Schumacher handed 20-second penalty, loses points finish, Mercedes to appeal

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Michael Schumacher has been demoted from sixth to 12th place

Michael Schumacher has been stripped of his sixth-placed finish by the Monaco Grand Prix stewards, who handed him a 20-second penalty for overtaking Fernando Alonso at the final corner of the race.

The result drops Schumacher from sixth place in the original standings to 12th and out of the points.

The verdict promotes Alonso back into sixth ahead of Rosberg, Sutil and Liuzzi. Sebastien Buemi gains a point for tenth place.

Mercedes have said they will appeal the penalty.

The stewards explained their decision as follows:

The Stewards received a report from the Race Director that car Nr 3 – Michael Schumacher overtook car Nr 8 – Fernando Alonso when the Safety Car entered the pit lane at the end of the last lap.

As the overtaking manoeuvre was in breach of Article 40.13 of the 2010 F1 Sporting Regulations, the Stewards decided to impose a drive through penalty but, as it occurred during the last five laps, 20 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time of car Nr 3.

What do you think of Schumacher's penalty?

  • Schumacher was not at fault and he should have got no penalty at all (62%)
  • Schumacher was at fault but he should have got a less severe penalty (18%)
  • Schumacher was at fault and the stewards gave the correct penalty (17%)
  • Schumacher was at fault and he should have got a tougher penalty (3%)

Total Voters: 2,290

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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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    404 comments on “Schumacher handed 20-second penalty, loses points finish, Mercedes to appeal”

    1. Jules-Pierre
      16th May 2010, 17:40

      A fair decision! Forza Ferrari! :-)

      1. I had the chance to see the whole situation again, and now I agree with Brawn. Stewards gave no indication that the race was ending under safety car conditions. They informed the teams that the track was clean, they waved green flags and the light was green. Green means GO. Michael shouldn’t be punished for doing his job.

        Go home Hill!

        1. EXACTLY, THIS IS RICIDULOUS!! What a disgrace Damon Hill!!

          What counter arguments did they have for what Ross Brawn said here???

          1. We may see when the verdict is published. It’s not out yet.

            1. That’ll be interesting.

          2. If they really want to punish him (and it looks like they do), they still have an option of “a drop of any number of grid positions at the driver’s next Event”. Let’s hope there is someone reasonable out there.

            1. I don’t think a grid drop at the next race would be a good choice, because it means MSC would keep the points for 6th… a position that the FIA deems he should not have taken.

          3. Either stewards got this wrong, or race control did. Michael acted as per the on track instruction. It was clear there were green flags and green lights displayed rounding Rascasse as the SC pitted. If race was supposed to be finishing under SC why was a “track clear” message issued and green flags shown? Green flag means clear to race. Appalling decision. Fully hope Mercedes do appeal and Schumacher gets his rightful place re-instated.

            Was hoping we had seen the last of steward result tampering, apparently something is still rotten in the state of Denmark… well, Monte Carlo.

        2. I had a look at all of this as well. Certainly he was at fault, both McLaren and Ferrari were very clear in instructing their drivers not to overtake. Not sure about Renault etc. Alonso clearly did not even think about defending his position.

          Mercedes/Ross/Michael saw the green flags and reacted on that as well as on the message, that the SC was coming in.

          So far clear, it was against the rules and Fernando should not have lost his place.

          On the other hand, the punishment is somewhat harsh, when taking in account the confusiong information leading Mercedes to the impression they were actually allowed to overtake.
          It was the first time the new rules about this were used, so maybe a penalty in resulting Micheal to end behind Alonso, or behind Rosberg, would have been more appropriate, if such an option was available to the stewards.

          No Hill bias in there.

          1. I think the fact that other teams specifically instructed their drivers not to overtake is being overlooked a bit. They weren’t in any doubt about the rules.

            1. I wouldn’t use that as an argument. They might have told them so simply not to risk any penalties. Kind of like “Don’t overtake [because we are not quite sure how to interpret the rules]”.

            2. McLaren’s instruction to Hamilton was pretty unambiguous:

              Lewis this is the last lap of the race we’ll be finishing behind the safety car. No overtaking.


            3. Interesting that Mclaren chose to edit that radio feed when they told Lewis about his brakes overheating. They chose not to disclose the ‘What the hell how did this happen’ part.

          2. You can bet if Brawn saw an old lady drop her shopping list in the supermarket queue, he’d be telling Schu to nip his trolley past her. I mean, it’s that level of ‘overtaking’ we’re talking about! They seem desperate for any points and frankly ridiculous. Admittedly, being put back into 7th and told to sit in a corner with a big dunce cap on his head would be more fitting.

            1. @ David BR. I completely agree.. and Im laughing my ass off.

            2. Back into 7th? He was 6th….

            3. whoops sorry he was in 7th b4 I forgot about Massa :-)

            4. Umar Farooq Khawaja
              17th May 2010, 9:45

              David BR, they are racing drivers, on a racing track, on race day, under racing conditions. He wasn’t queuing up for postage stamps at a post office.

              I would totally agree with the decision, had the flags been yellow, but they were not. The flags were green. The McLaren instruction was them being overly cautious, probably due to their history.

            5. There’s a thought, F1 drivers in a post office, Rosberg would have the post ladies around him, Schumacher would be jumping the cue, Hamilton would push, Piquet would knock into someone to let Alonso get in front and Liuzzi would be asking about future employment!

          3. Just noticed Brundle actually says “They can still theoretically overtake on the last corner.”

            1. Gavin Campbell
              16th May 2010, 20:33

              Yeah i was under the full impression that the race was ending under the green light and not saftey car. The track had all been cleared so one more corner of racing.

              That race ended under green not yellow flags.

        3. Remember Damon Hill is only one of four stewards. If they put it to a vote, there would need to be at least two others voting with him.

          And he addressed the matter of his rivalry with Schumacher before the race began and said he wouldn’t let it cloud his judgement.

          And we haven’t heard the full reasoning behind the decision yet.

          So perhaps now’s not the time to crucify him.

          1. Does the ex-driver have a vote in his advisory role? I thought he replaced last years’ non-voting chairman, so you would expect that he wouldn’t get to vote either.

            Either way though, it doesn’t affect that at least two of the stewards would have had to have agreed with him for the decision to carry.

            1. I though there were only 3 stewards including Hill? Thats what he said on Saturday when he was on BBC sport.

              I also think the punishment was handed out by the race director thats what ive read on other, far poorer, forums.

            2. Decisions in the stewards’ office are done by consensus, so everyone would have had to agree before a decision (either way) was announced. Damon doesn’t have a vote but he does have input. Given the open-and-shut nature of Article 40.13, I don’t think that input would have made much difference.

          2. Whatever the reasoning, twenty seconds is a lot when all cars are next to each other. Especially when there are other, more sensible penalties available.

            Given that, it’s hard to believe that the decision isn’t biased.

            1. I clearly see an option:

              “c) a drop of any number of grid positions at the driver’s next Event.”

            2. I wouldn’t necessarily call that a less harsh penalty, but OK.

            3. “Any number” can be anything and I’d suggest “one” :)

            4. “I wouldn’t necessarily call that a less harsh penalty, but OK.”

              Errr, ill pretend i didn’t read that. Clearly it “is” a much less harsh penalty. Everyone can do the maths and so can the stewards at the time when the penalty was given.

          3. NomadIndian
            17th May 2010, 5:51

            So with Damon Hill present, they would need only one more steward to vote in favour…

            Just coz I say that I am a Ferrari fan but will vote impartially on a McLaren penalty, does not mean I will.

            And the issue that has been totally ignored is Barrichello’s stupid and childish act of throwing his steering wheel on track. I mean how cranky and foolish can he get and at his age too! Has he already forgotten Massa’s injury or the consequences of a heavy object on the racing line?? How can the stewards not punish that??!!

            1. An excellent point. Did he even get a ‘reprimand’?

        4. i cant believe schuey got punished for this. and all along this season ive been saying what a good job the stewards are doing having ex racing drivers there. today i was totally blown away by this decision. alonso and ferrari where caught napping. and in my opinion there has been far more straight forward decisions on breaches of rules gone unpunished this season. the fia(ferrari) win again…..

          1. yep….Jean Todt doing his job perfectly:))just like mad Max …and for me is far more serious accident yesterday blocking move by Massa than this, but Massa drives for Ferrari

            1. “yesterday blocking move by Massa”

              I agree, i think having ex racing drivers as stewerds is silly idea. You may be a good driver but it doesn’t mean you will understand what judgments need to be made. There is a difference between a judge and an executioner.

              Rules are rules and they need to be followed by the book. Clearly we are seeing irregularities specifically in terms of Massa blocking Button.

            2. I think it is a good idea to have ex racing drivers, I just think the issue is misunderstood, the driver do not have any actual say in what happens, and so far, I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest they even play a small role in the decisions. I suspect its just so the FIA can look good.

        5. The race ended on the last lap with the safety car on track until it pulled into the pits, what do you mean gave no indication of ending under safety car conditions – there were no laps left?

          40.13 If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

          This is EXACTLY what transpired – my replays clearly show the safety car on track with 78/78 laps being displayed…

          1. If they wanted the SC to be deployed at the end of the race they should have left the lights on the SC, race control should not have announced that the SC was coming in, the marshals should have continued to display the SC board and waved yellows.

            The rules say nothing about the last lap, just the end of the race. The end of the race is when the driver crosses the finish line and at that point the SC was no longer deployed as the shown by the timing screens and waved green flags.

            1. Spot on, thanks…………………….

            2. Yes, I agree Ross Brawn was quite clear about this. I was never a Schumacher fan, but when I saw that move on Alonso I thought it was brilliant! I will be a fan from now on. If Hamilton had not been warned by his team he would have done the same thing, guaranteed!!

          2. Yes, but there becomes mixed signals when they show the green flag, which clearly means, the race is on.

            Even the commentators (ex-F1 drivers) in the likes of DC and MB, ruled that to be a good move.

            If they want no overtaking, YELLOW FLAGS, PLEASE!!!!!! (no apologies for shouting)

        6. This is a total outrage. Rightly said, If they didn’t want overtaking, why give out the green flag, why not end it under Yellows? Why did Alonso floor it and become almost sideways coming out the corner if he was told to hold station? Damon has got to let it go! Quoting his statement from BBC’s website, “… But there was a wry smile from Michael. Slightly ironic you could say.” What has a “wry” smile got to do with doing your job? Did the “wry” smile influence his judgement? Did the 2006 incident influence his judgement? Was that what he meant by “wry” smile?
          Total crap!!!

    2. Unbelievable. F1 shoots itself in the foot once again. I thought F1 was all about overtaking? Damon Hill have much influence on this?

      1. Yep it’s pathetic. Punishing drivers for racing until the final laps, why spend loads of time changing rules constantly to promote overtaking then when someone does it penalise them.

        I’m surprised we didn’t get the decision that Damon Hill had been given the 1994 world championship too.

        1. He got his own back in 1998 Japan for blocking MS for 12 laps while not in the title race. Such a selfish Hell-bound soul.

        2. Lol, nice one. He did say in the pre-race build up something about telling the other stewards he may be biased towards an individual driver and so to keep him in check, surprised nobody mentioned that here. So it’s not all Hill’s decision. Where’s the rule clarification? I’ve never been a Schumacher fan but thought it was a great bit of opportunistic driving in an otherwise dull last half of the race.

          1. As I understand the Stewarding process, the ex-driver gives his view and explains the situation, like a driver would see it.
            He does not have a vote in the actual handing out of the penaly.

        3. If anyone else feels like over-reacting about this, please go ahead, it’s Global Toys-out-of-Prams Week.

          1. As Barrichello shown us!

            1. lol! his excuse to Brazilian TV was he needed to ‘get out of the car quickly’!

            2. Well, Actually I think that’s a good excuse considering he was on the end of a fast blind left hander….. oh, and reportedly his car was on fire as well… motivation enough?

              The steering wheel thing I thing was just a stupid mistake, a fine should see the end of it.

        4. There’s a statute of limitations about that – unless the FIA declare otherwise in the middle of an investigation, no result can be changed after the final WMSC meeting of the year in December…

      2. It does seem stupid, both sides thought they were right, so there was no one “trying” to break the rules. The problem came because the rules were fuzzy.

        The sensible punishment would surely just be to swap the places back as all that has happened is Ross Brawn has misunderstood the rules.

        1. i think it’s a fault in the rule book ie. the rule that states ‘if the race ends under the safety car, then no overtaking’ needed to be updated in line with the introduction of the safety car line (which alonso clearly crossed first).
          i think there should be a function in the rules that allows them to simply reverse the positions (as they should have in australia ’09 with hamilton and trulli).
          there are holes in the rules here which mercedes cleverly exploited: the punishment is just ridiculous.

      3. Anyone reminded of Spa 2008? Hamilton fighting all the way to the end to a victory, only to be taken away from him after the race.

        1. That was a fair decision. Watch Suzuka 2005, when Alonso passed Klein in a similar manouvre. He was asked to wait till Klein caught up and passed him, and to try a fair move once again. In Hamilton’s case there was no waiting for Kimi to catch up.

      4. they have to change that stupid rule, but if the rule is there, they have to apply it, so hill is not here to blame. But schumi can be happy to know that the fans are on his side this time, well done michael. The kaiser is back, and we like to welcome him.

        1. Yup. I had no love for MS before this. His moves against Hill & JV ensures that. But today, I find no way to justify the harsh penalty as in my interpretation of the rules (If a rule can have multiple interpretation, it’s a bad rule), it is a 100% valid move.

          Whatever happens, this time MS got himself a lot of new fan (Including me).

          1. Todfod

            Wrong I’m afraid, Hamilton let Kimi past, never mind catch up, and then overtook him again at the next corner.

    3. MacademiaNut
      16th May 2010, 17:41

      Too bad for MSC and Mercedes.

    4. I think that is wrong.

      Damon Hill and Jean Todt (ex-Ferrari) obviously influenced the decision.

      I’m no fan of Schumacher (nothing against him either) but I think that is wrong wrong wrong.

    5. Ridiculous. So you can’t overtake under a green flag now?

      Even if there was cause for a penalty, the worst that should have happened was that the positions should have been changed between him and Alonso. This genuinely comes across as a misunderstanding of the rules.

      Worst decision of the new stewarding era, a shame too as there will no doubt be calls of bias since Hill was a steward.

      1. Yeah, either there are green flags and you race or there are yellow flags and you don’t race. I’m disgusted with this.

        1. Absolutely. Green flag means free to race. Race control and stewards are not singing from the same hymn sheet here. No way FiA or WMSC can punish a driver for racing under a green flag – they have no leg to stand on.

    6. Teflonso strikes again!

      1. It hurts, doesn’t it?

        I think there’s a safe chance on this one that the rules were applied fair and square.

        1. I don’t know. All the evidence Brawn showed pointed to the opposite. And all the BBC panel didn’t think it deserved a penalty. This is another case of giving out arbitrary penalties and extremely opague rules.

          I cannot understand why F1 has such open to interpretation rules!!!!!!!!!!

          1. Do you think Brawn might have been just a little partisan?

            My interpretation of what Brawn and the BBC team were saying was that Schumacher didn’t pass Alonso until after the safety car line. They are right – he didn’t. But they did not take Article 40.13 into account, which says that on the last lap no overtaking is permitted, even between the safety car line and the finish line.

            I do agree that the rules need to be clearer though.

            1. But Brundle said during commentary that the rule had been changed for 2010. As soon as anyone goes past the safety car line in the pits, overtaking is permitted now so surely Schumacher was not in the wrong?

            2. If the safety car is out, overtaking is not permitted on the last lap even after the SC has gone into the pits. Basically, if it’s the last lap the rules are different.

            3. Red Andy is bang on here. The regulation specifically states the rules are different if it’s the last lap. Had this been Lap 77, then there would have been a lap 78 to follow, and when the safety car came in, the race would have “continued”. As it was, the safety car came in when the race ended.

              So while Ross might be right in that the teams were told “safety car coming in” and “green flags”, they forgot that on the lasp lap, that doesn’t mean they can charge for the line and overtake.

              The penalty for overtaking under the safety car rules is a 25 second penalty, so Hill’s alleged axe grinding doesn’t come into it. The problems we’ve had with stewards in the past isn’t “did they stick to the rule book”, it’s “Why did driver X get a penalty when driver Y didn’t for doing the exact same thing?”

              I don’t think there’s a case for pointing the finger at either Ross, Schumi, Alonso or Ferrari for this one, Brawn made a judgement, but the rulebook overrides them, mush feel harsh, but it’s not the steward’s fault either.

              You know who’s loving this though, and crowing his way through the motorhome laughing his ass off, though?


            4. Umar Farooq Khawaja
              16th May 2010, 19:10

              I do not think Rule 40.13 applies because of all the marshals waving green flags and the track-side lights flashing green.

              As for Keith and others saying that McLaren and Ferrari told their drivers to not try to overtake, well, that is them being over-cautious. McLaren and Ferrari do not make the rules. The FIA does, and the FIA rules state that drivers race under green flags.

              The confusion here has been caused by it all happening on the last lap. If the safety car was coming in due to it being the last lap of the race, then yellow flags should still have been out. We all clearly saw green flags and green lights.

              For me, this is an open-and-shut case of Damon Hill getting his own back. He was too weak to get the better of Schumacher on-track so he decided to do it track-side.

            5. Why did they not just stop the race with a ‘Red Flag’. With 3 laps to go why put out a safety car if the cars cannot overtake in the final lap!!

        2. not really. Safety car was out.

          1. was the SC in or out. That seems to be the crux of the issue. If the safety car was out then why the green flags?

        3. Well, considering that the green flag was clearly out, they were under racing conditions, so it’s hardly certain that this fair and square.

          And S Hughes only just pointed out that he is not a Schumacher fan.

          1. I meant opaque rules, sorry, not opague.

          2. Everybody is suggesting that green flag means race and overtake in every condition. I think that might be mistaken, even if ross brawn says so. If not, show me the rule about the green flag.

            Apart from interpretation of the rules, I think it was clear for almost everyone that the race was finishing on SC conditions. On my own interpretation, what i undestand is that if the SC is out in the last lap, end of the race.

            1. Then it should pel off without putting out the message “Safty car in pit this lap”.
              THE FIA MUST BE PUNSHIED 20 millions for this and Hill must pay at least 10% of that. And the money goes to a charity or charities nominated by Schumacher himself.

            2. “Everybody is suggesting that green flag means race and overtake in every condition.”

              Green flag-
              All clear. The driver has passed the potential danger point and prohibitions imposed by yellow flags have been lifted.

              The definition provided by the OFFICIAL F1 WEBSITE.


      2. I’m sure even Fernando would think this penalty an over reaction.

    7. Some people forget that is car racing. Less competition and more stupidity. I don’t care if it is Schumacher, Hamilton or Alonso, I want to watch a race with cars getting to the finish line racing each other. I hate the safety car thing.

    8. This does seem wrong i hope the FIA issue the justification for there decision. Just in case we are missing something

    9. good decision in my opinion

      1. You must be Dyslexic Deksel to think so.

    10. Wrong decision!!

      It was a grey area in the rules, which was very shrewdly utilized by Brawn and Michael.

      If they felt it was wrong, they should have just reversed the positions.

      But Damon Hill seems to have some old score to settle, that is why the 20-second penalty!! Outrageous!!

    11. Any chance of a poll?

      1. Great idea, Keith??

      2. I assume Keith is on it.

        This article would be woefully incomplete without a poll.

        1. Oh, please NO poll!!
          80% of the commentators here didn’t even bother to read into the details of the issue and have got no clue what has actually happend except for what they saw.

          1. Damon, why are you so worried about a poll on this? A poll tells the FiA what fans really think.

            I’m fairly sure that Michael wasn’t thumbing through the rule book coming through the Swimming Pool complex. If race control issue a track clear message to the teams and show a driver a green flag, he WILL race – what else is he supposed to do?

            The poll will reflect our opinion.

            1. Somebody at Mercedes should have known the rules and reminded Michael. I believe Ross not fully grasping the rules in this area either was a major influence on the situation. While I grant that the structure of Article 40 is flawed (which sequences as if Article 40.7 covers all Safety Car scenarios even though it doesn’t), someone at Mercedes should have ensured they understood everything in the document long before the season began. For once the regulations were settled in time to enable that to happen.

            2. Alianora, missing your reply button dear ;)

              This whole situation is unfortunate, but if the fault lies anywhere, it is with race control for lack of clarity with marshalls. Green is green. Drivers do not get emails. A driver obeys the flags. Flags must take precedence over radio instruction. Drivers are governed by marshalls not race control, yellow means caution slow, green is free to race. Marshalls said race, so Michael did.

              Noted your mention on 5Live crew during the practice dear, made me smile for you.

    12. This is such nonesense. So, they say “safety car in this lap”, give the “track clear” sign, green flag the race and then… penalize the driver who was actually alert and doing his job? They penalize the only decent overtaking move of the race? Which was after the SC line and under green flags?

      This is bloody outraging. They reward Alonso and Ferrari for sleeping and penalize Schumacher for being within the rules and for providing us entertainment.

      Really, Hill, is that axe grinded enough now?

      1. Wow…. what a great overtaking move that was…..

    13. We’ve seen some stupid and reckless driving this season, but this was a legitimate pass under waved greens. So it’s okay to do something crazy and get a away with it but a simple pass = 20 sec penalty? Ridiculous.

    14. Robert McKay
      16th May 2010, 17:48

      Rule 40.13 seems pretty blatantly obvious to me and the fact there are green flags does not supercede that rule.

      But I’d rather have seen him demoted to 7th than 12th.

      1. Agree fully.

        I see the gnomes have already started coming out with their predictable “Ferrari bias” nonsense.

        1. Of course it’s Ferrari bias RED Andy.

          1. :D….the “Red” is actually a political thing, not an F1 thing, but I’ll forgive you!

            1. Trust me S Hughes, the Red really is political for Andy.
              Daft saying bias anyway when Todt is the head -ex Ferrari and Schumacher surrogate son? Hmmm easier if he just flipped a coin really. Anyway, the stewards rule mostly and they’ll have look at it. I do think it’s an over reaction and clearly I misunderstood the rules in previous threads.

            2. Gosh, you’ve suddenly gone way up in my estimation comrade.

      2. If I see a Green light and I get a fine for passing, I’d be very upset.

        1. Actually in the highway code, Green means GO if it is safe to do so.

          But on topic this is very wrong. Just as I was starting to regain respect for F1, this crap happens.

          Shumi was within THEIR own rules, why did they bother to change it.

      3. Its not blatently obvious at all – how can the safety car be ‘deployed’ and in the pits at the same time? Another piece of idiotic rulemaking IMO.

        1. Robert McKay
          16th May 2010, 18:09

          The SC is deployed on the final lap, by definition, if it leads the field over the start-finish line, regardless of whether it is coming in that lap or not. Rule 40.13 then applies, which says on the final lap the SC peels into the pits and the cars cross the line without overtaking. It’s blatantly obvious.

          For the people saying the race didn’t finish under SC conditions because the SC didn’t cross the start finish line at the end of the race is irrelevant, because rule 40.13 is in application.

          It’s a daft rule, but as written it’s blatantly obvious.

          1. The big question is did the ‘race ends whilst the safety car is deployed’?
            If the track is already cleared up and the SC scheduled to come in on the last lap, do that mean the ‘race ends whilst the safety car is deployed’ or not? Not to mention that they signaling that “safety car in this lap”, means that the first car can dictate the pace (40.11).. basically preparing himself for racing. Remember, the safety car must be deployed, even if it need to enter the pit lane for the photo finish, so they need to at least keep the yellow flags on and not give the green lights/flags.
            And at the end, most of the people are racing till the end (except Alonso) even if there wasn’t any overtaking.

            If they should gave a penalty, give them to the one who make this stupid ambiguous rules instead of the drivers/teams.

            Hey, safety car in this lap it’s a sign that race is going to be restarted, they even give the green lights and flags… but no, there is this 40.13 rule that probably were made to get a better photo in the finish line.. we don’t want SC to get in the way, do we? Without 40.13, SC would just continue like it supposed to do when the track isn’t safe and there wouldn’t be any controversy over this. But what if the track is safe? Without 40.13, they will race right after they crossed the sc line.

            In the end, what is the purpose of 40.13? if the track isn’t clear, why SC should go to the pit lane? it the track is clear, why they can’t race since there’s a gap between the SC line and the finish line?
            Is it really to get better photos at the finish line? How do you implement 40.13 correctly? Did they implement 40.13 correctly? Why do they have the sc line instead of using the start/finish line if they are going to have 40.13? The best part about moving the sc line before the start/finish line is that we can have a race at the very last second instead of just ceremonially cross the finish line.

            Argh, I just don’t know anymore…

          2. Umar Farooq Khawaja
            16th May 2010, 19:14

            Did you not see all the green flags being waved and the big huge green lights flashing? Why were they green? They should have been yellow, if the safety car was coming in because of Article 40.13.

            Article 40.13 is NOT applicable here.

            1. CORRECT! ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

          3. You’re wrong, Robert, 40.13 does not talk about final lap but of safety car deployed at end of race – that’s an important difference! Today, the race did not finish under SC because of the “SC in this lap” signalling earlier (and green flags, well…) – Per the rules, 40.13 should not apply to this situation today!

        2. Pretty clear, especially in Monaco where the cars then park on the grid to receive the prizes, the SC has to get out of their way for them to finish the race.

        3. the reason why the safety car gets into the pits, is to get a nice picture of webber and the flag, but in reality is like the safety car was there, and the positions were already unchangable. Sad, yes but not all the gp finishes are like brasil 2008. Schumi we are with you though, and we hope your penalty gets reduced to a more reasonable level. Back to seventh will be right.

      4. Completely with you here. Especially as this was the first instance of this new rule coming into the play.
        With the green flags out, it is easy to argument, that the situation was far from clear and offered room for interpretation.

        Maybe Ross should protest it to get this cleared. I am not sure, it is possible to protest these kind of desicions though.

        That would be a nice chance to see the new procededures at FIA applied.

      5. I agree. I’m definitely not Scummy fan, but being demoted to 7th would be fair.

    15. Schumaher is loosing his reputation day by day… Not nice to see…

      1. I beg to differ. This incident only goes on to increase his popularity even more! No other driving in F1 has the nerve and the audacity to do things like this, he is legendary!

        This ruling though it will please anti-Schumi fans but eventually will create more pro-Schumi fans from neutral base those who simply want entertainment, exciting racing and fighting drivers!

        Damon Hill, sour grapes, not even 1/7th of a driver that Schumacher is.

      2. If anything it’s Damon Hill that’s losing his reputation here. Overtaking under green flags should not be penalized. And if you want to argue that it was safety car finish, well, then just swap back their places and be done with it.

      3. Why on earth would Schumi lose his reputation from this. I think it was a great move, far from controversy for most fans.

        OK maybe it was judged not to be allowed in the end, but great for having a go at it and provide exitment in the very last corner.

        Way to go Schumi, this is the right Rascasse move to improve your image.

      4. On the contrary, this is going to boost Schumacher’s reputation as a really good sharp driver for those young enough not to see him race before, and the non schumi haters (we know the haters are not going to change their mind about him)… he passed Alonso driving a ferrari. This also would give him support from the ferrari haters, so people would start seeing schumacher as a driver, not the “ferrari driver” he still is in a lot of people minds.

      5. i think the opposite it’s true here. His reputation is getting stronger with these type of actions. He is a warrior, and we like that.

    16. too harsh, they had to swap their positions and stop. i don’t think it’s a Todt plot, remember that Todt was in Ferrari but he was also in close relationship with Brawn and Schumacher. And Hill was helped by 3 other FIA commissioners (a mexican, a swiss and a monegasque… seems the intro of a joke :D )

      1. Sure does. But the punchline was sick :/

    17. Seems a bit harsh. If you have 2 rules saying different things then you can’t penalise someone for following one and not the other.

      Unless there’s something more to this decision this is a bit of a joke, and I hate Schumacher.

    18. 20 second penalty is completely over the top, especially after the safety car when it’s guaranteed to lose him so many places. I hope they cross out this rediculous rule so the drivers can actually race without having to leaf through a rule book first.

      1. I think the penalty is too harsh but they weren’t able to give him a softer one – there’s no provision for it in the rules.

        1. There is! A fine! they gave Webber a fine for speeding in the pit-lane, wasn’t he supposed to get a drive though penalty instead?

          1. They can impose a fine for pit lane speeding but not for this type of “incident”. Rule 16.3:

            The stewards may impose any one of three penalties on any driver involved in an Incident :
            a) A drive-through penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane and re-join the race without stopping ;
            b) A ten second time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop at his pit for at least ten seconds
            and then re-join the race.
            c) a drop of any number of grid positions at the driver’s next Event.
            However, should either of the penalties under a) and b) above be imposed during the last five laps, or after
            the end of a race, Article 16.4b) below will not apply and 20 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time
            of the driver concerned in the case of a) above and 30 seconds in the case of b).

            1. There is another option, rule “not guilty”.

            2. Hello Keith, i was wondering about this. Is there any real chance of Ross appealing the decision?
              Or is this one of those where no appeal is allowed to decisions of the race stewards.

              As the situation was not 100% clear (SC was out, came in before finish line. But green was waved and a “race free” was given), i am with you and would have preferred a penalty resulting in Schumi ending in 7th or maximum behind his team mate in 8th.

            3. Not sure about whether or how they appeal exactly, obviously McLaren got theirs thrown out in 2008.

        2. There is no provision for not penalising a guy who overtakes under green flags?

          1. Robert McKay
            16th May 2010, 18:15

            It doesn’t matter how many green flags there are. Rule 40.13 is in effect. It’d be less confusing if they weren’t there, but it doesn’t matter that they are.

            1. “Track is clear” in my opinion means that the track is, well, clear. That was the information given to the teams. It wasn’t “hey, it’s a safety car finish”.

              They could just admit it, and say “our bad, we didn’t make the situation clear”.

              And if they really wanted to impose a penalty, they still had the option of “a drop of any number of grid positions at the driver’s next Event”, instead of 20 second penalty.

              What they did instead is ridiculous.

          2. Green flags mean race. The last time a race finished behind the Safety car we had yellows waved –

            1. Robert McKay
              16th May 2010, 18:21

              That’s why I think Schumacher should be 7th, not 12th. But not 6th.

            2. The last time a race finished behind the Safety Car you couldn’t pass before the start/finish line, under ANY circumstances. Nowadays you can, UNLESS it’s the last lap.

              Technically, of course, the last race to finish under SC was Monza, but I know what you mean….:D

            3. That was last year, Tommy, the rules have changed since then.

            4. This is for Red Andy…
              Then why are they waving the green instead yellow? If it were going to finish under the SC, even if the SC is going into the pit lane (because being forced by the 40.13 rule), it should be yellow instead of green all the way to the finish line.
              The race need to end with the SC in order for the 40.13 to be in effect, so when the yellow flags were replaced by the green flags, it effectively cancel the 40.13 because it doesn’t end with SC situation. Remember that the race doesn’t end until they cross the finish line.

              Can we punish the officials instead of the driver? it’s basically the officials fault instead of the driver/team.

            5. Umar Farooq Khawaja
              16th May 2010, 19:19

              Keith, the rules might have changed, but the flags haven’t changed and the rules governing flags haven’t changed either.

              If no overtaking is to be allowed, then the flag to be waved is Yellow, not Green.

              Please take your anti-Schumacher glasses off for a second.

            6. Totally agree Tommy, a green flag to a driver means one thing, race.

              If race control has made a poor job of communicating their intentions to stewards or marshalls over the restarting, or not, of racing conditions, then it is their error and the result must stand.

              Schumacher waited until he was past the SC line and had a green flag. How can he be punished for an overtake in these circumstances?

        3. you are right, they have to change that rule, like some others. I hope todt, takes a look at some of this rules, and uses his common sense, to make them more sesible.
          But the fans are clear, and todt, must be clear about.

        4. They could have dropped him one place on the grid at the next race – that would be much more fitting, under the circumstances

          (Not that I think he should have got *any* penalty ;-)

    19. Yet another example of the FIA outlawing anything which makes the sport good or interesting. They’re ripping the heart out of the sport. Already this season we have a ban on innovation with banning the f-duct, which discourages teams from inventing new things, because the FIA ban them for no reason. Now we have this decision, which unduly penalises a great driver for making a daring move against a driver who clearly thought he’d finished the race.

      One question to the FIA, if the race had ended, why did the safety car pull in? Why didn’t the safety car just carry on over the line under yellows, and end the race that way? The safety car pulling in, and the green flags being waved, is a universally acknowledged sign that racing has recommenced, which should be the case whether they are on the first or last lap.

      If Ferrari had not been involved in this case, the decision would have been very different. I am disgusted with the FIA over this.

      1. One question to the FIA, if the race had ended, why did the safety car pull in?

        Because that’s what it says will happen in the rules:

        If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

        Which was quoted in the article earlier:

        Schumacher courts controversy with last-gasp pass on Alonso after safety car

        1. But the Safety Car had been pulled in, and the green flags were clearly out???

        2. But that doesn’t address my issue. I understand why Schumacher was penalised, but why do we have that rule? What purpose is it serving? Is it safer? I’d say no.

          As the guys on the BBC coverage pointed out, if a person had crashed on the last corner, they would be allowed to overtake, as they would in racing, so why are we allowing the drivers to get to racing speed, but not overtake? What if Alonso had gone wide, leaving a clear gap for Schumacher, but Schumacher stopped so as not to overtake Alonso. There would have been a pile-up behind him!

          Bad bad decision by Hill and the FIA here.

          1. Yeah I think the rule is a strange one – why not just keep the safety car out? Bringing it in in this fashion just creates confusion.

            1. Bringing it in is a one thing. Waving green flags instead of yellow is another, just as is informing teams that the track is clear.

            2. Robert McKay
              16th May 2010, 18:16

              They want the “money shot” of the leader crossing the line unsullied by a big safety car in front of the pack.

            3. Not at all. There is no confusion if the yellow flags are waved and “SC” boards are on display.
              This however wasn’t the case today.

            4. Like I said earlier, with only 3 laps of the race remaining the race should have been ‘Red Flaged’. What is the point of the cars just going around in circles and not been allowed to overtake?

        3. they don’t want the picture of the gp winner, behind the sc in the magazines all over the world. That makes sense.
          I think schumacher and brown were way too hungry. But on the other hand the fans have spoken loud and clear. Schumacher must be demoted to 7th, and that rule to be clarified.

        4. But if the race ends under safety car, the flags and lights would still have to be yellow.

        5. This sentence means the IF the SC IS DEPLOYED but Race Control said SC coming in THIS LAP which means the last part safety car line to finish is to be raced that is why the green flags are waving for.

          Green means any restrictions are removed (short version) and back to normal (rules) IF RC wanted to ended the race under SC they should NEVER give the order SC coming in this LAP.

          SO race control made a BIG mistake here. so any conclusions is for the account of the FIA.

    20. Honestly, I’m not surprised. I thought Ross Brawn’s explanation was questionable and I think it’s telling that both McLaren and Ferrari instructed their drivers not to overtake after the safety car line. Mercedes’ view of the rules was not correct.

      However I don’t like seeing drivers getting punished for overtaking and a fairer penalty would have been to put Schumacher back behind Alonso in the standings. Unfortunately that option wasn’t available to the stewards under the rules.

      1. Why was Mercedes’ view not correct? Wasn’t the track officially given the “clear” status…? Yes it was. Wasn’t the “green light” on, as opposed to waved yellows under SC? …Yes, it was.

        So, ALL the indications demonstrated a clear track, green status and not finish under SC rules. How was Mercedes to know that the track was in fact NOT clear and that the green light was a MISTAKE….?

        The only mistake was from race control who did not advise that the SC would pull in but the race would finish under SC rules. I.e., the track should NOT have been cleared and the green lights should NOT have gone on.

        Simple as that.

        1. probably the mistake hasn’t been made by FIA but by the stewards, who shouldn’t show green flags.

        2. absolutely correct, disgusting decision, especially when you take into account the ‘offences’ drivers have only got reprimands for in the previous races.

        3. Track clear doesn’t mean the safety car is in, track clear means the obstruction is removed. Then notification came that the safety car was ‘coming’ in, but not in yet. However i agree the green seems to have been a mistake and so feel the penalty is harsh, but sadly unavoidable under the rules as they’re written.

      2. +1 on the putting Schumacher back a place, but Brawns explanation to the BBC team seemed perfectly understandable?

        Anyway if the race should finish with a safety car it should lead the drivers over the line, what possible reason should their be to bring it in?

      3. +1 on the putting Schumacher back a place, but Brawns explanation to the BBC team seemed perfectly understandable?

        Anyway if the race should finish with a safety car it should lead the drivers over the line, what possible reason should their be to bring it in?

      4. Keith,
        I agree with you that it would have been better if they’d just reverted the positions back to what they were when the cars were following the SC.
        Basically MSC gained a position because of the SC being out. He couldn’t pass Alonso legimately during the race so why should he gain a place because of the SC? My gut feeling says that isn’t right.
        As far as I can see the rule is there because it’ll look naff for the fans and promoters if the race finishes with the SC going over the line first – it’ll spoil the finish photos. So bring the SC in just before the Final Flag whilst finishing under SC conditions.

      5. Have to agree with Keith. Yes, the rule is vague and the penalty is too harsh. But McLaren and Ferrari were not racing at this point. Why? Because they interpreted the rule correctly. It’s clear that the safety car will not cross the checkered flag, if racing should happen around the last corner, that should be stated in the rules too. However, the way it’s written now, no overtaking. End of story.

      6. MacademiaNut
        16th May 2010, 18:30

        I agree that they should have done what you said without handing over a penalty to MSC. It is too said that they have to pick a punishment from the rule book.

      7. Alonso seemed to be thinking that he was racing at that point. He clearly overaccelerated, going sideways as a result.
        Why would you do that if you didn’t think the guy behind had to right to try and overtake you?

        1. I assume he thought that because of the green light flashing ahead.

      8. exactly my view… since this specific rule is new, and confusion was obvious in the de-brief… Alonso should have been given his spot back, overtake annulled… a 20 second penalty is completely disproportionate especially that the race ended bunched up behind a SC.

        but you got to give it to coincidence, Shumi under doubt when his former nemesis is steward… i have a feeling Bernie directs these things from his invisible director’s chair…

      9. I disagree with you Keith. As a lot of people said before, the FIA or whatever is in charge of the race control, should HAVE NOT waved green flags and should HAVE NOT used the same terms that are used when the SC comes in during NORMAL race circumstances. The race control should have used a NEW WAY to signal these new rule situation. The fact that McLaren and Ferrari interpreted the rule the same way (not he Mercedes way) is as relevant as their interpretation of any other fuzzy rule in the past (not relevant at all). ie. the famous double diffuser affair last year, when the interpretation made by the majority didnt stop Brawn to do it and be legal.

      10. Well, I don’t understand why the safetycar was coming in on the final lap if you’re not allowed to overtake.

        1. By the way I don’t understand why the rules have to be so unclear. Ihadn’t even heard about the “safety car line” before China, despite followin, and during the winter. There was a lot of fuss about changing the point system twice both for 2009 and 2010 and that it would be confusing for the fans, but the safety car line rules are in my opinion much worse.

    21. I think FIA needs to learn a thing about entertainment PR.

      1. I would rather the rules were enforced fairly than selectively applied on the grounds of “entertainment.”

    22. So I guess the drivers now have to receive directions from race control telepathically rather than relying on the instructions and signals of the mashalls and track lighting system.

      A sad step backwards for Formula One stewards.

      Australian Autosport Community

    23. 40.13 was too clear about this, think is the right decision

      1. Exactly.

        Yellow and green flags should not even be a part of the argument. It was the last lap and the article explains clearly what is expected of the drivers. Brawn interpreted the rules incorrectly, and Scummy executed it.

        Rules are Rules.. no matter how harsh they might seem. If Scummy didn’t want a penalty he shouldn’t have tried a cheap overtaking move like that one.

        1. It’s extremely childish when people nickname him “Scummy” which reminds me of that buffoon mp4-19b who used to post on this site.

          1. Sorry Keith about the insult.. *embarrassed*

    24. Right or wrong(I don’t know), it was the only signifigant manouver in an otherwise incredibly boring race. If this ruling was correct they need to change the rules.

    25. Well, I’m just glad that MSC made that move. It’s good to see he hasn’t lost any aggression in those split-second decisions he makes.
      This is the Schumacher we know- the one who sees an opportunity and definitively takes it, no prisoners, no sorries. It happened in Adelaide 94, then Jerez 97, and maybe even Monaco 06. But that commitment to always go for the win and just take every chance he gets is what made him great; glad to see it hasn’t gone away.

      1. You just pointed out all the low points in Schumi’s career. If you think those actions make him a great competitor, I really do not know what you think of true sportsmanship.

        1. That would make Ayrton the worst ever… by far and in some time to come… Do you agree? Cos it can’t be both ways…

          1. That is exactly why I wouldn’t use Senna’s first corner collision with Prost as an example that defined him

    26. Mark Hitchcock
      16th May 2010, 17:53

      I can see why he was punished but 20 seconds is unduly harsh in my opinion.
      What’s the problem with just putting Schumi back to 7th?

      1. Under the rules the only penalties that the stewards can apply are 1) a drive-through, 2) a 10sec stop/go penalty, or 3) a grid penalty for the next race. If an incident happens in the last 5 laps of a race 1) or 2) can be substituted with a 20-second penalty. Unfortunately there is no provision in the rules for simply swapping the drivers around, though I agree it would have been a more appropriate punishment.

        1. Mark Hitchcock
          16th May 2010, 18:07

          Oh yeah, forgot about the last 5 laps thing.
          It would make sense to give the stewards the power to apply a more appropriate punishment if they see fit.

        2. I think the list of arbitary punishments they still choose from just shows that the FIA simply don’t learn from their previous mistakes. In last year’s Australian Grand Prix, Trulli was initially handed a 25 second penalty, when the FIA should know that under safety car conditions, the field gets bunched up and such a penalty would be far more severe than it would have been under normal racing conditions. The fact that a simple position swapping penalty still hasn’t been considered for these situations is very worrying and saddening for the governing body.

    27. TOTALLY UNFAIR :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

      We the fans demand an explination!!!!

      Brawn MUST appeal the decision if upheld then I would like to rose some certain Hill to Hell.

      God > infinity

    28. I agree that this is bad call.

      Green flag
      All clear. The driver has passed the potential danger point and prohibitions imposed by yellow flags have been lifted.”

    29. very bad decision, thats outrageous for penalizing so much as it was a badly written rule, its a joke having damon there, at least just put him back to 7th


    30. The law is clear, good decision

    31. Well, is it written in the rules or not ?
      If it is, then it is fair, albeit quite harsh. I’d say, swapping positions with F Alo would have been too soft though… I really don’t know.

    32. Wow people are quick to blame Hill!

      Surely this decision was down to the exact wording of the rules, and the legality of the move in relation to those rules and their initial (supposed) intention, not by an ex racing driver with a grudge!

      1. For all we know, Hill might have supported Schumi’s actions but the other two stewards voted against! Very unlikely, but could’ve happened!

    33. This was the correct decision according to the rules. I agree that it would have been enough to simply put Schumacher behind Alonso in the standings, I’m surprised the stewards cannot be ‘lenient’ and just do that.

    34. I’m not worried, Brawn will send the lawyers and they’ll win, because they’re right.

      Otherwise, the message is “don’t trust in-race messages coming from FIA”

    35. This is outrageously ridiculous!

      …In the meantime Mark Webber was handed only a fine for being 10 kph over the pitlane speed limit during a race…

      So does this mean you stewards are now prohibiting overtaking at all times and encouraging driving through pits at full speed if your pockets filled with enough cash?..

      Such a shame.

      1. If you look at the time you’ll see that the incident was before the race, when he drove on the grid. A stupid thing to do, but you csn’t punish him in the race for that.

      2. So, pit-lane speeding is not given a penalty!!!

        But Schumacher is!!

        Damon Hill, you sore sore loser!!

        1. Ohh, before race!! Didn’t realize that.

          But still, too harsh a penalty for a non-infringement of the rules!!

          Damon Hill, you sore sore loser!!

    36. For people here who claim that the rules have been broken…

      What part of “track clear” and “green flags” don’t you get…?

      If the race finished under SC rules, the track would not have been officially cleared and we would have waved yellows.

      Which we didn’t. Ergo, the race was on.

    37. What on earth is the new “safety car line” rule trying to achieve? Just get rid of it, straight away.

    38. FIA & F1 stewardship should be ashamed of themselves. The rules & the track situations with regards to the lights were perfectly clear.

      The safety car had come in
      Green lights were on
      Overtake was done after the restart line.

    39. My bad, Webber was speeding when he exited the pits to drive onto the starting grid.

    40. Nobody seems to have mentioned 40.11: “As the safety car is approaching the pit entry the yellow flags and SC boards will be withdrawn and replaced by waved green flags with green lights at the Line. These will be displayed until the last car crosses the Line.”

      Note “… until the LAST car …” – so green lights do not cancel 40.13 which is absolutely clear about no overtaking.

      1. Green flags/lights are only displayed from the last safety car line (or in previous years, the start-finish line), so it still cancels out 40.13 for me.

      2. but it does not say when the SC is no longer in, it just says they’ll wave green flags.

      3. As of 2010, the no overtaking line has been pulled back from the start finish line to the pit-lane line.

        And this finish was NOT A SAFETY CAR FINISH. Teams were clearly told that “Safety car coming in”. If it were a safety car finish, then this message would not have been given to the teams, the safety car lights would have been flashing throughout the time as it entered the pits. This wasn’t such a case though.

        So, it did mean, that we had a 1-corner (200 meter) sprint race finish.

        And Michael beat Fernando in this short race. Why a ridiculous 20-second penalty is beyond me

        1. If I had too choose, that’s what I’d say, too.

        2. I agree with you sumedh.

    41. Keith
      I fully understand your point that your not surpised; and normaly I would agree. However if the safety car would still be in effect would then there would not have been green flags now wouldn’t it. I think it’s dubious to punish an overtaking under green flags. What’s in the rule book on this? It’s a conflicting situation which should imho not be punished but immedeately be made clearer to all. Now we have again a situation that causes anger with the critical fans.

      1. what they’re saying is, even if there’s green flags, if the rules say no overtaking, then no overtaking. it may make sense to them (and it can make sense, if you think that one rule supersedes the other), but not to me.

        1. It is a pretty poor piece of rule-making. Just leave the safety car out in this situation. I don’t see what’s to be gained by bringing it in.

          1. Agree.

            Full stop.

          2. The leading driver gets to cross the line on his own rather than behind a great hulking Mercedes….makes it nice for the photographers.

            I guess that’s the reasoning behind it. Still seems a bit daft though.

            1. But in such case it’s obvious that the yellows flags should be kept.
              But they were NOT, and the green flags were being waved.

          3. I’m surprised the FIA isn’t getting called out for a technical on this. Question is, how insistent will Mercedes be about this? And if so, what avenues are available to them? IIRC, it’s a retro-drive-through, so it may not be appealable in FIA C of A. But we haven’t heard anything from Merc yet.

    42. Just wrong, the safety car was in and the pass completed well after the line (onto the straight in fact) and under green flag conditions. What happened to encouraging overtaking,eh? I think it is just a bitter Damon Hill and I fear the people here saying it was the right decision are just the schumacher haters open your eyes and look at the evidence

      1. I know, it’s crazy that people can point to such a ridiculous rule such as 40.13 and claim an open and shut case when the cardinal rule of racing in any series is green flags means have a go.

        The message from FOM was one of SAFETY CAR COMING IN which is used to alert teams that the safety car is being for lack of a better word un-deployed. There was no indication sent to any of the teams or shown on the timing screens that would alert us to the fact that safety car conditions were still to be observed and indeed the marhalls were obsiously not informed.

    43. Lou made a phone call to Uncle Mo and everything was solved

    44. I’m a fanatic fan of Schumacher.
      But I’m afraid the penalty is fair.

    45. Haha. Of course it’s the Schumacher haters that think the ruling is right. Everyone else knows it’s wrong. The FIA clearly know how to ruin F1 further. The rules just contradict each other. I feel sorry for Michael.

    46. According to the FIA rules, you can overtake in the pitlane (cue to Alonso-Massa), but not under green flag…
      Why is always Alonso involved in the shady episodes of F1?

      1. He’s the new Schumacher, doncha know? ;)

      2. That is a bit harsh. Are you saying that Alonso deliberately ran his race just to be the car in front of Schuey at that point, and then deliberately held back as the SC peeled off so that Schuey passed him & was pinged? Long bow, my friend.

    47. What a joke.

      Firstly, the rules are ambiguous on the matter, for although article 40.13 says that one cannot overtake on the last lap when the SC enters the pits, it urges the drivers to ‘[…] take the chequered flag as normal […]’. According to these year’s rules, however, article 40.7 says that ‘[…] overtaking is forbidden until the cars reach the first safety car line after the safety car has returned to the pits […]’. Thus, the normal procedure is to overtake from the safety car line, which, as far as I know, is what Schumacher did. The rules contradict each other and are therefore open to interpretation.

      Secondly, when a green flag is waved the race is on. This video shows that there was both a green flag and a SC warning ( At 0:04 one can spot the former (and additionally at 0:11 one can see a green flag in the bottom right corner of the video), and at 0:12 one can see the latter. Again, a contradiction.

      Thirdly, if the SC was called in, why was the race not red flagged or finished behind the safety car. If it indeed is so important not to overtake on the last lap, why are the drivers given an opportunity?

      As much as I dislike Schumacher and like Alonso, this decision is ridiculous in my eyes.

      1. I just realised that Brawn has said that himself already… Oh well. Makes it even more ridiculous.

    48. I think it is an over the top penalty but I don’t blame the stewards for that as Keith clearly points out they couldn’t do much else as there isn’t a lot of room in the rule book.

    49. what are the rules surrounding an appeal? from where i sit it would seem that the conflicting information (green flags vs 40.13) should allow reasonable grounds for one and a decent chance of success?

      on a sidenote, i knew MSC would attempt something like that (brundle was obviously of the view that it was race on as he was commenting that webber should be safe as long as he had reasonable traction etc). definitely the most memorable moment of the race – thanks schumi

      1. the main concern here is if they CAN appeal. it’s a retro drive-through, after all. but I think if Merc can show that the decision was so wrong, they may still get a favourable ruling.

    50. Keith
      One last question. Al ot of people are now uitte harsh at Hill. However can you explain what the status is of Hill: Could it be that he was overruled? That he actually was ok with the overtaking and lost in majority? Just asking. Has there been a public statement of clarification of Hill himself?

      1. He’s one of four people in the room. The purpose of the drivers’ representative is more to give a perspective on racing incidents – for example, Hamilton weaving in front of Petrov.

        They way I see it, this is purely a technical, rules-based decision, so not an area where the drivers’ representative might have as great a role to play.

        Of course the rules governing this are utterly different to how they were in Hill’s time.

    51. From JA: #f1 OFFICIAL – Mercedes’ has decided to appeal the FIA stewards’ decision to penalise Schumacher

      1. I doubt this appeal will be fair.

        Similar to Hamilton’s Spa penalty, penalties given after the races are apparently immune from appeals.

        Mclaren’s appeal was thrown out on this technicality.

        1. Mercedes is appealing on the stewards decision not on the penalty. It seems the penalty handed out cannot be appealed but the decision taken by the stewards can be.

    52. Article 40.13 of the Formula 1 sporting regulations states: “If the race ends while the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.”

      No interpretation required, that’s the rule drawn up by the FIA not the BRDC.

      1. the issue is that 40.13 is conflicting with other rules, most notably, that of the “overtakes allowed after first SC line” clause. the green flags basically shoot down 40.13 for me. if there’s green flags, you can race.

        1. Not really as 40.13 is intended specifically to cover the last lap.

          Green flags just indicate that you don’t have to slow down, not that specific rules don’t apply.

      2. If the 40.13 was in force, then there would be still yellow flags being waved, and despite the SC not being physically there anymore, the drivers would have finished the race UNDER SC CONDITIONS.
        But this was NOT the case, as the green flags were waved and normal race conditions were restored.

        1. “GREEN FLAG
          A hazard has been cleared up and the cars can proceed at racing speed.”

          Not “Please proceed and ignore any other rules in place”

          1. Again, you need to look at the first few words of the article… “If the race ends while safety car is deployed”.

            My question to you is do you think the race ended while SC was being deployed? If so, then even if the SC were to came in the pit, shouldn’t the flag be yellow instead of green to indicate that the race would end with SC?

            Since you think that they waved the green flag because the hazard has been cleared up, then wouldn’t that meant the race wasn’t ended while “SC is deployed” since there is a gap between the SC line and the finish line?

    53. Mercedes chose to appeal, good choice and good luck for them!

    54. This is disgusting. Michael was in the right. The race is only over after a car receives the checkered flag. The safety car pulled into the pits well before the flag, so technically and legally the race was still on. Mercedes and Schumacher must fight this all the way, and sue everybody and anybody who had a hand in this nefarious outcome. If that Brit loser, Damon Hill, had anything to do with this he must be hounded out of not only F1 but all motorsport. Disgusting, disgusting, disgusting.

    55. for real….i thought we left this rubbish behind

    56. the waived green flags should overturn that rule

    57. I think the penalty should go to the officials by instructing to wave the green flag (means go racing) not the driver who follows the signal.

    58. The rule clearly states, as wrong as it is, that if the safety car controls the field on the last lap, as it did, then it will pull into pit lane at the end of that lap and drivers will then drive to the finish line in formation without passing. This is regardless that the track is clear and the green flags are being waved. Its just about the only situation I can think of where passing under a green flag is against the rules. McLaren, Ferrari and presumably other teams knew this and informed their drivers as such. Schumacher and Mercedes got it wrong as we all saw and Schumi passed Alonso. While I don’t agree with a 20 second penalty, I do think the stewards had no choice but to penalise Schumacher. I don’t agree with the penalty but that is the only penalty option they had in the rules.

      And to those calling Hill a loser or saying that this is some sort of revenge plot, stop looking for someone else to blame for the Mercedes team getting that part of the rules wrong. Remember that Hill himself wouldn’t have made the decision. He would have only made a recommendation. For all we know he might have said to leave things as they were when they crossed the line. Just because the driver involved is Michael Schumacher it doesn’t mean Hill was out to get him. Besides, what would he have been doing? Depriving Schumacher of world title #8? I highly doubt it.

      That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. Rules are rules, as wrong as they are, in this case at least.

      1. “This is regardless that the track is clear and the green flags are being waved.”
        – How does this make any sense?!
        Either you KEEP waving the yellow flags as you already do, or you start waving green flags WITH SOME PURPOSE in mind.

        Why did they wave the green flags? To fool the drivers? As a joke? For fun??

    59. Adrian Elward
      16th May 2010, 18:30

      Correct but a little harsh.Just put him back 1 PLACE..
      Schumacher 0- Hill 1-Alonso 6

    60. This is absolutely ridiculous. I think in all fairness the explanation given by Brawn is a very plausible one and in line with the regulations. Just because FIA’s own rules are apparantly multi-interpretable, they hand down a penatlty on Schumacher? It is a disgrace. I really never liked Schumacher, but he did not deserve this penalty, he and his team just went by the rules!

      1. They only appear to be “interpretable” by Schumacher, how strange!!

        1. Mike,

          I am not a legal expert, but just the notion of someone like Brawn who has been in F1 for so many years, to risk his driver getting penalized, to me proves that it is multi-interpretablle. Just with the double diffusers discussions last year, I think Brawn is right this time as well. Race control are to blame for creating a situation with lack of clarity. Why else would all the drivers race to the finish line instead of just taking it easy?

    61. Younger Hamilton
      16th May 2010, 18:35

      This is clear Hatred from Damon Hill,im ashamed of him still holding a grudge over Michael.In the BBC F1 Footage Schumi clearly overtook Alonso after the safety car line.In the Rules it clearly says you’re allowed to overtake after going pass the safety car line not the start/finish line.Its Alonso’s fault he got out of shape in Rascasse and Schumi took the opportunity to overtake him into Anthony Noghes.I think its opportunistic not breaking rules.

      Damon Hill im Disgusted with you!!!

    62. What happened in china 2010, when Hamilton pushed webber wide. Can any body explain?

      1. it was after the safty car line, so was under green flag racing conditions

    63. The BBC site says (as much as I think they should have been allowed to race);

      Article 40.13 of the Formula 1 sporting regulations states: “If the race ends while the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.”

      So perhaps the threats against Hill are a bit unwarranted, unless the BBC just made up article 40.13, or it was written at 1553 European time today lol.

    64. I’m not a Schumacher fan but this is ridiculous. A great ballsy move goes punished because the FIA can’t clearly express themselves when writing rules.

      For those who say the rules are straightforward and were followed to the letter – it’s not that simple. A lack of communication was the problem. Whether or not the safety car came in officially or whether we were still under sc conditions is a moot point since the GREEN flags and GREEN lights were all over the place! Every driver stuck their foot down and crossed the line at racing speed. Martin Brundle was bigging up the last sprint to the line the whole lap previous! Anyone who thinks the race was finished at this point is wrong no matter how the rules are worded.

      Good luck with the appeal!

    65. Keith can you clarify. Has there been a race before which ended under SC conditions and wasn’t there a message “Race will end under SC” then displayed to all teams? I’m trying to remember this but can’t find it on my vid collection.

    66. The question is, had race control declared that the race was to finish under the safety car or not? If they had, then rule 40.13 comes into play and the drivers are not allowed to pass after the safety car pulls into the pits. If they hadn’t, then Brawn would appear to be right that once the safety car had pulled in, even though it was the end of the last lap the race was actually back on for the final few hundred yards. Green flags waving would indicate the latter I would guess, but the verdict of the stewards would suggest that interpretation cannot be applied. Which is bloody stupid if you ask me. I’d like to know what communications race control had with the teams prior to the safety car pulling in.

    67. But they can’t appeal post-race drive-through rulings… Hamilton @ Spa ’08 comes to mind…

    68. Crazy Ridiculous decision

      Safety car was in, lights were green, race was finished under green and not SC.

      Worst punishment, if any, should have seen him finish behind Alonso.

      Very unjust.

    69. I entirely agree it is ridiculous as a rule, but if there’s a rule that clearly says “will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking” it can’t really be argued against, even with the safety car line etc… it says ‘without overtaking’, unfortunately.

    70. As I’ve been saying on Twitter, I think MSC falls foul of the rules as written. However, it’s a very confusing rule that none of the experienced drivers seem to be aware of. Brundle, DC both okayed it on the BBC, MSC clearly thought he was fine or he wouldn’t have done it. I think the places should have been reversed and that should have been that.

      And I knew some nutjobs would bring Damon Hill in to this ¬_¬

    71. The rules aren’t hard to understand.

      Article 40.13 of the Formula 1 sporting regulations states:

      “If the race ends while the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.”

      Michael overtook and broke the rules, if it wasn’t the last lap then it would of been fine! So in my opinion and understanding the rules which can’t really be interpreted wrong, Michael should be punished!

      I find it more disgusting how many first page posters, condeming Damon Hill telling him to go to hell, what the heck is wrong with you? I don’t like the rules, nor the punishment but, rules are rules.

    72. What a mess: the race technically ended under safety car, but the safety car was gone at the end of the lap and green flags were waving…? Stupid. Why the SC wasnt there until the end? That would made it clear to all – teams, drivers, fans, stewards = SC is deployed, no overtaking. But the race was restarted, Im sure 99% of us didnt know about some article that states that SC on last lap means its there till the end, even if it will not cross the finish line? After Australia ’09 I thought they would be more careful?
      Besides, wasnt it possible for stewards to just revert the positions of Alonso and Schumacher back to the positions they had just before the restart, and just give a warning?
      One Big Mess those rules are.

    73. This is absolute nonsense as usual. Brawn and Schuey outsmarted the others, spotted a loophole and exploited it. Ross’s explanation seemed much more valid than Domenicali who contradicted himself. He said the drivers were instructed not to overtake, if so why was Alonso sliding and obviously pushing. Brawn’s explanation was perfectly logical. Just as we are starting to get stewarding with some sense, we revert back to the same stuff that ruined 08.

    74. Lethargic on the previous race offenses of pit road position battles, and swerving to block passing and heavy handed on an apparent misunderstanding of race rules and track indications(which provide a conflict with what their intent was, a high speed parade lap), courtesy of someone who might not quite be able to be unbiased with their previous history with Schumacher. An overreation was due.

      Nothing heard on Barrichello dumping his wheel on the only driving line where it was run over by Bruno.

    75. I do like the way everyone is assuming its Hill’s fault even after the rules have been explained a million times.

      But if it is Damon’s doing, can I just say HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA FUNNY!

      1. lol, nice one taurus.

    76. just what if. had it not been last lap? would the pass have been allowed there? don’t they have to cross the line on main straight before they can pass?

      1. before thy had to cross the line on the main straight, but now theres a new line where the safty car pulls in and this is where you can overtake.

    77. Cape Fear said “I find it more disgusting how many first page posters, condeming Damon Hill telling him to go to hell, what the heck is wrong with you? I don’t like the rules…”

      I know, it’s all very bizarre, just last year people would be adding Schumacher + Brawn to equal Conspiracy…
      I certainly don’t, Ross Brawn seemed very honest in his defence of the move and an unfortunate lack of knowledge on 40.13 by all of us, it’s just a weird over-reaction after Schumacher made the only late over-take (which didn’t result in a big smash and safety car – as per Trulli/Chandhok).

      One thing that wasn’t mentioned that I’m interested in, was Trulli lapping Chandhok? Surely they weren’t on the same lap as the Lotus has been much faster?

      Can we start a campaign to abolish 40.13?

    78. “The FIA said the appeal is strictly against the decision, not the penalty itself as drive-throughs cannot be appealed”


      To me it seemed quite odd, that FIA had to step forward and add as much. Seems like there was someone who was bent to get Schumacher and FIA is just doing the cleaning up after him/ her. All in all, it is quite hilarious, as Brawn and Schumacher had every right to fight to finish, as greens were waved. Greens mean track is open for racing and which is what they did. Race control flashed message “Safety Car Coming In” rather than stating that race is finishing under safety car and as such, applicable rules.

      Summary, someone screwed Brawn and Schumacher of a stunning dash for the cash…

      1. Hmmm. Not sure who the FIA did it for. It could be for Mercedes. The penalty is unappealable, yes. BUT if the appeal against the decision works out for Mercedes, then the penalty could be annulled, because the decision that triggered said penalty is now null and void.

    79. We’re not english native speakers here so perhaps what I write is not correct : rule “If the race ends while the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap…” well what does “end” of the last lap means. Perhaps a stupid question but would that “end” not mean after finish line? So would that not mean it goes in the last lap? And then an extra lap without SC without overtaking?

    80. Once again Ferrari, ops, FIA, do something really really stupid and unfair.

      This whole SC thing is awful. A SC ending is the epitome of awfulness. Then a guy takes the opportunity to a really clean overtake and is punished.

      I’m sure that if it were the other way around, there would be no punishment whatsoever.

    81. The rule may be stupid, but it’s still a rule and obviously the other teams stuck to it. Would Schumacher have been able to surprise Alonso if Alonso didn’t assume that there would be no more overtaking? Who knows. Even the German TV commentators, who are usually extremely Schumacher-friendly, called him out on this one immediately.

      It was an awesome move, sure, but that doesn’t mean it was fair, and Alonso shouldn’t lose points because of it, at least not as the rule stands now. Although I do agree that the penalty is too harsh, simply reversing their positions and points should have been enough.

      1. Well said! Unfortunately (I don’t think Schumi should be penalized other than give the position back) I don’t believe the stewards had that option..

        1. That’s because the FIA didn’t bother to amend the rule after a similar penalty was handed to Jarno Trulli (ironically the person who caused the safety car) last year in Australia when we had a safety car finish, though the time penalty was cancelled because of lie-gate.

    82. Is it a fair official decision!?
      ****** ********, do you believe that you can earn more interest/money if you manipulate the facts like this!?
      Why you don’t organize the F1 to be made by pilots sitting in a simulators connected to the FIA server!?
      Do you need a fans at all!?
      Or probably you don’t need a drivers as well!?
      You can put in the simulators some lawyers to do the right job :—————————–>

    83. I wonder about this decision, regardless of what the rule books say, there remains a big confusing factor, why the green flags shown when the safety car went into the pitlane?

      To me a green flag means the race resumes. If it was still a safety car situation as the rule book indicates, there should not have been any green flags.

    84. Andrew White
      16th May 2010, 19:11

      While Article 40.13 does appear to blatantly put Schumacher in the wrong, there are two problems with it that give Mercedes sufficient grounds for appeal.

      The first is that the rules have changed. Before it was obvious that you couldn’t overtake as it was the start/finish line that was used. Now it’s the safety car line, but this has not been accounted for in the rules.

      Secondly, there is no clarification between the safety car being brought in because the race is ending and the safety car being brought in because the danger has been cleared.

      Article 40.11 states that ‘When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message “SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP” will be displayed on the timing monitors and the car’s orange lights will be extinguished This will be the signal to the teams and drivers that it will be entering the pit lane at the end of that lap.’ … ‘As the safety car is approaching the pit entry the yellow flags and SC boards will be withdrawn and replaced by waved green flags with green lights at the Line’

      Obviously, Charlie had decided that it was safe to call the safety car in and so technically they were under racing conditions. Article 40.13 only applies when ‘the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed’.

      1. The problem with appeal is that it only affects the decision and not the penalty, meaning that the 20s penalty is still in effect but Schumacher might be cleared from any wrong doing…

        I think if the appeal is successful, they should at least give Schumacher (or any other driver that have been given penalty incorrectly) something… I’m thinking of giving a +1 starting grid position for the next race should be enough.

      2. No, 40.13 doesn’t say anything about the safety car line at all. It says if on the last lap of the race the safety car will enter the pits and from then on no overtaking simple rule simple understanding.

        40.11 is any other time then last lap, Brawn misunderstood the rules I can’t see them overuling the decision but maybe the punishment.

        I think this article could of been written better in explaining why Michael was punished instead, it’s just getting hits due to it’s title, and many assuming Damon Hill is the only stewart on duty. I mean who next Jean Todt because he is ex-ferrari? /sigh face

        1. LewisC is right, CapeFear – the race did not end under safety car regulations, and what you write is simply wrong! 40.13 does not talk about whether or not the safety car was deployed at any point in time during the last lap – and SAFETY CAR IN as well as green flags means RACE ON! Stewards got it wrong and most teams too apparently. Quite frutrating for people who read…

        2. the first few words from 40.13…
          “if the race ends whilst safety car is deployed..”
          Basically for 40.13 to be in effect, the race need to end within an SC period. If that is the case, then even if the SC going into the pit they should still waved the yellow flags and not the green flags. At least that how I interpret the rule.

          1. That’s exactly right!

    85. The race did *not* end under safety car conditions. The car pulled in and there were green flags.

      I’m not a Schumacher fan by any means – but hard luck Fernando, pay more attention next time.

    86. The Safety Car WAS on track DURING the last lap it doesn’t matter that it pulled in… Article 40.13 then comes directly into play. Other teams clearly instructed drivers to not overtake.

      1. Umar Farooq Khawaja
        16th May 2010, 19:25

        Yeah, I don’t think that just because the Safety Car was on track in the last lap it automatically implies that the race is ending under Safety Car. What if the pit entry was half-way around the track and there were 15 corners? Would everybody still maintain position?

        Rubbish. Schumacher was the only driver who managed it and Hill robbed him.

    87. 20 seconds is just OTT would of been better if schumi was just put behind Alonso again since mercedes’ case is quite strong. Green flags = go go go, should be the FIA penalised for dropping the ball…AGAIN.

    88. I think that in every kind of car racing when the safety car leaves the track you can’t overtake until the S/F line, the fact that it was on the last lap doesn’t change anything.

      The safety car came in because there was no point to keep it on track during the celebration lap

      At least this is my view

    89. Guys,
      I’m repeating again – the drivers are NOT a lawyers at all and they have to follow the signals given by the official autorities (in a part of the second) – green flags in the case!!!

    90. The poll above, the whole BBC commentary team, and the majority of the posters on this website are all in agreement with the fact it was a legal move.

      Stewards should be impartial, not what always ends up looking like they always favour Ferrari, or maybe in this case Hill getting revenge from 1994.

      Already this season and Ferrari have had lots of favour from the FIA, this and the fact no questions arose from the fight into the pitlane, whereas the fighting out of the pitlane with Vettel and Hamilton was deemed illegal. Give us a break and let it go, no wonder F1 is such a turn off to casuals, too much off track decisions alter final results!

      1. So because the BBC commentary team, which by the way Martin even said himself he thought Michael broke rule 40.13… we should just agree and go home? Using that logic so many drivers would have a penalty, it was only in China DC thought Hamilton broke rule 40.11 I guess in your opion that should stand yes?

        What favours have Ferrari had? You mean the ability to modify their engines? They’re allowed to in the interest of reliability, and I believe they needed permission. Same likewise Virgin with their fuel tank.

        Vettel and Hamilton where reprimanded, which was decent decision. F1 is a turn off to casuals anyways because there is hardly any overtaking as shown by bahrain, decisons after the race rarely happen.

        1. For god’s sake man, no-one wants to see obscure regulations discouraging people from overtaking. This race was pretty dull except for that and a few other incidents. Now one of the few overtaking moves is being penalised.

          Just get over yourself. This isn’t about Ferrari this or “the maFIA” or the BBC commentary team. It’s about racing.

    91. I believe the race control all messed it up. So Stewards should rather penalise them. If Article 40:13 was breached (meaning that the race was finishing under the safety car conditions) than the message “SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP” should have not come up. Article 40:11 states that when this message is displayed, safety car comes in, green flags are waved and from the first safety car line all cars are racing again.

      1. Maybe read rule 40.13 again? It states if the safety car is on the last lap it will enter the pits and all cars will cross the line without overtaking…

        1. @CapeFear: you’re stubborn,I give you that, but that does not make your interpretation any more correct. Charlie’s spot on! 40.13 states very clearly that it only applis”if the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed” – safety car wasn’t deployed, as message during last lap was “SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP”!

      2. Exactly.
        The SC race conditions were not kept, the race went green.

    92. Didnt he pass FA b4 Webber crossed the line? SC comes in, car in lead dictates pace…starts racing at Start/Finish line…the rule is in effect until the leader crosses the line…

    93. Thanks for the true support Calum! It seems that there is still people left who like F1 ;) FIA Gents, think about it – you exist because of the fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    94. The fact that most everyone thought it was legal (except the Ferrari boys of course) show how stupid the damn rule is anyways and how no one knew about “the new rule” where they can’t overtake under green when the safety car comes in on the last lap.

      BTW why would you even change the from the way it was before?!

    95. If there can be no overtaking in such a scenario, why doesnt the safety car stay out and save us from this mess?

      best solution – alonso 6th, michael 7th

      1. Strongly agree with Part 1! Who cares if safety car is in front for finish (leader can drop up to 10 car lenghts behind safety car anyway, so no spoiler to views or photos!). Shouldn’t matter for lap of honours either. Also, start/finish line should indeed be the reference, not the safety car line, but Schumi/Brawn got it absolutely right under current rules!

    96. That is one ambiguous regulation.

      Regardless of the way you feel on this the one thing I think is that the rule needs to be clarified.

      How can the race end under the safety car if the safety car has gone in?

      1. The race may be in a “safety car mode” or in a “racing mode”. The physical presence of the safety car is irrelevant.

        1. So the race could’ve stayed in a “safety car mode” had the yellow flags and the “SC” signs been kept.
          But they obviously weren’t kept, and the green flags restored the “racing mode”.

        2. “..if the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.”

          Tell me that is not ambiguous: The race has not ended until they pass the chequered flag.

          And I couldn’t care less what the ruling is.
          It’s just the wording of that regulation gives me a headache!

    97. I’m a long time Schumi hater and even I say this is bullcrap!

      Indicates danger, such as a stranded car, ahead. A single waved yellow flag warns drivers to slow down, while two waved yellow flags at the same post means that drivers must slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary. Overtaking is prohibited.

      All clear. The driver has passed the potential danger point and PROHIBITIONS IMPOSED BY YELLOW FLAGS HAVE BEEN LIFTED.

    99. I dont see how SHU can get a penalty for that when BAR throws his steering wheel into oncoming traffic and gets nothing…

      1. Excellent point…

    100. Technically speaking is the ruling ambiguous in that how can a race be ended if the cars have not crossed the finish line.

      If the race has ended surely it should be declared as the race is finished not signified by green flags and the safety car is coming in.

      1. Exactly.

        “..if the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.”

        Totally ambiguous!

        1. It does sound a bit strange, you’re right, but SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED actually does not necessarily mean that it is on the race track. SC conditions can be imposed even if the actual vehicle remained in the pits, eg for a stupid reason such as a flat tyre. The situation at hand shows that it’s a two-way street: SC IN THIS LAP and green flags mean that once the cars behind the SC cross the SC line the race is back on! Simples.

          1. MouseNightshirt
            16th May 2010, 21:01

            But safety car was not deployed. It was announced it was in this lap and I’m nearly 100% sure we had a “race will finish behind the safety car” blurb appear last year.

            1. That’s exactly what I was just wondering… – I’m glad someone else has that whooshing around the back of their mind too.

              The stewards’ interpretation of the new rule gives us an odd situation where *any* race thats behind the SC on the penultimate lap cannot be restarted, – so we all burn an extra lap’s fuel purely for the chequered flag photo-op

    101. It appears my previous post did not take so once again with the lethargy of the previous races controversy over dangerous pit lane battles and swerving to block passing we finally see them react (overreact)to an event which by the rules and how they implemented (safety car and track lights going green to have a high spee procession over the finish line for photo ops)which made for confusing conditions made that much easier by having someone overseeing that had a prior history with Schumacher. I suppose that is the luck of the draw though. I don’t imagine this will be the last one either.

      I a high note for the FIA. It took 4 yrs but they got back at Schumacher for tainting their show at Monaco.

    102. Ridiculous. When I watch it back there was also quite a lot of skill involved in managing to pass Alonso and hold him off as well.

    103. Err perhaps i phrased that wrong in that its ambiguous in that how can a race finish whilst the safety car is deployed if it has to come in on the last lap….

      But from what ive read people are saying that green flags were waving and the there was an instruction that the safety car is coming in. A race official is a race official and in my opinion should be obeyed, regardless of how lowly they are or if they are doing the wrong thing.

      The interpretation of other teams should have no bearing on the rules.

    104. this decision is a disgrace to formula1!!

    105. Shameful decision. I’ve never liked Schumacher but I’m on his side now. Giving Schumacher 20-second penalty is just not fair. No harm done to anyone. A correct decision would’ve been putting Schumacher behind Alonso in the final standings.

      They shouldn’t let drivers like Hill that have “unsettled business” with current driver(s) be a steward. We’ll never know whether 20-second penalty had something to do with Hill-Schumacher conflict but it sure seems so. This leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouths

      1. Penalising someone for overtaking illegally in the last few laps, by putting them behind the driver they overtook in the final race standings, is a punishment that’s been needed since Spa 2008 (and in that case, an additional clause requiring that the injured driver should finish the race, else there is no penalty, should also be part of the rule). The FIA didn’t learn then and it doesn’t look like they’ll learn now.

        Also, it’s extremely unlikely Hill had anything to do with it, as the ex-drivers are only called on for for advice in cases where the stewards need it. Since it was a case of breaking a solid rule (as little as Schumacher was at fault for doing so), he probably wasn’t involved.

        1. The overtaking was not illegal and stewards should have stayed clear off calling something illegal that clearly is within the rules and the spirit of racing! Desire should be for maximum race time, not maximum hinderence of race driving.

    106. Ross Brawn states the FACTS – how the stewards could not follow this is a dam(o)n miracle:

      “We believed that the track had gone green and the race was not finishing under a safety car when article 40.13 clearly would have applied,” he said. “The reason for the safety car had been removed, the FIA had announced ‘Safety Car in this lap’ early on lap 78 and the track had been declared clear by race control. This was further endorsed when the marshals showed green flags and lights after safety car line one.

      “On previous occasions when it has been necessary to complete a race under a safety car, full course yellows are maintained, as in Melbourne 2009. On the last lap, we therefore advised our drivers that they should race to the line and Michael made his move on Fernando for sixth place. We have appealed the decision of the stewards.”

    107. 270 comments already for a Schumacher controversy! Wait until he pulls a stunt on Hamilton (or vice versa). We’ll have 1000 comments before the day ends.

    108. Technically, Schumacher broke the rules. You cannot overtake if the race ends under the Safety Car.

      But everything on-track suggested that the race wasn’t ending under SC conditions.

      Ignorance is no defence in a court of law, but this is F1, not a murder trial.

      Schumacher broke the rules, yes. But he was not at fault. Common sense and racing once again over-ridden by technicalities.

      1. Schumacher could not have broken the rules because the RACE DID NOT END UNDER THE SAFETY CAR. End of story, one should think…

      2. “But everything on-track suggested that the race wasn’t ending under SC conditions.”
        – No, it did not just ‘suggest’ it. The green flags were a definite, unambiguous declaration that the racing was resuming.

        1. exactly………………………………

        2. I wonder whether Charlie made a mistake, and was following the SC restart procedure when he should’ve been following some new (and perhaps not yet-written) race-finish-under-SC procedure.

          If the stewards’ decision stands, then it certainly looks like the flags were wrong, and the computer messages misleading at best.

    109. What a worthless rule. I agree that the wording can be interpreted in both ways, but how come you penalize a driver over inconsistencies in the stewards’ actions? Like it has been said, if the race is ending under safety car conditions, why make it come in the pits and show green flags?

      Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    110. My message to Schumacher fans who are feeling hard done by today:

      It’s a number of years since I personally stopped looking for clarity in the rules, or even a pragmatic view on right and wrongs when it comes to F1 rulings. Does 40:11 apply? Were the bargeboards mounted vertically in Malaysia (or not…as measured)? Were those tyres really ‘too wide’ all of a sudden? Did Alonso really ‘block’ Massa in the Parabolica? Did Lewis back off ‘enough’ when he fell back behind Kimi after being forced off at the Spa chicane? I learned instead that the minutiae of the rules, and my visceral view of rights and wrongs, have little to no (actually no) bearing on outcomes, and the real predictive power always came from the vested interests and biases. Who is the ‘box office’ draw, in Bernie’s eyes? Who has special status? Who did a back-room deal with Bernie and Max to prevent a breakaway series, with ‘special’ treatment and half a billion in extra FOM money? And what decision will keep the WDC alive to the final race? These considerations had real predictive power, in fact they worked every time, or pretty much. Now, I remember thinking before the 2010 season that the day will come when Ferrari’s interests are the opposite of Schumacher’s, for the first time in a long time, and the FIA would have to take sides. In today’s case I found Ross’s argument quite persuasive and I thought it a typically clever piece of opportunism from Brawn and Michael – possibly borne of many years of knowing they would be automatically rewarded if they could only get the case into one of the many ‘grey’ areas in the rules. In Ross’s case, he had even gotten the double diffuser past the WMSC against Ferrari’s interests, so perhaps he could be so bold – it works every time, after all. Rascasse 06 was the first and only time I saw them press it to a point where there was an insufficient grey zone, and a sufficient uproar, even in a year when the winds were so in their favour that fully inboard dampers were ruled to be aero devices.

      So it might come as a bit of a shock to them to find it doesn’t work any more. Yes, it might be Damon getting some miniscule and ultimately meaningless payback for much bigger wrongs in the past. Or it might just be more of the same w.r.t. Ferrari’s status among the stewards. Who knows? Had the same thing happened to, say, Kubica, or Vettel, I would consider it a little harsh. In fact I do consider it a little harsh, regardless. But let’s get a bit of perspective here. First off, it’s over 6th place, not a win (like Spa 08) or the entire WDC (like events in ’06 or ’03 or ’99 or ’94). Second, it will take a whole mountain of travesties, if a travesty is what this even is, before I’ll consider Michael – beneficiary of a larger mountain of dodgy rulings over the years than any driver I have seen or ever expect to see – to have been hard done by, on nett. You have to have a serious messianic complex to think otherwise. Let’s wait till he’s actually in a title hunt, rather than way down the order and with far fewer points than his team mate, before spitting venom about the crushing unfairness of it all, shall we? And don’t even start with the ‘people will turn off if F1 is like this!’, or ‘this is how they reward people who race!’ arguments. Can you even hear yourselves?

      1. I’m afraid for all your ranting, 79% of people appear to disagree, and say he WAS hard done by.

        1. You didn’t read my post. I agree he was hard done by (which makes me part of the 79%, I guess), and I said so too!

          I also said it’s no big deal in even a slightly bigger picture view and you should get over yourselves.

    111. Yes I Am No Schumacher Fan, I Really Dislike him if I Am honest but Nonetheless, That was Bad Decision.
      Schumacher Was at No Fault.

    112. The stewards are wrong in this circumstance. However most of the time this should have been punished under article 40.3. The fact that they showed green flags argues with this rule and therefore there is no way they can enforce a penalty as its pretty hard to say which rule overrides the other. Its pretty clear that a green flag gesticulates full race conditions.

      Michael Schumacher not only capitalized on a mistake by Alonso, but also a mistake by the Race Director. By showing the green flags and announcing the track is clear they gave permission for all cars to race – which is clearly in the flag rules. Because this was the last lap, yellow flags should have been shown all the way to the finish line from the firsty safety car line – even though the safety car had come into the pits.

      In this circumstance the FIA should issue a statement that they made an error – which they did. Nobody should be penalised. They should clear up the rules around it and make sure they don’t show green flags!

      I am a complete neutral in this because I hate both drivers!

    113. If MSC did break the rule but he was not at fault, what to do?
      Going back to the previous positions (ALO 6th, MSC 7th) sounds like the best way, but as Keith has explained here, this was not an option.

      A less harsh option would have been to give MSC a 1-position penalty in the Istanbul Park. Maybe this is unheard of (I can’t remember any penalty of less than 5 positions, although in practice it can be less than that when other drivers get penalties too), but as far as I know it would be possible within the present rules. The only problem I see with it is that ALO would get no compensation for the unfairly lost position (unless he happens to get right behind MSC in the Istanbul grid).

      Just my opinion anyway

    114. Daniel Bigham
      16th May 2010, 20:50

      The main cruz here, that everybody is missing, is the race control didn’t confirm the race was to end under SC conditions, which they must do, to the contrary, the race control confirmed to the teams that the track was clear and SC was in. By “in”, this means SC no longer applies. Rule 40.13 only applies when it is confirmed the race is to end under SC, which IT WASNT! 40.13 therefore doesn’t apply and the race resumes at the SC line 1.

      1. fortunately, if you read through the comments a lot of people have in fact realized this. you’re absolute right about the rules. the stewars are blatantly wrong.

    115. I don’t know how people can call the rule ambiguous as it’s clearly states “without overtaking” i.e. do NOT overtake. Other teams seemed to understand the situation, is it fair? Probably not, but all of the teams must agree to the rules before the season so there is no excuse on their part.

      1. unfortunately your assessment (and the stewards’) is wrong. you should read through the facts above. Daniel Bigham, just one comment before yours, states the facts. race did not end under SC conditions, Schumi’s manoevre spot on.

        1. f1.1 the penalty in this circumstance is completely wrong but they should normally give somebody a penalty if they do this.

          Exact wording:

          40.13 If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

          This is exactly what happened – the race did end under safety car conditions. But they shouldn’t have announced the track clear and shown green flags. By doing so I believe they overrode the above rule.

          I know the rules were slightly different last year (with the first safety car line rule being introduced this year) but in Melbourne 2009 the safety car peeled into the pit on the last lap and the flags continued to be shown all the way down to the finish line to confirm no overtaking was allowed. This is what should be done on a last lap safety car in 2010.

          Its pretty clear with the flags that the green flag indicates full racing conditions and yellows mean slow down and don’t overtake!

          1. In essence we’re both right and the penalty is a disgrace for F1. But you’re wrong in correcting me. Reason: The race did not end whilst the safety car was deployed, so the situation described in 40.13 did not actually occur in today’s race! That’s because SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP was signalled to the teams, meaning SC conditions lifted, meaning race resumes at safety car line.

    116. My conclusion is that there was obviously either a breakdown in communication or a misunderstanding between the race control/FIA/stewards – and the marshalls themselves waving the flags. As far as the racers knew, they saw green, and green means go. Maybe they should not have been green, so this is why the controversy has developed.

    117. Keith, I hope you write a detailled article about all this fuzz! I think Schum should not penalized: c´mon the flags where GREEN! No matter what the rules say, they where green, so if the rules say you are not allowed to overtake, the people on the track created the confusion by showing green flags so Schum´s and Ross´call is the stewarts´ mistake, not their´s…

      1. Keith, I hope you write a detailled article about all this fuzz!

        Done: The FIA’s badly-written rules leave Formula 1 looking stupid once again

        1. Keith, Thanks for the additional article. I think you’re right in blaming the rules for not stating the facts more clearly, but in fact the stewards should still be blamed for misinterprating, in my opinion, what’s written in the rules! You say that if Brawn’s understanding is correct (which I’d strongly suggest, as 40.13 cannot apply due to the SAFETY CAR IN MESSAGE during the final lap, meaning the race will NOT finish under SC regulations) it would be a “strange situation where drivers were allowed to race from the safety car line to the finishing line”. What would be strange about that? Normally a race lasts until the finishing line, obviously including the final curve. When the track is clear and SC out of the way, race should resume, even for just one turn! After all, overtaking is at the very essence of racing and should be encouraged whenever feasible!

        2. I knew you would do it, just not so fast! Thanks, Keith.

    118. I#m no friend of Schumacher, but if they don’t want racing to the finish line they have the opportunity to red flag the race. Else…

    119. Schumacher works his **** off and does what any good driver would try, to overtake and yet he gets a penalty that takes him out of the points, its a farse. Martin Brundle commentating said that the race wss not over yet and that they could overtake on the last corner. There was obviosly a misunderstanding so Schumi should have been put back to 7th not 12th, total joke, I blame Damon. I thought it was a great pass on a driver that was asleep.

    120. maestrointhesky
      16th May 2010, 21:16

      I’ve reviewed the incident against the rules I’m aware of and to me it’s clear cut. There’s no case to answer! Please enlighten me but I think this particular decision is all about which driver you like least. I’m no fan of MSC or ALO but to me, MSC does nothing wrong. If this is the case, why didn’t HAM get penalised in China when he passed (and pushed off) WEB when BUT backed the field up? Another shocking decision in my view. The stewards should keep their noses out and only intervene when there is a genuine question mark over safety. It was an opportunistic, underhand manoeuvre by MSC but if ALO is as good as everyone makes out, he should have expected it!

    121. This is what is foing on

      1) if the SC is out during the last lap, no overtaking allowed.

      2) Green flags do not mean that no rules are applying. Why does everybody think so? Many rules apply, for example, green flags do not allow to cut chicanes. And in this case, green flag did not allow overtaking.

      while I am no expert, All this is very plausible.

      1. So wrong. NOWHERE IN THE RULES t says that “if SC is out during the last lap, no overtaking allowed”. Had that been the intention of the rules, I’m sure that all the highly paid and trained lawyers, managers and advisers involved in wording the rules would have phrased them correctly. Fact is: 40.13 refers to the race FINISHING UNDER SC. This was not the case today because SC was lifted by message SC IN THIS LAP! Had this message not been displayed before the incident, 40.13 would have applied and Brawn/Schumi wrong. Today, though, they were spot on and sharp – contrary to the stewards.

    122. maestrointhesky
      16th May 2010, 21:30

      It’s got to be said, there’s nothing like a controversial stewards decision to get these sites going! The fact that there’s so much interest means something smells fishy!

    123. No doubt for me.

      If the lap number 78 of a 78 laps grand prix starts with the SC on, the rule 40.13 has to be applied from the begginig of the lap. No matter which flags the marshalls wave after the SC release, Brawn should knew it and let that happend so the pennalty it is correct.

      Sorry for my english and thanks for this FANtAsTIC site

      1. I’m repeating myself: So wrong. NOWHERE IN THE RULES it says that “if SC is out during the last lap, no overtaking allowed” until nd of race. Had that been the intention of the rules, I’m sure that all the highly paid and trained lawyers, managers and advisers involved in wording the rules would have phrased them correctly. Fact is: 40.13 refers to the race FINISHING UNDER SC. This was not the case today because SC was lifted by message SC IN THIS LAP! Had this message not been displayed before the incident, 40.13 would have applied and Brawn/Schumi wrong. Today, though, they were spot on and sharp – contrary to the stewards.

        1. You can repeat yourself all you want, fact is that you’re just wrong. In the case of finishing under SC, the SC is ALWAYS lifted in the final lap as stated in 40.13. Think about it, if it wasn’t the final lap, do you REALLY think that the SC would go out? There’s no way they would have done that, the cars and trash weren’t even removed!

          1. I guess it’s not worth arguing with someone who tries to read things of his liking into the rules. 40.13 does not talk about lifting SC conditions! In the contrary! It’s a really short article and in essence it says that if SC conditions (meaning SC DEPLOYED signalled to teams/driers) are imposed until the end of race, then the actual vehicle will still leave the race track with the situation for drivers unaffect, ie SC in place. Today, the vehicle left following a SC IN THIS LAP signalling, meaning SC conditions lifted, hence 40.13 must not apply! Should be clear by now, no?

    124. Excuse me but how is art. 40.13 in any way vague??

      “40.13 If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.”

      there are a few terms in order for this rule to work:

      – The race ends whilst the safety car is deployed THEN
      – The safety car enters the pit lane at the end of the last lap THEN
      – he cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

      There’s nothing unclear about this and it does apply perfectly to this situation! The race ended whilst the safety car was deployed, the safety car enters the pit lane at the end of the last lap (this is standard procedure apparently) so the cars will take the chequered flag as normal WITHOUT overtaking. This is also the only rule that applies btw. I see a lot of people using different rules like 40.7, but those don’t apply. This is a “lex specialis” in law (in which I happen to have a masters degree so I’m supposed to know this stuff :p), it’s higher in the pecking order than the general rule because it’s designed for a specific situation, in this case, the safety car at the end of the race.

      So the overtaking wasn’t allowed, there’s no question about that. The punishment to me seems a bit too harsch though. I also think that just giving him back his 7th place would suffice, the only victim was Alonso, no one else. Another thing I don’t really get from the FIA rulebook and the reason why it leads to so much frustration:

      WHY don’t the publish their punishments in that same book? It’s weird! It’s like having a law with all kinds of things that are forbidden, but no punishments! At least that would give some indication right? It’s like saying: You shouldn’t murder someone, if you murder someone we’re going to have to wait and see whatever we feel like doing in order to punish you. That’s not how it works, if you murder someone, you can get a maximum punishment of, say, 20 years, within that margin a judge can decide what the suspect’s punishment is. This is just too arbitrary! I think that if you overtake someone illegimate, the worst punishment should be to give him back his position, within that margin the stewards can decide. Now it’s kind of like “hey let’s give him 20 seconds penalty!” or “hey let’s give him a drive-through penalty” etc. That’s what makes it so unclear, the rules are fine, the punishments are not.

      1. Congratulations to your degree, well done! BUT: SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED was not the case here! just because the vehicle is still on the race track in the final lap does not mean SC DEPLOYED applies until end of race. SAFETY CAR IN was displayed since early on during the final lap, meaning SC conditions are lifted once past the SC line. No ambiguity whatsoever. SC IN THIS LAP would not (or at least should not) have been signalled if race was to finish under SC conditions, as then the SC car would simply have gone into the pits, but SC DEPLOYED would have remained until en of race. Rather simple, particularly with your degree;)

    125. If MS had simply declared that upon seeing green lights and flags he presumed the race was on once more, he might have managed to be seen from a different perspective. Just a driver responding to the racing codes and taking a spur-of-the-moment initiative. He would have probably had a much better chance of justifying his move.
      By saying that he received instructions from his pits the situation becomes much more involved. It turns into an inter-team battle referred to the (messy) rule’s interpretation between Mercedes vs. Ferrari/McLaren (have any oter teams voiced their opinions?).

    126. Marshal Stalin
      16th May 2010, 21:44

      MSC was doing what most of us love, hard opportunistic cut and thrust racing. The meister shows some of his old steel. May he get faster and more combative as each race goes by.

      His penalty is absurd, so the rules need to allow stewards more leeway for appropriate punishment. In this case a slap on the hand like a high five – well done schumeister !

      Looking forward to Schu fighting wheel to wheel with his new growing list of enemies – Rosberg, Teflonso, Button … Missed anyone?

      1. Why is Button Schumacher’s enemy? Have I missed something?

        But yes, even though I’ve never been a fan of Schumacher, I must admit that he makes F1 a lot more interesting : )


      The Planet Earth stopped revolving today when it learnt that the 7th placed driver at the Monaco F1 Grand Prix was demoted to 12th. In a bizarre twist, the resulting worldwide tsunami has only been observable on internet discussion sites, where a tidal wave of thousands* of comments has threatened to swamp server boards before tea-time. Commenting on the Earth’s resumption of normal spinning services, a spokesman for the Planet Earth (c) was quoted as saying “we got over the seismic shock when we realized it was actually all Damon Hill’s fault.”

      In other news, a wombat has been seen in an Australian desert.

      *Correct at time of going to press.

    128. absoulte bulls**t. where’s the fun in F1 these days?

    129. i just want to say as a true fan of F1 how angry i am after this, Green flag has always meant to go racing, so what they now expect driver to pull over and start reading the small print of the rule book when they see a green flag?? . . .what an absalute disgrace to F1!!!!!!!

    130. See Kris’ comment in the ‘Schumacher courts controversy with last-gasp pass on Alonso after safety car’. He got it down to a T.

    131. Would rule 40.13 work better if the cars were yellow flaged to the finish line?

      1. For 40.13 to be in effect, then the yellow flags and SC boards must be shown … because if they are not, then the race is not under a safety car and therefore 40.13 wouldn’t apply!!

    132. The rule — as it is written — makes no sense, either grammatically or in law. Parsing the rule reveals that the first phrase says “if the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed…”. This obviously states that the end of the race is a condition precedent for what ever else may be qualified in the rest of the sentence. Logically one could conclude that the ‘end’ would be achieved by the completion of the designated number of laps. Any number fewer than 78 in this event would fall short of a completed race, therefore any additional discussion of SC is irrelevant.

    133. Ah, F1 shoots itself in the foot once again.

    134. I like the new rules. Green flag and green light means u cant overtake. I think the Steward should be punished.

      What about massa and the yellow line on the exit of the pit lane? Did the FIA forgot anything about that?

      The FIA people should be fair enough to give him the deserved penalty,
      Oh,i forgot Hill is one of the stewards and acting as a drivers’ advisor and Shumi is his biggest mate, Thank God we dont have Montoya or Villeneuve as FIA stewards too! maybe the MGP team would have been suspended for the whole 2010 season !Lol..

      Mika should become a fia steward !

    135. If it had been Kamui Kobayashi making the move on Alonzo or even on Schumi, I would wager that over half of the Spoon Face (Schumi) apologists would either take no interest or would be slamming Kobayashi. That being said, I have to say that if I am the driver and I see green, I am on the gas. And if I am in Alonzo’s position, I would be defending my position until the end. It would be interesting to hear Brawn’s radio instructions – I haven’t heard of another team that made that same (mis)interpretation.

    136. i posted this somewhere else

      for 40:13 to apply the race must finish under Sc conditions the race finishes (within the allowed time) the driver crosses the finish line completing the allotted number of laps

      40.4 When the order is given to deploy the safety car the message “SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED” will be displayed on the timing monitors and all marshal’s posts will display waved yellow flags and “SC” boards for the duration of the intervention.

      i.e. had the safety car entered the pit on the last lap with its lights on the sc boards out and yellow flags waving untill the cars crossed the finish line then that would have been a safety car finish as covered by 40.13

      the sc in this lap had been shown this is covered by 40.11 When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message “SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP” will be displayed on the timing monitors and the car’s orange lights will be extinguished This will be the signal to the teams and drivers that it will be entering the pit lane at the end of that lap.
      At this point the first car in line behind the safety car may dictate the pace and, if necessary, fall more than ten car lengths behind it.
      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.
      As the safety car is approaching the pit entry the yellow flags and SC boards will be withdrawn and replaced by waved green flags with green lights at the Line. These will be displayed until the last car crosses the Line.

      thus the clerk of the course had decided that it was no longer a safety car situation at the begining of the lap i.e before the end of the race

      therefore between the first sc line and the race finish line racing is allowed given that 40.4 states the conditions eg no yellow flags between sc line and finish line

      fairy straight forward that

      although pehaps alonso could have been penalised under 40.11
      from the point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which involves no erratic acceleration

    137. 40.13 indicates no overtaking at last lap during safety car. Green flags were waved, why? Unless marshalls made a mistake waving green flags. Guess we have to wait for the final verdict.

    138. I can’t believe all the people who think the 40.13 rule applies here. The race did NOT end under the safety car. There’s a difference between the last lap starting under the safety car and the chequered flag waving under the safety car. In this case, there were green flags waving as Webber took victory.

      The penalty is WAY too harsh and I think it will have to be overturned. Schumacher was taking an opportunity and should not be punished. At worst they should swap him and Alo positions, not penalise him 20s, that’s ridiculous.

    139. Fair and Square….This hasn’t changed in my opinion and Shumi though I like deserve to be punished….Sorry guys Truth is always hard to digest.

    140. It would be very interesting to see how it would be developed all this crap if was Alonso to overtake Lewis……..LOL!!

      1. Or Lewis to overtake Alonso!

    141. I voted that ” Schumacher was not at fault and he should have got no penalty at all” because just for one reason, why did they waved the green light as the safety car went into the pit??

    142. peeps think of every single time there has been a safety car deployed in any race. When charlie whiting declares its safe the lights on the car are extinguished meaning its no longer the safety car in control of the race but is leaving the track until that point 40.9 applies ( cars to stay within 10 lenghts of each other ect

      as soon as the lights are out and the “safety car in this lap” is shown the lead driver effectively becomes the safety car (in termms of choosing his pace) he can if he so wishes trundle at any speed between walking pace and the speed of the safety car. the control for this is simply the yellow flag situation which applies up to the “restart line” at which normal racing is resumed

      The bone of contention is that the stewards have deemed that the safety car period ends when the SC completes the lap i.e if it starts the final lap then its in operation till the race finishes, clearly the rules state that as soon as the clerk of the course gives the all clear then at that intant of time it is no longer a safety car situation but a yellow flag situation

    143. Appalling decision.

    144. To me the rules are clear. If the safety car is in control of the field on the last lap then it will pull in at the end of the lap and the drivers will proceed to the finish line with green flags waving WITHOUT OVERTAKING. What part of this are people not getting???? Mercedes, Brawn and Schumacher got it wrong when Schumacher overtook Alonso. Notice that everyone else got it right. Simply put, the rules forbid overtaking in that situation and its the only time you can’t overtake under a green flag. Its not Damon Hill’s fault. As Keith said, the fault lies in how the rules are written.

      As for those who say the officials never said the SC would be coming in, that’s ******** because even us television spectators knew that.

      Fact is that the rules were clearly broken. This isn’t a FIA/Ferrari/Hill conspiracy. Hill wasn’t out to get Schumacher (he was only 1 of 4 stewards). The FIA didn’t jump on it because it was a Ferrari being passed. The rule would have applied to anyone who passed under the conditions. People are only screaming about it because its Michael Schumacher. Would anyone bleating about this have given a damn if it was say Timo Glock passing Bruno Senna in the same manner? All other drivers were instructed not to overtake as the rules stated they couldn’t. Face facts people, Mercedes GP got it wrong.

      In saying that, the rule itself is badly written and needs to be changed, though not until the end of the season to be fair to everyone. And the penalty was too severe IMO. Putting Schumacher back behind Alonso is what should have happened.

      1. “To me the rules are clear.” – and then you go and misquote the rule.

      2. you’re misquoting the rules and once again using the stupid majority-argument… well, never mind…

      3. Umar Farooq Khawaja
        17th May 2010, 17:30

        There is nothing in the rules that states that grene flags will be waved on the last lap after the Safety Car pits after crossing SC Line 1.

        Keith just made that up. Article 40.11 that Keith quoted is the procedure for when the Safety Car pits before allowing drivers to resume racing.

        The precendent is that if the race is finished under safety car conditions, then the yellow flag is waved and the SC board is displayed trackside.

        That clearly and verifiably did not happen in this case. The overtake was legitimate and there was no breaking of rules involved.

        1. Keith just made that up. Article 40.11 that Keith quoted

          Bit of an obvious contradiction there…

    145. I was hoping there might be more mentioned here about the fact that Alonso was pushing as he crossed the Safety Car line, just as much as Old Schuey was.
      From one of the camera angles, it appeared to show Schueys nose level with Alonso’s rear wing as they crossed the line – sure Old Schuey hadn’t actually overtaken, but just when did he begin the move? Before the previous corner?
      So to my mind, Alonso ought to be punished just as much as Schuey as they were both ‘racing’ before the point at which they were allowed to.
      Now, the rules may be daft, and may be obscure, but they are there (most of the time) for a good reason, usually for safety. Do Alonso, Schuey and Brawn feel they are above the rules?
      To all the other drivers and teams who were unsure of the rules and held back, I say bravo – you had the common sense not to try anything stupid, but Alonso and Old Schuey, both supposedly ‘great’ drivers had to have a go…….
      What would we be saying now if they had connected and come to a halt right outside the Pit Lane entrance??
      Yet again we have seen that its not left to the FIA to make motorsport look like a load of idiots, the teams and drivers are perfectly capable of doing that all by themselves!

    146. I think it was pretty clear. Green flags means race is on. The problem is the organisers wanted to fool the public by simulating a real racing finish at high speeds for the crowd without it actually being racing. Thanks to Schumacher they got a cold shower. I’ve never been a fan of Schumacher in the past but this manouvre was perfect and should be rewarded, not punished.
      The lame excuse of Alonso saying ‘I knew he will get penalised’ makes it laughable.. while he was very obviously trying very hard not to lose the position

    147. Sour Grapes

      40.13 If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

      1. oh, rob….do you really think you found something new here??? guess how many people have already mentioned this! thing is: 40.13 should not apply, but hey, just read the previous comments, will you!?

      2. But the race did not end whilst the safety car was deployed.

        Before the race ended:

        a)the safety car came in
        b)the safety car boards were taken down
        c)green flags were waved

        Now even if a) could be consistent with the race finishing whilst the safety car is still “deployed” , b) and c) are not.

        1. And also…

          d) “SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP” message was sent out, which normally indicates that the race is going to restart.

          e) “TRACK CLEAR” message was also sent out, which normally indicates the same thing.

    148. After the presenters on the BBC joked a few times that Hill would be looking to hand Schumacher a fine if he had the chance, you just knew that any controversial decision the stewards had to take would be to do with Schumacher.

    149. The finish line is the end of the race,not where Damon Hill and the other 3 say it is.The flags were all green and not yellow,the safelt car had exited BEFORE the finish line.Michael is a finely tuned race machine who would never miss a chance to gain a position.
      Fernando Alonso is a good driver and racer too,look how he carved his way through the ranks to get to that position knowing how difficult passing in Monaco is.Sir Stirling Moss said that Michael Schumacher is just a good driver now and not a racer,surely this may make him digest his words?

    150. if i were president of the fia, i’d declare force majeure and institute the “bad rule rule”: clarify the rule in question and place schu 7th.

    151. Everyone should watch the movie called ‘Les Miserables’ and see what’s an unfair penalty :)

    152. What a stuff up.
      Cars do not overtake (whether behind a safety car or not) regardless of article 40.13…if waved yellows are being shown. Don’t you think it sends a mixed (unclear) message to any driver, to pull the safety car in, stop waving the yellow flags, bring out the green ones, start waving them, announce track clear (get on with racing)…safety car in…but, oh by the way…they forgot to announce NO OVERTAKING!! How stupid! How about we keep it really simple. If they don’t want cars to overtake after a safety car period…keep the yellow flags out! It’s not that hard. It’s not brain surgery. It’s ridiculous, and a little bit embarrassing. What a stuff up. If you say GO RACING to a racing car driver, that’s exactly what they do. GO RACING UNTIL THE CHECKERED FLAG!

    153. Ross Brawn was completely correct. Take a look:

      FIA made an error by showing the Green Flag! Not Schumi, not Mercedes…..

      1. Brawn was absolutely correct, why was Alonso sliding, may be to attack Hamilton, why will Schumacher will pay the penalty for the mistakes that the FIA makes. I have to raise another question didn’t Hills saw those green flags?

    154. Clear enough to me
      18th May 2010, 14:33

      Apologies if someone has already said this, but …

      The answer here is in Article 40.11, rather than 40.13.

      40.13 states that “If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.”

      As a result, the key question is whether the race ended with the safety car “deployed”.

      In my view it did not.

      This is because of Article 40.11, which gives the procedure for ending the deployment of the safety car. It states:

      “When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message “SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP” will be displayed on the timing monitors and the car’s orange lights will be extinguished This will be the signal to the teams and drivers that it will be entering the pit lane at the end of that lap.

      At this point the first car in line behind the safety car may dictate the pace and, if necessary, fall more than ten car lengths behind it.

      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.

      As the safety car is approaching the pit entry the yellow flags and SC boards will be withdrawn and replaced by waved green flags with green lights at the Line. These will be displayed until the last car crosses the Line.”

      In the case in hand, my understanding is that the message was given “SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP” (it flashes up on the tv screen as the car comes round Casino square). The car’s orange lights were certainly extinguished (just after the hairpin after the tunnel). Moreover, as the safety car approached the pit entry, “the yellow flags and SC boards [were] withdrawn and replaced by waved green flags with green lights at the Line.”

      In short, the existence of green flags and lights does NOT seem to be a mistake by the race stewards, but seems to be the correct procedure for ending the deployment of the safety car.

      Now it just so happens that the deployment of the saftey car ended on the last lap of the race. However, this does not in turn mean that Article 40.13 applies.

      As noted above, Article 40.13 states “If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.”

      It does NOT state “If the deployment of the saftey car is ended in the last lap of the race, it will enter the pit lane at the end of that last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.”

      Presumably, IF the saftey car was still in effect at the end of the last lap, then the end of deployment procedure identified above would not have been followed: there would have been no message “SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP”, and the yellow flags and SC boards would still have been showing as the saftey car entered the pit lane at the end of the last lap, in accordance with Article 40.13.

      In short, the deployment of the saftey car had ended, albeit in the last lap, and the race was back on (which interpretation is consistent with the general provisions concerning the meaning of a green flag).

      Schumacher’s overtaking manouvre was legitimate.

      What have I missed?

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