Karthikeyan penalised for Vettel collision

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Sepang, 2012Narain Karthikeyan has been penalised 20 seconds in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The HRT driver was handed the penalty following contact between him and Sebastian Vettel during the race.

Karthikeyan’s penalty relegates him to last behind team mate Pedro de la Rosa.

Vettel, who suffered a puncture and brake damage in the collision, said: “[To] lose the race how I did is very frustrating. Some people need to look more where they are going.”

See the updated race classification.

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix


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161 comments on Karthikeyan penalised for Vettel collision

  1. wow, this incident seems to be a real Rorschach’s Test on Vettel, even with the footage (I’m sure it would have been if it was Hamilton instead of Vettel).

    Karthikeyan admitted to moving into Vettel because he was getting wheel spin on the white line. Having missed the incident during the race, and reading the comments here before checking it out, I thought for sure it was going to be a real 50/50 type of thing. But it really wasn’t. Vettel’s line through the corner, having seen NK in front of him, left NK plenty of space, and it’s very clear NK moves sharply (for an F1 car) to the right when he thought Vettel had cleared. It may be that Narain had wheel spin on the white line and had to correct or lose the car, but that is still an error on NK’s part–with slicks and wet lines, the driver needs to account for that and stay off them.

    As for the penalty, the 20 sec is clearly irrelevant for the HRT, but what is important is that the stewards look at that footage and assign responsibility based on their interpretations of the rules. Last year in Singapore, Lewis tried to cut on the inside of Massa (I forget which turn) and his wing clipped Massa. Lewis was penalized for that. It seems pretty consistent that a proactive move from the driver behind that results in puncturing the tire of the car in front is held responsible.

    What I really find interesting are the comments about what Vettel is thinking towards NK as he passes him (stuff like “I’ll show him” or “out of my way” kind of things). I really don’t think Vettel is thinking any of those things at all. He’s thinking about closing the gap to Hamilton and getting past him.

    As someone mentioned above, the other criticism of Vettel here, about not having spatial awareness seems way off the mark–if there’s one thing Vettel and the rest of the top of the grid has done extraordinarily well is pass back markers. This is something we rarely see on the feed, but these guys do it all the time every race and any get together is incredibly rare.

    • DerangedStoat said on 27th March 2012, 4:46

      I think the main reason behind the difference in opinions is due to a difference in footage people have seen.

      Watching the broadcast live, the incident was shown from a camera behind the cars as they came out of the turn. Watching this, I was damn sure it was Vettel that cut accross Karthikeyen.

      Thus I was very surprised to hear the ruling and sought out further footage.
      And voila, there’s footage which wasn’t aired at the time, of the incident from a wider front view. It’s this footage which makes it clear that it was Karthikeyan at fault (appeared to dive in behind Vettel for the slipstream).
      So I think it’s the people who haven’t seen this footage that are arguing that Vettel should be held at fault.

  2. A close one to call, but NK did move away from the kerb to the right and hit Vettel. IMO NK was at fault for the incident.
    Vettel on the other hand should learn from this. He had the opportunity to stay to the right further down the straight, and had he done so nothing would have happened.

  3. Daren said on 27th March 2012, 14:57

    This incident seemed to have very similar parallels with his overtake of Webber where he cut in too soon (as if to bully/prove a point) and caused an avoidable accident. His utter rudeness in the post-race interview, lack of respect for a fellow driver and ultimately his (and his team’s) lack of taking even some of the blame his sad to see.
    Perhaps next time he’ll wait that extra second before cutting in front of someone or learn how to drive.

  4. Narain Karthikeyan is stupid and shouldn’t be driving F1. That simple.

  5. Tyro (@f1tyro) said on 27th March 2012, 18:15

    Sad to see words used for fellow drivers by two times world champion..seems that there are more cucumber in Vettel’s head than a sound wit (as shown by Button) ..give me feeling that bull is “********” around when there is no more winning!

  6. PJA (@pja) said on 27th March 2012, 20:05

    I thought the penalty was harsh on Karthikeyan. To me it was a racing incident and if either of the two should have more blame it would be Vettel as he seemed to move back in front of Karthikeyan too soon.

    Both this and Button’s coming together with Karthikeyan reminded me of some of the mistakes Hamilton made last year.

    When I first saw the McLaren running into the HRT I thought it was Hamilton and was saying to myself not again.

  7. Vamshi Bandii said on 27th March 2012, 20:35

    And the stewards found no fault with Pastor Maldonado when he edged Grosjean off the track and ruined his race in Melbourne? How is that a racing incident and how is this a penalty? Vettel clearly moved into Narain’s way a bit too soon. He didn’t have to, but he did. He probably assumed that the HRT wasn’t that quick. Just a clumsy move and even clumsier behavior after the race.

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