Stewards to investigate Massa-Perez crash again

2014 Canadian Grand Prix

Sergio Perez, Force India, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014The Austrian Grand Prix stewards will hold a further investigation into the collision between Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa at the end of the previous race in Canada.

A hearing will be held tomorrow at the Red Bull Ring following a request from Force India, who say they wish to present new evidence.

Perez was held responsible for the crash and handed a five-place grid penalty for this weekend’s race for the collision. Afterwards Perez continued to protest his innocence, saying: “I was following the same line and braking patterns as in the previous laps and I just got hit from behind by Massa.”

During today’s press conference Perez added: “We believe we have enough evidence to prove I did nothing wrong.”

The stewards issued the following statement:

The FIA has received a request from Sahara Force India F1 Team, the entrant of Car 11, requesting a review of the Stewards’ Decision (Document 44 of June 8, 2014) in accordance with Article 13.10 of the FIA International Sporting Code. The request refers to the emergence of “new elements”.

The FIA has been advised that it is physically impossible for the Stewards of the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix to process this request prior to the Austrian Grand Prix and in accordance with Article 13.10.1 of the Code, has designated the Stewards of the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix to:

1. Determine as to whether or not a new element exists under Article 13.10.2 of the Code; and
2. If such an element is determined to exist, convene a new hearing to consider any such new element(s).

In order to determine whether or not a new element exists the Stewards will convene at 09:00 hrs on Friday June 20, 2014. The driver and team representative of Car 11 are required to attend to present their case as to the existence of any new element(s).

In the event that the Stewards decide, in accordance with Article 13.10.1 of the Code, that a new element(s) exists, a hearing will be convened at 1600 hours on Friday June 20, 2014. The drivers and team representatives of Car 11 and Car 19 (Felipe Massa – Williams Martini Racing), will be required at this hearing.

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82 comments on Stewards to investigate Massa-Perez crash again

  1. baldgye (@baldgye) said on 19th June 2014, 13:28

    Not too surprised given how much bitching Perez has been publicly making about it… though I hope we get to see this ‘new evidence’ regardless of the outcome as it seemed pretty cut and dry

  2. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 19th June 2014, 13:28

    I think there’ll be an investigation into Massa jinking right, into Sergio’s car, just before the braking zone, plus the fact that he appeared not to have braked at all.

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 19th June 2014, 14:30

      You mean where Massa jinked right as the road turned right at the moment Perez jinked left to cover the inside line? ;)

      This is a racing incident, pure and simple. Perez, Massa and Force India are being really petty about this whole thing, they should just move on and focus on the next race.

      • Sujeeth (@sjct83) said on 19th June 2014, 14:33

        they are contesting because perez got a 5 place grid penalty. If it is a racing incident then the stewards need to cancel the same and allow perez to start from his qualifying position. I Guess thats what FI is trying to do.

      • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 19th June 2014, 15:27

        Come on, you can’t separate the fact that Massa turned right just because the road turned (somehow) right too ! Perez was just in front, he (= Massa) had a significantly higher speed, was obvious he wanted to pass Perez… but still turn right ?!?!? That looks more like poor racecraft… and not following the track !

        • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 19th June 2014, 15:49

          The track does curve right there. Or maybe you’re just ignoring facts you don’t like?

        • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 19th June 2014, 15:51

          Look at this image then tell me the track is straight:
          http://i.imgur.com/WRTu05L.jpg

          • Rooney (@rojov123) said on 19th June 2014, 16:37

            You are overlooking one main aspect. Perez was looking to overtake Ricciardo. And he definitely has his nose in front of the Redbull. However, Massa decided that when trying to overtake someone who is already overtaking someone else, it is okay to plow straight on ahead as if the car in front of him will magically disappear. Yes, a lot of people wanted Massa to win, including myself. But it was a racing incident mostly caused by Massa’s brain fart! To punish Perez and let massa go scott free is poor stewarding.

          • Victor (@victor-2) said on 19th June 2014, 17:32

            @rooney That’s a fantastic story you made up about Perez having a nose ahead of Vettel, or even a chance of making a pass on him, but the video tells a different story. http://youtu.be/R8CpO6A6Xcs

  3. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 19th June 2014, 13:30

    Good. Although I’m very surprised to hear this – this is unprecedented, as far as I can remember.

    Hopefully they will come to the sensible conclusion that it was simply an unfortunate racing incident – nothing more.

    The fact that there have been all manner of videos, images and diagrams of this incident posted all over the web has only proven one thing; our sport has completely jumped the shark when it comes to racing incidents and penalties.

    • PeterG said on 19th June 2014, 13:39

      “this is unprecedented, as far as I can remember.”
      There have been a few instances of this sort of thing happening.

      In 2007 the stewards at the Chinese Gp were asked to re-examine the Webber/Vettel crash from Fuji because of new evidence & that led to a penalty which had been given to Vettel been reversed.

      And again at the Chinese Gp in 2009 the stewards re-looked at the Hamilton/Trulli safety car situation from Melbourne & that led to Trulli been given back 3rd place & Hamilton been excluded for misleading the stewards in order to get Trulli a penalty & get himself 3rd place.

      As to this incident, I still believe it was Perez’s fault based on all of the video & photographs that I have seen.
      This piece of analysis in particular shows it pretty clearly-
      http://i.imgur.com/WRTu05L.jpg

      • JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 19th June 2014, 13:43

        Oh, you beat me to it.

      • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 19th June 2014, 14:09

        NO, it is very misleading analysis!

        In the fifth frame they ALREADY have made contact! So the analysis is very misleading, you can not analyse Perez’s line there. After the crash has already happened, in frame 5, the driver has no meaningful control of his trajectory and the change in line occurs firstly because of the contact, and secondly because of physics, there is this thing called inertia…

        The person who made this is trying to suggest that the frame 6 somehow shows Perez turned into Massa… When this is the moment in frame 5: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/06/08/article-2652297-1E95E57900000578-345_634x350.jpg

        The pictures are too bad in terms of quality, (evidenced by the fact that people don’t recognize the initial moment of the crash in them, for that you have to look at good quality off-board shots, and compare their relative positions, this can be done, since there was a speed difference between them), and secondly, the time between frame 4 and 5 is waaaaaaay to long to do any meaningful analysis.

        At most, what can be concluded from these frames is that Massa was dangerously close to Perez, and that it is difficult to tell what happened, nothing more can be concluded.

        People are first making up their minds, then drawing up pictures, in a conformation bias manner. Evidenced by the fact there have been “proofs” like this on both sides, with people equally convinced about their views.

        It takes two to tangle, but having tried to look at all the pictures and videos I could look at, I lay the blame mostly on Massa, mostly, in the sense of deserving a penalty.

        The missing link is unfortunately is the break up on the Massa’s onboard, hadn’t the camera malfunctioned in the exact moment of interest, this would be somewhat clearer.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 19th June 2014, 14:42

        I tend to agree. I think the catch is, he left the racing line in a braking zone. The racing line turns and he did not.

      • Rooney (@rojov123) said on 19th June 2014, 16:39

        Everyone who pasts this image seems to forget that Perez moved left to overtake Ricciardo. It is pretty obvious from the images that he has his nose in front too. If Massa didin’t see that coming, it is obviously massa’s fault.

        • bharat (@bharat141) said on 19th June 2014, 17:21

          Perez might have moved left to avoid contact with vettel in front of him as his brakes are not in perfect condition. But he isn’t close enough to even try an overtake on VET

        • PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 19th June 2014, 18:04

          @rojov123 I think you’re miss reading the image. You have to look at the numbers on the cars. They represent which frame they came from, and it clearly, clearly shows that they are not close to each other.

          • Rooney (@rojov123) said on 19th June 2014, 19:59

            @philereid If it is a frame by frame analysis, please check out the frame just before M4. Massa makes a sudden right turn and then straightens out for no apparent reason. He could have taken a smooth right turn if it is because of the track. But from the lines they took, it is obvious that the line was changed abruptly. How do you defend that?

          • PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 19th June 2014, 20:49

            @rojov123 Because if you then compare Massa’s line at that point to Vettel’s ahead, it’s exactly the same, Massa expects Perez to also follow the racing line, however he doesn’t and Massa gets caught out by it.

      • DaveW (@dmw) said on 19th June 2014, 16:41

        I think you mean Australia 2009, not China 2009, re Hamilton and Trulli.

      • pH (@ph) said on 19th June 2014, 20:15

        That picture actually shows that Massa shares a lot of responsibility. It clearly shows Perez not turning significantly and sharply left, but rather continuing straight, which due to the track curvature takes him gradually to the left relative to the track. This path would take him through the next corner on an alternative line, which is not unusual. Moreover, and this is a telling point, this picture actually states that Perez has deviated from the usual racing line more than 1 second before the contact. So Massa must have seen Perez drifting left relative to Vettel’s path for over a second, and yet he clearly turned right while at the same time going faster than Perez. Now what was he thinking, that he would somehow pass through Perez? I am surprised how many people see that picture and fail to notice the obvious. Perhaps they are looking at the picture not to learn, but to find things confirming their already existing conviction, while ignoring all the other things the picture has to say. If I were working in Force India, I would take this picture with me to that hearing as a piece of evidence for my case.

    • JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 19th June 2014, 13:42

      I don’t think this would be the first time it’s happened. If memory serves, the last time something like this happened was following the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix when Vettel was given a grid penalty for the next race after he wiped out Webber behind the safety car. But shortly before the next race, the stewards re-reviewed the incident and deemed that Vettel wasn’t to blame. It was decided the accident was a result of race leader Hamilton backing up the field ahead of the restart. And so Vettel’s penalty was overturned.

      I agree with you that it was no more than a racing incident – but it’s been years since the stewards decided any accident was deemed a racing incident, so I’m not optimistic.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th June 2014, 13:49

      I guess the fact that the stewards decided without as much as hearing what Perez had to say (as he was in hospital/medical centre) is large part of why the FIA agreed with putting it up to the stewards to consider reopenging this @magnificent-geoffrey

    • Bruno (@brunes) said on 20th June 2014, 1:22

      For me this was Perez’s faut. However, it was arguably Massa’s race to lose so he should have stayed out of trouble. What I mean is, Massa could have avoided the collision that was caused by Perez.

  4. Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 19th June 2014, 13:31

    Autosport surmises that the appeal is based on the fact that the stewards did not speak to Perez to get his side of the story about the incident, because he was unavoidably detained in hospital at the time.

  5. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 19th June 2014, 13:33

    That seems highly unusual. I guess that it is good that the Stewards are willing to investigate this matter before the penalty is effected, but I do think that FI had better have a really compelling set of new evidence, or the Stewards might be quite likely to impose an additional penalty on the team.

    On the other hand, Williams personnel claiming Perez shouldn’t have been running any more might well have stoked FI’s eagerness to respond, and it might have also swayed the Stewards into sorting this out.

  6. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 19th June 2014, 13:39

    Will Perez be at the hearing this time, instead of at the hospital?
    Seems sensible – and a good precedent to set – if the only penalty available is a grid drop at the next race. There’s no need to rush to a decision (and delay everyone waiting for the official result at Montreal)

  7. Two things need to be done.
    1. Get rid of the race stewards because they are becoming a big joke.
    2. Replace all the decision makers at the FIA with people who understand racing, because they are turning the sport into a joke

    • PeterG said on 19th June 2014, 13:56

      So your saying that the driver who is a part of the stewards don’t understand racing?

      Also all the race stewards are people who actually do understand racing, They don’t just pick anyone there all people who have been involved in racing for a number of years.

      You can read a brief summary of the career’s of the stewards for this weekend on the fia website-
      http://www.fia.com/news/2014-austrian-grand-prix-preview

      “Garry Connelly has been involved in motor sport since the late 1960s. A long-time rally competitor, Connelly was instrumental in bringing the World Rally Championship to Australia in 1988 and served as Chairman of the Organising Committee, Board member and Clerk of Course of Rally Australia until December 2002. He has been an FIA Steward and FIA Observer since 1989, covering the FIA’s World Rally Championship, World Touring Car Championship and Formula One Championship. He is a director of the Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety and a member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.”

      “Nish Shetty sits on the FIA International Court of Appeal as a judge and is a permanent member of the National Court of Appeal (Singapore). He is also Chairman of the Disciplinary Commission of the Singapore Motor Sports Association and a national steward of the Singapore Grand Prix. Shetty has assisted the Singapore Motor Sports Association for many years as a legal advisor and committee member. In addition to being involved in the Singapore Grand Prix, Shetty has acted as a steward in the Singapore Karting Championship. Away from motor sport, he is a Partner and Head of International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution, South East Asia at global law firm Clifford Chance.”

      “Denmark’s Tom Kristensen is the most successful driver in the history of the Le Mans 24-Hour race. He has won the classic endurance event nine times, racing for Porsche, Audi and Bentley. Kristensen, 46, has a broad racing CV, having competed in single-seaters, touring cars and a range of sportscars. He has also tested in F1. Having won his ninth 24 Hours of Le Mans and claimed the FIA World Endurance Championship title last year, Kristensen is back for more WEC action this year, again racing for Audi Sport Team Joest. However, following the retirement of Allan McNish, Kristensen is this season partnered by Loïc Duval and Lucas Di Grassi, though Duval was replaced at the recent Le Mans 24 Hours by Marc Gene following an accident in practice.”

      Clearly none of these guys know a thing about racing.

      • PeterG said on 19th June 2014, 13:58

        And for Montreal-
        http://www.fia.com/news/2014-canadian-grand-prix-preview

        “Lars Österlind is a highly experienced FIA steward who has officiated at more than 100 grands prix and a similar number of World Rally Championship rounds. A social sciences graduate and lifelong motor sport enthusiast, Österlind was President of the Swedish Rally Commission from 1978-1982, then President of the Swedish Automobile Sport Federation from 1982-1996. He became Honorary President in 1996 and has been a member of the FIA World Council since 1984. Outside motor sport Österlind has specialised in management, working as a consultant and pursuing his own business interests. He is also experienced in local government at city council level.”

        “Radovan Novak has been actively involved in motorsport since 1963 and rose to become Secretary General of the ACCR in 1990. Since 1991 he has held the role of President of the FIA Central Europe Zone and over the past two decades he has acted as a steward and observer in WRC and ERC rallies, EC autocross and rallycross events and WTCC and GT races. He has been a Formula One steward since 1994. From 1994 to 2006, he was a member of the FIA Off-road Commission and was made a member of the World Motor Sport Council in 1998. In 2000 he became a member of the Sport Commission at the Ministry of Sport of the Czech Republic. An avid racer and co-driver, Novak has won a number of Czech rallying events.”

        “A former Williams driver and veteran of 49 Grand Prix starts. Daly, Irish-born, but now a US resident, raced Champ Cars in America, after the end of his F1 career in 1982. He enjoyed seven seasons in top-level US motorsport, despite a 200mph accident at Michigan International Speedway in 1984, in which he sustained extensive multiple injuries and which threatened to end his career. Daly, 58, described the accident as “life-changing” but he returned for the start of the following season. Since retiring from full-time racing in 1990, after some notable additional success in sportscars, Daly moved into race commentary with Speed TV and ESPN and has subsequently developed a business as a motivational speaker. He also owns the Derek Daly Academy driver training school.”

  8. RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 19th June 2014, 13:55

    Whilst I think this shows a rare example of common sense from the FIA, the only outcome I can see from any appeal is an extension of Perez’s penalty. If memory serves, appeals which come to the same conclusion as the initial verdict lead to more severe consequences. In my opinion Perez was at fault as shown in the picture by PeterG above. That said it was a racing incident in the final lap of a great Grand Prix and a less officious stewarding panel would make for more adventurous moves in my view. We are in a different time but if Gilles Villeneuve was racing today he would have been banned for more races than he won!

    However if this is merely a review of the event with Perez’s point of view taken into consideration and the penalty maintained I am confident this is a move in the right direction with regard to stewarding.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 19th June 2014, 14:24

      I just wonder if further penalties will apply to FI given that step 1 has to be achieved first…is there a new element to even be analyzed? If the stewards decide FI has not brought a new element worthy of revue, then no appeal will take place or no further investigation, to my thinking. Of course I could be wrong.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 19th June 2014, 15:23

      @RBAlonso I really hope that there is no extension of Perez’s penalty, I guess Force India feel that they have some strong arguments.

      I have rewatched the incident myself and read several opinions. Keith and Edd Straw, my favourite journos, believe that Perez is the one to blame and that opinion is supported by a graph (http://i.imgur.com/WRTu05L.jpg), too. I get the point but I still continue to believe that drivers should be allowed and even encouraged to race hard. Even if Perez is at fault, 1 penalty point (no grid penalty) would be a more appropriate punishment in this case imho.

    • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 19th June 2014, 16:06

      I think the new evidence will mostly be Perez’s point of view that he was unable to give before. I think it’s a given that he wasn’t following the normal racing line, but maybe they can prove that he took the same line on previous laps – perhaps because of his brake issues? I don’t know if that’s the case, that’s just all i can think of as a defence. If lifting off throttle early and taking a shallow line into the corner was the optimum strategy to avoid stressing the brakes, then maybe they could get the penalty revoked and deem it a racing incident (i doubt Massa would receive a penalty now).

  9. Florin G (@floring) said on 19th June 2014, 14:05

    I really did not get why everyone, well almost everyone, has taken Massa’s side on this matter. So we have two drivers, each with his own racing line, different from each other’s; one is in front, the other behind. Pictures show none has abruptly changed his line seconds prior to the accident. Then the guy behind crashes into the guy in front. And it’s the latter’s fault. WHY?!

    Then we see these pictures showing Massa was steering right, following the course of the track, and Perez kept his steering wheel straight, somewhat cutting across the track’s width. Why is that something to be penalized for? That was his racing line! The line he kept for the last few laps, or so he said. And even if it was an unusual line, as long as he didn’t suddenly alter it (and he didn’t) why is that a problem?! Surely any driver is allowed to chose the line that makes him most comfortable or one that suits his car settings at any given point, as long as he keeps to the track!
    I know this has been discussed extensively, but I really don’t get this. For me is clear as daylight, others argue that Perez should have followed a ‘conventional’ line, the line that Rosberg and Ricciardo in front and Massa behind him took. WHY?! And strangely Massa was tweeting these video frames showing the individual driving styles of the two involved, as if that was an excuse. He is basically saying ‘well, he had a different approach to the corner so I just couldn’t compute that and I drove straight into him’.
    Mind boggling.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 19th June 2014, 14:38

      @floring I never did have the time nor desire to detail this to the nth degree at the time, but with what thought I did put into it at the time, and now, I agree with what you are saying, and I think this should have been deemed a racing incident, and was also surprised at the instant accusations toward Perez. Although I think some accused FM right away too, and perhaps because he was the guy behind and usually those are the guys who have more control over the situation, as it is a lot harder to see and project what I guy might be doing especially while you are racing someone else AND expected to be looking in your mirrors. Wasn’t FM in essence trying to pull off a 3-wide going into this turn? And there is that shot of him jinking his wheel to the right, as @wsrgo points out. I’d call it a draw and remove Perez’s penalty even without FI’s ‘new element.’

      • Florin G (@floring) said on 19th June 2014, 14:53

        Yeah, I might have the wrong perception of how people reacted to this event, mainly because Perez was the one who got the penalty.
        But I have to disagree, with your last statement there. It may have been a race incident, but that incident cost Perez valuable points. I really think Massa should get at least a slap on the wrist for his stunt there.

    • RogerPGR said on 19th June 2014, 14:53

      The problem was that Perez moved off the normal line & braked early.
      He may not have moved the wheel left but by going straght he moved off the normal racing line & then braked earlier than normal which totally caught Massa out.

      The one thing your always told not to do as a racing driver is move around in the braking zone And/Or brake early when someone is right behind you because doing so almost always causes this sort of accident.

      From what I have seen the only current or Ex F1 driver who believes Perez did nothing wrong is Perez. All of the Ex drivers on the Sky F1 team pointed the finger at Perez, David Coulthard on the BBC pointed the finger at Perez once he saw the high shot, Derek Daly who was the driver representative in the stewards room put the blame on Perez.
      If all these people who have done many races & understand racing all believe Perez was the one who made the mistake & caused the accident then I value there opinion far more than those of us who just sit around watching on the TV who have no experience at all of rear racing situations apart from on the driving games.

    • DaveW (@dmw) said on 19th June 2014, 16:55

      Two cars were taking alternative, conflicting, but legitimate lines into a corner—a corner which has, by design, a variety of lines into and out of it. Racing Incident.

      If anything, the guy behind has no right to assume that the car in front will not take a “diamond” approach, or a wide approach, to the apex and move against this path. I tend to blame Massa, because he was in the best position to minimize the risk in the situation where both drivers had equal prerogative as to the corner. This accident was similar to the Weber/Kovalainen shunt at Valencia, in which Webber was to blame by nearly all accounts. There you had a curving straight and inherent uncertainty about what the car ahead might do, and the guy behind decided to fully commit against the other guy’s imagined line.

      I tend to think this kind of accident is also a measure of the times, where a driver can take this kind of measured risk by following a car into an assumed position at the risk of slamming into the back of the other car. As with the Weber incident, putting yourself in this situation, as the following car, was a death wish 25 or 30 years ago. You would not drive toward the back of a car and assume that it was going to move away at the last instant, unless it was actually turning into a corner. Whatever the result, Whiting needs to have a brief chat with the drivers about these kind of accidents and tell them to get their heads on before there is a another really serious incident.

      • Mr win or lose said on 19th June 2014, 19:56

        This is the most sensible thing I’ve read about the Pérez-Massa crash. As @floring I couldn’t understand why Pérez was immediately blamed for it. The curving “straight” and its racing line is the complicated part in this case. Some people claim that Pérez changed his line in the braking zone, while others claim that he just chose one of several possible racing lines. Pérez didn’t choose the safest racing line, but steering towards the racing line with zero distance to the car in front, like Massa did, was the worst thing he could do.

      • Alex Ward said on 19th June 2014, 23:25

        Kovalinen should have been penalised for the 2010 incident. Disnt get out of webbers way! :)

    • David not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 20th June 2014, 9:14

      @floring To be fair I think most “noteworthy” posters of F1F (or at least a lot of them) thought it should’ve been a racing incident, but now that the stewards’ decided that there’s a guilty party we all “had” to side with a driver.

  10. Obi-Spa Kenobi (@obi-spa-kenobi) said on 19th June 2014, 14:25

    Call it a racing incident and move along.

  11. mattshaw85 (@mattshaw85) said on 19th June 2014, 14:50

    Christ, move on already. It was an accident, it happens.

  12. AbeyG (@1abe) said on 19th June 2014, 14:53

    Watching the Brazil vs Mexico football match, I couldnt help stop thinking about the Massa-Perez crash. Considering that the match was a goalless draw, this should also be called a racing incident and we can all move on! ;)

  13. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 19th June 2014, 15:07

    Double jeopardy?

  14. Rigi (@rigi) said on 19th June 2014, 15:10

    good, call it a race incident, withdraw the penalty and move along

  15. Garns (@) said on 19th June 2014, 15:12

    @AbeyG
    A nil all draw in European Football mate, really- I wont hear of it :)

    I like this call. When I first saw it I thought Felipe would get 10 places- no doubt!! Then a few more views Segio did come over (Williams Instagram- or whatever) did show that- but is was Serg’s corner, he had the line, he didn’t have to take the line of the last lap did he?? (Boring F1)!

    Massa came in hot, Perez a “new” line and they hit- a racing incident I think! A bad one of that, they do happen but best of all we see them go again this weekend and move on. For me no grid penalty to either.

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