Vettel and Hamilton at odds over unlapping

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton defends his driving after being criticised by Sebastian Vettel and Christian Horner for unlapping himself during the German Grand Prix.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso cruises to German Grand Prix victory (The Guardian)

Sebastian Vettel: “It’s a bit stupid to disturb the leaders. I think that potentially lost us the position to Jenson [Button].”

Cry baby: Hamilton slams Vettel as German Grand Prix fallout turns into public spat (The Mirror)

Lewis Hamilton: “It doesn’t really bother me what he says, I guess. It shows his maturity. I don’t think I’ve made any silly decisions throughout the race. I had nothing to gain apart from staying out of the way of my team mate.”

Vettel and Horner slam Hamilton (Sky)

Christian Horner: “Why was he interfering with the race leaders? He should have respected the fact that they were ahead on the track.”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“Vettel doing himself no favours calling Hamilton’s unlapping ‘stupid’. Remember the Kubica/Vettel/Hamilton move at Interlagos ’08.”

Intelligent Alonso shows he has all the answers (BBC)

“After standing on his Ferrari’s nose to milk the applause, Alonso turned to Button and said: ‘You couldn’t beat me?’ He then pointed to Vettel and said: ‘He couldn’t either.'”

2012 German Grand Prix (McLaren)

Hamilton: “My second-lap puncture was incredibly unfortunate: there was debris scattered across the full width of the track and I didn’t have any option other than to drive straight through it. What’s more frustrating is that, at the time, I was the eighth car through – so to be the one to get the puncture is just cruel luck.”

Ferrari Still Not The Fastest Car, Says Domenicali (Speed)

“I believe we still don’t have the fastest car, if we had the fastest car maybe it would be easier to win. We need to improve the car, and we need to make sure our car is good in all the different conditions, wet/dry, different kinds of tyres, and so on.”

McLaren MP4-27 – revised sidepod design (F1)

“The extensive list of updates include lower and more sculptured sidepods, new exhausts, new radiator installation, a revised floor in front of the rear tyres, a new diffuser, new rear wing endplates and modified brakes ducts.”

Ferrari told to ignore RBR technical row (Autosport)

Stefano Domenicali: “When I first saw the note from the technical delegate, I said ‘stay focused on our job today.’ This is something that engineers see and they try to think about. But no, stay focused on what you have to do. Forget about what is happening.”

Ecclestone’s absence fuels talk of charges (The Telegraph)

“After his office intimated that he would fly in late on Saturday, Ecclestone apparently had a change of heart, saying that he did not want to be ‘a distraction’. German media had speculated on Friday that Ecclestone might be arrested if he attended the race.”

German GP – Conference 4 (FIA)

Button on his flat spot during the final stint: “It gave me a little bit of a headache, but that was about it. It was unusual. I guess they just weren’t up to temperature when I hit the brakes that time. We’ve been very good with front-locking in this race. Normally it’s a big issue with the McLaren. In testing we had big issues with front locking. We did some set-up work and we’ve solved a lot of that, which is great for us.”

Comment of the day

There’s been a lot of discussion recently over Ferrari using Italian in their team radio messages. Bullfrog reckons it’s up to TV broadcasters to translate them instead of forcing Ferrari to use English:

Sky are asking people to pay a premium for their service – the least they can do is find someone to translate the messages, instead of making lame jokes and sounding amazed that people speak in funny foreign languages…

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Matt!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Five years ago today a furious Scott Speed claimed his Toro Rosso team were trying to force him and Vitantonio Liuzzi out.

Sure enough, it soon turned out Speed had already started his last race: he was replaced by Sebastian Vettel at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Liuzzi was dropped at the end of the season to make way for Sebastien Bourdais.

Image © McLaren/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...

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197 comments on “Vettel and Hamilton at odds over unlapping”

  1. I was also angry at Alonso’s engineer. As the only english speaker in my family, it’s up to me to translate the team radio messages, and now I have to try and remember my silly basic italian lessons in school!

    As for the Hamilton controversy, I think it’s highly unethical. I feel sorry for Vettel about that. But I still do agree with the stewards for his penalty. He didn’t even try to stay on the kerb.

    1. @carlitox

      As for the Hamilton controversy, I think it’s highly unethical. I feel sorry for Vettel about that.

      Few things are black-and-white in this sport (or in life generally for that matter). But there is absolutely no just cause to complain about Hamilton’s conduct here.

      Had he unlapped himself and then proceeded to hold up Vettel so Button could try to pass him, this would be a differnet matter. But he didn’t. He unlapped himself and then went after Alonso. Hamilton was driving his own race.

      Drivers are perfectly entitled to unlap themselves if they are going quickly enough. For Vettel and Horner to suggest Hamilton was behaving improperly or doing anything wrong in this respect is sheer arrogance.

      Moreover, I suspect their complaints were not entirely sincere, and were at least partly motivated by a desire to deflect questions over Vettel’s move on Button at the end of the race.

      1. I don’t doubt that, they saw it coming and wanted to direct attention somewhere else. But I couldn’t help but suspect that he was after Alonso just to hold him back, which he was unable anyway. I may be kind of a conspiracist, I admit it, and I’m no RBR nor McLaren nor Alonso fan. All of this just seemed strange to me. But your point is also totally right Keith.

        1. As for the Hamilton controversy, I think it’s highly unethical.`[…] I couldn’t help but suspect that he was after Alonso just to hold him back, which he was unable anyway

          So let me get his right Carlitox, you calling Hamilton highly unethical because you suspect he overtook Vettel with the motive of getting past Alonso to then hold Alonso back?

          The only lack of ethics I see is your own in accusing someone of intending to do something that didn’t happen and for which you have absolutely no proof beyond your own dubious suspicions.

          1. However, more crazy things have hap paned in F1, I don’t agree with him, but at least he gave his reasons…. Also, slamming people for saying things you don’t agree with, is no better.

      2. Indeed. When he unlapped himself, he was immediately shown the blue flags. This means “get out of the way, do not impede those behind”. Which he did. By driving faster.

        I actually was wondering if the leaders might be shown the blue flags, they weren’t racing and Hamilton was behind and faster.

        1. I didn’t see him being shown blue flags. I heard the commentators questioning ‘are those blue flags for Hamilton’, but at that point I thought they were approaching other lapped drivers.

          1. he was once, just after he passed seb. but then not after.

            If a SC had come out unlapping himself would of made a huge difference and probably meant some points for himself and mclaren. he did nothing wrong.

            unlapping yourself is part of the sport.

          2. @matt90 I’m pretty sure Hamilton was shown blue flags/lights at turn 11 immediately after he passed Vettel. I Tweeted about it at the time:


          3. That’s interesting. I’m not sure whether that’s the right thing to do or not. If they are meant to yield after seeing 3 blue flags, it doesn’t give them a lot of time to start pulling away.

          4. I think we can put the first blue flag down to the flag marshal seeing a car ahead of the leaders and doing what comes naturally. After that the flag marshals probably got a message from Race Control to the affect that Hamilton was going faster and not holding them up.

            Indeed the blue flags are only for drivers holding up the leaders. To call unlapping unethical shows a complete ignorance of the rules and ethics of motor racing.

        2. Blue flags are for slower cars to let the faster cars thru to lap you.
          Hamilton was a faster car then those of the leaders.
          He acted right, simple

      3. Screw vettel he cheated anyway, and Lewis had every right to try and unlap himself. He clearly had the faster car speed and why would he do that cheat vettel any favours anyway. Question is “Can anyone stop Alonso?” He is on fire

        1. Screw vettel he cheated anyway

          How immature. -.-

      4. Agree with Keith over this one.

        Imagine a scenario where he unlaps himself from Alonso and then there is a safety car, Lewis would have then been in with a legitimate shot of the race-win!!
        On the other hand, he doesn’t unlap himself and then there is a safety car, he is stuck where he is.

        1. Hardly likely or plausible, especially that let in the race. Hamilton was down in the lower teens at that point, so yes, he would have been on the same lap as the leaders, but would have been right at the back of the pack.

          1. Probably, but it would have given him a chance at points. Getting one more lap definitely gives a driver a better chance of points. You see all the time people go out on the last lap. If you’re lapped you can’t pass those people if they are on the lead lap.

            And in any case the probabilities for a Hamilton victory should not be a factor in his decision to unlap himself. Car speed compared to the driver in front of him is all that matters. Basically, if you can then you should.

        2. under safety car conditions, you can unlap yourself. so HAM wouldnt have been stuck.

          1. Correct.

            Although I don’t see that he did anything wrong with un-lapping himself as he did. Made me chuckle anyways, and I am NOT a Hamilton fan!

      5. One safety car and Hamilton would’ve been back in the race. He had the pace to run with them and pass them and should’ve.

        1. Agreed!!!

      6. @keithcollantine

        Drivers are perfectly entitled to unlap themselves if they are going quickly enough. For Vettel and Horner to suggest Hamilton was behaving improperly or doing anything wrong in this respect is sheer arrogance.

        We finally agree on a couple of things!! ;)

      7. HewisLamilton
        23rd July 2012, 16:15

        I’m sorry, i must have missed something. When exactly did Hamilton unlap himself ? I didn’t see him pass Alonso to unlap himself. He had no business interfering with the race leaders.

        1. Obviously I meant unlapped himself from Vettel, rather than the race leader.

          He had no business interfering with the race leaders.

          Yes he did, because he was quick enough to unlap himself.

          1. HewisLamilton
            23rd July 2012, 17:55

            I am obviously not going to make my point with your McLaren tinted glasses on. He did not unlap himself.

          2. I’m not sure you understand what being lapped and unlapped are.

          3. HewisLamilton – If you want to use some other verb besides ‘unlapping’ to describe a driver overtaking someone who is a lap ahead of them but isn’t the race leader, then fine. But I can’t be bothered. If you choose to see this as a sign of bias rather than me not being remotely interested in your pedantry and hair-splitting, more fool you.

            None of which changes the fact that any driver who is faster than the car in front of him has the right to try and overtake it, regardless of what lap they’re on. That goes for Lewis Hamilton on Sebastian Vettel at Hockenheim this year just as it went for Robert Kubica on Lewis Hamilton at Interlagos four years ago.

          4. HewisLamilton
            23rd July 2012, 21:00

            The only way a driver can unlap himself, that is, get back on the lead lap, is to pass the leader.

            Can you please define another way that a car can get back on the lead lap?

            hamilton did not do this.

          5. Hamilton was a lap behind Vettel before he overtook him. After he overtook him he was no longer a lap behind Vettel. Therefore he unlapped himself from Vettel.

            But, just to reiterate, this is all a sideshow – the heart of the matter is that Hamilton did nothing wrong by unlapping himself from Vettel.

          6. HewisLamilton
            23rd July 2012, 22:02

            hamilton did not unlap himself. By timing and scoring, he was still a lap down after passing Vettel. Vettel was 1 to 1.25 sec behind the leader in 2nd place.
            But, just to reiterate, all hamilton did was interfere with the race leaders. At no point did he get back on the lead lap.

            As a vintage FF racer, I can say even at the level I race this is not tollerated among drivers.

          7. HewisLamilton
            23rd July 2012, 22:07

            Actually, fair enough. You have an opinion as do I.

          8. He can’t get back on the lead lap without unlapping himself from the 2nd placed driver first can he!!!

      8. Hamilton did nothing wrong and for Vettel to complain about it just shows how molly-coddled he is….

        So Hamilton is faster than Vettel and came up behind him… what did Vettel think Hamilton should have done ? That Hamilton should have slowed down to just follow Vettel around in a procession ? What if Hamilton had done that and had been caught by another backmarker ? Should they follow the slower car in front (Vettel) in a procession as if Vettel is a safety car ?

        To all of you saying Hamilton was interfering… my question to you is what do you think the (faster) Hamilton should have done ? And how is that racing ?

        By complaining, Vettel is simply revealing himself as an immature cry-baby… he only seems to be able to race when he’s in the fastest car and in front… otherwise he whinges about everyone else not bowing down to him…

        1. HewisLamilton
          23rd July 2012, 18:33

          How far behind Alonso was Vettel prior to hamilton interfering ?
          How far was Vettel behind Alonso after hamilton interfering?

          hamilton actually never unlapped himself, and interfered with the leaders at a point in the race tham hamilton was out of challenging either of the two for position.

          I hope hamilton enjoys his single WDC…..his one, his only and his LAST.

          1. He unlapped himself with respect to Vettel… the fact that Vettel fell back vs Alonso was because he was slower…

            Lets look at this FALSE gap argument…

            The gap ALO to VET was about 1.5 – 2 secs with ALO pegging the gap or even extending it immediately prior to HAM catching VET.

            HAM overtook VET… the gap ALO to HAM was about 1.5 secs and HAM to VET was <1sec (as low as 0.6 sec on some laps)…

            EVEN with the aid of DRS VET was unable to take the place back and HAM then pulled out 2.5 secs lead over VET closing to <0.6 sec to ALO. In other words VET was dropping back even after HAM overtook.

            If it was simply HAM interfering then VET would have retaken HAM at the next DRS zone but he didn't because he couldn't because he was slower.

            After HAM attacked ALO for several laps and was unable to get past he dropped back slightly (his tyre advantage went) and the gaps closed up ALO to HAM 1.5 secs, HAM to VET 1.5 secs… In other words VET was as far behind ALO as he was before the whole thing started.

            AGAIN.. I ask you… what was HAM supposed to do ? Stay behind VET even though he was faster ? What if another backmarker closed up behind HAM ?

            What if ALO had been further ahead of VET ? Would/should that have made any difference ? If ALO had been 20 secs ahead of VET do you also think that HAM should not have overtaken ?

            If you take that to its stupid conclusion then if the leader was the only one on the lead lap then no matter how slowly he was going nobody could overtake to unlap themselves….

            I'm not a HAM or ALO fan but its only the VET fans defending him, everyone else including all the drivers on the shows think that HAM did nothing wrong and VET was wrong to criticise HAM.

          2. HewisLamilton
            23rd July 2012, 22:57

            Too many What ifs Mark.

            Hamilton should have let Button by and stayed out of the fray for the lead of the race. It was touch and go with Alonso and Vettel and the DRS zone detection and so close to a second gap. Some laps Vettel had DRS open, others he did not. Alonso benefitted from traffic and allowed him to use his DRS. It was quite exciting. After hamilton got involved, it was a mute point.

            Maybe hamilton was showing Ferrari that he indeed can be a #2 driver and support the Ferrari #1?

          3. Whether the battle became uninteresting for you to watch has nothing to do with sport.

          4. Sorry Hewis… but the rules are there precisely to cater for the what ifs…

            If (as in your opinion) Hamilton was wrong to overtake Vettel then you have to define your terms… in what circumstances is it ok for a faster car to overtake a slower car and in what circumstances is it not ?

            You can’t define a rule retrospectively for a specific case (like this one)…. so please can you define precisely the circumstances in which a faster car that is a lap down should not be permitted to overtake a faster car that is a lap ahead ?

            I’d like to hear your definition…

            Because there was only anything wrong with what Hamilton did if you can define a rule that would apply to all the what ifs.

      9. I agree with Keith about the insincerity of the complaints by Vettel and Horner. I have absoultely no doubt Vettel would do the same as Hamilton in similar circumstances and would be entitled to do so. He showed absolutely no qualms about passing Hamilton at Interlagos in 2008 when the entire championship was to be decided in the next few corners.

        I also think Horner and Vettel want to unnerve Hamilton as a major rival, and I think there may also be some bad blood between all three over Hamilton potentially moving to Red Bull but being blocked by Vettel/Horner.

      10. people seem to forget that the blue flag is to signify that a FASTER car is approaching, not that they are going to be lapped. Had Hamilton got past and then tried to hold up Vettel then Red Bull could have said something. As it was, he got past then pulled away and in no way did he slow Vettel down. Therefore, nothing can be said and the Stewards should do nothing, as they did. Right decision.

    2. I read something only a few hours ago about Prost coming back from a lap down to win once. Was that unethical too?

      1. @matt90 Wasn’t that Clark, at Monza? he unlapped himself and was winning before a puncture or something put him 3rd in the end.

        Yeah, hardly unethical. If anything, bloody awesome.

        1. Maybe that too, but I was definitely reading an article that was purely about Prost being undervalued.

          1. Yes, it was Prost. It was 1982 South African GP. A very memorable race.

      2. I am not that old to have seen it, but have been told it was Clark in Monza who unlapped himself because of a puncture he had, and then was the leader of the race, but two laps before finish he ran out of fuel.
        I also seem to remember that there was a dispute after one race with Senna and Schumacher about unlapping.
        Anyway, I don’t see anything wrong with Hamilton in this case. It’s called racing, he was faster. The argument that Vettel said about holding back and make a gap is just ridiculous.

      3. HewisLamilton
        24th July 2012, 22:23

        Did hamilton unlap himself and win the race? He didn’t even unlap himself.

        Apples and Oranges.

    3. Hamilton was much faster then Vettel. Maybe Seb needs some anger management, he tends to use strong words towards fellow drivers all the time things don’t go his way.

      On Ferrari using Italian: why not?

      1. Because everyone must speak that foreign language… English. The queen demands it.

        1. It’s not just annoying to English speaking fans. It’s annoying to almost all world fans except Italians.
          I’m not British or American and i want the radio in English. I don’t even want it in my language because i know very few others will understand.
          English is a world recognized language for communication between people of different nationalities and multilingual sports.
          For that reason i bothered learning them, i can’t go though and start learning every team’s, mechanic and drivers language. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

          And they ain’t even doing it for the competition. They know very well that their competitors will have no problem dealing with it. They are just doing it for the viewers. And actually i think it’s obvious why they are doing it. So they can avoid criticism of comments on their radio messages(it’s not like Italians will say anything about a Ferrari message). “Alonso is faster than you” will now be delivered in fluent Italian.

          1. The team radio is for communicating with team drivers. They are an Italian team so they use Italian. End of discussion really. But…

            What if a driver can’t speak English? Do you demand their team still speaks to them in English? Since when is English a requirement for being a racing driver?

          2. Agreed

      2. Yes, what exactly is so absurd about an Italian team speaking in Italian?

      3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        23rd July 2012, 14:26

        Agree. Noone can say Alonso won because he was speaking Italian… If a team wants to use Elf language or Morse code, it’s part of their strategy. So teams have also to publicly explain what is “PLAN B” when they mention it?

    4. What?! Guess the only thing we agree is that the penalty is fair. What a row you cause in this thread.

  2. …Says the driver who demoted Hamilton from the 5th position which he needed to secure his 2008 championship when Kubica (?) unlapping himself pushed Hamilton wide. Funny how things come around.

    1. Yup. I really don’t understand the current whinging about this move. Within the rules and he was faster.

    2. Would’ve loved McLaren to pit Hamilton a lap later than Alonso pitted at the end of the second stint to cover him off to not only make him a fundamental factor in the latter stages of the race (although he probably would’ve been shown blue flags on that occasion) but also see more in-depth how his pace would’ve stacked up in comparison to the leaders had he not suffered a puncture as he would’ve been similar in terms of fresh rubber.

    3. Yes, but in that case Vettel was racing Hamilton for position…

      1. I know. I was just pointing out that the last time something similar happened, Vettel was a benefactor and Hamilton lost out, and that was reversed this time.

    4. Yep Vettel has shot himself sometimes proving his supporters that he may not be as mature as they thought, nontheless i like how honest he can be especially off track.

  3. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
    23rd July 2012, 0:12

    I see nothing wrong with Hamilton’s move on Vettel.. he was quicker at that stage so why shouldnt he pass him? He was on fresher tyres and its not like he’s going to sit behind him in dirty air. Vettel seems to think that since a backmarker passed him, it was like a HRT passing him for no reason and holding him up.

    1. The best thing was that Horner then said something along the lines of ‘interesting that he didn’t pass Alonso too.’ I really don’t now what he was implying here, as he wouldn’t have said anything to that effect if he was merely commenting on the obvious fact that Hamilton didn’t have enough pace to catch and pass both Vettel and then Alonso. So there must have been some implication. That Hamilton only wanted to hold up Vettel on behalf of Button? As though he wouldn’t have also held up Alonso if possible. That Alonso and Hamilton were in cahoots somehow? Because Alonso-Ferrari and Hamilton-McLaren sounds like a pairing without history…

      1. @matt90 Noted that too. In Honer’s world, Hamilton was holding Vettel to help Alonso extend his massive championship lead… they’re really best friends now

        1. Hmmm…. there’s an interesting angle… Hamilton helping Alonso to win the championship :)

        2. @JCost ..No .. horners trying to say hamilton was holding vettel to help button close the gap,while lewis has no intention of pulling a move on alonso

          1. But as he didn’t hold Vettel up at all once he was past, mentioning that he didn’t pass Alonso implies that Hamilton was doing so intentionally.

          2. He didn’t hold up VET.. he pulled away from him despite VET having a DRS advantage… and HAM closed and attacked ALO for at least 3 laps.

          3. The funny thing is everyone assuming Hamilton eased off rather than pass Alonso, as though that was a given! Nice compliment given neither Button nor Vettel could get past him at the end of the race! But Horner is implying Hamilton could have then?

            Nice to have Red Bull confirmation is Hamilton’s superior talent! (warning: some part of this post may be tongue in cheek)

  4. I loved the pass on Vettel, it was one of my highlights of the race. To say Hamilton spoiled their race by being faster and overtaking them seems a little bit sour. What was his alternative? Drive slower a second off his preferred pace for a few laps? I thought I saw a glimpse of the old Hamilton: not afraid to stick his nose out and ruffle a few feathers, not prepared to give best because the situation didn’t offer any material gains.

    Having said that, I was also interested that he parked it towards the end because no points were on offer to him. Why not Massa, or Grosjean, or Button at previous races?

    1. The team brought him in because the damage from the early puncture had intensified. It also now means he has a new gearbox for the next race.

    2. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
      23rd July 2012, 0:20

      I think he damaged his car when he got that puncture. He said the car didnt feel right for the whole race after that.. I dont think he parked it.

    3. @splittimes
      Every lap on track is valuable information about the car, and tyres, teams usually have their “pointless” cars out on track near the race end, then retire them.Button was classified in every race so far, but he retired in Bahrain and Monaco. If Im right, not seeing the checquered flag means different rules apply to gearbox changes too.

      1. If the damage to the car was getting worse, I can understand it, and gearbox rules encourage it too. What I mean is, if you’re out of the points, don’t need the position for championship standings (HRT, Caterham, Toro Rosso etc) and aren’t gaining anything by going round then why doesn’t everyone just park it? Grosjean was in this situation, and Button has been at previous races. It just surprises me that they took this decision this time, when previously that hadn’t been desirable. What was different this time? Will we see this more often from teams?

        1. Even if we assume that the car could finish the race Mclaren still have more reason not to do it than HRT or Caterham because they are fighting for something a lot bigger and gaining the advantage of a new gearbox for the next race can play important role in winning that prize.
          HRT or Caterham aren’t fighting for any such thing. All they have to fight is those positions.

  5. I really am getting fed up with the attitude of Horner and Vettel. They come across as spoilt, immature and incredibly sore losers, and seem to think they have a right to win and that everyone should quite literally get out of their way. Twice this year they have called another driver stupid which shows a complete lack of respect.

    This wouldn’t really be acceptable if they were right, but considering they are totally and utterly in the wrong, and frankly making pretty stupid comments its even worse. Vettel’s comments of “if he wanted to go fast he should have backed off into space and gone fast there” truly astound me. Surely he’s not that stupid? What does he then expect Ham to do when he catches him back up?

    1. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
      23rd July 2012, 0:27

      Totally agree with you on that they shouldnt complain about the Hamilton pass @jleigh .. but to be fair I thought they took the 20 second penalty really well. Horner said “It was disappointing to receive the penalty after the race but we accept this.” and Vettel said he respected the stewards decision.

    2. I was going to write about Horner’s post-race comments being perturbing. Him & Vettel expect drivers to just – roll over for his drivers because they are Honestly, I don’t see any support or logic in his argument.

    3. Vettel and Red Bull simply don’r accept defeat, which is ridiculous.
      They got to learn to lose because the attitude is always: blame it on the others.

  6. It’s things like this which make Vettel and Red Bull unlikeable for me. Of course, many of my favourite drivers have likely annoyed others in the same way, with equally irritating post-race statements, but calling unlapping yourself unethical seems about as anti-racing as saying that any overtaking is unfair on the leading driver, because they’d somehow earned that position.

    1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      23rd July 2012, 1:24

      I agree. Red Bull can dish it out, but they can’t take it. Thankfully the whole ‘Horner taking Bernie’s place’ rumour turned out to be just that, a rumour.

      1. I couldn’t even contemplate what would happen if yellow-tooth Horner had taken Bernie’s place. It would be one man on the circuit, Vettel (Just the way they like it).

    2. I agree. See this comment by Vettel:

      Why was he trying to race us? If he wants to go fast he can drop back find a gap and go faster there

      Arrogant and insincere. Really hope we see a lot of punctures for Vettel over the next few races and we can see whether he’s just happy to drive around quickly without actually getting anywhere.

  7. It’s wrong to expect a much faster driver to fall back through the field deliberately for a certain number of laps so that it doesn’t hinder a particular driver’s race & even If that was to happen, the driver would likely just catch them back up again ultimately, being unfortunately stuck in ‘traffic’ is part of racing. Hamilton at that point was running his own race theoretically, his own race being faster than the leaders in a phase of the race.

    As for Hamilton’s ‘stupidity’ well I don’t see helping his team-mate effectively ‘stupid’ regardless If that was the intention (of course you would want your team-mate to win If you’re not), Hamilton didn’t really had anything to lose at that point, his primary strategy probably wouldn’t have salvaged him any points plus he was just being himself & just driving fast.

    1. “of course you wan’t your team-mate to win if you’re not” Not if your name is Sebastien Vettel you don’t.

      1. or Fernando Alonso

        1. or every other driver

          1. It depends I reckon. If you are comfortably outdriving your team mate that season, then seeing him get 1 victory is hardly a bad thing- it just helps in the constructors, which must have at least a little importance to drivers.

          2. I’d say even Massa is sick of it by now.

  8. What Hamilton did was perhaps mildly unethical, but he did nothing wrong, had the pace and helped his team mate. Not sure what the deal is.

    I also wonder what Vettel felt about overtaking Hamilton in Brazil 2008? Hamilton got barged off line by Kubica unlapping himself and then Vettel profited by overtaking Hamilton. Which almost cost Hamilton the championship.

    Why should Hamilton not interfere when Vettel obviously had no qualms of doing so himself?

    And then it’s just karma that Vettel calls Hamilton stupid only to find out that he himself was really the stupid one in that race.

    1. I don’t see even the slight unethical angle. He didn’t pass him and then try to drive slower to annoy him, he passed and drove away not bothering his race. At no point did he try to ruin Vettel’s race.

    2. good point well made, I’ve been banging on about this incident all morning.

    3. Unethical is how Formula 1 is run. Really can’t see how racing on a race track within the sport’s regulations can be branded unethical or even unsporting. Unless it’s now become unsporting to compete. More likely the opposite: Red Bull’s complaints are unsporting.

  9. Would a fairer Blue Flag rule not dictate that Vettel should have been shown a blue flag as Hamilton was faster. Why do the leaders have the right to ruin a faster drivers race who they aren’t racing against anymore so than a back marker does to the leaders?

    1. despite being about to or not be a lap down they are still racing. They are racing to keep themselves on the lead lap.

      which is vital for a number of reasons. one being a SC another once you start being lapped ur constantly getting out of the way you can never move forward beyond the position of the driver not a lap down.

    2. @jleigh Definitely not. If anything the blue flag rules are too strict at the moment and should be relaxed.

      1. @keithcollantine Yes they probably but are too strict, but as they are at the moment I feel it would be much fairer if leaders could also be shown blue flags when a faster back marker is approaching. Say for example a driver was leading by miles. He then turns down the engine and slows down a bit to cruise to the finish. Meanwhile 3rd and 4th are battling for the podium and pit, coming out either side of the leader a lap down. They are now marginally quicker so 3rd pulls away to an easy podium whilst 4th is stuck behind the leader. Why does the leader have any more right to interfere with the fight for the podium that he isn’t involved in than the guy in 20th?

        Of course, I would prefer no-one having to get out the way for the blue flags, but as the rule is now I think it would be fairer if anyone can get a blue flag if a faster car they are not racing is approaching.

      2. +1

        Totally agree Keith…. personally I’d get rid of the blue flag rule and make the leaders OVERTAKE the backmarkers… if they can’t then they’ll be caught out by the better racers who can…

        Like the old days when overtaking backmarkers was a key skill…

    3. Drop Valencia!
      23rd July 2012, 9:25

      Actually the blue flags can be shown to the leading cars, but they have no obligation to act in that situation, the only time I have seen that happen was Monaco, it may have been 96, where a slow car was infront defending brilliantly.

  10. I think what’s weird about Hamilton’s actions (not he specifically, Kubica did the same to him in Brazil in 2008) is that with the Blue Flags demanding people to move over and don’t spoil the leader’s race when they are being lapped, it seems a bit of a contradiction that a lapped guy is allowed to battle through the leaders like that.

    I’m not against drivers unlapping themselves, it’s just it’s a bit confusing that they are allowed to “spoil” the leaders race if they are behind but they strictly need to move WAY away if they are ahead. Sometimes people are battling for points and they lost a lot of time letting the leaders by. Hamilton had no chance to improve his possition at that moment, so you can also say that he shouldn’t have put himself in the middle of the leaders’ battle. After all, they are a lap ahead for a reason.

    To be honest, I think Red Bull should’ve told Vettel to let Hamilton by and try to follow him closely. Hamilton was all over Alonso’s gearbox, and had he overtook him, Vettel could’ve benefited.

    1. @fer-no65 I partly agree and I think your last paragraph is exactly right. Part of the skill for the backmarkers is knowing how to give up a place to the leaders when being lapped whilst losing minimal time. We also often see a Caterham high up the field during the pit stop sequence and they often have to look at the bigger picture and let faster cars past rather than battling for a position which will ultimately cost them time at the finish.

      In this case I think Vettel should have been told by his team that Hamilton was coming and to allow Hamilton to make the pass with least time lost to Alonso rather than worrying about the position of a lapped car which come race end would have no bearing on the outcome. The problem is that Vettel is such a stubborn racer that I think he really didn’t like the thought of being passed by Hamilton regardless of the bigger picture. (It’s like how he likes to set a fastest lap at the end of a race, even when he has a comfortable lead)

    2. The reason being in this case that Hamilton did a full lap on his wheel rim rather than rubber.
      It is not unreasonable to think that had Hamilton not got his puncture he would have been making that move for position in the race given he clearly had a faster car despite the damage sustained. He was constantly lapping on par with the leaders and lapping 0.5secs a lap faster than the Lotus’, Mercs and Saubers.

  11. Vettel and Red Bull are whiny bad losers. What a stupid thing to say honestly. So if a fast car is lapped for whatever reason, they’re meant to follow the leader around until the end of the race even if they’re 2 seconds a lap faster? Ridiculous comments and i can’t believe people are stupid enough to agree with Vettel/Red Bull.

  12. I think Martin Brundle hit the nail on the head when he said that the situation between Hamilton and Vettel was unprecedented. This kind of thing is not likely to happen again. It reminded me of the story of Senna and Irvine, where Irvine unlapped himself from Senna and after the race a disgruntled Senna punched Irvine in the face. In that respect Hamilton got off lightly by just being called ‘stupid’! Although maybe Seb has a weak punch!

    Also, is it relevant that after Hamilton unlapped himself from Vettel, Vettel went from being around 1 second behind Alonso to just over two?

    1. @colossal-squid I think it might be worth mentioning that Vettel didn’t actually call Hamilton stupid; he called his actions in that instance stupid. Keith made this distinction, but the same can’t be said of, for instance, Sky Sports on their F1 home page. I suppose it wouldn’t garner quite as many page hits.

      It reminded me of the story of Senna and Irvine, where Irvine unlapped himself from Senna and after the race a disgruntled Senna punched Irvine in the face.

      Haha — I always like bringing up that incident. Can you imagine if the internet had been widely used back then? Then again, I don’t think fans expected drivers to be quite as squeaky clean back then, either.

      1. @aka_robyn Thank you for pointing out the distinction. The calling of an individuals’ actions stupid is vastly different to calling the individual stupid. It’s why I found Hamilton’s post race interview after Monaco ’11 so distasteful. I digress.

        If the internet was widely used back then…MELTDOWN! haha! The comments on the F1F article would surely go into the thousands! It’s unimaginable these days to think of a driver physically assaulting another. It’s true, there was so much less PR and so much less of a need to be a good boy all the time. I guess that factors into how driver’s comments these days are so heavily scrutinised. I’m as guilty as the next person due to my insatiable need to constantly feed on the smallest, most trivial F1 news and drama, but it can all get a bit tiring, can’t it?

        1. “I think it might be worth mentioning that Vettel didn’t actually call Hamilton stupid; he called his actions in that instance stupid”
          @aka_robyn. So how do you call a person who does stupid act?

          1. Quoting Forrest Gump: “stupid is as stupid does”

            So, yeah, he didn’t say Hamilton was stupid, but he kinda implied it :P.

          2. @Hmmm

            I do stupid stuff all the time, but I don’t consider myself to be a stupid person. If you don’t perceive a difference between “That was a stupid thing to do” and “You’re stupid,” then I don’t know what to tell you…

          3. Stupid is when you keep doing stupid things and never learn from them maybe Hmmm

          4. Hmmm, ok guys good clarification. lol. This finger boy is so arrogant. No point of being nice in F1 track. If the rule allows it then why not. I begin to like Ham for now. I hate finger boy’s behaviour.. That doesn’t mean i hated him. :) After all that’s only my opinion

          5. So how do you call a person who does stupid act?

            A human? Everyone does something dumb once in a while. Intelligent people sometimes say and do pretty idiotic things. I don’t think Vettel was implying anything about Hamilton, but ironically, his whining was quite stupid.

        2. @colossal-squid Well, I’m right there with you, devouring every scrap of F1 news and drama, so I’m definitely part of the “problem”! ;-)

          It’s true, there was so much less PR and so much less of a need to be a good boy all the time.

          I stopped believing people long ago when they say things like, “I hate it that all the drivers are nothing but PR robots!” I think they like the idea of drivers not being PR robots, but when the wrong one says or does something in the heat of anger — like you said, meltdown! Among both fans and the press. So what exactly is any driver’s incentive for allowing themselves to stray off message?

          1. @aka_robyn I guess the way things are now, if a driver speaks his mind in any real way they will always draw some kind of controversy. So yeah, like you said the idea is nice but for drivers it’s catch 22 – speak your mind and at best be a ‘controversial’ driver or at worst become some sort of villan to most F1 fans and the media, or stay PR friendly and be called a robot!

            In the end they’re not robots, they’re human and eventually something always slips out! But there are very few drivers who I think speak their mind often enough – it’s partly why I really enjoy Kimi and Webber. No amount of PR management is going to change them!

            It’s not a great way to have it, but with all the commercial pressure and 24/7 analysis, it isn’t going to change for most drivers is it?

          2. @aka_robyn You are exactly right, it’s like you’ve read my mind! I really like when drivers speak their minds but not so much the media storm that comes afterwards. And fans talking a lot of crap about their least favourite driver when he has said or done something they don’t agree with is really distasteful. This time it was Vettel but it goes the other way too.

  13. Man up and stop whining Vettel.

    Part of the reason why I’m his fan is how he can learn from his past mistakes and errors (particularly in 2010), so I think it would be better for him to focus on his own performance. Blaming Hamilton for losing him his position to Button is very childish – you could put it down to the second his pitcrew lost to Button’s or to the tenths he wasted going four-wheels of the track, but to blame Hamilton is to assume you had nothing to improve on, which is completely contrary to the behavior he demonstrated in 2010 and 2011.

    And let’s not get started on Horner’s “unsporting” when his own team is explointing regulations in a completely legal, albeit ‘unsporting’ way.

  14. Hamilton getting past Vettel was my favorite part of the race. Especially watching Vettel waving his hands, and getting all indignant about it. It reminded me a bit of when he walked away from his wrecked car in Turkey a couple of years ago, giving the hand signal that Webber must be crazy, when he was clearly the one at fault. The guy is a great driver, but seems to have an entitlement issue.

    1. I think it’s hilarious that Vettel gets very little criticism in this regard, whereas Hamilton (and, in the past, Alonso) seem to bear the brunt of the “entitled boy-racer” stigma. Sure, Vettel seems like a very cool guy, but when things don’t go his way, he’s really a cry baby. We just don’t see that very often, as Vettel has been about the most fortunate driver on the grid for the past 4 years. If anything, people should be lapping on the praise for Hamilton’s patience this year. If I were him, and I had the luck he’s had this season, I can’t begin to think of some of the things I’d say in press conferences or over team radio…

      1. @mpw1985 well, in 2010 there were many times where Vettel was heavily critiziced. He just got away with it in 2011 because he just was miles ahead of everyone.

    2. Spoilt child. Simple.

      1. @john-h Yeah, I see what you mean. Everybody doesn’t get a McLaren drive as a rookie, he should be grateful.

        1. @mustalainen Hehe – Good one I have to admit :)

  15. F1 fans sure love their artificially-inflated drama.
    Hamilton comments are pretty rich considering all the drama he found himself at the center of in recent times.
    Regardless, I never put too much stock in comments said in the heat of the moment.

    1. Your comment the most sensible on here. Vettel should calm down for sure though. Also I’m still confused as to why Lh’s radio message about retiring? Any more info on that – if LH really did just want to retire of his own free will then I’m a bit surprised he’s not catching more criticism here. But perhaps he really thought he had to retire?

      1. I think Hamilton is getting a bit fed up with his bad luck, or his perceived bad luck anyway. The guy has driven very well this year but doesn’t have the points to really show it and I think he’s almost in a kind of victim mode – almost giving up saying ‘what more can I do’. I think you’re right in the sense that people aren’t talking about it too much.

        F1 fans sure love their artificially-inflated drama.

        Well, it’s not that artificial in light of Vettel’s comments to be honest and the way he behaved along with Horner. I actually liked Hamilton’s ‘mature’ comment, no doubt Webber would agree but obviously can’t say anything about it.

  16. Andy Redden (@andyredden-on-f1)
    23rd July 2012, 1:04

    I think Vettel and Horner are very, very bad losers. Horner’s excuse for Vettel’s move on Button was pathetic and this isn’t the first time Vettel has slandered other drivers. (KAR in Malaysia) Vettel is far from the complete driver and sportsman and to be honest I feel he has been rather poor this season, the credits he got for last season now seem over the top as he is nowhere near Alonso in terms of talent this season, and if I were him I would start well away from joining Fernando at Ferrari.

    1. I wouldn’t be as harsh and I think that Vettel has shown a lot of greatness this year, too. At the same time, I have to say that the success seems to have gone to his head and that Red Bull are now light years away from the ‘different’ team that they once claimed to be, it seems that there is no upper limit to their self-righteousness. I found this quote from Vettel particularly amusing:

      If [Hamilton] wants to go fast he should drop back and find a gap.

      I wonder why Vettel himself didn’t drop back and wanted to fight with Alonso for the victory instead… For sure, I understand the difference between fighting for the lead and the 15th place but an F1 driver will always fight for every inch and every second, no matter what position he is in. I don’t believe that Vettel has suddenly forgotten that.

  17. New topic, engine mapping. I am finding this controversy hard to understand. Initially the scrutineers claim there is less mid-range torque and later claim their is more mid-range torque, which is it more or less and does it really matter? All cars seem to have several engine “maps” available in order to extend range, extend engine life, run cooler etc.
    Smoothing the torque curve is desirable for driveability , especially in the wet or with these tyres to prevent loss of adhesion, has Newey got the scrutineers so spooked they see everything as being about the aerodynamics or was there really something in the mapping purely to increase exhaust-gas flow?

    1. I think the part what gets the FIA suspicious is that they were not having this flat in the power curve earlier in the season @Hohum There is less torque being delivered than would result from the imput of the pedal, i.e. the engine would have more torque that is not used for what an engine is supposed to do.

      1. @bascb, I realise that the FIA have suspicions but to me less torque usually means less fuel being burnt (in the cylinder) and therefore less exhaust gas to flow over aerodynamic aids. With tyre life being such an important factor this year I can easily believe that the engineers may want to limit mid-range torque so as to reduce power- oversteer in slow corners. Without being able to see the before and after torque graphs or knowing how the torque is reduced all I can do is speculate, but to me it seems more likely that this is more about traction control and/or fuel economy than an aerodynamic cheat.

        1. but to me less torque usually means less fuel being burnt (in the cylinder) and therefore less exhaust gas to flow over aerodynamic aids

          Its exactly that what the FIA minds, @hohum
          These engine maps give them less torque with the SAME input of fuel (as the relation between pedal-fuel flow is linear to prevent traction control), meaning that the energy put in is not going to the engine, but being used for exhaust blowing. But as you mention, part of the advantage is surely the traction control factor as well.

  18. While there is nothing wrong with what Hamilton did, I am surprised why blue flags were never shown to Hamilton after the pass.
    He was less than a second ahead of Vettel at all times. I would have thought that gap was enough for someone to show the blue flag to Lewis.

    1. Not sure, but did Lewis initially give way to Vettel first and then came back at them once he found grip in his new tyres? Nevertheless, I think the blue flags are waved if the back marker is visibily slower and the lap times reflect that too. But I think in Lewis’ case his lap times were faster and was visibily pulling away from Vettel once he was in front. For me, that’s enough to say Lewis’ car was faster and was allowed to unlap himself. The only part that Vettel lost time was during the overtake – waving his arm around wasn’t going to make him go any faster…

    2. He quickly pulled out more than a second gap from Vettel…. the fact that Vettel couldn’t even reclose on Hamilton despite having a DRS advantage shows how much faster Hamilton was.

  19. I think it might be fruitful to get some facts straight on Brazil 2008:
    – Kubica overtook Hamilton without impeding him. He made the pass on a straight and had completely passed before the corner.
    – Vettel was battling Hamilton for position, so he had every right to overtake Hamilton.

  20. I think it would be much better if F1 adopted the Indycar rule of allowing drivers to fight to stay on the same lap. In F1, there is the strange grey area where you are allowed to unlap yourself, but have to move out of the way in case your holding up a leading driver. So in case you overtake a leader but a few corners later he is able to come back at you, do you have to move out of the way; or if five corners later he is still pretty close behind and you get a blue flag, do you have to move out of the way again?

    There is only one problem in using the rule of allowing drivers to fight to stay on the lead lap: Monaco. The leaders may just be able to get around the HRTs and Marussias, but at least one McLaren saw no opportunity to pass a Caterham. Or if, similar to the last race, a midfielder has some sort first-lap problem, and emerges from the pits just in front of, or among the leaders, then they would be following a Toro Rosso for 77 laps. On the other hand, that might actually spice an otherwise boring Monaco GP.

    1. @AdrianMorse This is what the article 20.5 of the F1 sporting regulations says:

      As soon as a car is caught by another car which is about to lap it during the race the driver must allow the faster driver past at the first available opportunity. If the driver who has been caught does not allow the faster driver past, waved blue flags will be shown to indicate that he
      must allow the following driver to overtake.

      I think that ‘the faster driver’ are the keywords here. Vettel was clearly not faster than Hamilton when the latter unlapped himself.

      I agree with you that the blue flags should go. For sure, getting rid of them would generate some new headaches as well but I think the gains would outweigh the disadvantages.

      1. You’d think that it would be more interesting to not get the slower drivers to let the leaders by… it’s surely more interesting and a better test of skill if the leading cars have to work to pass the slower cars. These are, after all, generally the better drivers in the faster cars competing at the pinnacle of motorsport, if they can’t manage to overtake a slow car without them pulling over then they’re in the wrong job.

        Some politics and rules ruin F1 a bit for me, I could understand this rule if the slower cars were dangerously slow but the FIA could just apply the 107% rule mid race and black flag dangerously slow drivers

        1. +1

          Like it used to be before the leaders became used to be looked after and protected by the rules

  21. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    23rd July 2012, 7:07

    Times like this Vettel shows his true colours.

  22. As for the COTD, I agree that Sky should be able to afford hiring translators but I’m not sure if the same applies to the smaller TV companies all over the world, particularly because Italian is not the only ‘foreign’ language spoken by the F1 fraternity; for instance, Grosjean and Boullier might start communicating in French via team radio.

    I personally don’t think it’s a very important issue but we have talked a lot about team radio as F1’s wasted asset before and, in my opinion, there is little use of full access to it if the overwhelming majority of fans cannot understand the messages and their TV commentators are unable translate them, too. It’s a matter of fan-friendliness of F1.

    1. @girts I don’t know about costs of translation in other countries, but in Poland for instance it’s around 10 Euro per hour, as far as languages such as Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or French are concerned. For English and German it’s even cheaper. I really doubt a TV station which can afford to show F1 cannot afford translators for couple of hours every week or two.

      1. The other thing is, if you want to understand it, you have to learn fifty words at most in italian, if you cant make out anything of the message with those fifty words, they must be chatting about family.

        1. @bag0 I don’t think it’s that simple. The number of topics is, of course, quite limited but one can use quite many words to talk just about the state of the rear tyres, let alone all the other things related to the race (see IDR’s comment below). Besides, the sound quality is usually pretty bad when the driver is talking, I often don’t understand even the messages in English so I guess you need to understand the language very well.

          As for the costs of interpreters’ services, @cyclops_pl has a good point, I would also like to know how much each TV company pays for broadcasting F1 and how big or tiny the translation costs would be. Still, it’s unlikely that a lot of TV companies will hire a bunch of translators so that each of them can translate one or two sentences per race. This is just an example of how simple things can get overcomplicated.

    2. TV companies wouldnt have to. FOM could have it as part of the feed. the messages are delayed anyway and it could come up as subtitles on bottom of screen

      1. If FOM could ensure that, it would be a really good solution.

      2. Subtitles are a great idea, actually.

        Now that I think about it, surely someone at FOM must be vetting these messages as acceptable for broadcast (e.g., not containing any swearing) therefore they must know what they mean and are in a position to provide a translation. So why don’t they?

        1. The various TV companies don’t want to pay Bernie’s premium for that service?

  23. I think Fernando will claim his due WDC#3 this year. Red Bulls still can stop him but McLarens will need a ceratin amount of competence and luck combined to get to the top, unless Jenson or Lewis manages 5 or 6 wins and other podium finishes they will not reach the title.

    1. @jcost
      Although I agree with you, there is still a posibility, that one team could emerge with a new spicy upgrade, which can turn the tide. And lets not forget about Ferraris reliability, they have not had any mechanical failure yet, but RedBull, McLaren, Lotus and Mercedes had multiple times. Statistically Alonso should have at least one DNF, which could be very useful to everyone else. The big questions are, when will he have it, how many times, and who’s going to make up ground.

  24. “making lame jokes and sounding amazed that people speak in funny foreign languages…”? This is not the COTD, this is the stupidity (of sky guys) of the century.

  25. Dear Red Bull Racing members, both drivers and staff alike, please shut your mouths for a while and stop making an impression you’re just a bunch of sore losers who, when not winning even though you broke the rules on two separate fronts, just yap around about how everyone else is to blame. After the engine mapping controversy this was just stupid, mostly on FIA’s side, now it’s getting disgusting and sad.

  26. Ferrari Team Radio:

    ALONSO: “Lo so che non è facile, ma cercate di stare tranquilli. Qui è tutto a posto.” – “I know it’s not easy but try to be calm. Everything it’s ok here”

    Lap 61. Button was 1 sec behind him.

    1. I swear it sounded like they were discussing pizza toppings

  27. This is what Renault said about the engine mapping controversy:

    “Formula 1 is a tight environment and we have to try to find every hundredth (of a second) that we can,” said Cyril Dumont, Renault’s principal track support engineer to Red Bull. “We’re not racing lawn-mowers and we were pleased to show that our package was very strong.”

    and they are right off course, its their goal to find every possible and not illegal way to get an advantage, and good job on them.
    Off course they will now have to soon look for something new, but that’s the fun of it in F1!

    1. @BasCB Agreed, F1 is all about trying to find where the limit is and RBR / Renault have done exactly that here. Loopholes in the technical rules, however, should normally be closed as soon as they are detected.

    2. @bascb

      Off course they will now have to soon look for something new

      I’m not sure, as no clarification has been made yet. I’m just wondering if their mapping has an aero benefit via the exhaust, or mechanical benefit like a traction control. And the other thing I’m curious about, is it possible, that the same thing was Mclarens electrical gimmick which Button is refferred to a few weaks earlier?

      1. Its an aero benefit. The fuel is used to be blowing the exhausts over critical parts during mid throttle range, ie. medium fast corners.
        Today is a technical working group meeting, I am convinced they will talk this issue trough and the FIA will send a clarification out before the Hungarian GP weekend @bag0

  28. And a happy birthday to Matt!

  29. I agree with Sebastian Vettel.
    Due to Hamilton unlapping himself, it caused Vettel to lose a fair amount of aero, it also increased the gap to Alonso, and Button closed up. Furthermore, it got vettel fairly irritated and angry, which meant he was overdriving due to frustration.
    Had that not happened, Vettel would have finished at least 2nd, as befiore, he was hounding Alonso for P1.
    I also agree that it was a stupid thing for Hamilton to do; had he collided with Vettel, then there would be blood to pay.

    1. You must be a prophet of some kind, how could you tell if Button was not going to pass him on track? Before the unlapping Button was catching Vettel tenth by tenth, and trailing him by 2-2.5 seconds, his pitstop was ~1.5 sec faster, and you say he would not get him in the DRS zone? I must have forgot the RedBulls extreme top speed.

    2. Furthermore, it got vettel fairly irritated and angry, which meant he was overdriving due to frustration.

      Poor Vettel. Bad Hamilton!

      I also agree that it was a stupid thing for Hamilton to do; had he collided with Vettel, then there would be blood to pay.

      Yeah, there would have been an investigation, and if it was Hamiltons fault then there would indeed have been hell to pay. But it wasn’t his fault. No, wait, it didnt even happen!

  30. “Yes and no. Yes and no. He [Hamilton] didn’t attempt to make any move on Fernando. He was a lap down and this was for the lead of the race. Sebastian gets pushed off line, gets dirt on his tyres and it costs him time in a crucial battle with Fernando Alonso.”

    First of all, Christian, Hamilton was faster than Vettel, but only as fast as Alonso. And secondly, Ferrari pitted Alonso before Hamilton could make a move on him, though whether this was because they realised what McLaren were doing or if they were simply following this strategy remains to be seen.

    1. he had a few goes at him and at one point fernando went defensive.

      this wasnt shown on the BBC highlights i noticed.

  31. Vettel never called Hamilton stupid, he said that his decision to unlap himself was. There’s a difference. Guess it shows Hamilton’s maturity if he didnt check the facts before responding, and the blatant biased approach of the British media that they immediately, as always, painted the non-Brit in the bad light. Vettel had a right to be upset, he was very close to Alonso at that point and did lose time to Hamilton, potentially losing the race there, and Hamilton has said a hell of a lot worse.

  32. I think that Vettel is right. I wouldn’t have used the word “stupid” because the journalists usually go mad when there is a strong word like this, but he has a point.

    At that stage Hamilton was faster than the leaders, but not that much. I remember that in China 2011 some lapped drivers passed Vettel in the closing stages of the race. But they did so in the middle of the straight, without affecting his race.

    Look at Hamilton’s move on Vettel: it was a proper overtaking manoeuvre. He opened the DRS, he went on the inside and forced the braking. On top of that, Vettel was not aware of that until he saw Lewis alongside him.

    That’s a little bit too risky. And unnecessary. I mean, Hamilton had really nothing to gain from that pass, so why do that? A couple of laps later there was Alonso using a defensive line. And that shows that losing the place to Hamilton was a loss of time and a risk.

    I know it’s not in the rules, but if you are a lapped driver and behind the leaders, common sense says that you should try not to affect their race. Besides, Seb and Fernando were fighting and that move prevented Vettel from fighting with Alonso in the last laps of the stint.

    1. Hamilton had really nothing to gain from that pass, so why do that

      He started going faster when Button was about to lap him, so he went faster to avoid getting in his way and help him.

    2. You must be joking saying that Hamilton had nothing to gain. I really don’t understand this attitude and mentality of some. He is a races for god’s sake. He, and all drivers, push as much as they can. By that logic why would HRT bother to race.

    3. “I know it’s not in the rules, but if you are a lapped driver and behind the leaders, common sense says that you should try not to affect their race.”

      If it’s not in the rules, why did Red Bull have a problem with it ?
      After all, they are sticklers for following the letter of the rules.

      Sebastian Vettel might consider that it was the application of the letter of the rules, against the spirit of the rules, which allowed him to start at the front of the grid rather than the back (though I would argue that Hamilton had both the letter and spirit of the rules on his side in this case).

  33. Horner and Vettel are talking rubbish, yes they had a tough time but they should take it on the chin. It was quite funny when Horner was talking to Sky, and whenever he tried to justify what he said, the Sky presenters were telling him how wrong he was and then Horner ended up saying some silly things.

    In regards to COTD:

    To be fair, Alonso and race engineer only occasionally spoke Italian over the team radio before this year so Sky wouldn’t have known they’d need a translator. Sometimes Ted Kravitz finds out what Alonso and his race engineer says by asking Italian journalists.

  34. This very much smacks of Horner and Vettel throwing a sulk over the fact that they got a penalty, and trying to put some kind of blame – any kind, in fact onto McLaren. Rather pathetic, to be honest, considering Hamilton was completely in his rights to unlap and Vettel blatantly cheated to pass Button.

  35. Partly agree with COTD – I’ll take it one further and say that if we’re that desperate to catch every word of Ferrari’s radio messages we can easily pick rudimentary Italian from any online phrase book. I’m pretty sure they’re not exactly quoting Dante. It shouldn’t take more than a couple dozen words to get the gist.

    1. Yes, at the time I thought “what was that…three, something about laps…ah, who cares?” If I could have replayed it a few times I might’ve got it. More disappointed with the commentators being dismissive about it – after all, they drop everything to listen to all the radio messages, even the meaningless ones.

  36. Carlito's way
    23rd July 2012, 11:00

    Everyone is missing the point here. We shoul be discussing why Bernie didn’t show up this weekend. Feeling the heat for sure, and rightly so. If the banker has been jailed for receiving bribes Bernie can’t expect to go scotch free.

    1. He’s certainly never shied from being a “distraction” before…

  37. I guess if there is one thing we can conclude from this week, is that Hamilton is unlikely to be at Red Bull in 2014 given the strong words used by Horner this weekend! Way to shoot yourself in the foot, Lewis ;)

    1. If Lewis did want to go to Red Bull I’d be willing to bet the only person who may have an issue with that would be Vettel – at the risk of being shown up in his own team.
      Horner would have to go for the quickest driver available in the case of replacing Vettel and you could argue that Hamilton is the only one who could be available in 2014 to fill that gap.
      Neither would have a choice if Mateschitz decided it fitted his marketing strategy, I would love to see Vettel Alonso and Lewis racing in the same car just to see who came out on top

    2. I would say that passing a driver to unlap ones self and then pull away, while that man helplessly waves his hands like a child, is a rather good audition to replace said driver.

      Vettel by the way was a real mess on Sunday. I saw him go off track in two corners in a row at one point. It was like me on F12010 or something.

  38. I disagree with the comment of the day, and I feel it is another pointless, pathetic dig at Sky for the sake for taking a dig at Sky. Surely you should be complaining about the BBC too, as you pay a license fee to watch TV (and only because of the BBC), so they should be providing you with a translator?

    I dont really care to be honest, they’re not speaking in a previous unheard language, and the commentators generally do manage to get a translator to tell them what had been said eventually anyway. If anything, Ted Kravitz generally figures out what has been said just by looking at strategy of all drivers, pits stops and their lap times. That’s impressive reporting/sloothing.

    Stop with the sour grapes against Sky. It’s a little pathetic. You should be angry at the BBC if anything, for dropping F1 in the way it did.

    1. I chose the comment because it was on the subject of the radio messages, which a lot of people had been talking about, particularly in the live comments.

      Sky was the only UK broadcaster showing the race live so it’s hardly surprising they were referred to but you could just as easily make the same criticism of other broadcasters.

      the commentators generally do manage to get a translator to tell them what had been said eventually anyway.

      Did this happen at all during yesterday’s race? I can’t think of any examples (though I haven’t rewatched it yet).

      1. Ted did talk to an Italian colleague (at RTL I think?) at Silverstone (and possibly Valencia…?) to find out what was going on. He didnt say during pit lane commentary that he did that yesterday, but his information was spot on. So either by his own working or by communicating with those fluent in Italian, the viewer got the information.

        1. @jamesf1

          the viewer got the information

          If most people thought that was the case I doubt I’d be seeing so many complaints, which is why I chose the comment to begin with. As I say I don’t recall any translations coming forward during yesterday’s race.

          1. I’ve no issue with the comment with regards to translation, just the petty digs towards Sky which are still persistant. The BBC ran out of money and had to ditch/cut back. Sky came forward and presented the UK with an opportunity to continue watching F1 for the full season.

    2. Stop with the sour grapes against the BBC. And don’t tell me what to think – that’s pathetic.

      1. I’ve nothing against the BBC. Their commentary and pitlane crew are pretty good. But the Sky-bashing is a bit old now.

  39. i found the whole unlapping thing with Hamilton hilarious! seeing him unlap vettel much to vettel’s dislike.

  40. Is there a high quality video of Jenson Button’s final stop (which was 2.31 seconds)? If so can a link be put on here and then get BBC / Sky to analyse it during the Hungarian GP build up? :-)

  41. My favourite thing about the Hamilton unlapping incident, was the fact he then got to freely pass all the other back markers who were being shown blue flags and must have presumed the silver McLaren was one of the front runners… Honestly I think the only blue flags I saw around him when he was up to pace was for the other back markers who were going too slow not to impede the leading back.

    Personally I think blue flags are a joke anyway (especially with DRS now) but that’s another matter.

    1. I think the blue flags are a necessity whilst there is such a gulf between the quickest and the slowest teams. If the field was less than 1.5 seconds apart in the dry then I would say there isnt a need for DRS. There are occassions where this has been the case, just not accross the board unfortunately.

      1. There is hardly any gap between the quickest and slowest teams…. the front to the back of the grid has hardly been any closer in the whole history of F1

    2. Daniel Brown (@scuderiaferrarifanatic)
      23rd July 2012, 23:06

      Personally I think blue flags are a joke anyway (especially with DRS now) but that’s another matter.

      There is every need for blue flags, because without them, inexperienced, talentless and unattentive drivers at the back of the grid would be impeding and causing accidents with, the front runners (a la Irvine vs Senna – Senna was right to wallop Irvine. Personally, i would have too!). There is also a good chance they would hold them up out of spite.

      1. The blue flags should be what they always used to be… a warning flag… rather than an instruction flag.

  42. Funny that Hamilton says that Vettel’s reaction shows his maturity. While his idol punched Irvine in the face for that while he was in his 30’s and the way he reacted last year on several occasions.

  43. Forgive me for sounding a little cynical here, but I don’t think after last year that Hamilton is in any position to criticise anyone for being immature. Sure, he’s improved leaps and bounds this year but this just seems a bit like double-standards almost. He accused the stewards of being racist in 2011!

    Oh and about him ‘never giving up’? Give it a rest, Lewis, you wanted to retire after your puncture!

    While RBR will be disappointed in the result, I think they ought to respect McLaren’s very obvious use of strategy between two drives running two different races. Hamilton was faster than Vettel and Alonso so at the very least he can’t be expected to sacrifice his own race too much.

  44. This GP is really mystifying. Why on earth did McLaren decide to put HAM in the middle of the top battle when as somebody says they could have pit HAM couple laps early and put him back still ahead of ALO. And all the team radios way too confusing.. retire, race, retire…. And the pit times for BUT lightning. I didn’t buy any arguments saying McLaren is fully behind BUT. Now with this German GP, I’m sort of less sure… can’t pinpoint down, but smells something similar to tin-foiled arguments.
    BTW, bankrupt Spain is dominating creditor nation German one more time… it’s really odd though.

  45. I think it is already well known in F1 circles of how good a winner Vettool is and how much of a sore loser the kid is. He should have a serious discussuion with his finger

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