Kobayashi and Sutil spark complaints over driving standards after crashes

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Kobayashi's weaving caused Nakajima to have a huge crash

Adrian Sutil and Kamui Kobayashi faced the wrath of their rivals after the Brazilian Grand Prix after two crashes which eliminated a total of four cars.

Jenson Button was among the drivers to voice his complaints about rookie Kobayashi’s driving. And Jarno Trulli was handed a fine after arguing with Sutil at the side of the track following their collision.

Kamui Kobayashi and Kazuki Nakajima

Button complained to his team that Kobayashi was “moving around in the braking zones” while he was trying to pass the Toyota driver during Sunday’s race.

Button eventually found a way past unscathed, but Kazuki Nakajima was not so lucky when he took on his compatriot. He clipped the back of the Toyota, lost his front wing and left the track at high speed, his Williams coming dangerously close to taking off:

The stewards decided not to punish Kobayashi. In fact, there’s no sign they even bothered to investigate the collision with Nakajima. This is surprising and quite worrying as Kobayashi’s driving seemed to be some way below the accepted norm.

Having already made the prescribed one move off his racing line to defend his position, Kobayashi then moved back towards the racing line, as is also usually allowed.

But his third move, swinging back to the left, which caused the contact with Nakajima, is not normally permitted. If the stewards are going to allow driver to weave in this fashion we are going to see more collisions like this and possible some very serious accidents. It was a similar accident to this that caused the last fatality in F1 – the death of marshal Graham Beveridge at Melbourne in 2001 following a collision between Ralf Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve.

Adrian Sutil and Jarno Trulli

Some were quick to blame Trulli for his collision with Sutil but the Italian obviously felt very strongly that the Force India driver was to blame. Afterwards he said:

I am not angry because of the result, I am angry because of the manoeuvre which was extremely, extremely dangerous. We know it is an easy flat out corner, and he should have given me enough space not to go on the kerbs. We were in sixth gear and we were lucky that no one got injured – but this was something really bad.

I thought if I could pull away, Sutil would stay there and I was coming with much more speed. He went on the inside so I went on the outside, and we went side-to-side to him. There is an onboard camera showing my front wheel next to his wheel, so if you looking at the back then I am not there.

He might say that he drove on the racing line. Yes, but I am still on the racing line in this case. So if you decide to stay on the inside, then stay on the inside. Don’t pull on the outside because I am there – and you can see him there. The problem was that he put me over the kerbs – and once I was on the kerbs I lost car control completely.

And the fact that I hit him on the back is that once I was on the kerbs that car got unstable. I lifted off and then I hit him on the back – even though at the time I was next to him.

You cannot do that. It is like a straight – you are flat, and he basically sent me onto the kerbs and grass when I was on the straight. I cannot accept any apology, I am sorry. It is clear to anyone in the paddock that you cannot do that.
Jarno Trulli

The stewards didn’t agree. They said:

The Stewards met with the two drivers and their team representatives, considered the video evidence and the telemetry data and concluded that this was a racing incident and no further action is required.

Sutil, inevitably, defended himself:

His manoeuvre was dangerous, I was flying over the gravel there and lost control. I didn’t see anything and just drove my corner and he crashed into my car so I don’t know what his problem is.
Adrian Sutil

From the replay it’s clear that if Sutil didn’t know Trulli was alongside him he wasn’t paying attention (remembering 2004 we may call this the ‘Schumacher defence’). The Force India clearly lost ground to the Ferrari ahead – presumably because Sutil has lifted the throttle – and the replay from outside the car shows Trulli fully alongside him.

At that point Sutil pushed Trulli off the track. The crazy thing is, drivers are allowed to do this, and Sutil hasn’t done anything against the rules. But if you push a rival off the track and they lose control and crash into you then, frankly, that’s called reaping what you sow.

It baffles me that drivers are allowed to push each other off the track but the stewards have quite consistently refused to punish people for it – whether it’s Michael Schumacher on Fernando Alonso (Silverstone, 2003) or Juan Pablo Montoya (Imola, 2004) or Lewis Hamilton on Timo Glock (Monza, 2008) or any others.

It’s not hard to see how allowing this sort of thing could end with someone getting hurt. Alonso was taken out of the race by Sutil’s out-of-control car in a manner not too different to Nick Heidfeld’s violent smash into Takuma Sato in Austria seven years ago.

Again,this sort of driving needs banning before someone gets hurt.

The clarity of the rules

It’s worth pointing out that the ‘rules’ referred to above, about how many times a driver can change their line, and whether they can push a rival off the track, are not written down – these are inferences drawn from past incidents.

The unclear rules on driving standards became a subject of debate last year after controversial decisions (or non-decisions) at Spa, Monza and Fuji. They were explored in greater depth in this article: Four of F1’s ‘unwritten rules’.

Following the controversies of 2008 we were promised the stewards would issue more reasoned decisions and share video evidence. None of this has happened. And the rules regarding acceptable driving are every bit as opaque as they were 12 months ago.

It seems to be the case that if a collision doesn’t involve one of the front runners the stewards don’t really care. And while we’re on the subject, how on earth did they fail to give Heikki Kovalainen his penalty before the race had finished?

Read more: Four of F1’s ‘unwritten rules’

2009 Brazilian Grand Prix

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...

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177 comments on “Kobayashi and Sutil spark complaints over driving standards after crashes”

  1. In Sutil’s defense it was suggested in the commentary that Sutil had had to lift because Kimi’s Ferrari at that time was lacking a front wing, and had had to take the corner slowly.

    1. and that excuses him from not seeing a car right alongside of him how?

      1. If he was concentrating on the Ferrari to his left, then possibly.

      2. And your take on the incidents are what exactly?

        1. Dunno why Kimi’s so attracted towards Sutil :P Something eh??

      3. When I look at the replay I can’t see anything other then, that Trulli made a bad dessision.
        If you look at the replay Trulli and Sutil drives throug the corner almost side by side. When they begin their exit out of the corner both of them starts steering towards the curb and thats when Sutil see’s Trulli, he then moves towards the left so that he won’t hit him.
        As Trulli touches the grass you can clearly see Sutil leaving alot of space where Truli would have been had he not run the tyres on the grass.
        And about drivers “pushing” other’s off track. In this case I would ask the question: Why do Trulli have the right to be left space? It’s clear that Sutil has the “racing line” and Trulli has more then enough time to brake and stay behinde Sutil, instead making a risk “outer-corner” overtake.

        (Sorry for any mistakes in the text I am from Sweden)

        1. By the time Sutil starts moving left, Trulli has already lost the car.

          Point is Sutil moves so far right that Trulli ends up besides the track.

          The fact that Sutil claims he didn’t do it on purpose because he didn’t see Trulli, is no excuse.

          “Sorry office I didn’t see any traffic lights” …

          1. As i see it. Trulli takes a gamble and runs on the out side of Sutil. The fact that Trulli has been racing for almost his whole life makes him experienced enough to know that if he attempt’s to overtake on the outer line he will always take the risk of Sutil not noticing him or chosing not to lämna space. Since both of them have the chans to lift of and just let the other pass, It’s Trullis line that’s going to draw the short straw (Sutil going of was just, in my point of view bad luck). Trullis outer line is always a risk, if both of them had enterd the corner next to each other and Trulli being an inch ahead at the exit then it would had been an whole different story. Then ther would have been no question that Sutil would had seen Trulli and Trulli would have had right to stay onto the tarmac and Sutil would have had to lift of (becaus the Sutil’s line would draw the shorter straw since Trullis car would just spinn infront of him).
            The basics are these both of them have the choice of lifting of. And since neither of them choose’s to Trulli was in the losers line. Had Sutil lifted of or moved more too the left, then Trulli had made a winnning move. But since Trulli also had the chance of lifting of you can’t penalise Sutil for choosing not to.
            The basics are thies both of them have the choois of lifting of. And since neither of them choose to Trulli was in the losers line. Had Sutil lifted of or moved more too the left, then Trulli had made a winnning move. But since Trulli also had the chanse of lifting of you can’t penalise Sutil for chossing not to.

          2. lämna = leave (swedish sorry)

          3. Yeah, that’s why it is absurd. The leading driver gets away with pushing the attacking driver off.

            It’s daft to say that Trulli should just stay behind. Sutil made two mistakes before that corner (first almost running into Raikkonen and then missing a gear change going into the next corner)

            He either knew that Trulli was next to him and ran wide deliberately or he is an idiot for not knowing that he messed up and offered an opportunity.

            Trulli has had the same problems. He was caught napping by someone at Magny Cours. Think it was Fisichella. At least Trulli had the good grace to wake up before he ran into the other guy.

          4. I fail to understand why Trulli, as overtaking car, thinks he has any right to push Sutil off the racing line. It’s early on the first lap, and they all know there’s a high chance of mayhem happening. Sutil backed off because Kimi slowed (having lost part of his front wing) and he (Sutil) had nowhere to go. Trulli was faced with the same situation and the same decision, but instead of also backing off he decided to go around the outside. Sorry, but there’s no road there. This was absolutely Trulli’s fault. He needs to learn that the car has two pedals – one for fast and one for slow. He should have been penalized for taking two innocent cars (Sutil and Alonso) out. Whoever said that Trulli needed to wait until there was a safe place to overtake Sutil was totally right.

          5. It’s what we pay to see…RACING… good driver decisions, bad driver decisions…, there are allways going to be incidents in the early laps, Trulli was unlucky his move did’nt work, Sutil is showing he is willing to fight his corner, most of the time when you race you have very limited side, and rear vision, most drivers are using peripheral vision, at these speeds there will be miliseconds of reaction time…it’s racing…Bring it on!!

          6. Indeed we want to see RACING. Allowing cars to push each other off track is making that impossible.

        2. Also, Intrepid – Trulli’s point is that since Sutil slowed down dramatically just before a high speed flat out corner on the first lap when the cars are bunched up together….he should have know to stay where he was and not swing wide. He was going slow enough to not need to swing out into the racing line.

          the replays for this only show half of the incident.

          1. I’m sorry, but Sutil was on ahead of Trulli and on the racing line. In that case it is up to Trulli to find a way to get back behind Sutil and wait for a better chance to pass.
            As for Sutil slowing down, he had no choice because of the car ahead.
            As far as I am concerned, if you are in front of a car and you have the racing line and someone behind you gets in an accident, then he has no right to complain. You cannot blame someone for holding the line.

  2. reason kovalainen got punished is because hes in mclaren.

    Dont have a clue about that new japanese driver. He was all over the place, i think he should get a 1 race ban or a hefty fine for that. Maybe because it was his first race there letting him off but…still deserves a kick in the back side

    1. Dont have a clue about that new japanese driver.

      I think he was wonderful! We need such guys. Brave fella!

      1. Me too.
        Kobayashi was definitely one of the highlights of the race
        The guy must get a seat in F1
        He is hot

        1. me 3
          Change his nationality to british and he would be drooled over by the experts.

          Rewind 07 and 08 and you will see LH doing the same thing and he was labeled a gritty brilliant racers by the same experts.

    2. reason kovalainen got punished is because hes in mclaren.

      or because him and his team made a mistake

      1. reason kovalainen got punished is because hes in mclaren.

        Actually we got consistancy with Ferraris punishment last year, well done the stewards.

        1. Massa got a drive-through because it was his second offense (Valencia being the first).

    3. Dont have a clue about that new japanese driver.

      Kobayashi was great – other than maybe in the Nakajimas case a little too harsh. I was expecting him to get a penalty for that one..

  3. Prisoner Monkeys
    20th October 2009, 7:43

    Kobayashi is understandable, being a newcomer and all. And Formula One might be a little more interesting if more people drove like him. However, I’m curious if anything was said after Button complained that he was moving around too much in the braking zones. Brawn no doubt passed it on to Charlie Whiting, but did Whiting pass it on to Toyota and Toyota to their driver? I suppose they would have; from the way Kobayashi was weaving, I’d say it’s simply something he does by instinct, and it’s a crease that would need to be ironed out.

    As for Sutil, I agree that it was a racing incident. Sometimes you just don’t see the other guy. Trulli was way off the reservation in having a go at him, but I suppose that given that trouble always seems to know where Sutil is – three races, three altercations; Heidfeld in Singapore, Kovalainen in Japan and now Trulli in Brazil – it’s easy for another driver involved in an accident with him to point fingers.

    1. Sorry, I think Trulli should have seen that Sutil had the racing line in that corner and instead of trying a stupid move over the kerb he should have backed off momentarily – discretion being the better part of valour (something Button gets right when overtaking).

      1. Agree on this!

        1. Trulli’s Off to NASCAR, he better be prepared for things like this! Lucky for him, Sutil didn’t punch him in his face :D He dare not mess up with Americans & Montoya :P

      2. I agree, I can’t see how Sutil could get off the racing line at that speed to make room for Trulli, he would have had to turn a little more and that could have made him spin, Trulli tried to make a pass, he should have seen it was not going to work and backed off. Just a racing incident.

    2. In relation to Kobayashi and Nakajima it seems that Kobayashi didn’t have a look on the mirror while entering the racing line. It clearly shows that his move to left is to allow Nakajima past to the right side of his but too late for Nakajima to avoid it as he already committed to navigate on the left side part of the track. A misjudgment for both of them.

  4. Webber pulled over on Räikkönen too, costing the Ferrari his nose and the race. Webber laconically defended himself in the press conference by saying Räikkönen would have done the same thing. This incident didn’t get any other attention as far as I know.

    There seems to be a fine line between fair and unfair blocking.

    1. good point.
      They are racers and should be let alone doing their thing. The problem is that the old drivers like trulli, are not ready to risk as much as a guy like sutil, who still has a lot to prove. A good driver should know the personality of the driver he is fighting against. And know when the overtaking is going to succeed, or it is better to wait for the next corner. Shumacher was very good at it, trulli is not.

      1. The problem is that the old drivers like trulli, are not ready to risk as much as a guy like sutil, who still has a lot to prove.

        If that were the case, why didn’t Trulli just lift to let Sutil though and keep on the track? You can’t win the race on the first lap!

        1. If that were the case, why didn’t Trulli just lift to let Sutil though

          Cuz he knew was gettin’ fired by Toyota & wanted to go out with a bang!

    2. Webber’s comment was pretty shocking—claiming Raikkonen would have attempted the same thing. Webber pulled the same crap on Barichello a few races back, and his excuses for his dangerous driving are getting old, and they are certainly not befitting the head of the drivers’ council.

  5. In my opinion we forget to say that Trulli or Nakajima could have done one simple thing to avoid the crash, which is lifting off. I think both Sutil and Kobayashi have been quite hard (and Webber too on Kimi), but if you are ahead and you change your line no more than once I think it is ok.
    I remember some harder “closing doors” actions in the past, and no one complained. And I remember some great moves to avoid closing doors (Piquet-Mansell, Silverstone ’87, Schumacher-Hakkinen, Spa 2000) that really are in formula 1 history.
    So, guys, hurry up. It’s old race bravery time!

    1. There is a lot of truth to this comment. The greatest overtaking manouvers of the past have been ones where drivers find a way around closed doors. The Mansell example given is the perfect example

    2. Very well said David. Trulli especially could have avoided the situation by not trying a risky move around the outside of a fast corner.

      Mountain out of a molehill time everyone!

      1. Button didn’t try the outside with Grosjean at that corner. He set him up perfectly to pass in the same spot.

        I guess Trulli saw the opportunity and went for it, but how easy is it to see in those tiny mirrors? I don’t blame Sutil, I think Trulli took the risk and it didn’t pay off. Maybe it’s a lesson for Sutil as it cost him a decent race. You have to be more aware of who is around you.

        I was only wondering at the time if Trulli was going to beat Piquet Snr to the best post crash fight sequence. :D

        1. I was thinking the same thing Chalky. It really looked as if it was going that way. In the end he just waved his arms around a lot.


          1. The problem is Trulli doesn’t know how to pull of overtaking maneuvers! Remember, he’s a train driver :P

    3. It’s worth noting that Button lifted a few times and abandoned his attempts to get past Kobayashi, before he eventually made it past in one piece. Despite his patience he still made plenty of overtaking manoeuvres, maybe something for the others to learn.

  6. As has been posted already it’s easy to for us to say that Sutil was at fault being as we’re not in the heat of the battle. That being said I don’t know how you could say that Sutil forced Trulli off the track, knowingly. There wasn’t enough room for Trulli in the first place and I would hazard a guess that’s why Sutil didn’t see him i.e. he probably didn’t think anyone would be silly enough to take that line into the corner. Then if you watch closely you will see that at one point Sutil does see Trulli and pulls away but at the same time Trulli hits the gravel and bang!

    As for Kobayashi he was all over the place but a rookie would be forgiven for this, in my opinion.

    1. Agreed on Kobayashi – I think someone at Toyota just needs to take him to the side for a quiet word. But he did a sterling job for a first F1 race.

      1. I think Kobayashi did a wonderful job. Look at what’s Slowalainen doing. Best debut race I’ve seen since aussie gp 07.

        1. Slowalainen


  7. It is about time these ‘unwritten rules’ got agreed on and written down once and for all. Shouldn’t any manoeuvre which might cause serious injury or fatality to either drivers, marshalls or spectators be investigated and punished, or have the FIA officials become complacent about the safety technology built into the cars? Perhaps it will take another death before silly and dangerous driving is banned.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for close racing and battles all around a racing circuit, but given how many drivers out there can race each other without even touching wheels, aren’t all the others due a reminder?

    1. Trulli has no moral rights to talk bout overtaking!! Since when has he learnt how to OVERTAKE?? Sour grapes, knows very well that this is his penultimate F1 race.

    2. I agree DGR-F1, we must get clarity on these unwritten rules and must not get complacent because we have had a few years without a fatality. This also shows us the biggest problem with having no in season testing. The tiny differences in ability in the feeder series are obviousley magnified when it come to the skills required in F1. This year 4 rookies have been thrown into cars they are unfamiliar with and all have struggled with their equipment, even Fisi’s move to Ferrari has proven difficult due to his lack of experience in the car. Combine this with the rookies inexperience with both the extra speed and the stamina required to complete a potential 2 hour race and we have a recipe for disaster.
      I love close racing, but as Jenson proved, having to take extra account for a drivers inexperience and unpredictability is not either fair or safe.
      The GPDA should fully agree on all aspects of overtaking in the interest of safety.

  8. at the next drivers briefing they will probably discuss some of the incidents and that should be the end of it .
    i liked kobayashi’s debut he certainly made an impact .

    1. He certainly made an impact on Nakajima, thats for sure.

  9. Even looking at the replay i’m still not entirely sure what Kobayashi did wrong. I think it was overambitious of Nakajima more than anything else. Kobayashi appears to hit a bump or something before moving to his left to block the move, then back onto the racing line. Nakajima just tries to make a move stick that I don’t think was ever going to work. Can someone explain what was wrong with Kobayashi’s move?

    I don’t see any difference to Mark Webber doing the same thing to Kimi on the first lap, which if anything was too harsh as he clearly put Kimi on the grass

    1. Inference:-
      1.Trulli doesn’t know how to Overtake.

      2. Nakajima doesn’t know how to Drive.

      1. I agree, I think Trulli took a risky maneuver. Nakajima practically drove into the back of Kobayashi, and Nakajima should have been more careful.

        BUT in saying that I feel Kobayashi purposely moved to the left to defend. I think we have not seen last of Kobayashi defending maneuvers. On top of that I somehow expected Kobayashi to get a penalty for that.

    2. Kobayashi clearly changed direction 3 times. This is expressly forbiden. If you were allowed to, there would be no overtaking.

      Webbers move is contentious at best. He seems to think that it’s okay, as he justifies it by saying ‘they’d do that to me’.
      That seems to have been his defence all the time, but when someone does something like it, he complains continually.

      More cheese with your whine.

  10. I’ve seen the replays of both incidents several times. Sutil was not at fault, and left Trulli plenty of room. Trulli just kept his foot in, and paid the price. end of.

    Kobayashi, now he did actually chop Nakajima, but boy was he exciting to watch. Everyone complains that there’s no overtaking, then complain when drivers go for it. Motorsports dangerous. I like Konayashi, and I hope he gets a full time Toyota drive next year. Give the guy a break – it’s his first time in an F1 race, and I think he makes the other rookies look stupid. He’s a racer, and there’s too few of them on the Grid these days.

    1. Totally agreed! Kobayashi might just turn out to be the best Japanese driver since…. since who?? Have there been any decent Japenese drivers? The guy deserves more accolades than criticism. Hats off to Kobayashi for holding off “THE WORLD CHUMPION”
      for all those laps :P

      1. Kobayashi might just turn out to be the best Japanese driver..

        the next word you are looking for is “ever”. :)

    2. with you 100%

      1. sorry when I say with you 100% i mean with AA not the nonsense from the anti button lobby.

  11. also, they were meant to have TV screen in the press conferance to get adrivers point of view, after about 3 races, they no longer do this……

    1. Yeah, I noticed that. I wonder why they gave up on it? I thought it was a nice change.

  12. Kobayashi should have been punished, no doubt about that. People say he is rookie, but how is he going to learn if there are no consequences for his actions.

    Sutil’s incident is 50-50 to me. Yes, Sutil should have left more room for Trulli but Trulli’s move was optimistic as well. Sutil wasnt aware Trulli was there until it was too late. He is at fault but it was an honest mistake not a deliberate move.

    What worries me is that those chops and people pushing other drivers off the track is common practice nowadays. A few years ago, drivers like Schumacher and Montoya got a lot of stick for moves like that. Hamilton was criticized for similar moves last year. Now nobody even talks about them. Any F3 driver can force their opponents off the track, I expect more class from so-called best drivers in the world.

    Everyone does it, Webbers move on Kimi was similar to Kobayashi’s. Vettel did it to Fisi on Monza, Kimi did it to Hamilton last year on Spa. What happened to giving a car’s width room rule?

    1. People say he is rookie, but how is he going to learn if there are no consequences for his actions.

      C’mon Mahir! He’s just a rookie in his first race. He’s got plenty of time to learn & get punished. He made my race on sunday. Driver of the day. Our “WORLD CHUMP” couldn’t get past him!! Isn’t that an impressive debut?

      1. I am not denying he made a mega debut race, his defence move on Nakajima was the best move I`ve seen for years. (Not the crash, the one 1 lap after Button got past)

    2. Kobayashi should have been punished, no doubt about that. People say he is rookie, but how is he going to learn if there are no consequences for his actions.

      With you 100% on that- that is the purpose of a penalty.
      That situation could have ended very badly.

  13. It’s a bit disappointing to hear Trulli say that this was a “dangerous manoeuvre”. We are all aware of the dangers in F1, and Trulli went and put his car in a dangerous spot: on the right side of a car turning left. You can’t blame a guy for exiting on his line just because you were silly enough to put your car there…

    1. Trulli knows only how to hold up people behind him! He’s a Engine Driver!!

  14. I think the reason Trulli was so upset after the Sutil collision was because he wasn’t expecting Sutil to be going so slowly – he couldn’t have known that Kimi had lost his front wing and was therefore holding Adrian up. So Trulli took the corner at a normal speed, had to go to the outside to avoid a collision, and the end result is that you have three cars in a big heap and a safety car out.

    For Nakajima and Kobayashi, I don’t really see what the problem was. Squeezing a car that’s trying to overtake you is common practice and there was still a car’s width (just) to the left of the Toyota. Kazuki simply misjudged his speed.

    1. Kazuki is as useless as Satoru. Both Owe their extended F1 careers to Honda & Toyota, its come at the expense of Lotus & Williams.

    2. I think the reason Trulli was so upset after the Sutil collision was because he wasn’t expecting Sutil to be going so slowly – he couldn’t have known that Kimi had lost his front wing and was therefore holding Adrian up. So Trulli took the corner at a normal speed, had to go to the outside to avoid a collision, and the end result is that you have three cars in a big heap and a safety car out.

      That’s the nail on the head. Kimi should Have got off the racing line- this was a direct result of him failing too.
      If Trulli wants to go and get angry in someones face- that’s where he should!

      He wouldn’t dare though- he’d look stupid picking himself off his behind!

  15. Erm what footage of Kobayashi were you lot looking at? I see a guy coming out of the pits, staying within the white line and then gets hit by Nakajima! I don’t see him doing anything wrong in that clip!

  16. I just don’t get why they can’t implement a system where they disengage the throttle electronically when they have the fuel hose attached. Seems simple enough to do considering all the tech wizardry F1 seems to have.

    1. no point now with refuelling being banned.

    2. excellent point

  17. They they should allow Drivers Association to make these type of rules as they will know what is dangerous,instead the stewert who forgot what they did with Massa in Singapore?

  18. I’m still having trouble understanding Trulli’s Beef. Sutil was on the racing line, and was only going slower due to Kimi’s slowing Ferrari in front. He didn’t move from the inside to the outside, he didn’t purposfully back off, he didn’t suddenly change his line. Trulli should have either gone to the actual inside, or backed off, not wall-of-deathed it onto the kerbs and grass.

    1. Got to agree, Sutil isn’t weaving, he’s following the racing line, catches Kimi quickly but doesn’t attempt a rash overtaking move as Trulli does.

      Probably doesn’t see Trulli, and it’s not really a credible overtaking spot or effort unless they were previously fighting for position in which case Sutil WOULD have known he was there.

      1. Trulli’s got False Balls!! What the hell was he thinking? making hand gestures to a man double his size :P

  19. Aren’t the overly-wide (and ugly) front wings to blame on several incidents ?
    I mean the drivers can see the tyres, but not the full width of the front wing, which is now quite huge.
    Hamilton clipping Barichello’s rear tyre toward the end is another example.

    If we want less aerodynamical grip, why make these so wide?

    1. It’s so that they aren’t as hampered by dirty air, it’s a bit of a trade-off.

  20. Wen, I think your point is very good.
    We are lucky that next year refuelling is banned, I got enough of this dangerous and unuseful pit stops. Or hearing race engineer saying on the radio: “Don’t need to overtake him, you’re longer than him 3 or 4 laps”…is it racing indeed???

    1. Yes, it’s racing. Racing to work with the strategy. With the no refueling rule, we can expect drivers to drive on the computed fuel consumption per lap. Thus, any out of track excursion or other aggressive driving style, overtaking moves could mean possible out of fuel before the race ends. An introduction of electric alternative power source might be needed. Ops, OT.

  21. @ Frenton – look at the footage in the post. Agreed the onboard of Kobayashi doesnt reveal anything. but 11 seconds in, you see him wildy weave across the track.

    I dont think he should be penalised though. Do we really want an F1 where every move that’s not perfect is punished with drive throughs or whatever else?

    Just let them race. wasn’t it fun to watch?

    1. Even without Kobayashi’s “Illegal Weave”, Naka would have binned it. Since when has he scored points? eh

  22. Im sorry Keith, but i think you’re wrong on Sutil vs Trulli. Sutil takes the normal line into the corner, does not lift off mid corner or change lines.

    By the time that Trulli is side-by-side with Sutil, he is already on the kerb and Sutil does try to move. However it is too late and Trulli gets on the grass before he can get back on the track. If anyone is at fault it is Trulli

    1. To be honest, I’m a litte surprised at Keith’s stance with this one. Pretty obvious from the off for me tha Sutil was the innocent party and Trulli was being exceptionally over ambitious. As for the rooke, what would you really expect? The guys needs to fight for a drive next season and most certainly over stepped the mark at times in the race. I’m sure several people had words with him afterwards but that doesn’t disguise that he had such a terrific debut. Put the other rookies to shame this season. Maybe we should be concentrating on the positives here as much as the negatives? Racing is a dangerous sport and the driver a paid huge sums of money to mitigate this, let not get this out of perspective.

      1. Yes, danger pay in this sport is too high! Trulli can go and play ping pong if he thinks that was dangerous :P What on earth was he thinking? Making rude gestures to Sutil?

  23. Trulli was out of order and acting like a premiership footballer. His move was at best, ambitious. He was the one looking forward and should have taken account of the developments in front of him and not attacked at that point. Bet if you asked, exactly what was happening behind him he would have no clue.
    Kobayashi was a bit erratic but Jenson proved that it was possible to outsmart him without running into trouble.
    It’s up to the guy behind to make a pass work. That’s racing…

    1. exactly! that’s racing, not a weekend drive on the highway :-)

      1. exactly! that’s racing, not a weekend drive on the highway :-)

        Ask M.Schumacher :P

        1. :-) Yep, Mr. Schumacher once even took the racing on the streets clipping a guy with his Fiat van. But of corse got away with it … as in few other cases involving other Brits :-) So he defines the border, but definitely Sutil was far from Schuey’s excellence and skill ;-)

  24. If Sutil’s move to defend is questioned, then why not question Nakajima’s move on Vettel when the RBR was pushed on the grass while overtaking and almost went off? ;-) Is it only because Vettel managed to keep racing? ;-)

  25. being a newcomer does not wash with me, it’s not if toyota picked this guy off the street and said “have a go son”. he would have been around racing since he was 8 yers old, he knows the rules.

  26. Mark Hitchcock
    20th October 2009, 10:19

    Koby’s move was dangerous, if you weave around like that in front of a faster car then there’s bound to be contact and every driver knows that. So as much as I like the guy after the rest of his race, he should be punished for that crash.

    Regarding Sutil and Trull. In my opinion if you’re going round the outside of someone 1. You should expect to be pushed to the edge of the track, if not off the track and 2. If you’re not past the guy you’re overtaking then it’s your responsibility to back off and avoid a crash.
    Sutil took the racing line, he didn’t move to the outside to defend from Trulli and he didn’t appear to force him off the track, he even left a little bit of space (probably not enough though clearly). Doing a “wall of death” is always risky and once Trulli knew he wasn’t going to get far enough alongside before Sutil took the line out of the corner he should have backed off and waited for another chance.
    At best it’s 50/50 but I’m inclined to blame Trulli because he could have prevented the accident. There’s certainly no need to get so angry and call for a DQ.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      20th October 2009, 10:25

      As others have said, this is racing and it’s exciting. It’s got us all talking!
      So penalties shouldn’t be dished out to everyone (neither Trulli nor Sutil deserve one).
      But when it’s clearly dangerous and something you want to stamp out then it needs to be punished. Koby’s weaving was dangerous and as Keith said, will lead to bigger crashes if it continues. So that does need punishing.

  27. With no offence to Keith, I’m sick of this debate. We say we want an exciting sport and yet slam drivers for moves which really aren’t mega-dangerous, but happen to end up producing crashes. This constant babying of what kind of manoeuvres are allowed is getting ridiculous. We started out banning the most dangerous of manoeuvres but it’s going too far now.

    So Button complained about Kobayashi? Drivers ALWAYS complain that a driver doesn’t play fair when they’re trying to overtake them, but will then happily do the same themselves. I was glued to my set yesterday and I never saw Kobayashi weave twice at any point. Sometimes he did move over to the defensive line and then back to the middle of the track, but at all times he left a way out for Button to run off should something happen. His moves were harsh, yes, but not dangerous, and I’m glad to see such a ballsy Japanese newcomer.

    The chop against Nakajima was a little bit naughty for sure, but it shows up Nakajima’s inexeprience/inability as much as anything: many a time we’ve seen a driver dart one way and the other driver dart the other way, producing a fantastic spectacle and a brave overtaking move. Watch the video again – it’s not like Nakajima had no time at all to react to Kobayashi, and these are supposed to be the best drivers in the world; it only goes to show that Kazuki is sadly (I have a weak spot for the Jap drivers) not of that standard.

    The Sutil and Trulli incident was a pure accident and apart from just letting Jarno by, I’m hard presses to see what else Adrian could have done except to crash into the back of Raikkonen. Trulli should recognise he was annoyed at crashing out because of his own decision to try a risky move and stop blaming Sutil.

    It’s racing, folks, and unless there is an incident where a driver can be shown to give the other guy no choice whatsoever but to crash into a wall at high speed then there shouldn’t be an investigation. The first race of the year with tons of racing since Australia and YET AGAIN we’re dissecting moves and penalties. A sad state of affairs that accidents always have to have a guilty party and you can’t do anything aggressive on track. No wonder we have so little racing.

    1. There’s racing hard and there’s racing fair. Kobayashi crossed the line however way you look at it. If that Williams had taken off and left Nakajima in hospital or worse you wouldn’t have been putting this post together I can assure you.

      It’s racing, folks, and unless there is an incident where a driver can be shown to give the other guy no choice whatsoever but to crash into a wall at high speed then there shouldn’t be an investigation.

      Isn’t that the point?

    2. Couldn’t agree more.

      I remember in the good old days, Senna, Prost, Mansell, Piquet… there they were, fighting for the championship. Suddenly, traffic, and hell rose when they finally met the “japanese”. Katayama, specially! These guys were being lapped and wouldn’t let the great champions by, sometimes ruining their races, and all that would happen was “oh well, we all know it’s like that, and that’s why we love it.”.

      1. *I couldn’t agree more with Nik- I miss those Prost-Senna-Mansell-Piquet-Katayama days*

      2. Umm, so what, Japanese drivers are just all the same in your view?

  28. Firstly, I do not believe that Sutil “pushed” Trulli off the track as this implies a cynical move; I don’t see any cynical move but a driver staying on his racing line, which he is entitled to do. Sutil clearly lifts to avoid the Ferrari but stays on the racing line for the corner in question.

    Sutil said he didn’t see Trulli but if he did, then is he obliged to move off the racing line to let Trulli pass because Trulli had the momentum?

    My initial response to this incident was that Trulli was being incredibly optimistic with this move. I still feel this is the case. It’s Trulli’s responsibility to get around Sutil and make the move stick but he didn’t. And quite frankly, his chances of making a move like this stick was always going to be very remote on the corner in question. Sutil legitimately stuck to the racing line and made no cynical moves to push or block Trulli. I would have been disappointed had Sutil moved off the racing line to give Trulli a free ride on the exit of the corner.

    Trulli should have backed off before he ran out of tarmac. He didn’t and paid the price, resulting in an accident that took himself, Sutil and Alonso out of the race. And as for Trulli’s behaviour afterwards…

  29. It seems to be the case that if a collision doesn’t involve one of the front runners the stewards don’t really care. And while we’re on the subject, how on earth did they fail to give Heikki Kovalainen his penalty before the race had finished?

    I agree with every opinion on this article, this one at the end summing it up. Nothing more to say really other than please lord let Ari win.

  30. I’m surprised no-one has commented on Sutil’s attempt to get back on track as quickly as possible causing the collision with Alonso. I don’t think he was totally out of control when he was on the grass and it isn’t the first time his impatience has caused an accident.

    1. You are joking, of course?

    2. Yeah, I have to agree. He was so impatient he didn’t even wait until he’d gotten the car going in a straight line – he just tried to push back on while going sideways with bits of car still falling off.
      And yes – I am joking, even if Stewart wasn’t . . . .

  31. I don’t get this. How can people say Kobayashi should be punished? He and Button were the only ones giving us a bit of action! That’s why F1 is becoming the most boring of sports; because everyone around it is a sissy! What the hell does that mean, he was moving around in braking zones? If your car is better than mine, than what the hell sould I do, just move once to the right, once to the left and let you go by? As with many many sports, there’s the risk of a mortal accident. People die, people die at work every day, a lot of them. These guys are paid a hell of a lot of money to give us a show. If that means that they risk their lives 2 hours every week, than that’s how it should be. I’m not saying that I watch it expecting someone to die, but I watch it expecting to see stuff like Kobayashi’s. First day, and he said to the soon-to-be WDC “You’ll not get by me that easy, I’m not Grosjean”.

    1. true. Kobayashi had me on the edge of my seat!

    2. If your car is better than mine, than what the hell sould I do, just move once to the right, once to the left and let you go by?

      Yes, you change your line once that is it. That has been rule all along, there wont be any overtaking if the lead driver swerves all across the track.

      Trulli showed over and over how to defend without being naughty.

      Kobayshi providing excitement does not have anything to do with it. He could still provide excitement, remember Nakajimas pass on him just after Button got past. He came back straight at Nakajima and retook the place round the outside.

  32. Well… looking at 1min 18secs you can see how he comes back on track. Doesn’t look like a smooth ride over the grass. I am not sure he really could do otherwise…

    Regarding the “dangerous move”-debate: I am not sure Kobayashi did much wrong really… Look at the old battles (senna/prost/mansell, Schumacher/hill/hakkinen): they are full of such brave attacking/defending and that is what got us glued to our seats.
    But OK it was dirty: Nak was so much quicker.
    Sutil: nothing wrong to me…

    If we discourage that on-track fighting, we’ll have dull, penalties-full races where overtaking is only allowed on lapped opponents with the green light of the race director… And we will be the first to moan.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      20th October 2009, 14:11

      The thing is, there’s hard, clean fighting and there’s dangerous, cynical attempts to keep your rival behind at all costs.
      It may be exciting but it’s not proper racing.

      There’s a skill to defensive driving. Knowing when to move off-line to defend a corner, knowing when to stick to the racing line and force the chasing driver into making a frustrated mistake.
      Koby was racing relatively hard and clean most of the time, and when he got overtaken and immediately re-took the place, that was a great piece of driving. But moving around in the braking zone is just dangerous, it’s desperate and it isn’t skillfull. It makes it next to impossible for the chasing driver to pull of a clean overtake and it obviously leads to accidents.

      Koby is clearly talented and looks like a good racer, but like Trulli he needs to learn that if he can’t make a clean move he should wait until later.
      Instead of swerving across Nak’s nose he could have squeezed him to the edge of the track, let him try an overtake and hope that he outbraked himself on cold tyres. Then Koby could have potentially got a run out of the next corner and attempt to get back in front.

      I don’t think Koby’s move was cynical, but it wasn’t good racing either.

      1. Mark Hitchcock
        20th October 2009, 15:45

        Got the drivers a bit mixed up in the last bit :P Point still stands though.

      2. I agree Mark

      3. I maintain that I, for one, did not see Kobayashi ‘moving around in the breaking zone’ in front of Button – certainly not noticeably so, and not more so than any defending of position requires.

  33. Trulli is experienced enough to know that he’d put himself in a risky position on the outside of a fast corner. Sutil should have checked his mirrors for cars closing from behind, given that he was being held up by Raikkonen, and should have given Trulli more room. A racing incident caused by one driver taking a big risk, another driver not taking enough care – about 50/50 in my book.

  34. I’m not entirely sure if Kobayashi was “weaving around in the breaking zones” as Jenson said, it looked fair enough to me, but I am quite surprised that he (Kobayashi) didn’t get a slap on the wrists for the Nakajima incident.

    Kobayashi quite clearly broke the “unwritten rule” by making his third move to the left, thus sending Nakajima into a big accident.

    Did anyone else notice how close Nakajima was to not being collected by the tyre wall at Descida do Lago? Would he have ploughed into a group of marshalls had he missed it or is there another wall behind the one he hit?

    1. I’ll agree that Kobayashi, after extiting the pits towards the racing line, then makes two quick, consecutive moves to the left in front of Nakajima, but it still seems 50/50 on responsibility to me. Without wanting to pick on Nakajima, he isn’t very used to attempting passing maneuvres, is he?

  35. Keith – quite surprised at your description of Kobayashi vs Nakajima; I do not see the third move over that you describe Kobayashi as making. He comes out of the pits, goes onto the racing line, then moves over once to block Nakajima. If anyone sees a third move by Kobayashi, I would like to know exactly where.

    As for Trulli vs Sutil, from the available footage, I see absolutely nothing wrong with Sutil, indeed I see him moving over as soon as Trulli’s nose comes into his side-view.

    But most important, I would very much like for someone to provide video evidence of Kobayashi driving dangerously in front of Button. What I saw during the race was nothing else than a driver holding onto his position – perhaps a forgotten talent in F1, but certainly up to any standards of racing that I care to watch.

  36. Koboyashi was in his first race in F1, so I think it’s fair the stewards cut him a bit of slack. I’m sure Algusuari may have done something similar in Hungary to another driver, only less was at stake then.

    Trulli however was completely in the wrong, and I couldnt believe how unsportman he was. Sutil had the racing line, was already taking (or preparing) to take evasive action because of the crippled Ferrari in front. Trulli went for a gap which wasnt even there. Even when he tried to pull alongside Sutil there was little space. Trulli should have backed off a little and then overtaken Sutil after the restart where his experience of safety car restarts would have come to his advantage. What I find more annoying is Trulli’s response to Sutil. Out on the track, who looked the better guy when the cameras were on them? Sutil. He looked calmer and went to deal with the situation as an adult.

    I dont see anything wrong with drivers pushing each other to the edge of the circuit. It’s part of the show and it’s that sort of incident which earns drivers their high salaries/danger money. Also, if it was banned, how boring would races be? Drivers look tense enough when trying to overtake as it is. Furtermore, people complain that races are already processional, imagine what they would be if the daring moves were banned? It was safe enough back in the 80s and 90s and sure as hell is now (if not safer given the improvements on the cars, trackside assistance and track improvements).

    Basically, my real complaint is with Trulli and how much of an ass he was! Good to see passion, but not to the extent that it becomes inconsiderate on an innocent person.

  37. I believe Sutil’s accident was a racing accident, it was hard for him to have spot Trulli there.

    Koboyashi should have been givin a drive trough for sure!
    I didn’t agree with Button’s comments on what I saw, but what he did to Nakajima, way out of line!

    About passing, as far as I know, when a car’s front tyres are past the others rear tyres he’s not allowed to cross anymore and just take the racing line.. that’s how I remembered it :)

  38. If anything larger mirrors need to be made mandatory, there is no way that anyone can possibly keep a good awareness around them from those tiny things. From Sutil’s in-car you cant see the toyota at all until it appears fully on the grass, by which time its too late. Enforcing larger mirrors = no excuses for not seeing whats behind you.

  39. Since they let webbers maneuver pass it will be very difficult to punish Koboyashi for the maneuver later on. Just because he is a rookie shouldn’t make any difference.

  40. Is Trulli Mad!
    Kobayashi was driving eratically but Trulli, the cheek!
    Sutil had the racing line – Trulli should have lifted.
    What a joke. Maybe he should have watched the replays – i think its a bit different at 130 miles per hour.

  41. The second video (Trully & Sutil accident) has a “second recorded voice” simulating a conversation between Trully, Sutil and Alonso.

    As is in Spanish, you have posted a video against your own “F1 Fanatic-Comment Policy” :-) :-) :-)

  42. I’m amazed that Alonso didn’t see Sutil coming across the grass.

    1. I am. Sutil wasn’t exactly on an expected part of the track, so there’s no reason for Alonso to look at him.

  43. What a joke.

    Every race people comment how boring it was and the moment we get an exciting race with actual racing everyone wants to put drivers heads on the chopping block.

    1. Joke indeed. Joke that you didn’t read the article but only the headline.

      Keith’s article is about how drivers shouldn’t be allowed to defend dangerously. In fact that would make overtaking MORE POSSIBLE.

  44. Trulli had no business saying stuff to Sutil. Sutil just drove on the racing line and left enough room for Trulli to back off and stay behind him. Similar to what Hamilton did to Glock at Monza, the motto being: leave a driver no option but to back off and stay behind. Which I think, is fair.

    Kobayashi and Nakajima is a different matter. Kobayashi pushed him a bit too much. But I think, Nakajima being a not so good driver fell into Kobayashi’s trap. If it was Jenson or Alonso or Hamilton, they would have just backed off a bit and gone back to the racing line and overtake Koabyashi by staying on the racing line.

    Keith, I am amazed at your ability to turn every issue, whether on-track or off-track, into a rant against the FIA. You always blame them for their lack of consistency in the application of rules. But in this case, they ARE consistent. Pushing your rival off track has never been punished. And rightly so. If a driver does everything by the book, he will never be able to overtake, the cars are so closely matched in speed now. Some things are fortunately not banned yet, pushing off the track is absolutely okay in my opinion. Its a risk every driver should take in his capacity. Because, when you push, there is a good chance the car loses control and spirals back into you. Tit for Tat!!

  45. Agreed, Sutil’s defence doesn’t hold any water, but Trulli’s behaviour was very unprofessional of a grandprix driver.

  46. I think Kobayashi’s driving can probably be put down to inexperience, but I suppose that doesn’t explain why the stewards didn’t even investigate his collision with Nakajima, considering it now seems routine that if two cars have any sort of coming together the stewards usually announce they will investigate it.

    Regarding Sutil and Trulli, this was one of the incidents I hoped the BBC team would discuss post race but because they understandable concentrated on Button and Brawn winning the Championships the only parts they looked at in the race were the bits which affected the Championships.

    When I first saw the replays during the race I thought that it was more Trulli’s fault but having looked at Sutil’s onboard again Trulli’s car is further forward than I first thought. If I had to blame one driver it would still be Trulli, as Sutil appears to stay on the racing line whereas Trulli goes around the outside and doesn’t lift off hoping Sutil will move over for him. However overall I would probably put it down to a racing incident.

    1. If you watch Sutil’s hands on the wheel there is an instant where it seems he is pushing Trulli. Look at second 50.

      that doesn’t explain why the stewards didn’t even investigate his collision with Nakajima, considering it now seems routine that if two cars have any sort of coming together the stewards usually announce they will investigate it.

      But they didn’t investigate Webber and Räikkönen either.

  47. If you start at 48 you can see where they are coming out of the corner side by side with Trulli’s front wing showing next to Sutil’s front wheel.

    If a car is that far alongside the other, the defending driver should not be allowed to take their racing line again.

    Sutil was not paying attention and that’s how Sutil got alongside him, but normally a driver wakes up by the time he sees parts of the other car right next to him (like Fisichella and Kovalainen in the previous race).

  48. Racing incidents both. It’s stupid to make this big a deal out of it. Reprimand perhaps for both and thats it. Frankly, the fines that were issued were stupid as well. Maybe McLaren being fined for the early release as it is a safety issue. And please….I’m not piling on McLaren.

  49. It’s all beyond me – the attitude of Trulli, Keith’s view of Sutil and some of the comments here, too.

    Trulli’s ranting is probably the easiest to explain. He trekked all the way to Brazil, with his job on the line, made a rash, high-risk move on the outside of someone on lap 1, lost the car entirely of his own accord (Sutil actually left him plenty of room), took three cars out of the race including his own and caused a SC deployment. Nul points. Sometimes you can tell when someone is incredibly angry at himself because there’s way too much protesting. It’s classic scapegoating.

    I simply can’t understand Keith’s comment that “at that point Sutil pushed Trulli off the track”. Complete BS. Sutil actually went much further to the left than he had any obligation to do, and was way inside the white line. There seems to be a creeping view that F1 is like NASCAR or IRL on an oval, where, if someone can get on your outside, you have an obligation to leave them a car’s width by driving a tighter line. Well, oval racing, where every driver has a “spotter” relaying the position of the other car in real time, is very different from F1. There has never been such an obligation in F1 (look at Hamilton vs. Massa in Germany last year for one example among many) and in any case, Sutil left space which Trulli didn’t even use. They were hardly rubbing wheels when Trulli lost it, he just went wider than he needed to and lost the car.

    You can see the indefensibility of Trulli’s position from his argument that it was a straight piece of road rather than a corner. You have to argue that black is white in order to make your case. A flat corner is not the same as a straight piece of road (or Senna would still be with us). In the cases where someone pushed someone else off on a straight (Schumacher/ Alonso on the Hangar straight, Kobayashi/ Nakajima, Webber/ Raikkonen etc.), there is steering input towards the opponent – a clear “block”. Sutil’s onboard shows that there was no such input, he drove a tight line and left room. I think Keith is entirely wrong to lump this incident in with the others where the “Schumacher chop” was pulled on a straight.

    The others are a case of you reap what you sow. The FIA stood by with this “one move” cr@p through years of “Schu chops”. When Senna pushed Prost against the pit wall in Estoril in 1988, not forcing Prost to lift (he kept his foot in it and took the position, without any contact) but interlocking wheels for a moment and alarming the pit wall, it was considered a piece of almost homicidally aggressive driving, at least by Prost, Balestre and journalists like Alan Henry, and something quite unprecedented in F1. Fast forward to the Schumacher heyday and it became absolutely routine to do worse than that. At least Senna left just enough room that Prost didn’t have to lift. The Schu-chop was a true “lift or we both crash” mandate and the FIA consistently ruled that it was all OK under the auspices of “one move” – yet another “rule” that was never written down or agreed among the drivers. The other drivers in the Schumacher era seemed to accept that they wouldn’t get away with doing the same thing, it was quite rare at one time to see it from anyone other than MS, but, surprise, surprise, it came home to roost and now it’s something that Webber, Hamilton, Alonso and others all do from time to time. If you think it through logically, the drivers of today HAVE to use that chop in order to be competitive, otherwise they will lose position every time it’s done to them but will be helpless when they’re the one doing the defending. I think it’s playing with fire and anathema for the FIA to have allowed it in a sport where the number one complaint is that it’s too hard to overtake. Well maybe it would be less hard to overtake if it wasn’t considered OK to stick the rear end of your car in the face of someone going 10mph faster than you are, even pushing them onto the grass in the case of Webber/ Kimi on Sunday. I have said before that Champcar had this covered under Tony Cotman and ruled consistently against blocking, without any problems or ambiguity. I also said at the time of Schumacher’s reign that the “one move” interpretation was an invitation to homicidal aggression, would systematically select out the most aggressive blockers for success, and that someone was going to get hurt. It could easily have been Nakajima or Raikonnen on Sunday. To single out Kobayashi for this is completely wrong. He’s only doing what several of his elders have shown is admissible, therefore necessary to compete. This is the logical conclusion to the FIA’s soft line on Schumacher when he re-wrote the rules of combat, and now we have to live with the consequences. Although I think that Webber in particular is pushing the boundaries even of today’s soft rules here (the photo of him putting KR on the grass was just insane), it’s the FIA’s door I lay the blame squarely at for a situation which is both dangerous and against the interests of F1’s entertainment value in the form of the ability to pass and re-pass.

    1. I simply can’t understand Keith’s comment that “at that point Sutil pushed Trulli off the track”. Complete BS. Sutil actually went much further to the left than he had any obligation to do

      is it really that hard to understand that Trulli was already pushed off by the time Sutil moves back to the left?

    2. Absolutely right.

      Do you remember how much Webber complained when Hamilton pushed him wide exciting a corner (Monza?).
      At least that was coming out of a corner. Webber= no excuse.

  50. The most telling point of the weekend for me was Mark Webber’s comments during the after race press conferance. Here was a man who publically lampooned Lewis Hamilton for his driving at Fuji two years ago, and for a block at Monza last year, yet declaring his move on Raikkonen was ‘valid’ because Kimi ‘would have done the same to me’.
    Isn’t Webber a major factor in the driver’s association, and a big advocate on safety? If he is, no wonder the likes of Hamilton and Raikkonen don’t bother too much about attending their meetings.
    As for the Sutil/Trulli incident, later in the race, Button attempted a simular move on Kobayashi at the some corner. Realising that the Japanese driver was not going to yeald, he switched from the outside to the inside, playing it safe rather than taking too big a chance.
    My opinion is that Trulli did not see Raikkonen slow down, and was probably unaware that the Ferrari was damaged, and tried to make the most of Sutil’s slowing down. The trouble with Trulli’s argument is that a pass around the outside is risky, remember Mansell on Berger years ago in Mexico. Its a terrible risky move to make, and so easily ends in a crash.
    Everyone at the time hailed Mansell’s pass as genius, but if he had made contact, at that point, both he and Berger would have been in big trouble. Thats motor racing, pure and simple.
    Was Sutil blameless? To a degree, no, but it is down to Trulli as he is making the pass. Michael Schumacher, Senna, Mansell, would have done the same thing.
    Trulli would have been better off backing off, and trying an inside pass later in the lap as Jenson Button did.

  51. Following on from your last point Keith. Did you notice that they didn’t give Webber a penalty for his characteristic swerve on Raikkonen because they were too busy investigating an ‘incident’ between cars Kovalainen and Fisichella. That is to say the ‘incident’ when Vettel tipped Kovalainen into a spin and Fisichella took to the grass to avoid him. No contact between the two cars – no swerving, blocking just a racing incident.

    When is someone going to move to replace these bumbling, incompetent and inconsistent fools?

  52. The more I watch the Sutil/Trulli incident the more I think that Trulli must be thinking why didn`t I put my brain in gear before letting my mouth go, Sutil is on the racing line and does nothing wrong, if anything He should of run up to Trulli and had a go at Him. As for Koby He should of got a white/black flag for He`s driving if not a black flag, He weaves in front of Button then pushes Nak onto the curb the lap before the collision in the Senna S and finally does such a dangerous crash causing weave that Nak is lucky to walk away from it. But you got to admire He`s drive and will surely be in next years Championship.

  53. I enjoyed watching Kobayashi, he may have been a little aggressive with some of his blocking moves but I think that the established drivers are a little annoyed that a new boy (and one who is there to replace an injured driver) had the balls to mix it up with them rather than just move out of the way… how very dare he :-)
    I hope he gets a full time seat next year.

    Sutil: it was Trulli’s decision to try the move and it failed he looked silly and took it out on Sutil. I am sure he was feeling the pressure of not having a seat for next year but acting like a spoilt brat isn’t going to endear him to other teams.

    1. p.s. Kobayashi probably needs someone to sit down with him and explain why the Nakajima incident was stupid and that another one of those will really hurt a potentially exciting career in F1… maybe showing him a reel of Sato’s career would be useful :-)

  54. The missing issue in Trulli/Sutil is the clashing Hamilton Rule. Part of the reason drivers allowed willfully to run each other off the track because presumably they are (usually, often?)forbidden from profitting from a personal track redesign. Furthermore, on the Tilke tracks, beyond the curb, there is more clean asphalt; but on an old-fashioned track, there may be crumbling tarmac and a rutted field. Divers have therefore become cavalier about shouldering each other off the road because nothing comes of it on new tracks, and the ghost-rule protects your interests.

    If the Hamilton Rule were given its necessary companion rule that you cannot run another car off the road that has established itself along-side or on the “racing line”, that would help things.

    Trulli was along-side Sutil and had a bona fide stake to the piece of track. Sutil gave him no room. He did not in fact “have the line.” Reviewing the video, I think Keith is right. Trulli was in error, yes, according to current practice. But current practice is insanity.

    I cannot defend Kobayashi. One could see from the moment Najakima appeared out of the esses, that he was going to blow by Kobayashi or run him over. While the Williams was bearing down on him like a freight train, Kobayashi moved to the right to block, moved to the left block Nakajima’s shift, then, when it was clear the chaser was undeterred, swerved left once more for the coup de grace. This dangerous hackery is standard procedure in GP2, but we expect more than desperate crash-fests at the top rung. Of course, dangerous hackery was pronounced cool at the press conference. But following Webber’s now established mendacity in this area is not sufficient precedent.

    1. I agree with you on the Tilke track thing.

      If Tilke was given an opportunity to redesign (read ruin) Interlagos there would be a massive, very safe but oh so dull, tramac run off area at the exit of that corner, Trulli would have been able to keep his momentum and speed up and would have probably passed Sutil into the next corner… and we would have all hailed Trulli’s skill and bravery.

      Because it wasn’t a Tilke track, he ran out of room and lost the car. It was a driving error by Trulli plain and simple. He thought he could get round the outside, but he couldn’t, and he paid the price. It was a bit ambitious to say the least. It was pretty poor form having a go at Sutil afterwards, even though it was nice to see todays drivers still have a bit of fight in them!

  55. The best bit of driving of the whole race has to be kovvy burying the throttle to stop himself hurtling backwards into fisi! Lol

    Jokes aside it was an intelligent bit of driving!

    1. I also think Kov was quick thinking when He parked the Car blocking the Brawn garage knowing that Brawn would have to do something to get Him out the way incase one of there cars made a unscheduled pit stop.

      1. I can’t possibly credit Kovy with that much intelligence. He’s a nice guy and all, but I think he just parked there because that’s what he did, without thinking it through.

        Nice of Brawn to help out though. I imagine Mercedes were also happy, which of course cant hurt.

  56. Speaking of double standards for backmarkers and frontrunners: Kobayashi vs Nakajima – if it had been one of the championship frontrunners making the exact same blocking move to defend precious points I bet that we would be reading about what a reckless passing attempt Nakajima made.

      1. Ok, but care to elaborate why?

        1. People complain about the move. Not just the driver. People complain about Webber, Raikkonen or Barrichello making “unethical” moves too.

          For instance Webber is getting a lot of flak for his move on Raikkonen

          1. Well, certainly not as much flak. I think what’s really got me riled is that Kobayashi is getting a whole bunch of a lot heaps of flak for the Nakajima crash AND for ‘dangerously’ blocking Button. And while I think that the former is a matter of interpretation, in my view the latter is utterly false. I’ve still to see video evidence for this ‘moving around in the breaking zone’ that seems to have become a catchphrase – it wasn’t what my eyes were seeing during the race.

  57. To inject a little light comedy into this did anyone notice the Jarno had to stand on his toes to get in Sutil’s face? Pretty funning all considered

  58. By the time Trulli was along side where Sutil could see he was already on the kerbs at which you see Sutil move over. Trulli could of seen there was no room and should of backed off. He should of known Sutil wouldn’t see and may push him off which happened.

  59. A bit of irony is that ALO got first retirement at 15/1. I wonder how many punters lost out on TRU or SUT (or even KOV/FIS (or even RAI/WEB)) – seeing this collision only to have their hopes dashed as ALO’s car halts first..

  60. Put Sutil and Kobayshi on a team and name it the Axis Power .. bent on destruction … lol

  61. I think Koby showed potential but if his driving was all like that then it cannot be tolerated, yes he is new but he should know how many times he is allowed to turn the steering wheel and what could cause an accident.
    I agree also that rules need to be clear, clearly we want overtaking and to encourage it but forcing people off the road is not legitimate. In Sutil and Trulli, I’m not sure either were completely perfect but what happened also ruined Alonso’s race and could have been a lot more serious.

    1. I do agree that no action should be taken and that it should be left alone. I prefer stewards not to get involved but the rules for a start should be clear.

  62. when sutil starts to see truli beside him, truli is already in the grass. truli just made a super desperate move an then tried to blame it on sutil.

  63. koby looks to be better than nak-nak so im just going to blame nak.

  64. TRU – Put yourself on the outside of an opponent and you’re asking for trouble.

    WEB v RAI – Why no drive through pen? He did the same at the ‘Ring with nowhere near the same result and was penalised. Consistency please. Oh wait a minute. This is the same body that figured you put people’s lives at risk no financial penalty (Renault). But, you have a few pages of data from another team. Ker-ching that’s a $100USD fine (Macca)?! But on the other hand this is racing. What was WEB supposed to do? Say “After you Kimi”?

    KOB v NAK – Well, you wonder how many more accidents like this will happen when young rooks have no other chance to make an impression other than in the deep end in a race. Bring in a limited amount of testing the mileage could be logged in the common ECU and checked at each GP.

    All in all stop moaning we got some action in a motor race thank you very much.

    1. Trulli vs. Sutil could be called either way and I’m glad they decided to leave it at that.

      Nakajima got taken out by Kobayashi though, much as I enjoyed Kobayashi’s exploits the rest of the race. That was a bit over the top and not Nakajima’s fault.

      What annoyed me about Webber’s move on Raikkonen was his “justification”. Webber was fully aware he would not stop the Ferrari coming past as the speed difference was too big, he said so when asked about the incident. So what.. he timed his move over so it would break the front wing or force Kimi off-track with probably similar results to Nakajima’s crash [b]intentionally[/b]? His defence of that move is all kinds of smelly.

  65. I don’t see three moves from Kobayashi as stated in the article, I see him exit the pits and drift over to the racing line and then make one cut to block Nakajima, a little late of course since Nakajima’s nose was already there, seems like just a rookie mistake, but his mistake was to make that cut to the left a few tenths too late.

  66. The first part, the one with the audio in Spanish, is a parody. It is soooo funny!

  67. They’re all racing incidents.

    1. i agree. People can not be fooled forever.
      In this politicaly correct society, overtaking is going to look bad.
      Montoya escape this nonsense, and went to nascar, where a brave driver is still wanted. What a shame. Our loss, their gain.
      i hope something is changing, i see people are fed up with all this correctness.
      This is motor racing, not figure skating.

  68. Alonso pushed Webber off the track recently exiting a low speed corner where he knew there was no damage but Webber got the drive through down to Whiting assessing the advantage as being taken by Webber’s actions rather than having been forced into it by Alonso. Sutil pushed Trulli off in a high speed corner with unsafe run off and its a racing incident. It just says Whiting is an idiot on top of his being a schemer as outed by his inconsistencies and the failure to act on Nelsinho.

  69. Lol, videos removed by FOM. Thought Youtube were sponsoring USF1 next year?

  70. Agree with you concerning Kobayashi – did the double block on Nakajima, a big no no there then, although the whole ‘rule’ is, as you intimated, part gentleman’s agreement, part subjective call by whichever bunch of stewards you pull on the day. Not an exact science then – thus incidents like Spa.

    On the Sutil/Trulli incident though, I have serious issue. You video seems to have been removed by Bernie’s team of Christmas helper buddies, but this one still remains:

    Posting URL as well in case embed fails:

    Anyway, roll it forward to approx 40 seconds. Onboard with Sutil coming to the end of Reta Oposta. Entering Descida do Lago Sutil has to visibly slow more than normal because of Kimi’s labouring Ferrari sans front wing. He had no where to go. Slow or park it in Kimi’s gear box. He reacted in time. Trulli it seems did not. Sutil wasn’t trying to push Trulli off the circuit. The whole crux of Trulli’s argument was that Sutil had slowed down more than necessary for the corner. Yep he did. Broken Ferrari meant he had to.

    Let’s turn it on it’s head for a minute. If Sutil had been nursing the broken wing, we must assume Jarno wouldn’t have slowed down and taken them both off? If Jarno was ahead of Sutil, would he have taken out Kimi, and then complained that the Ferrari driver mysteriously slowed down.

    Jarno Trulli is a VERY experienced driver. He does know that if a car slows down more than usual through the corner ahead of you, you lift a little, give the guy some space, because something is obviously wrong, then pass him when safe. He’s obviously narked because season is nearly done and he wants to make sure he can pay for the vineyard next year. But he’s still wrong. Sutil braked because he had to.

  71. Keith, the rule about changing line is actually written down. Check one of the appendices to International Sporting Code concerning behaviour on track or something like this.

    1. Found it: App L, chapter 4, art. 2 – overtaking

      However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited

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