Penalty for Maldonado, Hamilton gets reprimand

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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

  1. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 27th August 2011, 17:47

    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.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 27th August 2011, 17:53

      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.

    • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 17:53

      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.

      • andrewf1 said on 27th August 2011, 18:04

        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?

        • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 18:15

          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!

      • 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”

        • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 18:25

          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.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th August 2011, 22:45

        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.

    • “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.

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

    • patrickl said on 27th August 2011, 17:55

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

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 27th August 2011, 18:00

      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.

  3. Chaos said on 27th August 2011, 17:57

    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.

    • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 17:59

      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.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 27th August 2011, 18:02

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

      • Chaos said on 27th August 2011, 18:04

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

        • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 18:06

          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!

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 27th August 2011, 18:18

            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.

          • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 18:27

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

          • Simon said on 27th August 2011, 18:32

            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?

          • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 19:05


            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.

      • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 27th August 2011, 18:05

        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.

  4. amanda said on 27th August 2011, 17:58 Hamilton only got a reprimand for being involved in the incident

    • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 18:00

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

      • Simon said on 27th August 2011, 18:09

        Instigated? How so?

        • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 18:13

          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!

          • P5ycH0 said on 27th August 2011, 18:35

            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.

          • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 18:39

            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.

          • P5ycH0 said on 27th August 2011, 18:45

            He swerved once. Watch the video. LOL

          • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 18:48

            One intentional move of agression is enough.

  5. amanda said on 27th August 2011, 17:59

    look at this site it shows u the fia papers

    • Ragerod said on 27th August 2011, 19:28

      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.

      • Klon (@klon) said on 28th August 2011, 2:19

        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.

  6. Simon D said on 27th August 2011, 18:07

    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.

    • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 18:11

      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.

      • Simon D said on 27th August 2011, 18:20

        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!

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 27th August 2011, 18:21

        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.

  7. Don Mateo said on 27th August 2011, 18:11

    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.

    • DaveW said on 27th August 2011, 19:19

      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.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 27th August 2011, 19:28

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

  8. Fallon said on 27th August 2011, 18:16

    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.

  9. Pitlane Paul said on 27th August 2011, 18:17

    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.

  10. Ed Bone said on 27th August 2011, 18:18

    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.

    • Martin said on 27th August 2011, 18:22

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

    • Simon D said on 27th August 2011, 18:28

      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…

  11. brxtr (@broxter) said on 27th August 2011, 18:27

    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.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 27th August 2011, 18:30

      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.

    • Simon said on 27th August 2011, 18:39

      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.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 27th August 2011, 18:42

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

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

  13. Jake (@jleigh) said on 27th August 2011, 18:42

    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).

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