Why Hamilton didn’t get a penalty in Monaco – but Vettel did in Canada

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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The controversial incident which decided the Canadian Grand Prix has prompted many questions over whether the FIA stewards make consistent rulings.

The stakes couldn’t have been much higher last weekend: The decision to hand Sebastian Vettel a five-second penalty for forcing Lewis Hamilton off the track when he rejoined the circuit ultimately cost the Ferrari driver a victory.

Among the many points raised by RaceFans readers in response to the decision has been why a seemingly similar past incident did not receive the same penalty. In 2016 Hamilton appeared to mete out similar treatment to Daniel Ricciardo when the pair were fighting for the lead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

The rulings handed down for those two incidents reveal why they were treated differently, and why a more recent incident provides the precedent for Vettel’s punishment.

Canada 2019: Vettel blocks Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019
Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

On lap 48 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last weekend Vettel left the track completely at turn three and rejoined at turn four. As he rejoined he crossed from the left-hand side of the track to the right-hand side, onto the racing line. The stewards ruled that by doing so he forced Hamilton to take evasive action, including driving off the track himself, to avoid a collision.

“Car five [Vettel] left the track at turn three, rejoined the track at turn four in an unsafe manner and forced car 44 off track,” they noted. “Car 44 had to take evasive action to avoid a collision.”

The focus of the stewards’ concern was the manner in which Vettel rejoined the track and the racing line.

Monaco 2016: Hamilton blocks Ricciardo

Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Monaco, 2016
Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Monaco, 2016

Three years earlier in Monaco, Hamilton went off at turn 10, the Nouvelle Chicane, while leading Ricciardo. He rejoined the racing line. As they accelerated through turn 11 Ricciardo moved right to try to overtake and Hamilton squeezed him towards the barrier, obliging Ricciardo to back off. The stewards officially investigated the incident but took no action.

They noted Hamilton “appeared to not leave enough room whilst defending a position in turn 11” but ruled that he “left at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track.”

There are two differences between the rulings, the first of which is more significant when comparing it to what happened last weekend. This is that Hamilton, unlike Vettel, had already rejoined the racing line before the alleged block took place. In other words, in the eyes of the stewards, Hamilton rejoining the track and Hamilton defending his position from Ricciardo were two separate incidents; Hamilton leaving the track at turn 10 isn’t even mentioned in their ruling.

That first difference renders the second one moot as far as this comparison goes, but it’s worth noting the stewards also ruled Hamilton did leave a car’s width for Ricciardo. From looking at Ricciardo’s onboard it seems to be very little more than a car’s width at best. However as the image of the Canada incident above shows it was more room than Vettel left for Hamilton, as the Ferrari driver used the full width of the track at the exit, up to the white line.

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Japan 2018: Verstappen blocks Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Suzuka, 2018
Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Suzuka, 2018
Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Suzuka, 2018
Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Suzuka, 2018

A clearer comparison between Vettel’s penalty last weekend and a more recent precedent can be found in last year’s Japanese Grand Prix. On that occasion Max Verstappen left the track fully in the chicane, and did not leave enough room for Kimi Raikkonen as he rejoined the racing line.

“The stewards reviewed the video evidence, and determined that car 33 locked up his brakes and left the track at turn 16, cut the chicane and rejoined track on the racing line in turn 17 and in the process collided with car seven.”

Here the only significant difference between the incidents is that Hamilton went off the track to avoid being hit by Vettel, whereas Raikkonen stayed on the track and was hit by Verstappen. The penalties were the same.

Vettel, who was following Raikkonen at the time, had a clear view of the incident. And as he pointed out at the time, because Verstappen had gone off the track, it wasn’t Raikkonen who had to get out of the way.

“He’s [Verstappen’s] off the track and he comes back and if Kimi just drives on they collide. But it’s not always right that the other guy has to move.”

Unfortunately Vettel appeared to forget that point on Sunday.

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Author information

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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198 comments on “Why Hamilton didn’t get a penalty in Monaco – but Vettel did in Canada”

  1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
    12th June 2019, 8:20

    Spot on Keith,

    I’d also add that intent is not a factor taken into account by the rules.

    Even if Vettel had no choice but to take the path he did then he still broke the rules. It’s no defence to say he wasn’t in control or it wasn’t deliberate. Either way its still a penalty, he did not rejoin safely.

    1. I am sorry but this is wrong. So you mean to tell me, I make a mistake, my car is out of control, I end up crashing in the wall and because another guy was behind me and had to hit the brakes, that I still have to be penalized? Because I ‘broke” the rules and I had an unsafe reentry to the track?

      So in the next race say I could get grid penalty?

      This is just stupid, I am sorry. A mistake is a mistake. You are worthy of a penalty IF you are in control of your car. I you are not in control and you are just trying to regain control in order to avoid a certain crash then this is not worthy of a penalty.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        12th June 2019, 16:43


        In answer to you questions:

        you mean to tell me, I make a mistake, my car is out of control, I end up crashing in the wall and because another guy was behind me and had to hit the brakes, that I still have to be penalized?

        Yes, its the rule and its dangerous. Get over it.

        So in the next race say I could get grid penalty?

        No, they got it right. A five second penalty.

        Admittedly breaking a rule when you have made a mistake and are out of control is not quite so bad a breaking a rule when you are in control but either way you are still breaking the rule.

        If I’m driving on the road mistakenly at 40mph in a 30mph zone the speed camera is still gonna flash. Is that fair?

        1. Well, yes, if you think the same road safety rules as for the public roads should be applied. In that respect Vettels first and foremost error was driving too fast, not leaving enough safety reserve when going into the chicane. F1 drivers generally should drive slower. A bit like under double yellows, reduce speed, be prepared to stop.
          We call that public traffic, it‘s not racing anymore.
          For this case I suggest to make away with all that F1 circus and show real traffic cam transmissions instead.

          1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            13th June 2019, 8:20

            You know what I mean. Its facetious to suggest I’m stupid enough to think the same rules apply.

            I don’t think the same rules should be applied, but the agreed rules should be applied.

            Clear enough?

          2. I don‘t think you‘re stupid enough to think that normal road safety rules apply. It‘s just the logical consequence on what you stated. If they are driving on the edge they ought to get over it every now and then. If then the try to keep the car from the walls results in a (justified) penalty it would be the right (not penalized) way to drive as you should do on the street: With enough safety margin to avoid any contact with walls or other cars.
            It‘s plausible in itself but not what I would want to call racing.

          3. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            14th June 2019, 8:53


            I do know what you mean and I felt sorry for Vettel because he’s a racer and I sensed a little desperation in his driving. He knew if Hamilton went past that would be it, but a bad rule needs to be changed not ignored.

            For me these sorts of issues would become less important and we could both have something we would ‘call racing’ as you say, if only the cars were more equal and they could run closely together.

            Happy F1 watching.

      2. Whether or not it is a mistake, your offence should not be allowed to have an adverse effect on another driver’s race. More so if you manage to benefit, over another driver, or in this case not ‘lose out’ while committing the offence, as a result of your mistake, you should be penalised. Mistake or not an offence is an offence, especially if it affects another driver.

        Im sure if Vettel had done exactly what he did, and no one was around to be affected, he wouldn’t have been penalised.

        1. @gufdamm Obviously he wouldn’t be penalized because no one other than Vettel would have been effected by this error. The penalty wasn’t for him going off the track, it was for a rejoin that one wasn’t safe and two blocked and could have caused a wreck. Had Vettel made this mistake and hit the barriers with no one else around, the penalty would have been damage to his car. In essence the ruling like that with Verstappen to Kimi last year is the same, you make a mistake and effect someone else because of it you’re at fault. Similar to any other sport. I’m sure a person doesn’t attempt to foul someone during Football or Basketball. However, they still get a penalty due to the consequence of committing rule offense.

          1. How, do you think, could he have „safely“ rejoined in this situation? And if there was no chance for him to do differently, wouldn‘t that mean to avoid penalty you shouldn‘t be driving on the edge?

    2. Simple and easy for top team. You fill my pocket and i wouldnt give you penalty.

    3. Seb could have avoided a penalty by ceding the place to Lewis and using the Ferrari’s superior performance to retake the lead on the long straight.

      1. Sebastian could have also used his brakes correctly, not gone off the track, and he’d have come out of Turn 4 in the lead and no one would have even thought he’d done anything wrong.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          12th June 2019, 19:32

          @drycrust Exactly. It’s not the first time he has a red mist moment like this. How about he owns up to making these mistakes for a change?

    4. When you say that it doesn’t matter if it was deliberate or not, one could argue that having a brake failure and crashing is not deliberate but should, based off of what you said, earn a penalty. I know this situation is different to a brake failure, but your argument is illogical because these things do influence a decision. Therefore, intent should 100% influence the decision. Also Monaco’s run-off area was plain tarmac, while Canada had a grassy and bumpy run-off. The reason people disagree with the decision is because the geography and the situation were not taken into account during the investigation.

    5. The photos favour Vettels case anyway as Lewis is on a much sharper angle to cut off Ricciardo whereas Vettel is driving a straighter line. Hamiltons photo was taken conveniently very early when anyone who has seen the full video knows that Hamilton cuts him off later then when this photo was taken. The proof that Hamilton did not leave enough room for Ricciardo to pass is that Ricciardo did not pass Hamilton, so any rational person could not say the circumstances are different. F1 fans want to see drivers use their instincts which is all Vettel has done wrong here. If F1 wants to take the overly safe route then it must be consistent which it has not been in these 2 incidents. Anyone agreeing with this penalty is going directly against Mansell,Andretti and every other great driver on twitter. If F1 is trying to lose fans and limit racing they are going the right way about it.

  2. I don’t understand the outcry about this penalty. It makes sense, Vettel left the track and rejoined dangerously.

    In USA all we talk about is track limits. We all understand the advantages of just driving where you want rather than between the white lines. At the end of the day, Vettel cut a corner. He drove one less corners than all the other cars, which is unfair. At any other track he’d be punished for cutting corners regardless of the Hamilton incident.

    The problem is that the minimum penalty is 5 seconds. If they could add a 1 second penalty, that would be fair and there would still be the chance of him pulling that gap out and therefore the race wouldn’t have been killed off.

    We need a much bigger variety of penalties so a minor mistake can still be punished, but not end the driver’s race.

    1. A 1 second is too lenient; that can easily be abused.

      1. 1 second time penalty*

      2. Maybe 1 second is too light, but the minimum penalty of 5 seconds is probably too harsh. We need a bigger array of possible penalties.

        1. Indeed, this is completely true, if I were verstappen in monaco 2019 I’d have cut the chicane, overtook hamilton and built 10 sec gap (doable, he was a lot faster) and won the race, 5 sec penalty against bottas, 5 for cutting the chicane.

          The fact the minimum penalty is 5 seconds but also the standard penalty for any sort of chicane cutting is only 5 seconds gives the possibility of these situations.

          They need to give penalties more in line with the time gained by the penalized driver, look even at verstappen vs raikkonen last lap austin 2017, that’s nowhere near a 5 sec penalty, 2 at best.

          Vettel likewise 2-3 seconds in canada.

    2. Its telling, listening to Vettel’s explaination of the incident imediately after hearing of the penalties, and its almost sounds rehearsed, eg premediated.

    3. @Hugh Lynn

      It’s because many of don’t think he rejoined dangerously. Sky F1 seems to agree. The truth is, Hamilton tried to go for a gap ONLY AFTER Vettel had fully returned on the track. Up to that point Hamilton’s car was fully behind him, not alongside.

  3. The only reason why Hamilton didn’t get a penalty was either because it’s Hamilton or because the stewards are totally clueless and the best example to highlight this is mexico 2016; 2 completely identical situations, Max receives a penalty, Hamilton doesn’t.
    Rationalizing these penalties is bad journalism, bad stewarding and bad for the sport.

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      12th June 2019, 8:45

      And rationalise was probably a bad choice of word. Who’d want to rationalise penalties? Er… the FIA and the drivers!

      I don’t agree that Hamilton got away with it in Monaco, but even if he did that doesn’t mean everyone else should too.

    2. “Rationalizing these penalties is bad journalism”
      very big +1.

      it was also bad journalism to write a review with the title vettel cracks under pressure again
      keith, do it better, please!

      1. “Rationalizing these penalties is bad journalism”

        1. HansieSlim (@)
          12th June 2019, 21:02

          “Rationalizing these penalties is bad journalism”

          Deleting my account. This website (Keith and the Hamilton fanboys) i
          s too toxic for its biased support for anything to do with Hamilton or Britian.

      2. Why is it bad journalism to point out what happened? Vettel was put under pressure by Hamilton and made yet another mistake.

    3. In Mexico yes Lewis didn’t make the corner and he went across the grass but due to peoples hatred of Lewis they are too blind to see that the car following Lewis (Rosberg) also didn’t make the corner.

      1. Lewis chose not to make the corner, he was in complete control when he decided to cut the corner rather than brake and lose multiple positions.

    4. Actually rationalising these penalties is very good journalism, and it is commendable that Keith has done a much better job of doing this on racefans than any of the other motorsport news sites. If F1 itself were able to learn to convey the reasoning for decision making so clearly then these events would not cause so much uproar.

      1. +1 The ability to process someone’s argument and then make a counterargument based on a clear understanding of the points they’re making, but with a reasoned refutation, is sadly missing from many readers of journalism. It’s just “I don’t like the conclusion so that’s unfair and bad.”

      2. Seconded.

    5. DAllein (@)
      12th June 2019, 10:15

      LOL. You have blindly set you mind and just ignore facts.

      1. @dallein How anyone can look at the photos and see a car width of track left by Hamilton and 2mm of track left by Vettel (and less than a car width to the wall) and then argue that they’re ‘the same’ just baffles me. Why delude yourself so much? Strange way to interpret the world.

        1. Because the mind set of those folks is: “Don’t confuse me with facts, I’ve already made my mind up on this”.

    6. @Oconomo like the penalty Vettel didn’t get for crashing into Hamilton in Mexico 2017

    7. “The only reason why Hamilton didn’t get a penalty was either because it’s Hamilton or because the stewards are totally clueless”

      You mean you are clueless? Hamilton didn’t get a penlty because he gave Ricciardo room. It’s quite simple.

      1. Lewis didn’t give Daniel room at all, go watch it again- should have been the same penalty (or no penalty).

        1. He gave him a cars width. It’s even in the article. How about you watch it again. This time try opening your eyes. Jeez some people.

        2. He gave him a car’s width. It’s in the stewards ruling! Millimetre perfect defense from Hamilton. Even if Ricciardo was fully alongside Hamilton … heading into Tabac, on the outside, how do you suppose he gets ahead?

    8. Yep. Verstappen-Raikkonen incident is totally different. Raikonnen was 95% alongside Verstappen when the latter rejoined the track, while Hamilton was practically behind Vettel when Vettel rejoined. Hamilton pushed through to close to 50% alongside Vettel because he tried to exploit the gap, and not because Vettel had pushed boxed him in against the wall be rejoining.

      This bias is really starting to become annoying. Then they wonder why viewership is going down.

      1. Yup. In 2011 8.5 million british viewers watched the Canadian GP. Today the ave is 650,000. And all that’s down to Hamilton bias. Absolutely nothing to do with F1 hiding behind a paywall.

        1. @riptide
          It’s a combination of factors that destroy the sport in all this. Certainly those who went to see the race last Sunday did not sound very happy.

          1. So races should be decided by whether the crowds happy or sad? According to some posters I’m supposed to believe that theirs a massive conspiracy between the FIA, stewards and Liberty to give Hamilton an easy ride. Yea right. Liberty definitely want the same driver winning every race. That’s great for the sport and their shareholders. That’ll bring in the viewers. And Mercedes don’t want their customers to believe they are the best by supplying multiple champions with championship winning cars? They would rather possible customers think its all down to Hamilton? This whole bias trip is a total nonsense.

        2. @riptide The paywall not only reduces Formula 1’s fanbase over time, it seems to make those paying for it increasingly demanding of ‘entertainment’ to justify the price and increasingly dissatisfied with the ‘product’ they’ve bought.

        3. @riptide

          You seem to be using a lot of strawman arguments. I never said “the mob” should dictate what happens on the podium. However, they are disappointed, as well as most of the racing world.

          I don’t believe in a conspiracy. But I do believe Hamilton has been getting preferential treatment. I don’t know what it is – maybe it’s just being pc (Hamilton has brought up the racial issue many times, including when he did get penalized, and I think race should be kept out).

          Anyway, the Verstappen-Raikkonen incident is totally different. It is not a precedent for what happened here.

          And just for the record, I do think Hamilton is a better driver than Bottas, Vettel, etc.

          You comment about Mercedes looking bad from all this makes absolutely no sense. With record-breaking streaks of consecutive wins, 1-2 wins, and so on, it has been established who the dominant team is. The question is whether Ferrari are catching up. The ruling from last Sunday is totally in Mercedes’s favor – not only do they get another win, but with the stewards ruling they can claim Hamilton in a Mercedes was actually able to beat Vettel in a Ferrari because Vettel supposedly was able to stay ahead only because he broke the rules, gaining an unfair advantage against the Mercedes.

          As I have mention before, during the Sky pre-race program for the 2016 Japanese GP, one of the stewards was interviewed, and he said it straight up that he just really wants to see Lewis win that race. What happens if he had to decide who won the race, just like the stewards did for the 2019 Canadian GP? Though I don’t see a “broad conspiracy”, the stewards seem to have an agenda, or an agenda has been given to them. Just what I feel.

      2. F1oSaurus (@)
        12th June 2019, 19:38

        According to the actual rules as explained by the stewards on many occasions, a car is deemed to be alongside when it’s front wing is next to the lead car. Hamilton had more than his front wing alongside Vettel. So … no difference as far as the real word rules go. No 95% needed. Just the front wing.

        Please stop making up fictional rules and then pretending they exist.

        1. @f1osaurus

          And you please stop using strawman arguments, like the other guy. When did I claim there is a 95% rules? I referred to the 95% alongside situation as the difference between this incident and the one involving Verstappen and Raikkonen.
          You also seem to be making up facts as well, which makes your attack towards me even more ridiculous. Here you can see that Hamilton has 0% of his car alongside Vettel, and 100% behind it – obviously including the front wing – when Vettel is 100% back on the tarmac (sorry, can’t give you a specific time in the video, but the top camera is more than clear):


          And another thing – didn’t Raikkonen have more than his front wing alongside Bottas when they collided at Sochi 2015? What did the stewards decide back then?

          But thank you for demonstrating yet again how the rules become very flexible in Hamilton’s favor, and how everyone who points that out receives ad hominem attacks. Proving my point.

    9. @Oconomo The differences between the ’16 Mexico incidents have been covered innumerable times, and the circumstances were different hence the different outcome.

    10. tony mansell
      12th June 2019, 13:30

      Making irrational conclusions seems to be your forte. Its ‘favouritism’ or ‘fools’ for you isn’t it. Damned by your own opinion.

    11. @Oconomo

      | Rationalizing these penalties is bad journalism

      how is reporting on similar situations and going over prior outcomes, with quotes from the parties involved, bad journalism? bringing context to an event is good journalism.

    12. Again, superficially similar incidents, but in actuality, totally different. Hamilton cut the throttle, dropped speed, and about that time the safety car came out. Max stayed on it, and refused to give the position back.

      It’s the difference between driving to the edge of the rules and driving to win regardless of the rules. In Monaco, Hamilton gave Ricciardo exactly a car’s width. In Mexico, he cut his throttle to eliminate any “lasting advantage” he might have gained.

      Max and Sebastian don’t do these things, and they get penalties.

      Hamilton’s an expert on this after Spa 2008. I expect he memorized the rule book at that point, and vowed never to get caught like that again.

      1. @grat

        Wait, so you actually thing that Vettel didn’t cut the throttle? Ok, never mind you can hear the revs drop on his on-board. But what do you think would happen to car that’s on the grass with full throttle? And how is it that Hamilton catches up to him when Vettel us supposedly on full throttle, and the car is cutting through the track? With this incident I’ve really heard all kinds of absurdities.

  4. Yea, there are special rules for Hamilton. All stewards are clueless. And your post is rational. ROFL

    1. Certainly he gets a very special treatment. Just thinking of the many times he pushed Rosberg off-track.

      1. G (@unklegsif)
        12th June 2019, 13:57

        Different rules?????!!!

      2. Care to list all of those times? Wedging a driver out at corner exit is as old as motor racing itself. Rosberg did his fair share … Canada ’14 for one.

        The reason why you don’t remember it is b/c Hamilton doesn’t bellyache about such moves, whereas other drivers do.

        1. @krbeatz The beginning of all this is mentioned here:


          Most of those times Rosberg backed off. There was no penalty. But when Hamilton backs out of a disappearing gap in the Vettel incident, Vettel is penalizes. And like I have already said multiple times, By the time Vettel was again fully back on the track, Hamilton was still behind him and no part of his car was alongside.

    2. No, Hamilton stayed on the track, or did until Vettel forced him off it. So Hamilton didn’t break any rules (at least he didn’t until faced with the choice of whether to collide with Vettel or not), so he didn’t get any special treatment.
      Vettel, on the other hand, made it very plain that he wanted special treatment. How he got to be on the grass is beside the point, the fact is he did go onto the grass, so he wanted to be allowed to take a short cut across the grass, tried to crash Hamilton out of the race, and then decided he had the right to keep the lead of the race without being punished as well. That is what his post race display of extreme rudeness, arrogance, and lack of self control was all about: He wanted special treatment and didn’t get it.
      As it is, I think he got off very lightly in regards to not following the prescribed post-race weighing in procedure and for delaying the Podium Ceremony (no penalties given).

  5. Great analysis, as always. Post-race reactions were mainly emotional – ‘it was such a nice battle, why did the stewards have to spoil it’, ‘why don’t they just let them race’, etc. Unsurprisingly, Vettel/Ferrari fans or those, who dislike Hamilton, joined the chorus. But the stewards did everything right. As Mark Hughes put it, “because [the rule is] there, there’s a stupid obligation to apply it.” No kidding! It turns out you cannot just make a rule and then ignore it for the sake of a greater good. If you want to avoid similar situations in the future, then you have to change the rule.

    1. @girts

      “because [the rule is] there, there’s a stupid obligation to apply it.”

      spot on, it isn’t right or wrong, it is just stupid!

    2. although I must say, there is a paragraph below the main rule itself that gives them some leeway

    3. It would have been a stupid application if Vettel hadn’t tried to collide with Hamilton. If he’d rejoined the track and left enough room for Hamilton to try and pass him then … I’m guessing he’d have gotten away with it. Instead it looks like Vettel used his failure to stay on the track as an excuse to try and crash Hamilton out of the race. Either Vettel was sufficiently in control of his car that he could have avoided forcing Hamilton off the track or he wasn’t. If he did have sufficient control of his car then that means his actions were deliberate, which is basically cheating and deserving of punishment. If he didn’t have sufficient control of his car to avoid trying to crash Hamilton out of the race then he should accept his punishment gracefully because maintaining control of your car is an essential part of a motor race.

      1. Well said! @drycrust. That’s the real, profound essence of the issue at stake.

  6. Might be time for the same group of stewards to be at every race.

  7. Greg Aldridge
    12th June 2019, 8:55

    It’s interesting language deployed there. Can you say that someone not in control of their vehicle used the full width of the track? If Verstappen was in control of his car, it’s not comparable.

    I’m with Martin Brundle. These decisions ruin racing for the fans.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      12th June 2019, 19:41

      It’s actually Vettel’s poor race craft which ruins racing. Instead of actually being able to have a battle for position, he spins of or crashes into the other car (and then spins off) and then it ends.

  8. Keith Collantine

    That wasn’t the same incident… In 2016 at Monaco he came back on safely first of all, he came back on properly and didn’t run into anyone, then when he got back up to speed on that chicane he defended. Whereas vettel instantly came back onto the racing line full throttle and steered right into Hamilton

  9. Jesper (@jesperfey13)
    12th June 2019, 9:18

    As much as I hate to say it the only thing the stewards could do was give Seb the penalty. And if you look at their explanation on the HAM/RIC incident they are also not wrong. The thing however that makes the situation such a controversy is of course the extraordinary circumstances and the outcome of all these incidents. I would say 90% of the people were rooting for Seb this sunday and hoping that he could make the championship a bit more interesting after all those Mercedes wins. So much pressure on Ferrari and Vettel: He needed to win, and yet another mistake… The results are so disappointing for most people, which is why there was so much hate towards the FIA: the emotions were understandably high, but if you use common sense you can understand the decision.

    Then we have the outcome of most of these incidents which annoys most people including me: Decisions by the FIA are in favour of Hamilton. As much as these decisions (CAN ’19 and MON ’16) are correct according to the rulebook, Hamilton and Mercedes get the advantage every time. Especially the Mexico 2016 start which still annoys me to this day.. Hamilton completely cuts turn 1/2/3: no penalty, Rosberg cuts turn 2; not even trying to make the corner: no penalty, Verstappen makes the same mistake as Hamilton (locking up under pressure while trying to defend his position): gets a penalty. So many Mercedes/Hamilton wins which were influenced by the FIA: it irritated people and it is understandable.

    1. Interesting post. I tend to think that after a 2011 season filled with incidents, maybe Hamilton decided to wisen up, make sure to be correct to the letter, and thus be able to skirt close to, but (almost) never over @jesperfey13; the fact he could easily, calmly, explain this – and the ‘otherwise, we crash, your fault’ bit – to Brundle, Vettel on the podium, shows he might have been very aware of the situation as it was happening; which in a way can be annoying, but, is also in its own way admirable dedication.

      And that without going the Senna/Schumacher path of just stretching the rules as much as they could, as they went about being so impressive people did not really want to fault them, but with a ruthless over the line skill which one could argue is one reason we ended up in the current driving rules situation.

      1. Yeah, you do wonder if it was a bit akin to drawing the foul in football: HAM took a calculated risk by deciding to commit to a move that wasn’t 100% on, but in doing so he would either take the place on-track or put himself in a position where VET would likely run afoul of the stewards in holding on to his lead. Whether that was the case or it was just ‘right place, right time’, once again HAM pushed VET into a race-losing mistake and was in a position to take full advantage of it. While admittedly having the best car probably means he doesn’t have to push the envelope as much as VET, HAM just seems to be much more in control and have greater awareness, both in the moment, in races and in terms of the bigger picture.

    2. @jesperfey13 The differences between the ’16 Mexico incidents have been covered innumerable times, and the circumstances were different hence the different outcome. I agree with you on Rosberg, though.

    3. F1oSaurus (@)
      12th June 2019, 19:44

      @jesperfey13 The difference is that Verstappen basically lost the position and only kept it because he cut the chicane. Agree that Rosberg as in the same situation a few times though. But then Verstappen has gotten away with the same on occasion too.

      Verstappen also didn’t get a penalty for ramming into the back of Hamilton’s car in Monaco.

  10. That wasn’t the same incident… He came back on safely first of all he came back on properly and didn’t run into anyone then when he got back up to speed on that chicane he defended. Whereas vettel instantly came back onto the racing line full throttle and steered right into Hamilton

  11. Is there some info concerning the track limits in that corner from the drivers’ meeting? As usual there are exceptions to the rule so that’s why i’m asking.

    1. Sometimes they have it in the notes on the FIA website for that particular race. But that only usually details changes from previous years. That corners limits have always been the wall, so I would be surprised if there is anything there.

      And everyone was using the wall as a limit, on about every lap. So I can’t see the stewards making an exception either way for one driver on one particular lap.

      1. Ok, was just wondering as the steward’s statement said that Hamilton was forced off track. If him being beyond the white line there would qualify as off track, then he wouldn’t have been allowed to overtake Vettel there.

        1. Surely the off track only applies if all wheels are off track so doesn’t apply here for a Ham overtake.

          1. Hmm. Check out the video on the official F1 page. Hamilton has all wheels beyond the white line at the point when they were closest. This is supposed to be off track from what i read in the steward’s statement.

            Otherwise Vettel couldn’t have pushed him “off track”. Sure, there wasn’t much space left but of Hamilton was off track then, his overtake would have been illegal. But if he still was on track at the time – how could Vettel have pushed him “off track”??

            Ok, wait a second… i just saw the overhead shot of from same video…
            Hamilton is initially too far behind for an overtake. Vettel makes his mistake, Hamilton gains an advantage from this and aims beyond the white line into a narrowing path to overtake. Fair enough. But Vettel regains control and keeps to a racing line left of the white line and leaves just enough space for Hamilton (who is off track now supposedly but wants to overtake?). He had to back out because the line he chose narrowed further on. Not because there was no space left by Vettel.

            Sry, but that is simply racing. Should Vettel wave him past?
            What is this whole issue… kindergarden?
            Vettels reaction afterwards surely was but so was the steward’s decision.

          2. In otherwords Hamilton’s doing everything to avoid a collision, in the hope that Vettel will rejoin the track off the racing line, as he is suppose to. In that senario Hamilton’s greater momentum would have given him the lead.

            Driving at this level is about trusting the other driver to do the right thing. You don’t drive expecting dirty driving.

          3. If you legitimately got pushed off track while making an overtake, you wouldn’t be penalized for that. See Rosberg scything over on Hamilton in Bahrain ’12, pushing him off the track. Hamilton keeps his foot in it, and completes the overtake. Rosberg complained, saying “he passed me off track” … well duh genius, because you put him there!!

  12. Given the drivers almost always lose time by going off-track (especially afterwards with lower tyre adhesion and the direct/indirect issues this causes) I’m surprised the stewards feel the need to get involved at all. I mean, let’s be honest, the rules completely ruined Sunday’s race.

    But then for some the rules matter more than whether anyone enjoys a sporting spectacle. Perhaps they should stick to board games.

    1. If you don’t play by the rules it isn’t a sporting spectacle – it’s a farce. Fans of farce might find more regular fare at the theatre.

    2. @joshgeake – I don’t think Vettel was punished for going off the track but for how he rejoined. Yes, he lost time. But by streaming right back onto the track and onto the racing line to block Hamilton, he gained an advantage. The issue is that you’re not allowed to gain an advantage via breaking the rules.

      If Hamilton or any other driver wasn’t there, there would likely be no penalty as there was no danger. If Vettel crashed into the wall and Hamilton drove past, there would likely be no penalty as he gained no advantage from leaving the track. But because he gained an advantage and did so via breaking a rule (dangerously rejoining the circuit after leaving it), he needed to be penalized.

      I don’t like that it had to happen, but not getting a penalty would have been setting a dangerous precedent.

    3. The key word being “almost”… If you straight-line a chicane, you gain an advantage.

      You don’t get to apply the rules only when you feel like it.

  13. I am quite curious if Vettel lost control and hit the wall in that situation, would stewards still have given 2 penalty points on his license for unsafe rejoin…

    1. Quite possibly, depending on how dangerous it was for others.

      Teams get penalized for not securing a wheel fully even when it doesn’t come off and the car just retires with no one in immediate danger.

  14. All 3 situations shouldn’t be a penalty imho. It’s racing not gymnastics.

    1. So you’re suggesting we let 22 race cars race at full speed with no rules whatsoever? Come what may?

      1. I don’t suggest that at all

        1. @anunaki I agree. I still think this was a racing incident and LH’s part in this is that he chose to try to take advantage of SV’s mistake in spite of SV having just gone off track and being temporarily a passenger. The only reason there is a claim that SV forced LH into an evasive maneuver is because LH risked passing a car not in full control but that got control quickly enough to stay ahead. LH was taking a chance that he’d have a gap so he stayed on it. Fair enough, racing requires taking some risks sometimes, and this time LH’s risk meant a close call. Not blaming LH at all for that, but nobody forced him to put himself that close to a car he couldn’t have known was in control yet or not. SV made a mistake and LH tried aggressively to capitalize assuming there’d be a gap, but SV got control quickly enough to stay ahead. Racing incident for me.

          1. +1. Both drivers did exactly what any racer throughout decades of racing would do in this situation. That more than anything indicates this should be a racing incident.

            And the comparison to Max/Kimi is interesting to me as there was contact in that case. Contact vs non-contact = same penalty? I believe in that instance, contact was unavoidable where in Montreal contact was, quite obviously, avoidable.

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            12th June 2019, 19:51

            @robbie Hamiltopn was putting pressure on Vettel so he would make such a mistake. So when he finally achieves that goal it’s his fault that he tries to “take advantage” of it?

            If drivers can just blunder off track and then bully their opponent into the wall, why even bother trying to pressure them? Hamilton might as well stay 3 seconds behind Vettel and cruise home for a P2.

            Luckily for all viewers Hamilton actually does keep on trying and some battle is created out of that. It’s just lame that Vettel then ruins it by blocking Hamilton into the wall. Had Vettel played fair and not blocked, it could have turned into an actual on track battle with the two cars going side by side into the next corner. Where inevitably Vettel would then have spun off of course, but still, at least there could have been a short fair fight.

            That’s why these offences are penalized. These fouls are what ruins racing! There is nothing wrong with the penalty, drivers should just not commit the foul.

  15. Now Vettel lost the win, instead he got second.
    Just imagine another driver around him, in same incident what would be the outcome? If Hamilton hadn’t had lift off, contact was inevitable, and who knows maybe a puncture or the worse may happened for Vettel. What would be discussed now? Just be realistic, all the headlines in Italy would be like “Vettel made mistake again and lost win” or something like that. I’m sure noone would talk about stewards or 2016 Monaco. And who knows, maybe Vettel got fired?

  16. So Nigel Mansell, Button, Webber are clueless, Keith knows better.
    Stick to stats and graphs where you excel and leave these kinds of judgements to people who actually know what is to commandeer an F1 car through grass and try to avoid a wall.

    1. keith started to live in his own world, writing continously about “vettel cracks under pressure” and other anti-vettel things. like the trolls in every comment section especially at motorsport.com. this is very sad

    2. @philby Or maybe people who love the sport are allowed to have different opinions, regardless of what you think about this decision. I agree the majority of drivers were against the penalty but there have also been some speaking up in defence of it – Damon Hill, Rosberg, Palmer (just off the top of my head, I’m sure there are many others), in addition to the actual stewards who made the decision.

      1. In France it was 50/50

    3. Mansell, Button, Webber were considering the racing and whether they would want a penalty to be given in these circumstances.

      This article looks at the letter of the rules to see if they were applied fairly.

      It’s perfectly possible to say that you’d rather there was no penalty, but that the rules state that there must be one.

    4. @philby Jolyon Palmer and Nico Rosberg share the same views as Keith, though, and they’re also ex-drivers.

    5. @philby

      people who actually know what is to commandeer an F1 car through grass and try to avoid a wall.

      Like the stewards, who found that Vettel recovered control of the car and then released the left lock he’d applied (under control) to allow it to drift right again over to block Hamilton. That was crucial. You can see that ‘twitch’ on the video, but the stewards had the telemetry. The fact Mansell, Button and Webber couldn’t see that, or chose not to, doesn’t reflect that well on their observation or judgment, that’s all.

      1. @david-br I don’t think you would need to have the telemetry for that as you can clearly see his wheel inputs from the OnBoard & drivers should be able to get more from the OnBoard as they know far better than anyone else how the cars actually react to everything.

        The throttle/brake/speed traces are also available on the official F1 app via the access subscription so that stuff is out there.

        1. Good points @stefmeister. I imagine the drivers in question were reacting like the Sky commentators, pretty much an instant reaction. Button less so but maybe his opinion was formed by then. I thought Vettel had the car under control at one point and was actually surprised he then blocked Hamilton, it looked deliberate to me at the time.

      2. +1 – I would love for the FIA to release what stewards reviewed and then go back and ask each driver what they think

        I don’t always like what the stewards hand down just like I don’t always like the outcome of some criminal court cases – in both cases I remind myself I didn’t view all of the evidence and didn’t sit through the review – so my opinion is based upon what I saw and not all of the facts.

  17. Regarding the reaction to the incident from the two drivers, one was very calm and controlled, the other almost hysterical. The difference between someone who has the rules completely worked out and the other who is under pressure and looking for excuses to justify another mistake that broke those rules.

    In his early years Lewis had a hard apprenticeship with stewards, now he knows better. Seb on the other hand drove the Red Bull blown diffuser rocketship and seemingly could overcome all setbacks to win 4 times in a row, it doesn’t come so easily now and it’s obviously hurting his pride.

    1. come on, this is very poor to talk about calm and hysterical drivers. then who was hysterical is monaco? ridiculous comment. vettel never had a rocketship like hamilton has from 2014. this is a fact, so please keep these comments for yourself

      1. @ David


        Vettel had a rocketship 2010, 2011 & 2013. And he arguably had the best car in 2018. An his 2017 car wasn’t that far behind the Mercs either

        1. no, ferrari wasn’t the best car in 2018. british press washed out the brain of f1 fans. look at the standings at the end of the year

          1. Yes– and now compensate for Vettel’s mistakes in France, Germany, Italy and Japan– not to mention the 3 spot penalty in the US for not slowing under a red flag. He gave away a lot of points in those races.

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            12th June 2019, 19:55

            grat, amazingly you still forgot a few. Baku he spun off and lost the lead after the restart, Austria he landed himself a needless penalty (impeding) and instead he would have been behind Hamilton on the grid (most likely winning that race after Hamilton was out). Two more race wins blown.

          3. Hamilton would have won in either the Ferrari or Mercedes, the last two seasons. Vettel dropped far too many points last year. On the Saturday of German GP qualifying, Seb took pole while Hamilton had to start P14 because of unreliability. Seb led the standings 171-163. What then happened in the race was the turning point of the season.

            2017 & 2018 were close years where the driver made the difference.

  18. @philby Keith summarised the FIA decisions into one post. He didn’t make the decisions.

    Surprised this is still going on, I’m already looking to the next race as I expect Ferrari to come back harder.

    1. he didn’t make the decisions but he tries to manipulate with these kind of articles/analyses. as written above: bad journalism

      1. @David was you also this vocal when Max received a penalty against Kimi for the exact same situation ? You’re just irritated that Lewis won, grow up.

        1. how can you see this as the exact same? watch the videos, and try to see where was hamilton when vettel rejoined and where was kimi when verstappen rejoined (i help you: hamilton was behind kimi was next to max)

          1. The point is that Vettel retained an advantage after a dangerous reentry. If Vettel had rejoined safely, on the left say, Hamilton would have driven by or at the very least been along side. But because Vettel blocked the racing line, he unsafely gained an advantage after leaving the track.

            It doesn’t matter if you are ahead or behind or alongside, it is the advantage gained by breaking the rules. So the VER/RAI example is pertinent. It is not 100% exactly the same, it happened on a different circuit during a different season at a different speed and with different drivers. But the circumstances are such (1 driver leaves circuit, rejoins and maintains a lead that he had no right to maintain without dangerous reentry) that an analogy can be drawn between the two.

            This is the same reason why you can’t swerve multiple times during turns and why you can’t just exit the pit box whenever. Because crashing into others, or forcing them to avoid your crash, after you do something stupid is against the rules and should be because it is dangerous and unfair behavior.

    2. The best article/ analysis on the whole saga is Jolyon Palmer’s

  19. I’m absolutely baffled anyone would see them in the same light.

    Just sour grapes primarily.

    1. @Gav Exactly and totally ignoring last year Max ve Kimi’s penalty says you these so called fans are biased and only angry that Lewis benefitted from Vettel cracking under pressure.

      1. It’s obvious HAM cracked under pressure in Monaco. And it’s even more ridiculous than VET given how hard it is to overtake on that track.

        1. Hahaha. Yeah, I remember HAM making one of his frequent mistakes whilst in the lead and costing himself another victory. Oh, wait. Could it be that he didn’t make any mistakes, won the race on a sub-optimal strategy and just wanted to vent his frustrations at being on the worse tyre?

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          12th June 2019, 19:58

          @mg1982 Just imagine how good Hamilton is. He cracks under pressure in Monaco and Canada, and he still wins both races.

          Vettel cracks in Bahrain and Canada and he wins neither.

  20. Well, in the Vettel incident, de didn’t rejoin the track (and racing line) in control of his car. He was in the middle of having accident.

    1. @Evans no he did not. In the onboards it’s clear to see that Vettel had car control and steers to the left where the curve (track) was, stop making excuses for a driver that keeps cracking under pressure and open your eyes.

      1. You can’t possibly know that he had car control at that point. He had to steer left because there was a wall on the right. The car may still have hit the wall. When sliding and trying to avoid a wall you sometimes need to apply throttle sometimes towards the wall first to get back the tire control before turning (away) left so you don’t spin. It’s not clear at what point exactly Vettel had full control of the car. Even Vettel himself probably didn’t know if the car was not going to hit the wall with another snap. That’s why most drivers don’t like the decision.

        P.S I have no reason to make excuses for Vettel. In fact I personally feel that Lewis deserved to get the win (up to that point) because he didn’t go off the track like Vettel did. I just would have preferred they made the right decision and let the battle continue to the end of the race.

      2. He did not crack under pressure, he made a mistake saved the car and won the race.
        Obviously you missed that detail.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          12th June 2019, 20:01

          You almost got it.

          Vettel cracked under pressure and that caused the mistake. Hamilton was the closest at that time and Vettel was panicking in the car about his DNS not working.

          Indeed Vettel “saved the car”, but then he continued on to the right onto the racing line and committed a foul blocking Hamilton. Hence the penalty losing himself the race.

  21. Don frika del prima
    12th June 2019, 11:07

    A still picture never tells the whole story…

  22. ” “He’s [Verstappen’s] off the track and he comes back and if Kimi just drives on they collide. But it’s not always right that the other guy has to move.”

    Unfortunately Vettel appeared to forget that point on Sunday.”

    You ‘re joking, right. We can clearly see Vettel not having control of the car. On the other side, we can clearly see Verstappen, exiting the track with much lower speed, choosing where to rejoin the track and deliberately blocking Kimi. As simple as that.

    1. KingKong999
      12th June 2019, 12:39

      Yes. There was a key difference between the Suzuka incident and this one – Verstappen, in a controlled manner, moved to block Raikkonen. In a similar way that Hamilton decided to return to the track (via a 180 degree spin) in Hungary in 2011 and in the process forced Di Resta off the track – the common method of returning to the track via a controlled spin is when all cars have passed (if close together) or there is a large gap. Verstappen and Hamilton both made the decision as to where their car was going. Vettel was collecting his car and avoiding the wall, and in the process unintentionally blocked Hamilton. Penalising Vettel would be the same as penalising someone who spins across the grass and ends up on the racing line – stupid.

      The majority of former drivers have criticised the penalty, as has Mark Hughes at motorsport magazine (who hands down consistently presents the best and least biased analysis of F1). The exceptions among the drivers are Damon Hill (who said he could see it both ways) and Robserg (who says outrageous things all the time) – both of whom were pretty questionable racers in terms of wheel-to-wheel combat! Palmer embarasses himself almost every time he speaks or writes, much like when he was driving in F1.

      The analysis in this article and in the Canadian GP review is shamefully biased, as this site is becoming increasingly. It’s disappointing because for a long time that wasn’t the case. But as Hamilton and Mercedes have gained more success the bias has increased. I don’t know if its intentional or just getting whipped up in the hysteria and joy, but it is quite obvious.

      BBC commentary and analysis on F1 is even worse! Most biased claptrap I’ve ever seen written! Racefans at least provides analysis I suppose.

      Unfortunately English-speaking/written analysis on F1 is dominated by British media outlets, many of whom are tabloid-style (not this one) or increasingly biased (this one …). Even Martin Brundle has gone downhill in recent years. He was much better before he became a Hamilton fanboy in 2007 – his commentary on Brazil that year is embarrassing!

      Mark Hughes is the last objective analyst left it seems!

    2. So a driver, through no fault but their own, loses control of their car and pushes a rival off the track, to the detriment of said rival. To me that warrants some sort of sanction and the rules would bear that out.

  23. Edward McMillan
    12th June 2019, 12:01


    Ricardo had to take evasive action to avoid a collision…

  24. Jonathan Edwards
    12th June 2019, 12:03

    Keith, the Suzuka incident is the same at the end, mostly, & in the beginning. Vastly different in the middle, and to ignore this leads one to a conclusion that’s not as solid as one thinks.

    Do you genuinely feel the speed and trajectory differential between the two incidents should have no bearing on the rulings? Max was going slow enough to be in control well before he rejoined the track, all the way to the point of contact. This is certainly not the case for Vettel, and the stewards should examine what was possible for the driver to do when rendering judgement.

    1. The obvious differences between the Canadian and Japanese incidents certainly does put to question this whole article.

      The 3 incidents mentioned are all different. But if the Monaco one is to be compared to Canada then you must surely also question why Hamilton wasn’t penalised when Ricciardo was forced to brake (take avoiding action) when Hamilton rejoined the track before turn 11.

  25. Yup. In 2011 8.5 million british viewers watched the Canadian GP. Today the ave is 650,000. And all that’s down to Hamilton bias. Absolutely nothing to do with F1 hiding behind a paywall.

    1. No idea what happened there? Please ignore!

  26. But there’s a main similarity between them both drivers (ric 2016 ham 2019) had to take evasive action, both backed off.
    Leaving a cars width in a street circuit with NO run off or kerb is much tighter than leaving a cars width where the edge of the track is a relatively smooth kerb the width of a car.

    Sure Vettel didn’t leave a car width on the track but the stakes or consequences should be lower because theres a wide kerb not a solid wall of armco

    1. Looking at the picture used here, there was a cars widht available :)

      1. Yes of course more than a car width to the wall that’s why I’m being lenient on vettel.

    2. Except Riccardo didn’t have to back off, there was technically space for him, he chose to back off because he didn’t realistically have the skill to get a car through such a tight gap

      Hamilton in Canada had a choice, a collision that wouldn’t be his fault, or back off

      1. Tbh you never know what would have happened if Ric didn’t lift. @philipgb

        I for one think that some wheel banging or light damage to Ric’s front wing would have happened

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          12th June 2019, 20:04

          You can see from the photo Keith added to the article, that the track is incredibly dirty where Ricciardo was heading. So he would have known he had no grip there and he would have ended in the guardrail.

          Besides, Hamilton was a head and on the racing line.

          1. He had the car pointing straight in the video.
            Kinda true, Hamilton’s rears were level with ric’s fronts… but anyways no penalty in that situation was fair

  27. My honest opinion (based on my argument above) would be to give vettel a smaller penalty… 2 second time penalty

    Question: can the stewards issue a time penalty less than 5? If not they really should

    1. @Ipsom No, the 5-second time penalty is the lowest possible AFAIA.

      1. @jerejj
        I really wish they reconsider that

        1. They do all the time.But as Wurz and others have said repeatedly, the teams and drivers continually insist on this sort of penalty regime. (Except when it adversely affects them.)

          1. Interesting…

      2. F1oSaurus (@)
        12th June 2019, 20:12

        @jerejj That’s not true though. The stewards can apply any time penalty they like (38.3 e).

        Although that would be a fixed time penalty and unlike the 5 or 10 second one, it cannot be taken during a pit stop. It’s probably more something added to the rules for the stewards to apply after the race. Still, it doesn’t say that, so they can apply it.

  28. Good comparisons ! When the incident happened I immediately thought of Suzuka 2018. But that year Verstappen had escaped so many expected penalties that I was under the impression that he had not been penalized. Since he in fact had, consistency commanded a penalty for Vettel as well.
    The only difference was that Verstappen was obviously in complete control, while Vettel seemingly wasn’t. However, the telemetry told the stewards that he was enough in control to leave space to Hamilton. And anyway, being out of control is not an excuse. Try that one when causing a road accident.

    For my taste, Monaco 2016 was nasty and worthy of a penalty as well, but I agree that it was not a similar case and that the rulebook had probably not much to say against it.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      12th June 2019, 20:13

      @palindnilap Actually Ricciardo did the same to Bottas in Canada on the straight and received no penalty or even investigation for it.

  29. I think the rule should be if you are in drs range <1sec and the car in front leaves the track the position should be yielded immediately, that way they can fight to get it back

  30. Another factor was the wet track and RIC’s frustration after his pit blunder. HAM left space but RIC couldn’t capitalise because the space he had was off the dry line. HAM’s responsible for leaving space, not for ensuring RIC can pass on wet tarmac using slicks. Plus, besides RIC frustration, the radio transcripts and post-race interviews show no sign of any complaint or desire for a penalty, from him or the team.

    What everyone seems to be forgetting (including most of the professional racing drivers bizarrely) is that the track is defined by white lines, VET came across the ENTIRE track leaving HAM no room. The wall in Canada is NOT the edge of the track, the white line is.

    Also, this notion that VET was ‘out of control’ at ‘over 100 mph’ and ‘had nowhere to go’ is demonstrably false. Telemetry shows him travelling at ~69 kph (~43 mph) at the time he hit the grass. He then accelerated (by feathering the throttle and brake) up to ~88 kph (~55 mph) as he re-joined the track. From then he accelerated fully back up to speed. We also know he moved fully across the track and looked into his mirrors whilst HAM is alongside.

    This is not contentious, it’s in the data and on video.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      12th June 2019, 20:15

      @bernard Exactly, How people can pretend that Vettel was “out of control” is just bizarre. You can clearly hear him accelerate. His car even snaps a little when he applies too much throttle.

  31. Neither of those should haven been penalised. Probably the problem is deeper than only the stewards consistency, the problem are the rules themselves

    Let people race. Are we expecting drivers to turn the indicating signal on park and let the ones behind just breeze past because they did a mistake.

    F1 is a Motorsport, but it feels like they don’t know what racing is

    1. The problem is that the rules are fair on some tracks/scenarios and unfair in others… which shows poor rule choices and making

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      12th June 2019, 20:17

      @johnmilk How can you say “let people race” and then allow Vettel to put Hamilton in the wall, blocking a fair attack?

      Hamilton WAS racing for position and Vettel ruined that battle by his foul. These penalties are supposed to prevent that sort of behavior.

      1. @f1osaurus the rules are wrong. Didn’t see Hamilton in the wall.

        Yes, let them race. This is the same as boxing forbidding punches. Pointless

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          13th June 2019, 17:35

          @johnmilk Hamilton wasn;t in the wall because he had to evade.

          It’s just utterly absurd to claim that when no one is in the wall there is no issue.

          Seriously you need to actually think this though.

          Hamilton was unable to “race” because Vettel is illegally blocking after he blundered off track.

          How about a driver just keeps weaving back and forth. Nobody gets hit, bu no one will get past either. Fine? Of course not

          We NEEED rules to allow for fair racing otherwise no racing is possible. As in this case there was no racing possible and luckily finally Vettel did get a penalty for it.

          He should realy get more so perhaps at some point he learns that people don’t need to “give him more space”. If he’s lost the position he needs to make do with what is fair and not ram into other drivers.

          1. As I said @f1osaurus this rule is there, it was applied, not complaining about that. But in my opinion is the same as boxing outlawing punches. I didn’t said boxing should allow eye pokes. Didn’t said either that all should be allowed

            You are making this incident sound like the worst ever thing that ever happened on a F1 race. It wasn’t, and in racing there is always someone that has to give in.

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            13th June 2019, 19:42

            @johnmilk I’m not saying this is the worst thing ever, but yes this type of cheating needs to be penalized.

            I you don’t disallow something like this then you in fact disallow racing.

            Don’t turn this around on me. Vettel did something wrong, got penalized and then acts like the whole world has gone crazy. If he had kept it on the road to begin with or if he had played fairly and came back on track leaving enough space, there would have been no issue.

            Besides, where was Vettel when Verstappen got his 5 second penalty for doing the same? Oh yes Vettel was blasting Verstappen for doing the exact same thing!

          3. @f1osaurus opinions I guess. Don’t let them race then if that makes it better.

            Versttapen incident has nothing to do with this one. But if it matters he shouldn’t have been penalised either

          4. F1oSaurus (@)
            14th June 2019, 19:43

            @johnmilk No I DO want them to race. You are the one who insits that blockign moves and other fpouls (which make racing impossible) should be allowed.

            If you want a boxing analogy, then you are saying that you are fine with punches below the belt. I say people should play fair and allow for a good fight.

            Verstappen incident was identical. If anything Verstappen was less to blame since he tried to minimize his off track time and thereby made it more difficlut to come back. Vettel just floored it and deliberately ran Hamilton into the wall.

            Abyway, I’m fine with Vettel never learing how to race. It’s just a shame that he ruined 2017 and 2018 already for us, but at some poitn Ferrari will get fed up with his blundering and put a proper racer as #1.

  32. I always thought comparing it to the Monaco 2016 incident was wrong & TBH I also don’t think the Verstappen Suzuka penalty is a good match either as it’s a totally different set of circumstances.

    The biggest problem for me is that there are too many regulations in place surrounding racing/race-craft which that don’t seem to allow for common sense to be used when looking at anything.

    I mean would the current regulations allow for racing like Arnoux/Villeneuve at Dijon in 1979 or the Prost/Senna/Schumacher fight at Silverstone 1993 to go without penalty? I’m not sure they would & I don’t think that’s right.

    I’m not arguing for a total wild west but I think there needs to be less regulations or at least room in the regulations to allow drivers to race & give stewards some freedom to use common sense when looking at things.

    We never had all these regulations telling drivers how to race 20+ years ago & I don’t really think the sport was worse off without them. They just go back to using some common sense as they did back then, Something that could be said of many aspects of the sport (And life in general).

    1. @stefmeister I agree. There is far too much over-regulation currently & has been for a while now.

      Most drivers seem to feel the penalty was unnecessary & as I said in another discussion yesterday I will always value the views of drivers on such things far more than I will anyone else’s because they understand how a car is reacting in any situation better than anyone else.

      A lot of fans for example were saying Vettel should have steered more left, avoided the kerb & rejoined closer to the barrier on the left. However the drivers are pretty universal in feeling that would have made the car spin. In fact most drivers seem to believe that Vettel didn’t regain control of the car until later than some fans & the stewards do.

  33. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    12th June 2019, 13:48

    Obviously rules have to be adhered to. If someone openly breaks those rules they should obviously incur a penalty, especially depending on the severity of the infraction.

    But… I figured the point of the ‘driver stewards’ were to look at each incident objectively so ruling punishments weren’t being dished out automatically and ruining the grand prix. Rules obviously exist for a reason but nobody wants to see rules breaking good racing or interfering with a show. There should be a degree of flexibility with them. Some are obviously clean cut like damage or dangerous, but others are clearly a lot more vague and circumstantial and the stewards surely are there to help in that.

    This felt too much like enforcing the black and white letter of the rules, ignoring the circumstances of it and took away a good fight and a good race. It was certainly marginal, and depending on your perspective you could certainly say it was both penalty worthy and not deserving and you’d both be right. It’s difficult to call but seeing a race win decided not on track but in an office is enormously disappointing.

    1. So, say in tennis, is a ball is just out, the umpire should ignore that if it makes the game more exciting for the viewers? Or in soccer, a handball or an offside ball should be ignored because it ruins a close game? No, rules are rules and they apply to everyone in the game. If you don’t like the rules go play another sport.

      1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
        12th June 2019, 16:12

        There are black and white rule incidents and there are ones that need to be looked at closely. By your logic there’d be no point of a VAR system, an umpire, or a third referee but there are in other sports because sometimes rule infractions are not 100% black and white. That’s in theory what we have the stewards for.

        The argument is that whether this was a clear rule break or one of those cases that no action should be taken, as one race you’ll see someone perform a sketchy move and gain no penalty and on another track someone does exactly the same and is penalised. Personally I think the rules could do with being relaxed – often they’re far too stringent on what drivers can and cannot do, and due to the steward system there’s enormous inconsistencies between rulings track by track.

  34. I think Hamilton is just proving how good he is as a multiple champion; good driving, good car and good interpretation of the driving rules. It’s not enough to be a champion and have a good car and don’t know how to apply the rules while racing. Credits to HAm!

  35. Neil (@neilosjames)
    12th June 2019, 15:23

    The picture on the article, specifically the bit around Ricciardo’s tyres, perfectly shows the reason he didn’t overtake at that particular point. There was always a car width (less than in the picture, but it was there), he just couldn’t use it because he was on a wet, dirty piece of track and he couldn’t get traction.

  36. I think to distinguish Seb and Dan in Monaco 2016 is quite a joke Keith, it was the same incident. Apply a penalty to both or neither …… or be a fanboy!

  37. So this is about Monaco 2016 where Lewis Hamilton cracked under pressure, “again”?

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      12th June 2019, 20:20

      @lajo With “cracked under pressure” you mean “won the race”? Yes indeed Hamilton won that race.

      Just like Hamilton won in Bahrain and Canada where Vettel “cracked under pressure” as in “lost his position and the race win”.

      1. So you are saying, when a driver makes a mistake under pressure but goes on to win the race, it means he did not crack under pressure, but if he, after a similar mistake, loses the race, he did? So, the driver makes the mistake, then after the checkered flag, either cracks or not? Strange logic… By the way I was referring to Keith’s headline from the other day.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          13th June 2019, 17:46

          @lajo What on earth are you on about?

          But I guess yes. “Cracked under pressure” means you lose something because you can’t stand the pressure. Struggling to keep a much faster car behind is not cracking under pressure, that’s just dealing with it.

          Vettel actually had the faster car (or at least in Leclerc’s hands it was half a second a lap faster) and still he cracked. Which makes it doubly worse. He should have been comfortably leading the race, but still he panicked and was rushed into a mistake.

          Vettel keeps cracking under pressure. He lost the race in Bahrain and he lost the race in Canada. Last season he cracked under pressure in Baku, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and USA. It’s a ridiculously long list of him not dealing well with contentious situations. Hamilton won all but one of those races. Even though he had a slower car for most of them.

          That’s how Hamilton becomes WDC and Vettel not.

  38. H vs V
    Low downforce settings. Grass Run off w/ Barriers close. High corner speeds. .5-1.0sec gap between drivers. Drivers not side by side after mistake. H pinned it as he saw a gap, as expected.

    H vs R
    Highest downforce settings of the year. Paved Run off chicane. Cars side by side into braking zone. Barriers close every where. Intermediate conditions.

    R vs V
    (Closest Actual Relation) High downforce settings, highest corner speeds, Grass and paved runoff. .5-1.0sec gap between drivers. However, drivers side by side after the mistake, R focusing on a Gap.

    However, huge difference, locking up the front is not comparable to the back end snapping out mid brake zone, or wet/intermediate conditions in a braking zone at Monaco.

    The way I see it, all 3 are racing incidents from hard racing. 3 different conditions with different mistakes and/or ‘offences’. But in reality….. LET THEM RACE. All 3.

    Rule book should be rewritten.

  39. It would be OK if that was true but it is not the case:

    If Ricciardo didn’t back off they would had crashed.

  40. F1oSaurus (@)
    12th June 2019, 19:31

    It’s shocking that something this crystal clear (as that the Monaco non-incident is nothing like Vettel’s incident) needs explaining really. Just shows how much some people are grasping at straws to defend an untenable position.

    Indeed I also posted the Vettel quote about Verstappen. It’s just hilarious how Vettel’s reasoning is now the exact opposite of what it was before (Verstappen should not have gone for the racing line) yet instead now it’s exactly the same as Verstappen’s was (I had nowhere to go).

  41. Why Hamilton didn’t get a penalty in Monaco – but Vettel did in Canada

    In short, it was treated differently because the 38.1 is vague and imprecise, just as the consistency of the stewarding. As for the article itself,
    I disagree. It has everything to do with Monaco–16.

    To begin with, just as a side-note: Emanuele Pirro was also there stewarding.

    Next thing to point out — which will poke the anti-VET & Hammies pundits — is that HAM cracked under pressure and made a mistake.

    He then rejoins at the racing line, something supposedly unsafe, and it gets overlooked.

    Now, he could’ve gone straight ahead to avoid the unsafe rejoin, but that means he would have to give in the position. Hence he rejoins unsafely — supposedly — and only then blocks RIC.

    At Canada, Vettel goes off rejoining supposedly unsafe, and gets penalised. It’s the first incongruence.

    Here, Vettel could not have changed direction, because under the speed over the grass — not tarmac, btw — he definitely would’ve spun had him tried to change direction to avoid going wide. That’s why he goes straight on while over the grass.

    Here, we have the first difference over Verstappen at Japan–2018: VER chose to rejoin in the middle of the corner, and only could do that because of the low speed. Obviously, he chose not to rejoin ahead — just as HAM at Monaco — to not get into the prospect of giving in the position.

    Oh, worthy note for the pundits: the all-new mature Verstappen (reborn at Monaco—2018) also cracked under pressure.

    Then, the outcomes:
    1 – HAM blocks RIC;
    2 – VET blocks HAM;
    3 – VER bang wheels with RAI.

    A similarity on VER & HAM is both could have gone straight ahead and chose not to do so. That differs frontally with VET, who could not have gone anywhere different, given the speed and how tight the turn is. Making all the right decisions once over the grass, he was always meant to end up over the wall — and actually he avoided a likely crash. The tighten of the turn is also why HAM could not have gone anywhere different without losing time. And when both drivers have no control of the outcome, we call it a… racing incident!

    Here’s another similarity between Canada and Monaco: once they rejoined, both VET and HAM were ahead. Once ahead you are entitled to block.

    Hence, we have another difference between Canada and Japan: when Max rejoined, Raikkonen was alongside him already. That’s why they’ve banged wheels with RAI getting pushed out, something that never happened to HAM at Canada.

    (Additionally, it’s perceivable RAI takes a different line at the corner anticipating the movement of the Red Bull ahead, far from the apex so both cars could take the corner safely. So, pre-emptively, RAI took a secure measure, VER didn’t. VET took a secure measure, HAM didn’t do it pre-emptively, opting for the braking.)

    Back to the similarities between Canada and Monaco: the positioning of both leading cars, closing in, were the same. And with the very same 1–car width! So, how the heck Vettel got penalised then?

    The white line.

    The very same white line that is freely crossed every lap. In the end, safety does not matter, car width does not matter. The fact HAM being able to slow down properly stable does not matter. What matters is the damn line. It is just plain primness without any regard to the sport. So the racing dies.

    “Cracking under pressure” is something normal at hard racing, and isn’t worthy of a penalty.

    That 1–car width virtually doesn’t mean anything.

    HAM was never alongside VET. Hence, he wasn’t pushed into the wall nor forced outta track. He was blocked, just as he did to RIC at Monaco 2016 which had no penalty, and rightfully so, because once ahead, HAM had every right to block at T11, just as VET, who got unfairly penalised. Now, if one rules it as unsafe rejoin, then both should have been penalised. But, being precedent, since Monaco wasn’t the case, nor should be Canada.

    At Monaco they reviewed what was plain right, overlooking what supposedly could bring damage. At Canada, they overlook every effort both drivers took to ensure security just for the sake of interference. They penalised what was plain right, the blocking.

    Mr. Pirro embodies the lack of consistency at stewarding.

    Mario Andretti is spot on.

    A racing incident must be let still.

    Remember Dijon–79!

  42. He went off the track. Not only is that a track limit infraction, but it also means he screwed up and should have lost the place. He didn’t rejoin, he was out of control. So the rejoining rule shouldn’t apply. But after going off the track and then impeding the deserved pass Hamilton should have earned, they should just made Vettel give up the position and then we would have had a red-mist fight to the end. And the decision should have been made within 2 laps.

    1. The still picture used at the top of this article is misleading.

      This one https://e1.365dm.com/19/06/768×432/skysports-vettel-hamilton-f1_4691159.jpg?20190609214905 shows where Vettel went on further beyond the track line. If Hamilton had not braked, he and Vettel would have crashed.

      Overhead video shots here also show how close Hamilton was pushed near the barrier, and he had front two wheels ahead of Vettel’s rear wheels.

  43. Dee O´Khan
    13th June 2019, 0:24


    Everyone looking honestly at the onboard of the Monaco incident would notice that Hamilton rejoins unsafely after cutting. The block is not at the exit of the chicane (where he leaves 1 or 2 inches more than a car width) but in the middle of it, after the first corner, where he rejoins the track. Listen to engine sound, Ricciardo can step on the gas pedal only at the exit from the chicane.

  44. Here the only significant difference between the incidents is that Hamilton went off the track to avoid being hit by Vettel, whereas Raikkonen stayed on the track and was hit by Verstappen. The penalties were the same.

    In my opinion there were two more significant differences:
    1. Vettel had to drive on grass
    2. Raikkönen was only a couple of centimeters behind Verstappen

  45. Even Sky says Hamilton should have got penalty in Monaco 2016 so your analysis makes absolutely no sense. And Hamilton was in full control then and deliberately did that act whereas Vettel was in no control, if only the stewards could understand that you can watch the past in slow motion but present doesn’t work in slow motion.

    Anything to give their golden boy a win at all costs.

  46. Vettel joined just as safely as 100s of cars we’ve seen leave the track in first lap incidents over the years.
    First lap ‘offs’ should be very interesting from now on.

  47. Hi,

    I noticed something peculiar: I don’t remember an event creating such a difference between comments from “common guys” versus former/current (F1) drivers. It seems to me from what I read that most comments on websites/forums are in favour of the penalty, while a huge proportion of drivers think the other way (see below). Please note: I don’t want to discuss here if the penalty is right or wrong, just point out this clear cut I had not seen before.
    Moreover, many drivers used quite strong words to qualify the thing, e.g. F. Montagny (who is never short of pointing out Mercedes & Hamilton’s performances and lack of errors, and contrasting those to Ferrari’s mistakes) said things like “shameful”, “that’s how you kill a sport”; similar strong words from C. Stoner (MotoGP world Champion). So far, here’s what I’ve seen:

    In favour: N. Rosberg, and J.-E. Vergne saying “there is some logic behind it”.

    Against it (sometimes very strongly): A. Wurz, J. Villeuneuve, J. Button, M. Webber, N. Mansell, J. J. Lehto, D. Ricciardo, D. Kvyat, F. Montagny, C. Stoner, M. Andretti.

    (I have links to all of these, but not sure it’s a good idea to put them here.)

    Did you notice the same clear cut as I did? Am I wrong?

    1. @js I think perhaps one possibility that has been overlooked is Charlie Whiting’s influence. I get the impression that he acted as a bit of a filter or moderator between events on track and the regulations (to be applied by stewards), maybe adding a dose of ‘common sense’ – which may still, of course, be biased and debatable – before or after the stewarding decision. This felt kind of ‘raw’ in its application and also in the brutal way it was discussed later without Whiting to intercede for the stewards.

      But the point is, as other drivers and former stewards have pointed out, the teams and drivers demanded consistent application of clear rules and that’s what the stewards in Canada attempted to provide – and I think did so successfully. The former drivers (and Vettel) are mostly bewailing the ‘current state’ of racing regulation in Formula 1, but without any real sign that they appreciate how that came about.

      Personally I think Vettel has a habit of not always accepting his own errors. He should have accepted he’d lost the position in this case, and that blocking HAM on his return wasn’t just against regulations he knows very well, it was also potentially dangerous.

    2. I forgot D. Hill in the “Against it” team.

    3. This is spot on. The issue for me is that F1 seems to be rooting for spectators who don’t understand racing. Obviously, some people believe that the sport will make more if it is well received by viewers who have little to do with racing. Interestingly enough, in my community such viewers pay nothing for this sport.

  48. @js I think perhaps one possibility that has been overlooked is Charlie Whiting’s influence. I get the impression that he acted as a bit of a filter between events on track and the regulations (to be applied by stewards), maybe adding a dose of ‘common sense’ – which may still, of course, be biased and debatable – before or after the stewarding decision. This felt kind of ‘raw’ in its application and also in the brutal way it was discussed later without Whiting to intercede for the stewards.

    But the point is, as other drivers and former stewards have pointed out, the teams and drivers demanded consistent application of clear rules and that’s what the stewards in Canada attempted to provide – and I think did so successfully. The former drivers (and Vettel) are mostly bewailing the ‘current state’ of racing regulation in Formula 1, but without any real sign that they appreciate how that came about.

    Personally I think Vettel has a habit of not always accepting his own errors. He should have accepted he’d lost the position in this case, and that blocking HAM on his return wasn’t just against regulations he knows very well, it was also potentially dangerous.

    1. @david-br Interesting point about Charlie Whiting’s influence. Although I think it might apply to current F1 drivers, I do not think it would apply to the likes of Montagny, Stoner, Villeneuve…

  49. I can see your point, but I’d respectfully disagree. In both situations the pilot well in front could choose the racing line. In both, they did. It has nothing to do with that. It is simply that Hamilton did gain advantage in Monaco off the track, while Vettel did lose some in Canada. The photo attached for the HAM-VET is quite after the moment Vettel got back on the track.

    Same rules, different stewards, opposite judgements, same driver benefits from it. What else I could add.
    It’s a real pity because it seems that the drivers that score most these days are the drivers that one will respect least. This advertising works only with customers who will never pay for the show or the car anyway.

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