If we are going to apply my rules, which I think offer a fairly clear example that could apply to any single corner (where one in the opposite direction immediately follows it may be different), then Hamilton was almost fully alongside before braking, meaning Massa would have to give room, which he failed to do. On top of that, if you follow my rules then Hamilton had every right to be there, so Massa turning in, whether accident or not, 100% was the cause of the accident and meant that he gained advantage over Hamilton, as Hamilton was forced to limp back to the pits. As Massa gained an advantage (like in corner cutting, running straight through a chicane when a driver just behind looks to overtake) a penalty was deserved in my opinion.
“The problem is that there are so many possible situations & variations, so many different tracks, corners and racing lines that it is probably hard to establish clear rules that would fit for all cases.”
Certainly, but in a single corner, as in my example, there isn’t really a variety of racing lines- if a straight precedes the corner then the racing line will always go from the outside of the track, to the inside at the apex, and back to the outside again. So in those circumstances I think my rules could always be applied- it is what I’d use to analyse whether an overtake gone wrong had a clear culprit anyway. I do agree that whether an overlap is ‘substantial’ is a bit of a grey area, which is why I said at one point that I think definitely 75% is substantial.
Those are good rules, the only thing I think is that it doesn’t seem to consider a driver who was fully alongside but loses ground in braking (even if it only happens because the defending driver takes an abnormally deep line before cutting back in for the apex). They will no long have a substantial overlap (perhaps 0-50%), but corner dependent they might not have much space- if any- to get out of the way. After all, if they start 100% alongside but fall back to 10% under braking and are still trying to brake in avoidance, or lifting while turning in (would avoid T-boning) when the other driver starts to turn across them, then they aren’t at fault in my eyes. As long as before braking they were far enough alongside.
If you play it a frame at a time on youtube, what I see is Hamilton aprox. 75%+ alongside before the corner, so Massa should give him space when they reach the corner regardless of whether Hamilton moves forwards or back before or during turn in.
Lifting slightly before the corner, probably as a result of him taking a less ideal line and knowing that if Massa acts properly he may back out completely or legitimately hang on around the outside (in which case Hamilton doesn’t want to run in too deep and risk hitting him), Hamilton drops back a little, but even as this happens they have reached the turn-in point, and still shouldn’t have a bearing on not turning across him.
Massa appears to have started turning in towards the apex even with Hamilton still half-way alongside. Hamilton cannot back out- braking will likely straight line him into Massa.
When it is clear to Hamilton that Massa isn’t going to give him any room he seems to lift a little more, bringing his rear front wheels just in front of Massa’s rears, and I think he hacks at the wheel, trying to find more room, but other than that small lift I don’t think there was a way out for him once Massa decided to close the door on a car with its foot through the door.
So before braking/lifting for the corner Hamilton is substantially alongside, giving him the corner/apex rights as, whatever happens next, (unless he completely backs out, which is difficult and he shouldn’t have to anyway) he will always realistically be up the inside before and during turning. By allowing Hamilton up the inside in the first place, Massa has forfeited his right to the corner, and regardless of how dusty it is he should either try to go around the outside or drop behind (for the sake of racing, I’d hope he hung on). That Hamilton falls back a little in that split second before turn in is in my opinion- and rules- tough for Massa.
ANYWAY, those are my opinions on overtaking rules and the application of them to the India incident. I’d also be interested to hear what people deem to be proper driving when overtaking around the outside, and if any actual racers- whether in karting or cars, single-seaters or otherwise- think my rules are fair and typical of what is or should be expected by yourself and your fellow racers.