Button escapes penalties for Hamilton and Alonso crashes

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Montreal, 2011
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Montreal, 2011

Jenson Button will keep his win in the Canadian Grand Prix after the stewards declined to punish him for collisions with Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

The stewards decided the collisions, which led to the retirements of Hamilton and Alonso, were “racing incidents”.

Regarding the Hamilton collision, the stewards issued the following statement:

The Stewards have reviewed the Incident involving Car 3 (L. Hamilton) and Car 4 (J. Button) on their 7th lap of the race. The Stewards reviewed the lines of several cars, including the two cars involved, using multiple angles of video evidence over several laps, the speed traces of both drivers, the GPS tracking data from the cars and have heard the drivers and team representatives.
The Stewards concluded that:

1) Exiting Turn 13 there was a legitimate overtaking opportunity for Lewis Hamilton as his speed was greater than Jensen Button’s.

2) Both drivers took lines substantially similar to many of the other drivers, and did not move as far to the left as the preceding driver, Michael Schumacher. At the moment afte Hamilton moved to the left to pass, Button looked into his mirror. It appears from the position of Hamilton at that moment [and is confirmed by the drivers] that Button was unlikely to have seen Hamilton.

3) At the point of contact Button had not yet moved as far to the left of the track as he had on the previous lap, or that Schumacher had on that lap.

The Stewards have concluded that it was reasonable for Hamilton to believe that Button would have seen him and that he could have made the passing manoeuvre. Further, the Stewards have concluded that it is reasonable to believe that Button was not aware of Hamilton?s position to his left. Therefore, the Stewards decide that this was a ??racing incident?? and have taken no further action.

Regarding the Alonso collision, the stewards decided:

Car 5 [Alonso] was on an out lap having pitted. Car 4 [Button] appeared to be firmly established on the inside line prior to the entry of the corner and drove onto the kerb to avoid Car 5 on the outside.

In view of the conditions and the statements by both drivers and their team representatives, the Stewards decide that this was a ??racing incident?? and have taken no further action.

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    Keith Collantine
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    136 comments on “Button escapes penalties for Hamilton and Alonso crashes”

      1. Stole my line.


        1. Very sensible by the stewards

    1. See, I’m pleased in some ways, since I think post race penalties don’t reflect at all well on the sport in general and Button’s win today was fantastic, but the Di Resta incident & Hamilton’s crashes in Monaco weren’t dissimilar to Button’s move on Alonso.

      The stewards seem to suggest that Alonso being on an outlap & Button’s evasive action were mitigating circumstances, but we saw Hamilton up on the kerb to attempt to avoid Massa. I can only assume that Button being in front of Alonso prior to the braking zone is what they mean by him having a well established line, hence the lack of penalty.

      1. we saw Hamilton up on the kerb to attempt to avoid Massa

        I don’t think it was an attempt to avoid Massa. It was an attempt to pass him. Massa might have closed the door, but Hamilton could have backed right off at the time. Instead, he chose to go up on the kerb.

        1. “Back off” when you are trying to out brake someone down the inside?
          Once committed you cannot “back off” while trying to out brake someone.
          Passing at Monaco is 100% commit. You can’t change your mind once you start.

          Other circuits have the benefit of run-off areas to drive into to avoid a collision.

          1. Exactly. I think there’s too much blame put on the car behind lately. It takes two to tango and I’m getting rather irritated that drivers aren’t told to be a bit more sensible when defending. Yes, you ought to defend your position, but your car has to make it to the end in one piece. Let them go and get them back another time.

      2. When Button hits Alonso, Alonso is in the interior line and Button clashes his front left wheel with Alonso’s right rear….. please, tell me again what “to be firmly established in the inside line” means…..

        I’ll tell you. No guts to punish a driver who went from last to first in 30 laps.

        1. If you watch the footage, JB is right along side Alonso and has the inside line and Alonso turns in on him… the reason it was JB’s front left to Alonso’s Right rear was because Jenson broke for the corner http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1L5uvhy8KA

          1. Well, turns in on him is a bit harsh. Alonso turns into the corner and as it turns out, there just isn’t the space for two F1 cars to make the turn side by side in the wet.

            1. I think Alonso was being a little bit over optimistic about keeping the position. Button was alongside and in an effort to keep his place Alonso was massively late on the brakes (hoping to enter the chicane ahead of button). Unfortunately he couldn’t get far enough ahead and hence had to pull into buttons path. It also looked like he may well have been going too fast to make the chicane properly especially as he would have had to go on to a damp line.

              Racing incident is the fair outcome as both were racing for position and both could have avoided the incident. However as we watch F1 for the racing then I would rather they try to race rather than give in to each other.

              I always find it amusing that some people seem to think that every incident has to be blamed on someone, this is racing so incidents like this are going to happen unless we are happy watching a procession.

          2. Yes, sec 07, Alonso has taken position and Button push him out…

            anyway… my opinión, yours is different. Life goes on, be happy, I don’t want to argue about something so futile

            1. Futile? Alonso could have won the race potentially!

              The more I watch it, the more I blame Button because he seems to have applied the brakes too late to avoid sliding into the side of the Ferrari.

              Yes, he had the inside line but Alonso was entitled to stick around the outside because he had the racing line initially for the corner.

    2. When is another driver, it’s “race incident” . If it was Lewis i wonder if it would be called “race incident”. I’m starting to feel disgusted about the media. Must of the British journalists were blaming Lewis on twitter. EJ even suggested that Lewis should be one year out of F1. Shame!

      1. I agree Manuel. The whole affair would be laughable if it wasn’t so painful. You know we would have a different headline if Lewis had won the race. The F1 Stewards can sugar coat it any which way they like, it just goes to prove in my opinion that Lewis’s post Monaco race comments were valid, even though everyone chose to look away from the situation, embarrassed because he had asked them to look in the mirror.

        As for the BBC race team-only person I have a smidgen of respect for is Jake. DC and MB were tripping over themselves to retract their initial comments that Lewis was to blame when they saw different camera angles of the Lewis/Button “racing incident”. EJ flips from one view to the next and generally comments without first thinking-he may think he is playing devil’s advocate-he just comes across as ignorant.

        1. Seems reasonable to change one’s view if new information demands it. Many racing incidents do look different from different vantage points.

          1. Seems reasonable to change one’s view if new information demands it. Many racing incidents do look different from different vantage points.

            Totally agree. MB and DC themsleves said as much during the race when describibg the Hamilton/Maldonado incident (I think it was) in Monaco. Different vantage poins/angles will surely affect the apportionment of blame for an incident. I think DC and MB should be commended for reserving any “categorical” judgments before viewing several replays and, even then, being open enough to change their opinions in light of new evidence.

            1. That’s very true, but unfortunately, they didn’t seem to first reserve any judgement; one could call it enthusiasm of the moment, but especially Brundle tends to be very quickly to pass judgement. DC sometimes goes along, then later starts calming down and giving different perspectives, after which Brundle starts thinking about it. Maybe he should be slightly less decisive to start with, then it sounds less like backtracking.

        2. To be fair, after seeing the footage of Button looking into his mirror Brundle seemed to blame him and not Hamilton.

          1. I don’t know which Jenson Button you’re talking about.. It’s completely against Jenson’s style to drive into any other driver purposefully, let alone his own team mate… Button drove a superb race and deserved the win, and this is coming from a Vettel/Schumi fan…

      2. But Manuel, both of Hamilton’s touches with other cars in Montreal were indeed considered racing incidents.

        1. Mark Hitchcock
          13th June 2011, 1:15

          haha yeah. People who are convinced the world is against Hamilton conveniently ignore anything to the contrary.

          1. I think most Hamilton fans are suspicious. This goes right back to 2008 with the penalty for breaking late at Fuji, and the Bourdais penalty that helped Massa get some more points. That was disgraceful and many fans see current penalties in the same light perhaps.

        2. The point we are(at least I am) trying to make is that if Lewis was in the points, what is considered a racing incident for other drivers incurs a penalty for Lewis. You are right that the Webber incident was considered a racing incident…but you recall that Webber was able to finish the race. A different story I am sure if he hadn’t/couldn’t. Schumi made two moves to protect his position from Lewis-no investigation, Lewis incurred a penalty for that in Malaysia.

          Re Canada, If Lewis had finished the race & Button or Alonso hadn’t because of these so called racing incidents, I have no doubt, he would have been penalised. I recognise that Lewis plays his part in these “racing incidents”, but for some reason, in his case – it is seen as causing a collision or some such thing, and accompanied by a penalty.

          1. So what you are saying if the situation was exactly the same, but Lewis was actually driving Button’s car…. The stewards would decide differently….

            Because after all, everyone is against Lewis.

            Also, that was sarcasm.

            1. The sad truth is probably. Hamilton now has a reputation, rightly or wrongly, and it would be naive to think past incidents and penalties do not influence the decisions of the stewards.

              If you apply the criteria used here then the Maldonado/Hamilton would be considered a racing incident. The die-hard Lewis fans will say he’s been targeted but Lewis may simply be a victim of inconsistent stewarding.

            2. sarcasm ignored

            3. But of course everyone is against Hamilton – after all, he is black.

              That was SARCASM as well!

              (I like Hamilton, he is entertaining, fighting, but he is in a period where he is causing more than average accidents – if I were his opponents I would get annoyed about it).

            4. @Palle

              More than average incidents?

              If you look at the monaco incidents both were racing incidents in my mind. The first one with Massa was silly from both drivers, However Schumacher had done exactly the same move twice before in the race, once on hamilton and once on Rosberg. Both drivers gave schumacher room to get past in order to avoid an incident however Massa decided to try to keep his position and turned in early to try a block and as a result hit Webber. I don’t blame Massa as this is racing and I don’t think he was purposefully trying to crash however this is where the rules seem a bit strange, If you make a move and the driver in front is good enough to notice and get out of the way then you are fine but if you make exactly the same move and the driver in front is not paying attention or decides to fight the position then you are punished why should a punishment depend on the other drivers actions?

              With the Maldonado incident you will notice if you trawl through step by step images on the net that Hamilton took exactly (pretty much to the inch) the same line as he did when he took Schumacher at the same spot, he was even further up on Maldonado up until the breaking point where Maldonado both breaked far too late and also turned in much earlier. He was clearly trying to defend the position but I am not sure he would have made it around the corner cleanly even if hamilton had not hit him. Again Schumacher gave Hamilton room knowing that they could both get around the corner if they were sensible. Again the punishment seemed to depend on the actions of the other driver as the rest of the move was exactly the same as the one on schumacher.

              The webber incident was again a racing incident as Hamilton clearly had the inside but although webber correctly gave him room, it was not enough room due to the wet conditions (although in dryer conditions I have no doubt that it would have been plenty of room) Hamiltons car seemed to understeer and a small tap in the wet unfortunately turned into a spin for webber. The overtake was perfectly legitamate and webbers intentions were in the right place.


            5. Imagine Hamilton squeezing Button into the wall in the same fashion. Do you truly believe it would be the same reaction from the commentators and the stewards?

              I’m no Hamilton fanboy, but even I can appreciate that some people on here might have a decent point.

        3. No, only one incident involving Hamilton was considered a racing incident and he wouldn’t have been the one given a penalty.

          The investigation into the incident with Webber was stopped following Hamilton’s retirement and he probably would have been given a drive through for it because it was entirely his fault.

          1. Retirement doesn’t matter. Alonso retired but didn’t get the punisgment, but stil the incident was investigated.
            So the investigation stopped because they felt it was a racing incident, I would say?

            (How was this in similar situations in the past?)

          2. Surely he should get a penalty for the next race? Do the stewards disregard it because he crashed out?

      3. Although I am happy Button didn’t get a penalty, but I never saw any other driver get so close to the wall like Button did.
        Even when Brundle was watching a replay, he surprised himself by saying Button was looking into the mirrors, but saw where that comment was going and stopped.
        In the end it was a racing accident, but I bet you the outcome would have been different if the drivers were reversed.

        1. Well, the stewards say explicitly in their judgement above after viewing multiple replays and angles that they saw Schumacher move closer to the wall than Button was seconds earlier, as did Martin and DC during the race. You might not have seen it in your apparent wish to find a conspiracy, but it would seem at least six other people did!

      4. Oh come on, Manuel, that’s ***. Lewis needs to step back a bit and look at what he is doing; it’s not pretty and he needs to grow up. When Schumacher was doing this sort of stuff I was disgusted; does Lewis want to be another Schumacher and try and intimidate everyone? He’s a great driver but he needs to start driving. And saying that criticism of Lewis is racist is just ugly.

        1. Manuel.. Just looking at the Button/Hamilton incident …

          Approaching a RH corner the racing line is left hand side of road to straighten the corner and maintain highest possible speed through said bend.. Obvious overtaking line would be the RH side of track unless your fast enough to win the racing line Hamilton only just got his nose up beside the rear of Button’s car hence was Button’s line .. Hamilton thinking hes the best thinks everyone should get out of his way THAT IS NOT RACING you have to win the move not barge your way through or scare people of the track that’s the difference between racing and demolition derby if Lewis cant obey the rules indeed he should be punished and or banned

          1. Button put him in the wall. Being in front doesn’t mean you can drive wherever you like.

            1. Being in front doesn’t mean you can drive wherever you like.

              True, but nor does it mean the driver in front has to anticipate the moves of the following driver and jump out of the way.

            2. There is no rule saying you can’t drive where you like within the confines of the track. As long as you don’t drive dangerously, make violent moves, or make two moves, none of which Button did. Therefore no penalty.

            3. There was certainly no penalty to be given here but there was also no fault on Hamilton’s part – there was PLENTY of space when he first came out to make his move – in fact most of the track width – what went wrong is that Button took a look in his mirror just before making a move across the track and like a hundredth of a second before Hamilton pulled out from his slipstream. This was the first issue – unlucky timing.

              The second issue was, once Hamilton had pulled out he fully expected Button to see him in his mirror – he has full license to try the overtake on that side of the track as it would give him the inside line into the next corner – the kink in the straight is not enough that two cars can’t go through there without problem. Unfortunately because of the spray, whilst Button did look in his mirror again before moving across he obviously didn’t see Hamilton there and I think he ‘drifted’ whilst looking for Hamilton in the mirror – if you look he’s actually looking at the mirror pretty much up to impact.

              This drifting is quite easy to do when you are looking across at a mirror – it happened recently in a GT1 race as well I think it was a guy looking to his left drifted left and hit another car (admittedly he was also trying to make rude gestures at the same time). I don’t think Button even intended to get THAT close to the wall it was just a drift across…

      5. should be one year out of F1

        Make it a million years

      6. I agree with you Manuel. Even Niki Lauder was accusing Lewis as being ‘MAD’. He should apologise to Lewis now!!! Or maybe Lewis should sue him for slander lol. Jensen did a grand job but Lewis is the best driver out there!!

    3. Okay, why do they not do this for every penalty at every race?!

      1. The FIA doesn’t comprehend the word consistency.

      2. Okay, why do they not do this for every penalty at every race?!

        Because there’s a difference between a foolhardy move down the inside of the Monaco hairpin and a collision where one driver could not see and was not aware of the other.

        1. Exactly. I wish people would start judging each individual incident on its own merits.

        2. True. Which one is indeed more dangerous, 60 km/h at monaco hairpin or 250 km/h next to a concrede wall? Because you are unaware of a situation doesn’t make you innocent. It is their job to also be aware of their surroundings.

        3. Do you think the “this” might perhaps be referring to the stewards giving a statement to explain their decisions?

          I think it does, and Timi is right, it is something they should attempt to consistently do at other races too.

          1. Exactly Bouke, and Timi. Great to see the FIA finally giving us the basic information of what led the Stewards to decide as they have.

            Hope this gets to be standard now.

            As for the move, It might have been different had it been about different drivers in different places. Thats why we have stewards and not an Automatic Penalty Machine – each situation has to be judged on its merits.

    4. Seems both the Alonso/Ferrari and Button/McLaren statements both said it was just a racing incident so they left it at that which is refreshing. But great to see that the stewards are giving explanations now, its about time.

      1. Does seem to be a bit like that. Good thing really.

      2. And explanations that the majority of people agree with! :)

    5. So:
      Phenomenal race featuring action all the way up and down the pack, right to the finish line, with stories all the way through.

      We have a winner who fights through the pack 3 times, comes from last to 1st in 1/3 of the race distance, and pressures the pole-to last lap leader into an error on the last lap.

      We have two competent, funny TV commentators who keep things ticking over during a rain affected 2 hour stoppage.

      Now we have stewards making reasonably prompt decisions, backed up with evidence, taking into account historical precedent and the actions of other drivers, that reflect the conclusions of the majority of reasonable observers.

      I’m not watching the same sport I was a few years ago.

      1. Totally agree. I thought MB & DC handled the two hour downtime extremely well – a nice mix of keeping the audience informed interspersed with what felt like natural conversation between them.

        ‘course, having F1 Fanatic live helped too!

      2. And still some people can do nothing but whine about how their opinions aren’t being taken into account by the stewards!

      3. Yeah, I am gutted. And even the FOM footage was pretty good. Not enough to complain about for sure! :-D

    6. Glad to hear that…….
      Because, if Jenson got penalty, it would be ruined his race and whole results, even it would add more drama and tension in this race.

      1. Yeah, it’s great for the sport, although I must admit that Schumi third would’ve been nice.

    7. Well although i agree it will be nice to have such elaboration when they throw it at Hamilton since i would have loved to read the their excuses.
      I can’t help have a feeling that the decision would have been different if the name was “Lewis” instead of “Jenson” and not because Jenson is being favored.

      1. You did not notice that one of Button’s encounters considered by the stewards was with Hamilton? “Racing incident” was the verdict.

    8. Finally. We should see something paper-written like this at every GP weekend.

      1. Agreed i think they should be forced to give detail explanation like this every time they investigate an incident.

    9. Car 4 [Button] appeared to be firmly established on the inside line prior to the entry of the corner and drove onto the kerb to avoid Car 5 on the outside

      Can someone please explain what is a kerb? It looks like we need a redefinition of the word after this statement, because Button only touches the kerbs.

      1. Wheel on kerb = drove onto kerb. Simples

    10. Fair decision. What really annoys me in today’s formula is the amount of “under investigation” episodes. If that was the case, Schumi would have never won the ’94 championships following a crash with Hill… And so many other crashes were really racing incidents. After all, even all moves by Hamilton usually end up worse off for Lewis himself.

      1. I’d go the other way and say it’s great the stewards are keeping us informed about what is going on.

      2. The Adelaide 94 incident would’ve been under investigation by the stewards, and it was concluded that it was a racing incident.

        The main difference between now and then is that now the stewards declare that an investigation will take place, as opposed to just declaring it when the penalty is actually handed out.

        It’s the stewards’ job to investigate such incidents, if they turned a blind eye that wouldn’t be right, especially if an incident occurs where a driver is completely at fault.

        The job of the stewards hasn’t changed much, only now they have more openness and transparency. I fail to see how that is a bad thing.

    11. So, Ferrari didn’t want Vettel to get any more points. Sensible.

      Clearly, Button was at fault, if anyone was: it was a mirror incident of the Hamilton Webber incident.

    12. lewis asks for it.. thats why he gets nailed…

    13. Pretty significant typo!
      “Jenson Button will keep his win in the Canadian Grand Prix after the stewards declined *not* to punish him for collisions with Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.”

      1. That’s not a typo. The stewards did decline to punish him.

        Had they “declined not” to punish him that would be a double negative, meaning they did punish him, which they did not.

        1. does seem a fairly odd use of English i must say, even if it is correct.

          1. “…after the stewards declined to punish him” is grammatically fine and not an unusual turn of phrase.

    14. These two decisions confirms that Lewis is being victimised by the powers that be in F1. How could both incidents be racing incidents when just the other week in Monaco, Lewis was crucified for infractions of lesser gravity? I mean, I dont want Button win taken away or anything of such BUT the reasoning for the decision is completely flawed.

      1. I think that the reasons given by the stewards show that their judgement is correct.

        Lewis, however, did another clumsy move on Webber, and must have himself thought that he was going to be picking up a penalty for that one.

        1. Hamilton on Webber was pretty much the same as Button on Alonso.

          Hamilton on Webber was therefore a racing incident, or they both (Button and Hamilton) should have been penalised.

      2. Don’t follow you at all on this Lewis was the one at fault in the Button incident only reason he wasn’t penalised was team mates hence no complaint was made against Lewis by his own team .. in my view that shouldn’t have any bearing on the situation at all and the stewards should have been locked away from the race so as they can only see the details of the accident no identifications of drivers or cars its the only totally impartial way of judging incidents … weather in jest or not Lewis has opened the victimisation / racism monsters head at the last race. Yes i feel he did it in joking kind of way but hes opened that closet and it will always remain open and once again will be another thorn in the side of there decisions for no reason as he deserves to be called in for his erratic driving … this is meant to be F1 and the top sport not WACKY RACES AFTER ALL..

      3. Hamilton fans actually believe this

        1. Not all of us do – only the ones who haven’t got a sense of perspective…

      4. So let me check my understanding.

        Lewis Hamilton speeds behind the safety car, tips Mark Webber into a spin at the first corner of the first racing lap, collides with Jenson Button a few laps later and then parks his damaged car where there is no hope of recovering it without a safety car. For this Hamilton receives no punishment or reprimand, even though the driver steward is Emerson Fittipaldi who, before the weekend, said Lewis needs to calm down and not get involved in so many incidents.

        And that all confirms to you that Lewis Hamilton is being victimised?

    15. Gnarly Racing (@)
      13th June 2011, 1:15

      Could they have investigated Button and Hamilton while the race was stopped? There were various shots on TV of Fittipaldi, Hamilton and Button just waiting around, I’m sure they all had time to do it.

      I’m glad the result stands, if a bit surprised no-one on the stewards’ long list of incidents got penalised. I thought di Resta’s penalty was harsh – having to stop for repairs was surely enough punishment for his mistake, and Heidfeld didn’t suffer from being hit, unlike Webber on the first lap.

      1. I thought di Resta’s penalty was harsh – having to stop for repairs was surely enough punishment for his mistake, and Heidfeld didn’t suffer from being hit, unlike Webber on the first lap.

        Just because your car needs repairing doesn’t automatically absolve you from taking a penalty for an avoidable accident.

    16. Unbelievable. Lewis Hamilton is crashed into in Monaco TWICE (I really don’t care what people have to say. Look at the replays and the breakdown of the incidents. Massa turned in early and so did Maldonado. End of discussion) and Lewis is completely crucified, finishing 6th. Now Button takes out Hamilton against the wall, and then (albeit in much more of a “racing incident” style crash) takes out Alonso, and goes on to win the race and is glorified as a hero. People even have the audacity to blame Lewis for the incident today. This is just ridiculous. Lewis, it’s time to switch to Red Bull and drive for a team that can actually match your talent level.

      1. But that would mean not just the stewards are against Lewis, but both MB and DC too. They called the penalties in Monaco, but absolved Jenson here.

        It must be the whole world against Lewis after all.

    17. Good decision. But i don’t think Mclaren would have seriously worried about Lewis-Button investigation. They would have explained to Hamilton that ‘we don’t want to loose the win’. So be professional and don’t blame Button in front of stewards. Blame him as much you want afterwords.

    18. The fact is Hamilton got a good run out of the corner, chose his line early and, once he got his wheel alongside Button, that line he was on was his. Button had no right to move – whatever his preferred line for the next corner – over unless he was 100% in front. The idea Button has the right to barge rival cars off his or anyone elses preferred line is bonkers. If Hamilton wanted to hog the left side of the track for the entire lap the would be his right.

      As for the Hamilton/Webber contact. Webber first tries to chop Hamilton up after leaving the door wide open – a fact conveniently ignored by Brundle – only to turn away when he realizes it’s too late, after which they make contact. If Webber had stayed on his initial wider line it’s debatable if the would have made contact.

      1. I think the track being slippery have quite a bit to do with the extra steering movements. But I think this also goes for Hamilton, he slid into Webber without sufficient grip to make that corner. Since Hamilton started it and Webber did give space, I think HAM is more to blame, but I would also call that a racing incident due to the slippery circumstances.

      2. Read the article. The stewards found that Button hadn’t moved as far to the left as he had the previous lap or as far as Schumacher had done on the lap the incident happened. So Button was hardly barging Hamilton off – Lewis moved towards a gap that was already closing thinking (mistakenly) that Jenson had seen him.

        When the two McLaren touched the contact was between Button’s left rear and Hamilton’s front right – Lewis wasn’t far enough alongside to claim the line at that point. I think you’ll find most people would agree that you need to be at least alongside in order to claim the racing line – getting your front wheels alongside the other driver’s rear wheels isn’t enough.

        1. Sorry but the camera angle from the rear clearly shows Button moving left after initially going straight – hence changing his line – after Hamilton had a wheel alongside. Button’s intent is debatable but as he’s responsible for avoiding collisions through his own actions it’s essentially irrevelent. If as you claim most people agree that an overtaking car has to be completely alongside to claim a line there would be virtually no overtaking going into corners (nearly all overtakes without DRS would be penalised). Sticking it up the inside is what makes racing.

          1. Read the stewards’ verdict – they didn’t find any evidence of Button changing his normal racing line on that part of the circuit. If anything, they concluded he stayed further to the right than he had the previous lap.

            Sticking it up the inside is what makes racing.

            Indeed it does, but it would generally be followed by the caveat “as long as you can get far enough alongside and still make the corner without clattering into the other driver.” Failure to do so does not make racing, it usually makes accidents. It is the responsibility of the overtaker to make the pass work, not the duty of the overtakee to facilitate it.

            1. Correct (Though Brundle would say otherwise if Hamilton was in front) but the overtakee does have a responsibility not to move towards a car – enough movement to create contact – that has pull even slightly alongside.

              Can’t you recognise the the obvious contradiction?

          2. moving left after initially going straight

            That IS the racing line on that part of the track.

    19. Where has this sudden hatred of Button come from? It’s clearly not disgruntled Vettel fans having a pop, so why are you criticising? Are we saying that for a British person to win we have to cheat and deliberately crash into others, risking all sorts of car damage in the process? Yes?

    20. Racing incidents? Spot on. Where was this sensibility at the last grand prix?

      More of this please.

    21. All this Hamilton negativity is BS. He gets screwed for trying to pass drivers. Nuff said. He had button dead to rights. Button didn’t know he was there and turned into him. Webber blatently cut him off to late. Why is the attacking driver always to blame? Niki Lauda nees to shut his mouth. He said Lewis needs to be taught a lesson with further punishment before someone is killed. What a joke. Lauda or Fittipaldi could not hold a candle to Hamilton’s talent. They are hippocrites.

      1. The Webber incident was Hamilton’s fault. Webber left plenty of room but Hamilton had simply gone in a little too hot. He was unlucky with the Maldonado incident but Hamilton is the guilty party in the Webber and Massa collisions.

        1. @Ragerod

          Look at the incident again and forget Brundle’s commentary. Webber leaves loads of space before going into the corner and then, when he sees Hamilton coming through, he panics and tries – too late – to close the gap. Realizing he’s turning into Hamilton only then does he “give room”. It’s a movement fron Webber towards Hamilton and then a movement away.

      2. You seem to be missing a fairly fundamental point which was that Hamilton wasn’t actually punished for any of the incidents yesterday. Not even reprimanded.

        Fittipaldi was the driver steward and presumably was fairly instrumental in the decision that it was a racing incident. As a steward, he would’ve had access to more information than Lauda did when he was asked about the Hamilton/Button incident – he may therefore change his mind. Lauda and Fittipaldi have five world titles between them, so I suspect they could both have held a candle to Hamilton in their prime.

        Exactly how are Fittipaldi or Lauda hypocrites?

    22. Racing Stewards investigated and concluded that Hamilton was justified in making the decision he did. They concluded that “Racing Incident” would be the appropiate term to apply. Question to all “Why should he be banned,suspended or otherwise punished if he’s not guilty?” Is it his name or his height that offends this time?

    23. J Button Fan
      13th June 2011, 4:57

      It’s great that the incident with Hamilton was disregarded but in all honesty, I think that Button hit Alonso intentionallly. A simple replay of the hit will show you that and also he repeatedly avoided confronting the question abt the Alonso incident during the interview (the reporter asked twice and he avoided it). Guilt/shame maybe?

      Remeber this is coming from a J.Button fan.

      1. Why would Button hit Alonso intentionally? This is the man who was able to analyse the tyre choices of the six cars in front of him and factor them into his strategy in the middle of a race (Hungary last year). Button had to know that Alonso was on cold tyres, since he would have clearly seen the Ferrari coming out of the its, and probably would have passed him by the end of the lap if it weren’t for their little clash. He’d already survived one tangle with another car; why would Button push his luck like that? He had absolutely no motive for hitting Alonso, unlike that idiot Stefan Muller in the GT1 race at Silverstone a week or so back.

        Although it was deemed a racing incident, if you absolutely had to assign responsibility for it, Alonso clearly takes the lion’s share. He was on cold tyres, off the dry line, and the stewards agreed that Button was on the racing line. It’s fair to speculate that Alonso could not see Button the way Button could not see Hamilton, but which is easier to believe: that Jenson Button deliberately crashed into Fernando Alonso, or that Alonso could not see Button and made a mistake turning in?

      2. You would have to be an idiot to intentionally hit another car from behind, considering how much risk there is of wiping the nose or front wheels off your own car. Just look at what happened to Heidfeld – there is no way Button thought that it would be a good strategy!

    24. I don’t get this whole the-stewards-are-too-hard-on-Hamilton attitude that people have. The only reason why people are decrying the Powers That Be is because Hamilton has the potential to win races and is a popular driver. He is by far and away the most aggressive driver on the grid, but if he was trundling around like this in a Force India or a Toro Rosso, people wouldn’t think twice about the penalties he receives. He doesn’t deserve an exemption from penalties simply because he has a fast car. Just look at the move on Massa in Monaco – Paul di Resta attempted something similar and got hit with a drive-through. I didn’t see anybody criticising the stewards for penalising him then, but as soon as Hamilton did it and got slapped with a penalty, the blogosphere lit up with complaints.

      1. More people comment on Hamilton Penalty because more people are watching him than are watching Di Rista.

        1. I’m not talking about the number of people commenting on each penalty. I’m talking about the way people comment on them. The incidents in Monaco were virtually identical. Both drivers were penalised the same way. Yet there was outcry over Hamilton being penalised, and virtually no complaints about di Resta getting his drive-through. I believe the reason is because Hamilton is a popular driver, and has the ability to win races and championships. How else do you explain the wildly different reactions to such similar events? I think that if Hamilton were driving for a midfield team, there wouldn’t be nearly as much outcry – but Hamilton shouldn’t be allowed to get away with causing avoidable accidents simply because he is popular.

          Because when you really look at it, which driver has had the most penalties this year? Lewis Hamilton. Which driver has been involved in more on-track incidents this year? Lewis Hamilton. There was the collision with Button in Montreal. The collisions with Massa and Maldonado in Monaco. The collision with Alonso in Malaysia – and they’re just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

      2. The vast majority of Hamilton fans that have commented think that he acted poorly at Monaco and was to blame for the Massa collision.

        But he didn’t do anything that bad a Montreal (certainly comparable to Button) and all of a sudden you have Lauda talking about people being killed, EJ saying he should have a year off and Moss saying he should tone his driving down.

        Keep driving as you are Hamilton and don’t tell the press how you feel… ever. Perhaps he just needs new management.

    25. Button knowing he made an error should fully expect Hamilton to be up his inside. If he looked in his right mirror and not seeing Hamilton, he should have known he was on his inside. If Hamilton was at fault, again, I say why race of one is not supposed to overtake when there was a clear overtaking opportunity.

      1. It’s true that Button should expect that Hamilton would be up the inside when he made that mistake – and he moved to defend that position, knowing full well that the racing line curved around that side of the track, and the stewards accepted that Button never deviated from a) the line the had previously taken through that section of the circuit, and b) the line the previous driver – Schumacher – had taken. It’s fairly evident that while Button knew Hamilton would make a move, he did not know when that move would come. He was no doubt expecting it into the first turn, not on the pit straight.

        Re-reading your post, it’s quite clear that you’re trying to pin the blame solely on Button for the sake of exonerating Hamilton from yet another passing attempt that went badly.

    26. This isn’t a very good headline. It insinuates that Button deserved penalties in the first place. That may very well be the case, in the opinion of the author but such a headline would better suit an opinion piece than a news report such as this.

      1. This is a blog, not a news site.

      2. I think you are reading into the headline as you wish.

        What about: “Button Escapes, Penalties for Hamilton and Alonso crashes.”

        Just one comma and the whole meaning is shifted. Outcome still the same…

      3. He was under investigation for two incidents and had he been punished for either of them he would almost certainly have lost the win.

        He was not punished for either, therefore he escaped punishment.

        The headline is not making a judgement on whether the penalties were appropriate, you’re reading too much into it.

        If I were expressing an opinion on what happened I would make it abundantly clear within the article. I have not done that.

        Here’s an earlier comment I wrote with my view on the Button/Hamilton incident:


    27. It makes me laugh how it was ‘clear’ that Button was at fault for both incidents for as many people as those who say it was ‘clear’ that he wasn’t at fault. That suggests to me that ‘racing incident’ is the best way to describe both of them.

      These things happen…

    28. Frankly I found it embarassing how in a race with such little traction the bar at the bottom of the screen kept popping up – “The stewards are investigating an incident between cars X and Y”.

      It’s no longer about safety and neither is it seemingly about fairness – it’s about trying to punish any mistake punishable!

      F1’s become like ITV2’s adverts – a compensation society where any bad luck that falls on you because of a genuine accident can be compensated by a punishment. Accidents (as in a genuine “Oops, didn’t mean to do that”) don’t exist anymore, now there’s just blame.

      I feel that the FIA really need to get rid of this ‘avoidable accident’ ruling as it’s making the racing far too sterile and motiveless, especially in such low grip circumstances as in Montreal.

      1. There is a difference between an incident being investigated and a penalty being handed out. The stewards aren’t being heavy handed, they are being thorough.

        If an incident occured on track and the stewards simply ignored it, they wouldn’t be doing their job properly.

        To me, seeing that little graphic pop up indicates that they are at least paying attention to the race.

        Accidents (as in a genuine “Oops, didn’t mean to do that”) don’t exist anymore, now there’s just blame.

        That is patently false. There were several incidents today where the stewards decided that what occured was a racing incident.

        As for the graphic continuously popping up. Would you rather that the broadcast convey as little information as possible?

    29. It seems that the stewards were mainly investigating Hamilton in the Button/Hamilton incident as they are mainly justifying why they did not penalise Hamilton. Personally I think they were racing incidences. Hamilton on Webber was a more debatable but still a Racing Incident and even Ferrari say the Alonso incident was a RI.
      Brundle called it correct that Button was looking in his mirrors but incorrect the Hamilton was there at the time. Watching it in slow motion Button look back at the track in front a start to take the racing line just before Hamilton pulls out (at the time Buttons head moves you can just see Hamiltons pit side tyres)

      1. I’m glad I am not the only person that thought this – it was pure bad luck that Button stopped glancing in his mirror just as Hamilton’s nose would have appeared in it.

    30. Lewis needs to realize this pally pally relationship with Jenson is one way.
      It’s over . . . period – Lewis should treat him like any other driver on the track. I am sure Lewis would have given Jenson room to race, the way he would any other driver.

      And yes I am a Hamilton supporter, he loves to race and he will put his nose in where ever and whenever there is an opportunity. That’s racing.

      I would bet most of Jensons wins have come from others misfortunes on track, but this time Jenson caused the collisions, and can easily blame the conditions. He took Alonso out blatantly, and his outburst over the team radio indicates he saw Lewis.
      What a sneek.

      The gloves are off now, even Rond was disgusted with this incident,, but Whitmarsh seems to gloss everything over. Take the team points and go home forget about it.

      I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the McLaren camp post race de-brief . . .

      1. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the McLaren camp post race de-brief . . .

        Yeah, they must have been really displeased with Button during that. I’d be highly surprised if they ever let him in one of their cars again!

        Can you link to a Rond “disgusted” moment?

        1. Unfortunately I can’t, but the TV live footage just after the incident showed Ron D turn away from the cameras and walk off in the teams garage.
          There must be stuff brewing behind the scenes. This is possibly the third time that Jenson has used underhanded tactics to scupper his team mate. Is it the only way he can get one up on Lewis?
          Remember when Jenson stayed out for an additional lap even though the team called him in, when he knew Lewis’s tyres were shot [Can’t remember the race], then again when he passed Lewis after the team gave a coded message for both drivers to conserve fuel, when Lewis asked whether Jenson would pass, and then he did.
          McLaren’s standards and their game has slipped since Rond D stepped down.

          1. “Rond” was annoyed becasue McLaren team mates got involved in an incident, just like anyone would.

            his outburst over the team radio indicates he saw Lewis.

            maybe the fact that Button suddenly felt something hit his wheel when he knew Hamilton was right behind him is what gave him the clue that it was him?

            Talk about clutching at straws…

            1. You can say what you want, your forgetting that both drivers are being told where the other drivers are throughout the race, including team mates.
              We only hear what the media wants us to hear on the radio and only when they deem it good copy.
              Of course Jenson knew where Lewis was – if he didn’t then he isn’t as good a driver as you think he is.
              Ron D was annoyed because he saw valuable team points slip away needlessly.
              These guys are paid to be aware, and to make split second decisions, race, and bring home the kitty, even though both are going for glory.
              Jenson’s outburst over the radio, was to cover his butt nothing else . . . Racing incidents surely can be avoided between team mates especially if you are working together which Button very rarely does. . . Clutch that . .

    31. This is a joke tbh, i agree the bbc team are just terrible always crediting others except our own british drivers. I think that the FIA are a joke and tbh this is all mclarens fault if they provided hamilton with a car that can be on pole there would be no incidents and on top of that their strategy is terrible and regarding all the critism this is a joke hamilton has to overtake to win, they are always going on about overtaking and now someone does it they punish them, seriously its a joke. The thing i want now is for hamilton to leave then we will see how exciting formula 1 is.

    32. @vxr wonderboy vettel proved today he is not the best driver on the grid. You are always unusually quiet when he doesn’t win. What’s the excuse this time? :)


    34. Very heated bebate around this crash but I would like to point out /ask the following:

      1. When Button looked in his mirrors, hamilton was behind him, not alongside.
      2. Hamilton was only at fault for assuming Button saw him.

      Result: Pure accident – no blame to either driver.

      This brings me onto my next point.

      1. Why were Button’s incidents both investigated after the race? Why were they not investigated during? There was plenty of time available…

      2. Also, I would like to say how mature Hamilton was with his interviews / manner afterwards. Could easily have done a “monaco rant” or disapeared but he stayed and supported Button to the end and looked happy for him when Button won

      1. I suspect the stewards wanted to hear both drivers’ side of the story before making a decision. They can’t really do that during the race. If it was clearly one driver’s fault through watching a replay (like speeding in the pitlane for example) then they can make a decision there and then.

        I would rather they didn’t guess or try and imagine what the drivers were thinking – that’s what this comment thread is for!

        1. Rob is 100% correct. It was one of those incidents whereby some explaining from the drivers was required, and seen as one of them was still in the race it had to be done after it.

    35. To me, it looks like a pattern; anything lower than 2nd on the starting grid for Lewis is an announcement of some sort of incidents for that race. I just think Lewis, very skilled driver in a very good car, also very very impatient. Maybe, he should get himself a personal advisor like Vettel did or qualify 1st or 2nd!?

    36. Sensible decisions. Totally agree with the stewards. Nothing more to say!

    37. I’m not going to get into the blame game but the mere fact that you guys are all arguing about Hamilton versus “the world” surely makes the point that his driving style (good or bad) is risky. To quote the late Roger Clarke “to win first you have got to finish”. I might just start to question my approach if I was losing so many points through (other peoples?) mistakes and (unjust?) penalties. Hamilton and his fans can complain all they like but at the end of the day he isn’t dominating the championship.

    38. Al always want people like Fittipaldi who is a WC & a good off track guy to be in the steward panel.Very good job by them in the race today,they could have spoiled the party.

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