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…”

2012 European Grand Prix

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

  1. Polishboy808 (@polishboy808) said on 24th June 2012, 23:07

    Eh, the Vergne incident was clearly Vergnes fault, but I think the crash between Maldonado and Hamilton was both of their fault. Its funny how much Maldonado reminds me of Hamilton on a bad day, yet nobody here was bashing him….

    Anyway, I do put the blame on Hamilton here a little bit, because he not only didn’t give Pastor room to stay onthe track, he also didn’t give him room to get back on. Thats my problem with this incident, while Hamilton could have moved a little to the right to give him just enough space to get back on e track, he squeezed him out all the way around. And then he’s surprised that he got hit. Well the guy has got to comeback on the track at some point, and if your not letting him do that, then he’s gonna have to run into you.

    And all of this ‘well he should have known Pastor is an idiot’ needs to stop. I would understand if we were talking about Karthikeyan, but this guy is a real driver, and when he doesnt make mistakes, he’s damn quick. Sure he has off moments, but so did Hamilton last season, and the season before that. So please, all you Ham fan boys need to cool down.

    • Tom Haxley (@welshtom) said on 25th June 2012, 9:35

      “Well the guy has got to comeback on the track at some point, and if your not letting him do that, then he’s gonna have to run into you”

      No, he is either going to have to cut the corner and appear in front of you (and have to give the place back to you)
      He has to brake, duck out of the move that didnt come off and file in behind you.

      Quite simple really. Maldo did neither, just decided he would rejoin the track right on the apex of the corner and low and behold thats where cars are normally positioned…

      • Bernification (@bernification) said on 25th June 2012, 22:06

        Maldonado could have done the legal thing, but it may have cost him too much time to get the move done, especially as he probably would have damaged his floor going over the speed bumps THAT ARE THERE TO STOP YOU GAINING AN ADVANTAGE BY CUTTING THE CORNER.
        He messed up again, but didn’t do the right thing, again. Should have recieved a grid penalty.

        • MattW said on 25th June 2012, 23:17

          +1 Bernification. In the ‘old days’ it would’ve been a gravel trap, with all the paved areas today its speed bumps as the disincentive. You off the track, you pay some kind of penalty

  2. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 24th June 2012, 23:08

    The incident between Vergne & Kovalinen was downright ridiculous in my opinion; from my perspective watching it on sky it looked as if he was trying to convert a Formula 1 motor race into stock car racing. He had the move made, then completely unnecessarily decided to move back across the front of the Caterham before the normal turn-in point, much as Prost did to Senna in 1989 (with the exception that this incident wasn’t just blatant cheating). Deservedly his penalty is severe, as I believe Heikki was cruelly robbed of a strong finish for Caterham (the same could be said for Petrov).

  3. katederby (@katederby) said on 25th June 2012, 8:43

    Seems some people saw Raikkonen and Hamilton overtake under yellow flags… any idea why neither were penalised? I saw the Hamilton move was under investigation but nothing came of it, as for Raikkonen, nothing. I think the moves were both past Ricciardo.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 25th June 2012, 9:26

      Sky explained Raikkonen had made a move before the yellow flag, so while stewards did look at him, they immediately discarded it again @katederby; HAM took more time to clear, but apparently the tv images, especially that wide-angle lens used for the straights, distorts the image well enough to make it easy to mistake “under yellow” with “before yellow” for both; the stewards have other means and cameras though.

      • Kimi4WC said on 26th June 2012, 7:09

        I was raging so much in that moment when I saw Kimi going for that overtake. I was really mad with Riccardo for staying out on worn tyres and spoiling re-start for Kimi and Lewis. I had to go outside for a moment. But then it turned out Kimi was clear :)

  4. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 25th June 2012, 9:18

    Till the time the incident happened between Lewis and Pastor, it was nice to see Lewis’ defensive driving. I was very impressed with they was he was positioning his car and playing the with the pedals. It’s rare that we see Lewis defending. He is seen more to be attacking the cars in front so it was very nice to see his defensive driving as well. The last time I saw him was in Korea 2011 with Mark when they came out of their final stop and they were wheel-to-wheel for about 5 corners which was equally impressive.

  5. Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 25th June 2012, 9:57

    3 counts of ridiculous stewarding, thanks for raking up the rankings Valencia.
    1) MSC left of the hook for what? soft spot for a 43 year old?
    2) Massa ran wide trying to avoid the car in front of him and was hit while trying to get back. How is the Kobayashi’s fault?
    3) One thing from the MAL-HAM indcident is that if MAL hadn’t turned in he would have run over the speed bumps and risked damaging the under bodywork of his car. For all the talk Lewis talks about damage limitation, he fails in application

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th June 2012, 10:34


      The speed bumps do not do significant damage to a car if they’re tackled at an appropriate speed – they are, after all ‘speed’ bumps.

      That’s a rather flimsy means of trying to blame Hamilton for something that was unequivocally Maldonado’s fault.

    • nic said on 25th June 2012, 17:04

      I have looked at the incident again and I reckon the speed bumps are one of the main reasons Maldonado takes the line he does.

  6. katederby (@katederby) said on 25th June 2012, 10:17

    Ok, thanks @bosyber, like I said I couldn’t really tell watching at home, it certainly looked close.

  7. anonymouscoward (@anonymouscoward) said on 25th June 2012, 10:52

    Maldonado is dangerous and is going to hurt someone one day unless someone steps in soon.

  8. Wooolfy said on 25th June 2012, 10:57

    Had it not been for these ‘lottery tires’, many of the backmarkers, midfield and average drivers would not have had a podium nor more so, a win in their F1 careers.

  9. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 25th June 2012, 11:54

    That’s enough penalties for one day, speaking as an England football fan.

    I still think they’re punishing racing incidents too much. It was the wheel-to-wheel action that made this race great, and it’s a pity every collision seemingly has to have one driver judged and punished.
    I still think Senna’s drive-through was harsh, it was good to see him rescue a point.

    But a tough penalty or two is much better than all the drivers waiting for the stops, and not attempting to race.

    • Eleanore (@leucocrystal) said on 25th June 2012, 23:33

      Agreed re: Senna’s penalty. I’m still not quite sure how they arrived at that one in the steward’s office. If anything, it was a racing incident, and if they were determined to dish out a penalty for it, they gave it to the wrong driver. (Senna tends to be one of the most docile and friendly drivers off the track, but he sounded quite bothered by it afterward, and I can’t blame him.) But like you say, he did get a point back in the end, so that was nice.

  10. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 25th June 2012, 12:43

    You can see where all three penalties have come from, though I maintain the Maldonado/Hamilton collision was 50/50. Maldonado was off the track though, but at least he doesn’t carry a penalty to the next race, which would have been very harsh on him.

    Kobayashi was clumsy against Massa — it was avoidable and deserving of a penalty. Vergne was just stupid. I don’t think it’s deserving of a 10-place penalty, but his lack of spacial awareness was staggering.

    • Bernification (@bernification) said on 25th June 2012, 22:03

      You can see where all three penalties have come from, though I maintain the Maldonado/Hamilton collision was 50/50. Maldonado was off the track though, but at least he doesn’t carry a penalty to the next race, which would have been very harsh on him.

      As harsh as losing 15 points? 100% Maldonados fault. He doesn’t seem to be learning.

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 25th June 2012, 13:16

    The penalty for Maldonado seems fair enough to me. Yes, it was a foolish move but he did try to correct it but it just so happens there was a kerb in the way! You could of course argue that he should factor that into his decision making but he’s not exactly the brightest spark.

  12. Fixy (@fixy) said on 25th June 2012, 15:35

    Maldonado was stupid in that occasion. Hamilton was so slow he’d have passed him anyway before the end of the race. He was on the inside of the corner but out of the track limits, and the track turned left. Hamilton turned in, but Maldonado went straight to re-enter the track as soon as possible and stay ahead of Hamilton, and crashed. He should’ve turned left, cut the corner, given the position back and re-passed him later.

  13. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 25th June 2012, 16:04

    Hamilton should not have taken any risks considering he has so much more to lose than Maldonado. Furthermore, he was so much slower and Maldonado would have overtaken him anyway.

  14. Chris T. said on 26th June 2012, 1:19

    Any driver that forces another driver off of the track should be the first one penalized.

  15. Kimi4WC said on 26th June 2012, 7:04

    What Maldonado should have learned from Kimi, is that it is much easier to overtake a car with lack of grip by using traction out of the corner, as even with worn tyres cars can brake as late.

    There are plenty of fast driver in this season, but few legends.

    I think if it was anyone else but Maldonado, Hamilton would have acted like a legend and gave them space. But with Maldonado it is pride. You don’t want that guy push you around in future.

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