Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Penalty for Maldonado, Hamilton gets reprimand

2011 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011
Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Pastor Maldonado has been given a five-place grid penalty for hitting Lewis Hamilton’s car during qualifying.

The stewards handed Hamilton a reprimand for his involvement in the incident.

Both drivers were found responsible for ‘causing a collision’ with the other driver and were penalised under article 16.1 of the sporting regulations.

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409 comments on “Penalty for Maldonado, Hamilton gets reprimand”

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  1. I think they should both have been sent to the back of the grid.

  2. Seems lenient when you look at the punishments for other things.

    Retaliation and deliberately causing an collision after a session has ended is not as bad as replacing a faulty gearbox according to the rule makers!

    1. I do have the feeling that if someone else than Lewis would have been hit, Pastor would have been penalised harsher, and the reprimand would have been left away, there is an aspect of subjectivity here also in the stewards (Mansell).

      But I also mean, since Hamilton has had his share of accidents, maybe they tend to have a dimmer view of him being involved in something, even if he can’t really be blamed for it, which is fair enough. Was there really not more he could have done to avoid it? Hitting the breaks was an option. Then again, they didn’t hold that against Maldonado in Monaco, even if they could have.

      1. this. I posted a few weeks ago saying that even if Hamilton isn’t to blame in an incident, when he is involved, other drivers appear to get off very lightly. This is again a clear example of that.

  3. I watched it again and it’s not Maldonado waiting for Hamilton…
    Bit it’s him overtaking and the driving into him. I stay on my point. Two gp’s penalty for naughty Pastor.

    1. So in which case, you’re saying…
      Hamilton waited for Pastor after going round La Source, before swerving at him once, followed by Pastor and Hamilton swerving at each other at the same time, causing the collision.
      In effect, Hamilton initiated the incident, by waiting for Pastor, followed by taking the first swipe at him.

      1. “Hamilton waited for Pastor after going round La Source”

        Wrong again, the session was over, both drivers where on in-laps, drivers always slow down on their in-laps, Maldonado didnt need to be anywhere near Lewis’ car, he had most of the track available to his right.

        Again, try as you might, blaming Hamilton for the collision is abismal.

        1. Yes the session was over and both were on in laps… but what has that got to do with Hamilton slowing down to meet with Pastor on the same piece of tarmac, after la source? Again, that is clearly evident in the video feed.

          Yes your right, Pastor didnt need to be anywhere near Hamilton’s car.

          1. or…hamilton slowed normally, Maldonado sped up to meet Hamilton? impossible to tell

  4. The analysis was likely: both were at fault but Maldonado started it.

    Nonetheless, Hamilton dodged a bullet here. Maldonado had no business trying to buzz Hamilton on the cool down lap. But Hamilton should have just let him go instead of answering him with a swerve. I know the video and Keith’s take was that Maldonado cut him off but Hamilton could easily see what was on when Maldonado came up behind and he should know that was not going to end well if he did anything but just give way. As for the actual qualifying lap, I don’t think Maldonado has a legitimate beef. He was baulked by Barrichelo, but Hamilton passed him fair and square. They touched wheels but they gave each other as room as you can in that corner.

    1. No, Hamilton started it when he swerved, then Maldonado swerved.

      1. Paster gets along side and drives toward the barrier, in fact when the cushion of Hamilton’s car is not there he actually drives onto the grass and nearly hits the barrier because of the direction he is taking.
        Hamilton is just taking the correct line (moving away from the barrier, if he doesn’t he will hit it), its Pasters line toward the barrier that makes in look a bit like Hamilton moves towards Paster from the front angle, but you can’t see the impending barrier from that angle.
        There is a bit of fish tail out of the corner on Hamilton’s car, as you would expect in the conditions but its nothing to do with the accident.

      2. Finally, someone on here that talks sense!

    2. I think Maldonado will probably believe that Hamilton has lots of space, and it apparently wasn’t enough, so he barged him out of the way. Maldonado’s quali would have already been compromised by traffic anyway, so he may as well have let Hamilton through in my mind.

      1. Maldonado finished 5s outside of Q3, so if Hamilton’s reprimand was for the Bus Stop antics then that’ll be another load of tosh from the stewards.

  5. Can anyone explain me what are reprimands for if you don’t get any kind of sanction?
    I am not saying that Hamilton did something outrageous today, but it seems that he is the only one causing polemics. Any thoughts?

    1. Warnings i think

  6. Lets see:

    – Monaco, stewards deem Hamilton at fault, cue agreement with stewards.

    – Spa, stewards deem Maldonado at fault, cue ignorance of stewards’ decision.

    Doesn’t take a genius to see that a significant portion of posters today, while not having favourites, certainly know who they don’t like…

    1. And just to clarify it’s not Maldonado who they don’t like…

    2. They may be saying the same thing, but if you actually read the comments, you’d see that the posters are pretty much split down the middle as to why they were ignorant. Half said Maldonado wasn’t punished enough.

      1. Exactly. The majority thinks they weren’t harsh enough for the driving into someone else. They don’t all agree on the mechanics of what happened, but the stewards have it all, so presumably they do know.

  7. So Michael Schumacher gets a 10 place grid drop last year for aggressive defence but not causing an actual accident in Hungary but Maldonado gets a 5 place grid drop for creating an actual accident on purpose.

    Maldonado needs a 10 place drop atleast but i still reckon he shouldnt be allowed to race tomorrow.

    1. Great comparison with the 10 place drop for Schumi.

  8. Don’t you guys know? Hamilton caused the 9/11 attack AND is responsible for the Euro crisis.

    1. and also faked the moon landing!

  9. Well this is simply ludicrous from any interpretation of the situation.

    Let us say that we can’t prove Maldonado did it on purpose. What is he doing racing someone on an in-lap? Did he leave his dinner in the oven or something?

    Let us say Hamilton swerved at him after La Source. What on earth is Maldonado doing squeezing him then? For one, it puts himself in a dangerous position, creating the possibility of flying tyres. Ditto even if you claim Hamilton speared into him for a second time.

    If I were trying to take someone out of a race, I would do exactly as Maldonado: make contact with his front tyre with yours. They came exactly together at this point, maybe it’s a giant fluke but as I said, why are you racing someone that hard and close, with all the track space available to you, on an in-lap? Even if there was no malice involved it shows a clear lack of responsible driving from Maldonado.

    1. Hamilton slowed down to meet with Pastor after la source… i dont call that racing somebody on an in-lap. I see that as Hamilton wanting to give Pastor the finger probably after baulking him at the bus stop chicane.

      You’re also saying in your second paragraph, Hamilton swerved at Pastor first (which instigated the whole incident). Yes, Pastor should never have swerved at him to retaliate, but none the less, Hamilton instigated the first swerving move.

      1. All speculation on your part, no doubt wishful. At least I accept that maybe Pastor was being an idiot and not malicious, unlike yourself.

    2. Well said, after what Mansell said following Monaco, I started to have some doubts about his impartiality with respect to Hamilton, this to me confirms he doesn’t have an entirely clear mind on that.

      Even if Hamilton swerved (but that does seem quite minimal), Maldonado still was somewhere on track where he had no business being, being aggressive and even hitting a competitor, who still had to do another session (unlike MAL), and thus could be harmed. Giving him just a 5 place drop seems very minimal punishment.

      1. I’ve just seen the official statement from the FIA…

        It says the reprimand was given to Hamilton for causing a collision with car number 12… so in their view, Hamilton did make a lunge at Pastor as well.

        1. Which we already knew from the reprimand. It explains nothing of what they think he did to cause the collision.

          I know what you think happened, but the more I see it, the more I see HAM moving, seeing MAL, moving back a bit, then following the, you guessed it, racing line moving to the right. MAL drives diagonally to the edge and grass. At that point, HAM didn’t have much space to do anything at all, even breaking, as MAL was already so close (see that wheelprint on the sidepod).

          So I stil wait to hear why the Stewards think HAM did anything wrong that handed him the reprimand. And if he did cause that collision, why only a reprimand, he should have had a harsh penalty.

          Contrasting it with the MSC 10 place drop a year ago, both the reprimand and the 5 place drop are off.

    3. The thing that makes it worse is the fact that the FIA statement says that he was found to have caused a collision. So he gets the same mark against his name as someone that has an accident, when this was clearly deliberate…

  10. It’s one thing being annoyed at a driver over something that happened on track but to side swipe him in retaliation is incredibly dangerous. Maldonado put his life and Hamilton’s life in danger. These are high powered machines not bumper cars! I would have loved to hear some radio communication from Maldonado after that to hear what his point of view was because surely something was said to the team or visa versa.

  11. I’m sorry but this is simply not good enough.

    For starters, Hamilton should not be given a reprimand, for the simple fact that Maldonado had no hope of getting a lap in, and therefore Hamilton wasn’t in the wrong. He needed to finish his lap without being blocked.

    Maldonado, on the other hand, was quite blatently trying to prove a point, and ended up hitting Hamilton, which is strictly against the rules, in a no contact sport. Especially, given the fact that this was on an in-lap, on a part of the track which had lots of space. It was quite obviously what Maldonado was doing, and I find it despicable.

    Having said that, I would still like to see some on-board footage of Maldonado turning into him.

    I would also like to add, that the 107% rule is in place to keep from cars that are too slow from racing on the track, as it could be dangerous. If you have people like Maldonado doing acts such as these, then I would consider that highly dangerous and shouldn’t be allowed to race.

    1. About on board footage: Adam Cooper on F1:

      Intriguigly the on-board from the Venezuelan’s camera was not available, but Hamilton’s was, as there is a limit to how many cars can be recorded.

      eh. That is really quite unfortunate, isn’t it.

      1. I’d certainly like to see the angle of this steering wheel…

    2. Official statement from the FIA says hamilton given a reprimand after causing a collision with car number 12. It’s official, hamilton is just as guilty as maldonado in this incident.

      1. Martin, calm down. You seem to fight with everyone, repeating the same point over and over again. I get it, you think Hamilton is to blame and not Maldonado, you’ve made that clear. Now can we move on?

        1. Not at all… i think pastor is more to blame, probably 60/40. I just dont like all these Hamilton adoring fans saying he’s mis treated by the stewards!

          1. he is being mistreated by the stewards though…

          2. He is just because he has been wrong before does not mean he is always in the wrong.

      2. Not it is not official.

        What is official is Maldanado is guilty hence the grid drop.

        How do you know that Hamiltons Reprimand is not for the Bus stop minor incident?

        Grid drop vs Reprimand does not equal “just as guilty”

        1. A reprimand is a telling off, so he’s clearly done something wrong.
          If the reprimand is not for swerving at pastor, then it’ll be for bashing wheels with him before the pit straight… either way, he is guilty. If he wasnt guilty, he wouldn’t have been in front of the stewards receiving a reprimand.

      3. Not just as guilty. If that was the case, both would have gotten the same punishment.

        It means that for some reason, the stewards judge, Hamilton was not without blame, while the penalty for Maldonado is far more substantial as he was mainly to blame.

    3. “Having said that, I would still like to see some on-board footage of Maldonado turning into him”

      It wasnt so much turning into him as it was keeping a straight line on a bend, squeezing Hamilton, Maldonado had plenty of room to his right. A 5 place penalty only serves to show Maldonado that can do what he wants in the most unsporting and dangerous manner possible.

      1. Well, to be fair, only when it is against HAM, otherwise he might still have to be more careful.

  12. According to the BBC, some think that Hamilton got off lightly. So maybe there’s more to this than meets the eye?

    1. The BBC people are completely useless when it comes to penalties. They always get it wrong.

    2. Well, it depends on what that reprimand is supposed to be for. If the stewards found that he did move towards Maldonado, then they should have considered actually giving him a penalty.

      I really feel after that reprimand for yellow by BUT,HAM,WEB earlier in the year when they couldn’t really do much to slow down more than they would do otherwise, just to make a point, those aren’t more than: we want to entice everyone (esp. HAM) to be more careful and do more to avoid incidents. So it isn’t an indication that HAM did something wrong here, just that maybe the felt he was involved in an incident again, and he really might have tried more to avoid it.

      There might be more to this than meets the eye, but I can’t see how a 5 place grid drop is harsh enough in comparison to MSC’s 10 place drop after Hungary 2010, and he didn’t hit anyone.

  13. Having seen the incident live and multiple times on replay.
    Maldonado attacked hamilton with malicious content as a revenge during a slow down lap.
    That is BEYOND dangerous driving, he should be suspended.
    give way for the faster driver.

    1. Hamilton is just as much to blame.
      He was given a reprimand by the stewards for ‘causing a collision with car number 12’, according to the official FIA press release.

      1. Whatever that means, really. We’d need to have their actual reasoning, that would be nice.

      2. It was a slow down lap, that means a lot. if you have never raced, you will never know the difference.

        1. Hamilton slowed down on the track after la source to meet Pastor on the track and made the first swerving move against the williams car! grrrrr!

          1. But maybe he just slowed bc. he was on an outlap, why does it have to be malicious? Maldonado on the other hand sped up.

          2. He’d just completed a flying lap and grabbed P1 before the clock stopped… how would that be an out-lap? Clearly not.

          3. He obviously meant in-lap…

            And please provide your reasoning for stating that Hamilton slowed down on the track to meet Maldonado – there’s zero evidence for that. He’s on an in-lap, of course he’s doing to slow down. Besides, how do you know Maldonado wasn’t the one speeding up?

          4. Simon…

            I believe hamilton slowed down, with the intention of gesticulating at pastor as he went by.

            Someone posted a link to the onboard hamilton view, which showed him gesticulating at pastor before they touched.

            Thats the reason why i think hamilton slowed. Before that though, came the swerve.

      3. I think he was reprimanded for making contact into the Bus Stop, actually. I fail to see how Lewis was in any way responsible for the contact out of La Source.

  14. Hamilton only got a reprimand for being involved in the incident

    1. Considering Hamilton instigated the incident, he’s got off lightly.

      1. Instigated? How so?

        1. He slowed down after la source (probably to give pastor the two finger salute). Hamilton made the first swerve towards Pastor after la source. Watch the video. Apparantly some people are calling it a ‘fish tail’… though he was on a dry line with dry tyres!

          1. 1. He slowed down because the session was over. No need to speed.
            2. Hamilton moved right IMO because that’s were the track went (or to salute. whatever).
            3. Traffic coming from behind (MAL) was able to get out of the way just fine.
            4. It’s not forbidden to ‘salute’ other drivers.
            5. Hamilton got the reprimand for hitting an other car, but that was on Hamilton’s hot-lap. IMO a racing incident which nowadays is punishable.
            6. MAL got the penalty for purposely hitting another car on the end-session in-lap. That’s just rude and uncalled for.

            And please. Please ask us to watch the video again. I can’t get enough of that remark. You excel at it.

          2. Thanks, watch the video again :-p

            I agree, with your comment 1)… though you could also argue he slowed to confront pastor on track (which is what i believe).

            Comment number 2, no… he swerved twice. First swerve was nothing to do with following the track, the second move you could possibly argue yes, it was more track manouvering.

            Comment 6, i agree with you.

          3. He swerved once. Watch the video. LOL

          4. One intentional move of agression is enough.

  15. look at this site it shows u the fia papers

    1. Nice. Pity it doesn’t tell anything more about the reasoning.

    1. Thanks for that.

      What’s interesting here is that the FIA statements give the same time for both infractions and therefore they are referring to the same incident and not Hamilton’s overtake on the last corner.

      The only conclusion I can reach if I consider this information as correct is that the stewards believe Hamilton could have done more to avoid an incident by either drifting further left or braking. I think that’s very harsh.

      1. What’s interesting here is that the FIA statements give the same time for both infractions and therefore they are referring to the same incident and not Hamilton’s overtake on the last corner.

        I find the seconds given suspicious and both the busstop incident and and the La Source incident happened within one minute, so I wouldn’t necessarily say they are both for the same.

  16. This sends entirely the wrong message to young drivers across the world. A 5 place grid penalty is simply not enough to reprimand a driver for DELIBERATELY causing an unnecessary collision in retaliation for a perceived misdemeanor. Regardless or whether Hamilton was right or wrong in the way he overtook Maldonado at the end of the session, there simply is no excuse for deliberately crashing into another driver. I am disgusted.

    1. Maldonado was definitely more to blame for the incident, but as i’ve said time and time again… Hamilton made the first swerving manouevre towards Pastor, after la source. Hamilton instigated the incident.

      1. My interpretation of this is the same as many people; that Hamilton started to move over not realising Pastor was there, then jinked back when he realised. However, even if Hamilton had deliberately moved towards Pastor (but not so much that Pastor had to avoid him), there is no excuse for responding with deliberate contact…especially after the chequered flag!

      2. So then they should have given both a harsh penalty! Two wrongs don’t make a half right.

        However you turn that, Maldonado got off light. I don’t believe HAM needed a penalty, but I might be wrong. In which case I feel he probably should have had a harsher penalty, not just a reprimand.

  17. Here’s my take on what happened, after watching this video a few times:

    At the last corner, there’s a group of several cars all desperately trying to make it to the line for one more lap, Hamilton is at the back of the group. Maldonado leaves enough room for Hamilton to go up the inside, but the two make contact. Martin Brundle and David Coulthard seemed to think that Hamilton was within his rights to do this, and that Maldonado should’ve seen him coming. Having watched the video a few more times, I’m inclined to agree – Maldonado left room, Hamilton took it, the two came together, not desirable (especially not in qualifying), but ultimately a racing incident.

    Exiting La Source, Hamilton has slowed down, Maldonado is further back but then speeds up to get past Hamilton and then moves across into the side of Hamiltons car. On the view of the cars coming down the hill, Hamilton makes a small swerve in the direction of Maldonado – I’m not sure why this is, it’s possibly an aggressive gesture from Lewis. However, from what I see, Maldonado intentionally drives into Hamilton, and this must be motivated by revenge.

    I don’t understand the stewards’ decision. I’m not sure about the reprimand for Hamilton: even though he did make contact with Maldonado at the last corner, and made a dubious swerve towards him afterwards, I’m not certain that it was deserved, unless it’s been dished out for something completely unrelated to this incident.

    Maldonado should’ve been more harshly punished. I don’t think he should be racing tomorrow. Michael Schumacher was excluded from the championship in ’97 for deliberately hitting Villeneuve (although then again similar incidents went unpunished before that). What bothers me most about Maldonado’s actions is not so much that he hit another car, but more that he appeared to be doing so as an act of retaliation for a previous incident. I feel there is a difference between this and colliding with another driver in the pursuit of overtaking or defending a position, even if reckless driving is involved.

    By the way, I’m not saying Hamilton is a totally innocent party, and sometimes he pushes it too far with his on-track moves, but deliberately trying to take someone out because they’ve annoyed you takes things to a different level in my eyes, and I don’t think the stewards’ decision reflects this.

    1. You put that together well. One key point here may be Hamilton’s unexplained swerve before the contact. If not for Hamilton dirtying his hands a bit, Maldonado probably gets the book thrown at him. They concluded that Hamilton kind of waved the red cape to invite the charge. Otherwise I can’t see the stewards giving out a mere grid penalty for intentional contact, especially when there was no actual session on. There is not a lot of precedent in F1 for intentional severe contact without a major penalty.

    2. This was the lap that elevated Lewis to Q3, I don’t believe he slowed down before crossing the line.

  18. Have to admit, I was suspicious about Hamiltons involvement in this, but after seeing the onboard footage from Hamiltons car, it does look like Maldonado was the one that swerved. Right decision imo.

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