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Hamilton in the thick of things again
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Hamilton in the thick of things again
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Apr 2010   |  11:14 am GMT  |  323 comments

Lewis Hamilton put in another fighting drive from 20th on the grid to finish 6th in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

But he said afterwards that the McLaren team need to stop making life difficult for themselves and drew some criticism from Renault for the way he resisted the challenge of Vitaly Petrov.

Hamilton: Pushing the limits (Darren Heath)


Hamilton changed direction four times in front of Renault’s Vitaly Petrov and was warned by the stewards for his driving, but not penalised.

The incident happened at the start of lap eight. Hamilton had passed Petrov into the final corner at the end of lap five, but the Russian had caught him out by staying in his slipstream down the pit straight and getting a tow and he then re-passed Hamilton into turn one on lap six.

McLaren’s F duct rear wing helped Hamilton on the straight to reach 300km/h, whereas Petrov’s fastest through the speed trap had been 291km/h. Earlier in the weekend’s practice sessions the Renault had been the second fastest car through the trap, so they may have added a little more wing for qualifying and the race, perhaps with the prospect of rain.

Renault team principal Eric Boullier was unhappy that Hamilton was not punished for what he saw as a clear case of weaving,
“It is very clear in the regulations that you can have one change of direction, so when you do three in a row something is wrong, ” said Boullier.

“He got a warning for dangerous driving, but I am not sure it is enough. It is definitely clearly written in the regulations that you can not do any more than one direction change, and it is something you should not be doing.”

At first sight it appeared that Hamilton was weaving, but what made the incident unusual was that Petrov was not diving around trying to pass the McLaren on the straight, he was trying to stay in his slipstream to get a tow. However he was pretty close to the back of the McLaren and after Hamilton moved to the inside for Turn 1, Petrov went around the outside and tried to pass him, so you could argue that he was trying to pass him all along and was being blocked. Does this make what Hamilton did weaving or just shaking off a tow?

It is interesting that the stewards, one of whom was Johnny Herbert, thought he was weaving and warned him at the time, but let him off without penalty. This sends out the signal that they felt what he did was dangerous, but not dangerous enough to require sanction. Perhaps Herbert’s influence encouraged tolerance.

With F1 walking a fine line with the potential lack of excitement due to the rule changes, it seems that the message from the stewards at the moment is that they want to encourage overtaking. It would have been interesting to see how this story might have taken off differently had it been a front running Ferrari or Mercedes driver Hamilton was trying to shake off.

No doubt the incident will be on the agenda for the drivers’ briefing in Shanghai as drivers seek clarification of what is and is not acceptable.

Hamilton was coming through the field after a disastrous qualifying session in which the McLaren and Ferrari teams relied too heavily on radar information and not enough on human intuition and left their cars in the garage rather than get a banker lap in at the start of qualifying. It presented an open goal to rivals Red Bull and Mercedes, who took full advantage by filling the podium places.

“We can’t afford to have races like that,” Hamilton said afterwards. “I don’t know how many more of those kinds of races I can do. It’s not easy at all. The weekend has shown we have the pace. I think if it had been dry in qualifying we could have made the first two rows. I think the two last races I have pulled out something good. They are probably the two strongest races I have had for a long, long time. Perhaps ever.”

Meanwhile the stewards also let race winner Sebastian Vettel off without penalty for passing Jarno Trulli under yellow flags at Turn 4 late in the race,
“Having viewed video and telemetry evidence and heard evidence from the Driver (Vettel) and Team Representative, find that the Driver did breach Article 2.4.5.1 b) of Appendix H of the International Sporting Code, ” the Stewards said in a statement.

“However, the Stewards, having noted that the Driver made a very large reduction in speed through the yellow flag area and that he understood that Car 18 was slowing with an obvious problem, DECIDE in accordance with Article 16.2 a) of the Formula One Sporting Regulations to impose no penalty. ”

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323 Comments
  1. Andrew Tunnicliffe says:

    I suspect reviewing the telemetery would show that Petrov turned to follow Hamilton’s “weaving” rather than Hamilton turning 2nd to “block” Petrov. A good call by the stewards I thought to not impose a penalty.

    1. Nick says:

      Good decision. I totally agree, Petrov was weaving to follow the tow, not Hamilton weaving to block. Good action, just what we want to see!
      I hope Johnny Herbert was the one who brought a degree of sense to the Stewards Decsisions this weekend.
      Good race, without the need for rain to make it a pure lottery.

      1. Alam Z says:

        I have totally agree with these two comments. Hamilton was totally trying to break the tow and NOT weaving.

        Its was an exciting part of the race and you have to salute the two drivers for fighting fair and also the stewards for not messing up the race by being heavy handed.

        Nice one Mr Herbert and Mr Todt for having a driver as a steward.

      2. F1fan says:

        If it was Schumacher who did that, I suspect that none of you would be so generous. It was a nice move by Hamilton but not legal, and he should have been punished for it

  2. Tom says:

    “Does this make what Hamilton did weaving or just shaking off a tow?”

    That’s the crux of it really. He wasn’t moving to block the line and got off with a warning. A deserved warning, let’s say.

    Great drive though.

    1. Gary says:

      Yes true but if LH got a warning for dangerous driving ie weaving, why wase’nt Petrov also warned, he weaved the same amount.

  3. Jason says:

    I’m glad common sense prevailed in regards to Vettel. You can clearly see that Trulli was waving his hand to Vettel, encouraging him to pass him.

    1. MZR says:

      Then they both should’ve been penalised for breaking the regulation. Yellow flag rule is in place for safety reason, not track position.

      1. ETM says:

        Yellow flags are to protect the the stricken driver and safety crews. Still, common sense has to be applied when enforcing them. Passing a slow moving, probably hurt, car in a safe and controlled manner is standard practice in motor racing. Stacking up the field behind a car that is limping it’s way around the track would be the more dangerous scenario.

      2. Aussie F1 Fan says:

        Trulli’s car was lapping about 10 seconds off the pace by that stage (due to a hydraulic problem), & he then braked even more to allow Vettel to overtake. Watching the onboard it clearly shows Vettel slowing to almost a standstill behind Trulli, then Trulli moves over even further & slows down even more. Vettel then sticks his hand out of the cockpit, much as to say “I have nearly stopped, what more can I do?” & then slowly passes Trulli. Vettel clearly acknowledges the flag & slows down massively, and as such, it was a common sense decision by the stewards not to punish him.

        As ETM stated, it would have been more dangerous having the whole field stacking up behind a crippled car & then having a crazy dash to the finish line with everyone trying to find a way past said crippled car at full speed would have been far more dangerous.

        Great call by the stewards, its good to see common sense can prevail.

  4. Jon veal says:

    Hamilton coming through the field was the best thing about the gp. Something wrong with the regs if he can put in all the overtaking effort but not finish significantly higher than button.

    1. timem1 says:

      Jon, it’s the reg’s that are the problem? How about Jenson being able to produce a similar result with a lot less effort?

      1. Maurice says:

        And boy don’t we just all want to sit there for ninety minutes watching that. Yawn! I suppose with common sense Alonso should have “done a Prost” and settled for points rather than showing that even with a sickening car he could lap way, way quicker than Massa in a healthy one. I hope we don’t all forget that part of this is about racing and not watching a high speed train of cars.

  5. Jake Pattison says:

    I’ve just watched it again. Hamilton was just trying to lose Petrov, not block him. As soon as they reach the braking zone and Petrov swings out to the left, Hamilton keeps his line. Had he THEN swung left, then sure, he would be guilty, but not this time.

    They shouldn’t even have given him a warning. This while thing is ridiculous, and would go unnoticed if it wasn’t Hamilton involved (and no, I’m not a LH fan).

  6. Mike C says:

    There is a clear difference between weaving and blocking. A move to block is done in response to a move to one side from the driver behind you. Weaving to the break the tow is not a response to the position of the car behind you, or an attempt to deny them access to a certain bit of the track. Hamilton was weaving and Petrov was following him

    Hamilton gets all of this stick because he is the best racer on the grid and can overtake pretty much anyone – he makes them look slow and stupid and the other drivers don’t like it.

    1. Williams4ever says:

      Completely agree on that view as a JPM fan. Same was case with Colombian, who could overtake any driver on the grid at will, something that left his competitors, humiliated and him with some non-eligible penalties.

    2. timem1 says:

      Best racer on the grid? 6th place in the Championship.

      1. C Pitter says:

        I think the speed of the car and McLaren’s stupid strategy calls might have something to do with his position in the championship. Although the McLaren is closing the gap, they were about 3rd fastest at the beginning of the season. I think most people are aware of this.

      2. timem1 says:

        So you’re saying he needs the fastest car to be able to win? Ok, understood. :)

      3. MZR says:

        Hamilton followed Sutil for more or less 30 laps & still couldn’t overtake. Maybe Sutil is better than the best based on that.

      4. timem1 says:

        But I thought Hamilton was a passing machine? I’m confused. When he passes it’s down to his particular brand of genius but when he cannot pass (as with Sutil) it’s a regulation issue?

      5. Anthony says:

        So, for you the best racer of the grid has been Fernando Alonso until yesterday, because now is Felipe Massa in 1st place.

        Tomorrow we dont know… you cant judge only by the position in the championship. think first

      6. timem1 says:

        I thought first, and apparently more than you Anthony. The best racer/driver is the one who WINS. That’s why the WDC has a points system and ultimately a winner at the end of the season. No points for passing, sorry to say. As of today, the #1 driver is Massa. He has more points than anyone on the grid. ( I realize this will infuriate Hamilton fans, try to be patient with us less than optimally indoctrinated types. We go by statistics vs. emtions :)

      7. Aderac says:

        championship position doesn’t tell you everything

      8. timem1 says:

        So why keep track of points, wins etc., and have a championship at all if it doesn’t tell the whole story? The Championship is everything. And right now your boy is 6th. Alonso is in 2nd.

      9. Shane says:

        Championship position means nothing lol

        that’s the best line I’ve read all day. It’s a bloody championship. It means everything.

      10. MartynB says:

        Wow timem1, did Hamilton wrong you personally in some way? You make some good points but your replies seem a bit bitter to LH and his fans.

        Some of the moves he made were great and took real bravery, but the general driving style of Alonso, Massa and Button (particularly Alonso with a messed up clutch, blinkin brilliant) was also excellent, if not as visually exciting.

        But as the thing that keeps the sport going isn’t that what we want to see? Visual excitement not conserving tyres and playing a strategy game?

        Don’t get me wrong, to a large degree watching F1 about understanding the strategy, and I agree agree with Alonso’s words ‘if you don’t like it don’t watch F1′ (to paraphrase quite a bit). But this should be mixed with a bit of courageous driving (which it has for the last season or two).

        It seems a bit self-rightous to have a pop at fans of this sort of driver who will really attack at a race and makes it entertaining. I think you can still make your point without coming across as snide.

        And I have to take issue with ‘the best driver/racer is the one who wins’. F1 is a team sport so if the car is significantly poor then he hasn’t a hope (Alonso the last two seasons in Renault for example). The best Team wins.

      11. irishanders says:

        @timem1 that means that despite 7 WDC’s Schumacher is the 10th best driver on the grid only marginally better than Vitantonio Liuzzi? and Buemi,de la Rosa, Kovalainen, Chandhok, di Grassi, Senna, Trulli, Glock, Petrov, Kobayashi are all completely and utterly inseperable as regards skill level? Maybe wait till the season is completed before making that call. say like last season where, oh whats that Alonso is only 9th?!

        Your logic also tells us Alonso is inferior to Massa in equal machinery. well he couldnt get past him two races in a row so i guess there must be some truth in that. And we’ve all seen what Alonso gets like when his team mate starts handing him his a$$ so I give it another race before he spits the dummy. again.

      12. MZR says:

        I’m with you on this timem. Logic means very little on this issue to some people. Funny thing is that nobody is denying Hamilton is a fast driver & one of the most talented on the grid. But that doesn’t mean that he is the best by any means. There are 3 more world champions on the grid & maybe another 3 more world champions to be. Plus except Hamilton nobody had the luxury of driving the best car from the start of their career. So, I don’t have any clue how some people come up with the idea that he is the best on the grid. Bit bullish & illogical in my book. We can discuss wheather or not he is the best at the end of his career or towards the end of his career, not now. Agreed?

      13. timem1 says:

        Finally, someone on this board talking sense. MZR, agreed 100%.

      14. Alanis Morisette says:

        You’re a rather odd chap aren’t you timem1. Patently anyone who actually WATCHES the races would have a contrary view to who has been the best driver so far this year, and that wouldn’t coincide with their championship positions.

        My eyes tell me Vettel has been the best, followed by Hamilton. Championship position means nothing – would you bet on Massa to be ahead at the end of the season judging by what’s gone on so far?

      15. timem1 says:

        Alanis, I’ve watched every race since 1996. Your eyes don’t count. What counts is statistics. It’s called science. Right now Massa is #1. If the season ended tomorrow he would be the best for 2010. Crickey, what are you chaps smoking?

      16. Anthony says:

        Its strange, how can the best driver in the grid the one who WINS, and then you say that a driver who hasn’t won a race since 2008 is the best driver in the grid.

      17. Alanis Morisette says:

        Watching since 1996 eh? A newbie.

        You probably think Schumacher was a better qualifier then Senna, because he has more poles don’t you?

        You probably wouldn’t even consider things like the ratio of starts/poles or anything – just the black and white of it.

        Oh that’s right, you probably would anyway, as seeing as you only started watching in 1996, you’d never have seen Senna race, and missed a good 5 years of Schumacher’s career.

        But that matters not, because who needs to watch the races when we can study facts and figures which clearly to you tell you the complete story anyway.

        And ny the way, I’m not a Hamilton fan – I’m just not rabidly anti like yourself!

      18. Brandon says:

        Timem1 cracks me up. How many WDCs does #1 Massa have? Oh right zero and how many WDCs each have competed for? Kimi finished in 6th during his first season and went up from there, fighting Alonso for a few WDCs and winning one while Massa was crashing Saubers.

    3. mvi says:

      “…and can overtake pretty much anyone” – except Sutil of course.

      1. Tommy K. says:

        Sutil’s turn is coming guys. One thing at a time! (Of course for LH it’s….many things at a time!! hehehe). Sutil was just at the right place, the right moment. Next time it will not be so easy for him. For Lewis, it will be another day at work, and he will make it look easy!

      2. irishanders says:

        maybe if his tyres weren’t done through overtaking numerous other cars before that he might have had him. but fair play to sutil for being able to keep hamilton behind, great drive from both

    4. Phil C says:

      I think the fact that the Force India had the same engine in the back of it, and less wing that the McLaren, answers why Lewis couldn’t pass. He is probably the driver who has done the most overtaking this year!

      As for the weaving / blocking debate, look at Damon Hill in Canada 1998. Schumacher came up behind him, pulled out, and that’s when Hill moved. Schuey then moved to the other side, and Hill darted across again. Michael pulled out a third time, got alongside and Damon pulled across to block again – but couldn’t as he’d have hit the Ferrari.

      I was a Hill fan and I thought that was a bit dangerous – But in contrast, Petrov wasn’t pulling out to pass Lewis, in fact, Lewis moved first. If Petrov hadn’t moved with him, then the McLaren probably wouldn’t have moved again until the racing line.

      Great call by the stewards, glad to see having a racing driver on the panel is making sense.

  7. Stefan says:

    RE: Hamilton, a few laps before, Petrov had moved across the track twice, trying to break Hamilton’s tow. No penalty. When it cam for Hamilton to do it, Hamilton moved first, at each apex of his weave, he levelled out briefly only to see that Petrov was right behind him. If Petrov wanted to pass, he could have let Hamilton move onto the dirty side and keep on the racing line. Then, if Hamilton weaved again he’d be penalised. Simple.

    A complete non-issue for me since, it was Hamilton that moved first each time and Petrov that followed him so closely.

    As for the Vettel thing, Trulli waved him through. He had no option but to overtake, even though he had slowed right down.

    The stewards did a perfect job this race. The warning for Hamilton was right because it was saying “that was OK, but don’t get cocky and do it ino a corner” and Vettel had no other option.

  8. John Johnson says:

    Yawn!

    Another article dwelling on the negatives rather than the positives. There was excellent post of autosport that summed up the Hamilton/Petrov weaving;

    “As for the weaving, for me it is very straight forward and hinges on who moved first!

    If Petrov moved first and Lewis moved over to block him, the actions were illegal and Lewis should be penalised.

    If Lewis moved first and then Petrov tailed him around the track, NO PROBLEM!

    As far as I can tell, it was the second of those two cases that occured. Lewis did not ‘block’ Petrov as Petrov made no move (well, not until Lewis moved first). If anything, Lewis moving to the edge of the track in the middle of the straight offered Petrov and open door to overtake (assuming the Renault had the grunt to do it) but Petrov ignored the open door and chose instead to tail Lewis.

    Under the circumstances, I’m not even sure why he got a warning.”

    1. Jose Arellano says:

      i agree. but the warning was just beacause it was dangerous manouver.. so i think it was ok.

      it looked like blocking too much because petrov was following!

      1. Paul Kirk says:

        Dangerous? B.S! Hose.
        PK.

    2. sinnae404 says:

      Not sure about your comment on ‘dwelling on the negatives’, because if you look at the previous thread you will see what interest this incident generated amongst the fans.

      But I totally agree with the ‘who moved first’ guideline – that’s the crux of the issue in a nutshell to me!

      1. Martin says:

        Sinnae,

        I’d suggest that moving first is irrelevant. Most overtaking is done on the inside line. Therefore drivers block by covering the inside (blocking isn’t part of the racing rules anyway, but a fallen tree can block your path, so reaction is not important). It is generally better racecraft to do it before the following driver moves. Moving twice is against the rules. The text below from the FIA International Sporting Code regulations show Hamilton was in breach in two ways: 1. one than one change of direction to defend a position (he made four); and 2: any other abnormal change of direction.

        “However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited.
        Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will be reported to the stewards of the meeting.”

        The key point of the rules is to prevent the leading driver moving to the inside to such a degree that no inside move is possible and then when the following car goes to the racing line (leaving the slipstream) squeezing back towards the racing line, giving the following driver no space or opportunity to get a run for the next corner.

  9. Red5 says:

    A strong drive and a great showcase for his talent. And not just Lewis.

    Luckily F1 has stewards otherwise the team principals would be out at dawn with loaded pistols.

    But I guess Bernie has already thought about that.

  10. Red5 says:

    As for Vettels warning.

    Should the yellow flag rule not be re-drafted to clarify ‘no gaining track position’.

    That would prevent issue like this when passing backmarkers or clearly slower cars.

    Is it OK to gain position during a pit-stop under yellows?

    1. Ben says:

      Well for a start, the no overtaking under yellows only applies on the part of the track where the yellow flags are being waved. I do not think there are any flag marshals in the pit lane so this eventuality could not arise.

      But assuming it could arise, you can pass stationary cars under yellow flags (because if not you would have to come to a complete halt on the track for the stationary car being removed) so, yes, you could pass in the pit lane under yellows if they were being waved in there.

      Given there is the unsafe pit release regulations with the 55 metre guideline there should never be any side by side activity in the pitlane between two cars in motion and if there was it would receive the same punishment as passing under yellows (a drive through penalty)

      To redraft the rule as you propose would be dangerous as many backmarkers are only fractionally slower than the front runners (they are not all HRTs, Virgins and Loti) – but the yellow flags mean slow down/ slow down and prepare to stop – so it shouldn’t be an issue anyway.

      What was unusual about the Vettel/Trulli incident is that Trulli had a very sick car and was going very slowly even for a Lotus – as a result he was just pulling out of the way for any car that came up behind him. He had backed off so slowly and Vettel kept backing off too because he was observing the yellow flag rule. However Trulli kept backing up (presumably he was unaware of the Yellow Flag due to everything he was managing) and both cars had almost come to a complete stop that Vettel had no reasonable choice but to pass him as if they started going any slower they would present an even bigger danger to the cars closing up on them (two slowly moving cars side by side in an accident area).

      Both cars were already travelling much slower than would normally be the case for the yellow flags that the situation was made less dangerous by Vettel passing Trulli. Whilst it may have technically broken the wording of the rule, the purpose of the rule is for track safety and that is why Vettel was given no punishment or reprimand.

      1. Simon A says:

        I agree 100% Vettel practically parked next to Trulli and was waving at him, he had no choice but to pass.

    2. MZR says:

      I don’t think that the yellow flag rule has anything to do with track position. It is completely based on safety reason. Now in this case maybe it was safe for Vettel to pass Trulli, but there are other cases where it could end up in a catastrophy. Imagine 5/6 cars are driving 250ks/h to pass under the yellow flag to save track position!!!

  11. mvi says:

    Why is weaving to shake off the tow considered OK when doing similar moves for blocking is not? Why is it so important to shake off the tow anyway? Is it only for the anticipated challenge at the corner or does the front driver of an open wheeled car lose speed because of the tow?

    The driver slipstreaming the fastest car on the straight must be pretty happy for that tow. It sounds like a natural way to catch up on the additional speed provided by the f-duct system. (I’ll bet all the drivers are reviewing Petrov’s pass!)

    Does a car using an f-duct on a straight create a different turbulence pattern that might make it easier to follow?

    1. Aderac says:

      do you actually know what your talking about?

    2. Res says:

      Weaving to shake off a tow is very different to weaving to block.

      If the driver moves to block they are effectively moving into the line of the following car – the result could be seen as quite dangerous.

      If the driver moves to break the tow they’re moving out of the following cars line which is far less dangerous.

      1. mvi says:

        Thanks.

        So weaving for blocking vs tow-shaking can be considered in terms of danger for the drivers on the track which makes sense.

        The regulations (International Sporting Code, Annex L, part 2b) however are in terms of hindrance to other drivers who might want to overtake. The rules on blocking are clear, but might “abnormal change of direction” include the tow-shaking?

        There’s always some room for interpretation!

    3. Res says:

      To answer the other question.

      Once the driver behind gets past the turbulent air and gets into the tow / slipstream of the car in front they have a speed advantage of around 5kph.

      As far as I’m aware, it has no affect on the speed of the car in front.

      Lewis’ weaving was to get Vitaly out of his tow. Vitaly would have been able to pull past Lewis and overtake or be at least side by side at the end of the straight.

      1. mvi says:

        In stock car racing, if one car is slipstreaming (drafting) another, both cars go a bit faster as the turbulence between them is reduced. Add more cars drafting on a long track and they all go a bit faster in a train.

        I was wondering if the same effect happens or can happen with open-wheel racing. (Somehow the Trulli trains don’t seem to do this …)
        In which case strategy on the straights might say it’s better to keep on towing.

      2. krad says:

        They loose drag but also downforce due to the lower air pressure hitting the following cars. So on bendy tracks it doesnt work all that well.

      3. sinnae404 says:

        No, I don’t think so. Nascar is pretty much flat-out, which is why you get that effect. In F1, having a guy tail you means that you are watching your mirrors and probably not optimising your line through all the corners.

        What benefit there would be from this effect on the straight would be negated by these other concerns. Also, they have to be close enough to be ’1 vehicle’ which is difficult to achieve in F1 (if you’re that close, you are better to pass because you may not get another chance).

      4. Martin says:

        By putting one F1 car behind another you reduce the ability to form a low pressure area behind the car. This reduces the drag and the lead car can go faster – they need to be pretty close though.

      5. Wallers says:

        The leading car will actually go a little faster because they’ll have slightly less drag on the rear of the car.

      6. irishanders says:

        i thought the difference in stock car racing is that the tailing car actually physically pushes the car in front (ie theyre touching). I cant really see how a car behind can effect the drag on the car in front significantly even if theyre really close but im certainly no expert

    4. Knuckles says:

      As far as I am concerned, weaving to break the tow is not unduly dangerous, unlike weaving to block, which implies a car alongside.

      I like your question regarding the f-duct’s possible influence on the car’s wake.

  12. Erico says:

    Hamilton has been brilliant this season. Red Bull and Ferrari should be glad McLaren just isn’t quite there yet.

    1. John Z says:

      McLaren should be glad that Red Bull and Ferrari don’t have an F duct yet.

      1. MZR says:

        Yep, they will be praying that Ferrari or Red Bull don’t come up with the F-Duct any soon either. The championship is already looking like a 2 horse race rather than 4 teams & 8 drivers stuff we heard in the pre season. If these 2 teams do come up with the F-Duct within the next 2/3 races, McLaren will be praying Melbourne weather in every race for the rest of the season.

  13. Tripod Ape says:

    I’m not sure if the credit for these decisions should go to Johnny Herbert but someone deserves a pat on the back for good common sense calls which keep the drivers in check and safe, but at the same time preserve the race for the spectators and avoid confusing penalties.

  14. Ragerod says:

    I think they got both calls right. Trulli was really slow at the end and as Petrov clearly had no intention of making a move on Hamilton until the last third of the straight I think they got that one right too. The rules are there but the stewards should do everything in their power to try and avoid handing out penalties.

    Another race, another controversey. F1 would be far less interesting without Hamilton.

    1. DK says:

      I suppose it is controversy that makes a champion great.

      1. Anthony says:

        I think controversy follows great champions, ask Senna and Schumi.

  15. Mario says:

    Very good. There should be no penalty and there wasn’t any. It is a positive sign that stewards gave us this time round. Hopefully we will see drivers more encouraged to race rather than be afraid of attracting penalty, which wasn’t that difficult to do, as we know.
    And hopefully it will silence all those who wanted a penalty for Hamilton. I think it is a question whether you lot want to see racing or just have your own twisted perception of justice satisfied.

  16. Lewis might not be the ‘complete package’ as most go on about, but you have to admit, he is one of the fastest, most entertaining, aggressive drivers on the grid. If he was the complete driver, he would stick it on pole, set fastest race lap, lap up to 5th car and win race…. Which is great (being a big Lewis fan)but wouldn’t that be boring???

    Down to sheer determination and never say die, Lewis has to be one of the finest out there…. Always in the thick of it.

    You have to hand it to him, like him or loathe him, the most entertaining on the track…!

    1. Martin says:

      True, but the car helps. He would have had a tougher time showing off his braking skills if he had a Renault engine. It is also rare that he has out-qualified the car’s race pace, so he is normally looking to move forward, rather than be the head of a Hamilton (Trulli) train.

      If he’d been beaten to the first corner by a Ferrari, he probably would have been stuck there as he was behind Sutil later on.

      1. irishanders says:

        yeah, just like the way he ‘couldnt get past’ massa’s Ferrari twice into the first corner in Australia?…….

      2. kbdavies says:

        “It is also rare that he has out-qualified the car’s race pace, so he is normally looking to move forward”
        Err…he did this virtually the whole of 2009. Why cant some people be objective??

      3. Martin says:

        I think I can be objective when I choose to be.

        But what is your point? Are you suggesting that Hamilton spend all of 2009 holding up other drivers? My point was that this is was rarely the case.

        Are arguing that Hamilton was a star in qualifying all last season? Hamilton’s average grid position in 2009 was 9.18 versus Kovalainen’s 11.00 (Source Autocourse). In the six occasions when he and Kovalainen were both in the top ten, Hamilton carried less fuel. It was widely acknowledged that Hamilton got the new parts if only one set was available and did the evaluations so he had more experience come qualifying. This makes sense for McLaren to do this as Kovalainen was not performing in the races. Still relative to his team mate the evidence isn’t there. Fuel adjusted in 2007 and 2008 Hamilton’s qualifying performances were as expected of a top driver, but nothing remarkable.

        Then if we consider the race performances relative to qualifying. Due to the ability to use KERS prior to the start-finish line and then be recredited with the 60 kW for 6.7 seconds, KERS in qualifying has a speed boost versus the race pace of 0.2 to 0.4 seconds. KERS then generally produced a boost off the line worth a couple of places. Despite this boost that was only otherwise used by Ferrari, it was very rare that we saw Lewis in the race holding up other cars, unlike Massa (Spain, Germany etc). Japan to a slight due with Trulli, and possibly Abu Dhabi
        with Vettel are the only two instances that comes to mind.

        Given that Hamilton had a car that with KERS should have him further up the field into turn 1 lap 1 than the cars race pace should warrant, the Hamilton train should have been a regular occurrence. Possibly due to the McLaren’s overall lack of downforce, this penalised qualifying due to a lack of tyre temperature.

        I suspect this is happening again this year. I qualifying better aerodynamics are basically purely an advantage. In the race the extra downforce creates additional load on tyres, which increases the wear rate. This tends to bring the field back together again, and the F-duct is a benefit as the extra straight line speed comes at minimal cost (slightly longer braking distance) in terms of tyre degradation.

        The results and performance vary from race to race. Irishander’s comment on Massa in Melbourne was clearly not applicable to Sepang as Massa was able to find reasonable traction.

        If you look at Hamilton relative to other top drivers, he has many key assets. He is not slow in qualifying, but he is not remarkable either. His race pace over a full race is usually excellent in the dry or wet. He has an excellent sense of where to place his car relative to others to take advantage of gaps to pass. His overtaking is decisive.

        Hamilton’s driving style works to greatest effect in slow corners (turning in early, quickly turning the car, effectively reducing the distance the car travels). In one interview he effectively admitted that Kovalainen is better in fast corners. Tracks like Silverstone, Spa and Monza were places where Alonso had an edge, as most clearly seen in gaps at the finish of the race.

        If James Allen is to be believed, the F1 race engineers favour Alonso, but that’s not something I can pick one way or the other, objectively or subjectively.

    2. Ryan Eckford says:

      Lewis may not be the complete package just yet, but is very close to being the complete package. He is definitely the fastest driver in Formula 1, there is no doubt about that, especially when you look at some of his performances in qualifying and the margins that he has taken Pole Position by. He is also the best overtaker in Formula 1, because he is aggressive and forceful when he is in traffic, which is caused by his massive desire not to be second best.

  17. Spencer says:

    This is a really grey one because as I understood it, weaving to block a pass is totally unacceptable however, from the video footage Hamilton clearly moves wide, Petrov follows behind. Each time Lewis moves off or onto the line Petrov follows. He clearly wasn’t blocking an overtake just looking to stay inside Hamiltons tow…

    A good call from the stewards, something had to be said but a penalty would have been a travesty. Demotivating Hamilton in his current form would be worse for the sport as he has been more entertaining this season than all the other drivers put together. Sooner or later it will pay off for him.

  18. teamworkf1 says:

    Why don’t you talk about the winner didn’t get penalized, as your title report??!!

    Plus, Rensult talking about “fairness”??!!! It’s a real joke!!!!

    1. MZR says:

      James has to be careful with his comments mate because he is a media figure. He might be sharing his completely open view with his wife in private, he has to be a bit reserved in the web. But regulations should be same for every one. Doesn’t matter you are British or German or Vietnamese. And the reason for this title I believe because the camera was hardly ever on Vettel during the race. Out of 56 laps Camera was following the McLarens & Ferraris for like 40 laps. That is because the rule changes decides the winner after the first corner unless there is any reliability or weather issue. There is nothing else to show or tell really. As a result of the coverage & Ferraris having a clean race, Lewis’s excessive weaving was much more visible. I’m actually thanking Vettel & Hamilton both for letting us something to discuss about.

      1. teamworkf1 says:

        True!
        And in reality i didn’t mean it only AT HIM! Everyone is talking the same things, the same way!
        I just get tired of always Lewis in the middle of negativity! To much lately. Does he create it sometimes, yes! but c’mon! let’s talk about the real issues and leave the Hollywood stuff behind!

        thank you! :)

  19. RobertLujan says:

    Hamilton always seems to get himself talked about. I can honestly say that I personally do not think it is all him, but everyone who has a bad opinion on Lewis. That burnout in Australia is an example of him doing it to himself.

    On a lighter note, did anyone understand what Nico Rosberg told Seb Vettel after the race in German? He mentioned that he had a cold and also had terrible “Durchfall”. Or Diarhea in English. I laughed so hard, it is really great getting the drivers after the race and hearing what they talk about amongst themselves. Show a real human side to what they do. Thanks for the Tech Report JA, my kids and I love reading them every race!

    1. Mario says:

      I think he was talking about his lost place to Vettel at the start of the race. He was just trying to justify himself and express disbelief as to how he allowed that to happen. I concluded all that from his body language and the only German word I managed to fish out: “sheisse”.

    2. MZR says:

      I give you a list of Hamilton things in this just over 3 year career.

      1: Problem with team mate & admiting his mishandling after 3 years
      2: Knowing about spy gate, but not coming out because of his loyalty to the team rather than the sport
      3: Losing his license for speeding in France
      4: Lying to the stewards in Melbourne 2009, then admiting it afterwards
      5: Breaking the Australian road rules by hooning
      6: Weaving, not allowed excessively being so close to another car when didn’t do it on the clear track during the race.

      I think it is all him. In some of those controversies others were involved, but at the end of the day he is the star of the show.

      1. Penfold says:

        Knowing about spygate? Where is your proof he knew about spygate. Alonso and De la rosa were the ones who had all this info and they wouldn’t have shared this with Hamilton. He was a rookie for crying out loud.

      2. MZR says:

        It’s just a common sence mate. Similarly to the crash gate stuff. I believe Alonso knew a lot more than what he told the media as well. Yes Hamilton was a rookie as far as driving in F1 goes. But he has been with McLaren for long enough to know some stuff about the political side of the story. Anyway, that is a controversial issue & everybody has a different opinion about that.

      3. Doug says:

        Your list contains more opinions than facts.

        Maybe you should just post:

        I HATE LEWIS HAMILTON

        This would at least show some honesty.

        In an earlier post you even say he’s had the best car since the start of his F1 career…were you watching most of last season??!! :-O

        In a later post you say this year it’s between Red Bull & Ferrari….I thought Lewis was in a McLaren…must be a Red Bull painted in McLaren livery to fit in with your ‘He’s always in the best car’ line! :-D

        I’m no massive LH fan, but the boy can drive.
        C’mon, try to keep your posts rational! :-)

    3. Knuckles says:

      Vettel replied that if that’s the case he’d rather not shake Rosberg’s hand :)

  20. Jim Wagstaff says:

    Hi James,

    Don’t sit on the fence!
    As an F1 journalist, can you not offer your own thoughts?
    It was brat-like driving, that has no place in motor racing.
    LH doesn’t show any respect to others.

    How did we get to here that someone would think this was acceptable?
    From Senna through Schumacher, there has been disrespectful driving that has largely gone unpunished.
    It’s as though the sport doesn’t value itself highly enough to uphold standards.

    All the best,

    Jim

  21. Aderac says:

    Hamilton wasn’t reacting to Petrov’s movements, if Petrov jinked right then Hamilton did thats a block, if hamilton jinks right and Petrov follows how can that be blocking or considered dangerous, Petrov wasn’t in the space he was moving to!

    1. Martin says:

      The rules are about moving to prevent overtaking. Blocking is just a colloquial term. Besides, moving first to cover the inside is still blocking the obvious route to pass. The text from the regulation is below. Hamilton is clearly in breach. The stewards considered it and chose what I think was an appropriate sanction.

      “However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited.
      Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will be reported to the stewards of the meeting.”

      1. Aderac says:

        your right, and i think thats why it was a good call from the stewards as well,but definetly no more. letter of the law it could be interpretted as a block as you state but i dont think it was and obviously the stewards didn’t either. if that was herberts call then whoever said to use ex f1 drivers, then good call, although several different f1 drivers are quoted with differing opinions on the incident so will we get consistency.

  22. chris says:

    Johnny herbet must have played a big part in that decision because lewis would have got a drive through in previous seasons for those moves. Brundle didn’t have a problem with the move either so i think the new steward arrangement is working. Ex racers racers relying on their instincts is always going to be better than doing everything by the book.

  23. Steve Rogers says:

    Hamilton is right to say the last two races have been fine achievements. And I agree it was pretty silly of McLaren and Ferrari not to put in a banker lap and *then* sit waiting for the rain to stop.

  24. ATRP says:

    James,

    any comments from rival team as to if the F-duct increases/decreases/makes no difference to the tow a following car can get from the Mclaren?

    Thanks

  25. Mani says:

    It all depends on the circumstances at the time. The rules or driver’s code says ‘don’t weave more than once to defend your position’, the defend your position part means when the opponent is making a move. This to stop there being contact.

    Petrov was not making a move when Hamilton was weaving, Petrov was trying to gain a tow (slipstream), so there was no possibility of contact. When Petrov finally tried to make a move, Hamilton was on the inside line and Petrov was on the outside.

    But because Hamilton weaved so quickly earlier on, that confused many people, even the FIA and Anthony Davidson, they both got it wrong.

    Only good old Martin Brundle got it right again!

    1. Martin says:

      Mani, I’ve copied the applicable rule below. Hamilton was in breach and the rule was followed. The stewards made a call.

      From the INTERNATIONAL SPORTING CODE AND APPENDICES – appendix L Chapter 4 section 2B

      “However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited.
      Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will be reported to the stewards of the meeting.”

  26. Richard Foster says:

    Thanks for the blog James, I think it is excellent that the Stewards made some brave decisions. Whilst Hamilton may have been pushing his luck in the race trying to break the slip stream surely what we want is to see drivers taking risks and going for it. Nobody wants another race like Bahrain.

    How much of that decision making do you think was down to Johnny Herbert this weekend and do you think that having a former driver on the Stewards team is having a good effect? Clearly on the evidence of these two decisions it is.

  27. Steve Arnott says:

    Some called it ‘weaving’. Some said ‘swerving’. Others said ‘blocking’, ‘dangerous’ and ‘Schumacheresque’.

    I called it ‘racing’, and loved every moment of it.

    Good on you Lewis for driving like you mean it, and for Vitaly for having a go back and then not moaning about it afterwards. Quite the opposite, in fact. He called it ‘fun’.

    1. Cliff says:

      Well said, I couldn’t agree more!

      1. Simon A says:

        Me 3

    2. Mario says:

      Excellent post Steve. Petrov in deed called it ‘fun’. And why so many people want to punish Hamilton for providing some entertainment for himself other drivers and viewers is totally beyond me.

      1. irishanders says:

        its not beyond me mate – as these people are either Ferrari ‘fans’, Alonso ‘fans’ or general anti-british types and cannot stand Hamilton as he’s a threat to their man/team/ideals.

        So not matter what he does you will see some seriously deluded mental gymnastics going on from these people trying to justify their belief that he isnt good enough or is a cheat or both. No matter what Hamilton does, he’ll never be good enough in their eyes and in fact the better he does the more threatened they are and the more hate comes out of them.

        Best to just ignore these people as theyre not true ferrari/alonso etc fans who can at least admit the boy’s got talent. Normally i dont let myself get goaded into commenting but sometimes when i read ridiculous posts like that from Martin or especially MZR (actually bringing up Hamilton’s traffic offences to substanciate your point, seriously?!) i just get sucked into it

        True great sportsmen generally are both loved and hated by many, but you’ll find few fans are indifferent towards them. Lewis is not very far into his F1 career but you can see this pattern emerging already…

  28. Andrew says:

    I guess if an overtaking move had been made it could have been dangerous and I guess by crossing over so many times he potentially discouraged the overtake.

    Encouraging overtaking is a good thing but is an overtake better than a successful defence of an overtake?

    This ruling makes it clear that the driver is allowed to cover any line he wants, but once chosen he has to just sit back and accept the consequences. I’m not necessarily sure that is a good thing.

    1. Martin says:

      Andrew,

      Given how difficult overtaking is in F1, I think an overtake is better than a defence. If it was MotoGP, then the defence would be more notable.

      I think the move once rule is right way to go. Otherwise we’d end up with the leading driver squeezing the attacking driver in the braking zone. This generally gives them no space to get a better run onto the next straight. In touring cars they get around this by giving the leading car a nudge.

  29. Thalasa says:

    If the rule says that you shouldn’t change direction more than once, does it matter whether you do it for shaking off a tow or for weaving?

    I don’t know, I ignore the literalness of the rule.

    1. duke says:

      IMHO, if weaving is considered illegal, then all the drivers are not allowed to weave around warming up their tyres then (e.g warm-up lap, following behind safety car) lol:-)

      1. mvi says:

        But they are not racing at those moments and they do need to warm up tires.

      2. duke says:

        i was just being sarcastic.
        banning blocking is ok, but questioning weaving OUT of others’ racing line is just a bit too much don’t you think?
        btw following safety car can be dangerous too. just ask schumacher and montoya of their little get together in monaco a while back:-)

  30. Luciano says:

    Surely if the FIA and Stewards want to encourage overtaking, they SHOULD have penalised Hamilton. Afterall if he hadn’t weaved there is a good chance Petrov would have made a move.

    1. duke says:

      i agree that petrov stands a good chance to overtake if hamilton hasn’t weaved around. but i still think what hamilton did was fair. he was RACING, you can’t expect him to help petrov getting a tow easily without a fight. it was certainly much more exciting to watch than, say, seeing button caught napping by massa into turn 1. i don’t see any danger in weaving to break a tow simply because petrov’s car wasn’t close enough to get tangled with the mclaren (which means that weaving works!).

    2. Deepskydiver says:

      There are a lot of comments here in convenient ignorance of a long standing and well understood rule. It (in an appendix to the sporting regulations) says you may only move once when defending your position. How well he races or what Petrov is doing behind him is irrelevant. And if you want passing then you should want this enforced.

      1. duke says:

        obviously some people even think that blocking and weaving are spelled similarly :-p

        “long standing and well understood rule”?

        we all understand the rule, mate. apparently better than you do :-)

      2. Martin says:

        You obviously don’t understand the rule – it doesn’t mention blocking or weaving.

        Appendix L Chapter 4 section 2B.

        Overtaking, according to the circumstances, may be carried out on either the right or the left.
        However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited. Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will
        be reported to the stewards of the meeting.

      3. duke says:

        hello martin.

        yes, i think the rule is VERY clear. e.g “more than one change of direction to defend a position” – the keyword is defending a position. defending means the other guy is attacking, right? compare to what hamilton did. when he weaved out, petrov wasn’t attacking yet (breaking out, trying to get alongside etc). hence my opinion that Appendix L Chapter 4 section 2B can’t be applied in that situation. thanks.

      4. Aderac says:

        defending your position is when someone makes a move to overtake you, petrov whas not, so hamilton didn’t move more then once to defend, he move more then once so as to go down the straight faster than petrov.

      5. MZR says:

        Absolutely right deepsky. But for everyone’s sakes I think it would be nice if the regulations are clarified well enough. Otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about someone that’s 6th in the championship with a high profile girl friend

      6. Simon A says:

        Ignorance is bliss sometimes. The rules when applied strictly and out of context will spoil the sport. The decisions taken in Malaysia have been widely acknowledged by the majority as the right decision for the sport as a whole.

        As a fan of the sport as a whole I have thoroughly enjoyed the last 2 races.

    3. Cliff says:

      That’s the point! Petrov chose not to make a move and follow LH. If Hamilton moved left, Petrov moved Left. You can hardly blame Hamilton because Petrov thought his car was a caravan being pulled along by a Volvo on a Sunday afternoon.

  31. Hamilton makes the passive drivers look second rate. Full respect to someone like Massa who is terrific making fast lap after fast lap with perfect concentration – but he’s not amongst the good old fashioned bump and pass few of Alonso, Webber, Vettel and of course Hamilton.

  32. Colin Ringer says:

    What I’d like to know is; Given that Hamilton was trying to weave out of Petrov’s path rather than into it, how comes noone’s mentioned penalising Petrov for the same degree of weaving?

    Trying to do the decent thing and get out of the chaps way so that he can get past, hardly overzealous defending is it …..

    :o)

    Nice to see the Stewards take a sensible pill for a change and allow the racers to race, it’s just a shame that they saw fit to mention it in the first place which means yet again the drivers will feel compelled to tone it down in the future.

    1. Rob says:

      exactly, if petrov doesn’t follow, lewis moves down…….drag race to the corner

  33. jed says:

    I think everybody has missed the point so far. The issue in this case is whether or not lewis hamilton was driving in a dangerous manner by swerving abruptly and violently more than once in one continuous move?
    To me i think it was dangerous, and therefore he should have been penalized. Nothing is more important than the safety of the drivers participating in the said race. It does not matter who moved first. In racing a driver can actually take a defensive line before an opponent even attempts to pass. But when this defensive line is taken in should only be a movement towards one direction. Changing direction twice or more makes it dangerous as it could risk the lives of other competitors.
    Without any due regard and respect to his fellow competitors Lewis hamilton drove dangerously and should be penalized notwithstanding the fact that his moves produced entertainment. Rules that have been drafted in order to protect the safety of others should be strictly enforced.

    1. Aderac says:

      please explain how you think its dangerous. he didnt swerve into a place where he could of hit petrov because petrov was behind. the reason blocking is not allowed is because the car behind is in the process of overtaking i.e moving alongside. or is it the fact he was “swerving abruptly and violently more than once in one continuous move”, these cars and drivers are capable of that, have you not seen maggots and beckets at silverstone or first sector of suzuka, like i said please explain

      1. jed says:

        One movement is allowed for a driver to defend his position, otherwise, under the regulations it is deemed dangerous driving. this is the standard set by the fia. One does not need to have someone make an actual attempt to pass in order to go defensive. If a driver in front feels that he is vulnerable from a driver even 10 carlengths behind him he may opt to defend by moving one direction any other continuous movement to another direction would be deemed dangerous driving and therefore punishable. the weaving of hamilton cannot be justified. even if it was to break tow, the fact remains it was a defensive move and therefore the one movement rule applies, consequently, it would be considered dangerous driving by definition whether or not there was actual danger.

      2. OldIron says:

        Which rule are you citing here? Most people seem to be considering “manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers”, which makes no (explicit) safety claims. The conventional meaning of dangerous hardly seems to apply here.

      3. Aderac says:

        your right one doesn’t need to make an actual attempt to pass for a driver to go defensive, but going defensive and defending your position are two different things, and only one of those does the “move once” rule apply.

      4. rpaco2 says:

        As was pointed out to me earlier, by TMTR the rules state:
        “b) Overtaking, according to the circumstances, may be carried out on either the right or the left.
        However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited.
        Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will be reported to the stewards of the meeting.”

        Note:”any other abnormal change of direction”
        which pretty covers breaking the tow. Now that word “normal”. Is it “normal” to expect the car in front to try and break the toe by weaving? :-)

    2. OldIron says:

      Who was at risk, and in what way? Are you saying Hamilton might have lost control as a result of steering twice or more? Or Petrov while trying to follow him?
      Neither sounds very likely – breaking tows is fairly common in junior formulae, both are likely to be familiar with it.

      1. k9major says:

        As I posted on the other thread, weaving belongs in junior formulae. Neither dangerous nor against the rules, but the kind of thing I see boy racers in Corsas doing around here too often. Too clumsy and amateurish for F1.

      2. Aderac says:

        and allowing a car to get a tow leading to an attempt to overtake is profesional?

    3. Simon A says:

      Yes, it was incredibly dangerous to swerve in a car designed to corner at those tremendous speeds, he was just hooning along the straight trying to light up the rear tyres =).

      Go and watch the annual cotton wool ball rolling contest if you don’t want a little danger in your action.

    4. Young Slinger says:

      I think that if you replay the weaving you will see that it was a continuous, flowing movement, nothing violent, abrupt or even dangerous.

  34. JR says:

    Hamilton instigated the weaving, in fact instigated every sideways movement — to break the tow — and Petrov followed him as he tried (with some success) to regain the tow. That is NOT blocking and is not punishable.

    If Petrov had instigated each sideways move — say to overtake Hamilton — and Hamilton had moved more than the once allowed, then that would have been blocking and would have been punishable.

    The officials were right not to penalise Hamilton.

  35. PaulL says:

    I agree with the stewards decision – black/white flag but no penalty because it was excessive ‘weaving’ and potentially obstructive but not clearly so.

  36. JF says:

    I agree with the Hamilton call as well, Petrov was following the Mclaren not getting blocked by it. At the same time: had this been Schumacher!!! This board would be absolutely clogged with hundreds of conspiracy cries, FIA plots, stacked stewards etc.

    Love it.

    1. MZR says:

      Agree on Schumacher thought

    2. k9major says:

      Frankly, I’m astonished that this board isn’t clogged with hundreds of conspiracy theories over Mclaren’s wrong tyre strategy call for JB in Malaysia. Last week was a classic for them, with reams of nonsense written here about how the team had lost Lewis the race. Hmmmmmmmmm….

  37. alex m says:

    How many people really genuinely FAIL to understand the difference between Blocking and Weaving.

    In case it is not very clear…

    LH moves, VP moves back into his slipstream, that is a weave to shake off a car that is behind you.

    VP moves to pass LH, LH moves into the space VP is entering, a BLOCK, a dangerous, selfish, nasty unsafe move only a few drivers ever do.

    A weave is totally legal, proper racing, a block is a dangerous nasyt unsafe move that is justifiably banned.

    LH clearly did not block.

    There are reports that VP had done exactly the same thing to Lewis on the lap before !

    Also, how suspicious is the Renault’s speed ? The new French FIA chief, after hiring 3 Frenchmen in his 5 new appointments, has now allowed the only French team in F1, to “equalise” their engines, and now it appears to be more equal than others….

    Is there an independant dyno inspection with published figures ? Are all teh other teams in agreement with this, or is Todt now just as feared as Mad Max and nobody dares mention it ?

    1. MZR says:

      There is a fine line between weaving & excessive weaving too mate. Excessive weaving being that closed to another car causes bloking. If you watched the race and still reckon that wasn’t excessive then I have nothing but to say I disagree with you mate.

      1. Aderac says:

        excessive weaving that close to another car causes blocking! he/petrov was following his everymove, petrov wanted to be behind the mclaren. its the complete opposite of blocking

    2. Rodrigo says:

      I am pretty sure the other teams would have complained already if that was the case. And dont forget Todt’s ties to Ferrari as well…

      Renault is improving it car overall, check its new front wing on another James Allen article!

      1. MZR says:

        Not many teams don’t care much about the 6th place in the championship. They would’ve if it was the last race of the season or it was the matter of winning the grand prix. Boulier expressed because it was his team and the driver was involved in this as well. Good to see Renault doing so well anyhow.

      2. Rodrigo says:

        I was replying to the comment by “alex m”, about his fear that Jean Todt would be behind the overall improvement in Renault’s performance.

  38. Paul Mc says:

    Is Lewis the new Schumacher? I dont mean in terms of his driving i mean in terms of the media reaction to him whenever there is an incident. He seems to get an awful time from people in F1 and the media in general. As someone who disliked Hamilton when he made his debut im becoming more of a fan after each race.

    We deride no overtaking and then we deride efforts to overtake.

    1. jack_faith says:

      yep, indeed. No Lewis in F1 would be such a loss. Two races in a row and pretty blinding stuff. Clearly the racer of the day but you would have thought it would have got him closer to the podium. He made Button, Massa and Alonso (ok, with a problem) look second rate the way he carved through the field.
      I wonder if there was a chance he could have stayed behind Vettel and not come in for his softs? What was the tyre degradation on his tyres when he came in? Even with his pace falling away I don’t think it would have been so easy for Webber or Rosberg to pass him. What an odd reversal that would have been given Lewis’ past history at Sepang.

      1. Ali Unal says:

        Yeah, Hamilton is making the races very exciting in both on- and off-track performance aspect.

        He said yesterday that McLaren can’t afford not to take good points while they could manage to do it. I think it is some kind of a pressure in Lewis that Vettel will walk away and clinch the championship hence becoming the youngest ever F1 champ (23 years 133 days).

        Lewis knows Vettel can do it and he also knows that he can avoid it. This will be hell out of a fight, and I am happt Hamilton would be in it, albeit at times in a controversial way.

    2. Aussie F1 Fan says:

      He only has his own attitude to thank for that, he comes accross as quite arrogant with some of the comments he makes.

      However I do forgive him for this as it is probably part of what makes him such a special driver, his unshakable self belief that he is better than every other driver on the grid.

      F1 has always had a driver that alot of people “Love to Hate”, & honestly I don’t think it would be f1 without this.

      Can’t wait to see him & “the Schu” when they finally have their big on track battle sometime this season :-) It will be awesome!

  39. Hannah says:

    James,
    Do a poll for this question.

    Petrov wouldn’t have got close to the MacLaren without the draft.

  40. Howard Moon says:

    In my mind, Petrov’s actions were equally reprehensible as he was weaving just as much as Hamilton was in order to gain from a slipstream. If drivers can only move across the track once to block someone overtaking them, then drivers chasing them shouldn’t be able to keep attempting to enter a slipstream once the driver in front has broken the tow.

  41. Mike Monji says:

    3 races on the counter and Hamilton on all headlines, This kid is the main attraction of 2010 no doubt. I wanna see him wheel to wheel with Schumacher.

  42. Raul Costa says:

    I think it wasnt legal, but it’s clearly a matter of “fair play”. A stretch of the rules maybe…

    Another similar case for Hamilton. It’s not hard to understand why people are so harsh with him, right?

    If you guys think that rules should make overtaking easier, it’s good to remember that he was making petrov’s move a lot harder doing that!

    1. Tommy K. says:

      Petrov’s move????? Do u really think Petrov had the speed to overtake Lewis?? Well mate, He hadn’t the speed to pass. That’s why he followed Hamilton all over the place, just to push the kid into a mistake.But LH will not be intimidated easily!

  43. Tyler says:

    “I don’t know how many more of those kinds of races I can do. It’s not easy at all.”

    My heart bleeds for this poor guy and his difficult life. Gimme a break.

    1. rmstrong says:

      I am sure his line of thought was that he is taking more chances than should be necessary, eventually he will make a mistake and it will be costly.
      LH is racing better than anyone right now in F1, even Alonso who pulled off a miracle by making a crippled car go fast. I am glad that there are racers now working as stewards I believe that is the main reason that stupid penalties have not been handed out. Why punish a driver for fighting on the track. It was not a Mark Webber style, push the driver of the track, he was weaving, it was wrong but should not have tarnished he amazing drive.

  44. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Why is Hamilton being highlighted?

    What about Vettel’s passing under yellow flags? Is the message here that if you’re winning it’s OK because you would have won anyway? No time penalties or grid penalties, but all the focus on Hamilton the villain.

    1. MZR says:

      Two wrongs don’t make it right. They both should’ve been penalized according to the regulations. If there was no regulations in place then nobody would’ve talked about it mate. Unfortunately we have seen different rules for different teams & drivers which we expected to be changed with ex drivers as stewards on board. Unfortunately that’s yet to be seen. You are allowed only 1 move, not 4. You are not allowed to ovetake under yellow flag (truely wasn’t slow enough to be overtaken). Simple as that.

      1. Tommy K. says:

        You are allowed 1 move when it’s clear that you are actually being overtaken by another car!! Come on man, wake up on this!!! Petrov was just trying to push Hamilton to make a mistake!! Obviously it didn’t work! Petrov never had the speed to pass and he knew it. Thank God the stewards knew it as well! and thank God you are not a steward MZR…

      2. MZR says:

        It’s not about who is right or who is wrong mate. The decisions have to be made at the end of the day by stewards by all means of course. To that’s done. It doesn’t mean that we are not allowed to express our own view of the incidents. Hamilton didn’t weave at all what so ever during the race since the warm up lap even when he had the clear track. Renault is faster or just as fast as McLaren in the corner. Kubica’s result proved that. There is no driver on the grid who intentionally stays behind another car. But I’ll give this to Vettel because he was let go rather than passing. As far as the Hamilton incident goes it is up to the individual how we interpret the actions, right? In your view it was fair & my view was the opposit. Any problem?

      3. Aderac says:

        didn’t anyone notice trulli waving vettel by, vettel almost slowed to a stop waving at trulli to go when he realised trulli was infact waving him by.

      4. James Allen says:

        That is right. Vettel did the right thing, he almost tripped over him

  45. Tomek says:

    I don’t understand how this decision of steward encourages overtaking? on-track fights yes, but overtaking? not really, quite opposite I’d say, Hamilton’s waving actually prevented overtaking to be done.
    Also, I’m not sure about that rule: I think it says only about not making more than one move, does not state if it’s to block overtaking or it’s to take someone off the tow, but I might be wrong here, don’t know the rule by heart (actually, until now, I thought it’s only a gentlemen agreement between the drivers).

  46. Dave Roberts says:

    After looking a it a couple of times you can clearly see that Hamilton moves slightly before Petrov.

    On another note I watched the race with the Maclaren.com website going on my laptop. It was interesting to see the telemetry for both cars and the pit messages as well as a map of the circuit with their position particularly when Button was closing on Hamilton while in the pits. I’d recommend it to any Maclaren fans.

  47. MZR says:

    All I can say that I expected hell of a lot more from the ex F1 drivers as steward. So far they proved to be worse than what it was. Hamilton’s moves were outrages. According to the regulations it was a slam dunk drive through & if he did it again it would’ve been disqualification. Vettel’s overtaking under the yellow flag was more or less the same, should’ve been penalised. Hamilton’s off road behaviour is already a joke. I hope he is not going to be involved in any sort of road safety campaign. Speeding & hooning on the road, making 4 crazy moves on the track, it’s only his 4th season in F1 for goodness sakes.

    I completely disagree with your view James (if it is your view), Hamilton was not shaking off anything judging the entire race. Petrov is the only driver that gave Hamilton the run for his money. Sutil was able to drive faultlessly (for a change) to stay ahead of Hamilton. Other drivers weren’t fast or close enough to pass Hamilton. Yes Petrov didn’t try to go around. What I gathered from this is Petrov is still very inexperienced in F1. So far he only takes the inside line when it comes to making a move. Still 4 (if not more) moves James!!! You can give warning for 2 moves, not 4. In 2009 Yas Marina circuit Kobayashi moved twice only & that caused Nakajima a massive crash. I quote Martin Brundle, ‘that’s a slam dunk drive through in my book.’ You can argue as much as you like but 4 moves & excessive weaving like that is way too reckless and dangerous. So, shame on the stewards.

    Of course Lewis is a very aggressive driver & he is already one of the greats in F1 because of his talent. But if he keeps losing his license for speeding, getting fined for hooning, having problem with a team mate, being in the middle of spy gate, lying to the stewards in Melbourne 2009 (good on him for apologising) & getting away with those kind of moves on track, I’m not sure there is (or will be) any reason left to look up to him as a world champion. Not sure how many times you can forgive someone as a fan, which is still a pretty short career so far.

    James, I’m not sure if you agree with me or not, but I have a couple of questions for you. Are the stewards same in every race? If so, who are these stewards? Alan Prost is the only ex driver as far as I know. Any other ex drivers?

    1. kbdavies says:

      [mod]

      Lewis is not the first person, or even a sports person to lose his licence in France, or anywhere for speeding – hell, even I did, for driving a Murcielago at 175mph.
      He surely is not the first person to get fined for lighting up his rear tires in Australia. He definitely isn’t the first F1 driver to lie to the stewards, he surely is not the only driver to have problems with his team mate, and he wasn’t even the main protagonist in Spygate by a far stretch!

      He isn’t asking you to like him, or “look” up to him, and he is not asking to be your role model, neither as he asked you to forgive him. Moreso, nothing he has done so far even comes close to diminishing him as a driver.

      So, the questions is…what is your problem??

      1. Aderac says:

        i second that

      2. jack_faith says:

        yeah,
        hear hear.

      3. MZR says:

        I guess we are all entitled to out own opinion, don’t we mate? That’s what the blog is about. This is not a fan based blog. The blog is about interpretation & giving your honest views & opinions if you know what I mean. When I mentioned spy gate, it gives one of the examples of series of things. I think you have seen the title of the article here. That sums up a lot. People look up to sporting figures for a reason. That’s we use the term ‘good sport’. Fans get extremely disappointed when the sporting figure let them down by his/her actions over and over. It’s not about just Lewis. It’s true in anybody’s case. I give you another example: Tiger Woods. These people don’t come out and ask fans for forgiveness or anything. Fans are automatically entitled to their views. This excessive weaving issue has given us something to debate about. Well I’m a Vettel fan. I also like Lewis as a driver. So I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s disappointed because of the number of controversies occured surrounding Lewis. You get the point

      4. kbdavies says:

        No, I don’t get the point. Yes, we are all entitled to our opinion, but its better if the opinion is fair and balanced.
        Most people certainly don’t “look up” to sporting figures. Maybe children and kids – but definitely not adults.

        A “true” fan appreciates a sports person for his skills, and not by his personality, as no one is perfect, least of all the fan.
        Most golfing fans don’t give a hoot about what Tiger Woods did (it’s between him and his family), likewise most football fans don’t care what David Beckham did.

        It’s a sad reflection of society today that fans idolise sportsmen/women, and put them on a pedestal, demanding from them what they themselves are incapable of – Perfection
        The truth is these people are human, they are not infallible, and it is unfair to judge them by their mistakes.

        What I’m saying here is that though Lewis may have been involved in some controversies, that does not make him unique in the world of sports, even F1 – so why do you need an any other reason to look up to him as a world champion, other than the fact that he is one, and he is also a dam good driver?
        I think you should ponder that.

      5. easy says:

        you clearly don’t like lewis, which is perfectly fine, as a lot of people don’t either. but you forget the plethora of other great drivers who have not been without similar (if not more serious) controversies… schumi, alonso, senna, are just some of the better drivers who have managed to get themselves into trouble on and off the track.
        every on knows schumi held little regard for safety when his track position was compromised, but does that detract from him skills as an f1 driver. i think not.

        if you going to target ‘reckless’ drivers, then you need widen your scope, all things being fair ;)

    2. Anthony says:

      Jonny Herbert.

      Who was at this race!!!!

      1. MZR says:

        Thank you Anthony

  48. David Hodge says:

    Like most people, I am in agreement that Hamilton was trying to shake off the tow-using Petrov. Good skilled racing by both men – and note carefully that Lewis straightens up when they approach the corner. Full marks to Johnny Herbert and the stewards for seeing this exactly as it was.

    Just be thankful that Jean Todt has put in place this new regime. Had that been Max’s best friend, Mr. Donnelly – and seeing as a McLaren was involved, that would have been an instant penalty. Well done Johnny and Jeanny!

  49. Spenny says:

    I think it is interesting to have a look at the Sporting Code Annex L and what it says about overtaking. What is interesting in part is that the code is not written in terms of overtaking moves but simply in terms of actions that are allowed when alone or with other cars. Chapter 4, para 2b is of interest.

    Hamilton did clearly make a “manoeuvre liable to hinder other drivers” but if you contemplate that definition then ANY move that seeks to defend a position is against the written sporting code.

    I suppose the other things to note are that I find it difficult to believe that anyone considered his driving dangerous (compare that with Alonso spearing up the inside of Button unable to make the corner that nobody is concerned about – who was the more likely to have a crash?).

    The code leaves it entirely up to the stewards as to what penalty to impose. Deleted from the rules used to be anything from a fine to exclusion depending on the nature of the infraction.

    I think so far this year we have had good stewarding – and it is good to know that we are getting away from arbitrary penalties. I’d like to think they got it right – they said he broke the rules and effectively imposed a suspended sentence. A good call. The Vettel call was good – with the Lotus making the mistake of waving Vettel through under yellows – with Vettel trying not to go past.

    1. Jeff Cranmer says:

      The key phrase in your text is ‘maneuver liable to hinder’. Lewis initiated each move. As such, his maneuver was ‘likely to avoid assisting’ Petrov in getting a tow, but did not ‘hinder’ his progress. He didn’t have to follow, and had a clear line to the next corner if he didn’t.

      It was exciting, safe stuff. Compared with Massa’s last second jink into Hamilton’s line, I’m pretty sure leaving tyre marks on his front wing, I know which was dangerous behaviour.

      Great decision by the marshalls. Let’s keep the deciding factors on the track, not in the courts of appeal.

  50. Paige says:

    What isn’t being talked about is the fact that McLaren screwed up again on Sunday in their strategy. They kept Hamilton out for too long on the worn prime tires, which allowed Rosberg, Kubica, and Sutil with numerous laps on fresh prime tires to set quick times. That probably kept Hamilton from finishing as high as 4th, maybe even on the podium.

    While they waited too late to bring in Hamilton, they brought in Button too early. His options had nothing left toward the end when the Ferraris caught him. If they had waited just a few more laps to pit him, he could have leap-frogged them on fresh rubber and had enough left in the options in the last few laps to hold them off.

    McLaren has a hard enough job to hunt down Red Bull based on car performance. If they don’t get their act together with strategy, they’ll get killed this year.

    1. MZR says:

      Remember if you can. I’m telling you right now that McLaren will be 3rd the best in the constructor’s championship and 4th the best in driver’s championship. Email me to tell me off at the end of the season if I am wrong. My email add is freeeevoice@gmail.com

      1. Pr0phet says:

        Sending that email is in my agenda already :-))

      2. MZR says:

        Good on you mate. It sounds like a bet to me now. It will be fun at the end of the season.

    2. Anthony says:

      100 percent agree!

      I couldn’t understand why they didn’t pit Hamilton as soon as Sutil had new tyres and was setting fastest lap times.

  51. iGOR BdA says:

    With all respect, “BUT”…

    I will be most interested to see how those who are defending this attitude now will behave next time if the same is pulled by a non-British driver.

    If, by any chance, a certain German driver was to do it I’d guess that the world as we know it would most likely come to an abrupt end, and God saves all…

    Cheers.

    1. Paullex says:

      Right there with you!

    2. Aderac says:

      no we wouldn’t, he didn’t hinder anyone, he raced and petrov loved it as would’ve hamilton if it had been the other way, just enjoy the racing!

      1. iGOR BdA says:

        Easier said than done… ;) But anyway, I will remember. Take a look at the link and cheer up! ;))))

        http://mantovani.zip.net/images/GP_Malasia_pilotoons.jpg

  52. Foobar says:

    Loved the episode…It’s almost a shame the rules are so restrictive.

    However, like I pointed out in the earlier topic, they should improve the benefit of slipstreaming even by mandatory aerodynamic component.

    Currently if you’re in front tuning the car to be slightly less than optimal in a way that increases your straight speed making overtaking near impossibility is too advantegous.

  53. Andy says:

    I agree with most. I thought Hamilton was swerving to avoid giving the guy a tow. As soon as Petrov made his move, Hamilton kept his course.

    If he’d pushed him over when they were along side I’d have a problem with it.

    I don’t like his attitude and comments towards the team though. I think he needs to put a sock in it. Surely Lewis realises that hes not getting anyone onside in McLaren by constantly criticising.

    If he wanted to go out first off on Quali 1, he should have shouted. He seems to be all to knowledgeable in the area of hindsight. Which is a shame as otherwise he is a great racer.

  54. Rafael says:

    I read in another site that Johnny Herbert served as a steward for this race, in line with the FIA’s new policy of having an ex-F1 driver become one of the referees per grand prix weekend. Great move by Jean Todt! Puts those standard bureaucratic, uptight, “know it all” stewards in their place.

    Hamilton is not my favorite driver, but it was clear that he wasn’t obstructing Petrov, but rather trying to lose him so he won’t getting a tow. It was the Renault following the McLaren’s direction change, not the other way around. Pretty cool, like a dog fight actually!

    As for the former world champion’s comments about his team…. This kid better get a new manager fast. Now that Ron isn’t running the show anymore, and with Anthony out of the way, Martin Whitmarsh may just get fed up and ditch him.

  55. Buck61 says:

    The rules are the rules and should be followed no matter what. If I drive through a red light because there is no traffic around, is that right or wrong? What happen’s is that the drivers will push and push until something happen’s or someone gets penilized. Then there will be all knids of excitment because this team and that team was able to do it but I can’t because it is maybe Allain Prost or someone else making the call and not Johnny Herbert. Please make the rules clear and follow them. If you break the rule you get a penilized just like any other sporting rule.

    1. kbdavies says:

      “The rules are the rules and should be followed no matter what”

      This is an ignorant comment. Even the law is not followed “no matter what”, and in this case, we can liken F1 rules to laws. In law, you have what is called “Mitigating Circumstances” and “Extenuating Circumstances”

      These mean that though an offense may have committed, from the point of view of punishment or moral opprobrium, is mitigated or reduced by reason of unusual or extreme facts leading up to or attending the commission of the offense.i.e cirumstances which render a crime less aggravated, heinous, or reprehensible than it would otherwise be.

      This event,and the subsequent stewards decision is a case in point.

      1. Buck61 says:

        As I said make the rules clear so that all understand. And yes if you break the rule as LH did on Sunday you should be penilized, this isn’t jay walking. If you think that the rules should be read according to the situation then why not let Virgin refule or let Schumi block Alonso in Monaco. the rules are for everyone to follow including your favorite LH.

      2. kbdavies says:

        Buck61 – The rules are indeed clear, but Virgin has already been allowed to redesign their monocoque to allow a larger fuel tank. Renault has been allowed to make changes to their engine to “equalise” it. Ferrari and McLaren have both been allowed to make changes to the cars in parc ferme for different reasons this season – shd i go on? It isn’t jay-walking, but it isn’t murder either.

        Rule makers know that not all situations are black and white, that is why the circumstances regarding rule infringements are taken into account. It is silly to argue otherwise.

        This is the reason they have ex drivers on the stewards this year. They understand those circumstances better than nameless faceless bureaucrats chosen out of a hat.

  56. Richard says:

    I would like to ask Renault team principal Eric Boullier what his driver was doing while Lewis was “weaving”? I would ask him if Vitaly was somehow forced to follow the McLaren’s weaving pattern? How can he criticize Lewis when his driver executed exactly the same maneuvers?

  57. Jonathan says:

    I was very surprised that Hamilton wasn’t penalized any further than a warning.
    Tow or no tow he WAS weaving.

    If it were allowed then we would get every driver going down the straight in zig zag formations.

    Martin Brundle totally condoned Hamilton’s actions, which I found astounding. methinks his opinion wouldn’t have been the same if it had been any other driver…………

    1. MZR says:

      I guess we are out numbered in this blog mate. Totally agree with you. I like what Vettel said, ‘if that is the case I’d rather not shake Nico’s hand’

    2. Alistair Blevins says:

      Hamilton wasn’t weaving to block a passing move. He was weaving to break the tow. Petrov could have chosen to not follow him, and stayed to one side of the track – but he wanted the tow, which Hamilton was trying to break.

      Fact is, without the tow Petrov wasn’t fast enough (in a straight line) to pass – so couldn’t have been blocked by Hamilton as he was never in a position to pass. If he was he could have jinked left or right when Hamilton was making a beeline for the other side of the track… then Hamilton would have been obliged to stick to his line and not block (within reason).

      Despite what it may have looked like, this was simply a case of one car following another…

      Lest we forget too, that there was a former F1 driver (Johnny Herbert) on the FIA judging panel. Few are better placed to judge what is, and what is not, acceptable.

      1. MZR says:

        Read Martin’s posts on this issue. He quoted straight from the regulation book & explained it clearly. He has experience on this issue. Maybe then you’ll get the point. By the way we argued about steward’s decision before. That hasn’t changed yet mate

    3. Anthony says:

      He didn’t condone he gave him a warning!

  58. Guru F1 says:

    In my opinion the Hamilton-break-tow was one of the highlights of the race (havent seen this in a long time). It was clear Hamilton was trying to break the tow and Petrov had other possibilities. The stewards/F1 should also consider viewer opinion and avoid setting a precedent. I am pretty sure both Petrov and Hamilton must have seen their Adrenalin go higher and enjoyed that moment.

  59. Lu says:

    U guys are full of it.
    The rules don’t talk about “weaving” and “blocking” and make no distinction between them.
    The rules state that you can’t change direction more than once, for whatever reason, cos it’s dangerous.
    Now, I don’t really agree with the rule (even though I remember when and why it was put in place), but the fact remains, if other drivers have to obey it, why should Hamilton be excused?

    1. Knuckles says:

      Not for whatever reason, but to defend a position. If it was for whatever reason, then warming up the tyres by weaving would be illegal, too.

      1. MZR says:

        Yep I agree with you somehwat. It is not for whatever reason. That is why warm up lap isn’t an issue. However, that rule applies during the race. The problem is Hamilton clearly was weaving excessively (4 times changing direction while you are allowed 1), agreed? At the same time he was too close to another car, agreed? Plus he was not weaving at all what so ever when he didn’t have to defend his position against any other driver during the race on a clear track. It’s a slam dunk drive through in my opinion. I’m sure millions of other viewers had the same opinion. I guess the regulations need a better clarification on this issue.

      2. Knuckles says:

        There was lots of discussion everywhere. It comes down to what you consider “defending the position”, and IMO Hamilton did not defend because Petrov did not attempt a pass along the straight. Therefore the “only one move to block” rule does not apply. It would IMO only apply if Petrov had moved first with Hamilton reacting. Which makes sense to me because since Petrov did not attempt a pass, he was never alongside Hamilton, and so the weaving was not unduly dangerous.

    2. Spenny says:

      I think you are half right and half wrong.

      The rules don’t talk about danger (they would not allow any moves at all if their primary concern was danger), they simply recognise that the car in front could successfully stop a car behind, not through skill but simply by making it too difficult to take advantage of higher speed (unlike the current problem of the aero effect). Not just swerving, but brake testing and other such tricks are not considered sporting.

      It goes back to the era of Senna and Schumacher – when swerving around the track was spoiling the show, hence the single move.

      The other thing to note is that Hamilton was not excused, he was punished – he was given a warning, and that is not insignificant. It might have been taken into account in a later incident, had it occurred, and it might be taken into account by stewards in a future race. What is good is that the stewards did come up with a punishment that fitted the bill – he was pushing his luck with his moves, but he was not being dangerous. Far less dangerous than for example a Ferrari premature pit release pouring fuel down the pit lane – punishment €10,000 fine.

    3. duke says:

      using your logic, petrov must also be punished then?

      by weaving on an empty piece of track, what could possibly be dangerous? last time i checked, using every bit of track space THAT HAS NO OTHER CAR on it wasn’t illegal.

      if your arguments are accepted, from now on i suppose race winners must scrap their weave-on-the-finish-line celebrations. lol:-)

      1. MZR says:

        Read Martin’s posts on this issue. He quoted straight from the regulation book & explained it clearly. That will make more sense I hope

  60. Alex says:

    I am very happy that Lewis and Vettel has been spared. I am sure that Herbert and Todt deserve congratulations for this. Under the rule of Max, both drivers would have been penalized.

  61. Steven says:

    First of all,IMO the move wasn’t illegal, maybe a bit dangerous, but not illegal. Hamilton never moved into Petrov’s line, Petrov was following Hamilton, so Petrov’s line was Hamilton’s line.

    Second, there was no move to block, Petrov wasn’t putting a move, he wasn’t trying to pass, yet. It wasn’t done on the braking zone, more like the middle of the straight.

    Third, for those who say that the hole grid will do it, that’s just dumb, its not an efficient way to get down a straight, it was just 2 drivers racing for position.

    Fourth, let them race!! I haven’t seen anything where Petrov complained, it was just the team complaining, a lot of people in F1 don’t like the fact that Hamilton knows how to pass others, is he very aggressive? Yes, and that’s what racing should be, not a procession.

    One last thing(sorry its so long), I don’t think F1 needs more passing per se, I think it needs the cars to be able to run closer together, which in turn will create passing opportunities. For example, the last few laps in AUS, when Webber was following hamilton, who was following Alonso, who was following Massa, that was exiting to watch, I didn’t want the race to end, and nobody passed anybody, but there was the possibility. That’s what F1 needs more off!

  62. Michael says:

    CHAPTER IV – CODE OF DRIVING CONDUCT ON CIRCUITS

    2. Overtaking, car control and track limits

    b) Overtaking, according to the circumstances, may be carried out on either the right or the left.

    However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited.

    ——-

    Now I don’t think Hamilton should have received a punishment but, I do wonder, did his driving fall foul of the rules? The last paragraph above seems to be very clear.

    1. OldIron says:

      Pushing it a bit, I feel. This rule (as stated) is not that useful for enforcement. Some such manoeuvres are obviously acceptable (routinely defending a place is manifestly hindering another driver, and quite clearly allowed in F1). More than 1 defensive move is commonly ignored too. The other problem with using this rule is that its about overtaking, and its not at all clear that breaking a tow can be covered by it.

    2. Aderac says:

      nice to see what the rules actually say, i think we’ve covered moving more then once, the question being was he defending a attack from petrov or trying to lose the tow, he wasn’t crowding him, the last one is the most interesting, whats abnormal, as it has been said on this topic already it common practice in junior formulae and moto gp among others.

    3. sinnae404 says:

      If they want to rule this by the book (as they seem to nowdays), rather than experience and judgement, then these words are far too vague.

      The key is the word ‘defend’. When is a driver considered to be defending a position? When the driver behind is 1 second behind? 1 metre behind? Or when he has pulled out to pass? It doesn’t say whether this ‘change of direction’ is per lap, per straight, or per race! In fact, every driver moves more than once because they all use the full width of the circuit throughout the lap.

      If they want it to be black and white, they’ll have to put more thought into it than this.

      Personally, I hate this ‘penalty era’!!

    4. Jameson says:

      Overtaking may be carried out on the left, or right–not behind. Sounds to me like there’s no problem with breaking the slipstream of a car following you.

    5. Henri says:

      “more than one change of direction to defend a position, ”

      There we have it – to DEFEND a position, ie there has to be an attack, which there wasn’t!

      1. Mike says:

        Why was he weaving then?

      2. MZR says:

        The same reason why Vettel decided not to shake Rosberg’s hand

  63. Alexis says:

    We don’t get enough racing as it is, so it’s stupid to try and quash what little we get.

    I’m all for just letting them get on with it. Let them weave all over the place if they want.

  64. knoxploration says:

    I’m sorry, but this “just breaking the tow” story is total BS. Petrov was trying to get a tow because he was trying to stay close enough to be able to outbreak Hamilton in the next corner, just like he’d done successfully after Hamilton’s previous passing attempt.

    Hence, by claiming he was just trying to break the tow, Hamilton is being utterly disingenuous. He was trying to break the tow to stop Petrov being close enough to pass – in other words, the real reason he was weaving was to stop Petrov passing. He was weaving for the exact reason the rules forbid this.

    It’s clear as day to anybody with an ounce of sense. It’s not just Renault who are against it — Marc Gene, Andy Soucek and Anthony Davidson have all lined up to say Hamilton should definitely have been punished:

    http://formula-one . speedtv . com/article/f1-renault-says-hamilton-weaving-should-have-been-punished/

    The quote from Davidson says it all — Hamilton “thought he was playing a Playstation rather than real life.”

    1. Tommy K. says:

      Why believe Davidson and not Brundle?? After all Davidson may have some issues with LH becoz they are at almost the same age but LH is alreaDy a champion and he is NOT!! HOWEVER, i think that if you ask Davidson again, 2 days after the race, he will probably change his mind! Seeing the footage again, makes it CLEAR that Petrov is desperate….he didn’t have a chance and he knew it!

    2. David says:

      With all due respect to Anthony Davidson, Andy Soucek and Marc Gene, two distinguished racers with far more F1 experience (Martin Brundle and Johnny Herbert) both disagree with their opinion.

      1. Aderac says:

        nice retort

    3. Aderac says:

      its all about moving more then once in response to a movement from the driver behind. if the driver behind doesn’t make a move to overtake then you can go anywhere within the white lines

  65. Paullex says:

    Weaving and blocking are two of a kind…

  66. JR says:

    I seem to remember a race or so back seeing Jenson Button on cold tyres weaving to heat them up — and this was during the race, not just during the warm up lap or behind a safety car.

    Weaving is not forbidden — unless it is clearly designed to block a driver trying to overtake. As I said before (@#33), and as others have also said, Petrov was duplicating LH’s moves a fraction later, to keep behind as if he was on a piece of elastic. If LH had been waiting for Petrov to move and then reacting to block him THAT would have been a breach of the rule.

    If you watch the recording again it really is very clear.

  67. Rob says:

    do you feel that Petrov should also be penalized for weaving?

    1. Steven says:

      Thats actually true, Petrov was weaving too, so he too should have got a warning. If Hami jumps in front of a train, would Petroc too? :)

    2. Jake Pattison says:

      An excellent point! This is why there should not have even been a warning for LH.

  68. Not read all the above comments but I do want to add that good on Hamy to think out the box. You see drivers taking a line down a straight to avoid a bump etc. Where do we draw the line. Except in breaking zone where it’s obvious a pass could take place should there be comensense rules in place which most would adhere to out of safety.

    Breaking a tow down a straight where there would be no chance of passing is fine and clever if save.

    I’m sorry, but if it weren’t for Lewis, where would the cameras have been pointing yesterday.

    Lewis is the man with the character on the grid. We need to entertainment and he’s the only one with the guts to do so.

  69. kbdavies says:

    I think it is now fair to say that Hamilton generate extremely polarised opinions on anything he does.

    It is now quite clear that this is simply an argument between the “spirit” of the law (rules) and letter” of the law. The rules were clearly written with blocking in mind, rather than “weaving” in an attempt to stop another driver from getting a tow.
    But crucially, Hamilton is guilty of a transgression against the “letter” of the law. The stewards saw this, but also noticed that he wasn’t “blocking” Petrov, therefore he was not against the spirit of the law, hence he escaped with just a warning.

    The most driven drivers in F1 have always pushed the rules. That’s what makes them special and that’s what makes them champions. They are so driven that they will test the boundaries of any rule in their quest for success. I, for one applaud this mindset.

    Schumacher did it so many times that he forced countless rule clarifications – Remember the “schumacher weave” at GP starts? Senna also pushed the boundaries many times.

    Its no coincidence that these drivers – and yes, i include Hamilton, are the subject of so many controversies in their era.

    1. timem1 says:

      There is no comparison between Schumacher and Hamilton. Schumi has 7 WDC’s, Lewis has one. Hamilton has light years to go before he can be even close to Schumi in his actual achievements. Look at the numbers. They do not lie.

      1. Alanis Morisette says:

        Back to the stats eh timem1 – why do you even bother watching the races if history and numbers are all that interests you.

        I guess now it’s Hamilton’s fault he’s not 16 years older.

        The anti Hamilton brigade is simply unbelievable!

      2. MZR says:

        These are not just numbers mate. These are the numbers that represent greats in the history for hundreds of years to come. A lot of people criticised Lewis aren’t anti McLaren or Lewis. It is people’s own interpretation. Everyone’s entitled to their own. Well I personally have wasted enough time talking about it. This turned out to be the biggest topic since Schumi’s return. That is quite unbelievable being that we have only witnessed 3 races so far & we are arguing about a driver in 6th place at the end of the day. Clearly everybody think that they are right. Well, looking forward to the next article.

      3. timem1 says:

        Alanis, the bottom line is Lewis is NOT the best driver statistically speaking. You can argue your point until your blue in the face and it won’t change a thing. It’s ok if he is your favorite driver. But that doesn’t make him the best. Get over it. Hamilton fever seems to effect the logic centers of the human brain. :)

      4. kbdavies says:

        There is indeed no comparison. Lewis has a long 17yrs to get a mere 6 titles!I bet you he will do it long before then.

        Schumi began F1 in 1991 – I make that 20yrs in F1. Lewis began F1 in 2007 – I make that 3yrs in F1.
        Lewis has achieved more in his 3yrs in F1 than Schumi did in his 3yrs – Podiums, Race Wins, Pole Positions, Points, Championship – in fact any parameter you care to measure it by.

        You can argue this is down to the cars they had in this time, but since we are only looking at the “numbers”, this is a moot point.

        SO, look at the numbers, they do not lie.

      5. timem1 says:

        kbdavies, Why would we argue that it was the cars they had at Ferrari while MS was driving for them? Anyone who actually followed F1 during the past ten years knows that only in 2002 and 2004 did Ferrari have the absolute best car. The other three years were very competitive. Lewis walked into a top team in his first year. That is unprecedented. Senna, Prost, Schumi, Mansell all started in inferior teams with inferior machinery and worked their way into the top teams. That’s why Lewis has been able to do so well in his first three years, not because he’s some demi-god with otherwoldly talents like the hooligans who follow him try to pretend otherwise. When someone comes along like myself and points out the errors in their thinking, it’s “hater this” or “anti-Hamilton” that. Keep talking boys. Your boy will NEVER be another Schumi.

      6. Ryan Eckford says:

        Yes, the numbers do not lie as I have compared the statistics of Senna and Schumacher, the two drivers I believe have similar traits to Hamilton over the first 50 races in their careers.

        Senna: 4 Wins, 18 Podiums, 16 Pole Positions, 4 Fastest Laps, 24 Top 8 finishes, 26 Classified finishes, 24 DNF/Other.
        Schumacher: 10 Wins, 26 Podiums, 5 Pole Positions, 14 Fastest Laps, 33 Top 8 finishes, 33 Classified finishes, 17 DNF/Other.
        Hamilton: 11 Wins, 26 Podiums, 16 Pole Positions, 3 Fastest Laps, 36 Top 8 finishes, 46 Classified finishes, 4 DNF/Other.

        The statistics prove that Hamilton is probably more similar to Senna, but has the ability of Schumacher to convert the Pole Positions and other front grid starts into race wins and podiums.

      7. kbdavies says:

        @tinem1 – Do you realise you are actually arguing the point you said you wouldn’t argue? The original OP was looking at the “numbers”, so I checked the numbers, and the results were quite clear.
        If Lewis was able to do so well in his first 3 yrs only because he walked into a “top team”, then how come he beat or matched his teammates every year in that same top team? How come he is the highest combined points scorer in F1 since he came into F1? McLaren never had the “absolute best car” in 2007, 2008, and definitely not in 2009, so, how come he was not outscored by other drivers in other “top teams” at this same time?

        You haven’t pointed out any errors in anyone’s thinking, you have simply presented an opinion that hasn’t been well thought through – that’s why it can be easily refuted.
        Try to argue objectively, using facts, and not by blind bias next time.
        No one has called Lewis a demi-god; and your name calling and last sentence simply belies your immaturity.
        The fact is, like him or loathe him, the guy has done, and is doing spectacular things in F1. It is a testament to his skills, that after only 3yrs in the sport, people can mention Lewis, Alonso, Schumi and Senna in the same sentence without sounding silly.

      8. Alanis Morisette says:

        As I’ve said before, I’m no hamilton fan – I just don’t understand the rabid hatred he arouses in others.

        As for his ‘walking into a top team’ that is not his fault. If McLaren chose to employ him, what business is that of yours? When he subsequently matched the established order, that’s hardly his fault either is it?

        OK, so the others worked their way up – why did he have to? He proved immediately that McLaren had made the right decision, and his problem is because of this, his mistakes are extremely high profile compared to other young drivers.

        Fact is, you are so blinkered against him for whatever reason you have lost all common sense.

      9. kbdavies says:

        Totally agree. Tinem1 is a known “Hammo Hater” on these forums. You dont have to like a driver to appreciate the skills they bring to the sport – though i see no reason to dislike any driver anyway. Its a sport for God’s sake!!

  70. zidane the great says:

    James,
    RB is denying ride hight adjustment. Are you 100% positive that they have such system or they are just saying that they don’t have active suspension system (but maybe some other sort)? It will be interesting in China if Mclaren shows up with their system. Why didn’t RB protested Ferrari if you are saying that they also have something similar?

  71. AdrianP says:

    Hamilton’s actions are certainly prohibited by the regulations (which is why you rarely see others do it – do the Hamilton supporters imagine that its only Hamilton who’s clever enough to try to ‘break the tow’?). It is dangerous, although probably not as dangerous as moving twice in a braking zone.

    The long and short of it is there are champions and champions, drivers and drivers. I don’t remember e.g. Button or Raikonnen *ever* having been criticised for unsportsmanlike conduct or dangerous driving on track, but Hamilton has been there before – one e.g.: pushing I don’t remember whom off the track at Monza. It is gratifying to see this self-styled god among racers, trailing all the serious championship contenders, sandwiched between Rosberg in a worse car and Kubica (one point behind) in a vastly worse car.

    1. David says:

      “The long and short of it is there are champions and champions, drivers and drivers.”

      Frankly, that’s a very silly comment. By your reckoning, are Senna and Schumacher “champions” (or merely “champions”, whatever that means)? Or how about Gilles Villeneuve or Nigel Mansell, both of whom were aggressive racers who were not shy about banging wheels on occasion.

    2. Aderac says:

      hows it dangerous to break the tow, please explain a situation where breaking the tow is dangerous

  72. Pawel says:

    Referring to Hamilton it was always the case that there are drivers equal to each other but some drivers are more equal..

    James,
    Any words about Kubica’s Q3 leaving from the pit-stop despite of cars being already in queue?

  73. David says:

    I wanted to comment on the fact that Malaysia makes it 2 GPs in a row in which Jenson has gambled on an early tire change after being overtaken by Lewis, and I don’t believe this is merely co-incidence. I think that this is an early indication of Jenson’s mindset as he learns to cope with Hamilton. Never before in his career have I seen Button resort to bold gambles like this (the term “Hail Mary” comes to mind) in two successive races, and perhaps this shows that he feels forced into using ambitious strategy against Lewis because he could not match his raw race pace. It paid off richly for him in Australia (due in large part to the timing of the weather and Vettel’s technical problem) but not so well in Malaysia because Jenson’s progress slowed by his inability to overtake cars on the track. I feel that this puts his achievements in Australia in new light and shows how fortuitous that win really was. It will be interesting to see how this rivalry will develop over the rest of the season.

    1. kbdavies says:

      This has been the opinion of most people regarding Oz.

    2. John Johnson says:

      Indeed Lewis is faster, but I now have more respect for Jenson as a driver. Not because of his win in Oz, that was fluke IMO, more to do with his middle stint in Malaysia. Yes Lewis stayed out longer than he should have, perhaps waiting for rain, but Button nearly overtook him – on pace alone – it was an awesome stint in clear air. Ok Lewis went on to lap consistently quicker than Button thereafter and would have finished well ahead had he been able to overtake Sutil, I just took note of Jenson’s pace and was impressed.

      These two will be good for each other and I think they’ll give Mclaren their best chance for the WCC for ages.

      I like :)

      1. David says:

        Hi John,

        Indeed, Jenson’s speed is not to be underestimated. What he lacks in outright single-lap speed compared to Lewis, he compensates with the type of metronomic consistency that Martin Brundle so admires in Alonso. However, the last 3 races have also shown that Jenson is weakest in the beginning stint, and it appears that his “one sweep in; one sweep out” driving style works great when his car is hooked up, but not when it’s heavy with fuel. So to sum up, Jenson is quick (though not ultimately quick), steady and consistent, but struggles when his car is not perfectly sorted. Hamilton is quicker but he has a high-risk driving style, is more error prone, but is a supreme overtaker who is able to drive around car problems. It’s going to be incredible to watch these guys fight it out over the year. Bring on China!

  74. Beka says:

    Hamilton was not punished because it was beneficial for the championship. The move was a clear violation. Such manuvering prevents the driver from geting a proper slipstream and discourages him to conduct any kind of an overtaking manuver. How can you even dare to start overtaking if the car in front of you is weaving left and right. No matter what it was, it was a violation. The rules clearly state that the driver can change a line (selecting a position for the defence) ONCE no exception for braking the toe or whatever else.

    1. Aderac says:

      petrov managed to stay in the tow, it was a lot harder to do had hamilton stayed straight, and if i recall made a move into the first corner. its called racing, people seem to think racing just means overtaking, it doesn’t, it means battling it out not just you get it my slipstream and overtake and i’ll do the same next lap. i bet petrov had a big grin on his face

    2. timem1 says:

      Beka, I’m afraid you don’t understand. There are two sets of rules. Those for the all drivers on the grid, and the special rules just for Lewis Hamilton. C’mon man, get with the program. ;)

    3. Spenny says:

      Why do you think being given a warning is not a punishment?

      Perhaps Lewis would have dealt with Sutil differently without that warning – and at the next race, do you not think the stewards would not be mindful of the official warning of the previous race?

      1. Beka says:

        It is good that he got a warning. But people claiming he did not violate any rules… well I do not know… The rules clearly state MOVE ONCE for gods sake.

      2. Spenny says:

        It is interesting how there are a lot of people arguing about the rules that have clearly not read the rules which are freely available on the FIA web site.

        However, the rules are not particularly clear. For example, interpret this section:

        A car alone on the track may use the full width of the said track, however, as soon as it is caught by a car which is about to lap it the driver must allow the faster driver past at the first possible opportunity.

        Hamilton was not alone on the track but then again he was not being caught by a car that is about to lap him, therefore he is entitled to use the full width of the track – and indeed it is not unusual to see cars weaving around the track to gain clean air, find cleaner parts of the track, or read their pit boards, or trying to warm tyres that are resisting coming to temperature (though it was clear why Hamilton was moving).

        Schumacher in his heyday was not averse to taking an unusual line into a corner to clean it up for an overtaking move in a couple of laps time. So, aside from the impeding question, Hamilton was entitled to take whatever lines he wanted down the straight, and arguably, as long as he was not impeding, he was entitled to do so, knowing he was using a technique to avoid another driver gaining an advantage on him.

    4. duke says:

      this is R.A.C.I.N.G. are you suggesting that drivers should make it easy on each other then? it was hard racing but fair.

      again, because hamilton GOT OUT of petrov’s racing line, petrov was free to push on ahead. he chose to follow hamilton instead because he was not close enough to attempt the break.

      petrov himself did not complaint afterward. called it fun, even.

  75. Aderac says:

    Vitaly Petrov (DNF, Gearbox): “The first half of the race was great fun and I enjoyed fighting with the cars around me, especially the battle with Hamilton” – need we say more

  76. Tm Goodfellow says:

    The stewards have a warning flag for a reason. They warned Hamilton, and that’s that!

    I think many fans calls for sanctions and penalties because they have a fundamental lack of understanding of motorsport. Generally it’s the group of people who’ve ONLY watch F1 and within the last 3-5 years.

    In the real racing world stewards apply a more common-sense approach to races and aren’t so draconian.

    The stewards have been A+ this year. If Hamilton got a penalty for that then surely Webber shouldn’t even be driving considering the Australian incident.

    FINALLY the stewards have a sense of proportion!

  77. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    OK, have a look at the video and let’s try to analyse this properly:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2kGNnGAcT0

    @25 secs
    Hamilton moves sharply across to the outside of the track to break the tow

    @26 secs
    Petrov follows Hamilton to the outside of the track to try to gain the tow

    @27 secs
    Hamilton moves across to the inside line to break the tow and Petrov follows to try to gain the tow

    @30 secs
    3 secs later Hamilton moves to the outside of the track to both move to the inside towards the racing line

    @33 secs
    Hamilton moves towards the inside of the apex (albeit in the middle of the track) to defend the corner. Petrov decides to take the outside line to overtake.

    At no point did Hamilton moves across Petrov or cause him to swerve of change racing lines. Petrov was not gaining on Hamilton and was not caused to change line at any time, in fact Petrov chose to follow Hamilton.

    It was right of the stewards to point it out and to warn against doing this again.

    1. timem1 says:

      How do you know he was trying to “break the tow?” The only evidence we have of that is Lewis own words. He made irregular moves with the car and was warned. No penalty, no bias.

      1. duke says:

        because that was exactly my understanding when i saw petrov going wide on the final corner and hamilton slipping in. i remember thinking, wow, NOW hamilton will get drafted by petrov. i expected hamilton to try and break the tow, and he did.

        it’s really basic, you know. no need for hamilton to spell it out for you.

  78. LT says:

    I would like to ask those who get on thier high horse and claim morality about following the rules as written; where were you after Spa 08 when Hamilton did follows the rules as written but was still penalized??? Oh wait that’s right for the haters with an agenda the rules only apply when it disadvantages Hamilton right??? Geez the double
    standards of these people are downright obvious!!! Get off your high horse and accept it as Hamilton has to after the farce of
    Spa 08!

    1. timem1 says:

      LT, the “double standard” is yours. There are no Hamilton “haters.” Spa 08 is in the past. Just like all of Hamilton’s other accomplishments.

      1. LT says:

        Please exain how I have double standards? All I’m trying to point out is that if Hamilton is to be criticises for not following the rules then why was he also crticised then for following the rules to the letter? And it is very hypocritical of you to dismiss Hamiltons achievements as in the past whilst going on about schumachers 7. I can argue on that is also in the past considering his recent performances. One wdc is still an achievement most drivers will never achieve.

  79. RON says:

    I can’t see the dangerous driving at all…

    This is racing, and Hamilton has every right to break the tow, as he is not blocking anyone…

    There was no one else involved in this, it was only the two drivers concerned, and neither were in danger at all…

  80. adi says:

    Do fellow posters (James too!) think Petrov was advantaged or disadvantaged by the weave? Was he prevented by Lewis’ weaving to choose the inside or outside line to pass? I was thinking back to the Alonso/Lewis/Webber battle in Oz and thought will other drivers under attack start to weave down the whole straight and use the Lewis explaination that its a tow break not a block? For me the thing that is worrying is that the driver following the weaver cant pick a side to overtake until they reach the breaking zone and the lead car finally commits to a line. If every driver adopts this tactic we can kiss goodbye a Senna/Mansell drag down the straight (Spain 91) or Mika/Schumi/Zonta (Spa 00). I believe a dangerous precedent has been approved cos there will be drivers that will use this at an important time in the championship to delibratly block/brake the tow of another driver without fear of a penalty. Am i being to melodramatic James?

    1. Tommy K. says:

      I think you are! What people don’t understand, in my opinion is that Petrov was not trying to pass Hamilton in a straight fight becoz he didn’t have the speed to do it. That’s why he was desperate to stay in Lewis’s slipstream….didn’t work though…This will not happen again, not in the same manner anyway! Not many drivers will be willing to do what Petrov did, trying to get “glued” at other driver’s gearboxes…

  81. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Hamilton was trying to break the tow and Petrov is clearly seen following Hamilton’s line.

    Had Petrov stayed on one clear line, then it could be considered as weaving and thus would merit a drive through penalty.

  82. TG says:

    Well, after 138 (pending) comments on this thread there’s only one thing we can take for granted from this issue.
    And that is Hamilton has ruffled a lot of feathers.
    I mean, the “self-styled god” comment from above – where do these people get this from?

  83. Ausf1 says:

    I would love to see an article from JA praising Hamiltons 2 drives from the back of the grid to the front. Hamilton has given F1 viewers what they have been craving for a long time… Overtaking and ballsy moves. I know that the eccessive weaving could be seen as dangerous but on the other side it added to the show. I normally love JA blogs but after his Button love fest last week in Aus i feel he should write another article taking it all back. Button was Lucky with his gamble and this week he tried to roll the dice again and it didnt work. Button is a great driver but OMG did everyone go over board in Australia.
    Lets Praise Ballsy drives and not gambles and pit stop stratagies.

    1. mvi says:

      A Hurray! for ballsy moves from Algersuari and Petrov!

    2. Jason says:

      I agree. Petrov hadn’t made any move to overtake. He was simply following Hamilton’s slipstream, in order to get a tow, so that he may do so.Hamilton was perfectly entitled to try and break that tow. What exactly do you expect him or any other driver to do? If Hamilton had moved across Petrov more than once, after Petrov had tried to overtake, then the stewards would’ve penalised him for blocking and quite rightly so. Petrov was weaving just as much as Hamilton and therefore should’ve been warned too, IMO. It could be considered that they were both driving in a dangerous manner. I don’t think you have to be a fan of Hamilton himself, to acknowledge that he’s one of the very few drivers, Alonso being another, who’s capable of driving through the grid in this way. This really is a non-issue of an article. A former F1 driver was on the steward’s panel and they deemed a warning sufficient. Nuff said.

    3. timem1 says:

      To the front? 6th place ain’t the front dude. Long way off. What races you watching?

      1. Pr0phet says:

        And who got anywhere close to overtaking 14 other cars on the track and not in the pits?

      2. Jason says:

        To the front runners, from virtually last place. Let’s not be pedantic, eh?

  84. Halgovern says:

    Here’s the video of the whole incident – you can clearly see petrov weaving in front of hamilton before he outbrakes himself. So hamilton did the same thing to him.

      1. Spenny says:

        No, what you see is that Petrov makes one move to one side of the straight, and then at the end of the straight he takes a line into the corner. That is generally considered acceptable, especially as he did not crowd Hamilton off the track – he had plenty of room.

        You can see that when Petrov made his move, Hamilton let him go and did not try anything.

        I think the stewards got it right – essentially, Hamilton should not have done it, but it was a natural racing move, and was actually carried out safely.

  85. Paul Kirk says:

    I haven’t read any comments yet, but my belief re the 2 incidents is—-(1) they handled Hamo’s “weaving” correctly, because he wasn’t blocking, and (2) they handled Veto’s pass correctly also in the circumstances.
    Let’s face it, they’ve been too quick to jump to decisions in the past, and now they’re prepared to be a bit flexable and consider the circumstances, and rightly so!
    PK.

  86. Christopher Snowdon says:

    James did the top teams qualifying mistakes show blatant disrespect to the new teams?

  87. Penfold says:

    Who cares Hamilton was faster Petrov was ruining his race, he shouldn’t even have tried to overtake him again.

    1. timem1 says:

      Petrov isn’t allowed to overtake Hamilton? Is that what you’re saying?

    2. duke says:

      every driver has the right to race. petrov vs hamilton was definitely one of the best parts of the show. hell, they should even scrap the give-way-to-lapping-car rule. would have rub the nerves of leading drivers raw every race, and make it soooo much more exciting:-)

      1. James Allen says:

        Tony Fernandes is keen to get rid of the blue flags, thinks it would improve the show

  88. TMTR says:

    This is dedicated to all the “hamsters” involved in a “smoochfest” with hamilton.
    Read it and weep.

    “I wasn’t weaving for him, I was weaving to break the tow”. – Lewis Hamilton

    Are there any Racing Fans around here? Oh yeah Roary the Racer.

    signed (a guy not on his high-horse but who’s followed F1 for a tad more than 3 to 5 yrs..mmm, say the 60′s?!)

  89. clutter says:

    Any other pilot would have been sanctioned, Hamilton is “in punishable”. Later LH thinks that outside the circuit the Police will be equal but if punishes that it …..

  90. Anthony says:

    Timem

    You really are a totally biased Hamilton Hater.

    You are obviously a huge Schumi fan I would have thought that you would be able to rcognise the similarity between the two.

    Hamilton quite clearly has the ability of the young Schumacher.

    Controversy followed Schumacher because he was ruthless.

    Most of Hamiltons problems arise from being loyal to his team or following their advice.

    Schumacher was an out and out cheat half the time.

    I don’t like Alonso he’s no angel but I am prepared to admit he’s a very good driver.

  91. Robert Powers says:

    “James has to be careful with his comments mate because he is a media figure. He might be sharing his completely open view with his wife in private, he has to be a bit reserved in the web.”

    That’s not the James I know.I would expect that James Allen will give his opinion,whether it is about the governing body,team leadership,drivers,or posters here on this site.It’s his job to do so.It’s just my opinion,but people do not put together sites like this to parrot politically correct talking points.

    I am not happy with drivers who over-harrass from behind,or over-swerve when ahead.A pass should be done in one fell swoop.And a block like this one is usually seen on the last lap at Indy maybe.The rules are for safety,safety for the crowd on the other side of the fence.Not just for being unsportsmanlike.Open wheel cars can launch-one wrong move by those guys and you would have seen one do just that.

    I don’t care that they didn’t penalize Lewis.Just trying to warn you what is to come if they allow cars to whip back and forth like that.I do care about safety.

    1. Freespeech says:

      You go too far, there has been many a time when he has not said what the rest of us were saying and thinking re Max Mosley and dare I say it Ecclestone.
      Watching Hamilton over the past two races clearly shows us all that he’s the man to watch, almost every time he races he produces something the other drivers don’t and he passes other, so called, top drivers with ease (Massa/Button/Webber etc)
      All the rubbish sprouted about Button being a master etc after the Australian race was just that rubbish, how anyone (James Allen included) can seriously suggest that Button is a better driver than Hamilton is beyond me.
      We in the UK should rejoice that we have a driver like Hamilton.

      1. James Allen says:

        I didn’t say Button is a better driver. Read the post again.

      2. kbdavies says:

        James is correct. He didn’t say Button is a better, but unfortunately, that is what the article implied.
        If you laud one driver, whilst criticising the other – in the same article….well, you cannot blame people if they get that impression, however unintentional it may be

      3. Freespeech says:

        James whilst I accept you didn’t write those words your article, in my opinion and I’m sure many others implied it as ‘kbdavies’ post says.

        As an aside, I much preferred you & Martin than what the BBC gives us at present. Chemistry cannot be manufactured it’s either there or it’s not & I thought you and Martin had it.

      4. MZR says:

        Not in a million years James is goint to say that Button is a better driver. Similarly he is not going to say Schumacher or Senna better than one another. I’m sure he would’ve posted an article with a lot of praise if Hamilton won the race instead. But he is still 6th in the championship & his moves were very notable because cameras were right on him most of the race. So, as a viewer nobody can let that go unnoticed

      5. timem1 says:

        Freespeach gets the JA smackdown. Hamilton is the guy to watch all the way to 6th place. Must be tough times in the UK if that’s what counts for something worth rejoicing about. :)

    2. MZR says:

      Calm down Robert. F1 is the most political sport in the world. There will always be controversies. What I said about James being reserved with his comment is true. Every media figure has to know how far they can go with their comments. Anyway, come to think that this issue is nothing compare to what we have seen over the years. Now I’ve also realized that doesn’t matter the stewards are ex drivers or not there will always be disagreements about the decisions made.

      1. Robert Powers says:

        “Every media figure has to know how far they can go with their comments.”

        Yes,even Howard Stern.But James is a Formula One fan,and that comes first in his book.Like most of us he has blinders on when it comes to that subject.

        Of course Jenson Button deserves credit for coming through down under,he was not one of the heavy favorites.That doesn’t mean we think he is better overall,he just obviously ran a better race,despite taking out his fiercest opposition right at the start.

  92. Steve B says:

    regardless of the outcome, it looked cool!

  93. SeanG says:

    Human intuition??? Are you serious? There is no fault with the weather. You sound like you’re encouraging the George Bush style of team management. Just as those who sang Button’s praises 2 weeks back. Let’s be serious here.

  94. easy says:

    i am amazed that this is even an issue. 99.99% of f1 viewers complained that there was not excitement in f1 and definitely not enough overtaking. now we have a race filled with overtaking, yet there is one incident which is NOT clear cut as some would like to think on both sides of the fence and the moaning roars back to life. very confusing, no?

    overtaking is a dangerous act at the best of times, and hamilton probably made it a little bit more dangerous, but wow was it fun to watch. it was exactly what f1 needed and exactly what f1 fans wanted to see. so forget who was driving and forget your chosen allegiances, just revel in the fact we all got to see some fun racing for a change… the reason we turn on the telly every other sunday.

  95. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    As long as a driver does not block others or put them in danger the are entitled to take whatever racing line they chose, provided that they do not cut corners.

  96. F1Qatar says:

    Lewis unquestionably made the race, he lit up the track and made the early rise worth it.

    Clearly on the weaving incident if you watch here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkLe8w-Fde8

    You can CLEARLY see Lewis move FIRST and that is important, he moves and Petrov follows trying to maintain the tow.

    Fantastic drive and OK race but you can’t help wonder without Lewis would it have been so exciting.

    For all the people who don’t like him please try and realise what he is brining to F1.

    Without him I would have turned off 3 years ago and I am sure quite a few others would have too.

  97. Frankie Allen says:

    When you look at any normal over take, it is normal for the car that has just over taken to make more than one blocking manoeuvre, here it was not even a blocking manoeuvre because Petrov just followed Hamilton like a puppy. As per the rules, it was rightly reported to the stewards and they made what looks like a correct decision. All above board and completely in line with the rules.

    It’s not in line with the rules? That something similar to this should be addressed by the stewards for them to make the decision!

  98. Richard Hoyland says:

    Lewis was well within his rights to make that comment about the team needing to stop making life difficult. They’ve screwed his last two races! It’s interesting though how you seem to be suggesting that he’s “in the thick of it” for making that comment, along with the ‘weaving’ incident, but ignoring the fact that after qualifying he actually defended his team by saying “hindsight is a wonderful thing”. Yet for some reason at the moment, everyone seems to be jumping on the Lewis bashing bandwagon despite him providing some of the few bits of excitement in F1 so far this season.

  99. george cowley ci5 says:

    i no were 2 weeks away from china,and im to lazy to check who won last years china gp,whos car is best suited to the china gp

    1. James Allen says:

      Vettel won in the rain. McLaren should love the long straight

    2. MZR says:

      That’s funny mate…hah ha ha

  100. Rich C says:

    So, next season’s NEW RULE:

    “Thee Shall Always Drive in a Straight Line, Lest Thee frighten TV viewers.”

    Whenever another car is within, oh, lets say 3 or 4 carlengths ( at the descretion of the Stewards ) a driver must always drive straight and not deviate for the Path of Righteousness, lest he be designated Too Competitive.

  101. max says:

    I think at the end of the day F1 is in the entertainment business, simple as.

    Lewis just provided the majority of entertainment last weekend, come on we all loved the track battles and weaving right? Everybody loves a bit of controversy.. since when do people like goody goody boring drivers… like since never.. this is why we liked Msc, and Senna.

    1. duke says:

      agreed. F1 needs its heroes and villains. let’s hope the upcoming races will provide a healthy amount of track battles.

  102. kbdavies says:

    On a different note, anyone notice that Button is always complaining about not being 100% happy with his car, or saying there are still some things he is uncomfortable with? Since when was any driver 100% happy with his car?

    He seems to be looking for perfection with the team and with the car. This has already led to McLaren destabilising Lewis in their quest to make everything perfect for Jense – like changing an engineer he has worked with for 3yrs, and using him as a guinea pig to cover strategies.

    Also, by allowing Jense to make the first pit stop (twice now), they will always be putting Lewis on the back foot – Otherwise we might see both Macca drivers trying to outfox each other in who makes the first pit stop.

    Jensen’s inability to get to grips with a car -unless it is perfect and he’s absolutely happy with it further underlines his shortcomings. The Brawn GP car last yr was an anomaly. Most cars are not perfect, and will never be. It is down to the driver to extract the most from it.

    People like Lewis/ Alonso/ Schumi/ Senna dominate a car irrespective of its problems. They simply drive round the problems.
    Lewis did it last yr, Alonso showed how its done in Malaysia, Schumi did it with Jordan on his debut, and with Ferrari in the early years, and Senna did it with McLaren in 1992/1993.

    1. David says:

      I find it especially interesting that Jenson complained about having “no grip at all” at the beginning stints of both the last 2 GPs (Australia and Malaysia), which he cited as the main reason why he decided to change tires. As Martin Brundle noted in his commentary, it seems that Jenson’s smooth “one sweep of the steering wheel into the corner, and one sweep out” style works well when the car is perfectly hooked up, but he struggles when the car is fat with fuel. It would appear that Jenson hasn’t figured out yet how to drive a heavy car with both speed and finesse so as to not destroy his tires prematurely. I think this is going to be a huge factor, as Jenson’s competitors will know when they line up against him on the starting grid that Jenson is vulnerable.

  103. James, I know that this is not the article to ask a question but didn’t know where to. Why were the Red Bull guys hiding the car before the start of the race in Sepang. Is it anything to do with the ride height?

    1. James Allen says:

      No it’s more to do with the exhausts, diffuser and rear suspension I believe.

  104. Robert Powers says:

    I do believe Hamilton’s moves were the result of a very wide track,the camera long shot and-Renault power.

    I think his driving is above board,and I cannot say that about every champion.But the warning,which I’m not saying I agree with,cames from a safety perspective.You can run over an air hose with no injury-you can also have a much different outcome.So that is a serious infraction to most sanctioning bodies.Weaving around in open wheel cars is also frowned upon.

    1. Robert Powers says:

      “I do believe Hamilton’s moves were the result of a very wide track,the camera long shot and-Renault power.”

      Rather,a lot of the reaction to Hamilton’s moves are based on how it looked on camera.Renault have made gains,Sepang is wide.There is no doubt this lends to the perception of danger.Lewis is not known for being unsafe.

      As usual,my comments do not reflect any allegiance.Just trying to explain a sanctioning body’s position.They must promote safety,or no one would underwrite these events.

  105. DaveR says:

    No doubt Hamilton was weaving and needed some reprimand to warn the rest, but the TV view compressed the effects.

    As for the F-duct…………….when will F1 wake up?
    Yet another expensive aero work-around that F1 simply doesn’t need.
    And potentially dangerous as are all moveable aero aids – F1 has been there before.
    And futile as others copy and catch up.

    Somebody somewhere in F1 has to come up with rule insisting plain wings with short absolutely flat end boards as in Indy cars – it would take millions out of the cost of F1.
    And get the sport back to driving.

    And get rid of that ridiculous use of the top of the plank – that’s easy: make sure the plank has to be made of 1 inch of balsa wood connected along the whole of its length to the body – with no loss of thickness allowed through the race.

  106. Peckers96 says:

    Anyone else think that F1 is over-regulated when we spend almost 300 comments debating, down to the letter, an interpretation of a rule?

    I vote that we scrap both the World Driver’s and Constructor’s Championships and replace them with one championship: Formula 1 World Rule-Interpretation Championship. The WRIC, has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

    1. James Allen says:

      Or call it the World Rule Interpretation Test and it would he WRIT for short, which is far more appropriate.

      1. Peckers96 says:

        You’ve got the lawyers all excited now, James!

  107. JohnBt says:

    Let it go, there was some entertainment.

  108. Ncedi says:

    I’m honestly a little tired of reading about this topic on ever site. Yes, he weaved and it was dangerous and against the rules (in my opinion. But in the end he just got a warning, the FIA aren’t going to reverse the decision just to warn him so honestly get over it!!

    On another topic, James from a technical side could you tell us how Fernando Alonso drove round his problem. Some down play it as if anyone could do it, but i thought it was nothing short of remarkable. How difficult is it to drive without a clutch, given the semi auto gearbox, etc..

    1. adi says:

      Apparently he had to put the break bias toward the rear cos he didnt have any assistance from the engine when breaking. When approaching a corner he would break, select the gear he wanted then when his speed was slow enough to take the corner he would rev the engine until he heard the gear engage. So for example shifting from 7th to 2nd he would be breaking and just clicking the lever till he saw 2nd gear. (Gear 6,5,4 and 3 wouldnt engage so his breaking wouldnt be as good) All this probably meant he lost a tenth or 2 at every corner that required heavy breaking. Over revving the engine to engage a gear was probably the reason we saw him sliding the rear on occasion. I read this somewhere but cant find it now! Please correct me if im wrong

      1. Robert Powers says:

        You are correct on almost everything:I doubt he “saw” second gear,he “felt” it.

        I know it’s obvious but let me also say that the fact that Alonso was so competitive shows that a problem downshifting is easier to deal with than an upshift one-he would not have been near as fast and mat not have lasted as long.

        I think strategically he knows he has a good enough car that he gambled to get that position and lost.He could have settled for a good finish.It will be fascinating if Alonso comes a close second in the points at the end of the season

  109. Andras Fazekas says:

    Since 25 years watching GPs I don’t remember that intensive moves like Lewis did. Can anyone help me to recall if I am wrong?

    Were all other drivers who were passed from a tow in the past stupid not to do that?

    If this will be allowed than we will see more usage of the track width in the future.

    I think Lewis simply couldn’t stand that Petrov passed him back in the previous lap.

    1. Robert Powers says:

      A quarter century ago you of course recall how it was much easier to slip away from another car into a world of your own.Then you could just enjoy the drive without even looking in the mirrors.For twenty years now it has been getting harder to find solace in an F1 race,and in the last few years the engine rules have continued to make the grid relatively more even.

      That is why you haven’t seen such abrupt movements before.This man was on a mission,he wanted through with that battle in order to focus on the next.Not as much he “couldn’t stand” the repass-he wants to focus ahead,and cannot do that until he had some space.Any top driver coming from behind has to get to the front immediately,and blinders are employed.

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