Monza finish brought back memories of Abu Dhabi finale for Hamilton

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton admits the conclusion of the Italian Grand Prix reminded him of the controversial circumstances in which he lost the championship on the final lap of last season.

In brief

Monza shows inconsistency of Abu Dhabi race – Hamilton

The Mercedes driver lost the championship last year when the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was hurriedly restarted on the final lap, in contravention of the rules, after only a portion of the lapped cars had been allowed to unlap themselves. Yesterday’s race finished behind the Safety Car as race control ran out of time to arrange a restart.

Hamilton told Sky the final laps at Monza “bring memories back” of his title defeat. “That is the rules, how it should be, right?

“There’s only one time in the history of the sport that they haven’t done the rules like that today and that’s the one where it changed the result of the championship. But it is what it is.”

Zhou narrowly avoided crash with De Vries behind Safety Car

Nyck de Vries was given a reprimand for erratic driving behind the Safety Car following a near-miss with Zhou Guanyu. Alfa Romeo accepted the decision but head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar said incident had been potentially dangerous.

“It was a bit strange because De Vries suddenly slowed down in a way that Zhou didn’t expect and actually if we didn’t manage to avoid him, we would have just crashed into the back of him,” he explained. “So it was not ideal.

“That’s why drivers should not drive like this in this situation because it can be dangerous. The stewards decided that was okay, no further action. That’s what’s happened and we’ll take it like this. But for Zhou actually he had a bit of a surprise.”

Stewards apologise to Vips over penalty error

The Formula 2 stewards apologised to Jüri Vips who served a more severe penalty than he was issued following a miscommunication. He was issued 10-second penalty contact with Liam Lawson during the race, but this was incorrectly described as as much harsher sanction.

“Due to an administrative error a 10 second stop-and-go penalty was shown on the timing screen from Race control,” the stewards explained. “The team correctly served the erroneous penalty as posted before it could be corrected. There is no mechanism to fix this error and an apology is offered to the driver and team.”

Kush Maini was also incorrectly issued a five-second penalty for track limit violations in the Formula 3 feature race, applied post-race. However, this was more easily reversed than Vips’ incorrectly taken penalty, restoring Maini to a 13th place finish.

Ayumu Iwasa, who originally finished third in the F2 feature race and moved himself to fourth place in the championship, was disqualified after a technical inspection showed the rear plank of his car not to be in compliance with the minimum thickness. Iwasa’s exclusion promotes Enzo Fittipaldi to the final podium position and brings the number of classified finishers to 13.

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Comment of the day

After fans at home were dissatisfied by the lack of race restart, Depailler points out that F1’s spectacle is not particularly glamorous for fans at the tracks

I’m just on my way back from Monza to the UK. Really disappointed by the finish, and also feeling slightly cheated by F1. We fans pay a lot for the privilege of watching the sport. We paid to see a race and deserve to see one.

I met some fantastic people at Monza (including a taxi driver who gave me some fantastic recipes!) F1 is not treating fans well. Confiscating plastic bottles of water, then making them queue up to buy tokens, then queue again to buy water with the tokens is pretty cynical. I’m sure they will justify it on some grounds but in that heat it was not nice.

I’ve loved the track from afar for years, but disappointed (and sweaty) after today.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Mark, Striay, Gex and Frieda!

On this day in motorsport

  • 40 years ago today Rene Arnoux won for Renault at Monza while the Ensign and Fittipaldi teams bowed out

Author information

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

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65 comments on “Monza finish brought back memories of Abu Dhabi finale for Hamilton”

  1. COTD is total nonsense. You are NOT entitled to an exciting race just because you paid money to see it. I know the argument of red flagging means we would finish under green and I would much rather we finish under green as well, but anything less than what they did today would amount to manipulating the result for entertainment. F1 needs to steer clear of anything like that, especially after Abu Dhabi last year. F1 is not WWE.

    1. but anything less than what they did today would amount to manipulating the result for entertainment.

      That’s the biggest load of bull.

      How on Earth can such a double-standard be so pervasive in people’s minds to claim that an entire race (minus a few laps) is not entertainment, but the final few laps are?
      And how is that allowing them to compete on the racetrack is manipulating the result?

      With a machinery and track workers on the track, there is every justification for calling a red flag on safety grounds.
      If there happens to be an exciting finish afterwards, then so be it.

      1. How is it a double standard? Much as I think there needs to be some reviews to see if the safety car process can be shortened if it happens to coincide with the end of the race then fair enough, thems the breaks. Throwing a red flag to force a ‘spectacle’ is what led to the debacle in Abu Dhabi and if codified would very easily lead to more debacles.

        1. It wouldn’t be throwing a red flag for the ‘spectacle’ – it would be throwing a red flag due to the use of vehicles and equipment on the race track. That’s called a ‘safety consideration.’

          But some think this equates to forcing a ‘spectacle’ just because it happens at the end of the race.
          Even though it wouldn’t be described that way if it happened on lap 3…

          1. It wouldn’t be throwing a red flag for the ‘spectacle’ – it would be throwing a red flag due to the use of vehicles and equipment on the race track. That’s called a ‘safety consideration.’

            Throwing a red flag was completely unnecessary given how the car was at the side of the track, Well off the racing line & could be quickly/safely recovered under the safety car.

            It wouldn’t ever have been a red flag on lap 3 so it shouldn’t have been one on lap 47 just because its nearing the end of a race.

            I can’t remember a situation like that ever resulting in a red flag been called during a race because it’s simply not a red flag situation.

    2. I know I sound like an old man, but I think there are too many safety cars now, and it’s turning into Indycars a bit. More things can be covered with waved yellows. I know people talk about the Bianchi crash but a dry track with no debris is very different to a wet track where you can easily lose control even when below race speed.

      1. Bianchi’s incident wasn’t strictly a result of the weather or track conditions – it was the result of a racing driver ignoring double-waved yellow flags, @f1hornet.
        That’s why it is no longer handled just with yellow flags.

        And if you think that driver and team attitudes have changed since then, can you explain why that there have been several penalties issued for ignoring flags and light boards in the last 2 years?

        1. Pretty much, and drivers have lost it on warm up laps and under safety cars in the dry so it’s just an unnecessary risk in my mind. I certainly don’t want to see drivers going under recovery vehicles at any speed any time…

        2. S, you appear to be using the partially-discredited FIA report to reach that conclusion. Note that many of its observations were implicitly revoked as part of the 2017 settlement with the Bianchis (otherwise the FIA’s statement at the time would be incompatible with said report). It was found, among other things, that Bianchi had obeyed the double-waved yellow rules as written at that time.

          The rules were of course changed afterwards, but that doesn’t bring back the dead, nor does it necessarily change the need for caution when choosing how a section is covered.

      2. @f1hornet Unfortunately the conduct of the FIA in that affair means that it cannot be trusted to handle having machinery on track under double-waved yellows. Though I was surprised it went to Safety Car before the crane arrived – similar situations when only marshals on the track have been covered by double-waved yellows in the recent past.

    3. Honestly yesterday’s mistake was bigger than Abu Dhabi, it just did not decide the title. In abu dhabi the right call was eventually made via breaking the rules, in monza the mistakes of race direction were not rectified in any shape or form and we had an sc period 10 mins too long.
      It is not about the outcome of the race, it is a question of principle. The race should have gone.

    4. What are you on to @trido – the CotD literally has NOTHING about how entertaining or not the race was in it.

      Instead it comments how disappointing it is that F1 milks fans for expensive tickets, then takes away water bottles (for Safety? For “waste management” reasons?) only to have them line up for a long time to get “tokens” and then stand in line again to get actual water to drink on a hot weekend, seemingly happy to take their money but unwilling to prepare enough facilities to actually cater for them.

      1. We fans pay a lot for the privilege of watching the sport. We paid to see a race and deserve to see one.

        Are you sure that CotD only talk about water bottles and tokens?

    5. @trido Viewers are, however, entitled to as much racing as the regulations will support. That did not happen yesterday.

      1. What? No one disputes that what happened yesterday was within the regulations, so what are you talking about?

  2. I felt sick for him last year be he can be comfortable knowing he did absolutely everything in his power and things were not in his hands. Respect him for coming back because it must have been so demoralizing, I don’t know if I would have but alas. He can also find some comfort in his bank account which I am sure is larger than most!

    1. He can also be comfortable knowing that with 1 less mistake, say no off weekend at monaco, OR no brake magic mistake at baku, he’d have won anyway, so he hasn’t been cheated.

      1. Not to mention his very first WDC is a fixed result, and still he doesn’t seem to bother. Strangely enough we don’t see this stressed out at every reading piece we come across, huh?!

        1. How was his first WDC fixed? Do you mean Glock? Are we really still on this nonsense?

          1. I think that he means the crashgate.

          2. No he probably means the Singapore 2008 result would deserve to be voided.

        2. +1 on that mate. And also to MattDS. Singapore 2008 should have been annulled.

      2. And with no consecutive torpedoing of Max starting with the British GP, he’d have romped home with the title. I don’t think hypotheticals are very helpful tbh.

  3. If tasked with picking out a single glaring problem in F1 over the last two seasons, I couldn’t go past uncertainties or inequalities created by SC procedure. Two or three abominable events last year and two pretty ordinary ones this year (I can’t tell you all the details because I switch off more often than not).
    Any time a VSC or SC is called ‘pure’ racing is compromised. Unfortunately, more often than not, a crucial advantage is handed to a trailing competitor. Red flag is the closest to a level playing field so I wouldn’t have a problem with a mandatory reset if a minimum of two laps of racing at the end couldn’t be forecast (allowing an early call) by the race director. I think I’d prefer a rolling start to preserve some non-clutch-related advantage for the leader.

    1. The Skeptic (@)
      12th September 2022, 2:39

      @didaho – well said. Safety cars regularly create anomalies in the race (due to primarily to pitting for new tyres, which is often a pure luck issue). I’d much rather it be down to an error from a river on a restart.

    2. @didaho how can you call a red flag closer to a level playing field than a VSC?
      A VSC maintains the gaps more or less, the biggest impact is a cheaper pitstop for those pitting.
      A red flag reduces any and all gaps to zero and allows free (not cheap, free!) stop for everyone. Stopped already and lost an on track position to a competitor who’s yet to stop? Red flag effectively puts you in the trailing position. Had a 20 seconds lead? Tough luck, it’s 0 now.

      Of course a red flag gives the most impact.

      1. It’s zero until they cross the finish line, @mattds.
        That’s a factor in pretty much every sport – you haven’t won anything until it’s over.

        F1 isn’t a time trial – there was never any rule or right to maintain any time gaps at any point during the competition until the VSC was introduced. Under SC or red flag, position is the only factor.
        F1 is positional racing – the only thing that matters at the finish is the order.

        Any lead someone may have had still gives them track position at the restart anyway. That’s their ‘earned advantage.’

        1. Correction – there was another period when time gaps mattered under red flags – and it was the most confusing and unsatisfying aspect of F1.
          Just thinking of the words ‘aggregate times’ makes me shudder.

        2. I’m sorry, but I don’t really understand why you are replying all of that to me. I am well aware of what F1 is and isn’t and I also am aware, as I was there to see it, that at one point we had pre-SC times added back to the race result.

          The post I made was in reference to Duncan talking about the impact of an SC or VSC on the race and how a red flag would have the least. I did not agree with that, a red flag is clearly more impactful than a VSC, which is why I reacted.

          Nowhere did I say I do not agree with the application of SC or VSC, or its effects, or that I would advocate time gaps being kept, or anything else. Just a simple statement on what is more impactful.

      2. +1

        If they would add a rule, that there is a 10 seconds wait for stops under VSC (like you get a 10 sec penalty for entering pits under VSC, to be immediately served at the pitstop), then VSC is even more fair.

        Red flag is the same like SC, voiding gaps and allowing free stops to some cars only. Both should be used only when there is no other option. Parked cars could usually be removed with strictly enforced double yellow, especially in dry conditions. Freak accidents can never be fully avoided, and the chaos in the pits under SC/VSC is a much higher risk.

        1. @romtrain since nobody ever died from “the chaos in the pits under SC/VSC” (not to my recollection at least, and certainly not once the insane speeds in pit lane were banned) and we did have accidents resulting in death under double yellows, clearly the risk is not “much higher” in the pits.

          F1 learns from its history, reviews accidents, and see what could have been done to avoid them. And makes changes accordingly.
          This is why we now have the SC and VSC rules. Any time we need a marshall on track (= unprotected by the barriers), any time we need a recovery vehicle on track, there is going to be a VSC or SC and rightfully so. Double waved yellows are not enough and it’s not only in F1 we have seen big accidents as a result.

          The VSC is actually a pretty good way of enforcing the wanted behavior from drivers during double waved yellows: to slow down considerably and be ready to stop. The big difference is that it’s not local, it’s on the entire track, which actually has the benefit of being the same for everyone instead of only for those that are unlucky to happen to have to pass there (e.g. in case the yellows would only take half a racing lap’s time to clear).

      3. I agree, VSC is the fairest way to ‘caution’ a race if yellow flags do not suffice.

        And if they need more then a Red Flag is better than a Safety Car IMO, as during the SC the clock keeps ticking (odometer turning).
        It’s easier to change a Red Flag restart to rolling, than to stop the ‘odometer turning’ during a SC.
        And please stop this nonsensical unlapping; it gives another freebie to the chasers (less cars to lap) and wastes valuable racing opportunities.

      4. You’ve eked out a 12 second gap over the guy behind with 20 lap mediums onboard and 8 laps to go. Do you stop?

    3. I’m interested as to why a late-race restart ‘clutch failure’ is somehow worse than one at initial race start?
      The conditions are the same for every competitor.
      Notice that I use the term ‘competitor’ because it’s supposed to be a competition on the racetrack. No advantages for anybody.

      1. I’m glad you use ‘competitor’ and ‘competition’.
        During a SC the ‘competition’ goes on (metres covered) but competitors are not allowed to compete (except for strategy calls and the DHL Fastest Pitstop Competition).
        The only way to solve this is to Red Flag the race and wait for the competition (race) to continue when the competitors are allowed to compete (green flag).

        1. Indeed, the competition is still active under SC – just in the pits, not on the racetrack.
          The only time the competition is completely neutralised is under red.

          I would add, though, that a red flag restart or SC restart start is unquestionably more competitively sporting than a VSC restart with the field spread out.

      2. I think the odds of failure would be higher with equipment designed for a single slip start (pit stops are spun out) – just thinking of stalled cars / tired drivers and carnage.

    4. I can only describe that as pure nonsense. a red flag isn’t a “fair reset”, it’s an entirely unnecessary waste of time.
      What this argument seems to be in favor of is turning a 60 lap race into something akin to a 58 lap qualifying race and a 2 lap actual race, which I think we can all agree would be an absolute joke.

      1. If it’s not a ‘fair reset’ – then what is it?
        It applies to everyone equally, after all….
        Perhaps the most unfair thing about it is that on the restart, track position is maintained so some will be at the front, and others will be at the back. That’s more than a bit ‘unfair.’

        What this argument seems to be in favor of is turning a 60 lap race into something akin to a 58 lap qualifying race and a 2 lap actual race, which I think we can all agree would be an absolute joke

        That description is an absolute joke.
        Actually, I’d almost describe it as an insult to motorsport, and indeed, sport in general.

  4. Very disappointing they didn’t restart this race, although probably we wouldn’t have seen changes ahead.

  5. In the last 15 percent of the race distance, give the race director the option to call a “competition red flag”. Have the cars park on the grid in their current running order. No tyre changes or other work on the cars allowed. When the race can resume, send the cars off from the grid, give lapped cars the wavearound (if laps remaining permits), and then give the field a rolling start.

    Would that really be so controversial?

    I don’t like the idea of adding laps or late-race standing starts. But from a competition standpoint, this would be exactly as if the incident had been resolved in time under a standard safety car period—only giving everyone involved the time to do the job properly. I would argue not only is this better for the fans, it’s also better for the integrity of the sanctioning body and safer for the track workers because it removes the pressure of late-race situations where decision-making can be compromised.

  6. There’s only one time in the history of the sport that they haven’t done the rules like that today and that’s the one where it changed the result of the championship. But it is what it is.

    Just to name one, a certain 1976 British GP hadn’t the rules followed so that the local hero could benefit, whom ends up clinching the WDC by 1 point.

    Oh well, the martyr complex strikes again.

    1. 1976 British Grand prix where Hunt was allowed to re-join the race following the red flag after initially not being allowed to? He then went on to win the race.

      Questionable decision to begin with but if that was following the letter of the law then fair enough. You know he was later disqualified from the race and Lauda was given the won anyway…

      Try another example.

  7. “There’s only one time in the history of the sport that they haven’t done the rules like that today and that’s the one where it changed the result of the championship. But it is what it is.”

    Hamilton clearly missed that yesterday (which also counts as ‘a time in history’) they made a mistake by picking up the wrong car and consequently extending the SC period.
    This (could’ve) had the same impact on the race result as the mistake Masi made (only allowing 5 out of 8 lapped cars through).

    Interestingly in both instances Hamilton/Mercedes decided not to pit for new tyres. In Abu Dhabi this didn’t work out well for him, but yesterday he was saved by not having a restart, as the cars behind him were on fresher tyres.
    Win one, lose one, let’s call it quits ;)

    1. I think he was referring to the part of Article 55.13 (and preceding years’ equivalents) where Race Control’s allowed to either let through all lapped cars or none, rather than the entire SC regulation, otherwise there’s a whole bunch of examples – including the very first use of it in Canada 1973.

  8. I find the stories about negative fan experiences at Monza sad. I went a few years ago and had a great time, no nonsense about confiscating water or having to pay with tokens. We just paid in cash like any normal place. No need at all for any of that nonsense, it’s just pure greediness to screw over fans. People need water to stay safe in the heat, any everyone pays with contactless cards now, why actively make the spectator experience worse?!

    1. @f1hornet As someone who collapsed from overheating at the Hungaroring* a few years ago and ended up in hospital for 5 days, I concur. While I doubt people who did that at Monza would have hit the headlines when the “fan-generated” ones were dominated by amateur construction works and booing, the health of fans is important enough not to be confiscating water.

      * – Hungaroring had free access to water but confiscated bottles with more than 0.5 litres of capacity at the gate.

  9. COTD Is ridiculous, and I went to 4 F1 weekends. You should have bought a 3 day ticket and gone to the free practice sessions and qualifying. You should have known that one day is not enough. I am sorry, but the race was ended correctly.

    1. @krichelle Not according to the regulations.

  10. The thing I have loved (almost) the most about F1 in my 30 years of fandom is that we are a broad church. All are welcome. You are free to support who you want, but we are all fans of the sport above all else. If “fans” like the two guys in the video linked above, think that sort of football-esque tribalism is acceptable in F1, they are not welcome. If I was at Monza I would have been dressed head to toe in Williams gear…and they would not be taken off regardless of how that chap decided to act.

    I suppose this is the downside of the increased exposure F1 gets these days…

    1. but we are all fans of the sport above all else.

      I think that’s been well and truly proven false – especially in recent years.

      1. Again, I blame the newer fans of the sport and the polarising, antagonistic way DTS is presented for that. There are plenty of sports where people compete hard on the field of play and then shake hands after, Rugby being a prime example.

    2. Pretty sad isn’t it. I mean the only thing that would make a Ferrari win remarkable this year is that they would have had to beat Max. Do these fans not realise that competitors have to exist for the sport to be interesting? Perhaps a Ferrari exhibition track day would be more suitable for them…

  11. Indeed & he couldn’t be more right.

    Regarding Ami-Louise & Harry Hade’s tweets + COTD: My experience attending Monza back in 2010 was nothing like last weekend, so surprising how things have changed in twelve years.
    SC endings are extremely rare, though, so not the world’s end.
    This season has also featured crown teasing surprisingly often.

    I couldn’t agree more with Priestly. Red flagging should only ever get done when truly necessary on safety grounds rather than for entertainment purposes.

    Jenna Fryer’s indirect wording is interesting, but supposing she implies what I think FIA won’t differ from their standard SL protocols based on the most recent info.

  12. If anything the picture above, with the white shirt and the dayglo cap, the article triggers memories of Hamilton at McLaren.

  13. The most disappointing of the F1 race was that the booing was filtered. Not only the audio but also in the interviews everybody acted like nothing happened. Big difference with last year. Regardless how you feel about it just cover the truth and don’t act like it didn’t happen.

  14. After statements like this about Lewis and the statements from the last race in Zandvoort about Lewis when a safety car came on track with Lewis in the lead, it makes it look like has got untreated PTSS.
    It would be better for him, his team and their performance that he would go to a professional and get it treated.
    It is a severe trigger for him.
    It’s quite clear from the rhetoric that going into hiding during the winter months wasn’t the best option.

    1. So the FIA should be allowed to break the regulations whenever it likes without consequence?

  15. What yesterday showed was how horribly unfair Masi’s “it’s called a race” decision actually was. If Masi’s rules were applied yesterday, the 2 cars between LEC and VER would unlap, not really unlap but just get ahead of the 1 and 2 cars. RUS, SAI, PER, HAM, and the rest of the cars would have been left where they were, and then they would have went racing. Actually, only the 1 and 2 cars would go racing so it really isn’t racing as much as Masi and Horner told us it was racing.
    Maybe the new rule should be, the cars race the whole race under the current rules, everyone pits, and then cars in position 1 and 2 go back on track and race to see who gets first. Then the fans are always guaranteed an exciting finish.

  16. Toto always taking credit for De Vries. Ee know you got him out of the penalty already.

  17. Phantom pain it seems…

  18. If the COTD wanted to see a competitive race, they should have lobbied for Verstappen to not be allowed to race.

    The Red Bull has a very strong engine, low drag, and decent cornering performance. This race was always going to be a walkover for Red Bull.

    Complaining that the safety car came out to protect the safety of drivers and marshall’s is just selfish beyond belief. Complaining that the proper procedures were actually followed, given how Abu Dhabi went down– that’s just comedy gold.

  19. I think this year is done.

  20. Prashanth Ramadas
    13th September 2022, 11:07

    I think this year is done.

  21. It is high time Mercedes has to understand how to gain visibility.

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