Rosberg, Hamilton and Alonso cleared over incidents

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

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The stewards of the Bahrain Grand Prix have taken no action against Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso for incidents involving the drivers during the race.

The stewards investigated two separate incidents, both involving Rosberg as he defended his position from each of the drivers by moving to the right of the track on the approach to turn four.

Regarding the Hamilton collision the stewards determined the following (Rosberg was car eight and Hamilton car four):

1. The driver of car eight commenced his move to the right after the exit from turn three and moved to the right in a constant and continuous straight line manner, not making any sudden movements (as evidenced by telemetry and video evidence) and;
2. At the time he commenced his move, car four was behind him and no part of his car was alongside car eight and??
3. The driver of car eight made the move to the right prior to the driver of car four making the same move and;
4. For more than half of the distance travelled by car eight in moving in a straight line towards the right hand edge of the track, car four remained behind car eight and??
5. Because the delta speed between the two cars was quite significant it was difficult for car eight to detect the exact position of car four in relation to his own car;
6. Had a significant portion of car four been alongside that of car eight whilst car four still remained within the confines of the track, then the actions of car eight may not have been considered legitimate.

The stewards decision on the Rosberg-Alonso incident was almost identical:

1. The driver of car eight commenced his move to the right after the exit from turn three and moved to the right in a constant and continuous straight line manner, not making any sudden movements (as evidenced by telemetry and video evidence) and;
2. At the time he commenced his move, car five was behind him and no part of his car was alongside car eight and;
3. The driver of car eight made the move to the right prior to the driver of car five making the same move and;
4. For more than half of the distance travelled by car eight in moving in a straight line towards the right hand edge of the track, car five remained behind car eight and;
5. Because the delta speed between the two cars was quite significant it was difficult for car eight to detect the exact position of car five in relation to his own car;
6. No part of car five was alongside that of car eight.

Alonso made his displeasure with Rosberg clear after the race, saying: “I can only say that if, instead of such a wide run-off area there had been a wall, I’m not sure I’d be here now to talk about it.”

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

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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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    182 comments on “Rosberg, Hamilton and Alonso cleared over incidents”

    1. I agree with this. At the time I saw it as Rosberg defending one side, and Hamilton and Alonso deciding to pass down the same side anyway. If it was like Schumacher and Barrichello at Hungary, then a penalty might have been just.

      1. @slr Agreed, looked fine to me. I don’t get why some people were up in arms about this.

        Rosberg’s driving was tough, but within the rule as they are written. Isn’t that what we want to see? Or do people want more limits on how drivers may defend?

        1. its fine, but when schumi does it i hope everyone doesnt moan.

          1. schumi waited in the middle of the track. Watching which side Barrichello would choose. Which was visible from the on-board footage (TV footage made it look more like one mivo) That’s why he got the penalty.

            He wasn’t penalised for crowding, but for illegally impeding.

            1. Schumi was trying to force Rubens to go around the outside.

              I haven’t seen the Rosberg incident, but from what I’ve read it doesn’t sound remotely similar.

        2. But he did weave with Alonso behind him, did he not. Isn’t there a rule this season that once you make a move to defend your position, you cannot return to the racing line? It was looking as if Rosberg was trying to cover his line from Alonso at the outside(racing line) on the approach to turn 4.

          1. there is a rule about blocking you position, you may defend you position 1 time and 1 time only… with this i mean you may get of the racing line 1 time to defend but after that return to the racing line and leave at least 1 car width so the other can pass, the 1 car width also applies when you move over to defend.
            weaving or constantly switching between right and left is FORBIDDEN by the FIA

            my point of view: rosberg puched both hamilton and alonso ouot of the track and tried to cover his own wrong doing by telling the pitcrew: he went off track to take over….

            rosberg thinks he’s king of the world after 1 victory…

            vettel is the same he’s always looking down and angry but when he wins he’s al smiling and cheery…

            1. You mean when Vettel wins he’s happy and when he loses he isn’t?

              What a crime.

            2. I wouldn’t agree with you about vettel’s reactions. And there are very few people like Schumeister who is racing for the fun of it, as a result was happy with a result like the Chinese GP, where he retired, and his teammate won. Vettel’s still fighting for chamionships, and you should not lambast him for his expressions, which are but normal.
              It would be prudent to stick to the point about weaving here. Also, I sincerely hope that if anyone else is in such a position in future(as Rosberg was), the same treatment will be meted out, and that past track record will not dictate the decisions of the stewards.

        3. @keithcollantine This is all fine, but can you explain to me why then Hamilton was not penalised for passing Rosberg while off the circuit? All 4 wheels were the wrong side of the white line, he couldn’t have got past if he hadn’t done that, and he clearly gained advantage, so what’s the deal?

          If Rosberg’s move was legal then Hamilton’s cannot be. If Rosberg wasn’t allowed to move over like that then it’s a different situation.

          1. It seems the stewards didn’t deem it worth commenting on.

            Best guess is that, as Hamilton didn’t cut or widen a corner, or shorten the track by going off it, they decided he hadn’t gained an advantage.

            1. Well, clearly he did gain an advantage. I don’t suppose you can ask the FIA through official channels about this?

              It just seems farcical that someone can pass another car completely off the track.

            2. He definitely gained an advantage in my opinion. Rosberg had already shut the door as far as the track was concerned. Hamilton sort of went through the window. The leadingdriver wouldn’t think to defendfrom a move from outsidethe track.

            3. It wasn’t all advantageous for Hamilton. He did go off the track right into the dirty sand. Furthermore the advantage isn’t higher then when he choose the other side, where he would have passed him also. Also, taking the rules aside completely,Hamilton beat Rosberg fair ‘n square. If Hamilton was penalised for that I can imagine alot of people here being very frustrated about that.

            4. The definition of gain advantage is get a faster lap time, gain a position, or hold a position as a result of going off track.

        4. Both incidents are completely different. Why don’t you get on youtube and take a better look before you start accusing people for being biased.

          If you still do not see the difference in Schumi’s and Rosberg’s defense, I’m afraid you either do not understand racing, or have a case of blind support for Schumacher.

        5. “Rosberg’s driving was tough, but within the rule as they are written. ”

          Quite possibly – but if we see many drivers jagging so sharply across the track to defend a position, then we’re going to see accidents. For me, this comes under driver’s judgement rather than the strict rules, and I’m not 100% comfortable with the moves.

          The Rosberg moves clearly surprised both Alonso and Hamilton. While Hamilton was pretty cool about it after the race (the Schumacher comment was nice), it has obviously changed Alonso’s understanding of what is allowed when defending a position.

          I don’t think Rosberg should expect much professional courtesy from either of them next time he attempts a pass of his own.

          1. To take it further… I do believe that had Hamilton done the same thing twice in the race he would have most certainly faced a drive through. To me, the speed in which Rosberg chose to dink across the track was dangerous. Alonso and Hamilton were in the slip stream, had they chosen to go along the inside of Rosberg, it could have caused a serious problem.

            For those commenting about Hamilton overtaking with 4 wheels off the track, please remember that Vettel did exactly the same thing last year on two occasions, and was penalised for neither. If you are not cutting the track, or making a corner wider then it is not “cheating”.

            1. Melbourne was supposed to be one. What was the second occassion?

        6. “I think when one driver is alongside another one shouldn’t be allowed to push the other off the track, regardless of whether they’re doing 200mph or twenty” – Keith Collantine

          I couldn’t agree more. ;-)

      2. Agreed…. they’re basically saying that both Hamilton and Alonso chose to drive off the track rather than switch to overtake Rosberg on the other side.

        1. Which is a fallacy.

        2. Well it would have been impossible for them to pass him on the outside (as it is in most corners, and as shown by Alonso), and it was obviously possible to pass on the inside, even when off the road (Hamilton did it after all)… so why not!?

        3. Which is exactly what they did.

          I have just watched the replay – again – Rosberg clearly moves in that direction first. In fact he is almost a half a car width to the right of Hamilton before Hamilton even moves right. Hamilton FOLLOWED Rosberg to the right but Rosberg beat him there. It was Hamilton’s decision to go that way, and it was a bad one. His fault that he drove off the circuit, no one elses, least of all Rosberg, who was CLEARLY in front.

      3. Hamilton should get a penalty for passing outside the confines of the racetrack. He should be sent to the back of the grid in the next race and/or disqualified from the championship.

        1. That’s a dumb statement. Obviously you’re a hater.

          1. sarcasm clearly missed.
            Also, I’m baffled that most think the move is perfectly legitimate. What happened to leaving a car’s width?
            Yes, Hamilton chose to pass down that side – but he was already level with Rosberg when Nico decided to run him off the road. What if there was a barrier there instead?

          2. Yeah the repercussions of the illegal move were obviously a joke, but I do think that Hamilton should have been penalised in some way… preferably via a drive through during the race. At no point while Hamilton was inside the confines of the racetrack was he alongside Rosberg, and thus leaving a car’s width room was not necessary (and was clearly not in Rosberg’s best interests to leave open, thus he “shut the door”). The only time he was alongside was when he was in an illegal position off the track, meaning that any move from that point onwards by Rosberg was automatically legal.

            For what it’s worth, I also think Vettel should have been penalised in Australia last year for passing on the outside of T4 so it’s not out of hate for Hamilton (although I do dislike him) it’s just from a fairness point of view… he always seems to do silly stuff like this and that is the reason I dislike him.

            1. The last time I checked it is not illegal for a car to go off-track, they do it all the time. Someone posted a video down here somewhere, you can clearly see the pass was completed when Hamilton was back on track, edgy stuff!!!

            2. The stewarts are not or were not consistant about this kind of situation.
              A few examples:
              Button – Massa (2011-AUS)->drivethrough //cutting the corner
              Vettel – Button (2011-AUS)->no penatly //widening a corner
              Vettel – Alonso (2011-ITA)->no penatly //widening a corner
              Hamilton – RAI (2008-BEL)->post race penatly //cutting the corner, giving back the position, then ontrack overtake

            3. @bag0 – Monza 2011? Vettel didn’t have 4 wheels off the racetrack, and was alongside Alonso who drifted to the outside with Vettel already alongside him.

            4. @david-a I did not say he was 4 wheels off the trak, he just widened the corner, if there was a wall he could not do that. And please understand that was not an anti-Vettel comment.

        2. Yeah, he should be disqualified from the championship. In fact, why stop there? He should be banned from ever competing in the sport again.

        3. From the video posted below, it is clearly visible that the pass was completed on track, ie, Hamilton and Rosberg were still side by side by the time Hamilton went back on track, albeit, Hamilton had a greater speed differential…and the pass was not even complete before the breaking zone, so the pass was completed on track. Clever driving from Hamilton!!!!

          1. Where the pass was completed was irrelevant!

            Bloody hell, does any one know the rules? The rules don’t say anything about passing or overtaking whilst off the track. They state that a driver may not gain an advantage by leaving the track. Where the pass was completed does not matter. Hamilton gained and advantage by leaving the track. It allowed him to get alongside Rosberg, whether he COMPLETED the move on track or not, he gained an advantage by leaving the track, plain and simple.

            Why is this so hard to understand?

            1. rosberg did one move to much with both of them, i have watched both incidents again and ok both hamilton and alonso aren’t completely beside rosberg but the front wheels where already passing the rear wheels of rosberg thus already passing. if they choose to overtake outside because rosberg keeps pushing them to the right wich he cannot do he already went of the race line to defend once. i’m glad they didn’t get a penalty, and the stewards clearly had the same idea as many people: RATHER GO OFF TRACK AND PASS THAN CAUSE AN ACCIDENT….

            2. @”Nick the Anonymous”.
              So, what kind of advantage did he gain in your opinion? Because if the possibility to pass another car is an advantage then there should not be any overtakings in the race. I guess Rosberg could defend further but he chose not to. Why is this so hard to understand?

            3. @phildick
              The illegal advantage he gained was to pass outside the confines of the racetrack. To pass within the racetrack would be a legal advantage.

            4. @BB

              Alonso’s on board footage –


              Please point out to everyone when exactly in the video Alonso’s front wheels are alongside Rosberg’s rear wheels.

          2. Once again, I am continually amazed at the total lack of knowledge that a lot of F1 fans have of the rules and regulations of the sport.

          3. Having said all of the above, I am glad that Rosberg, Hamilton and Alonso were not penalised.

            It was hard racing, plain and simple.

            May we see more of it with less interferance from the stewards.

            But I do stand by what I said. Going by the letter of the law, Hamilton is the only one who ‘should’ have been penalised in these instances.

            1. You haven’t answered the question of how you think Hamilton gained an advantage by going off the track…

            2. @BB…I think the stewards have reviewed it and seen that at no point was any part of LH’s or FA’s cars beside any part of NR’s, as pointed out in the article above…therefore, he wasn’t pushing anyone off the track…they went there voluntarily.

            3. Surely going off track and being able to keep your foot in to enable the overtake is gaining an advantage! If there was grass/gravel there it wouldn’t have been possible!

            4. The simple fact is that both drivers had already committed to going that side of Rosberg, as such there was very little they could do other than go totally off the track as Hamilton did or go partly off the track and slam on the brakes as Alonso did. And whats with these people talking as though Hamilton gained speed by going off the track, thats ridiculous! The speed advantage was due to kers and a slipstream!

              Personally I was glad to see Rosberg being overly agressive. I’m pretty sure he was a bit of a reputation for being easy to overtake because he’ll always leave space. This should make the other drivers that bit more wary now!

    2. FIA is a joke. Its no different than American Wrestling. The outcome is determined before the action is ever executed.

      Rosberg will kill or injure someone. The FIA should be held accountable as much as Nico.

      F1 has become a joke. Rather watch Montoya go from 37 to 1st like he did today.

      To all F1 fans, stop going to F1 races…. show that your voice counts.

      Bernie has forgotten that with out us, there is no F1.

      1. Dude,
        Please keep your rant to the confines of your head. If YOU did not like F1, 1. you would have an account on this site, and 2. you would not have watched the race to talk about it now. Besides, Hamilton nor Alonso were along side Rosberg before he started the move.

      2. Not that your argument is valid, but Ecclestone doesn’t work for the FIA, so your grievance shouldn’t be aimed at hin.

    3. Lovely quote from Hamilton:

      For a moment I actually thought it was Michael!

      1. Haha, I didn’t hear that lol.

      2. I’m pretty sure that had it actually been Michael, the FIA would have had him black-flagged or perhaps penalised(drive-through, stop-go, or time added on). I think the FIA take into account past record, which is really bad, because on-the-road penalties should not be judged by past record. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case here. Having said that, I will also venture to say that, had it been Hamilton, he too would have been penalised even before McLaren could say: “Blimey”.

        1. True on every count.

        2. I don’t buy that for a second. Had they gone by past records, MS would have been penalized for his multi-lap questionable behaviour with LH last year (which btw was questionable enough that it caused them to make an unwritten rule written). In fact, MS has commited so many questionable moves in his career that if they went by past records MS would not be getting away with a fart these days.

          1. Aditya (@)
            3rd May 2012, 7:58

            There are many questionable moves made by “cucumbers” every year, like for example, if a driver is defending his position going into a turn,and he is on the outside, whereas the attacking driver is on the outside and is already almost a car-length ahead, tell me, does the defending driver have any right to brake late, drift wide and hit the attacking driver who is on the outside? I’m referring to the Buemi-Massa(2010 Brazil) incident. Was any penalty given? No.

    4. yeah i think Hamilton was just angry after his pitstop. he slipstream rosberg then went off the track, he wanted forced there. I think Alonso was more innocent.

      1. They both very sharply swept in the same direction at once. Hamilton was committed to going down that side and I reckon pulling out of it could have been dangerous, Rosberg was committed to defending (although he could have left space, it makes sense that it was not his right to). It was a racing incident- if Rosberg defends that hard he has to expect drivers to pass by sweeping wide off-track.

        My only complaint is that they waited until after the race to decide. With so much time in the race to analyse it instead, had they ended up deciding to give a post-race penalty to anybody it would have been farcical.

    5. If Rosberg’s driving was legit, why wasn’t Hamilton penalised for passing/gaining an advantage by driving off the track?

      1. Exactly!

      2. Nico’s driving wasn’t legit, he just didn’t get penalised because the stewards lack consistency and competence. :-)

        1. Once again, incorrect Bernard. Nico’s driving was 100% legit. Perhaps you should watch the actual incidents instead of the ones you have made up in your head.

      3. @john-h
        I don’t think ‘passing’ and ‘gaining an advantage’ (I guess it’s implicitly ‘unfairly’) are equal. If they were, as I wrote a bit above, there should be no passing in the races at all.

    6. I didn’t see an issue with either incident to be honest. When it said the Rosberg/Hamilton move was under investigation I thought maybe it was due to a pass off track rather than forcing one wide.

      1. Too right! And when those crappy has-been drivers (Martin Brundle and Damon Hill) were talking about the penalties he should or may get and how harsh his driving was, I was wondering which RACE they actually watched. Not a word on Hamilton overtaking off the track.

        1. Actually I was listening to the same commentary, and Brundle clearly only decided it was Rosberg they were investigating when the second incident came up under investigation, before that he was careful not to say which it might be.

          1. I just watched the BBC coverage and the only thing mentioned by the commentary team about the Rosberg Hamilton incident was the possibility of a penalty for Hamilton for passing while off the track.

            No mention of Rosberg pushing Hamilton off track. They even eluded to the fact that Hamilton did it deliberately because he knew there was room.

        2. Paul Sainsbury
          23rd April 2012, 9:45

          It is sad to see this kind of disrespect shown to Brundle and Hill. One was a world champion, for Pete’s sake! Usually expect better on this site.

          1. World champion in what, flip-floping? Sky Commentary has been disappointing to begin with, they are not getting any respect for that.

            1. Hill was F1 world champion in 1996. Not sure what ‘flip-floping’ is, to be hones!

    7. So if the stewards want to be consistent, Hamilton must be penalised for overtaking a car by leaving the track …

      Astonishing precedent …

      1. Actually that precedent was already set when Vettel overtook Button outside of the track in Australia.

        Still, this does reinforce it and not just that one, it also sets the precedent that from now on drivers can just push each other off track. Even when they aren’t go for the racing line. They only have to make sure they start the move before the other driver is alongside. It doesn’t matter that the other car is alongside at the moment they actually push it off.

        Only in the braking zone for a corner do they need to leave each other space. At any other part of the track they push each other off.

        1. Once again, it appears that people didn’t actually watch the race yesterday. How bout you watch some replays!

          Rosberg didn’t push anyone anywhere. How can he, when the other drivers are BEHIND him??
          It’s quite obvious from the replays that Rosberg was making a very rapid move to the right hand side of the track BEFORE Hamilton made the move in that direction. Hamilton should have realised that the door was being shut and got out of it. But he didn’t. Why? Because there was a huge run off and room to go around, even if off the track. That was Hamiltons dicision, not Rosbergs! If it had been a normal track with grass, gravel or a wall, Hamilton would not have pulled the move. Hamilton was the one who drove stupidly in this instance.

          On another note, the Vettle move on Button last year was slightly different. He already had the pass complete before he ran off the track. I still believe he should have been penalised, even though he did make the pass whilst on the track. He gained an advantage by running off the track. This allowed him to carry more speed through the corner, thus allowing him to pass button.

          1. He already had the pass complete before he ran off the track”


            he did make the pass whilst on the track. He gained an advantage by running off the track. This allowed him to carry more speed through the corner, thus allowing him to pass button

            Why so many contradictions? If the pass was completed already, on track, as you said how did he ‘whatever you said in the last part’

          2. So Nick, lets play your little stupid game and check the rules shall we, and go completely by the book:

            “20.2 Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of doubt the white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.
            A driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track.
            Should a car leave the track the driver may rejoin, however, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any advantage.
            A driver may not deliberately leave the track without justifiable reason”

            So you need to 1st prove that Hamilton left the track deliberately and not just because he was caught in the move.
            Hamilton would have had an advantage if going off track was faster, it wasn’t, in fact it was a longer tour, had Rosberg leaved room, Ham would have been faster sooner, so it was a disadvantage to go of track.

            “20.4 Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.”

            It is perfectly clear from the video that Rosberg continues over the line after Hamilton is on his side.

            Let it rest.

            1. Why is it a stupid little game to state the facts and quote the rules and regulations? People are here accusing a driver of being dangerous and breaking the rules. I’m simply pointing out that he did nothing of the sort, as agreed by the stewards.

              And if you want to get technical we can.

              20.2 – Whether or not a driver leaves the track deliberately is irrelevant in this case. If a driver does not deliberately leave the track, all that means is he can’t get penalised for leaving the track.

              What does matter however, is what he does while off the track. A driver may not gain an advantage whilst off the track, however he ends up there. Hamilton was able to get alongside Rosberg while off the track, allowing him to make the pass when he rejoined the track, thus gaining an advantage. If he didn’t leave the track, he would have had to stay behind Rosberg or move to the left, taking more time and putting him on the outside of the corner. He clearly gained an advantage whilst he was off the track.

              20.4 – Once again, this regulations is only relevant if the drivers are side by side – which was not the case here, as ruled by the steward, and as seen by anyone who is not blind and has actully watched the replays.

              People keep quoting this regulation but IT IS NOT RELEVANT!! Hamilton and Alonso were BEHIND Rosberg – so how the bloody hell can he have pushed them off the track??

              Watch the replays! They even showed Alonso’s on board after the race for Christ sake – it’s there for all the world to see. AT NO POINT DID ALONSO EVEN HAVE HIS WING TIP ALONGSIDE ROSBERG!

            2. Nick,

              Its a stupid game because you interpret everything according to you bias.

              You choose to say that Ham had an advantage in going inside compared to going behind and outside, I can just as well interpret it as advantage compared to ideal round, so would Ham have an advantage on that route compared to a qualifying lap, NO, that route is a disadvantage, and that is what the rule is about, cutting corners, otherwise half the field would have to be disqualified on SPA where its common to go on the outside in the opening corner.

              You interpret 20.4 to say that there has to be car on the side, yet it say’s no such thing, what is the opposite of abnormal?
              It’s Normal, was Rosberg’s move Normal?
              Didn’t look like it to me, and apparently not the Stewards either since they investigated twice.

              You interpret the video to say that Ham was not on the side when Rosberg made his move, and clearly he was not when the move started, however there is no way to tell if Ham had edged himself up when leaving the track we will need the onboard for that, if he even only had his front wing on Rosbergs tire, Rosberg would in fact be crowding.

              Leave it be, the stewards has ruled it was racing and you should appreciate the fact that someone still makes the effort to try that as opposed to riding the pit strategy.

              3rd to 4th second

            3. @tvm

              Bloody hell, if that’s your interpretation of what gaining an advantage is, I’ll not bother wasting any more time trying to explain it to you.

              Enjoy watching the pretty cars going quickly around and around the track…weeeeeeeeeeeeee

          3. Agreed, Nick.

        2. Or when Alonso overtook Massa in the pitlane entry completely outside the white lines.

    8. The interesting comment by the FIA here is that apparently Nico moved first. I would need to watch a replay because to me, my instant reaction to the move was that Nico was reacting against HAM. If this is the case, then it suggests to me that HAM made a decision, (possibly instinctive?) to dive to the inside, despite Nico’s defense.

      I can stomach HAM making a desperate move, especially after his dramas in the pits. However, to suggest ALO did the same. I smell a rat

      1. Correct!

        Nico moved first and was quite clearly closing the door. Hamilton should have got out of it!

    9. I think the prescedent was set in the GP2 races where this happened at least twice. Sure, it’s not safe and not to be encouraged, but they’re racing incidents which aren’t really anybody’s fault.

    10. need more investigation into Hamilton’s pass with all four wheels off track, as Dan says above….funny that commentators said nothing at the time, too….didn’t they notice? Astonishing indeed.

      1. It was the first thing I noticed, thought it should have been a drive through. but then I saw the replay and realised he didn’t have much of a choice, he had to commit to it because by that time there was no going back.

        Nico was well and truly on the limit of what is allowed. Very lucky not to get 20 seconds added on to his finishing time.

        1. One move is allowed. He made the one move to the end of the track, simple! If there was a wall there, Hamilton would have gone the other way, where there was room, ……on the track!

          1. if there was a wall there roseberg would have crashed as he had two wheels of the track which suggests to me he was looking in his mirrors not forward which then suggests he was blocking not defending??? just a thought.

            1. What’s wrong with blocking?

            2. nothing if its within the rules and not dangerous just trying to say roseberg was constantly looking in his mirrors not ahead (once again nothing wrong with that) but a big part of racing is knowing when your beat and not risking a crash. Iremember last year on the start at one race where vettle put button on the grass but no one thought there was anything wrong with that but they did schumacher on rubens? (point being no consistancy)

    11. Well, Rosberg has managed to get away VERY well with this decision… The amount of times he cut across would’ve made me consider disqualifying him from the race…

      1. You talking about the Bahrain GP or another race?

        1. Webber did complain about Rosberg weaving in Australia, though I didn’t see any weaving, and the stewards didn’t investigate anything I believe.

        2. No, he is talking about a race over the moon with you the only spectator!!! AHL!

      2. A driver can’t be disqualified for that.

        1. Schumi would’ve been… I’m dead sure.

      3. Well quite clearly you don’t know much about racing and F1. Rosberg did nothing wrong, dangerous or unfair. He was in front, he moved first, Hamilton moved second, Hamilton was behind.

        Pretty cut and dried to me, and apparently to the stewards as well!

        1. Well we all know what a fine job the stewards do.

          1. Haha – can’t argue with that I guess.

    12. absolutely nothing wrong with nico’s driving, if you watch the replay again you notice that nico was the one to first made a move, in which hamilton followed. if observed properly, nico did leave a slight gap too. Besides, when rosberg made the move, hamilton’s car was clearly behind rosberg.

      if theres action to be taken, i believe hamilton is to be the one for gaining an advantage for running off the track furiously after that horrible pitstop.

    13. Well, I’ve just watched the Hamilton incident on YouTube (thanks for the link, @nosajm9bys) for the first time. I’d heard it discussed on the radio and read a lot of the reaction that led me to think Nico had been a naught boy.

      I have to say that I don’t think Nico did anything wrong. He started making his move as soon as he got off the corner, and it seems pretty obvious what he was going to do. It may not have been expected by Lewis who looked as though he’d already planned to take the inside line. Once he started the move he didn’t back out of it, so had nowhere to go but off the track.

      Assuming Alonso’s incident was similar, all I can say regarding comments about what would have happened if there was a wall there is: If there was a wall there, you probably wouldn’t have tried that move having seen what Nico was doing. There was plenty of opportunity to back out of it or even switch to the outside and still have a good go at the pass.

      As for Hamilton overtaking off the circuit, by the letter of the law he should be punished. But I think that would have been harsh, as it was hard racing which is what we all want to see.

      One last point: It’s interesting that Nico moved over and let Lewis back on the track. I know he was just taking his line for the corner, but presumably there’s no reason why he couldn’t have held his line and forced Lewis to work out how to make the corner from the sandpit. Although that may have simply ended up in a collision and ruined paint jobs on the apex…

      1. Haha, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone express concern over the pain jobs on the apex of a corner! Interesting point though about Rosberg. Had he stayed glued to the inside all the way down to the corner it would have made for one hell of an intense turn for both.

      2. Ha! I like the last comment on Rosberg holding the inside line to the corner, but Lewis had sped past by half the straight.

    14. The outcome is fair but I do oppose the kind of steep swipe he did. That was what Alonso was insisting on. Anyway, just my opinion.

      Regarding Hamilton, if we go back to the Australian GP 2011, Vettel when came out of the pits (just like Lewis), passed Button by putting all 4 wheels off the track at turn 5 and he wasn’t penalised either. Strange!

      1. The pass was completed and with the momentum Vettel ran off the track

        1. You mean, the pass was _only_ completed because he carried too much speed for the next turn, knowing there was an escape road to use.

    15. I think there has to be a little bit of common sense, IMHO you shouldnt be allowed to run into another car or run them off the road just because you are driving in a straight line.

      Jagging so violently across the racing line with clear intent to block to me is reckless.

      In Alonso’s first incident even though alonso is side by side with him hes still trying to push him off the track as he pulls back to the racing line and alonso to me appears to be infront.

      While in the situation with Hamilton, Rosberg has moved so far across that he is infact over the white line marking the track. I wonder if hes watching Hamilton more than the track.

      Reminds me of Vettel/Webber where vettel thought he was in the right to cut across Webber because his car was marginally ahead.

      There are racing incidents and sometimes S(*& happens, but to have it happen so many times in a race with no repercussions i think is soft.

      To me although there are now opportunities for passing they are still limited and drivers know the few spots which they can usually pass/be passed. Allowing such driving is just asking for trouble and i think its lucky that hamilton and alonso are such class drivers.

      1. Just concerning what you said about Alonso. I never saw Alonso go outside the white lines at the corner itself, regardless then of how much Rosberg came back across in the braking zone. Thus, there is no problem. The rules say you must leave a cars width when returning to the racing line. If Rosberg and Alonso are side by side, with Alonso not having to go off track, then if anything all this was, was a brilliant example of abiding by the rules to the letter. Rosberg left a cars width and no more, Alonso’s car used every cubic millimeter of that space.

      2. Jagging so violently across the racing line with clear intent to block to me is reckless.

        I agree with this statement. Technically Nico might be in the clear, but ethically, I think it is a bit dirty. I think most fans want to see faster cars passing slower cars, in a skillful clean manner, not see slower cars dangerously try to block the faster car.

        For the record neither Hamilton or Alonso are my preferred drivers, I just like to see clean racing regardless of who the perpetrator is and who the victim is.

    16. I find it difficult to blame Button or Hamilton’s driving for McLaren’s current predicament. I don’t think we know all the variables that make up a good drive from team to team. However, we do know that McLaren has been plagued with poor race management over the past few years.
      This team has lost no less than four races due to flawed race strategy and pit stop errors.

    17. Ill just observe that when Hamilton passed vettel in China, and the latter with his second move put Hamilton right on the track verge, he still left some space there. It would have been insane to do otherwise. Technically Hamilton should have ceded the position but rosbergs tactic was beyond the pale. I think this is why they let Hamilton’s pass stand. Hard cases make bad rules.

    18. Rosberg deserved a reprimand. What would the stewards have done had this been Paul? F1’s new rule- ‘win a race, and do anything in the next one’?

    19. He was “off the racing line”, but no advantage!
      You only get those when cutting a corner.. geez!

      1. @quick_kill
        In terms of laptime, no that is true. But he got a place to overtake, which he would otherwise not have had, and a piece of “road” that Rosberg would have no way of defending.

    20. I still dont for the life of me understand how what Rosberg did was legal? I’ve watched it over and over and, given my interpretation of the new rules Rosberg clearly did not leave a car’s width. It was obvious that both Hamilton and Alonso were going to try and pass there and were already committed to the pass, so Rosberg’s actions clearly forced them off the track.

      In a way i’m glad its been left alone as a racing incident, but this decision effectively means what was said preseason is a load of rubbish.

      C.Whiting – March 2012 – “We don’t want to get into silly arguments about centimetres so we’ve decided the defending driver must leave at least one car width on the racing line otherwise he will be judged to have made a second move and penalised accordingly. We need to have drivers giving each other space on the track – otherwise we risk dangerous collisions.

      1. Once again, it appears the new regulations are clearly not understood!

        The new regulations state that you must leave at least a car width when returning to the racing line after having moved off it to defend your position. Why is this so hard for people to understand??

        In other words, once nico had moved to his right, he was required to leave at least a car width once he returned to the racing line on his left. As both Hamilton and Alonso were not along side, he was not required to leave any room on his right, unless they were alongside, and as demonstrated by the stewards, they weren’t.

        Whether or not they were committed to the move is irrelevant. Rosberg closed the door, FAIRLY and SQUARLY. It was Hamilton and Alonso’s decision to continue with that move – their problem, not Rosbergs!

        What a ridiculous statement to say that they were committed to the move so Rosberg should have left them room! So, on that basis, if a driver makes a move to one side or the other, the lead driver should just let them through, no matter how far behind they are??

        What a load of *&^%!

      2. And as far as it being obvious that Hamilton and Alonso were going to pass on that side – once again wrong!
        If you look at the replays, as it appears not many people have, you will see that Rosberg moves first, as found by the stewards. So the only thing that should have been obvious, was that Hamilton and Alonso should have realised that Rosberg was closing the door and there was no room (other than off the track) to make a pass.

        Like someone has previously pointed out, the only reason Hamilton and Alonso tried to pass on that side was because of the HUGE run off area. If there had been a wall or gravel trap on that side, like most tracks, they wouldn’t have tried the move on.

        The only stupid driving during these incidents was by Hamilton and Alonso. Hamilton clearly should have been penalised for passing whilst off the track.

        1. Agreed again, Nick.

        2. Well argued, but not true and shockingly disingenuous. They were as much alongside Rosberg as Barrichello was with Schumacher in Hungary – plus they had greater closing speeds than Barrichello did. Was Barrichellos driving also stupid, should he have been punished? :rolleyes:

          Evidently some people will see what they want to see and regurgitate what they’ve consumed without seeing what is reasonable or more importantly what is true.

          “Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.”

          1. @Bernard

            You are correct, some people will see what they want to see – apparently you are one of the biggest culprits.

            In fact, they were not alongside Rosberg at all. Like I’ve said a hundred times today, watch the bloody replays! They showed Alonso’s on board replay on the sky coverage after the race. At no time did alonso even have his wing tip alongside Rosberg. It’s there on film for the world to see. I truly don’t understand how anyone can argue the contrary if they have actually seen the footage? Simple explanation – you’ve done exactly what you’ve accused me of – running off at the mouth without any evidence.

            WATCH THE REPLAYS!

            P.S. You cant deliberately crowd a car beyond the edge of the track if he’s behind you!

            1. “In fact, they were not alongside Rosberg at all. Like I’ve said a hundred times today, watch the bloody replays!”

              Hmm, i think YOU need to watch the footage again, Hamilton definatly has as much of his car alongside Rosberg as Barichello did on Schumacher, if not more so, and with far greater closing speeds.

              The difference though, Schumacher knew there was a wall there and left just enough room, anymore and we would have seen a serious incodent, Rosberg though, knowing there wasnt a wall directly alongside the white line, took a liberty. Maybe it was legal to the letter, but it was stupid and could have caused a massive accident.

              and, the wall that is alongside that part of the track is no further away from the circuit as the wall Senna hit at Imola. Just because a wall isnt directly on the white lines like Monaco, dosnt mean you can push a guy off track.

              “PS. You cant deliberately crowd a car beyond the edge of the track if he’s behind you!”

              Oh, you mean like Schumacher at Monza last year? Schumacher got told to leave a bit of room because he was crowding a car that was BEHIND him.

            2. @N

              Agreed, Hamilton did end up alongside Rosberg – AFTER HE HAD LEFT THE TRACK! Whilst on the track though, he did not.

              What Roasberg did was not illegal, stupid or reckless. As I said earlier – WATCH THE DAMN FOOTAGE. Roasberg moves to the right FIRST. Hamilton followed him. Watch it! Rosberg gets at least half a car width to the righ before hamilton even moves. Hamilton followed Rosberg but Rosberg beat him to the line. How people are saying that Rosberg pushed him off the track is a joke. Rosberg got there first. Hamilton decided to continue the move off the track. His problem, and by rights, illegal.

              And once again N, you are wrong. Schumacher was not warned about crowding another driver, he was warned about making too many changes of direction – different thing.

            3. @nick101

              “You cant deliberately crowd a car beyond the edge of the track if he’s behind you”

              Nick, seriously – a little rationality goes a long way. It would appear that many people (including some stewards apparently) think ‘being alongside’ is important in an overtaking manouvere, that is a fallacy, and when ‘significant portions’ of alongsided-ness is added it just gets utterly ridiculous. Closing speed and positioning are the fundamentals of overtaking, not some illogical tipping point/seesaw nonsense.

              Consider the following: F1 cars reach speeds of almost 100 metres a second, that equates to half a football pitch in little more than the literal blink of an eye. They have front wings that are almost six feet wide and equally as far ahead of the driver, they are also way below the drivers line of sight.

              Being ‘alongside’ is totally meaningless in rapidly changing situations that hinge on quick reactions like those during overtaking. At such distances/speeds if the gap closes there is nothing a driver can do other than hit the brakes, go off track or collide – all of which would be impediments. The stewards even suggested that the differing speed deltas was somehow in Rosbergs favour!

              If Schumacher was deemed to have illegitimately impeded in Hungary, then so should Rosberg. For all intents and purposes, his defending was no different, it’s as simple as that really. He squeezed and squeezed with no consideration for his rivals right to not be impeded – after pushing Barrichello off at least Schumacher stopped moving over when he reached the white line!

              F1 2012 Bahrain – Rosberg – Alonso
              F1 2012 Bahrain – Rosberg – Hamilton
              F1 2010 Hungary – Schumacher – Barrichello

              Camera angles can be deceptive so I included the Barrichello images for comparison. As better images surface maybe we’ll get a clearer picture but it doesn’t alter the logic that drivers should leave room when travelling in close proximity to another car, be it in front, behind or to the side.

              1/ Look where the cars are relative each other and to the track edge.
              2/ Compare the Rosberg images with the Schumacher images.
              3/ Is Barrichello ‘alongside’ before he stupidly decides to ‘pass whilst off track’?

              As is clear and almost universally accepted with the Barrichello incident, is it unreasonable to believe that Hamilton and Alonso were sufficiently alongside that Rosbergs manoeuvre was the reason they went off track?

              The fact Rosberg was not even reprimanded only highlights the stewards glaring ineptitude.

              Section 20.4 of the Sporting Regulations is there for a reason.

            4. Oh my God Bernard, are you even serious?

              If you think there is no difference between the Rosberg incidents and the Schumacher incidents, I really don’t know why I bother wasting my time.

              So being alongside has nothing to do with overtaking??? HAHAHAHA

              Right, so how exactly do you overtake someone without being alongside them at some point? I tell you what Bernard, we have to get some physisits involved here because apparently you have figured out a way to transport matter from one place to another instantaneously!! WOW, you are clever! Best you prepare for the Nobel prize my friend. What a bloody ridiculous statement!

              In fact, the Rosberg Schumacher incidents are very different. Do me a favour, acutally look at the replays would you? Now I know you put up some nice pretty little pictures but how bout you look at the footage and see how the incident actually unfolded?

              Rosberg was not reacting to an overtaking move by Hamilton, he anticipated the move and went defensive BEFORE Hamilton made a move. He made a bee line for the right hand side of the track and Hamilton followed. Obviously Hamilton had already decided that he was going to pass on that side but Rosberg beat him to it. Plain and simple. Hamilton made a bad dicision and should have aborted the move before it even began or at least half way through the move, just like Raikkonen did when he attempted the pass on Vettel. He saw the door was being closed and used that mysterious OTHER pedal – the brake.

              Once agian, YES it is unreasonable believe that Hamilton and Alonso were sufficiently alongside that Rosbergs manoeuvre was the reason they went off track.

              Why – BECAUSE THE BLOODY FOOTAGE SHOWS THEY WERENT ALONGSIDE – In Alonso’s case, he never was, in Hamiltons case, yes he did eventually get alongside, but not until he had left the track! Once again, they showed Alonso’s on board reply of the incident after the race and it clearly shows, and was commented upon, that he didn’t get alongside!! WATCH THE BLOODY FOOTAGE!!!

              Once again you are wrong Bernard. The Schumacher incident was HUGELY different.
              1. There was a big friggen wall there
              2. Rubens made the clear overtaking manouver before Schumacher made the defensive move. Schumacher reacted and squeezed Rubens, unlike Rosberg, who went defensive before Hamilton even made a move.
              3. Rubens got alongside Schumacher whilst still on the track, Hamilton did not.

              And yes Bernard, getting alongside IS important and has EVERYTHING to do with overtaking.

              Your own argument falls down on itself when you talk about closing speeds. You are basically saying that because a car is coming up on another car at a great rate of knots, the lead car should just leave room for the following car, else casue a big accident or ‘impede’ the following driver. Well, in this case Rosberg moved FIRST, he went defensive BEFORE Hamilton pulled a move, so why is it that you think Roasberg was being wreckless and not Hamilton. They were both travelling at high speed but Rosberg moved into a position FIRST and was then followed by Hamilton. Why is it Rosbergs responsibility to anticipate where Hamilton will go just so he can leave room?? What a joke.

              In this case, as far as I’m concerned, Hamilton was at fault. He was following and had full view of Rosberg. Rosberg could only see what was in his mirrors. Hamilton would have clearly seen Rosberg move first and he would have seen how quickly he was moving. It was Hamiltons responsibility to see what was happening and get out of it. Instead, he decided that he wanted to pass on the inside and gave chase. This was a mistake, and considering that he ended up off the track and in the dust, I consider THIS to be the wreckless driving within this incident. If he had lost control on the dust he could have easily hit the upcoming wall or Rosberg.

              Hamilton put himself in that position and it was his fault entirely that he ended up off the track.

              Do me a favour Bernard, watch the replay and tell me who moves first. Rosberg gets nearly half a car width to the right before Hamilton even moves. Is that correct or not?

            5. Oh, one other thing, if closing speed and positioning are the fundamentals, then I guess we should call the FIA and let them know.

              So, if two cars are just about to cross the start/finish line, but the following car is positioned just behind and to the right of the lead car, then regardless of who crosses the line first, the win should go to the following car, just as long as his closing speeds were high enough? Cause hey, closing speed and positioning are the real important thing, not whether one car is further up the road than the other eh?

              Nice philosophy there Bernard, you sound like a truly learned man!

            6. @nick101

              You’re in fantasy land Nick, and your “watch the bloody footage” bleating is nothing but impetuous drivel, as is your assessment of said events.

              F1 2010 Hungary – Schumacher – Barrichello (onboard)

              1. There was a big friggen wall there
              2. Rubens made the clear overtaking manouver before Schumacher made the defensive move. Schumacher reacted and squeezed Rubens, unlike Rosberg, who went defensive before Hamilton even made a move.
              3. Rubens got alongside Schumacher whilst still on the track, Hamilton did not.

              1/ Irrelevant. The track is defined by white lines – not walls.
              2/ Not true.
              3/ There’s that ‘alongside’ word again I see. Besides – it also is not true.

            7. @Bernard

              How is wanting people to actually watch what happened as opposed to what they see in their minds impetuous drivel??

              Know I know that you have discovered instentaneous matter transportation, but for the rest of us on planet earth who all know that being alongside IS what passing is all about, here is Alonso’s on board footage –

              Alonso vs Rosberg (on board with Alonso)

              Can someone please point out to me when Alonso is alongside Rosberg. Or, failing that, why Alonso simply didn’t lift the accelerator or apply the brake, followed by a left hand down motion on the steering wheel?

              How is it that going off the track was his ONLY option in this case? If that is so, doesn’t really say much about the driving skills of a double world champ does it?

            8. @Bernard

              And another thing.

              In an earlier post you mentioned to consider the closing speeds of the cars during instentaneous matter transportation, oh sorry, I meant overtaking.

              Let’s do that.

              Considering the closing speed and the following drivers FULL view of the lead car, do you not think it’s more their responsibility to take make better decisions? I mean, everyone is on here saying that poor old Hamilton and Alonso were closing so fast that they had no option other than to go off track, well what about Rosberg?

              As has already been pointed out, in the instance with Hamilton, Rosberg quite clearly makes the move first. They are both travelling at huge speeds and both making aggressive moves accross the track, yet everyone is saying that it is the lead cars responsibility to make the best decision, with only the mirrors to see, not the following car who has full view?

              Why is it that Hamilton is not the one who makes the bad decision?

              In fact, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there something in the regulations about the following car having responsibility…

            9. @nick101

              How is wanting people to actually watch what happened as opposed to what they see in their minds impetuous drivel??

              Look up the meaning those words and maybe you’ll understand. You are implying that people who disagree with you, included me, have not watched the footage. You are also blindly ignoring any rationale in your statements.

              Thanks for the video, as I said previously it only adds to the clarity of the matter. A hamilton video would be equally welcome.

              Now maybe, just maybe I can point out (again) why both Alonso and Hamilton were sufficiently impeded that they went off-track.

              Alonso – Barrichello comparison

              At this point both Alonso and Barrichello have enough momentum and space to pass and as such they are entitled to attempt, over the following one tenth of a second they are denied that opportunity as the gap is closed in its entirety – both drivers clearly impeded in the process.

              How is it that going off the track was his ONLY option in this case? If that is so, doesn’t really say much about the driving skills of a double world champ does it?

              It doesn’t matter weather he brakes, turns or lifts at that stage. All of those actions would be a result of Rosbergs actions and as such constitute impeding.

              Remember F1 cars travel fast, they have huge front wings along way out in front, they have low cockpits in which the drivers cannot see below the tops of the front wheels.

              Alonso was close enough to warrant space, this talk of being ‘alongside’ is a fabrication brought about in the stewards report as is the ridiculous notion of ‘significant portions’ of being alongside, there is no mention of either in the regulations and from a drivers perspective it is totally unrealistic.

          2. God help me!

            PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE someone step in and help me explain!

            You say that Rosberg impeded Hamilton and Alonso – yes, he did – and he’s allowed to!! As long as he does it legally!

            You keep banging on about them being impeded, like it’s not allowed.

            Think about it Bernard, think!

            Everytime a driver defends his position against another car, he is impeding them!

            Drivers are not allowed to hinder other drivers by crowding them beyond the edge of the track or making abnormal changes of direction – none of which Rosberg did!

            You are clearly not interpreting 20.4 correctly.

            Think about it, if we use your logic, the following would also be true;

            A driver see’s another car attemting a pass on his right, the lead driver moves his car defensivley to the right to try and cut the other driver off and prevent the pass. He is too late and the following driver gets alongside before the lead driver can close the door fully. Is the lead driver now not impeded from completing his defensive manouver by the following driver?? Yes, of course he is, but there is nothing wrong with that.

            I’ve had enough now, my belly hurts from laughing too much at your logic and my head hurts too much from banging it agians the wall.

            Enjoy the rest of the season.

            P.S. The regulations don’t actually state anything about impeding. They state ‘hinder’. Yes, I know they mean essentially the same thing, but just putting it out there.

            1. “You say that Rosberg impeded Hamilton and Alonso – yes, he did – and he’s allowed to!! As long as he does it legally!”

              Legal? Yes

              Stupid? Yes.

              “my head hurts too much from banging it agians the wall.”

              Lets hope we don’t see drivers heads banging against walls with defensive ‘legal’ moves like that again.
              “You say that Rosberg impeded Hamilton and Alonso – yes, he did – and he’s allowed to!! As long as he does it legally!”

              Legal? Yes

              Stupid? Yes.

              “my head hurts too much from banging it agians the wall.”

              Lets hope we don’t see drivers heads banging against walls with defensive ‘legal’ moves like that again.

            2. whoops, stupid browser.

            3. @nick101

              You say that Rosberg impeded Hamilton and Alonso – yes, he did – and he’s allowed to!! As long as he does it legally!

              Incorrect Nick, you’re confusing to different scenarios. Taking a defensive line is permitted the following is not:

              Section 16.1

              e) Forced a driver off the track
              f) Illegitimately prevented a legitimate overtaking manoeuvre by a driver
              g) Illegitimately impeded another driver during overtaking

              They key implication factor being causality.

              The regulations also state:


              “… For the avoidance of doubt the white lines defining the
              track edges are considered to be part of the track …

              “A driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track

              “A driver may not deliberately leave the track without justifiable reason”


              “Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted”

              Now bearing the above indisputably in mind:

              The stewards conclude that Rosberg did not illegitimately prevent or impede the overtakes in question. In fact as is quite apparent they did not implicate him in the slightest for the situations that unfolded.

              It is also clear that the stewards concluded that Hamilton did not have a ‘significant portion’ of his car ‘alongside’ before his entire car left the track as defined above.

              Yet they also imply that Hamilton had a ‘justifiable reason’ for going off track.

              Besides the lunacy of such an interpretation of the rules, many clearly disagree.

              “Lewis is completely taken off the track by Rosberg”
              “I think it’s something that shouldn’t be allowed”
              “[Alonso situation is] not quite the same as Lewis was at the side of Rosberg but at the end of the day [Rosberg] seems to be really, really pushing it there. [Alsonso] is not quite really there, but [Rosberg] is moving over and over and over and of course Alonso has to go off the track.”
              – Johnny Herbert (Former F1 driver and Advisor to the Stewards)

              “Certainly on Alonso, he was close enough behind, he’ll certainly be investigated. Did he drive him off? Did he impede him unfairly? You can defend your position but the other driver can’t have his nose alongside your rear tyre at the same time. I think Nico was definitely overly aggressive at all times there.”
              – Martin Brundle (Former F1 driver)

              “I thought the defence on Hamilton was much worse… I think that he forced Hamilton off the road. If I was a steward I would be saying ‘Listen, there is a limit, and that was over the limit – pushing a guy completely off the track. Defending your position, putting your car right up to the edge of the track is fine but actually running people off the road – I thought that was clear in the Regulations – it’s not allowed’.”
              – Damon Hill (1996 F1 World Champion)

              “You’re allowed to make a change of line to defend your position but you’re not allowed to force a car off the track, or crowd a car off it’s racing line. So Nico Rosberg has got to be careful, the stewards will simply unemotionally open the rulebook, read what’s there and take a decision.”
              – David Coulthard (Former F1 driver)

              “Rosberg blocking was ugly. It is incredible how F1 didn’t give him penalty.”
              – Bruno Junqueira (IndyCar driver and former F1 test driver)

              This is a dangerous assessment and one that will come back to haunt the FIA in the not too distant future, you can bet your last penny on it.

        3. The thing is, in practice, no following driver would necessarily expect the car in front, on a track this wide, to sweep the entire width of the track and even run off the course himself to defend. People do this at the start, because the Schumacher Chop is now standard procedure there, but it is not usually done in the race. The fact that both Hamilton and Alonso in separarte incidenets appeared to bear the same expectation is evidence that their assumption was reasonable. The fact that they let Hamilton go scot free, of all people, is clear evidence that they were sending a message to Rosberg that, while he was within the rule, his gain by penalizing Hamilton would have been ill-gotten. I think we basically all agree that 1. Rosberg’s move was legal, but 2. was nonetheless not cricket

      3. Yep you are clearly not understanding the new rule. You said that the defending driver “must leave at least one car width on the racing line otherwise he be deemed to make a second move“. Well Rosberg was making his first move into a position that was not on the racing line. If Rosberg, after moving all the way to one side of the track, then also proceeded to move to the other side of the track and did not leave 1 car width on the racing line, then it would be deemed illegal.

      4. Stevenson – You’ve misunderstood the rules clarification from over the winter. See Nick’s explanation.

      5. Tom Haxley (@)
        23rd April 2012, 8:49

        What I dont get is everyone saying Hamilton should get a pen for going off the track and Rosberg did nothing wrong.

        Has anyone watched the footage? Is going from one side of the track to the other (and its a wide track) in less than half a second safe?

        If you watch carefully, Rosberg actually sticks 2 wheels on the sand off the track, clearly not in 100% control of the car, he swerved so drastically he couldnt physically stop it going off the track.
        What if he’d spun and caused an accident?

        Dangerous driving

        As far as im concerned the ins and outs of advantages off the track and defending the line are moot.

        Swerving across the track in such a drastic manner, clearly losing control of the car is far more important to discuss.

        1. Exactly.

          Last year in Monza when Vettel passed around the outside of Alonso, people where saying that Alonso was on the ‘edge’ of what was safe/legal, and that was giving Vettel just about a cars width. Alonsos defense in that situation was forceful/strong, but not reckless.

          Rosberg was SO far right that he even had his own 2 wheels outside the track, this is reckless.

          People are going to use this ruling as a precedent now. As Alonso said on Twitter. Lets hope theres no serious accidents..

          and btw, for people saying Hamilton should be punished? Where was you people in Australia this year when Vettel went completly, all-4-wheels off circuit, to make the pass on Button?

          Dont give me no bull****, rules are rules, no??


        2. @welshtom…NR was clearly in full control of his car. I would question whether cars/drivers that go off the track like LH and FA did when behind NR, were in fact in control of their cars, except that it does appear they put themselves there voluntarily.

        3. @ N and Tom

          Right, so Rosberg was reckless?

          So I guess you’ll agree that Hamilton was even more reckless then? Surely you have to agree considering that Hamilton moved AFTER Rosberg, went MUCH further to the right and at a greater rate – surely Hamilton was FAR more reckless than Rosberg? Also take into account that Rosberg moved in this direction first and Hamilton followed him. It wasn’t a move that was started by Hamilton and ‘cut off’ by Rosberg at all. Rosberg saw Hamilton coming and anticipated where he would try and pass, on the inside of the following corner where most would try, and moved to the right to defend his position BEFORE Hamilton even moved.

          Clearly reckless by Hamilton. Surley you agree? I mean, after all, moving from one side of the track to the other in less than half a second isn’t safe, is it?

    21. Even when no car was beside him nico kept that same line

    22. One can’t change the decision, but a reprimand for Rosberg was needed. This wasn’t the racing line, he was going to extremes to defend.
      I expect such from Maldonado and Massa.
      Hamilton passed him though while within the track limits.
      When did the FIA start using deltas to know how far alongside the driver ahead thought the driver behind was alongside him?

      5. Because the delta speed
      between the two cars was
      quite significant it was difficult
      for car eight to detect the exact
      position of car four in relation
      to his own car;

      how come they didn’t use that in Buemi vs Hedfeld, Germany.

      1. So what if it wasn’t the racing line?

        If you stay on the racing line, you clearly would not be defending!

        I think that they should put a message out to all the drivers. ‘If you see Hamilton or Alonso coming, whatever you do, don’t defend, just let them through, after all, they are Hamilton and Alonso’.

        That way the fanboys won’t get their nickers in a twist when someone out drives their idols!

        1. F1 isn’t pop idols Nick.
          I referenced Buemi Vs Heidfeld.
          Because in that situation there was contact.
          I also listed the no5 item which they used in arriving at their decision.
          What it implies is that all is fair until there is contact.
          Do you for one second believe I want Rosberg to get a penalty?

          I have been watching F1 for over 25 years, I am no fanboy.

    23. I like hard racing, no penalties needed. The only thing i did not like with this is when nico powered out across the track he actually goes off the track himself by a good meter which tells me he wasn’t fully in control of his maneuver. Drivers have to have trust in each other. For example Webber’s gutsy pass on Alonso through eau rouge last year. He said after the race he wouldn’t have pulled that move on anyone else knowing that Alonso is fully aware of his surroundings & boundaries. I think after last nights race the same cant be said for nico. I dont think he was fully in control. Dont get me wrong I like nico & his a excellent driver.

    24. Er…. sorry to be a party pooper here, but what about Alonso’s unsafe release from the pits? Was that cleared?

    25. While I’m not a fan of drivers forcing other drivers off the road, the big thing that stuck out to me (literally stuck out) was the Amrco protecting the access road.

      I’ve seen that angled Armco destroy NASCAR Stockcars (Watkins Glen 2011 David Reutimann & David Ragan on the final lap ). I wouldn’t want to even think about what would happen if a fragile open-wheel car would hit that wall head on at full speed.

    26. I think we are debating infringement of the wrong rule here. Leaving a cars width is only applicable when returning to the racing line. Hamilton did have very obviously four wheels off the track but as the stewards report says had no choice in the matter. That then means rosberg broke another rule in forcing another car to leave to confines of the track to take evasive action. Example although much slower hamilton forcing DIR of track last year in Hungary, resulting in a drive through for HAM. Yes the incidents were very different but in both cases the driver behind had no choice but to leave the track or hit the car in front.

    27. It amazes me that people are considering who should get a penatly. Yes Hamilton and Alonso may have been off the track but they could not have gained an advantage from doing so. They did not cut the corner to shorten the track and will only have picked up dust and ruined there tyres…

      Anyway, isnt racing like this what we watch the sport for? I for one was on the edge of my seat enjoying every second of these overtakes and therefore am glad that the FIA have not imposed a penalty.

    28. Why is the majority of people have the feeling that a penalty should be handed out, whether its to Rosberg or Hamilton. If you want to really be picky about the situation then yes Hamilton did go off the track to pass but everyone here is talking about replays. I can imagine these situations go by in a flash during the race and drivers don’t have the luxury of a pause button to analyse what is going to happen.

      Secondly when you watch the Rosberg/Hamilton incident, Rosberg ends up with nearly half his car over the racing line, so either he has either crossed the track so quickly he has lost control of his car momentarily or he knew Hamilton was going past him.

      My opinion, I agree with the stewards, I want to see racing. I have never been a fan of these in race penalties and believe that no one driver is actually aiming to make contact with another car.

    29. Legally Rosberg escaped the penalty, but pure racing terms and regardless of the rules, what he did was ‘wild’. I previously mentioned as well, that I am not against moving across to block but I am against moving across so steeply to block.

      I agree when Alonso tweeted, “I think you are going to have fun in future races! You can defend position as you want and you can overtake outside the track! Enjoy! ;)))”

      1. If what Rosberg did was wild, then what hamilton did was pure stupidity. After all, Rosberg moved first and Hamilton followed, Hamilton moved further across the track (and off it fully) and at a much greater rate of knots than Rosberg, and kept his foot in it.

        As far as I’m concerned, neither of these guys did anything wreckless or dangerous, just pointing out that if it is considered that Rosberg was wild in this manouver, than Hamilton was downright crazy. Based purley on the previous comments.

        Watch the replay!

    30. So they are actually saying Rosberg moved out of the way to make some room…..

    31. after reading everyones comments on Nico’s moves I gotta say im kinda by myself on this, I must be out of touch with what is considered racing etiquette/rules.

      I dont understand why people are asking the question why Hamilton was not penalised for passing Nico off the circuit…isnt the question why was Hamilton off the circuit in the first place? why did Hamilton run out of circuit? He was gaining on Nico, he picked his side and went for it but had to keep moving over because of Nico’s BLOCKING and so had to complete the manouvre outside the confines of the circuit. I havent seen the replays but to me it seemed clear that Nico was second guessing where Hamilton and Alonso were gonna make the pass and veering over to the same side to cut their momentum & thwart their overtaking attempt

      Personally I cant see a reason why you would run out of circuit where the incidents took place, theres plenty of room for 2 cars side by side…that says it all. Nico’s blockings looked and were unorthodox. Alonso is right: the fact that Rosberg wasnt penalised by FIA opens a can of worms

      1. @me262
        Yeah I can see where you’re getting confused here. F1 drivers can’t be expected to just give up the place and thus can employ various tactics to stop another driver from getting past (called defensive driving). Nico’s move is considered defensive driving, as he moved to the inside of the track without any cars being alongside him. He wasn’t stopping them from getting past, they could if they wanted drive around the outside of the corner. It’s just that as the lead car he can choose whatever line he wants to be on, however once he’s chosen that line, upon his return to the racing line he must ensure that he leaves 1 car width of space so that if a car was genuinely fast enough to pull alongside, he doesn’t run it off the road. Once the lead car has chosen his line, it is up to the passing car to make a decision as to which line to take.

        1. so the lead car can choose his line be that prevent a car that is gaining on him to ever be level with him so that leaving 1 car width of space is never in play – even on a straight? I thought shutting the door on someone was limited to corners lol sounds like offensive-defensive driving to me, right out of schumachers book

          1. “I havent seen the replays but to me it seemed clear that Nico was second guessing where Hamilton and Alonso were gonna make the pass and veering over to the same side to cut their momentum & thwart their overtaking attempt”

            Sounds like racing to me. NR made his one move while ahead of both LH and FA, doesn’t matter which incident as both were deemed pretty much identical according to the article above. His second move back to the racing line left room for those drivers. If they went off the track they did it voluntarily. If they are anyone else want to try to argue LH had so much momentum he ‘had’ to go off the track, that is something within his and only his control, not NR’s. If he had too much momentum to keep the car in control, that is not NR’s issue. If there was a wall there LH and FA would have not dared to carry so much momentum behind NR at that point in time.

            1. Spot on Robbie!

        2. He cant quite pick any line he chooses to,:

          “20.4 Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.”

          1. Ahh tvm, don’t quite get it do you?

            Regulation 20.4 relates to cars that are alongside eachother. Think about it. If you weren’t allowed to make a manouver that would hinder another driver you may as well not drive out of the pit box. That’s the whole point of racing, hindering the other drivers and beating them over the line! As long as it’s done within the rules and regulations, as perfectly demonstrated for all by Nico today.

            Nice work Nico, class dismissed.

            1. I get it: the rules _UCK

              Yeah real nice work from nico, he will get his own back one hopes if and when he attempto to overtake Alo and Ham in future….nice work FIA, make Nico’s conduct a precedence, maybe next time we can have a car flip at 200mph? thats entertainment too…extra credit for all gentleman racers left

            2. 20.4 doesn’t say anything about “alongside”.

            3. 20.4 also doesn’t state that you can’t be driving a double decker bus at the time – that’s just common bloody sense…

            4. @tvm

              Ok genius, please let the world know this –

              If a car is behind you, how exactly do you crowd or push a car beyond the edge of the track?


              The rules don’t suck at all. They say exactly what you say, that you can’t push a driver off the track, and that’s fine. BUT, that’s NOT what Nico did. For heavens’ sake – WATCH the replays! They even showed Alonso’s on board. THEY WERE NOT BESIDE NICO. So how can you be so ****** at Nico for pushing them off the track, if he didn’t??

            5. Nick,

              Oh I don’t know, how about you cut across the entire track right in front of another car that you know will be there with a great speed differential leaving no option for the other car than to leave the track or hit you?

              Now lets play another game, youtube war!:
              I go find some videos of some great F1 overtakes that has gone down in history, i.e. Webber vs Alonso SPA 2011, or Hakkinen vs Schumaker SPA 2000.
              Or how about this one:

              Looks like to two drivers racing fairly and squarely, giving eachother room with no need to weave in and out, or?.


              The you in turn can go and find some video’s of some famous weaving moment’s that went into history for their greatness. (Barichello’s near death experience vs MSC does not count, that’s infamous, not famous)


            6. “Oh I don’t know, how about you cut across the entire track right in front of another car that you know will be there with a great speed differential leaving no option for the other car than to leave the track or hit you?”

              Sounds like MS for every race which he started from pole.

            7. Except for the speed differential, the difference between chancing lanes on the highway in congested traffic as opposed to puling out in front of someone going +100 to you on the German autobahn.

    32. [Transferred from the forum – with new thoughts]

      The time it takes for stewarding decisions to be made in F1 is slightly ridiculous. Having to wait for 3 hours after the event to work out the final result is frustrating for the fans and the teams. I understand from the published comments that the stewards went as far as getting the telemetry from the cars to get as much information as possible to get the decision. While this is a laudable aim, I think it’s in the territory of serious overkill – onboard video, which is available from all cars, should be enough to figure this stuff out in a fairly short time.

      IndyCar and NASCAR seem to have their penalty systems running much more smoothly. During the race an incident can be investigated, the drivers and teams can have their input straight away, and then a decision is taken. At the last IndyCar race an incident occurred on the last lap, and the penalty was handed down less than two minutes later. Even more impressively the live timing screens were updated there and then, so the effect of the 30-second penalty was clear for all to see as soon as the decision was made. It’s also not unknown for penalties to be handed down, appealed and resolved during the race.

      These high-speed decisions don’t seem to result in any more mistakes or ludicrous decisions than have happened if F1 over the years. F1 could learn a lot from the American series.

    33. “Alonso made his displeasure with Rosberg clear after the race, saying: “I can only say that if, instead of such a wide run-off area there had been a wall, I’m not sure I’d be here now to talk about it.”

      I like FA, but that has to be one of the most ridiculous statements a driver can make. FA was never beside NR for one thing. For another thing, if there was a wall there, there would never have even been a thought by any driver all weekend long to try to gain momentum and overtake someone in the same way as with there being a wide run-off at that spot of the track. ie. to FA…if there was a wall there we would not be talking about his issue right now. You and LH would not have even tried to pass NR at that spot and NR would not have needed to defend himself as he did at that spot. The fact that there is no wall there meant that you, FA, and you, LH, voluntarily decided to carry that much speed into the corner while behind NR. And if there was a wall there, and you FA, and you, LH, were behind NR, then NR still would have been within his rights to get as close to the wall as he wanted, to defend his spot.

      1. Too right mate but just remember people from latin countries tend to get emotional and exagerate things a bit (like dissing petrov in abu dhabi ’10). I know cos my parents are spanish….what he is trying to say is that he’s upset and had he not known any better & there was a wall then he sensationalisticly is saying he may not be here to tell it….but really he does know that if there had been a wall then yes, he would have come off the accelerator and he would be here now to talk about it

        My grandfather tells me he got horned by a bull once and that it threw him 15 metres up in the air. I know that it wouldve been more like 2 meters tops

    34. the 1st line of both incidents claims that Rosberg didn’t make an aggressive move to the right, I guess in slow motion it doesn’t look aggressive. He was going to be passed and didn’t want it to happen, but within this move he showed little respect for other drivers safety. I think that any driver wants to hold their position should be done on the track not running the other guy off the road.

    35. Shane (@shane-pinnell)
      23rd April 2012, 18:39

      I suppose the stewards got it right, by the letter of the rule. According to the letter of the rules Hamilton should have received a penalty for passing off track, but no penalty? Apparently the stewards saw fit to (correctly) interpret the rules in that situation.

      I do not like the precedence this sets, according to @alo_oficial:

      I think you are going to have fun in future races! You can defend position as you want and you can overtake outside the track! Enjoy! ;)))

    36. It is also important to memorialize here that we have gone four races without Lewis Hamilton receiving a penalty for violation of the sporting regulations. Arguably, this time he was “called up,” but from the Stewards’ report, his actions were not under scrutiny per se. So he maintains a clean record. Furthermore, he has not hit anything. Nonetheless, he should reflect on the Rosberg incident because this is the scenario where he gets flagged—some obstinate, aggressive, slowish person (usually played by Massa) causes him to lose his cool and do something misjudged or wild. After I heard him snarking on the radio about his terrible stop, I could practically see the red mist pouring out of his helmet vents and feared it would end in tears.

    37. Rosberg’s defensive ‘blocks’ and Hamilton and Alonso were fun to watch but they were both incredibly risky. If anybody saw the Indycar race at Long Beach last week we had a simular situation concerning one driver blocking another like Rosberg did, the officials there were not so forthcoming in cutting Graham Rahal any slack. Nor was Marco Andretti, who nearly flipped his car over after running into the back of him.
      We all want to see good action, but we all know how these cars behave when they touch tyres in the way Andretti did to Rahal. Dan Wheldon is dead today due to such an accident, allbeit at higher speeds. We could have seen the same happen to Hamilton and Alonso, and Fernando was right for pointing that out. If that had been at Spa for example, especially Eau Rouge, todays headlines would not have been about Vettel winning the race.
      We mentioned this time and again. Its all fun and games until someone gets hurt, and in my opinion, Nico Rosberg is treading a very fine line between good driving and recklessness with moves like he made in Bahrain.

      1. I think the difference to the Indycar incident is that Rahal made a sudden move which resulted in the block and the contact. The Wheldon incident saw Dan with a much slower car suddenly in front of him that he couldn’t avoid. At Bahrain, LH and FA were following NR as he made steady predictable moves without suddenness, as the telemetry has revealed. The danger in the incident was up to LH and FA to control being fully behind NR. It was their speed, which NR is not responsible for, that carried them wide. IF it was Spa, or IF there was a wall there like FA laments, which is not the case and therefore is irrelevant, LH and FA would not have been trying what they did so there would be no story about it and the headlines would have been about SV winning.

    38. As a huge Ferrari fan and someone with a dislike for Hamilton and anything Mclaren I see nothing wrong. Alonso incident was a non event. Hamilton event was closer but Rosberg did move 1st, Hamilton was fine as already commited and going off track is allowed to take avoiding action. He held station and overtook when back on track he couldn’t hit the brakes or lift as car could spin out safer to keep foot in. He avoided collision and spin. Fine in my book but so was Schumacher in Hungary.

      1. Agreed, but not about the Schumacher incident.

    39. I think that if both LH or FA tried there to slow down or go on the right side (and thats after they slipstreamed, had greater speed, and the door was shut, directed to the right), they would’ve crashed (into Rosberg or by themselve). So LH didn’t care that much and passed him (probably cursed him in his thoughts), and FA had second thoughts (“Oh crap I’ll get punished”) and slowed down. All in all LH looks verry calm so far. BTW MS is the pilot that became a champ by crashing his oponent, tried it second time, and made so many illegal moves that all those writen “defending” rules are because of him. He is smilling but only on the surface, on the inside he is burning!

    40. chris phillips (@)
      27th April 2012, 23:56

      so whats the difference between LH & FA on NR here and Kamui Kobayashi on LH in spa the over year? In that incident, LH just over took KK and went for the racing line at the corner, KK came steaming up on the outside & they crashed.

    41. Wow, deja vu anyone? :D
      Spanish GP stewards could’ve just copy and pasted the same conclusions!

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