Horner calls penalty “appalling”, Verstappen blames “idiot steward”

2017 United States Grand Prix

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Red Bull fumed at the stewards’ decision to hand Max Verstappen a penalty which dropped him off the podium at the United States Grand Prix.

Verstappen had climbed from 16th on the grid and started the final lap in fourth place behind Kimi Raikkone n.He passed the Ferrari driver in the final sector of the lap but the stewards ruled he had gained an advantage by running off the track.

Poll: Did Verstappen deserve a penalty?
“It’s of course a big shame that you miss out on the podium afterwards, they take you away again,” said Verstappen. “It’s just one idiot steward up there who always makes the decision against me.”

The United States Grand Prix stewards are Garry Connelly, Radovan Novak, Dennis Dean and former F1 driver Mika Salo.

“Also now I get a five-second penalty and a penalty point. For what? At the end of the day everybody’s running wide on the track everywhere, there are no track limits. The crowd is loving it. And then you do something like that in front of world TV. You pick up somebody from the podium and tell them to go away. I still had a great race, I’m still happy with fourth, it’s just the way they did it is unbelievable.”

“You can’t protest [the decision],” he added. “It’s in the rules. They know how to make the rules.”

“At the moment it’s in their favour. They decide and you can’t do anything against it which is, of course, really weird. But what can you do. It’s not good for the crowd. I really hope next year nobody is coming because like this the sport doesn’t make sense.”

“Everybody’s loving it, it’s great action. You go five or ten centimetres inside the kerb, everybody’s running wide everywhere and they don’t say anything. Like in qualifying in turn 19 you could just run wide wherever you like. And then they kill the race, basically, like that.”

2017 United States GP in pictures
The stewards ruled Verstappen “did leave the track, with all four wheels off the track by at least half a metre, and overtook car seven [Raikkonen] in doing so.”

“The driver did gain a lasting advantage,” they added.

However Red Bull team principal Christian Horner echoed his driver’s criticism.

“They’ve been driving off-track all weekend this weekend,” said Horner. “Max made a fair move, a strong move. I think to penalise him for that is not right.”

Although the penalty cannot be overturned, Horner said he intends to speak with the stewards.

“We’ll go and have a word with the stewards,” he said. “I think it’s an appalling decision. They rob all the fans here of a fantastic podium. It’s a great shame. A great grand prix and they’ve screwed it up.”

2017 United States 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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    270 comments on “Horner calls penalty “appalling”, Verstappen blames “idiot steward””

    1. Who was the steward ?

      1. ex Ferrari driver- Mika Salo.

        1. @C Yay, you are adding color to the conversation. The color on the energy can.

        2. And it was Salo as well when they decided on the farce in Mexico with the penalty times last year, wasn’t it?

          1. That was Garry Connelly.
            He was a steward in Mexico last year, has been quoted as saying Verstappen was too young and aggressive, and (from memory) he was responsible for the Suzuka farce last year as well.

          2. He is also an ex Red Bull Sauber driver.

        3. It was defo Garry CONNELLY

        4. It was garry connely, the same as last year in Mexico. And the same that went to Mercedes after the race in Japan last year when he couldn’t convince his fellow stewards to penalize Max after defending from Hamilton.

        5. Mika Salo, as well as being an ex ferrari driver ( never winning anything) is also a FIN, no wonder Kimi looked sheepish.

      2. Salo (from Finland!)

      3. I believe it was Garry Connelly, per Verstappen, who Max is really furious with.

        1. We were at the race, and the crowd was trying to figure out what happened as they did the podium ceremony. We had no idea they’d so something this silly as EVERYONE was running off track at nearly every corner.

          I’m a HAM supporter, but was really ticked off that they screwed Max over like that. Completely out of context with the rest of the race. We were standing with a bunch of Dutch fans who flew in for the race and they were furious and I don’t blame them.

          1. Ham fan as well watching on TV here in America. The stewards never thought of the outcome of doing that in a US market where Liberty is trying to gain fans. You can’t leave the fans in doubt if who they saw cross the line actually finished there. They went to commercial and in just a few minutes the decision was handed down and as Lewis was pulling up and Max was in the podium room they showed it on TV. A stupid decision lost F1 a vast potential of fans and money. It was only the 2nd race this season on regular NBC behind Monaco. That one was on really early in the morning though. One or two people just ruined a great race. Now instead of the great racing, people are talking about the controversy. In America Dale Earnhardt’s “pass in the grass” is of legend. Max’s is tame by American standards. The typical first time viewer doesn’t understand or care about track limits. If it’s paved and follows the track path it should be OK. F1 is an entertainment industry and entertainment needs to be tailored to its audience. Strict track limits should be OK in Europe, but here in laid back America it should have been the same as it was all weekend and the fans wouldn’t have left with a sour taste in their mouths. My favorite driver won, but I didn’t even get to enjoy the podium and couldn’t even pay attention because I was fuming at the stewards from robbing me of an exciting finish and outcome.

            1. Now instead of the great racing, people are talking about the controversy.


              Everybody should be talking about what a great race and fantastic advertisement for F1 in North America this was. Instead tedious discussions about track limits, the letter of the law and inconsistancy is what dominates the storyline of this weekend.

            2. Completely agree with Kevin and @jeffreyj

              Instead of talking about what a great race it was (and it was a great race), everyone is talking about how the stewards affected the race.

              That is NOT the way to endear American audiences who don’t trust any authority anyway…and always believe the mythical “they” are trying to screw over the rest of us.

        1. That’s not a completely accurate picture of the situation – it’s actually a little worse for Ves as Rai did leave him the room to make the pass legally

        2. Great! That make the penalty right.

        3. In fairness, Kimi got no where near as close to the apex as that picture illustrates. :)

        4. Kimi was right ahead of Max in the line. In that split second decision, Max could either hit Kimi from behind or cut inside. Remember that the cameras of the incident are not at the driver’s eye level and that plays a huge role into the driver’s decisions. The last point of visual of the curb ahead of them is much farther away than it is on TV. Going over curbs all weekend into paved areas was allowed until then.

        5. What does this diagram have to do with anything? It’s not a photo, it’s not a diagram of the portion of track or of the relative positions and lines taken by the drivers (VER passed RAI on the inside of a right-handed turn).


          1. Maybe this will be a better illustration, why the penalty was deserved.

            1. Nice! Mika Salo has said many times in Finnish tv that stewards have much more camera angles in their use when compared to what can be seen from tv.

            2. Even Verstappen/Horner said that he left the track.
              The outrage by them and others is that it happened the whole weekend, including in situations where the offending driver gained an advantage.

            3. Dosent matter the move was wrong many other drivers did the same move throughout the race Connelly only picked on Verstafen

            4. @Egonovi

              (…) it happened the whole weekend, including in situations where the offending driver gained an advantage


            5. That indeed gives a clearer view of the situation. It’s clear to see that Max is on a line that keeps him on track and then reacts to Kimi comming to the inside. Kimi goes to the outside again at the same moment Max goes to the inside to aviod him. So no penalty warrented.

            6. that actually proves it had to be done that way to avoid further contact as there was touching involved by kimi turning in too much which ignited the avoiding action by both!

        6. That’s a really cute picture. Of course it has NOTHING to do with the pass Max made. Max was passing on a right hander and Kimi pulled the wheel at Max on the inside and you could see that Max was reacting to that.

          Other than that, that’s a really cute drawing. Does your mum make sure you don’t play with anything sharper than the crayons you used to draw that?

          1. Well, this picture is “simplified” version, in reality it was a right hander, but still Verstappen gained advantage by cutting outside to get better exit from the corner and WHEN he went all wheels out he made the overtake move, and that is really clear penalty. In the race there was a lot of going outside the track, but these were all “exaggerated racing lines” and before the race the drivers are always told where they are allowed to cut the track if they are. This was an overtaking move and not even close the racing line.

            So this picture is in theory right even though all the details are wrong. Still you shouldn’t be so edgy and insult the poster, doesn’t make you seem very smart.

            Here is my source, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXBJ9g1RUFk, thanks @maroonjack

            1. So this picture is in theory right even though all the details are wrong.


        7. People…..you can not overtake with all 4 wheels off the track and expect to get away with it…..Simples. The penalty was fair.
          It’s a shame this 1 incident tainted an otherwise perfect drive from Max but he also needs to control his mouth as well, calling stewards “idiots” even if you think they are will only attract more penalties in the future.

        8. He did leave the track but so did others while overtaking, nobody gets a penalty except Verstappen

          1. @neviathan Technically, the other didn’t leave the track while overtaking, though. Only Verstappen actually performed an overtaking move while being off the track with all four wheels.

            1. Everybody was trying though isn’t it. Making it look like it was ok since no warning of corner cutting was given to anyone and suddenly when max was successful by doing that what other failed, they slap a penalty. A precedence was set when they didn’t warn of corner cutting making the drivers think that it was ok.

            2. the technical term is ‘gained a (lasting) advantage’; many did so!

          2. No, many did not gain a lasting advantage to the point of overtaking, in fact only 1 driver did that in the entire race and he was given a penalty.
            Some like Sainz tried to do that on Ocon but for some reason didn’t complete the pass and therefore didn’t gain a lasting advantage.
            I’m sad for Max as it was a great drive from 16th on the grid but rules are rules.

      4. The steward was Gary Connoly

    2. Regardless of the situation, the role of Gary Connelly (the aforementioned idiot steward) should come under serious scrutiny. This, after Suzuka last year, and with the entire consensus amongst drivers both current and former being that the move was fine, shows a serious bias. The decision was made within minutes. No discussions with the teams or drivers. Awful.

    3. Last year in Mexico it was quite genuine when Max got penalised but today it was really appalling and shows calibre of Mika Salo as steward..

      1. It’s not Salo. It’s Gary Connelly

        1. Salo was driver steward, DC was quite vocal about it during race(when Bottas and Ric were under investigation for 2nd lap incident).

          1. +C
            Verstappen called out Garry Connelly in his interview after the race, and stipulated that this wasn’t the first time Garry has made a decision against Max in the stewards room.

            1. Interesting, if Max was referencing last years Mexico GP then that decision was quite fair, but today’s it just plain ridiculous and downright political. I think Bottas also went off the track while defending/overtaking Ric and that incident was dropped off, although DC sounded quite disgruntled when that fight between two was under investigation by Stewards and he called out Salo during that. So thought he made the call in Max’s case as well.

            2. It was indeed Garry Connelly Max referred to. Think of many controversial descisions this year (e.g. pace car where a virtual safety card would have sufficed) that are only made to aide Ferrari…

        2. 4 Stewards why would Horner think this was one steward’s decision?? though Horner in his typical passive/aggressive manner wouldn’t call out Garry’s name..Niki would of!!
          Poor decision, though Max did make the pass off track… not fighting for position off track like all the other battles in the race.

    4. Good boy, Max. Idiots are ruining this sport. What a joke!

    5. I agree wholeheartedly. That move was FANTASTIC (Murray Walker style!). He was hardly inside the kerb and the track limits had been abused by all drivers in many places that gained them much more of an advantage with no penalty. Appalling decision.

      1. And RAI turned in on him even though he was alongside

        1. Exactly, that is a mitigating circumstance too. But the main thing is that they did not punish a single other driver for track limits.

        2. who remembers Rossis overtake against Casey Stoner in a similar way (MotoGP). Everyone knows that move because they allowed it. But now everyone forgets Maxs overtake because they annulled it. What a shame. They shouldn’t have touched it.

          Whoever says ‘rule rules’, screw the rules. It’s these complicated rules that destroying the sport. Sometimes you should have tolerance to let exciting things remain in the sport. I hated Max at the beginning but now F1 is not and won’t be as exciting without this young racer. I’m even OK if he beats Hamilton (which I root for, despite my dislike towards his character).

          I am telling you now, the year Max lands a place in the team with Hamilton will be the year Hamilton leaves F1.

      2. Completely agree…appalling decision. Are they TRYING to discourage good racing? FIA needs to review this one.

      3. Max overtook another driver by cutting corner and going off the track. All instances of gaining positions by cutting corners should be penalised, no matter how FANTASTIC they look, and I think the debate should end here. Defending the move that’s indefensible is just silly, as is saying “boo-hoo, but you didn’t penalise the other guys”. What other guys? The drivers didn’t exactly respect the track limits this weekend, but who exactly did gain an advantage by cutting a corner? Sainz on Ocon? He didn’t gain anything. Bottas on Ricciardo? It’s clear that Bottas was pushed wide. I don’t see any other comparable situations, but even if you manage to find some, stewards still were 100% right to penalise Max. They were wrong not to penalise the “other guys”, whoever they might have been.

        1. The rules give the steward their right but in the spirit of the game… i leave that to you all.

          If you watch the move in slow motion you notice Max is still on the track UNTILL Kimi turns in and Max react on the move by brusk (jerk?) swerve to the right making him leave the track for just that moment. So tell me who is wrong here? Max who prevent an collision or Kimi turning in while someone is in his.

          Leaving the track penaulties were disabled for this race just for the crowd.

          1. It’s really simple. You cut corner, gain advantage, you yield the position. I for one don’t want to see drivers cutting corners while overtaking. For the spirit of the game.

          2. The driver in front has the right to whatever line he wants, max wasnt along side or even close so he follows or cuts the corner simple.Every other instance of leaving the track where on the outside and a wider line so shouldnt be compared to this one.

            1. @whitedog, dogs are entitled to it, but thats not how it works…

      4. Good, so next year they should introduce a ramp left of the penultimate corner so cars can jump above the pits if their drivers want and are quite hot headed and land spinning in the start straight (if they manage it) . That would be more fantastic and definitely Verstappen would try it. Fantastic or not he was driving out of the road = penalty.

    6. This is a digrace for the sport. In this way F1 in the States will never be popular again. Where’s the consistency?

    7. I have to agree, I saw that pass and didn’t think for one second that it was in any way dangerous or inappropriate.

      1. Overtaking off the track? I can agree with drivers using the track when attacking the track. But when overtaking, please, use the limits. Vettel has been penalised at Hockenheim in 2012 when he overtook Button off the track.

        1. Bottas left the track and immediately overtook ricciardo, something he would not have been able to do if he had not left the track. So what should have happened then? Anyone leaving the track is gaining an advantage as otherwise they would have to slow down considerably to stay within the limits.

          1. @Lee1 I think you are talking about VER’s move on BOT. VER gave him space because he made him run out of track, only to take it back by staying very close to him immediately at the next corner.

            1. No he is talking baout Bottas action defending against RIC.

          2. The difference is Bottas was pushed wide by Ricciardo, Verstappen was not pushed by Kimi

            1. Go back and watch the pass in slow motion. Kimi did indeed jerk the wheel towards Max as he was passing on the inside and Max reacted and pulled even further inside.

            2. In that instance the move began Max would either hit Kimi or go to the inside. It wasn’t until when Max chose inside that Kimi moved to the outside. It doesn’t matter though if they won’t let Max tell the stewards his side of the story before they pull him from the spot. If they just let Max celebrate on the podium and if they later decided after all the networks went off air to give Kimi the spot, it would have been better and not have marred the race for new viewers watching for the first time in America. This decision soured viewers and doesn’t look good in Liberty’s quest to appeal to the American market and get a second race.

            3. @daved Generally when a corner goes right, you tend to turn the steering wheel right. It doesn’t matter if Kimi jerked the steering wheel or not, there was enough room for Verstappen to stay on the track and he didn’t so Kimi did not force him off.

        2. @krichelle I give you Lauda’s view on this – the teams and the FIA agreed that the Stewards would allow racing to take place and step in only when it got dangerous.

          This clearly was not dangerous at all.

      2. +Michael
        You’re wrong. You’re forgetting one simple fact…….Max made the unforgivable mistake of passing a Ferrari. No way the stewards were going to let that stand. Remember Belgium 2008 when they robbed Lewis of the victory after the race, promoting Massa, in the Ferrari, (who drove like a coward in the rain that day) to the race win? You pass a Ferrari, they’ll find a way to f@$k you. Long live Formula 1.

        1. And let’s remember that Lewis was not punished for gaining an advantage in that 2008 incident. He was given a 25 second penalty for merely leaving the track! Yet in that very race, numerous drivers left the track.

          1. Including Raikkonen shortly after, using the coarse asphalted off-track to gain traction in the rain to accelerate and try to pass Hamilton again, only to spin off for good. Still the most absurd decision in Formula 1 history and again a race spoiler. But Ferrari must have their little privileges (or else).

          2. Lewis was punished for not waiting two corners to try and attack Kimi again! Which was not a rule until after the race and until penalty given! Today you dont give the position back and you get away with 5 secs… vs give the position back 25 secs! absolute ball locks….

            If you see max’s on board, he barely cuts the apex! and it happened when kimi tried to cover the overtake and push him off! If this penalty challenged and still sticks, FIA stewards are some paid back-holes Ferrari payroll employees!

            1. That 2 corner rule was brought in after the incident! The only rule at the time was that you had to give the place back which he did immediately after the corner. However his official punishment was obviously not for that as he broke no such rule, it was simply for leaving the track! Let’s not forget that a couple of corners later Kimi went off track and gained a massive amount of traction… That whole episode stunk.

              Leaving the track at any time leads to a gain in advantage. If you cut a corner in defense of a position, cut a corner to take a position, cut a corner to gain a position, cut a corner to do a quicker lap etc. They are all gaining an advantage. Even if you cut leave the track after a mistake braking it is gaining an advantage as you would have otherwise had to brake earlier to make sure you didn’t leave the track.

              So let’s let the drivers leave the track but make the tracks less desirable to run wide etc.

      3. RAI left a gap, VER went for it, VER was overlapping with RAI, RAI turned in, VER reacted

    8. They did what? Apalling lol. Good thing my TV coverage ended before this disgrace.

    9. Want to stop drivers abusing track limits? Put grass on the edge of the track like the old days where there was NEVER any problems with track limits.

    10. The irony here is for so long people complained decisions need to be made quickly after the race. In this case the decision was made quickly.

      But it was also questionable and because it involves an in-race penalty, it’s irreversible.

      Act in haste, repent at leisure.

      1. It isn’t so much the speed of the stewards, it is more a case of their consistency. At the start of the season, the stewards indicated they were going to be more lenient in order to allow for better racing action. In so many cases, they have been overly hard on some drivers (most recently giving Stroll and point on his licence) and not tough enough on others (Vettel at Baku who should have received a DQ).

        Track limits were being exceeded by just about every driver all over the circuit and yet Verstappen was the only driver punished.

      2. @keithcollantine
        This is not a rushed decision just a bad one. The race was already over and the stewards had all the time in the world if they needed more data or whatever to make the decision.

        1. GtisBetter (@)
          22nd October 2017, 23:45

          Didn’t they changed that when it involved podiums a while back, so if there is a investigation that could change they outcome of the top 3, they want it done before the ceremony?

      3. @keithcollantine I have to be honest, I didn’t like the move. He was completely off the track, taking a shortcut. The irony is that had he waited, maybe he’d have gotten Kimi because he ran out of fuel.

        Truth be told, the fact that racing circuits these days allow this kind of moves is what itches. Had it been grass on the inside, it’d have been a complete disaster for Max and Kimi, so he’d not have done so. We should go back to that. What’s the point of tarmac on the inside of a corner? that’s not a run off area.

        But they also use the whole thing on exit as well, even in qualifying. It’s not the stewards decision that’s wrong, you cannot penalize every driver, every lap for time gained going offtrack… it’s the track designers that are at fault! And it’s an issue that repeats itself everywhere, except at Monaco!

        1. Do the stewards take into account previous events during the race as well. I didn’t hear any complain about that but has Ver been pushing Bot off the track while overtaking?
          Would be so much better to have those cars along each other instead of one driver which has to yield because running out of road… We had some great stretches during this race.

    11. What a stupid argument by Verstappen. Majority of crowd would probably enjoy seeing huge and showy crashes as well (especially in the home country of oval racing) but stewards shouldn’t encourage drivers to do that just for the sake of the show. Just like stewards shouldn’t ignore corner-cutting. The white lines are there for a reason.

      1. The argument therefore is that pretty much every driver in the race should have been given multiple penalties?

        1. Verstappen was the only driver who made the pass by cutting a corner. That should be a penalty. No-brainer. Every driver seemed to go wide numerous times in track exits, and from those stewards should’ve given reprimands (two or three) and then a penalty.

          1. No not the only one. Also Sainz did cut a corner two corners before overtaking a Force India.

            1. No he didn’t, there’s a picture going around of Sainz cutting a corner alongside a Force India, but that was Ocon whom he never passed, so he did not gain an advantage there. He didn’t cut any corners while passing Perez.

          2. There were others that gained advantages, as mentioned elsewhere. Where does it read that you can gain an advantage by going outside of a corner, but not inside?

            On top of this, a case can be made that Verstappen was already ahead and had to make an evasive move because there wasn’t enough room given.

            1. @mavcovic Didn’t notice that. In that case stewards should have a look at that incident and penalise Sainz if necessary. Many people say Verstappen’s penalty was wrong because others weren’t penalised, but two wrongs don’t make right. Just penalise everyone who breaks the rules.

              @br444m Well, going wide usually costs you some time instead of gaining advantage, unlike cutting a corner is clearly only beneficial. Guess that’s why they are treated differently. I wrote my opinion above: first reprimands and then penalties should’ve been given from exploiting corner exits. Cutting a corner however is not tolerable.
              I think Kimi was ahead when Max decided to cut the corner. Only saw the replay for a few times so I might be wrong.

            2. Found it on YouTube, Kimi is clearly ahead when Max does his trick.

            3. @huhhii watch the video carefuly, vers dives along side and kimi realizes and tries to cover and push max off, and it s an instinct move to cut the corner or continue as a sidepod apparatus of kimi! which either wouldnt like being and having!
              it was a racing incident, and max barely cut the corner to avoid a collision! there is a difference gaining advantage and avoiding an accident while maintaining drive! there are many examples of it in this race and many previous ones… one being rosberg i think in bahrain a few years back pushing a few people off track, and one time he did it to lewis (mclaren back then) but he kept going outside the track and overtook him, and not penalized… and he went quite a distance outside the track!

            4. @huhhii you are right, saw it too just now. The case of inconsistency still stands IMO.

              Cutting a corner generally should be punished. Fair enough. But I also believe it’s fair to judge this occasion in context of the rest of the race, where the marshalls did not punish other off track situations with advantages gained.

              Based on the while race, the decision could have gone both ways. And that is the issue IMO. Tracks like this invite drivers to go off track, and the FIA invites drivers to go ahead and try their luck.. and 2 out of 3 times there is no punishment. Just a bad situation overall.

          3. Gaining an advantage is not only possible during overtakes. Bottas gained an advantage by leaving the track to keep his position. Others left the track to gain time and hence possibly preventing a competitor from catching up or catching up with the driver in front. What is the difference between someone gaining .2 of a second on their way to catching a driver and so.eone gaining .2 while passing a driver? Either way they have gained .2 of a second.

            Either ban leaving the track or let everyone do it all the time. It is that simple.

        2. @Lee1 what most of you guys who are protesting are not understanding is – VER gained an advantage. RAI had his space, he was defending. VER had to back off, but he moved outside track, cut corner. In that split second, VER may not have realized he cut corners while gaining a position.

          That has always been the case across all races baring a few where decisions were not bang on. But here, it is clear that decision has been taken per the rules laid out. If others too gained positions by cutting corners, they should be penalized likewise. If you start penalizing everyone for exceeding limits sometimes, not gaining a position in the process, it will be end of the sport.

          1. RAI was already passed when Max left the track.. So your story do not hold up.

            1. Only because the line VER took was quicker due to straight lining the corner, therefore the entire thing is connected, and has been the precedent set for many years.

              Overtakes, where a car leaves the circuit to make the overtake, whether in the braking zone or acceleration zone of a corner, have always been penalised, barring a few poor decisions.

              Therefore if the line you take during an overtake takes you out of the track limits on the corner you are making the move, it should be given back, even if the driver is already ahead before the corner. Otherwise, you’d just had drivers ignore the braking zones, ensure they’re ahead before the corner, then just straight line a chicane.

          2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuPLPha1k7c at 1.17!

            Vers comes along side and kimi tries to cover late and push max off! very clear racing incident, if he didnt cut, kimi was gonna crash him or he was gonna crash into kimi! avoiding accident, and split sec!

            1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP6zj5_igiE

              Well look Kimi’s rearcam, there was room for Max to stay on the road.

            2. I think kimi is just following normal racing line, not pushing max off the road.

          3. Anyone leaving the track for any reason gains an advantage. Do you see the leaving the track at Monaco? If they can stay out of the walls at Monaco they can stay within the track limits at other tracks. Overtaking is not the only way you benefit when leaving the track. Even if you go wide and lose time you have gained an advantage as otherwise you would have had to brake much earlier to make sure you made the corner or you would have to slam the brakes on and almost come to a stop in order to make the corner. The rules quite clearly state you should never leave the track at all. (Only one driver I can think of has ever been punished for doing so though and that was Hamilton at spa in 2008)

      2. did you see the pole lap from Hamilton? i’d guess not.. on twitter there are several pics of him leaving the track with all 4 wheels and he was able to keep his lap.

        The keyword is all about consisticy .. they should be punish everone or no-one not just 1 driver which add some excitement to the dull F1 races

    12. Put on a great event. Get everyone buzzing. Throw in some dramatic last lap action… Then ruin it, just because you can.
      It’s not F1 if you don’t get the race spoiled by jobsworths. Give the idiot a pay raise. He earned it.

    13. Basically shows how the new tracks are a joke. Off track should not have tarmac!! Off track should mean grass or gravel. All weekend drivers have been going off track to gain advantages, its an absolute joke!!

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        23rd October 2017, 0:29

        Thank you. Just what I was going to say

      2. Agreed. If that red tarmac was grass…
        I pointed out straight away that he could get a penalty (the other half thought I was mad). I’m not in favour of the penalty.
        However, I’d rather not have off track surfaces allowing the cars to run at the same speed as on the track.
        Let the track design apply the correct penalty for off track excursions and remove these decisions from the stewards.

      3. agreed
        I really don’t understand why they were allowing cars to go off track anywhere?
        I gather CW said that it wasn’t faster and that cars would pick up dirt onto their tyres, but surely, if all cars go the same route, they’ll clean it up !
        Shortcutting the track at any time must either gain a penalty or not, nothing to do with ‘only if you overtake’

        Regarging the stewards, the writing was on the wall when they investigated the RIC & BOT move !

    14. Seen many people (3,4 or 5) being overtaken at turn 1 running miles off track and defend at the next corner. not even an investigation.. sort of the same thing?

      Its the problem of the Tilke dome run off areas everywhere. Bring back grass directly after the curb for at least two meters wide(and then tarmac). If you still manage an overtake then, props to you, no penalty.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        22nd October 2017, 23:38

        @maxv I agree. Those drivers left the track limits in order to continue fighting for position. The stewards need to be consistent on this.

    15. This is so unjust. 3 days not at one time exceeding tracklimits were mentioned nor penalised. It is just sickening!

    16. Appalling is a very kind word! I have some better words for it, but i dont wanna get penalized as well :)

      Result is a disgusting penalty… Steward is either Ferrari fan, or bet big against the results! He should be investigated for any financial gains/help he may get after this race!

    17. You can clearly see Kimi making avoiding movement when Max was off the track. This was a clear situation when Kimi was blocking the racing line and track and Max did go 4-wheels over the track limits to overtake him…

      Sore losers, like RIC said…

      1. He didn’t block the racing line… he left a gap, VER went for it, overlapped RAI… RAI turned in, VER only option was to go where he did or crash with RAI.

        1. @marlarkey, then he should have backed off – those are the rules of engagement. Do not take me wrong here, I feel gutted that Max had to go through this today. Spending about 5 mins in the room with other podium holders, and then to be shooed away is a morale breaker. However, he made a mistake and stewards ruled against him.

          1. if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver….

        2. No because he was going for a gap that RAI left, and then tried to close.

          Once RAI turned in, the options for VER were to hit RAI or steer to the right.
          Mid corner RAI realized that he’d been overlapped and to avoid an incident he twitched to the left. Similarly VER took avoiding action and cut the corner.

          Penalties are not normally applied when drivers are acting to avoid a collision.

          I’d really like to have my old F1 back when drivers raced and overtakes decided the race, rather than stewards and cameras.

          The stewards made a mistake. If there had been a collision then it would have been a “racing incident” or RAI’s fault for turning in on VER. So how can it be either of their fault for avoiding an collision?

          1. See, you can be hell bent on not accepting the argument @marlarkey, but the evidence is out there. Just think that you were in RAI’s shoes and VER overtook you cutting a corner. You think it would be fair, still? If VER had to avoid a collision, he should back off.

            At no point in time before his overtake was VER ahead of RAI. Even when they are alongside before VER cuts the corner, RAI is ahead.

          2. @marlarkey Did you watch the same video I did? Kimi’s right tyres did not even touch the white line, which means there was enough room for Max to have one of his tyres on the white line, which is all it takes for him to stay within the track limits. And even if he did it to avoid contact, it doesn’t justify breaking the rules. In that case he should have backed off as Kimi was still ahead.

            1. @retardedf1sh – I have been saying that to them for a while now, but seems they do not want to listen :)

              But it is equally sad that Max had to lose his podium the way he did. A few of the arguments state that there were other track limit breached while overtaking, and those were not penalized. But that does not mean Max should be let off either.

            2. i would prefer not to call you by your nickname, but watch the video, there was not much of a choice! you can see a nudge in max’s car i think they made a gentle touch, and max didnt go outside track the gain advantage, he went there to avoid incident same as kimi realizing and making a sudden move outwards after it was too late

            3. @hemzshaw Exactly, two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because some other drivers went unpunished shouldn’t mean Max should.

              The thing is no one else gained an advantage to the same extent as Max did. Someone might have gained three thousands of a second by extending turn 19 but no one gained a position and three championship points while costing another driver three points by clearly going off the track.

              Bottas did maintain his position twice against both Red Bull drivers but on both occasions he was pushed wide by those drivers and had no other option but to go wide.

            4. Bottas did maintain his position twice against both Red Bull drivers but on both occasions he was pushed wide by those drivers and had no other option but to go wide.

              @retardedf1sh Max’s point is that Bottas rejoined the track infront of him after going wife, instead of letting him go – which is not exactly in a good taste because Max pushed him off the track first. It was only fair for him and RIC that they let Bottas regain his racing line, which both of them inadvertently did.

              But people here protesting use the reason that Kimi moved, hence Max had to take avoiding action – even if he cut corners, according to their previous action with Bottas, he should have let RAI get ahead.

            5. Ah, that didnt come out right.

              Bottas did maintain his position twice against both Red Bull drivers but on both occasions he was pushed wide by those drivers and had no other option but to go wide.
              @retardedf1sh Max’s point is that Bottas rejoined the track infront of him after going wide, instead of letting him go – which is not exactly in a good taste because Max pushed him off the track first. It was only fair for him and RIC that they let Bottas regain his racing line, which both of them inadvertently did.

              But people here protesting use the reason that Kimi moved, hence Max had to take avoiding action – even if he cut corners, according to their previous action with Bottas, he should have let RAI get ahead

            6. There was going to be a coming together when RAI turned in on VER not realizing he was overlapping him in the gap that he’d left.

              At that point they both reacted, RAI realized and dinked right, correcting his turn-in. At the same time VER instead of taking the apex (and colliding with RAI) drifted to the right.

              VER went for a gap that RAI had left, they both reacted to avoid the collision that was inevitable had RAI continued to turn in and VER had taken the apex instead of drifting to the right.

              I, like mystic one, see a slight touch between them just at the point when RAI dinked left and VER drifted off to the right ie it was a reaction to natural racing.

            7. BTW once a driver is committed to an overtake they cannot “back out”. Its too late by then. The options are collision or avoidance.

            8. @marlarkey OR Max could have taken the apex and NOT hit Kimi as there was enough room for him to do so.

            9. @retardedf1sh

              Only because kimi took avoiding action. Max is not psychic and couldn’t have predicted that.

            10. @aapje There was space on the inside of Kimi at all times, at no point were they even close to having any contact. If Max thinks there is not going to be space on Kimi’s inside why did he go for the move then? Kimi was ahead so it was his corner after all. It’s not that hard to lift the throttle and back off. Avoiding a collision does not justify violating the rules when you have the option off backing off.

              You are completely missing the point here. The problem isn’t Verstappen’s penalty, that was 100% deserved, no doubt about it even if he had done it to avoid a collision. The problem is inconsistency. There were other drivers that should have gotten at least a track limits warning if not a penalty but that doesn’t mean Max should go unpunished as well. No one did it even near to the same extent as Max did.

    18. I think the penalty was totally fair, Yes fine it may have been a good move but he clearly cut the corner with all 4 wheels off track which clearly gained him an advantage as I doubt he’d have made that move stick had he stayed on track.

      I also think going on about who the chief steward was is irrelevant as he isn’t the only person making these decisions, There are what 3 stewards & an Ex driver with none of them able to push anything through without agreement from the others.

      1. @stefmeister Wow, I really had to wade through a lot of silly comments before I finally came to one that made sense. Cheers!

    19. If Ferrari weren’t involved, Verstappen would not have been penalised. Ferrari get away with murder.

      1. The problem with verstappen’s move was that he shortened his lap by cutting an apex, rather than going wide and making his lap longer (which others were doing all through the race)

    20. I agree with Christian Horner for the first time in my life.

    21. It’s always annoying to see the race result adjusted by penalty after the finish, but VER did go all four wheels off the track, on the inside of a corner, while overtaking. There’s a lot that’s debatable when it comes to track limits and whether an advantage was gained, but cutting a corner while overtaking has to be treated harshly by the stewards, otherwise it will happen all the time.

      1. Agreed, but then they should do that consistantly. One moment in a weekend of hundreds of track limits offends.

        Connelly + Verstappen + Ferrari = 100% penalty for Verstappen

      2. But id did happen all the time.. Sainz on Ocon, Bottas on Ricciardo.. look at your recording.
        There are more to find.
        Appaling is a nice word for incapable stewarding.

        1. @seth-space in the case of SAI/OCO, Sainz never managed to get ahead of Ocon and he didnt gain track position. The BOT on RIC situation was not clearly visible on my TV.

        2. @seth-space Sainz never overtook Ocon and Bottas was pushed wide by Ricciardo, completely different from Verstappen/Raikkonen situation

          1. Vers/Rai incident no different! Rai tried to turn in late to cover max who was along side by that time, and in video, you can see a gentle nudge on max’s car after which he moves way too much inside to avoid tangle!, same done by kimi, he went opposite side! get your biased eyes checked!

            1. A gentle nudge? They were nowhere near to having any sort of contact. You must have no understanding of racing if you even for a moment think there was any chance of contact. It could have been Maldonado racing Kvyat and there still wouldn’t have been any contact.

              Kimi left plenty of space for Max on the inside as you can see from his onboard view. Max just decided not to use any of it and went off the track instead. Besides Kimi was ahead so he had the claim to the corner anyway and didn’t even need to give the space but he did anyway.

              And even if Max did it to avoid contact, that wouldn’t justify breaking the rules. In that case he should have given the place back.

            2. @mysticus, what nudge? It’s quite clear from the external and onboard footage that Max and Kimi were quite far apart and there is no way that Kimi could have made contact with each other – I think that what you seem to think was a “gentle nudge” was the jolt that Max had as he cut across the inside kerb.

            3. @anon any video to show how far apart they were? bcoz all i saw they touched or nearly touched and doubt they were more than 1-2inches away… and when nudge happens, it doesnt seem like max was on the line at all… when he go over the line he makes a sudden jerky move… the moment both splits way apart from eachother there seems like a nudge! if you watch on board you cant unsee it, after that nudge both splits ways!

        3. Michael Brown (@)
          23rd October 2017, 0:52


          …but cutting a corner while overtaking…

    22. I can’t see how they can complain.

      It was obvious that Max cut the corner, he wouldn’t have passed Kimi otherwise.

      1. They are not complaining that he didn’t leave the track. They are complaining that every driver left the track, some while overtaking others just because they got the breaking wrong and some because it was the faster line through the corner. Yet only one driver was punished for it…

        1. @Lee1 you need to push us some examples of other drivers overtaking and gaining a track position while cutting corners (track limits are a different story).

          1. Look above.. Sainz. Bottas.

            1. @seth-space I need to see the replays, but if they did (which I did not see) then they should be penalized as well. But that does not mean Max’s penalty should be overlooked all the same.

    23. Jos making a complete embarrassment of himself on Twitter is by far the best thing that’s come out of this race.

      1. I love the way how he spell the ‘whole’.


        Only Max get,s a penalty when he cross the line Nobody else the hole weekend

    24. I liked watching it, but… it’s not vague or borderline or a matter of opinion. It’s a plain fact that he cut the corner. He even steered to cut more of it to avoid getting the worst of the kerb and get a quicker line.

      Don’t care how pretty it looked or whether he deserved to be third or not, overtaking someone by cutting the corner can’t ever be allowed. Zero defence.

      1. Maybe because Kimi was coming into him?

      2. He cut the corner BECAUSE Rai turned in on him when he was in the gap.

        1. I laugh out loud at that argument @marlarkey. The only option he had was to back off – which he didn’t.

          1. You can’t back off when you’re already at the apex.

          2. You say that as if it’s a very normal thing to think at high speeds while all your focus is on making a move and not taking yourself and your opponent out of the race. It’s all well and good saying what someone should have done; doing it is a whole different matter.

        2. Standard practice when the driver ahead stays on the racing line (that he is perfectly entitled to be on) is to back off. Not put your foot down and cut the corner to overtake him.

          1. RAI wasn’t ahead and entitled to the line, VER was inside him overlapping… front wheel overlapping rear wheel – watch it on slo mo.

            If RAI had continued to turn in and VER had stayed on the apex then they would have collided as a result of RAI turning in. BOTH took avoiding action… RAI twitched left, VER shifted right.

            HENCE… racing incident. Excellent overtake. Excellent reaction by both drivers.

            1. Michael Brown (@)
              23rd October 2017, 0:22

              Front wheel overlapping rear wheel is not ahead

            2. front wheel, my backside! watch the video!

              max is more than half car size along side! and i think they nudged gently briefly and hence the sudden reaction from both drivers going different direction to avoid tangle!

              people are unbelievable! rules didnt change, cars can be entitled to racing line as long as they dont force a car off track to keep that line, i would understand kimi trying to cover racing line towards outside keep the line, than outside driver gets off the track! but he lost the inside line by the time he tried to turn in and cover it!
              fact: max was more than half car along side him! if you watch carefuly, they nudged briefly…

            3. Verstappen had plenty of space to stay on the track and not collide. He chose to (almost) straight-line the corner, far further off the track than necessary, in order to overtake. That’s not a racing incident, that’s cheating…

        3. Isn’t that a multiple apex corner? RAI didn’t turn in, the track came to him as is the normal racing line in those corners. The only extra move I see on that video is Kimi taking evasive action once he sees MAX on the inside. And I find it interesting that people handle tracklimits as a whole. Leaving the track when someone pushes you outside to my mind is really not at all the same as taking a shortcut. In that video Max starts to center the wheel when he sees the second apex coming. Not, as people say, reacting to Kimi coming towards him and turning more to the right. The cars track was always going to take him outside the track.

          1. Watch the replay.

            Max’s line was going to take him around the corner correctly. He had hit the first apex, then Kimi suddenly came across towards him.

            Max twitched to the right slightly to avoid him, which then took him off track. At the same time, Kimi twitched to the left slightly, which left a little room. By then, though, Max had already taken action to avoid a collision which took him off track.

            Max did not have the option of backing off. He couldn’t anticipate Kimi taking avoiding action, and even heavy braking at that point would not have avoided the collision without that.

            Now, on to the rules in general: I believe the only way to make the system fair and consistent is to turn the rule on it’s head. Instead of penalising where an advantage is gained, penalise where no clear disadvantage is taken. This will force drivers to stick to the race track, and ensure that everyone knows what the outcome will be.

            You don’t get refs in football saying “yes, the ball went out of play, but there was no opposition player nearby so no advantage was gained”.

    25. Based on the largely negative feedback I doubt we will see it again anyway.

      Teams& Drivers weren’t keen of it & I gather most of the broadcasters also didn’t like it with a lot of them cutting away from it for ad-breaks or there own programming.

      A lot of broadcasters were also unhappy that it took time away from there pre race shows & time speaking to drivers & others on the grid. Not all broadcasters are able to have these long 60+ minute build up shows, Many turn up 30 minutes or less before the start & those broadcasters were left with no drivers to talk to on the grid & the introductions interfering with there own programming.

      1. That comment was meant to go in the alonso/driver introductions article.

    26. Raikkonen leaves space for Verstappen for the first part of the corner. As they reach the middle, Verstappen is already half-level when Raikkonen starts moving across. Just before they collide, Raikkonen swerves slightly left and Verstappen more right, avoiding the collision. No way that was a penalty. Advice to Max: next time just take the Ferrari out. You’ll get penalized by FIA anyhow, but at least with the satisfaction of taking one of them with you.

      FIA, Ferrari, is there really any difference?

      1. That is EXACTLY how I saw, and on the slomo replays…
        RAI left a gap
        VER goes for it
        VER overlaps with RAI
        RAI realized and turns in on VER

        At this point, there is either going to be a crash or evasion.
        RAI evaded by twitching left, VER evaded by shifting right, therefore cutting the corner

        Would they rather that the two of them came together ?

      2. Nice theory – you miss out the point @david-br that he cut corner and did not back off to avoid hitting RAI, but instead overtaking RAI and gaining a position. I am as gutted for him as you are probably, but a cut corner can’t be let off.

        Honer and VER need to come clean with other examples of overtakes where corners were cut.

        1. You can’t back off when you’re already inside and overlapping the guy turning in on you.

        2. did not back off to avoid hitting RAI

          Well we can’t be in their minds. but if you watch a slow-mo as @marlarkey suggests, there is a legitimate gap for Verstappen to go for during the first bend of the corner – so he does. As they enter the second bend, Verstappen is half-level with Raikkonen, meaning that as the latter starts closing the gap, a collision becomes likely. Then both take evasive action simultaneously (too fast for one to be reacting to the other). So more likely that Verstappen – like Raikkonen – realized they would collide and responded. As a consequence he went fully off track since the corner also then became more acute at that point. My point is that Verstappen’s only option was to collide or go off. Should he have given back the position? I don’t think the situation merited it, no.

          1. Exactly. Once they were committed to the corner, the only option was for both to take avoiding action or for them to collide. They both took avoiding action, you can see RAI twitching left, VER’s avoiding action was to go off by 6 inches.

            If VER had NOT taken avoiding action and had instead placed himself on the apex, then a collision would have been on the cards.

            Stewards don’t normally punish people who are avoiding a collision.

            1. Michael Brown (@)
              23rd October 2017, 0:24


              Stewards don’t normally punish people who are avoiding a collision.

              They punished him for going off the track to overtake.

            2. He went off the track to avoid a collision, when RAI turned in towards him.

              This is in essence the issue. Both drivers are likely to have a plausible story as to what was in their mind. The stewards punished him without any opportunity for BOTH drivers to explain themselves and for them to review the evidence in the light of the evidence.

            3. Michael Brown (@)
              23rd October 2017, 0:46

              Still an illegal overtake, since Raikkonen did nothing illegal to warrant passing off the track like that.

            4. Michael Brown (@)
              23rd October 2017, 0:55

              @marlarkey He can avoid a collision by going off the track, but that then doesn’t give him an excuse to overtake off the track.

            5. The overtake happened because RAI backed out of it… as he should have done having lost the apex.

          2. @david-br I agree to most of what you say, but the last line.

            You think he should give back the position or not is your personal preference – and not what rules state. I repeat, that I felt gutted the moment he was demoted but his demotion is based on a rule that you cannot cut corners to make an overtaking move. Personally, I would prefer that decision should not have been made – I do not hate Max. It is just that if rules state he should not have done that, then he simply is to be blamed. It cannot be termed as a racing incident.

            1. @hemzshaw Fair enough, I think we can agree to disagree on this one. It’s not a title-changing incident!

            2. @david-br I agree to that :) it isn’t title changing decision in any case.

            3. @david-br
              first corner was title-challenging in a way: VETTEL over shot the corner to stick with the overtake, went full off track, and didnt give the position back, not investigated!

            4. @hemzshaw
              I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said, the move was always going to be sketchy at best, and when Raikkonen played hardball Verstappen only had the option of cutting and hoping he got away with it, or backing right off and finishing behind anyway.

              I don’t mind the fact that he gave it a go, but hopefully they won’t continue to make such a big deal about it, the rules are very clear.

            5. @mysticus, Stewards often do not treat 1st lap incidents in the same way as in-race incidents. But this video link that you shared here is a foot-in-mouth against your own argument.

              At 0:06, you see that Vettel has moved right of the white line, but only his two tires were on the other side not his full car. He does not go full off track, and of course he is being pushed by Hamilton on the side as they battle to take the lead.

              At 0:08, you see Max has his entire car breaching the white lines, pushed by Lance Stroll’s Williams. Watch this link for a better view: https://youtu.be/jZ3VMIxfrfY?t=46s

              Well, if stewards had to rule against Vettel, Max would get a worse penalty in comparison. So next time, before you share a counter argument with footage, please watch the footage carefully yourself first.

            6. True that @george. I loved the move myself to be honest, up till it was termed illegal of course. However the ruling is going to be blown up into huge proportions due to fan reactions – even though however silly it may be. Like some of the reactions of this thread… read my reply to @mysticus as an example.

            7. @hemzshaw

              i think you should have gone to specsavers mate, you cant see touches nor track limits while passing another car!
              watch the video, first he nudges ham, then overshots the corner, and his full car on the right side of the white line!

              your words not mine!
              “if stewards had to rule against Vettel, Max would get a worse penalty in comparison.”

              “decision has been taken per the rules laid out”
              “If you start penalizing everyone for exceeding limits sometimes, not gaining a position in the process”

              make a decision! please!
              if you wanna apply the rule, apply it properly then! vettel only made the overtake by overshotting the corner and getting off track and finalizing the overtake to gain advantage!

              this was clear case of him gaining advantage out of the corner going full off! so why not penalize vettel as well if you were to punish based on rules laid out?

              watch this start! ham runs wide to overtake, gets a penalty, first lap!

              then tell me you are very objective in your view? next time you make a point, get your eyes/facts checked! you are one sided and argumentative about certain drivers when history shows full of controversy over penalties that disagrees with you !_!

              stewards are very lenient against certain drivers/colored team then everyone else!

            8. @mysticus – I only saw the video before VET took the corner and guessed that he was talking about the lines at the exit of pit lane – evident from the duration mentioned. I have to admit that it was my bad that I did not see the video beyond!

              In the hindsight today, after Charlie’s clarification, they penalized VER because he cut corner to gain and advantage while Bottas and Vettel did not, because they kept their position. Again, first lap incidents are generally viewed with leniency by stewards, and that could pass like that.

              Again, per Charlie, it was only Verstappen who cut the corner, others exceeded track limits but did not cut corner, plus they did not again an advantage that warrants stewards to penalize them. I will go with that!

              “If you start penalizing everyone for exceeding limits sometimes, not gaining a position in the process”

              I think you missed the context here. I am not defending stewards not penalizing others who exceeded track limits. As it is how it works within F1, Charlie and drivers meet and discuss the track limits and other details at every race, where Charlie is clear on how track limits will be enforced for that particular race. You can say that is inconsistent alright, and that is a problem still for me. Unfortunately, drivers support this flexibility.

            9. @hemzshaw
              bottas’ case is right but vettel’s is not! bottas was outside driver, where as vettel was inside! he cut inside, and only made the overtake by overshotting the corner and ham backed off clearly as vettel nudged him, vettel still went completely off. if ham was way off behind him, i would accept that judgement as well, but he was not… so by overshotting corner, he made a lasting gain, we can of course agree to disagree…

    27. A question to all those who think the 5 sec penalty was a bad decision [I don’t think it was unfair in case you’re in any doubt]. Name those drivers who voluntarily left the track and permanently gained a position, then I’ll agree it was inconsistent.

      1. Vettel in the first corner, Bottas on Ricciardo.

      2. How about VET who left the track on his charging lap to challenge Hamilton ? He gained an advantage that enabled him to challenge Hamilton. “Gaining an advantage is the rule”, not “permanently gaining a position”…

        In any case, you don’t get punished for “gaining an advantage” if it is avoiding someone else colliding with you.

        1. Yes, OK, I see even on lap 1 Vettel gained an advantage by leaving the track at T1 and led the race for a few laps.

          I’ll get my coat..

        2. Michael Brown (@)
          23rd October 2017, 0:43

          @marlarkey Gaining a position is gaining an advantage and you didn’t answer the question.

          1. I didn’t see a question that needed answering.

            MANY drivers Vettel specifically, gained an advantage by leaving the track. Leaving the track gained VET the advantage of challenge Hamilton for the lead which he wouldn’t have done had he stuck to the track limits.

      3. Verstappen was squeezed off track by Raikkonen. Actually a very similar situation to the 2008 Spa race when he pushed Hamilton wide at the chicane. Hamilton of course sinned by not given the place back ‘sufficiently’. (As a little list: Raikkonen pushed Hamilton wide, already dubious, then collided with him slightly at La Source, then went off track and gained a huge speed advantage, then passed under yellows – all of which proved irrelevant as he span off.)

        I make that 3 big pro-Ferrari decisions this season: not disqualifying Vettel for the Baku incident, not penalizing Vettel for causing the Singapore pile up, and giving Raikkonen third place in this race. It’s just typical. Every time Ferrari are back in the main game, with a chance of winning the championship, these decisions all magically fall butter-side up for them.

      4. The gauntlet has been thrown…

        But in any case, it’s fallacious to argue that you shouldn’t get punished because everyone else was doing it. Schoolyard excuse that one, doesn’t hold any water at all.

    28. – The Dutch tv-commentator, an annoying nitwit, had just explained why Verstappen’s move was the best overtake since the invention of the wheel when the penalty came on. His disbelieve quickly turned to anger and he called the penalty male-cow-fecal-matter.
      – Max Verstappen called the chief steward a retard.
      – Jos Verstappen matched the tv-commentator and tweeted a FIA logo with the words Ferrari International Assistance underneath it.
      – The Dutch post-race analysis first acknowlegded the stewards were right and then went in full populist propaganda mode, blaming everyone and everything.

      I have to admit it was quite entertaining. I’m not much of a chauvinist, so it’s rather funny to see people getting so worked up about a minor issue because their national hero was being wronged. Verstappen did leave the track and gained an advantage because of it, so there’s not much to argue about. It was quite a good race for 2017 standards, but I had the best laughs after the chequered flag. :-)

      1. :D lol +1

        I agree, the reactions are pretty childish.

        1. agreed, your reactions are beyond childish, it is like you are a baby dont know what you are saying… just saying…

      2. You are not much of a racing fan either …..

      3. GtisBetter (@)
        22nd October 2017, 23:39

        I agree. You could argue that more people should have gotten a penalty in that race, but if you overtake on the inside, with 4 wheels of the track it should be taken away every time. Every driver knows the limits of the track and max knew that if he went that way, he would cut the corner. Those Dutch presenters annoy the heck out of me, except Doornbos.

        1. A motorsports fan
          23rd October 2017, 0:08

          the penalty was correct because propaganda, nitwit, retard some other stuff. i did not know ves was also commenting on his own racing and owning a tv station.

          “but if you overtake on the inside, with 4 wheels of the track it should be taken away every time”

          i agree that raiu should have been penalized for his attempt to drive ves of a track – which failed. you are quite right to observe that gaining an advantage (overtaking) despite being driven of the track is not an offense. and you are correct to point out that when bottas was driven off track by ricciardo and regained the lead regardless, no steward would dream to penalize bottas.

          you conclusion that the decision therefore seems to hinge only on a ferrari getting humiliated in the last lap seems just about right.

    29. Vettel on Button Germany 2012, Grosjean on Massa Hungary 2013, the decision seems harsh but a precedent has been set with those two past incidents, the stewards shouldn’t stop enforcing the rule because of a potential backlash from fans.

    30. Since when has passing another driver outside track limits, without being forced off track, gone unpunished in the last decade?

      Has happened to plenty of drivers before and will happen again.

      Don’t know why there is any confusion as to why the punishment was handed out.

      1. This. Yes the stewards have been inconsistent with track limits when cars have run wide and carried more speed through corners. But as @guybrushthreepwood says, when has it ever been acceptable for the car following to go off the track (of their own accord) and gain a place, much less by shortcutting the inside of a corner?

        If it had happened earlier in the race, I have no doubt that race control would have simply had them switch places and there would have been much less of a furore. I think the problem here is that it happened so close to the end of the race that this was no longer an option and Max was demoted with no more chances to reclaim that podium spot.

    31. Sky just showed the replay to Lewis who said “Well he was off the track” & seemed to agree with the penalty.

      They also just said that the FIA are going to put forward the reasons for the stewards decision in about 10 minutes.

      1. A motorsports fan
        22nd October 2017, 23:59

        gaining an advantage – such as overtaking – is not an offense in itself. ves was overtaking rai because he was quicker on tires with more grip. if that leads to an advantage that is called racing, not an offense.

        ves was of the track to avoid the consequences of an offense of RAI – turning into VES who was alongside him. if VES would not have left the track they would have collided and that would have been RAI’s fault.

        hence the penalty condition was construed by the stewart from glueing together selected pieces of reality.

        racing outside track limits has been the standard all weekend – even during q3. the only one that has been penalised is the driver that skillfully raced a ferrari of the podium.

        raikonen was so beaten, that he crawled across the finish – a whopping 4.9 seconds behind ves, so only 0.1 seconds ahead of P3-5s. rai raced a good race though, and he would not been overtaken by ves if he was not forced to yield to vettel.

        Texas, COTA 2017: ves qualified P6, started P16 due to a engine-change penalty, was in the points after 4 laps, led the race a few laps, overtook rai on the last lap and finished P3. Superb drive. The steward may be able to alter the records, but not reality and this is what we remember from a particularly fun race to watch.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          23rd October 2017, 0:41

          Ah, so they should have ignored it because Verstappen was much faster? That was the explanation for why Alonso got no penalty for cutting the track to overtake in Abu Dhabi 2013.

        2. 1. Leaving the track in itself is not an offense, gaining an advantage by doing so is the offense.

          2. “Avoid the consequense of an offense by RAI” What offense? He was ahead and was entitled to the racing line. RAI left enough room for VER on the inside yet VER didn’t use that space and went completely off the track instead. There was never going to be a collision and had there been, it would have been all VER’s fault as RAI did absolutely nothing wrong to begin with.

          3. It was ruled by the stewards before qualifying that you can exceed track limits as long as you don’t gain a significant advantage . That doesn’t mean you can pass another car by cutting the track.

      1. Running wide = longer route, Cutting corner = shortcut.

    32. Its not as if Max straight-lined a chicane or put four wheels into thedirst the chopped back across … he pinched a bit on the inside of the first apex of a triple right handed …

      Anybody here remember “The Pass: Zanardi vs Herta” at Laguna Seca many years back ??

      Dumb decision.

      1. *the dirt*

    33. I agree with the stewards decision. He clearly left the track. Every track has to have limits. If drivers cross it, then they are not on the track. If you allow them to “cut the track”, then the white lines that form the track are meaningless. If they aren’t meaningless, then they have to be absolute. If you put a wall along the track, then no one will be able to go off track.

      1. If you put a wall along the track, then no one will be able to go off track.

        And Raikkonen and Verstappen would have collided badly when Raikkonen closed off the corner. Given Raikkonen was allowing him space to make a pass at the start of the corner and Verstappen was drawing level, he should have left room. He didn’t precisely because he knew Verstappen could ‘safely’ go off track. Which is why I think the penalty was unmerited.

        1. @david-br This. In the replay it’s clear that Max made a steering correction which made him go outside the curbs.

          Lauda makes the case of putting up walls as well, and how it was agreed with the FIA that all parts of the track would be fair game.

          1. @br444m Lauda is spot on. White lines are ridiculous. Put in kerbs, speed bumps, grass, walls, green goo or velcro, whatever, but a painted line is always going to produce these situations where drivers routinely infringe and then suddenly it becomes a highly contested issue. If there had been grass, Verstappen would undoubtedly have done the same, only lost time, as he had to avoid contact. Had their been a wall, would Raikkonen have pushed him there? Presumably not. So who was exploiting the painted corner, really? Verstappen to get an advantage or Raikkonen to push Verstappen wide?

            1. I completely agree that grass or kerbs would be better options, but the point is that there are track limits. Here, they use lines. Even though this part of this circuit did not have grass or kerbs, it doesn’t mean drivers should be able to go off track when racing. In the end, we have to define where the cars are allowed to go. In this case, the lines define the track, and you should not be able to go off track; especially when passing someone.

            2. @prosybris Read again and you’ll see my point is different. I agree obviously that the lines should be respected, but the rule isn’t enforced (check out Lauda’s comments on some kind of mutual understanding about that with Whiting) and, specifically in this case, my argument is that VER got squeezed off track by RAI, something the latter would have been less willing to do – or penalized for, perhaps – if that had left VER running into a wall. RAI has form in this kind of move. I don’t see how he left VER with any option other than collide or go off track after he had left a gap for VER to attack. That’s important. Do we want racing or not? RAI left the door open for VER to move, instinctively he took it. He ended up being penalized for the attempt when RAI closed him off halfway through the corner. That’s why so many people think the decision was anti-racing. They’re right.

            3. I apologize if I am missing your point, but I disagree with the notion that this decision was anti-racing. Gray areas in the rules will always exist. However, I believe we need to make the rules as black-and-white as possible whenever we can, and track limits are one that I happen to think should be that way.

    34. The problem is he technically cut the corner to gain an advantage, in essence shortening the lap

      All the other examples given of drivers going beyond the track limits were cars going wide which can therefore be sensibly argued that they took a longer route.

      It was the correct decision at end of the day and believe me I was dissapointed as I lost a bet at 22/1 with Max getting knocked of the podium!!!

      1. A motorsports fan
        23rd October 2017, 0:42

        “The problem is he technically cut the corner”


        “to gain an advantage”

        no, to avoid a collision after already having made the pass stick – inside line and better tires. he would have held that apex without effort if rai would not have turned into the driver alongside him. watch the footage – kimi could not defend the inside because his tires were gone – whilst ves had grip.

        imagine what ves would have had to do according to the steward(s) – drive into rai to avoid leaving the track, hope you car survives and cheer afterwards because rai got a penalty for forcing another driver of the track.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          23rd October 2017, 0:58

          There actually was enough space left by Raikkonen that Verstappen could make the corner without cutting it. He could put two wheels off the track but that’s perfectly legal.

          Just because he can cut the track to avoid a collision doesn’t mean he can use that as an excuse to overtake while doing it. It’s not like Raikkonen had an engine problem and block the apex from Verstappen.

    35. Every year, the same story: Red Bull don’t know how to lose.

      1. The same could be said for the POS team from Italy.

    36. Look at it this way, Kimi had a known quantity of track to position his car in. He positioned it in a place where there wasn’t enough space for the following car to get through on the inside. The following car ‘makes’ room by cutting the corner…

      Defense becomes irrelevant. Where does that end?

      1. A motorsports fan
        23rd October 2017, 0:24

        please review the footage in the f1 app – this is not what happened. rai was on the outside, not the middle of the apex, and was leaving room unintentionally. realizing that, in the corner, rai sharpened the apex to close the opened inside whilst ves was already alongside, forcing a correction from max to avoid a collision. ves was not executing a plan, but reacting to circumstances after already having won the pass – inside line and better tires.

    37. Off the track, bad luck Max, move on.

    38. Michael Brown (@)
      23rd October 2017, 0:38

      It was the right decision. It’s simply illegal to overtake while going off the track. He wasn’t avoiding an incident or Raikkonen making an illegal move. I think he should have completed the overtake but then given the position back.

      Regardless, the bigger issue is the stewards’ complete hands-off approach to enforcing track limits. Sometimes they get very prickly about track limits, going as far as having sensors installed under the kerbs in the final two turns in Austria, which notify them of cars extending the track. But here? They just let the drivers extend the track all throughout the weekend, even for Q3. They might as well just widen the exits of these corners because the drivers are just going to do what they want on this track.

      Also, the stewards seemed perfectly fine with drivers like Bottas going off the track while being overtaken by both Ricciardo and Verstappen. In both cases Bottas was run off the track by the Red Bull overtaking him (a legal move) but kept racing off the track to rejoin wheel-to-wheel with the other car. The only reason Bottas was able to continue the battle was because he left the track to do it. Ricciardo and Verstappen did not need to leave the track to pass Bottas, but Bottas can leave it to try and fight for his position. If what Verstappen did was illegal, then what Bottas did was illegal.

      I imagine he wasn’t penalized because in both cases he didn’t overtake the other car. If he did, there would be an instruction to give the position back or a penalty. This occurred in the 2013 Singapore Grand Prix in which Perez ran Hulkenberg wide but Hulkenberg continued to race Perez and got ahead of him in the next corner. The stewards ordered him to give the position back.

    39. The stewards did an excellent job of proving what FIA really stands for.

    40. This is why track limits should be enforced consistently, and more importantly, by physical deterrents. Had it been grass there that move would have never worked. Track limits weren’t enforced all weekend and as a result it was a complete free for all. On this occasion it was more blatant in that it was a direct off-track overtake. But I blame Tilke for this one, not Verstappen or the stewards.

    41. The 2 guys that matter the most – Kimi & Max – they both thought it was a good pass.

      The video

      IMHO, Max moved right to ensure he didn’t hit Kimi – it was a rushed and crappy call.

      The rules in F1 are funny how they are applied – for example leaving your steering wheel with a disabled car is a rule that everyone knows, yet Charlie didn’t raise it to the Stewards after the Vet Stroll incident.

      What F1 could use is stewards that attend multiple races in a row – maybe 2 or 3 steward crews for a season. It is a job that they are paid well to do. At the end of the season fans get to vote on the fairness of the stewards. Get a passing grade, you get a bonus and invited back next year. If not, good bye.

    42. The way track limits are inforced now is unprofessional.
      There should be a mandatory penalty for all 4 sheels of the track.
      Something like that is dead accurate to spot.

      The way it’s done now it’s opened to interpretation and bias.
      Absolutly black and white wrong.

      So yes Max did go of the track but even as a vettel and ferrari fan i think he should not be punished because the rules as they are now are absolutly whide open to interpretation.There is too much room for doubt.

      1. Too much doubt when deciding whether or not someone gained an advantage or not.

        In football you don’t see someone going on the other side of the play area line with the ball and than is decided he didn’t gain an advantage.It’s a joke the way this rule works in f1.

    43. Penalties for this and not least GRID penalties is totally destroying the sport for me and makes F1 a JOKE !!
      FIX track limits meaning back to grass and gravel/ bumps or whatever and let teams change engines and parts
      whenever needed. IS this motorracing or not ??
      instead concentrate on closing the performance gap through standard parts, spending/ cost caps or whatever
      and get 2-3 more competative teams on the grid

    44. Deserved penalty. Yes, the stewards had been lenient on track limits, but the difference here is that VER cut the corner to make the pass. All 4 wheels were clearly beyond the inside of the apex.

    45. He cutted the track. Simple as that.

    46. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      23rd October 2017, 4:01

      The whole thing was absurd – the pass was amazing and it deserved podium, period!

      1. Yeah was good at the time, but he pretty much cut the whole corner. Its F1’s fault for allowing cars to travel that far over a corner. But right call to take it 3rd off him

    47. In the end it was fair decision from stewards, VER clearly cut corner to gain advantage. Comparison example to BOT – RIC battle BOT out braked himself and got out side of track and because that, losing the battle in the next corner. But that is 50/50 drivers and track layout.. we can all agree that there should be more grass and gravel to remind drivers where to put themselves

    48. I don’t understand how most people posting here think it’s an unfair penalty. I watched the Sky F1 analysis of it after the race, and it’s clear that Max was cutting the apex by quite a lot. Paul DiResta said it was an obvious penalty, and some of the other commentators changed their opinion. Everyone is comparing it to drivers running wide all weekend, but cutting an apex and running wide at an exit are NOT the same thing. Especially when you’re cutting an apex in order to pass for position. That’s a zero tolerance penalty, as it should be.

    49. Does not matter one jot what the ‘others’ were doing, Verstappen made the move, gained an advantage and was caught out.
      Horner is becoming more of a PITA than ever, sad because I had respect for him.
      And for all the people referring to ‘EffWun’ as a sport, reality check, it is NOT a sport.
      Having spent the weekend at the Australian MotoGP I can say that is motor sport, head and shoulders above the present fiasco that is Formula 1.

    50. Just saying: that Sainz never actually managed to overtake Ocon, doesn’t mean he didn’t gain an advantage. Likewise for Ricciardo and Bottas. The definition of ‘an advantage’ is not ‘to pass’. It means, gain an advantage. That can be tenths of a second, even. That’s why it’s troubling.

    51. I’d like opinions on the argument that RAI turned in on MAX and made Max go outside track limits. In the video quite clearly Kimi gets closer to the track edge BUT that is a multiple apex corner. You can see it quite clearly in Google maps (http://tinyurl.com/ycyhv4rj). The corners are even numbered 16, 17 and 18, aren’t they? I believe Max went of track at turn 17, which is tighter turn than 16. Furthermore in the video with Maxs incar view you can see that Max center the wheel when he sees the second apex coming at the same time where you can see Kimis car wheels straightening.

      So was this a case of leaving the track when forced, as was the case in many overtakes (alteast BOT, RIC @turn 1 and BOT, MAX after the back straight) or did MAX choose a line that was always going to take him outside the track.

      I think he took a Shortcut. I’m not saying he did it intentionally, but still a shortcut. And I’m calling it a shortcut to not mix it up with discussion of tracklimits on the outside of the track at the exit of corners..

      1. Kimi did nothing wrong, all verstappen had to do was lift to avoid a crash, instead he took a short cut and celebrated.

    52. Damn, such a good race overall and this had to happen against Max.
      Max did mention about the stewart who gave him the 5 secs, got a feeling he’s against Max personally.
      Very unfair and FIA shot their foot again.

    53. In the end, the penalty was entirely justified as he clearly performed an overtaking move while being off the track with all four wheels. Yes, most drivers left the track with all four wheels at different parts of the circuit throughout the weekend, but the key difference is that they weren’t performing an overtaking move on anyone at the same time. Verstappen was the only one who actually did overtake someone while being off the track, so, therefore, he messed it up himself. He shouldn’t have given the stewards any chance to even think of giving him a penalty by simply making sure that at least two wheels stay on the track, but he didn’t, so, therefore, he got a penalty.

      1. And shortcutted thr track. The others are on outside of track, while tyhis was a blatent short cut and should have given position straight back.

    54. For a website of F1 fanatics, I’m amazed how many people are defending Verstappen’s move. He was FULLY (all for wheels) over the white line on the inside of the track and, frankly, you cannot give any leniency to that sort of move (there’s a grey area for the outside of the track, but not the inside). If they did, then why not just let the drivers cut chicanes willy-nilly or even whole sections of track?

    55. I have no objection whatsoever over this decision,the only problem i see is in consistency of the stewards.
      The track is that black stuff and a race takes place (or should) on that black stuff,simple as that really.

      1. F1 really needs to take a leaf out of the Australian V8 Supertaxi rule book where there is a 3 strike rule where the drivers are warned 3 times about exceeding track limits and then they are penalized.
        Perhaps with F1,one warning would suffice.
        As i said above,the black stuff is where all the racing and overtaking should take place.

        1. GtisBetter (@)
          23rd October 2017, 7:59

          They can show the black/white flag and then show the black flag if they continue to exceed track limits.

        2. Whilst it work well, you can end up like the last few laps at Surfers where McLaughlin and Van Gisbergen both had their max allocation of shortcutting the chicane, Wincup was still on 1 infringement so that in the last two laps he was free to cut the corner if he needed to. He was never close enough to make a difference but a driver could “save” his infringements for the last two laps when needed most. In the case of VES v RAI if VER had one or two infringements he could have without sanction done the pass. What F1 could do is place a tire bundle (like Supercars do) on the inside of the corners about 3/4 of a cars width from the apex. Will discourage shortcuts. Tire bundles will damage the wing but not cause undo danger if tethered.

    56. If you watch the onboard, verstappen gained a place by taking a short cut off track. Plain as day. Lucky for him there was no wall there.

    57. Anti-climatic but fair penalty.

    58. Its one thing to run off the track and gain little or no advantage, but when you do it to try to win a podium place when the other driver goes around the corner legally, its spot on to add a penalty. It was great for the show at the time, but I imagine Kimi was thinking, well if I cut the corner as well, he wouldnt get passed.

    59. I know many of you really like Verstappen and he brings lot of energy to F1, but now the comment section is full of just really illogical “we know he went all-wheels outside but he shouldn’t be penalized because of reason x”.

      Kimi made a defensive move, he told Finnish tv that he had to aggressively block Verstappen because he still had to save fuel. But Verstappen still had a lot of space and didn’t need to “make evasive move to outside” or anything.

      From what we saw from TV it is quite hard to say anything: “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuPLPha1k7c”

      But from VER incar camera (slowed): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXBJ9g1RUFk Kimi even leaves VER some room when he sees that VER dives inside, then VER turns right and cuts the corner.

      Here is VER incar +RAI rear cam : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP6zj5_igiE

      The move was not dangerous or anything but it was clearly made outside the track and these are the rules that the drivers know too. Before every race drivers are told where they are allowed to go outside, if they are. And this was clearly not one of those places where “everybody was cutting track”. It doesn’t matter if the corner is large or small, if you gain advantage by driving through it, you should hand the position back.

      And my conflicts of interests: Huge Kimi fan since 2003. Nothing against Verstappen.

      1. Well now when I started to think about it, Verstappen manages to say a lot of things I still found very immature, like
        Singapore 2017 “”I’m happy not only I retired but all three of us so we all have a bit of pain”

    60. Who decides it’s a 5 second penalty? The rule is clear (for the FIA) but why the inconsitency in applying it?

      Belgium 2008, HAM gets 25 second penalty for a more minor and less relevant transgression – Ferrari benefitted then too.

      Be consistent FIA.

    61. Martin Freedman
      23rd October 2017, 9:41

      1997 European GP Jacque Villeneuve (Williams) overtook Damon Hill (Arrows) but not only going off the track but fully on the grass and then winning the race. He surely gained an unfair advantage even if Hill’s car was slowing due to, tragically, a fault from a failing 50p component, he clearly decided that an unsafe overtaking maneuver was required (it is moot as to whether Hill would otherwise have won) . I know this is quite a while back but there has been more than one time this has occurred, this is the first and most memorable that springs to mind.

      The real argument here is the lack of consistency of the stewarding. That is terrible decision puts the sport into disrepute. Gary Connelly should be banned as a steward given his past questionable decisions (not all of them I agree with Mexico) but due to his overall record.

      Someone should start an online petition to him banned as a steward, since he clearly has not learnt from previous criticism?

    62. I honestly don’t even understand why this is an issue… I understand Max’s frustration, but he made the move off the track, period! And to people saying the decision was made to favour Ferrari, they still lost the championship so I believe that is not a very good argument, but it doesn’t even matter! What matters is that in any sport, there are limits and you have to respect them.

      If you make a longjump outside of the “sandbox” it doesn’t count.
      In football, if the ball is over the sideline, it’s a throw-in.
      In tennis, if an ace or any other point is out of bounds, the point goes in favor of the your opponent (regardless of how beautiful the shot is!).

      There have to be limits! Else, where do we draw the line? (pun intended!)

      1. Exactly right. If they didn’t give a penalty for this it would be very bad for the sport.

    63. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      23rd October 2017, 10:12

      I can easily see this page about Verstappen running wide beating the most amount of comments to a page on this site since the one about Rosberg retiring! :D I’m amazed there is so much to talk about with something like this. He’s got a penalty for something that he did wrong and it is irreversible. It was also such a minor thing. He went and cut the corner! Not even a crash. Is this the biggest news this year or something?

      1. Frans Verweij
        23rd October 2017, 11:05

        Read Lauda’s, Andretti’s and Webber’s opninion. I take these more seriously than those of the self-proclaimed experts

    64. “It’s just one idiot steward up there who always makes the decision against me.”
      I think Max forgets how many penalties he got away with last year. His comments show he’s still lacking maturity.

      1. lacking maturity? whahahahahaha

    65. Bad decision but at the end of the day, safe race, nobody hurt, that to me is racing, of all formulae.

    66. Completely agree @ricciardo5. He may not understand this now, but remarks like these have a nasty habit of backfiring. Most of the youthful ‘precocious’ talents in every sport have had cause to regret such outbursts. The problem is compounded by Horner’s unconditional backing. I don’t know Garry Connelly but he seems to have a wealth of motorsport experience behind him. Why would he jeopardise his reputation by being openly biased? Ah! Of course, the anti red brigade have a convenient answer to that. I don’t know, F1 is becoming more like football everyday..🙄 I would add that I count myself as a fan of Max, but his outburst is wrong here.

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