Maldonado, Kobayashi and Vergne penalised, Schumacher not

2012 European Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Valencia, 2012Pastor Maldonado, Kamui Kobayashi and Jean-Eric Vergne have been handed penalties for their incidents during the European Grand Prix.

But Michael Schumacher was not penalised after being investigated for using DRS while yellow flags where waving. The stewards decided he slowed sufficiently despite having his DRS open.

A 20-second time penalty was imposed on Maldonado for his collision with Lewis Hamilton.

It drops Maldonado to 12th place in the final classification and promotes his team mate Bruno Senna to the final points position.

The stewards also handed out grid penalties to Kobayashi and Vergne. The Sauber driver will lose five places on the grid in Silverstone after clashing with Felipe Massa.

Vergne’s contact with Heikki Kovalainen earned him a ten-place grid penalty for the next race and a ??25,000 fine.

Vergne initially described the collision as “just a racing incident”. He said: “I felt I was ahead and as I started to turn into the corner, we collided and his front wing clipped my rear wheel and there was too much damage to the floor and it was impossible to change the damaged rear wheel so there was no way for me to continue.”

However after the penalty was handed down he Tweeted: “All my apologies to Kovalainen, rookie, not rookie, just my mistake and will learn from it…”

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152 comments on Maldonado, Kobayashi and Vergne penalised, Schumacher not

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  1. Valentino (@valentino) said on 24th June 2012, 18:47

    It was Maldonado’s fault for hitting Hamilton after going out of the track, but what do you think guys: Was it also Hamilton’s fault before the incident for pushing Maldonado off the track? Just a thought.

    • Tom (@newdecade) said on 24th June 2012, 19:31

      “Officially”: 100% Maldonado. He had all 4 wheels off the track when LH was on the racing line, and just drove straight across the apex of the corner into the side of his car. Utterly inexcusable. The regulation about leaving a car’s width applies only in braking zones if I remember correctly, in which case LH was fully entitled to take the line he did.

      Morally speaking, LH obviously knew how little control he could exert on those shot tyres but had full right to defend vigorously. He didn’t do anything dangerous or unsporting. PM was inevitably going to get past but should have been more patient instead of trying to squirm past at one of the trickiest points of the track. Racing incident between two hotheads, but 100% PM according to the letter of the law.

      • Simon999 (@simon999) said on 24th June 2012, 21:39

        Racing incident between two hotheads

        What exactly was “hot headed” about Hamilton in this situation? Was it the part where he dared not to raise the white flag and actually defend his position, or was it the part where he was so audacious that he expected Maldanado not to come from off the track and hit the side of his car?

        It wasn’t just 100% Maldonado’s fault “according to the letter of the law”, it was just 100% his fault. He made a stupid decision and couldn’t wait for the next straight to get past Hamilton.

        If that was a racing incident, then I expect the FIA to announce the new “bumper car F1 series” soon. ;)

        • George (@george) said on 24th June 2012, 23:29

          Hamilton had been driving very agressively for the last lap or more, Maldonado aways attacks 100%, they both could have avoided the incident by giving more room but neither are that type of driver.

          The first time I saw it I felt it was more Hamilton’s fault, on reflection Maldonado probably should have just cut the corner and lined him up for the next lap. In any case I dont think Maldonado deserved the penalty. There were a few weird decisions in this race.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 25th June 2012, 14:12

            @george the difference is that Hamilton was ahead of Maldonado, so he’s entitled to hold him back as much as he wants, because it’s his position.

            Hamilton did nothing wrong. He left him space in the braking zone, allowing Maldonado to try to go round the outisde at a place you really can’t do it. Once Maldonado was out of the circuit, whatever happens next is all his fault.

            And even if Hamilton was at fault, you don’t just come back to the racing line in which there’s a car going by. He completely rammed Hamilton…

            And more to the point, Maldonado himself did the same move Hamilton made against Webber and Raikkonen in the same race.

          • Nathhulal said on 25th June 2012, 21:58

            on reflection Maldonado probably should have just cut the corner and lined him up for the next lap.

            Cutting corner for PM meant going over those rumble strips ( designed to prevent cutting corners), would have resulted in automatic DNF by damaged floor, worst the car flying off after hitting the rumble strips.

            And if you look at Maldonado’s steering after being pushed off the track http://bit.ly/Ob65Fp, he has lost steering input because of the kerb his car is riding on, so while he is turning the steering to left (away from Lewis) the car is not going in that direction.

            Racing incident, resulting from Lewis’s choice not to give enough room to the car running next to him on the track.

            As a steward I would have penalized Lewis rather than Pastor, both parties could have shown restraint, but remember we are talking about exuberant young men of 26-27 years of age here.

            Anyways given the atrocious stewarding decisions in the race, I wonder if there were actually any stewards present at the race. Maybe they were protesting at the docks against austerity measures or some other stuff :)

          • Mike (@mike) said on 27th June 2012, 11:45

            Pastor is clearly in the wrong, he should have backed of the attack.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 27th June 2012, 11:44

        @newdecade

        and just drove straight across the apex of the corner into the side of his car.

        Yet someone who had considered the incident might have noticed that he was trying to turn. Simply put, no matter what angle the wheel was, once his car was on the ripple strip he was always going to hit him.

        You can criticize him from not backing down. But to make it sound like it was purposeful is grossly unfair.

    • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 24th June 2012, 19:39

      Drivers are allowed to push one another off the circuit to prevent overtakes, so Hamilton can’t be blamed for that. More fundamentally I think Hamilton should have known that taking the inside line on the following corner would leave Maldonado (still more or less alongside) with nowhere to go. I don’t know where he expected Maldonado to go after he pushed him off the track, other than to try and get back on.

      • F1_Americana (@f1americana) said on 24th June 2012, 19:50

        Agreed. If you push someone off and have seriously degrading tires at one corner, you should probably leave *some* room to rejoin by the next. The American SPEED TV commentators all agreed with this notion, but the stewards did not. I would have called it a racing incident and felt no penalty was due for either driver. Maldonado was going to overtake or crash trying, and Hamilton probably should have realized that and taken some points.

          • ivz (@ivz) said on 24th June 2012, 23:29

            +2 you knew that contact was inevitable. Hamilton should have left room like he did for Grosjean, the last thing you want to do is get anywhere near Maldonado because he is just going to hit you! I bet if Hamilton had it all over again he would have done it differently.

        • Can'tTurnBackTime(MW) said on 25th June 2012, 17:52

          “If you push someone off and have seriously degrading tires at one corner, you should probably leave *some* room to rejoin by the next.”

          Why? there’s nothing in the rules about it. No driver in formula one would have moved over to allow maldonado back onto the track when he left it of his own volition, maldonado wouldn’t even do that if he was racing his own clone.

          There is how ever a rule that says if you leave the track you have to rejoin it in a safe manner. There’s also a rule that says you are not allowed to cause an avoidable or intentional collision maldonado is guilty of doing or not doing all three of these things. He also has previous history qualy spa 2011.

          The incident was similar to JV’s except JV was on track at the time and he’s a rookie with no previous history of overly aggressive conduct. Considering JV got a 10 place grid penalty and 25000 euro fine there is no question in my mind that yet again, maldonado has been let off easy with a frankly laughable (for the offense) 20 second time penalty. He should have been black flagged anyway but that’s another point for another day.

          Even worse, the stewards are saying (by means of the respective penaltys) that JV’s move which clearly was a silly mistake. Is worse than when maldonado intentionally and maliciously used his car as a weapon and drove straight into lewis hamilton at spa after the session was over. (Which is also what i believe happened last nite but again that’s an argument for another day.) The stewards have said jvs racing incident was 25000 euros worse than that incident since maldonado only got a 10 place penalty for spa.

          • Nathhulal said on 25th June 2012, 22:05

            Does anybody remember the Bahrain GP raise where both Lewis and Alonso complained that Nico pushed them off the track?

            So how did we arrive at conclusion

            “Drivers are allowed to push one another off the circuit to prevent overtakes”

            I Bahrain, both Lewis and Alonso were not side by side to Nico so Stewards concluded, Nico can’t be held guilty for pushing them off the track.

            So by that logic, Pushing a car side by side to your car is not legal.
            but then maybe FIA has different rulebooks for British, European, and Non-European drivers (in that order), so maybe Lewis, Schumacher are evaluated using different rule book – http://youtu.be/urAzPF6Yw8w

      • smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 24th June 2012, 22:58

        Erm…off the track, brake and try again next lap…rocket science hey !

      • Nick (@nick101) said on 25th June 2012, 12:57

        @Red Andy

        Drivers are allowed to push one another off the circuit to prevent overtakes, so Hamilton can’t be blamed for that.

        Umm…No they’re not.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th June 2012, 13:01

          @nick101

          Umm…No they’re not.

          Yes they are. Did you not notice it happening multiple times during the race? Maldonado alone did it twice: to Raikkonen (lap two, turn 17) and Webber.

          • Nick (@nick101) said on 25th June 2012, 13:15

            @KeithCollantine

            @RedAndy didn’t say Hamilton shouldn’t get in trouble for doing it because everyone else has been. He said that they are allowed to do it.

            I simply stated the facts – they’re not allowed to do it. Section 20.4 of the regs is pretty clear.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th June 2012, 14:26

            @nick101 Come on, are we really going to split hairs over the difference between ‘being allowed to do something’ and ‘not getting in trouble for doing something’? I think we can do better than that.

            We all know there’s a difference between the rules as they are written and what is enforced. Clearly, drivers are allowed to force others of the track in some circumstances not accounted for in the written rules. We know this because we’ve seen it happen dozens of times.

      • Lee1 said on 25th June 2012, 14:16

        Well quite obviously Maldonado should have backed off and come back on track behind Hamilton ready to attack for the next corner. There was no excuse for Maldonados move as it was always going to end in a crash! Once you are off the circuit it is your responsibility to come back on in a safe fashion.

    • Nick.UK (@) said on 24th June 2012, 20:03

      To be honest I don’t even know why this is a topic for discussion. It was so clearly Maldonado’s fault… AGAIN! All wheels off track and a parking lot of space to the left to move off into if he had used his head. Instead he choose to plow Hamilton off the road. Even if Lewis had given him space we would all be discussing should he have given the place back due to making a pass off track?

      On top of this, all the discussion on whether Hamilton should have let him by or been less agressive is even more ridulous. Why on earth should he have to do that? We didn’t hear any calls for Kovalainnen to let Jenson by in Monaco. It is the decision of the driver to choose how vigourously to defend. For example, Di Resta allowed Alonso by quite easily earlier in the race as it was to his advantage to do so, he would loose less time and potentially achieve a better end result. In Hamilton’s case, what possible advantage would he gain, none! Therefore, defend the hell out of the position! He needs all the points he can seeing as the team (not deliberatley) are screwing up his season!

      • TimG (@timg) said on 24th June 2012, 20:37

        On top of this, all the discussion on whether Hamilton should have let him by or been less agressive is even more ridulous. Why on earth should he have to do that? We didn’t hear any calls for Kovalainnen to let Jenson by in Monaco.

        Kovalainen was driving a healthy car around the tightest circuit on the calendar, where a slower driver can easily hold off a much faster rival for long periods of time – see Enrique Bernoldi and David Coulthard in 2002.

        Hamilton’s tyres had dropped off the cliff and the circuit offered Maldonado considerably more passing opportunities than Monaco – Raikkonen passed the McLaren in the traction zone, after all. Hamilton was under no obligation to let Maldonado past but, given the circumstances, it might have been the wiser move. The fact that the driver behind Hamilton was Maldonado, who was always more likely to make an idiotic move, just adds to the case for not putting up too much resistance.

        In Hamilton’s case, what possible advantage would he gain, none!

        12 points and second place in the drivers’ standings – assuming Hamilton managed to retain fourth place after Maldonado passed him. Instead, he scored nothing and dropped to third in the WDC, 23 points off the lead.

        • Nick.UK (@) said on 24th June 2012, 21:27

          This is where we differ. I would call losing out on points by letting a driver pass a disadvantage, not an advantage.

        • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 24th June 2012, 22:10

          Hamilton’s tyres had dropped off the cliff and the circuit offered Maldonado considerably more passing opportunities than Monaco

          All the more reason why Hamilton should defend his position…

          • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 26th June 2012, 0:49

            Indeed and all the more reason for Maldonado to not make such a desperate “do or die” move.

        • Deko7291 said on 24th June 2012, 22:13

          Put it this way then, Senna V Mansell at Monaco, Senna on wrecked tyres and Mansell on fresh ones. According to you, Senna should have just let him go.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th June 2012, 21:06

        the discussion on whether Hamilton should have let him by or been less agressive is even more ridulous. Why on earth should he have to do that?

        Exactly. Hamilton was perfectly entitled to defend his position and his defence was 100% legal.

        His tyres were dropping off – does that mean he should pull over and wave everyone past? Of course not. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to better reacquaint themselves with what motor racing is.

        • Tom (@newdecade) said on 24th June 2012, 21:12

          Absolutely right. Furthermore if a driver can hold off an attacker for even just a lap or two, there is always the potential for another fast-closing driver to join the queue and take the heat off, esp when they are closing at 3 seconds per lap or so. Get your enemies to fight each other.

        • Akin Aslan (@hamfanatic) said on 24th June 2012, 22:59

          Keith what do you think about the penalty given than, he said by himself after the race that he lost control by going over the kerb which led to a t-bone and he gets a time penalty for that? I think the FIA should think more carefully about it because we have seen enough brain failures from this guy named pastor maldonado.

          • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 26th June 2012, 0:38

            I was surprised they didn’t take his license away after he drove into Hamilton in Spa. Hamilton held Maldonado up so Maldonado took revenge by crashing into him.

            How on earth do they allow a guy like that in F1?

        • Jake (@jleigh) said on 24th June 2012, 23:16

          @keithcollantine can you PLEASE give yourself comment of the day!

        • MarcusAurelius (@marcusaurelius) said on 25th June 2012, 10:10

          The defence was legal ideed, but was it smart to defend it like that?

          I don’t think so. With one and a half lap to go he must have known there was no way he could keep Maldonado behind him. And with Pastors South American temper Lewis could make an educated guess that this was going to end in tears…

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th June 2012, 10:17

            @marcusaurelius

            was it smart to defend it like that

            Yes. Hamilton should not have to take into consideration the possibility that a rival driver might go off the track and hit him. If you concede that, then all sorts of on-track bullying becomes fair game.

        • Nick (@nick101) said on 25th June 2012, 13:02

          @Keith Collantine

          Was Hamilton’s defence 100% legal?

          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.

          Does this regulation apply when a driver is holding the racing line? I think it does, as the regulation does not give caveats.

          What do you think?

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th June 2012, 13:07

            Please don’t ask me to justify the differences between how the FIA write and enforce their rules – I can’t and I certainly haven’t ever seen them do it!

            Suffice it to say if Hamilton drove illegally by pushing Maldonado off the track there, than Maldonado made two similar ‘illegal’ moves during the race, and so have dozens of other drivers in FIA-sanctioned races I’ve watched this year and in years previously.

            My understanding is the “Manoeuvres liable to hinder…” bit does not apply because they were in a corner and Hamilton was ahead and entitled to take the racing line.

            There’s a lot more on this in the comments in today’s round-up: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2012/06/25/f1-fanatic-roundup-256/#comments

          • Lee1 said on 25th June 2012, 14:23

            There was no abnormal change of direction as Hamilton took the racing line. Had there not been space for maldonado to leave the track safely then yes I think Hamilton should have given him space, but there was plenty of room to force him off the track safely so the move is fine. Crowding a driver out would be more like schumacher did to Barichello which would require slowly moving over to force a driver off the track. Taking the racing line when a car is alongside is not and never has been deemed illegal. Raikonen did it to Hamilton at spa in Hamiltons championship winning season and It was hamilton that was punished for leaving the track.

          • Solo (@solo) said on 25th June 2012, 16:04

            As a guy that believes drivers shouldn’t force others off the track i agree with the rule in all cases BUT the people that have faith in that rule seem to miss a big point here. Hamilton took the racing line and fought on the brakes with Maldonado. After that there was no way he could turn the car much better. If he tries to take the turn in a way of getting slightly off the racing line so he can leave space to Maldonado after the brakes then he would have back down from the braking point since he would need to brake earlier. Lets not forget he was also struggling with his tyres too.
            That means that Hamilton should have simply surrender the place and not fight for it really.
            So you ether have not leaving Maldonado much space on the outside or simply not fighting.

          • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 26th June 2012, 0:40

            Of course that doesn’t go for the racing line. You can’t expect a race car to come off the racing line in a corner.

            That’s not “deliberate” crowding, but simply “following the track”

            Pushing a driver off the track on a straight or under braking (when there is no need to hold that line) is deliberate.

          • Arkleson said on 7th July 2012, 10:42

            If you are holding the racing line, how can you be deliberately crowding or hindering another driver?

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 24th June 2012, 23:07

      Anyone thinking Lewis should not have forced Maldonado off track should take another look at Maldonado doing exactly the same thing to Webber only minutes earlier.

      • ivz (@ivz) said on 24th June 2012, 23:38

        Hamilton simply chose the wrong driver to do it to, simple as that. I know if I was on the race track, I would never would to come near Maldonado, it would be like reasoning with a child. Its not the first time he has done something stupid in the dying laps (remember Australia?). So many good points wasted for Williams.

        • spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey) said on 25th June 2012, 15:27

          i disagree. the second you give in, then you’ve set a dangerous precedent. it is EXACTLY like reasoning with a child. give in, they take advantage again and again and again. PM simply had to wait for the right opportunity. he stuffed it up at that corner, but instead of applying a bit of grey matter, pointed the car back to where LH already was. muppet moment.

          • Nathhulal said on 25th June 2012, 22:56

            pointed the car back to where LH already was. muppet moment.

            bit.ly/Ob65Fp check the link, PM is steering the car to left when Lewis pushed him on the kerb. The moment his car was on the kerb he had no steering. PM didn’t intentionally steer towards right there.

            As for the posters claiming PM should have kept driving to left, do they want driver to go over the rumble strip and destroy his own car or go airborne after hitting those rumble strip? Great expectations :)

      • bpacman (@bpacman) said on 25th June 2012, 0:28

        My thoughts exactly! When Maldanado complained about Lewis’ “aggression” I hope someone replayed him a clip of him forcing Webber off the track into the final corner.

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 24th June 2012, 23:55

      Maldonado should know already that he cant rejoin the track like that the kerbs are too high he lost the front he hit Hamilton, which in my opinion had a really ttamed performance especially after being passed at that same chicane. In the end Mclaren could have scored some good points despite the cliff phase, their car was perhaps 5th fastest at Valencia but that are the crucial points that Mclaren and all teams must save.

    • kimithechamp (@kimithechamp) said on 26th June 2012, 18:54

      As we saw in Bahrain, he is definitely allowed to push him off course, even with the new clarification on the rules. After that is made clear, how could it not be Maldonado’s fault? He seemed to have an instant where he forgot that two cars can’t occupy the exact same space at the same time.

  2. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 24th June 2012, 19:22

    Maldonado’s penalty is a bit too lenient I believe in context to Vergne’s penalty. I think the stewards seemed to have swapped the cases and penalised.

    LH pushed PM off the track probably unintentionally. He had lost his tires completely and braked slightly later than PM in order to keep him behind but since the tires were gone, his car understeered and that probably might explain PM’s excursion. The problem happened when PM didn’t slow down after going wide and hence couldn’t stop the car in time.

    Imagine if the same thing was done by LH to KR in Spa 2008 or FA to RK in Silverstone 2012 or KR to PM in Valencia 2012.

    Maldonado has not been impressive apart from Spain 2012. Thank God that he was in p1 for most of the time in that race, otherwise I am very sure that he would have collided with FA or some other driver.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 24th June 2012, 21:43

      @neelv27,

      LH pushed PM off the track probably unintentionally. He had lost his tires completely and braked slightly later than PM in order to keep him behind but since the tires were gone, his car understeered

      I don’t think he understeered. I think his rear tyres were completely gone, but the front tyres were probably still Ok. I’m not sure to what a driver is allowed or not in such a situation. As long as you’re side by side, is the driver on the inside allowed to take such a wide line that the other driver is completely forced off the track? I know there are some rules for this (Hamilton got a penalty for forcing Raikkonen off the track in Fuji 2008, although there he pushed him wide because he missed his braking point), but I don’t know the details.

    • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 24th June 2012, 22:13

      FA to RK in Silverstone 2012

      You heard it here first folks….Robert Kubica to make shock comeback at Silverstone in 2 weeks time…

      …presumably replacing Massa…

      • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 25th June 2012, 9:11

        Sorry mate. It was 2010. I have lost my mind to an extent :)

        • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 25th June 2012, 18:19

          Your not the only one that lost his mind. I posted a comment yesterday stating that Alonso had won his two World Championships with Ferrari?!? Maybe I should lay of the Bath Salts (for a while). :-)

    • Arijit (@arijitmaniac) said on 25th June 2012, 13:58

      Lewis stayed on the racing line and thats it. It was his corner and he defended it by staying on the racing line. Staying on the racing line and forcing your opponent to take a less than ideal line into a corner is a completely legal, acceptable and impressive form of defence.
      The question of whether lewis would’ve been wiser to let maldonado past doesn’t even arise here as thinking on the same lines maldonado would’ve been wiser to back off and try again next time knowing that lewis’s tyres had gone off.
      Whether it was Maldonado’s inexperience or hot-headedness is known best to maldonado. But he broke the rule and he was penalised which is perfectly fine.
      And yes I do think that the penalty was too lenient.

  3. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 24th June 2012, 19:24

    Keith you forgot about Kobayashi being given a 5 place grip penalty for his collision with Massa.

    • mantresx said on 24th June 2012, 20:35

      You’re right although I think Kobayashi’s race was ruined when him and Senna collided, that incident is very similar to Lewis’ because technically it wasn’t his fault but he shouldn’t have put himself in that situation n the first place.

      • Kimi4WC said on 26th June 2012, 6:55

        I was so pumped for Kobayashi, he had an amazing race, until that moment with Senna :(

  4. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 24th June 2012, 19:26

    Vergne should have been penalised, not so much for the incident with Kovalainen as for spraying debris over the track when he was going back to the pits. Trying to continue racing in a heavily damaged car is extremely dangerous and I’m surprised it generally goes unpunished in F1. Vergne managed to leave enough carbon fibre behind him to warrant a safety car so it’s odd he hasn’t been called out for it.

    • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 24th June 2012, 20:03

      He got a € 25.000 fine for it.

      • Can'tTurnBackTime(MW) said on 25th June 2012, 18:06

        I haven’t seen it said or written anywhere that he got the 25 grand fine for that. He might well have done but it would be a first to my mind. What i saw was “double penalty due to the severity of the incident” something like that.

  5. James_mc (@james_mc) said on 24th June 2012, 19:27

    I’m surprised that Maldonado didn’t get a fine for driving round with a front wing missing

    • Alfie (@alfie) said on 24th June 2012, 20:10

      It was the final lap, he had no chance to pit.

      • James_mc (@james_mc) said on 24th June 2012, 20:13

        No, it was at least second-to-last lap….

      • It happened on lap 55, 2 and a bit laps before the end of the race. There should have been black & orange flags waving all over the place for him. Misteriously, there weren’t any…

        • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 24th June 2012, 22:00

          Do the rules require all cars to have a front wing? If not and since there weren’t any bits of debris hanging from the car what could they do? It’s surely not up to the stewards to assess how much front downforce a car has and how much it needs.

          • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 24th June 2012, 22:14

            Surely his car must have been under-weight though at the end of the race…

          • No, but they require the cars to race with all their designated components fitted. Also they say a car that is damaged enough to become a risk for the other drivers must be pitted for repairs or retired.

            Driving with no front wing translates into reduced grip and affected braking, ergo it means Maldonado was running significantly slower, thus putting himself and the other drivers on track in danger.

            In Canada for example, if Schumacher would not have pitted the stewards would have blacked and orange flagged him because of the DRS issue. The same should have happened here with Maldonado.

            Simple logic, to be honest.

          • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 25th June 2012, 19:23

            Aren’t the cars weighed at the end of the race? If so, wouldn’t the fact that his front wing was missing effect the cars legality in some way, as the car would be deemed under-weight.

      • Nathhulal said on 26th June 2012, 3:38

        All those car weight related snobbery, and car circulating around with/out a part hanging dangerously doesn’t mean anything since French GP 2007 when Kimi raikkonen’s Ferrari was circulating around with unsecured fuel flap. The fuel fell off eventually( luckily without incident), not to to mention the race in Canada where Race control forgot to flag Schumacher, whose DRS flap was stuck. Given the overall incompetency in race management (and stewarding), it wouldn’t have been a surprise, if Mercedes had not retired Schumi, nobody would have actually bothered to take notice.

  6. DD42 said on 24th June 2012, 19:28

    Maldonado really doesn’t deserve his drive. I know Williams are just using the Venezuelan money to build the team up but they should have kept Barrichello instead of scraping a few million off Senna as well, then they would have a decent car and a chance of luring Hamilton next year. I was angry with pasta for hitting Ham but I guess it was just payback from last year.

    Why wasn’t pasta given the same punishment as vergne but a fine of 25 mill seeing as he has so much money

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 24th June 2012, 19:46

      Well despite his crash and incident prone nature, he has been getting into better positions this year than his team mate, even though he often throws them away by pushing too hard (6th in Australia, probably 3rd here). In his defence, he’s won a race. Senna has only managed 6th.

      I also highly doubt Hamilton could be lured to Williams. Despite their improvements this year I doubt they’ll be consistently challenging for wins or championships.

      As for his penalty…it seems like just another FIA decision: Mysterious and confusing to many!

    • infy (@infy) said on 24th June 2012, 20:48

      Maldonado has proven time after time that he is fast enough to be in F1. His opponents just need to learn to make sure they give him room because he is a big risk.

      • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 24th June 2012, 21:06

        Sure, he’s fast enough, but apparently not smart enough. T-boning another driver while rejoining the track is not a legitimate racing maneuver. Other drivers shouldn’t learn to expect that. Pastor should learn how to drive.

        • Kimi4WC said on 26th June 2012, 6:59

          See how Lewis turned around compare to last year?

          Strange thing is that after Australia 2012 Maldonado gets another DNF from good position, very sad for Williams and seems like Maldonado is a slow learner.

      • Being fast is nothing when you have no respect for anyone, no understanding whatsoever on how a driver should behave on track and when you still have the nerve to point the finger at the other driver whenever your testosterone filled maneouvers go wrong.

      • Kylevin said on 25th June 2012, 9:11

        Maldonado one of the best! but.. Hothead

  7. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 24th June 2012, 19:29

    For MSC, this seems strange. This is what the stewards had to say

    Having examined telemetry and video evidence, and heard from the driver and team representatives, the stewards noted that the driver did make a significant reduction in speed on entering the double waved flag zone

    I have one question. How do you define ‘significant’?

  8. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 24th June 2012, 19:42

    Maldonado can count himself lucky that he was able to make the finish – he’s lost a point but that’s much better than getting sent down the grid at Silverstone.

    Disappointing that a lot of reports seem to have it in for Schumacher – particularly Sky. “Michael Schumacher is not among several drivers penalised…” Lots of angry little jerks are jumping up and down and making up their own rules after today’s race.

  9. Questionable decisions by the FIA again.

    So Vergne gets a double penalty (including a “go at the back of the grid” card) for a rookie-mistake-crash that didn’t result in retirement for his opponent and for spreading some debris across the track and Maldonado gets just a point taken away for him (a point that landed in Williams’ bag anyway) for a crash that took another driver out and for a 2 lap drive that was a clear black & orange flag case?! This is absurd and it’s coming as an encouragement for this type of behaviour in my opinion…

    • Nick.UK (@) said on 24th June 2012, 20:41

      I wouldn’t say it encourages this type of driving, but it’s certainly not an appropriate penalty when others who crashed get penalties at the next race and he doesn’t.

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 24th June 2012, 21:08

      The penalty should be applied in accordance with the actual movement, not the outcome of the event.
      Vergne made a sudden, unnecessary move across at Kovalainen, and sprayed detritus across the track by driving too fast with a puncture.

      • I know and I’m not bailing Vergne out. He’s at fault and he deserves the penalty. However what was the actual movement of Maldonado? Making a sudden unnecessary t-boning move towards an opponent from outside the track? Then driving with no front wing (something that affects braking, grip, speed – technically turning your car into a dangerous obstacle for the other cars on the track)?

        Vergne’s penalty fits the crime / Maldonado’s doesn’t. Period.

      • Nick.UK (@) said on 24th June 2012, 21:39

        I think the outcome of an incident is highly significant to what penalty to impose!

        Vergne got a heafty grid penalty for colliding with another driver, the incident was his fault. The overall outcome was that he took himself off, and arguably only mildly affected the other drivers race. Applying a penalty in Silverstone is done as they can’t effectively punish a driver who has already retired at the current race.

        In the case of Maldonado, he caused an accident; the overall outcome of which was that he forced ANOTHER driver to retire as a result, not himself. He was able to continue and still score a point. It is debatable then whether stripping him of one point is sever enough given he cost another driver 15. You can say that he cost himself points as a result of his own actions, but that can’t be a basis for not imposing a strong penalty. Otherwise drivers could crash into each other whenever they like without worry of a strong penalty, after all they didn’t score…

        I hope you understand my point. Not sure if I explained it well enough :/

  10. infy (@infy) said on 24th June 2012, 21:02

    I’ve watched the replay of the Maldanado incident a few times now. Here’s what I saw:

    • MAL is ahead of lewis in the braking zone (called overlap). It gives him equal rights to the corner.
    • Lewis moves slightly ahead in the corner (a wings worth).
    • Lewis moves into MAL’s outside line, forcing MAL to move off the track to avoid contact.
    • MAL had 2 wheels (legal) on the racing track for 95% of the corner. He only moves off of the track (all 4 wheels – illegal) for a very short time, and really just because he was pushed off.
    • It is obvious that MAL’s car was going to re-enter the track (physics). Either that or aim for the wall!
    • Lewis never gave room and as a result he moved his car in the way of MAL’s.

    Overall its mainly MAL’s fault, as he put himself in that position. However in his defense, Lewis forced him off the track which was the catalyst. A little more room from Lewis and they both would have been fine.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th June 2012, 21:09

      A little more room from Lewis

      Hamilton was under no obligation to give Maldonado any more room – a lesson that was demonstrated quite clearly when Raikkonen practiced the same tactics on him at Spa in 2008.

      Hamilton is completely in the clear on this one. He was entitled to take his line through the corner and, in doing so, force Maldonado off the track. Maldonado’s reaction, to barge back onto the track taking Hamilton off, puts him entirely in the wrong.

      • Nick.UK (@) said on 24th June 2012, 21:45

        To add to this, we hear time and again by DC in particular… “X driver is trying around the outside, Y driver will push him wide, he’s entitled to take up his racing line. X driver will have to yield, and does so.”

        Maldonado did not…

        As for the ‘it’s physics’ comment. Well yes, that is true. But when you condider the driver has a steering wheel to control a significant amount of those physics, it is not accepable to continue straight into another car. I was suprissed Maldonado didn’t come out with his typical line; “For sure, it was a difficult moment.”

      • tflb1 (@) said on 24th June 2012, 23:22

        I see you’ve jumped on the ‘Maldonado did it on purpose’ band wagon. He clearly tried to avoid a collision; on the onboard video you can see he turned very sharply to the left to try to avoid the Mclaren, but was on the kerb so the car didn’t turn. It was just a racing incident, and while deserving of a penalty, there was no malice involved, like you and many others seem to be suggesting. Also something I find interesting is that it was almost a copy of the incident between the same two in Monaco 2011 – but the comments here were full of people trying to defend Hamilton for that.

        • Nick.UK (@) said on 25th June 2012, 11:33

          That was an overtake on the inside of a corner, not the outside like yesterday. I would say the Monaco incident was a 50/50 blame. Hamilton was slighly over ambitoous, Maldonado simply didn’t check his mirrors.

          • Doppy comment, why did he need to check the mirrors when the cars were side by side? they are pro drivers Hamilton had no reason to yeiled when he had the racing line. PM should have pulled out of the manouver and tried again after all he had a whole lap left, it was absoluty reckless.

        • Stjuuv (@stjuuv) said on 25th June 2012, 13:10

          @tflb1 : COTD from my point of view. During the race I as well had the impression that he should at least get a 1 or 2 race ban for the collision, but when Sky commentary showed that he was actually trying to take a hard left long before he hit Hamilton, and was only unable to do so because he was on a high kerb with no front wheel traction.
          Yes, I can’t say that the collision wasn’t his fault as he was joining the racetrack from outside and it was his responsibility to do it safely, but neither can anyone imply that it was deliberate.

          • tvm (@) said on 25th June 2012, 13:19

            Most certainly can, MAL has shown again and again that he does not regard the safety of others as of any importance. He knew exactly where HAM would be when he started his track rejoin.

          • Stjuuv (@stjuuv) said on 25th June 2012, 13:48

            Yes, and it was clearly (see the relevant replay where his steering wheel was pointing left) his intention to turn left while being on the inside of Hamiltons car, so as to take the corner on the kerb or even on the outside of the track. Had the kerb not made his car uncontrollable, he would have come out of the corner still fighting for the position, but unfortunately it wasn’t so. If it had been so, he might have had to give up the position to Hamilton, but he would still have been right on his tail in the next corners – in hindsight he could have taken a shortcut through the corner instead of trying to rejoin right away, but because of the speedbumps, he would have lost a considerable amount of time, and it was the lap before last, so one could understand the desire to stay on the track instead of bailing out. Also, looking at the replays, the time between Maldonado getting in a position where he had to drive off the track and then driving on the kerb and colliding is probably less than a second in total, meaning that time for any decisionmaking was slim to say the least – yes, you can argue that they are the best drivers in the world and they are paid to make the right decisions in situations like this, but there are still limits.

            Don’t get me wrong, Maldonado made a mistake and was penalized for it as well, and in my opinion rightly so, but I still think that had it not been for the unfortunate placement of the kerb under his car, we might be talking about a highly committed passing maneuver by Maldonado to take podium (although arguably at an unnecessary time), instead of him not belonging in F1.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th June 2012, 14:31

            had it not been for the unfortunate placement of the kerb under his car

            That’s the most hilarious excuse I’ve heard in a while. You make it sound as if innocent Maldonado was driving along and suddenly this inconvenient kerb popped up underneath the poor dear’s car!

            No: Maldonado chose to drove over the kerb, and if that contributed to a loss of control which sent him into Hamilton, it was still his fault. Prior to taking the kerb he could still have gone across the run-off.

          • Stjuuv (@stjuuv) said on 26th June 2012, 10:39

            I am not disputing Maldonados sole contribution to the crash, but is the relative height of each kerb common knowledge among everyone in F1? I have seen plenty of drivers driving over kerbs in a similar manner without comparable loss of control over the car, so obviously driving on a kerb isn’t, in itself, a gross mistake by the driver. If you are saying that Maldonado, and every other driver as well, knew that the kerb in question would lift the front wheels enough to lose control, then yes, I agree that it was an accident that he should have seen coming. But if he had no way of knowing that this would happen, then I will stand by my opinion that this was an unfortunate accident that could have happened to virtually every driver in the same position.

          • tflb1 (@) said on 27th June 2012, 15:29

            @keithcollantine Please don’t go all sarcastic as you did when replying to the previous post, but I’d just like to suggest that perhaps (I don’t know to be honest) Maldonado didn’t actually know where he was on the track, and so therefore didn’t react quick enough. I don’t think it would actually be possible to see a kerb or the edge of the track from the seating postion of an F1 car, so maybe it wasn’t his decision, but rather a genuine mistake. I’m not disputing it was his fault, but I don’t see any malice or intent to cause a crash.

            By the way, as a reader of this site for the last three and a bit years (but very rarely a commenter) it makes me sad how much it has changed. Unfortunately I think the success of your site may have gone to your head, since some of your replies to people’s comments have been downright rude, which never used to be the case.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th June 2012, 15:54

            @tflb1 How can Maldonado not knowing where he is on the track possibly be an acceptable explanation? He’s a professional racing driver.

            I’ll respond to your other remarks elsewhere because this is not the appropriate place for it.

    • tvm (@) said on 24th June 2012, 21:59

      There were no wall for MAL to “aim” for, just a perfect runof area, he should be banned from F1 all together, 3rd time that he deliberately hits another car + the his history of injuring a marshal, all from bad temper.

      He will kill somebody someday… :(

      • He will kill somebody someday…

        I wouldn’t go that far, not for F1 at least. However, fingers crossed he will never get to race at Le Mans or in IndyCar.

      • Jake (@jleigh) said on 24th June 2012, 23:21

        regarding your last comment, whilst it may seem extreme, where’s Niki Lauda?? The minute Hamilton puts a foot wrong he’s there, claiming he will kill someone, yet this guy, who on at least twice (arguably today as well), has deliberately crashed into another driver has not been mentioned.

      • Sparckus (@sparckus) said on 24th June 2012, 23:24

        he should be banned from F1 all together

        He will kill somebody someday… :(

        My thoughts exactly.

      • Nathan Bellows (@nathanbellows) said on 25th June 2012, 11:04

        He’s come damn close enough to killing someone before. In F3000 at Monaco he failed to slow down under yellow flags, and hit a marshall. He got banned for four races.

        Get him out of F1 and keep him out, We had Spa last year, again with Hamilton, and now this is the 3rd time this year he’s bashed someone off the road when things don’t go his way. His post-race comments were hilarious too, “he tried to pull a very aggressive move on me” HA!! Says the man who was running everyone else off the track during the race and blindly reaping the rewards. As soon as he get’s a taste of his own medicine he get’s enraged.

    • MattW said on 24th June 2012, 23:34

      There was plenty of room for Maldonado without getting anywhere near the wall. He would’ve had to go over some speed bumps put across the run off area, nothing more. No reason for him to rejoin the track at the apex of corner, just like any other time someone cuts a corner they continue on straight and rejoin after the corner, letting through the car they were dicing with.

    • lightsout (@lightsout) said on 25th June 2012, 0:27

      I’m pretty certain that when Maldonado passed Webber at the last corner, he pushed Webber off track which caused him to lose two positions to the Force Indias.

      Whilst I don’t agree you should be able to (effectively) push other cars off the track, Maldonado did it earlier in the race so what else should he expect.

      Also a driver isn’t allowed to gain an advantage by going off the track, it doesn’t matter for how long, you’re still off the track!

    • remengo said on 25th June 2012, 8:51

      Ok, Maldonado is the bad guy and Hamilton was fully entitled to keep his driving line…but I would like to see if he will loose the championship for 5 points what the comments gonna be….I think that Alonso made the correct decision in canada…

  11. Phil Carr (@atseridluap) said on 24th June 2012, 21:06

    Maldonado & kobayashi’s incidents are so similar. So why the massive difference in penalties? At least Massa was able to finish the race.

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 25th June 2012, 23:32

      The only thing similar is that they happened in the same corner. Where as Maldonado and Hamilton were locked in battle, Kobayashi stupidly dove up inside, locked up and speared Massa.

      The penalties imposed clearly reflect the severity and stupidity of the incidents. Maldonado 20 sec. Kobayashi a 5 spot penalty and Vergne a 10 spot.

  12. Gibo (@gibo) said on 24th June 2012, 21:45

    I think Maldonado got off easy. He had the car to make a passing move stick before the checkered flag waived down, but he didn’t have to do it at that particular corner. For him getting back his starting 3rd place would certainly be an important feat in a race that was anything but predictable, but instead of putting his mind to it and see that he would get past eventually, he commited to a corner that was not his corer and therefore the outcome could never be with his side. Maldonado is arrogant because he expects his opponent to yield based on the theory that he has the superior car at that particular point but he doesn’t work on proving it in the race.

    On the othe hand, Hamilton never made anything illegal. Logically he would have lost his position to Maldonado but he fought on knowing the checkered flag was near. I feel bad for Hamilton because this year he has shown that he can be consistent and mature and he has controlled his feelings brilliantly to put a good result on top of everything else. His team has been anything but consistent this year but he has made them look good Sunday after Sunday. I am not a Hamilton fun but if I were him I would feel cheated today and angry. At the very least, Maldonado should apologise same as JEV did, at the very least..!

  13. Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 24th June 2012, 21:52

    Was confused with the Steward investigation into Hamilton and the yellow flags. What was he being investigated for and how did Raikonnen not get atl ast investigated on his pass into what appeared to be double waved flags.

  14. ronald plain said on 24th June 2012, 22:35

    One of these days, no matter what the rules are, Lewis will learn that push can come to shove. It was his to lose and he lost it. Personally, I hope Mclaren takes the repairs and the steering wheel out of his allowance.

    • I don’t get all this subjectivity regarding the HAM-MAL incident. Seriously, I don’t.

      I’m no fan of Hamilton or McLaren and ok, Hamilton has had his fair share of wreckless moves in the past but cheering when he gets taken out by an absolute nutter, when he shares 0% of the fault?

      Come on people. This is professional racing and it’s also a dangerous sport. People can get seriously injured or worse out of stupid moves like these. It’s not a laughing matter and it’s not a cheering opportunity either. And this goes for everyone on the grid, not only for Maldonado or Hamilton.

      This is the World Formula 1 Championship, not the bullying nationals…

    • anonymouscoward (@anonymouscoward) said on 25th June 2012, 13:08

      While I agree with the principle of this we have seen some great fights where better drivers have kept much faster cars at bay.

      Hamilton should be more prepared to lose a few points for the sake of the championship rather than taking high risks. They should put something into his new contract about broken steering wheels :)

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