Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Hartley given 30-second penalty for formation lap error

2018 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Brendon Hartley has had 30 seconds added to his race time for an error on the formation lap.

The stewards ruled the Toro Rosso driver was not in the correct starting order at the Safety Car line as required by the rules. Hartley had been overtaken by Sergio Perez.

Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018
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“Car 28 was overtaken by car 11 during the formation lap, failed to re-establish his position before the first safety car line and then did not enter the pits as required under Article 38.3.” noted the stewards.

The stewards gave Hartley a 10-second stop-go penalty. As this was not applied during the race, it is converted into a 30-second time penalty.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting said it was “slightly odd” Hartley did not move back in front of Perez during the formation lap.

“It seems Hartley didn’t actually know what he had to do,” said Whiting. “On one hand Perez did overtake, but that’s fairly normal because not all cars leave the grid in the order of the grid. But Hartley hasn’t regained the position.”

The penalty drops Hartley from 13th to 17th in the final classification.

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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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  • 17 comments on “Hartley given 30-second penalty for formation lap error”

    1. Wait, this got me confused. So did Hartley overtake Perez or did Perez overtake Hartley? And did they both get a penalty for having this happen (one for overtaking, the other for slowing so much he was overtaken)??

      1. Yeah, it had me confused too @bascb – so, both got a penalty, even though it was, by my reading, Perez who overtook Hartley, but I guess Hartley then didn’t do much to re-take that position on time?

    2. What, they both get a penalty? Sounds a whole lot like Perez overtook Hartley when he shouldn’t’ve. Why penalise the victim?

    3. So who gives flippity-floo? It’s a formation lap? What kind of archaic, controlling, ball-busting rule is that? So long as you like up correctly for start, who cares?

    4. And it was Perez’ fault anyhow. Everybody knows what kind of a duma$$ Perez can be. He’ll even crash his own teammate.

    5. Ridiculous. It had no impact on the race. Hamilton v Max was a racing incident but involved a coming together. This is just nothing. Hartley is punished the same as the car that overtook him for being confused and not going back past in time? They lined up on the grid correctly.

    6. Sry to hear a dead horse, but a 30 sec penalty is pretty serious. I would think someone somewhere would have notified either driver to get back in line before a penalty is applied. In football, receivers get “advised” by refs if they’re lined up offsides as a courtesy before a flag is thrown. Just dumb.

    7. you’d think his pit wall might have told him of this so he could have sorted it at the time, or take the 10 second penalty in the race.

      As it was I thought the 10 second penalty he got for spinning perez on the first lap was harsh, I thought first lap incidents are looked at with a grain of salt. If Vettel had done that last year it would have been a racing incident, Hartley does on the 4th corner (or whatever it was), with a locked wheel, so not as if he wasn’t trying to hit Perez, and he gets a penalty.

      FIA need to learn some consistency, still.

    8. This seems like a massive overreaction for both drivers. Maybe Charlie thinks he’s making a statement or something as this won’t affect the zero race points. Very strange, seems like both drivers should just get a reprimand.

      Not like driving through waved yellows at full pace, which a couple of years back also got the same penalty. Or Vettel’s Baku driving for example. Very odd.

    9. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      8th April 2018, 22:21

      Did they really start the race from the wrong spots on the grid? I’m sorry but if that happened, that’s Charlie’s fault… He’s in charge of race control. He should be getting a penalty more than anyone else out there.

      It also destroyed Hartley’s race because Perez ended up being in front of Hartley and taking the entire corner so he may want to shell some free points over to Hartley while he’s at it…

    10. A reprimand, or a small fine, would have sufficed. This is heavy-handed and why on earth is Hartley getting pinged? This is a dangerous precedent. If you were in a world championship fight, and the guy beside you needed a great result (you, less so) to beat you for the championship, you could just overtake him on the formation lap to ensure he gets a 30sec penalty.

      1. Hear, hear.

    11. Ugh, a reprimand and a warning that future instances will be penalized would have been more appropriate.

    12. Hartley is too slow! Even on formation laps it seems.

    13. This appears to me to be a strange decision by the stewards, and an incorrect one.

      The regulations state at 36.8:
      36.8 Overtaking during the formation lap is only permitted if a car is delayed and cars behind
      cannot avoid passing it without unduly delaying the remainder of the field. In this case, drivers
      may only overtake to re-establish the original starting order. Any driver delayed in this way,
      and who is unable to re-establish the original starting order before he reaches the first safety
      car line, must enter the pit lane and start from the end of the pit lane as specified in Article
      36.2.
      A penalty under Article 38.3(d) will be imposed on any driver who fails to enter the pit lane if
      he has not re-established the original starting order before he reaches the first safety car line.

      I just re-watched the commencement of the formation lap and Perez passed Hartley before turn one, and there was no need for Sergio to do that in order to “…[cannot] avoid passing it without unduly delaying the remainder of the field”. Sergio Perez could quite easily have not passed Brendon Hartley without delaying the remainder of the field in any way. In actuality, the McLaren that was closest behind Sergio was about 100 meters behind when he passed Hartley. Therefore, Brendon was not “delayed in this way”, but rather, he was delayed by Sergio Perez just breaking the requirements of 36.8 itself. It follows that the the ‘may’ of “…In this case, drivers
      may only overtake to re-establish the original starting order
      ” did not apply to Brendon Hartley.

      The way I read the wording of 36.8 as Brendon was not delayed in the way that the rule allows others to pass him, there is/was no requirement for him to start from pit lane. I believe the Stewards have made an error.

      Confused.

      1. Further, if Charlie really did say whats quoted to him:

        “It seems Hartley didn’t actually know what he had to do,” said Whiting. “On one hand Perez did overtake, but that’s fairly normal because not all cars leave the grid in the order of the grid. But Hartley hasn’t regained the position.”

        ..then he is essentially saying that 36.8 is not complied with on a regular basis (‘…Perez did overtake, but that’s fairly normal…’), so why this weird ruling now ???? The penalty to Perez should have sufficed.

    14. Everyone hates Hartley. The guy can’t catch a break.

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