Should Raikkonen get penalty for Silverstone crash?

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It was a relief to see Kimi Raikkonen climb from his battered Ferrari with no serious injuries after his high-speed crash on the first lap at Silverstone.

The same goes for the other drivers who were involved in the crash and emerged unscathed. They included Felipe Massa, who pitched has car into a spin which potentially spared Raikkonen from suffering a second direct blow to already destroyed nose of his Ferrari, the consequences of which might have been dire.

That contact forced Massa into retirement. Kamui Kobayashi also took avoiding action but was able to continue in the race, albeit with a damaged car.

Ahead of them Max Chilton and Romain Grosjean were showered with debris from Raikkonen’s smashed Ferrari. While Grosjean suffered a damaged visor, Chilton was extraordinarily lucky not to have been badly hurt after part of Raikkonen’s wheel smashed into his car. This photograph taken by a fan shows how close it came to hitting his head:

The race was stopped for over an hour so the barrier Raikkonen struck could be repaired. But should the Ferrari driver have faced a penalty for single-handedly triggering such destruction?


Raikkonen crashed because he was trying to rejoin the track at unabated speed without sufficient consideration for other drivers.

His initial mistake in running wide at the Aintree corner was innocent. But facing the choice of following the intended route from the run-off to the circuit along the smoother surface, or taking a straighter but potentially quicker line, Raikkonen opted for the latter.

Raikkonen’s path took him across the grass and a rain gully, where the Ferrari got away from him. That caused a crash which ended or spoiled the races of other drivers. Raikkonen shouldn’t be punished for losing control of his car, but for taking an unnecessary risk while rejoining the circuit.


Raikkonen had chosen a gap in the traffic to merge in with and it was just his misfortune that his preferred point had a bump in it which caused him to lose control.

First-lap crashes are not uncommon and are rarely penalised except in extreme cases, such as Grosjean’s at Spa in 2012 which – in the words of the stewards – eliminated leading championship contenders from the race.

The stewards have been asked to show greater leniency when ruling on incidents. Some incidents during the weekend, such as another first-lap collision between Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez, were ruled not to have been wholly the fault of one driver and so no penalty was given. Accordingly, they should not be penalising drivers for crashes.

I say

The generous extent of the run-off at Silverstone was a talking point during the race weekend – as it had been in Austria. There was more than enough of it at the exit of Aintree for Raikkonen to rejoin the track safely. Any F1 driver – let alone one of his experience – should have been able to do so.

Nonetheless this was a rare error from a driver who is ordinarily a safe pair of hands. Giving him a race ban – as some have suggested – would be excessive.

Former GP2 driver and F1 tester Andy Soucek pointed out after the crash that he had made a similar mistake during a GP2 race at Monza in 2007 and been given a five-place grid penalty. Something similar for Raikkonen, perhaps in addition to a few points on his licence, would seem to me a fair penalty for an act of carelessness which nearly had very serious consequences.

You say

Should Raikkonen have been penalised for causing yesterday’s first-lap crash at Silverstone? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should Raikkonen have received a penalty for causing the Silverstone crash?

  • No opinion (1%)
  • Strongly disagree (30%)
  • Slightly disagree (16%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (6%)
  • Slightly agree (29%)
  • Strongly agree (17%)

Total Voters: 572

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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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225 comments on “Should Raikkonen get penalty for Silverstone crash?”

  1. No opinion.

    1. Schmorbraten
      7th July 2014, 21:30

      Without the bump, we wouldn’t be talking about anything here.

      Of course Raikkonen should make sure that he re-enters the track safely, but the FIA and the track owners should also make sure there are no bumps like these on the edge of the track because it would still have unsettled his car a lot at reduced speed.

      1. I found a good overhead view of that track section. That should help people understand exactly what is where.

        I wouldn’t be surprised to see next year, that tarmac extending a further 50m or so down the Wellington straight.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          7th July 2014, 23:34

          I believe that AstroTurf following the outside kerb is where cars can safely rejoin. There is AstroTurf on the outside of turn 3 so drivers can rejoin the track after going wide at turn 1. It’s clear Raikkonen did not rejoin using the AstroTurf and thus lost control of his car.

          1. The only thing beyond the track should be gravel. If a driver is stupid enough to the leave that track at those speeds then he deserves to beach his car on gravel. It is far safer than giving them miles of smooth runoff to maintain speed and try to merge back onto the track.
            I don’t believe that Kimi should be penalized for the accident, but I also believe his car should have been beached on gravel.
            Gravel, gravel, gravel, and the good shall be free from the rabble.

          2. Michael Brown (@)
            8th July 2014, 1:25

            If Raikkonen were to rejoin the Wellington straight after going off in gravel, he would rejoin at a much slower speed compared to oncoming cars. At least with the paved runoff he tried to rejoin at a similar speed to the other cars.

          3. If a driver is stupid enough to the leave that track at those speeds then he deserves

            To be sent catapulting over the barriers when his car digs in? No thank you…

      2. totally agree.

      3. Peter Windsor made a good comment on this, during Thursday’s track walk, Raikönnen and Ferrari should look at the outside of the track for little features such as the drain. It would have prevented this whole mess and Raikönnen could have scored a couple of points like Alonso. Of course it seems unreasonable for the drivers to have to know these details on top of all the other information they need to know, but when it can have such a huge effect as it did to Raikönnen’s race then they should take the time to learn it. Why else do they do the Thursday track walks if not to look out for new little details such as that.

        1. When I do a track walk, I don’t look off circuit for potential things to hit. Someone saying “If you happen to go off…” Is going to make it much more likely.

          Also, The bump there is (I believe) a rain gully.

      4. If you go on to grass then you should expect a bump as that is the nature of grass areas. He should have rejoined via the astronomy turf or if he could not make it then slow down until it was safe to rejoin. He made a big mistake so should be given a grid penalty.

    2. Huge argument justifying the time spent fixing the barrier. Some intimating that another car could hit in the same place etc. but no time spent fixing the bump before the barrier!

      1. Sorry to be a broken record player, but Peter Windsor made another good comment on this on his YouTube channel (it really is very good, with in depth commentary and analysis with Rob Wilson and Craig Scarborough). He was talking about how in other formulas, they would have placed a temporary barrier (can’t remember the name for it) in front of the damaged section and let the race carry on 5 minutes later. Seems like an area the FIA should address soon.

    3. of course if it was a gravel trap like the good old days, there may have been no crash at all and he would have almost certainly been slowed in rejoining the circuit.


      1. @joshgeake

        like the good old days

        Just, lol! Which shade of rose do you happen to be sporting for this?

  2. petebaldwin (@)
    7th July 2014, 15:51

    I agree with you Keith. I think he should receive a penalty as he re-entered the track in an unsafe manner but it shouldn’t be too severe.

    This isn’t the first incident where something similar has happened but it’s another example of abusing the track limits IMO.

    If you go off, you should slow down and re-enter in a safe manner – not with your foot hard down on the accelerator.

    1. but rosberg floored it at canada, sure it was not like this but..

    2. Yeah, I agree with that as well. Should have docked him some points on his license and given a grid penalty to show its not OK to speed up there and rejoin like that @petebaldwin

      As for the comparison with Rosberg – the difference was that Rosberg was not joining right in the middle of a field of cars (well, and not losing control as a result of having the car get unstable but that is not the part that should be penalized).

    3. Sure.
      How could he deliberately insert his left rear tyre into a 2 ft ditch hidden under a hastily spread piece of lawn [can you get real grass this thin?] just at the exit of a run-off area. Naughty Kimi.
      Really hope is OK as that 47G is pretty serious.

      Incidentally, is silverstone up to spec with the track condition? just wondering

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        7th July 2014, 18:11

        I’m not suggesting he deliberately inserted his tyre into a ditch. Frankly, with the speed he was going at the time, I’d say the issue was more that he couldn’t deliberately position his car where he needed to in order to re-enter the track safely.

        I hope he is ok too. I’m just glad Massa and Chilton didn’t get hurt as well.

      2. Maybe if he had done a track walk, like most drivers do, he would have been wiser than to choose that spot, Camelite.

        But he shouldn’t have been going at speed there, and had he been slower, he would have most likely not lost control of his car. Yes, I do hope he is fine and able to drive again next race

    4. Yes, I agree with you.

      I would really hate for him to get one, as a big Kimi and Ferrari fan, but rules are rules and they must be fair for everybody.

      Other drivers were actually having to get out of his way as he rejoined the track flat out, even before he lost the rear in a fishtail.

      1. I think he should get the strongest penalty possible. While his action of re-entering the track in an unsafe manner is a bit ‘meh’, the fact is he totalled a Williams, and damaged 4 other cars. If he gets off with a slap on the wrists it’ll be an absolute disgrace. Taking an incident at face value, without taking into account it’s total knock-on effect is naive at best.

        1. @timi

          I kinda disagree entirely. I think the punishment needs to be related directly to what they did wrong. I think if you start including the effects then you start being unfair.

          As for the incident, he re-entered the track unsafely. So yes, he should get a penalty.

          1. @mike Unfair is Raikonnen ruining at least one other person’s race. I look at this from the same point of view the legal system works, hence my opinion on knock-on-effects being included. Fact is, this all came about in the 10secs following Raikonnen’s carelessness so it’s all his fault and since it’s part of the same incident he should be punished as such, in my opinion.

          2. But then you could end up punishing someone heavily for a light error and seriously for a significant error.

            I see what you mean though, it’s just difficult for me to find a solution which works all the time.

          3. ight error and lightly for a significant error.


  3. He was at a bit of a fault, but I don’t think anyone would have given a thought of a penalty if the bump weren’t there in the grass, because he came back at a point where there was a gap in the bunch. And it’s surely a no-penalty with the revised light-hearted thinking introduced in Austria, but I don’t think it should have been one anyway.

  4. I’d say 10 spot grid penalty would be fine. Race ban sounds a bit too harsh.

    1. I think he should have to buy every spectator who was there and also watching on TV an ice cream and a can of coke.

      1. And 2 for Felipe

        1. And some new underpants for Kobayashi.

          1. Don’t forget Chilton.. What if the tyre had been 1ft lower and killed him like Henry Surtees?

            I imagine it would be a very different debate if that had happened. John Surtees was in attendance to hand out a trophy, and would have had to relive that horrible circumstance again.

            Now I know this, I’m not surprised that he came into the pits after that near miss. Considering Grosjean’s race ban for rolling on Alonso, what would Kimi have faced for that?

          2. @fastiesty

            During the red flag the camera showed Chilton talking to someone inside the Medical (or Safety?) car. He had some stuff there, I assume he was there for a bit of time.

  5. It’s true that he’s a safe pair of hands most of the times, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen drivers going veeeeeeeeery off track on the tarmac run offs and hammering it to get back on the circuit as fast as possible.

    Talking about Kimi, we got to remember that at Interlagos in 2012 he was going at blistering speed on the auxiliar roads, that happened to be closed so he had to come back and he was still going incredibly fast. That’s not safe… nor was the manner in which he attempted to get back on the road yesterday.

    Specially at the starts, stewards should be a bit more strict in the way people get back on the circuit after a mistake or a crash, because the whole pack is close together and there’s very little room for error. Maybe if the same had happened in the middle of the race, at least only Kimi would have crashed, and no one else would’ve been involved.

    Grid penalty and points in his licence.

    PD: I still maintain the problem is in the circuit, that allows this kind of thing, rather than the drivers. Afterall, these days tarmac run offs most of the times are used to speed up the way people re-enter the track, instead of slowing cars down in case of an accident as they were originally designed to do.

    It must be re-thinked. It brings more problems than solutions.

    1. Tarmac run-offs are present because it’s safer for bikes, and to minimise the chances of a car rolling.

      1. @raceprouk safer for bikes? I thought it was safer for them to have much smaller tarmac run offs, hence why in Assen there’s very little, and none at Mugello, and so on…

        1. True I’m no expert, bit it seems to me to be favourable to slide gracefully over tarmac instead of tumbling violently through gravel. Less chance of twisting or dislocating something.

          1. @raceprouk as far as I know, it’s the opposite. They prefer to land on gravel than crash with their bodies on tarmac…

            But I suppose, as with F1, there’s its advantages and disadvantages…

  6. Jarmo (@jouhakainen)
    7th July 2014, 15:56

    If he should, they would have given him penalty. They didnt.

    1. Impeccable logic there.

  7. Perhaps a penalty is a bit harsh. Give him a very stern talking to, definitely, but penalties, especially banning him as Will Buxton suggested, should be left for repeat offenders.

    The stewards are becoming more lenient, and Charlie Whiting usually turns a blind eye to first lap incidents (unless it is the same offender in every race). It was a stupid miscalculation from Raikkonen, but a penalty would be a bit much.

    1. @craig-o I know exactly what you mean. A race ban would be ridiculous because in some ways he was unlucky with the way the track threw him into a spin. But to take your logic a step further, this is exactly why penalty points were brought in for the drivers’ super-licences.

      So I think 3 penalty points and that’s it.

    2. Re-entering the track safely is important. He almost got someone killed. It’s for him, not that huge a mistake, but the consequences of that type of thing could be dire, so they need to send a signal to the other drivers about re-entering the track safely.

  8. Matt (@hamiltonfan1705)
    7th July 2014, 15:59

    I think it should’ve been a slam dunk penalty. He went wide out of Aintree and rejoined the track at full pelt over a bump. He’s driven this track for the past 2 years, he should know there is a rain gully there and that if he goes over it at full pelt, it’s always going to give him an uncontrollable tankslapper. Grosjean got a race ban for causing an incident that could’ve caused injury to other drivers in Belgium 2012, this incident really could’ve caused injury to other drivers, so in my opinion, he should get a race ban.

  9. Liam McShane (@)
    7th July 2014, 16:03

    I think the track needs work at that point. There shouldn’t have been a height difference between the grass and the track. If it wasn’t there Kimi could have just joined without issue. Not Kimi’s fault.

    1. Had he done a track walk, he’d have known there was a bump/step, and he would have avoided it.

      1. Everyone’s been saying this, but I think it’s unlikely that drivers who did walk the track would have paid much attention to (or recall during the race) that bump given how unlikely it is for cars to be off-track at that point.

        1. Well, these kind of things are exactly what drivers look at though @prateek727, @strontium – a spot where you can get out of a runoff area with as much speed as possible.
          Had he done a track walk, he would have been paying attention to exactly the kind of spot that now caught him out.

      2. Doing a track walk does not mean you notice every bump on every run off area, especially if it may not be so easy to see.

        1. But not doing a track walk means you’re guaranteed not to know.

  10. I understand why some say a penalty would be a little harsh, but the penalty isn’t just for the one driver. It sets an example and a precedent for the other drivers too.

    On balance, I think a suspended 5 place penalty is the right way to go.

    1. @raceprouk Can they give suspended penalties? If so, that is what should be done more often, if not most of the time.

        1. @keithcollantine Ah, thank you. I forgot about that one. Does that mean they can apply it to an on-track penalty too?

  11. Either a warning or a small penalty, like a point and/or 3 place grid. Raikkonen is usually a safe driver, I’m sure what happened is enough of a lesson.

  12. If Rosberg didn’t get one for Monaco, why Kimi should have one?

    1. @edmarques These two are not comparable in any way.

    2. @edmarques What did Rosberg do in Monaco?

      1. There are those that think Rosberg should have been penalised for using an escape road instead of smashing his car into a barrier, conveniently ignoring both would have resulted in at least a local yellow.

        1. I think Rosberg should have been penalised because he did that on purpose. But that’s not the point.
          If both had made mistakes that caused harm to others why only Kimi should have been penalised? Because of what happened to Chilton? People seem to forget that motorsport is dangerous. Kimi wasn’t reckless on the incident, he losted the car because of the bump between the grass and the tarmac, and that shouldn’t exist. People complaint about FIA punishing anything, but now want a driver punished because he crashed, ludicrous.

          1. I think Rosberg should have been penalised because he did that on purpose

            I can’t take anyone who thinks this seriously

          2. Michael Brown (@)
            7th July 2014, 23:37

            The stewards don’t agree with you.

        2. @raceprouk Ah that. Well, as @xtwl said, they are completely different, uncomparable accidents. @edmarques

  13. In my opinion, Raikkonen should get a race ban. The way he kept his foot in on a run-off area and the way he tried to rejoin the track with a dozen cars coming past at full speed.. it is just staggering how careless he was. Especially for a World Champion in his twelfth season, he should have known better.

    1. im sorry but no. it would have been more careless if he joined the track at 80 kph and everyone around him is doing 200 kph. he tried to join in seamlessly, which he would have succeeded, if that gully wasn’t there. id say the most is a warning/talking to. if he does that again, then time to consider a penalty.

      and he had 5 cars around him when he crashed, not 12.

      1. it would have been more careless if he joined the track at 80 kph and everyone around him is doing 200 kph.

        No, because then he would have rejoined right at the back of the pack.

        which he would have succeeded, if that gully wasn’t there.

        The facts is that there was a gully.

    2. I disagree. The main reason he crashed was because of the bump/dip he hit when he rejoined the track; had that not been there the back end of the car wouldn’t have stepped out and wouldn’t have required correcting, sending him into the wall.

      Yes, using the run-off in such a manner wasn’t ideal but as with most drivers he was taking advantage of what was available. I reprimand would be fair in my opinion. The accident itself was ultimately down to bad luck (the bump) rather than poor judgement (using the run-off area).

    3. @andae23

      Sounds very harsh. All he basically did was re-enter the track carelessly and an unlucky bump made him lose control of the car (it was very much unintentional and him first asking if Massa was ok right after the incident shows healthy remorse IMO – try to imagine Maldonado doing the thing, for example). The only recent race ban would be the one after Grosjean’s stupidity which I think was in a totally different ballpark, considering he was in full control of the car and still deliberately steered into Hamilton causing a huge crash.

      I think a reprimand would be in order as he already has one of those (third one would lead into a 10-place grid penalty – or did the rule change from last season?). Adding that to the injury he got would be quite reasonable in my opinion.

      1. *Maldonado doing the same thing

    4. I’m in agreement with you @andae23: of course, it would not necessarily have been foreseen that the bump was there bordering the track, but he didn’t exactly leave himself much opportunity to correct his mistake because of the speed he was going.

      Charging that fast into a field of 21 other cars – and on the racing line, don’t forget – is recklessness. Had he slowed by even 40km/h, he may have not experienced such a violent and non-correctable snap, and indeed may have avoided the bump altogether.

      That is not to overlook the track improvements which should be made for next year to prevent similar incidents occurring, however. Nor the fact that Räikkönen’s car nearly became a lethal weapon for Massa and Chilton.

    5. Oh Pleeeeease,

      “The way he kept his foot in on a run-off area and the way he tried to rejoin the track with a dozen cars coming past at full speed.. it is just staggering how careless he was”

      Name one F1 driver that doesn’t put the boot in when trying to get back on track, that’s what they do ” go fast” all the time, its a race damn it,

      Whats he going to do ?
      back off to first gear ?
      then what happens,

      Tiffosi go ballistic
      We call him soft for putt putting and losing a stack of time,
      pit wall goes crazy at driver for slowing down,

      What would Ken Tyrrell say?,

      remember what Ken shouted to his driver when he slowed to let the leaders through, ?

      “you lost a second doing that!!!! you know how much a second costs me!!!!!”

      He went off, hit a drain on the side of the track, car broke , spat him into the wall,
      nasty crash, racing incident,

      1. Name one F1 driver that doesn’t put the boot in when trying to get back on track

        @greg-c Alonso could have immediately done a 180, but the reason he didn’t was because the entire field was passing him. Instead, he waited until the very last car had passed him, just to make sure he wouldn’t make contact. Idem dito for Vettel. My point is that if you have gone off the track, you should take care when rejoining the track, just so that you don’t put other drivers at risk – Raikkonen ignored that.

        “you lost a second doing that!!!! you know how much a second costs me!!!!!”

        The difference between letting a leading car through and rejoining the track is that in the former case, the driver is completely in control of his car, while in the latter he may not be. Hence it is sensible that in the latter case, a driver would take more care.

          1. He didnt re-enter into a swarming pack,
            there was just 1 car near him,
            it was a good re-entry,
            it was his 2nd re-entry that caused the mess,

        1. andae23

          are you talking about Alonso and Vettel facing the wrong way on the track?

          of course you dont do a 180, but thats entirely different to what happened to kimi’s red tractor.

          From what I can see (i have bad eyes) i’m convinced the red tractor had a failure, that was a mighty sharp right turn,

  14. 3 place grid drop sounds fair

  15. Personally I don’t think he should be penalised. As Keith pointed out it was merely bad luck which resulted in him hitting the bump which caused him to lose control, in most other cases the car would’ve rejoined safely with no further incidents.

    But of course all of this was caused by tarmac run off. Had there been gravel or grass at the exit of the corner no way would Raikkonen have been able to rejoin the track at such a speed, in fact he probably would’ve been reluctant to take to the escape road in the first place, as he probably would’ve backed off instead knowing that going off the track would result in more severe consequences.

    1. Now we are getting to the point, all tracks should be designed to penalize all off track excursions.

  16. @andae23 I don’t think he should get a penalty. From the air shot you can clearly see there was room to rejoin safely. The reason he lost the car was the little jump he made on the grass. If he had rejoined a metre earlier and not set a wheel in the grass he would have never spun and not one driver would have had any trouble with him coming on track.

    1. Also on Andy his crash at Monza in 2007. Not really the same thing, for me.

    2. But surely that means that he had the option not to cut across the grass, but chose instead to cut the grass to lose less time. And the consequences of that decision were that he had a massive accident. Given that it was his decision, then he should be responsible for the consequences.

    3. @xtwl That’s a lot of ‘would haves’.

      If he had rejoined a metre earlier and not set a wheel in the grass […]

      The facts are that he chose to run across a patch of grass at full speed, not knowing the condition of that grass. Of course he didn’t want to loose control, but if you run across the grass at that speed, there is a chance you will loose control – and he did. It was careless and I don’t see how “he almost rejoined safely” changes anything about that.

    4. Jarmo (@jouhakainen)
      7th July 2014, 16:34

      Would not take him too seriously, i mean now he writes here “In my opinion, Raikkonen should get a race ban” and in twitter he reponses: “Alright, a ban might be a bit too much”

      1. @jouhakainen ROFL. I did write that yesterday, yes. I have been thinking about it since then, read a few articles, discussed it with a few people, and in one day my opinion has changed – is that strange?

        1. Jarmo (@jouhakainen)
          7th July 2014, 16:49

          No, no. Stupid reply from me.

          1. @jouhakainen

            that’s usually me, but I’m glad your having a turn, :)

        2. So the day is chaging now, what’s your opinion today, andae?

          1. There’s nothing wrong with changing an opinion, especially when based on new evidence and further thought.

          2. Have I said there’s something wrong? Just asking update for today’s opinion.

    5. I agree with @andae23. I am normally against any penalties but here we are talking about a safety issue. Mistakes will happen but this was a very dangerous mistake and should be punished.

  17. I say reprimand is fine for that.

  18. Funny how people think, if it had been another driver (like Maldonado) everyone would be saying he should be banned for life.

    Personally I think a few points in his license would be fair enough, he did rejoin unsafely but it was just unfortunate that he hit a bump.

    1. Maldonado has a history of recklessness, Raikkonen doesn’t.

    2. Kimi doesn’t have a history of causing accidents Pastor does. Are you forgetting that Kimi set a record last season for most consecutive point scoring races? That is not a guy who wrecks often & his first concern wasn’t for himself it was for Massa.

  19. Anything that discourages drivers from using run-off areas to give them an advantage, say I. Penalise da bum.

    1. To right!
      I say add 20 secs to his race time, :)

  20. I don’t think he should get a ban, but maybe a 3 places grid drop and 10 mandatory track walks :) – in 98 cases of 100, rejoining the track in that way works. In 2 cases you got that bump and if it weren’t for this no one would question his judgement.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      7th July 2014, 17:04

      @tmf42 – you’re right but in 98 cases out of 100, not slowing down for a yellow flag in qualifying would have no effect either.

      The rules are in place to try and get rid of that 2%.

      That accident could have been really serious and the simple way to stop it in future is to warn all drivers that they will be punished if they re-enter the track in an unsafe way (regardless of whether it causes an accident or not).

      1. @petebaldwin different scenarios – yellow flags leave no room for interpretation. Rejoining the track safely and without gaining an advantage – as the regulations state – depend on subjective judgement. First from the driver and then from the stewards.

        It was reckless and a lapse in judgement on Kimi’s part but he isn’t known to be a constant risk factor on track – so a punishment is in order as I mentioned but not as severe as a race ban.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          7th July 2014, 17:56

          @tmf42 – Oh yeah I totally agree it should only be a small punishment. My point was more that the rules for yellows are in place because 98 times out of 100 isn’t acceptable. What Kimi did was very dangerous and looking at that Chilton picture, potentially life threatening!

          Personally, I think it’s time to put some strict rules in place so that re-joining the track isn’t a subjective thing. It should be set out in the rules that if you leave the track, you must exercise caution before rejoining and that means letting off the throttle. This can all be looked at afterwards with the data they have available to them. If it’s shown that a driver doesn’t lift to re-enter safely, they will receive a penalty.

  21. I think no penalty is warranted here but as Perez got a penalty for not turning at a corner and Massa slammed into him then by that logic Raikkonen should get a race ban and points for reckless driving. Chilton, Grosjean & Kobayashi where very lucky to not have suffered more damage but had their races affected & Massa was lucky to escape even worse contact than he got. Chilton got a penalty as a direct consequence to this incident too.

    1. Perez was penalised for changing his line in a braking zone.

  22. I say “slightly agree”. I don’t want to see a penalty largely because I am sick to death of seeing grid penalties at every single race. But there definitely should be some sort of action, perhaps a couple of points on his license or a reprimand, just to show that driving is unacceptable.

    Still, I have a feeling the F1 community is being a bit soft, just because it is Kimi Raikkonen. If it was Maldonado who came barreling back onto the track in that manner, everyone would be calling for him to be banned.

    1. As I posted above, Maldonado has a history of recklessness, Raikkonen doesn’t.

    2. @jackysteeg I definitely agree with your last point. Because it is Kimi, everybody sees it as ‘one of those things’, and don’t really bother with blaming somebody.

      1. And of course, having a history does change things (as @raceprouk said), but rules are still rules, as is dangerous driving.

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      7th July 2014, 18:00

      @jackysteeg – Put it a different way, if Chilton was struck on the helmet by that tyre, people would be treating this very differently. Because he missed by an inch or two, it’s fine……

      In terms of penalties, I do think that Kimi is generally a safe driver. He doesn’t have a history of this sort of thing so I believe the crash alone will stop him doing this again! Having said that, they need to give a penalty to set a precedent. If you allow Kimi to get away with nothing, does that mean every driver gets to do this once as well?

      1. If Chilton would’ve been hit by tyre, people would talk about how is it possible there was so big bump and searching for the responsible Silverstone contractor to answer. @petebaldwin

  23. Nonsense. Stop this babysitting and trying to penalize everyone. You’re just proving Niki Lauda right in everything he says regarding the modern F1

    Haven’t seen a single ounce of carelessness there. KR came back to the track not running into any car. He was plain unlucky to run into that grassy bump. He couldn’t have predicted its existence in any way

    This is the first time I hear that there’s such a suggestion at all(that KR should’ve been penalized), and hopefully the last

    I suggest to enjoy the great racing we had yesterday and stop crying for penalties for KR, SV, FA etc. etc, like its a kindergarten

    1. He chose to cross the grass instead of using the perfectly serviceable piece of flat green tarmac just before it.

      1. @raceprouk He was too far with the momentum of his off that he couldn’t return via tarmac. If they had the Monaco steering rack maybe he could’ve returned via tarmac

        1. He had a brake. He had a steering wheel. He had everything he needed to avoid running across the grass at race speed.

          1. @raceprouk Check my reply to @petebaldwin below. That explains my position on the subject clearly. If you disagree, well then we have a fundamental disagreement over the way F1 supposed to be run in general. If you want to have kindergarten F1 well it’s your right. I’m only happy that the stewards agreed with me on this occasion. Hopefully this is the new policy of more lenient penalties at work here and we’ll see more of the same from now on, instead of the babysitting

          2. So that means you disagree that drivers should show due caution and common sense.

          3. Not to mention the regulations already cover this exact scenario, and have done for a very long time:

            20.2 Should a car leave the track the driver may re-join, however, this may only be done when it is safe to do so

          4. And here’s an overhead view of that section of the circuit. See that green strip of tarmac? See how long it is, and how far from the corner it is? Raikkonen could have easily used that instead of cutting the grass.

          5. @raceprouk First of all, if you want a timely response do please quote my user name in your replies. I did when I replied to you and it shouldn’t be that hard to return the courtesy

            But I’m glad in a way you hadn’t done that, since it now allows me to put the FIA response here:

            Do read it carefully. All your claims are rejected as false there as indeed I claimed them to be beforehand

            Specifically the FIA retors regarding the rule 20.2 and what it means that your interpretation of the rule is completely wrong.
            “When it is safe to do so”-it was safe to do so for KR he wasn’t rejoining into the path of any car. No rule states that you must return via tarmac only

            Also, as I suspected and indeed wrote, telemetry proves that KR did lift somewhat in the process. Yes, he wasn’t at crawling speed but no rule requires him to do so. The FIA agrees with me completely that KR was as cautious and commonsensical as racing drivers can be expected to, contrary to your claims

            To sum it up: KR did almost everything right, was unlucky and paid for it heavily by crashing losing chance of good points and missing the test as well which cannot be underestimated given his season so far. Your interpretation of the rules, on the other hand is not prudent and sensible but over-cautious and babysitting. I’m very glad you’re not an FIA steward mate, given our fundamental difference of opinion

          6. And none of that excuses Raikkonen cutting across the grass the way he did. If he hadn’t done that, he wouldn’t have lost control, and wouldn’t have crashed.

          7. @raceprouk Excuse isn’t necessary for something that doesn’t need excusing. He didn’t brake any rules, he made a mistake of judgement regarding the return via grass, and was unlucky to be punished for it the way he was. Nothing further to add. The poll question is: was KR acting dangerously enough to be given some kind of penalty . Multiple evidence points out that the answer is a resounding no. Should you close your eyes to it and still wish to think the opposite, well that’s your choice. It’s an internet blog, everyone’s entitled to an opinion. The last sentence of my previous post is the last one in this post as well

          8. I’m glad you think reckless driving is acceptable.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      7th July 2014, 18:04

      “He couldn’t have predicted its existence in any way”

      @montreal95 – Exactly that. Because he was off the circuit on a section not designed to be driven on, he should have taken precautions. He didn’t know if there was a bump or not but as he was going over grass, it would be reasonable to assume that there might be one there. There is certainly previous examples of similar things happening (ie Petrov).

      1. @petebaldwin And do you have his telemetry to know he was full throttle there? Or you’re assuming that in order to spin on that bump he must have been?
        Regardless, there’s such a thing as reasonable precaution, and another thing entirely are expectations of un-reasonable precaution especially for racing drivers in a race. Kimi spotted a free gap so he wouldn’t run into any drivers and went for it. He was unlucky and Felipe Massa was unlucky too. That happens. You can either accept that, or let’s make a rule that you can return to the track only via tarmac or at some designated low speed. There are so many pointless over-complicated rules, that only serve to turn casual fans off(or any fans who came to see real men race and not kindergarten “look mommy that bad boy did this” boys). So adding one more such wouldn’t make a difference

  24. I think he deserves a penalty. Maybe a big one.

    Keep in mind the reason why they have these tarmac runoff areas in the first place – because it’s extremely dangerous for cars to be barreling across bumpy grass at over 150mph. Silverstone isn’t Wimbledon. It’s not a putting green. It’s an old airfield and it’s well known that the ground there is extremely bumpy. You can see it from the grandstands, clear as day. But despite this knowledge, Raikkonen decided to accelerate at massive speed across the grass in order to minimise the amount of time he was going to lose. He deliberately did something he should be aware is extremely dangerous, and the result was a massive smash which only extreme good fortune prevented from having very serious consequences. He chose to do this because he didn’t want to have to slow down after running off the track.

    Basically he deliberately did something very obviously dangerous, and as a result caused a massive accident. I can’t see any real reason he should not get a penalty.

  25. Fritz Oosthuizen (@)
    7th July 2014, 16:53

    What I do know is if Maldonado was in the car it would be penalty or race ban. Kimi should have waited his race was over anyway..

  26. This incident is not Raikkonen’s fault, it is the FIA’s and their over-exaggeration on safety. Turn 5 and its tarmac runoff is ridiculous. The amount of tarmac out there means drivers can go off the track without losing too much time. Had there been a gravel trap 15 meters from the edge of the road with all tarmac in between, this accident would never of happened as Raikkonen would backoff before safely rejoining the circuit.
    This type of incident was always going to happen one race or another. A driver takes to the run-off (Kimi), and with so-much space to play with, he’ll take the straightest line possible. Too straight however, and you’ll hit something at high speed, as Kimi showed us as he went on the grass for a tenth of a second, enough to send him out of control into a barrier with 47g of force.

    1. Are the FIA responsible for him choosing to drive straight over the grass at full throttle to rejoin the circuit? Surely that’s his decision. He could have chosen to rejoin the track within the confines of what you already admit is a very generous amount of tarmac runoff area.

    2. The FIM has just as much say in track design as the FIA.

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      7th July 2014, 18:06

      The tarmac runoffs aren’t designed to allow drivers to go off track and not lose time. They are designed to stop cars flipping over and are deemed safer than gravel or grass.

      If drivers choose to exploit this safety feature, that’s a whole different problem but you can’t blame the FIA for Kimi’s actions.

  27. For the most part, I think Kimi deserved a penalty. You can understand why any driver would be keen to rejoin the circuit in a hurry, but the angle of re-entry was neither parallel enough nor oblique enough for proper traction. I’ve heard him criticized for not slowing down before rejoining the track, but I’m not sure that would have necessarily been safer considering 6-7 cars behind him were flying down the straight at 150+

  28. don’t think he should be penalised. he had to rejoin the track at some point, possibly didn’t know there was a bit of a bump where the grass starts and got caught up in it. maybe he should start doing trackwalks.

  29. NO! It was just a racing accident. Kimi quite honestly does not have record of causing accidents. He would have had it saved if it weren’t for that dang bump he hit which broke his suspension. Those of you who are saying he never left off the gas obviously have never slid on an icy & snowy road. You drive into your spin & keep you foot on the gas; let off & you are done. I feel badly for Massa.
    I don’t recall Maldanado receiving a race ban & how many accidents has he caused THIS SEASON?
    If you have to blame someone blame ferrari for building a awful car.

    1. It must be so convenient to ignore the flat and level tarmac he could have used instead.

      1. Shut up, you cleary don’t know anything about driving. He was at a way too big of an angle to get through there at that speed, he tried to go through that bit but half of his car hit the grass and the drainage ditch. Of course you’d know this already if you would pay some attention.

  30. BJ (@beejis60)
    7th July 2014, 17:26

    I think more info is needed about throttle position, gear selection, etc to paint an accurate picture of what happened inside the cockpit leading up to the incident.

    On another note, reading the comments at Buxton’s blog was pretty amusing, no matter what the users responded.

  31. I have noticed that Raikkonen is the only driver who – after he goes off track – instead of looking to join the track immediately, he looks to continue in the runoff area and join the track only when it suits the direction in which he is going.
    He did that at Spa 2008 and Spa 2009 by running wide just after the turn 1 hairpin, flooring the throttle in the run off area which helped him maintain the positions that he had gained and joining the track only just before Eau rouge. He tried doing that in Brazil 2012 where after he went off the track, he went towards the escape road looking to join the race track only on the start finish straight. Unluckily for him, that escape road was closed and we got the most hilarious moment of the race.

    I think Kimi does need some coaching on what to do after you are off-track. But a race ban is excessive. A 3 or 5 grid place penalty may do justice.

    1. “He did that at Spa 2008 and Spa 2009 by running wide just after the turn 1 hairpin, flooring the throttle in the run off area which helped him maintain the positions that he had gained and joining the track only just before Eau rouge”.

      bhabhaahahaaaaa, thats funny, please , find any on board video of Spa and see how short the runoff is,

  32. What about the ditch? Is there going to be any repairs done on that, now we know that it is unsafe?

    I think there should be no penalty for Kimi BTW.

  33. LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge)
    7th July 2014, 17:39

    This is silly question. No wonder F1 is in a state like this.
    When Kimi announced his retirement, everybody was talking about kitchen,and now this!
    Making something out of nothing.
    You can do better Keith.

    1. When Kimi announced his retirement, everybody was talking about kitchen

      Er, what?

      Making something out of nothing.

      I don’t agree – as pointed out in the article this was potentially a very serious crash, for Chilton and other drivers, and it was arguably caused by one driver’s carelessness.

      1. “was arguably caused by one driver’s carelessness.” and a poor job by Silverstone (or whoever handles the grass).

      2. LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge)
        7th July 2014, 22:28

        It was all about Perez and Suzie.

        Every race is a disaster waiting to happen. Any driver would do the same as Kimi.

    2. Making something out of nothing

      Say that to Chilton, who could have been killed by that loose wheel.

      1. it looks like a rubber carcus to me

        1. Yeah, the wheel itself was still on the car, it was merely the carcass of the tyre that had nearly hit Chilton, which would have done very little even if it had hit his helmet.

          1. Considering how a 1lb spring nearly killed Massa five years ago, I’d hate to think what damage a 20lb tyre could do. Even taking into account the flex of the rubber, that’s still enough to cause very real and serious injuries.
            Even at road speeds, flying chunks of tyre can be lethal, as demonstrated by Mythbusters:

          2. its not as if a race tyre is like a rubber band, its a couple of KG of rubber with Kevlar @dryyoshi, and on top of that both it was travelling at a speed of likely over 200 kmh, as was Chilton.

            Had it hit Max, that would have been a very serious accident indeed.

  34. The BDRC should be penalised for letting an open drain near the track

    1. This if Kimi would be penalised, since it was both of them that caused this crash.

    2. The FIA homologated the track with that ditch there. The buck stops with them.

    3. Better than a flooded track.

      1. Whats wrong with a grate ? a ditch is stooopid

  35. I think all the drivers should receive a race ban just for driving at such high speeds.

  36. Punishing him is ridiculous, it was a race incident out of his control. If his wheel had killed Chilton, would Räikkönen be a murderer then? Is Jacques Villeneuve a murderer for “killing” that marshal?

    1. Murder requires intent, of which it is obvious there was none in either scenario.

  37. It was a very clear breach of the rules about re-joining the circuit, it was horribly dangerous, he’s done this exact trick of abusing the run off to gain an advantage before,and if another driver had done it, there wouldn’t even be a debate.

    Points on the license and a severe penalty.

  38. Slightly disagree – I thought the tarmac run-off had ended when Raikkonen re-joined the track, and that only grass and barriers were ahead of him. It also looked like the bump was in the surface itself, and while we are putting tarmac everywhere what there shouldn’t be are holes in the ground. Petrov did the same in Malaysia but wasn’t punished, so I don’t think Kimi should be.

  39. Kimi might be careless about others thoughts, but not about their safety. I have never seen him doing anything stupid against others. Labeling that incident as careless driving it’s not appropriate. Accidents do happen, this motorsport, cars running at high speed, everything could happen.
    A reprimand or a talk is more than enough.

  40. Don’t agree at all. If he’s have come straight back on the track he would have merged straight into the following pack and caused an accident. Taking the straighter line back onto the track allowed others to see him merging in front and to the right of them.

    The real question is why is there a rain gully at the obvious gap between astro/kerb?

  41. Even though it can’t be proved, Raikkonen is known for doing this kind of thing countless times in the past in order to gain advantage, or avoid loosing too much time by taking the correct line. My first reaction was actually being angry at Kimi because I knew he didn’t do all he could to firstly stay on the track, because he would have had to lift off, and then, to make his tactic work, he floored it and tried to come back to the track in a manner that lost him the least amount of time, while not caring about the safety.
    I’m glad that I’m not the only one who thinks this was completely self-inflicted and more importantly, cost other people a lot. I never thought about a race ban, since he wasn’t in many accidents, although he is known for doing this, but I definitely thought that he should receive a penalty. 10 place grid penalty seems perfectly fine for a repeating offender. As long as I remember him, he always had this split decisions brain fades where he is extremely careless. I remember him intentionally hitting Lewis from behind in La Source on the last lap of Belgian GP in 2008. He’s been going off in La Source on starts as long as I can remember, even when there’s absolutely no need to go off to avoid anything.

  42. i say ban run off areas he would have stopped this the moment he went wide if it was good old gravel.

  43. This reminds me of Timo Glock crash in melbourne 2008.
    I’m not against tarmac runoffs, but I think bonds with grass areas should be better.
    I’d really like to see an onboard video of the crash to have a better opinion.

  44. Vitaly Petrov had a similar incident in Malaysia 2011 where he ran wide, kept his foot in it and then turned his car into an aeroplane. The point being, drivers don’t have time to spend driving off the track and researching hidden bumps in the grass verges, so any penalty for Raikkonen would just be ridiculous to be honest.

    1. If only they could walk the track on Thursday… oh wait, they do.

    2. Michael Schumacher did that, and remembered where all the usable escape roads were – but he was exceptional. Those track walks just look like going through the motions to me, for the benefit of PR and the team’s wacky social media department.

      There’s no penalty in the rulebook for what Kimi did, and no way should he get one just because Will Buxton and others are jumping up and down.

  45. If anything, they should give a penalty to whomever left a hole/bump at the most obvious point for the cars to reenter.

    1. You mean the flat tarmac before the gulley starts?

  46. I wonder if he even knew that the grass he drove over was there. He might have remembered (from the track-walk or practice sessions) that there was some sort of tarmac area there to safely join the track but not that it didn’t cover the whole side of the run-off (as they usually do nowadays). As the vision from the cockpit is pretty limited he probably couldn’t see where and when the tarmac ended and grass started and was caught by surprise. Once he was on the grass there wasn’t really anything he could’ve done, as you can’t brake there (and I doubt he was on the gas anymore when he noticed where he was).

    Just felt like speculating, this doesn’t (necessarily) have anything to do with reality.

    1. He might have remembered (from the track-walk or practice sessions) that there was some sort of tarmac area there to safely join the track but not that it didn’t cover the whole side of the run-off

      thing is, though @tmekt, that Kimi is an exception in the field because he tends not to do such track walks. Maybe he should start doing them again.

      1. @bascb

        Well that’s what people seem to think (Kimi never doing those) and I’m sure they have good reason to do so but I don’t usually go to the track walks myself so I wouldn’t know if Kimi goes there or not.

        1. You can’t “go to track walks” unless you are a team member. But Kimi is confirmed NOT to have done one here in Silverstone @tmekt, and most likely hasn’t done them for any track unless maybe it was a new track for him in the last year or so.

          1. @bascb – Alright well if it was confirmed. Can’t argue that, just haven’t seen anything anywhere about whether he was there or not. Regardless though he has the possibility to drive around the track for about five hours in different sessions before the race so he should know his way around pretty well even if he hasn’t walked “enough” on Wednesday/Thursday.

            And yeah well all the more so if I couldn’t even go there if I wanted. I have no idea which drivers go there and which don’t.

            (This is pretty pointless as a discussion…I actually agree that he should be penalized in some way)

  47. Im a huge kimi fan, but this time he was totally at fault, the same happened in 08 when he spun while battling with lewis, and he has gone off track on le source a couple of times, not to mention when he went through eau rouge in the mclaren with smoke that impaired his vision

  48. I don’t think Kimi should be penalised. I think he’s feeling the penalty right now…

    If you want to see a dangerous example of a car rejoining, this is my favourite. Paul Tracy at his very dumbest, followed by a deserved dressing down in the pit:

    Incidentally, it’s worth stressing that it was the tire carcass that hit Chilton’s car, though that does still have some heft to it. Also, he did say he saw a flash of silver, so maybe the wheel that the carcass had departed just missed him.

  49. To me, the simple fact that the smooth “track-like” stretch of asphalt, run-off area, allowed the cars to get within a few feet of the track, and then leave a “gap” of no return, to send cars airborne, is worse than letting them race with a broken piece of guardrail! If any driver had been pushed wide at that same spot, there would have been a huge crash. I think the track must take full responsibility for this accident, and look for other potential accidents waiting to happen around the circuit.

    1. Got to love how so many people choose to ignore the nice flat tarmac before the gulley starts, and how it is the driver’s responsibility to rejoin in a safe manner.

  50. The onus is on the driver to re-enter the track in a safe manner. Kimi didn’t so he should be penalized. Simple. The speed, size of run off area etc are irrelevant. Did he re-enter in a safe manner is the only question and the answer to that question is no.

  51. How about the issue of the bump with the track ? We are speaking about machines that run at 100+ miles per hour in these corners . Kimi did not cause this with a motive that was questionable but more because there was a bump. Should’nt it be the duty of the track officials to ensure that such kerbs and bump be taken care of ?

    I believe that he should not be penalized.

    1. I must also admit that It was a scary accident. The way the car was spinning reminded me of Senna’s fatal carsh at Tamberalla corner. Happy that he is safe.

  52. If I remember correctly, Grosjean’s race ban was not only about his actions and their consequences at Spa. The stewards took into account the numerous occasions on which he had been involved in incidents at the start and during the races as well. On that basis Raikkonen should be given enough warnings before being banned. Besides, I think he was unlucky to hit that drain or gulley whatever it was because it’s not something you notice and keep track off during a normal lap, and it was probably too late for him to avoid it anyway. But it was indeed careless to rejoin at full speed, so I’d say a few penalty points on his licence or a three place grid drop should be more than enough.

  53. I strongly disagree.

  54. Kimi could have rejoined safely if the gully, gutter, ditch, bump (whatever) had not been there. That area of the track had been reworked recently, according to reports. The grass replaced there could possibly have been covering any potential hazards. The chances of knowing any hazards might lie under or around that grass are quite slim at best. Even more staggering are the chances of actually hitting that particular spot.

    The possibility that something broke on Kimi’s car after hitting that spot seems reasonable. Very difficult from the available video to know for sure, but the left rear looks a bit out of sorts as he is pitched back onto the track. Could just be the physical forces on the tire and suspension making them look distorted or they may not be completely intact. With the subsequent aftermath of the rest of the incident we never be able to know for sure just based on examining his car. Maybe telemetry can provide some evidence.

    I wonder if Kimi’s car had issues leading to his off track excursion. The two strange, but obvious twitches seen from Alonso’s on board camera seemed rather odd. Even when Kimi went off it didn’t seem like he was forced off as much as it was massive understeer, or something. Again, we may never know.

    I’m not sure if a penalty would resolve anything. Not trying to excuse what happened, but there are as many unanswered questions as there are facts regarding this incident. Ultimately a driver is responsible for what actions he can control and if a penalty is justified, so be it.

    Since the track officials are so safety conscious, maybe they will revisit that area of the track again and see if there is a better solution. Obviously, it is an impossible task to remove every potential hazard in such a dangerous sport.

    The main point of all this has to be the remarkable safety precautions already in place and designed into the cars. That and the absolutely brilliant driving reaction by Felipe Massa. It’s a huge relief we are able to discuss whether or not a penalty is justified compared to what could have been much worse. I’ll take that any day!

    1. Just another way for Keith to get some discussion and maybe more viewers, even bad publicity is good publicity :)

      1. Hmmmm… a rather cynical point of view there. What should we discuss on an F1 site? Knitting? Mumblety-peg?

        1. We can discuss on the Silverstone test for example, and the 10 other articles made during the same day.

    2. Massive understeer, hey? Well, you do tend to get that when you don’t turn the wheel… ;)

  55. The way I see it the bump is practically invisible from the cockpit. Even if kimi had driven really slowly over it when returning to track he could have still spun and collected few cars. Everybody seems to assume the crash happened because kimi was going too fast. I don’t really see if going slower would have prevented his crash. Not to mention that rejoining the track really slowly is dangerous as well. We see drivers rejoining the track after running wide all the time and nobody has suggested giving penalties if they come back to the track too fast.

    Also there is a difference between losing a control or coming back on track in unsafe manner. That saucek’s incident is a totally different one. First of all he comes back on the track in mid turn straight on the racing line and then spins because he comes back on track at so perpendicularly that it is almost guaranteed to spin when you do it like that. Both are dangerous and would have been easily avoidable had he not entered the track mid turn and had he taken more safe approach. In kimi’s incident I don’t see the outcome necessarily changing if kimi had slowed more. Kimi could have chosen earlier entry point but that would have made him come back on the track at greater angle which is unsafe.

    Kimi did choose his re-entry position further away from the corner which is also safer as it allows him to rejoin the track at smaller angle. Saucek basically enter the track at 90 degrees. He spins because he wants to get back on the track too soon. He can’t even see where other cars when he is coming back on track because of that. Kimi was more aware of other cars and the cars near him, could use his mirror and looking left to see if there are other cars there and the other cars could also see him and avoid him… until he hit the bump and lost it, hit the wall and then came back over.

    Penalty? For what exactly? His entry point looked like the safest option until we found there is a bump. For too much speed? Going slower might have not prevented his spin and when rejoining the track the bigger the speed difference the more dangerous it becomes.

    I find it sad that runoffs need to be so perfectly smooth that drivers can drive off the track and be faster. But at the same time there can be these bumps that can cause compression fractures and cause drivers to lose control or break the car. Good thing kimi did not break his back going over that bump.

    1. +1
      I’m inclined to think something broke on the car and jinked it hard right into the wall,

      I feel Massa could have done more to avoid that accident . look at where he hit the Ferrari, Far left of track, even with the dust and debris in the air he chose to closely follow Kamui and when the Caterham left the road Massa was exposed to a stricken Ferrari and he lost control and hit it sideways,

  56. Yes, in my view he should receive a 5 or 10 place grid penalty, I remember last year when Pic rejoined the track at the bus stop chicane in a practice sessionand got a reprimand, and that incident was about one hundred times less serious than this incident, Raikkonen shouldn’t get a a race ban as he never intended to crash or expect a crash from rejoining the track, however a moderate penalty for a careless error of judgement would be fair, it only takes a small mistake for something serious to happen, the FIA cannot condone careless driving, whether it is a rookie or an experienced driver.

  57. To me it’s pretty simple; the reaction wasn’t intended, but the action that led to the reaction was; rejoining at full speed in the middle of the pack. Kimi should be given a grid drop of 3 places or so, with clarification that the way he rejoined allowed this situation to happen.

  58. Ridiculous debate.
    There was a crash, lets move on rather than demand someone gets blamed for it shall we?
    I am amazed that some think Raikkonen should know there is a bump two metres off the track just because he walked round it on Thursday.
    Some wont be happy until we are watching races around a bunch of traffic cones in a giant car park.
    Put the gravel traps back in. Dont recall anyone getting hurt by them. Problem solved.
    I’d rather Alonso and Vettel get a race ban for crying like babies for lap after lap.

    1. The whole point of a track walk is precisely to find out where the gulleys etc are.

      Put the gravel traps back in. Dont recall anyone getting hurt by them. Problem solved.

      And greatly increase the chances of rolling. Yeah, that’s a good idea.

      1. Track walk. Not find the bump two metres off the track where you are highly unlikely to go walk. If they went looking for every mound off the side of the circuits track walks would last 18 hours. And what driver in their right mind is going to be thinking “ooh theres a bump there” when rejoining the track??
        In all the years I’ve been watching F1 I can only remember Trulli at Silverstone 2004 (?) flipping because of a gravel trap.
        The gravel traps are a better solution than a driver coming back onto a circuit from a tarmac run off at 180mph.
        Health and safety pap is ruining this sport.

  59. Now if this was Maldanado…

  60. I don’t think he should be penalized either. I think he took a risk which he perceived smaller than it really was – he was not taking that big risk on purpose.

    Now all drivers will examine these kind of bumps twice all along their track walks in the future, which seems like a lesson learned – no outside intervention needed, I believe that the drivers should learn where the boundaries and the limits are themselves, which is a far more efficient policy than forcing them to behave with rules. I think principles, not rules lead people forward – one without principles, only restrained by rules, would just… revert to an animal, if those rules would suddenly change to enable this.

  61. Corrado (@)
    7th July 2014, 23:12

    No opinion.

    Hard to tell. He’s no Maldonado, Grosjean etc to get a race ban, at the same time he has some fault too, the track seems dated too in some aspects, so it’s like a combination of factors. Also, his life at Ferrari at the moment is a misery (with that car, so another factor that lead to that crash -> the car snapped 2 times at that corner, 2nd time throwing him off-track), so if it’s a must to hand him a penalty, a fine and/or a 10 pos penalty maximum seems OK.

  62. I’m pleasantly surprised by the number of people who have good memory. I’m not the only one who remembers that Kimi has been abusing tarmac run-offs for a long time now. Spa always comes to mind, and I see others remember his run-off tactics from Spa too.

    1. Wow. 203 races and spa comes up.
      no doubt he is a serial offender,

  63. In tgis situation, Raikkonen isn’t the only one at fault hear. First of all, whilst he did continue off the track to gain advantage over Gutierrez, Gutierrez shouldve given Raikkonen more racing room. Also, and you’d be blind if you missed it, that dip in the grass was seriously dangerous. If you watched carefully, you could never say that Raikkonen’s car control was far from avergae, I think he did amazing to last as long as he did to hang on to his car and lucky too cause I think more that just Chilton and Massa would’ve be victim in that crash. But back to that dip, as Raikkonen re-entered the track, the back of his car went airbourne which sent him out of control. Now think about this, if the officials red flagged that session to fix a fence that no-one would’ve hit again, how did they not notice that ditch when they do the track inspections? So you gotta think, is Raikkonen really the one to blame?

  64. No penalty, no way, no how. This is racing – what do you want? Goose down pillows and a comfy mattress? The drivers already have to back off for tyres, fuel, fuel flow, strategy, brake-by-wire, whatever, and now you want them to back off in a spot where they have been given the opportunity to drive fast? I want some decent, hard, flat out racing — not pussy-footing around, with the stewards acting like a school-maam taking 6-year-olds around a china shop.

    I’ve been saying it for years, gravel (or some equivalent) is the only way to keep them on track. They can do it on street circuits (99.9% of the time) and they would do it anywhere if they thought their race would be compromised.

    Keep the nanny-state out of F1, please.

  65. In the good ole days, before the “overregulated F1”, Nelson Piquet punched Eliseo Salazar´s helmet a couple of times and tried to kick him in the butt, and that was it. Felipe should be allowed to punch Kimi a couple of times (with the helmet on) and maybe kick the Ferrari´s sidepod on the way out.
    Enough with punishments.

    1. Grosjean would’ve been gangbanged 2 years ago in Spa if that was the way to go still ;)

  66. I don’t think Raikkonen should be penalized here because it is just the track and run-off area design that led to this incident. Soon after the point where Raikkonen merged back onto the track, the run off practically ends and leaves the driver with no place to go. Having a bump on the track side at a point where the wall is so close to the track is definitely dangerous and the designers should have known better. Also remember that we are taking the aerodynamics away from the driver in an effort to make the races more interesting.

    F1 is all about TV viewership and excitement these days more than pure racing and this accident was clearly spectacular to watch on TV!

  67. well it was for sure but to me it was spectacular as the head cutting in medieval ages in public squares… oufcourse that times people loved that show lol…. serius now.. the track needs fixing in that place and a warning to Raikkonen is enouph for me.

  68. yse ! he should get penalty!!

  69. Am I the only one who thinks that Raikkonen’s trajectory towards the circuit WAS the safest option?

    If you are off track you have two options, in my opinion, in order to join the circuit safely: the first is to slow or stop until all cars are passed, then rejoin the circuit. The other is to maintain the speed that every one else is going and gradually join the circuit.

    Why do I think that Raikkonen’s trajectory was safe? Because he was predictable for everyone around him. The speed differential was minimal, and the angle at which he was joining the circuit meant that other drivers had a better chance of noticing he was rejoining the circuit. It’s the same reason why merging lanes on motorways are long and gradual – so that drivers can get up to the same speed as the traffic on the motorway, and merge with the traffic.

    Could Raikkonen attempted to join the circuit a bit earlier? Perhaps, but a too sharp an entry angle could have caused an approaching driver to not notice Raikkonnen rejoining early enough. In this situation, at these speeds, it’s my opinion that the lower the entry angle, the safer.

    Now the accident was physically due to the fact that Raikkonen drove over a recess in the ground (ditch, drain, etc.). Had that part of the circuit been flat, grass or not, then Raikkonen would have likely rejoined the circuit without incident.

    Did Raikkonen know there was a ditch/drain/recess down the road when he decided how to re-enter the circuit? Would he have remembered it was there, or where exactly it started down the road, as he decided how to renter the circuit? Keep in mind that Raiikkonen’s decision was not made over a number of seconds. Could Raikone even see where the tarmac ended and the grass started?

    The fact that Raikkonen lost control, ended Massa’s and Kobayashi’s race, as well as putting Chilton in a dangerous position should not be taken into account when one considered a penalty, as they are consequential and a direct result of the ditch/drain being driven over. It is unknown if Raikkonen would have lost control had that part of circuit been flat. Had it been flat and Raikkonen rejoined, would people still be calling for a penalty?

    Raikkonen’s decision to match the speed of traffic he was entering, and trying to enter at a small angle to the racing line, to me, seems like a safe option. Raikkonen got caught out by a drain/ditch/recess in the ground that he may or may not of been aware of, both before the race or at the time he was rejoining the circuit.

    A broader question is, why is a ditch/drain there at that part of the circuit, right alongside the racing line? A driver that veers to the right and on to the grass is surely at risk of entering that ditch. The ditch would pull them in, and either launch them into the air, over the armco or send them straight into the armco at some speed. This is all hindsight after all, but a good question I feel nonetheless.

  70. Maybe a small penalty or even just a reprimand. He’s usually a safe driver, but there’s no hiding the fact that what he did was careless.

    I don’t think that the bump in the grass can be considered as an excuse. Many people say that he could have checked in the track walk, but a driver can’t check every single piece on and off track, because the track walk would last days.
    That said, he had to be more careful. You can’t go full throttle on a piece of grass that you have never driven on, that’s careless. And it was lap 1, so there were several drivers around him, he had to be safer.

  71. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    8th July 2014, 11:44

    It’s ironic isn’t it? If he’d done a track walk on Thursday, he would’ve known there was a dip there.

    In all seriousness, I don’t think he should get a penalty.

  72. What a silly question !! Of course he shouldn’t be penalised for the accident. Next there’ll be a 10 grid penalty for changing your tyres, or a 5 sec stop and go for coming off at the chicane. If the drivers are not allowed to push the car to the limit, why are they paid so much? Anyone can drive a car that has a spike in a slot on the track !
    Maybe the track designers need to be fined for the way the rain gully was made? Maybe the spectators are to blame for wanting cars to go faster?
    Lets face it, it’s easy to put blame on one person in hindsight, because of what happened, but if he hadn’t taken anyone else out, nobody would have cared. I’m just thankful no-one was killed and we can carry on watching F1 with Kimi Raikkonen still in the drivers seat.

  73. Apart from making the car a bit lighter momentarily the bump was insignificant. The real issue was the aggressive way in which the car was being driven whilst still on cool tyres. The lack of grip caused the initial deviation and compounded the re-entry to the track at a tight angle. There was no way he would continue in a straight line, the fishtailing showed exactly the amount of power being put down and the lack of traction. He acted like a novice trying to prove a point and almost caused serious injury to 2 other drivers. Definately should be penalised.

    1. “Apart from making the car a bit lighter momentarily” that exactly was the problem, you don’t need more than that to make F1 car a flying bullet.

    1. @raceprouk
      and all who question Kimi’s “unsafe re-entry”
      first video
      Pause it at 5 seconds
      then 6 seconds
      7 and 8 seconds and just see where Kimi is … then tell me who is around him, tell me who is affected by this “unsafe re-entry ?
      Granted , it was a serious crash that followed , a very serious crash, but it had nothing to do with Kimi’s 1 st re-entry to the track, it was his 2nd re-entry to the track (minus wheels and half the body work) that caused all the mess,

      1. It was the first re-entry that triggered the accident in the first place, therefore it was unsafe.

        Seriously, how can anyone question that? Or are those that question it just blind to the truth?

        1. @raceprouk
          “Seriously, how can anyone question that? Or are those that question it just blind to the truth?”

          I thinks it’s fair to question things,
          I would like to see Kimi’s onboard,
          and the data,
          Anyway’s I’ve got some beers , I’ll be over tomorrow after work to watch the new “Massa’a 50 funniest crashes” dvd,

        2. @raceprouk
          “Seriously, how can anyone question that? Or are those that question it just blind to the truth?”

          I thinks it’s fair to question things,

          I would like to see Kimi’s onboard,
          and if Kimi say’s it’s his mistake, then I’ll eat my hat, (as long as its chocolate)

          Anyway’s I’ve got some beers , I’ll be over tomorrow after work to watch the new “Massa’s 50 funniest crashes” dvd,

          1. It’s one thing to ask questions, quite another to ignore the facts.

      2. @greg-c It’s a number of elements:

        He went off the track initially, then decided to use the tarmac runoff to keep his foot in, avoid the first lap traffic, and gain an advantage. That’s clear from the footage and he has history doing it. That is dangerous, because he is racing on a surface which isn’t designed to be raced upon.

        He doesn’t attempt at any point to rejoin until he sees the tarmac runoff run out. At that point, he is forced to rejoin whether there is space or not. He is now boxed into a very dangerous corner: drive an f1 car at high speed across the grass, where it risks digging in and flipping over (the reason grass was replaced with tarmac in the first place), or barge back into the pack. To rejoin safely, he needs to do it at a reasonable speed, and where there is ample space to do so.

        But as he refused to give up his free tarmac advantage, he doesn’t have a choice now. So he just points the car and hopes. But he’s left it too late: the tarmac runs out, he hits the astroturf/grass, and the car digs in and bounces (just like it would have on the grass if he’d kept straight). Now he’s nothing more than a high speed missile with no control.

        He tried to abuse the track to gain an advantage when he shouldn’t have. He didn’t rejoin at a slower speed when he had the opportunity. He travelled far too fast. He waited far too long. He ran out of road and made a desperate lunge. These were all his own choices, they were all the wrong choices, and they almost killed drivers and marshals. Everything he did in that video is reckless and unsafe, apart from the initial mistake which put him off the track.

        You speak as though the penalty applies because he went off track. It wouldn’t. It would be due to the decisions he made after he went off the track.

  74. Good ol’ Silverstone, the pearl of the English crown…
    Sharp kerbs that slash tires one year, rain gullies just off the side of the track that cause huge crashes the next.
    Seriously, a track sided by ditches?! I get the retro vibe is cool, but still… So these days we have night tracks and at the other pole, tracks sided by rain gullies…
    Why stop there? I say make them a foot deep and fill them with water on a permanent basis. Optionally spikes every now and then, so we get more action! We’ll call it the medieval circuit!
    I wonder how the voting would have gone if Hamilton was the hitting the bump instead of Raikkonen. My guess is the officials would be redrawing it as we speak.

    1. Sharp kerbs that slash tires one year

      These would be the same tyres that the teams fitted to the wrong side of the car at extreme cambers, well outside Pirelli’s specified limits. Those same kerbs are in use all year round by many different series, and they didn’t suffer mass failures because they used their tyres correctly.

  75. No question about it: NO penalty for Kimi. Ok, it was unsafe and dangerous and Kimi should have slowed down. But he didn’t crash on purpose.
    Why do people nowadays want to give a penalty as soon as we have a race fact ? This is a race incident !

    Penalties are killing the sport. Drivers are not children, and racing is not driving on a public road.

    Another issue behind this is the “all tarmac” run-off areas. It makes racing easier as drivers are no longer punished when they make a mistake. And it can lead to incidents such as Kimi’s crash. Bring back gravel traps !

  76. He should get two penalties. One for attempting to gain an advantage offtrack and another for recklessly rejoining. Two 5s equal 10 place grid drop.

  77. @raceprouk

    “It’s one thing to ask questions, quite another to ignore the facts”.

    at least we can agree about that my friend, :)

    on a lighter note Dave,

    Did you see Johnny Herberts re-entry at the lawnmower race ?
    And his very nearly tip? bhahaha
    that would have hurt had it rolled over,

    Tubby is one lucky boy, :)

  78. I’m having a problem here.
    A Formula 1 Racing Driver’s prime motivation is to win at (almost) all costs by driving as fast as he can, which was exactly what Kimi was doing, even though he was ‘off piste’
    Silverstone Circuit have an obligation to make the track as safe as possible, and amongst other things this involves getting rid of excess water as fast as possible via gullies and thus deal with the current monsoon type rain showers we seem to get these days.
    The known possible problem was rain which was accounted for by the gulley – the unknown problem was that a fuelled up Formula 1 driver would try to drive over it at speed.
    Therefore a combination of unforeseen unconnected issues led to the accident – gravel would have helped admittedly but what happened, happened.
    Thank goodness no-one was seriously injured ( Massa seems to have really been in the wars this year) and maybe Silverstone will look into the whole gulley/gravel thing before next years GP.
    Time to move on….

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