to boring races, and who likes watching boring races?!

  3. Inconsistent by the FIA. no penalty for massa in Australia. No penalty for Vettel at turn 1. Only a B&W flag for Hamilton last year so why a 20sec penalty this time??

    1. It’s ridiculous isn’t it. Spoils what should be the pinnacle of motorsport.

  4. Clarification on the Hamilton penalty is needed, but I certainly didn’t see anything at all to justify it.

    Alonso on the other hand simply made a mistake. One which has already cost him a possible podium position. There was absolutely no reason for a penalty. Are we saying drivers have to drive a perfect race now or they may get penalised for any errors they make? I could perhaps understand if Hamilton lost out as a result (like when Vettel took out Button in Belgium and was handed a drive-through penalty, though I think that was still a racing incident), but the only loser in that battle was Alonso.

    I just don’t understand the stewards motivation.

  5. Do Mclaren get a chance to appeal this? And will the Ferrari International Assistance clarify at which point Hamilton was “weaving”?

    1. How can you call them “Ferrari International Assistance” when they go ahead and penalise Ferrari? True, Hamilton lost position and Alonso did not – but only because Alonso finished more than twenty seconds ahead of Kamui Kobayashi, who inherited seventh place from Hamilton.

    2. hahaha, certainly could call them that. Give Alonso a penalty that doesn’t affect anything but his race time? How is that a penalty!? But still, Alonso didn’t deserve a penalty so I’m glad it doesn’t affect his points total. But the Hamilton punishment is justified according to the rules. BUT, I completely disagree with the rule, its a joke stopping the drivers from actually defending. What leaves the sour taste is the fact Massa wasn’t punished in Melbourne for similar driving, and Vettel CLEARLY made more that one move into the first corner after the start, yet nothing was said about that. Clear bias towards Vettel I’m afraid.

      1. But still, Alonso didn’t deserve a penalty

        Right, because him tagging Hamilton the way he did was completely unavoidable and wouldn’t at all have ended like Webber’s backflip in Valencia.

        Even if he wasn’t affected by it, it was richly deserved. It was a stupid rookie error, and one that could have easily taken them both out of the race.

  6. ok lets accept the premise of the penalties and lets look at if the penalty is consistently applied through out the race….
    O wait look at the start Vettel moves more than once on Hamilton to defend position….

    This is why I 100% Disagree Be consistent in penalties or dont give a penalty for any. To me thats the biggest error here and look at last weekend same thing with Button and then Vettel overtaking moves inconsistent

    1. Both incidents Vettel being given the benefit of the doubt. Just not fair. The FIA need to take a long, hard look at themselves and understand from our point of view how biased they look from the outside.

  7. You have to respect the rules of racing. Lewis Hamilton has a history of weaving; remember what he did to Petrov on the main straight last year? Likewise Alonso – that accident had the potential to get very ugly, very quickly. Shades of Webber at Valencia spring to mind.

    1. In that case though, Hamilton was moving pretty much from one side of the track to the other; it was more subtle than that this time, definitely not erratic. Personally, I feel that the penalty for both drivers was harsh. Maybe a reprimand for HAM, and I don’t think ALO deserved one at all.

      1. well said Kaze, I agree with that. I’de personally like to see this ‘one move’ rule removed from the sport altogether.

        1. But then you’re jsut giving drivers a licence to weave violently back and forth across the track to defend a position. Where it doesn’t cause accidents, it will simply prevent overtaking.

    2. Vettel didn’t respect the rules, Massa didn’t respect the rules.

      What Alonso did isn’t even covered by the rules.

  8. inside the FIA Stewards Office: “well… we havn’t said anything for a while?”

  9. Hamilton deserved a penalty for waving
    but Alonso????? why

    1. Did you miss the bit when Alonso drove into the back of lewis?

      1. I got that part, but missed the part when Hamilton “weaved”

  10. Lewis was warned last year about doing that and here he was doing it again. Yes it was less of a degree compared with the Petrov one.

    But still that isn’t on since nearly all the other drivers obey that rule.

    1. What about Vettel at the start? no consistency at all

      1. exactly, it’s the consistency that really aggravates me. Makes the FIA look very biased towards Vettel.

      2. So Lewis is allowed to weave behind vettel YET! other cars are also trying to get past Lewis.

        1. You shot yourself in the foot with your own statement.

          nearly all the other drivers obey that rule

          So why aren’t the other drivers who don’t respect the rule penalised as well?

          1. @Kondongo

            Becuase they actually listen to the stewards and don’t do it again after they get caught, Lewis seems to not understand warnings afterwards and thinks he can get away with it again.

            I can’t say “nobody else weaves” because that would be nieve of me saying that only Lewis does it. I would rather be shot in the foot than nieve.

  11. I voted Hamilton to be punished. He did look a little on the weave-y side. He’s been punished for it before I think in ’10 or ’09. Ultimately a little early on the brakes for me.

  12. If everyone one involved in F1 is so insistent on improving the ‘show’, then why would they penalise some harmless racing and entertainment, therefore reducing the likelyhood of a driver making an exciting overtaking manouver in the future. It goes against the entire philosophy of F1 in this current era…completely ridiculous!

  13. Last year Petrov swerved multiple times infront, ironically, of Hamilton and “only” got a warning.

    Now Hamilton does the same to Alonso (apparantly but I didn’t see this on TV) and gets a penalty equal to that of Alonso.

    Typical that Alonso’s unaffected :( Can we go one race this year WITHOUT a penalty?

    1. And we wonder why there wasn’t much overtaking last year? The fear of being penalised; now it will happen again and the new rules will have less effect.

      1. Alonso was definitely careless, but it was like Raikkonen on Webber in Brazil 2009 (up towards Turn 4; from memory), however neither were punished.

        Therefore to be consistent neither Alonso or Hamilton should’ve been punished; this is why Formula 1 is confusing to viewers (as Jenson said in Press Conference regarding the Malaysian GP today).

  14. Hamilton moved across the track quite a few times, and was very forceful in his defence (not in the collision incident though), and so I’ve voted that I thought he should have had a penalty, although I was surprised to hear that either had been penalised.
    Alonso was punished for his own stupidity by losing his nose.

    1. Hamilton moved across the track quite a few times

      Yeah, the race last for 56 laps …

  15. The stupidest decision I have ever seen in my 15 years watching formula 1. What is going on??

  16. I think I am done with this weekend after this.

    The weaving is ridiculous. The racing line involves moving across the circuit, he deviates once by a fraction (and Alonso follows him) and then resumes the racing line as you’re allowed to.

    Alonso then hits Hamilton in which only he loses anything but gets a further penalty.

    What a joke.

    1. It’s just depressing isn’t it?

      1. You’d think the fact they have a load of time to look at replays would allow them to make the right decision! I mean it’s not like football where a ref has to make a decision in the heat of the moment…Its a bit like if in the enland germany game there was a second desicision by a man who could watch the replay of the ball clearly over the line but then still disallow the the goal! these stewards clearly have no idea what they’re doing!

  17. So hamiltons weaving was the lap before, any video?

  18. Quite simply staggering. I cannot for one minute understand how a penalty has been given to either driver – but particularly Hamilton. A few thoughts:
    1. According to the stewards, Hamilton has been punished for making more than one move to defend his position. For those of you in the UK, you can rewatch the incident here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/formula_one/13028035.stm) – can anyone explain how Hamilton can be accused of making more than move? As I see it, he exits turn 3 and starts to move his car across to the right of the track – he doesn’t weave or make a particularly dramatic move, he just eases towards the inside of the track. Alonso then hits him almost immediately after they exit the corner. There is no time for Hamilton to make a second move, let alone more than that. To say that he made two or more moves it simply not defendable.
    2. Assuming for one minute that Hamilton did, as the stewards have concluded, make more than one move – surely then Alonso cannot be blamed for the collision caused by it? The two decisions are therefore completely inconsistent?!
    3. Furthermore, how can Alonso be penalised for causing a collision when much more blameworthy drivers have caused accidents and got away without any kind of reprimand? I’m thinking Barrichello in Melbourne two weeks ago – trying to dive down the inside of Rosberg from about half a lap up the road but only managing to ram the German out of the race. In contrast, Alonso had been close behind Hamilton for at least the last lap and the incident he caused only resulted in minimal, not race-ending, damage for Hamilton. If Alonso deserved punishing for the incident today, then there should have been penalties for Vettel in Istanbul last year (collision with Webber), Webber in Melbourne/Singapore (both collisions with Hamilton), Barrichello in Spa (collision with Alonso) etc.?
    Finally, I just want to say that I think this is a really worrying development. Just when it appeared F1 finally had adopted a degree of commonsense in the way races are stewarded, this decision comes out that is reminiscent of the overly interfering stewarding of 2007 / 2008. I agree that drivers do need to be penalised if they are quite clearly behaving in a way that is outside the rules or dangerous (e.g. Schumacher’s move on Barrichello in Hungary last year), there does not need to be blame apportioned and punishment handed down for every racing incident. The punishments should be reserved for only the absolutely clearest breaches of the rules and not for marginal incidents like the one today.

  19. What a terrible decision by the FIA.. Both drivers should not have been penalised. It was a minimal of movements from Lewis driving on the straight while taking a line to enter the next corner. Alonso made a mistake and he’s front wing was damaged which cost him a potential podium in my view. Why punish him again…

    The FIA should be consistent and penalise Vettel for changing directions at the start of the race against Lewis or when he overtook Button at Melbourne.

    You might as well hand out the points in qualifying if the overtaking or defending a position is illegal. Everyone is reluctant to race because of these decisions today.

  20. Alonso and Hamilton were awful, rotten cheaters today. Both fully deserve their penalties.*

    But why not penalise Vettel for weaving at the start too?

    *Note: sarcastic

    1. Since no message was brought out mentioning either car was under investigation between lap 45 and the rest of the race,it seems quite possible to me that a complaint has been filed to the stewards by one of the teams involved ,resulting in a counter-complaint by the other,like another poster already mentioned.
      And yes,Vettel did indeed perform some flagrant weaving,but at the checkered flag which is waved at the finish line,not at the start.
      At the start he made the one blocking move he is allowed to make when LH tried to pass him right ,after which Hamilton and Vettel steered left to get back on the racing line before the first turn right.Nothing wrong there I guess.
      Besides,McLaren would have filed a complaint there too,if they would have had a case.

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