Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Hamilton given two penalty points for causing Albon clash

2020 Austrian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton was given two penalty points for his collision with Alexander Albon, after stewards ruled he was “predominatntly toblame” for the collision which knocked the Red Bull driver out of points contention.

Hamilton now has seven penalty points, more than halfway towards a ban, which would automatically be imposed if he reached 12 points.

“The stewards reviewed video evidence showing that cars 23 [Albon] and 44 [Hamilton] were side by side approaching the apex of turn four,” the stewards noted. “They negotiated the turn side by side, but car 23 had a better exit and was in the process of passing car 44.

“Car 44 was drafting to the outside at the exit of turn four and consequently making contact with the rear right wheel of car 23, causing car 23 to spin. The stewards determined that the driver of car 44 is predominantly to blame for the collision.”

Albon said the incident was more clearly a penalty than his collision with Hamilton in Brazil last year.

“I feel like this one, I wouldn’t say it hurts more, but I felt like Brazil was a bit more 50-50,” Albon said.

“This one, I felt like I did the move already and I was kind of already focussed on Bottas. It was so late, the contact. There’s always the risk of overtaking on the outside but I gave him as much space as I really could.

“I mean, I was right on the edge. I knew as long as I give him all the space I can give him. It’s up to him if he wants to crash or not.”

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82 comments on “Hamilton given two penalty points for causing Albon clash”

  1. If Mercedes appeal and take Norris’s podium away, they can kiss goodbye to winning any popularity contests this year.

    1. Luckily for Mercedes’s popularity contest chances you can’t appeal to an in-race decision by the Stewards :-)

      1. You can ask to review bases on new evidence though.

    2. Maybe some weird loophole being F1 but didn’t Ferrari try and overturn an in-race penalty at Montreal last year? Didn’t succeed but there was a definite appeal that was listened to.

    3. As though that would make any difference. It should be appealed, the penalty was too harsh. Last year we had ‘hard racing’ when it suited FIA (and Ferrari as usual) to allow it, this year what was a racing incident ends up punished? This inconsistency is more maddening than anything else.

      1. Joanne Watts
        5th July 2020, 17:27

        👍I agree 💯

      2. pastaman (@)
        6th July 2020, 4:42

        It is the least harsh penalty they can apply. I’m all for hard racing if both cars come out of it ok, but getting spun out and dropped to last as a result is something different.

      3. @david-br I didn’t think Hamilton did anything wrong, he broke slightly earlier (where as Albon broke later) and took the racing line, Albon’s move was extremely daring, but i felt that he needed to be more patient. There was no way the two mercs were going to hold him off on brand new soft tyres with roughly 10/11 laps left with the pace the car had. Plus judging by the way Verstappen won last year (his move on Leclerc) I thought it was a racing incident at most.

  2. Faster Drivers Matter, Lewis.

    1. Nik (@nickelodeon81)
      5th July 2020, 16:35

      He knows that, being fastest for so long.

    2. Indeed.

    3. ian dearing
      5th July 2020, 16:58

      I thought you guys have been drumming the Faster Cars Matter for the last decade?

    4. Hamilton didn’t “draft” into Albon his steering was in full lock and he never deviated from his line and the video evidence shows this. If the data from the car shows the same I think there would be ground to appeal it as no “drafting” ever took place as there was no opening of the steering !!

      1. pastaman (@)
        6th July 2020, 4:44

        The steering wheel is not the only tool that a driver has at their disposal to keep from drifting wide in a corner…

    5. @svianna Please stop making jokes out of #BLM, there really is no place for it, unless of course you think what #BLM stands for is comical.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        6th July 2020, 8:40

        Maybe my bad, but in this case I think it’s somewhat funny and innocent enough.
        I don’t see this as attacking Lewis for what he stands for, @icarby.

        Political correctness (even that even applies here) won’t solve inequality.

        1. @coldfly I won’t see inequality solved in my life time; making jokes out of a serious problem when linked with a sporting incident is nothing but bad taste and inappropriate.

          The differing opinions on the infringment itself (Hamiton’s penalty) are far more appropriate and doesn’t need to extend to anything else.

          For the record I expected Albon to win the race with the excellent tactical change Red Bull did, if that was Riccardo for example he would’ve won the race.

    6. Found the racist

  3. Fair call I feel, Alex had the position.

    1. Indeed, it was a great move as well around the outside.

      1. I felt Hamilton got off quite lightly. He took out the driver in second and could carry on as if nothing had happened.

        This is a theme with F1 stewarding lately, only ever giving 5 second time penalties. Bring back the drive throughs for serious offences

        1. i dont know what it is vettel suffered the same arrogance of the red sea opening up just for him

    2. Yeah, I guess the fact that it’s the second such incident in only a few races might have played a role in weighing the situation too @jaymenon10. I would have been OK with a “racing incident” but then again, Albon did have almost his whole car ahead of Hamilton.

  4. These penalties are not even nearly sufficient for causing an incident that takes someone out of the race, especially when it is easy to identify a repeat offender. The inevitable apology later (yet again) won’t cut it. Add in the speeding through yellow flags a day earlier shows the win at all costs mentality that hurts the sport.

  5. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    5th July 2020, 16:45

    I was heartbroken for Alex after Brazil. First season in F1 after very late start, mid-season car change and challenging for a 1st podium in the sport and gets punted out by Hamilton. Now this? Second year in F1, with a strong chance of maybe winning this race and again, punted out by Hamilton. Honestly, I feel pretty rough for him.

    He was ahead, he gave space. The positives are that he’s fast, he’s combative and not afraid of making overtakes, so I’m sure he’ll get there but he should have two podiums already by now.

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      5th July 2020, 16:54

      I’m an ardent LH fan, but that was wrong,Lewis. The ‘second driver’ on my list is the very promising Alex Albon whose driving style and pleasant personality certainly deserves better recognition…and,LEWIS, you owe him!

    2. Then again @rocketpanda, being clearly faster when the Mercedes ahead are struggling and on far older and harder tyres, you could also make the argument that Albon might have been a tad more patient and got past not too long after this anyway.

      1. @bascb By that logic, you could argue Hamilton didn’t have to race as hard, as he would have been overtaken anyways.

        1. That is not how a winner drives. Im sure Ayrton or Michael would be waving their fingers at you right now, cause they never conceded.

          1. I couldn’t have said it any better myself

          2. Well said racers should race, risks don’t always pay off Alex.

          3. True, senna and schumacher wouldn’t give an inch in situations like this and as a matter of fact if hamilton and albon were fighting for the title it’d be hamilton to win out here, penalty or not.

          4. @gufdamm Then Albon should not concede his position either, especially as he was ahead. Waiting for another lap to overtake could have potentially derailed his victory bid. I’m not saying Hamilton should have conceded his position, not at all. But for the people who are saying Albon should have backed-off, it works both ways.

        2. If you want to, you can make that argument @mashiat. Although I don’t think there had been that much Hamilton could have done when he already was commited to that corner.

          Maybe he could have steered a bit more to give more room.

      2. @bascb As to your comment above, I think if there is anything we have learned it is that you don’t pass up an opportunity to pass a Mercedes, particularly LH’s. And AA showed us he was right to make that attempt then, because indeed he got ahead of LH, and not in some desperate uncontrolled way either. There’s no way you assume you’re just going to get him at the next available opportunity…not LH.

        As to LH being handcuffed to do anything else? I would suggest that excuse just doesn’t wash or there’d be a ton more incidents where drivers would just claim, oh well, full lock, nothing I could do. There must have been something else he could have done based on the telemetry the stewards would have seen ie. it can’t have been that AA put him in an impossible situation. Or else it would have been a racing incident or even a penalty for AA. No LH must have had some more braking he could have done or let off the gas if his foot was on that pedal.

        1. The full lock excuse with LH having no way to give room is totally untrue. See full lock in turn 2 on-boards, there was plenty of degrees left to give more room, especially when you are clearly 3/4 of a car behind.

          The problem is Lewis no longer remembers how to be passed and therefore takes people out when they try. The guy is overrated and it is a shame to see him breaking records.

  6. As soon as Hamilton chose his braking point he was committed to his exit – he brakes and turns at the limit of grip, which is always going to have him drift towards the edge of the track, which is the racing line. This is the situation where you can ‘hang your opponent out to dry’ on the outside – you don’t have to leave space if you are taking the racing line. But Albon had enough grip to get half a car ahead, hence the result we got. Hamilton was committed at the time he chose his braking point, when he didn’t know Albon would try to run it round the outside.

    Obviously the stewards have access to more data, and maybe they feel that Hamilton intentionally let his car drift wide, in which case I would agree with the penalty. But based on the video footage only, this looks like a harsh penalty, that was more about the consequences than the actual incident.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      5th July 2020, 16:57

      I agree. Before the corner Lewis choose a defensive line. Albon got around because of his grip, but Lewis couldn’t do anything else. I’d say this was a racing accident that Albon should have avoided. Again he doesn’t do the smart thing. This will get noticed by RB. If you don’t have the speed like Max, you should get the points.

      1. geoffgroom44 (@)
        5th July 2020, 17:05

        “—he doesn’t do the smart thing—“, is an argument to be applied to almost any F1 driver, especially the younger ones. I can remember when such arguments,in abundance, were voiced about ‘Mad Max’.

        1. GtisBetter (@)
          5th July 2020, 18:45

          True, but they are more patient with super talents. Also, this was another risky manoeuvre when getting points were more important. I can’t tell from here if the team thought the win was more important or the points of course, but some drivers are hard to beat on the outside. Lewis is one, like max, leclerc now and Magnussen en Perez. With them you just need consider the safer option of DRS on the straight.

    2. geoffgroom44 (@)
      5th July 2020, 17:01

      I wish I could give Lewis the benefit of the doubt on this one, I really do. Albon had fresher,soft,tyres and therefore more grip.Lewis maybe drifted.Albon did not have the potential power available to him that a Merc has, so has to maximise his opportunities,which he did.
      That he ‘didn’t know’Albon was going to try and run it round the outside does not wash with me…it’s F1, drivers do incredible things. That Lewis ‘did not expect Alex would try and run it round the outside’ is a better argument. But in F1, you expect anything,huh?
      On balance, the Steward’s better informed (hopefully) decision is the correct one.
      That having been said, even though Lewis is a tough driver, I bet he’s actually extremely unhappy about this…even more so because it was Alex again.

      1. Nik (@nickelodeon81)
        5th July 2020, 17:03

        If Albon overtook and went on to win, that would actually have been better for Lewis by taking points off his main rival. Albon is unlikely to mount a title challenge, where as Bottas in the same dominant machinery is a threat.

      2. @geoffgroom44 It’s not so much that Lewis didn’t know Albon would go round the outside. It’s that to avoid the incident he would have to anticipate that A) Albon would run in round the outside and B) that he would have enough grip to pull significantly ahead at the corner exit (but not enough to clear Hamilton’s car completely).

        If he had anticipated both those things, then the ‘correct’ course of action would be to brake earlier and ensure he left a car’s width of space on the exit, which would essentially be conceding the position. You could say that since he didn’t do that it was a misjudgement on his part, but I don’t think it’s realistic to expect drivers to always leave space in this type of situation, given that if they’d exited side by side and touched wheels that is deemed legal. That’s why I think that despite this being very unfortunate for Albon, I see this as a racing incident.

    3. If you lift the gas a bit or break then the line will change, simple as that. The line is not completely foretold before the corner begins. Do we really think he could not have left literally a few more inches? Only a fan would hold such a view. He was half a length behind at the time of impact, and had plenty of time to lift the gas, which can significantly change the turning circle.

    4. @keithedin I don’t think the penalty was based on intention whatsoever. Vettel didn’t ‘intentionally’ rejoin into Stroll’s path in Monza, but he deserved a penalty for it. Hamilton assumed that Albon wouldn’t have enough grip and speed to hang it around the outside, and every time you assume so, you’re taking a risk. And in this particular case, Hamilton was wrong and hence deserved the penalty. Something somewhat similar happened with Ricciardo in Hungary 2015, when Hamilton simply understeered into the Red Bull and got a drive-through penalty on that occasion.

      1. @mashiat No I don’t think it was based on intention either. But I do think the penalty was due in large part to the consequences of the collision. I’m pretty sure no penalty would be applied if both drivers spun, or neither driver spun, or if Hamilton spun but Albon didn’t. But taking consequences aside, I’d call this a racing incident, because I don’t think the incident itself was worthy of a penalty.

    5. 100% agree, Max’s move on Leclerc last year was the exact same thing except the stewards always protecting max didn’t give him a penalty but gave one to lewis. Stewards are so biased it’s disgusting

      1. ColdFly (@)
        6th July 2020, 8:50

        Stewards are so biased it’s disgusting

        In your comments there seems to be some continuous prejudice against a certain driver as well.
        I wouldn’t call it ‘disgusting’, but you might want to make yourself aware of it, @carlosmedrano.

  7. DAllein (@)
    5th July 2020, 16:53

    Personally I think 7 points is the wrong number.

    Can you specify how they are counted, and when some of those expire?

  8. Neil (@neilosjames)
    5th July 2020, 17:03

    Thought it would be a penalty as it happened – and given the outcome, it was inevitable – but it wasn’t a case of poor driving or risk-taking, so I don’t see a lot to criticise. Albon had so much more grip on the fresher, softer tyres and put himself ahead, and Hamilton couldn’t make his car turn more than it was as he’d committed to the line.

  9. It was a racing incident, albon literally did the same thing to lewis on lap one.

    1. This. Does anyone have a comparison in onboard footage from Lewis’s cam on lap 1 vs. that of Albon’s from whichever lap he spun off on (exact same spot)?

    2. Neil (@neilosjames)
      5th July 2020, 17:23

      Albon did it while he was ahead, which is fine.

      1. On the first lap lewis was ahead at the breaking point so albon had to leave space but he didn’t, lewis being smart he avoided a crash. At the end that was literally lewis giving albon a taste if his own medicine

    3. @carlosmedrano two things to address here:

      1 – Lap one (and especially the first few turns) are a completely different category and almost all incidents are let go. Remember when Hamilton went off track on turn one a few years ago and ended up with a HEFTY advantage? It was just a turn one thing so.. no big deal. -_-

      2 – Albon was ahead in both cases. When you are significantly ahead, you have the right to that space. The trailing car must change trajectory. This has always been the rule, even though it hasn’t been applied without bias.

      1. The problem are the stewards that apply this rule whenever they feel like it. If your not going to punish everyone for this then don’t punish anyone at all

  10. Leclerc overtook Norris the exact same way a couple of laps later and no one touched. Deserved penalty for Lewis this time.

    1. I agree @lancesuk that was how Albon’s move should have turned out. I don’t think it was intentional by Lewis however, just a misjudgement, but still warrants a time penalty. I suspect, although Hamilton was on full lock, he put too much power down causing the drift and the touch. Would be good to see the stewards reasons.

  11. Christ, how much are Red Bull paying the stewards.

    Di Resta summed it up perfectly on SSF1 post race.

    1. What did he say @brownerboy?

  12. 4 points in an afternoonp.

  13. Ludicrous decision.
    So let’s imagine that Lewis is driving as fast as he can and just balancing the speed with thre cornering ability of the car. Then someone appears on the outside of the corner from him. How exactly is he supposed to retrospectively change the speed at which he entered the corner and magic up some space where his car is about to be.
    Albon put his car in danger by going round the outside, what exactly did he think was going to happen?
    – I posted this comment elsewhere but before I had seen the penalty story and it made more sense here-

  14. I am both a Hamilton and Albon fan. I must say that in both events, Albon is to blame. You are racing Lewis Hamilton he is no pussy cat… This is Formula 1 and passing is an art so make it stick or don’t do it. All these penalties make F1 look like an Uber drivers race.

  15. I see these two incidents the other way round, i.e., the Brazil one was more clear-cut than this one.

  16. I disagree in my humble opinuon with the penalty. Ibttgibk its more albons fault or more of a racing incident. Lewis defended, took the corner albon went around the outside which is aways difficult. Hamilton had full steering lock to the right. Albon knowing hamilton had older tyres should have factored in passible understeer by hamilton and allowed for such. Albon chose otherwise. He came off the worse because he made an error in judgment. He rushed he showed no patience and he should have turned wider.

  17. If anything vettel who lunged into the corner should have gotten a penalty even though he got off worse by dropping so many places yet no penalty given. Veettel was not defendingg but tried an over take move that had diminisging returns as it happened. Hamilton was defending. Once again the stewards got both cases wrong. If you going for the overtake you must make it work without affecting your or your apponents cars. Or atleast your own.

    1. Vettel didn’t hurt anybody else and in turn he did actually hurt himself. There was contact, but it did not cause a problem. Had Vettel’s contact resulted in the other car spinning or a tire deflating then yes.

    2. @wayne
      So you know better than the stewards, you have reviewed all the camera angles, in cars and out, reviewed all the telemetry and determined that the stewards are wrong, clearly with absolutely no bias towards any driver.
      Sorry bud, but i’m going with the stewards here!

  18. Does someone know how long does he have those 7 points?

  19. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    5th July 2020, 19:02

    Joke of the century… If anything, Albon is lucky he didn’t get a penalty on top of the result.

  20. Sergey Martyn
    5th July 2020, 19:34

    End racist moves made by black drivers! Lewis, please kneel before Albon ASAP!

    1. What a pathetic comment!

      I realise you’re attempting humour but you should pick your subject matter more carefully.

  21. I am sick and tired of the Hamilton tinted glasses! If this was the other way around, with Hamilton on the outside, you would absolutely be blaming Albon!

    Hamilton had chosen his line and his way out would have been to have slowed down and not make contact!

    1. @maddme That’s the rub, other drivers have done this to Hamilton and he avoids contact, example LeClerc vs Hamilton Monza 2019, Hamilton took the escape road, complained he wasn’t left space, LeClerc given a black flag, no penalty.

  22. When it comes to how decisions are made and explained compared to other sports F1 really does make itself look more like a soap opera sometimes, penalties these days really feel like they’re given for dramas sake sometimes.

    There was literally nothing Lewis could do mid corner all Albon had to do was be patient, he had far more grip on fresh tyres and was able to accelerate much earlier, he literally accelerated into Hamilton’s tyre mid corner…By the time he pulls alongside and just ahead by braking late Hamilton is already comitted and cannot do anything..He could do nothing to avoid Albon’s back tyre no matter what in that situation, the position would have been Albon’s within the next lap. Albon did pretty much the exact same thing to Lewis at the start of the race and Lewis backed out of it to avoid exactly what happened to Albon.

    It’s ridiculous that anyone is trying to use the argument that he should have just given up the position..What is the point of watching motorsport if drivers are not allowed to defend positions? That logic only applies when the overtaking driver is ahead before the corner and Albon wasn’t ahead until they were both mid way through the corner beyond the point of no return, absolutely absurd argument.

    1. Totally agree, the facts are that Lewis was full lock, had set his turning parameters quite early in to corner and did not ease up his turn during the corner. Albon, on much better tyres, decided to overtake by driving into what was left of Lewis’s turning circle. Being behind at the start of the turn. He was able to speed past (nearly) during the turn, and position himself into a part of the track that was inevitably going to disappear. With Lewis not budging a millimeter from full lock, Albon appeared to cut his turning circle, with a smaller turning circle. Driving into his large, older tyre turning circle. Albon would have know Lewis was on older tyres and therefore would be less a able to cut a tighter turn— he was full lock! How was Lewis’s at fault? I’d like to hear reasoned arguments not just the same old mob calls for punishment.

      If I were Mercedes I’d protest, not to change the race result but the driver penalty as this is just plainly wrong. Same race when Sebastian misiles into another driver on a tight turn out of control, and no penalty! Lewis in total control negotiates a full lock turn with no hint of loosing control and another driver positions himself in his turn and … penalty! Give me a break!

  23. Racing Incident: when turning one has to make sure the rear tyres clear the obstacle as well.
    Albons rear wheels tended to go more inward. A driver has to make sure he is able to negotiate all four wheels not just the front ones as Albon did

    He is learning the lessons Verstappen learnt when he started racing and was too aggressive. Aim to complete the overtake with all four wheels

  24. why is it though, that whenever lewis tangles with someone its always the other car that spins or come out worse?

    1. ian dearing
      6th July 2020, 7:08

      LeClerc Monza? Charles seemed to do very well out of that one. Lewis loses time, Charles gets the ‘Ferrari at Monza so no action’ flag. Although if you watched the practice sessions this weekend the RBs were very skittish and easily swapped ends without any outside help.

  25. Because you all know better than the stewards…and how dare they penalise Hamilton!

  26. I make it 6 points still active as the 1 point he incurred for impeding RAI during Austrian GP qualy on 2019-06-29 should already have expired. Anyone know why the tally quoted is still 7?

    Doesn’t detract from this: the defending champion is looking closer to a race ban than he is either pole or a win thus far in 2020…

  27. I think Albon had ample opportunities to pull off an overtake. Austria has 3 DRS zones per lap. I hope he learns from this. A more mature driver would have weighed the odds better.

    Secondly from the video that we have access to, Hamilton was on full lock but Albon still had some space. So in real time, I don’t think it’s fair to say it was deliberate. A racing incident at best.

    I think the FIA were harsh all weekend but I like the way LH has handled it. No drama. Let’s all move on. Thanks to two safety cars and the Mercedes team’s orders, Albon had the rare opportunity of being in the same space. Lewis would have even been ahead of Bottas.

    He will let his racing do the talking. We all know who is the best of the lot. Eventually it rises to the top.

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