No penalties for Rosberg and Ricciardo over red flag

2014 British Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo have been cleared after overtaking other cars under a red flag.

Rosberg passed Daniil Kvyat and Ricciardo overtook Fernando Alonso when the red flag was shown after Felipe Massa crashed during first practice.

The stewards issued the following explanation for why Rosberg was not penalised, stating that the very low speed of Kvyat’s car had been a factor in their decision:

Over a minute after the red flag was displayed, car 6 [Rosberg] overtook car 26 [Kvyat] under red flags at turn 15.

Having reviewed data from several cars in the same area of the track, several angles of video and having spoken to the driver concerned, the stewards determined that: the driver of car 6 had driven the lap fully within the regulations and was travelling at a safe and reasonable speed throughout; that at the moment of the overtake, car 26 pulled fully off line and slowed to as low as 38kph in what appeared to be a very unusual manner, in an area of the track that was visibly completely clear; and that the driver of car 6 took reasonable avoiding action of a car, that the stewards accept he reasonably believed to be in difficulty, consistent with Art. 40.8(h) of the Sporting Regulations relating to Safety Car periods, whereby a pass is allowed in what has to be considered an acceptable circumstance; that the driver of car 6 slowed down to as low as 39kph immediately having passed car 26, reasonably reacting to the situation and continued to proceed with extreme caution.

In the case of Ricciardo they stated the overtaking move happened very soon after the red flag was displayed, and ruled as follows:

During FP1 car 3 [Ricciardo] overtook car 14 [Alonso] shortly after the red flag was displayed before turn six.

Having reviewed data from both cars, several angles of video and spoken to the driver concerned, the stewards determined that: the pass occurred within tenths of a second of the red flag signal; that car 3 was approaching a car that was travelling significantly slower even before the red flag was displayed and therefore at the moment of the red flag the driver of car 3 was concerned with safely passing car 14; and that having seen the red flag indication on his steering wheel and on the track that he then took all reasonable actions to comply with the regulations and proceed in a safe manner.

2014 British 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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23 comments on “No penalties for Rosberg and Ricciardo over red flag”

  1. Mr win or lose
    4th July 2014, 15:52

    Ok, very clear. Thanks.

    1. No surprises here really.
      Did you really think the stewards were gonna give Lewis such an advantage?…. :D

  2. Ricciardo has a reason that makes sense, Rosberg however does not, I will just reapeart what I said on F1F Live because there is not much else I can add to that.

    “When the stewards said they were going to be softer on penalties I thought they meant actually racing incidents, Not infractions against red an yellow flag rules. Being softer should have it’s limit.”

    Flag rules should be basic stuff for these highly paid athletes.

  3. Very intelligent decisions.

  4. Strange that the Ricciardo one needed to be investigated at all – surely there should be no investigation in the first place if the pass happens within a second after red flags are shown?

    1. I imagine it’s just due process i.e. all passes under red flags must be investigated regardless of circumstance.

  5. Breaking News: Clear evidence shows Rosberg commits Murder. No further action to be taken.

    1. Can’t tell if Hamilton-supporting conspiracy nut, or just a joke in really poor taste.

      1. Dion (@infinitygc)
        4th July 2014, 17:45

        It’s quite clearly a joke.

        1. You’re probably right, but with the blind fanaticism some ‘fans’ show…

          1. Dion (@infinitygc)
            4th July 2014, 18:56

            Yeah, good point. Poe’s Law in action, I guess.

  6. petebaldwin (@)
    4th July 2014, 16:59

    This is an example of exactly how the stewarding process should work.

    Announcement that an investigation is taking place, the data analysed, the drivers spoken to, common sence applied and the correct decisions come to all in an acceptable time frame.

    I’ve criticised the FIA and the stewards plenty of times when they have got it wrong so it’s only fair to congratulate them when they get it right.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      4th July 2014, 17:00

      Also should add – very clear explanations given to the fans as to why the decisions were made.

      1. yes it was good decisions but i do feel Ricciardo did not need a investigation.
        I also think that Rosberg should get a warning of some sort as it is illegal to overtake on a red flag, (because they are going slow is not an excuse) but on the other hand Kyvat should get at least a warning for dangerous driving as he was going extremely slow! there is no need for him to drive that slow on a red flag.
        any views on that?

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          4th July 2014, 22:22

          No idea why Kyvat slowed down so much but I do buy Rosberg’s reasoning for passing him that he thought Kyvat had a problem if he was only going 24mph! Most journeys I have in my Ford Focus have a higher average speed than that! It would have been more dangerous for Rosberg not to pass him as you’d have 2 cars effectively stopped on the track.

          I guess with Ricciardo, it must have simply been a formality as it was flagged up on the timing screens…. Did seem a bit pointless.

    2. agree with that Peter!

  7. The stewarsd should always provide such good explanations


    A penalty grid for that episode would have been ridicolous…Kyviat nearly stopped

  9. Look, does it say anywhere in the rules that if a car is driving very slowly you can overtake as long as it is safe. NO it says you will slow down and return to the pits and you may NOT overtake!! End of rule… Now either you have a rule or you don’t you cannot have it both ways. Nico clearly overtook and just as clearly Kvyat was still moving. The rule should have been upheld and a penalty applied even if it was just a reprimand which was an option. My personal feeling is he should have been given a grid place penalty considering how many times he has broken the rules and no action taken, same is true of Lewis if he had broken the rules.

    1. At what point does this rule become breakable? When the lead driver hits 1 mph/kph? By your logic he is still moving and should be followed and not passed.

      Are you a HAM fan/ROS hater or are you just a stickler for the rules? I’m assuming the former because if you’re the latter, F1 seems like it would be a bad fit for you. For the record, I’m not for or against either. The ruling, imo, made sense.

    2. Kvyat was moving so slowly it looked like his car was failing. Since Mercedes is not populated by clairvoyants, and Rosberg isn’t a mind-reader, how were they to know Kvyat was just slow?

  10. Whilst on the subject of rules it is getting to the point where they might as well not bother. It seems there is no point as there are always mitigating circumstances. Why can’t they simply apply the rules as written without any mitigation… It is getting to be a joke and making it hard to think the FIA are anything but a governing body paper tigers would be more like it.

    1. Why can’t they simply apply the rules as written without any mitigation

      Because not every violation deserves a penalty. That’s why there are at least three stewards appointed to make these calls, including at least one former driver.

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