Hamilton cleared over Fuji crash

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton will not receive a punishment over the crash involving Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in the Japanese Grand Prix (see the video here).

Vettel, who had been given a ten place grid penalty for hitting Webber, saw his penalty rescinded – he instead received a reprimand.

Before the verdict Hamilton gave his explanation of the incident and reaction to the furore: “If you look, I did it every lap, that’s the line I raced on because it was the dry line and that’s probably why I won. There was less water there but I always caught the pace car up.

“I pulled up alongside him, obviously I can’t overtake him so I braked which was also giving me more heat in my brakes and my tyres.

“I waited for him to go away and all of a sudden Mark appeared up alongside me, I decided to accelerate and the next thing I hear is a big thud.

“He’s allowed five car lengths behind me, I don’t know why he was so close.

“I had a good weekend, I didn’t put a foot wrong, I didn’t do anything to put anyone else in danger. I’ve come away to China and all of a sudden I’m going to be punished for something.

“I just think it’s a real shame for the sport, Formula One’s supposed to be about hard, fair competition. That’s what I’ve tried to do this year, just be fair. There’s been some real strange situations this year where I’m made to look the bad person and, by the looks of it, this weekend be given a penalty.

“If this is the way it’s going to keep going it’s not somewhere I really want to be.”

Photo: Daimler

Related links

Tags: f1 / formula one / formula 1 / grand prix / motor sport

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

34 comments on “Hamilton cleared over Fuji crash”

  1. Charles Stuart-Hunt
    5th October 2007, 13:43

    Fantastic news!. Absolutely the right decision. Go Lewis Go. I will be up at 6.60 a.m Friday and Sunday to watch Hamilton clinch it!

  2. Well, since they also removed Vettel’s penalty I guess that makes it a fair decision for once. I still think they should have let Vettel’s demotion stand and given Lewis one too though, drivers will just keep pushing the limits unless they get real punishments.

    For Hamilton to claim he didn’t put a foot wrong is a bit rich though, anyone could see some of his driving behind the SC was somewhat questionable given the conditions.

  3. It seems the stewards didn’t agree with your last point, Magnus.

  4. If u hit a patch of standing water and ur driving becomes erratic, u can still claim u didnt put a foot wrong. The conditions made his driving seem erratic simple as that. We must stop all these win by default mentality.

  5. Well thank heavens for common sense at last…. Has Vettell’s punishment been quoshed too? i hope so. Lets go racing!!!

  6. I remember Sato was punished in Belguim for hitting Schumacher in a wet race 2005, shows there is no consistency in stewards decisions. Im not saying Vettel should be punished for lack of concentration, but at least let there be consistency

  7. Yes, Vettel’s punishment has been cancelled. Sorry that wasn’t clear in the article, have revised it now.

  8. The little worm got away with it……..we’ve got another Schumacher in the making.

  9. another lewis fan
    5th October 2007, 14:59

    that little worm is called lewis hamilton!there was’nt anything to get away with if he had’nt drove how he did he prob would have ran into the back of the sc and webber into the back of lewis that was quick thinking on his half i’d like to see u lot that are slagging him off have a go out there in those conditions!

  10. Well, no consistency at all in stewards decisions, it’s a real shame.
    Vettel got a punishment and when they realize it wasn’t his fault they remove it, that’s fine, but who was then? Please, someone explain…that was not caused by normal racing conditions.
    You might dislike Alonso, but he was right when he said F1 is not a sport.

  11. If u read Hamiltons, explanation, he maintained that he always drove the same way around each lap, always wide at that point, and he still claims that Webber was always getting close to him. Webber also should have been penalized for breaking hard along the racing line in very poor visibily, when he didnt need to. Im not so sure many of those drivers know exactly what the rules say when behind the safety car, cause Webber could have sailed past and just coasted until Hamilton took his place back.

    You dont suppose Webber and Vettel found themselves in unfamiliar territory at the front, and then just could not handle the situation

  12. A wrong conduct would must be punished. This is not a good lesson for a young man.
    Hamilton has a great talent as a driver, but a great lack of manners to be a champion.

  13. There was a comment by Jenson Button in the Metro this morning, that he thought that what Lewis was doing “felt really inconsistent”. Which was odd when he then went on to say, “he came through the last section and kept slowing down”. I’m not sure how you can “inconsistantly” “keep” doing something but there you go. The caption was “Baffled Button” so I’ll take the whole thing with a pinch of salt, but he did seem to be confirming what Lewis was saying about his different line.

  14. David told it, the stewards punished Vettel for the accident, and when they realize that the accident happened because the erratic driving of Lewis (I think we all agree he drove erraticly every lap he did behind the SC), then they decide not to punish the responsable.
    So we must learn that if vettel goes wrong he will be punished but if Lewis does, then things change……there are two ways of looking every thing, and every driver, same used to happen with Schumi, we all know.
    Does anybody remember the Monza punishment for Alonso when he “bother” Massa when they where both of them in their flying lap????
    Two ways of judging everything, no consistency in stewards decisions, same as we have seen allways.
    What would have happened to Red Bull if they discover they have those 780 pages from ferrari that Mc Laren had?????? They would have been killed for sure, but it was Mc Laren……

  15. I applaud both decisions. The more I looked at it the more I think when Hamilton went wide Webber lost his reference point(the rain light), slowed while Vettel was distracted and there’s the train wreck. If penalties had been handed out in Spa years ago 75% of the grid would have been starting behind p10.

    Do I think Hamilton was in the middle of an ooopsie? Yeah, but that isn’t what caused the accident and that was the point.

    Re:Sato penalty, if I recall correctly there had already been several incidents Sato was in the middle of that season and I always thought it was the FIA giving him notice.

  16. Fantastic news – Vettel should never have been punished, and Hamilton didn’t do anything wrong.

  17. well… Kubica’s punishment tastes even more bitter now…

  18. I saw this coming, Hamilton not getting punished. Definately a lot of inconsistency coming from the FIA. Liuzzi got penalised for something we didn’t even see, and everyone saw what Hamilton did, and he didn’t even get a reprimand.

    If by any chance he does it again next race and he doesn’t get penalised for that, I’m calling it biased.

  19. Luizi got penalised because there was a specific complaint and moreover there was evidence to back up the allegations. Vettel got cleared just because he was lucky, Hamilton did not slow down in front of Webber or Vettel he was at the side of the track, over 2 cars width away. If Webber slammed on the brakes, then he was stupid for doin that while on the racing line and in poor visibility, If Vettel rammed into Webber, and Webber didnt apply the brakes, then Vettel was stupid for not paying attention to the car in front. Vettel is a fast driver, and full of promise, but he showed a great lack of experience for allowing himself to be distracted. He spent too long looking to his side, almost over his side pods, and forgot there was a car in front of him.

    He got away lucky. the reason why he wasnt punished earlier for hitting Fernando was that it was an almost 50 – 50 situation. Kubica’s punishment is probably for getting in the way of a championship fight. Hamilton is not above faults but in the case he was more blameless, the safety car slowed down real hard to take that chicane.

    All other drivers behind gave the drivers in front greater room, but Webber and Vettel wanted to win the race behind the safety car.

  20. Wonderboy gets off the hook easy again. Surprise, Surprise.

  21. I’m still not sure if I think Hamilton should have been punished or not. But I agree with David about the consistency of the stewards. It seems like the FIA make up these penalties as they go along. Complete hacks, in my opinion.

  22. Bleh, there goes Kimi’s hopes ;)

  23. Feel your pain Haplo. And as someone else said, what about poor Kubica? I got so mad when they penalized him I turned the race off! Okay, I sort of watched the bits I missed the next day but that was really not right.

  24. Just Incredible.
    Supporting Alonso tomorrow!

  25. If you think about it, the FIA will be accused of bias one way or the another.

    Lewis did not get punishment today; ergo, half of race fans (and a good deal of Spanish fans) are accusing the FIA of handing Lewis the trophy on a plate, helping their commercial interest.

    Had Lewis been punished, the other half of race fans would have accused the FIA of interfering to bring the title fight down to the wire in Brazil, helping their commercial interest.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  26. Awfully erratic driving by the wunderkid.

    I predict a 1st corner crash this weekend – with either Alonso or Massa.

  27. It is really ineteresting how can Hamilton managed to polarize the fans in a span of few months … The debate here looks like the sequel to the debate below the Hamilton backclash article :-)

    He is quickly becoming as controversial as Schumi :-)

    As for this decision – Great that an amateur video contributed to the removal of Vettel’s penalty. Can’t be this taken now as a precedens, that it is OK to record and broadcast online amateur shots from the races ?

  28. Well he got off?? – there was never a official complaint from the affected drivers – even whinging mark? ? – went off him lately – also does magnus remember what punishment was handed out when shummie and alonso crashed in monaco behind the safety car? – lewis is 3rd in practise so lets get racing and let japan rest – ooh just a wee thought what happened to shummie hen he rammed damon hill in australia? – time does pass so quickly

  29. Ooops sorry – pole position – brilliant – well done lewis!!!

  30. Hamilton didnt start those controversies, its us non race drivers that are carry the fight off track

  31. Oliver you are right – but roll on tomorrow – hopefully no typhoon as predicted but a good straight(is there ever one?)- race to the finish

  32. No complaint you say?
    Webber said: he’s just done a S***(for three times)
    And Massa said: Somebody wants this year wins Hamilton…

    No, you’re right, no complaint from pilots…
    I wish tomorrow we’ll have thyphoon…

  33. I have no problem with Hamilton being interesting to watch, but the words that have come out of him, especially this half of the season – not a good sportsman for Britain (IMO, I’m most likely in the minority in terms of British F1 fans).

    At least Schumacher could face the news, Hamilton is just a McLaren PR robot in comparison. Trying to defend his driving at Fuji he was stuttering and stammering – not the marque of a champion. He needs to be brought down a peg or two and realise the sport he wanted oh-so-much is more than he bargained for and deal with it. If he wants to make speculation about where he “wants to be”, then go do it – if it’s to stay in F1, LEARN…thats what you said at the beginning.

    He will be crowned Champion for 2007, he could take out Alonso for a multitude of reasons, be done with his “main competitor”, and deal with Kimi at Interlagos, but I don’t think it’s a tough lesson for what the future might bring.

Comments are closed.