Petrov handed grid penalty for Schumacher collision

2011 Korean Grand Prix

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Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Korea, 2011

Vitaly Petrov will be moved back five places on the grid for next race following his collision with Michael Schumacher in the Korean Grand Prix.

The stewards judged Petrov was responsible for the collision with Schumacher. His penalty will take effect at the next race in India.

Petrov apologised to Schumacher afterwards, saying: “It was not his fault, it was absolutely my fault – once my wheels were locked there was nothing I could do about it. But that’s racing and tomorrow is another day.”

He added: “I tried to defend my position from Fernando [Alonso] but I was in the braking zone on the dirty side of the track which meant I locked my wheels and hit Michael.

“I was focused on my battle with Fernando as there was potential for me to be ahead of him. We both braked too late as he missed the corner too.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    40 comments on “Petrov handed grid penalty for Schumacher collision”

    1. Shame, otherwise Michael could finish ahead of Rosberg or higher he already ahead of Alonso after the pitstop and showing good race pace.

    2. Alonso missed both because he braked too late and run wide, but he had very fast reflexes (and great luck) to stay outside and miss Petrov.

      1. Actually, I think Alonso and Petrov were in a braking duel. The Russian had either gotten him on that lap or the lap before, and they were both trying to go into Turn 3 as deep as possible and out-break one another. If you look carefully at the replay, there is no way Alonso was going to make the apex of that corner – even if Schumacher and Petrov had gotten through cleanly, Alonso would have been a mile off the apex. It was a very un-Alonso moment. So I think the problem was that Petrov was so engrossed in sparring with the Ferrari that he missed the Mercedes.

        1. I agree with that @prisoner-monkeys. Alonso and Petrov were both too much focussed on their own duel to get braking in time to make that corner and to avoid the cars in front.
          Alonso was on the outside so he could avoid hitting Schu, although it was his luck Schu did not spin into him, Petrov was on the inside and therefore hit schu hard in the back.

          1. It was a strange accident, because if you look closely at Schumacher’s car, the only real damage was to the rear wing. And Petrov hit it square-on. I’m willing to bet Petrov thought Schumacher would clear the apex before he himself arrived; there was a gap between Schumacher and Alonso that he was aiming for, and it didn’t quite open up in time. If he’d braked a moment sooner, he would have successfully cut Alonso off without hitting Schumacher because Alonso was never going to make that apex.

            So in the end, I think a grid penalty for India was a little harsh. It was a racing incident, and certainly worthy of a reprimand because it was a silly mistake on Petrov’s part, but it wasn’t completely unavoidable. It was just Petrov misjudging a gap by centimetres, and I think the role Alonso played in all of this was overlooked. Why did he brake so late for the corner? Why did he take a racing line through Turn 3 that was two postal codes away from the line he took on the other fifty-four times he went through the corner? I certainly don’t think Alonso was complicit in the accident, but if he wasn’t there, then I doubt Petrov would have misjudged the gap to Schumacher. And because he was so far off the racing line, it’s not like he pressured the Russian into a mistake.

            1. @prisoner-monkeys It did look as if both counted on those cars not being there, Schu was on the back of a FI or Sauber there, possibly got him turning that corner slower than Petrov had hoped/counted on.

              I did not mean to say Alonso is responsible either, just it meant Petrov was committed to going in a line where he found Schu in front of him.

            2. @Prisoner-monkeys It’s always à question whether you punish outcome or intention. I would say that you have to punish outcome: when someone’s race is over because of you, you should be punished hard but fair.

              Now, if only those decisions could be more consistent, then i would be happy

            3. @verstappen: You punish intention, and you punish outcome if the outcome was caused by negligence.

              In this case Petrov was negligent in not considering the position of other cars ahead, and he would have run off the track as well had Schumacher not been there. This is exactly the type of thing a penalty should be applied for.

        2. missed the Mercedes.

          Might not be quite the right right term there! :D

          Also, great comment, completely agree PM.

          1. I mean “missed the Mercedes” in the sense that he didn’t spot the Mercedes until it was too late. Petrov was clearly banking on Schumacher clearing the apex of the corner when he made that move, and then suddenly Schumacher wasn’t where Petrov expected him to be and he couldn’t pull up in time (though he clearly tried).

            1. Yeah, Don’t worry, got it. :D

        3. That’s what I said @Prisoner-monkeys. Alonso brakes so late he went wide (luckily), and Petrov braked late because he wanted to out-brake Fernando, careless of Schumacher who was definitely slower.

      2. I think it was a great nasty trick by Alonso. ;)

    3. Petrov was distracted by looking in his mirrors trying to out brake

      1. Yeah, the onboard from Alonso really showed how neither of those guys wanted to be the first to brake. Turns out it’s not a good idea to do that when there’s a bunch of cars ahead.

      2. And by doing so, he crashed into someone else, who was also racing for position, ending their race. As Petrov had retired by the time the Stewards made any decision, a 5 place grid penalty is precisely what I would’ve given Petrov..

        Yes, I am a Schumi fan, but that doesn’t influence my decision. I have no intention of giving any driver out there a penalty, but if there’s an avoidable collision, someone must be at blame, and someone must take the punishment..

    4. I am not too sure Petrov had anywhere to go in he end. But he surely should have hit the brakes earlier (as should Alonso have, he missed Schu’s car by cm only.)

      1. @BasCB I get the feeling that it would have been either Alonso or Petrov who smacked into someone, Alonso had the advantage of picking where to go when he out-braked himself, Petrov didn’t really!

        That said, it doesn’t exonerate either of them, not the cleverest of ideas!

        1. I see it exactly like that @andrewtanner

    5. I guess the penalty is a tad harsh, but consistent enough with this crackdown on clumsy driving from the FIA.

    6. I like Petrov but it’s hardly surprising. He ruined Schumacher’s race in a completely avoidable accident. I wonder though now, given some incidents whether penalties are given because of the amount of damage someone inflicts rather than it being avoidable given Ham and Massa but then again, Ham didn’t get a penalty iirc for what happened with Kobayashi (I don’t mean to pick on Lewis it’s just his incidents are by far easier to remember) or maybe it’s because of how daft the incident is and Petrov’s was easily the stupidest.

      Actually, I’ve realised I have no idea what the stewards think the majority of the time and would love to be a fly on the wall or see the footage they get to see. It won’t be great if the stewards gave more of an insight into their decisions rather than just giving out a verdict as then it would be easier to judge especially when it comes to consistency.

      1. Agreed, and they also wouldn’t get as much criticism from the fans and sometimes, the drivers themselves.

    7. I’m glad Petrov said it was not his (MS) fault! Although I cannot see how it could have been Schumacher’s fault other than being on the track in the first place. I think it’s about time maybe Petrov should be given a one race ban, maybe that’ll clean up his track incidents, as he doesn’t seem to be learning much with grid penalties. I wonder if he’d taken out Vettel or Hamilton the same way, if his penalty would have been the same? Now there’s a thought!

      1. Exactly! But the prison term would serve him better, yeah!!! Jiz, his track incidents are countless, as the number of others racers’ wrecked cars…And Pet should definitely take an example of Shu of how to race without a single mistake…

    8. I missed the race – was there a safety car because of this crash??

      1. Yep. A huge amount of debris was strewn across the racing line at turn 3.

    9. Schumacher and whoever just seemed to hover at the corner forever.
      Petrov arrived from behind to suddenly meet a blocked exit and nowhere to go.
      Petrov also had to brake again to avoid hitting Alonso, luckily he had lost his front wing by this time.
      Just an unfortunate incident really.

    10. Way too late on the brakes, completely avoidable incident that knocked another car out of the race, and he even admits it was his fault. A 5-place grid penalty seems just.

      1. Yes very late on the brakes but the late braking only looks worse because he hit Schumacher. Had Schumacher not been fighting for track position with another driver hence delayed, Petrov could still have executed his braking without the urgency of suddenly finding a wall directly ahead and your escape route to the left blocked by another driver.
        I feel it was more a racing incident than deliberate because Petrov arrived unsighted after his pass on Alonso.

        1. We all know he didn’t deliberately try to wreck anyone, it was an honest mistake, but a mistake all the same and so worth a penalty as it was completely avoidable. If Schumacher can get a 10 place grid penalty for almost wrecking someone, I think a 5 place penalty for actually wrecking someone is well within the limits of justification.

    11. The accident was stupid, yes, but what grit from Petrov to be testing his nerve like that against Alonso at 210mph. Yes, he’s still got a bad msitake every now and then, but it’s often the result of pushing as hard as he can rather than out of complete stupidity. Like last year.

      Teflonso indeed, though…

      1. what grit from Petrov to be testing his nerve like that against Alonso at 210mph

        This is why, even for all his errors, I can’t help but like Petrov. The errors will go away with experience, but you can’t teach determination. Right from the beginning of his F1 career he’s proved that he is willing to go toe-to-toe with the best of the sport.

        1. Im not much of a Petrov fan, but I still remember, back in GP 2 days his pass on the outside of Au Rouge in the rain. Stunningly steel ba!!z

        2. @xxiinophobia Perfectly said, but he has to stop crashing into others..

          Think of the points he’s giving away! Renault want those points! (I’d argue they don’t need them, but Boullier wants them…)

    12. Petrov won that game of chicken, he didn’t even bother with the brakes. He would make an excellent 1950’s greaser.

      1. Game of chickens sums it up quite well.

    13. themagicofspeed (@)
      16th October 2011, 23:10

      What is it with that guy tripping up world champions! Get out of the damn way.

    14. Pertov was completely mindless in that maneuver. Even if somehow Schumacher saw incoming and hadn’t turned in, Petrov would have NOT been able to make that corner and would’ve taken someone out eventually. Just totally brainless.

    15. Petrov should have been more careful,shame Schumacher could have had a top 6 finish today.

    16. Both Vitaly and Fernando made the same mistake, but Alonso was luckier because he had enough space to avoid Michael. I can expect such a great mistake from Petrov but not from a double champion like Alonso.

      It was a pity because Michael was doing a good race, improving his pace in the second sting. He could have finished ahead of Nico and Jaime.

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