Rosberg, Hamilton and Alonso cleared over incidents

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2012The stewards of the Bahrain Grand Prix have taken no action against Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso for incidents involving the drivers during the race.

The stewards investigated two separate incidents, both involving Rosberg as he defended his position from each of the drivers by moving to the right of the track on the approach to turn four.

Regarding the Hamilton collision the stewards determined the following (Rosberg was car eight and Hamilton car four):

1. The driver of car eight commenced his move to the right after the exit from turn three and moved to the right in a constant and continuous straight line manner, not making any sudden movements (as evidenced by telemetry and video evidence) and;
2. At the time he commenced his move, car four was behind him and no part of his car was alongside car eight and??
3. The driver of car eight made the move to the right prior to the driver of car four making the same move and;
4. For more than half of the distance travelled by car eight in moving in a straight line towards the right hand edge of the track, car four remained behind car eight and??
5. Because the delta speed between the two cars was quite significant it was difficult for car eight to detect the exact position of car four in relation to his own car;
6. Had a significant portion of car four been alongside that of car eight whilst car four still remained within the confines of the track, then the actions of car eight may not have been considered legitimate.

The stewards decision on the Rosberg-Alonso incident was almost identical:

1. The driver of car eight commenced his move to the right after the exit from turn three and moved to the right in a constant and continuous straight line manner, not making any sudden movements (as evidenced by telemetry and video evidence) and;
2. At the time he commenced his move, car five was behind him and no part of his car was alongside car eight and;
3. The driver of car eight made the move to the right prior to the driver of car five making the same move and;
4. For more than half of the distance travelled by car eight in moving in a straight line towards the right hand edge of the track, car five remained behind car eight and;
5. Because the delta speed between the two cars was quite significant it was difficult for car eight to detect the exact position of car five in relation to his own car;
6. No part of car five was alongside that of car eight.

Alonso made his displeasure with Rosberg clear after the race, saying: “I can only say that if, instead of such a wide run-off area there had been a wall, I?m not sure I?d be here now to talk about it.”

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix


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181 comments on Rosberg, Hamilton and Alonso cleared over incidents

  1. me262 said on 23rd April 2012, 12:48

    after reading everyones comments on Nico’s moves I gotta say im kinda by myself on this, I must be out of touch with what is considered racing etiquette/rules.

    I dont understand why people are asking the question why Hamilton was not penalised for passing Nico off the circuit…isnt the question why was Hamilton off the circuit in the first place? why did Hamilton run out of circuit? He was gaining on Nico, he picked his side and went for it but had to keep moving over because of Nico’s BLOCKING and so had to complete the manouvre outside the confines of the circuit. I havent seen the replays but to me it seemed clear that Nico was second guessing where Hamilton and Alonso were gonna make the pass and veering over to the same side to cut their momentum & thwart their overtaking attempt

    Personally I cant see a reason why you would run out of circuit where the incidents took place, theres plenty of room for 2 cars side by side…that says it all. Nico’s blockings looked and were unorthodox. Alonso is right: the fact that Rosberg wasnt penalised by FIA opens a can of worms

    • Dylan said on 23rd April 2012, 13:04

      @me262
      Yeah I can see where you’re getting confused here. F1 drivers can’t be expected to just give up the place and thus can employ various tactics to stop another driver from getting past (called defensive driving). Nico’s move is considered defensive driving, as he moved to the inside of the track without any cars being alongside him. He wasn’t stopping them from getting past, they could if they wanted drive around the outside of the corner. It’s just that as the lead car he can choose whatever line he wants to be on, however once he’s chosen that line, upon his return to the racing line he must ensure that he leaves 1 car width of space so that if a car was genuinely fast enough to pull alongside, he doesn’t run it off the road. Once the lead car has chosen his line, it is up to the passing car to make a decision as to which line to take.

      • me262 said on 23rd April 2012, 13:29

        so the lead car can choose his line be that prevent a car that is gaining on him to ever be level with him so that leaving 1 car width of space is never in play – even on a straight? I thought shutting the door on someone was limited to corners lol sounds like offensive-defensive driving to me, right out of schumachers book

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 23rd April 2012, 14:12

          “I havent seen the replays but to me it seemed clear that Nico was second guessing where Hamilton and Alonso were gonna make the pass and veering over to the same side to cut their momentum & thwart their overtaking attempt”

          Sounds like racing to me. NR made his one move while ahead of both LH and FA, doesn’t matter which incident as both were deemed pretty much identical according to the article above. His second move back to the racing line left room for those drivers. If they went off the track they did it voluntarily. If they are anyone else want to try to argue LH had so much momentum he ‘had’ to go off the track, that is something within his and only his control, not NR’s. If he had too much momentum to keep the car in control, that is not NR’s issue. If there was a wall there LH and FA would have not dared to carry so much momentum behind NR at that point in time.

      • tvm (@tvm) said on 23rd April 2012, 15:07

        He cant quite pick any line he chooses to,:

        “20.4 Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.”

        • Nick (@nick101) said on 23rd April 2012, 21:18

          Ahh tvm, don’t quite get it do you?

          Regulation 20.4 relates to cars that are alongside eachother. Think about it. If you weren’t allowed to make a manouver that would hinder another driver you may as well not drive out of the pit box. That’s the whole point of racing, hindering the other drivers and beating them over the line! As long as it’s done within the rules and regulations, as perfectly demonstrated for all by Nico today.

          Nice work Nico, class dismissed.

  2. squaregoldfish (@squaregoldfish) said on 23rd April 2012, 13:15

    [Transferred from the forum - with new thoughts]

    The time it takes for stewarding decisions to be made in F1 is slightly ridiculous. Having to wait for 3 hours after the event to work out the final result is frustrating for the fans and the teams. I understand from the published comments that the stewards went as far as getting the telemetry from the cars to get as much information as possible to get the decision. While this is a laudable aim, I think it’s in the territory of serious overkill – onboard video, which is available from all cars, should be enough to figure this stuff out in a fairly short time.

    IndyCar and NASCAR seem to have their penalty systems running much more smoothly. During the race an incident can be investigated, the drivers and teams can have their input straight away, and then a decision is taken. At the last IndyCar race an incident occurred on the last lap, and the penalty was handed down less than two minutes later. Even more impressively the live timing screens were updated there and then, so the effect of the 30-second penalty was clear for all to see as soon as the decision was made. It’s also not unknown for penalties to be handed down, appealed and resolved during the race.

    These high-speed decisions don’t seem to result in any more mistakes or ludicrous decisions than have happened if F1 over the years. F1 could learn a lot from the American series.

  3. Robbie (@robbie) said on 23rd April 2012, 14:28

    “Alonso made his displeasure with Rosberg clear after the race, saying: “I can only say that if, instead of such a wide run-off area there had been a wall, I’m not sure I’d be here now to talk about it.”

    I like FA, but that has to be one of the most ridiculous statements a driver can make. FA was never beside NR for one thing. For another thing, if there was a wall there, there would never have even been a thought by any driver all weekend long to try to gain momentum and overtake someone in the same way as with there being a wide run-off at that spot of the track. ie. to FA…if there was a wall there we would not be talking about his issue right now. You and LH would not have even tried to pass NR at that spot and NR would not have needed to defend himself as he did at that spot. The fact that there is no wall there meant that you, FA, and you, LH, voluntarily decided to carry that much speed into the corner while behind NR. And if there was a wall there, and you FA, and you, LH, were behind NR, then NR still would have been within his rights to get as close to the wall as he wanted, to defend his spot.

    • me262 said on 24th April 2012, 1:04

      Too right mate but just remember people from latin countries tend to get emotional and exagerate things a bit (like dissing petrov in abu dhabi ’10). I know cos my parents are spanish….what he is trying to say is that he’s upset and had he not known any better & there was a wall then he sensationalisticly is saying he may not be here to tell it….but really he does know that if there had been a wall then yes, he would have come off the accelerator and he would be here now to talk about it

      My grandfather tells me he got horned by a bull once and that it threw him 15 metres up in the air. I know that it wouldve been more like 2 meters tops

  4. Brad said on 23rd April 2012, 15:27

    the 1st line of both incidents claims that Rosberg didn’t make an aggressive move to the right, I guess in slow motion it doesn’t look aggressive. He was going to be passed and didn’t want it to happen, but within this move he showed little respect for other drivers safety. I think that any driver wants to hold their position should be done on the track not running the other guy off the road.

  5. Shane (@shane-pinnell) said on 23rd April 2012, 18:39

    I suppose the stewards got it right, by the letter of the rule. According to the letter of the rules Hamilton should have received a penalty for passing off track, but no penalty? Apparently the stewards saw fit to (correctly) interpret the rules in that situation.

    I do not like the precedence this sets, according to @alo_oficial:

    I think you are going to have fun in future races! You can defend position as you want and you can overtake outside the track! Enjoy! ;)))

  6. DaveW (@dmw) said on 23rd April 2012, 18:43

    It is also important to memorialize here that we have gone four races without Lewis Hamilton receiving a penalty for violation of the sporting regulations. Arguably, this time he was “called up,” but from the Stewards’ report, his actions were not under scrutiny per se. So he maintains a clean record. Furthermore, he has not hit anything. Nonetheless, he should reflect on the Rosberg incident because this is the scenario where he gets flagged—some obstinate, aggressive, slowish person (usually played by Massa) causes him to lose his cool and do something misjudged or wild. After I heard him snarking on the radio about his terrible stop, I could practically see the red mist pouring out of his helmet vents and feared it would end in tears.

  7. The Limit said on 23rd April 2012, 19:47

    Rosberg’s defensive ‘blocks’ and Hamilton and Alonso were fun to watch but they were both incredibly risky. If anybody saw the Indycar race at Long Beach last week we had a simular situation concerning one driver blocking another like Rosberg did, the officials there were not so forthcoming in cutting Graham Rahal any slack. Nor was Marco Andretti, who nearly flipped his car over after running into the back of him.
    We all want to see good action, but we all know how these cars behave when they touch tyres in the way Andretti did to Rahal. Dan Wheldon is dead today due to such an accident, allbeit at higher speeds. We could have seen the same happen to Hamilton and Alonso, and Fernando was right for pointing that out. If that had been at Spa for example, especially Eau Rouge, todays headlines would not have been about Vettel winning the race.
    We mentioned this time and again. Its all fun and games until someone gets hurt, and in my opinion, Nico Rosberg is treading a very fine line between good driving and recklessness with moves like he made in Bahrain.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 24th April 2012, 13:12

      I think the difference to the Indycar incident is that Rahal made a sudden move which resulted in the block and the contact. The Wheldon incident saw Dan with a much slower car suddenly in front of him that he couldn’t avoid. At Bahrain, LH and FA were following NR as he made steady predictable moves without suddenness, as the telemetry has revealed. The danger in the incident was up to LH and FA to control being fully behind NR. It was their speed, which NR is not responsible for, that carried them wide. IF it was Spa, or IF there was a wall there like FA laments, which is not the case and therefore is irrelevant, LH and FA would not have been trying what they did so there would be no story about it and the headlines would have been about SV winning.

  8. markp said on 23rd April 2012, 21:02

    As a huge Ferrari fan and someone with a dislike for Hamilton and anything Mclaren I see nothing wrong. Alonso incident was a non event. Hamilton event was closer but Rosberg did move 1st, Hamilton was fine as already commited and going off track is allowed to take avoiding action. He held station and overtook when back on track he couldn’t hit the brakes or lift as car could spin out safer to keep foot in. He avoided collision and spin. Fine in my book but so was Schumacher in Hungary.

  9. sypher said on 26th April 2012, 21:10

    I think that if both LH or FA tried there to slow down or go on the right side (and thats after they slipstreamed, had greater speed, and the door was shut, directed to the right), they would’ve crashed (into Rosberg or by themselve). So LH didn’t care that much and passed him (probably cursed him in his thoughts), and FA had second thoughts (“Oh crap I’ll get punished”) and slowed down. All in all LH looks verry calm so far. BTW MS is the pilot that became a champ by crashing his oponent, tried it second time, and made so many illegal moves that all those writen “defending” rules are because of him. He is smilling but only on the surface, on the inside he is burning!

  10. chris (@9chris9) said on 27th April 2012, 23:56

    so whats the difference between LH & FA on NR here and Kamui Kobayashi on LH in spa the over year? In that incident, LH just over took KK and went for the racing line at the corner, KK came steaming up on the outside & they crashed.
    http://youtu.be/jJpcIvhOwy8

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