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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Image ?? Williams/LAT

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

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  1. Maldonado was wrong from the point he turned in on Hamilton at the bus stop and was wrong again to try to push Hamilton off the track on the pit straight, I think he probably just wanted to give Hamilton a scare but his lack of driving skill found him wacking Hamiltons front end, this was stupid dangerous and shows a lack of respect for the fans his team and his fellow competitors.

  2. Mansell really should not have been a steward today. He is an emotional and very public detractor of Hamilton’s, and as such cannot possibly have viewed the incident in an objective manner.

    The fact that Maldonado was not DSQ’d, as Martin Brundle said in his BBC commentary, sends completely the wrong message to younger, if not all drivers.

    Wake up FIA.

    1. Stewards are decided days, if not weeks in advance… why shouldnt nigel mansell be a race steward! What a load of rubbish.

      1. Because he is very opinionated about specific drivers and cannot therefore be seen as impartial when making judgements about said drivers. Sadly the FIA don’t get this, but then impartiality was never their speciality.

    2. I agree about your comments about the FIA and younger drivers. The FIA had previously set a fantastic example with Stefan Mucke (although the end result of Stefans ‘mistake’ was more dramatic), but I now seriously worry about how many Karters and ‘lower’ car formula drivers will now feel that it’s perefectly acceptable to drive into another competitor out of revenge because they think that the small penalty is worth it…

  3. If you look at this onboard footage (@ 3:20,you can clearly see Maldonado cuts rights across Hamilton’s path, with Pastor even ending up as far as the grass on the left hand side.

    1. Here’s a youtube link (thanks Damon Smedley!) if you con’t live in the UK:

      I have to say, in a corner of my mind I wondered if Hamilton could have got out of it and maybe it was partly his fault for turning right at full speed, but this is conclusive beyond any other interpretation.

      1. Interestingly, you can see he raised his hand just before Maldonado came past. Then raised his hand again, seemingly in shock, after the collision.

        1. So my theory was right… hamilton slowed down to gesticulate at pastor, whilst also giving him a crafty swerve at the same time. Both are as bad as each other.

          1. Holding a smooth line is a crafty swerve?

          2. A smooth racing line, with 2 swerving manouvers? Er, ok!

          3. You can’t swerve if you keep your steering wheel straight – which is what Hamilton did in the video.

    2. The head on footage did make it look more marginal, but from that angle it clearly looks as though Maldonado drives right into the side of Hamilton.

      5 place grid penalty seems very lenient, having watched that. As the commentators said at the time, DSQ would be more fitting.

    3. That footage merely confirms to me that this is a terribly lenient punishment. That’s absolutely shocking behaviour from a Formula 1 driver.

  4. Hamilton should think himself lucky they didn’t have a run in after qualifying

  5. Right, so, I have looked at the incident many times, from all the angles available, and here’s my take.

    Firstly from the camera from the rear, looking from La Source. From this view it does appear that Hamilton moves to the right twice, firstly as Maldonado first comes out, and secondly when the incident occurs, however, from this view, it’s difficult to tell whether he was just taking up the normal racing line. It is also clear, that Maldonado moves to the left, across Maldonado, in a somewhat malicious style.

    Secondly, the view from the front. Again Hamilton’s first move can be seen, but here, it clearly looks much more like a move over to take the normal racing line, and then a quick move back to the left when he sees Maldonado being overly racy. The second move also seems very much like taking the normal angle with the curve of the track. From this view, Maldonado is clearly being very racy, and again, it is pretty clear he moves across the front of Hamilton in an agressive way.

    Finally, Hamilton’s onboard, the first twitch isn’t seen here, but this view to me, all but proves the second move was none existent and that Hamilton was taking a normal line following the curve of the road. It can also be seen that Hamilton didn’t make any strange moves of the wheel (in fact one hand had been removed, so he clearly wasn’t expecting any contact). Now onto this view in terms of Maldonado. Well, again, very malicious, this angle really does show the blood on Maldonado’s hands.

    So, we have 3 angles, all of which appear to show a deliberate and malicious act of revenge from Maldonado, whereas only 1 angle shows fault from Hamilton in an ambiguous way. This seems to be cleared by the following two angles.

    So then, the penalties, considering the evidence, they do seem rather ridiculous. How can the punishment for deliberately crashing into another driver be a five place grid penalty? In my opinion, there should be at least a 1 race ban, preferably 3, and perhaps, a super license removal (probably not due to the lack of ability to ultimately prove it was deliberate).

    1. Toothpickbandit
      28th August 2011, 5:03

      100% agree.

  6. Mansell is a Bell
    27th August 2011, 18:43

    Another day, another joke decision by the FIA, I dread to think what you have to do for a DSQ. Leaving HAM out of the equation for a second, delibratly driving into to another car because of the red mist and it was delibrate deserves a immidiate suspension of your super licence followed by a hearing at the FIA in Paris. As for HAMs penalty I can only explain it using Occams Razor.

    1. Long live Nigel Mansell :-p
      In all fairness, i think the penalty towards pastor was lenient. That said, I believe hamilton should have been given a grid drop at the very least too.

  7. UKfanatic (@)
    27th August 2011, 18:48

    Please remain impartial, we all saw the same images. What happened was a very usual but the part when they had contact the rest was a typical disagreement. First hamilton overtook maldonado the fastest way possible to not ruin his lap but in the process not only hre touched maldonado but he also pushed him out of the track ruining Maldonados next lap, anyway maldonado continued and found a satisfied Hamilton running slowly, as a revenge he decided to make an aggressive overtake on Hamilton both were a bit off line but Maldonado DIDN’T HIT Hamilton, Hamilton was the one who hit maldonado I dont believe on his intention, he was still trying to quallify nontheless a risky move which proved very dangerous cause for a weird reason Hamilton decided to cut across he may have not seen maldonado or he made a chicky move

    1. This was their inlap, they had taken the chequered flag when this incident occured. Maldonado’s lap was already ruined by Rubens and Heikki in front before the bus stop. He did go wide and seemed to abandon the lap, to then turn in as Lewis got inside.
      Would love to see some PAstor onboard though

  8. We Want Turbos
    27th August 2011, 18:56

    To the people saying Hamilton turned, of couse he did. Had he not all the Ham haters would be laughing at him for slamming into the barrier. The track is wide enough to get 7 or 8 cars abreast at that point so Maldonado squeezing Hamilton into the barrier was for me a malicious manoeuvre. I would hope that Sir Frank has already sat Pastor down an told him in no uncertain terms that that’s not the way a great team like Williams go racing.

  9. Just saw onboard of Hamilton on BBC didn’t want to make comment on this before I saw onboard…

    Hamilton was ‘waving’ a complaint at pastor at the time, which is fair enough… NO movement on the steering. It is angled for a smooth run through the right hand curve, pastor turns into him. It’s completely non arguable with that footage, no fault of Hamilton. No idea what the warning was for (maybe for arguing with pastor while in the car?) Pastor should have had FAR worse than 5 places!

    1. He shouldn’t be racing on Sunday. There’s no consistency: e.g., Nick’s car is on fire leaving the pitlane and then explodes and bits hit the marshalls and gets no penalty; lewis is attacked by another driver, and he recieves a reprimand…

    2. Do you have a link for it? I can’t find the onboard footage you talk about.

    3. ^ this

      I just don’t get what Hamilton has been reprimanded for, I really don’t.

      As We Want Turbos said above, Hamilton couldn’t turn left anymore, else he’d have gone into the wall… besides which, he was following his line *ahead* of Maldonado, turning right ever-so-slightly as the track curves.

      Still, listening to Maldonado’s explanation, he sounded pretty convincing when he said he’d just had a ‘big moment’… regardless, I feel it was right to penalise him.

      But Hamilton? Really? Maybe he shouldn’t have said what he did about Mansell a couple of months back ; )

      1. Hamilton onboard:

        It’s kinda obvious Maldonaldo swiped him

        1. But where is the footage 5-10 seconds before that?

          I agree from that footage it was Maldonado’s fault 100% but its not a complete picture without the rest of the footage. Maybe onboard with Maldonado would help solve it too.

      2. We Want Turbos
        27th August 2011, 22:18

        Hamilton was more than likely reprimanded for tapping Maldonado on exit of bus stop. Fair enough I suppose. I’ve only got one question though, will Mclaren be able to change the bent suspension, as Lewis managed Q3 with it?

  10. Doesn’t Hamilton get a penalty if he receives another warning? I’m sure he had one at Silverstone for his incident with Massa.

    1. Google says he had no penalty post-Silverstone.

    2. From Wikipedia: “The stewards investigated, but no action was taken.”

  11. More bias against Hamilton. If Lewis had done what the other guy did and caused a crash, he would have been suspended. No consistency other than consistently anti-Lewis. I have no idea, ahem, why they’d have an agenda against Lewis…

  12. As usual, the lack of any detailed explanation from the FIA leaves us all guessing what the verdict was and why the different penalties have been handed down. This is not good enough, and I’m heartily sick of saying it over and over.

    I agree with those who say a five-place penalty for deliberately causing a collision seems too lenient. Given the penalty Montoya got at Monaco in 2005, and Alonso had at Hungary in 2006, for comparable incidents, I expected a stronger penalty for Maldonado.

    Hamilton’s movements in Maldonado’s direction were not very clever. Of course Maldonado was behind him at this point and Hamilton would not have known exactly where the Williams was.

    But this was clearly nothing like as bad as deliberately driving into someone, which the stewards have failed to take a tough line on.

    1. I would’ve thought you’d be used to it by now Keith. This has been going on for decades. The mistake is to believe that this sport has rules.

    2. Keith, do we even know which collision Hamilton was reprimanded for?

      If it was for the overtake on the hot lap, then it suggests you can’t overtake during qualifying – even if you take the right line and the other driver has gone wide / slowed down in the corner.

      If it was for the side-swipe, then the grounds would seem to be pretty flimsy (the onboard Hamilton footage is fairly conclusive) – it does beg the question over whether “sharing” the blame was a way for the stewards to avoid giving a harhser penalty to Maldonado?

      1. The time of incident on both their FIA stewards decisions is the same, indicating it is for the same incident, ie. the side-swipe.

        1. Thanks, that makes sense. Bizarre adjudication!

    3. Well said Keith, how hard could it be to just show us a summary of their findings, very annoying.

      And also well said about the given punishments.

  13. No penalty for Hamilton – what a surprise.

    1. Agreed…!

    2. Mark Thornton
      27th August 2011, 19:15

      Have a look at Hamilton’s on-board! Maldonado clearly cuts right across him. Hamilton doesn’t move his hands on the steering wheel.

    1. Cool thanks.

      The clip is too brief though. I’d love to see the whole thing after the 1st turn.

      Is the clip definetely running at normal speed? I t kind of looks a bit weird.

    2. Pretty obvious from that angle that Maldonado cut across Hamilton hence his penalty for ‘Causing a collision with Car 3’.

      Hamilton only made contact with Maldonado at the final chicane so I can only assume that was why he was reprimanded for ‘Causing a collision with Car 12’. If it was for his wobble in front of Maldonado at La Source then I would expect a different reason for the penalty to be given.

      These are all assumptions on my part given the lack of explanation from the FIA which seems ridiculous. They obviously investigated the incident so how difficult can it be to write a two sentence summary?

    3. That is after Hamilton has swerved back to his left when he saw Maldonado coming up on him at high speed, hence the gesture.

  14. It’s a heckuva contrast with NASCAR’s “boys have at it” approach, though, isn’t it?

    In NASCAR, purely retaliatory collisions are treated as part of the show and even on occasions where cars have launched into catch fencing, coming pretty close to showering the crowd with debris, it’s considered, I don’t know, reasonable self-policing conduct or something, going back decades (clearly it’s the kind of thing that makes for good viewing figures and press, and I’m also reminded of Champcar’s leniency towards some pretty horrible fouls by Paul Tracy).

    I think this was a case of Maldonado venting his frustrations in a retaliatory act and I think F1 does right to take a dim view of it, but it seems a fairly proportional penalty to me. Although it resulted in contact and Schumacher’s nasty in Hungary didn’t, I still think it was less dangerous than that and so a 5 spot penalty is consistent, or at least far less inconsistent that some calls we’ve seen from race stewards.

    1. nascar has fenders, Open wheel cars don’t. No need to be touching anyone for revenge. In nascar the fans really enjoy the crashes.. I don’t know any F1 fan who enjoys crashes. I cringe every single time one happens, even if its my least favourite driver.

      I’m American by the way and think F1 should not take any cues from nascar or any american racing for that matter. I like F1 because its about the racing, not the accidents or the off track nonsense.

  15. themagicofspeed (@)
    27th August 2011, 19:32

    good to see maldonado getting his just revenge, for when hamilton wiped him out in monaco. i was clapping at the tv.

    1. Except that he didn’t achieve anything other than get himself a penalty.

      1. themagicofspeed (@)
        27th August 2011, 22:03

        Yeah, in that sense, it was a pretty brainless thing to do. Im not a hamilton fan, but i don’t quite understand why hamilton got a reprimand as well, although admittedly i have only seen the incident once or twice on TV so maybe im missing something.

    2. And I don’t know how anyone can condone that kind of activity. Fair enough if you send a mad one up the inside as a mistake but deliberately attacking someone else in this sport especially needs to be punished harshly.

    3. Hamilton and Maldonado collided during a race, racing for position.

      Maldonado swiped Hamilton on an in-lap when the session was over, which is _entirly_ different.

      He’s a complete disgrace to the sport.

      1. The Last Pope
        27th August 2011, 20:40

        “He’s a complete disgrace to the sport”


        I really hope Sir Frank gives him a stern talking to.

    4. Just revenge for what? turning into Lewis before the corner?

  16. Hamilton survived the drama of a collision at the end of Q2 when Maldonado drove into him, and was able to fight for pole in Q3 though his McLaren’s suspension was slightly out of line.

    whoever is saying that Hamilton drove into Maldonado is clearly wrong. End of.

  17. Slackbladder1
    27th August 2011, 20:14

    In my view, the FIA are, by there actions are leaning heavily towards the politically correct idiot party, demonstrating a desire to gut any kind of real racing in Formula 1 with such micromanagement verging on stupidity. Racing is NOT inherently safe and thats is why its so exiting, the best drivers in the world going full on to win, bump a bloke and your out? what utter nonsense! The questionable calls from the marshals should be challenged by us the fans, votes if you like, to bring back the ‘seat of your pants’ excitement to a sport that should be run on the ragged edge. amen

  18. To all those who say Lewis jinked right twice to intimidate Maldonado, here is a quote from Lewis; which would seem obvious from anyone who saw the incident –
    “I went a little bit right and I saw he’d moved out so I went back and then he was in a blind spot. I thought he was coming past and then he ended up coming into me.”

  19. What A joke alot of peoples views are towards hamilton, ive read it on here every race! Why cant people be impartial and enjoy f1 properly and fairly. Hamilton had every right to go for the inside line as all three of the cars ahead had effectivly slowed, look at the close up video and hamilton is steering full lock left the whole way when maldonado just keeps turning into him, Then maldonado just swipes him on the start finish (dont give me this rubbish about hamilton twitching what a lame excuse) so maldonado sould be banned from the race!!!! bet it would of been soooo different if the drivers swapped places!!!

    1. The Last Pope
      27th August 2011, 20:49

      With this weak penalty from the stewards, If I were Sir Frank Williams I would withdraw his car from the race as a team punishment showing him this is not exceptable for a Williams driver. I’m sure there are performance clauses in the sponsor deal in that the team can drop him if he does bad and still retain sponsorship. Well Maldonado’s performace today was worse than just bad results.

      1. He has stockholders to answer to now.. I don’t think pulling a car is possible.

        Or its kind of like telling the judge to add a couple years to the sentence because the sentence was too lenient. Never will happen.

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