Toro Rosso: Penalties and wrong set-up for Buemi

2011 German GP team review

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With two penalties and a wet set-up for a dry race, it was a poor weekend for Sebastian Buemi.

Sebastien BuemiJaime Alguersuari
Qualifying position2416
Qualifying time comparison (Q2)1’33.546 (-0.152)1’33.698
Race position1512
Pit stops22

Toro Rosso drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

Sebastien Buemi113.466103.621101.805100.532100.429100.16100.28799.95799.865111.845122.971100.53399.787100.06399.89799.739100.249100.65199.03599.1398.92998.61499.02799.45198.67699.30699.02199.06598.93298.97898.692100.21199.36999.61699.773103.778117.90798.93798.63198.59898.24698.581100.85898.96998.9399.68498.42397.86397.98898.45398.2598.72199.42298.48298.24697.94598.27398.02797.9
Jaime Alguersuari110.674102.201101.052100.325100.618100.201100.01399.6899.94999.995100.643101.322100.658100.345100.428100.929101.234100.43899.997100.289100.239100.274102.739116.49897.88697.85897.52298.34598.06598.02497.80397.5498.27898.19698.62698.51297.89498.47998.17999.18899.32698.105100.794116.68698.25497.85797.64697.43997.55997.50597.88998.32398.09299.54497.44897.90697.8297.82797.415

Sebastien Buemi

Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, Nurburgring, 2011

Buemi had a frustrating weekend which began with a high-speed spin at the end of first practice. He didn’t set a time in second practice as his mechanics worked on a misfire on the car.

This was later blamed for the irregularity in his fuel sample which caused the stewards to delete his qualifying time. Buemi had out-qualified Alguersuari for the eighth time in ten races.

He worked his way past the stragglers at the start to hold 16th by lap five. But he was caught by Nick Heidfeld and pushed the Renault off the track on the run to the chicane as Heidfeld tried to pass.

The stewards handed down a grid penalty for the following race rather than penalise Buemi during the Grand Prix, perhaps to ensure the punishment carried some weight. Buemi’s race had been further compromised by a puncture incurred during the contact.

Buemi was unrepentant afterwards (“Heidfeld drove into me at the chicane”) and added that he had gambled on a wet weather set-up for the race which hadn’t paid off.

Sebastien Buemi 2011 form guide

Jaime Alguersuari

Alguersuari was another driver to complain of braking problems during the race.

His run of points finishes came to an end as he admitted “our pace was not as good as at Valencia or Silverstone”.

Jaime Alguersuari 2011 form guide

2011 German Grand Prix

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    26 comments on “Toro Rosso: Penalties and wrong set-up for Buemi”

    1. It seems like quite a while since a driver was given a grid penalty for the next race.

      When was the last time this happened?

      1. Schumacher at Spa for pushing Barrichello into the wall at the Hungaroring would be my guess.

      2. Hamilton in Canada 08

        1. Though Ham retired in that very race.

      3. Also Hamilton in Australia 09 for liegate

        1. Hamilton didn’t receive a grid penalty for the liegate. Though Vettel received a grid penalty for his accident with Kubica in the same race.

    2. A bit of a weekend to forget for STR, especially for Buemi, who will be reminded of it in Hungary nontheless .

      1. Poor Sebastien. If he had started from his allocated grid position, his race would have been completely different.

        1. Buemi can t do too much when starting from the back of the grid… It is a direct opposite to his teammate, who scored 4 points even starting from the pitlane…

      2. At least he can save tyres. Worked well for Webber in China (I appreciate Buemi isn’t in an RB7 however ;))

    3. Tough weekend for Buemi and now his next weekend has been ruined too.

      I thought they were doing everything they could to make sure penalties were given in the race. It’s not like they didn’t have enough time to decide either. The incident happened on lap 11 of 60.

      Hamilton was given a time penalty for his collision with Maldonado in Monaco so why not the same for Buemi?

      1. What was on my mind was the collision between Hamilton en Button in Canada where the latter didn’t get punished and now it’s 180 degrees turn around with this descision for an identical situation. So could somebody please explain to me why?!

        1. Because of the racing lines taken. When the stewards investigate on-track incidents, they look at the racing lines the drivers took in comparison to their previous laps, and in comparison to the previous driver through on the lap of the incident. When Hamilton and Button collided, the stewards decided that Button had not changed his racing line from previous laps, and that his racing line was not wildly different to the previous driver through, which was Michael Schumacher. Therefore, they decided that he was exactly where he would have been under normal conditions.

          However, in the case of Buemi and Heidfeld, Buemi’s racing line noticeably changed. He went left, which is a defensive position, then slipped back over to the right to take the next corner. This shows that he was aware of Heidfeld’s presence, since he felt the need to take a defensive line. However, the replays clearly show Buemi looking to the left, in anticipation of the chicane. This suggests that he was unaware of Heidfeld’s track position at a time when he should have been, since he was already on a defensive line.

          The main difference between Button and Buemi is that Buemi changed his racing line going into the corner, which directly implies that he was taking action against another driver. Button, on the other hand, did not move, implying that he was not attempting a defensive move on Hamilton.

          1. I really don’t agree on this point and I don’t believe you’re stating facts. Racing lines are not definite, you are not entitled to weave into a car that is attempting an overtake just because he is in your racing line from previous laps.

            If you look at replay from the Heidfeld/Buemi crash you can see that all other cars are following the same line that Buemi takes when he crashes into Heidfeld. Unlike Canada this is actually the only racing line at this part of the track. Heidfeld has far better traction from the previous corner and deviates from the racing line but returns to the racing line as they approach the corner because of the track layout. Buemi is, like Button apparently was, completely unaware that Heidfeld is trying to pass him on the right side and drives him off the track.

            Button escaping penalty in Canada was not fair, the only thing that helps him is that it was raining and thus more difficult to actually see if something is behind you – something all the F1 drivers have to be able to do.

            Link to Buemi/Heidfeld crash, notice the racing line of the other cars when Heidfeld is parked in the sand and compare it to the racing line of Buemi:

            1. I agree that Buemi did nothing wrong. He clearly didn’t see Heidfeld in the mirror to the extent of Heidfeld being a threat and returned to the normal racing line. I understand that the FIA may see it as dangerous, but given how Button escaped penalty in Canada, Buemi should have as well.
              To solve the problem, the FIA should really do something with larger or clearer mirrors or something.

              Also, I believe the last person to have a penalty for the next race was Buemi again in Korea, after he locked up and hit one of the Virgin cars

            2. thing is lewis weaved more times at the end of the straight(about 3) when he re passed webber. Not say its wrong as it was exciting clean enough.

              Here seb moved once. which is actually allowed.

              rules are rules.

            3. I agree with Prisoner Monkeys. It was a mistake for sure. But you can’t push someone off like that.

              following the same line that Buemi takes when he crashes into Heidfeld.

              I don’t think that’s quite right. Buemi was definitely “defending”. It is fair to say I think that Buemi didn’t see him (Heidfeld), but that opens up an argument of neglect. In that Buemi should be aware of the area he is moving into, especially when defending a position.

              This type of incident can result in very serious consequences, so that is, and rightly so, why the stewards would have punished him for the next race. This type of incident just can’t happen.

            4. Racing lines are not definite, you are not entitled to weave into a car that is attempting an overtake just because he is in your racing line from previous laps.

              Your statement implies that Buemi deliberately crashed into Heidfeld because Heidfeld was in his racing line. He did not. Looking at the video you posted, the other cars were moving over to the position Buemi was going for much sooner than Buemi did.

              But it doesn’t matter what the cars behind them are doing – like I said, when the stewards review an incident, they look at the line taken by the offending driver on previous laps, and at the racing line take by the most recent car through that sequence of the circuit on the lap of the incident. Buemi clearly changed his line from lap to lap. Button did not.

              Button escaping penalty in Canada was not fair, the only thing that helps him is that it was raining and thus more difficult to actually see if something is behind you – something all the F1 drivers have to be able to do.

              Sorry, but this comment makes me believe that people are only looking at the Buemi incident with as much depth as they are to justify criticising the stewards for the Button incident simply because that collision involved Hamilton. The stewards released plenty of information about their verdict in Canada, information that made it quite clear Button had done no wrong.

              You also have to consider that the stewards are not the same from race to race. In 2010, the driver steward was on a rotational basis; now, all four of them are. Different people were stewarding in Germany than they were in Canada.

    4. Buemi might be the better qualifier, but Alguersuari is making a case for himself as the better racer. Buemi might have been shafted by the new fuel system, but the collision with Nick Heidfeld was a stupid msitake that will win him no friends when both he and his team-mate are under scrutiny.

      1. Agree, Jaime is the better racer…

        1. +1 totally agree. When your staring 14-17 qualy means nothing. any smart driver/team would 100% concentrate on race set up and thats seems to be what Alguersuari does.

      2. Certainly Buemi is a better qualifier and possibly is a tad quicker than Alguersuari in some other circumstances, given equal tyres, fuel loads etc.

        But… He somehow looks more vulnerable to adverse circumstances, particularly to the pressure of having a fast teammate giving him a run for his money. Jaime may have struggled to adapt to the Pirellis, but Buemi’s flaws seem to be more on the psychological side. His poor form in last season’s second half proves it (he was on his way to beating Jaime black and blue and then he crumbled inexplicably!!). And the pattern might be the exact same this year.

        So, if by the end of the season Buemi remains unable to capitalize on his speed and stand head and shoulders above Jaime, then he is doomed, no doubt.

    5. FIA has really been inconsistent with penalties especially this year

      1. That’s what happens when you appoint former drivers as stewards. It’s going to be hard to keep any level of consistency.

    6. I do also believe that Nick had played a part in the accident.He misjudge the breaking point.

    7. I thought it was a decent result for Alguersuari.

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