Were the stewards right to penalise Verstappen?

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Max Verstappen’s five second-penalty for an overtaking move on the last lap of the United States Grand Prix has proved the most controversial decision from the stewards for several races.

Verstappen’s last-lap pass on Kimi Raikkonen seemed to have earned the Red Bull driver a hard-won trip to the podium after fighting his way forward from 16th on the grid.

However the stewards ruled his turn 17 move was illegal. Verstappen “did leave the track, with all four wheels off the track”, they noted while issuing a five-second time penalty which restored Raikkonen to the podium in his place.

Red Bull reacted to the decision with fury and there has been widespread criticism of the penalty from other racing drivers and motorsport figures on social media. Did the stewards get this call right or wrong?


Verstappen cut a corner, shortened the track and by doing so overtook another car. Surely this should be a black-and-white penalty?

Sergio Perez was given a five-second time penalty and one point on his licence for overtaking Romain Grosjean at Spa with all four wheels off the track. Jolyon Palmer was given a five-second time penalty and one point on his licence for doing the same to Fernando Alonso at Monza. This decision is consistent with these previous ones.


The policing of track limits has been much less strict this year. Drivers have been allowed to run with all four wheels off the track on numerous occasions.

At the Circuit of the Americas drivers repeatedly used the run-off at various points on the track. Probably not many cars were strong enough in turn 17 to use the kerb the way Verstappen did, but if other cars can leave the track elsewhere why shouldn’t he do so there?

I say

Track limits calls like this usually involve drivers cutting across asphalt run-offs through slow corners. It isn’t usually possible for drivers to do the same at quick corners, but a fired-up Verstappen wielding Red Bull’s latest downforce monster found grip at a part of turn 17 few drivers had ventured onto during the weekend.

It was an impressive move and a thrilling culmination to an epic drive. But does that mean the stewards should waive a rule which has been enforced consistently in the past?

This is why I have some sympathy for the stewards. Track design, particularly on relatively new tracks like the Circuit of the Americas, should make it impossible for drivers to gain an advantage in this way.

I think much of the furore surrounding this move has to do with timing. Had it been a few laps earlier Verstappen would have had the opportunity to relinquish the position and have another go at passing Raikkonen. As it all happened in the final seconds of the race, emotions ran high.

It’s an unfortunate decision, but unless we’re going to start letting drivers straight-line chicanes to pass their rivals, it’s one that can’t be avoided until the track limits are enforced by physical obstacles rather than the rule book.

You say

Did the stewards make the right call? Were they consistent with other decisions this year? And what should be done now to ensure track limits are policed fairly?

Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Verstappen's penalty for overtaking Raikkonen with all four wheels off the track was:

  • No opinion (0%)
  • Far too lenient (0%)
  • Slightly too lenient (0%)
  • Fair (68%)
  • Slightly too harsh (14%)
  • Far too harsh (16%)

Total Voters: 639

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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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217 comments on “Were the stewards right to penalise Verstappen?”

  1. By the letter of the law, yes it was totally correct to penalise Verstappen as he clearly left the road to perform the overtake. The inconsistency is frustrating… see Bottas’ defense from Ricciardo, during which he also left the track multiple times… see Vettel’s line at the start and Sainz’s overtake of Perez. Had the track limit been a wall rather than, essentially, more track, then all of these drivers would either have fallen back or retired.

    It’s exactly the wider issue that I’ve been complaining about for years, as Formula One becomes more and more sterile. New circuits have no character and old circuits are being robbed of it. With cars as safe as they are these days, I fail to see the harm in making exceeding track limits a real disadvantage for drivers. Put in a gravel trap on slower corners, add some nice slippery grass on the edge of the straights. Let the penalty for exceeding track limits be enforced by the track itself, rather than in a stewarding office.

    1. Spencer Brandsen
      23rd October 2017, 11:37

      I agree.

    2. Pretty much that yeah @ben-n.

      It becomes infuriating and somewhat unfair when the FIA (after agreeing with the teams not to interfere unless things got dangerous) makes the Stewards and race director more or less ignore drivers ignoring track limits at this track the whole weekend, including cases in volving passes.

      Either find a way to make tracks in a way that gives you a disadvantage as soon as you go wide (i.e. more than a single whole wheel over the wite line), it makes sense, is clearly understandable and not hurt by the need for anyone to notice it (and report it) to stop drivers abusing the track limits.
      Alternatively, if not possible (everywhere), find a technical way to automatically offset the advantage gained (tricky) or at least police it in a consistent and predictable way so that at least it is fair judging and nobody feels bias coming into it.

      But when you look at the rules, yep, Verstappen did go off track to get by, maybe had he waited for the next turn, he would have made a clean pass.

      1. I think@ben-n and @bascb you both, and @keithcollantine said it pretty well, and for that reason I went with fair, as indeed, the penalty is according to the rules, though it isn’t really according to what F1 has been doing this year.

        I too felt very frustrated, but, the fault is not with the penalty itself.

        1. let me add in the reaction of the still current Champion though @bosyber, @ben-n, @keithcollantineRosberg: Verstappen moved aside to avoid collusion with Kimi – No penalty though.

          The first time I saw this (my wifi in the bedroom made for only intermittent footage, so I missed it live) i also saw Max moving further to the side when Kimi was turning in (before Kimi saw him and opened up also to avoid an accident)

          1. I think he has a point, but still, the accepted solution is to avoid the collision, and fall back behind if you weren’t ahead before, isn’t it @bascb? Not quite satisfying if the guy ahead was doing little to avoid that collision, but here both of them did, which is why in the end there was a lot of space between them.

          2. Michael Brown (@)
            23rd October 2017, 14:05

            @bascb I think we’re in agreement that Verstappen took action to avoid a collision with Raikkonen. Raikkonen reacted at about the same time and opened the line, but Verstappen could not rely on that, nor did he have the time to react to Raikkonen to giving him space, so it’s understandable to go off the track.

            Where we disagree is that doesn’t mean he can use that as a reason to overtake Raikkonen, since Raikkonen took adequate avoiding action as well.

          3. Yes that is what i saw too but their was no normal investigation where RB could show this…

          4. I don’t even think we disagree there @mbr-9, @bosyber, I also understand that going off means you have to back off, that is in the rules. That is why I think a penalty was in order as well as you guys.

            But man I agree with Vertappen, that we need far more consistency. And even if what Kimi mentioned in his post race interview with Buxton – that there are certain parts of the track where “everyone knows” you can’t go off etc – would be true (from other drivers, I am not quite so sure it is), than that knowledge should at least be public, and preferrably it would be even visible on the track so that the viewers have a chance of seeing that too.

          5. Oh, we clearly agree @bascb, in fact most of us seem to agree on your second paragraph too, looking at the poll, and the reactions.

            I think Kimi would have been wiser to leave it at ‘I am not they guy to ask that’ because the rest is a bit too self serving to stand much scrutiny, in my opinion.

            One could say he was smart to put Verstappen in a place where he could only pass by going across those lines, in effect, making a mistake and getting that penalty, and so he earned the podium, I guess. At least it was a very good race from Kimi to get him on the podium, that’s a slight consolation.

            In the end the times.co.uk article “Burger advert ruins verdict on Verstappen” rather catches my feelings quite well.

      1. I agree with your posts above. Voted fair. I do see what Rosberg is saying, as I do think Max surprised Kimi, so Kimi was turning in, but only normally.

        Max was the one choosing to make an aggressive move inside, which is great and should be encouraged, but if he needed to go off the track, then was it a viable move after all?

        Really tough one…really on the fence with this one but as I say I voted fair because it is not that guys were going wide all day, all weekend actually, it is that it was for a pass and a podium. And I really really like Max.

        Would Horner et al have been fine if it was Kimi taking Max the same way? Or would they have wanted the same penalty for Kimi that Max got?

        1. @robbie good point. i expect Jos would have been up in arms had it been the other way round. i thought it was amazing live and it really looked like kimi had been mugged – but i think the penalty is fair. it’s not like he got DSQ’d or anything, they just reversed the places. as has been said already the track design is the real villain of the piece.

          1. I think we already have an good example how Max reacts when he is hindered by an questionable action of another.. rember Vettel in Signapore… Max’ comment was.. “It happend… let’s focus on the next race”

    3. Well said @ben-n.

      I initially thought it was harsh, just because it was an awesome move on the last lap for a podium position.

      Having looked at it again, I would say it was a fair call. As Keith says, it was all about timing. On weekend where drivers have taken advantage of the lax rules on track advantage.

      The issue of leaving the track needs to be clear cut. We’ve already talked about this way too much over the past couple years!

    4. @ben-n Seb had already passed Lewis by turn 1, so he was already ahead of him before going a bit wide at the exit of the corner and regarding the Sainz-Perez move: He performed his overtaking move on Perez at turn 19 with all four wheels on the track; he only put two wheels off the track at the exit of the previous corner, so, therefore, he didn’t overtake anyone while being off the track entirely with all four wheels. Yes, he cut the track at turn 15 behind Perez, but that didn’t give him an advantage by the time they reached turn 19 as those two corners are too far apart from each other for that.

      1. This issue always gets on my nerves, where we talk about leaving the track and “gaining an advantage”. If a driver uses more than the track limits during his lap, then he has gained an advantage. Whether that advantage is time gained, a position gained or avoiding a flat-spot or damage is irrelevant to me. Vettel left the track at Turn 1 (as did many others during the race). I agree that this did not affect his taking of the lead, but it did allow him to get a better exit and maintain the lead. Therefore an advantage was gained.

        I understand that mistakes are made and not all should be penalised, but an “advantage” is always gained from leaving the track.

        Please bring back gravel traps! I was at the Formula Ford Festival yesterday and it was such a joy to see drivers punished for mistakes by being beached in gravel. For me, that’s the thrill… the best drivers, the fastest cars, all on the very edge and any mistakes punished, which just isn’t the case in Formula One (or most categories) at the moment.

        1. Japan 2008, ham overcooked the corner, and i think pushed kimi a little off track, and he was penalized in the first lap! first corner!

          Spa 2008, kimi pushed ham off track, ham joined track gaining advantage, gave the position back, yet penalized for trying overtake without waiting 2 corners (which there was no mention of this officially anywhere!) after ham penalized, they clarified the rule and added officially!

          So RULES in FIA are JOKES, and applied LAUGHABLY!

          MAX’s case (which i dont like normally and not a fan off either) was not a gaining advantage intention! If anyone watch the video in slow motion, you can see a very gently contact and after which both drivers took avoiding action, since max was at the edge already, he had no where else to go! He was more than half car along side when kimi tried to turn in on him! and i can guarantee both saw flashes of Singapore at that moment!

          This penalty is at best farce, at worst almost seemed a ferrari paid/fan steward changed the result unfairly!

          1. I think it is clear for unbiased observers that 2008 wasn’t always the most internatlly consistent and unbiased stewarding @mysticus, but it is also now 9 years ago and rules and stewarding have changed/evolved quite a lot in this area, so I’d say it isn’t a very relevant comparison anymore.

    5. Spot on. I didn’t vote because there are two questions that I would give different answers to. Yes the penalty was fair given the existing rules, but a big hell no to are the rules being enforced consistently.
      I also strongly agree with your suggestion to modify the tracks to “impose” a penalty for exceeding the limits. Then hopefully it will be the same for everyone and not left up to interpretation. (I say hopefully because there is the chance that later in the race the penalty may be lesser or greater depending on what is placed at the track limits.)

    6. Raikkonen did the exact same thing on Turn 10 just a lap before, to gain a 1.2 second DRS advantage over Verstappen so Verstappen couldn’t use DRS in that lap. It makes no sense that Verstappen subsequently was penalized for returning the favor. You can see very this happen very clearly in the video replay because coverage was showing the images from Verstappen’s camera right behind Raikkonen and you can see all four of Raikkonen’s wheels go off track. Verstappen should be allowed to appeal.

    7. Lennard Mascini (@)
      24th October 2017, 6:58

      Completely agree. Consistency needs to be taken on track limits. Please. And if they don’t want to change the tracks, they need to give a defined penalty (5 seconds maybe) for every time a driver leaves the track limits, unless they like spin off or something similar, or don’t give any penalties at all. It shouldn’t matter whether you take a small advantage without being in the middle of an overtake, or whether you are not gaining any advantage whatsoever but being alongside another car. Even with Bottas’ off track excursion and overtake on Ricciardo, I felt that was getting more of an advantage than Max’ pass on Kimi. I will concede that I am Dutch so have pro-Verstappen bias.

  2. A great last minute attempt but overtaking with all 4 wheels off will be penalised! If it hadn’t been last lap Max would have had to give place back.

  3. I voted NO, way to harsh. But I would have voted Yes, correct, had there been some consistency in the penalties. Literally the entire weekend track limits were not enforced, except this one. The stewards are really becoming a joke.
    (For all the examples of other drivers that should have been penalised, see the post above, or listen to what a lot of F1 champios had to say.)

    1. If you look at it as an isolated incident then I think it’s certainly a penalty. I think it says a lot for the inconsistency of stewarding this weekend that I hadn’t even considered that there might be a penalty until there was.

      1. Agreed 100%.

    2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      23rd October 2017, 12:29

      @murph spot on

    3. I don’t think anyone else gained a position by cutting a corner though did they? Track limits or not. Completely fair.

      1. As above.. Sainz on Perez and the defending Bottas left the track but stayed ahead.

        1. @seth-space Sorry, but I have just watched the Sainz on Perez move again and didn’t see Sainz CUT a corner anywhere!

          1. He had 4 wheels outside the track and gained an advantage. That’s the rule.

        2. Sainz didnt gain anything on Perez in what you have pointed out. In fact he lost momentum.

      2. @asanator – we saw lots of drivers put four wheels off the track while defending a position, clearly gaining an advantage. We don’t get to see every tussle at every corner, but I’d bet that going too deep over the kerbs happened multiple times without any action from the stewards.
        The reason I was affronted by the decision was less to do with rule consistency and more to do with trying not to alienate a huge chunk of the viewers in a country where F1 desperately needs a stronger presence. I could troll these comments sniping at people making grammatical errors, and be technically “correct”, whilst also missing the point completely. Common sense tells me that this was a bad decision, irrespective of the exact wording of the rules.

        1. @tribaltalker I’m sorry but I don’t think that sporting/stewarding decisions like this one should give any consideration to alienating viewers and definitely not concern itself with the approval or not of the host nation.

      3. What about all the corner cutting in qualifying… How many people gained a place there?

        Limits need to be enforced around the entire circuit at all times. Drivers warned if they’re cutting excessively and punished if it continues like back in Spa at the top of the hill. They quickly paid attention and stopped doing it.

    4. This is my view, too. Taken on it’s own, this was a correct decision. In the context of the race weekend, it was way too harsh.

      The question needs to be, how can enforcement of track limits be made fair and consistent? Let’s face it, it isn’t right now, and we’ve all discussed this over and over again. Physical deterrents are discouraged because of their potential danger, and because they make the circuits less appealing to other Motorsports.

      With that in mind, I say turn the rule on it’s head. If you leave the track, you get penalised unless there is a clear natural penalty (spin, crash, lose several places etc). You don’t see refs in football or rugby saying “well, the ball went it if play, but they didn’t gain an advantage so we’ll let them play on”. The track limits are just that, and they lose all meaning of not policed*.

      I would be in favour of an immediate technical imposed penalty (5s waste gate locked open, disabling the turbo, for instance), but penalties issued by the stewards (time penalties etc) would also work.

      People will not like this idea, but think about it: these are the best drivers in the world. If they know that they will be penalised for leaving the track, the won’t leave the track (where possible). We would see real racing, within the defined to limits.

      * Seriously, of thy are going to say they won’t penalise for leaving the track at corner x, then the limits at corner x should be adjusted. What’s the point of having track limits if the stewards will just ignore them?

    5. The Skeptic (@)
      23rd October 2017, 21:50

      IMNSHO the penalty was fair because there is a significant difference between running wide on the exit of a corner in general qualifying or racing conditions – and cutting the corner to overtake a rival.

      That said – I agree that the stewards are inconsistent and that all track limits should be enforced as though they were grass. For example, Bottas should have been forced to yield the place (or face a 5 second penalty) to Ricciardo when he retained a place by accelerating off track at turn 1.

  4. I understand why Verstappen and Red Bull are angry, emotions ran high and the timing of the decision was poor, but rules are rules. He shortened the track and put 4 wheels off the track passing a rival, he had to be penalised. As soon as they showed the onboard from Verstappen’s car I shouted “track limits” at the TV and I was not surprised to see the penalty applied. It was fair.

    The issue here is track design and the acres of tarmac run off, not the move Verstappen pulled. Had there been a jagged kerb and grass, rather than an inviting flat kerb and some tarmac, Verstappen would not have tried the move or if he had he would have been putting himself and Raikkonen at risk so probably would have thought better of it.

  5. I must say, it’s quit telling that none of the “Fair” voters commented and explained their reasoning.
    Also Keith, I read your reasoning, and I can’t quite understand it. Do you actually believe it is fair to penalize one driver, instead of every driver who did the same?
    The inconsistency is what makes this penalty a joke, not the reasoning behind it.

    1. @murph My argument was that Verstappen’s penalty is consistent with relevant previous examples of drivers cutting the inside of corners. If you’re going to let him off, don’t you also have to let Perez and Palmer off? If you do I think that’s where things get tricky.

      But as I also said I would far rather the circuits were designed in such a way that this doesn’t keep coming up. Mexico is next, there was a stinking row about this exact same subject there last year, hopefully they’ve learned from it.

      1. Totally agree with Kieth here, I voted fair as the incident has to be looked at in isolation and judged by the current rules. Yes it was a sad end to an exceptional race from Max but rules are rules.

      2. @keithcollantine we’d all rather see grass and gravel and I also think we all agree Verstappen passed Raikkonen off track.

        BUT why aren’t you adressing @murph‘s point on inconsistancy? If you let other drivers gain an advantage in terms of laptime (during quali and closing up to rivals during the race) or while defending (like Bottas keeping his place against VER sololy because he left the track entirely and kept his foot planted) then why all of a sudden it’s not OK when VER passes RAI. Imho the stewards can’t do that, no matter how right they are when viewing the incident in a vacuum.

        1. @jeffreyj I did address @murph‘s point, though only in one of two respects.

          You could either let them all off for going off on the inside and outside of the track (see my previous comment for that). Or you could penalise them all. The latter is closer to the situation we had last year which prompted of complaints and led to the relaxing of the rule interpretation we’ve seen this year. Would going back to that be an improvement? I think we’d just end up having far more tedious arguments about track limits. It just brings us back to the point that people want track limits being enforced by the track, not by the stewards.

          On the point about consistency, I’d be interested to know if there were any other incidents this year besides the Verstappen one and those referred to above involving Perez and Palmer where a driver passed another on the inside with all four wheels off the track but did not get a penalty. Are there any?

          1. Perez, 1st corner Singapore 2017

          2. @keithcollantine Let’s just talk about this race, shall we. ( The complete lack of consistent steward decisions throughout the season is worth another article tnh.)The entire weekend the subject off track limits was a non-issue;during qualifying as well as during the race, and then, completely out of the blue, this decision comes. Inconsistent as it can be. There is no reasonable argument for this penalty being the only one given for this type of offense during the weekend.

          3. @Murph I think if you ignore all precedent prior to last Friday you could infer all manner of ways in which the stewards are being “inconsistent” based on such a limited data set. But I don’t think it would be a valid argument.

          4. @keithcollantine It’s not about gaining an inside/outside, it’s about gaining an advantage by going off track, period.

            The inside of turn 7 was molested all weekend long for gaining laptime, as was the outside of turns 10 and 19. During the race it was done too and not just for gaining laptime but also during wheel to wheel situations. For example Bottas gaining an advantage by going outside and failing to lose a position (against RIC in T1 at the beginning and VER at T 17 towards the end).

            If you want to talk ‘precedent’ you have say that not doing anything at all about track limits all weekend (and this is hardly the only race where it’s ignored) IS setting a bad precedent. You can’t just pick and choose who/when you apply the letter of the law too.

          5. @jeffreyj Since this was written Whiting has referenced the same two previous incidents, and the distinction between cutting the inside of a corner and running wide on the outside, in his explanation for the penalty:


        2. It was all 4 wheels over therefore a penalty should be served but there are inconsistencies in this rule which need to be addressed.
          As for the BOT, VER move, there may have been consistency with this move if he had not completed the overtake at the next corner. This happened early enough in the race for the penalty to have been for BOT to give the place to VER but that change had already taken place by the time any review could have happened.

        3. Gravel might do it, but grass is not enough. Watch the Mexican 2016 cross-country race and see what little deterrence grass makes. A nice Shanghai-style gravel trap (and no nearby cranes) might have made 44 hesitate.

    2. Not all ‘off track’ moments are the same.

    3. @murph it’s incredibly simple. Max performed the act of going from behind to infront of Kimi off the track.

      This is somewhat more damning than drivers munching some extra curb to carry more speed or Bottas using the extra width to slingshot himself better against Danny Ric (although that one was very marginal)

      But the actual action of passing a car, from behind, ending up in front was done completely OFF TRACK. That’s case closed for me and I’m a great fan of Max.

      1. And might I add, not the greatest advocate of Kimi either, but to me this is just clear as day unfortunately.

        1. That is the case. He did the pass cutting the racing line and went out of the track. In defensive moves, sometimes they had no choice. If you look at the replay, you can see Kimi turning sharply to the left and opening the door when he sees what he is doing. Kimi had no fuel, an coasted to the finish line. He would have passed him anyway if he had been patient.
          Anyway, if I have been driving, I would have been penalised also….

        2. I think the most important part of this issue is the lack of investigation as Horner said. Normally if a last lap (or last 5 lap) incident occured, the information states: “further investigation after the race”. The drivers couldn’t react on the issue, where normally this occured via team radio. In this case a penalty of 5 seconds + 1 point on license was given right away. It’s really Mexico all over again and it’s a disgrace to the F1 company. The FIA is only looking at itself instead of the sport.
          The punishment for Verstappen is fair, only the extra point on license is too harsh imo. He did an illegal overtake, if we follow the rule book, and had to give the taken position back. But all in all, I think stewarts should consider last laps as first laps. It was the final opportunity and made the race really exciting.

      2. This is somewhat more damning than drivers munching some extra curb to carry more speed or Bottas using the extra width to slingshot himself better against Danny Ric (although that one was very marginal)

        That is probably more like the battle between Verstappen and Vettel at Silverstone, where Verstappen ran well off track at Stowe allowing him to keep his momentum up and battle Vettel into Club. That battle got heaps of praise from all sides and no one suggested Verstappen should get a penalty for that.

      3. Your right ofcourse but what i find hard to swallow is that Max only left the track to aviod an collision as Kimi turned in (did not saw that move) but check Nice Rosberg comment with picture.
        Max was holding his left side on the track untill that moment he reacted on Kimi turning in.

      4. >This is somewhat more damning than drivers munching some extra curb to carry more speed or Bottas using the extra
        >width to slingshot himself better against Danny Ric (although that one was very marginal)

        “Very marginal”?!?!?! Bottas was absolutely, utterly and completely OUTSIDE as well as OFFSIDE the track when he regained the lead over Ricciardo, who had fairly & squarely overtaken him just before. But I guess mr Conelly was, just by chance, wiping some dirt out of his eyes when thàt happened. Unbelievable!

    4. Michael Brown (@)
      23rd October 2017, 12:13

      I must say, it’s quit telling that none of the “Fair” voters commented and explained their reasoning.

      @murph Your comment comes 20 minutes after this article was posted, and there are only 5 comments on this article so far. You should wait before making a statement like that, which is not an argument.

      It is entirely fair to penalize Verstappen since he cut the track to gain a position. It was a correct application of the rules. Nobody else gained an advantage by cutting the track to overtake like Verstappen did, as you claim.

      I think the penalty is fair, but the bigger issue is the year after year inconsistent enforcement of track limits from the stewards. Sometimes they get really prickly about track limits, going as far as to have sensors installed in the final two turns of Austria to inform them of track extending. Here, they didn’t care one bit about the track extending throughout every single session.

      They even allowed things that Bottas did when he was battling with Ricciardo and Verstappen. In both cases, he was run wide (a legal move) but he kept racing them off the track and rejoined wheel to wheel with them. That should also be illegal. If Verstappen and Ricciardo can overtake Bottas while staying within the track, then Bottas can’t leave the track to try and keep his position.

      I imagine if Bottas managed to overtake them in this way then he would be penalized, but in both cases the Red Bulls passed him.

    5. @murph

      I must say, it’s quit telling that none of the “Fair” voters commented and explained their reasoning.

      It is a clear cut infraction of the rules, what is there to explain? Drivers have been penalized before for such overtakes. It didn’t came as a surprise to me when penalty was given, it is bitter I know, but that’s how it is.

      1. The penalty was given for “leaving the track and gaining a lasting advantage”. Thus, everybody who left the track to keep momentum, for example Vettel in the first corner, Bottas, sainz, should have been awarded a penalty to. Either the rules apply to all, or they should not apply to anybody.
        And besides that; he got a penalty point. What a joke, and really unfair.

        1. @murph Okay, let’s not penalize Max for overtaking by cutting a corner. Next year let’s some F1 cars in the shape of off road cars and let the drivers cut left and right and use the track just to get some relax by the bumping roads because that’s where we are heading.

          In the article above, you have examples of the rule being applied in similar situation. You are confusing drivers going out of the track on the outside of corners without doing any overtake with the one who gained a position by cutting the corner. One other example that springs to mind is Alonso vs Kubica in Silverstone 2010, I have it in my mind because it was clear Alonso gained a position by cutting the corner and he was rightly penalized, despite his “crying” over the radio that Kubica pushed him wide.

          1. The issue is not him leaving the track, gaining an advantage and getting a penalty. The issue is that everybody exceeded track limits throughout the entire weekend, and no one else got a penalty. That’s the issue. Had there been more penalties given, none would have cared about this one.

    6. I believe the stewards have been consistent in handing out inconsistent penalties :D

      Track short-cuts have been ignored by stewards and it appears certain drivers are are being penalised more than others ….

    7. Yes, it’s quite telling that most people are sensible and don’t feel the need to vent their emotions in the comments section.

      1. @keithcollantine Since there is no consistency in the stewards decisions, there is no precedent to rely on. Basically it’s all a joke, and it seems to be of more importance who you are and what team you drive for.
        (And as far as I know, track limits are set per track, and implied throughout the weekend.)

        1. @murph except when someone passes someone off track, it’s a penalty. Doesn’t happen much but when it does, its a penalty.

          Going off track to keep your momentum or straighten up your line is the part that is inconsistent.

    8. I’m little confused, I see a lot of arguments why the “fair” was the right answer. I will give you one, but you will easily find more :)

      1) Track limits. Going over the track with all 4 wheels while doing the overtake -> penalty, or you give the position back. It is easier to understand with bigger corners but it shouldn’t be dependent on the “size” of the corner of how many meter drivers goes wide. Track limits.

      Counter-argument to “But everybody was doing it but only Max was penalized” -> Before every race the drivers are told are there certain areas where the stewards will allow going over the line. But overtaking while doing it is still wrong. With Riccardo-Bottas battle Riccardo pushed Bottas out and had 2 wheels outside when Bottas had to go all 4 wheels. In Kimi-Max battle Kimi was ahead all the time before the corner cut and kept his line, even turned left when noticed Max going all-in to the inside.

      + I think in future harsness of the track limits rules should be in balance with how much elbows drivers are allowed to use when fighting, to prevent what for example Perez used few years ago a lot, “I will push you wide so you have to give me the position”.

  6. To me there were two scenario’s:

    1. Verstappen left the track to overtake Raikkonen. That is the prime example of ‘leaving the track and gaining an advantage’. So the penalty is fair.
    2. Verstappen anticipated on a defensive move from Raikkonen and gave room to prevent a collision. Going off track to prevent a collision should not result in a penalty (see Bottas with Ricciardo and Verstappen).

    I can live with both scenarios and therefore a penalty or no penalty is evenly fair to me.

    1. 2. Verstappen anticipated on a defensive move…

      I was thinking along these lines. watched a few angles. It seemed as if Max could have braked there. He just carried too much speed and committed to the overtake. I think, Max thought Kimi would leave room on the inside (provided kimi had noticed him in his mirrors–am not sure about whether Kimi saw him). Nonetheless, there wasn’t enough room on the track and hence he was forced (by his own actions) to go outside. Had it been Daniel instead of Kimi, we would have probably heard this on the radio ” [Censored by FOM] sore loser ” !!!

    2. As he got past, he should have given the place back, even if it was due to Rai moving in whatever way he did, or Horner would have been told to instruct him to do so. Last lap and neither happened, hence penalty, but it was still a horrible end to the great race.

    3. Kimi did leave room on the inside though, there was more than a tyres width between Kimi and the inside white line.

      If Max had kept just the edge of a tyre within the track limits all would be fine I think.

      1. There was almost an car width (70%) and Max took that line then Kimi start to turn in when they almost hit Kimi start to turn back but Max jerked at that moment his car to the right as reaction.

  7. Alex McFarlane
    23rd October 2017, 11:47


    That the stewards got 9/10 things wrong, doesn’t make the one decision they actually got right, wrong.

    The inconsistency is utterly infuriating, absolutely, and the stewards have brought this negative publicity on themselves, but it doesn’t change the fact that Verstappen gained a podium position he probably wouldn’t have got if he hadn’t cut the corner. And no, it shouldn’t matter who it is and what position they’re fighting for, but that’s human fallibility for you.

    1. This. Correct decision but terrible stewarding. They got this one right and basically almost everything else wrong wirth regards to track limits.

      I think what’s more infuriating is that he might still have made it stick while still keeping two wheels inside the track.

    2. There lines the basis of most of the too harsh arguments. Not ONE addresses if it is actually a penalty, they decide if X, Y and Z don’t get penalties for A, B, C violation than this one must not. Were any of those previous at 17? Were any of those a full pass inside the corner or were they running wide on exit?

      Having not seen it yet I couldn’t answer any of those but as someone who hasn’t seen the pass I can tell you from the comments here and other sites you would swear everyone was cutting 17 to pass all day and only dear Max got a penalty for it.

    3. They didn’t get it “wrong” 9/10 times at all. The stewards announced they were not going to police track limits according to Crofty during FP1 coverage. Hence all drivers going off track and gaining an advantage during qualifying and the race (especially being able to keep position by going off track)

      To then all of a sudden decide to do police this one instance is a very strange and sketchy descission.

      1. Alex McFarlane
        23rd October 2017, 13:38

        In the absence of evidence for what was actually said by the stewards, I’m going to presume that the intention of the stewards was to err on the side of leniency for drivers pushing for lap times, not that anything and everything would be considered acceptable and especially not overtaking outside of track limits.

  8. The penalty was correct, he clearly gained an advantage by cutting the corner as he was able to carry much more speed through it.

    Also, some rather sad statements for Max afterwards, I understand his frustration and that bpm were still high, but wishing that “nobody comes next year” at COTA because he got a penalty? And he kept saying the crowd loved it, well Max guess what, F1 is *still* a sport, it doesn’t matter if the fans love it, the fans would love an offside goal as well, nobody says “lets count it, it was a great shot”.

  9. Consistent no but correct decision yes

  10. I understand hot – headed Max comments, but the penalty was right and it was fast! He could easily pass Kimster in the following turn, so…

    1. Easily?

  11. It’s the stupid design of the circuit that makes this happen. That giant red border around the track invites cars to drive into it. If there was the curb and then grass he wouldn’t have been off the track.

    Unfortunately he was off the track while he made the overtake so he had to have the time penalty. Yes I realise that everyone was running wide at 19 and 9 and I’d have liked to see them penalised there too but they weren’t making overtakes while doing it.

    1. Blastermaster
      23rd October 2017, 16:45

      Perhaps the red section on all corner exits and apexes should consist entirely of rumble strip curbs, with the track limit being the outside white line.
      Surely that would naturally deter any thought of cutting the corner.

  12. The hysterical rants of Horner and Jos are unfortunately, nonsensical. Max completed the actual pass off the track, if you do that in F1 2017 you get an instant warning to hand the place back.

    As much of a fan of Max and grandstand finishes as I am, this is a non debate imho.

    1. @offdutyrockstar
      Christian Horner is trying to use press as a tool as usual, clearly helped by commentators who are on his payroll.

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      23rd October 2017, 12:16

      @offdutyrockstar The game is more consistent in applying track limits rules than real life F1. So unrealistic.

      1. @mbr-9 ooh I dunno mate, you can near enough lop off the entire final chicane in Spain and get no penalty yet I got penalty for repeatedly sticking 2 wheels on the white line in Hungary. Seems the stewarding is modelled realistically also! ;)

    3. @offdutyrockstar I’ve been in agreement with your points and others, but now I think you are being unfair and unreasonable. Calling Horner’s and Jos’s reaction ‘hysterical rants’ that are ‘nonsensical,’ is indeed hysterical and nonsensical on your part. Try putting yourself in the shoes of the lad’s father and his team principal who just re-upped him through 2020, and tell me you’d be calm, cool, and collected. Just because you think this is cut and dry, doesn’t mean that everyone sees it the same way, nor that the emotions of the two closest people to Max, in the heat of the moment, we’re ever going to anything but supportive of their man.

      1. @robbie it’s exactly because of their close relationship with Max that I think their arguments hold no water.

        I’m not saying that their reactions are particularly bad in any way, just outrageously biased, as would be expected.

        Trust me I wish Max had 2 wheels just outside the edge as well, unfortunately he had 2 wheels just inside.

        1. @offdutyrockstar Fair comment. Still don’t think their commments were ‘outrageous’ but biased of course, and you acknowledge that was to be expected.

  13. Sainz, bottas, Kimi(while defending against Max on last lap) and Vettel all had gone off the track to overtake none got penalties.

    1. None of them completed the act of passing from behind to in front of the opponent off the track though, big difference.

      1. Not really. This is a bit like running a red light. It’s not allowed and up for a fine. Not hitting anyone while doing so doesn’t make it ok and not up for a “penalty”.

        If track limits are enforced with a time penalty,it shouldn’t matter if it was during an overtake or not. Anyone doing so should get the same penalty.

        I also think it always way to harsh. Mostly as Lauda mentioned the stewards weren’t suppose to intervene unless it was dangerous. It clearly was not, so no penalty should have been awarded.

    2. None of them cut a corner to do it though did they?

      1. Sainz did

        1. And Max cut 2 corners in the last lap. Also in the esses.

        2. Kimi also drove outside the track defending against Max on that same lap in question.

          1. There are areas where stewards allow going outside the track, these are told to drivers before the race.

          2. There are areas where stewards allow going outside the track, these are told to drivers before the race.

            This is part of the problem!

            There are track limits, but the stewards say they don’t care about them in certain places. Why bother having them there, then?!

            If the stewards don’t think certain track limits should be there, the limits should be changed and enforced, “advantage” or not. In no other sport I know of do they allow people to leave the field of play with no penalty just because the ref doesn’t think it benefited them to do so.

  14. I read that the common reaction is that circuit design should prevent this from happening and I agree wholeheartly. Imagine Laguna Seca’s Corkscrew with tarmac runoff, we would have been robbed of the ‘overtake of the century’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB_k_wlr5Bc.

    (Apparently, there was some tarmac runoff, I never knew! But the fact that he went through the gravel makes it memorable)

    1. @matthijs It wasn’t gravel, A lot of the runoff around laguna seca back then was simply dust/dirt/sand.

      Should also be noted that most of the people in the paddock after that race (Including most of the other drivers) felt that Alex should have been penalized for that move as he had clearly braked too late, Run off track & cut the corner to complete the pass.

      Only reason he got away with it was because CART didn’t actually have anything in the rulebook to deal with something like that, Something they fixed for 1997.

      1. @gt-racer

        Should also be noted that most of the people in the paddock after that race (Including most of the other drivers) felt that Alex should have been penalized for that move as he had clearly braked too late, Run off track & cut the corner to complete the pass.

        Only reason he got away with it was because CART didn’t actually have anything in the rulebook to deal with something like that, Something they fixed for 1997.

        Didn’t know that, interesting!

  15. Going by a seasonwide standpoint, then yes it would have been fair, however…

    The stewards have not pushed on track limits all weekend for any drivers and aside for Stroll and Magnusen in Q1 and Ericsson (in the race) had not penalised any other driver (for racing infractions, not PU related).

    I know we haven’t seen all the footage that the stewards saw relating to the issue, but, from the in car (reverse from Rai forward for Ver) it does very much look like an open door on the inside that Verstappen could get into and had he had stayed to his racing line on track would have made substantial contact with Raikonnen (as Rai closed in around his racing apex). Also Raikonnen fell back considerably behind Verstappen after the pass (around 4 seconds)…

  16. The Stewards are responsible to keep the race fair. If this was the first time in the weekend that a driver was outside the track limits I would support this penalty. But it wasn’t. This was one of the best races I have watched in a long time. Drivers should be rewarded for being creative and making the sport entertaining (while staying safe).

    I wish we were talking about Max’s cheeky driving style and whether he should have had a penalty… F1 feels like there are so many rules. It’s no wonder all my friends follow NASCAR, because at least you have no idea who might win.

    This sport needs a shake up. And creative passing on the final lap is the right kind. No matter the outcome, Max did it right. And even without the podium, the fans will be back to watch moves like that.

  17. The fact that he effectively cut the corner by exceeding the track limits to complete the move warrants the penalty, but it needs to be applied equally to all drivers who did the same throughout the race. Its the inconsistency of the rules application that makes this sting so much. At the same time, the drivers have become complacent and are running off track more and more because they can get away with it. Both the drivers and the stewards need to step back and re-assess the rules and how they can implement them better and more consistently.

  18. In the heat of the moment I thought it was a brilliant move. Probably the best overtaking maneuver I’ve seen this year. Of course the anticipation leading up to it helped set the tone, but I stand by that. After watching the replays of it from all the angles, it’s kinda hard not to understand it & agree with the stewards… except for the fact that they hadn’t been enforcing track limits all weekend. At the end, the inconsistency is my biggest gripe. If I were a Red Bull fan I’d feel horribly cheated. Especially if I attended the race. I’m not a Red Bull fan & I still feel cheated. I actually stood up & cheered… round of applause and everything, when he pulled it off.
    The whole affair was handled poorly as well: it really didn’t look good on the tv, them ushering away the guy who arguably made the move of the race. They should’ve announced the pass was under investigation and had both Kimi & Max go straight to the stewards since they knew darn well the results were at risk of being overturned.

  19. Entirely fair. The only action necessary was to swap Verstappen back behind Raikkonen, so a five-second penalty did that without being too lenient or too harsh.

    As I wrote on the other thread, I liked watching it, but it’s a plain fact that he cut the corner. He even steered more than necessary to cut more of it to avoid getting the worst of the kerb and to acquire a quicker, straighter line. He would not have got past without doing that.

    As for people saying Raikkonen forced him off… standard practice when the guy ahead, on the racing line, closes the door is to back off. You can’t just put your foot down and create a new door (and a straighter, faster line) for yourself several feet to the inside the apex of the corner you were approaching.

  20. Which one is ‘technically correct but against the spirit of game’?

  21. A bad decision. I don’t think Keith’s analysis touches on a critical factor, namely that Verstappen was forced off track (maybe he disagrees that he was). I think this comes down to the complexity of the corner and its three turns, sharp, shallow, sharp. Into the first corner Raikkonen clearly allows space for Verstappen to exploit. So ask yourselves, should be go for the gap? Do we want actual racing? Verstappen, a racer, goes for the gap Raikkonen left. At the second corner (shallow curve), Raikkonen starts cutting right – whether aware of Verstappen or not (according to himself, not very). There are two very clear points here. They were going to collide and both drivers take evasive action almost simultaneously to avoid contact. And even so, the images show that at this critical point, Verstappen clearly did not have sufficient track space left. He collided or went off. He took the latter option. I don’t see he had much choice. At the same time, since Raikkonen allowed space to attack at the start of the corner sequence, why should he be penalized for racing?

    Yes, with a few more laps, Verstappen would have been told to give the position back, or he’d have done so maybe, just to avoid any chance of a penalty and probably pass again. But that fact doesn’t for me imply that he was obliged to give the position back. You have to evaluate the entire situation and on balance Raikkonen left a space and then closed it down leaving Verstappen no option. On that basis, it should have been his loss (of position).

    1. @david-br It is a classic defensive move of Kimi, he didn’t push Max off the track. He positions his car in a such a way that no side of the track should be easy for the attacker (outside or inside). Than he can tighten the inside as he is the leading driver, he didn’t do any sudden move, you can’t expect him to go away. He didn’t leave the door open, he just left a width car on the inside to trick Max into it and then close that space. Max could have faked an inside move and than pick the outside to overtake him two corners later where he would have had the inside and much better traction with his tyres.

      1. he just left a width car on the inside to trick Max into it

        Raikkonen, if you believe him, said he was more or less unaware of where Verstappen was, implying he wasn’t actually expecting a pass. So it’s unlikely he laid a trap, he just left a gap. Like I said, it’s the entire package. Was the pass forced or deserved? Raikkonen has a habit of these kind of defences, while other drivers cede space. I’m simply against over-protecting the lines of Raikkonen. It’s like constantly favouring the defence in marginal football offside decisions. (I’m just arguing my point btw, I can accept the decision, though I think it’s wrong.)

        1. @david-br David, I like and appreciate your sensible approach to the matter. The penalty is surely bitter given the circumstances, but is not wrong. I agree with one important point made in the article about the run off areas, I am one of those who always thought that run offs should be of grass or gravel since the early days. The fact that run off are tarmac giving the same grip as track itself makes drivers take different lines if there would have been grass instead. I am sure Max would not have aligned his car in that position if he knew he couldn’t leave two wheels inside the track, it was not maybe deliberate to go off track, but he got caught out.
          Years ago, when there was grass or gravel outside the track, there were rare occasions of drivers venturing outside it, and when they did they rarely kept the car under control.
          I am not “happy” with the outcome but unfortunately we can not allow drivers to overtake by cutting the track short, no matter who he is.

    2. @david-br

      Verstappen was forced off track

      I don’t agree with that. Firstly because I don’t think Raikkonen’s driving was illegal: He was ahead and entitled to choose his line. Secondly because Verstappen could have responded by lifting the throttle instead of going off the track.

      1. @keithcollantine I don’t think Raikkonen did anything wrong, I just don’t agree Verstappen had much alternative at that point. But fair enough, maybe he could and should have lifted. I mostly disagree with the idea he deliberately cut the corner. I still think the decision was marginal and on balance should have been left unpenalized. The entire circuit has these issues, including the fact drivers run off track regularly at turn one to defend (as Vettel did, all 4 wheels by my calculation). So consistency is essential.

        1. Of course he had an alternative, Kimi left enough room for Verstappen to easily keep a tyres width within track limits which would have made the move legal, Verstappen didn’t do that, by leaving the track entirely he cut the corner.

          1. We’re talking milliseconds and small directional changes, though, between avoiding collision and ending up entirely off track. I’ve looked at it from various angles, sometimes it looks like he had alternatives, sometimes not. I just know F1 needs to encourage racing. I remember similar penalties being imposed on Hamilton – the Japan start in 2008 comes to mind, or his weaving not to block but to break someone trying to grab a slipstream – ruling out all these different approaches dulls the sport excessively. And I distrust inconsistency in decisions when it tends to favour the team in red.

  22. Please shut down the whole circus. Let’s go slotdriving or take a train. I went from wow to bullshit is a couple of seconds. Guess I concentrate on MotoGP.

  23. Michael Brown (@)
    23rd October 2017, 12:23

    I heard there are discussions between Liberty and COTA. If there are changes to the circuit I hope that the kerbs will be made higher, or that sensors will be installed under the kerbs like how they are at the penultimate corner in Austria, to notify stewards of track extending.

    What will probably happen is the exits of all of the problematic corners will be extended so track limits won’t need to be enforced.

  24. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    23rd October 2017, 12:24

    Raikkonen moved towards the apex as Verstappen had most of he car alongside, he needed to make a split-second decision, the whole thing was over in the blink of an eye. Verstappen didn’t cut the corner to short-cut the circuit, he did so to prevent a collision.

    Throughout the race we saw people pushed wide had kept their foot in and swept past (e.g. Bottas repeatedly), or swept past and then gone off track to keep their foot flat on the accelerator (Sainz versus Perez, Vettel versus Hamilton at the start). In each case they ‘gained a lasting advantage’ and the stewards took no notice.

    Mark Webber’s pithy verdict on the quality of the stewarding was spot on. Penalising Verstappen just felt wrong.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      23rd October 2017, 22:57

      I fail to buy into the “prevent” a collision argument. These are top racing drivers, who know every inch of that track. If you dive on the inside of that corner, you know you can’t make It through the whole way with a car next to you. He was always planning to cut the corner and keep his foot on the gas when he committed. You can see it how he steers in when he is along side Kimi.

  25. What I’d like to know is would people be this upset if this had happened earlier in the race and Max had been told to hand the place back, as is standard practice when the car following overtakes the car leading with all four wheels off the track? Is it just that because this happened on the last lap, VER had no chance to try again for third place and people feel robbed because of that?

    I think this incident was fundamentally different to the other track limit violations in that Max wasn’t forced off the track by a rival trying to overtake him or running wide and carrying more speed through a corner. Max overtook a rival by shortcutting the inside of a corner, of his own volition, in a last lap gamble because he had nothing to lose. As such, I’d say it was a clear violation and, consistent with precedent, the place should have been given back to Kimi. It’s just that due to the timing of the incident this reversal had to be achieved by a five second penalty rather than an on-track switch.

    1. @tomd11

      Max wasn’t forced off the track

      Well, except he was. At the critical point, Raikkonen very clearly leaves insufficient room for both of them and both react to avoid a collision. It seems to me most of the opinions here come down to whether you saw that moment or not.

      1. @david-br The way I see it, Kimi is on the racing line and drifts towards the inside of the track to cover off Max who is wholly behind and even further inside. The track then curves to the right and rather than backing out of a gap that was always going to disappear, Max keeps his foot in, forcing Kimi to take avoiding action to the left, while he himself veers to the right and goes all four wheels off the track. I’m all for overtaking in unorthodox places but that was never going to happen, unless Kimi basically surrendered the position. It was just a typical last lap lunge that didn’t work out, beyond a bit of venting in the immediate aftermath, this complaining doesn’t do this great racer any credit.

  26. Where’s the ‘it’s a correct decision if they’d been consistent with it all weekend’ option? Cause that’s where I’m at.

    1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      23rd October 2017, 12:47

      @hahostolze is it correct to apply the rules only to one driver? Then you have your answer.

      1. @keithcollantine I saw your tweets on this, in surprise at the result. But, for balance, you’ll note nearly nobody went for lenient, whereas over 30% thought it was too harsh.

  27. petebaldwin (@)
    23rd October 2017, 12:31

    He overtook off the track. It sucks but it’s the right call regardless of whether they got other decisions wrong or not.

  28. I knew that it was going to be a problem in the race, as Brundle was going on about it in FP3 and Qualifying. I just knew that he felt something was going to happen and the fact that nothing had happened before would be a problem. That is the reason I think the penalty was unfair. Not that the penalty was wrong but that no one before had even a warning or anything. F1 needs a permanent steward for the year and they need to be consistent each race and each session.

  29. It was unquestionably the right decision.

    I find the controversy over this whole incident absolutely baffling and, to be perfectly honest, exhausting.

    Usually I love to get involved in debates like this, but I feel all reasonable discussion is being totally drowned out by the noise caused by hot takes from Red Bull, previous drivers, commentators and social media ‘experts’.

  30. Verstappen had four wheels off the track and gained an advantage. Open and shut case as to why he got the penalty.

  31. It genuinely baffles me how some people can’t tell the difference between track extending when by yourself and literally shortcutting to overtake someone.

  32. O a different note: I loved how Vettel held back to give Raikkonen a DRS. That way Verstappen was unable to overtake Kimi on the straight. Smart thinking there.

    1. @matthijs: Well played by Vettel and Ferrari, but if I remember correctly Räikkönen actually was not able to use DRS.

      1. @d0senbrot Well he sure was within 1 second, why wouldn’t he use DRS?

        1. @matthijs: He might just missed out at the DRS detection. In this video you can cleary see he did not use DRS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTymlxgpvvE

          1. @d0senbrot Thanks for that info!

  33. I voted “Slightly too harsh”.
    I am OK with the 5 second penalty (because he did complete the pass OFF the track), but not OK with the penalty point (which I think is silly really). The penalty point is the “harsh” bit, IMHO.

  34. At first I thought it was a bit harsh but seeing the replays including the video Mika Salo posted, it does seem pretty slam dunk. The key thing is that by cutting an inside corner (as opposed to exceeding the outside of a corner) this shortened the distance for the Red Bull to come out ahead.

  35. He cut the corner, you’re not allowed to do that. At times it is okay to run wide (see Bottas being forced wide by Ricciardo), but in my opinion, simply shortcutting a corner is a more severe offence.

    Also, I think the stewards should’ve enforced track limits more this weekend. They didn’t, so now there’s an uproar.

  36. For me the real issue here is the consistency of the stewards. That’s hardly surprising though when they change from race to race. Surely having a consistant steward line up from race to race will yield a more consistent application of the rules?

  37. Far too harsh. Besides the inconsistency (every driver must have at least exceeted tracks limits while gaining an advantage 100-200 times during the weekend), I think this line was the only line that wouldn’t have ended in contact (when trying to overtake). A line that is in a case of a timed lap one of the poorest lines you can take in that corner. Did he cut the corner? Ofcourse he did, but a penalty in this case is just too harsh. Nobody really want’s to cut that corner, it’s slower, it’s bumpy, but they made it part of the track. You just can not let everyone use these parts of the track, and then when something exiciting happens, penalize the driver for it.

    We always here so much about bringing back real racing, without DRS overtakes, but I guess that’s only talk. I really don’t get why the FIA rather want to see a dull train towards the finish rather than actual racing.

    Besides that, Garry Connelly should have been kicked off the stewards team after Japan 2016, and Mika Salo is also not without controversy, a former Ferrari employee and biased towards Raikkonen. Formula 1 needs the same stewards each race. Stewards without ties or prejudices towards teams and drivers. That’s not an easy task, but if the same steward name comes up after disputable decision, you have your answer there.

    1. You just can not let everyone use these parts of the track, and then when something exiciting happens, penalize the driver for it.


    2. You just can not let everyone use these parts of the track, and then when something exiciting happens, penalize the driver for it.

      No-one else used that part of the track, and certainly not to cut the corner and gain a position.

      Definitely FAIR

      1. So it’s ok in corner A to Y, but in Z it’s not allowed? We all know it’s because the stewards were way too easy on the whole track limits thing trough the weekend (and even weekends), but decided to draw a line out if nowhere when their least favourite driver exceeded track limits.

        And they made the decision way too fast, this decision was made within 2-3 minutes, and they did it this fast to make it an irreverseable penalty. And there is room for Verstappen to defend himself, as you see him make a split-second decision to avoid collision when Raikkonen closes in on the apex.

        This was the pure racing, but then F1’s politics got in it’s way again, to somewhat quote Senna.

  38. * Should be a penalty and was.
    * Should be consistency in application of the rules and there isn’t.

    That sums it up for me.

  39. Incorrect penalty.
    He actually should have 5 Seconds and a penalty point on his license (no word of this, and stewards document 48 concerning this incident can not be found).
    He also should get an additional 8 points for insulting the race stewards
    His dad should get a 2 year track ban for insulting FIA in general.

    Next to that the last couple of years track limits have violated more and more. As obviously letting it up to the teams to o bide by the rules doesn’t work, and people will scream at the steward for being biased when they do it. The only way to do it is mechanically. Gravel traps on the inside and exit of all the corners, this directly on the outside of the white lines.

    1. He should be giving a free pass for making F1 enjoyable to watch again, tbh. Did you see the podium by any chance? Boring Hamilton, muted Vettel and Captain Boredom himself; yay, enjoy the show……….

      But the whole point is: Either the rules apply to everybody, or to nobody.

      1. Boring Hamilton? 😂 Yeh because Max is the epitome of charisma and would have done something better than pose the bolt with Usain?

        He’s undoubtedly the next big thing but his out of the car persona is not yet anywhere near as exciting as his in-car persona just yet.

  40. This is what happens when a driver is allowed to go unpunished for everything questionable he has done so far. You punish him once for an undisputed offence and he calls you an idiot.

  41. I think it’s simple. Everyone says it’s a stupid penalty. Except Verstappen haters and Kimi/Ferrari fans.

  42. On the subject of inconsistency, has any one an example of when the stewards, in this race of others, allowed an overtake by cutting the corner? I know well about exceeding limits on outside/runoff. Any corner cutting/shortening track overtakes allowed to stick ever?

  43. The headline of this article should read “penalise ONLY Verstappen”
    You cannot go an entire race by only giving a penalty for one driver
    There are photos on Twitter of other cars inc Vettel well off the track at some point.
    The stewards should hang their heads in shame…..and I read Max got a penalty point as well!!!
    Nothing to do with America being an important market for Ferrari of course

  44. I didnt like it one bit, Max deserved that podium and Kimi did not.
    two things, When max passed him Kimi was so out of shape I dont think Max needed any advantage, also Kimi did push him.
    second, what was the big rush to kick Max out the cool room and insert Kimi? did they learn nothing from the last time they rushed to Ferraris defence only to later take the place away from Seb?

    However, Rules are rules. Max left the track so I voted for a fair decision.
    Enforce track limits! Im sick of it, white lines and 4 wheels, during practice or qually void their times and give warnings followed by time penalties during the race.

  45. Storming drive by Verstappen let me make this clear from the outset. Definitely one of the best all year.
    But he did leave the track to complete the overtaking manoeuvre so yes it was the right decision.
    We can argue the lack of consistency in the application of the law that’s definitely up to debate but that doesn’t detract to the fact that Verstappen did leave the track.
    Penalty was correct, if very frustrating.

  46. My point is just why the heck the put asphalt in that area? Put some grass and let them race, if eventually the guy cutting the corner he lose time and is it – problem naturally solved.

  47. Yeah, this is one of those, my first gut feeling was totally wrong penalty.

    Then i watched replay, totally justified.

    It didnt look bad initially, but all 4 wheels on the inside… We might aswell let drivers straightline everything.

    Track limits need to be enforced in a systematic way asap. Especially in tracks like this it is apalling.

    There was no such problem in Suzuka.

  48. The penalty is fair. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to see why he got 5 sec and a penalty point. He recieved the same punishment for what Perez and Palmer did earlier this year as Keith noted. Getting ahead of a competitor by cutting the track. So consistent in that regard.

    The lenient acting on track limits is another matter.
    You were almost encouraged to stay off track it seemed so no wonder people were quite creative with their definition of ”track limits” this weekend.

  49. As a lot people stated. Penalty is not the problem. the inconsistency of the judgement by the stewards is the problem. The problem is very time Ferrari cried about something, they got what they want.

    1. @peking901
      Imo, there was no inconsistency. No other driver gained a place while cutting a corner.

      1. You gain an advantage by being off the track on a tarmac surface…
        you are still able to accelerate…and not spin

        1. @jop452
          Yes, but that has absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote.

  50. Were the stewards right to penalise Verstappen? Yes. Verstappen did break the rule.
    Were 5 second penalty enough? Yes. Not too harsh and not too lenient.
    Were the stewards fair? No. Lack of consistency and utterly incompetent to send clear warning regarding track limit whole weekend.

  51. Yes, that penalty was fair and adequate. A bit of a shame, because Verstappen deserved third, but not like that.

    Horner’s comments about cars leaving the track all the time are just the usual hot air he constantly emanates. For me, there is a fundamental difference between:
    A) running wide at the exit of a corner without losing momentum (possibly even gaining a fraction of a second)
    B) short-cutting a corner and gaining a place while doing so

    Short-cutting a corner is a big no-no for me, far worse than abusing the runoff area. The latter is the logical consequence of poor track design, the former is a failure to adhere to a fundamental principle of racing.


    Track design, particularly on relatively new tracks like the Circuit of the Americas, should make it impossible for drivers to gain an advantage in this way.

    I could hardly agree more. We need more dirt and nasty sausage kerbs – the discussion whether a driver is allowed to use a part of the track the way he did would become purely academic.
    I especially like the sausage kerbs. They can be bolted into the runoff areas for F1, and then be removed for motorcycle races – everyone wins.

  52. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
    23rd October 2017, 14:13

    Was it an awesome move, which made me yell in excitement and smile at the end of the race? Yes.
    Was it against the rules? Yes, that too.

    So, fair penalty. Just that something was penalised does not mean it was not heroic, exciting, or maybe even historical.

  53. Horner is wrong. They should not have to review track limits. It has been discussed before.

    FIA should review the stewards. To many different decisions between races and within races. If this would happen in soccer, american football, tennis or whatever other sport the world would be to small. But in F1…..
    Why can other autosports be consistently judged?

    Put the steward through a Nascar training….

    In short….with every discutable decision one stewards name pops up: Gary Connelly.

    His grudge is agains Max Verstappen or his admiration towards Sebastian Vettel does neither driver good and is decisivly influencing F1.

    Austin 2017
    Judged as a seperate incident: Yes Verstappen went out of the track limits in a move to avoid a crash with Raikkonen, whom rightfully took the racing line.

    Judged in line with the whole race: No, this decision stands out and contradicts to the other decisions made during the race.
    If the steward deemed it necessary to apply this rule; Then in short a 5 second penalty should be given to all drivers as they all without exception crossed the track limits.

    Just a few akwards decisions when Gary Connlley is part of the stewards team:
    Japanese GP 2016
    During the Japanese GP Connelly didn’t agree as the other stewards didn’t agree with his attempt to penalize Verstappen. On his own account he went to the Mercedes team after the race (with Toto, Lauda en both drivers already in the plane) and convinced the deputy to launch a complaint. Toto (from the plane revoked his deputy decision immediately). Talking about a frustrated steward….

    Mexican GP 2016
    On the Mexican GP he succeeded to push for a penalty for Verstappen …for crossing the track limits….
    Sadly he couldn’t hide Vettel ranting and a penalty for Vettel was served.

    Again this decision happened after the race finished. A talk with drivers and decisions were made. One thing was agreed with Whiting (for the stewards) and drivers: If this would happen again…the drivers would be interviewed before a decision was made.

    …skip 1 year: Guess the stewards totally forgot there own rules….they wanted to be in the spotlight….

    It’s blatantly obvious that on numerous occasions Gary has kept silent as Vettel crossed the margins leaving it at an racing incident.

    Malaysian GP 2017
    Most appalling was Malaysia. After the race the incident between Stroll and Vettel, only video material of the car behind and from Vettel’s onboard was available. No penalty was served.

    The stewards have access to all the video….why did they (with Connelly in the team) ommitted Stroll’s onboard (purposely) influencing the public opinion?
    And it looked that Stroll was the cullprit (by the way the car behind moved away to avoid crashing into Stroll/Vettel) and Vettel was rightfully complaining.

    This video, later released by the Williams team after downloading the video from the camera, proved in hindsight the blame should be fully on Vettel. But then the stewarda had gone home and no penalty could be given anymore.

    In short:
    I don’t mind a steward to be strict of forgiving as long as they judge all the drivers in the same way.

    Gary Connelly is destroying the sport with visible biased decisions.
    I call upon the FIA. Let fair be fair. Referees that influence the game…..In Europe they hunt down those referees and players to assist betting results and ban them from the game.

    This is just simply very very fishy; be fair and admit mistakes within your own team. And penalize not only drivers but als stewards if they obviously cross the boundaries!

  54. It’s very fair. I think @keithcollantine explanation is very clear on why it’s fair.

    Now to address some common issue that I read from other commenters:
    1. The stewards said they wont enforce track limit.
    Yes, but it’s obvious what they meant is they not enforcing track limit from drivers going wide, and that also within “reasonable” distance. It doesn’t mean someone could run straight through turn 3,4,5 esses for example. In practice that means, drivers can go a little bit wide to retain higher speed, but other restriction is still apply.

    2. The stewards is inconsistent; other drivers doesn’t get penalty, with Vettel vs Hamilton, Ricciardo vs Bottas, Sainz vs Perez as common example:
    For Vettel and Sainz case, read my argument above. For Bottas case, he was in front and shoved by Ricciardo. I’d argue Ricciardo should’ve leave some space because he isn’t sufficiently ahead (e.g. Bottas front wheel is already behind his rear wheel) when entering the corner, which is different case with Raikkonen vs Verstappen. Raikkonen is entitled to close the door if he want to, but he didn’t close it fully and actually leave quite a gap in the inside. What Verstappen need to do to make the pass legal is to put 1 wheel inside the track which still has plenty of space relative to a wheel width., but he didn’t.

    3. Max is only evading contact/accident.
    Doing evasive maneuver doesn’t mean you can break the rules and take shortcut to overtake. It’s as simple as that.

  55. I blame the track designer, he should have a 5s penalty everyday for the rest of his live, everytime he enters in his car

    1. How about at the outside of tracks (at the white line or half a meter away, where it can be) have a shallow gutter that has water running down it. That way, in a dry race, when they go too far over the white lines they get wet tires. Should be enough of a punishment and can mean the large ‘safe’ runoff areas can stay as the driver will still have to drive through the water twice?

      1. We should build a wall, and make F1 great again

        1. And we’re gonna make Red Bull pay for it.

  56. I just want to comment on why track limits were not enforced elsewhere during the weekend.

    The reason is that the stewards opted to look at each incident individually as the data after Friday practice showed that running off at the corner exits wasn’t a guaranteed advantage (Same conclusion the IMSA Weathertech sportcars series came to earlier in the year BTW).

    The other thing to remember is that the stewards don’t just have the TV images when looking at incidents of cars running wide, They have more timing loops than we do as well as GPS data, Telemetry from cars & various comparison tools.
    On TV it may seem straightforward that somebody running wide at say turn 19 will gain time, But the timing/GPS data may show that nothing was gained & the telemetry may show a slight hesitation in getting back on the throttle due to the car been slightly upset by running over the kerb.

    In the Max Verstappen incident I gather that the stewards unanimously felt that Max had gained an advantage & that every bit of data they looked at backed up that view which is why they made the decision they did.
    It was also decided so quickly because they felt the video/data was pretty clear & since they all agreed with it they felt comfortable making the decision quickly.

    In terms of Horner’s insinuation about a certain steward, Utter nonsense which to be honest I feel he should be called up on because you can’t throw insinuations like that around as flippantly as he was else you just breed distrust & suspicions in every decision.
    End of the day there are 4 stewards in the room, No one of them has any more say than the rest & no one can make any decision without backing from the others. All 4 of them felt the same way, A penalty was applied end of story.

    1. Insightful as always @gt-racer 👏🏽

  57. I voted “slightly too harsh”. I think it is perfectly fair that Raikkonen gets his 3rd place back because the overtake was achieved by cutting the corner. What I don’t understand is the penalty point. Did the stewards really expect Verstappen to let Kimi pass in the last corner ??

    Although the time penalty was fair, it was still a great move by Verstappen. Had Kimi run just a little bit wide, he could have made it stick without cutting the corner. He definitely had to try, and did it with superb car control. I can understand that his clan and fans are not happy about it. And I think the penalty point sends a very bad message, as if he shouldn’t even have tried one of the moves of the year.

    As for within-race consistency, I don’t see any problem. In all other cases of a driver leaving the track, rejoining and going on fighting, they had not left the track by themselves but had been pushed wide. If anything, Bottas vs Verstappen could have be seen as a penalty for Max for divebombing. Not saying it should have been, but certainly Bottas was more than entitled to fight it.

  58. This poll is incomplete @keithcollantine

    I think everybody agrees Verstappen was off-track while passing Kimi and thus, according to the letter of the law, it was a correct penalty. However, have everybody going off track and only penalizing 1 incedent is not fair at all. THAT’S what people are angry about.

    1. No not quite…the one incident was penalized because the off-track venture resulted in a pass and therefore gaining advantage. Everybody else just went off track on their own but didn’t gain a perceptible advantage by doing so.

      1. @robbie

        idn’t gain a perceptible advantage

        So straightening turn 7 instead of taking the wider racing-line (on track) and extending turn 19 by keeping you foot planted instead of braking and staying on track, order to gain laptime (in quali and in the race to close gaps etc.) isn’t a perceptible advantage?! And what about keeping your foot planted and subsequently extending a corner to keep a position?!

      2. I mean, I don’t blame you personally for debating what exactly ‘gaining an andvantage’ constitutes, we could be doing that until were blue in the face and still disagree. It’s arbitrairy by nature and therefor it shouldn’t be in the rules at all imho.

        Off track is off track no matter where and it shouldn’t be allowed period. You simply can’t allow it in some occasion and then penalized it in another. Even better would be to simply not have tarmac anywhere else but on the actual racing track and just put grass, gravel or have walls outside the white lines (something I think is lacking in some corners even on Singapore and Baku for example).

  59. As Max was the only driver to gain a advantage driving of track, the rule was applied to everyone whom dreve of track and gained an advantage.

    Racing happens between the white lines, as i said before they should enforce that again. If necessary but putting street curbs around the entire track.

  60. The weird part of giving penalties this season is: Vettel get’s treated differently then Max. Vettel should have been penalized several times. But since that would have killed the championships fight penalties were not applied that should have been applied.

    Comes Max with a world move that exites all F1 fan: does he get penalized and the sport gets killed.

    Why help Vettel for the good of the sport, but penalize Max not for the good of the sport???

    I believe it’s personal. It’s several times that the same steward target Max and not other drivers with the same judgement.
    If it’s true that the same steward keeps targeting Max differently he should be taken out of his job.
    Steward should not show any type of favoring certain drivers.

  61. What is clear as day now, is that the rule needs work. When the likes of Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Mario Andretti, Niki Lauda, Kimi Raikkonen, Alex Wurz, (list goes on forever), all say the move was good and brave and should have stood, then the drivers’ conception of what the rules are and/or should be clearly differ from what the FIA enforce. Again, it’s Verstappen, like in Japan, like in Mexico. Fair enough, guess he’s controversial in a way. But this move was seen by people who have actually experienced F1 as totally fine, and brilliant at that. Mika Salo and the team of stewards the exception. F1 rules don’t need to conform to ‘public opinion’, but to my mind they definitely need to conform to the opinion of people who’ve actually experienced the sport.

    1. But this move was seen by people who have actually experienced F1 as totally fine

      @hahostolze By some yes, But as with fans opinion among current/former drivers was also split.

      On Sky for example Paul Di Resta analyzed the incident & felt the penalty was justified as did Martin Brundle (Who said almost immediately when he saw the move live that he wasn’t sure it would stand), Sky also showed a replay of it to Lewis Hamilton who also seemed to think the penalty was fair.

  62. Again, it’s Verstappen, like in Japan, like in Mexico.

    It was Gerard Connely (stewart) who urged Mercedes to appeal Verstappens defense against Hamilton in Suzuka last year, after Mercedes innitially didn’t want to.

    It then was Gerard Connely a few weeks later who, after not penalizing Hamilton or Rosberg for cutting the first corner, convinced the other two stewards to penalize Verstappen for doing the same thing.

    Now it’s Connely is again involved here according to Christian Horner. They penalize nodody for track limits except Verstappen. I mean… I get why he’s so angry about this guy.

    1. Totally with you there

    2. @jeffreyj Garry Connelly*

      1. haha, whoops my bad.


  63. Fair penalty, he cutted the corner to make an overtake. And for those comparing with Bottas vs Ricciardo, the later shoved Bottas out, so completly different situation.

  64. Fair. This track particularly is an ‘off piste’ nightmare of drivable run-off areas. Just check out other races here and see how drivers respect ‘track limits’. I believe it to be a fundamental flaw of the circuit design.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      23rd October 2017, 23:07

      Drivers will always try to see how far they can go with the track limits. It’s in their nature. That is easily fixed with a black/white flag. show a couple of those and they behave very nicely.

  65. GS (@gsagostinho)
    23rd October 2017, 18:25

    Someone posted this on a Youtube video by Peter Windsor, I think it’s quite relevant: https://www.mupload.nl/img/jxzwrxudebeis.jpg

    1. GS (@gsagostinho)
      23rd October 2017, 20:04

      Considering that all those other cases in the image above happened during the race, considering that Kimi assumed he didn’t know Max was there and considering that the cut happened as a reaction only after Kimi went to the right, then I think that saying “rules are rules” is really missing the point.

    2. @gsagostinho Those other examples are irrelevant as there all totally different situations.

      The Hulkenberg/Ocon image has been going around a lot but the thing been ignored about that is that Nico gained no advantage as he didn’t overtake Ocon nor was he any closer to Ocon, In fact a few meters up the road Ocon had actually pulled away.

      And the Ricciardo/Bottas images doesn’t show that Bottas was actually pushed off the track by Ricciardo after they had made contact while side by side.

      Verstappen was penalized because he cut the track & completed the overtake. In the case had he not gone off he more than likely wouldn’t have made the move stick & that is why he got the penalty.

  66. I always thought that any move that shortens the track is a fair penalty. If a driver “runs wide”, its off the racing line and sure to lose him/her time, effectively lengthening the track, and therefore should not be penalized.

    I don’t know what the rulebook says but this is consistent with what I’ve learned. Also, in Gran Turismo Sport, it will penalize you as such. I have a Youtube video from the Beta “Life of a ‘C’ driver” of this exact penalty. I cut an inside corner riding a kerb by what had to have been a centimeter, and was penalized 10 seconds due to it, which hampered my race.

  67. I really enjoyed Max’s performance and was gutted to see him stripped of the podium. But that’s his own fault. He cut a corner to overtake a rival. Simple.

    My gripe is that other drivers were allowed to consistently go off track throughout the race without punishment. I have to agree with a view I’ve seen a few times on this comment section that tracks need to punish running off track by design.

  68. So 66% don’t give a damn about the race. Luckely all the teams (except Ferrari?) and most ex F1 drivers and even ex Indy 500 drivers don’t agree with this 66’rs. So luckely there are still people who want to see real racing.

    1. Actually 66% gives a lot about racing. You know the stuff that should happen between the white lines

      1. I am not talking about the rules. I am talking about what makes you go to a F1 race or switch on the program on TV. What happened in USA outside the white lines and in front of the camera’s was a disgrace for F1. F1 should be exiting and filled with emotion. Not (although right) corrected by discisions 10 seconds before the podium. Consistency and clear implementation during the whole weekend should have been better. Everybody, F1 teams, drivers, spectators, fanatics, tv shows, is talking about it now and that says it all.

  69. When the drivers were in the Cool down room it was interesting to see Max seemed a bit quiet, and then, when Kimi walked in Max didn’t appear to say anything but he left immediately. As far as I could tell no one had said anything to him at all, not even Kimi. Kimi appeared to just stand by the door waiting for someone else to tell Max there was a problem with his third place. It seemed to me that only after Max had left did that tall guy appear to say something to him. I don’t know why Max left, but it suggested to me he at least suspected the stewards had applied a penalty to that particular overtake.

    1. I spotted that too

  70. I think if Max could replay that last lap he would have at least had the left wheels of his car on the white line, instead or them being inside the curb, which gave him a super straight line to cut the corner gaining a massive advantage. Had he taken it less straight and ended up alongside Kimi going into the next corner (instead of in front), he would have had the inside line to overtake Kimi. Then he wouldn’t have got a penalty.

  71. Absolutely the correct call. Verstappen didn’t give back the place before the race ended, so a timed penalty was given. Now if he had of given back the place right away and passed Kimi at turn 19, that would have been amazing.

  72. I honestly thought Kimi was running out of petrol at the end there, and he was coasting at the end to re-enforce my thoughts at the time.
    Max had a considerable amount of his car alongside (wing and part of front axle) prior to cutting, which would have entitled him to some space in the corner instead of Kimi trying to take the normal line, but where does this corner start?

    So at the time, I thought that was extremely harsh as Kimi technically turned in on him and didn’t allow racing room, and I’m surprised they didn’t quickly call the drivers by to discuss the issue. Though perhaps that might have created another debacle akin to Suzuka ’89 (IIRC).

    In the end, Kimi wasn’t running out of fuel, and the stewards had to make a consistency call and penalize him.

  73. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    24th October 2017, 3:00

    That’s a very tricky set of corners and Max adjusted his steering – I’m actually not even sure how he passed Kimi there without losing speed. I was watching MotoGP and everytime a rider went off or touched and slowed down, he lost 2-3 positions. You don’t cut in after 3 corners by breaking and adjusting and gaining a position.

    I’m not sure he gained an advantage – he was just much faster than Kimi and Kimi was very slow for some reason especially in that corner.

  74. He pretty much cut the corner like it wasn’t there. Bad luck Max but it was the right decision

  75. I think it’s pretty clear that the penalty was not for the corner cut itself at all. As a few have pointed out here, it was because in normal circumstances, if you overtake someone by cutting a corner you have to give to position back immediately. Since the race was over by the time the stewards reached their decision, and the overtake took place at the end of the final lap, a penalty was the obvious choice for giving 3rd position back to Kimi.

    Those accusing Sainz of doing the same thing on Perez are wrong. Sainz didn’t overtake Perez where he cut the corner, but rather towards the end of the lap. True, he did gain an advantage, but his crime was “corner-cutting”, a single instance of which will never lead to a penalty if the Stewards have decided to be lenient on track-limits exploration on a particular weekend(Fernando Alonso did get a penalty in Russia 2015 for corner-cutting, but only after he had done it multiple times).

    Of course there’s a limit to leniency and Verstappen’s crime (“illegal overtaking”) was, in my opinion, clearly was the worst of all “track-limits-exceeded” cases this weekend. In normal circumstances, he wouldn’t have been penalized, but Kimi had to be given that position back somehow.

    That being said, the penalty point was COMPLETELY ridiculous. The penalty itself is fair, but the penalty point for something like this is how you start discouraging drivers to overtake.

  76. Short: YES ! As he broke the rules… else he should have a special license to break them – like Vettel and Hamilton…but then you should have your hand higher up in the a$$ of Liberty which RB don’t have….

  77. Hello Guys,

    First, you are all right……..but at the end the stewards had to look at the bigger picture….and that is…..it is racing.
    You see that Kimi left the door open for Max, because his tyres were finished and he made a mistake of coming out at the corner before. Max his tyres + quality of the car were better at that time and took that oppertunity of that gap and he’ll go for it. Kimi did-or did not not seen him and he went to the right, but at that time he saw Max, because you see on the video that his car is going to the left to avoid a collision. In a split of second Max turns his car to the right to avoid also the collision and then Kimi cursed himself and apologized to the team. You can hear it on the radio.
    If Max turned straight away his four wheels out the lines when he made this move on Kimi then it is different story and he need to penalized!
    So in my point of view it was a act of beautifull racing and then it is my opinion harsh that the penalty is given.

  78. There is clear favoritism with giving or not giving penalties by the stewards.
    Vettel has been favored several times this season.
    Steward team has to be cleaned up. Definitely that Conelly guy has to go.

  79. Daniel Hollis
    24th October 2017, 9:46

    Just a thought. Sorry if this has been said already as I havent read all the comments, but is it not possible with todays technology to have some sort of system where a breach of track limits (All 4 wheels over the white line) brings on the pit limiter for say 3 seconds? Surely that would stop the drivers would it not?

    Track limits needs to be policed in the same way that the edge of a football pitch is for all cases regardless. If a car goes out of bounds there needs to be an immediate penalty. Then there would no longer be any need for this discussion!

  80. Mika Salo offers us more insight to how the stewarts saw the incident. /www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtdgJor5o0Y&feature=youtu.be

  81. When Verstappen got past Raikkonen on the final lap I was cheering as I initially thought it was a great move and a great way to end the race.

    The steward’s decision flashed up on the screen just as Channel 4 went to an ad break after the drivers had parked up following the in lap, it wasn’t up long enough to read it but you could tell it was announcing that a penalty had been handed out.

    The only thing I could remember happening in the final stages which the stewards may have looked at was the Verstappen pass on Raikkonen, and sure enough after the ad break the TV commentary said that was what it was for, with Verstappen cutting the corner and going off track to get past Raikkonen.

    At first I thought it was a joke of a decision, but after seeing replays and reflecting on it, I think it was probably the correct ruling.

    A couple of factors that made the judgement such a big issue was because it was for a podium place and because the drivers involved are two of the biggest names in the sport, if it had been between say Kvyat and Stroll for tenth it wouldn’t have got so much attention or generated so many comments.

    However the main issue was probably the timing of it all, because the overtake was on the last lap it made the move much more dramatic and enjoyable, but because it was on the last lap it meant that the stewards decision would come after the finish and just as the drivers were getting ready for the podium ceremony.

    If it had been ten laps before the end Verstappen would have had time to try and pull a big enough gap to try and nullify the penalty or the stewards could have instructed him to give the place back and he would have had the opportunity to try and get past again. Also the fans would have had time to process the decision before the chequered flag.

    It has been pointed out that most if not all drivers had all four wheels off the circuit at some point during the race but no one else was punished, however I don’t think any got the advantage that Verstappen did from his move.

    Drivers gaining an advantage by going off track has long been something that has irked me, it would be good if they could do something with the circuit itself so that drivers definitely lost out if they exceeded the track limits but if the only options available are deemed unsafe at the speeds the cars will be travelling it is right they are not used.

    I seem to recall an overtake Verstappen made at Spa in 2015 was highly praised and I think it may have even won the overtake of the year poll on this site, but I remember that I didn’t rate it solely because he had gone off track to complete it, by going round the outside rather than cutting a corner.

  82. Sorry if this point has already been made, haven’t time right now to read all comments. My opinion, if the stewards had let this move go, we’d soon be seeing drivers straightening out chicanes. i’m with Brundle, keep to track limits or pay a penalty and that’s for all and everyone, including Hamilton and Vettel (wry smile)

  83. Looks like the FIA have got all their staff to vote in the poll! If that wasnt a ferrari he passed nothing would have been said.

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