Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014

Did Rosberg deserve a penalty for chicane cutting?

2014 Canadian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014Nico Rosberg did everything he could to keep his team mate and championship rival behind him during the Canadian Grand Prix. But did he overstep the mark?

Rosberg was feeling the heat from Lewis Hamilton when he locked his front-left wheel at the final chicane on lap 25.

Realising he wouldn’t be able to make the corner, Rosberg drove over the tarmac run-off area and rejoined the track through the gap after the speed bump.

By keeping his foot down Rosberg lost so little time he set the fastest lap of the race when he crossed the finishing line. He also pulled a few tenths of a second clear of Hamilton – a vital advantage as he team mate strived to get within a second of him at the DRS detection point.

The stewards quickly announced Rosberg was under invetigation for failing to observe track limits. But within a few laps Hamilton was notified his team mate had been let off the hook: “No penalty for Nico. He’s on his final warning for cutting the last chicane.”

The incident soon became academic as both Mercedes drivers ran into trouble and Hamilton retired from the race. But it could have decided the outcome of another closely-fought battle between the Mercedes pair.

The rules on leaving the track and gaining an advantage were revised before the start of the season. They now state a driver must not gain any “lasting” advantage by leaving the track.

Is this another case of a run-off area making it too easy for a driver to leave the track and gain a benefit? And if so, should the stewards have taken a firmer line on Rosberg?

Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should Nico Rosberg have been given a penalty for cutting the chicane?

  • Strongly agree (31%)
  • Slightly agree (23%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (5%)
  • Slightly disagree (15%)
  • Strongly disagree (25%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 616

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2014 Canadian Grand Prix

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246 comments on “Did Rosberg deserve a penalty for chicane cutting?”

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  1. Slightly disagree. Rosberg was quite bold when he cut the chicane, he went on the throttle really soon. He gained a couple of tenths, sure, but I think that a penalty might have been too harsh. A warning is just fine.

    1. He gained 6 tenths! That is a massive amount considering Hamilton was catching him before that. He also most likely prevented Hamilton taking him on the straight as if he had not taken the chicane he would have put himself in a terrible line through the corner. Also if he had lifted the accelerator through the run off he would also likely have been passed by hamilton. He however used the run off as an acceleration area and gained a lot of speed down the straight. If he has made any effort to negate the advantage then I would agree with no penalty but he actually set the fastest lap!

  2. Rosberg gained an advantage because he broke Hamilton’s DRS. However, it was an honest mistake made under pressure (unlike Monaco…).
    But, looking at similar cases, Hamilton was stripped of a win in 2008 for a lesser offense (he gave the advantage he gained back to Raikkonen). So if the stewards were consistent (big if), it has to be a drive through if he doesn’t yield the advantage. Which he didn’t, so it should have been.

    1. Hamilton was not punished for gaining an advantage in 2008 (as he gave the place back). He was punished for his car leaving the track…. There was no mention of gaining an advantage in the report simply that his car was deemed to have left the track.

    2. Incidentally that is the one and only time I can recall that a driver has been punished for simply leaving the track once.

  3. Slightly agree. It’s a difficult one.

    He did gain an advantage, that’s for sure. And errors should be penalized. But we’ve seen many of these mistakes before, and no one got penalized with a stop and go or whatever. So good call.

  4. Did Kvyat get a penalty when he cut the chicane when Kimi attempted an overtake? No, he didn’t, what makes Rosberg’s situation any different, other than the fact it would make no difference to Mercedes constructors points.

    1. “Did Kvyat get a penalty when he cut the chicane when Kimi attempted an overtake? No”

      Erm, did he floor the throttle and set a purple sector to brake Kimis DRS?

    2. and the thing is that RAI was right alongside KVY when KVY cut the schicane…. HAM was 0.5 sec BEHIND ROS.

    3. Kvyat gave the place back…..

  5. In Spa 2008, after gaining on Raikkonen hand over first, making the pass, being FORCED wide cutting the chicane and subsequently giving the place back immediately Hamilton was still penalised and had his win stolen from him unjustly.

    Fast forward to 2014, whilst Hamilton is gaining again hand over fist, Rosberg locks up under pressure, straight lines the chicane, keeps his foot down, sets the fastest lap and increases his lead by over a second, no penalty.

    The FIA are the laughing stock of international “sport”.

    1. The thing is that Hamilton was not punished for gaining an advantage in 2008 (as he clearly did not gain an advantage, especially under the rules at the time) he was punished just for leaving the track!

  6. I thought there would be a penalty, probably one of those new 5-second-time-penalties.
    However, I´m quite sure Rosberg knew his time was purple, so the only reason I can imagine for him not to lift off was that he knew of some kind of agreement that allowed a warning. We know that especially the track-limit-rule is discussed with Charlie before pretty much every race.

  7. Of course he didn’t deserve a penalty. Wasn’t it Hulkenberg who repeatedly cut the chicane in Monza due to the same thing a few years ago? If I remember correctly, he wasn’t penalised, so that just proves continuity in the steward’s decisions.

    1. “so that just proves continuity in the steward’s decisions.”

      What are you talking about, Grosjean got a penalty of exceeding the track limits last year.

  8. Ben (@scuderia29)
    8th June 2014, 22:51

    Hamilton wasnt even attempting a move, and it wasnt intentional by rosberg either. If that had happened further down the field it wouldnt even being spoke about. He gained maybe half a second, you think a drive through would have been a just penalty for a half second advantage? oh you think he should have gave up the position instead..even though hamilton was yet to even attempt an overtake on rosberg, the stewards dealt with it correctly

  9. By the rules no he didn’t deserve a penalty, but it’s time circuit designers put a severe chicane into the point where cars rejoin the track. This’s what they do that at Monza and nobody gains by going straight on, they lose the place, which is as it should be.

    Did the team sort it out themselves by delaying Rosberg a couple of seconds at his pit-stop such that the order was reversed?

    Were both drivers using higher power settings against the team instructions, seems such a co-incidence that both MGU-Ks failed at the same time?

    1. A few teams were having issues with the breaks (linked directly to the MGU-K), Force India had issues during the race and Williams discovered issues during Practice.

      Plus under the rules he certainly did deserve a penalty. The rule states that he should not gain a lasting advantage, it says nothing about the circumstances under which he went off. As he set the fastest lap my some margin and was 1 second quicker than his previous lap and pulled away from 0.5 secs to 1.1 secs from hamilton, then I would say that constitutes a lasting advantage. If he had made an effort to not gain an advantage then I would think a penalty harsh but this is clearly not what he did.

  10. Of course he should have been penalized. He accelerated! He gained an advantage.
    It’s ludicrous. I will say one more time, I would love to see if was the other way around. And again, Lewis lost a race and almost the championship for a thing like that in 2008.
    5 sec penalty was the way to go.

    1. @edmarques In Spa 2008 (Presumably the event you are referring to) there was a distinct chance of an overtake going into that corner. I don’t agree with the penalty that Hamilton was given after Spa, but the events are different enough to be able to arrive at a different conclusion. This is even without the 20-odd rule changes to the track limits rule we have had since 2008.

      1. And the Fact that Lewis was punished for simply leaving the track, not gaining an advantage.

  11. I don’t think Rosberg deserved a penalty, and I think it was right that he didn’t receive one.
    As the BBC pointed out, Hamilton was not attempting a move at that point. The reason others have been penalised in ‘similar’ circumstances is because a driver was trying to overtake when the mistake was made. Rosberg therefore did not gain any positional advantage. The 6 tenths he ‘won’ by cutting the chicane were then handed back to Hamilton over the next 2 or 3 laps (I think it was 2 laps, but I’m really not sure..) and Hamilton then went to close up even further, getting to within 0.3 of Rosberg before the pitstop phase began and Hamilton took the position, only to lose it through the brake failure a few laps later.

    We’ve also seen drivers, I believe particularly in Melbourne, who have cut the chicane, only to pull into the pits shortly afterwards and concede the position that way without penalty. I would say this incident was similar.

    None of this ‘Hamilton was faster’ explaining. Hamilton wasn’t there on that lap. If he was, then it might have been decided a different way

    1. The argument that Rosberg “lost” the time over next couple of laps is misleading. Without the advantage, Hamilton wouldn’t have have needed to regain that time and instead spent those laps attempting to pass. The advantage was gained and was lasting. Just a pity this is all moot anyway.

    2. The rules do not specify how a driver cuts the corner so the fact that there was no attempted overtake has no bearing on the rules. The point is he gained 0.6 secs over hamilton by cutting the chicane and set the fastest lap. This surely constitutes a lasting advantage? He did not hand Hamilton back the time over the next 2 laps, hamilton was just faster as he had been up until the point nico went off. So there was no handing back the advantage and the fact that Lewis had to push again to get back behind Nico could easily have been the reason his breaks completely failed while Nicos remained manageable. The rules were written purposefully to handle this exact situation but were not put into action for some inexplicable reason. Nico made absolutely no effort to hand back the gained advantage, non at all.

  12. I think the fact he floored it and rocketed across the runoff with the clear AIM of gaining an advantage through going off track means a penalty was appropriate. He gained an unfair 5-6 10ths, deliberately.

    A 5-second stop-go was the one IMO. It has to be a deterrent after all.

  13. Penalty for sure, based on the fact that he set a purple sector/fastest lap of the race by nailing the throttle.

    No regard for safety when rejoining the circuit and knowing he would break out of Hamiltons DRS.

    1. How many others set their on personal best times in sector 3 doing the same thing? You don’t hear about it because their car isn’t fast enough to set a purple time.

      1. We dont hear about it because it didn’t happen, you can’t just make stuff up and believe it to be true.

        Kvyat went off while battling raikkonen, but he [b]slowed down[/b] and [b]gave the place back[/b], just like Lewis did later on vs Rosberg.

        Some people are just born cheats. Some people are forced into cheating because they can’t win on pace. And some people will refuse to cheat even if they can get away with it.

  14. Rosberg gained a massive advantage there, don’t forget there is the second DRS zone there, as Hamilton was so close, it is quite probable he would have overtaken Rosberg in the 2nd zone. As it was he was nearlt 2 seconds behind at the start/finish line. A penalty should have been given, or the place given up.

    Maybe they should put sleeping policemen there, like Les Combes at Spa.

  15. Damon trolllolololololol
    8th June 2014, 23:21

    Lewis cut the chicane and slowed down and gave the place back . Nico cut the chicane planted his right foot and gained seven tenths of second.

  16. There was an article a long time ago (2011 Italian GP i believe) that discussed unwritten rules, one of those concerning when a driver cuts a chicane. The stewards have a history of not punishing drivers who do this if it’s an accident which doesn’t give a big advantage.

    I agree that a warning was sufficient for this.

    1. But he did gain a big advantage. He gained 0.6 secs over Lewis and put lewis out of the drs range. That is a big advantage giving the fact that Nico made no effort to give the advantage back. If he had lifted when going across the run off or slowed at the next corner to make some effort to put the situation right then I would absolutely agree that a no penalty should be given, but he did non of this and in fact used the run off as an acceleration area…

  17. Jake Moon (@andwhatisdeletrazdoing)
    8th June 2014, 23:21

    Disagree, a warning was enough. Had he done it again and gained time like he did previously, a penalty would’ve been appropriate. One of the Toro Rossos (I think KVY) did the same thing with Alonso just a few laps before and not even an investigation.

    1. Kvyats incident was with Kimi not alonso and he was not investigated as he gave the place straight back to Kimi so did not gain an advantage.

  18. I think that it merited a penalty: I would have recommended the minor stop-go one where you re still allowed to pit for tyres would have been sufficient.

  19. Isn’t “Neither agree nor disagree” the same as having no opinion? lol

  20. I think it is worth comparing it to a slightly different situation. Let’s say that in the same place HAM locked up trying to overtake ROS and cut the chicane, got his gap reduced to 2 tenths and overtook in the DRS zone after the second corner, then should he have given the place back? He did not gain a position directly from cutting the chicane, but he go the advantage.

    Why isn’t that advantage apply to the driver in the front?

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