Hamilton did not brake-test Vettel, FIA rules

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In the round-up: The FIA ruled Lewis Hamilton did not brake-test Sebastian Vettel during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

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Are Williams using F1 as a “proving ground” for Lance Stroll:

I think the fact that Lance is testing with the old car between races shows just how much preparation he lacked before he entered F1. Surely, a good season in F2 would’ve worked wonders for him. He’s taking the hardest path, though I’m sure, if I were in his position, I’d have done the same: jump into F1 as soon as possible.

But I don’t like that. F1 shouldn’t be a proving ground. It should be only available to those ready to take the challenge. Stroll has money to give to Williams so they can afford to send a test team to Austin, and even schedule future tests to compare setups and stuff. It seems like way too much help for a driver that’s very young and could easily develop properly into a seriously quick guy, with experience supporting the cause, and plenty of time to accommodate in F1.

With the support he has, his F1 seat would’ve never been in danger. Sooner or later, he’d have been at Williams

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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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80 comments on “Hamilton did not brake-test Vettel, FIA rules”

  1. I think Vettel just got caught out by Hamilton not accelerating out of the corner. His own sudden acceleration made it look as if Hamilton suddenly slowed. It is funny how misleading a piece of footage can be.

    What was not warranted in anyway was Vettel’s reaction. He should get (or should have got) a serious reprimand. A decent grid penalty at least maybe even a race ban. How long has it been since Vettel’s radio outburst? If Hamilton or any other driver had made such a similar action, I would expect the same punishment.

    I was also rather confused by Couthard’s reluctance to blame Vettel. His initial argument that Vettel did it by accident did not really stack up. He had at least one hand on the wheel. It turned in suddenly. Certainly intentional in my view.

    I was also further confused by Coulthard’s acceptance of the second safety car being called upon to “improve the show”. I personally find this just as bad as what Vettel did.

    The second safety car actually introduced more danger and led to the third safety car. There was no need for the second safety car. The field was bunched and what little debris that was on the track (at that point) could have been cleared with a VSC. This would have been much safer, quicker and removed the risk of a bunched re-start.

    Playing with safety cars to “improve the show” is a dangerous.

    1. @mach1 nice balanced view, good to see. I agree, Vettel was caught out by the closing speed… I don’t agree with your point regarding the safety car usage, the use of the 2nd safety car was required because the marshalls would have been on the circuit on the racing line clearing carbon fibre. And while VSC is slowing the cars down, there was no guarantee that the Marshalls could have cleared the racing line with cars circulating.

      I think the thing with this incident and last years incident at Mexico, shows that Vettel doesn’t accept blame well. Whether there was intent to hit Hamilton or not when he was upset at him, is irrelevant, the fact that Vettel did collide with Hamilton is the point, causing a collision and receiving a penalty in race and whatever repercussions may come his way after the event. Regardless, Vettel needs to contain the aggression he feels towards Hamilton by being faster or out smarting him, its no good banging wheels, that isn’t going to achieve anything, furthermore, he should own up to the mistake.

      1. @mach1 , @dragoll – Agree with both of you on Vettel. It is his responsibility to not run into the car in front of him and he failed. Then compounded it with his own action and the resulting penalty that ultimately cost him the very likely race win.

        I like Vettel, but sometimes he is his own worst enemy.

        Another point in this discussion I do not comprehend too well is how many folks seem to think that Hamilton would purposely want to make Vettel crash into the back of his car risking puncture or race ending damage to his car. Hamilton has more to lose by doing that than Vettel does since Vettel is leading in the WDC point standings. Why would he take that chance?

      2. On the SC vs VSC @dragoll I think we should also realise that this was only the second race here. Last time most of the marshalls were actually flown in from Bahrain (so they were experienced), but this time most were local. As you mention, the VSC does not give a prolongued period without any car on a stretch of road. And having inexperienced Marshalls, who might not judge the speed of the cars right, could have turned really bad.

        I think that maybe if they had clearly sat down Vettel after Mexico, he might have learned to control his anger in time. After he misjudged Hamilton’s driving and hit him in the back he did exactly what is meant with road rage. Maldonado got benched after one of those in Spa qualifying, Vettel did it behind the SC in a full field of cars.

        Had worst part is (as several ppl pointed out yesterday) that had this been a Palmer, a Magnussen, a Stroll, etc, they surely would have gotten a harsher penalty. Now the stewards argued with the championship as a reason to hesitate to hand the rightfull penalty.

      3. I disagree with you on the second safetycar @dragoll. The main reason being it was directly after the first so the pack was already together. I don’t know how much additional time it gave the marshals by using the safety car over the VSC but I think it was very little.

    2. Of course he didn’t crashed on purpose into Hamilton.

      I’ve said it yesterday and will say it again. Vettel was so lost in his anger his brain didn’t took notice of the incident. I expect he will say something next race after he sees the footage. At the end of the race he still wasn’t able to compute the second contact, the fact the he thinks the penalty was for the first one just shows how engaged he was with his anger, mix a bit of adrenaline in there and there you have.

      Really don’t see where people came up with thia idea that he did it on purpose, what was there to gain?

      I’m sure when he sees it he will think to himself how stupid he was and adress his previous comments.

      We can’t expect drivers to be coherent jusy after jumping out of the car.

      At the end he served the penalty and got points on his license. It sounds fair to me. It is not his fault that Hamilton ended up behind him.

      1. FreddyVictor
        26th June 2017, 7:32

        Spot on!
        VET is his own worst enemy
        as for VET ‘not accepting blame well’, please show me a driver who does
        VET did himself no favours by leaving early whilst leaving HAM to do his faux-outrage performance (see Oscar nominations next year!)
        looks like the VET / HAM bromance has hit the first bump in the road !

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        26th June 2017, 7:44


        I agree. I’ve been thinking the whole time that he just lost control with frustration. That is why I assumed he was unaware of hitting Hamilton a 2nd time. I think the first crash was just a little unreasonable of Hamilton going as slow as he did. It was unnecessary, especially considering all the moaning he’d been doing about how slow the safety car was and how it was affecting his tyres. He then goes much, much slower himself. I think that is a little unreasonable of him after he’d been complaining about a (much faster) safety car on the radio. I think Vettel will have remembered that he hit Hamilton a 2nd time if he’d done it on purpose. As you say, he will probably will have felt so furious at the time. I saw him looking at Hamilton and shaking his hands. This was when he hit him. The second he took his hand off the weel. That is what makes me think he didn’t intend to do it. I haven’t seen a video anywhere that shows him suddenly attempting to turn the steering wheel to the right towards Hamilton. No matter how many videos I see of the car looking like he deliberately did this, I don’t think he did. People laughed when he didn’t know what the penalty was for but I think that makes it quite clear that he wasn’t aware of what he did. Which I think proves that he didn’t try to do it. It was still idiotic and clumsy though.

        1. @thegianthogweed exactly

          I think Hamilton was a bit too slow, don’t know if it was his right to do that sort of manoeuvre or not, the stewards cleared them, and we have to trust their judgement (same goes for the severity of Vettel’s penalty). A couple of drivers behind felt the need to change their line to avoid the car in front (see Perez and Kimi), but that’s how a re-start goes I guess.

          We have to be careful with our comments. People might think it is an excuse for what Vettel did or it is in is own defence. It isn’t! On the contrary
          He did a stupid thing and paid for it. Now, there is no need for all the bitterness that we see around in the comments. Lately people are struggling to interpret things calmly, I guess that might be a good thing, its means the season is good right?

          We should have plenty more articles about this, lets see how things develop

        2. @thegianthogweed
          I can’t quote the regulations, but my understanding of the safety car rules is this:

          * While the safety car is out the cars have to stay together, no more than ten car lengths behind it (and between each other?), possibly for several laps. During this phase, Hamilton felt that the safety car wasn’t going fast enough for a F1 car to maintain tyre and brake temperatures.

          * When the safety car is on its in-lap the leading driver doesn’t have to stay as close, and has to decide when to get back up to full speed. No overtaking is allowed until the safety car (and the leading race car?) have passed the safety car line (a white line painted across the track and the pit entrance), by which time the safety car will be out of the way back in the pits. So the leading driver’s goal is to cross the safety car line at full racing speed just after the safety car, and in order to do that he will slow down and drop back from the safety car until he judges that he can accelerate flat out. He’s also hoping to accelerate at a moment when the following cars are not ready, gaining a small advantage. The following drivers know this, and try to stay as close as possible. We’re told that the telemetry shows that before the second restart Hamilton took that corner in just the same way as the first restart, which suggests that Vettel just wasn’t concentrating at the vital moment and accidentally ran into the back of Hamilton.

      3. Really don’t see where people came up with thia idea that he did it on purpose, what was there to gain?

        There was nothing to gain – that’s the concerning thing. He did it in a moment of pure anger through loss of self control. To suggest that he didn’t remember the second collision with Hamilton is utter nonsense – he simply pretended it didn’t happen/refused to mention it post race as he knew perfectly well what he had done but took the childish route of denying it despite everyone having seen it happen. His perception of it may have been different due to the red mist but that is exactly why a driver doing something like that ought to have a 1 race ban, to try to make sure that in the heat of the moment the subconscious might be influenced to not make a stupid, and potentially dangerous, decision.

        1. To suggest that he didn’t remember the second collision with Hamilton is utter nonsense

          His perception of it may have been different due to the red mist

          Pick one, otherwise we both are talking non-sense

          1. @johnmilk
            The two statements aren’t mutually exclusive. To suggest he had a different perception of it doesn’t mean he either remembered the incident or didn’t. Red mist refers to a lack of judgement, not memory.

            I do believe both yourself and @jerseyf1 make equally compelling points. But without being inside Seb’s head we may never know the answer (and, as has been suggested, even he may never know). I think you’re correct to raise the point though.

    3. I think Vettel just got caught out by Hamilton not accelerating out of the corner. His own sudden acceleration made it look as if Hamilton suddenly slowed. It is funny how misleading a piece of footage can be.

      I think you got that the wrong way round. If you look at the official telemetry, right next to the arrow with the caption “Steady deceleration”, you can see that he did accelerate straight after the apex of the corner (his speed went flat, then upward), then decelerated sharply to bring his speed back in line with his previous coasting. Vettel would have noticed that Hamilton began to pull away from him, hit the accelerator himself (about half a second later), and this put him into the back of Hamilton’s car when he slowed. While the TV telemetry showed him touching the brake, it’s hard to tell whether that was before or after the first impact, without a throttle/brake trace that matches the speed data. So you can understand that Vettel thought Hamilton had brake checked him at the time.

      His reaction was stupid, but I think the second contact was accidental, as others have said. He has now apologised for causing it (which he did), but there hasn’t really been any clarification of whether he did it on purpose or not.

  2. Ahhhh! Now that’s good timing, Keith! Showing the world that I criticized the way Lance Stroll got into F1, right after scoring a podium in superb fashion! xD

    Thanks for that. I’ll get a huge bashing here…!
    I’m ready folks… Hit it!

    1. thepostalserviceisbroke (@thepostalserviceisbroke)
      26th June 2017, 0:53

      Nope, you made a very valid point. Can’t take podium away from him, but he’s backed into it today.

    2. Haha that’s funny.

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      26th June 2017, 1:11

      :D Harsh. For what it’s worth, I agree with you. He put in a mega performance in Baku but he was still slower than Massa in general. He’s got a long way to go to be a top driver.

      I gave him DOTW for Baku but that’s because he kept out of trouble which seemed almost impossible for everyone else! He’s the last driver I would have expected to have a clean race when everyone else’s was so chaotic and that’s what got him such a good result.

    4. We are after you Sunny Jim. Lol.

      Many years ago drivers had unlimited testing. It did wonders. Cost cutting is good but an accident prone rookie doesn’t make things cheap. F2 is not comparable to F1. Experience does not translate. You don’t put a soldier fresh out of training into the special forces and expect him to do wonders. Just like you can’t put a rookie into F1 and expect him to set the world on fire without the training.

      There really should be a rookie clause in F1. First year guys get unlimited testing. Even if it is an F1 mule car(they can afford it).

      Look at Alonso trying out Indy. He went through a training camp that lasted a few weeks. He wasn’t stuck in the car during practise and told to go for it. F1 however asks that all the time. F1 is at the highest level therefore they should make sure the drivers are adequately prepared for the world stage.

      1. The problem with the cotd is that after yesterday’s race Lance’s Dad was asked if that test helped his son at all and he said not one bit. It was merely a test that was set up 9 months ago and was always going to happen. This was not a rich Dad buying his son some special testing between Canada and Baku.

  3. Then ham breake-test twice…

    1. It wasn’t break testing; it was a genuine red flag to clear up debris ;)

  4. Regarding the Safety Car periods, I don’t know. The marshalls weren’t particularly good here… maybe a VSC would not have been the best idea. They took a LONG time to clear cars, and also failed to clean the track quickly. Better play it safe, and control the pack with Bernd Schneider leading.

    As for Vettel, I think he basically got away with it. Maybe Hamilton was at fault, tho telemetry shows otherwise, and as @mach1 says, Vettel’s quick acceleration made it look as if Hamilton was the one that slowed, but he was given a 10 sec stop and go, and 3 points on his license…

    Sainz got a grid penalty and the same amount of points for basically a mis-judged race incident during a race start at Canada. Same for Button at Monaco with the move on Pascal.

    Running into a rival on purpose is clearly a different kind of incident and they basically imposed the same penalty. I think the FIA is too worried about penalizing established drivers. They have “protection” if you will. I wonder what they’d have done to Palmer or Stroll in the same situation…

    1. @far-no65 an action commited in anger and with intention deserves a greater degree of punishment in my opinion.

      Maybe you are right about the quality of the stewarding, however, the amount of debris on track that brought out the second safety car was relatively little at that time. I do not dispute the need for the first safety car. The stewards did not have the speed or the cranes to remove the car quickly and safely. The second safety car however, I would dispute as being required. That led directly to safety car three as due to the nature of the course, the cold track conditions meant that a crash was far more likely on such a bunched up field.

      What I find more worrying is that the safety car could be seen as a tool to improve the show. While a safety car can certainly mix up the show, this should always be a unforeseen outcome of it actually being required. If however a safety car is deployed far to liberally with the primary reason being to “mix up the show”, this can be dangerous. It is playing with, what is, a safety feature.

      The tacit acceptance that this may happen, as displayed by Coulthard, concerned me even more.

    2. It’s not the marshals but the fact there isn’t much space to do anything. this is not Monaco were there are lots of hidden spaces to accommodate any stricken car or easy access to marshaling points. The marshals have an easier access to the track at Monaco that at Baku which has a Singapore like layout but with even less space.

    3. Bernd Mayländer.

  5. So why the punishment was so lenient?
    Grosjean would be arrested by doing the same.
    Vettel trying to play down the whole thing is just a complete disgrace. There was no brake checking, the data shows it. Saying that he was punished for hiting the back of him is mind boggling. Lost all respect for the guy.
    And FIA protected him once again.

    1. Comment got deleted. Too bad. You don’t “More or less” hold the same speed. You also don’t rapidly come off throttle after a hairpin after you’ve bunched the field up. Plus he’s done it many times before. Blind fans will be blind

      1. @sjzelli
        We’re told that the telemetry shows that Hamilton didn’t “rapidly come off the throttle”.

        Plus, if he’s done it “many times before” why wasn’t Vettel expecting it this time?

        Blind fans will be blind ;-)

  6. thepostalserviceisbroke (@thepostalserviceisbroke)
    26th June 2017, 0:54

    Does anyone know if Merc/stewards/FIA can ask to review the HAM/VET incident and hand out more penalties after today?

    1. No, the penalty has been served and they gave Vet penalty points.
      They cleared Hamilton already

    2. The FIA can review the incident, but unless new evidence comes to light that was not available to the stewards in Baku, can only change how future incidents are handled and penalise stewards – they can’t correct any errors they find in the review relating to the drivers.

      If new evidence appears (for example, if the stewards forgot to check the driver radios and it turns out one of them said something indicating they acted badly on purpose), all bets are off. The stewards of whichever race is next after the information is revealed would review the information, and would be authorised to issue a penalty if (and only if) the new evidence changes the verdict. If they are in doubt, or the correct penalty is more severe than a disqualification from Baku alone, they can refer the incident upwards in exactly the same way as the original incident could have been. What they can’t do is use a claim of new evidence as an excuse to claim the old evidence, standing alone, supports anything other than the original verdict. (That is what non-result-changing reviews are for).

      Steward penalties are rare, but do happen. In F1, I believe there were disciplinary hearings after one steward went home before Jarno Trulli’s car failed scrutineering at the 2001 USA Grand Prix. This was not only because the steward shouldn’t have left early, because it appears that instead of asking the FIA what to do next (an action that would likely have enabled the case to be sent to an appeals court and likely resulted in the disqualification being upheld), someone (we never found out who) forged the missing steward’s signature.

      Before that, the only occasion I know about is when Michael Schumacher served a penalty on the last lap of the 1998 British Grand Prix due to bad stewarding. All the stewards involved were required to hand in their licenses. At least one of them re-applied, but did not return to F1-level stewarding until 2001.

      1. thepostalserviceisbroke (@thepostalserviceisbroke)
        26th June 2017, 15:37

        Wow, thanks for the detailed response. Clearly you know your F1 history.

  7. I think what angered Vettel was that after driving into Hamilton, Hamilton seemed oblivious to the fact even when Vettel pulled alongside he didn’t seem to acknowledge him or anything that’s when I think Vettel was like ‘ Hey, I’m talking to you!’

    1. That’s some way of getting his attention. The worst part of it Seb justifies it as acceptable behaviour on his part. He’s no better than a Maldonado in my opinion. The boy might win WDCs but he has no class.

    2. Only yesterday morning my wife showed me a video of something comparable @mim5. A motorcycle driver is shown to kick a car (almost certainly after that car somehow blocked or gave him little room or something). The car then swerves into the motorcycle, but loses control, hits the barrier, careens over to the right and it causes a massive incident.

      Just imagine that Hamilton would have lost control of his car, hit the barrier and how big of a pile up that would have created (end of the race by a red flag maybe?). It was a clear case of road rage. Road rage is at the base of a large portion of accidents on the road and has no place in a car. Even less so in a race car with a professional driver.

      1. @bascb – Viewed that video just last week too. An extreme graphic reminder of how quickly and destructively things can go wrong in a split second of road rage.

        The worst part was the innocent people merely driving down the road that got collected as collateral damage and suffered injuries because of it. Lucky nobody was killed really.

        The authorities were still looking last week for the motorcycle rider who set the catastrophe in motion. Haven’t heard any updates, hope they do find him and give him more than a 10 second stop and go.

        1. Indeed @bullmello. Although I highly suspect the thing was actually set in motion a smidgen earlier by some kind of small innocent move from the car that must have upset the bike rider, who then upset the car driver, who then crashed etc.

          All in all not something one want’s to have going on at all. And indeed certainly deverving of more than sitting idle for a mere 10 seconds.

          1. I’m amazed that You can compare the incident of the bike rider and what Vettel did and cry out that Vettels action was just as dangerous. If a bit of wheel-banging at those kind of speeds in F1 is that dangerous, than we must forbid F1. Look at the drivers who hit the wall with very much higher speeds, or the run down the long straight! What Vettel did can’t seriously be deemed dangerous – he shouldn’t have done it, and it could have caused serious damage to both cars, but I still hold on to my view that Hamilton was at fault for the first hit – he did slow down (blue smoke from his rear left), maybe not enough for the Stewards to punish it, but it was dangerous of him to bunch up the field like that and it was unnecessary of him, with the speed advantage he had.
            But I hope the incident will cause Vettel to work hard to improve holding his temper – it wasn’t pretty and it did cost him lots of points and he was lucky it didn’t go even worse for him.

          2. @bascb – Right, something happened there before the video started. Whoever shot the video must have had an idea that the incident was about to escalate.

            Living here in California I’ve seen some crazy things on the road including some road rage incidents that just never should have happened. Things spiral out of control so fast. I’m way cooler on the road than I used to be. Not worth it to be otherwise.

            @palle – Chilling is good, I agree Vettel should try it. Don’t really need no demo derby F1. I think that what made Vettel did so wrong was that it was all temper and not an incident while racing for position.

          3. Yeah, i’ve also seen my fair share of how small things can go horribly wrong over here (Chech roads get pretty crazy, although Polish drivers top them with a margin) and try to just chill and not let things get to me too @bullmello.

  8. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    26th June 2017, 2:20

    Vettel was accelerating out of the corner – you can see it on the overhead shot. Hamilton barely changed pace but Vettel is accelerating. The shot from behind makes it look like Hamilton is slowing down but actually it’s Vettel who’s accelerating so it’s misleading.

    What Vettel did next, was simply incredible. I cannot believe this kind of guy drives for Ferrari. He shouldn’t be allowed to drive for Fiat…

  9. Poor Ricciardo, he won the race but the next day everything anyone wants to talk about are Hamilton v. Vettel and Safety Cars and the state of F1.

    No doubt Vettel did wrong there, but I think what he got (10-second stop-go which basically means 35 seconds and 3 license points) was enough. Punishment for any crime should be based on both intention and consequence, with focus on the later. If I intended to hurt someone badly, but failed and only gave that person a bruise, my punishment would be less than if I had broke their legs. On the contrary, there are quite strict laws against unintentional manslaughter in any country/state.

    In this case, the consequence was minimal. There were no crash involved and all cars could have continued racing if necessary. To impose a more serious penalty would be unfair to Vettel.

    1. Errrr, it’s very much the intent that matters. If it can be proven that you were trying to kill a man, in most countries the punishment is the same or close to the same as for actually doing it.

    2. Heaven forbid anyone be unfair to the guy who shunted another car, then complained to the driver of that car, then shunted his car again for good measure, and then after the race continued to claim he’d been brake-tested despite the FIA stewards stating emphatically that he hadn’t, and then insist that the other driver should have been penalized for being hit! Twice!

      1. Spot on. Vettel would be issuing an apology today if he had anything about him. Disgraceful.

    3. If he had got a 35s penalty, he would come out behind Lewis, not in front. When he stopped, the gap was 27.8 seconds.

    4. Vettel did the very thing most sports try to stamp out, unless you live in the states, which is retaliation, and more specifically, road rage. Using your car as a weapon. It mattered not that he Vettel was responsible for the first incident initially.
      The FIA is pushing the road safety theme with the UN, hence the drivers are ambassadors for that cause.
      Ramming another car however the speed is completely wrong.

  10. Ladies and gentlemen. I think I have only seen one black flag in my time watching formula 1 if I am correct. I’ve been following for 11 years this year but have not been able to catch every race. Can the more knowledgeable amongst us please tell me what constitutes a black flag? What is a black flag offense?

    I would have thought using your car as weapon to dish out your own punishment on track as being dangerous enough to recieve a black flag but I am clearly wrong.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. @img343 Recent Black Flags have mostly been about ignoring the red light at the end of the pit lane. A bit further in the past and you have things like overtaking on the parade lap, reversing in the pit lane… A driver showing a bit of emotion does not lead to a black flag, and it’s kinda disappointing they didn’t went at each other during the red flag period. However, what I’d really like back would be disqualifications for shortcutting the track through escape roads.

    2. Cucamest (@kevincucamest)
      26th June 2017, 5:53

      @img343 Most disqualifications (which is effectively what a black flag is) occur after the race for technical infringements such as Barrichello in Australia 2008, both Saubers in Australia 2011, Ricciardo in Australia 2014 and Massa in Brazil 2015. The only other driving infringement that caused a driver to be disqualified in recent years is Hamilton in Australia 2009 when he overtook Trulli under the final safety car period and then then him and McLaren refusing to give the place back. The last time a driver was disqualified while still in the race and not afterwards was when both Massa and Fisichella drove through a red light at the end of the pits in Canada 2007.

      1. A black flag is an in race disqualification for a driver and car. It is shown to a driver if the stewards believe some action warrants a car and driver to be disqualified while the race is being run. A black flag is not shown after the races. Disqualification after a race is a totally diffetent affair.

    3. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
      26th June 2017, 10:47

      Only remembered Montoya in Canada 2005.

    4. A black-flag offense is anything that is too severe to be penalised by the standard penalty list. These typically fall into the following categories:

      – Ignoring a marshalling/race direction signal requiring a driver to stop (a black-and-orange “meatball” flag for severe technical issues, a red flag, a stop light in the pit lane, a marshal indicating a driver should not attempt to rejoin a race, a medical warning light activating in the car). Use to be seen occasionally due to the pit lane light rule, but not since Canada 2007 since the pit lane light infraction is now handled by a 10-second stop/go penalty. I don’t think I’ve seen any of the others in F1, though the threat of them has been used to convince drivers to do the right thing, such as Hamilton with the Confar foam headrest problem yesterday.

      – Ignoring an instruction to take a drive-through or stop/go penalty. Last time I saw this was Michael Schumacher in Silverstone 1994, probably because F1 teams rightfully consider this an embarrassing way to end a race.

      – Ignoring a black-and-white “driving standards” flag (though not in endurance series, when there’s time to allow longer penalties to be conducted instead). I cannot remember the last time I saw F1 bother to use one, though they were more common in the 1970s.

      – Being a clear and present danger in the race. At least, other series consider this a black flag offence. Apparently F1 doesn’t.

      – Racing in a car that has not passed scrutineering. There was a time when spare cars were allowed but not until they’d been scrutineered in place of an original race car. Arrows failed to do so in Australia 2002, netting Enrique Bernoldi a black flag. (To complete their misery, Heinz-Harald Frentzen in the other car missed a pit lane red light and got – you guessed it – a black flag).

      – A driver not being in their car at the 15-second signal. Yes, Juan Pablo Montoya in Canada 2005, that means you.

      – Attempting to compete in a race for which one has not qualified. Yes, Hans Heyer in Germany 1977, that means you.

  11. Vettel: “He did something similar a couple of years ago in China at the restart. It is not the way to do it.”

    FIA: “He did something similar a couple of laps ago at the earlier SC restart. It is the way he does it.”

  12. The HAM/VET incident, the SFIs crashing into each other and the debris puncturing Kimi’s right rear, the consequent red flag… All this is a direct consequence of the second safety car. Which was totally unnecessary at the time. Even HAM asked on the radio whether there was a crash on the track that he hadn’t seen on the 1st lap under the second SC. And the field was already bunched up after the first SC… A VSC would have been adequate to deal with the debris(I believe it was just a front wing).

  13. The fight is on! There’s no love or excitement there anymore. Mercedes and Hamilton are angry and they are going to fight against Vettel/Ferrari. I believe Ferrari is done here. Mercedes was just sandbagging till now to keep F1 interesting, they will return to their real pace from now on.

  14. I think the thing a lot of people miss with Mercedes is they are a German car manufacturer racing under the German flag (based in Brackley, yes, all you .co.uk’ers).

    Of the 16 seats available over the last eight seasons, 10 of them have been filled by someone of a German nationality (3 for Schumacher, 7 for Rosberg), with this season being the only time since their return that at least one seat isn’t filled by a German.

    I expect to see Vettel in a Mercedes next year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if talks are well advanced. What happens from there I don’t know (does Hamilton quit, stay, or try and win 3 titles with 3 different teams), but I do buy into Alonsos comment that there will be a lot more changes next year than people believe at present.

  15. The most experienced STR driver line-up was at it again this weekend. Well done boys, your experience is really paying dividends for the team.

  16. FIA wasn’t much consistent with rules recently

  17. I expect Ferrari will be secretly fuming with Vettel for that style of driving. He would have easily won the race and through it away by letting anger get the better of him, just like he did when running into Ricciardo at Mexico last year.

    I can think of only one other driver that has done the same in recent years, Pastor Maldonado with the ‘incidents’ on Perez at Monaco and Hamilton at Spa.

    Using your car in this way is a black flag offence in any other lower formula. I still can’t quite believe it.

    1. Even NASCAR disqualifies people for that offence, and it has “rubbin’ is racing” as an unofficial motto!

  18. The sc was a dot on the horizon when he hit the brakes, yet that was ok? When was the last time the lead driver totally fluffed off the sc to do whatever he wanted with the pack behind him? He abandoned the safety car and went on his own. But then, I heard before the race started that Danny Sullivan was once again the steward. It kinda made me cringe.

    1. What are you talking about?

      The Safety Car light went out, that means Hamilton becomes the pace car until a sufficient enough gap has grown to let the SC get back to the pits before the lead car bolts.

      Hamilton was doing what is normal in that situation.

  19. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    26th June 2017, 10:09

    I honestly can’t say I’ve ever seen a driver simply deny the existence of an incident that he created. Absolutely amazing. This is Trump-esque amounts of stupidity.

    Vettel knows he’s in the wrong but refuses to admit that anything even took place aside from him running up the back of Hamilton.

    1. I choose to second your opinion rather than posting mine, as they are virtually the same.

      Based on data, which is a fact, FIA ruled that Hamilton didn’t brake-test.
      Data also indicates that Hamilton had behaved in exactly the same way in the first Safety Car restart.
      In short, there is no ground to accuse Hamilton.
      Vettel’s accusation came from his own personal opinion, not from a fact.
      The crash from behind was his own mistake at best, if not intentional.
      But the guy is so self-centered. Anything that doesn’t go his way is someone else’s fault.
      He got mad enough to even bumped against the other’s car despite knowing perfectly well that it was definitely wrong.
      Then, he threw another coward excuse that the bumping was just an accident!
      What a real man ..
      What an honorable world champion ..
      Team order wouldn’t help this time?

  20. Regarding VSC: as has been pointed out, it does not bunch the cars up, making it rather hard to clear up the track. Although after the first SC period all the cars (?) were in a nice queue, so VSC might have worked.

    Maybe the FIA should rethink the way the SC period ends. I like the way (V8) Supercars do it: the safety car accelerates away from the field and the leader then has to keep a steady speed with no weaving allowed. He can then floor it somewhere near the S/F line. Of course, these are two completely different categories, and with tyre blankets still allowed in F1, restarting with actually cold tyres and brakes would be a challenge.

    1. Alex McFarlane
      26th June 2017, 20:04

      They always seem to leave the safety car out longer than necessary.

      Bring it in a lap early and restart the race under a VSC lap.

  21. I am not arguing with the verdict here, but is an explanation such as “..had behaved in exactly the same way in the first Safety Car restart” really acceptable? I expected the explanation to include stuff such as how much he lifted and how much is acceptable in such circumstances because we saw clearly he was loosing speed.

  22. Didn’t see the Grand Prix, haven’t seen the incident . . .
    But would it be a good idea for F1 cars to have brake lights?

    1. Alex McFarlane
      26th June 2017, 20:01

      No time to react to them in normal circumstamces..

  23. Hannah Fry…

    I don’t unde

  24. Hannah Fry…

    I don’t understand what she finds offensive. The ladies there are like ushers. No one asked them to clap, I believe it to be a spontaneous gesture.
    Female ushers are also used at the Olympics or sporting events, model ceremonies, etc.
    Does it degrade a woman?

    I remember the first time I saw a grid girl in one of those newer races, with a turban and long beard. I didnt feel like watching the race. The event didnt look balaced.
    No offense to anyone.

  25. Piquet did not crash on purpose, FIA rules

  26. Could everyone stop dragging the Vettel-Hamilton debate to every single thread on the website, thank you; there is other stuff that goes on in Formula 1 too.

  27. “Telemetry data collected from Hamilton’s car further corroborated the evidence, proving that the driver had behaved in exactly the same way in the first Safety Car restart.”
    Lovely, so he could have brake-tested him TWICE and they still would have ruled in Hamilton’s favor?
    What a sham.

    1. @James. Good point.

  28. I really don’t know what to believe regarding this.

    I saw the footage so many times with step by step playback and I am totally confused. On-board graphics are showing Hamilton braking 3 times. First is when entering the corner (95—>71 kph), second is when exiting the corner (66—> 51 kph) and the last time is after he is hit by Vettel. I don’t know what qualifies as “brake testing”, what I do know, based on common sense and my everyday driving experience, is that when exiting a corner, and especially a blind corner like the one the incident happened, you are not supposed to brake but accelerate. But again, being the leader and controlling the pace, maybe gives you the right to do so, even on a blind corner.

    Regarding Vettel’s behavior, whether was intentional or not, I think it was black blag material. He did not one but two infringements of the rules, the second was overtaking under Safety Car, which surprisingly was missed by the stewards.

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