Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017

Raikkonen given penalty points for yellow flag error

2017 Belgian Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen has been given three penalty points on his licence for failing to slow for yellow flags during the Belgian Grand Prix.

Esteban Ocon, Force India, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017
Belgian Grand Prix in pictures
The Ferrari drivers also received a ten-second stop-go penalty during the race for the incident. Raikkonen drove through the yellow flag zone on the Kemmel straight at over 300kph while Max Verstappen’s car was being recovered.

The stewards said “video and telemetry evidence which clearly showed that the driver made no attempt to significantly reduce his speed in the area of the double waved yellow flags”.

Raikkonen queried his penalty on the radio during the race asking: “What do you mean? He was on the side of the road.” Afterwards he said: “When I saw the yellow flags I was on the straight, on the right side and I’m sure I did not go any faster than on any other lap.”

“The penalty was not ideal, but luckily there was a Safety Car and we could recover something.” He finished the race fourth.

Raikkonen did not have any penalty points on his licence prior to this race, meaning he is on a total of three. His only previous penalty this year was in Baku where he had to serve a drive-through after work was done on his car in the fast lane of the pits.

A ten-second stop-go penalty is the most severe sanction the stewards can hand down aside from a disqualification. It has been issued on two previous occasions this year: to Sebastian Vettel in Baku for hitting Lewis Hamilton, and to Daniil Kvyat in Canada for not being in his correct position prior to the start of the race.

2017 Belgian 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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  • 28 comments on “Raikkonen given penalty points for yellow flag error”

    1. 3 penalty points? Seb got the same for hitting Lewis in Baku plus a 10 second stop and go. Should have been 1 or 2 at most.

      1. @krichelle, if you looked at the onboard footage, Kimi had his foot flat to the floor throughout the yellow flag zone – he made absolutely no effort to even acknowledge the yellow flag.

        1. I saw it of course but 3 might be really really harsh even though it was doubled waved yellows

          1. I think it’s ysing Kimi to make a point about yellow flags.

        2. Actually, i disagree on this. They are going 320 kph over there. How much he should have slow down? Down to 100 kph? But if you talking only about removing foot from the pedal, then it wouldn’t make it better for stewards. It would actually make it more dangerous. The car is much more stable on the straight with flat out pedal.

          When it comes to corners, for sure they shouldn’t run as fast as possible, like it was with Bianchi. On the straight, though, it’s much safer to go with full throttle rather than just high speed. But if they think drivers should slow down drastically to safe speeds, then they should apply virtual safety car all the course wide, for everyone.

          1. The point was that Kimi did NOTHING to even stop accelerating @regs. He completely ignored the yellow flag there.

      2. People have died disrespecting yellow flags while Vettels debacle in Baku was poor sportsmanship but not even remotely dangerous. How long are people gonna compare apples to oranges for a chance to bring that up again and again and again?

      3. I think you do bring up a good point about Baku @krichelle, sadly the point is that Vettel got off far and far too lightly for what he did, not that Kimi did not deserve what he got here.

      4. Three points is the same number as Massa was given (along with the 5 place grid drop) for the same offence “failing to slow for double waved yellow flags” on Saturday during practice 3, so the stewards were being consistent with their earlier decision.

        The stewards even used the same wording in the document: The stewards “reviewed video/telemetry evidence which clearly showed that the drive rmade no attempt to significantly reduce his speed in the area of the double waved yellow flags”

    2. Although harsh here I think ignoring double yellow should have a big punishment.

      Maybe double yellow was too much here but that’s not for a driver to decide

    3. I can’t decide whether it’s a little harsh or totally fair… I’d need to know whether Ferrari had got on the radio to Raikkonen and said ‘Verstappen stopped, right side of Kemmel at escape road, out of the way, no danger’ or something like that.

      If they had, then I can sort of understand him going flying through – but he should still have lifted like everyone else. If they hadn’t, and he had no idea what the double waved yellows were for, then he has absolutely no excuse and what he did was near enough the most serious offence an F1 driver can commit… potentially endangering the lives of marshals. Obviously no lives were put at risk, but did he know that…?

      On a slightly off-topic note, he does have form for steaming through hazards at that part of the track without lifting… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwYgyT1eEcQ

      1. @neilosjames immediately thought of that too :-) goes to show really what a difference 15 years make. Back then he was applauded for having big balls. Today he’s shunned for dangerous driving even though he apparently was perfectly aware of the situatuin, judging by his radio call. And yes, @kaiie i’d also have liked comparative onboard shots from ham, vet, bot

        1. @mrboerns

          goes to show really what a difference 15 years make. Back then he was applauded for having big balls. Today he’s shunned for dangerous driving

          Frankly, that’s nonsense. No yellow flags were shown in this clip from 2002. No yellow flags – no problem. Drive as fast as you want.
          Today, there were yellow flags. Double waved yellow flags, to be precise, which means that the driver has to slow down and be prepared to stop. He didn’t slow down at all, which means that there had to be a penalty.

          1. Well maybe there weren’t yellow flags, but the situation itself was very similiar but worse in terms of potential danger: stopped car next to the road, but additionally oil on track and no visibility. Point stands.

            1. @mrboerns At the time Kimi said that the OnBoard camera made visibility look far worse than it actually was & he didn’t feel it was a problem as he could see where the oil was, See where it was going & see where the car was pulling over so felt it wasn’t as big a deal as it looked.

            2. @mrboerns

              Point stands.

              It doesn’t. A yellow flag is a yellow flag. It’s there to protect drivers and marshals alike. Ignoring them has absolutely nothing to do with balls, it’s reckless driving, plain and simple. That’s what he got the penalty for.
              Had the same thing happened as in 2017, i. e. an engine blowing up on the straight, but no yellow flags yet, he would’ve been entitled to go as fast as he wanted.

            3. @stefmeister well and now he felt he saw exactly were verstappen was parked and it wasn’t a big deal to go past. And do you really think they would *not* yellow flag an enourmous smokecloud nowadays? its not that i don’t understand the rules. I just think things changed quite a bit.

      2. A fair few people criticised Kimi in 2002, though the yellow flags were not out at that point because the marshals were still organising their response (since Panis’ car – the one whose engine blew – hadn’t stopped at the point the video starts, it wasn’t quite clear which segment needed flagging, and the smoky bit may or may not have needed a separate red-and-yellow flag for hidden slippery surface.). Even if the flags had flown, Kimi would have already been in the zone by the time they would have waved and therefore could not have obeyed them.

    4. Marian Gri (@)
      27th August 2017, 16:50

      And some still believed he can win Spa again after topping the first 2 FPs…! Ahahahahaaaaa! Had he been 1st, he would have lost the race simply because of this “error”. Quite unbelievable Ferrari signed him again for 2018. I still like him, but the reality is he’s not really up to F1 standards anymore. He’s not that fast anymore (OR he cannot extract the max out of this tyre/cars), never was very consistent anyway, he seems really bored, careless etc. Coupled with the fact that there’s a number of really promising young shots, that Ferrari seat is a wasted seat partially. If I had a magic wand, I’d make disappear RAI, MAS and PAL and give those seats to somebody else.

    5. Mostly deserved penalty (not sure about the amount of penalty points), but did all the other drivers slow down then? And by how much?

      1. GtisBetter (@)
        27th August 2017, 17:30

        Penalty points are related to the offence, so it’s not something that stewards can choose. Fail to slow for double yellow is always 3.

      2. I wondered too if every single other driver slowed for a car clearly pulled to the side. Evidence of that?

        1. At the end of the broadcast this question came up, they stated all the lead cars slowed, except Kimi.

      3. It’s enforced largely by computer, so I would imagine nobody else was close enough to their fastest previous speed in that sub-sector of the lap to trigger investigation.

    6. I found it unbelievable that a proffesional driver does not abide by yellow flag rules. I am losing respect for Kimi more and more this season. A rightly deserved penalty.

    7. I thought initially it was quite a harsh penalty, but as this article reminds me, Kimi really seemed to think that he can decide for himself that the car isn’t dangerous, bc. safely next to the track, and complains he was punished for not actually going faster than before, when he should have clearly gone a lot slower when yellow flags are shown. Makes the penalty rather understandable if they want yellow flags to mean anything.

      1. I generally agree with the sentiment that double yellows should be treated with extreme caution, but really, that shouldn’t have been double yellows at all. Brundle is quite right about the slowing down thing too, lifting and dropping 15km/hour isn’t going to make a difference at all to safety. From the looks of things Kimi had pretty clear visibility of the track in front. Yes the corner was cresting but the double yellow wasn’t until the straight, and he was on the side to see what was going on.

        He didn’t slow down, so fine, penalty. But the circumstance was a little absurd.

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