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. Kanima said on 27th August 2011, 20:44

    I found the qualifying highlights and you can see the accident from an Onboard camera

    http://www.f1arab.com/2011/08/27/belgian-gp-2011-qualifying-highlights/

  2. Argent said on 27th August 2011, 20:54

    So let me get this straight. If you park your car on the track and impede qualifying will be sent to the back of the grid, but if you just purposefully drive across another car you only get a five place penalty? Somehow that “punishment” seems a bit disproportionate for what the results could have been. Maldonado should have been disqualified from racing and received a year suspended ban to make him think about doing this again. That idiot is going to kill someone.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 27th August 2011, 21:24

      We do have to take into account that the punishments in the Mosley era had a tendency to be over the top, or non-existent, depending on what team you drove for and what driver you were. But even with that, it seems way too light.

      And due to that, it also looks like a bit of a return to that era in that if it involves HAM, everyone else gets blamed/punished a bit les.

  3. The Limit said on 27th August 2011, 21:01

    The big issue for me here is not the penalty for either driver, but the fact that this took place at the end of a session. This comes from a sport that frowns on its drivers doing doughnuts at the end of races, yet it appears that knocking ten bells out of an opponent is acceptable. Curious!
    Personally I think it adds spice to the racing when two drivers obviously don’t like each other very much, but there must be a limit to it. If the FIA are serious about safety they have to crackdown ‘hard’ on events like this which in this case they did not do. The danger is that it will send the wrong message to the rest of the drivers in that they will consider running into rivals on purpose as acceptable. We had the same argument twenty years ago after Senna took out Prost to win a world championship, which resulted in alot of huff and puff from the FIA but Aryton still kept his title.
    The same will happen here because nobody got hurt, F1 gets good media coverage from it, and everybody is happy.
    From the stand point of Pastor Maldonado I think Williams need to nip this in the bud. Maldonado obviously did not like the move Lewis pulled on him at the end of the lap and allowed his temper to get the better of him. He may or may not still be angry about his collision in Monaco involving Hamilton which put the rookie out of the grands prix. All that being said, someone at Williams needs to talk to the boy, maybe even Frank himself, so this does not fester for too long.
    Hamilton as we all no will never change his style behind the wheel of an F1 car. The big difference between Lewis and Pastor is that Hamilton has one world championship and a dozen wins under his belt, and Maldonado is a rookie in his first season with a team that has seen far better days than this.
    We know that Maldonado brought with him millions in sponsorship money, but Williams are not a team that will tolerate this sort of thing for long from a driver who has certainly not improved on Nico Hulkenberg’s 2010 performance.
    Maybe that is why in the interviews aferwards, Pastor looked the more anxious of the two drivers.

    • Aventador said on 28th August 2011, 9:50

      Yea the Senna/Prost incident came to my mind too, but that was entirely different as it took place under race conditions, all green. Maldonado/Hamilton occured in Q, End of Session. Apples and Oranges.
      I know you don’t mean to, but please don’t compare Senna’s behaviour to that of Maldonado; one is a legend, the other is a disgrace.

  4. heres an onboard from hamilton
    http://youtu.be/8hHG3rPl5UM

  5. I’d like to avoid pointless name-calling or petty insults and here are my thoughts on this:

    1. I’ve looked at the incident from different angles and the first twitch from the McLaren looked to be either from grip (seems less likely), or moving out of Maldonado’s way after noticing him (more supported with interviews).
    2. The second movement that Maldonado defenders have noted, can be shown from Hamilton’s onboard shot. After moving to the left, Hamilton simply follows the bend of the track. During this, there’s no movement in the steering wheel while he’s ‘waving’ at Maldonado to his right.
    3. Then came the contact, where Maldonado’s Williams seems to going straight; along a right bend. Whether he was simply slipped up while making a rude ‘gesture’ to Lewis or overtaking him, it was way too close for post-session.

    With the time on the official sanctions, you can see that Hamilton got his reprimand from the La Source incident. We can therefore take the Bus-stop chicane incident out of the equation. However, I’d like some insight as to why the reprimand was given.
    I think that covers what’s been said in the comments so far. (sorry if I missed something)

    • Thomas said on 27th August 2011, 22:26

      Totally with you, adding that Hamilton’s gesture or wave probably was a “DUDE, the session is over, we’re cruising man”

      Seriously wondering why LH bothers to go to race weekends anymore…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th August 2011, 23:07

      My guess is, that the hand gesture might have been the reason for giving Hamilton a reprimand, as it might be deemed to rather have upset Maldonado even more, when just not reacting might have been wiser.

      • Hmm. That would tie to the official reason for the sanction.
        It just doesn’t sit right with me though. I can’t think of an incident, spurred on by a hand gesture, from the top of my head. (and we’ve seen hand gestures a lot ;p)

        ps. (the thought follows that maybe Vettel’s finger is a rude gesture to the other drivers jkjk)

  6. Young One said on 27th August 2011, 22:15

    lol @ all the “HAM swerved into him lot”. Some ppl just do not deserve attention.

  7. Well if we follow the stewards’ logic, they find both drivers guilty of causing a collision which is against the sporting code and therefore warrants a penalty.

    Regardless of the validity of the steward’s assessment of the incident, same crime for both drivers, but different penalties?

  8. Chaos said on 27th August 2011, 22:33

    Are we watching bumper cars like on top gear?

  9. Mansell is a Bell said on 27th August 2011, 23:44

    I wonder if Alonso was aware that backing up the Williams would cause Hamilton grief, bit like the coincedence of Massa being released to ruin Hamiltons run in Monaco :)

  10. foleyger (@foleyger) said on 27th August 2011, 23:54

    Think Frank Williams must be embarassed to have the likes of Maldanado driving a Williams. what he did today was disgraceful and he shud have got banned. If Hamilton or ALonso did that, there wud be calls for his super licence to be revoked

  11. trebor27 said on 28th August 2011, 0:25

    No way should Hamilton be reprimanded. It looks like Maldonado fell asleep. I don’t see the difference between the Schumacher and Barrichello incident last year at Hungary.

  12. Younger Hamii said on 28th August 2011, 0:35

    McLaren should sue Maldonado & to make things Worst for him,Give Hulkenberg Maldonado’s seat,the one he truly deserved when he got Williams their First pole in 7 Years

  13. I’d like to hear what Ham and Mal had to say on the matter rather than the press’ version of what they saw from FOM.

    It’s very easy to take sides depending on what journalist you like the most.

  14. Lord Ha Ha said on 28th August 2011, 2:07

    Poor Hammy. He banged wheels to get a bit more lap time when he didn’t have to and then tries on lauding it over Maldanado on the straight; then gets smacked and whinges after the bloke goes him. What a pussy.

  15. pking008 said on 28th August 2011, 3:03

    every time i see Maldonado’s picture I always felt i’ve seen this guy somewhere before, now i know where. has uncanny resemblance to “Alberto The Shadow” the killer of the classic film “Scarface” who couldn’t speak English and was sent by Sousa the Bolivian drug Kingpin to kill the journalist whom Tony Montana blew off his head in the car. Maybe he was hurrying to watch the film hence he crashed into Lewis. lol

  16. fordsrule (@fordsrule) said on 28th August 2011, 4:20

    I thought I would wait until this decision the be made before I made my opinion. After the result I think it is way to lenient, I am a Hamilton fan so I might be a bit bias but you just cant move over like that. I too thought that Maldonado should of been banned for at least this race but I this is what I expected. I wonder what Frank would of said to Maldonado after…

  17. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 28th August 2011, 4:36

    Hamilton did nothing wrong in his flying lap but I think it was him that moved towards right in the slowing down lap? Why was Pastor have the penalty for? Mansell shouldn’t be in the steward anymore from now on.

  18. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th August 2011, 5:37

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qek88QxYbW0&feature=related

    Looking at the replay of the Bus Stop, I actually think that what Hamilton did was really rather selfish. Pastor Maldonado was slow into the Bus Stop, but Hamilton’s lunge was an attempt to get an extra lap in – and that was ultimately foolhardy, because Heikki Kovalainen (ahead of Barrichello and Maldonado) didn’t even make it.

    Maldonado qualified in 16th, with a time of 2:08.106 on his final lap. But in the drying conditions, he probably stood a chance at beating Barrichello (2:07.349) and Adrian Sutil (2:07.777). However, the video above clearly shows Hamilton forcing Maldonado to run wide out of the Bus Stop; even Martin Brundle and David Coulthard pointed it out. This probably would have cost Maldonado a few tenths of a second, and potentially robbed him of 14th place on the grid.

    Now, I’m not saying I agree with what Maldonado did coming out of La Source. But I think Hamilton’s move at the Bus Stop was very selfish. If he hadn’t set a lap time by then, he probably would have made Q3 even if he had been held up by Maldonado. His lunge for the line was ultimately pointless, and what’s more, it pushed another driver out of the way, (possibly) robbing him of a better grid position.

    So I can understand why Hamilton got a reprimand. The dive into the Bus Stop was as unnecessary as it was fruitless, and clearly the move that inspired Maldonado to sideswipe him. Hamilton simply did not respect the right of another racer to set a competitive lap time. It was a “me first, me first!” moment, and I really have no sympathy for him.

    • Blog Raider said on 28th August 2011, 6:20

      Selfish? yes, all drivers are in it for themselves and their own teams!!!

      Pointless? no, he had to make the cut to Q3 and wouldn’t have if he decided to slow down. It was do or die and it worked. Otherwise what’s the point?

      Force Pastor offline on entry? I think you will find that Pastor did that all too well by himself!!!

      From your previous posts, I get that u and Australian law enforcement don’t like Hamilton, point taken.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th August 2011, 7:27

        Pointless? no, he had to make the cut to Q3 and wouldn’t have if he decided to slow down. It was do or die and it worked.

        And at the expense of another driver being able to set a competitive lap time of his own. How is that sporting at all?

        Force Pastor offline on entry? I think you will find that Pastor did that all too well by himself!!!

        Re-read my post – I never said he forced Maldonado off-line going into the corner. I said he forced Maldonado wide coming out of it. If you look at the video, there is an aerial shot of them coming out of the Bus Stop. There is clearly a dry line forming. However, Hamilton barges in and forces Maldonado to run wide on the exit, out onto the wet track.

        From your previous posts, I get that u and Australian law enforcement don’t like Hamilton, point taken.

        It’s not that I don’t like Hamilton. I have no issue with him; I don’t particularly like him, but I don’t particularly dislike him, either. No, the people I have trouble with are Lewis Hamilton’s fans, who seem to expect that there should be one set of rules for Hamilton and one set of rules for everyone else – and when Hamilton gets a penalty, they whinge about “inconsistency” among the stewards. Take Monaco, for example: Hamilton got a penalty for his tangle with Massa at the hairpin, and according to Hamilton’s fans, the stewards were out to get him. But they ignored the fact that Paul di Resta did exactly the same thing at the same corner and got exactly the same penalty.

        Whether or not Hamilton’s move on Maldonado was justified or not remains to be seen. But it was clearly the antecedant that inspired Maldonado to take a swipe at him. Maldonado clearly felt that Hamilton’s move robbed him of a better lap time, and so decided to make his feelings known. If Hamilton hadn’t made the move, Maldonado wouldn’t have attacked, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Ergo, Hamilton deserved a reprimand for (unwittingly) provoking Maldonado.

        Or do you think Maldonado is so unstable that he just goes around attacking people because he feels like it? If so, a) why hadn’t he done it before, and b) how did he ever get to become a racing driver?

        • Blog Raider said on 28th August 2011, 8:10

          the point is, Pastor left the door open and Hamilton took it fairly, with a bit of a brush, no harm done. on exit LH is ahead, Pastor has to give way or cause an avoidable collision (you do remember Lewis got punished for not giving way to the car ahead causing incidents numerous times? last time with Pastor right? LH had no way of knowing if his previous time would be good enough to go to the next round in the dying seconds(Button anyone?), so had to push! I dont think you give allowances for the pressure experienced by these guys. oh and I never commented on the mental aspects of Pastor, I will now, he lost it! I have been around this site long enough to know you never admit defeat on this blog, enjoy the race!

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th August 2011, 8:19

            I dont think you give allowances for the pressure experienced by these guys

            And like I’ve already said, “I was under pressure to make it into Q3″ is not a good enough excuse for compromising another driver’s lap.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th August 2011, 7:56

        I get that u and Australian law enforcement don’t like Hamilton

        Also, when Hamilton was spotted hooning in Melbourne, he was breaking the law. Why should he be let go, when a professional racing driver of all people should know better?

    • driftin said on 28th August 2011, 6:29

      You do know Hamilton was about to be eliminated, right?

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th August 2011, 7:18

        His laptime in Q2 was a 2:02.823. The cut-off time for Q3 was a 2:04.692. Do you honestly expect me to believe that Maldonado would have cost Hamilton 1.8 seconds if Hamilton had not lunged at him like that? The worst-case scenario I could think of would involve Hamilton losing half a second behind Maldonado and finishing the session seventh rather than second.

        And the excuse “I was about to be eliminated” is a pretty thin justification for forcing another driver off the racing line. If Hamilton has the right to set a competitive lap time, then so does Maldonado. If Hamilton gets held up in traffic and ends up getting knocked out in Q2, then that’s no body’s fault but Lewis Hamilton’s.

        • Aventador said on 28th August 2011, 9:35

          “Do you honestly expect me to believe that Maldonado would have cost Hamilton 1.8 seconds if Hamilton had not lunged at him like that?”

          You really think any driver knows how much time they have in hand? Don’t give me math.

          “If Hamilton has the right to set a competitive lap time, then so does Maldonado.”

          Exactly. Let them settle on track who gets the chance to. Like Hamilton did.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th August 2011, 9:55

            You really think any driver knows how much time they have in hand? Don’t give me math.

            Well, given that circuit is divided into three sectors, the team could reasonably give Hamilton up-to-date information about his lap time. And given that he didn’t encounter Maldonado until the final corner of the circuit, it’s completely feasible that Hamilton could have waited his turn and made it into Q3.

            Let them settle on track who gets the chance to. Like Hamilton did.

            At the expense of another driver’s lap time. That’s not sporting. Hamilton barged past Maldonado, costing Maldonado time. But if he hadn’t, he could have made it into Q3 without comrpomising his lap time.

            And like I said, if Hamilton didn’t make the move, was caught out behind Maldonado and failed to make Q3, well, that’s his own stupid fault for leaving the lap too late.

        • Simon said on 28th August 2011, 10:22

          If one driver goes into a corner slowly and offline, then why on earth would you expect another driver behind them – on a hot lap themselves – to just sit back and let it ruin their own lap?

          Seriously, it’s getting ridiculous. Moves like this, when done fairly (as I believe this one was), should be applauded in what is supposedly the pinnacle of motorsport – not looked down on for being “selfish”.

          Imagine it was 2 drivers right at the sharp end of the championship involved – one goes deep into a corner and the other, knowing they’ll have their own qualifying efforts compromised if they sit back, darts down the inside to lose as little time as possible. That’s exactly the kind of thing I want to see in F1, whether it be during qualifying or the race.

          The last thing we need is a (more) sanitized version of F1, so let’s not start talking as though that’s what we, as fans, want!

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th August 2011, 10:33

            If one driver goes into a corner slowly and offline, then why on earth would you expect another driver behind them – on a hot lap themselves – to just sit back and let it ruin their own lap?

            I wouldn’t. My issue with Hamilton is the way he forced Maldonado wide. I’m not talking about the first corner of the Bus Stop; I’m talking about the second.

          • Simon said on 28th August 2011, 10:48

            I can see where you’re coming from, since the aerial shot shows Hamilton stayed in the middle of the dry line, rather than on the left hand side of it (which would have given Maldonado a little more room).

            However, it was Maldonado’s own choice / mistake on the chicane that gave Hamilton an opportunity; one he was entitled to take and did so fairly. He took the fastest way through the corner, which has to be the primary consideration, rather than the positioning of other cars on the corner.

            In the heat of the moment, I can understand why Maldonado was upset, but he only has himself to blame for what happened.

    • John H said on 28th August 2011, 10:49

      Hamilton’s ‘lunge’ was to get the best lap time on that lap, not to get another lap in. It wasn’t ‘ultimately foolhardy’ because he made it into Q3 and qualified 2nd on the grid.

      What planet are you on?

  19. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 28th August 2011, 6:23

    To: Pastor Maldonado, Marshall injuring F1 driver
    From: d3v0, a fan of motor racing
    RE: Red mist (see also: pot calling kettle black)

    Why the hell are you able to start the race? Presumably our man Nige would have seen telemetry data and a change of steering angle towards Lewis (left) during La Source (right) corner should have resulted in a much more severe infraction. A five place grid drop? Who cares? He starts 15th anyway or something like that. He could have taken Lewis out of qualifying, caused an accident, hit a spectator with carbon fibre…for what? Because he had the red mist? This isnt New Jersey rush hour, you stupid rookie. Its Formula One and you’re driving a multi-million dollar grand prix car with a team that was legendary before you were squirted in your mother’s belly. Grow up kid, or get sent to some other series where your country can pay $15 million to drive like a child. And on your way out Pastor, make sure not to permanently injure any more marshalls with your rubbish driving.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th August 2011, 7:55

      And on your way out Pastor, make sure not to permanently injure any more marshalls with your rubbish driving.

      When has Maldonado ever injured a marshall?

      • Aventador said on 28th August 2011, 9:39

        Dude, you have got to be kidding me. Seriously, do a bit of reading before you post something. You have Google right?
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/4578667.stm

        • F1fan55 said on 28th August 2011, 10:03

          Wow, that’s amazing, I didn’t even know that happened! There’s certainly an aggressive streak in Maldonado…

          • d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 28th August 2011, 15:14

            Aggressive/reckless/stupid, agreed fully. And I dont mean to sound like a psycho prattling on about a certain driver, but that kind of action – during qualifying – is completely unacceptable. Are you able to get points on your Super License?

            Anyone else remember Schumi at Belgium going after Coulthard in the Ferrari v McLaren days? At least Schumi was man enough to meet him in the garage, instead of smashing into him on track like some playground sissy taking a cheapshot in the sandbox.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th August 2011, 10:37

          Dude, you have got to be kidding me. Seriously, do a bit of reading before you post something.

          You expect me to be able to recall a six-year-old incident from a series I do not follow and get no coverage of, and you expect me to do it on demand?

  20. SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 28th August 2011, 6:57

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO1uPZ6Hsbw&feature=player_embedded

    No comments needed, it’s just very clear!

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