Petrov penalised, Massa spared (Poll)

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Vitaly Petrov has been handed a five-place grid penalty for the next round of the championship at Korea for his collision with Nico Hulkenberg on the first lap of the Japanese Grand Prix.

However Felipe Massa has not been punished for his collision moments later with Vitantonio Liuzzi.

All four drivers retired from the race.

Massa went off the track at the first corner, rejoined and hit Liuzzi. The stewards said:

The stewards after hearing the explanation of both the competitors representatives and the drivers decided that the incident requires no further action.

Petrov was given a penalty for “[Causing] a collision with car 10, Nico Hulkenberg.”

Who should have had a penalty?

  • Neither (26%)
  • Petrov and Massa (39%)
  • Just Massa (13%)
  • Just Petrov (22%)

Total Voters: 1,049

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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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    87 comments on “Petrov penalised, Massa spared (Poll)”

    1. I’d swear that I saw a Pet smack Massa’s front left on the start… I hated the Jap TV coverage as I saw only one replay of the start a right angle.

      1. The replays were terrible I agree. Showed us nothing at all. No onboards whatsoever.

        1. Agree they didn’t showed anything of what happened, they could have showed it when they were behind the safety cars. EVen they missed the moves of Schumacher on Barrichello & Nico going out at 130R while trying to overtake a Torro Rosso.

          But looking at what I saw I think Massa should also been penalized as he was over ambitious.

        2. first they missed part of what was happening at the start and then the replays showed nothing much as well.
          Another missed opportunity by the TV crew.

          I think Petrov went between the Hulk and Massa, then went to the side as Massa wanted to get further from the wall, and hit Hülkenberg, as Massa swiped back towards the edge of the track, where he probably lost control on the still damp kerbs / grass and harpooned Liuzzi.
          To me it’s probably a racing incident.

          Might be they are harder on Petrov, as he is a rookie and has to learn from it and it is not the first time at the start as well. Also, without Massa swooping a bit off track after those two hit, he might not have lost control.

      2. As I think I saw it… Pet was coming up the middle and smacked Mass on the left front wheel. Massa seemed very unstable and then the rest happened. But I only saw one quick replay of it.

        1. I live in Japan. For some reason the whole country has an aversion to replays.

          The native TV coverage cuts away to commercials at the wrong time (despite it not being live) at baseball and soccer games, they have giant screens they only use for shots of the crowd, and when they get a chance to direct and F1 race they completely screw it.


    2. I don’t think Petrov should have been penalized, he was punished enough with his race finishing before the first corner (and I’m a Williams supporter). I think it was a racing incident…

      1. It’ll be interesting to see the results of f1fanatic poll.

      2. No it was extremely poor judgement, he basically drove over the front right corner of Hulkenberg’s car. That’s how I see it anyway.

        1. But does it really need to be penalized with grid penalty on next race? Imagine if Webber received penalty for his crash at Valencia, this is similar racing incident in my book.

          1. it was as much of a racing incident as Vettel and Webber in Turkey

            1. @gabal & @glue, you might be right, I’d have to see an onboard to decide.
              However, incidents mid-race should be treated different to those at the race start, it’s not just a simple case of two drivers crashing.
              Petrov did appear to drive for a gap that wasn’t there.

      3. Nobody should be penalized, nobody tries to take themselves out of the race. When was this trash of punishing drivers for being aggresive. I thought they wanted passing, not follow the leader. F1 is just retarded, I’ll say it again, I watch because the cars are cool. I know, I know if I don’t like it I don’t have to watch it, you sound like a broken record. I’m just waiting for the revert back to the 80’s and early 90’s. It’ll happen sooner or later.

        1. Your Majesty, I agree, they were just racing incidents, just rather large ones. In Massa’s case, He had no other choice but to take to the grass, he was on the inside and was pushed out by one of the Mercedes not leaving him any room. It seems no one got a good look at it on TV, but that’s how it appeared to me.

      4. i guess itz more like penalized for getting someone else out of the race due to his poor judgment.

    3. I don’t think either should be penalised really. There were innocent victims in both but it was an accident. Maybe the worst was slightly Petrov but only because the Williams was so close whereas Liuzzi was in the wrong place at the wrong time. They both were 100% at fault and responsible but with a first lap at the start and it wasn’t that serious I just think it’s a bit harash on Vitaly although I understand it.

      I’d like to thank the coverage again for missing everything at the start, taking forever with replays and no onboards. I must be boring you all to death but this has been a classic season and we’ve only seen half of it due to poor coverage. It’s getting increasingly annoying. Watch the DVD be about 5 hours long just with bits we didn’t see live :P

      1. Couldn’t agree more. I have said more than a few nasty things about FOM this year…

        1. I already said this at other thread – this race wasn’t broadcast by FOM but by Fuji TV. And the quality of the broadcast was much lower then usually.

          1. True but they don’t use FOM at Monaco either and that was terrible too. It doesn’t seem to matter who boradcasts it we still miss crucial footage and camera angles

            1. Part of this surely is that it is live, and having the cameras in the right place at the right time is probably more luck than skill…

            2. what about the onboards though?

            3. I think Channel 10 in Australia does the Australian GP. That coverage was pretty good if I recall correctly.

            4. Steph, we did see a few onboards (I think both Kubica’s crash and Rosberg’s), but I know what you mean, they should’ve shown some onboards of the start from the drivers directly behind the crashes. That would really be the best angle to see it from. There’s a vid up on YouTube (until it gets pulled) that shows the Petrov incident pretty well. There’s still no good angle on Felipe Baby.

          2. But Bahrain was FOM and there we did miss any of the action that was actually happening.

            1. Bahrain? What action?

      2. fully agree, both on the penalties as well as on the great quality of the director to fail to show us most of what happened at the start and then spend a lot of time with Sakon.

        Good thing at Kobayashi made those overtakes, had it been any other driver (save Sakon :-D) we would have probably missed those as well.

    4. Unless Petrov has the best 3 races of his life in the upcoming races, I don’t see Renault retaining him. He’s way too far behind Kubica in the championship, he is costing Renault 4th place in the constructors championship.

    5. Seems harsh, but then again it could have been dangerous. But how is this a deterrent to future situations? It’s not like Petrov wanted this to happen. It was a stupid mistake but a mistake nonetheless.

      1. Well if there was a quota of stupid mistakes allowed for rookies in their first season, Petrov would have doubled that figure by now. While Kobayashi has also made his fair share of rookie mistakes, Petrov has taken it too far. I hope he isn’t retained at Renault next year, as he is probably the worst of the rookies with the best team.

        1. Also Kobayashi has had more than a few races like today. When has Petrov carved up the field to grab a couple of points for the team?

    6. Petrov had just too much of a speed advantage over others due to his great start. An accident could happen to anyone. He shouldn’t have been penalized.

      1. I think the clincher here was that it took Hulkenberg out of the race. If you make a mistake and you’re the only one who suffers for it, fair enough. But if your mistake ends up costing an innocent second-party, apparently that’ll set you back even more.

        1. and it possibly set the circumstances for Massa hitting Liuzzi as well.
          Still i think no penalty was needed.

        2. @Geoffrey, then why didn’t Vettel receive a penalty after Turkey, or Webber after Valencia? There are probably a handful of other examples this year as well. Personally I don’t think they should be penalizing drivers for mistakes. I do think they should be penalizing for things like Schumi’s stunt on Barrichello at Hungary.

          1. Magnificent Geoffrey
            11th October 2010, 5:37

            No idea mate. I think there’s a degree of stupidity used in determining when a penalty is given – clearly Vettel’s mistake in Turkey wasn’t deemed as stupid as Petrov’s.

    7. Petrov was too aggressive. Weaving in the middle of the pack was always going to end that way.

      Massa should have just backed out of the Rosberg move instead of trying to break on the grass.

      1. Except if Petrov had somehow pulled it off everyone would have been hailing his brilliant start, but I know what you mean.

    8. It looked to me like Heidfeld (I think) veered slightly left and Petrov mirrored him, it’s not obvious on the overhead replay but the camera at the end of the straight shows it pretty clearly. Petrov himself said he was just reacting to a car in front and it looked pretty plausible from that angle.

      The speed differential between Petrov and Hulkenberg probably seemed so huge from within the cockpit at that point he thought he was well past.

    9. Jelle van der Meer
      10th October 2010, 11:18

      Massa more than Petrov should have been penalized, Massa went on the inside/grass knowing he could not keep the corner.
      Following the team order rulling I do start to believe that Jean Todt is moving forces to protect his old team.

      1. Jean Todt is seperate from the stewards. He isn’t in the room with them. Massa just made a mistake and was over ambitious. It was bad but loads have done the same like Liuzi at Canada etc. It’s first lap mayhem

        1. While I in no way think that Todt had anything to do with Massa being let off, I think with modern communication and the like, it is not at all necessary to be in the room with someone to get them to do your bidding.

    10. I’ll say it again, are penalties supposed to punish people breaking the rules? or doing something stupid? Again I’ll add that I think it should be the former and not the latter.

      On the other hand, it was right at the start, and a crash there could be very, very bad… Spa 98 style perhaps… So this time, I think the penalty can be easily justified, Just as in Canada…. Petrov there as well coincidentally.

    11. I found Petrov explanation (via Renault on Twitter – somewhat not very clear. He was quoted as saying:
      “I made a good start then a car in front moved left, I had to as well, and I got hit at the rear”.
      Apparently he wasn’t hit – it was him who misjugded the space when moving to the left and he touched the front wing of Hulkenberg.
      On the other hand Massa’s drive in Liuzzi looks to me more punishable than Petrov’s manouvers.

      1. Massa didn’t drive into Liuzzi. He lost the car after trying a move on Rosberg and ending on the grass. Liuzzi was just wrong place and wrong time unfortunately

        1. I haven’t seen a replay from Massa’s car yet, but I have to see that trying to get past Rosberg on the inside was not Felipe’s most intelligent decision ever.

          1. I’ve watched the onboard. Frankly it was thick and he does sometimes play with fire at the start but I didn’t think it was worth a punishment but I’d understand if he got one.
            Petrov clearly took Hulk out whereas Liuzzi just kind of got collected by an out of control Felipe I think and maybe that’s the difference or just Vitaly’s movements. I’m slightly baffled to be honest to me they should both be punished or let both let off and I’d go with the latter.

            1. Petrov had a truly ridiculous start, from the heli-cam it appears he gets off the line about twice as fast as everybody around him.

              When you’re besides (but not yet ahead) another car you simply have no choice to avoid it. Petrov might have done this to an extend more than was necessary, but it definitely had nothing to do with attacking aggression. It was clumsy, but a racing incident. Just like Massa probably couldn’t do much about the collision his car caused.

              In my opinion neither should have been punished, but I’d love to see an on board replay of Petrov’s and especially Hulkenberg’s car.

            2. Obviously this stuff’s been on youtube for a while (halfway they show the replays from different angles):


              I’d say it’s close for Petrov, but definitely his fault. His start is insane, Massa, himself, Heidfeld and Hulkenberg are very close and he half-avoids Massa and tries to follow Heidfeld.

              On this replay Massa’s action really looks way too optimistic, he tries to pass the slow starting Rosberg (I think) before turn one then simply forgets to break and drives onto the grass taking out Luizzi. If his car was damaged before that point he’s admittedly a passenger, but from those replays it looks like Massa was by far the more reckless driver than Petrov was.

              Still, I would have penalized neither.

        2. Love my DVR checked the replay in 1/15th speed. It seems pretty clear on the side and overview of the grid that Petrov started to move left way to early in responds to Heidfield closing him off and hit the Williams with his rear tire when he is barely half past the Williams. A bit immature driving, should tucked in behind heidfeld and tried if he was given more room there was no way he would been able to squeeze himself between Heidfield and Hulkenburg. A more season driver wouldn’t pushed his luck. Penalty seems appropriate.

          Massa had great speed but got squeezed hard into first corner. He had nowhere to go besides give away to the right he had a clear line and was half up on driver to his left when the driver closes the window and already at braking point pulling to the right (of track) was his only option and as soon as he hit the grass he just became a passenger. He couldn’t lifted or braked because he was already at brake point. In return Massa got squeezed because his squeezer got squeezed in his turn so the other driver couldn’t/shouldn’t been penalized because there was nowhere for him to go then right and well Massa was there and tried to do the only sensible thing by going right. Normally things would probably been fine or resulted in some touching, maybe a couple of broken front wings but due to all the rain the day before the grass was probably very wet and ground very soggy.
          Game over.

          I feel the stewards made the right call here.
          Also I wish people would compare rulings done now with other stewards rulings or failed rulings in races YEARS past when some rules where different and steward ships where different then currently.
          Don’t make comparisons like ohh in 1989 XYZ driver did the same thing but wasn’t penalized so ABC driver today shouldn’t be penalized.
          Personally I think Stewarding this year been far superior to anything else we seen in a long time a few a bit questionable calls but all in all pretty decent and agreed with most of them even when hitting “my team/drivers”. Some that I didn’t agree with but across THIS years races things been far more consistent then past years where one incident wasn’t given penalty while another identical incident in another race THAT year was given penalty (mind you no warnings or back flag for the first incident).

      2. I’ve looked at it a few times and from the first helicopter shot it looks as if Massa touches Petrov’s back wheel – but it doesn’t look like that from the other 2 angles we get. So hard to say but I wonder if there was some small touch that Petrov over-reacted to, because the way he suddenly swerves seems totally weird. might also explain why Massa was out-of sorts as he went into the corner. Gotta feel for Tonio Liuzzi, he’s having a miserable time.

        1. he tries to squeeze his way past Heidfeld who is moving into position in front of him and Hulk whom he is about to pass but there is just not enough room, Heidfeld fair and square blocked/cut Petrov off and Petrov tried to muscle his way past Hulkberg and Hulk didn’t move over because there was no time to react and notice the Renault that had a super start (he was completely out of box by the time Massa and Hulk was half out of theirs but he didn’t move any sooner then they did).

          I been very impressed by Petrov this year and rate him as one of the best Rookies but this was a stupid move and surly a bad Rookie mistake.

          1. Yeah, he definitely has speed and tenacity, and he’s been unlucky (e.g. Alonso giving him a puncture), but he’s also been far too rash at times. Maybe he needs a year or two somewhere else, like Lotus maybe, earn his spurs. Renault need a more finished article like Sutil after the string of rookies they’ve been through.

            Ever since Hamilton arrived everyone has gone rookie crazy, but even Alonso had a year at Minardi and a year testing before getting the Renault drive, I just don’t think he’s ready.

    12. Massa should have been penalised as well. He cut the corner, went of the racing track is defined by the white lines and caused an avoidable collision. If I had done that on the F1 2010 game, I would have a drive through!

      Even I, a Ferrari fan, feel a bit miffed at this one

      1. To be fair the F1 3010 game has the most annoying penalty system after :P I don’t think he cut it just he ran out of room and then crashed. His Hockheinem one was a clear cut but went away fine.

        Keith do you know if Jaime and Kobayashi are being investigated? When Kobayashi was pretty much alongside Jaime he seemed to think “no, you’re not going through” and smash!

        1. Doubt it – they tend not to bother if no-one’s race was ruined.

          1. That’s the clincher, isn’t it. Say in Sinagpore, Hamilton did not retire but was relegated to 5th, we probably wouldn’t have had an investigation. It’s like the event is more important than the potential.

            1. That’s something I don’t get if it’s just one of those things like Seb and Jense it gets punished but something that looks like intentional ramming doesn’t because noone retired? That’s not really enforcing driving standards :p

              Thank you very much for the reply though Keith

        2. Steph, F1 3010 won’t be released for 1000 years…

          1. lol OEL sorry! Bad typo!

    13. what a loser Felipe Massa is … it seems only reason ferrari keeping him is, Nicolas Todt is his manager … that won’t help in 2011 though ..

      its funny today massa slapped luca di montezemolo in his face by intentionally retiring in first lap ..LMAO

      1. its funny today massa slapped luca di montezemolo in his face by intentionally retiring in first lap

        That’s a ridiculous idea. If he wanted to do that he wouldn’t have done it by having a violent crash with another driver.

        1. And what on earth did he have to gain by crashing into Liuzzi?

        2. i appreciate your thoughts , but am sure everybody expects Massa to bring points to the team so it helps in constructors …again not many ferrari drivers crashed like this in first lap , as common sense demands him to drive safe , so it helps team … as his boss demands :):)

    14. Neither should have been penalised. Massa’s was clearly a racing incident, but Petrov had to go left to afoid hitting Heidfeld. If anyone should have taken the heat for that one, it’s Hulkenberg – he was slow to start, and Petrov was all but past him when contact was made. Consequently, he should have backed off and let the Russian through.

      1. There’s no way Hulkenberg being could have reacted quickly enough to “let him through”. Neither can you really blame Petrov, but if we have to point the finger at someone it’s him since he didn’t make sure that he had cleared Hulkenberg. But a penalty is ridiculous. These are split-second reactions and accidents will happen. The stewarding still needs some improvements it would seem.

        1. Hulkenberg was in Petrov’s blind spot, and the road immediately in front of him was filled with cars. Like he said, he went left to avoid Heidfeld, because to the best of his knowledge, he had already cleared Hulkenberg. Both were at fault, but I think Hulkenberg could have done more because he could see Petrov when Petrov couldn’t see him. On a side note, Hulkenberg’s starts have been terrible this year, whilst Petrov has been spectacular off the line.

    15. I don’t see why Vettel was penalised at Spa for hitting Button but Massa escaped a penalty today. Both were attempting overtaking moves, lost control of their cars, and took another car out.

      1. We need at least permanent stewards as well as clear rules i.e. when you’re more than 50% in front of a car the other guy has to give way, which would make this one more Hulkenburg’s fault. Maybe we could still have the three volunteers plus driver but have them joined by a permanent set of four.

        1. Theres no way that could ever be claimed as Hulkenburgs fault; it was on a straight why would he back out, he didn’t know anybody would cut across him!

      2. I think most people that weren’t/aren’t biased against Vettel thought that was a gratuitous penalty in Spa. It was unfortunate for Button, but it was really just a racing incident.

    16. Ferrari wanted to see “a strong Massa” at least Massa showed Ferrari he was strong, he kicked out a Liuzzi all on his own!

    17. Maybe if the TV coverage wasn’t still circa early 20th century we could make a judgement. F1 coverage is beyond a joke – how many laps before we got a shot of Kubica’s wheel coming off? How many decent replays or different angles did we get of the start? Bernie should sort out the fundamentals before worrying about HD

      1. how many laps before we got a shot of Kubica’s wheel coming off?

        Bear in mind that there are usually over a hundred cameras at any one race weekend, all recording simultaenously. It falls to the race director to sift through them all and find footage.

        How many decent replays or different angles did we get of the start?
        How many do you want? We had at least five: a front-on angle, two overheads, and onboards from Petrov and Hulkenberg.

        1. Decent replays – I’m not sure we got any, certainly none that conclusively showed what happened with Petrov and Massa within a short period of time. Brundle and Legard’s befuddlement was evidence of how badly wrong the real time coverage was. Nor do I think an onboard of Petrov as useful as an onboard from Massa would have been, as he was behind Petrov. The fact is that once again two critical incidents were a) not shown clearly within a minute of them happening – despite the safety car giving the director plenty of time to splice them in. b) no conclusive evidence of what happened to Petrov or Massa was shown within the entire duration of the race. c) The commentators were left spluttering and guessing – not even having seen Liuzzi and Hulkenberg come off, only noticing when the camera cut to their broken cars.

          As for the hundred cameras, the programme director doesn’t sift through them all personally – there’s a whole team of people, and it’s clearly not a well coordinated team with clear lines of responsibility. F1 coverage has advanced an inch a year whilst the coverage of most other sports has leapt forward. I have plenty of reservations about the BBC, but they can only use the feed they get, and it’s antiquated. The only major advance we’ve had in years is the driver tracker, which isn’t even integrated with primary coverage – although generally gives a better impression of what’s happening than the poorly selected pictures. Even leaving technology out of it, current F1 captures none of the atmosphere, there’s B& W coverage of Monacco in the 60s that does a better job.

          Much as I hate the BBC’s ‘magazine’ style, if Bernie passed the entire job of actually filming the race to them (and reduced his price concordantly to match his decrease in outlay), we’d get miles better coverage.

          1. Welcome to Japan. A country with wonderful flat screen T.Vs and no-one at all with any idea on how to fill them with decent content.

            Seriously, this is a brilliant country, but they have no idea on how to televise sport.

            FOM should have a standard team that do every race.

    18. I cannot believe people are suggesting Hulkenburg should have backed off and yielded! Wow! I agree with hawkfst’s comment earlier that Petrov reacted to the Sauber and prob thought he was past Hulk when veering left. I would love to see a Hulk on board…the first he would have seen of Petrov would have been when he was making contact with his car. To back off or brake would have been more dangerous for those behind!!!

    19. Looking back at the incident whilst awake and refreshed, and using Sky+ to wind the action back and forth, I actually change my mind – they both deserved a penalty.

      Petrov was under no obligation to cut left and must have known where Hulkenburg was. It would be interesting to see an onboard to check if Petrov even looked in his mirror – if he didn’t, then no wonder he was punished.

      As for Massa, it’s the same thing – he could have just slowed down and slotted behind Rosberg, there was no need to go onto the grass. The only thing I can think of is because of the way he went off, it might have been the car twitching and that’s why the stewards decided it wasn’t his fault.

    20. As I expected to Massa, he’s not helping Ferrari anymore. There’s nothing left with that guy.

    21. Vitaly Petrov
      10th October 2010, 16:34

      not looking good for my seat at renault next year

    22. I had wait to see the replays again, the stewards got this right. Petrov turned left way to early, Massa on the other hand got squeezed and lost control on the grass; good race for the championship, it’s getting really hot.

      1. Hopefully (for the championship) the next race is a Mclaren 1-2 with a Webber DNF.

    23. Massa can’t get a proper penalty. He’s a number one pilot.

    24. accidents at the start of a GP should not be put under investigation unless they benefit a teammate (a la singapore 08)…. the start is highly charged, hearts beating out of their ribcage, and cars accelerating to 100kph in split seconds and millimeters apart…it’s a recipe for a crash, and the F1 boyz should be given extra credit for pulling it off without a hitch…

      accidents up to the first go at turn 4-5 or even 6 should always be judged as racing incidents…

    25. why it should be a poll? because us ferrari druiver involved?

    26. I think it should have been either or both. Petrov was stupid, but one of the Saubers did swerve right in front of him which would have led to him instinctively move to the left.

      Rosberg edged Massa to the grass, but instead of backing off he over-flinched and fired onto the grass.

    27. coverage was onboard action for the bbc sorry louise bring back jake!!! poor mation whittaker (whitmasrh

    28. Having just watched the first corner incident again, I feel many are perhaps being a bit harxh on Massa. If you watch the overhead video he is alongside Rosberg 50m before the corner and as he moves alonside Rosberg moves to the right, pushing Felipe onto the grass. It all happens in the blink of an eye, but I think it was no worse than many other incidents we;ve seen this year. I’m always against drivers getting penalties for making passing manoeuvres, especially at the start. I think Petrovs penalty was also borderline, but probably fair.

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