Webber loses out in safety car incident

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Mark Webber was elbowed off the track in the second safety car period

Mark Webber was pushed off the circuit and lost several places in a controversial incident behind the safety car during the Chinese Grand Prix.

Webber made contact with Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren as the field was very tightly bunched up before the re-start after the second safety car period.

Should the stewards get involved over the collision?

Webber had jumped in front of Hamilton and team mate Sebastian Vettel by making his final change of tyres earlier than his rivals.

As the second safety car period came to an end race leader Jenson Button slowed the field behind him causing several cars to run side-by-side and forcing Hamilton off the track at the hairpin.

As they approach the final corner Vettel, Hamilton and Webber were alongside each other and contact was almost inevitable. Hamilton and Webber banged into each other and the Red Bull driver lost out.

The regulations warn drivers not to slow unnecessarily during a safety car period, a charge that could be levelled at Button. And Hamilton may get in trouble for being too close to the car in front of him.

Should the stewards get involved or leave this one alone? Was anyone at fault, or was this just a racing incident? Have your say in the comments.

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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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168 comments on “Webber loses out in safety car incident”

  1. They need to go after them, that’s the only way you can expect to terminate this type of behavior. Let’s face it, rules were broken, and if you look at the FIA’s track record the aprropriate actions probably won’t be taken.

    1. Terminate what behaviour? Racing? Webber should blame his team-mate just as much as Hamilton. This is the same guy who banged into Barrichello and felt hard done-by by getting a penalty. Two wrong (decisions) wouldn’t make a right.

      1. Both McLearens should be punished, Jenson for suddenly slowing and Lewis for bumping into Mark.
        I like aggressive RACING, but not primitive car boxing. I think stewards should notice this difference. Their lack of rule enforcement puts me off.

        1. So do you think Mark should be punished for taking Hamilton off the track in Australia or had you forgotten about that one?

          1. I don’t remember that one indeed. But I don’t care who did wrong and who is punished, I like racing.

          2. I just watched it on YT. You are right, at first it’s not clear what is different there and here. But, the point is that in Australia it was racing. Here it was under safety car, not while racing. If we go down the road Icthyes is suggesting drivers will try to hurt themselves on the way to the racing venue.

          3. dragonhead08
            18th April 2010, 22:39

            Didnt he knerf him on two different occasions in that race?

          4. you’ll find it wasn’t under the safety car Mac. They had already crossed the safety car line which was before the last corner so racing had resumed. Therefore, racing incident. Webbers punt of hamilton at australia was far more dangerous and speculative. Also vettel should be punnished for squeezing hamilton towards the mechanics in the pitlane, that was unneccesary dangerous behaviour.

          5. OK mike-e. I think that changes things as rules would treat it as any incident disregarding the SC period prior to incident.

            Regarding the Vettel vs. Hamilton pitlane, I don’t know the rules. If he broke them, he should serve a penalty. Sure. But Hamilton (actually McLearen) should be penalized for leaving pit in front of Vettel too. Clear simple, part of the game.

            To everyone. The essence of sport, any sport, is to compete within boundaries of rules. Otherwise is not sport anymore. You brake the rule, you are penalized. The choice is yours.

          6. bernification
            19th April 2010, 3:43

            Actually Mac, the cars had passed the point at which they are allowed to race- in China it is just before the last corner.

            Stupid place, but racing incident

          7. Mac,

            Hamilton was released before Vettel was on the fast lane.

            The reason they got so close was because Hamilton had some wheel spin. The second time they stopped together, Vettel was away quicker too, but Hamilton simply came out in front.

            Think about it, two cars going in the pitlane together. The trailing car stops first and thus also leaves first (if both stops take about the same time).

            There i no rule that says that the lead car should be out first.

            For that matter there is no rule that says that cars cannot drive side by side in the fast lane. It happened lots of time with no penalties handed out at all.

            What people don’t seem to understand is that the penalties for Hamilton and Vettel were give out for dangerous driving.

            Hamilton was getting too much sideways and almost took Vettel out with that and Vettel was driving dangerously when he purposefully touched Hamilton’s car and pushed him into the Williams pitbox.

    2. I’d be interested to see some more replays of the entire incident (are there any available?).

      My first impression was that, as Martin Brundle said during the commentary, Button did potentially break the rule regarding dangerous maneuvers before a restart.

      The Webber incident just looked like 3 cars side-by-side, with two colliding. Not sure that’s anything more than a racing incident, but I’d like to see it in more detail.

      1. I don’t see why the lead driver behind the safety car should be the only driver who can’t choose his tactics for the restart.

        If the lead driver has to drive in a prescriptive way then the other drivers have complete control over jumping the leader at the restart.

        Anyway, my concern is WHY the safety car was called in this place ?

        It seemed a relatively minor problem which could have been covered by flags – at least for one lap to see if the debris could be cleared without the safety car.

        Being cynical I wonder whether the stewards were under pressure to wipe out the enormous advantage that the leaders got from their very clever decision to stay out on slicks.

        The safety car wiped out all advantage from that fantastic call.

        1. x2 in regard to the cynical comment.

      2. “The Webber incident just looked like 3 cars side-by-side, with two colliding. Not sure that’s anything more than a racing incident, but I’d like to see it in more detail.”

        They are not allowed to pass before the start/finish line at the new start after safety car. So it should not be allowed to push other car ot the track…?

        From Official F1 web site under Regulations and “Safety Car”:

        “When the safety car is ready to leave the circuit it extinguishes its orange lights, indicating to the drivers that it will peel off into the pits at the end of the current lap. The drivers then continue in formation until they cross the start-finish line where green lights will indicate that they are free to race again.”

    3. don’t encourage the fia to get involved in racing incidents. May be just a few words with button, and that’s all.

  2. Button and Hamilton should both get penalties for those incidents. But they won’t – as I said elsewhere, today’s Special Guest Steward was a McLaren driver for six years.

    1. Spot on mate. This is why having ex-drivers as race stewards is an awful idea.

      1. I think it’s a good idea in principle but the FIA should be more careful with who they appoint. I think Wurz was a driver too recently.

        1. Do try to keep in mind that he is only an advisor and they stewards don’t actually have to listen to him, I think the FIA stewards are bull headed enough not to be bullied by an ex F1 driver…

      2. Mark Hitchcock
        18th April 2010, 20:17

        Pretty sure Wurz had nothing to do with the penalties (or lack thereof) today.
        And if he did, and is so biased as some people are claiming, why didn’t Vettel get penalised for his role in the pit-lane incident?

        1. Why didn’t vettel get a penalty for pitlane incident?….Well he did nothing wrong….LOL
          He was in the correct lane and irrespective if he moved towards hamilton he never left the fast lane of the pit road..!!!!!!!!!

          Simple fact is the pit road is not a dual carriage way, it is a single car lane, to be honest the only time a car should be allowed out of the fast lane is when they are entering their pit bay and leaving. Hamilton should have never been side by side he alone was endangering everyone.

          Then add Buttons stupidity b4 re-start…
          F1 should look at nascars pace car rule book, it’s designed for safety and fairness for all cars

          The add in Hamiltons nurfing off Webber…

          To be honest Hamilton should have been DQ’ed for pitlane incident for needlessly endangering the whole of pit lane, Button need to be handed a 10sec stop and go penalty and Hamilton also needed a drive thru for the nurf on restart.

          It’s a bloody joke and if this sort of behavior is left unchecked it will kill some one…dangerous driving especially on re-starts should be dealt with harshly and needless pit lane shanagans dealt with even harsher to provide a minimum level of safety alone for all the workers etc in the pits..

          1. I agree that stupidity in the pit lane needs to be cracked down upon hard. It’s already a dangerous enough place without two drivers racing each other wheel to wheel.

          2. The pitlane is not a single car lane it is part of the racetrack and the racetrack rules apply (abeit the speed limit). There is nothing wrong with two abreast (ala Kubica in Qatar I think). Vettel should have been penalised for forcing Hamilton to drive off the racetrack (The pitlane in this case). If he had done this on the main straight we would all have been shouting for a penalty.

    2. both i dont agree but ham could have been less agressive but thats impossible because according to the fia he he is more important than other drivers

      1. I still remember when ‘according’ to the FIA the red cars were most important. :P

    3. Completely agree Red Andy. Wonder what would have happened if it was an ex-Ferrari driver in the steward room this weekend? Both drivers deserve penalties.

      1. Red Bull was involved in both incidents and came off worse in one of them. If you’re going to talk about bias, I have to wonder what would have happened had it been you in the stewards’ room? Enough conspiracy theories, especially given the stewards’ record on penalising Hamilton.

        1. Hamilton gets penalised more than other drivers because he breaks the rules more. It’s a fairly simple correlation. He’s been allowed to get away with some howlers in the past too, which is rarely pointed out.

          1. I hate to get shirty, but don’t make me laugh. Hamilton has so often ended up on the wrong side of marginal calls and criticised for stuff other drivers have received none for that it’s not even a joke anymore, and therefore refreshing to see the stewards looking at everything in context of the incident rather than spicing up the points table.

            The only concrete rules Hamilton has ever broken, to my recollection, was in Australia 2009 and Canada 2008; the rest were matters of interpretation. You can hardly complain about him “getting away” with stuff considering the rubbish that’s been handed his way, and at least be thankful from your point of view that he’s been punished for stuff in the past, as I am from my point of view for everything starting to really even out now. But then, nothing’s good enough when you have a bias.

            I dislike the proper fanboys too, but apart from a few I see on here they’re not nearly as actively biased and vocal as the opposite extreme.

          2. “Hamilton has so often ended up on the wrong side of marginal calls and criticised for stuff other drivers have received none for that it’s not even a joke anymore”
            I think you summed it up perfectly earlier…
            ” Two wrong (decisions) wouldn’t make a right.”
            Him getting let off at times is just as bad as when he got punished maybe harshly. To your list I would add Monza 08 with Glock. That should have got a punishment.
            To be honest though this in some ways is a different era. I’m going to forget all the decisions before this year because it’s a new FIA, president and stewarding system. Everything that could influence how and why the decisions are made have changed. I’m not saying there was bias before as I don’t think there was the great pro Ferrari movement many think but things before at times were over the top but worst of all, ridiculously inconsistent. Things are looking better now or at least different.

          3. I’m sorry but Webber being run off the track is the definition of a racing incident, if he chooses to leave two cars on the inside of a tight corner, what more can he expect?

          4. “He’s been allowed to get away with some howlers in the past too, which is rarely pointed out.”

            With The Hammer (and the rest) it is called: ‘playing the advantage’.

            And, like football refs, they sometimes get it wrong. Ah well, life goes on …

          5. bernification
            19th April 2010, 3:51

            @ steph
            I’m not saying there was bias before as I don’t think there was the great pro Ferrari movement many think

            They had a technical veto. How much more biased can the sport be.

            And it’s funny how Schumacher isn’t quite so dominant now his team can’t have competitors (better) cars downgraded.

    4. you are obviously not a maclaren fan then? biased stewards, what ever next racist f1 fans get a grip sucker.

    5. Well… and the FIA president was Ferrari’s top man up until three years ago. :S

    6. After watching and rewatching slo-mo footage of the incidents it is clear that Button did not slam his brakes on, he was slowing for quite some time before the corner. I agree though that he slowed a bit too much which is what caught the other drivers out.

      Hamilton was trying to avoid Vettel who dived down the inside of the last corner forcing hamilton to move over and thus forcing webber off track. If anyone is to blame for that incident it is Vettel. If you watch in slow motion then you will clearly see this.

      So it looks as if the stewards got another one right. I really wish everyone would stop calling for every driver to be punished for what are simply racing incidents. After all I bet you are the first to complain when there is no overtaking…..

    7. Also I am surprised that if you have a problem with the hamilton webber incident then you have not also asked for Schumacher to be punished for bumping hamilton off track?

      1. When did that happen?

        1. As Hamilton tried to overtake at one point they were side by side and Schumacher moved to the right to push hamilton off track on a straight. Hamilton slowed to avoid an accident. I am not saying schumacher should be punished but if anyone is calling for hamilton to be punished for then this was far more blatant move.

  3. I do think that Button was at fault here, blotting an otherwise-perfect copy book for this race day.

    If he’d wanted to bunch the field up he could have done it earlier where there’s more space such as coming out of the previous corner onto the straight. Although the TV replays do show that Button was already slowing and everyone was caught out by it.

    It was always said in the past that once the SC has come in the leader effectively becomes the safety car until the overtaking line is crossed. Was Button justified in going so slowly, I’m not sure. Do the drivers following have a right to expect the lead driver to drive at a constant pace or should they be on their toes and expecting every eventuality?

    1. In the shots shown at BBC after the race you could see, that Button eased a lot early on the straight before the hairpin and braking. Nothing wrong with that.

      1. i’ll second that BasCB

      2. well there is…

        I cant understand why anyone would try and defend stupid driving…There was no need for it, and the rules need a over haul to stop this sort of crap.

        Lets also remember when hamilton was try to overtake the safety car a few years back causing accident behind him…

        Like I said they need to look at how nascar does it…not only is it fair to all drivers it is also designed to be safe..and not cause unnecessary carnage as highlight in the 2 incidents I mentioned above.

  4. marius van list
    18th April 2010, 11:21

    To much steam in heads of those four drivers anyway. Sport is sport. Rugby it is not. It is F1. Racing is for gentlemen. They all should get some penalties during race. Now it is too late and I doubt stuarts giving any to them now after race. That only would shattered already scratched face of F1.

    1. Funnily enough Rugby is one of the best sport at dealing quickly and fairly in my opinion and the players all have a great deal of respect for each other.

      A final little point is that the fans can hear exactly what the referees are saying because of live radio links. Something F1 should look into?

      1. Absolutely agree.

  5. If anything this was Button’s fault, not Hamilton’s. When you’re not expecting to go that slowly, of course people will bunch up wheel to wheel.

    1. This was everyone at the rear of the packs fault for jumping the gun and trying to make a place up on the restart. If they haden’t assumed he was going faster, it wouldn’t have happend. Completley within the rules, the “spirit” of the rules and his rights as leader of the race.

      Wish everyone would stop mclaren bashing. Schumacher used to do this kind of thing all the time at ferrari, bet no one had a problem then.

  6. Lewis had Vettel on his left so he had no way to go – should he have crashed into Vettel and saved Webber’s already poor race?

    Common sense people.

    McLaren always got the worst penalties during the Mosley years when others managed to get away with stuff.

    I guess even when you on the team radio stuff like:

    -“[Alonso] Lewis is behind you”
    -“I don’t want to hear that”

    you know why people aren’t comfortable having a genuinely good aggresive driver in top 5…

    Since Vettel wasn’t doing that great, nobody wants to look into his actions either

    1. I don’t think Mosley has anything to do with this, I might as well be arguing that Todt had button do in on purpose so they would crash because he was trying to help Schumacher…

      These conspiracy theories are just crap, Maybe Mosley did dislike Mclaren and act accordingly, but what exactly does this have to do with what happened today?

      1. that wasnt the point

        just said it to show McLaren can’t be the most favourable team in this sport… they used to be the scapegoats and now get to race and get the wrists slapped if the drivers aren’t being safe enough (yet neither has caused another car to crash like in thecase of all the Saubers and Toro Rossos and Webber)

        common sense is back from the FIA and i like it

    2. yeah, that was a great exchange on the radio!. I mean, it was when you made it up.

      1. No, the happened in Aus of this year when Hamilton was catching Alonso was Ham was on fresh rubber.

    3. My interpretation of the radio exchange (which I’m fairly sure you’ve misquoted – the engineer was telling Alonso about the gap to Hamilton, not the fact that he was behind) was Alonso meaning “I have no use for this information at the moment” rather than “oh no, not Hamilton, how awful, I’m terrified”.

      1. I heard the radio exchange (I was watching in Japan) and it was funny in English (“I don’t want to know”) but the meaning was definitely like Tim has it – I’m doing my best so it’s irrelevant info as opposed to fear.

      2. Tim – that is the correct interpretation.

        1. danish Hanif
          18th April 2010, 23:23

          he convey 2 importent points to his team.

          1. he knows HIM is catching him on the reash rubber.

          2. as it is because of his team mate who was fighting for the position and team knows he is slow.

        2. it was totally fear. :)

  7. I don’t know, Button did do something unsportsmanlike, but whether it warrants a penalty? I’m not sure,

    I think the Webber bit was just bad luck, If Hamilton was too close before the line they can pass, then he should get in trouble, but was Vettel to close too? just because he wasn’t involved in the collision doesn’t mean he was doing the right think.

  8. Button and all the rest of the cars were in a traffic jam and when you’re in a traffic jam – you go slowly and have your foor ready to hit on the break pedal.

    He was a leader of the race behind the safety car and had the choice over whether to slow down before going full throttle.

    Seriously, would you be watching Formula 1 if everything was like in Bahrain? I guess nobody would be happy either

    1. I suggest you read section 40.11 here http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/sporting_regulations/8687/fia.html

      “In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre which is likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart.

      Button clearly broke this rule, and therefore must be punished.

      1. There was no ‘erratic acceleration or braking’ from Jenson. He slowed down gradually at the end of the back straight, so the drivers behind him should have done the same. If anyone was ‘erratic’, it was some of the drivers behind him.

        1. Exactly Jezson. Seems pretty clear that the rule is trying to outlaw ‘brake testing’ while under SC. Jenson was the opposite of erratic, sure he got slow and probably slower than a lot of other leaders have done in the past. But these guys are professionals and should be able to keep their cars apart and be on the lookout when under SC conditions.

          I wonder what Rohan’s feelings would be had it been anyone other than a McLaren driver?

          1. my thoughts exactly…

          2. I watched several replays of this. When I first saw it I thought Button had done something deserving of a penalty. After watching the replays its clear he didn’t brake suddenly. It was a gradual slow down, which should have resulted in the other drivers slowing down too. I think there were a few other drivers up near the front who were focused too much on what they were doing to do after the safety car came in, and as a result weren’t paying any attention to what was going on around them at that moment. Because of that the cars farther back had no idea Button was slowing, and the whole bunch up happened. After watching it several times its clear that it wasn’t Button who caused the situation, it was a handful of drivers behind him not paying attention.

      2. Why are some F1 fans eager to see punishment for every infraction of the rules and every race incident?
        This is a adrenalin filled sport, with decisions being made by drivers in microseconds – in the heat of the moment.
        We want competitive racing, but we want them to behave like gentlement at a chess game. Madness!

        1. I second that kbdavies. We should be happy, the FIA stopped killing every move on track with a potential penalty.
          A lot of great battles have been ruined that way in the last few years.
          Lets have penalties only for offences, really dangerous driving or for repeated ignoring of behaviour rules.
          The racing should be on track, not in the Stewards room. I am relieved the FIA stopped meddling with the results far to often.

  9. Webbers a fine one to comment after his “Cock up in Australia taking Hamilton off

    1. So two wrongs make a right now?

      1. No, but it does make that Webber shouldn’t complain about other people’s driving.

    2. Webber hasn’t complained, neither as far as I know at this point have Red Bull. Webber’s only comment was they weren’t fast enough and have work to do.
      People need to get off Webber’s case.

      1. He complained to his team over the radio

        1. He told his engineer what happened, that’s all. I wouldn’t call it complaining and certainly not afterwards, publicly like other drivers have do.

          1. I think he was told not to push the issue publicly afterwards, because if there was any penalty it was just as likely to fall on Vettel as on Hamilton. While Webber got pushed off the track by Hamilton’s car, Vettel’s car was just as close to Hamilton’s on the opposite side. Vettel made a push to move more inside, pushing Hamilton closer to the inside, which forced Webber off track. It would be very hard to make the argument that Hamilton had anywhere else he could have been on track. In any case pushing the issue definitely would be worth the risk for Red Bull, considering any penalty against Vettel would hurt their title chances.

          2. He told it in a tone of voice that indicated he was quite upset about it.

          3. Webber’s engineer asked him how he ended up in 11th after the restart because he missed it. He said, “I got punted off by Hamilton”. Simple statement that was very free of “tone of voice”.

          4. You’re just making that up. Please stick to the facts.

            All we heard was Webber saying: “Hamilton bashed me off!” reply “We saw it happen”

            So they saw it happen. No need to ask what happened then is there?

    3. has hamilton apologised to webber? after australia, the first thing out of webber’s mouth was his acknowledgment of his mistake and apology to hamilton. i would hope hamilton has done the same. end of the day, racing incident, let’s move on to spain (if physically possible!)

      1. Webbers race wasn’t ended, and you could possibly argue that Webber should have yielded.

  10. Hamilton should get a penalty.

    1. for what exactly? the pitlane incident where they were released at almost identical times? dont think it could have been closer unless it was a machine with the lollypop.

      or the webber incident which actually vettel caused?

      blatent hami hater.

      1. during the race i thought he deserved a penalty too. i don’t think you need to hate hamilton to have that opinion. but after watching the replay of each, maybe not. and true, it was vettel who forced hamilton into webber. for the pit lane one, it could have gone either way, i think the thing that saved him there was that vettel held his line and was not forced to take avoiding action.

  11. I think the stewards should have been involved, but its the car with #1 on it they should have been looking at. I seem to recall Fisi getting a penalty (or reprimand) last year for bunching people up in the pit lane entry, what Button did today was far more dangerous & had the potential to be Spa 1998 all over again. And without which, I doubt that the Hamilton/Webber incident would have taken place.

    I’m not a fan of race results changing after the chequered flag has fallen, so I don’t necessarily think Button should be penalised now, especially when the Stewards had 35 odd laps to do so. But they definitely should have done so during the race. First major blot in the Steward’s copy book this season, IMO.

  12. Richard Brown
    18th April 2010, 11:37

    I don’t think Button should get a penalty for his restart. The differential in speed wasn’t negatively draconian, the problem with bunching up was caused more by how long the straight was and the spray.

    However, there is a hint of irony from yester-year. Someone might care to remind Button that he did retire from the Italian GP 2000, in his rookie year for Williams, when Michael Schumacher bunched the field up before Parabolica and Jenson tried to wheel-spin his tyres, slamming into the barrier. And with 5-odd rookies in the field, it was an unnecessary challenge to place on them.

    1. Yep, good point. Schumacher got away with that one too. As did Hamilton when he did the same thing in atrocious conditions at Fuji in 2007, catching out the similarly inexperienced Vettel.

      But, the Fuji incident was exactly why Article 40.11 made it into the regulations, or at least was clarified. So Button should get a penalty in my view.

    2. I think the hair pin had a role in the problem, if it where a easier corner…… having said that, F1 drivers are notably for their impatience.

  13. Sorry but this is just plain incredible. Hamilton got dissed, though not penalized, for bunching the field behind the SC in Japan 2007 – including by Webber. Now Button bunches the field and it’s Hamilton who’s at fault again?? It’s getting boring!

    1. Webber dissed him in Japan? Rubbish. He was talking about Vettel punting him off the road under the safety car, if you’re referring to Mark’s interview straight after he retired.

      1. Bit of an injudicious use of rubbish David:

        “It definitely contributed to Sebastien hitting me up the back because Hamilton wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be doing, clearly,” Webber explained. “He spoke in the drivers’ meeting about how good a job he was going to do and he did the opposite. Still, we know for next time.”

        Feel free to retract and apologize for wasting ten seconds of my time finding this quote! ;0)
        I seem to remember some more colourful expressions from Webber concerning the incident, but I really can’t be bothered tracking them down.

  14. this was Button fault, so both McLaren drivers should get a penalty.

    1. Why should both get punished?

  15. Hamilton compromises too much in pursuit to overtake. But it’s worth to note that Vettel is not much better recently, as I see it.

  16. Both Hamilton and Alonso passed other cars in the pit lane entrance. Is this alowed?

    1. yes there aren’t any rules against it, as noted by Anthony Davidson on BBC 5 Live

  17. From what the BBC commentators said, the SC line was before the turn, this “accident” happened at the end of the corner after they were allowed to overtake, nothing wrong with it.

    Button slowing… maybe an issue there. but he did seem to start slowing a lot before the corner to try and bunch it up (as EVERYONE does) and just did a really good job at it because people weren’t slowing in time

    1. From what I saw Button was driving steadily, but it was Rosberg leaving a gap, then accelerating up behind a slowing Button that caused the bunch up. Watch the reply and see Rosberg steam in behind a slowing Button.

      It seems a culmination of several factors. Rosbergs eagerness to get a good run, Button going slower than normal and the saftey car line being before the final corner. Throw some wet track into the mix and somewhere there is going to be some accidents.

    2. From what the BBC commentators said, the SC line was before the turn, this “accident” happened at the end of the corner after they were allowed to overtake, nothing wrong with it.

      No, the cars are not allowed to overtake until they’ve crossed the start/finish line. Unless a car goes off the track, which is why Hamilton, Vettel et. al. weren’t penalised for passing Webber under a safety car.

      1. Nope. They changed the rule for this season. Now they can start overtaking from the first safety car line.

        Article 40.7:
        “overtaking is forbidden until the cars reach the first safety car line after the safety car has returned to the pits.”

        1. They need to change the rule back, then. What the hell is a “safety car line”? Why not use rules that people can understand? That would improve the show.

          1. I guess they want the race to get underway as soon as possible. It makes for a more natural start than waiting for the cars to travel all the way past a few corners and then to the finishline.

        2. A shame, nobody really informed the viewers of this. Why did they not show a coloured line on screen from which point everybody could overtake?

          We were all suprised to see action there and more confused than enyojing it!

          FOM get your act together.

          1. Legard must have referred to this line about half a dozen times.

  18. There was no ‘erratic acceleration or braking’ from Jenson. He slowed down gradually at the end of the back straight, so the drivers behind him should have done the same. If anyone was ‘erratic’, it was some of the drivers behind him.

  19. It was pretty sneaky by Hamilton, however if they were past the safety car line then I guess he didn’t do anything wrong, just capitalised on a good opportunity, and I say that as a Webber fan. It hardly messed up Webber’s race. It was already gone with the tyre strategy and the pit stop stuff up, that front right tyre change seems to be a continuing problem.

    I do wish that the stewards could dish out penalties faster though. Hamilton and Vettel’s incident in the pits probably should have resulted in an instant penalty for both. They are both guilty of putting the safety of pit crews in danger, and Alonso’s jump at the start was obvious after one replay, yet it takes so long to dish out punishment.

  20. In this case Hamilton should have had a penalty.
    Actualy i think only after passing the start/finish line they could be racing hard.
    F1 should use the same system as Nascar uses after a caution which is put them in double files before the safety car goes out, but they could only race which other after passing the start/finish line
    It whould spice even more the race.

    1. The rule states that they can start racing when they cross the SC line so they were perfectly valid to be racing. Also if you actually watch the incident you will see that hamilton only moved over to avoid Vettel who was diving down the inside!

  21. When I read these discussions, I often feel like I must be blind or something because I can’t judge the speed differentials or see all of the detail many of you guys seem to see. How many miles per hour was Button moving at when he led the field to the restart? Did one of you have a radar gun on him or have access to the team telemetry? How closely should others have been following under the wet conditions in a race where some were on rains, some on slicks, some on worn down intermediates? How much water was on the track at that point in time on that section of the track? There were an awful lot of variables out there, yet many of you speak with absolute certainty having only seen the TV feed, much of which was through a long telephoto lens. Maybe the stewards and other race officials consult with people who were actually in a position to judge what happened. Statistically speaking, they can’t all be imbeciles and people with biases so strong they would knowingly misjudge the race. Just food for thought.

    1. You missed all the cars piling up bhind him?

      You don’t realy need to have absolute numbers when you can simply see things go wrong.

      It’s like saying that you need to know the exact flow rate of a leak because otherwise you cannot see the water running down the stairs when your water is overflowing.

      1. Yes but if you watch the replay at a much slower rate you can see that button slowed quite gradually. It may even have been Rosberg that caused the pile up as he slowed much later and obviously much quicker which lead to everyone slamming on the breaks. Button did slow perhaps a little more than you would expect but it was a very tight hairpin and he did not suddenly put the breaks on.

  22. To be honest I think both Button and Hamilton/Vettel (since Vettel was on the inside of Hamilton who was on the inside of Webber) are at fault, it’s not penalty worthy. If anything, it’s more indicative of a larger problem i.e. lead drivers who assume the role of “safety” car and insist on turning into the best possible advantage. Additionally, when did the safety car line change from Start/Finish to before the last corner?

  23. Button isn’t going to get a pentalty an the only penalty Hamilton can receive is a grid drop for reasons Martin Brundle mentioned, regardless of whether they deserve them.

    This is because of the rules on issuing penalties. From what I understood from what Brundle was saying, to give out a 25sec penalty or a drive through the stewards must inform the teams 20min after the incident that it is being investigated. They didn’t do this for Button at all so the window has closed.

    For Hamilton, the incident happened early enough for the Stewards to award a drive through, but instead they chose to investigate it after the race. It didn’t happen late enough in the race for a 25sec penalty to be awarded but as they did inform the team managers in time, they can give Hamilton a grid penalty for the next race which I would expect to be 3 to 5 places. But remember Vettle receving 10 from the Aus incident last year, although that was very harsh.

    I’m going to check the regs to make sure I’m not being very silly right now.

  24. Second race where Webbers’ pit crew have stuffed him up.

  25. It’s time to change this stupid safety car rule !
    Can’t be that 50 seconds adv is lost in 2 laps because of few debris on the track.

    Teams work hard during the race to have their tactics spot on and things like that messed up all the race.

    FIA do something with that!!! It’s a disgrace for F1.

    1. x2 i agree. unbelievable sc

  26. I wouldn’t be suprised if that white line before the final corner was the safety car line. It clears up and “overtaking” technicalities if a car runs wide/slips on the astroturf on the exit before the finish line. So going off what the BBC said, The Ham/Web incident wasn’t an incident.

    Jenson drove slowly around the final hairpin. Fair enough. There’s no minimum speed limit. And if I caught up to a 10mph milkfloat on the road I wouldn’t accuse it of driving erratically.

    In the pits, Hamilton was released moments after Vettel. Vettel just got better grip out of the box, and that isn’t against the regulations.

    The only thing during the race that I would expect a reprimand for was Vettel’s pushing of Hamilton into the pit area. That lane was easily wide enough for two cars. No need for one to send the other into the wheelguns. Just a slap on the wrist and a general clarification for the other drivers will do though. Nothing harsh.

    And that’s my two-penn’th.

    1. “The only thing during the race that I would expect a reprimand for was Vettel’s pushing of Hamilton into the pit area. That lane was easily wide enough for two cars. No need for one to send the other into the wheelguns. Just a slap on the wrist and a general clarification for the other drivers will do though. Nothing harsh.”
      I totally agree.. penalty only mostly spoil the races. And it’s not really that big a deal isit. so a reprimand is enough.

  27. Oh come on. Stop this. If you do watch the replay, u can clearly see vettel moving purposely to his right side when he saw hamilton was there.. so as a racer, hamilton doesnt wanna give up his position so much.. is it wrong? and for the webber incident, vettel was beside hamilton, squeezing him.. so hamilton got no where to go. Is this his fault again? Just enjoy the racing guys..

  28. what a joke, Safety car to remove 0.5lb of debris?? What a disgrace. What a ***** disgrace!!!

    How much McLaren did pay Charlie Whiting for brining Lewis back in the mix with that decision?

    1. ~You don’t make any sense, it risked Button losing the race he had already won.

      1. Besides, Webber was ahead of Hamilton and Vettel right behind him. If anything it helped them even more than Hamilton. If they hadn’t messed up the restart that is.

        It begs the question what people “think” with when they make these accusations.

        It’s depressing to imagine that these people call themselves F1 fans.

        1. Most of these “fans” are rooting for their favourites and they can only see 1 point of view ie Hamilton is always on the wrong side. Nobody picked up on Vettel’s deliberate bunching up in pits behind Webber but if Hamilton had done it ………. we would have probably had 10,000 comments on it.

  29. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion
    18th April 2010, 14:15

    What is disgusting for me is this new FIA sense… I mean, what seems incredible is to reprimand both Vettel and Hamilton for dangerous driving and not give a penalty for that. The same applies to Hamilton’s weaving. If it’s fine, ok, it’s fine and move on. Everybody celebrates it. But if it’s wrong then it is bacause it’s breaking some rule somewhere in the book. What can’t be is something like a reprimand…. COME ON. Plenty of penalties should have been given today and the only one who gets one is Alonso (although he maybe deserved two!!!!)

    FIA is anxious not to brake this new race karma, but this is going to end in personal vendettas. Let time do its work and you’ll see.

  30. To be honest, I think its fair to say that there is no love lost between Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton. Infact, this little feud goes all the way back to Japan 2007, inwhich Vettel rearended Webber behind the safety car.
    Despite pointing out the obvious that Sebastian had crashed into him using his ‘f***ing kids’ speech to the press afterwards, Webber also blamed Hamilton for bunching up the field behind the safety car. Such was the Australian’s fury towards Lewis, the scandal carried on to the following event in China.
    There have been other clashes, including this year’s Australian Gp inwhich Webber apologised for crashing into the McLaren driver late in the race. For me, the incident reminded me of Imola 2004 and the confrontation between Michael Schumacher and Juan Montoya. Granted, the Imola scrap was an act conducted in open racing conditions and not behind the safety car.
    The thing is, Montoya like Webber put himself in a position on the racetrack where he was always going to be dumped on the grass. With or without Vettel being there, Hamilton’s natural reaction was always going to be to run Mark wide. The question is, what were these guys doing ‘trying’ to overtake one another ‘before’ the race had gone green?
    If Webber had passed Hamilton and or Vettel under those circumstances would that indeed be against the rules?

    1. no because they were after the sc line so they were racing

  31. F1 is sport, just like boxing. We don’t need gentleman drivers like Barrichello, Webber or Trulli, who always grumble about dangeous driving. Today Webber’s radio complaint is just like a cry to Mammi.On the conttary,we do need “dangerous” drivers like Hamilton, Schumacher, Alonso or even Montoya. If this action is penalized, then F1 is really dying.

  32. “F1 is sport, just like boxing.”

    F1 is a sport, but it’s not like boxing. Maybe you should go and watch banger racing? That’s more like boxing!

  33. FIA just published the list of guest stewards for the next few races on formula1.com
    They are Mika Hakkinen, Niki Lauda, Ron Dennis and Anthony Hamilton.

    Amazing how McLaren has avoided penalties just before de suspended ban ends on April 29th

  34. I don’t beleive the steward are lenient on Hamilton at all. I think they have been fair with most of if not all their decisions, the pit lane incident was dealt with perfectly by the stewards. Two drivers racing each other, unwilling to yield, neither with the clear advantage. If anything it was Vettel who was being agressive by pushing Hamilton over towards the garages.

    Hamilton’s biggest problem is his dopey team costing him race wins and points. He is clearly much faster than Button, but is undone by stupid mistakes, mostly to do with tires, he needs to over-rule his team sometimes like Button does.

    Webber needs to stop moaning so much, he has caused plenty of collisions himself over he years, most recently this season when he slammed into the back of Hamilton. This incident was a combination of Button being an idiot and going far too slow, and below safety limits in my view during a race and the other drivers not paying attention. However, you cannot expect them to anticipate Button slowing down to crawling pace, he didn’t need to do that, and the same effect can be achieved by choosing the correct point to slow and then accelerate.

    If there is any punishing to be done it should fall on Button, due to that silly idea.

    However, I will entertain one conspiracy theory from the race. That is the ludicrous inclusion of the 2nd safety car spell for what appeared to be a handful of debris on the track. It seems to me the safety car was going to be brought on for the slightest little thing as soon as the cars were seperated by massive gaps. All so as to increase the spectacle instead of safety in my view.

    1. Wow, jou must have seen something different from me the last couple of races, where Lewis is clearly much faster than Button.

      Qualifying – 3 : 1 for Button.

      In the races Hamilton often drove the car faster around the track (and with great overtaking on track), but then again he lost time with pit stops where Button did not have to make up this time in the first place because of some good calls.
      I think Button is really good at the moment and Hamilton can learn something from that efficiency.

      As for the safety car I was puzzled by this one as well and a “make it more exiting” motive sprung to mind as well. Maybe they thought it dangerous, because the parts were hard to see in the spray from the car.

      It would be good if the FIA gave some good grounds for bringing the SC out there.

  35. I haven’t scrutinized the replay, but this is not a complicated issue.

    Virtually every single race will feature some one attempting to pass on the outside in a slow corner and getting pushed off the track. It simply is not against the rules, or practice, of F1, to escort a competitor to the grass if you “have the racing line.”

    Let’s also recall the related Hamilton Rule promulgated at Spa—if Webber had actually got around or regained his spot in this situation by running off track, he would have had to give the spot back. People forget the clear the implications of that terrible bit of rule-making: if you are not definitively, probably all-four wheels, ahead on the outside pass, you proceed at your peril, and any gains you make by “getting pushed off the track” will be taken away anyway. So Webber’s whinge is moot.

    Anyway, I dont hear anyone complaining about Michael being Michael and chucking Massa off the road at the hairpin in similar fashion. (It seems that is the only racing skill Schumacher has not lost.)

    In brief, Hamilton’s move was by the book, consistent with prevailing mores, and not unsafe.

    At the risk of falling into hooliganism, let me say it takes gall for Webber to make this claim given his now notorious habit of chopping and blocking, and the fact his interesing-theory passing style caused him to ram the man he now accuses in the last race.

  36. Mr Zing Zang
    18th April 2010, 17:06

    You are so blind. Did you not see Vettels’ redbull pushing Hamilton into Webber?

  37. It wasn’t Jenson’s fault as I see it (or saw it). He didn’t slow down suddenly, he slowed down gradually, and as Rob B said, Rosberg left a gap, accelerated and then slowed down to quickly which caused the bunching up. I think the 4 drivers behind Jenson at that point should be reviewed if at all. And regarding Lewis, I think it was okay as the safety car line was crossed when he made that move and it was legal as per my understanding of this year’s regs. What demands a review is the Vettel/Lewis pit incident which was clearly unsafe and unwarranted for. Both were at fault equally.
    Also, Alonso’s move on Massa at the pit lane entry was not very legal imo.
    Well, stewards’ call it is and as it stands, there was no action taken. Whatever..

  38. C’mon guys! It’s racing! Good for webber, he had a taste of his own medicine. That’s now considered “equal”! Hahaha! He’s like a kid who lost his ice cream for being stupid enough not to protect it. Even Vettel was on the tip of his anus to snatch Lewis, but sorry for the redbulls! They thought they’re always the fastest…wrong! Redbull…owned!!! Bwaaaahahaha!

  39. when the fia were giving penalties people complained, now they are acting in a different way, and people complain even more. Make up your minds.
    I think bernie is right, f1 can’t be a democracy.

    1. Agree with bernie – rational and dispassionate fans are a rare commodity so best to do what Bernie thinks is good racing and we can pay our monies…..

  40. The bunching only happened because of a very long straight into a very slow corner and one following driver (2nd or 3rd) wasn’t paying enough attention (or was trying to be too clever). This cascaded in them all almost stopping, just like someone hitting the brakes on the motorway an it all stopping for no reason. I don’t think there was much wrong with what Button did I’ve now watched it about 10 times) but it was towards the limit.

    As for HAM, BUT, VET it was effectively one RBR causing the other to go off, HAM just happened to be piggy in the middle.

    I think the pit lane moves by HAM, VET, ALO, MAS were just as bad if not worse, but nothing should be done about those either.

  41. locostbuilders.co.uk
    18th April 2010, 17:45

    Yeah! lets try and dock the british guys some points! Lets try to make show a brit doesn’t win – and all from a UK website. Just stupid

    1. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion
      18th April 2010, 17:50

      What does it matters? Ancient nationalism….. I thought that was something we had left behind some 60 years ago. Maybe I’m proved wrong.

  42. wasn’t it not so long ago that we all thought they were handing out too many penalties???

  43. Stewards are doing a great job!
    No more useless penalties for being racy.
    Hamilton gave us another great race, glad to see him keep second!

  44. Everyone should quit whining about penalties and just let the drivers sort it out themselves. Amazingly, they were able to do this for 50+ years before now. We don’t need any more nannies with rulebooks.

  45. Kubica lost podium because of safety car. Before it happened he had 20 sec advantage over fourth Pertov.

  46. Here some people seem to forget that Japan was in 2007 just as Hamilton behind the safety car brake the group caused me an incident in the back that left out of the race for Mark Webber. From the grand prize is strictly prohibited slow sharply after the safety car.

    Hamilton is the incredible ease of creating a before and after sanctions. since for the reprimands are only in the figure after another driver are tough sanctions. This time and in this case where Jenson Button commits the same offense against the regulations has not even been investigated.

    I really mean this is precisely the commissioner demonstrating favoritism toward certain drivers

  47. Not sure if anyone had mentioned this yet but her in australia (well Adelaide at least) we were getting a slightly crossed transmission which sounded like we were overhearing some of what the stewards were saying. And it was around 15 laps before the end of the race that they said that Hamilton was definitley at fault for the pit lane incident.

    As to Mark’s incident on track it looked to me like a racing incident, 3 cars don’t go into that corner and all come out ok. I know mark has never had the best of luck in F1 but am starting to think this may actually be a holdover from having spent so much time in tintops earlier in his career so he is lacking a bit of the finely tuned racecraft drivers like Ham, Vet et al have from spending more time in open wheelers.

    1. Yeah I heard this (I’m in Melbourne) but I haven’t seen any mention of it so maybe ONEHD got an incorrect feed somehow? It was really weird cos sometimes the stewards actually sounded like they were responding to Brundle and Legard but clearly they had no idea what was going on as they kept talkinv over it.

  48. Only having seen one replay of the webber hamilton incident, it is hard to comment definitively, but it did appear that Hamilton’s McLaren deliberately swerved into Webber’s car. Even though this is after overtaking is allowed, that is not a legal overtaking manouvre. Both Hamilton and Vettel should be called before the stewards to explain the incident – if there was a wall where that astro turf was then there could have been a very nasty high speed accident caused by Hamilton’s move into the side of Webber, who was steering a straight course down the straight (note the contact didn’t happen during the corner, but after the exit).

  49. Once the season settles in Hamilton is going to find any driver not fighting for the championship uniquely unforgiving. He is on 2 reprimands both deserved and appropriate and you can’t expect that he will get to the end of the season without a severe penalty. Button will be the only one amused. The pit lane entry passes were exploitation of poorly drafted rules and that seems to be a growing trend. Where are the rules weak? Where can we surprise our fellow drivers?

  50. Formula One Sporting Regulations 2010
    source: http://argent.fia.com/web/fia-public.nsf/65EE8F15945D0941C12576C7005308AE/$FILE/1-2010%20SPORTING%20REGULATIONS%2010-02-2010.pdf


    “40.5 From this time, any car being driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or which is deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers at any time whilst the safety car is deployed will be reported to the stewards. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane.”

    A wonderful drive from Jensen, but I think you could argue that he, whilst not driving erratically, WAS driving UNNECESSARILY slowly under the second safety car.

  51. You can’t lay the blame at Hamilton’s door. Jenson bunched the field up, Vettel went up the inside of Hamilton, Lewis tried to give him room and while he was doing this Webber refused to give up the corner.

    Two words sprung to mind as soon as the “incident” happened, “Racing” and “Incident”.

  52. As much as I like Button, i think he slowed way too much at that point… he should of been at least reprimanded, so that this stuff doesn’t happen again and that drivers remember how to behave…

  53. ” The regulations warn drivers not to slow unnecessarily during a safety car period”

    That was unnecessary from Button he almost made the whole grid to come to a stand still. He drove an excellent race but if the Steward wants to penalize anyone then it should be Button.As for Hamilton he had no where to go as he had Vettel on his left that was a racing incident.

  54. JB was at fault.. IMHO
    he bunched up the field excessively..

  55. So are you going to punish Vettel, for pushing Hamilton into Webber?

    Come on this is stupid. It was Button’s fault, he bunched up the field excessively which was against the rules. Look at how Hamilton needed to take to the grass at the hairpin.

  56. Did you know Massa and Alonso got called in too? The first signs of the relationship turning sour if you ask me.

  57. Dave the rave
    19th April 2010, 13:44

    Well i just hope that Webber remembers how Hamilton likes to behave the next time he is alongside him ……………and i am sure he will, good luck Hamilton.

  58. Dave the rave
    19th April 2010, 13:46

    I just hope that Webber remembers how Hamilton behaves when he is alongside the next time, and i am sure he will……………good luck Lewis

    1. I think Webber knows exactly how many people he rammed off track already.

      Last year he put Button off in exactly the same way during the Valencia race.

      Although in China Hamilton was obviously pushed to the outside by Vettel who was at the same time trying to overtake Hamilton while Hamilton was overtaking Webber.

      Maybe you also recall Webber taking Hamilton off in Australia so the were both passed by Massa?

      Or maybe you remember when Webber rammed into the back of Hamilton in Australia?

      If anything, it should be Webber who needs to fear that he gets back waht he sowed.

  59. Notice how it is almost always Webber who gets caught up in situations like this. The guy is just mistake-prone, period. He ‘s got the best car and is only 8th in the standings and 32 pts behind the leader !

    Kimi will surely take his place next year.

    1. I hope Kimi returns to the sport, but I don’t think he wants to.

      1. He will, as soon he understand that their is a team that can provide him with money & a the best car on the grid then he will for sure.

  60. It was a great race, some racing incidents. The only issue I have is that vettel looked at hamilton before moving him towards the pit box’s of williams. That was a premeditated move and very dangerous. Just imagine getting those wheels caught in the air lines……

  61. Yeah, let’s have Kimi back.

    It hasn’t done Shumacher any good. Or de la Rosa

    1. Where you want to fit Kimi?

      I think he may replace Webber in the Red Bull, as he had worked with Newey in his Mclaren days.

  62. rashid hasan
    20th April 2010, 18:29

    go hamilton go. the fastest driver should win not the luckiest one. long live hamilton the f1 driver.

  63. My inclination is to put this down to a racing incident and speak to all drivers at the next meeting, especially the leading driver, to reduce the risk of this happening again. If the stewards get involved any further they may as well hand out the penalty to almost everyone as there was such a huge initial and subsequent knock on effect surrounding the incident…

  64. Dave the rave
    21st April 2010, 2:02

    Have i got it wrong ? or did both Hamilton and Vettel get in front of Webber whilst under the SC before they passed the start finish line. Exactly what were their positions at the instant of the collision.

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