Russell’s penalty ‘harsh, he left more than enough room’ – Mercedes

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In the round-up: Mercedes criticise the penalty George Russell was given for his first-lap collision with Sergio Perez in the Austrian Grand Prix.

In brief

Mercedes criticise “harsh” penalty for Russell

Russell was given a five-second time penalty, and two endorsement points on his superlicence, for his first-lap tangle with Perez. However Mercedes’ head of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin took issue with the decision.

“We felt that George’s penalty for the incident with Sergio was harsh,” he said. “He was up on the apex kerb and left more than enough room.” After fitting a replacement front wing to his car, Russell took fourth behind team mate Lewis Hamilton,a result Shovlin called “very satisfying.”

McLaren hope to recover Norris’s failed power unit

Lando Norris stopped on track during first practice at the Red Bull Ring with a power unit problem, prompting McLaren to revert to older hardware.

“The power unit that failed on Lando’s side on Friday was a brand new one and was his third one,” team principal Andreas Seidl confirmed. “Analysis is still ongoing on Mercedes side and the [High-Performance Powertrains] side at the moment and hopefully we’ll stay in a position to recover the power unit and get it in a better place again.

“It wasn’t ideal that he had to go back to the old power unit but that was the team’s solution on Friday,” explained Seidl. “Power units are losing a bit of power with every mileage but at the same time, it allowed us to perform as we did this weekend.”

‘Williams faster than us in Austria’ – Bottas

Valtteri Bottas said that Alfa Romeo have not kept pace with the development rate of their rivals.

“Some teams clearly have made progress like for example Williams,” said Bottas. “This weekend they seem better than they have been and Alpine, McLaren were a little bit faster than us. But that was not the case in Silverstone. So we need to keep progressing.”

Alfa Romeo failed to add to their points tally in Austria. “It’s not good but we tried,” said Bottas. “I pretty quickly realised I was stuck behind the DRS train in the beginning.

“So that’s why we stopped, tried to find some clean air and went to like kind of a hard-hard [tyre strategy]. I think it was the right thing to do, but just didn’t have quite enough pace and Fernando [Alonso] got that one point from me in the last lap with fresh tyres and that was annoying.”

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Comment of the day

On a day of mixed results for Ferrari, despite Charles Leclerc’s victory, Tifoso1989 considers what could have been without Sainz’s dramatic power unit failure:

The failure on Sainz’s car was really scary. The power unit has literally blown up and thank heaven he was out of the car before the fire got worse. If this happened to Zhou last race, it would have certainly been a disaster… On the other hand, Ferrari confirming that they have the best all-around car, quick everywhere on every tyre and in all conditions.

Verstappen and Red Bull, despite being perfect in both qualifying and race and squeezing everything possible from the RB18 by bringing upgrades every race, even in the Red Bull Ring have no answer to the pace of both Ferraris, not only Leclerc. Sainz was on the way to overtake Max before his power unit failure.

I wonder what would have happened if Sainz was still in the race and Leclerc had his throttle issue. Vettel in Hungaroring 2017 have had a steering wheel issue and Raikkonen escorted him to the finish line, overtaking was difficult but nevertheless Raikkonen didn’t mount an attack on Seb.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dougy_D, Joaqo, Pabs1, Tomd11 and Pawel!

On this day in motorsport

  • 30 years ago today Nigel Mansell annihilated his rivals in qualifying at Silverstone, beating team mate Riccardo Patrese by 1.9 seconds, while the next driver not in a Williams driver was Ayrton Senna, 2.7s adrift

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Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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123 comments on “Russell’s penalty ‘harsh, he left more than enough room’ – Mercedes”

  1. petebaldwin (@)
    11th July 2022, 0:13

    It’s good that they’re looking at the roll hoops and trying to improve safety but regarding the part that says “the gravel trap didn’t do anything to slow the Alfa Romeo down”, tarmac wouldn’t have either. He slid along the track for a long way before he got onto the gravel and that didn’t slow him down as he was upside down.

    1. Does an F1 car travelling at speed upside down create lift?
      I’m guessing the underfloor doesn’t work upside down but the rest of the bodywork must create some sort of lift which must make any sort of run off area less effective, lucky he was not travelling faster.

      1. Not sideways, no.

    2. Tarmac would have safely delivered Zhou to the tire barriers, though, rather than launching him all the way into the catch fence before getting him stuck in an inexplicable ditch.

      1. It is not a fact.
        When a car is upside down and in motion, it is still not yet balanced until it comes to rest. The car was always going to tilt in one direction either towards the barrier or away from it. The angle of the tilt would determine if it still flips over or comes to rest within the tyre wall.

        1. Look at what happened in the several hundred meters Zhou’s car slid, on its back, across tarmac.

          Did its rims bury themselves deep into loose material and induce roll momentum? Did the car jump?

      2. @proesterchen but yhe impact might have become fatal.

        1. You may consider watching fewer movies.

    3. exactly, the upside down car on the halo was essentianly not much different than the blades of an ice skater. Minimal surface area and reduced friction.

    4. Perhaps they could look into changing to other type of gravel, or lay it in different ways to slow the car more as it approaches the barrier.
      Similar to that high friction paint concept used in Paul Ricard but with gravel or sand.

  2. No sympathy for Russell, Perez left a ton of room and was ahead.

    This keeps happening, Russell gained from his misdemeanour. I’m starting to think that time penalties should go and a finishing position drops be implemented as penalties instead. So 5 seconds becomes 2 place drop from your finishing position? Mercedes know they’re 3rd fastest and can open any gap to those behind so there’s really no penalty for them in these circumstances. If you take out a car from the top 2 teams, that’s even more points! I’m not saying George’s move was intentional, but there’s less incentive to drive as precisely with the way penalties are currently implemented. 5 seconds is relatively more harsh if you’re in the mid pack than if you’re say… Mercedes. For which a 5 second penalty means next to nothing.

    I’m sure there are other options, but I’m convinced the penalty system needs a big rethink and overhaul.

    1. I fully agree. A penalty due to an infringement must have a proper negative effect on the driver/team that should not be immediately recoverable from. That was the issue I had with Hamilton’s Silverstone penalty last year. He was given a penalty which his car could easily claw back the lost time from and profit heavily from the retirement of the competitor he was involved in. As you said, this gives Merc this year the boldness to attempt such positioning in battles as the profit-loss payoff is huge.

      1. So what penalty would you have given for Monza last year when Verstappen deliberately crashed into Hamilton because he didn’t want to lose to him. That 3 place grid drop was even more of a joke. At least in Silverstone it wasn’t a deliberate act to crash.

        1. At least in Silverstone it wasn’t a deliberate act to crash.


        2. @slowmo Personally, I don’t think the basis for the Monza crash was very different from the Silverstone crash, both racers fiercely competing, one on the natural line while the other made a serious error in positioning in the heat of battle resulting in contact.

          Agreed, a 3-place grid for a powerful RB wasn’t enough but at least VER didn’t benefit in Monza and carried a penalty into the next race. Wasn’t the case for HAM in Silverstone. And I’m not an ardent fan of either, just trying to be objective.

          As @antznz said, the effectiveness of a penalty needs a rethink.

        3. So what penalty would you have given for Monza last year when Verstappen deliberately crashed into Hamilton because he didn’t want to lose to him.

          A couple of things wrong with this sentence….
          Verstappen didn’t deliberately crash into anyone – he didn’t even accidentally crash into anyone. It was a crash, sure – but Hamilton played his part in it too.

          And really, I don’t think Hamilton wanted to lose either, which is why there was contact between them.

          1. I agree with S on the monza debate, it seemed a bit harsh to give verstappen a penalty instead of considering it a racing incident, however 3 place grid drop in the circumstances was enough, I felt, then red bull was in such a situation where, because of the silverstone accident they already had to get a grid drop and so they made the penalty irrelevant, like silverstone also was for hamilton.

        4. If you regard it as one corner Max may have made the mistake in Italy. If you however judge the right hander and left hander separately it was clumsy from Lewis to leave the door open in the right hander and then assume the car left of him would disappear into nowhere in the subsequent left hander. So I am not convinced here of the judgement Max was to blame here. He most certainly was fairly optimistic going in, but then again Lewis left a ton of space on the left.

          1. Verstappen deliberately crashed into Hamilton in Monza, it was blatantly obvious. There has never been a similar accident at that corner before for a reason. None of you have still answered the question of what penalty Verstappen should of got because clearly a 3 place penalty for the next race was far more of an injustice.

          2. I thought it would go without saying, but you don’t seem to have worked out that if we are taking it that Verstappen isn’t the sole or predominant cause of the incident, @slowmo, then we are also inferring there needn’t be a penalty.
            Racing incidents don’t attract further penalty.

            If it was apparently blatantly obvious to you, but not to other people – doesn’t that tell you that it isn’t so clear cut after all? Perception differs from person to person, as does the reasoning for coming to a particular conclusion.
            In most similar situations there (and there a lot of them) the driver on the right doesn’t simply (blindly) turn in to cut off the driver on the left, as it will inevitably cause contact.
            Watch the first lap of, well, pretty much every race there, if you need an example.

            And yes – a 3 place penalty is potentially far harsher than a 5-second penalty. But not always…
            Since they’d decided Verstappen was predominantly at fault (their take on it) a 5 second penalty wouldn’t be very effective for a car that had already retired from the race….

          3. It was pretty clear cut a deliberate act, the fact you obtuse believe otherwise is your issue.

            Yes people can have different opinions, I think yours is wrong.

          4. I love that response….
            “I don’t agree with you, so you are wrong.”

            What awesome show of intellectual maturity.
            @slowmo by name, @slowmo by nature…?

          5. Well I see you started with the insults now, stay classy.

            P.S. You’re still wrong

          6. Did S insult you in the reply to you calling him ‘obtuse’?

            How dare he.
            What’s next, people calling you pot of kettle?

          7. Another member of the Red Bull fan club here to defend S, how cute. I meant to say obtusely rather than obtuse but it got autocorrected. Obtusely is an adverb and as such was describing his conduct rather than a direct insult on his person. If you wanted to highlight hypocrisy then perhaps use the word rather than butchering a old proverb.

            Bye bye

    2. I’m one of the biggest advocates for cars on the outside being space and not being pushed out wide on exit of a corner but turn 4 in Austria is just ridiculous to monitor. The corner is downhill with weird camber and tightens on exit. The car on the inside is always going to be pushed out wide on exit, and no you can’t just brake or lift of the throttle otherwise they would understeer and make the situation worse.

      It’s like if a car is on the outside and is even just alongside the car on inside is better to just give the position as they will collide on corner exit. It also confuses me what the stewards are deeming what a collision is and what crowding off the track is cause Russell clearly didn’t crowd Perez off the track as Perez had more track space to work with to his left. But also I don’t think he caused a collision, he took a tighter line than he had all weekend and he held a turning angle that seemed appropriate to the corner. Compare that with Gasly/Vettel where Gasly went too hot into the corner and essentially caused a collision for not controlling car better.

      TLDR: Turn 4 in Austria in my opinion could do with widening on exit.

    3. Actually do not agree at all, after reviewing the onboards from both Perez has ample space on his left, while George has half a wheel on the green tarmac on the inside of the red and white curb. Perez on a trajectory to cut in towards the apex.
      Racing incident to me or 55/45 Perez. There was room for both to negotiate the corner.
      I know stewards blamed Russell but I have a hard time seeing that.

      1. Aaargh
        …from both Perez and Russell…

      2. I agree. The onboards make it clear that Russell was a as far right as he could go while Perez had plenty of room to his left. He may have understeered but Russell was penalised because Perez could not keep to his line not because Russell closed the door.

        There seems to have been more questionable penalties related to this one corner than any other in the schedule and several of them questionable others, such as the incident with Vettel, are clear cut. Perhaps the design encourages such situations?

    4. Mercedes narrative holds little value after yet another of these incidents in where they bump a RedBull off. Almost cost Albon his career and Max his title. Some refreshment course would be in order here.

      1. Wow, dramatize much?

        1. I’ve learned from Toto..

        2. Jokes aside, Lewis spatial awareness is not strong resulting in some unneeded crashes that may or may not accidentally have been with a RB car. A result from leading from the front for a long time probably.

    5. What about the good old fashioned drive through penalty? How many drivers had a driver within 5 seconds of them at the end of the race? I feel like 5 seconds is super lenient in a lot of situations and rarely have an outcome on a drivers finishing position.

      1. Agree. What happened to the drive through and the stop and go penalties? Are they abandonded completly and if so when exactly did that happen? Add 5s sometimes means nothing or if there is a SC at the end it can cost you a lot.

    6. Passing on the outside is always risky– but over the past three years, the FIA has essentially said, if you overtake on the outside, even if both cars are level going into the corner, the inside car will be blamed and penalized.

      In most of these cases, the cars were level when the driver on the inside committed to the corner. In the case of Silverstone, Max literally turned into the corner, not caring that Hamilton was there– and according to the stewards, “car 44 failed to avoid contact”. But at those kinds of speeds in a corner like that, what’s the car on the inside supposed to do? Lock the brakes? That’s an instant crash. Turn in? That’s a crash too.

      Pushing the outside car wide on the exit of a turn has been a classic defensive move for decades, but now, it’s an instant 5 second penalty.

      This is one case where I think the stewards consistently get it wrong, and this idea that one driver, or the other, “owns” a corner is just not conducive to good racing.

      1. In the case of Silverstone, Max literally left space for Lewis on the inside – hardly “not caring that Hamilton was there”. Charles did the same thing this year – only this time both cars made it through.
        The difference was whether the car on the inside understeered wide or not, so yes car 44 did fail to avoid contact on the first occasion and was quite rightly penalised for it.

  3. @antznz Or Perez could be more cautious and not ruin his race by turning in aggressively when he still had track Russell had left him. No sympathy for Perez.

    1. I love how people think drivers on the outside keep ‘turning in aggressively’ when these incidents occur. They’ve all left a car width and then some…
      The comments make no sense from a competitive/racing perspective, nor from a scientific/physics angle – but are fun to read, nonetheless.

      I’m sure it’s got nothing to do with Mercedes drivers being on the inside more often than not, right….?

      1. Mercedes do seem to benefit more often than not… If you were conspiracy oriented, you might also note that they’re selective about who they run off the track and who they give room to…

        1. Mercedes do seem to benefit more often than not…

          Is this a scientific observation or just a biased perspective?

          1. It is a statistically supported observation I guess. Hamilton on Albon in Austria. Hamilton on Albon in Brasil. Hamilton on Max at Silverstone. Russell on Perez at Austria. I know its an assumption from me but I suspect some red mist somehow, whenever they see a RB car. Or it is that they are just not used to being challenged and the RB car was one of the few that actually could after almost a decade no one could.

          2. Mayrton, don’t forget how useful the bottas crash in hungary 2021 also was in terms of mercedes’ driver’s championship campaign as well as constructors, since it basically took out the slowest mercedes and both red bulls!

      2. I love how people think drivers on the outside keep ‘turning in aggressively’ when these incidents occur. They’ve all left a car width and then some…

        Oh, yes? Please visit your optician.
        When the collision occurred Russell had his right side wheels on the apex curb, now unless you’re suggesting the track is less than two car widths wide at that point clearly Perez had room outside that he could have been driving on.
        He didn’t as the advantageous line is close in to the apex.
        Sort of a risk and reward situation, he went for the reward by taking the risk, and over did it.

        The judgement of the stewards is based on where Perez was relative to Russell on entry to the corner – i.e. nose slightly ahead.
        Thus, as the rules currently stand, Russell was at fault. Not the 100% as stated, but at fault.
        Perez misjudged where Russell would be and cut across too soon.

        1. I think you might need the optician, SteveP.
          Contact occurred long after the apex – in the middle of the track, actually.
          And Perez did indeed have room on the outside – but as he was ahead, had no obligation to use it. Contact was Russell’s left front on Perez’ right rear.

          Russell even admitted in interviews that he’d braked too late to avoid contact.

          1. There is no “extra” brakes you can apply once you’ve entered the braking zone when racing at the limit. Once both drivers started braking their minimum angle through the corner was decided. Obviously the Red Bull has more downforce so can take a tighter line and it did so and squeezed Russell on exit who then could do nothing as the car understeered. The only person that could stop that accident once they entered the corner was Perez. It’s not like Russell had run Perez to the edge of the track.

            The stewards got it very wrong and I doubt had the roles been reversed that Perez would have got a penalty or you would have thought it justified. Thankfully a 5s penalty didn’t affect Russell too much given the pace advantage Mercedes have over the midfield.

          2. If Russell is as powerless as you suggest, then it wouldn’t matter which line Perez took, as anywhere on the track would result in contact, wouldn’t it…

            That’s the point though, isn’t it – Russell’s obligation is to brake at a point where he can make it through the corner without making contact with the car to his outside. Russell was alongside or even behind prior to the braking point, so that was his cue to brake accordingly. Not to brake as late as possible, as that would inevitably lead to contact.

            The stewards were correct – and as a Mercedes supporter you have every reason to be thankful that the penalty wasn’t a big deal. As a neutral viewer, I think the penalty was about right. Understeering into a competitor as Russel did is a relatively minor infraction, and it’s just unlucky for Perez that it was so damaging to his race. In other circumstances, they may have both continued without issue.
            Penalties are for breaching the rules, not for the effect it has on someone else.

            Your conspiracy theory that Perez wouldn’t have been punished for the same action is quite the fun joke, though.

          3. How would Russell know Perez was going to drive a tighter line on entry. Clueless.

          4. Clueless.

            That’s the perfect description for your comprehension of the entire situation.

            Russell needs to brake at a point where he can avoid Perez, no matter how wide Perez is. And because Perez is ahead, all he needs to do is leave a car width for Russell.
            Perez left a car width for Russell. Russell didn’t brake early enough to avoid Perez.

          5. No, you really don’t understand this at all. Perez was ahead slightly on entry but he had further to go round the corner so Russel was always going to be level throughout every phase of the corner and into the exit. Russell also had the racing line. Perez left no space on corner exit to allow Russell to maintain his line even though there was more than a car width to his right. He did this to deliberately hamper Russell’s exit so he couldn’t get a run on him down the straight.

            Your entire point is irrelevant about Russell braking, he couldn’t see into the future and know Perez was going to tighten the line mid corner which he did as you can see from the onboard as Perez turns the steering wheel to full right lock.

            Perez was level at the braking point (at best) and his font wheel slightly ahead at the apex as he carried more speed into the corner as he tightened his line to squeeze Russell. It was only mid corner he started to pull ahead and at that point the contact happened as they were exiting because he didn’t open up his line to accommodate a rival. He was never ahead on entry to have a right to dictate the corner.

            If you want to see what he should have done then check out the Vettel/ Gasly accident and note the difference in line and how much wider Vettel is throughout the entire corner giving space on the inside. Had Perez driven a similar line he’d have not had his accident but then he’d also likely not have been able to carry as much speed through the corner which was the choice he made.

          6. more than a car width to his left*

          7. Yeah, great example with the Vettel/Gasly thing. How did that one end up?

            This whole thing is a bit like toilet training a goldfish….

            I respect your opinion, but I totally disagree with it.
            I’ve got better things to do than keep going over this.

      3. The comments make no sense from a competitive/racing perspective

        Except of course from the competitive/racing perspective of Perez staying on track and at the top of the grid. He had a choice of track and chose to move right to slow down Russell and seal the pass. Only it didn’t work out like that for him, did it? He was further ahead on exit, but not completely, and still had track to spare. He hadn’t finished the job, hence he got hit. Why should Russell be obliged to complete the pass for him by slowing down?

        1. The job was done – until the car inside understeered into him, @david-br. That’s why Russell was penalised.
          Perez is not responsible for when Russell brakes. Even if Perez had been a bit wider, Russell’s choice of braking point made contact pretty much inevitable.

          You say Perez took a risk – do you also acknowledge the amount of risk Russell was taking?

          Why should Russell be obliged to complete the pass for him by slowing down?

          Because that’s how all overtakes at corners work. Two cars can’t be in the same exact place.
          Are you telling me that in order for Perez to have sufficient ‘right’ to that track space, he needs to be completely ahead of Russell at that point – beyond the point of overlap?

          How long have you been watching motorsport anyway?

          1. Not as long as Peter Windsor, who also thought the penalty for Russell was undeserved. Or the commentators on the F1TV feed (not Sky). Or, obviously, Mercedes and Russell himself. It’s a contentious interpretation of the rules by the stewards, though increasingly ‘consistent.’ I agree with the consistency, at least, but disagree with the interpretation.
            Like I said, no amount of arguing that he was in the right is going to help Perez if he can’t race more astutely. Closing down Russell to stop him trying to retake the position was (too) risky. I mean, how long have you been watching F1? Drivers aren’t ever going to just give way on demand – there’s always a dynamic and changing calculation for how much the driver is likely to cede and how much to risk in ‘claiming’ a corner on entry or exit. Stewarding decisions affect those dynamics, obviously.

          2. Why does it matter to you what another person’s opinion is? Everyone has one and they are all perfectly valid.
            Peter Windsor presumably only had access to the same information we all did, and has the same regulations that we all have access to. That was just his conclusion.
            I don’t know who is on F1TV now but I do know Sam Collins was, and I understand his take on racing quite well. But again, just another equally valid opinion.
            Watching for longer doesn’t always mean you know better. This site is excellent proof of that.

            I’ve made it clear many times that I’ve been watching F1 for more than 35 years – but I fully accept that my opinion is no more valid than anyone else’s. Perhaps more well informed and backed by experience than people who have only ever watched F1, or even other motorsports on their TV or trackside – but nevertheless, my opinion is just that.
            100 drivers will come up with 100 different opinions. We are all just people.

            Yeah, Perez could have been ultra-conservative and run himself out to the gravel – but that’s not really how racing drivers work. Not in this style of racing.
            Given Russell’s approach to the corner, he may well have still hit Perez out there too.

          3. S I completely agree with the points you have been making on this. @slowmo is completely out to lunch on this, and @david-br I think you are using the luxury of hindsight to suggest what Perez shoulda, woulda, coulda done. The fact imho is as Brundle worded it at the time…Perez being ahead and having left space had earned the right to not be hit.

            Also, while GR of course is going to say he thought the penalty was harsh, his excuses or reasons for that aren’t valid. His claim really is that there was nothing he could do for he was on the limit. That makes it sound like anybody could just dive bomb their way in (not saying that’s what GR did) and just claim ‘nothing I could do about it, not my fault.’ GR didn’t dive bomb imho, but he did the next closest thing. And he claims cars all around and it being the race start etc etc so…all the more reason GR to not be so on the limit at that particular time such that there was nothing you could do.

            Perez did absolutely nothing wrong, and those claiming he turned in, similar to Max at Copse when LH hit him, are (conveniently) mistaking turning in with taking the racing line that they had a reasonable expectation of being clear since they were ahead and had left space inside for their opponent to use, and in both cases their opponents failed to use the space left them.

            As well, a five second penalty is hardly harsh when it has no ultimate effect on the guilty party’s race result and when the victim is taken out for the day with zero points for doing nothing wrong and indeed racing the right way…leaving space for your opponent.

          4. Isn’t the only reason we have the new rules of engagement because one driver spent half of last season dive bombing another driver on the inside and you and others defended that conduct to the hilt that he had the inside line and hence the driver on the outside should cede it even when they were driven off the road?

            You’re right though that Russell didn’t dive bomb as he was on the inside driving the racing line which can be seen from the perspective of watching Leclerc in front of him and noting he didn’t particularly run wider than Leclerc on exit either. Pretending Perez left plenty of room and was blameless for the contact doesn’t change the fact he didn’t actually leave enough room and had a full cars width of space he could have taken to avoided any contact and completed his overtake.

            You’d agree with S if he said the world was flat.

          5. @slowmo Sadly nuance is a bit wasted on S and @robbie . So too the stewards apparently. The rules seems to be now that if you’re ahead on the inside line, you can push another driver all the way off track as long as you stay on track. But if you’re behind on the inside line, the driver on the outside can take any line he chooses: if you fail to slow down, perhaps to a stand still?! any incident will now be your fault, even if the other driver still had space on track on the outside. It’s ridiculous but that’s what the stewards have started ruling. My point has little to do with one incident but how the racing rules are now applied and how smart Peres’s driving was (answer: not very).

          6. @david-br It is actually the opposite and that nuance is the key here. The driver on the outside cannot take any line he chooses, as for example cutting abruptly back inside would not be fair. But taking the racing line is fine and that is what Checo did. I’ll reiterate what Brundle said at the time which to me sums it up and that is that Checo by being ahead and having left space for GR, earned the right to his racing line and to not be hit for doing so. The onus was on GR to not hit SP, full stop, as Checo did absolutely nothing wrong.

          7. @robbie Russell had the racing line, not Perez.

      4. Whilst it seems that quite a few of the usual suspects are getting particularly triggered, it’s worth noting that Helmut Marko’s own viewpoint is rather different.

        He’s not angry with Russell – instead, he’s been saying that Perez was stupid for trying to pull off the exact move that the team told their drivers to avoid because it wasn’t going to work. Now, let’s see if some posters are now going to try to claim that Marko is pushing a pro-Mercedes narrative…

        1. anon Here’s the quotes I found.

          Perhaps you have quotes that have HM literally calling Perez stupid, and where he says he is not angry at Russell? Or are you just triggered to take the anti-RBR stance because of your skewed view of them? Is Marko’s viewpoint really all that different when he says it is a shame Checo wasn’t left space?

        2. Helmut is always entitled to his opinion.
          He’s certainly come up with some interesting ones before….

          It’s perfectly natural he’d come out now and say “I told him not to do that” when it didn’t work.
          But to be honest, I’d find his view on it much more interesting if Perez had continued on without incident.
          I’m willing to bet he’d have been fine with it. Encouraging of it, even.

          Nah, he’d be completely silent, wouldn’t he….

        3. Brilliant! Thanks for that.

      5. Even the stewards thought Verstappen turned in at Copse at Silverstone last year. Probably because you can see him turning his steering wheel….

        1. How do you get through a corner without turning the steering wheel?

  4. Have to agree with Marcus Simmons comments.

    I really dislike how F1 is moving toward a video game appearance. Surely the video games should move more toward reality. It’s all rather backwards.

    1. Isn’t this more like reality with road cars having HUD and other aids?

      At least the F1 TV identifiers don’t get it wrong as often as the commentators do :P

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        11th July 2022, 10:37

        @cairnsfell and jff
        There to me are so many graphics that there is just more to go wrong. There are far more glitches with them now than there ever used to be.

        Then in terms of the graphics on the halo, I don’t mind them so much, but the name box above the drivers is just stupid, and it is clear that several commentators think this too, but just have to chose their words carefully.
        I remember in baku when Vettel was closing in on Ocon and Ocon’s name was growing and growing to the point it wan an OCON that was covering nearly 30% of the width of the screen. Why on earth does the drivers name need to follow the car about and increase in size. As if we don’t realise that the car in the footage getting bigger amazingly means that the driver with the onboard view is getting closer. They really are dumbing it down..

        Then there is the fact that the car has markers at the side of the wheels that make it look like it is driving in a white box as if it is a target to shoot on a game. If you want to see where the edge of the car is, just look at the wheels, it isn’t hard. I’d like to see if anyone can come up with an explanation as to what benefit this has. It is useless and makes the live footage look so artificial…

        The live coverage is just getting so much worse this year regarding both graphics and other things. The pre recorded cheers for the starts and overtakes are so painful. It seems ridiculous to think that the replays are often the first time you get to hear what the “live footage” actually sounded like which effectively means you sometimes never hear the race as it actually was recorded. As during the replays, they will just use the original audio, rather than have someone at a sound desk inserting these stupid cheers into the live audio feed. In one or two races this year, you could even hear that they accidentally must have pressed a button twice as the same cheer started, stopped and started again. It just sounded so fake… This however is reducing a bit now crowds are back.

        Most things liberty media do to improve F1 progressively make it worse. I don’t understand why they get the urge to change the graphics, font and so many other things every single year… I think the on screen graphics and many other things were better before they took over.

      2. Actually they do. The podium graphics were all wrong.

  5. Weird how this line about Russell being “up on the apex kerb” has taken off so quickly, like a Russian disinformation campaign.

    Anyone who has actually seen the onboards and is capable of constructing their own thoughts can see that Russell was on the apex kerb to begin with, but then drifted wide. He was nowhere near the kerb at the moment of collision. That’s why he got the penalty, for not holding his line and trying to squeeze Perez on exit when the Red Bull was already ahead.

    1. I feel Mercedes is good at creating/controlling media narratives. For instance: I feel that when you look at the harassment-articles on this site, the words of Hamilton, Verstappen and Leclerc are a much more powerful story. Yet the article out first (and therefore the one everyone comments on and stays on top of the page) is that ‘Mercedes gave the fans in question a pitbox pass’. Which in itself is nice of course, but does it deserve that much more attention than Aston Martin doing the same or actual drivers voicing their disbelief?
      I feel that it happens more often, they got some clever people in their PR department.

    2. Yeah, it was quite consistent with how they have ruled earlier.

    3. @red-andy Maybe because the stewards have made a fetish about ‘hitting the apex’ in past decisions? I looked at the onboards expecting them to vindicate Checo. It was actually his own onboard that convinced me otherwise. He tried to close off any attempt for Russell to repass. Personally I think that’s his problem then (or his too: racing incident). I understand it’s no longer the interpretation being made by stewards. So what? It’s not as though they’ve had a great track record in their decisions or their justifications over recent years.

      1. You can see on corner entry Perez is squeezing Russell to the inside as much as possible, he had more than a full cars width to the outside he could have opened up on exit but chose not to by trying to impede Russell on exit. You can see from the onboard of Perez steering wheel he tightens his turn at the apex to squeeze Russell. Russell is on full lock and doesn’t open up his steering at all, the disappearing space is all on Perez imo.

        1. @slowmo Looked like that to me too.

        2. That’s what I saw too.
          If you watch Russell’s onboard, you even see him go as far as he can on the right on reaction to the space Perez is giving him, until he hits the curb witch clearly unsettle his car (look at his hands movement and the understeer that follows) and the gap to Perez begin to close up until contact.

          I mean, there is absolutely nothing he could have done to prevent contact at this point.
          Classical 1st lap racing incident in my book.

  6. The 5-second penalty was fully in line with previous collisions on the same corner in the last two seasons (HAM-ALB 2020, NOR-PER & PER-LEC last season) & GAS-VET, so entirely fair.

    Jos De Bruijin’s tweet: What a mess, LOL.

    Marcus Simmons’ tweet: I don’t find these things annoying, although I wouldn’t mind not having them either. Either way is okay for me.

    If roll hoops get some alterations for next season, hopefully, these wouldn’t mean another minimum car+driver weight increase as the same should be achievable while keeping the present 798 kg in place.
    Unfortunately, this could happen, given the obsession over a long time to increase even for small things.
    FIA is always trying to find an excuse for not keeping the minimum figure unchanged for two consecutive seasons, which hasn’t happened since the most recent combination in 2015-16.

    Whether Ferrari has the best ‘all-around car’ could be track-specific to the Red Bull ring – we’ll see over the next few rounds.
    Sainz certainly would’ve passed into P2, meaning a Ferrari 1-2 in any case, but whether he could’ve passed Leclerc with his throttle issue, unlike Kimi in the 2017 Hungarian GP instance, is interesting to ponder.

    1. FIA is always trying to find an excuse for not keeping the minimum (car weight) figure unchanged

      There is no need whatsoever to have a minimum car weight since we have a minimum driver/seat weight and a budget cap.

    2. Russel was on the ideal line, and not understeering, at that point ideal line is not on the curbs, also check the ferrari in front of him he takes same line, also PHYSICS. Russel couldnt take the corner more tightly, but Perez could have eased it off.

      1. Russel was on the ideal line,

        The problems was that there was another car in front of him on the ‘ideal line’.
        Its physics (even in undercase) that two cars at the same time in the same ‘ideal’ spot is not possible :P

        1. Perez wasn’t on the ideal line.
          That’s how overtakes happen. One has to make a pass out of the ideal line.

          Off all the contacts that happened on that corner, this is the most open to debate.
          When russell has his wheels on the curb and Perez squeezes him to the right, almost tangling wheels, contact is unavoidable. Russell couldnt steer more to move clear of perez’s wheels, but Perez had plenty of space to his left and chose not to use it.

          1. It seems you didn’t get the point I made. If there is another car largely in front on your ‘ideal line’, then you have to either decelerate or move off of the ‘ideal line’.

            Russell had no right to stay on his ‘ideal line’ and demand Perez to move out of his way.

          2. When russell has his wheels on the curb and Perez squeezes him to the right, almost tangling wheels, contact is unavoidable. Russell couldnt steer more to move clear of perez’s wheels, but Perez had plenty of space to his left and chose not to use it.

            If this is where you are going to start analysing from, then of course the conclusion is that Russell did nothing wrong.
            However, if you go back to Turn 3 and begin analysing from there…. Russell’s braking point into Turn 4 is the most important factor. It doesn’t matter where Perez is, as Russell would hit him anyway.

  7. ‘Endorsement points’ ?
    At least when I describe them as ‘demerit points’ foreigners understand what I mean :P

    And no Mercedes, it’s not about leaving a car’s width, it’s about using the car’s width you’ve been given instead of hitting a car in front of you.

    1. Perez actually hit Russel, therefore merc is critisizing

      1. @TurboBS, That’s novel PoV.
        I don’t even think Mercedes will be that creative.

  8. The background in the article image looks like a post-apocalyptic scene.

  9. Checo should really have known better in that incident. It was totally inevitable, and it was a pretty naive move from someone of his experience (especially when the same thing happened to him last year).

    He may have had the ‘right’ to the corner by being marginally ahead and leaving little over a cars width, but that’s putting an awful lot of trust in your fellow driver, particularly when it’s a downhill corner on a full tank of fuel, and with tyres and brakes probably not up to their optimal temperature.

    Russell was found at fault, which I’m not going to disagree with, but that’s hardly consolation. A big missed opportunity for him on a day where his teammate struggled with tyre wear, and he lost it all putting a bold move on a driver he could’ve easily breezed past if he waited an extra lap or two.

    1. Checo should really have known better in that incident. It was totally (avoidable), and it was a pretty naive move from someone of his experience (especially when the same thing happened to him last year).

      I agree there as well: Russell was to blame for the crash, but Perez could have avoided it as he was sufficiently ahead and should think about the bigger picture/points.

      1. i dont think i can remember another driver so prone to contact on the first lap of a race as Perez.

        That’s how he won his first one, even.

  10. Again someone from Mercedes F1 without any self reflection skills…. Russel hit the kerb braking too late and was a passenger basically when he ran into Checo. It happens a lot and seems to be happening more with Mercedes cars than others… Also it seems they can pull off stunts like that without their car falling apart… You would be forgiven for thinking they designed their car to withstand impact better than other teams.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      11th July 2022, 9:44

      You would be forgiven for thinking they designed their car to withstand impact better than other teams.

      That would certainly look to be the case as happened when Ocon ran over Hamilton’s front wing last year.

    2. Or perhaps Red Bull have built their fairings and parts so fragile in order to save weight. Ultimately there is a downside to making flimsy but fast cars. It’s great when you’re out uncontested at the front, not so much in wheel to wheel racing in the midfield where Perez found himself after his qualifying mishaps.

  11. Thanks for the cotd !

  12. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    11th July 2022, 9:56

    Elsewhere Russell has admitted fault but has stated once he is hard on the brakes and has the steering turned as tight as it could be in the situation there is nothing further he can do. Braking harder causes a skid. Turning tighter causes a spin.

    The car is going where it is going but the suggestion seems to be that a driver on the inside now has to anticipate being overtaken and not even try to defend or go in a little slower.

    1. You’ll also notice that the FIA have repeatedly mentioned that the car on the outside has to be far enough up at the braking point to be entitled to that space at the corner exit.
      As in – if the car on the outside is alongside or ahead at the braking point, then the inside driver already knows they are there and needs to brake earlier to avoid contact – there will be a car where they would normally take the racing line at corner exit and they need to take a shallower line.
      Braking too late isn’t an excuse for contact.

      No anticipation is required.

      1. if the car on the outside is alongside or ahead at the braking point, then the inside driver already knows they are there and needs to brake earlier to avoid contact

        The (pedantic) challenge with that statement is that if the car is ‘at’ the braking point then it cannot brake ‘earlier’ :P

        1. I’d give up, the critics have no idea how braking and a racing line work in reality. Lets ignore the fact that 2 cars going through the corner have different mechanical, ground effect and downforce grip levels which can influence the cars ability in the corner. You then also of course have the potential of dirty air influencing the grip mid corner.

        2. If it truly took them that long to realise a car was attempting an overtake, they shouldn’t have a super licence.

          1. And I did use the qualifier that the driver ‘already’ knows they are there ;)

      2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        11th July 2022, 14:06

        If there is no subjectivity just the usual it is Mercs fault or ORBR fault depending on who you support it is hard to see past anything else.

        Russell states Perez braked later and he at the point he needed to. How do you not get that with the correct brake pressure applied any more and the car goes into a skid or correct steering lock for speed and any more induces a spin?

        At that point only Perez can do anything about what happened. He is not in the wrong but as ever like most incidents came off worse.

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          11th July 2022, 14:08

          Russell, “The fact was, Checo was on my outside, and I needed to leave him space, but if he puts me in a position when I’m already at the limit of my car, and somebody turns in who has more grip, there’s nowhere I can go.”

          “From the second I braked, I was on the limit of my car and there’s nothing more that I can do.”

          1. That’s the bit that most don’t understand is how as soon as they hit the brakes, only Perez could stop an accident happening.

          2. That’s the bit that most don’t understand is how as soon as they hit the brakes, only Perez could stop an accident happening.

            I’m honestly having trouble trying to visualise Perez seeing Russell behind him, mid corner, to know whether or not to open his line some more.


            I hope that it gets through to you this time.

          3. Try watching the replay, he was not ahead prior to the apex, he only pulled ahead on exit. You clearly have remembered it wrong.

        2. Perez can brake later than Russell in this situation, because his apex is later. He is driving further and using less steering angle and a higher minimum speed.

          Perez is not responsible for Russell outbraking himself. Russell knows there will be a car where he wants to exit the corner, and he has to avoid it.

          No matter how you slice it, this is on Russell.

          1. This is exactly why I sympathise with Masi.
            Stewards make decisions, right or wrong – and he was always the guy who fronted the media to explain how they might have come to that conclusion and the justifications for it.
            He didn’t make the decision, and he never said whether he agreed with it or not – he merely explained it.

            Then a bunch a people come along and blame him and say he’s the root of all evil, merely for acting as the messenger – or the educator.

          2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
            11th July 2022, 16:56

            Perez decides he wants it all on lap 1 with 70 more opportunities at more than one corner instead of just seeing how things pan out. His car is far superior. It is not like that was going to be his only chance in the race.

            Perez can be as disappointed as he likes in George’s driving but he is the one crying now unfortunately.

            No idea what your last comment is all about considering the stewards on this occasion apportioned blame correctly.

          3. I’d like to think you are fully aware that 70 laps doesn’t actually equate to 70 or more opportunities, @andyfromsandy. F1 has never been like that.
            And even in the hypothetical situation that it was the case – time is still passing. The earlier you get the position, the better.
            That’s also assuming there were no reliability issues or crazy race-finish scenarios along the way….
            Thinking back to this venue a couple of years ago….

            Perez can be as disappointed as he likes in George’s driving but he is the one crying now unfortunately.

            Yep. Could have gone either way. That’s racing.
            Probably shouldn’t have gone the way it did, but they’ll both live and learn.

            No idea what your last comment is all about considering the stewards on this occasion apportioned blame correctly.

            Try reading it.
            Read it a few times if you need to. It’s pretty straightforward.

  13. F1 is a bit random and unpredictable.
    Fed up of Redbull and their fans crying and claiming conspiracy theories whenever something goes against them.
    Perez ruined his own race by not allowing a margin of error.
    Had acres of room to utilise on the outside.

    1. Well in that case I wouldnt call it a race anymore. Sure you can give space whenever someone else makes a an opportunistic move. But that won’t win you races nor championships. At this level you should be able to count on the skills of the drivers around you.

  14. They should make cars more safer than year before that’s a no brainer but I don’t care anymore about the weight. The weight will rise (and I don’t believe that they can make the cars less heavier in the new regs until I see it on the paper) and soon F1 will be Fat1

    1. As I said some time ago. The weight is unhealty and if F1 car would be a human it would need a surgery asap.

      1. I may sound like an old fart but I’m done if a Citroen C1 weights as much as a F1 car. New regs can’t come soon enough.

    2. well next time they should go on the inside and force the other car offline. That is ok to you? Oh wait that is also not allowed by the FIA. And was Russell at fault? yes according to the stewards. So we must accept that he was at fault. But the penalty is not enough for the 3 big teams as they can recover from it. That is the main problem.

  15. The penalty is not determined by where or what happens to the other driver/ car. It is determined by the rule and what punishment goes with the rule. It does not matter and should not matter whether its a bigger team or faster car or driver. So yes sometimes the penalty doesnt seem to benefit the person who the transgression was committed on. But thats how it goes.

    1. Ultimately you don’t hear the drivers asking for more severe penalties because they know on any given day they’ll get one and ruin their race. I do dislike the 5s penalty and think it’s overused and the 10s should be more normal with the 5s reserved for marginal incidents or those with no impact to anyone else such as track limits or small driving indiscretions.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        11th July 2022, 14:09

        You hear the odd team principle do it though.

        1. Indeed they do. Often the same team principals that have a very short memory when their drivers are naughty.

  16. Another Monday, another batch of alternate reality ‘First Oder’ Mercedes claims.
    Based on their current behavior, I’m beginning to wonder if the whole Red Bull Ring crowd issue was a Mercedes operation.

  17. Great discussion here but I think we are missing the key point. If you check the video on VER, LEC and SAI respective lines at the same point RUS and PER collided, you will see that all three of them are much closer to the inside. RUS take a wider line than what the race line is, hence the contact. It is true that RUS might not have done in purpose because he took the corner from the inside o he had less of an angle to make it. But given that PER was already ahead he should have slowed down to avoid the contact. But not doing it he caused the collision, destroyed PER’s race, and received a penalty.

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