Hulkenberg disagrees with stewards over Perez move

2013 Singapore Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg says he shouldn’t have been told to let Sergio Perez past during the Singapore Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg was told to let the McLaren driver past after going off the track at turn seven during the race while the pair were fighting for position.

“In the end, I did have to give back the position to him and I don’t quite agree with that,” said Hulkenberg.

“There was a Williams [Pastor Maldonado] in the fight as well, Sergio was on the inside, but I had to leave space and caught the outer kerb. Then my car bottomed and I was off, however, I was in front of Sergio before and after the corner.”

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said the ruling was “very harsh”.

“He did not gain an advantage, but merely avoided a collision by leaving the track,” Kaltenborn added. “However, we have to accept this decision.”

Hulkenberg finished the race in ninth position. “All in all we can be happy,” he said. “”We brought home two points.”

“To be honest, I didn’t expect much more than that. You can’t expect that every weekend will be like Monza now, but we improved significantly.”

2013 Singapore Grand Prix

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

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33 comments on “Hulkenberg disagrees with stewards over Perez move”

  1. He got screwed, but at least it was another weekend of gaining a lot of respect from the paddock and the fans.

  2. It’s racing, that’s what the drivers do, they race each other. I now believe stewards penalise drivers just for the sake of it because they have made at least 3 decisions in the last 4 races that have been beyond ridiculous. It’s put me off F1 completely now.

    1. I agree, this whole leaving-the-track thing is ridiculous. Hülkenberg gained no advantage, he was in front of Perez and leaved the track to be sure no contact was made. Why do we punish drivers who try to avoid collisions?

      1. I agree with penalties for gaining an advantage by leaving the track but in this case I believe it is Perez who should be penalised for not giving Hulkenberg room on the track.

    2. Yes, these unnecessary and inconsistent steward decisions are really detracting from F1. This is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport, but the stewards too often seem like a group of children making up rules on the playground.

  3. From my point of view he took an evasive manoeuvre to avoid contact, if he haven’t done so both Hulk and Perez probably would be out of the race, and the Mexican with a grid penalty for causing a collision. Therefore I don’t see the point of penalising Hulkenberg

  4. this was a dirty trick from Perez again, as we seen a couple of times in Monaco. on a track, where you basically can’t overtake, he gets his opponent into an impossible situation, leave the track or they are colliding. without even trying to pass him, Perez had the place handed to him. again.

    1. Senna used to do this, Martin Brundle described the brazilians behaviour when interviewed by Jeremy Clarckson

    2. What another driver did the same thing?…oh yeah Senna! he used to push drivers to a limit and let them decide if they wanted to crash or bail! dirty dirty senna isn’t it!?!

      1. Haha, I’ve been born in the 90s but the comments above remind me a lot of Schumacher :D

        1. @ausuma @paeschli Senna used to threaten people by forcing them to prevent collision. Schumacher went a step higher . He used to collide and the other guy received a penalty.

    3. “he gets his opponent into an impossible situation, leave the track or they are colliding”

      Perfectly stated. There’s nothing impressive about this kind of aggression, even if it seems exciting to the untrained eye.

    4. Well said. It was suppose to work every single time unless the victim’s name is Raikkonen.

  5. It was a ridiculous decision. It was clear that Perez pushed him off.

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      23rd September 2013, 15:42

      @strontium agree. even more, in the replay you can see a slighyt contact , which at those speeds it’s enough to make Hulk bounce forward and put the 4 tyres out. There shouldn’t have been any penalty, not for Hulk , not or Perez, just a race incident.

  6. I think it was a very close call. Perez was alongside Hulk when going into the corner, but didn’t probably leave enough room in the exit, forcing him wide over the kerb. However, if you compare the situation to one of the moves Kimi did round the outside at T7, Kimi slowed down to avoid going over the kerb (and possibly getting a penalty) and still kept his position. Maybe Hulk should’ve slowed down as well?

    Maybe they just should get rid of corners like T7 and have the road running right next to the barriers at most/all places.

    1. Stewards just need to be less stupid …

  7. I wasn’t impressed with this decision by the stewards, neither was the German commentators from RTL, but maybe they are a little biased, Hulkeberg being German. However I couldn’t see that Hulkenberg had any choice – Perez had contact with Hulkenbergs Left rear with his front wing. I don’t know if Perez’ action was deliberate or he just couldn’t lift enough mid corner, but If the kerb had been a wall, he would probably have been penalized for running Hulkenberg into the wall. Hulkenberg was in front of Perez before the corner, in the corner and after the corner. Unless Perez had made the contact, Hulkenberg would not have had to move over.

  8. About the stewards… the only reason Hulk received the penality today, is that Hamilton also received for something similar in the opening stages of the GP. the huge difference, that Hamilton wasn’t physically pushed out of the track by his opponent, meanwhile as far as i could see, Perez’s front right touched the Sauber at the exit.

    1. +1

      Im 99.9 % sure there was contact ie. Perez bumped Hulk out. Im surprised Hulk and team are quiet about it. Perez gave small tap which was enough to unsettle Sauber´s rear. Hulkenberg corrected but after that he was heading over kerb.

      Eh, is it forbidden for F1 stewards to use common sense? Obviously at the moment rule interpretation is that you can push/bump others out of the track and stewards give you position. Perez have done it successfully at least twice on this season (Alonso @ Monaco).

  9. I agree with Hulkenberg, the penalty was unjust. However, there are a number of problems with the rules.

    The first is that the don’t leave the track rule is silly. I think it should only be applied to cutting chicanes. In other areas, if they want drivers not to go beyond the white lines, they shouldn’t put tarmac beyond the track limits. All these penalties for drivers putting a wheel over a white line are extremely unsatisfying, and have nothing to do with motor racing in my view.

    A second problem is that drivers are allowed to force others off track in a corner. A driver can just run the other guy wide and force him to give up a place; perhaps this was even in Perez’s mind, who knows.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      22nd September 2013, 23:19

      If there was a wall where the white line was and Hulkenberg hit it, would Perez be penalized? Or would the stewards say that Perez is entitled to the line and it was up to Hulkenberg to get out of the way, despite being clearly alongside?

      1. Best comment I’ve seen. The likes of a Moss must laugh at the modern corners defined by a line of paint in car park-like areas and ‘racing’ decided by the am ever-growing bureaucracy that is never publicly accountable or even questioned in public like drivers and team managers are.

      2. Correction – Hulkenberg wasn’t alongside – he was 2/3 car length in front – how could Perez touch Hulkenbergs Left rear wheel with his front wing? It is as if the Stewards only start the video right before Hulkenberg crosses the kerb, not at all considering why he went there. Clearly Perez was at fault and someone on track has to make him pay the price for those tricks sometime in the future, i.e. by not moving over, but taking the accident instead. In other types of racing that type of behaviour is OK and part of the game, but it shouldn’t be part of F1 racing. Here I am implying that Perez did it by purpose, which I don’t know if he did. Just the same, he should have been the one who yielded or at least he wasn’t capable of wheel to wheel racing without contact in that situation.

  10. Totally with Hulkenberg on this one, the stewards have no common sense.

  11. I’m a Perez fan, but I totally agree with Hulkenberg on this one. Checo didn’t leave enough space. Do the stewards prefer collisions?

  12. I thought I saw Perez’s front slightly touch Hulkenberg’s car causing him to go out.

  13. Michael Brown (@)
    22nd September 2013, 23:17

    For years I have been confused as to why drivers are allowed to force others off the track in the middle of a corner. What Perez did today, Hamilton did to Maldonado in Valencia 2012 and Maldonado did to several others throughout 2012. Is this because the stewards think that when a car is on the racing line, they are entitled to it and therefore can force others away who try to challenge them?

  14. There was definitely contact (and it was more than a very light touch). Perez pushed Hülkenberg out, and Hülkenberg moved further to the right to avoid a real accident. It also appeared like he did not really gain any time.

    I think with Hamilton and Massa at the beginning of the race it was fair – Hamilton definitely gained quite a bit of time cutting the corner.

    If the stewards were very strict, they should have also asked Alonso to give a place back right after the start when he had all four wheels over the lines after his overtaking manoeuvre at turn 3.

    Similarly, Kimi Räikkönen went over the line before his overtake of Bottas. (This was shown in the BBC post-race but not pointed out)

    So not complete consistency here.

    1. I wanted to finish with: The stewards definitely owe an apology to Hülkenberg.

  15. Guess who was the steward again with yet another highly questionable decision?

    That explains a lot.

    1. Haha, he started racing in stock cars :p Pushing = justified!

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