Maldonado, Kobayashi and Vergne penalised, Schumacher not

2012 European Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Valencia, 2012Pastor Maldonado, Kamui Kobayashi and Jean-Eric Vergne have been handed penalties for their incidents during the European Grand Prix.

But Michael Schumacher was not penalised after being investigated for using DRS while yellow flags where waving. The stewards decided he slowed sufficiently despite having his DRS open.

A 20-second time penalty was imposed on Maldonado for his collision with Lewis Hamilton.

It drops Maldonado to 12th place in the final classification and promotes his team mate Bruno Senna to the final points position.

The stewards also handed out grid penalties to Kobayashi and Vergne. The Sauber driver will lose five places on the grid in Silverstone after clashing with Felipe Massa.

Vergne’s contact with Heikki Kovalainen earned him a ten-place grid penalty for the next race and a ??25,000 fine.

Vergne initially described the collision as “just a racing incident”. He said: “I felt I was ahead and as I started to turn into the corner, we collided and his front wing clipped my rear wheel and there was too much damage to the floor and it was impossible to change the damaged rear wheel so there was no way for me to continue.”

However after the penalty was handed down he Tweeted: “All my apologies to Kovalainen, rookie, not rookie, just my mistake and will learn from it…”

2012 European Grand Prix

    Browse all 2012 European Grand Prix articles

    Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

    Author information

    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...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    152 comments on “Maldonado, Kobayashi and Vergne penalised, Schumacher not”

    1. It was Maldonado’s fault for hitting Hamilton after going out of the track, but what do you think guys: Was it also Hamilton’s fault before the incident for pushing Maldonado off the track? Just a thought.

      1. “Officially”: 100% Maldonado. He had all 4 wheels off the track when LH was on the racing line, and just drove straight across the apex of the corner into the side of his car. Utterly inexcusable. The regulation about leaving a car’s width applies only in braking zones if I remember correctly, in which case LH was fully entitled to take the line he did.

        Morally speaking, LH obviously knew how little control he could exert on those shot tyres but had full right to defend vigorously. He didn’t do anything dangerous or unsporting. PM was inevitably going to get past but should have been more patient instead of trying to squirm past at one of the trickiest points of the track. Racing incident between two hotheads, but 100% PM according to the letter of the law.

        1. Racing incident between two hotheads

          What exactly was “hot headed” about Hamilton in this situation? Was it the part where he dared not to raise the white flag and actually defend his position, or was it the part where he was so audacious that he expected Maldanado not to come from off the track and hit the side of his car?

          It wasn’t just 100% Maldonado’s fault “according to the letter of the law”, it was just 100% his fault. He made a stupid decision and couldn’t wait for the next straight to get past Hamilton.

          If that was a racing incident, then I expect the FIA to announce the new “bumper car F1 series” soon. ;)

          1. Hamilton had been driving very agressively for the last lap or more, Maldonado aways attacks 100%, they both could have avoided the incident by giving more room but neither are that type of driver.

            The first time I saw it I felt it was more Hamilton’s fault, on reflection Maldonado probably should have just cut the corner and lined him up for the next lap. In any case I dont think Maldonado deserved the penalty. There were a few weird decisions in this race.

            1. @george the difference is that Hamilton was ahead of Maldonado, so he’s entitled to hold him back as much as he wants, because it’s his position.

              Hamilton did nothing wrong. He left him space in the braking zone, allowing Maldonado to try to go round the outisde at a place you really can’t do it. Once Maldonado was out of the circuit, whatever happens next is all his fault.

              And even if Hamilton was at fault, you don’t just come back to the racing line in which there’s a car going by. He completely rammed Hamilton…

              And more to the point, Maldonado himself did the same move Hamilton made against Webber and Raikkonen in the same race.

            2. on reflection Maldonado probably should have just cut the corner and lined him up for the next lap.

              Cutting corner for PM meant going over those rumble strips ( designed to prevent cutting corners), would have resulted in automatic DNF by damaged floor, worst the car flying off after hitting the rumble strips.

              And if you look at Maldonado’s steering after being pushed off the track, he has lost steering input because of the kerb his car is riding on, so while he is turning the steering to left (away from Lewis) the car is not going in that direction.

              Racing incident, resulting from Lewis’s choice not to give enough room to the car running next to him on the track.

              As a steward I would have penalized Lewis rather than Pastor, both parties could have shown restraint, but remember we are talking about exuberant young men of 26-27 years of age here.

              Anyways given the atrocious stewarding decisions in the race, I wonder if there were actually any stewards present at the race. Maybe they were protesting at the docks against austerity measures or some other stuff :)

            3. Pastor is clearly in the wrong, he should have backed of the attack.

        2. @newdecade

          and just drove straight across the apex of the corner into the side of his car.

          Yet someone who had considered the incident might have noticed that he was trying to turn. Simply put, no matter what angle the wheel was, once his car was on the ripple strip he was always going to hit him.

          You can criticize him from not backing down. But to make it sound like it was purposeful is grossly unfair.

      2. Drivers are allowed to push one another off the circuit to prevent overtakes, so Hamilton can’t be blamed for that. More fundamentally I think Hamilton should have known that taking the inside line on the following corner would leave Maldonado (still more or less alongside) with nowhere to go. I don’t know where he expected Maldonado to go after he pushed him off the track, other than to try and get back on.

        1. Agreed. If you push someone off and have seriously degrading tires at one corner, you should probably leave *some* room to rejoin by the next. The American SPEED TV commentators all agreed with this notion, but the stewards did not. I would have called it a racing incident and felt no penalty was due for either driver. Maldonado was going to overtake or crash trying, and Hamilton probably should have realized that and taken some points.

            1. +2 you knew that contact was inevitable. Hamilton should have left room like he did for Grosjean, the last thing you want to do is get anywhere near Maldonado because he is just going to hit you! I bet if Hamilton had it all over again he would have done it differently.

          1. Can'tTurnBackTime(MW)
            25th June 2012, 17:52

            “If you push someone off and have seriously degrading tires at one corner, you should probably leave *some* room to rejoin by the next.”

            Why? there’s nothing in the rules about it. No driver in formula one would have moved over to allow maldonado back onto the track when he left it of his own volition, maldonado wouldn’t even do that if he was racing his own clone.

            There is how ever a rule that says if you leave the track you have to rejoin it in a safe manner. There’s also a rule that says you are not allowed to cause an avoidable or intentional collision maldonado is guilty of doing or not doing all three of these things. He also has previous history qualy spa 2011.

            The incident was similar to JV’s except JV was on track at the time and he’s a rookie with no previous history of overly aggressive conduct. Considering JV got a 10 place grid penalty and 25000 euro fine there is no question in my mind that yet again, maldonado has been let off easy with a frankly laughable (for the offense) 20 second time penalty. He should have been black flagged anyway but that’s another point for another day.

            Even worse, the stewards are saying (by means of the respective penaltys) that JV’s move which clearly was a silly mistake. Is worse than when maldonado intentionally and maliciously used his car as a weapon and drove straight into lewis hamilton at spa after the session was over. (Which is also what i believe happened last nite but again that’s an argument for another day.) The stewards have said jvs racing incident was 25000 euros worse than that incident since maldonado only got a 10 place penalty for spa.

            1. Does anybody remember the Bahrain GP raise where both Lewis and Alonso complained that Nico pushed them off the track?

              So how did we arrive at conclusion

              “Drivers are allowed to push one another off the circuit to prevent overtakes”

              I Bahrain, both Lewis and Alonso were not side by side to Nico so Stewards concluded, Nico can’t be held guilty for pushing them off the track.

              So by that logic, Pushing a car side by side to your car is not legal.
              but then maybe FIA has different rulebooks for British, European, and Non-European drivers (in that order), so maybe Lewis, Schumacher are evaluated using different rule book –

        2. Erm…off the track, brake and try again next lap…rocket science hey !

        3. @Red Andy

          Drivers are allowed to push one another off the circuit to prevent overtakes, so Hamilton can’t be blamed for that.

          Umm…No they’re not.

          1. @nick101

            Umm…No they’re not.

            Yes they are. Did you not notice it happening multiple times during the race? Maldonado alone did it twice: to Raikkonen (lap two, turn 17) and Webber.

            1. @KeithCollantine

              @RedAndy didn’t say Hamilton shouldn’t get in trouble for doing it because everyone else has been. He said that they are allowed to do it.

              I simply stated the facts – they’re not allowed to do it. Section 20.4 of the regs is pretty clear.

            2. @nick101 Come on, are we really going to split hairs over the difference between ‘being allowed to do something’ and ‘not getting in trouble for doing something’? I think we can do better than that.

              We all know there’s a difference between the rules as they are written and what is enforced. Clearly, drivers are allowed to force others of the track in some circumstances not accounted for in the written rules. We know this because we’ve seen it happen dozens of times.

        4. Well quite obviously Maldonado should have backed off and come back on track behind Hamilton ready to attack for the next corner. There was no excuse for Maldonados move as it was always going to end in a crash! Once you are off the circuit it is your responsibility to come back on in a safe fashion.

      3. To be honest I don’t even know why this is a topic for discussion. It was so clearly Maldonado’s fault… AGAIN! All wheels off track and a parking lot of space to the left to move off into if he had used his head. Instead he choose to plow Hamilton off the road. Even if Lewis had given him space we would all be discussing should he have given the place back due to making a pass off track?

        On top of this, all the discussion on whether Hamilton should have let him by or been less agressive is even more ridulous. Why on earth should he have to do that? We didn’t hear any calls for Kovalainnen to let Jenson by in Monaco. It is the decision of the driver to choose how vigourously to defend. For example, Di Resta allowed Alonso by quite easily earlier in the race as it was to his advantage to do so, he would loose less time and potentially achieve a better end result. In Hamilton’s case, what possible advantage would he gain, none! Therefore, defend the hell out of the position! He needs all the points he can seeing as the team (not deliberatley) are screwing up his season!

        1. On top of this, all the discussion on whether Hamilton should have let him by or been less agressive is even more ridulous. Why on earth should he have to do that? We didn’t hear any calls for Kovalainnen to let Jenson by in Monaco.

          Kovalainen was driving a healthy car around the tightest circuit on the calendar, where a slower driver can easily hold off a much faster rival for long periods of time – see Enrique Bernoldi and David Coulthard in 2002.

          Hamilton’s tyres had dropped off the cliff and the circuit offered Maldonado considerably more passing opportunities than Monaco – Raikkonen passed the McLaren in the traction zone, after all. Hamilton was under no obligation to let Maldonado past but, given the circumstances, it might have been the wiser move. The fact that the driver behind Hamilton was Maldonado, who was always more likely to make an idiotic move, just adds to the case for not putting up too much resistance.

          In Hamilton’s case, what possible advantage would he gain, none!

          12 points and second place in the drivers’ standings – assuming Hamilton managed to retain fourth place after Maldonado passed him. Instead, he scored nothing and dropped to third in the WDC, 23 points off the lead.

          1. This is where we differ. I would call losing out on points by letting a driver pass a disadvantage, not an advantage.

          2. Hamilton’s tyres had dropped off the cliff and the circuit offered Maldonado considerably more passing opportunities than Monaco

            All the more reason why Hamilton should defend his position…

            1. Indeed and all the more reason for Maldonado to not make such a desperate “do or die” move.

          3. Put it this way then, Senna V Mansell at Monaco, Senna on wrecked tyres and Mansell on fresh ones. According to you, Senna should have just let him go.

            1. Can'tTurnBackTime(MW)
              25th June 2012, 17:56

              Or vettel alonso button monaco 2011

        2. the discussion on whether Hamilton should have let him by or been less agressive is even more ridulous. Why on earth should he have to do that?

          Exactly. Hamilton was perfectly entitled to defend his position and his defence was 100% legal.

          His tyres were dropping off – does that mean he should pull over and wave everyone past? Of course not. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to better reacquaint themselves with what motor racing is.

          1. Absolutely right. Furthermore if a driver can hold off an attacker for even just a lap or two, there is always the potential for another fast-closing driver to join the queue and take the heat off, esp when they are closing at 3 seconds per lap or so. Get your enemies to fight each other.

          2. Keith what do you think about the penalty given than, he said by himself after the race that he lost control by going over the kerb which led to a t-bone and he gets a time penalty for that? I think the FIA should think more carefully about it because we have seen enough brain failures from this guy named pastor maldonado.

            1. I was surprised they didn’t take his license away after he drove into Hamilton in Spa. Hamilton held Maldonado up so Maldonado took revenge by crashing into him.

              How on earth do they allow a guy like that in F1?

          3. @keithcollantine can you PLEASE give yourself comment of the day!

          4. The defence was legal ideed, but was it smart to defend it like that?

            I don’t think so. With one and a half lap to go he must have known there was no way he could keep Maldonado behind him. And with Pastors South American temper Lewis could make an educated guess that this was going to end in tears…

            1. @marcusaurelius

              was it smart to defend it like that

              Yes. Hamilton should not have to take into consideration the possibility that a rival driver might go off the track and hit him. If you concede that, then all sorts of on-track bullying becomes fair game.

          5. @Keith Collantine

            Was Hamilton’s defence 100% legal?

            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.

            Does this regulation apply when a driver is holding the racing line? I think it does, as the regulation does not give caveats.

            What do you think?

            1. Please don’t ask me to justify the differences between how the FIA write and enforce their rules – I can’t and I certainly haven’t ever seen them do it!

              Suffice it to say if Hamilton drove illegally by pushing Maldonado off the track there, than Maldonado made two similar ‘illegal’ moves during the race, and so have dozens of other drivers in FIA-sanctioned races I’ve watched this year and in years previously.

              My understanding is the “Manoeuvres liable to hinder…” bit does not apply because they were in a corner and Hamilton was ahead and entitled to take the racing line.

              There’s a lot more on this in the comments in today’s round-up:

            2. There was no abnormal change of direction as Hamilton took the racing line. Had there not been space for maldonado to leave the track safely then yes I think Hamilton should have given him space, but there was plenty of room to force him off the track safely so the move is fine. Crowding a driver out would be more like schumacher did to Barichello which would require slowly moving over to force a driver off the track. Taking the racing line when a car is alongside is not and never has been deemed illegal. Raikonen did it to Hamilton at spa in Hamiltons championship winning season and It was hamilton that was punished for leaving the track.

            3. As a guy that believes drivers shouldn’t force others off the track i agree with the rule in all cases BUT the people that have faith in that rule seem to miss a big point here. Hamilton took the racing line and fought on the brakes with Maldonado. After that there was no way he could turn the car much better. If he tries to take the turn in a way of getting slightly off the racing line so he can leave space to Maldonado after the brakes then he would have back down from the braking point since he would need to brake earlier. Lets not forget he was also struggling with his tyres too.
              That means that Hamilton should have simply surrender the place and not fight for it really.
              So you ether have not leaving Maldonado much space on the outside or simply not fighting.

            4. Of course that doesn’t go for the racing line. You can’t expect a race car to come off the racing line in a corner.

              That’s not “deliberate” crowding, but simply “following the track”

              Pushing a driver off the track on a straight or under braking (when there is no need to hold that line) is deliberate.

            5. If you are holding the racing line, how can you be deliberately crowding or hindering another driver?

      4. Anyone thinking Lewis should not have forced Maldonado off track should take another look at Maldonado doing exactly the same thing to Webber only minutes earlier.

        1. Hamilton simply chose the wrong driver to do it to, simple as that. I know if I was on the race track, I would never would to come near Maldonado, it would be like reasoning with a child. Its not the first time he has done something stupid in the dying laps (remember Australia?). So many good points wasted for Williams.

          1. i disagree. the second you give in, then you’ve set a dangerous precedent. it is EXACTLY like reasoning with a child. give in, they take advantage again and again and again. PM simply had to wait for the right opportunity. he stuffed it up at that corner, but instead of applying a bit of grey matter, pointed the car back to where LH already was. muppet moment.

            1. pointed the car back to where LH already was. muppet moment.

     check the link, PM is steering the car to left when Lewis pushed him on the kerb. The moment his car was on the kerb he had no steering. PM didn’t intentionally steer towards right there.

              As for the posters claiming PM should have kept driving to left, do they want driver to go over the rumble strip and destroy his own car or go airborne after hitting those rumble strip? Great expectations :)

        2. My thoughts exactly! When Maldanado complained about Lewis’ “aggression” I hope someone replayed him a clip of him forcing Webber off the track into the final corner.

      5. Maldonado should know already that he cant rejoin the track like that the kerbs are too high he lost the front he hit Hamilton, which in my opinion had a really ttamed performance especially after being passed at that same chicane. In the end Mclaren could have scored some good points despite the cliff phase, their car was perhaps 5th fastest at Valencia but that are the crucial points that Mclaren and all teams must save.

      6. As we saw in Bahrain, he is definitely allowed to push him off course, even with the new clarification on the rules. After that is made clear, how could it not be Maldonado’s fault? He seemed to have an instant where he forgot that two cars can’t occupy the exact same space at the same time.

    2. Maldonado’s penalty is a bit too lenient I believe in context to Vergne’s penalty. I think the stewards seemed to have swapped the cases and penalised.

      LH pushed PM off the track probably unintentionally. He had lost his tires completely and braked slightly later than PM in order to keep him behind but since the tires were gone, his car understeered and that probably might explain PM’s excursion. The problem happened when PM didn’t slow down after going wide and hence couldn’t stop the car in time.

      Imagine if the same thing was done by LH to KR in Spa 2008 or FA to RK in Silverstone 2012 or KR to PM in Valencia 2012.

      Maldonado has not been impressive apart from Spain 2012. Thank God that he was in p1 for most of the time in that race, otherwise I am very sure that he would have collided with FA or some other driver.

      1. @neelv27,

        LH pushed PM off the track probably unintentionally. He had lost his tires completely and braked slightly later than PM in order to keep him behind but since the tires were gone, his car understeered

        I don’t think he understeered. I think his rear tyres were completely gone, but the front tyres were probably still Ok. I’m not sure to what a driver is allowed or not in such a situation. As long as you’re side by side, is the driver on the inside allowed to take such a wide line that the other driver is completely forced off the track? I know there are some rules for this (Hamilton got a penalty for forcing Raikkonen off the track in Fuji 2008, although there he pushed him wide because he missed his braking point), but I don’t know the details.

      2. FA to RK in Silverstone 2012

        You heard it here first folks….Robert Kubica to make shock comeback at Silverstone in 2 weeks time…

        …presumably replacing Massa…

        1. Sorry mate. It was 2010. I have lost my mind to an extent :)

          1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
            25th June 2012, 18:19

            Your not the only one that lost his mind. I posted a comment yesterday stating that Alonso had won his two World Championships with Ferrari?!? Maybe I should lay of the Bath Salts (for a while). :-)

      3. Arijit (@arijitmaniac)
        25th June 2012, 13:58

        Lewis stayed on the racing line and thats it. It was his corner and he defended it by staying on the racing line. Staying on the racing line and forcing your opponent to take a less than ideal line into a corner is a completely legal, acceptable and impressive form of defence.
        The question of whether lewis would’ve been wiser to let maldonado past doesn’t even arise here as thinking on the same lines maldonado would’ve been wiser to back off and try again next time knowing that lewis’s tyres had gone off.
        Whether it was Maldonado’s inexperience or hot-headedness is known best to maldonado. But he broke the rule and he was penalised which is perfectly fine.
        And yes I do think that the penalty was too lenient.

    3. Keith you forgot about Kobayashi being given a 5 place grip penalty for his collision with Massa.

      1. You’re right although I think Kobayashi’s race was ruined when him and Senna collided, that incident is very similar to Lewis’ because technically it wasn’t his fault but he shouldn’t have put himself in that situation n the first place.

        1. I was so pumped for Kobayashi, he had an amazing race, until that moment with Senna :(

      1. Although, a grip penalty could be exciting to see, especially on Koboyashi.

    4. Vergne should have been penalised, not so much for the incident with Kovalainen as for spraying debris over the track when he was going back to the pits. Trying to continue racing in a heavily damaged car is extremely dangerous and I’m surprised it generally goes unpunished in F1. Vergne managed to leave enough carbon fibre behind him to warrant a safety car so it’s odd he hasn’t been called out for it.

      1. He got a € 25.000 fine for it.

        1. Can'tTurnBackTime(MW)
          25th June 2012, 18:06

          I haven’t seen it said or written anywhere that he got the 25 grand fine for that. He might well have done but it would be a first to my mind. What i saw was “double penalty due to the severity of the incident” something like that.

    5. I’m surprised that Maldonado didn’t get a fine for driving round with a front wing missing

      1. It was the final lap, he had no chance to pit.

        1. No, it was at least second-to-last lap….

          1. @james_mc That’s up to the marshalls to flag him down, he’s not in a position to judge the state of his own wing most of the time.

        2. It happened on lap 55, 2 and a bit laps before the end of the race. There should have been black & orange flags waving all over the place for him. Misteriously, there weren’t any…

          1. Do the rules require all cars to have a front wing? If not and since there weren’t any bits of debris hanging from the car what could they do? It’s surely not up to the stewards to assess how much front downforce a car has and how much it needs.

            1. Surely his car must have been under-weight though at the end of the race…

            2. No, but they require the cars to race with all their designated components fitted. Also they say a car that is damaged enough to become a risk for the other drivers must be pitted for repairs or retired.

              Driving with no front wing translates into reduced grip and affected braking, ergo it means Maldonado was running significantly slower, thus putting himself and the other drivers on track in danger.

              In Canada for example, if Schumacher would not have pitted the stewards would have blacked and orange flagged him because of the DRS issue. The same should have happened here with Maldonado.

              Simple logic, to be honest.

            3. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
              25th June 2012, 19:23

              Aren’t the cars weighed at the end of the race? If so, wouldn’t the fact that his front wing was missing effect the cars legality in some way, as the car would be deemed under-weight.

        3. All those car weight related snobbery, and car circulating around with/out a part hanging dangerously doesn’t mean anything since French GP 2007 when Kimi raikkonen’s Ferrari was circulating around with unsecured fuel flap. The fuel fell off eventually( luckily without incident), not to to mention the race in Canada where Race control forgot to flag Schumacher, whose DRS flap was stuck. Given the overall incompetency in race management (and stewarding), it wouldn’t have been a surprise, if Mercedes had not retired Schumi, nobody would have actually bothered to take notice.

    6. Maldonado really doesn’t deserve his drive. I know Williams are just using the Venezuelan money to build the team up but they should have kept Barrichello instead of scraping a few million off Senna as well, then they would have a decent car and a chance of luring Hamilton next year. I was angry with pasta for hitting Ham but I guess it was just payback from last year.

      Why wasn’t pasta given the same punishment as vergne but a fine of 25 mill seeing as he has so much money

      1. Well despite his crash and incident prone nature, he has been getting into better positions this year than his team mate, even though he often throws them away by pushing too hard (6th in Australia, probably 3rd here). In his defence, he’s won a race. Senna has only managed 6th.

        I also highly doubt Hamilton could be lured to Williams. Despite their improvements this year I doubt they’ll be consistently challenging for wins or championships.

        As for his penalty…it seems like just another FIA decision: Mysterious and confusing to many!

      2. Maldonado has proven time after time that he is fast enough to be in F1. His opponents just need to learn to make sure they give him room because he is a big risk.

        1. Sure, he’s fast enough, but apparently not smart enough. T-boning another driver while rejoining the track is not a legitimate racing maneuver. Other drivers shouldn’t learn to expect that. Pastor should learn how to drive.

          1. See how Lewis turned around compare to last year?

            Strange thing is that after Australia 2012 Maldonado gets another DNF from good position, very sad for Williams and seems like Maldonado is a slow learner.

        2. Being fast is nothing when you have no respect for anyone, no understanding whatsoever on how a driver should behave on track and when you still have the nerve to point the finger at the other driver whenever your testosterone filled maneouvers go wrong.

        3. Maldonado one of the best! but.. Hothead

          1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
            25th June 2012, 19:25

            Maldonado one of the best! but.. Hothead


    7. For MSC, this seems strange. This is what the stewards had to say

      Having examined telemetry and video evidence, and heard from the driver and team representatives, the stewards noted that the driver did make a significant reduction in speed on entering the double waved flag zone

      I have one question. How do you define ‘significant’?

      1. This picture says enough.

        1. So then what about Webber? Shouldn’t he be penalised just as Vettel and Massa in Spain?

          1. Nobody complained about him perhaps @neelv27. Or he did slow but not as much as MSC who knew he had to show he backed off after having DRS open only a bit before ….

      2. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
        25th June 2012, 19:30

        Just because he had the DRS open, doesn’t mean that he went faster. Maybe his sector time was slower than the previous lap.

    8. Maldonado can count himself lucky that he was able to make the finish – he’s lost a point but that’s much better than getting sent down the grid at Silverstone.

      Disappointing that a lot of reports seem to have it in for Schumacher – particularly Sky. “Michael Schumacher is not among several drivers penalised…” Lots of angry little jerks are jumping up and down and making up their own rules after today’s race.

    9. Questionable decisions by the FIA again.

      So Vergne gets a double penalty (including a “go at the back of the grid” card) for a rookie-mistake-crash that didn’t result in retirement for his opponent and for spreading some debris across the track and Maldonado gets just a point taken away for him (a point that landed in Williams’ bag anyway) for a crash that took another driver out and for a 2 lap drive that was a clear black & orange flag case?! This is absurd and it’s coming as an encouragement for this type of behaviour in my opinion…

      1. I wouldn’t say it encourages this type of driving, but it’s certainly not an appropriate penalty when others who crashed get penalties at the next race and he doesn’t.

      2. The penalty should be applied in accordance with the actual movement, not the outcome of the event.
        Vergne made a sudden, unnecessary move across at Kovalainen, and sprayed detritus across the track by driving too fast with a puncture.

        1. I know and I’m not bailing Vergne out. He’s at fault and he deserves the penalty. However what was the actual movement of Maldonado? Making a sudden unnecessary t-boning move towards an opponent from outside the track? Then driving with no front wing (something that affects braking, grip, speed – technically turning your car into a dangerous obstacle for the other cars on the track)?

          Vergne’s penalty fits the crime / Maldonado’s doesn’t. Period.

        2. I think the outcome of an incident is highly significant to what penalty to impose!

          Vergne got a heafty grid penalty for colliding with another driver, the incident was his fault. The overall outcome was that he took himself off, and arguably only mildly affected the other drivers race. Applying a penalty in Silverstone is done as they can’t effectively punish a driver who has already retired at the current race.

          In the case of Maldonado, he caused an accident; the overall outcome of which was that he forced ANOTHER driver to retire as a result, not himself. He was able to continue and still score a point. It is debatable then whether stripping him of one point is sever enough given he cost another driver 15. You can say that he cost himself points as a result of his own actions, but that can’t be a basis for not imposing a strong penalty. Otherwise drivers could crash into each other whenever they like without worry of a strong penalty, after all they didn’t score…

          I hope you understand my point. Not sure if I explained it well enough :/

    10. I’ve watched the replay of the Maldanado incident a few times now. Here’s what I saw:

      • MAL is ahead of lewis in the braking zone (called overlap). It gives him equal rights to the corner.
      • Lewis moves slightly ahead in the corner (a wings worth).
      • Lewis moves into MAL’s outside line, forcing MAL to move off the track to avoid contact.
      • MAL had 2 wheels (legal) on the racing track for 95% of the corner. He only moves off of the track (all 4 wheels – illegal) for a very short time, and really just because he was pushed off.
      • It is obvious that MAL’s car was going to re-enter the track (physics). Either that or aim for the wall!
      • Lewis never gave room and as a result he moved his car in the way of MAL’s.

      Overall its mainly MAL’s fault, as he put himself in that position. However in his defense, Lewis forced him off the track which was the catalyst. A little more room from Lewis and they both would have been fine.

      1. A little more room from Lewis

        Hamilton was under no obligation to give Maldonado any more room – a lesson that was demonstrated quite clearly when Raikkonen practiced the same tactics on him at Spa in 2008.

        Hamilton is completely in the clear on this one. He was entitled to take his line through the corner and, in doing so, force Maldonado off the track. Maldonado’s reaction, to barge back onto the track taking Hamilton off, puts him entirely in the wrong.

        1. To add to this, we hear time and again by DC in particular… “X driver is trying around the outside, Y driver will push him wide, he’s entitled to take up his racing line. X driver will have to yield, and does so.”

          Maldonado did not…

          As for the ‘it’s physics’ comment. Well yes, that is true. But when you condider the driver has a steering wheel to control a significant amount of those physics, it is not accepable to continue straight into another car. I was suprissed Maldonado didn’t come out with his typical line; “For sure, it was a difficult moment.”

        2. I see you’ve jumped on the ‘Maldonado did it on purpose’ band wagon. He clearly tried to avoid a collision; on the onboard video you can see he turned very sharply to the left to try to avoid the Mclaren, but was on the kerb so the car didn’t turn. It was just a racing incident, and while deserving of a penalty, there was no malice involved, like you and many others seem to be suggesting. Also something I find interesting is that it was almost a copy of the incident between the same two in Monaco 2011 – but the comments here were full of people trying to defend Hamilton for that.

          1. That was an overtake on the inside of a corner, not the outside like yesterday. I would say the Monaco incident was a 50/50 blame. Hamilton was slighly over ambitoous, Maldonado simply didn’t check his mirrors.

            1. Doppy comment, why did he need to check the mirrors when the cars were side by side? they are pro drivers Hamilton had no reason to yeiled when he had the racing line. PM should have pulled out of the manouver and tried again after all he had a whole lap left, it was absoluty reckless.

          2. @tflb1 : COTD from my point of view. During the race I as well had the impression that he should at least get a 1 or 2 race ban for the collision, but when Sky commentary showed that he was actually trying to take a hard left long before he hit Hamilton, and was only unable to do so because he was on a high kerb with no front wheel traction.
            Yes, I can’t say that the collision wasn’t his fault as he was joining the racetrack from outside and it was his responsibility to do it safely, but neither can anyone imply that it was deliberate.

            1. Most certainly can, MAL has shown again and again that he does not regard the safety of others as of any importance. He knew exactly where HAM would be when he started his track rejoin.

            2. Yes, and it was clearly (see the relevant replay where his steering wheel was pointing left) his intention to turn left while being on the inside of Hamiltons car, so as to take the corner on the kerb or even on the outside of the track. Had the kerb not made his car uncontrollable, he would have come out of the corner still fighting for the position, but unfortunately it wasn’t so. If it had been so, he might have had to give up the position to Hamilton, but he would still have been right on his tail in the next corners – in hindsight he could have taken a shortcut through the corner instead of trying to rejoin right away, but because of the speedbumps, he would have lost a considerable amount of time, and it was the lap before last, so one could understand the desire to stay on the track instead of bailing out. Also, looking at the replays, the time between Maldonado getting in a position where he had to drive off the track and then driving on the kerb and colliding is probably less than a second in total, meaning that time for any decisionmaking was slim to say the least – yes, you can argue that they are the best drivers in the world and they are paid to make the right decisions in situations like this, but there are still limits.

              Don’t get me wrong, Maldonado made a mistake and was penalized for it as well, and in my opinion rightly so, but I still think that had it not been for the unfortunate placement of the kerb under his car, we might be talking about a highly committed passing maneuver by Maldonado to take podium (although arguably at an unnecessary time), instead of him not belonging in F1.

            3. had it not been for the unfortunate placement of the kerb under his car

              That’s the most hilarious excuse I’ve heard in a while. You make it sound as if innocent Maldonado was driving along and suddenly this inconvenient kerb popped up underneath the poor dear’s car!

              No: Maldonado chose to drove over the kerb, and if that contributed to a loss of control which sent him into Hamilton, it was still his fault. Prior to taking the kerb he could still have gone across the run-off.

            4. I am not disputing Maldonados sole contribution to the crash, but is the relative height of each kerb common knowledge among everyone in F1? I have seen plenty of drivers driving over kerbs in a similar manner without comparable loss of control over the car, so obviously driving on a kerb isn’t, in itself, a gross mistake by the driver. If you are saying that Maldonado, and every other driver as well, knew that the kerb in question would lift the front wheels enough to lose control, then yes, I agree that it was an accident that he should have seen coming. But if he had no way of knowing that this would happen, then I will stand by my opinion that this was an unfortunate accident that could have happened to virtually every driver in the same position.

            5. @keithcollantine Please don’t go all sarcastic as you did when replying to the previous post, but I’d just like to suggest that perhaps (I don’t know to be honest) Maldonado didn’t actually know where he was on the track, and so therefore didn’t react quick enough. I don’t think it would actually be possible to see a kerb or the edge of the track from the seating postion of an F1 car, so maybe it wasn’t his decision, but rather a genuine mistake. I’m not disputing it was his fault, but I don’t see any malice or intent to cause a crash.

              By the way, as a reader of this site for the last three and a bit years (but very rarely a commenter) it makes me sad how much it has changed. Unfortunately I think the success of your site may have gone to your head, since some of your replies to people’s comments have been downright rude, which never used to be the case.

            6. @tflb1 How can Maldonado not knowing where he is on the track possibly be an acceptable explanation? He’s a professional racing driver.

              I’ll respond to your other remarks elsewhere because this is not the appropriate place for it.

      2. There were no wall for MAL to “aim” for, just a perfect runof area, he should be banned from F1 all together, 3rd time that he deliberately hits another car + the his history of injuring a marshal, all from bad temper.

        He will kill somebody someday… :(

        1. He will kill somebody someday…

          I wouldn’t go that far, not for F1 at least. However, fingers crossed he will never get to race at Le Mans or in IndyCar.

        2. regarding your last comment, whilst it may seem extreme, where’s Niki Lauda?? The minute Hamilton puts a foot wrong he’s there, claiming he will kill someone, yet this guy, who on at least twice (arguably today as well), has deliberately crashed into another driver has not been mentioned.

        3. he should be banned from F1 all together

          He will kill somebody someday… :(

          My thoughts exactly.

        4. He’s come damn close enough to killing someone before. In F3000 at Monaco he failed to slow down under yellow flags, and hit a marshall. He got banned for four races.

          Get him out of F1 and keep him out, We had Spa last year, again with Hamilton, and now this is the 3rd time this year he’s bashed someone off the road when things don’t go his way. His post-race comments were hilarious too, “he tried to pull a very aggressive move on me” HA!! Says the man who was running everyone else off the track during the race and blindly reaping the rewards. As soon as he get’s a taste of his own medicine he get’s enraged.

      3. There was plenty of room for Maldonado without getting anywhere near the wall. He would’ve had to go over some speed bumps put across the run off area, nothing more. No reason for him to rejoin the track at the apex of corner, just like any other time someone cuts a corner they continue on straight and rejoin after the corner, letting through the car they were dicing with.

      4. I’m pretty certain that when Maldonado passed Webber at the last corner, he pushed Webber off track which caused him to lose two positions to the Force Indias.

        Whilst I don’t agree you should be able to (effectively) push other cars off the track, Maldonado did it earlier in the race so what else should he expect.

        Also a driver isn’t allowed to gain an advantage by going off the track, it doesn’t matter for how long, you’re still off the track!

      5. Ok, Maldonado is the bad guy and Hamilton was fully entitled to keep his driving line…but I would like to see if he will loose the championship for 5 points what the comments gonna be….I think that Alonso made the correct decision in canada…

    11. Maldonado & kobayashi’s incidents are so similar. So why the massive difference in penalties? At least Massa was able to finish the race.

      1. The only thing similar is that they happened in the same corner. Where as Maldonado and Hamilton were locked in battle, Kobayashi stupidly dove up inside, locked up and speared Massa.

        The penalties imposed clearly reflect the severity and stupidity of the incidents. Maldonado 20 sec. Kobayashi a 5 spot penalty and Vergne a 10 spot.

    12. I think Maldonado got off easy. He had the car to make a passing move stick before the checkered flag waived down, but he didn’t have to do it at that particular corner. For him getting back his starting 3rd place would certainly be an important feat in a race that was anything but predictable, but instead of putting his mind to it and see that he would get past eventually, he commited to a corner that was not his corer and therefore the outcome could never be with his side. Maldonado is arrogant because he expects his opponent to yield based on the theory that he has the superior car at that particular point but he doesn’t work on proving it in the race.

      On the othe hand, Hamilton never made anything illegal. Logically he would have lost his position to Maldonado but he fought on knowing the checkered flag was near. I feel bad for Hamilton because this year he has shown that he can be consistent and mature and he has controlled his feelings brilliantly to put a good result on top of everything else. His team has been anything but consistent this year but he has made them look good Sunday after Sunday. I am not a Hamilton fun but if I were him I would feel cheated today and angry. At the very least, Maldonado should apologise same as JEV did, at the very least..!

    13. Was confused with the Steward investigation into Hamilton and the yellow flags. What was he being investigated for and how did Raikonnen not get atl ast investigated on his pass into what appeared to be double waved flags.

      1. Because Kimi already completed his moved before the yellow flag zone.

    14. ronald plain
      24th June 2012, 22:35

      One of these days, no matter what the rules are, Lewis will learn that push can come to shove. It was his to lose and he lost it. Personally, I hope Mclaren takes the repairs and the steering wheel out of his allowance.

      1. I don’t get all this subjectivity regarding the HAM-MAL incident. Seriously, I don’t.

        I’m no fan of Hamilton or McLaren and ok, Hamilton has had his fair share of wreckless moves in the past but cheering when he gets taken out by an absolute nutter, when he shares 0% of the fault?

        Come on people. This is professional racing and it’s also a dangerous sport. People can get seriously injured or worse out of stupid moves like these. It’s not a laughing matter and it’s not a cheering opportunity either. And this goes for everyone on the grid, not only for Maldonado or Hamilton.

        This is the World Formula 1 Championship, not the bullying nationals…

      2. While I agree with the principle of this we have seen some great fights where better drivers have kept much faster cars at bay.

        Hamilton should be more prepared to lose a few points for the sake of the championship rather than taking high risks. They should put something into his new contract about broken steering wheels :)

    15. Eh, the Vergne incident was clearly Vergnes fault, but I think the crash between Maldonado and Hamilton was both of their fault. Its funny how much Maldonado reminds me of Hamilton on a bad day, yet nobody here was bashing him….

      Anyway, I do put the blame on Hamilton here a little bit, because he not only didn’t give Pastor room to stay onthe track, he also didn’t give him room to get back on. Thats my problem with this incident, while Hamilton could have moved a little to the right to give him just enough space to get back on e track, he squeezed him out all the way around. And then he’s surprised that he got hit. Well the guy has got to comeback on the track at some point, and if your not letting him do that, then he’s gonna have to run into you.

      And all of this ‘well he should have known Pastor is an idiot’ needs to stop. I would understand if we were talking about Karthikeyan, but this guy is a real driver, and when he doesnt make mistakes, he’s damn quick. Sure he has off moments, but so did Hamilton last season, and the season before that. So please, all you Ham fan boys need to cool down.

      1. Tom Haxley (@)
        25th June 2012, 9:35

        “Well the guy has got to comeback on the track at some point, and if your not letting him do that, then he’s gonna have to run into you”

        No, he is either going to have to cut the corner and appear in front of you (and have to give the place back to you)
        He has to brake, duck out of the move that didnt come off and file in behind you.

        Quite simple really. Maldo did neither, just decided he would rejoin the track right on the apex of the corner and low and behold thats where cars are normally positioned…

        1. Maldonado could have done the legal thing, but it may have cost him too much time to get the move done, especially as he probably would have damaged his floor going over the speed bumps THAT ARE THERE TO STOP YOU GAINING AN ADVANTAGE BY CUTTING THE CORNER.
          He messed up again, but didn’t do the right thing, again. Should have recieved a grid penalty.

          1. +1 Bernification. In the ‘old days’ it would’ve been a gravel trap, with all the paved areas today its speed bumps as the disincentive. You off the track, you pay some kind of penalty

    16. The incident between Vergne & Kovalinen was downright ridiculous in my opinion; from my perspective watching it on sky it looked as if he was trying to convert a Formula 1 motor race into stock car racing. He had the move made, then completely unnecessarily decided to move back across the front of the Caterham before the normal turn-in point, much as Prost did to Senna in 1989 (with the exception that this incident wasn’t just blatant cheating). Deservedly his penalty is severe, as I believe Heikki was cruelly robbed of a strong finish for Caterham (the same could be said for Petrov).

    17. Seems some people saw Raikkonen and Hamilton overtake under yellow flags… any idea why neither were penalised? I saw the Hamilton move was under investigation but nothing came of it, as for Raikkonen, nothing. I think the moves were both past Ricciardo.

      1. Sky explained Raikkonen had made a move before the yellow flag, so while stewards did look at him, they immediately discarded it again @katederby; HAM took more time to clear, but apparently the tv images, especially that wide-angle lens used for the straights, distorts the image well enough to make it easy to mistake “under yellow” with “before yellow” for both; the stewards have other means and cameras though.

        1. I was raging so much in that moment when I saw Kimi going for that overtake. I was really mad with Riccardo for staying out on worn tyres and spoiling re-start for Kimi and Lewis. I had to go outside for a moment. But then it turned out Kimi was clear :)

    18. Till the time the incident happened between Lewis and Pastor, it was nice to see Lewis’ defensive driving. I was very impressed with they was he was positioning his car and playing the with the pedals. It’s rare that we see Lewis defending. He is seen more to be attacking the cars in front so it was very nice to see his defensive driving as well. The last time I saw him was in Korea 2011 with Mark when they came out of their final stop and they were wheel-to-wheel for about 5 corners which was equally impressive.

    19. 3 counts of ridiculous stewarding, thanks for raking up the rankings Valencia.
      1) MSC left of the hook for what? soft spot for a 43 year old?
      2) Massa ran wide trying to avoid the car in front of him and was hit while trying to get back. How is the Kobayashi’s fault?
      3) One thing from the MAL-HAM indcident is that if MAL hadn’t turned in he would have run over the speed bumps and risked damaging the under bodywork of his car. For all the talk Lewis talks about damage limitation, he fails in application

      1. @ridiculous

        The speed bumps do not do significant damage to a car if they’re tackled at an appropriate speed – they are, after all ‘speed’ bumps.

        That’s a rather flimsy means of trying to blame Hamilton for something that was unequivocally Maldonado’s fault.

        1. If it was unequivocal then why some people think its HAM’s fault? Or some even think its a racign incident? Unequivocal sounds a bit complicated version of a ‘I hold my view’

          1. @ridiculous

            If it was unequivocal then why some people think its HAM’s fault?

            Because some people are wrong.

      2. I have looked at the incident again and I reckon the speed bumps are one of the main reasons Maldonado takes the line he does.

    20. Ok, thanks @bosyber, like I said I couldn’t really tell watching at home, it certainly looked close.

    21. Maldonado is dangerous and is going to hurt someone one day unless someone steps in soon.

      1. The same was said about HAM last year and he is still driving around

        1. Yeah well, Hamilton has never deliberately driven into an opponent, which MAL has done at least 3 times now…

          1. Yes, the term is ‘unavoidable accident’ – I remember them

    22. Had it not been for these ‘lottery tires’, many of the backmarkers, midfield and average drivers would not have had a podium nor more so, a win in their F1 careers.

      1. Which backmarker has scored a podium?

    23. That’s enough penalties for one day, speaking as an England football fan.

      I still think they’re punishing racing incidents too much. It was the wheel-to-wheel action that made this race great, and it’s a pity every collision seemingly has to have one driver judged and punished.
      I still think Senna’s drive-through was harsh, it was good to see him rescue a point.

      But a tough penalty or two is much better than all the drivers waiting for the stops, and not attempting to race.

      1. Agreed re: Senna’s penalty. I’m still not quite sure how they arrived at that one in the steward’s office. If anything, it was a racing incident, and if they were determined to dish out a penalty for it, they gave it to the wrong driver. (Senna tends to be one of the most docile and friendly drivers off the track, but he sounded quite bothered by it afterward, and I can’t blame him.) But like you say, he did get a point back in the end, so that was nice.

    24. You can see where all three penalties have come from, though I maintain the Maldonado/Hamilton collision was 50/50. Maldonado was off the track though, but at least he doesn’t carry a penalty to the next race, which would have been very harsh on him.

      Kobayashi was clumsy against Massa — it was avoidable and deserving of a penalty. Vergne was just stupid. I don’t think it’s deserving of a 10-place penalty, but his lack of spacial awareness was staggering.

      1. You can see where all three penalties have come from, though I maintain the Maldonado/Hamilton collision was 50/50. Maldonado was off the track though, but at least he doesn’t carry a penalty to the next race, which would have been very harsh on him.

        As harsh as losing 15 points? 100% Maldonados fault. He doesn’t seem to be learning.

    25. The penalty for Maldonado seems fair enough to me. Yes, it was a foolish move but he did try to correct it but it just so happens there was a kerb in the way! You could of course argue that he should factor that into his decision making but he’s not exactly the brightest spark.

    26. Maldonado was stupid in that occasion. Hamilton was so slow he’d have passed him anyway before the end of the race. He was on the inside of the corner but out of the track limits, and the track turned left. Hamilton turned in, but Maldonado went straight to re-enter the track as soon as possible and stay ahead of Hamilton, and crashed. He should’ve turned left, cut the corner, given the position back and re-passed him later.

    27. Hamilton should not have taken any risks considering he has so much more to lose than Maldonado. Furthermore, he was so much slower and Maldonado would have overtaken him anyway.

    28. Any driver that forces another driver off of the track should be the first one penalized.

    29. What Maldonado should have learned from Kimi, is that it is much easier to overtake a car with lack of grip by using traction out of the corner, as even with worn tyres cars can brake as late.

      There are plenty of fast driver in this season, but few legends.

      I think if it was anyone else but Maldonado, Hamilton would have acted like a legend and gave them space. But with Maldonado it is pride. You don’t want that guy push you around in future.

    30. While I agreed with most of the stewards decisions I was surprised by the penalty for Senna. I thought it was a racing incident but if one driver was to blame it was Kobayashi.

      As for Maldonado I will give him the benefit of the doubt in that it was only a careless move rather than deliberately driving into Hamilton when he rejoined the circuit.

      Hopefully he can stop making mistakes such as this or at least when he does be man enough to admit it was his fault, trying to blame Hamilton saying he ran him off the road when that is something Maldonado has done plenty of times and even employed the tactic in this race.

    31. Maldonado’s move was a rookie mistake. Have a look at Schumi’s overtaking move in the same corner towards the end of the race. He knew the other driver was going to try to outbrake him, so he braked earlier to take the corner shallower (switch-back move(?)) to have better traction out of the second corner of that chichane and ultimately an overtake before the next right turn. Hamilton’s tyres were going off and was likely to run deep into the corner to defend his position – he should’ve known that, but that’s the difference between a rookie and a 7 time WDC.

      1. Can’t remember who Schumi overtook – could’ve been one of the Force Indias – will have to look at the replay.

    Comments are closed.