Hulkenberg given penalty points and grid drop for Massa collision

2015 Singapore Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg had his license endorsed following his collision with Felipe Massa during the Singapore Grand Prix.

The race stewards held Hulkenberg responsible for the collision, which put him out of the race.

Pastor Maldonado and Jenson Button were cleared over their collision
“The driver of car 27 [Hulkenberg] had an open line of vision to car 19 [Massa] leaving the pits,” the stewards wrote in a statement. “Car 19 should have been left racing room.”

Hulkenberg was given a three-place grid drop for the next round in Japan and had two penalty points added to his licence, moving him onto a total of four.

However the stewards decided against taking action over the collision between Jenson Button and Pastor Maldonado:

“Cars 22 [Button] and 13 [Maldonado] had minor contact in turn 16 resulting in car 13 going off track into turn 17,” they ruled. “This resulted in car 13 having a slower exit speed from turn 17, which in turn resulted in car 22 colliding with the rear of car 13.”

An unimpressed Button told his team on the radio: “I should have known, really, that he’s mental,” following the collision.

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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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    32 comments on “Hulkenberg given penalty points and grid drop for Massa collision”

    1. Double points finish for Force India.

    2. Correct decision.
      Sky UK commentators left me wondering what they’re thinking. Somehow, the were turning the information that Hülkenberg may not have seen Massa come out of the pits into a reason for blaming Massa.
      I personally like the Hulk, and it’s indeed possible that he didn’t see Massa, but that’s a criterion that’s never played a role before. He took the corner in a way that made it impossible for the guy alongside him to survive without contact, so he was to blame for the incident.

      1. He clearly said that he saw Massa coming out of the pits.

        1. All the more reasons to penalise him, then.

      2. But..but he was taking the racing line. My Massa book says that you are allowed to behave like you are alone in the track when taking the racing line and your nose is a little in-frond. Funny how suddenly the Masa book is rewritten with “You have to leave room”.

    3. “Car 19 should have been left racing room.”

      Yet Hulkenberg was penalized, it was harsh. Even Martin Bundle was surprised.

      1. I think you have read it wrong. It says “car 19 should have ‘BEEN’ left racing room”. This means that Nico was the one that did not leave Felipe enough space thus causing the collision. Nothing to be surprised about here.

    4. That was the hulks corner, masa should have yielded to the car in front.
      Wrong decision to penalise the hulk.

        1. massa never could have made that corner with that speed, he locked up trying. he caused the collision.

          1. Ha! The track was quite wide. In my opinion, he should be aggresive there given Hulk was not Maldonado. Shame…

            In the video, there is no sign of very late braking from Massa, the distance between front wheels of two cars was more or less the same in the brake zone.

            1. look at on-board video from massa

            2. You mean the on-board video that shows Hulkenberg turning in on him?

    5. Shambolic. Massa had track to his left, since he was behind he should have avoided the crash at all costs. Naughty perhaps but not wrong from Hulk, he was ahead. Again wrong decision favours Massa.

      1. He was not really behind. His front wheels were clearly always in front of Hulk’s rear wheels.

        1. I found it harsh watching live but that overhead shot really does show it was Hulk’s fault, he knew he was there and gave him no space.

      2. They were alongside each other.

      3. Hulkenberg had acres of track to his right. But I can see why you think Massa should just give in, wave a white flag, and drive through the debris on the inside, damage his tyres, then have a blowout that stuffs him into the wall at 150mph.

    6. In some ways I find the decision to give Hulkenberg a penalty a bit questionable given that the stewards never actually asked either driver for their side of the story. Normally, the standard procedure would be to call the drivers to their office at the earliest opportunity before making a judgement on who was to blame, but in this instance they handed out the penalty without any consultation.

      On another note, Keith, why are you still throwing abuse at Maldonado when the report from the stewards indicates that it was Button who made the initial contact with Maldonado and effectively caused the crash? Whilst Maldonado is not without his faults, the description of the events from the stewards would place more of the blame upon Button.

      1. I think buttons actions and comments afterward were absurd. Listening to his annoying snark on the radio throughout, I think buttons head and heart are not in it any more. Its quite unprofessional. He is frustrated but there are so many people working like fiends on the car who don’t need to hear his comedy routine mocking the car and his engineer. Maybe he should hang up the helmet now.

        1. Lots of assumptions there.

      2. Since last year (or 2013?), Stewards were asked to try their best to give decision as soon as possible if any driver involved is still racing.

      3. How is Keith throwing abuse at Maldonado? Literally the only thing written about him in this article is the stewards reasoning for their decision and Button’s quote.

    7. I sick of the “whatever happens means investigation” policy. This was a racing incident.

      Yet when there’s a driver on track, missing corners and still blocking others (Maldonado), they take no action.

      1. Maldonado didn’t collide with anyone; the worst was slight contact with Button, which resulted in the highly fragile front wing breaking. Whereas Hulkenberg turned in on Massa; his own car was heavily damaged and meant he couldn’t continue, and Massa received a puncture and later had to retire as well.

        But hey, why not punish slight contact just as harshly as serious accidents? That would stop drivers attempting those pesky overtaking manoeuvres, and then we can all settle down to a nice relaxing Sunday afternoon and watch a race that has already been decided the day before.

    8. The Maldonado-Button incident reminded me of Justin Wilson’s incident, and I was saying to myself when I saw that piece of front wing flying: “please don’t hit anyone in the head”, just to see it hitting one of the cars behind, but fortunately without any consequences.
      I think closed cockpits should be given a more serious consideration to be applied soon in future seasons.

    9. I think both saw each other and both decided not to back down..And get there way ahead ..loss for both teams finally..

    10. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      20th September 2015, 17:26

      Massa always getting involved in incidents, somehow this happens too much to be a coincidence.

      1. Please back up your statement with an example, when else this season has Massa been involved in a collision?

        Hulk simply turned in on Massa. Nico’s fault.

        1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
          21st September 2015, 14:27

          I meant generally in his career.

          1. In his early Sauber years, maybe. But at Ferrari, he was much better; he almost won a championship! And his record at Williams is pretty good too.

      2. Full list of incidents Massa’s been involved with this year:
        1. Collided with Hulkenberg at Signapore.

        That’s it.

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