Raikkonen loses points finish after 30-second time penalty, Alonso takes 10th

2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen has been handed a 30 second post-race time penalty after the stewards found he was in breach of a technicality in the restart procedure.

The Alfa Romeo driver has therefore lost his points for ninth place. Alpine drivers Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso are promoted to ninth and tenth respectively.

Raikkonen was penalised for failing to satisfy a technicality in the restart procedure after the race was red-flagged.

Having been allowed to un-lap himself prior to the restart, Raikkonen was in eighth place when the field rejoined the track prior to the official resumption of the race. He then spun his Alfa Romeo at Tamburello, dropping behind Lewis Hamilton and Yuki Tsunoda.

Under Article 42.6 of the sporting regulations, Raikkonen was entitled to recover his position – as Charles Leclerc did on the original formation lap. However, as Raikkonen had failed to do so by the time the Safety Car lights has been extinguished, he was therefore required by the rules to enter the pit lane at the restart and rejoin the race after the field had passed.

Raikkonen did not do this, which put him he was in breach of the regulations. The stewards had no option but to hand a stop-go penalty to the Alfa Romeo driver, as is required by the rules.

However the stewards acknowledged the “contradiction” in the rules around drivers being permitted to recover positions on formation laps and while under Safety Car conditions. Earlier in the race Sergio Perez went off the track during a Safety Car period, then repassed them, and was penalised for doing so.

In Raikkonen’s case, which occured during a restart rather than a Safety Car period, the stewards said they had to impose a “mandatory” penalty partly because he had not overtaken cars when required to.

“The rule requiring a car to enter the pit lane if it fails to regain its position is consistent amongst several championships, has been in the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations for several years and has been consistently applied,” the stewards noted.

“The penalty is a mandatory penalty, and therefore the stewards consider that they have no alternative than to apply this penalty for reasons of consistency.”

The 10-second stop-go penalty is converted to a 30-second post-race penalty, dropping Raikkonen to 15th place in the final standings.

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2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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54 comments on “Raikkonen loses points finish after 30-second time penalty, Alonso takes 10th”

    1. someone or something
      18th April 2021, 20:35

      Okay, wow. May I inquire what your source of radicalisation is?

        1. someone or something
          18th April 2021, 20:43

          I mean, it’s doubtful you’ve reached this conclusion based on the information available here. I mean, the Stewards explicitly say they don’t really like the decision, but the rules didn’t leave any room for interpretation.
          So, how did you come to the conclusion that there has to be an anti-Räikkönen conspiracy? Your own research, or some online echo-chamber?

          1. Where i said there was a conspiracy?

          2. You mean when i said the double standards?
            I am not implying that is conspiracy. Deference to bigger more important teams does not need a conspiracy to happen.

          3. someone or something
            18th April 2021, 20:51

            Call it what you like, that’s how I interpreted your words of “breaching the sporting truth”.
            But you’re dodging the question. Which one is your echo-chamber?

          4. It seems you that want to dodge the issue.
            The driver did not made any action from what he gained any advantage, he did not endanger himself or any one else so his 8th place is the sporting truth.

          5. Made a mistake. 9th place not 8th

          6. someone or something
            18th April 2021, 21:27

            Why do you keep dodging the question? Is it that embarrassing?

            Also, that’s a far-fetched “No you” if I ever saw one. Danger or not – completely irrelevant. Did George Russell endanger anyone by running Bottas’ tyres? Did Stroll endanger Gasly by using the gravel to complete his overtake? No, that criterion is entirely irrelevant.
            The rule says, if you fail to regain your position by the first Safety Car line before a (re-) start, you have to start from the pitlane. If you don’t, you’re running in a position you don’t belong (according to the rules).
            And that’s about all the truth there is. Just like “alternative facts” there is no “sporting truth”.

          7. “Did Stroll endanger Gasly by using the gravel to complete his overtake? ”
            He gained an advantage.

            “Did George Russell endanger anyone by running Bottas’ tyres?”
            Maybe, i don’t know the tire pressures vs suspension settings between both cars.
            You know that Mercedes got a fine, not a sporting penalty. That is my point.

            “And that’s about all the truth there is. Just like “alternative facts” there is no “sporting truth”.”

            Of course there is, and it is based on fairness of the rule book to the racing fairness. The rule book, any rule book for that matter is a moral issue declaration first than anything else. In sporting justice you penalize to address an unfair advantage and/or to punish an irregular behavior. The choosing of punishment must fit the rule violation and its impact must not be worse. In this case the penalty makes it worse.

          8. someone or something
            18th April 2021, 21:54

            I remain wholly unconvinced by that concept.
            But now back to my original question: What’s your echo-chamber?

    2. Thoughts on the European Super League?

  1. someone or something
    18th April 2021, 20:33

    A bit confusing, that one. One of the less intuitive slam-dunk penalties.

  2. “Required to overtake”
    That sounds safe.

    I can see both sides of this, but it’s just f’n goofy IMO.

  3. Sad, but true. (copyrights to Metallica)

    1. I Am the Law (Anthrax feat. Michael Masi)
      Sad, horrible and possibly costly decision. F1 is in a really sad state right now.

  4. That’s just daft.

  5. Harsh. Doesn’t do F1 reputation any good.
    Charlie RIP would have notified the team and given them a chance to put it right.
    Stewarding requires a bit of finesse that is sadly lacking here.

    1. someone or something
      18th April 2021, 20:48

      Barring time-travel, there was no way of putting it right. According to the rule, once he went past the pit entry in the wrong position, his fate was sealed.

      1. Barmy and stupid. That’s how these rules make F1 look.

        1. someone or something
          18th April 2021, 21:12

          You know what would look even worse? Not applying a rule even though it leaves no room for interpretation.
          Maybe they’ll change to deal with the perceived inconsistency. But waiving that penalty was never an option. That would’ve led to a protest by Alpine and a very brief, but embarrassing appeal.

    2. What the f are these rules? Are they making them on the spot? Giving a 30s penalty for letting two people through? But wrongly overtaking two people is only 10s?
      This might be the most absurd ruling I’ve seen in over 10 years watching this ‘sport’.

      1. Oh come on, you are making a fool out of yourself!
        RAI got a 10-second stop-go penalty just like Perez. But he wasn’t able to “complete” during the race, because of that the penalty got converted. I do not know the exact Pitstop/Pitlane time, but it might even be the case that a 10-second stop-go penalty during the race costs more then 30 seconds.

        1. Actually, Perez didn’t have a 10 second stop/go penalty. He had a 10 second penalty that he took, before changing his tyres to mediums.

          Reply moderated
    3. Rodber, if you read the judgement by the stewards, they state that the team initially instructed Kimi he should go back to his original position, with Kimi catching up to the drivers who had gone past him on the run down to the Variante Alta.

      However, at that point, the team then told Kimi not to pass the drivers ahead of him – having noticed that the safety car lights had been turned off to signal it was returning to the pits, they thought that meant Kimi could not retake his position. The team did then send a message to race control asking for clarification, but the problem is that, by the time they sent the message, the race was restarting.

  6. The article acknowledges that Perez was penalized for doing what was required from Raikkonen. What the cinnamon toast f.. is going on in the stewards’ room.

    1. @pironitheprovocateur They also explain that the difference is because there are different rules for what to do under safety car conditions, and under a ‘restart’. The issue here is what’s written in the regulations doesn’t seem to be fair for this particular scenario, but the stewards can’t be blamed for applying the rule as written.

    2. Different situations. The difference between running under a safety car and running under a restart procedure.

      Perez shouldn’t have overtaken under the safety car.

      Raikkonnen failed to return to his correct starting position at the restart.

      The reasons are quite clear. The curiosity is that Raikkonnen gained no advantage. But he broke the rules. Others gained an advantage as a result.

      1. He could not have returned to his correct starting position.
        Since the safety car which is not the safety car in this case turned the lights off before it was possible of him to do it.
        So the bizarre rule would have forced him to go to the pitlane unnecessarily.

        1. someone or something
          18th April 2021, 21:33

          Entering the pit lane when the rules require you to is not what I’d call “unnecessarily”.
          If a rule says “either A or B”, but you do neither A nor B, you’re in breach.
          Even if it’s a rule you weren’t aware of . Ignorantia juris non excusat.

          1. Yes it is unnecessary, because it makes the sport more complicated without any advantage.

            And seems the stewards also did not know the rule since they not did answer to Alfa questions. Which opens another can, that you are forced to know and decide in seconds arcane rules of a giant rule book.

            This is not only unfair but dangerous because increases entropy to important rules like safety. If your brain/organisation wastes time with unnecessary rules, necessary rules lose importance.

          2. someone or something
            18th April 2021, 22:12

            Yes it is unnecessary, because it makes the sport more complicated without any advantage

            Nonsense. The rule existed, and it required him to do something which he didn’t.
            Is the rule itself necessary? Probably not. But that’s an academic matter and entirely unrelated to the question whether an existing rule must be applied.

            And seems the stewards also did not know the rule since they not did answer to Alfa questions.

            Which again begs the question where you gathered all that info.
            But that too is irrelevant. Abiding by the rules is the participants’ responsibility. And in that situation, once Räikkönen went past the pit entry out of position, the deed was done, and there was nothing the Stewards could’ve said that would’ve changed the outcome in any way. At best, they could’ve investigated the incident sooner, so that Räikkönen would’ve received the penalty during the race, costing him even more time.

  7. If the infringement was so obvious, why didn’t the stewards issue the penalty during the race?! These post-race penalties are just unfair!

    1. Yeah, it seems that as soon as it gets a bit more chaotic the stewards are overwhelmed and cannot be expected to give rulings in time anymore @srga91 – see also giving it quite a bit of time before the Vettel penalty from before the start was handed out.

      1. @bascb
        I totally agree. And the timing of Vettel’s penalty wasn’t even the worst one. Stroll passed Gasly off-track on lap 11 and the stewards only managed to come to a conclusion to penalize Stroll after the race?! There were 52 more laps to go and a lenghty race interruption, during which the stewards could’ve spoken to both drivers, and still they couldn’t settle it during the race?! Honestly, I find that rather pathetic and it doesn’t put the stewards in a good light.

        1. Yeah, the Kimi thing, the Seb thing and that Stroll incidend as well, all of them could have been handled earlier.

  8. An unnecessary rule really. That is what overregulation looks like. No harm done, no potential danger present at any moment and no way a similar situation could cause any danger in the future.
    Plus: Imagine Verstappen would have dropped behind Leclerc when he had his moment at the restart:
    According to that regulation he either had to pit immediately to start “safely” from the pitlane or face a 30 seconds after the race.
    Kind of funny but to think about the following outrage but certainly ridiculous and not a good thing for the sport.
    Neither is this penalty though.

    1. Possible solution: Just don’t allow cars to pass at the reconnaissance lap. If they make a mistake and drop back, tough luck.
      Give them time to sort themselve out until turn 2 or whatever. Why not penalising errors. It’s not allowed under full course yellow either and why do we need to different rules for similar circumstances.

      1. If you imply that if a driver drops a place stays in place it is now… I think it is probably the less worse option. Note that this in a static start implies that some forward cars change their positions in that start.
        In this case since was a rolling start there is no issue.

        1. Yeah, you’re right. Shuffling grid positions during the formation lap before a standing start will only cause more chaos.
          I should clarify/ correct myself really here. Only at a safety car restart they should not be allowed to repass.

  9. F1 needs a new chief steward. Period.

    1. Hooray to Alonso, the failing driver who will now boast about the point he won at Imola, beating Raikkonen!!!!!

  10. Lots of comments on here but at the end of the day, drivers really should sit down and read the rules at the start of the season, at the very least the teams should. It’s effectively the formation lap, which you should regain your position. SC is during a racing lap is something different, as Perez found out when he went off the circuit.

    It really isn’t rocket science, why all these comments above? Kimi should read the rules, end of. Very strange.

    1. someone or something
      18th April 2021, 21:46

      In essence, yeah.
      But it is also true that this rule is a bit random and might need to be changed for the sake of consistency.

      1. It is not random if it is well defined in the rules. Safety car and formation laps are two different scenarios involving the SC and unfortunately it seems that the teams and drivers leave everything to race control to clarify.

        SC period is strictly for the purpose of safety, so overtaking should rightly be disallowed. On the other hand, the formation lap’s primary function is to enable the cars to start in the order they are supposed to.

        The only thing that irritates me is the fact that they let lapped cars to start upfront in the pit lane. They should be passing the SC on the lap the SC is coming in so as to not gain an unfair advantage.

        1. someone or something
          19th April 2021, 11:48

          @f1g33k

          It is not random if it is well defined in the rules.

          I know that, see my other comments. I’m not saying the penalty is random, on the contrary, I find suggestions that it shouldn’t have been applied laughable.
          But your own comment:

          Safety car and formation laps are two different scenarios involving the SC

          … captures one aspect of the situation’s ‘randomness’ (or maybe rather ‘unintuitiveness’, if you don’t like that word): Safety Car does not equal Safety Car. Pérez gets (rightfully) penalised for overtaking cars and regaining his position behind the Safety Car, Räikkönen gets (rightfully) penalised for NOT overtaking (enough) cars and NOT regaining his position behind the Safety Car. That IS a bit weird for anyone who hasn’t learned the Sporting Regulations by heart and simulated countless chaotic races in their minds. But it’s in the rules.
          The next aspect of ‘randomness’ (or ‘unintuitiveness’) is the fact that there is no tangible justification for this rule in a rolling restart scenario. The requirement to either fill your own starting position on the grid, or, if you cannot, to start from the pitlane, makes sense for a standing start, because starting the race in a different position and forcing the drivers behind you to line up in a different position would greatly disturb the procedure:
          – Finding the correct grid spot in an F1 car is not a trivial matter
          – and more importantly, the clutch settings are very sensitive and may put a driver at a significant disadvantage if they suddenly need to line up on the other side of the grid.
          – also, this could potentially be abused. Left hand side of the grid is extremely slippy (think COTA inauguration race a few years ago)? Might be worth a shot to lose a position on the formation lap in order to start on the grippier side.
          => That’s what the rule is meant for. You line up where you qualified, so that everyone else can start where they qualified. If you don’t, into the pits you go, so that (apart from your absence) nothing changes for anyone else.

          But all of that does not apply to a rolling restart. If you lose a position, nothing much changes for the drivers around you. They’re still in a queue of cars, waiting for the leading driver to floor it. If you drop from 3rd to 10th, no one cares, they just gain a place and carry on doing what they were doing anyway. The rule serves no clear purpose here, it just adds an unnecessary technicality.

          The only thing that irritates me is the fact that they let lapped cars to start upfront in the pit lane. They should be passing the SC on the lap the SC is coming in so as to not gain an unfair advantage.

          Personally, I find the whole concept of letting lapped cars unlap themselves irritating. I get that, for the sake of the spectacle, the leading cars should not be disturbed by lapped backmarkers in a restart scenario. The easiest, safest way to achieve that, in my opinion, would be to send them into the pitlane and let them wait until all the cars on the lead lap are ahead. That takes a single lap, done. No risk involved for anyone whatsoever.
          But currently, the procedure takes at least two laps to be completed, it involves cars blasting around the circuit at full speed under Safety Car conditions, and it can hand an unfair advantage to lapped cars by enabling them to heat up their tyres much better than anyone stuck behind the Safety Car can.
          Also, it regularly puts cars back into contention that have no business being there. I feel that, once you’re lapped, you don’t deserve another shot at challenging the leaders, unless your pace is good enough to unlap yourself. But allowing lapped cars back on the lead lap just for the sake of entertainment? That does grind my gears.
          (Not a jab at Hamilton, I’ve been feeling that way since forever, even before Button’s 2011 Canadian GP win from a lap back under similar circumstances)

    2. I’ve never considered that a formation lap as they don’t form a grid, so I wouldn’t have expected this confusion of the rules either.
      What does that make the extra lap that the lapped cars do? Reconnaissance laps? Given that the un-lap lap isn’t behind the safety car. (Should it be?)

      To me that was simply a SC restart. You’re behind the safety car so no overtaking for any reason.
      I’ve no idea why it a SC was even required given the original start was fine in much worse conditions. Should have been a grid restart. I’m yet to see any reasoning why it wasn’t. Then you could call that a formation lap.
      I can do without this unnecessary confusion.

    3. Either the drivers, or at least their team/engineers yeah. They could have looked up stuff for restarts (and RB surely should have told Perez NOT to take back the spots lost with his off, or then let the guys repass him immediately as well) and told Kimi what the right course of action is. Although for AR at least they have the point that there realyl was not much time in it for them.

  11. Giving a 30-second time penalty for this yet let others get back a lap and with it the championship lead is a disgrace and is simply putting the sport in disrepute.

    Something needs to be done.

    1. someone or something
      18th April 2021, 21:48

      Okay, the non-sequiturs are getting more absurd with every minute.

      1. Damned if they do. Damned if they don’t.

  12. A bit too harsh, I would say…

  13. Does anyone know: What would have happended, if Leclerc had passed Verstappen when he went off? If this happens after the safetycar lights are off, is he allowed to keep the wrong position (2nd in that case), should he take the position back or even start from the pitlane? I know, that Leclerc didn’t pass and probably didn’t have the time to, but am just curious.

    Reply moderated

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