McNish explains why Hamilton’s turn one move was legal

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In the round-up: Driver steward and former F1 racer Allan McNish explains why Lewis Hamilton went unpunished for his move at the first corner in Mexico.

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100 comments on “McNish explains why Hamilton’s turn one move was legal”

  1. What it is about turn one is it seems clear why Hamilton was allowed to get away with it. But the argument many people, including myself, have is that it shouldn’t be the case. There was absolutely no reason for him to need to do that. The article says that he wasn’t penalised because he was already far ahead, yet also says that they don’t penalise because they’re all bunched up at the start. It’s clear ruling but it’s contradictory at the same time

    1. He was far ahead because he forgot to brake, obviously. :)

    2. Hamilton was so far ahead that he was defending the inside line from Rosberg going into Turn 1. Hamilton’s position relative to Rosberg was the same as Vettel’s position relative to Verstappen.

    3. I thought it was clear he Iocked his brake and if he stayed on it he would have destroyed his tyre. Then he backed off a little after the corner cut so as to not get the full advantage. Stewarding on a case by case scenario; so many variables that’s it’s not always black and white. If they penalise that then most other starts would be 10 minutes of replays to make it clear why this person got a pen and another… yawn
      Plus it’s competition so other drivers would no doubt complain but they would all do the same. There’s no way you would filter into the pack when you have an option on lap 1 to make a quick exit

      1. He lifted on the grass and knew very well he had to clean his tires before getting back to full throttle .
        He gained an advantage that lasted till the end.

    4. I’m with you on this on Strontium. Just because you can make a case for it being legal, doesn’t make it right that it is legal. If a driver makes a mistake, there should be a consequence. I would like to end my argument there as I think any sane person would agree with that. I mean how can you argue with that? Make a mistake. Pay some pain. Simple. How much pain can be debated, but not the need for some pain.

      I understand Hamilton’s reasons for cutting the corner. A severe flat spot on his tyres and many lost places. I think every driver would have done the same. But which ever way you look at it, he did gain a massive advantage when compared to what might have happened if he had actually attempted to make the corner. Instead he
      A 5 or 10 second penalty should have been applied.

      The rule was designed to deal with situations like the Verstappen/Rosberg one. Both drivers legitimately tried to make the corner. If Verstappen hadn’t punted Rosberg off, he would have made the corner. Rosberg cut it and maintained his position on track. It’s a case where 2 wrongs actually do make a right this time. It’s also a case where the rule is applied correctly.

      Allan McNish argues that Hamilton didn’t gain an advantage. I would argue he gained a massive advantage. He saved flat spots on his tyres and a possible 10 position loss on track. I would call that a “lasting advantage”. Don’t get me wrong, I think Hamilton did the right thing. He might have caused an accident if he had tried to make the corner. But I bet if you asked him “off the record”, he would admit that he would have been 90% sure he was going to get a penalty for that and had he gotten one, I doubt he would have complained about it.

      1. If a driver makes a mistake, there should be a consequence. I would like to end my argument there

        Bravo! It really is that simple.

      2. Good comment!

      3. There you have it folks…. masterfully explained!

      4. Yep, Hamilton gained a huge advantage. His lead had *doubled* after his off-track excursion, even after accounting for visual imbalance due to the speed difference.

    5. There was nothing wrong with what Hamilton did. Stewards already set the precedent that Merc can straightline chicanes without penalty with Rosberg in Canada’14, something you yourself @strontium said was fine :)

      1. Martin is right. Rosberg did the same thing without penalty.

      2. yeah, btw, cutting that chicane kept ROS in front of HAM, which ultimately ended up losing HAM any points that race as he had to retire cause his car was overheating. Lolz. ROS has also pushed Lewis off the track and run in to him numerous times too, I almost consider him a special case, it’s almost like hes from the forbidden city and hes untouchable.

  2. Maybe Rosberg’s case can be treated as a first-lap special case, since there’s always wheel-banging and he was barged off the road, but Hamilton basically took a shortcut, all on his own, and that was something which wouldn’t go unpunished even in a local Sunday karting meet. It was just such a blatant corner cutting.

    1. So even with the big puff of smoke from the front right, you’re still saying he del

  3. There were several reasons why he was not given a penalty: it was the first lap, when there is more latitude; he was not fighting with anyone – he was clearly in the lead and the battle was for second behind him; and he lifted off as soon as he rejoined the track.

    This is completely false. There is a reason to why Hamilton was not on the racing line when he locked up, he was defending the inside line from Rosberg. If Hamilton was not fighting with anyone, he would have been on the outside normal racing line, not protecting the inside line.

    Also, it being the first lap does not give a driver the right to cut two corners if he can’t defend his position on merit.

    That was quick and clear thinking from Hamilton and it was crucial because the stewards work on the basis of a rule that dictates a driver must not gain a “lasting advantage” by going off the track.

    If Hamilton had tried to make the turn 1-2 chicane, there’s no way he would have kept the lead or even second place, and we would have a completely different race on our hands. He clearly gained a lasting advantage which lasted the entire race.

    The lock-up and flat spot meant Hamilton ended up in a risky situation – it means big vibrations that not only shake the driver around but also risk breaking the suspension.

    This is completely irrelevant. Hamilton did have a flat spotted tyre, but that doesn’t change the fact that he kept the lead as a result of a corner cut when defending his position.

    All in all, it was nothing but double standards. There is no logical reason why Hamilton did not get a penalty if Verstappen got one.

    1. The logic is that it was the first lap :)

      1. Which is an absolutely terrible argument. Lap one does not excuse blatant corner cutting. It didn’t at Russia 2014 and it shouldn’t have last week. Anyone who thinks that Hamilton did not deserve a penalty is either blinkered, or does not understand the sport.

        1. Anthony Blears
          7th November 2016, 2:48

          … like the stewards?

          1. Yeah, because the stewards always nail every decision, like Spa 2008.

          2. It is unacceptable if it is 1st lap, but perfectly fine to give someone a penalty who did everything right (as per rules, he had to give the position back, and he did, his opponent crashed out with an unforced mistake of his own!) after the race, then provided a new clarification which was not written anywhere…. yup perfectly fine…

          3. correction: 25 sec penalty… yes, from 1st to 3rd position… like stewards has always been fair…

          4. @mysticus
            As per usual, you missed the point. I am not claiming that Hamilton deserved a penalty a time Spa 2008, what I am doing is using Spa 2008 as an example on how the stewards can occasionally get it wrong. And at Mexico, they got it wrong.

          5. @kingshark occasionally? you think spa was just an error judgement? seriously? there was no written rule to wait for two corners up until the penalty was given after the race! and 25 secs? given the tricky/slippery conditions and both made similar mistakes before the incident and afterwards, and rai had made even more mistakes in unforced fashion, yet you call this error/wrong? it was an execution! stewards give these kind of decisions more than occasionally to alter results and add more drama, dunno maybe they are asked to do it this way? like Ver’s move was well into the race… If you wanna pick on something pick when everything is warm and cosy not chaotic or hectic like most starts and first corners…. almost all starts have incidents due to unsettled cars trying to get into position! I say Ham situation was a payback to 2008 most likely! Ver’s situation was def no no, and it should have been intervened earlier before it escalated, it was clear even from his team to be fair to give the position back… the guy is way too arrogant… and a serious ticking bomb…

          6. @mysticus
            Alonso did the exact same Lewis did at Suzuka 2005 to Klien and was forced to give the place back. Anyway, stop whining about Spa 2008, this is about Mexico 2016.

          7. @kingshark
            Did Hamilton not give the place back or you are just trying to be smart ass? I dont know Alonso at Suzuka, but Hamilton did give the place back, and there was no written rule anywhere saying you have to wait 2 corners before you can attack your opponent… it was ridiculous penalty as the situation was getting worse and both drivers were going out here and there, more so Rai was making even more mistakes… What is funny, is the rule for the penalty is written after the penalty is given… It was no penalty, it was just an execution, if you claim otherwise you are one of those biased fans mate, cant describe it any better…
            You were trying to justify situation by bringing the past yourself, and telling me stop whining… Irony or hypocrisy? you decide…
            Anyways, rain is coming it seems and i hope it does pour enough to stir things around so we ll see how worthy Ros is in these conditions… If Ros doesnt try to crash hamilton out in the first corner it will be a fun race…

          8. @mysticus

            I dont know Alonso at Suzuka

            Therein lies your problem.

            You are pretending as if there wasn’t an unwritten rule in F1 that you have to give the place back properly, not lift just enough to let the car in front, then attack on the same straight. Alonso did exactly what Hamilton did at Suzuka 2005, and he gave the place back to Klien, then overtook him properly again.

            And the fact that Raikkonen retired later on in the race at Spa 2008 makes no difference whatsoever.

            Also, I brought up Spa 2008 to show that the stewards can occasionally get it wrong, not because I think the situation is comparable to Mexico last week.

          9. OK you are def delusional and only good with wording mumbo jumbos… I read the report of suzuka, and watch a clip of it… it is nothing like SPA! Nothing Like Mexico either… you keep saying “exactly”… Alonso was asked to kindly give the position back… it is mid race, not start… and how is it “exactly” when hamilton has never been asked to give the position back! And even he was asked, conditions were wet and getting worse! and both drivers were making constant mistakes esp Rai even more, and Rai already got himself out of the race… There is nothing “exactly” apart from overtake and give position back… No warning, and no written rule! Just lousy decision making on purpose… Ham cut off , gave the position back, yes overtook, but than overtaken again later, and ham made more mistake as well as Rai made more mistake, there was no damn lasting advantage! besides, hamilton was forced off the circuit, not once but twice by Rai!

            There is huge differences in all three races! If anything, take off your horse glasses mate, it is giving you only one dimensional opinion…

    2. @kingshark I agree with you. I think you could have nailed your case on your first sentence.
      “he was clearly in the lead and the battle was for second behind him”
      And Kingshark argues that Lewis was defending, I think you are right but still, it doesn’t matter. Regardless of Lewis misjudging how far Nico was behind him, Lewis cut the track, that should be the rule, if you are not forced wide you should get some sort of penalty for cutting the track, there’s no wall because that’s dangerous but it’s still outside the racing line. If we run an empty red light on the middle of the night or we just run a red during traffic, we are both infringing the same law, it’s a problem of double standards as you’ve said.

      The flat spotted story leaves me catatonic, almost funny, but dark humour anyway. Honestly McNish shouldn’t have spread his infinite wisdom on everyone, for the sake of the stewards they shouldn’t have said anything let alone undermine themselves by justifying their actions, not to mention running the risk of further damning their case. This McNish comment reminded me of Warwick at the grid in Bahrain I believe, in response to Lewis not getting a reprimand for reversing on the pit lane Warwick told Brundle that Lewis had just reversed a little bit, on the other hand the other driver in investigation Mag I think got a reprimand for other demeanour.

      1. Quite the comparison of a race track to real world a to b driving…

    3. @kingshark my initial thoughts were that it was only because of how the Rosberg and verstappen battle ended up, with the second placed car (i.e. Rosberg) leaving the track, thus leaving no clear direct challenger to the position, that the incident went unpunished. Not that I’m saying that it was correct. He definitely had a lucky escape. Definitely similar to Canada ’14 though.

      @peartree I thought Hamilton did get a reprimand for reversing in Bahrain

  4. “the start and first lap are treated differently from the rest of the race” We know it is this way, and rather than ignoring this problem McNish reinforces that fact. It’s a problem that the rules are not binary, there’s grey areas, maybes everywhere. I actually think the RB vs Ferrari saga more laughable and an undisputed proof that the system doesn’t work. 2 days ago I said that 3 out of the 4 stewards are most definitely not qualified for the job, one of them, McNish fails the test on “common sense grounds” why? Because it’s common sense, obvious!

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      7th November 2016, 7:05

      Extremely poor argumentation by McNish.
      If Hamilton was clearly in the lead and was not defending against Rosberg (and VES and HUL), then why does he need any ‘lap 1 latitude’ when making an unforced error.

      I know what I will do next year if I’m in the lead, cut that first chicane and lift a bit when settling in!

      1. Drivers are given latitude because they are approaching the corner with cold tyres and breaks and a full tank of fuel for the first time in the entire weekend.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          7th November 2016, 10:23

          maybe on lap 1 they should take out the chicanes for all drivers @fluxsource ;-)

          1. I can appreciate F1’s thinking towards some leniency about first corner incidents due to a congested field. I also think they (F1) don’t want to be too strict to the point where drivers are afraid to race into the first corner and would all rather coast through cleanly for fear of penalty, which would ruin much of the most exciting action we might see all day.

            But that said, I fully agree there should be some consequence for a mistake. Claiming cold tires and brakes and full fuel is not an excuse. They’re all the same and they should know that going into turn 1 and adapt. If they lock up, they weren’t accounting for their car condition and adapting. So to me if the runoff at T1 doesn’t provide a natural penalty, then there should be a time penalty of two or three seconds added at the end of the race.

            LH’s first mistake was overcooking it into the corner, not cutting the chicane. If the likes of Mcnish are going to say on the one hand he ‘wasn’t racing anyone’, which is ridiculous, then that should mean he wasn’t part of race start congestion, which means he should have had some consequence as there was no ‘first corner congestion’ excuse.

            LH started this by not being in control of his car. MV wants to know why he got penalized when LH didn’t. Perhaps it is because MV had also overcooked it, like LH, wasn’t in control of his car, and whacked Nico off the track, which MV likes to conveniently forget. So when he cut the chicane in front of Vettel perhaps that was strike two for him that day in the eyes of the stewards. Between whacking Nico and keeping a lead later on to Vettel, I don’t see how MV wouldn’t have been pulled from the podium.

            Anyway it is unquestionably hard to argue against the concept that a mistake should have a consequence. At least a warning? A mild little verbal ‘you’re on notice’ for the rest of the race, as in, do it again and there will be actual consequences. I’m sure some of what we saw too, was F1 not wanting to decide the Championship in the boardroom but rather them trying to leave that decision to resolve itself on the track between LH and NR, and preferably it all going down to the last race for maximum audience ratings.

          2. @robbie

            But that said, I fully agree there should be some consequence for a mistake.

            I think that most of the time at most tracks a driver is in fact punished for a significant mistake. I’m not sure this mistake was as significant as many think…he didn’t spin, didn’t hit anyone or anything etc etc. and due to the track design there was a runoff that allowed him and any driver to get back going or keep going unscathed. It’s not that I entirely disagree with you, but I also think that drivers should not always be punished, and certainly not severely, for full-out racing.

            Anyway it is unquestionably hard to argue against the concept that a mistake should have a consequence. At least a warning?

            I think a warning would be penalty enough in this case. Hamilton’s penalty was flat-spotted tires, dirt on his tires from cutting the chicane. To do anything more would have been penalizing him too much for simply all-out racing.

  5. I still don’t understand why this nonsense is going on, it was wrong let’s move on, so a week later after analysing it he comes up with this nonsense.

  6. Total bull, Mr. McNish: you say in L1T1 incidents are tolerated because it’s a more hectic environment but Lewis was not giving a penalty because he was clearly ahead [obviously, that’s what happens when you forget to brake] and was not fighting with anyone. Choose one or the other, it cannot be both at once.

    Well, the logical thing to do for all drivers when starting at Mexico next year will be to follow Lewis’ path, why lose time by staying inside the circuit lines and actually turn at T1 and T2?

    I have “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Stewards of Poor Judgement From Being a Burthen to The Drivers or Teams, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick”. During next year’s race, Mr McNish should be forced to stand in the grass between T1 and T3. His presence there might be a deterrent for trespassers. Or maybe not.

    1. Your proposal is absolute gold !!!!!

    2. @keithcollantine this type of comment is disgusting and devoid of what true fans of the series should be permeating just because of judgments they may not like, or drivers they don’t like being punished or anything else. Bias shouldn’t give in to wanton calls like this.

  7. I understand why the start is treated differently from a stewards point of view. All the cars are heading into the same turn at the same time, but why do we have such a massive variation with normal racing laps?

    What if Hamilton had been in the middle of the pack and locked up? he’d have either crashed into another car, or he’d not have released his brakes so early to avoid a flatspot. He’d have locked up harder in an attempt to stop the car quicker.

    The fact that he DECIDED to release the brakes and cut a corner should be the determining factor into a penalty. He’d have tried harder to make the turn. But he didn’t, the chose to save his tyres and his car before respecting the limits of the track.

    I don’t buy the “he didn’t gain any advantage” argument either. Being able to stay ahead, even by the same distance, is already an advantage in itself. Whoever was behind didn’t have the chance to benefit from Hamilton’s mistake/problem.

    It reminds me of Hulkenberg at Monza in 2010, constantly cutting chicanes in front of Webber to stay ahead. First lap or not, it should not be possible. The tracks allow it these days, the stewards shouldn’t.

    1. For me, the most annoying thing is how Allan McNish is classifying Hamilton’s episode as a lap 1/turn 1 incident, when it was clearly an unforced error on Hamilton’s part, thereby deserving no leeway.

      I always thought we had stewards – particularly the drivers’ stewards – to help apply the rules in a contextual manner based on the ‘spirit of the law’ rather than the letter. Instead, he defends his fellow stewards by giving this drivel.

      I’d be equally curious to understand his logic how the ALO-SAI incident resulted in a penalty (when Sainz drifted left on a straight running Alonso out of room) but the ROS-VES incident between turns 1 and 2 didn’t. It would be worth a cynical laugh.

  8. The argument for Hamilton is mostly 2 things, first corner and he didn’t gain lasting advantage.
    My problem with that argument is that I can excuse a driver breaking a rule assuming that the situation is hectic, but Hamilton was in front and not in the middle of the pack. He got a clear road ahead of him. If what Hamilton did can be excused as 1st corner thing, then there is no stopping anyone starting 1st to just ignore the rules and cut the corner if it give him an advantage thus the chasing car can’t go near him.
    Also he did gain a lasting advantage. If he need to brake more to make the corner, he might have a massive lock up thus ruin his tyre. Also I believe technically he should go back to the track as soon as possible (as in not cutting, but immediately turn to the nearest road, you know, steering to the right) but he didn’t do that. I believe if he did have a massive lock up (and I assume that he still go out of the track) and he try to go back to the track immediately instead of driving outside of the track, he probably would ended up somewhere in the back because remember another rule that you need to join safely and with the stream of cars, I doubt he could do that (since he didn’t carry a lot of speed because of the braking needed to make the corner, thus big speed differential to make joining the track safely very hard).
    Of course he might be able to stay on the track if he pushed the brake hard and somehow still remain 1st after the 1st corner, but again, the lock up would mean that he ruin his tyre thus changing the dynamic of the race.

    Because of this, I would love if someone do this on the next race and test the stewards consistency :) Then again, F1 stewards is known for being consistently inconsistent.

  9. Well now that we all understand Lewis lap 1 turn 1 move was clear cheating and stewards are throwing anything they can hoping something sticks – we can all move on about Lewis blown engine.

    He got a win handed to him.

    Now he’s losing on merit!

  10. Great pick for the caption!

    If those garages are getting built on the same principles as all the other road reconstruction in Montreal they’ll get them half way done, realize they’re in the wrong place, tear them down, announce they’re over budget, and set about a new five year plan for a rebuild…

    1. And once they get built, they dig up the cables running underneath @maciek? Afterall that seems to be the way most places do things :-)

    2. @maciek @bascb – reading that, I first thought you’re describing my country. Then it struck me, you’re probably describing all our countries. ☺

      1. Yup, I’m next door to Quebec, here in Southern Ontario, and it’s the same.

  11. Has anyone seen the data for first sector times on first lap?
    Judging from the fan video recently posted it appears that Hamilton crosses the turn three apex almost four seconds before the next car.

    I wonder how everyone’s first sector/first lap times compare…. Is Hamilton’s sector 1 time the quickest by three seconds or so?

    IMO Hamilton should have been penalized. This irrespective of Verstappen or anyone else.
    He cut three corners, not one and gained a track advantage by continuing to lead and also because had he rejoined the track between turns one and two.. he would have been about fifteenth…

    Although this particular manipulation of outcome was accomplished fairly deftly, it’s all too similar to Jean Marie Balestre’s post race ruling against Ayrton Senna for using the escape road to rejoin the track after the start of 1998 Japanese Grand Prix……. the reason for Balestre’s ruling was blatantly obvious at the time…
    Championship fixing.
    Although Senna gained no advantage when he rejoined the track and even after pitting to repair front wing damage Senna went on to win the race… Balestre’s disqualification of Senna was so ordered and implemented …….aaaaaand the championship went to Alain Prost.

    We have seen this before……

    1. because had he rejoined the track between turns one and two.. he would have been about fifteenth…

      The precedent that has been set is that it is no longer preferable for a driver to yield the position or rejoin in a correct manner. Instead, wait for a penalty and mitigate its impact in the meantime. If the driver is lucky, he might not even be penalized.

    2. lomp, of course, you neglect to mention that Senna wouldn’t have won the title even if he was awarded the win in the Japanese GP on appeal because he crashed out of the Australian GP – even if you were to award him that win, Prost would still have won by 7 points at the end of the season.

  12. ” Wow! Another exciting Formula One race sees the chequered flag! Our provisional winner is Lewis Hamilton with provisional podium positions taken by Nico Rosberg and Sebastien Vettel ”

    Tune in to Sky Sports on Formula One Thursday when all stewards final decisions are announced to see who really won!

    1. Reminds me of the tagline of the show Whose Line Is It Anyway?: “the sport where everything’s made up and the rules don’t matter”.

      1. “Whose racing line is it anyway?”

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          7th November 2016, 7:00


        2. Hahahahaha

  13. The reason I personally believe that Hamilton should’ve been penalized with a 5 second stop-go or cede the position to Rosberg is that he effectively failed to lose a place due to cutting the corner. The argument that he was ahead, in my opinion, is invalid, because if he had attempted to make the corner, there is a higher than 50% chance in my opinion that Rosberg would have overtaken him (if Verstappen wasn’t too overzealous into the first corner), so by cutting the corner, not only did he retain first position, but built up a gap of over a second. Moreover, Rosberg wasn’t really alongside him, but his nose was overlapping with his teammate’s rear tyre, and so he really shouldn’t have been allowed to retain first.

    1. When it happened, I had the impression that Rosberg was making a move on Hamilton just when Lewis outbraked himself, forcing Rosberg to back out of that (that was my impression when watching live, after several replays that mainly show what happened afterwards, I am not quite as sure), which in turn allowed Verstappen to have a go at Rosberg.

      So then Hamilton “won” the first corner by cutting it, AND having Rosberg in a fight with Verstappen, making it all that more easy to build a gap (which he off course did not get to build due to the VSC and then the SC) @mashiat. I think the important part to me is, that you should not only not gain an advantage, you should in fact suffer some disadvantage from making a mistake like Hamilton made.

      And Sure enough the race would have been a lot more interesting had Hamilton joined up in 3-10th place and would have had to fight his way back to the front.

  14. Senna had a championship stripped off him for cutting a corner…

    Point is. Decisions have always been political. And this is a clear case of “them” trying to keep the championship alive.

    1. As they did in:
      Monaco 2014
      Spa 2014
      Canada 2014 (Rosberg cutting tha last chicane while defending from Hamilton)
      Russia 2014 (Rosberg cutting turn 1 and not being penalized)
      Germany 2014 (safety car not being deployed, because it would have allowed Lewis to close the gap)
      So what?

    2. How unfair Suzuka 1989 was, Senna was NOT stripped of a championship that day.

      1. Well if we’re going to go there let’s talk about the massive unfairness of Senna getting pole and then Balestre changing the rule overnight after qualifying and putting Senna on the dirty side of the grid for Sunday.

  15. F1 is turning around a round… Still talking about that Hamilton/Verstappen shortcut.

  16. Now we have someone saying a driver must defend against a driver from behind, staying on the racing line isn’t enough. However if Vettel defended he leaves himself open to being penalised. The result of these verdicts is drivers must learn to drive like robots. I think a better way to race is for them to race on railway lines.
    Of course, if Ricciardo had stayed on the racing line and braked correctly then he wouldn’t have collided with Vettel, so Vettel would have got third place. By colliding with Vettel he got third place.
    I think this ruling is a farce.

  17. I really dont buy the 1st lap argument. HAM braked way too late that’s why he missed the corner. IMO this was done to stay in front of ROS. Why is it okay to take a shortcut after you make a mistake. You should have to lose speed and places when you do that not win the race there.

    1. I agree. There is a place for the first lap argument, but this isn’t it.

  18. We will never have all the data, if they have the brake temps they know if his brakes had issues, if they have the throttle data they will know if he lifted, they will know when he brakes, how hard etc. We only see what we see but they see a full picture of what was the drivers inputs.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      7th November 2016, 10:36

      You’re saying that ‘if his brakes had issues’ he’s allowed to ‘cut corners’ (fig. & lit.)?

  19. Instead of doing the first thing that comes to mind, i.e. calling Allan McNish a buffoon (which he obviously is), I’d like to comment on something completely different:

    Lately, the round-up hasn’t included many, if any, of those annoying, attention-seeking tweets for which the defending world champion has become notorious. I don’t know whether that means that he has stopped posting this kind of content for the moment, or whether they aren’t considered relevant for the round-up anymore.
    Whatever the reason, this development is greatly appreciated.

  20. I’ll be lynched for saying so, but I thought the first lap decisions from race control were the best all season. Wehrlein’s incident needed a VSC at most, so far off track and with the field still close. But with the first three drivers all making a mess of the first corner, a full safety car was deployed to effectively neutralise the start, whilst avoiding handing out those penalties that we all despise. Interestingly, I believe it’s Herbie Blash who deals with lap one, whilst Charlie walks back from the start line.

    1. @splittimes
      “I’ll be lynched for saying so, but I thought the first lap decisions from race control were the best all season.”
      You won’t. While not necessarily as enthusiastic as you, I found all the decisions on the lap 1 incidents justifyable. The problem is Verstappen’s penalty, as it blatantly contradicts the decision on Hamilton’s corner-cutting. You could penalise both drivers or none of them, there are good reasons for both options. But by penalising Verstappen only, they made a mistake.

    2. +1

      Agree with you. Hope there’s enough noose for the both of us.

  21. What about Rosberg? Don’t give me the rubbish that he was pushed off the circuit, yes he was but he could have easily joined the circuit instead of cutting the grass to keep position.

    I’m a massive Hamilton fan and I admit he should have been penalised but I can bet my last dollar it’s been done plenty of times this year yet the usual suspects haven’t mentioned it once. Why not enforce a 5 second penalty whenever you cut the corner no matter what???

    1. Rosberg couldn’t have easily rejoined the circuit without making contact with other drivers. If he did attempt to rejoin and there was contact, drivers will probably also have complained. There wasn’t really much space for him to rejoin without waiting until several had come past. Anyway, it was Verstappen’s fault that Rosberg went off track and I’ve explained a reason why he may not have re joined. Anyway, the advantage he gained was hardly anything. The advantage Hamilton gained was HUGE. He braked late (his own fault) and he was so far ahead because of this that he very easily could have gone back on track without contacting anybody. He probably did this to avoid a flat spot. But to me it was too much of an advantage gained when he easily could have pulled back onto the track.

    2. @Damon85 Nico had just gotten whacked hard, his steering wheel, we would find out after the race, off centre for the rest of the race, and you can somehow sit in your armchair and claim he could have ‘easily’ joined the circuit instead of cutting across the grass? Wow…you really are a massive Hamilton fan.

  22. The reason for no penalty for Hamilton is really simple. The stewards do NOT want a car trying to rejoin the boiling pack in a dangerous manner as would have been the case had either either Lewis or Nico’s T2 cuts. If either had been penalised it would send a message for future races that drivers must at all costs rejoin the track early, that would be a recipe for a repeat of Spa 1998 and a demolition derby.

    In short, it wasn’t about one race start, it was about understanding the safest behaviour for any driver to default to in the future…

    1. Highly doubt that. Drivers are responsible for controlling their car to begin with, and are also responsible for how they get back into the race after going off. This has nothing to do with setting some precedent, the concept you are trying to sell. Penalizing LH would not have sent some hard and fast direction or message to the rest of the grid like it was some lesson on how to rejoin safely.

      If this was a situation of the stewards being concerned about safety for all, they would have penalized LH for going off to begin with, and tried to discourage that behaviour to begin with so that there wouldn’t be concerns of drivers getting back on the track safely. Or they could simply go back to gravel at runoffs so there is no possibility of rejoining unsafely at all. You make a mistake and you’re done for the day.

      1. Disagree Robbie, if you read the BBC F1 article Alan McNish, a man who as a steward has penalised Lewis in the past made it clear that it’s everything to do with setting a precedent and ensuring drivers complete a safe start and don’t risk crashing into or impeding others. It’s the bigger picture that you don’t seem to appreciate.

        The track design permits such a bail-out, you can be absolutely certain that Lewis knew this. The grass outfield probably should have measures to make it less easy for those who make a mistake, but that’s hindsight on only the second running of this GP.

  23. “had either Lewis or Nico not cut T2” Sometimes I wonder if English is my first language…

    1. Made sense to me

  24. There’s been a huge number of races where someone has been “Clearly in the lead” and locked up their brakes – after their lock up they haven’t been in the lead so what the heck does clearly in the lead have to do with any decision making.

    If a driver makes a mistake that causes them to go off the track, surely there has to be a consequence, regardless of position or the lap that they are on.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      7th November 2016, 15:40

      Because the argument to not penalize the driver comes down to the “lasting advantage” line in the regulations. They say, “Because he left the track in the lead and rejoined in the lead, he gained no advantage.”

      Hencr why they see no issue with drivers cutting the track to maintain a position; it doesn’t count as an advantage to them.

  25. “Rosberg has left no stone unturned in his pursuit of this year’s title.”

    Errrm….no, Alan. Not really. Both drivers have had shaky weekends and shaky starts, so we are not counting that. We are not even counting Lewis engine issues which made him start from the back – twice. When it’s all shaken up and stirred, the defining difference comes to Lewis’s DNF at Malaysia.

    Irrespective of if he will be a “worthy” champion or not, overall, Rosberg has not driven better than Lewis this year.

    1. You can conveniently manipulate the season any way you want to suit whatever opinion you might have, but there is no denying Nico has had his strongest season this year. Driven better than Lewis? That’s subjective and will be up to the individual to decide. That has depended on which race you mean. But if you do boil it down to just one dnf for LH, which is out of NR’s control, then that means NR has had a stellar year and been there to capitalize and has always kept the pressure on LH, yet again, which can’t always be said of WDCs’ teammates.

      1. but there is no denying Nico has had his strongest season this year

        Disagree. I find it hard to justify Rosberg’s performance this year as any better than 2015 and would love to know why you think it is undeniably so.

      2. @robbie – you have made no sense whatsoever. Of course, Lewis’s DNF is not Rosberg’s fault – but capitalizing on your rivals mistakes does not equate to have a “stellar” year…does it? What is undeniable is that Rosberg has not driven any better this year, than he has in the past. It is only the Malaysia DNF that swung the title in his favour. So far.

  26. Michael Brown (@)
    7th November 2016, 15:50

    The lock-up and flat spot meant Hamilton ended up in a risky situation – it means big vibrations that not only shake the driver around but also risk breaking the suspension.

    That legitimizes it. So it’s fine for Hamilton to avoid the consequences of his mistake. And then McNish tries to rationalize this by comparing this to Raikkonen’s suspension failure in 2005.

    Because flatspots always lead to that.

  27. SaturnVF1 (@doublestuffpenguin)
    7th November 2016, 16:13

    Woo! Thanks Keith and everyone who liked it! Long time reader, first time winner.

  28. Its simple. A few races back Hamilton would be punished but now the title aituation is critical and the authorities want to maximise the chancecthere is all to play for at the final race.

    Remember Malaysia 1999 when Ferrari were disqualified and Hakkinen was declared champion. Ross Brawn did a live interview with a ruler and the offending part to show the error but a few days later they somehow got this overturned so there was a final race decider. Different situation but the motive is the same.

  29. Hamilton clearly gained 2-3 car length advantage. I understand that there are arguments re: mitigation of penalties dues to first turn chaos, etc. but that’s another issue.

  30. Whatever McNish is telling. It is his opinion and nothing worth for anybody else.

  31. ‘If Hamilton pulls this back, it will be a masterful feat’ (BBC)

    unfortunately the only way HAM will win this year, is if his team want him to win it, and that is not very likely, but even still, if they want him to win, he will. So it will never be great or masterful if Lewis wins the championship this year, not unless he takes his teammate out legally on the last lap and his engine doesn’t self destruct, now that would be masterfully :) lolz. The only masterful move Lewis can make for the rest of this year is to tear up his contract and beg for a drive at Ferrari or RBR.

  32. McNish; how to describe 2 identical incidents as being completely different. It really baffles me!
    Or maybe mr McNish is somewhat ever so slightly biased towards fellow Britains?

  33. An excellent piece of editorial ! Bravo to McNish.

  34. A good quote from this debate: “The tracks allow it. The stewards should not.”
    It all comes down to that, no more no less.
    Hand out a 2 position drop for blatant corner cutting, unless a driver is pushed of the track by another driver. That will definitely put an end to it. (a 5 sec time penalty isn’t a punishment, often it just nullifies the advantage gained, and thus it poses no deterrent.)
    My prediction: We will see this behavior on lap one every now and then, until the rule about lap 1 is changed.

  35. McNish is a biased twerp.

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