Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

Vettel did not break ‘two moves’ rule in Hamilton fight, stewards say

2018 Russian Grand Prix

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The Russian Grand Prix stewards ruled Sebastian Vettel did not make two moves to defend his position while trying to keep Lewis Hamilton behind him in the race.

Vettel squeezed Hamilton hard as they approached turn two when Vettel got ahead of his rival during the race. Hamilton managed to pass Vettel two corners later.

The stewards cleared Vettel over the incident, ruling the move “did not constitute two significant changes in direction”.

Hamilton, however, said his rival’s defensive moves were too strong. “Ultimately for me, he did move over to the inside, and then he moved again, and then he put me in the wall,” he said. “I thought was a double move but I guess they didn’t see that.”

“But fortunately I was able to stay out of the wall and still get around the corner.”

Vettel said Hamilton “had a run into turn two” which he “managed to cover”, but then chose to leave more room for his rival the next time he attacked.

“I didn’t see him through the left-hander, I wasn’t really sure where he was,” said Hamilton. “I thought he was somewhere on the outside.”

Vettel said it was “fair enough” to give Hamilton room at turn four “even if I didn’t want to, but I had to, to make sure that it remained fair – or hard but fair – and he obviously got past.”

Hamilton out-braked Vettel for second place into turn four. “It was just a question of who was going to break earlier in the next corner and I wanted it more at the time,” said the Mercedes driver.

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Keith Collantine
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56 comments on “Vettel did not break ‘two moves’ rule in Hamilton fight, stewards say”

  1. I guess they can’t be honest and say ‘he moved twice, but Hamilton managed to avoid a collision and we decided it wasn’t worth a penalty, especially given the championship battle.’ So they have to say he didn’t move twice ‘significantly.’ Right.

    1. @david-br He never stopped moving, he just changed the speeds at which he moved. If he ever actually stopped moving, then moved again, there’d be a penalty.

      1. My point was that if they’d crashed, there would have been a penalty I think because his second move was unexpected and Hamilton had to take rapid evasive action. I’m not saying Vettel should have been penalized, I’m pleased he wasn’t. However Hamilton was correct to complain. That done, the stewards have to invent a reason for not giving a penalty which isn’t simply the fact nothing happened (especially as Hamilton then overtook Vettel soon after).

      2. I don’t think that is how it works. I remember back in the days Schumi was driving for Mercedes, there were a couple of occasions where drivers would move a little bit to one side, sort of “picking” where they were gonna go to defend, and would only keep moving to that side, even after stopping their “moving to the side”, as it were, depending on what the car behind would do.

        1. Schumi has been warned, and one instance, has been penalized!

          1. He was penalized when he almost crashed Barrichello out of the race, and he did it in one move.

          2. That was a lot different.

      3. Actually he did stop moving. His first move was to the middle of the track and once Lewis committed to the inside, he moved again blocking the pass.

        1. Now found a video. Vettel makes two clear moves, the second (at 4 seconds) to close off Hamilton from passing on the left. Hamilton brakes to avoid contact and seems to be just a few centimeters from having his front wing crunched (or Vettel his tyre nicked). A fraction later and Hamilton would have already been passing and sandwiched between Vettel and wall. Anyhow, Hamilton confirmed it put him in the mood to get past.

          1. *right, not left

    2. @david-br i thought they crashed for a second seeing all the dust moving and noise… thought vettel waved, direction change maybe once but he did it in two moves… almost like how MAX always does under braking , like in Baku vs Ric, Spa vs Rai, and once in another race i think was in Japan vs Ham…

      being that close lucky neither had unnecessary collision/controversy… that was at the limit…

      1. @mysticus Agree it was close, the main issue was the wall, presumably why Hamilton complained too.

      2. @ Mystic
        When Verstappen moves he actually uses the rules… he makes one defensive move then moves back to the racingline, wich is allowed and therefore never was penalized for it. Vettel kind of made one move in two stages, if they would have touched then it would have been a sure penalty.

        1. Yep, like in Baku. One move to cover the inside, then one back to the racing line … and then one more back to the inside. Not Max’s fault though. He never does anything wrong.

    3. Yes, I feel that’s the best summation of it too @david-br, and fair enough, I don’t need to see Vettel penalised in addition to losing another 10 points, I guess (and I doubt he’d change his way of racing anyway).

    4. I just saw the move again, and Vettel certainly moved twice.

      Vettel made a faint to the outside, which committed Hamilton to the inside, and then he made a move to the inside which forced Hamilton to brake.

      How the stewards didn’t see this is quite amazing. I suppose the question is whether Vettel had started to brake when he made the first move.

    5. As a pundit pointed out, he moved once but in two stages.

      Out of curiosity, is there any distinction in the rules for direction?

    6. The rule looks to be: “More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted.” I think he did not change direction.
      but also: “However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited” – Hamilton was not alongside, so could not be crowded beyond the edge of the track.

      Appendix L to the International Sporting Code
      Chapter IV – Article 2b
      b) Overtaking, according to the circumstances, may be carried out on either the right or the left.
      A driver may not deliberately leave the track without justifiable reason.
      More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted.
      Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off-line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the
      approach to the corner.
      However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited. Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will be reported to the Stewards.

    7. We all have the same pair of eyes. He did move twice.

    8. @ajaxn @zim @grant
      The rules don’t say anything about the number of moves, only the number changes of direction.

      Looking at:

      to be honest, I cannot really even see two moves to the right, it look more like he is always moving right, just slowing the rate of movement in the middle (before moving left under breaking).

  2. If VES made this same move he had given a penalty.
    That’s what is wrong with the F1.. inconsistancy..

  3. Here we go with the mind games again…

  4. Good racing and Seb gave Lewis loads of room at the next corner where he was very fair. Lewis however pushed Seb wide at the start in turn 2…. Non story really, just good racing.

    1. Its not good racing. Had Lewis ran into the back of Vettel, would it still have been good racing? Effectively blocking your opponents pass isn’t good racing.

      1. if he ran at the back he should have dropped his attack erarlier.
        Just good racing, i like it and yes is risky.
        Thank god for that.

  5. Got the fastest car, has a teammate move over for him, still complaining about an opponent putting up a legitimate fight.

    1. You’re being a troll.

    2. Are you talking about Vettel? I honestly can’t tell

      1. Kimi hasn’t moved over for Vettel once.

        Bottas has had numerous team orders imposed on him.

        1. Who did move over for Vettel in Germany?

          1. Crickets chirping ….

          2. That was a ridiculous situation.

            Vettel immediately pulled away from Kimi at a second per lap.

            Hammy couldn’t pull away from Bottas today.

          3. Kimi hasn’t moved over for Vettel once.

            But he has hasn’t he? You admit as much yourself. Blatant lies in pretty much every post you make at this point.

    3. Your irrelevant comment shows just how biased you are!
      Hamilton has shown again this season just how dominant he is, and nobody comes close to him…… not even all the biased armchair pundits like yourself.
      Have a good day pondering on that!

      1. Not trying to hate, but at what point was Hamilton dominant here? Yes, the Merc was miles faster than the Ferrari but he wouldn’t have won hadn’t Bottas let him through.

        1. He said, “this season”, not today.

          1. My bad, thanks for pointing out.

        2. @franky His overtake of Vettel was dominant enough, made in some anger probably after the earlier Vettel block. Shame it got lost amid the team order issue.

    4. You’re just feeling a little emotional at the moment.

      1. KGN11……. a lot of emotion on display in just about all the post race threads. And of course, with Hamilton being involved, it brings out certain “traits” in people.

  6. Seebashem had to yield the second time, as even he knew he’d been an rs at LH’s first attempt!

    1. Seebashem


  7. José Lopes da Silva
    30th September 2018, 14:42

    «“I didn’t see him through the left-hander, I wasn’t really sure where he was,” said Hamilton.» ??

  8. Ofcourse he didnt break the two moves rule, only Max does. These stewards… hahahaha, typical FIA like FIFA etc… no fair play, just power and money matter

    1. It’s the Max Verstappen rule or something. Let them race ffs.

      1. And let’s scrap all the rules whilst we are at that.

  9. I think its fair that Hamilton doesn’t cut Vettel any slack, as next time it could lead to one or both being taken out of the race.

  10. Thought it was on the right side of the line because all his movement was to the right. The significant movements happened in two stages but Vettel was always heading that way – there was no motion to the left or even a straightening up of his car.

    But looking at the closing speeds from Hamilton’s onboard, if he hadn’t backed out of the move early and had tried to complete it down the inside, he would have had part of his car alongside Vettel as the door was closed. So he would indeed have been put into the wall, both of them would have had very broken cars and Bottas would have had a nice and easy win.

  11. Please give the officials a day off and let them race for once. Yes it is dangerous, yes it is fast, if you can’t handle it don’t get in the car. 90% of former worldchampions were killers. No mercy on the track.
    F1 is becoming a bad joke.
    Suggestion: let woman drive F1. Example from another sport. Woman finist seventh on WCC cycling, drove last 90 kilometers with a broken knie after a fall. No whining, no complaining.

  12. Just good racing by both. They are undoubtedly the best current Formula 1 drivers, the heirs of Michael Schumacher.

  13. Good thing Gary Connelly was there to help Ferrari out once more… The guy needs to be banned from being a steward. Inconsistency of the FIA is just shocking and ruining racing.

  14. Hamilton, however, said his rival’s defensive moves were too strong. “Ultimately for me, he did move over to the inside, and then he moved again, and then he put me in the wall,” he said. “I thought was a double move but I guess they didn’t see that.”

    Just trying it on :))

  15. Is there any reason for doubts about the words Lewis Hamilton has spent on this Issue?

  16. I think that had there been contact it was a guaranteed penalty and given the recent case where Verstappen was penalised for not leaving a cars width on track for Bottas it was for me defending too hard. I think the inconsistent stewarding comes about from some decisions are clearly made taking the outcome into equation when there is clear guidance that this shouldn’t happen.

    There’s no quick fix but I think they just need to concede that the end result is taken in part as consideration of whether to penalise or not and what penalty is fair.

    For those who think hard racing is fine I would agree to an extent but when you start closing doors into a wall in the breaking zone that’s not hard racing, it’s frankly dangerous. Vettel is lucky Hamilton didn’t 100% commit when he first left the door open as once you’ve decided where you’re breaking, you can’t then slow any faster. I think it warranted a trip to the stewards after the race for discussion just so everyone is on the same page about what the limits are.

  17. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    1st October 2018, 13:05

    Double moves are now allowed – it’s at the discretion of the stewards to determine if a clear double move is actually a double move that warrants a penalty given the championship, race, and other criteria.

    Another dangerous maneuver by Vettel that goes unpunished.

  18. Toto Wolff clearly thought it was a double move and that the stewards bottled the decision, again. His answer was to say, right, if you don’t play by the sporting rules, then we will use everything in our power to ensure we win the WDC, including spoiling the spectacle, because you’re assisting our rivals.

    Three laps after the ‘no further action’ decision was the call to swap the leading cars. It’s blindingly obvious what prompted that call and it’s the reason they chose to discuss it in private to avoid openly disrespecting the stewards, which never works out well.

    The loser, unfortunately was an innocent bystander, Bottas.

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