Trulli penalised, Hamilton takes third (Update: Video of Hamilton’s pass)

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Lewis Hamilton has been promoted to third place in the Australian Grand Prix after Jarno Trulli was handed a 25-second penalty by the stewards.

Trulli’s penalty, for overtaking Hamilton during the final safety car period, relegates him from third to 12th.

Hamilton had taken third place off Trulli when the Italian ran off the circuit. During the confusion following the deployment of the safety car after Vettel and Kubica’s collision, Trulli re-took third place from Hamilton.

I’m disappointed to see the stewards bring such a harsh penalty on Trulli. If he overtook Hamilton unfairly under the safety car, it’s entirely clear what the consequence of that misdemeanour was, and the punishment should be for him to be relegated to fourth behind Hamilton.

Giving him a 25-second penalty is especially unfair in this context as the race finished behind the safety car, and so it dropped Trulli many more places than it would have done had the races ended normally.

Toyota are apparently readying a protest. It is Trulli’s second penalty of the weekend, the first coming for Toyota’s rear wing infringement during qualifying. Despite starting in the pit lane he drove an excellent race to finish third on the road.

The full revised Australian Grand Prix standings are here: Australian Grand Prix result

Update: Added video of Hamilton passing Trulli,. courtesy of F1 Zone

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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...

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141 comments on “Trulli penalised, Hamilton takes third (Update: Video of Hamilton’s pass)”

  1. Awesome!

    Just a shame it couldn’t have been decided sooner so Lewis could join the brawn guys on the podium!

  2. To be fair this is a standard penalty for passing under yellows / sc and Trulli should have known better than to take the place back. If there were more laps left he would have been given a drive through.

  3. Well as a hammy fan i am happy about this. And although it is hash on Trulli hammy has fallen bad of harsh decisions in the past.

    Well Macca were going on about damage limitation this weekend they achevied that!!!

    1. Wow you must be a great fan of Lewis to call him “Hammy”

  4. David Watkins
    29th March 2009, 11:18

    Gotta disagree Keith. Trulli and his team should have known far better than to do that.

    If he’d just been relegated to fourth that would have been merely a rectification rather than a punishment.

  5. hamilton must love those toyota’s !

  6. If it’s a standard penalty, then it’s fair. Safety car finishes could happen at any race, so while I feel sorry for Trulli, he broke one of the few clear rules in F1, and should pay the penalty. Given the way Massa (I think) behaved when being told to pass the safety car, though, it seems like Trulli isn’t the only one who doesn’t understand the rules.

  7. BBC Commentary thought Hamilton was a possible 3rd. Toyota should have got this clarified and earlier and let Hamilton back into 3rd.
    Good result in the end for Hamilton.

  8. They didn’t show the incident on TV here, but I would love to see it. It seems really odd to me that someone as experienced as Trulli would crash off, then take the position back once the safety car comes out. Very odd…

  9. Keith, I hear what you saying, but that is the rules. And no one knows the rules like McLaren, after all they have had it applied to them enough in the past.

  10. I think they are actually trying to be consistent for once – which we should be applauding.

    Don’t get me wrong… the common sense and fair approach would be to demote Trulli to forth of course, but he made a mistake, in clear breach of the rules as Jelibeli remarks – we have been going on all last season about making consistent decisions and this is actually one of them.

  11. David Watkins
    29th March 2009, 11:25

    And Toyota and Trulli should have known that the race was going to finish behind the SC and, with the cars together, that any penalty would cost him a lot of positions.

    However, Vettel’s 10-place penalty does seem harsh and I agreed when Brundle called it a 50-50.

    1. Where did you read the vettle punishment

  12. Also agree, as a Hammy fan – penalty was harsh, but fair – just gutted for him, that he missed his moment on the podium…good start to the season in general I thought…

  13. Trulli and the team should have known better. 25 seconds does seem harsh though surely he should just have been relegated to fourth.

    Pleased for Lewis I thought he drove an excellent race and proved you can overtake even if the car is a bit of a dog.

    1. Like they said above to put him back to 4th place no penelty is served. That’s where he would have finnished if he behaved himself. 25 secs is the rule, it happend to Hamilton last year and it cost him a race win.

  14. Undeserved

    1. oh – perhaps your talking about the demotion. Sorry, I thought you meant Hamilton finishing third… maybe you do? $ : )

    2. Well uh… both :D

  15. Yes, that’s completely buggered my fantasy F1 result,that and Vettel spinning off.

    Since I’m holding Button, Hamilton, Trulli, Vettel and Rosberg I would have been quids in.

    Why can’t these damned people be more considerate?

    1. hitchcockm00
      29th March 2009, 11:50

      That’s a terrible decision.
      How can Kubica say that Vettel was being optimistic. He was defending his position. It was Kubica who was being optimistic by assuming he was in front going into the corner when infact they were side by side.

      Losing the chance for a podium was punishment enough.

  16. Im A Hamilton Fan And I Feel This Is Harsh!!

    I Would Of Dropped Him To 4th Not 12th

  17. Trulli should have been dropped the place down not all the way to the back. What an amazing drive from Lewis.

    Would of loved to have seen Jenson and Lewis on the podium together, just to see how they acted together

    1. wan’t really that amazing – should have finished 9th

  18. I do think the penalty is harsh, as the time penalty is not really appropriate after or during a safety car period. However, I don’t agree that Trulli should just have been given 4th back. The punishment has to be greater then the potential gains, otherwise people would break the rules more often as there would be nothing to lose. I suppose also, a driver’s “legal” position on the track would have a bearing on everyone behind him – i.e. was Glock denied a challenge on Trulli because of Trulli’s misplacement? In the circumstances I would have said a 3-place penalty is appropriate; the stewards have to be seen to be consistent in their penalties, but discretion must be used in unusual circumstances such as the race effectively finishing behind the safety car.

    1. Indeed; there’s a safety angle, after all. The penalty should be harsh enough to discourage opportunistic overtaking, just in case it happens near the accident site (or, in case of extreme wet weather, anywhere).

      Still gutted for Trulli, though. It’s the difference between a team that is used to running in front and a team that is newly competitive — the former would have polished off their act in situatinos like this.

  19. As a McLaren fan who has had to learn to live with the letter of the law, i would say Trulli gets what he deserves and so do the two Brawns upfront for using legal diffusers. I hope the April 14th appeal fails and i hope by then McLaren will have a modified diffuser ready.

    Keith, if Toyota are appealing, what are they appealing against? Are they appealing the punishment or the rule?

    1. Williams 4ever
      29th March 2009, 17:52

      Diffuser isn’t a component that can be modified and deployed in isolation. It needs substantial redesign and with no in-season testing thats not possible. The rival teams realize this and have gone on protest rather than quick modification of their own component

  20. Trulli drove well but Hamilton was much better driving a far worse car. Either way, Trulli messed up twice by himself, first failing to keep the car on the road, second taking back the position without checking the legality of the move. Unlike incidents during the heat of racing (such as Spa where LH received the same penalty and lost the race after handing back the position!), Trulli’s pass was under the SC with time to think about what he was doing, check with his team, the race director, etc. Just daft.

    1. Indeed. I hope that people don’t start knocking the stewards about the Trulli decision, because Toyota really should have read the rules and known better. I wander what they are actually appealing against?

      With regards the Vettel decision however… please bash away!

  21. From this account I’d say that’s an incredibly dumb move by Toyota and Trulli. Again (rear wing failure).

    But then maybe Hamilton handed the place back to Trulli? Hamilton might have thought he overtook during a yellow flag. Still Toyota should have known better and/or cleared it up with the stewards.

    Annoying that the camera’s missed this one. Would have liked to see what happened.

  22. Trulli didn’t gain a racing advantage because they never raced after he overtook.

    I think the stewards should use a bit of common sense here and just drop him back to fourth.

  23. I have to agree with Keith, dropping Jarno back behind Lewis should have been enough. But we have been clamouring for consistent application of the rules and a 25 sec penalty is usual at this point. Just unfortunate for Jarno it was shortly after the SC.

    As for Lewis, well he as acted like nothing other than the reigning WC in a dodgy car. Brilliant consistent hard driving and saying all the right things before and after the race. Maybe this way his detractors will start to see him for the brilliant deserving WC that he is.

    1. Echo what you said. If you analyzed the lap times, Hamilton was running extremely well, way beyond the apparent capability of the car. He got every single ounce of pace out of it that he possibly could. He overtook six cars on the track before the first safety car, he drove brilliant laps to keep pace with Rosberg (who was in a superior car) and put distance on the drivers behind him to position himself for the points through the 2nd pit cycles, and he kept pace with Trulli (again, in a superior car) on the super-softs. He was absolutely mistake free and just cooly and calmly picked his way through the field and did exactly what he needed to do to get points.

      McLaren had a great strategy for him that worked out brilliantly, but a major reason why it worked out brilliantly is that Hamilton turned in far and away the best driving performance of the day. Anyone who wanted to see him “prove” himself in an inferior car got Exhibit A of the evidence of the evidence today. 4th was an amazing result for him as is, but to get a podium and get 6 points is just tremendous. It gives him and McLaren a cushion while they work to improve the car.

    2. Well said Paige.

    3. Williams 4ever
      29th March 2009, 17:57

      As for Lewis, well he as acted like nothing other than the reigning WC in a dodgy car.

      Back it up Jack.. to early to say.. I remember when Alonso drove Dog of a car in last year’s Oz GP into points, his detractors were the first to point that race was chaotic and he merely took benefit of chaos around him, doesn’t prove to wring dog of a car into points ;)

    4. Not taking anything away from Lewis, he did drive pretty well. The first 10 laps looked spectacular because he was on the Super Softs, not many in the rear end were running that and he also managed to avoid the melee round turn 1. After that, he was pretty much hanging on, he benefitted from the first safety car period, made some ground as he had stopped earlier. It was a steady drive. Keep in mind that he only got to the podium thanks to 3 cars dropping out on the last lap!

      Anyways, its the first race, I felt it was a bit of a mess, great fun though. I think we’ll start to see a clearer picture come the next couple races.

  24. John Spencer
    29th March 2009, 12:04

    My post on this was eaten by an Error 500 – Internal server error. A sign that F1Fanatic is swamped at the moment, perhaps?

    Anyway, others have made my point – yes it is harsh, but:

    (a) The stewards had a limited range of punishments available to them (reprimand, fine, 25s time penalty or 10 place grid drop in Malaysia)

    (b) Time penalty punishments are always unfairly random unless you are more than 25s ahead of the car behind (er, in which case you probably wouldn’t get a 25s punishment)

    (c) This is actually harsher than a 10 place grid drop – if Trulli can manage 3rd or 4th from a pit lane start, a 10 place grid drop isn’t going to hurt much in Malaysia. The Toyotas had fantastic race pace today, which I guess makes the punishment hurt even more.

    (e) Are the stewards going to publish details of their rulings as Max promised for 2009? It would be interesting to see how they justify this penalty.

    1. Sorry John we have got high server load at the moment which is causing some errors. And it’s not just here – I’ve had a hell of a job getting on Autosport!

    2. Very good point about the limited options to stewards.

      Lewis also got a 25-second penalty at Spa last year. It cost him 4 points. For Trulli; it is 6 points.

      I won’t say it was Toyota’s fault. There was far too much confusion in the closing laps.

      Drivers were in a dilemma whether to overtake the 3-wheeled Vettel under the safety car too.

      Just a tad too unfortunate.

      But for a Lewis fan like me; yayayayayayaay :D :D :D

  25. I think we’ve overlooked the fact that this makes it a Mercedes 1-2-3!

  26. yeah the fia have only 3 penalty options. its all fair. bit of bad luck for toyota this weekend, they were stronger than mclaren, started from the pits and out paced them.

  27. There was me thinking the FIA weren’t going to be so hard with the penalties this year.

    Sebastian Vettel has been given a 10-place grid penalty for the Malaysian Grand Prix next weekend following his clash with Robert Kubica in Melbourne.

    Full Source:

    1. That’s a pretty ridiculous penalty. Kubica was the one who drove out of line in that case. Firstly, attempting an overtake into that corner is just madness. You don’t have enough straightaway to get a good tow and pull out. It’s even madder to attempt an overtake on the outside of that corner, as Kubica did. Secondly, it was Kubica who crowded Vettel and gave him now room.

      Vettel ran his line to protect his position. Kubica attempted the impossible and was extremely impatient when he was much faster than Vettel and could have pulled off an easier maneuver at a later point on the track.

  28. Talking about fair application of the rules… BrawnGP were awesome today, completely out performing the other teams…But did anyone else find it strange that Vettel could be penalized for causing the accident with Kubica (effectively for trying to hold onto an inside position which was “behind” the outside car in the braking zone) but Barrichello could get away with the same thing at the first corner off the start? He (Barrichello) was definitively behind Webber going into the turn, yet he did not yield the track position causing an accident involving 3 other cars, one of which was forced to retire. Yet no punishment…

    1. Barrichello could get away with the same thing at the first corner off the start?

      Barrichello was pushed into Webber by Kovalainen, and Kovalainen retired, so I’m not surprised there were no penalties there.

      But if we’re going to punish every ‘avoidable accident’ them Barrichello pushing Raikkonen wide and then passing him (lap nine) must surely qualify?

    2. Keith – No, Webber says Barrichello hit him, Kovalainen says he hit Webbers front wheels while he was spinning.

      Replay on BBC agrees with that version of events.

    3. Kovalainen retired bacause Webber rammed his front wheel off.

      Barrichello was already on course to ram webber when Kovalainen tapped him from behind. Barrichello is just looking for excuses. But indeed that tap might have saved him from getting the penalty he really deserved.

  29. It is accepted as fair because the demoted driver was Trulli. I’d like to see reaction if it was Lewis…

    1. No, I’m not happy with this comment. There was a very clear infringement of the rules here by Toyota, nothing at all left to interpretation.

      The controversy surrounding last year’s Hamilton decisions were because there were grey areas for every single one. But please let’s not go there again.

    2. aa – I haven’t “accepted it as fair”. I said the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

    3. I’m a much bigger fan of Trulli than I am of Hamilton, but from the sounds of it this is all fair.

      And hopefully this kind of decision will stop paranoid fans scraming McLaren Witchhunt.

  30. We didn’t see what happened on TV (BBC), but if Trulli was in the wrong, then the penalty is justified.

    I remember Massa in Fuji 2007 overtaking under the safety car to get his position back and he got a drive-thru penalty.

    Because Trulli’s incident was in the closing stages, a drive-thru would become a 25-second penalty.

  31. Strange to say, I have some sympathy for the stewards. They have the penalties they have and they followed the rules correctly. Unfortunately it gives a disproportionately harsh penalty in this case. But if the alternative is to let a driver get away with passing someone during a safety car period then we obviously can’t have that. Lesser of two evils.

  32. Whether it is harsh or not is now not the point as the punishment has been handed down.

    What is intresting is what/how toyota are going to appeal as i thought the long drawn out outcome of the whole SPA disaster was that a 25sec penality cannot be appealed as it is effectivily a drive through penalty. And drive through penaltys cannot be appealed.

    I hope toyota realise this before they waste a load of money taking it to the court of appeal again.

    On that point where can you apply to be a judge in the FIA court of appeal because it would seem to offer very good job security with all these appeals!!!

    The Vettel punishment totally confuses me? Does someone actually know what is a “racing accident” as it might clear this up.

    Secondly tho i think the red bull fine of $50,000 for making Vettel drive on with only 3 wheels is far to low as in all likelyhood Vettel driving on sprayed rubish “all over the track” making it more dangerous and if there was longer to go in the race extending the period of time the SC would have to be out.

  33. napalmblower
    29th March 2009, 12:42

    What a shame for a Mclaren driver , he need to rely on other drivers ( in better cars) mistakes to get into top …… it stinks

    1. Lemme guess, Hamilton was brilliant while your favorite boy failed?

      Sore loser …

  34. 25 seconds penalty when the cars are finishing in a single file is nothing short of murder.

    1. Bit of an exaggeration there I think.

  35. I think in this case, demoted to fourth would have been sufficient, I sincerely hope that on appeal this will be the case.

  36. The 25s penalty is the fair one to give, its the standard one for the ‘crime’, so i have no arguments with that, but i sympathise with him as it is just in this case it is particularly harsh – you usually have at least a handful of laps to pull out a bit of a gap to the people behind you after a late safety car for damage limitation – Trulli had none, so he didnt stand a chance of finishing anything better than last (ignoring Webber and his lap down). when a driver usually recieves that penalty it wouldnt drop him from third to last – it would lose him a handful of positions, put him maybe 7th or 8th and still in the points. there isnt really any grounds for appeal though, if he did indeed go fully off the track.

    Vettel’s penalty for the Kubica incident is a little harsh though – i thought the 50/50 analysis was quite accurate – maybe a little erring against Vettel but not enough for a penalty. Barrichello’s incident with Kimi was much more one sided, although i dont think he particularly should have had a penalty either.

    Goodness me, race one and a penalty debate already! somethings never change! lol

  37. watching the onboard on Hamilton earlier in the race behind trulli was awesome (when they had the fancy telemetry on screen).

    He was losing time & dropping back constantly throughout the lap except at the two points in the lap he applied
    the KER’s when he absolutely leaped towards that toyota.

    I really think he pulled himself into that race
    with really good use of kers (both passing and in
    general use in straights) and did a superb job
    living with the minimal grip.

  38. Patrickl , i am sure u will feel proud , when FIA makes diffuser illegal , then ur big boy is in top of the podium…. what a shame

    1. Lemme guess, another sore loser?

  39. The stewards were following the book when they handed out this penalty, but it’s still not a just penalty. The just penalty would have been to give Hamilton 3rd and Trulli 4th. But the stewards had to hand out a book penalty in a way that would give Hamilton the 3rd place he deserved according to the rules, so this was it.

    The FIA should use this as a test case for instituting the “drop one position” penalty for situations like this.

  40. If Trulli’s version checks out there was nothing else he could do..According to Trulli Hamilton almost stopped and got to the side of the that situation and not having seen the event i think its a bit “harsh”..should he have stopped? Put yourselves in his shoes..
    If the story doesn’t check out i think its a bit harsh but fair..Trulli for me was the driver of the race alongside Hamilton..

    (Someone who respects and admires Hamilton for what he can do and has achieved but not a do or die fan)

  41. Those who claim Vettel wasn’t in the wrong failed to observe that Kubica was on the racing line and that Vettel was never going to make that corner except to go very wide or run straight on.

  42. I agree Rui – according to Trulli, Hamilton did pull over to the side to let him “regain” his place

    “Jarno Trulli (12th*): “I can’t say how disappointed I am to finish third but have the result questioned. When the safety car came out towards the end of the race Lewis Hamilton passed me but soon after he suddenly slowed down and pulled over to the side of the road. I thought he had a problem so I overtook him as there was nothing else I could do. “

    1. Maybe this story has further to run?

    2. If in doubt, Trulli could have checked the situation via race control and giving back the place. Maybe LH was being ultra-safe letting Trulli past (not unlikely given his penalties last year) but even so it’s not up to Hamilton to decide on the legality of their relative positions under a SC during a race! If Trulli was just ‘avoiding a collison,’ obviously even he would know he had to give it back asap…

  43. One thing about the safety cars that really annoys me is the time it takes to make the decision to get the thing out on the track. When the BMW went into the wall it seemed to take forever for them to put it out, I would’ve thought one shot of the position of the car and debris on the track would’ve been enough… instead of waiting for everyone to do a lap or two first

    1. It was even worse with the Nakajima crash. It was almost as if they were waiting for Button to make his stop and only then send out the safety car. Then they even missed him coming out the pit and they had to wait for Button to gain almost a full lap on them.

      So as a result we get 6 lap safety car period for something that could have been cleaned up in 1 or 2 laps.

    2. I should’ve been more specific, the Nakajima crash was the one I was referring to.

      You’re spot on there, it’s like they were thinking “wait, wait, wait,.. ok go with the safety car now”.

  44. Hey, so if the appeal court do penalise the diffuser gang in two weeks time, the record would state that Hamilton won the 2009 Australian grand prix??

    1. In the same way that Felipe Massa won the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, yes. I hope it doesn’t happen.

  45. Great race by both HAM and Trulli. I think we’ll continue to see Trulli doing well moving forward and HAM got a well-deserved finish.

  46. Eduardo Colombi
    29th March 2009, 14:43

    Stewards should not be that hard on punishment as they are beeing. Both Vettel and Kubica were guilty on their incident, and punishing Jarno with 25 sec. was just ridiculous!

  47. If anything – This tough weekend will only make the Toyota team event more determined and put even more effort into it…

    1. At least they know their car is quick.

  48. Trulli/Hamilton incident :

    credits :

    1. Thanks Pati, have added it to the post.

  49. StrFerrari4Ever
    29th March 2009, 15:19

    Well that was harsh on Trulli who had fought back Hamilton did great aswell but the way Jarno described what happened surely there was nothing more he could do but get by as for decisions the Vettel one was absolutely ridiculous i mean 10 place grid drop they shouldve analysed the footage more and come to a conclusion that both drivers were in the wrong not just Vettel goes to show you sometimes the inconsistency of the stewards Barrichello at the start he says he got tapped by Kovalinen but he was bound to in that scrappy start and that incident with Kimi should’ve had been looked at and at least have something done it’s just not right that Vettel got that type of punishment

  50. well, no one said world is a fair place..
    just hope for the next races, trulli will get what he deserves fairly..

  51. Hamilton drove a very mature race today, but the penalty on Trulli just compounds a very frustrating weekend for Toyota. First they get clobbered on Saturday for using dodgy rear wings, both cars having to start from the pitlane at the start, and now this.
    That was some drive from Jarno, and kinds of puts two fingers up to his critics who claim that he is not ‘that good a racer’.
    What struck me today though was how badly Ferrari and Renault struggled, and the number of cars Hamilton overtook in what was supposed to be a dog of a car.
    Alonso for example started 12th and finished sixth, Hamilton gained fifteen places during the race, albeit one of those courtesy of Trulli’s misfortunes.
    The cynics out there will point out that Hamilton was aided by the typically high attrition rate at Albert Park. But if you had said that McLaren were to be on the podium after Saturdays debacle, the straight jacket would have been put around ones shoulders.
    I really feel that these drivers, the majority atleast, are desperately trying to get used to the less downforce at the rear, and it would seem that McLaren, Ferrari and Renault all have this problem.
    Take Raikkonen’s crash for example. He didn’t appear to clip a curb or anything drastic, the rear just snapped on him and off he went. The way I see it, the only team who appear to have nailed that problem are
    Brawn GP.
    The car is stable, not loose at the back, and extremely durable. Rubens Barrichello summed it up nicely when he said he thought he was finished after that first corner pile up, yet the Brawn car kept on going, and had enough left in it to get the Brazilian up to second.

  52. schumacherthegreatestever
    29th March 2009, 15:31

    shame for trulli he did so well starting from the pitlane. that toyota is a handy car.

    rilliant drive hamilton too

  53. StrFerrari4Ever
    29th March 2009, 15:34

    I agree with The Limit some of these teams are struggling with the lower rear downforce their cars somehow dont seem planted or stable like the Brawn it looks as if its stuck to the tarmac whereas the other teams are bouncing around and dont have stable machines lets hope that others will design diffusers that will peg Brawn back for an even more exciting and level field in terms of teams without the diffuser a team which will design the best diffuser i believe Red Bull would they seem to have the best brains to come up with something that will leave everyone speechless and take the challenge to the Brawns today if they had those extra 5 tenths that Brawn did the gap would probably been 5 tenths to under a second not 1.5 1.9 therabouts

  54. Unfortunatly Trulli broke the rules and thats the way it is. I would have loved to have seen him keep 3rd as he did such a great job of coming from last – starting in the pits to 3rd.

    However I think Hamilton does deserve 3rd too. Sure a lot of luck was involved but he drove a solid race.

  55. The Safety Car rules were well established seasons ago. There are a limited number of options. Now we have a bunch of whiners crying ‘unfair’ and ‘too harsh’. So just what is it you want to see – rules bent/changed for Trulli/Toyota? ‘FlexiRules’? Get real – than only happens for the red cars.

    In the immortal words of Bill Gates: “Life’s not fair – get over it…”.

  56. Well if they will break the rules, and you cannot deny that Hamilton did a good job getting from 18th to 4th.

    Still it is a harsh penalty, maybe swapping places with Lewis would have been more appropriate. Still rules are there to be followed!

  57. I wonder if the incident would have been investigated if Trulli would have given the spot back under safety car? Shouldn’t the team have radioed Trulli to do just that?

  58. I am a Hamilton fan as well, but everything I have seen says the he relegated the position BACK to Trulli, meaning that he gave it back willingly, because Macca weren’t sure if he legally took it. If that is the case, then I agree, its a harsh penalty because Trulli didn’t just run up on Hamilton and pass him under the SC. If THAT was the case, then the penalty is rightly deserved.

    Quote from Norbert Haug: “During the second Safety Car period, Trulli had an off and Lewis overtook him for third place, but he let Trulli past again”

    Trulli deserves his third as he had just as spectacular time getting there from the back of the grid. I cannot say I am sorry for Lewis though. EXCELLENT drive last night.

    1. That’s what I imagined, McLaren being ultra-safe! Tough on Trulli for sure. But then he was one of the drivers who came out criticizing LH after Spa 2008. Kind of ironic that made Lewis super cautious and now cost Jarno his points.

  59. Why are people thinking the penalty is harsh on Trulli? It started and ended with him; If he didn’t go off track would it be an issue? And why did he think he had the option of passing Lewis under the safety car??

    Any explanation would be appreciated.

  60. Hamilton’s ‘superb 3rd’ place really has ruined what was otherwise a joyous celebration of F1..

    if he is promoted to 1st, i will never watch another f1 race.

    (cue self-righteous posts…)

    1. It’s annoying the people that hate Hamilton more then they like F1

    2. Lewis always brings the trolls out of the woodwork. It’s simply testament to the impact Lewis has every time he’s about.

    3. Nice objective commenting mf.
      I like you ironic self-righteous comment at the end too.

    4. TommyB – I certainly don’t hate LH and I love F1 deeply and have done so since long before most of the fair-weather supporters on this site have I imagine, I just bet there wouldn’t be the chorus of adulation if Trulli had kept his 3rd – and he started from the pitlane.

      pSynrg – nice analogy, but you are buffoon.

      John H – I’m glad the irony wasn’t lost on you, but I wouldn’t necessarily say the comment was ironic.

  61. A last thought (at least from me) on Trulli’s penalty.

    Any chance that Toyota appeal will be upheld? We know Max’s feelings towards anything McLaren, but will he help Toyota just to diss McLaren???

    1. Lol he can’t (although i would not put it past him trying)

      And there is no point Toyota protesting it is a 25 sec penalty that was given where a drive through would have been given and the Court of Appeal has a president on this from SPA and therefore it cannot be appealed.

  62. The (Trulli) penalty is standard, if there was an infringement the correct penalty was applied. The reason Toyota are protesting is that Trulli says Hamilton later pulled over to let him go. If someone intentionally lets you go you can’t be held responsible surely?

  63. If Trulli’s story is correct than he should get Fourth.

    We all know that the SC rules are confusing at moment like this. What is correct?

    I guess both of them weren’t too sure what was what now.

  64. I think Trulli should shut his mouth about this decision. I for one remember very well his rigid interpretation on italian television of what happened to Lewis last year during the French and subsequently the Belgian Grand Prix. It also applies to you, Trulli. If you break the rules you should suffer the consequences!!!

  65. Sorry, my post became a reply to another post by mistake, I’ll just echo it here where it really belongs:

    Interesting that both Trulli and Glock failed to make that corner, even Vettel on his tricycle managed.
    It looks like Lewis wanted to be on the safe side and let Trulli past, sad that Jarno has to suffer for that (if that is what happened).
    I wish the stewards would stop issuing these unappealable rulings.

    1. Why are there ANY unappealable rulings at all anyway? It makes no sense. It give the stewards the ability to find anyone they want guilty without both sides being heard. Idiocy, IMO.

  66. If other cars had a choice in not overtaking a hobbling Vettel at that very same time, i am not convinced by Trulli’s explanation. I think he is playing politics. I know he likes playing mind games where Ham is involved (anybody recall his comments in last year’s controversies). Besides, as already mentioned, he should have made that explicit call to the team to confirm with race control. If Keith’s speculation that there is more to come to this story is true then i wouldn’t put it past FIA to punish Ham for dangerously slowing down and slapping him with a 25 sec un-appealable penalty despite the fact that they would be breaking their own rules allowing a Toyota appeal in the process.

  67. That must have been the only dark spot in a perfect racing weekend. Trulli’s penalty was justified but harsh, and I cant help connecting the dots with Spa 2008…
    Have the stewards decided they owed one to LH?
    Toyota got a raw deal!

    Oh and by the way, what we saw during the first safety car period, the SC driver waiving at the drivers to get it past, was really below standards, have we seen anything of the likes in F1 before?

    Not me..

  68. KingJ – hadn’t seen your post but you put it perfectly. Case closed. Lets wait for Malaysia.

  69. mf – you wouldn’t be missed

    1. from where?

  70. Lewis hamilton drove a good race and i think by todays performance should show he is genuinely a good racing driver. However i do not think trulli’s punishment justifies what he did. just dropping him behind hamilton would have been more fair and these decisions could have been made a lot earlier before the race finished. However i think keith this should give you an idea for another article ‘don’t blame the stewards, blame the rules’ if trulli admits that he thought hamilton was having problems then i am sure it was simple misunderstanding and typical of FIA to give a punishment blown out of proportion. I would just like to praise trulli and hamiltons drive.

  71. I agree the penalty was a bit harsh but hamilton deserved 3rd if not better which he wud of in a good car lets hope he keeps this up cant wait 4 him 2 start winning races.


  72. If the diffusers are deemed illegal, Hamilton (or Trulli) will get the win.
    Though it is funny to read that if a decision goes against mclaren, its an FIA conspiracy; If its for mclaren, its ‘the rules’ :)

    1. haha..thats true…I don’t know why Mclaren fans and team alike are a very defensive bunch.

      This is why I hate Mclaren. I might have liked Lewis if he was a Ferrari or BMW driver, but I can’t stand him because he drives for Mclaren. Even Bernie agreed that they are hateable team!

  73. should be 4th place and not 12th, mclaren should also
    remember brazil 2008, it was the toyota’s gave hamilton
    the crown

  74. Don’t you think this is a part of the bigger picture? Williams, Brawn and Toyotas using the diffusers?? Unfairness to them, corner them, etc etc, conspiracy theorists should be having a ball of a time . LOL. Just kidding..

  75. Ferrari must stop appealing against double diffusers given the fact that if it is successful it may end up handing Hamilton the win on a silver plate altogether.

  76. Regardless of whether you think Trulli or Hamilton was in the wrong, I think this incident just highlights the fact that stewarding needs to be more consistent, race control needs to be better, and the rules clearer.
    Funny how all of those things lie at the foot of the FIA ;)

    If Spa and Magny Cours had not happened, do you think Lewis would have given a place back that he didn’t need to?

    And the safety car delpoyment both times was nothing short of amatuer hour. Who can blame the drivers not knowing when to pass or what when those sorts of situations arise.

    Personally, I hate to see the race results change after the champagne has been sprayed. If Trulli did break the rules (and I say if because there is no footage of the incident, and despite being there at the time I did not see it either) then by all means he has to face the consquences but I’d rather a fine, or grid drop next race than this. I dislike seeing trophies chop and change, also the penalty does seem to be a bit harsh.

  77. I am a big Hamilton fan but from the available facts I do think Trulli was unfairly penalised.

    1) The regulations do say that overtaking under yellow is not allowed but make several exceptions including saying it is allowed “if any car slows with an obvious problem.” Strangely it does not mention being allowed to overtake someone who has slid off and rejoined.

    2) Trulli did drive onto the grass and straight back on again and Hamilton immediately accelerated past while Trulli was rejoining.

    Hamilton was then told by his team to allow Trulli to go past him again so Trulli was faced by a car in front slowing and appearing to be unable to maintain the tight formation required by Safety Car regulations. As stated in point 1 above; you *are* allowed to overtake if the car in front has slowed with obvious problems (does temporarily going on to the grass count? It could be counted as a ‘problem’ but he was not ‘slowing’, he probably went faster but just went a longer route)

    As for all those people saying that Trulli deserved to get punished for not knowing the rules…obviously McClaren did not know the rules themselves or they would not have told Hamilton to let Trulli past (and in fact the rules seem to say McClaren were correct) We also have all the other cars refusing to pass Vettel even though the rules clearly tell them they were allowed as he did slow with obvious problems’

    1. To be fair only FIA know the rules because, as we know from Spa 2008, they make them up – sorry ‘define’ them – post-hoc. So McLaren were just ensuring their driver didn’t get the rap. You kind of wonder had Trulli let Hamilton re-pass whether the FIA stewards would then have punished Hamilton. Just a minimal doubt here is enough to show McLaren were right in being cautious. That’s why the race director should be able to sort out something like this on the spot. If he makes a ‘wrong’ call the worse that happens is someone has been shifted back one place during racing, rather than later receiving an over-the-top penalty. It can’t be that difficult to implement.

  78. The stewards applied the rules – end of discussion? All this incident has done is prove that the rules do not have the necessary flexibility when apllied after the race. I personally do not feel Trulli should have been given a 25sec penalty, the same as I do not feel Hamilton should have got a 25 sec penalty for Spa last year. Rules are rules and have to be applied consistantly and they have on both occasions, even though on both occasions the accused was harshly treated, in my opinion.

  79. I agree the punishment is harsh on Trulli as it appears Hamilton let him through as he feared he had taken third place under the safety car period so he would get punished if he didn’t.

    When the BBC commentators were saying Hamilton was third behind the SC I thought it must be a telemetry glitch as we never saw either overtake on screen.

  80. Hamilton was hit with the 25 second penatly last season. Its the rule where a stop go would have been the normal punishment, but because it was within 5 laps of the end it has to be 25 seconds.

    The real shame for Trulli was that the safety car came in so late, so there were no extra laps to pull out any kind of gap on the chaps behind.

  81. If it allows the procedure, the Court of Appeal would be faced with a difficult decision. Hamilton has been quoted by Speed TV as admitting that – after passing Trulli following the Toyota’s off – he was then “told (by McLaren) to let him back past.”

    Hamilton presumably then pulled over and slowed, which would seem to corroborate Trulli’s explanation that he only passed the Briton because “there was nothing else I could do.”


  82. Let me get it straight: Did Mclaren tell LH to slow down and let Trulli pass him and then appealed to the stewards to have him (Trulli) handed a penalty? Wow – that is dirty!

    1. Did McLaren appeal? Wasn’t it just referred to the stewards by race control?

  83. What happened to the video footage and such that we are supposed to be made privy to when the stewards make decisions? I thought we were going to get to see the different sides of the story via on board video etc.? Am I making things up here or am I remembering correctly?

  84. I still do not understand that penalty. Hamilton should not pass Trulli in first place because Trulli was not in trouble and just drove a little bit wide. So Hamilton made mistake by passing Trulli and correctly gave place back.

    So under what FIA rule Trulli got penalty???? You can pass other car under safety car only if car front of you slow down and have a obviously problem and that Trulli did not have.

    In other hand Hamilton DID slow down and even pull to side of track so Trulli thought he had problem.

    Very clearly for me when you read rules like they are written. And i can look this situation clearly becuase i am not McLaren or Toyota fan.

    1. The Sri Lankan Senna
      31st March 2009, 7:40

      i really dont get how the stewards get to bend the rules as the video clearly shows that Truili runs wide and allowed hamilton to gain the 3rd spot under the yellowflag. All this started an ended within the safetycar period. so in other words hamilton should have given the place back and the stewards should have analyzed the situation before giving such a horrible penalty. As a Toyota fan im very disappointed!and hamilton blatently said that he had to give the place back. god knows if Toyota can reclaim whats rightfully theirs, but i personally think the stewards should be under the hammer and tried out for damages. their decision ruined what was a dream weekend for Toyota as much as it was for Brawn. everyone forgets that for Brawn it was domination at it’s best, but for Toyota it was a drive of the legends.

  85. Its obvious that none of you has even raced (anything) competitively. I wathced the race. I saw Hamilton (tires gone) being pressured by a parade of GLOCK / Alonso / Rosberg, with Trulli following much closer to Kubica and Vettel. 1.5 seconds after the crash, the video (shown in the post-race press room to Trulli), showed Trulli ALONE pass through the wreck, with no one close behind. The SC light was then on. This is apparently when Hamilton made huge ground on Trulli. The video BBC / SPEED later showed (claiming it was Trulli), was GLOCK going off/on track, while Alonso and Rosberg followed him. Hamilton was NO WHERE near Trulli at the point of SC deployment, but he somehow made up a lot of track during the SC. What happened to all the speed limit tracking of the cars during SC period? I think Trulli was clearly robbed.

    1. the Sri lankan
      1st April 2009, 9:22

      dude i race Karts

  86. “RaceMan” is surprisingly ignorant.

    Firstly there’s both yellow flag and S/C conditions. Yellow flag came first.

    SC is supposed to bunch up the cars in formation.

    That means later cars have to faster than earlier cars or they won’t bunch!

    It is also supposed to be “safe” and people shouldn’t be going off. Trulli robbed
    himself, even if the punishment was harsh he made a mistake.

    1. Yeah right Peter Boyle, The yellow hit , then the SC about 5 seconds later. I fully understand the two. Apperently, you have not heard, F1 DOES NOT want the slow loser drivers racing like fools to bunch up together under SC, as this is dangerous to say the least (note, what are you, a NASCAR free pass man?). This year, they have implimented strict max speeds, and measure there of during the SC period. It is obvious Hamilton was out driven by Trulli to lap 3, and his car (tires) had nothing left. Under the SC, he charged to catch Trulli. So then Peter, if Trulli made a mistake, then so to did Hamilton, who then pulled over, when Trulli overtook the 3rd posi back. How is this any different than his SC pass on Trulli? Trulli never even slowed, or became beached the way insane Lewis does it after one of his insane passing manuevers.

  87. Jason,

    the reason you cannot appeal some decisions is because if there is a drive
    through no-one can possibly know how to undo the effect of a drive
    through after the race. Who knows who might or might not have overtaken
    if the driver hadn’t been made to drive through?

    For a straight time penalty it is clear and obvious how to undo it.

    Perhaps all penalties should be time and not drive through to make this
    clear. But perhaps not as if you are tailing a car under time penalty whether you
    try to pass or not is affected by knowing if he has a time penalty that he might

    This is where the FIA’s anti-Mclaren precedent at SPA last year is now blowing
    up on them. They ruled you can’t appeal a time penalty in place of a drive through, simply to make the SPA appeal go away. This ignored the reasons you cannot
    appeal a drive through – the “it’s already happened can’t be undone” reason.

    In Hamilton’s case in SPA it was very clear how to undo the time penalty, but they
    abused the rules to interpret the time penalty as a drive through for the purposes
    of appeal legalistics – and despite what Donelly’s predecessor set as precedent and
    said in sworn statement (causing Whiting to perjure himself – if FIA sets itself up
    as a court, why don’t we use the right terms for it…).

    And now they are having to stick by their guns or be caught out in their bias.

    It’s all very funny from a warped point of view, and I just feel sorry for Toyota
    who have been sucked into the historical Mclaren witch hunt.

  88. O.K., everyone knows I basically hate TOYOTA with a passion, for reasons known only to me; however, it was easy even for my blind self, to see that Lewis Hamilton damn near used his KERS as he put his foot to the wood while passing Trulli, under the SC. Sure Trulli made a quick off into the grass, but Trulli never even lost any speed, and clearly Hamilton had then gone WAY over the SC speed limit to make this pass, as well as illegally exectuing an overtake maveuver during the SC. Call this his China revenge. You can even hear Trulli needing to slam his car to about 15,000 RPM in order to accelrate to match the MP4-24 rocketing off under the SC. I guess the McClaren is the new piece of junk shassis on the track now, eh Steve? Anyone who feels Hamilton gained a thrid place under the rules is mistaken. Why do you think his team, McClaren, told him to lt Trulli pass? Hopefully Peter will come up and explain it to us blind geezers. Where was Hamilton in the real race? On the fianl 4th, 3rd laps, as Trulli was dead on Nico and Ruebens, and Hami was smokiong his tires blisters off to stay ahead of Glock and Alonso WAY back? No wonder Hami has so many F1 driver friends in F1.

  89. Peter Boyle
    1st April 2009, 2:55

    Why did Trulli slide off the track if he was behaving appropriately under SC conditions?

    When Hamilton passed Trulli, Trulli was not on the track
    something Trulli conspicuously did not mention in his
    media statements. The reverse was not true.

    I think Mclaren told him to cede because it they got
    to bank the 4th place and leave only the increment to
    3rd place in the lap of the FIA stewards. Having been punished so much (unfairly in SPA in my view) they
    are likely pretty paranoid about unclear situations.

    That doesn’t mean they think he was wrong, just that they thought there was a chance he could be punished
    and wanted to bank what they had.

    If Toyota thought Hamilton’s pass on Trulli was legal
    as is implicit in Trulli’s description (I had a problem then he had a problem) why didn’t they get very very afraid when Hamilton pulled over and ceded the position but did *NOT* retire.

    Mclaren were clearly worried about punishment even though Trulli went off track. Only reason for them to do that. It’s naive in the extreme of Toyota to accept the gift clearly given out of fear punishment, and then not be fearful yourself when the case is even weaker.

    1. Hmmmm. I saw the race and the videos. I have to agree that the first infraction was when Hami smoked his tires off to about 150mph, to catch and pass Trulli, while he was indeed cooling his tires off via. the grass. I have watched a lot of F1, and I don’t recall (no shortcuts, Lewis) any over the turf to be a problem. Then, of course, Trulli later creeps by a stopped (almost?), possible dead again McClaren, at about 30mph. It was obvious that, of the two events, Hami was the one who tried to gain an unfair advantage on Trulli under the SC. Trulli was several seconds ahead of Hami in the race, and through the crash seen, past Vettel’s limping trike as SC came up. I can’t beleive the great Lewis would resort to that crap. In any case, it seems the race stewards saw all the video as well. Now I hope Trulli starts using Hami as his own berm, the way Hami did it to Massa, etc, etc. on a few of his great passes.

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