Sutil penalised for holding up Hamilton

2013 Italian Grand Prix

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Adrian Sutil has been handed a three-place grid drop for impeding Lewis Hamilton during qualifying.

The Mercedes driver caught the Force India at Parabolica during Q2 and was forced to slow down, costing him time. Hamilton eventually failed to make the cut for Q3.

The stewards said Sutil’s blocking was “not intentional” however they added “it is the responsibility of the driver to be aware of the approaching car”.

Sutil’s penalty drops him from 14th to 17th on the grid and does not effect Hamilton, who will start 12th.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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54 comments on “Sutil penalised for holding up Hamilton”

  1. Yeah. Impeding always get penalized, 3 spots isn’t even much.

    1. I agree, the TV commentator suggested a 5 place penality …

  2. David Coulthard (I get BBC comments) was saying that Lewis cannot be so hard on himself sometimes, he thinks his error on the first run was determinant of the whole outcome because he did not put on a lap, but his ultimate failure has a lot to do with a slower car in front, I wouldn’t say blocking but that is not his fault at all so calling himself stupid is quite harsh. Hope he emulates Sergio Perez last year performance tomorrow.

    Is it gonna rain?

  3. I really hope that wasn’t deliberate from Sutil though it wouldn’t surprise me considering he’s a convicted thug.

    1. …wow. That’s… rather excessive.

      1. Excessive as it may be, it’s the truth. Sutil has been convicted for thuggish behaviour and has recently being crying to the press about how Hamilton didn’t testify for him. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he wanted to give old friend a warning shot.

    2. Thug or not, he’s really behaving like an idiot… sicne the days of the trial he’s the one to blame for his cowardice at every given occasion in the press he dissed Lewis!

    3. I don’t think so. The Mercedes was so dramatically faster on that straight that I don’t think he was expecting Hamilton to catch up that quickly. They showed the replay from Hamilton’s perspective, and the amount of space he closed was pretty incredible.

      1. well sutil drive so slow that it seem like hamilton is chasing a pace car on the track…

    4. he’s a convicted thug

      Excessive as it may be, it’s the truth

      He was convicted for assault causing bodily harm. Stating he’s a thug is entirely your opinion on the matter. I think that there were enough mitigating circumstances surrounding the incident that calling him a thug is indeed excessive.

    5. As the stewards determined (who have access to so much more information than we do) it was not.

    6. Well, it’s quite fascinating to expect a driver to move out of the way at more or less full speed at parabolica. Maybe the stewards know some magic trick. Way too harsh.

      1. Full speed? Were you watching the same video?

        To me at least he looked like he was going at outlap speed going into the parabolica and it’d have been very easy to take a wide entry and let the faster car through on the racing line. Seemed like instead he took a slow entry speed moved onto the racing line then used the parabolica as an acceleration zone. Simple mistake to make although I’m surprised he didn’t get any warning from his team.

  4. That’s pretty harsh. I wonder if that penalty would have been given if not for the history between these two?

    1. It’s not harsh. He impeded, he got penalised. Their history and relationship has nothing to do with it.

      1. Many drivers “impeded” in this qualifying session, as they do in every GP. There is no magic button in the cockpit allowing cars to instantly transport themselves out of the way when a faster car comes up behind them. Unless the impeding was deliberate – and the stewards ruled it was not – then you don’t normally see penalties given.

        1. @jonsan I think you got confused, we saw some trains of cars but they were all setting quick laps thus if they go on the side to let pass, they give up their lap time which is not right. Here Sutil wasn’t on a quick lap thus he must not impede others …

        2. Such button does indeed exist, it is located on the right side of the footwell.

  5. The stewards should have given him a 5-places-penalty…This man’s purpose in F1 is to ruin another fellow driver!

    1. Typo: *Another fellow driver’s career…
      Thinking of it even 10-places drop would be better. I’m so angry for today! I’ve waited for this GP for so long, all the travel & family duties and I go to Monza i can’t even enjoy qualifying regardless of the results!

    2. You’re quite sure to know exactly what goes on in Sutil’s mind. Don’t be so judgemental. As the stewards have said, it was unintentional. They have so much more data to look at than we do (who basically just make assumptions).

      1. Are Adrian’s mom or something?

        Jumping on every comment someone says against your little spoilt brat? ’bout time he was out of F1 with a career that hasn’t been anywhere and is certainly not going anywhere.
        Maybe he should look into an alternative career as bouncer?

        1. @psynrg Nah, not every comment. However, I do believe that if we do not know any of the facts (neither what goes on in his mind, or the telemetry data) we shouldn’t be too quick to pass judgement over someone. Yes, I’m aware that Sutil has been convicted of a crime, and was handed a 18 month suspended prison sentence. And I’m also aware he and Hamilton had a falling out. Sure, the circumstances are against him, but as the stewards ruled, it was not intentional (and they have access to some actual telemetry data and other data), and those are the facts we know. As for the rest, we can only make assumptions and from there unfounded judgements.

          Oh, and before you start again. No, I’m not defending Sutil here (and for me it’s not about Sutil in the first place, but about being judgemental without knowing the facts). He was impeding Hamilton and is penalised for it fair and square. But to say he’s out to destroy his race weekend, or to assume he’s doing this because he has a conviction behind his name? That’s a bit of a wild speculation, isn’t it?

          1. Sutil’s only job this moment was getting the quickest possible exit from the Parabolica onto the straight to start his flying qualifying lap (also the last chance cause of the time running out). Hamilton was only just on his tail when he entered the corner.
            I even think it’s a bit harsh they gave him 3 spots tbh – Hamilton was mostly in trouble when he crossed the finish line right behind Sutil to start his only and last chance to make it right – both drivers on a flying lap.
            Mercedes should have timed it more carefully I guess.

            Anyhow, to include and bind evil motives from Sutil to this incident is just plain crazy.

          2. @Maarten – fair points, all. And yes, wild speculation isn’t healthy in any judgment.
            There is clearly ‘bad blood’ between these guys and from what I saw, Sutil’s move was quite deliberate.

            @kdesser – sure Hamilton messed up Q3 early on, of that there is no doubt. However, the lap he was on was a hot lap, had it not been enough (and it looked like it wasn’t) he would have been able to bang in one more lap. But this is precisely where Sutil got in the way. Indeed both potential laps were ruined at this point.
            You don’t slow down at that point in Parabolica if you intend to do a hot lap. No, you try and maximize your momentum. Sutil’s move was in no way indicative that he intended to do another q attempt.

            I don’t disagree with the timing by the team but I think they were limited by Lewis’s earlier mistake.

            I honestly think the stewards were far too lenient with Adrian but that’s just from my (indeed biased) view and not the stewards office :)

          3. @psynrg Sutil was preparing for a hotlap, I think really! About the momentum statement, he let go of Rosberg who was a couple of seconds in front of Hamilton on the straight before Parabolica, think there was also another car in front of him (think it was Di Resta even). Looks like he was keeping the gap to that car.
            Relatively slow but steady entry into parabolica means way early on throttle, you don’t need to come from 7th gear (which can make you outbraking yourself) – and yes, you need at least a bit momentum so he couldn’t let Hamilton pass anymore.
            That’s the way I saw it happen and it frustrated me aswell – surely the end of Hamilton’s qualifying. But again – I think it’s racing – it happens.

          4. @mowgli +10000
            Pity most ‘fans’ of sports (not just F1) aren’t like you, they are usually quick to jump to conclusions, bash on the rivals of the team/person they support for no justifiable reason and are very narrow-minded.

          5. Yes you’re right! It’s not something that Masa has done before.

  6. This is the second time in this season (afer Canada) that Hamiton was blocked by Sutil, i really want to think that it was pure coincidence and it has nothing to do with the so called “Sutil-Gate” but i can’t, Sutil need to stop this right now because accounts settlement at track is unacceptable, unfair play, unprofessional & very dangerous

    1. accounts settlement on track

    2. When the stewards say that it was “not intentional” it’s because they’ve reviewed the case, perhaps they even checked on the infractor’s telemetry. Sutil is in a slower car, slower cars are often a problem in qualifying, no need to look for other, more convoluted narratives.

    3. You’re so right… I fear for Lewis’s life right now!

    4. @tifoso1989 I don’t think any current F1 drivers are so spiteful as to deliberately create a danger to other drivers with no possible benefit. I doubt it was intentional, otherwise he’d get the boot from his team no doubt – they have Calado as a replacement.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        7th September 2013, 17:21

        yeah, Pastor has been more carefull this year (I don’t know if you can consider it sarcasm or not)

  7. As long the damage he’s causing on Lewis is much more than the potential punishment, I don’t see Sutil stopping his ‘revenge’ crusade.

    He blames Lewis for his Shanghai incident.

  8. 3 places is the standard penalty so that makes sense, despite the history. I’m sure there was no malice in that.

    1. I find it amazing how people with no direct knowledge of anything usually are the most sure.

  9. That was incredibly cheap, considering what it has cost Lewis.

  10. I don’t agree with giving out penalties for unintentionally impeding another driver, because I think it should be the responsibility of the driver behind to find enough space for a clear lap. But this is consistent with what we have seen in the past, so no one can really complain.

    1. So you start your flying lap and all looks clear ahead. You drive as hard as possible to try and achieve a good grid slot.
      Yet two thirds of the lap in a slower car starts to make itself known. Something you could not have anticipated at the start of your flying lap.
      So, explain how any driver on such a hot lap can be responsible for the slower car ahead impeding?

      Besides all that, we all saw Sutil’s move, if that wasn’t deliberate blocking I don’t know what is. In addition to the fact that like nearly ever other driver he could and should have let Hamilton through on the preceding straight. I agree with the penalty but not the verdict.

      1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
        8th September 2013, 7:29

        @psynrg : Enough man, stop it. He didn’t do it deliberately – he’s not a 10-year old.

    2. @red-andy
      That is all very well in theory, the problem is that the delta speed between a driver on a hot lap and a driver on an in/out lap is massive. So even if the driver can see nothing ahead, that won’t stop him from encountering two or three cars around the lap. Secondly, it is impossible to take into account drivers who are on a hot lap, but due to a mistake, strategy, whatever, aborts the lap half way through.
      Or drivers who exit the pits.

      It is simply a lot more practical, and actually realistic, to require that the driver who is going at a slower speed, and isn’t on a timed lap, has to not get in the way.
      It isn’t that hard for them to do. The team just needs to keep their eyes open and warn the driver.
      Sutil’s race engineer, had he looked at his screen, instead of trying to beat level 107 in Candy Crush, would have seen a car closing in on Sutil very rapidly and could have warned Sutil a lot earlier. Then Sutil could have slowed down on the straight after ascari, let Lewis through, and then got on with opening his lap. Or just stepped on the throttle earlier.

      1. @Mads

        instead of trying to beat level 107 in Candy Crush

        Lol. It’s everywhere isn’t it :) Aaaaargh!

  11. what I want to know is if this was the lap the commentators said Hamilton did only a 28.8 first sector, which would have made the incident irrelevant as Hamilton was slow anyway, or was it the lap before, and was Hamilton on a fast lap that lap or a warm up lap???

    1. Trenthamfolk (@)
      7th September 2013, 19:12

      Hamilton was slow… agreed… and he admitted such, saying he should have got the lap in prior to Sutil blocking him.

    2. The 28.8 first sector lap was the lap after, Hamilton had a bad start as he was blocked at the end of his first of fast lap and it also destoyed his second lap as he got a bad start and was stuck behind Sutil….

      1. Cool! kinda glad sutil got one back on Hamilton, even if it was unintentional.

  12. It looked deliberate to me, though that is no doubt coloured by prior knowledge of Sutil’s attitude towards Hamilton. At any rate, Sutil lifted off considerably going into Parabolica – whether to catch out Hamilton or to get a bigger gap to the car in front of him, I can’t say. Nonetheless it caught out Hamilton and was instrumental to Hamilton not being able to draught past on the pit straight, something which cost him any chance of a fast lap.

    Having said all that, I’d be extremely surprised if the underfloor and/or some other aero parts on the car were not damaged in the off in Q2, as Hamilton was generally a lot slower in Q3.

    1. D’oh, obviously I meant he was a lot slower after that in Q2, not Q3.

  13. Trenthamfolk (@)
    7th September 2013, 19:09

    The fact that Sutil is a convicted violent offender (a common thug in laymen’s terms) suggests a lack of self control and a tendency to do stupid things on the spur of the moment. Coupled with a track history of saying nasty things in the media, I have no problem at all with the suggestion he impeded Hamilton on purpose. The stewards didn’t say that, because they can’t prove it, but you all saw it, large as life. Hamilton was not on form today, but Sutil had shown his colours and deserves his woeful start position. If it came to a battle between the two, my money would be on Hamilton all the way (on the track, obviously!).

  14. Does anyone know why Sutil slowed down that way? Does anyone know? I’ve been a staunch supporter of Sutil for a while but that just seemed very intentional to me. I wonder if he knew that Hamilton had not put a good lap in yet and was just trying to annoy him but the outcome was much more severe than intended.

    1. @freelittlebirds
      It does seem weird that he wouldn’t be going at full pace at that point. After all, the tyres does cool down quite a lot down the long main straight, so getting a bit of heat into them prior to that should help him in the first few corners.
      But intentionally blocking another driver, because he is mad at him?
      I hope not.

  15. It would be interesting to get a copy of Sutils radio.
    Then we would know if his engineer was playing candy crush (as stated in jest above) or if Sutil did in fact have prior warning Hamilton was approaching.
    I don’t believe he would have been able to pick Hamilton out of the crowd without being given prior warning he was approaching.
    I guess the FIA have this info to hand and have delivered the unintentional verdict.

  16. If the stewards reckon Sutil’s blocking wasn’t that intentional that’s good enough for me. We all know the back story between him and Hamilton but that doesn’t mean we need to start reading more into situations than is there.

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