Why Hamilton had to slow the field more at that controversial restart

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel has sought to deflect criticism of his deliberate contact with Lewis Hamilton by claiming his rival “brake checked” him.

Drivers are forbidden from driving “unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers” during Safety Car periods. The FIA has already made it clear Hamilton’s driving did not break the rules. This hasn’t discouraged Vettel from continuing to insist Hamilton was at fault.

An overlooked but significant detail in this row is that Hamilton had good cause to slow the field down more during that restart, the second of the race, than he had during the previous one. Following the first restart Hamilton was advised by his team that he needed to give himself more space at the next restart, meaning he would have to slow the pack down more.

The following radio exchange was heard:

To HamiltonOK Lewis that was pretty close on that last restart.
Form HamiltonClose to what?
To HamiltonThe Safety Car, and Safety Car Line One.
Form HamiltonTrust me, it wasn’t.
To HamiltonOK, copy.

Mercedes were concerned Hamilton might violate article 39.8 of the Sporting Regulations which states: “No driver may overtake another car on the track, including the Safety Car, until he passes the first Safety Car Line for the first time when the Safety Car is returning to the pits.”

Lap 16 restart, Baku City Circuit, 2017
Hamilton almost caught the Safety Car at the first restart
At Baku the first Safety Car Line is at the same point as the pit lane entrance begins. This section of the track caused several problems for the GP2 drivers last year. Race leader Nobuharu Matsushita overtook the Safety Car before the line and was later given a two-race ban.

Did Hamilton pay heed to what he was told? As the exchange shows Hamilton gave the idea short shrift at first. But it seems he came around soon afterwards.

Not all the team radio communications are broadcast so if there was further discussion on this point we didn’t hear it. But Hamilton did make comments later on about the speed the Safety Car was going.

At both of the next restarts he did slow the field down more and left a bigger gap to the Safety Car. The first of these was when the incident with Vettel occured.

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2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    179 comments on “Why Hamilton had to slow the field more at that controversial restart”

    1. summary: there’s always an excuse for mercedes drivers

      1. Not this one.

        Everyone can be the judge with this footage which was posted below
        LH approaches corner, applies the brakes and changes down 2nd to 1st.
        LH comes OFF the brakes, then at about 60kph, applies the brakes (again) just on apex and carries brakes through apex and past it.
        LH then comes off the brakes and is hit 0.8sec later by Vettel
        LH then momentarily applies the brakes again after he was hit.


        1. Shaun Robinson (@)
          27th June 2017, 15:03

          I saw this on the broadcast and seemed to me that it was at least one of the following: “unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers”. If someone was on the road ahead of me and they were accelerating and then braking and then accelerating and then braking, I would call it erratic.

          Again later in that restart, he braked before the safety car line slowing the field down again – I would also call this erratic. I understand he has to warm his brakes for the heavy T1 braking zone, but in my opinion it is dangerous.

          1. If he had accelerated then braked, accelerated then braked, then yes it would be erratic. However he didn’t, his deceleration was smooth and consistent. He is allowed to brake. He just is not allowed to do so erratically.

            The braking in the corner was perfectly acceptable and not particularly abnormal (he slowed by just 9 mph through the apex which is not erratic or excessive) plus it may well have been kers generation that applied the brake. Remember vettel was not at a constant speed. He accelerated which is why he hit hamilton.

            The speed was pretty normal for a street circuit and even other tracks. Just go and watch footage from Bahrain this year where vettel was controlling the pack at the safety car restart. He backed them up and was going much the same speed.

            Vettel was just frightened that he was going to be overtaken by Perez (which almost happened at the previous restart) so he was probably thinking more about that than watching hamilton. It was vettels responsibility to drive safely behind hamilton.

            1. This about what 9mph (14kph) is at that speed. I’ve brake tested before. at 70kph down to 55kph is substantial at those speed. And to brake at an apex when every racers brain is programmed to accelerate? Why? I don’t understand why Hamilton didn’t just coast for an extra few meters rather than braking. I would wager my house on the fact Hamilton did it on purpose. Of course we will never know for sure.

            2. @David.

              The 9mph was not inconsistent with the deceleration through the entire corner. It was not like he suddenly hit the brake hard. And no drivers are not programmed to accelerate at the apex when behind the safety car. They ought to be looking at the car in front and make sure they drive safely behind it!

              Vettel claims hamilton accelerated out of the corner then hit the brakes. do you think that happened? (It didn’t)

              So vettel does not appear to be concerned by the deceleration through the apex. Also the last safety car restart was also slow through that corner so why did vettel think it would be different the second time?

              The other thing to note is that going slow through the final corners is normal practice for all drivers that control the restart. Vettel did the same thing in Bahrain!

            3. If you watch the reply they showed with Hamiltons speedometer and brake/accelerator indicator you can see that yes, he did in fact go back and forth from brake to accelerator. As I PVR’d the race and was able to re-watch this replay several times and in slow motion, to answer your questions, yes, I do think it happened and I don’t think, with the evidence I’ve seen, I would have very much trouble convincing people to agree.

            4. @David.

              I also have watched the replay in slow motion many times. Hamilton does not accelerate out of the corner. The fact that the throttle graphic moves is due to keeping RPM up. His speed consistently slows through the corner and then remains stable out of the corner.

        2. This is the video to prove it, was looking for the onboard with the data. Not sure how the stewards didn’t pick up on it tbh. Clear as day to me. Hamilton should’ve been penalised for this. (although Vettel should also have been penalised more than he was)

          1. That data isn’t always 100% accurate to the drives actions in the car. The stewards have access to much more accurate and reliable data, which tells them how hard someone is pressing the brake, when they did it exactly etc. Therefore if there was any brake checking the stewards would have seen it.

            1. Yeah, but you can also hear the engine in relation to the data. And I believe the stewards were looking for a throttle then brake, rather than braking on the exit of the corner, so it’s entirely possible they may have missed it.

            2. @Hugh.

              The stewards do not use FOM TV graphics to assess issues on track!

              They have access to very precise and accurate data and they have access to a lot more than what is shown on TV. They can see if the brake and throttle pedals were depressed and if so by how much and with what pressure, They can see the exact engine revs and the exact speed. They can see how much steering input is applied and they can also look back and compare that to previous laps.

            3. Yes, I know they have telemetry’s etc, and their report said he didn’t lift or brake “entirely” on the exit of 15. Implying he did brake, but not fully ie in a way which would bring the car to a stop.
              Therefore, it shows that he did brake on the exit of 15, which is a strange thing to do. I’d understand just not applying the throttle as he was waiting for the safety car to go, but to actually brake on the exit of 15 was likely to test Vettel, as Vettel was much closer than he was at the previous restart when Hamilton caught him napping.

            4. @hugh11 I see what you mean when it comes to trying to test Vettel because when you look at the second restart in isolation it does look like Hamilton is going very slowly. However the official Formula 1 YouTube channel just put up a video looking at the incident and they had a side by side of Vettel view from the first and second restarts. In both Hamilton goes very slowly through 15, if anything Hamilton look as if he was going slower on the first restart, therefore I think Hamilton was just getting down to a speed that he deemed was good for letting the safety car get to the pits rather than testing Vettel.

            5. @Hugh

              He did not brake on the exit. He braked through the apex. That is very different. Vettel was much closer as he was accelerating. Now if you factor in that hamilton did the same thing on the previous restart, why did vettel think it was a good idea to accelerate through the corner? Other drivers have also stated that they would have not expected Hamilton to sprint from that corner.

              Vettel was just very concerned by the fact that he was almost jumped by Perez at the previous restart and made a mistake.

        3. When you look at that video you need to watch the speedometer. You can see Hamilton slows down from about 90 km/h to about 50 as he is going through the corner. As I understand it these cars have very little aerodynamic downforce at this speed, so he would be going through the corner slightly faster than a road car would, so I think 50 km/h is a reasonable speed for that corner.
          The recommended following distance for cars travelling at 50 km/h is 20 metres (at least it is in the country where I live), and the minimum following distance is 13 metres, so these are the sort of distances one would expect Vettel to have been at going into that corner. When you look at the video from Vettel’s car you can see the 50 metres before the corner sign, and at the point it certainly looks as though Vettel is far too close to Hamilton, he was maybe 10 metres behind him. That 50 metres sign is about where your video link starts, and at that point Hamilton is doing about 90 km/h, so Vettel should have been further back than the 10 metres or so he is actually following Hamilton at.
          The responsibility to maintain a safe following distance was Vettel’s, he didn’t, so he is the one responsible for the collision.

        4. Now look at the same clip from Vettels car when he’s alongside Hamilton. The brake indicator is blinking like crazy. There is no way that Vettel was applying and releasing the brake so fast:

          It’s obvious that this graphic is not actually reflecting the brake pedal, but at best it detects deceleration and then fills the brake “light”.

          1. @patrickl That isn’t a brake light – it’s a blinking red light designed for visibility in the rain and to indicate when the car is recovering energy from the MGUs.

            It can mean braking *might* be more severe as the MGU-K generates off the rear wheels, but it doesn’t explicitly mean ‘the brake pedal is down’

            1. Watch the video matey. He’s not talking about the light on the car, he’s talking about the screen infographic.

      2. *facepalm*

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          27th June 2017, 16:19

          @john-h I’m going to echo your gesture… I was going to answer but I’ll save the space and oxygen…

      3. I don’t think you need an excuse when someone tailgates and then sideswipes you.

        Every driver knows the lead driver behind a safety car will almost invariably slow to create a gap before the safety car pulls off – on all tracks and irrespective of driver.
        The lead driver is always going to put pedal to the metal sometime after the last corner – but may not pass the safety car, so the lead driver has to create a gap to the safety car to give themselves room to accelerate legally. The safety car line in Baku is further from the last braking zone than on most other tracks, so the gap must be larger, otherwise the accelerating lead car will pass the safety car. So Vettel knows what to expect.

        Vettel’s account suggests that Hamilton accelerated out of turn 15, and then braked – telemetry is conclusive that this didn’t happen. It seems fairly clear to me that Vettel messed up… and then lost his temper.

        As far as the sideswipe is concerned, it might have been at fairly low speed, but it was a quite hefty bang – sending both front wheels of Vettel’s car briefly airborne.

      4. Maybe, but this one is pot one, he needed more space that’s why he slowed, or didn’t accelerate from that corner.

      5. The sky is blue … No its black.

      6. It seems then that the track is at fault. Btw, I never thought Hamilton wanted to get hit from behind, my previous theory was that it was a botched and inconsiderate attempt at bunching up the field. Neither did I think that Vettel hit him on purpose.
        Now it seems the organizers have to accept responsibility for creating an unsafe situation if Hamilton had a good reason to slow down at corner exit, when you are supposed to get back on the throttle. So much for “constant speed”. Now I see why the steward are denying it, they are trying to deny responsibility and putting all blame on Vettel (who already got his punishment and needs to chill a bit in general).

        1. Olayinka Oladi.eji
          27th June 2017, 20:43

          Why can’t u just say it as it is
          V3ttel screwed up. Period

      7. invisiblekid
        29th June 2017, 7:32


        You seem to confusing “excuse” with “reason”.

    2. after seeing all the analisis and comments on the incident in differents webs from europe and south america, all i can see is that most of people who doenst support him, o hate him, even if HAM do nothing wrong they try to find something and blame him too for the incident.
      My view is that VET was too anxious for the previous restart and make a mistake in try to stay too close to the leader and was cauhgt accelerating too earlier and touching HAM at the back, and for that mistake VET was too angry and do that shamefull action.
      I think he deserves an DQ for this action and send the important message that this kind of action will no be tolerate, simply as that.

      1. The circumstances of the track/safety car played a big role in the incident, but that is something no one can blame so we have what we have.

      2. Vettel played it very well indeed. As soon as he hit HAM he knew 100% he should change the front wing while HAM would have kept the first position. Likely a 25-0 in points. So he tried to also DNF HAM and bring the race to a tie at 0-0. VET was unlucky that he couldn’t break HAM suspensions or something.

        It was pretty much a Senna vs. Prost 1989, or Schumacher vs. Hill 1994: if you are going to lose, try to DNF the other.

        1. FreddyVictor
          28th June 2017, 10:14

          he knew 100% he should change the front wing

          so you’re saying VET knew there was going to be a Red flag subsequently ?

          @David F
          yes VET way too anxious & expecting HAM to keep reasonable speed
          VETs subsequent actions were totally misguided – whether intentional or not
          Stewards took reasonable action considering everything

    3. I thought the telemetry showed that he slowed down in the same fashion as the first restart??

    4. Nicely noted Keith, I also saw this, and also a big part of the problem was the fact that the best way to give yourself an advantage as the lead car behind the safety car on the restart is to come out faster than the car behind from a corner before a long straight, and the slower the corner, the bigger the benefit, this is something all drivers know, and that corner before the contact was not only the best corner to make the restart but also the corner where some laps earlier Hamilton restarted the race, so it all pointed to another restart from that corner, but this article explains why he didnt take away from that corner the second time around and we all saw what happened.

      1. @kaiser

        you are kidding right? or you dont know what you are talking about! you dont see the last corner ahead with the safety car? and you dont know where there straight is do you? if ham did throttle out of that corner, he would have caught the SC a lot before that SC line before it exit! then what? ham would have to play the sitting duck? Those safety cars do not accelerate fast as F1s do, someone at GP2 did listen to your “clever” suggestion, and guess what happened? he got past the SC b4 it exit, and he got a race ban!

        1. @mysticus
          Watch the race, read the article and then read carefully my comment, you must have skipped one of those steps to be able to make such a remark.

          1. @kaiser

            Actually @mysticus is correct. Refer to previous radio communications between Hamilton and his engineer regarding how close he may have been to the safety car on the first restart.

            It would have played on Ham’s mind that, with the immense power difference between the W07 and the AMG, he might have reached the safety car line before the safety car.

            Either way. I believe Ham did not do anything wrong (as confirmed by the FIA).
            EVEN if Ham did brake test VET, VET’s response of bringing the law into his own hands and driving into HAM was not correct.

          2. @kaiser
            i did watch from start to finish, but i doubt we watched the same race or any race! if you did, you would already know this is common practice by everyone to slow down to get a good getaway when SC left the field!

            “where some laps earlier Hamilton restarted the race, so it all pointed to another restart from that corner” thats why he has been told to be careful as he was too close for comfort! as SC barely cleared!

            “that corner before the contact was not only the best corner to make the restart” no it wasnt, at the time, SC was way too close, and would not make it to SC line when ham fly past it!

            I doubt you even know what you are talking about. Problem is you dont comprehend the strategy of SC restart, it is not how fast you go, it s the surprise getaway that doesnt let your opponent react to… if Ham were to do it as you suggest, 1) he would have caught the SC and as you must have seen Vet jumped the throttle, to be too close… good luck to Ham on the straight…

            1. I doubt you even know what you are talking about.

              Always a sound argument.

              As Ricciardo and numerous others have said, Hamilton was entitled to set the pace. All those supporting Vettel seem to have missed that point. If he didn’t brake test, why did they collide? Because the car behind (Vettel) was too close. All the drivers were braking and swerving to keep the tyres warm. So getting too close was an unjustifiable risk.

              Frankly the argument annoys me a lot. The SC took away a what 3 second? advantage Hamilton had over Vettel. So the idea that Vettel had some kind of right to be able to jump Hamilton at the restart is already filled with a dubious sense of entitlement. That’s just compounded by the fact his main concern appeared to be being jumped by Perez. Yes the SC cancels out advantages and adds excitement for the restart (probably why an unnecessary second SC was called in the first place, to add ‘show’). But Vettel really just needed to acknowledge he was over-excited and made a mistake.

              As usual it’s a ‘dead cat on the table’ strategy. Talk about Hamilton maybe or maybe not braking, when the very issue was and is Vettel’s ridiculous response which merited a disqualification.

            2. David BR

              Without doubt the most sensible well reasoned post that actually addresses the reality of a SC restart I have seen so far.

              And there have been thousands and thousands.

              I am almost stunned at the range of ‘straw man’ arguments put in place for this event but by far the best ones are related to how LH somehow did wrong by following the rules, should just get out of the way and let SV past on all restarts and that mitigates SV going frankly nuts!

              Well done.

      2. I still think Hamilton could have done this in a better way. How about slowing down more prior to the corner and coasting through the apex? A lot more predictable.

        1. SC restarts are anything but “A lot more predictable” restarts, you dont want your opponent to jump or react quickly when you take off!

    5. Oh please. Lewis didn’t brake-test Vettel because Mercedes made a radio call after the first restart telling him to leave more space? The SC was long gone when Hamilton practically came to a STOP at the exit of the turn.

    6. Fukobayashi (@)
      27th June 2017, 13:29

      Imagine all the privileged establishment F1 fans if Hamilton had done EXACTLY the same thing to Vettel? I don’t even need to say anymore tbh.

      1. Imagine all the privileged establishment F1 fans if Hamilton had done EXACTLY the same thing to Vettel?

        @offdutyrockstar Seems an appropriate to repeat a post I made yesterday…


        Imagine Hamilton turning in on Vettel like that.

        That’s just it though. Would Hamilton actually do something so stupid as Seb did this weekend?

        Hamilton has had plenty of questionable comments and actions outside of the car. And yes, quite often he comes across over the radio as a “cry baby” when he’s not getting his own way and can get flustered (“ho-ho, understatement of the century!” I can hear from some of you).

        But swearing at the race director? Driving alongside, berating, and driving into another driver under safety car conditions? Vettel has fully demonstrated he is capable of those kinds of actions. Nothing Hamilton has done these last 10 and a half seasons has suggested he’s capable of stooping to that level.

        1. Hamilton wouldn’t do that, no. He’s no angel, but no he wouldn’t stoop to that level I’m sure of that @ninjenius.

          You won’t convince many people of that though. There’s a lot of hate looking through the youtube comments lately, it’s really sad.

          1. Ham’s talents would trump all d hate in d end

    7. Yep, when watching the replay of the race, I felt Hamilton was quite close to overtaking the SC at the end of the first SC episode. I didn’t understand the confidence with which he said to his engineer “Trust me it wasn’t”. May be Hamilton got the SC line confused.

      Had Hamilton got even closer to overtaking the SC, he would have had to lift giving the lead of the race to Seb on a platter.

      But anyways, the blame for the crash with Vettel is squarely on Vettel (and this coming from a Ferrari fan). This minor incident doesn’t mean that the blame of the next incident even minutely shifts to Hamilton.

      1. May be Hamilton got the SC line confused.

        Could be – there were two lines quite close before it including the DRS line. But the Safety Car Line is painted very thickly, like the rest of the pit lane entry lines, so it should be hard to get them mixed up.

        1. Which leads back to the horrendous job Race Control has been doing for the last couple of races. The Kvyat situation, the SC line on this particularly troublesome track, and I’m sure I’m forgetting one or two incidents more.

          Like with any sport, if competitors feel the referees are out of the loop or overwhelmed by the action they will attempt their trickery.

          1. The drivers have to gauge the distance between them the safety car and the SC line before they accelrate up to 200mph… It is not easy at all.. And i see why HAm had to give it more space..

    8. What I find interesting is the lies all the sites reporting this incident have been quoting since Sunday including @keithcollantine as well, with regards to Hamilton being cleared by the stewards!
      Below is the link to the FIA race report for Azerbaijan GP and no where in the stewards decision does it say Hamilton was investigated let alone the quotes their reporting is based on!

      This is very misleading and biased reporting!

      1. @rockie The FIA don’t always issue documents in instances where no action has been taken. For example: Vettel and the yellow flag in Brazil 2012.

        1. @keithcollantine what sort of pivot is this, that was days after the race. When Ferrari went on about it.
          In the stewards decision the Bottas vs Raikkonen decision was covered!

          Try another one!

          1. Also it was Ferrari not understanding the rules as it was a flashing yellow warning for slippery track and not a solid yellow for danger on track.

            Also both Ferrari and Redbull were given a report for the stewards decision although was nt circulated!

            1. @rockie I think you’ve misunderstood me. I did not say that documents are never issued when the outcome is ‘no action’ – you only have to look at the Penalties Index to see that isn’t the case.

            2. To add on this point, I’ve received some more information from a source at the FIA this evening which I am going to use into a piece I’m writing at the moment. Expect to see it on the site tomorrow.

        2. I have not misunderstood you, you tried to excuse reporting without FACTS by saying at times FIA does not issue reports on their decisions which I have just proven is wrong!

          You can prove me wrong by coming out with a decision which the FIA have made without decision issued!

      2. @rockie This is very interesting! Now I’d like to know as well where did this “Hamilton didn’t break any rules according to FIA” report came from.

        1. @sakis
          It is very interesting now if you go to some other sites they are now saying they heard it from “FIA circles” after stating it as a FACT the stewards cleared Hamilton of any wrong doing.

          Still waiting on @keithcollantine to show the communique on which the reports are based or the name of the FIA steward who told journalists they investigated the incident!

      3. Fukobayashi (@)
        27th June 2017, 13:58

        I think certainly when I read cleared by the stewards I dont automatically think that something was investigated. I put not even considered fore investigation in the same category so I dont think the reporting was intentionally misleading.

        1. @offdutyrockstar it is misleading, they claimed the stewards investigated and cleared Hamilton of any wrong doing!
          It’s not in the stewards decisions hence it wasnt investigated and not one of the journalist involved can link you to the communique they are quoting from icluding at @keithcollantine

          1. wouldn’t you assume hamilton was investigated and nothing was found, as the incident and its disciplines have already been “Resolved” as far as we know. In fact, those that see Vettel at fault want more punishment, and people are upset because the lack of communication implies that there will be no more punishment and no new findings. So, since there is no report on a hamilton penalty it is safe to assume THEY INVESTIGATED IT and nothing more is coming. You dont investigate Vettel without investigating Ham at the same time or visa versa. I dont get what you are going on about, the wording of a sentence. I dont assign malignant intentions, and I think it is even a stretch to say there was some sort of strategy to mislead. Chill out. VET should have been DQ’ed. You going on like this is very vettel’esque.

            1. Vettel was investigated for the wheel banging incident like he was meant to and punished for it!

              But the first incident had no decision report on it like the others.

      4. I am still looking for a picture of the onboard camera showing Ham drove at 52 Km/h in the corner and the brake indicator was red.
        Someone showed that picture, but i am unable to find it.

        1. The picture is very misleading as it is a frame grab taken just before the brake was released. It is better to look at the footage (Channel 4 showed it after the race) which shows a short but light application of the brake during the apex. It scrubbed about 9mph of his speed which is very small and did not appear to increase the deceleration rate by much compared to the natural engine braking. The total deceleration envelope through the corner was pretty stable and consistent and then the speed after the corner was also consistent. He did not accelerate and then hit the brakes as vettel claimed.

        2. @erikje
          Yes it’s confusing but the official FIA video here (voiced by James Allen) gives pretty good insight, however they have removed the onscreen graphics.
          Interesting to see the precedents (Montoya/Schumacher Monaco 2004, Vettel-Webber Fuji 2007, also with Hamilton reprimanded for bunching the field behind SC).
          Hamilton’s “kids” comment is a bit laughable considering his past misdemeanors and his own hero being Senna.

          Trying to find a video with the onscreen graphics that show braking etc is tricky as they keep getting taken down by FOM I guess, but one is here, and another here. You can also try this Google search term. Now either the onscreen graphics are wrong or not synchronised, or Hamilton does indeed brake.

          1. @Crom

            Again, the image is misleading. Yes he did brake but obviously a single frame grab does not show the context.

            No one is questioning if he braked through the apex. The question is was it brake testing. If you watch the footage the braking is smooth and consistent and does not really alter the deceleration much at all. This is not brake testing.

            However vettel said that hamilton accelerated out of the corner then hit the brake. So vettel is not arguing about the braking through the corner. Hamilton did not accelerate or brake after the corner.

          2. Crom

            If I recall correctly SV (funny how that goes round again) was initially to be penalised in 2007 but a fan video showed LH slowing and MW doing the same – the conditions were absolutely horrendous in that race as well, the FIA then decided not to penalise SV. LH did not get a reprimand if I remember correctly.

            Further, the FIA was a different beast then, as were the rules and spy gate was brewing. In other words absolutely nothing like today as I do not recall LH getting out of his car and throwing it at the competitors that day :)

            Perhaps SV should have been penalised that day because his sense of SC entitlement and conduct since have hardly been a model of how it should be done on various occasions.

    9. Something I will say about the whole SC Restart thing is that the FIA really need to do something about drivers conduct behind the SC because this is not the 1st time that the leader has been accused of playing games on a restart & it isn’t the 1st time we have seen contact or near misses.

      They perhaps need to look at how Indycar do it. The leader must maintain a steady pace, No weaving, No accelerating/braking & no driving super slowly to the point where the pack behind all nearly crash into each other. There is then a designated ‘go’ zone where the leader is permitted to accelerate to try & ensure nobody tries to jump the start or anything (With restarts waved off if he is judged to have…. Occasionally).

      With the way they do it in Indycar you rarely (If ever) see the sort of nonsense on restarts that have been seen in F1 many times going back years. Michael Schumacher for example always used to play games on restarts that more than once caught drivers behind out. I always felt Jenson Button was stupid on restarts as he more than once slowed down to an absolute crawl which resulted in several near misses behind him, He was especially dumb on a restart at China in 2010.

      Additionally they maybe should look at how the SC peels off. Currently it has to accelerate away, Forcing the leader to slow down to allow it to pull away. Perhaps they should look at the SC pulling off before the pit lane so that the leader can maintain a steady pace without having to slow right down to allow the SC to pull away.

      There are better ways at doing it than what F1 have been doing for a long time now. This weekend wasn’t the 1st time there had been issued under the SC on a restart & if things stay as they are it won’t be the last.

      1. Why are f1 sc rules so much more complex and convoluted ? Is there a practical reason for it?

        1. Practical reason? No. I suppose they’ve just become that way over the 20-odd years since the safety car was (re)introduced in 1993/1994, with small additions and ‘clarifications’ being made every now and then due to incidents, eventually leading to this mess.

      2. Yes, as Sainz mentioned it certainly would make sense to evaluate procedures etc and clean up the SC regulations (but only after serious thought, not just throwing in changes like we’ve seen many times in the past, and which gave us what we have now.) @stefmeister.

        Wasn’t the whole SC line thing introduced to allow for a more smooth start and allowing racing to actually go on right after it pulls of?

        But i don’t think this one Perhaps they should look at the SC pulling off before the pit lane so that the leader can maintain a steady pace without having to slow right down to allow the SC to pull away. is realistic. They need to get the SC back in the pitlane, refuel it and have it ready to get going again (see this race, it went in, then came back out in a short while again).

        1. They need to get the SC back in the pitlane, refuel it and have it ready to get going again

          Haha, what would happen if it ran out of gas? Would they use the second one?

          1. How long would a safety car be out for? How big is it’s gas(petrol) tank? I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t need to refuel.

            1. FreddyVictor
              28th June 2017, 10:24

              IIRC, there was one occasion when this nearly became a reality!
              maybe the wet CAN race when BUT won ?
              They could send out a temporary SC informing team/drivers & re-fuel the proper one
              no doubt there’s something in the rules regarding this scenario

      3. mark jackson
        27th June 2017, 20:28

        They could implement the VSC system that’s already in place. After SC car lights go out, cars are limited to “X” speed, once SC is far enough away (determined by race control) drivers get notified they can race.

        But this is all pointless to talk about as they are doing standing restarts next year.

    10. Again my point I mentioned on the other thread, the safety car is too slow. It’s time something was done about it. A much faster car would be 50-100m ahead of where the safety car is in this photo. Not to mention the F1 cars would have been able to try and get temperature into the brakes and tyres much better while following it.

      1. A much faster car would be 50-100m ahead of where the safety car is in this photo

        Wouldn’t that defeat the whole purpose of a safety car? A fast safety can endanger those working in track.

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        27th June 2017, 14:06

        A safety car is to make things safer while it is out there. If it would be better for it to go faster, it would. But going faster sorts of takes the safety factor out of it when there could be rubbih on the track. The speed it as going was fine. I think the evidence of what Hamilton did and why is enough for me not to blame him now. I still think it would have been better if he slowed down more gradually, but I think this is enough proof that what he did was fine. Especially after what his team said to him on the radio. I didn’t realise that is was as related to his speed as it was.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          27th June 2017, 14:07


          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            27th June 2017, 18:17

            lol, I just read this and assumed someone had strongly disagreed with my post and called it rubbish. Then realized it was just me correcting a typing error! I really should have used the word debris and typed it correctly first time!

      3. @ivz I’m not sure how practical that would be. Creating a faster replacement for the Safety Car would likely mean a lot of additional expense (e.g. running something like an F2 car) and it would probably mean more laps are spent behind the Safety Car.

        There are other solutions to this, such as having tyres that warm up more quickly (banning tyre warmers, which aren’t used in many other single seater series, would be a start) or by using a fixed ‘restart zone’ as they have in NASCAR.

        1. @keithcollantine I wasn’t thinking something as drastic as an F2 car, more along the lines of a modified Porsche 918 (also hybrid era relevant). Much quicker in tight corners, and also why not put it on slicks? That’s many seconds a lap faster just on tyres alone, so when the safety car does need a turn of speed, it has much more potential.
          Not to mention in the wet on good tyres the AWD 918 will be miles ahead on pace compared to the Mercedes GT RWD.
          I mean it’s pretty simple, the drivers asked the safety car to go faster, it can’t, that car is limited, so time to change the car. All the drivers were asking for was a few seconds a lap more pace.
          There are cars that would be better suited, it’s not rocket science.

          1. Gavin Campbell
            27th June 2017, 15:10

            You can’t keep the pace car on slicks as you have to send it out from time to time if theres a sudden down pour and people start sliding off everywhere (see Malaysia when they tried to run a race in the monsoon season year after year!).

            Also Lewis had to back off because think of the chaos that would of ensued if Hamilton went and then had to drop anchor to not pass the saftey car!

          2. @ivz Martin Brundle mentioned during the Sky broadcast that they can’t have the SC on slicks because it has to be ready to go out as soon as its needed & obviously if its on slicks it won’t be ready to go out during changeable conditions. He also mentioned that they don’t use race cars because race cars usually can’t be sent out straight away as they require a warm-up/preparation period.

            The biggest problem with F1 is that the tyres/brakes are too temperature sensitive.

            1. +1. I thought Brundle explained it brilliantly.

              Those poor safety cars (and medical cars) get put through so much. They need to be 100% ready, 100% of the time.

              I remember sitting at the side of Silverstone the first year they used this new AMG. I was amazed at how much they thrashed it (and the MC).

          3. Not sure there would be a huge difference between the AMG Merc and any other road-oriented super/hyper car, see


            Without huge downforce, cornering of F1 order of magnitude doesn’t happen.

            1. Maybe they should bring LMP1 car as SC. that would certainly maintain F1 order of magnitude of speed through out…

        2. Is it possible to have 2 modes of VSCar. One that is at the current speed of the VSC used, and one that is slower for more dangerous situations? This would eliminate a need for an actual safety car during races. If things are too dangerous, then it’s red flag and restart on the grid. Just a thought.

          1. I still believe they should get rid of the safety car completely.

            For many incidents, the vsc is enough. If it’s too dangerous for that, red flag (preferably with an accelerated restart procedure) so the Marshalls can work safely (and probably more quickly).

            This would save us all the wasted laps under the safety car and make things safer. They could then either restart the race under vsc for a lap or do a standing start from the grid.

            It’s only my opinion, of course, but I’d much prefer this system.

      4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        1st July 2017, 16:43

        @ivz Is the safety car, a Mercedes AMG GT-R? It posted a time of 7:10 at the Nurburgring so it’s pretty fast compared to even cars like Paganis, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Koenigseggs and the rest.

        Of course grippier rubber has made a huge difference over the past decade.

        How fast would a modern F1 car lap the Nurburgring? It would have to be way faster than the McLaren’s P1 LM time of 6:43… 6 minutes maybe?

    11. @offdutyrockstar There is no need to imagine anything. We already know. Look at what happened a couple of races ago when Verstappen overtook Vettel. Even though Vettel himself admitted that there was nothing wrong with Max, there were, and still are, blind fanatics who keep blaming and “crucifying” Verstappen.

    12. Well I’m waiting till the next race, should be interesting :)

    13. From what I heard of his onboard, it sounded like he shifted down on the exit of the corner, which even if he’s letting the safety car go, is a peculiar thing to do, which is why i think he was trying to catch Vettel out.

      1. Derek drving
        27th June 2017, 14:06


      2. Of course, Vettel’s reaction was completely OTT and he deserves any repercussions, but still.

        1. The thing I ask in that @hugh11 is why? What did he have to gain from it? Hamilton wasn’t in a position to trick Vettel and then launch away because the safety car was only just in front. Hamilton has said himself he wouldn’t have anything to gain and I completely agree. Lets say Vettel didn’t hit him, all that does is anger Vettel which is likely to make him even more aggressive on the actual re-start. I think the risk of damage or a puncture ( which he knew his team mate had already suffered from ) would make a brake check completely pointless. You can say it was maybe to anger Vettel, but again why ? Hamilton was leading the race, had the faster car and had already sucsesfuly re-started it once.

          I could understand it more if it was out of the last corner maybe trying to trick Vettel to get the jump, but Hamilton remained slow when vettel pulled along side because he was just letting the safetycar get away.

          1. I don’t know why he did it? But he did, so. I’m not Hamilton, I don’t know what’s going on inside his head as to why he would brake on the exit of 15, but he did, as the FIA report accepts (they said him not braking “entirely” is fine, implying he did brake, however I disagree with them that this was acceptable to do, as it’s dangerous to brake on the exit of a corner, even under SC).
            If I were to guess, I’d say he’d think that the damage a brake check would do to Vettel if they hit, would outweigh the damage done to his car? But like I say, I’m not a mind reader, I’m not sure why he did it.

          2. Brake testing or doing unexpected moves have big advantage for the leading car. If the first car slows even a little bit that would make the second car, that follows very closely, to brake a fraction of a second later than the first car started to slow down, which means the first car can start accelerating while the second driver is on the brakes. I think that being hit from behind is a calculated risk that lot of the drivers would take, given that in F1 every overtake or corner is a risk.

            1. Read it all now.

              Your all absolutely right.

              What was Lewis thinking of by obeying the rules, decelerating consistently by using the brakes very very gently and backing the field up. It’s ridiculous that he decided to do his job properly!

              And I mean really, actually doing that job properly and not simply letting Vettel past – that’s just wrong really. We all know he should just pull over and let him past at a safety car restart or, unlike all the other drivers Seb might run into him because he absolutely does not need to follow the leader, stay behind at a sensible distance and not simply accelerate where he wants. I mean it’s Seb, he might smash into you. And then he might overtake anyway and throw his car at you for a finale. If he has time he will deny it all and start swearing at the race director!

              But you know – it’s that Hamilton and it must somehow be something he did that caused it all.

              And oddly enough all the above did happen…

              Sarcasm off!

      3. But… Why would he do that? What’s the point?

        1. To catch Vettel out? I don’t know, it’s pretty weird to do, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t.
          The streamable link posted in reply to the first comment shows that he did in fact brake, rather than downshift, but on the exit of the corner.

        2. Cause it’s an easy way to nail restarts.

          1. @me – But is it? He’d already nailed the first one and out of that corner wasn’t the restart. So he shocks Vettel a bit, well that doesn’t gain him anything. Vettel would still be right there and likely to be more aggressive and possibly calling for a penalty. For me, there’s just no upside to it. The risk of damage or a penalty is too high for the race leader.

            It makes sense that he was just letting the safety car go and Vettel misjudged it. I know if someone crashed into the back of me I’d be asking why on earth they accelerated into me!

        3. Isn’t that exactly the point of this article to give a possible and reasonable sounding answer to that question @losd, @hugh11, with Keith mentioning the warning from the team to Hamilton to be carefull not to overtake the SC?

          If he did get close first time (because the F1 cars accelerate and go so much quicker on that immense straight), then it would make perfect sense that the second time through he tries to slow a bit more, to allow a bit more time for the SC to reach the pitlane entry and avoid the risk of overtaking it.

          1. @bascb yes, but there’s a hell of a difference from trying to slow down the field and “he was trying to catch Vettel out”

            1. I am sure that Hamilton did have the cars behind in mind – certainly not wanting to make it easy on them, and trying to make it hard for them to get a tow from him on the straight etc. But as Ricciardo mentioned (and Chandhok in his own race review), that is pretty much expected of the driver in the lead of the pack.

              Wasn’t the largest difference that Vettel kept very close to Hamilton this time tough, probably wary of being under attack from the FIs behind again @losd?

    14. I`m not arguing with the stewards, they have much better info than me and know the rules much better. So if they find it legal, that`s fine with me. There are many ways you can get away with murder.

      Legal or not, this is my opinion. It was utterly unsportmanslike, astonishingly disrespectful and supremely obnoxious. I have no need for specimens like that in F1.

      1. Well he can’t be much more hot headed on track, his super license is almost full of points.

      2. @EagleMk1

        ‘Legal or not, this is my opinion. It was utterly unsportmanslike, astonishingly disrespectful and supremely obnoxious. I have no need for specimens like that in F1.’

        Maybe calm down a bit fella?

        This was a standard restart as they all would have done, and historically have done. No wrongdoing found by the stewards. Vettel made a misjudgment and then had a tantrum. Any yet you come out with that comical tirade of abuse against Hamilton!


        1. Luis de la garza
          28th June 2017, 1:39

          Now it is called a tantrum. Vettel has been known to swear against everybody and now hitting another car intentionally? I see a pattern here of inmature petulant and arrogant 4 wdc. This needs to stop right now. He is testing the “parents” and not getting any punishment. I hope this doesn’t end bad

    15. Neil (@neilosjames)
      27th June 2017, 14:01

      The problem was caused by Vettel sitting a tiny bit too close at the slowdown point and seemingly not paying attention – that was the only ‘variable’ that wasn’t entirely in line with every other Safety Car restart I’ve seen this year.

      Perez, who was behind him, you can see he had to deal with an greater, far more sudden slow-down of the car in front (Vettel, when he drove into the back of Hamilton) but because he was a sensible distance behind he didn’t even come close to joining in the crash. Likewise Massa behind him.

      Proof if ever it was needed that tiny little mistakes can end up having huge consequences…

      1. “Perez, who was behind him, you can see he had to deal with an greater, far more sudden slow-down of the car in front (Vettel, when he drove into the back of Hamilton) but because he was a sensible distance behind”

        Obvious when you put it like that, good point, just gets worse and worse for Vettel’s case for the defence.

      2. Absolutely.

        It would appear the hundreds of hours of video and still clips being pored over by virtually the whole internet have somehow failed to include the overhead shots showing Perez some distance back and Massa even further.

        There is one car inches from the back of the leader so much so it looks completely out of place. It’s Seb.

        Who then accelerates into the back of the leader…

        In an attempt to do what I have no idea as they were miles from the line.

        He made a mistake and then went insane. It’s what he does when under pressure. It is hardly new.

        That same overhead shows he then very simply pulled up alongside LH and deliberately steered into him lifting his own car in the air and further, overtaking Hamilton for a short time.

        Yet amazingly no other cars got near them. Nor crashed into each other when Hamilton had virtually stopped no doubt wondering why Vettel was crashing into him.

        All the straw men in the world regarding to graphics, timing, Hamilton, past events cannot change those facts.

    16. Neither is my favorite but I am happy for more than team mates fighting for the championship. While Lewis didn’t brake did he accelerate and then lift abruptly coming out of the turn? I would imagine this would force Vettel to follow. It still requires Vettel to avoid contact but it would be difficult to avoid thru the turn. Perhaps he hoped others behind would brake and give him more gap? Either way it’s done maybe there is something for everyone with this.

    17. I haven’t chimed in on this incident yet, and this article now supports what I have been thinking all along. It now makes more sense than the previous info we had which was that LH didn’t do anything different on this restart. He did. And it usually takes two to tango.

      Something made SV think he was brake tested. SV is a seasoned veteran. He was not ‘asleep’. He may have been wrong in that technically LH didn’t brake, but we all know lifting with these cars is the equivalent of braking in terms of the amount the car slows.

      Of course SV took it too far and went alongside and whacked LH which he should have been penalized for and was.

      I think LH deserves a small percentage of the blame for this. Not that I am saying he did anything wrong or intentional to cause a collision, but it is very possible he intentionally held back to not pass the safety car up ahead at the line, and very possible that the bonus to backing the field up is to try to wrong foot them and get a jump on them at the restart. This is very common practice that gets talked about and happens all the time. It happens after the first warmup lap before the race start so the leader doesn’t sit in his starting block longer than necessary, and it happens during restarts to try to get the trailing guy onto his brakes while the leader is trying to get a jump start on the pack.

      I found LH’s quote to be a bit disingenuine, not that I think he should have been expected to word it differently. He said he never brake tested SV (true, I believe him) and that there would be zero advantage to that. False. The advantage would be equivalent to letting up like he did…you try to wrong foot the pack, particularly the one in second place who is the biggest threat. Backing up the field is a known and encouraged tactic. At Baku it even has to do with risking passing the safety car before it can pull off.

      So I have to agree with Jackie Stewart’s take on it. LH did have a small role in this, which explains SV hitting him initially, unintentionally. We can all agree SV’s reaction afterwards was over the top. He may be hot headed, but he usually has a reason for his reactions, which I’m sure would always have been after he has felt wrongly done by. Not condoning his reaction, but he is no MS who just blatantly drives into people because of some motus operandi to win even at that cost. SV had road rage but had it at extremely low speeds in cars that can save drivers in crashes at vastly greater speeds than they were going. Hence the size of the penalty.

      I don’t expect LH to admit that he slowed more at that restart, nor do I expect SV to admit that he was ‘asleep’ or some silly thing when he initially bumped LH. LH slowed more such that SV thought he was being brake tested, and he reacted thus. The penalties to SV were not overkill nor underkill, and as TW has put it, the gloves are off…rivalries are better than schmoozing anyway. I take note of TW’s opinion of rivalries with an LH/ FA one in mind. ;)

      1. LH slowed at the point that might be expected, approaching a tight corner, in a controlled and gentle manner without any hesitation, deviation or acceleration. This was to allow the SC, which was still very much in view, to get away so he was not penalised for either having to lift off on the straight and getting passed, or passing the SC before the SC line.

        It doesn’t need a great long essay, it’s really simple, SV got it wrong by stamping on the throttle early.

        1. @frasier

          ‘It doesn’t need a great long essay, it’s really simple, SV got it wrong by stamping on the throttle early.’

          Exactly. Hamilton did a totally standard restart, needed to back up the field. It happens all of the time, and we all know it does. Vettel made a mistake. Then he had a fit because he can’t control his temper. I really like Seb, and this is a very disappointing and perhaps his biggest weakness.

          The right thing to do now for Seb would be to simply apologize. I think by doing that he would regain some respect that has been lost for him by many.

          1. Well actually it doesn’t sound like it was totally standard to what SV was expecting. Since SV doesn’t have a reputation for intentionally coming up beside and whacking guys, something made him convinced this was more than him just making a mistake and bumping LH’s rear. I would think that if all that happened was SV was distracted or ‘asleep’ then he wouldn’t have gotten road rage to begin with.

            So @frasier you can word it as gently and without deviation as you can with carefully chosen wording, but in Keith’s wording is the fact that indeed LH did deviate from what he had done before for the second restart. Ignoring that and trying to sweep it under the carpet might be what causes essays to be written. :)

            1. @robbie

              Vettel simply made a mistake. As the car following, it is down to him not to nerf the car in front.

              Seb failed to wait for Lewis to accelerate before he himself accelerated. Then he had a child’s tantrum.

              I like Seb, and I am really disappointed in him. He needs to apologize.

            2. @paulguitar I like Seb too and I hope it ends up as simple as you imply. I suppose we will just have to see if SV has a sober second thought and just needed to see telemetry to show LH was not brake testing him, and will back off on his stance. Or…after seeing what he will he will still be convinced LH did something intentional, brake testing or not. There’s a reason you like Seb, and if he had a habit of making simple mistakes and still flying off the handle, you wouldn’t like him. Should be very interesting to hear what else he has to say on this.

            3. While I expect you to find a way to blame Lewis for something (anything!) Robbie and I have no doubt you will agree with JS (even the bit where he ignores the FIA and states LH braked after the corner – not that SV accelerated into him?)

              Even you cannot seriously say that SV does not have a tendency to ‘whack’ (your word) into others.

              He is a fast and talented chap but he has a history littered with questionable whacks that he then denies or loses his temper over.

              There are reasons for all those points on his license – and the fact he has accrued more than anyone.

          2. I wouldn’t be shocked if that is what actually happens, once all the dust is settled
            Vettel boils over like an Italian, but I can see him going to Lewis and apologize.

      2. Excellent comments @robbie.

        As you said, it takes two to tango, and there’s one stupid decision to put that record on.

      3. Your last paragraph was probably enough. I understand fans will believe what they want to believe so its probably pointless discussing it any more

    18. Why all collisions behind a SC happen only when lulu leads the field?

      1. The fastest driver will statistically be most often behind the SC; hence most incidents when he is behind.

        PS – the guy is called Lewis. Mr. Hamilton for you :p

        1. Luis de la garza
          28th June 2017, 1:42

          Well said liners!

        2. 44 is more like it, why dignify that specimen with a name?

          1. What I loathe is that the extremely classy Moto2 pilot Miguel Oliveira is also 44

    19. Perhaps the final lap of the safety car should be under VSC conditions, so lapped cars get released to go ahead, safety car goes in, rest of pack does next lap under VSC conditions and then the safety car line becomes the restart line. No safety car to pass to early, just a lap at a reduced pace and then no there is no bunching of the field at a very slow speed.

      1. Perhaps you are right, particularly for Baku due to it’s uniqueness, but I think for most tracks this is less of an issue, but more importantly it would harm a lot of the excitement of restarts. Don’t we want the field bunched up on some occasions for a closer more exciting event? Isn’t that why they’ve also considered standing restarts?

        1. @robbie The Safety car should be put out purely for safety reasons & whatever they do when the SC period ends should also be looked at purely in terms of safety. Entertainment or excitement shouldn’t never be a factor in it at all.

          I don’t like them doing standing restarts for next year, There not been done because there safer it’s purely for entertainment despite standing restarts been less safe. There’s a risk of cars stalling & been hit from behind, Higher chance of an accident at turn 1 as the field will be bunched up more & you also have half the grid on the dirty side which later in the race will be covered in marbles & stuff.

          1. @stefmeister Indeed entertainment and excitement is the very thing they are aiming for. Not sure I take your point in your first paragraph. In Baku the safety car came out for as long as needed on several occasions, then they restarted the race bunched up. Best chance at some close racing. What’s your point.

            As to standing restarts, yeah I take your point that they are debatable. Personally I’m all for them as I think the ‘danger’ is overplayed. And they won’t do them under many circumstances and will only do them when it is ideal to do so.

    20. Why all collisions behind a SC happen only when lulu leads the field?
      Also: “Mercedes strengthened their so-called ‘Rules of Engagement’ earlier this season after Hamilton and Rosberg crashed in Spain and then Austria. They were both warned that they would be fined, or even banned, if they broke the strict terms which had been agreed.”
      This explains why Rosberg quit and why Totto was angry and blasted Ted away on Sunday. Lulu is playing with fire.

      1. Because statistically speaking Lulu leads the field an awful lot of the time.

      2. @Sugipula

        Even if you had a sensible point, you lose a lot of credibility by referring to Lewis Hamilton as ‘Lulu’.

        Just a thought.

    21. Why not allow Hamilton to be the safety car and if his driving causes loss of tyre temperatures or bunching for the drivers behind bring the current system back?

      1. Not a bad idea really. Just give the lead F1 car a VSC restriction and let the rest of the field follow him.

    22. Let’s assume that Hamilton DID brake check AND changed directions AND flipped Vettel off AND called Vettel’s momma a slut so loudly that Vettel heard it.

      Which of these or which combination of these excuse Vettel from driving up alongside Hamilton and driving his car into Hamilton’s? Why is it being discussed? They are two separate events – in the first case the stewards saw nothing wrong and seem to have viewed it as a racing incident. As far as I know they never mentioned Vettel hitting Hamilton from behind one way or the other. Drive on.

      Either Vettel’s actions are viewed and judged in isolation or why stop with the brake check? Let’s litigate every altercation these two have ever had to find justification for Vettel’s actions. Maybe if we look long and hard enough we’ll find a way to make it OK to drive a car into someone?

    23. In the first restart, Lewis almost caught and passed the safety car.

      Imagine that he did in fact catch the safety car, then realised it and then backed off by just lifting off momentarily (not braking) before the safety car line.

      Suppose this action caused Vettel to overtake him before the safety car line which is not allowed.

      What happens then?

    24. And at the end of the day SV still has more points on his license than anyone else in F1 history over a 12 month period. But it’s never his fault. Everyone is just out to get him.

      1. ‘Than anyone else in history…’ is a pretty short time since they’ve only been doing this penalty points system for a small number of years. And has anyone actually ever argued it’s never his fault? Or that everyone is just out to get him?

        1. I mean Ricciardo has none. Has never had a single point of penalty. It’s pretty lucky for him considering some of his moves that they are not investigated/penalized. He bangs wheels plenty.

        2. Vettel rammed Webber off in Turkey and Vettel pretended Webber was the crazy one.
          Vettel tried to push Hamilton off the fast lane almost into a crew standing a bit further and pretended Hamilton was the crazy one (hint Whiting was very clear that Vettel’s behavior was completely unacceptable)
          Vettel runs into the back of Hamilton and then drives along steering into Hamilton’s car and again Hamilton is at fault.

          Vettel just pulls the most ridiculous and dangerous stunts and it’s never his fault. He even pretends he didn’t drive into the side of Hamilton.

    25. This article is pretty poor. Lewis’ first safety car restart was too close because lewis decided to go full throttle too soon. It was not his speed when going slowly. He just (almost) went full power too soon and almost catched the safety car. It was lewis’ mistake that he almost catched the safety car. The teams do calculate before the race where the safety car line is and where the driver can go on full power at earliest. Lewis simply went little too early and that’s it.

      The sudden slowdowns from lewis were just him playing games and slowing down expectedly to try to throw vettel off. But lewis went too far and caused a collision. Lewis did not brake check but he slowed down dangerously and unnecessarily. The explanation in the article makes no sense.

      1. what you’ve said makes no sense. Hamilton got the first re-start perfect. This is F1. A sport where mechanics train all week to try and save 0.1 of a second. You leave nothing on the table and Hamilton judged the first re-start perfectly. He left Vettel behind and while he was close to the safety car line he didn’t go ” too early” or make a “mistake” it was perfection. Making a mistake would be going too early and actually catching the safety car.

        I also fail to see how you’re so sure it was mind games. Why? what does Hamilton have to gain from those? Out the car, yes I’d agree. but mid-race when he’s leading and has the faster car there’s just no point. So you honestly believe he’d risk a penalty, puncture, damage and the race win to just wind Vettel up a bit. I mean come on, that’s a stretch.

        1. @Tom Well, via the radio comms it seems the team did have a concern that LH not pass the safety car, as they questioned him about it ahead of the next restart, as there has been a precedent for race bans for passing safety cars prematurely, as LH nearly did in the first restart.

          As to your second paragraph …you’re kidding right? Why wouldn’t LH try to throw SV off, particularly to catch him braking while he himself is accelerating away?….this is restarts 101. Happens all the time. LH wasn’t going to risk penalty by brake testing, but that doesn’t mean he was necessarily 100% innocent in the incident.

          1. @robbie,

            Oh, I completely agree the team had their worries but I fail to see how a perfectly timed restart can be seen as a mistake. It’s like scoring a world-class goal in football which goes right in the top corner and someone saying ” well that’s a mistake he shouldn’t be so close to the post” Something which worked perfectly can’t be seen as a mistake, surely!

            I am serious. In F1 you can’t go on and off the power to try and trick people. You basically get one shot at the restart ( usually weave a bit and then go ) Hamilton wasn’t attempting to trick Vettel at that part of the track as the safety car was too close so he couldn’t restart the race from there. That’s why I’m asking why would he try trick Vettel there? Obviously, at the actual restart he would, but there’s just no upside to doing it there as Vettel would get straight on the back of him before he actually sets off.

            At best he scares Vettel for 20 seconds before having to focus on the restart. At worse it’s a penalty, a puncture, car damage, no points, a 30+ point gap to Vettel in the Championship… There’s just no reward for all that risk.

            1. Yeah, I don’t know. The team had their concerns as they mention on the radio to LH ‘that was close’ and Keith is suggesting LH indeed heeded that wording and treated the next restart differently. So perhaps it wasn’t ‘perfectly timed’ if indeed it was too close for comfort. You speak of risks. There has been a precedent for someone getting a two race ban for passing the safety car. Would a two race ban for LH be worth a handful of metres of distance over SV at a restart at Baku? So we know that backing traffic up on a restart is common practice, and LH was probably encouraged to do so on this particular restart even moreso than he did the first time. And it caught SV out obviously enough that he thought it was intentional.

            2. In actual fact Robbie if you check out some other sites you will find the speed traces from the FIA app which show that LH treated all three restarts pretty much as identical as it’s possible to. I am talking within 5kmph through the preceding two corners. Frankly I am surprised that the skill he showed in keeping those starts firmly within the rules and not losing the lead through the straight has not been pointed out.

              Furthermore there were no incidents in any of those other than the odd actions of SV who very very clearly did something very different to any previous or post restarts.

            3. @Drg

              Frankly I am surprised that the skill he showed in keeping those starts firmly within the rules and not losing the lead through the straight has not been pointed out.

              I mentioned it before but Hamilton handled the safety car perfectly on Sunday. First F1 driver to lead a safety car restart at Baku (I believe), a track that is probably the most difficult to do on the calendar and not only did he have to do it 3 times but he was never challenged into turn 1. Flawless stuff from Hamiton, especially compared to Vettel was repeatedly caught napping.

              Were it not for his headrest fault/poor fitting Hamilton was on course for another grand chelem at Baku, Shame the chance was taken away from him, would have been good for the championship to have LH and SV level again.

    26. While I agree some people seem to be putting the two hits together, I think realistically nobody is defending SV for his intentional wheel to wheel whack, after the first bump from behind. It is only the first bump that is debatable as to why SV was convinced he was brake tested by LH.

      1. That was meant in response to @leejo

        1. Maybe because it’s simply undefendable @robbie ? How can anyone actually defend a driver who hits another driver on purpose out of pure anger. A failed overtake, sure. But this was different and yes it might be a wheel bump, but that could still be really dangerous when you’re about to go 220mph in a few seconds. Unknown suspension damage, a slow puncture and that could be a disaster at those speeds. I know that didn’t happen but Vettel could never be sure of that, these cars can bounce off walls and survive or go over a kerb and break in pieces.

          1. @Tom Exactly. As I said, nobody is defending SV on the wheel to wheel whack. It shouldn’t be mixed up with the initial unintentional tap by SV to LH’s rear.

            But I don’t agree with your over assessment about what could have happened after that slow speed intentional hit by SV. If you want to follow through with that thinking then they should red flag practically every race start when inevitably in turn 1 or 2 someone loses a bit of front wing or what have you…after all you never know what could happen…all cars must be perfect at all times in order for the race to proceed. Don’t think so.

            1. Well, that’s not really the point @robbie. I didn’t call for a red flag or say cars can’t race with damage. My point is there’s no way Vettel could know he wasn’t going to cause a failure. Sure wheel banging they may get away with but had Hamilton been turning away and it would probably be enough force to snap the suspension. My point is Vettel was lucky not to cause damage but he still put another driver at risk and that just isn’t ok in a sport where you’re doing 220MPH.

        2. Hi Robbie. I think I disagree. Mentioning the two events in the same conversation blends them in the mind and equivocates, intentionally or not, so the language used is important. If I’m talking to my kid about something he’s done, and his response is to start talking about some different event, it’s not because of his intellectual curiosity about the other event, it’s an effort to mitigate and deflect my concerns.

          Further, it hasn’t been presented the way you describe. It’s always “Vettel deserves blame” and then the magic word “but.”

          Nobody is asking an equally-valid question, “why wasn’t Vettel ALSO penalized for causing a collision when he struck Hamilton’s car from the rear?” Instead it’s always “Did Hamilton brake-check?” which I think begs the question of who is at fault, and offers a lot of insight into the minds making the argument: it’s equivocation.

          All we *know* is that Vettel struck Hamilton’s car twice, initially from the rear, and subsequently from the side. He received a penalty for the 2nd collision and the stewards never mentioned the first collision. Why no mention of the first collision? To me, that’s the right question, not this “of course Vettel blah blah BUT did Hamilton brake check?”


          1. Perhaps they never mention the first bump because they know that even though LH didn’t brake, he did slow moreso than the first restart, as indicated by Keith’s article above. They may have decided LH did have a small hand to play in his getting rear-ended. SV’s road rage afterwards? Yeah a no-brainer for a penalty. It is reasonable to ask however, why SV was so convinced he’d been brake tested. Answer, because LH slowed moreso than before.

            1. Personally I think Vettel is so convinced that he’d been brake tested because that is the interpretation of events that best absolves him of responsibility. Our brains very much WANT this interpretation to be true when we’re in Vettel’s seat. I remember Maldonado blaming a wall he’d hit for hitting it. My question to Vettel is “What is the lead driver supposed to do at a restart?” and then I’d ask him which of those things Hamilton did to unacceptable excess or failed to do? I do know that none of the professional drivers who were watching the incident and who commented made a single mention of anything improper that they saw Hamilton do at the restart.

              Isn’t Hamilton supposed to throw some variety into the restart in an effort to get a larger jump? Isn’t he supposed to slow down more than before, speed up more than before, zig instead of zag? Which is to say SO WHAT if he slowed down more than before?! That’s no excuse for hitting the car, puts no responsibility on Hamilton for any wrong-doing, it merely shows how badly Vettel got played.

            2. @leejo I think you make some valid points there. Perhaps SV is taking the absolving of responsibility stance, but I just find that a bit hard to believe. If he truly just made a mistake, I’m not convinced he would have had the road rage. Ie. it was a heat of the moment reaction so I don’t know that SV took time to plan out an ‘excuse’ or ‘reason’ platform and decide that brake test was the best approach for blame. It was too instantaneous for that.

              What was LH to do? In spite of your assertion that the professional driver pundits didn’t find LH did anything wrong, they did debate it for a bit. But ok let’s say SV got played. That does imply involvement in the situation then, no? As in, it takes two to tango. If LH was playing SV by using variety on the restart as you suggest, then is it really a surprise that he got nudged from behind? He sure suckered SV…right into hitting him.

            3. For some reason I can’t reply to your reply to my reply so I will reply to it by replying to your earlier reply :) By the way, high5 to both of us for disagreeing in an internet discussion without going full-Vettel before everyone’s eyes :)

              I guess it’s true that Hamilton does own some responsibility for causing the collision, in the same sense that if I see a green light and pull out into an intersection only to get t-boned, I bear some responsibility for not looking both ways. While internet stewards may disagree, Hamilton was in the right by the rules, and Vettel was in the wrong. The funny thing is that I distinctly remember Hamilton complaining about the SC vs. a VSC. He didn’t like the field bunching up behind him and wanted to maintain the spacing, true, but he’s smart enough to frame it as a safety concern. I remember hearing lots of drivers voice concerned about a SC restart vs a VSC restart during the race prior to the event being discussed. And I remember the announcers laughing about F1 choosing the SC over the VSC for show over safety. Oops!

              So maybe we’ll see even more VSCs soon. So congratulations Vettel, and enjoy your gap next restart.

          2. It’s a bit weird not to discuss something because some people might equivocate two events. No wonder the world is the way it is with that kind of logic.

    27. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      27th June 2017, 16:24

      Just curious – how often does a F1 driver rear end the other driver in a safery car?

      Is it that tough to drive behind other drivers? I’ve been doing that all my life with zero collisions. Granted, I don’t tailgate every driver I see so I can hit them if they brake but I’m close enough to pass them if I need to on the restart:-)

      Isn’t that driving 101? When Bottas made a mistake and spun the car while warming it up, he admitted it was a rookie mistake even though that’s a lot harder than just following the car in front of you which billions of ordinary drivers from all ages do on a daily basis.

      What is so special about Vettel driving behind another driver at regular speeds? Does he not drive a car on a daily basis?

      1. Exactly. Makes you think that LH’s slowing was unusual and unexpected at that point. After all, SV is highly capable.

        1. Well, apparently not that capable. He rammed into another car twice in succession.

          1. Lol ya, but only once intentionally.

      2. Vettel is not just driving behind, he is racing. Looking to overtake asap. That’s why you find it easy because you aren’t not doing the same thing.

    28. This is a problem with the track design. There’s an unusually long flat out section at the end of the lap, so unlike on the other tracks, it’s easy for the faster formula cars to catch the safety car once it has pulled away.
      Potentially hitting the safety car from behind is a huge security due to the massive speed delta and as well as the two cars not being designed to survive collisions with each other.
      You could let the safety car pull away earlier, but barely changes anything as you’d still have to trust the race leader to slow down enough.
      Simplest solution at hand: Do not allow drivers to jump on throttle until later down the straight once it’s safe.

    29. I know F1 teams don’t release their telemetry but in addition to studying Hamilton’s telemetry is it possible to study Vettel’s too. Did he do the same thing he did into T15 on that fateful restart that he did during the first restart.

      Because I believe it might show him accelerating earlier than he did on the second restart because he feared Checo would have had him down into T1. Remember Vettel left the door quite open into T1 on the previous restart, Checo just decided to try on the outside for some reason.

      Vettel must have been really flustered because even on that restart Massa almost had him from 2 cars back.

      1. Your comnent is funny. If Vettel did exactly the same thing, then it would mean he was driving with his eyes closed. Because drivers behind must always use the car ahead as a reference to their actions.

    30. From a regulatory perspective, the radio exchange is not a good reason for Hamilton’s change of driving, and undermines the stewards’ position on the situation (Hamilton’s driving did change between restarts).

      From a competitive perspective, this is considerably more useful insight. It gives a clear motive to Hamilton’s conduct that does not involve damaging Vettel’s race – something still lacking regarding Vettel’s conduct.

      1. Hamilton did the same thing each restart. The FIA said so. What he is allowed to do differently is to pick how long he waits before restarting the race.
        Deep down Vettel knows he made a mess of things.

    31. First of all they lied about Lewis not using brakes and then he’s also looked in he’s mirror before he brakes. So he knows Vettel is close.This is shady as hell.
      And all this excuses .He was already going insanely slow i don’t see the point of braking.
      I’m not sure if he’s guilty but it he is it’s even less excusable than what Vettel did because Vettel did it in the heat of the moment while Lewis calculated it.

      1. Did they? tell us more..

    32. Well…i think someone wanna see this..onboard video


    33. my take on this is there was 2 accidents but only vettel got registerd on the fia race notes.
      but in my eye if your the pace car and turning into a corner you have 3parts brake zone, neutral, exit power.
      to me safe driving for any yes any saftey car or pace setter is to maintain as amin the apex speed to the exitand beyond it untill it can be considerd safe to change the speed.
      sorry but ok yes the sfatey cars lights go out and you are now in control but a rule was put in placde to stop crashes on a restart.
      there was a crash so that rule was broken some way or another.
      lewis slowed after the apex to which i would consider a place to not go below the apex speed you enterd it.
      that would be classed as pace setting in my eyes.
      now if that is the case the next move would be faster or maintain safe pace.
      now if lewis had to slow for the pace car then he has along way to go to do that before he has actually got to start his race.
      now if lewis did not slow after the apex then i believe there was never going to be a crash as it was to be min expectations to keep entry speed thru to exit and beyond not be any less at that point of the corner.
      now if lewis decides to slow due to saftey car issue its him doing it for pesonal gain on the field to suit him.
      that is where safety comes into the situation was it safe and was it going to cause a car to have to brake or avoid for expected no reason.
      i think the two did not mix and why there was a crash.
      hence i see that as 50/50 as my opinion.
      lewis for slowing unbexpectedly.
      vettel for being poss to close.
      both of thos was what caused the crash.
      look at it like this the cover the pace car and cars behind.
      if lewis did not slow there was no crash with vettel close as expected result standard apex speed till exity.
      if lewis slowed and vettel was not close there was still no crash.
      but if the two cars both did those things at the same milli seconds it takes then we have a crash.
      the rule is designed to not crash 2 cars if followed correctly.
      you can not startle the car behind it should not happen its a restart not shopping the rules of normal driving do not meet here. it has its own rules set out for it as it a race start.
      if you look at the info regarding race faults the first inccident has had no mention or propper investigation at all.
      now something startled the driver behind to cause a really silly reaction and that is what you should all be concerned about.
      the fia has simply passed slowing via lift off as on exits of corners.
      expect more to come as now you can get away with it.
      kim drove off track and back on at silverstone crashed as returning to the track at race speeds is a saftey issue so rightly so you get the book at you for it he was caught out.
      now i remember lewis after he collided with nico driving back onto a track at race speeds yet got nothing for the saftey of his actions why not the saftey rule was bvroken but not upheld.
      crash or no crash saftey rules should be the toughest rule to be acted on with a penalty.
      the point this has come into such an issue is it is not clear cut from fia saying one thing and a video footage showing another thing which shows why vettel did not like the surprise hence brake testing came out as thats the definition of a slowing car brake or drag unexpectedly and beig caught out.
      you should not be in any postion to be caught out by a saftey car or a pace car. that is the issue here did lewis pace or did he change pace for own gain to suit him with no care for a close following car.
      fia do not get things right everytime they just have the last say on something.
      but when something pops up and is not right with what is said by them it starts if something was found by spectators as it is then examined in better detail with actual footage
      my opionion on this is if lewis the pace setter did not slow car 44 down in an unexpected spot on the race track there was not going to be a crash was safer places to keep pace at 62kph that apex speed all down that straight after the exit so there absolutely no resaon to slow car 44 down in any way shape or form with the responsabilty of the pace car/saftey cars personal gain was put infront of saftey or what could cause a crash. hence a rule race starts.
      it does not help when you have bean complaining about speed of the real safety car aswell to back your case.

      but lets not forget if lewis is alowed to lift like he did and it can now be done every track and not be classed as unexpected casusing another car to swerve or brake because of it.
      be in tresting if they do look at this again asatm with the inccident not even wrote on the fia notes only vettel for the second part makes you think it was actuall;y passed any way neither was at fault or was racing incident.
      saftey rule was broke end of and a collosion was caused both drivers actions contributed to the collison simples.

      1. Make it simple
        1 Hamilton was attempting to check the field before the restart– I’ve done it
        2 Vettel did not anticipate Hamilton’s maneuver, and rear ended him.
        3 Vettel foolishly made an aggression in retaliation.
        4 Vettel was penalized.
        5 Mercedes neck restraint failure was the most impactful error.

        Next race please…

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