Did the stewards give the right penalties for Russell and Gasly’s collisions?

Penalty Box

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George Russell picked up a penalty for a collision with Sergio Perez which occured within seconds of the Austrian Grand Prix beginning.

Before the race was over another driver, Pierre Gasly, collected the same penalty for a collision which occured at the same corner and appeared very similar.

But were the two outwardly similar incidents alike enough to deserve identical penalties?

What the rules say

Both incidents involved one driver attempting to overtake the other on the outside. At the beginning of the 2022 season F1 drivers were issued the following guidelines on driving standards relating to that type of move as well as others:

“In order for a car being overtaken to be required to give sufficient room to an overtaking car, the overtaking car needs to have a significant portion of the car alongside the car being overtaken and the overtaking manoeuvre must be done in a safe and controlled manner, while enabling the car to clearly remain within the limits of the track.

“When considering what is a ‘significant portion’, for an overtaking on the outside of a corner, among the various factors that will be looked at by the stewards when exercising their discretion, the stewards will consider if the overtaking car is ahead of the other car from the apex of the corner. The car being overtaken must be capable of making the corner while remaining within the limits of the track.”

Incident: Russell and Perez collide on lap one

Perez approached Russell on the outside at turn four. The pair turned in, Perez squeezing Russell towards the apex of the corner. Russell ran over the kerb on the inside, then moved fully onto the track, where he and Perez made contact.

What they said

In the cars

RussellNothing I could do, he just turned into me.
MusconiUnderstood.
RussellDid my best.
PerezYou saw it clear, no, with George?
BirdStrat 12 in the pit lane.
BirdStrat eight.
PerezI gave him enough room.
BirdYeah copy Checo.

After the crash

I was clearly ahead. It was up to George to really control his car which he clearly couldn’t and we ended up making contact.

There was nothing else I could have done. I gave him enough room. I was already very close to the gravel to make sure he had enough room and for both of us to make the corner.

I think [the guidance to drivers] was clear. For the standards of George, the level, I’m very surprised at that manoeuvre.
Sergio Perez

I’ve looked at the video and I think it was harsh. You are racing at the start, the cars are everywhere. Checo did do a bold move going down the outside like that. He’s obviously done it before, I think he did it with Valtteri yesterday as well and Valtteri had to get right on top of the car to avoid him. Which is exactly what I tried to do but with Carlos ahead of me it made things difficult. There’s only so much you can brake and so much you can steer and ultimately I had nowhere to go.

I was braking as hard as I could and turning as much as I could. There was probably more room on the outside for him and as I said I was doing everything I could. And the second he got to a certain point, I sort of knew it was inevitable because I was already at the limit of my car.

So it’s risk versus reward and he had this with Lando last year, it was very close with Valtteri yesterday. And the move with me today was exactly the same as these other two, so it’s one of those.
George Russell

I think he had such a good run out of turn three. They’re racing drivers, they’ve got to go for it but obviously on the outside of turn four you rely very heavily on the guy on the inside playing ball and giving you space.

We’d seen in the junior races, turn four, it’s a lot of risk around the outside.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner

Obviously I’m biased, but I think predominantly I wouldn’t have called it. I think he had full steering lock on – I saw the pictures only once – he had full steering lock on the inside and I wouldn’t have penalised it. I try to have a neutral perspective but maybe from the other side of the fence, maybe I would see it differently.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff

The official verdict

The stewards held Russell wholly responsible for the collision and gave him a five-second time penalty and two penalty points on his licence.

The stewards reviewed the video evidence and determined that car 63 [Russell] was wholly at fault for the incident.

Car 11 [Perez] was passing on the outside at turn four, was at least fully alongside at the entry of the turn and all the way through the manoeuvre, including at the apex of the corner and left sufficient room for car 63, which ultimately struck car 11.

This was not considered as a ‘first lap incident’ as this was a battle between the two cars and was not affected by the pack of cars as can happen during the first lap.

Your verdict

Was the penalty the stewards gave Russell for his collision with Perez correct? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Was George Russell's penalty for colliding with Sergio Perez correct, harsh or lenient?

  • Far too harsh (28%)
  • Slightly too harsh (33%)
  • Correct (23%)
  • Slightly too lenient (10%)
  • Far too lenient (7%)
  • No opinion (0%)

Total Voters: 144

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Incident: Gasly and Vettel collide on lap 38

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Red Bull Ring, 2022
Vettel rejoins the track after his collision with Gasly while the pair battled for 12th place

How it happened

Vettel approached Gasly on the outside as they reached turn four, the pair turned into the corner and got most of the way around it, but as Gasly moved further wide the two cars met at the exit.

What they said

In the cars

VettelHe has to give up the corner, I had the nose ahead. What is wrong with these people?
VettelCan I have a race without these clowns?
GaslyCheck the front wing.

After the crash

I think I was ahead and I don’t know where he wanted to go. Obviously, he wants to stay with his nose ahead. But he wasn’t and then that was it.
Sebastian Vettel

Well, I try to fight as hard as I can. I took a penalty so I guess I’m the one to blame. At the same time you know that when you are fighting there side-by-side, it’s always a risk, I think we’ve seen it in the past. It wasn’t intentional, but unfortunate for Sebastian.
Pierre Gasly

The official verdict

The stewards held Gasly wholly responsible for the collision and gave him a five-second time penalty and two penalty points on his licence.

The stewards reviewed the video evidence and determined that car five [Vettel] was at least fully alongside throughout his attempt to pass on the outside of car 10 [Gasly] at turn four and gave car 10 sufficient room at the apex. The stewards determine that the collision was wholly the fault of car 10.

Your verdict

Was the penalty the stewards gave Gasly for his collision with Vettel correct? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Was Pierre Gasly's penalty for his collision with Sebastian Vettel correct, harsh or lenient?

  • Far too harsh (2%)
  • Slightly too harsh (8%)
  • Correct (61%)
  • Slightly too lenient (17%)
  • Far too lenient (12%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 127

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Keith Collantine
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73 comments on “Did the stewards give the right penalties for Russell and Gasly’s collisions?”

  1. In both cases, the cars on the outside were ahead and got hit by the car on the inside, which is a clear-cut penalty.

    If anything, the FIA should reconsider the severity of penalties issues in these cases as it has become clear now that a mere 5s is hardly in line with the harm caused by these drivers not wanting to admit defeat and running out of talent.

    1. I would make it so that the driver at fault can’t find himself ahead of the driver he wronged, at least that much. He’d need to give position back, no matter how much time he loses in the process. Of course, he’ll probably have a better car and still have a better race (which is unfair), but this what we have now is utterly unfair. Besides, 5 seconds often don’t matter at all, especially when you drive for the top teams. What difference does it make if you’re 30 seconds clear of the next car?

    2. You’re right – but then the consequences for hitting someone like that can range anywhere from nothing, to several cars retiring.
      And if you start penalising the consequence rather than the action, then you need a new type of penalty for each and every incident.

      I’d be fine if F1 eliminated the 5 second penalty and made the minimum a drive through – but they’ll never go that way.
      Too many people complain that harsh penalties ruin everything.

      1. but that’s exactly what you should do. first, decide if there should be any penalty at all based on the action. and if you decided a penalty must be given, then analyze the consequences to decide the severity.

        in fact, it is done like that when a driver attempts a dive bomb. when it works, everybody praise the action. when not, there is usually a crash, and a penalty is given. in both cases the action is the same but the consequences not.

        1. I don’t agree.
          I think the ‘crime’ is causing a collision. What happens beyond that is largely up to factors that exceed the scope of the crime.

          In the Perez/Russell case – Perez could have driven away unscathed. Or he could have spun around on the track and had 8 cars crash in a big pile up, putting them all out of the race.
          That variable scale of consequence did result from the same action, but had nothing to do with Russell.
          The ‘incident’ is strictly between Perez and Russell, no matter how far those consequences extend.

          It’s the same reason Bottas didn’t get 30 grid penalties from Hungary last year…

          1. Would be fun though, you cause a pile up and then you get told “you will no longer start in any other position than last for the rest of the year!”

          2. Lets put it this way, no names, no bias. Both inside cars pit the right rear of both outside cars. Both outside cars have the consequence of spinning, damaging their vehicles. (It was basically the same interaction into a corner, regardless how much room was left, because in the end the same hit occurred.)

            Net race results for both inside cars, was the same as their starting positions.
            The consequence of taking out a competitor from their position is void.

            The consequence of being taken out from a competitor is 20+ seconds coming back onto the track with a now damaged vehicle($$ as well – lol budget cap) in addition to the possible further time loss by said damage or DNF.

            It’s pretty obvious, in most circumstances when a driver hits another driver (intentional or not) one is worse off.
            The penalty should fit the loss.

            On another note, I find it quite peculiar on the vote to see how Russell’s penalty was too harsh, and Gasly’s was just right. Want to argue? See above, with no bias, the same collision occurred, and the same penalty occurred, regardless of space on track.

        2. I think I understand your thinking. If a driver does something with potentially dramatic or dangerous consequences it makes sense one would want to punish them more. This is a fairly natural instinct, However, I disagree with using consequences to decide the severity. It creates more ambiguity and subjectivity in the rulling.

          For me, consequences—natural ones as a result of contact or such—should almost never be taken in to account. More important to me would be the intent of the drivers and any attempts to mitigate and avoid the incident.

          I would also argue that in a situation like this it is—Russel and Gasly getting penalized—they will naturallyfeel agrieved and wronged. As a result they will like overlook the natural consequences—minor damage, loss of position on track, etc.—due to the impact of the penalty. The best long term outcome is for the individual responsible to review their actions and decide to make a better decision or more concerted effort next time. When penalized the negative impact to their race is viewed as because of the penalty, when it should be viewed as a result of sub-optimal decision making.

    3. Passing on the outside is risky, because it’s easy for the driver on the inside to steer wide to force the other driver off the apex.

      There was literally nowhere for Russell to go, and the FIA has effectively banned defending a corner if you’re on the inside.

      Then again, the stewards were on the warpath this weekend, and seemed to have little regard for common sense.

    4. The pictures say it clear George went into Perez if you see the Ferrari in front of him George was following him while Sergio already was past him. You can’t have the same line as the Ferrari in front of him while there is a car passing left of you. This is a clear fault of George (or the Lewis move) and should be giving a much harder penaulty 10 seconds at least or a stop and go as there was a lot of damage and Sergio didn’t finnish the race.
      So George penaulty was way to lenient.

      Same for Gasly as he had even more space the George but Seb could continue the race and finnish otherwise stop and go penaulty.

  2. Both incidents are clearly racing incidents.
    Russell did looked to have tried all he could to avoid contact. Gasly is historically a dangerous, on the basis of that and the footage I’d accept a penalty on this case.

    1. That what you consider a racing incident is extremely easy to replicate in any given situation (except on a straight). They already do it on purpose because +5 sec is much better than losing a position. Imagine if it was a legal move… It looks like “an incident” because there’s no intentional steering into another car, but they do control their car and know they will go wide if they don’t let it go. It’s not a clear decision to take someone out, but it is a clear intention to make him give position or take the consequences. When you do what Russel or Gasly did you can’t lose, you’re safe and you simply intimidate another driver into submission or into gravel. I’m not sure we want such racing to be legalized at least, because then that’s all we’re going to get, people not going for overtakes or ending their races if they try.

    2. Turn 4 at Austria is such a hard corner to judge when it comes to racing incidents. I agree the Russell/Perez incident is a racing incident as Russell held is line and gave space to Perez on the outside. The stewards stated that the penalty was for causing a collision but I think it was more two cars meeting at one point on the track. Unfortunately the corner is downhill and appears to tighten on exit and thus the inside car will always slide hence why so many incidents seemed to happen here.

      The Gasly/Vettel I think was an appropriate penalty as I believe Gasly carried too much speed into the corner to try to protect position and under-steered straight into Vettel and thus caused a collision while I don’t think Russell caused a collision.

      If anything, I think turn 4 needs a wider exit to help two cars go side by side through the exit.

      1. I agree the Russell/Perez incident is a racing incident as Russell held is line and gave space to Perez on the outside.

        The ‘leaving a car width space’ is only valid when you’re side by side or half a car ahead; this was valid for Perez.
        If you are behind (like Russell was) and meeting another car the rule is ‘don’t hit it’.

        It might be that he had too much speed to stick to the apex (understeering), but then he made the mistake earlier by not decelerating enough.

  3. Apart from Albon’s penalty for forcing Lando off all the other penalties were spot on

  4. Interestingly, in the 2021 Silverstone incident, Hamilton was judged “predominently” to blame (not “wholly”) and got a 10sec penalty.

    1. Not terribly surprising, Hamilton was way further back than either Russell or Gasly and just drove into Verstappen’s rear tire with his front tire.

      1. (that is on the harsher penalty, on the stewards not calling him wholly at fault then, well, that was a clear mistake on their part)

      2. @proesterchen It was a racing incident too. Perez seems to have borrowed Verstappen’s incautious approach of aggressively asserting control of the racing line just after (or before) completing the pass – made famous in the Ocon collision at Interlagos. It’s a racing tactic, sure, but carries risks. This year Verstappen has been driving a lot better – Perez should be learning from Max 2022, not the earlier versions.

        1. There was no pass at Copse, just a dude behind running into a dude ahead, putting said second dude in the wall and earning said first dude a penalty.

        2. @david-br ‘Aggressively asserting control of the racing line’ is called good hard racing, and is applauded every time there isn’t contact between the drivers, or sometimes even when there is contact but both cars remain unscathed and carry on. Yes racing tactics carry risks, and when a driver does the right things he has a reasonable expectation to not be hit. Perez didn’t ‘turn in’ on GR, he took the line he had earned and GR had put himself in the position to be on the limit and therefore unable to react to anything. Perez could not possibly know that and could only control what he himself was in control of, which he did. There are reasons why GR was the penalized one. I think it is easy to use hindsight to claim Perez in this case coulda, shoulda, woulda done this or that given that contact resulted, but that was totally on GR, Perez couldn’t have known how in control or out of control GR was, and since he did everything by the book Checo had a reasonable expectation to not be hit. Let’s try not to think or see with the perfection of hindsight here.

        3. BTW @robbie you’ll have to scrub Brundle off your list of backups for the Russell penalty:

          I thought Russell’s penalty for contact with Sergio Perez on the opening lap in turn 4 was on the harsh side. I did 10 laps in my 1992 Benetton F1 car over the weekend in Austria and it reminded me of just how unsighted, tight, cambered, and demanding the likes of turns 3, 4, 6, and 9 are at this track. At the start of the race laden with fuel and with front tyres not fully up to temperature you’ll always understeer wide in turn 4 , and going around the outside there is a very high-risk strategy especially given the ever tightening exit. I thought George did his best to climb the inside kerb and give space, and there was further space to the outside for Sergio. Conversely it’s a reasonable argument to say that the driver on the inside can always throttle off or even brake. But they won’t.

          1. @david-br It’s ok for Brundle to have changed his mind from his initial reaction, mind you I’m not sure what he said at the time the penalty was announced and he may have called it harsh then, but he initially sided with Checo. But anyway I still don’t agree and MB isn’t even that convincing with your cited quote. It’s like he is saying GR had no choice, as in, ‘What? me throttle off or even brake? Fat chance.’

            As he says, there are a lot of unsighted corners, off camber stuff etc. And at the start they are laden with fuel, front tires not up to temp etc etc. Sounds like a bunch of excuses that a steward would explain are all things the drivers are well aware of and need to therefore act accordingly by accounting for them. MB is all for track limits and drivers leaving a margin so they don’t breach said limits. Why didn’t GR have to leave a margin knowing all the same things MB has pointed out? Why does he get to just ignore the realities and claim ‘no choice’ when of course he had choices. Claiming that an expectation to throttle off or even brake is laughable is hardly a defence.

            The stewards got it right.

      3. Not way further back. He had his front wheel almost even going into the corner. RBR lobbied like crazy to show it was something other than a “contributory negligence” situation with “new evidence” and failed, even trying to recreate the accident with a filming day.

        But it just underlines how hard to apply these rules when there is a complex dynamic of cars moving through a corner at high speed. All of this happens in less than a second. It also shows reasonable people can’t agree even on what the rule is.

  5. I haven’t seen the Vettel-Gasly incident properly so I can’t given an opinion.
    Both Marko and Horner described Checo’s attempt to pass at turn 4 as (over)ambitious – indeed they had apparently advised against attempting an outside pass before the race. Horner saying that you have to count on the inside driver ‘playing ball’ gives a lot away. Why should they help the passing driver complete the pass? My own view is that the pass isn’t over until the leading car is clear: if Checo turns in when he still has track available to him, left by Russell, and gets hit by Russell on the racing line, that’s a racing incident. Perez has taken the risk in order to seize an additional advantage, preventing any attempt to repass him. It’s an option, sure, but carries the risk of the other driver not reacting in time. For me, no penalty. (The same applies, I believe, to the Albon-Hamilton incident at the same corner cited as precedent btw.)

    1. @david-br Drivers are constantly taking chances every race and entrusting their fellow racers to not hit them. In this case Checo may have made a risky move but at the time it was happening he obviously thought it was a risk worth taking given all that was going on around him.

      At the same time GR admitted traffic all around etc and yet still went into the corner at a limit where there was ‘nothing he could do.’ Sounds like if he didn’t hit Checo he was going to either hit someone else or go off on his own. GR needs to also understand the risks of what he did and also with the understanding that there may be someone trying to move on the outside. Happens all the time. GR had no less onus on him to control his car than Checo had wrt risks.

      Unless of course F1 drivers are now just supposed to go single file, there’s always going to be someone on the inside and someone on the outside, and drivers are to control their own cars. Why should the guy on the outside always be the big risk taker and the inside guy has licence to therefore do whatever he wants? Answer: obviously as per GR’s penalty, the inside guy has a responsibility too. Checo could not know where GR was wrt his ability to brake further or turn in more, and based on his position and that he left GR space, he had a reasonable expectation to not be hit.

      1. the inside guy has a responsibility too

        Unless they’re ahead: then they can do whatever they want, pushing the outside driver off track is deemed fine. As we saw VER>LEC, LEC>VER, LEC>HAM Monza, VER>HAM countless times last season. Unless it’s Perez in the gravel, in which case it’s not (NOR>PER). Checo is just a bad racer. Great at defending, yes, but his passing is incautious. That seems to be the view of his own team bosses too if they’re telling him to be careful at certain corners (where he’s been off in the past).

      2. And Russell was racing too. No mention is made of the fact that Sainz went off track earlier on the first lap and was able to use slip road tarmac to keep speed and pass Russell effectively off track. I really don’t blame Russell for not simply giving way on the first lap. You have to be assertive – just as Checo was being. Only the risk to the outside driver is higher. Perez seems slow to learn that though. Just because you’ve got the fastest car doesn’t mean you should assume everyone will give way. Max at least seems to have learnt that this season. If Russell hadn’t left room for Perez, I’d agree with the penalty, but he did.

      3. “ Why should the guy on the outside always be the big risk taker and the inside guy has licence to therefore do whatever he wants?”

        That’s kind of the physics-based historical precedent of racing – the forces involved always ‘push’ the car to the outside. So overtaking around the outside always relies on the person inside holding a tighter (and slower) line to accommodate. Austria turn 4 is an old-school gravel bordered corner that increases the risk of an outside overtake. That’s not absolving anyone of blame, but it is what it is. Outside overtakes have become more popular purely due to the presence of tarmac off track that allow the outside car to take avoiding action of an inside car sliding wide eg Austria turn 1 and turn 3.

        1. Paul there is always going to be an inside guy and an outside guy and the drivers know this going in. It was as much up to GR to control his car as he could have taken himself out of the race completely. As I look at the four pictures above wrt Checo and GR, but particularly the bottom right, look how much room GR still has between himself and the inside kerb. But he couldn’t use it as he admits he was on the limit. As Brundle says of track limits I think the same applies here…it is up to the drivers to leave a margin…in GR’s case a margin of pace or braking. If Checo, by some peoples’ opinion, should learn a lesson from this, so too should GR. These new cars particularly are meant to race more closely so this should come up again. And again. And we (the drivers) know all the things Brundle has pointed out…the tricky unsighted corners in Austria, the off camber corners, starting races on full fuel with front tires not up to temp etc etc. These are knowns that the drivers don’t suddenly get to conveniently use as excuses once things go wrong. Well, indeed they do bring these things out as reasons or excuses, but still, it is not like these things should catch them off guard. GR took just as much risk with the pace he had going in, as Checo took going around the outside. But it was GR that hit the leading Checo, and hence the penalty.

    2. What a ridiculous statement.
      If Horner/ Marko advised against it, it was based on their risk/reward analysis (and proven correct) rather than determining who would be at fault.

      If people advise you not to walk into a gunfight, but you do it anyway, does that absolve the shooter?

      1. No, but don’t complain if you lose the gunfight.

      2. Ridiculous or not, it was a statement of fact you yourself repeated! I didn’t say they blamed their driver for the collision. Only that they warned him there was a good chance there would be one. As for the useless analogy, if you walk into a gunfight and the combatants think you’re armed, then you’ve become a potential risk to them, absolution for anyone is irrelevant to your point (you’d have to ask why they are fighting – but entering the fight isn’t smart either way).

  6. Whatever it is, the guy who is outside should get braver like Verstappen and Perez. In the past it was normal for the guy in the inside to push the other one out and no one said anything. That was also the approach what Hamilton got used to in the past. But nowadays you can and should overtake outside. Hamilton cannot get used to it, he is afraid of overtaking from outside because he has the fear that the inside guy will push him, therefore he is always careful and prefer inside overtake. Another reason for him being careful is that he always had advantage of having faster car, which is not the case anymore.

    So, I would just overtake the heck out of these guys if I was him, he already lost the championship and he has nothing to lose, time to show his talent and bravery.

    1. Didnt he pass Leclerc on the outside at Silverstone?

  7. Penalty for Russell was fair, but I can see why he is a bit upset. He was squeezed initially to be forced to lose speed by turning tight on the kerb, intentionally by Perez to help the overtake, which is primarily why he understeered into Perez.. but he did hit a car that was ahead. You can argue that the squeeze caused the crash, but the penalty is fine according to the rules the drivers agreed to..

    Gasly just needs to calm down a bit – too many incidents lately. Penalty also fair.

  8. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    12th July 2022, 14:29

    The rules blah blah blah and finishes with “The car being overtaken must be capable of making the corner while remaining within the limits of the track.”

    Is that with respect to the reduced space with a car on the outside or not? Seems to make the rule a bit ambiguous to me.

  9. I thought Russell’s penalty was harsh and Gasly’s correct.

    For me the key difference is looking at the relative lines the cars took. Vetted took a much wider line through the corner and never squeezed the apex, Gasly went wide on exit as he didn’t make any concession in braking for his steeper entry angle. That’s why the contact occurred, it was because of a driver error on Gasly’s part.

    For the Russell and Perez incident. Russell was on the racing line throughout and did not run wider than normal on exit. Perez had a better handling car and braked later and turned in later but at a greater angle and hence he was able to straighten his car and get on the power earlier. The 2 lines each car took were always going to meet mid exit unless Perez ran wider on exit or Russell had braked earlier to give up the corner which having the inside line and being about level on entry would be a pretty dumb move.

    Ultimately between the incidents I felt Vettel couldn’t have done more to prevent being hit but Perez could have easily opened up his exit and there would then have been no accident. I feel Gasly made a mistake on both the line he chose for the corner and the braking he chose where as Russell seemed to be in control and on the more usual line.

    Ultimately the penalty didn’t completely ruin the race for Russell but it feels like that sort of accident is going to happen more often unless they review the penalty is the drivers briefing. The apparent effect of this ruling is that when overtaking now, its fine to goto the outside and squeeze your opponent onto the apex kurb and any accident is then their fault if you were ahead on entry. That is wrong as the inside car cannot vary their exit line much once they’ve started braking. As long as the inside car always leaves a cars width on the outside they should be able to dictate the line on exit.

    1. Well explained for me, saw it like that too @slowmo

      1. This video would be a Good watch for people that don’t get why others think Russell didn’t do anything wrong
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jna6oo8kHqs&ab_channel=BradPhilpot

    2. Russell was on the racing line throughout and did not run wider than normal on exit.

      But the racing line and running normal on exit end with taking the kerb, therefore this line leads up to not leaving a car’s width -> penalty.

    3. @slowmo “but Perez could have easily opened up his exit and there would then have been no accident.” You are using the perfection of hindsight and Checo could not have known in the milliseconds of this happening what state GR was in wrt his ability to slow or brake or turn in more, which as you can see from the bottom right pic of the four above, GR had more room on the inside. But he couldn’t use said space and washed outward instead and Checo could not have possibly known that the space he was indeed leaving was not enough for a driver who afterwards (or even on the radio immediately after) deems he was helpless. It definitely leaves me convinced GR was on a path to wash completely across the track and would have either hit someone else or put himself in a position to be hit, or at least have gone wide and off the track.

      “As long as the inside car always leaves a cars width on the outside they should be able to dictate the line on exit.” Can’t agree with that particularly when in this case Checo was ahead. How does the inside guy get to dictate his line on exit when he is trailing? I think the more accurate thing to say would be that as long as the leader is leaving a car’s width he gets to dictate his line on exit and the trailing driver better beware. It is the leader that will at a point on exit stamp his authority on the corner as we have seen time and time again. The trailing driver knows this and is the one that can see better how things are shaping up through the corner as he has full view of the car beside and ahead of him. The leader has only his mirrors and perhaps a bit of peripheral, so once he has left room he has to have faith at some point that he has taken command of the corner by the etiquette of proper racing, and can take his line of choice and of course within reason. Checo had every reason to expect to not be hit, by leaving GR room, and by leading him around the corner and therefore having the upper hand on the real estate upon exit.

      1. There are clear contradictions in the guidance. Perez was not ahead at the point the drivers chose to brake.

        He pulled ahead after the apex as he accelerated, Russell left him half the track to his left but Perez insisted on the tight late apex to squeeze Russell. Once you’ve started braking your line is set in stone for the minimum angle yet you can always open out your line which Perez didn’t do.

        I’m not saying it’s Perez to blame, what I’m saying is that by his decision to not open his line up he guaranteed an accident and he was the only one who could have stopped it.

        The problem with the current guidelines is they mention whoever is ahead at the apex largely can get away with anything. The problem here is its arguable they were level at the apex depending on whose apex youre referring to. The second point is Russell had left enough room on exit to fulfill any requirement if he was ahead.

        The current rules of engagement will guarantee more accidents like this until they’re changed. I would say though that Perez didn’t leave this mythical room on exit, he squeezed Russell with as much lock as his car would allow. He left no space and if you check the replays you’ll see he even had his car pointing at a line that was always going to intercept with Russell’s car. Check the video I posted earlier, its pretty explanatory on what happened and why it’s likely to happen again.

      2. You’re completely wrong on Russell’s line, check the replays, he was on the same line as Leclerc on exit and some way inside of Gasly who did wash out wide on that corner when he hit Vettel.

        1. But again, Perez having fulfilled his obligation couldn’t very well devine what GR could or couldn’t do with his car.

  10. Correct for both, as a 5-second penalty is fully in line with the similar incidents on the same corner in the last two seasons (HAM-ALB in 2020 & NOR-PER last season + PER-LEC with angle & outcome slightly different), so fair penalties for both Russell & Gasly.

    1. @jerejj Incorrect for all three imo. Hamilton-Albon was similar, true, but a racing incident too for the reasons I gave above (I don’t buy that the driver making the outside pass has some kind of automatic right to the racing line if they’re ahead: I think they should have to make the pass with the track available still even if they’re ahead). Norris-Perez is quite different as Perez wasn’t ahead. Which makes the decision to penalize Norris wildly inconsistent as – going by the post-Leclerc/Verstappen scuffles, pushing another driver off track is allowed if you’re ahead and you remain on track. Norris referred to this inconsistency at the time and later. The shoving-off-track rule was ‘amended’ last year after Verstappen went off track himself, by meters, to push Hamilton off at Interlagos. When he did so at Abu Dhabi, after Masi’s new clarifications, it was deemed OK as he remained on track this time (miraculously given how hard he himself had said it was to stay on track sometimes…/sarcasm obviously).

    2. I had a look on Youtube. Here’s the 2020 incident (HAM-ALB) and here’s the 2021 incident pt. 1 (NOR-PER) and the 2021 incident pt. 2 (LEC-PER). And to be complete: Russell vs. Perez last weekend.

      Out of all incidents Albon was way further ahead than anybody else, that (to me) all looked rather clumsy. I don’t see why Norris should’ve gotten a penalty in 2021 (Perez was never really alongside).
      As for the last incident: I can see how Russell from his perspective says he couldn’t have done anything else. At the same time you can’t expect Perez to determine from the other car if the Merc has enough grip to make that corner. Perez positioned himself far enough alongside and carried enough momentum to make the move stick. If it was smart to put everything on the line at that place at that moment in the race is another question (it’s not).

      The battle between Leclerc and Perez is the interesting one in my opinion. I think the 5-sec penalty for Perez was fair in turn 4, but not for turn 5/6, where Leclerc was never really alongside.

      1. Perez said he was pretty close to the gravel (on the outside), but he clearly did have more space, which makes me say that it was a bit too harsh.

  11. I keep wavering on the Russell penalty and I think the video above puts Russell in a better light. That is a downhill corner and he was way up on the apex. He could not really take off much speed without spinning the car.

    I also saw yesterday a video of Hakkinen and Schumacher battling at Austria in 1998. Schumacher tried the outside in that corner and was well alongside. But had to back out because he could not make the corner while giving hakkinen enough room. He could have squeezed Hakkinen but didn’t.

    Also consider that possession is 9/10ths of the law as they say. The car on the inside is much less likely to end it’s day with contact. So maybe Perez should have followed Markos advice and not tried that move. Just like verstappen had a choice not to close the door on Hamilton at Silverstone having been presented with a front wheel to his inside. This does bear in what the penalty should be but drivers are trying to win races not litigate penalties after the fact.

    1. *does not bear on

  12. I’d actually say it’s Gasley’s penalty that I disagree with more. Vettel was further ahead than Perez going into the braking zone and Gasley just braked way too late and hit him on the outside of the circuit. For me, that should be a 10s penalty as it was just really poor driving. Vettel didn’t contribute towards that accident at all other than the fact that he was trying to overtake.

    For Perez, he took a risk leaving a limited amount of a space so I don’t feel too sorry for him that he got punted off. Having said that, Russell chose to take a tight line to defend so it’s his responsibility to not come across the track at the exit. He looked in his mirrors 3 or 4 times before the braking zone so knew exactly where Perez was. I’d say a 5s penalty is suitable as he predominantly caused the accident and ruined another driver’s race.

  13. The Russell-Pérez incident seemed like a racing incident to me, unlike the collision between Gasly and Vettel.
    Pérez squeezed Russell onto the kerb and didn’t give him enough room. T4 naturally makes the cars drift wide towards the exit kerb and thus the driver on the inside will always understeer to the outside of the corner. You can see that Russell puts in more steering angle than Gasly at the apex of the corner. Gasly then increases it when it’s already too late and hits Vettel.
    It doesn’t matter who’s ahead at the apex (nobody was a full car length ahead), but how much room you give the other driver.
    Pérez had plenty of room available on the outside as he was a full car’s with away from the exit kerb.

    1. T4 naturally makes the cars drift wide towards the exit kerb and thus the driver on the inside will always understeer to the outside of the corner.

      Adding to that T4 itself doesn’t really open up, the exit keeps bending right ever so slightly into a new turn (not sure if it’s labeled as such). That doesn’t help.

  14. These results sure are interesting…
    Basically the same actions and consequences, and both at the same corner of the same track – but involving different drivers in different teams….

    1. They were not the same bar occurring at the same corner. Completely different lines by all 4 cars, different relative positions by both on corner entry. Even the eventual point of impact was different. The only similarity is the inside car hit the car on the outside attempting a overtake.

      1. Yeah, you can probably see a lot of differences with your silver glasses on. Everything is tinted.

        1. Or I just stated the facts

        2. Sorry, but I think it’s you who needs to remove whatever glasses you’re wearing if you think the actions were the same. Palmer gives a great explanation with images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuzMtAieIFk

  15. I don´t know, really. Both penalties sound correct to me, but i ask myself how many overtakes on the outside have we seen on that turn? With the massive speed those cars carry from the straight before the turn, going on the outside basically guarantees that the driver on the outside line will be faster but if there is another car alongside the touch is almost inevitable. To be able to make the turn, the inside car will need to take the whole track on the exit and thus moving towards the outside.
    To me, the only way to safely overtake from the outside on that turn is IF the driver on the inside lift the shoe from the gas pedal. Or if there is a massive speed difference.
    Maybe we have seen many overtakes from the outside on that turn with drivers fighting for position, but I admit my failure to remember one.
    So, yes, two cars ended up in the gravel trap so there must be some sort of penalty for the drivers responsible, and so the two penalties seems fair to me.
    But it seems to me that the driver fighting for position that takes that turn on the outside line is just asking for trouble or expect that the other will move away and lift the gas.
    Of course, I may be wrong about this, but will vote for the “correct” option.

    1. To me, the only way to safely overtake from the outside on that turn is IF the driver on the inside lift the shoe from the gas pedal. Or if there is a massive speed difference.

      That’s called racing. When someone is ahead of you, you have to slow down so that you don’t run into them.

      There have been a lot (really, a lot) of overtakes at that corner both from the inside and the outside, and most go perfectly fine when both drivers respect each other.
      Pretty much every overtake involving a braking zone and/or a corner involves a certain level of trust that the other guy won’t deliberately (or even unintentionally) make contact – that he has the attitude, skill and experience required to be racing in the first place.

      1. That’s called racing. When someone is ahead of you, you have to slow down so that you don’t run into them.

        Sorry, what???? If someone is ahead of you you have to slow down to avoid contact?

  16. I think it was correct in both cases.

  17. Neil (@neilosjames)
    12th July 2022, 18:13

    Not really sure with Russell and Perez. I think probably that was a racing incident – Perez pinched Russell very tight and onto the kerb, and Russell clearly tried to keep the unnaturally tight line but slipped wide coming off the kerb. It was also nowhere near the outside of the track – closer to the inside, if anything. I’m leaning towards saying racing incident.

    Gasly/Vettel was different, clear penalty – Vettel left miles of space but Gasly just overcooked it and drove into him.

  18. Perez vs Russell was a bit more 50/50 compared to Vettel vs Gasly. Russell was squeezed a little but may have understeered due to cold tyres or the dirty air from the Ferrari in front. Gasly just overcooked it into Vettel.

    One thing I have noticed is that the stewarding in Austria appears to be more strict compared to other circuits with plenty of track limit warnings during the race, the post-race parc ferme investigation, and Vettel storming out of the stewards office. Last year also saw a few arguable penalties and also Verstappen receiving a warning for a burnout on the start-finish straight after taking the chequered flag.

  19. I don’t think either penalty is fair.

    In both cases the car on the outside is alongside and only marginally ahead until the car on the inside has to break earlier (due to needing a tighter line).

    Turn 4 is super hard to pass at and you shouldn’t expect the driver on the inside to make it easy.

    Once the driver on the inside has started breaking they’re pretty much committed at that point and an accident is inevitable.

  20. Agree with the consensus that Russell’s penalty was a bit strict, given that Pérez had him all on the inside kerbs. Pérez was going to fly by Russell anyway, there was no need for such a move at that point in the race. Short of braking, there wasn’t much Russell could do given he simply didn’t have space on the inside. Still, he didn’t so a five second penalty seems fair.

    Disagree with the consensus that Gasly’s penalty was okay. His move on Vettel was rather silly; he had tons of room and hit Vettel fairly late as they were both exiting the corner. Would have gone with a drive-through.

    Wouldn’t have minded penalties for Albon punting Vettel off (10 seconds), or Tsunoda running Alonso off (5 seconds), either.

  21. It is interesting the amount of thought that is being given to the PER/RUS incident. Contrary to what it is said here, PER did not “squeeze” RUS. The photos above show that RUS took as much kerb as did SAI ahead of him. In addition, as I noted in previous posts, RUS’s line was wider than that of LEC and SAI ahead of him which prompted RUS to collide with PER. Since PER was ahead, RUS was reasonably found to be at fault; hence the penalty.

    I must say, the stewards were quick here and did the right thing, well done.

  22. someone or something
    13th July 2022, 9:20

    I’m amazed that there even is a debate. Both slam-dunk penalties, leaving me wondering whether 5 seconds were enough.
    I especially dislike the discourse about Pérez, about whom many are saying that “he had more space to the outside”. That’s not the point, stop blaming the victim …

    1. Exactly. Having done that which the onus was on him to do, which is leave space, and as the one leading, he had every reason to expect to not be hit. That he had more space on the outside is irrelevant and uses hindsight, as he had left GR enough. Perez could not have known to what degree GR was ‘helpless’ by that point to avoid him. Perez could only control what he could do himself at the very milliseconds of this happening, and I think a lot of critique comes from the perfection of hindsight.

  23. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    13th July 2022, 11:45

    To try and re-write and old saying

    Here lies the remains of Perez’s car that crashed maintaining his right of way. He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he’s still out of the race as if he were wrong.

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