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Maldonado punished for spat with Hamilton
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Posted By: James Allen  |  27 Aug 2011   |  6:30 pm GMT  |  202 comments

The FIA Stewards have penalised Pastor Maldonado for the incident in qualifying with Lewis Hamilton.

The Venezuelan will drop five grid positions from 16th to 21st on the grid after the stewards decided that he was the one most at fault.

Hamilton gets off with a reprimand, but it’s important to recognise that in the stewards’ eyes he too is guilty of “a breach of the regulations” by causing an incident under article 16.1 – in this case the relevant definition from the menu of definitions in that Article must be “caused a collision”.

Close inspection of the replays show that as Maldonado drives past him after their contact in the final corner of their Q2 laps, Hamilton moved to the right on two occasions, but on the second occasion Maldonado drove into him. It is for this deliberate action that Maldonado has been punished.

One rival team boss said that Hamilton was equally at fault in the incident and his body language afterwards indicated that he felt he might be in for a penalty. He even talked about the possible scenario that he could be starting the race near his team mate, Jenson Button, who is 13th on the grid.

One of the stewards this weekend is Nigel Mansell, 1992 world champion with Williams. I spoke to him on Thursday and he said that he enjoys the work and that he feels that in calls over an incident – such as this one – the other stewards really listen to his point of view. The influence of ex drivers, especially champions, in the stewarding process has generally made the decisions less controversial over the past two years and has certainly given it more credibility than with certain decisions in the past.

Maldonado’s take on it was, “He slowed down a lot at the end of the session, so I tried to go past him. I then felt contact at the back of my car. I don’t really know what happened. It was a difficult moment.”

Hamilton said, “It wasn’t a racing incident. Through the last corner I had to get past and we perhaps touched. I don’t know if he was upset about that and perhaps wanted to make a point of it. I don’t know, I haven’t spoken to him.

“It’s clear from the footage, we are going down a straight which curves to the right and I can’t go any more to the left and somehow his car ends up hitting me. I didn’t drive into anyone.

“I went a little bit right and I saw he’d moved out so I went back and then he was in a blind spot. I though he was coming past and then he ended up coming into me.

“They (the stewards) played back the footage and my in-car footage. But they don’t seem to have his in car footage for some reason. They can only record nine cars and the camera was on Barrichello’s car.”

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202 Comments
  1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Maldonado deserved a lot more than 5 places.

    Very shoddy driving on his part and almost ruined a fabulous qualifying session.

    1. Totally agree. It was a completely unacceptable move by Maldonado. Hamilton would have never received a reprimand had Pastor kept behind on his way back to the pits. It was premeditated and unsportsmanlike behaviour.

      A five place grid penalty is what Alonso got in 2007 for intentionally delaying Hamilton in the pits.
      Intent to provoke an avoidable crash should have resulted in a race ban.

      Either Mansell is softening up with age, still favours Williams or maybe he likes to watch a bit of argie bargie.

      It is possible that Maldonado still hasn’t forgiven Lewis’ move in Ste Devote (Monaco) and felt aggravated when Hamilton overtook him at the end of Q2 (and ruining Maldonado’s chances of getting into Q3 at the same time). If that’s the case, it might be time for him to move on.

      I wonder what Max Mosley would have done of that. Article 151c anyone? :-)

    2. m00bie says:

      I agree, not only should Maldonado have been given a ban for at least a few races for deliberatly crashing into another car during the slow down lap but Hamilton should not have been given a repremand as on this occasion he did absolutly nothing wrong and his overtake, although agressive was perfectly executed, skillfull and 100% legal (its the kind of racing we want to see more of).

      He has had alot of repremands this year and some were deserved (monaco was a bit clumbsy, but contary to Maldonado’s actions today there was no malace). But alot of these repremands seem to be for silly little things that all the other drivers have gotten away with this year? Why is that???

    3. kenny5 says:

      Irvine got a 3 race ban for his role in this:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxFTg38Si4k

      – Using this as a benchmark, Maldonado should have got a 5 race ban and Hamiltion a 1-2 race ban for smashing up Kobayashi.

      Hamiltons judgment on where the corners of his car are are very questionable after his incidents with Kobayashi and Maldonado here, di Resta in nurburgring, his team mate in canada, his coming together with everyone in monaco …ect…

      1. James Allen says:

        As Ron Dennis would say, “Where’s the consistency?”

  2. Justin says:

    How many reprimands this year for Hamilton? Surely they are meaningless?

    1. After 3 reprimands, you get a blame and after 5 blames you get a 5 place grid penalty? =)

      Good observation Justin.

    2. Jo Torrent says:

      the rule says 3 reprimands with 2 of them from track incidents mean a 10 place grid penalty. I don’t have the stats but Hamilton could’ve reached the mark already

      1. Ryan Wood says:

        The 3 reprimands = grid drop only came in prior to the British GP, so whilst Hamilton has had one before the the British GP (Spain), they don’t count toward the new regulation. I believe he’s currently on one strike under the new system now.

  3. Luke says:

    Sure Lewis moves to the right a bit, but it was a twitch and he moved left again once he noticed the Williams alongside. As far as I’m concerned the only question was “was it deliberate or accidental” on Maldonado’s part. Obviously the stewards concluded it was an accident.

  4. Steven says:

    I have to wonder what the penalty would have been if the rolls had of been reversed?With lewis’s history I suspect he would have had the book thrown at him. It’s also interesting to note how quick the f1 fraternity were to implicate Lewis for his part.

    1. Yojojo Mojo says:

      Indeed. Hamilton was appropriate, robust and fair.

  5. Bob says:

    You can’t blame Hamilton for the move on his flying lap.. what was going through Maldonado’s head on the inlap is anyones guess.. He wanted to be first in the shower??

    1. Ron W says:

      Nope, nout wrong with Hamilton’s flying lap. Move was opportunistic, insightful, and well timed. This was completely opposite to his Monaco effort.

      However, there is no doubt in my mind that both drivers were at fault with regard to the collision. You only need to see th Hamilton ‘weave’ just before the collision to know something is up. The angle of footage that we all heard DC react to was poor and not enough to grasp what actually went on. I have no doubt it was accidental and the result of two simpletons messing about.

      Hamilton really needs to watch himself. He makes questionable overtakes, has no thought for other drivers, slams the stewards, is mightily quick to blame the team for any slight issue, and, let us not forget, has lied to the FIA when he was under investigation for overtaking Trulli during a safety car. I ask you JAF1 readers, if you did anything similar in your place of work, would you not be sacked? I know I would, no matter how good I was.

      The rod for Lewis’ back will only be of his making

    2. Grietzen says:

      What happened during the timed lap was something you could wait for. Kovalainen did a stunning job, Barichello was behind and unable to pass. Behind Bar it was Maldonado collecting some candy on the track. Both Williams tend to be faster as KOV, but could not get past. They were driving with that issue not watching HAM coming from behind.

      Lewis did a great job passing MAL in the last chicane, otherwise his lap was ruined

  6. Luke Potter says:

    They can only record nine cars??!! What century are we living in here?

    1. Douglas says:

      I know, I’m shaking my head at that too.

    2. Dave says:

      +1

      Do they also use VHS tape? ;-)

      1. Luke Potter says:

        Betamax, probably.

      2. tim says:

        TV production has always used Betamax, by the way. It is/was superior to VHS.

    3. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

      I doubt that it will be because they only have 9 recording devices.

      It’ll be because of the bandwidth required from the wireless technology used to broadcast the TV audio and video signal from the cars to the recording devices.

      I imagine that at any one time, there is only space in the spectrum for 9 cameras to be instructed to broadcast their picture.

      Don’t forget there are also a lot of channels of telemetry and GPS positioning being broadcast from all cars at all times and also voice comms to and from the drivers.

      All this has to be done reliably from very fast moving vehicles, too.

      James, if this 9 camera limit is correct, I think it would be very interesting to have an article discussing the technology and logistics involved in this aspect of our enjoyment of the sport at some point.

      1. AK says:

        Surely if that were the case then they could put cameras in all of the cars but make some of them just write to an internal SD card..?

        It’d still be worth having footage from all these cameras even if it’s only accessible once the car has stopped!

  7. natopez says:

    I think the stewards were pretty tolerant to Maldonado. He should have been baned from a couple of races. What kind of example he set for other young drivers? That you can take revenge on someone for overtaking you? (I am not a Hamilton fanboy).

    1. DonSimón says:

      I agree with you. I think at least a race ban would be fair. You wouldn’t get away with that on a track day. Your kid would probably be thrown out of the go-karts if he did that etc. etc.

  8. terryshep says:

    One might ask why, it being the end of the session, it was necessary for Maldo to overtake Hamilton anyway? Or why it was necessary to pass so closely and swerve left at all on such a wide piece of circuit? Obviously, he was stinging from being made to look a fool at the last chicane.

    We all know that Hamilton is a highly competitive driver and not likely to suffer a challenge lightly – and Maldonado’s behaviour was clearly that. So Ham swerved a little to warn him off and Maldo, equally macho, swerved back, but misjudged their distances. Kids in the playground, but playing with expensive and lethal toys.

    1. Will N says:

      Of all the comments I’ve read on a couple of different sites, this sums it up the best. Maldonado – hot under the collar – shoudn’t have been anywhere near Lewis… Lewis then gives him a warning jab which Maldonado took exception to…

      1. Just A Bloke says:

        Yup thats how I saw it too.

        It was all getting abit too corporate and friendly…….

        Carefull boys though

  9. Manuel says:

    Maldonado should’ve been DSQ. This wasn’t a simply incident. I’m very disappointed with the Stewards’s decison, Maldonado deserve at least one race ban.

    1. UnKool says:

      Agreed…. a very unsophisticated attack. I’m surprised Maldonado isn’t having to consider Nascar as an option for the rest of his career. Unbelievable!

  10. Jeb Hoge says:

    In my view, Maldonado not only caused it, he chased down Hamilton with at least the intention to bull him off to the left, if not onto the grass. There was more than plenty of room to Hamilton’s right for Maldonado to get by without even getting close, let alone driving across his nose.

  11. devilsadvocate says:

    Decision leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, either give Lewis a penalty or let him off with nothing, how many reprimands has he had this year? Seems to be doing a whole lot. Lewis bullied Maldonado out of the way in the chicane and then as Maldonado drove up alongside for some “sign language” communication he pumped the car very aggressively to the right, Maldonado clearly was returning the favor but failed to pay attention to the corner ahead and allowed himself to drif far closer to ham than he expected and Maldonado clipped him, both were being little snot nosed punks, and both should have walked away with a sore bum from the stewards. To me, Hamilton very clearly provoked the incident, it wasn’t like Pastor pulled a Stefan Mücke and just buried the accelerator and drove straight into the side of him, Lewis swerved and pastor said “alright tough guy I can swerve my car too!” smack!
    I guess the steward knew ifthey knocked Hamilton back it would have just been a replay of Monaco and Canada all over again. It was Nigel after all who said Lewis couldn’t someone killed someday, maybe the thought of Lewis trying to win the race going into Eau Rouge on cold tires was more than he wanted to be responsible for.

    1. Quercus says:

      If you take another look at the footage I think you’ll find that when Hamilton took Maldonado on the final bend of the fast lap it looked like Maldonado — who was driving quite slowly — had pulled away from the apex of the bend to let Hamilton pass on the inside. He then seemed to close the gap as Hamilton drew alongside leaving Hamilton nowhere to go except keep his foot in.

      With hindsight Maldonado had not intended to let Hamilton through and was caught by surprise when Hamilton did jump him — as Hamilton, of course, would.

      However, what Maldonado then did on the in lap was appalling — unforgivable if intentional; incompetent if unintentional. IMHO he got off lightly.

      1. devilsadvocate says:

        If you take another look at the footage youcould also say pastor hesitated for a split second as he came up on a slow car and all of a sudden had a mclaren barging up his inside, which yes if he had seen the yellow helmet he should have know that mr senna reincarnated would be going for the gap, but as is very clear by his subsequent anger, he didn’t.

        His reaction, would have been unforgivable if it had been a deliberate Stefan Mücke style smash and grab but honestly anyone other than David coulthard and Martin brundle were very quick to point out that Hamilton very aggressively swerved at pastor as he pulled alongside on the cooldown lap and being mad already, retaliated by swerving back and well we all seem to agree on what happened then… Foolish? very… Unforgivable? Not for most people outside the Empire and certainly no less appalling than punting a rookie out of his first points finish going for a gap that wasn’t there and then lambasting the stewards as racist jokers when punished accordingly.
        90% of Hamilton’s overtaking involves the art perfected by ayrton and schumacher of sticking you car in a gap and giving the other driver the opportunity of slamming on the brakes, running off track, or crashing which Schumacher at least is acknowledging doesn’t work in the new era of F1 re smashed front wings every other weekend. If mclaren put out a MGP02 type Lewis would learn the same lesson.

    2. Chris Mellish says:

      Biased much? In the chicane Maldonado aborted his lap and couldn’t get another in because the session was over – he was a car length or two behind Rubens going in to the chicane, and slowed massively in the final corner giving Hamilton the opportunity to get past.

      Hamilton was on a flying lap, Maldonado had abandoned his, and you think that Lewis should have be penalised for overtaking?

      1. DMyers says:

        Are you suggesting Hamilton was reprimanded for no reason? He moved right (towards Maldonado) in and exiting the final corner (making contact the second time), and the stewards were obviously aware of this. Maldonado’s actions were deserving of a more severe punishment, but would not have happened if Hamilton hadn’t been driving so desperately in the chicane.

      2. Chris Mellish says:

        Yes I am suggesting the stewards are biased – look at all Mansell’s comments in the press about how Lewis needed to grow up, etc.

        In exiting the chicane Lewis merely followed the path that would lead to maximum acceleration, giving him the best time possible. Remember he was still on his hot lap whereas Maldonado had already aborted his and was on an in lap. That Maldonado was getting in Hamilton’s way at that point was already reason enough for a 5 place grid penalty under the rules where you aren’t allowed to impede another driver when they are on a qualifying lap.

        Pastor had already backed off going in to that last corner. Perhaps he hadn’t been told that the session was over and he wouldn’t have another flying lap and so thought Hamilton was blocking him from starting his own flying lap – but that is neither Hamilton’s fault nor is it any excuse for what followed.

      3. devilsadvocate says:

        Pot?….kettle?… Tell me where did you become privy to this info that pastor had aborted his lap, and if true and he really was letting good ole lewis through why did he get so mad? If I recall most people outside of British media pastor had slowed as he encountered heavy traffic and pulled off the apex because he noticed in his split second of hesitation that someone tried to stuff a mclaren in there, hence him being so mad.
        What Lewis deserves a penalty for and what he ultimately got a reprimand for is when a fuming pastor pulled alongside for non verbal discussion Hamilton swerves rather agressively tonthe right and then gives his own “hand signals” to pastor who loses his cool and swerves back, classic sausage measuring competition but pastor didn’t pay attention to the track and got too close, hence his stern but reasonable penalty.
        I promise you that on any news source other than the fair and unbiased BRITISH broadcasting Corp. (or is it company? Don’t really give a s*** either way) most people were acknowledging Hamilton’s swerving. Good on Pastor honestly, shows Hamilton the next time he tries to snatch an opportunistic freebie from pastor it may not be worth it.

      4. Chris Mellish says:

        I watched the video. You can see him following Rubens closely into the chicane but then slowing dramatically – the very move that allowed Lewis to pull alongside in the first place. I can supply photographic and / or video evidence if you would like.

        We have seen Alonso use hand signals, even pushing Petrov off track after the Abu Dhabi GP last year whilst waving their hands at each other, and no reprimand has ever been given.

        Having watched all the videos and the on board footage from Lewis’s car (which sadly starts after turn one and not before) it is clear that after turn 1 Lewis moved to the right to rejoin the racing line having run wide but then moved back to the left when he saw the Williams coming through – i.e. before the Williams is alongside. The on board camera picks up from there and you can watch Hamilton’s steering wheel throughout – he holds a constant radius turn to the right following the line of the track.

        My honest belief is that Maldonado didn’t realise the session was over so he backed out at the chicane with a view to setting himself up for another run. Lewis was on his hot lap and went for the gap knowing he needed to in order to set his time. Maldonado saw this as Lewis ruining his own final run and decided to exact his revenge.

  12. F1_Badger says:

    End to a silly episode. These things happen in a sport where 100% self belief is vital. They shouldn’t happen but the years have shown it just does. Now time to crack on with (hopefully) a great race.
    On a side note I’m a big NH fan but was mightily empressed with BS. Well done.

  13. Steve Arnott says:

    IMO you missed an option (or more) in your poll: entirely Maldonado’s fault.

    What was Hamilton ‘reprimanded’ for? The accident or the move at the final corner? Or was it for gesticulating to Maldonado? I dunno.

    1. LT says:

      My thoughts exactly!!

      1. DonSimón says:

        +1

  14. Nesto says:

    thats extremely interesting as well as perplexing what Lewis says about the onboard cameras and only being able to record 9 at a time. Is this really true ? If so, thats ridiculous IMO, theres not enough money to invest in hardware to record all onboards ?

    1. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

      Please look at my earlier comment on this, too.

      I believe that this will be related to the bandwidth limitations of the wireless technology required to broadcast the audio and video streams from the cars, nothing to do with the number of cameras or recording devices they are prepared to buy. Some things you just can’t throw more hardware at :)

      I think this will be an interesting topic for an article from James at some point (as there clearly will be limits, however even just for our TV enjoyment there almost always seems to a replay available from in-car cameras of incidents, so how that is managed and edited in real-time is interesting to some of us ;)).

      What they could possibly do for incidents such as this is to have wired full-camera recording on the cars. This would add a bit of weight, of course, but would also mean that one of those 9 channels could be temporarily used to instruct a car to broadcast (from its recording) the footage from cameras that weren’t hooked up to the live streaming at the time the incident occurred, essentially giving the stewards full access to all relevant cameras while the race is still ongoing.

      Perhaps they already do, and the 9 camera thing is bogus. As I said, it’s a possibly interesting aspect of the sport that isn’t generally covered or remarked upon.

  15. The Talent says:

    Man, I love Pastor Maldonado. Here’s why:
    1. Hamilton’s pass on him at the end of qualifying, I think, was ok. It was what followed (again my opinion) that incensed Maldonado. Hamilton (it seemed to me) brake-tested Maldonado after the 1st corner of the new lap when he was in front of him, and then, when Maldo was coming alongside he made an odd-jink to his right towards him. As usual, it seems, he was being arrogant and trying to put a peer in his place. So what does Maldonado do? Says ‘stuff you, mate’ and does something more Senna-esque than what the guy who thinks he is Senna’s incarnate has ever done in his life.
    2. In a single second Maldo has shown how very little respect Hamilton commands amongst his peers.
    3. Finally, his name: he sounds like an evil character from a Dan Brown novel! Perfect name for a nemesis and F1′s new bad boy!

    Get in there Pastor-don’t let anyone push you around son!!

    1. garoidb says:

      I would be very interested to know if there is any truth in the suggestion of a brake test. If true, it puts a very different complexion on the whole incident for me.

    2. captainj84 says:

      well i have to say i’m of the completely opposite opinion………[mod] and his past sums it up for me…2005 his total disregard for others around him (ignoring yellow flags) nearly cost a marshal his life! doesn’t deserve a race seat!

    3. Simon Lord says:

      Doing something ‘Senna-esque’ is hardly cause for congratulation. If Senna had had suitable punnishments for his dirty driving, the world of Formula One would be a better place today. At a time when Jean Todt and the FIA are promoting road safety, incidents of puerile road rage on the circuit need to be severely punished. This was not a racing incident, it wasn’t someone going for a gap that didn’t exist, it was a deliberate act of aggression. I am not a big fan of Hamilton’s driving on occasions, but in this instance a one race ban for Maldonaldo would have been appropriate.

    4. Chris Mellish says:

      1. Senna never rammed another car in that manner.
      2. Hamilton didn’t brake test anyone. He ran wide in turn 1 and moved back towards the racing line, moving away to the left again when he saw the car coming past.
      3. What Maldonado did was brain dead and has no place in F1. Should have been banned from the race for that.

      1. DMyers says:

        Using those criteria it is easy to argue that Hamilton should not be in F1 after his period of ushering other cars into the barriers in Monaco and Canada. And let’s not forget that he wilfully lied to the Stewards a couple of years ago. Hardly exemplary behaviour, is it?

      2. Chris Mellish says:

        None of that compares to deliberately taking another car out. Monaco and Canada were overtaking attempts where had the other driver left room then there would have been no collision – that’s not to say they should have left room as that’s another debate, but other drivers made similar moves that stuck without incident because the overtaken driver gave them space.

        Maldonado deliberately rammed Hamilton’s car as revenge for some imagined transgression – that has no place in F1.

      3. OscarF1 says:

        Chis…
        Do I understand you’re suggesting a new set of regulations? Something in the lines of:

        ###.1.- Whenever Lewis Hamilton is attempting an overtake, all other drivers on the track shall give way. Failure to comply will result in a Drive Through penalty.

    5. Chapor says:

      The “brake test” you are talking about happened after the chequered flag had dropped, meaning the session was over. Pastor had no reason to drive aggresively at all. Haters be hating…

  16. David Hamilton says:

    I’ve watched this a number of times, and, as Hamilton said, the road and line goes to the right. Hamilton started to go right, saw Maldonaldo and moved left, then continued a neutral line (which involved moving slightly to the right).

    Why then did Maldonaldo move left in a right curve? I think Hamilton will be reprimanded for walking past an accident next time.

    1. Ross Dixon says:

      LOL My thoughts exactly. If you watch the inboard of Hamilton his steering wheel doesnt move way before the contact. This was an intentional move by Maldonaldo.

  17. daren says:

    just mansell to sell lewis short..!!
    just following the tweets tells the real truth and what should have been the real outcome.

  18. Ross Dixon says:

    I have seen the incar footage of Hamilton and as far as I can see his wheel does not move from a second before contact until just before when he steers left. The road curves left so his wheel is ever so slightly set to the right but given it is Maldonado that is passing it is his responsibility to pass without contact given Lewis was on the left side of the track. To be honest I think Maldonardo is lucky….very lucky to still be on the grid tomorrow

  19. Pablo says:

    Totally Maldonado’s fault, which leads to two points;
    1) 5 place drop is ridiculously light.
    2) I can’t see what Lewis did to even get a reprimand.

    1. Douglas says:

      In answer to #2 – He showed up.
      Honestly, it’s another completely inane decision regarding Hamilton.

  20. knoxploration says:

    Another session, another meaningless reprimand for Hamilton, despite clearly, deliberately, and aggressively weaving towards another driver in a dangerous and threatening manner. (And far more abruptly than Maldonado’s move.)

    Exactly how many reprimands has Hamilton had over the last couple of years? Can we agree now that reprimands achieve exactly nothing, and that if anything, he treats them as a badge of pride? He’s without question, as demonstrated by the number of reprimands and penalties that he picks up, the most dangerous and unsporting driver on the entire grid.

    It is high time Hamilton was given an increasingly harsh penalty for every infraction, rather than meaningless reprimands that achieve absolutely nothing. [mod]

    1. Quercus says:

      I think you were watching a different qualifying session from the one I was.

      I’ll go with the judgement of Coulthard and Brundle — both very experienced F1 drivers. I forget which way round it was but one said they should send him home and the other said Maldonado set a bad example to all young drivers.

    2. Chapor says:

      So a twitch in Pastor’s direction is aggressive and deliberate weaving, but side swiping Hamilton and causing an accident is ok? Haters be hating…

  21. Rein says:

    In the video footage Hamilton’s hand movement looks like he was talking on the radio and wasn’t looking for the Williams at all. Maldonado had enough space but decided to make a point and drove into Hamilton’s McLaren! A five place drop is far to lean. Picture Hamilton would have cut Maldonado in this way. He would be banned for the rest of the season.

    1. OscarF1 says:

      I disagree.
      Most likely he would have been reprimanded and Stewards would sanction this as the last time they’d tolerate such behaviour.

  22. Benalf says:

    Maldonado was punished right for his action of hitting Hamilton’s car but after the race incident at bus stop Hamilton did provoked Pastor by moving his car to the right twice. Hamilton should have gotten a penalty too. It’s easy to punish the one who punches the face of someone who just -without touching you-insult you. He said that Q3 was over and Pastor shouldn’t have done that but then, why did he move his car towards Pastor’s?

  23. jonas says:

    Hamilton showed Maldonado zero respect at the last corner … which seems to have started it all off.

    Don’t understand why its just a reprimand for Hamilton … either he did something punishable or he didn’t.

    1. Nick F says:

      They were both out of Qualifying if they didn’t complete a good lap. To respect him and basically just stop and back off the throttle at that corner would have meant Hamilton was out of the qualifying. That’s why the contact happened. desperation by both of them to finish the lap.

  24. Robbie Brown says:

    Disgusted by this decision. It’s completely clear that Maldonado cuts across Lewis, so much so he ends up on the grass. And this is after the end of session, and both are on a cool down lap.

    The argument that Lewis moved to the right twice, is clearly false – he did move once, but moved far left when he seemed to see Maldonado pull out to pass him, the ‘other move right’ is a trick of the camera – the gap getting bigger as they get closer to it. Just watching Lewis’ in car shows his steering wheel straight and his hand up to gesture to Maldonado as he passes, tell me why would you gesture as you move right to ‘block’ someone??

    And all this happens OFF the racing line!! so sorry, what the hell was Maldonado playing at? Why squeeze Lewis at all? And why oh why does Nigel Mansell of all people seem to have a problem with Lewis’ driving? give me a break, mister banging wheels himself!

    Maldonado should have been banned. This would’ve been bad enough in a race, but AFTER a session had ended it’s completely and utterly unforgivable.

    1. Will N says:

      Well said, that man…

  25. Henry says:

    Why FIA can’t just take it as race incident and shut up? It’s a minor side-to-side collision, it’s good for TV, don’t mess it up with penalties! Mr. Mansell should’ve known better, he was wheel-to-wheel with Senna once.

    1. James Allen says:

      ..more than once. Senna drove into him once here at Spa and NM found him afterwards and pinned him up against the garage wall…

      1. HFEVO2 says:

        what penalty would Lewis have been given if he had followed Senna’s precedent ?

        Probably at least a ten race ban for “bringing the sport into disrepute” and an appearance in court for assault !

        Rather than issuing a repremand, perhaps Nigel should have congratulated Lewis for being so restrained !

        How times have changed !

  26. John says:

    It surprised me that noone on the BBC commentary picked up on the fact that Hamilton did infact swerve twice in the direction of Maldonado. I thought that a world champion should perhaps know better than a rookie to keep his cool. Then again vettel used to do it during race starts so maybe they don’t have to set an example for others.

  27. spin says:

    Maldonado chose to pick a fight with Hamilton after the qualifying session had ended, there was no reason for his car to be so close to Hamilton’s – it was a premeditated and dangerous manoeuvre and in my opinion Maldonado should be excluded from the race.

    1. James encore says:

      Perfectly put.

      Mandonado and Hamilton’s incident at Monaco was because Hamilton tried a carbon-copy of the overtake he had previously done on Schumacher, but Mandonado didn’t see him coming. [Those who like HAM will say MAL should have done, and those who don't will say MSC did very well to get out of the way.]

      Now we have MAL not seeing HAM again. HAM forced his way through in order to get a decent lap time when he needed one.
      MAL’s behavior afterwards has no place in motor sport: I would have DQ’d him and banned him from the next race.

      Why don’t the stewards just give HAM a reprimand on Thursday evening for turning up ?

      1. Chapor says:

        I think they just need to find something first to issue a reprimand to Hamilton… Be it his fault or not. Stewarding is a farce as far as I am concerned. I think that this decision is bringing the sport into disrepute more than Pastor’s antics. I am truly dissapointed.

      2. Peter C says:

        I agree. The Stewards have got far too much to say these days. At one time, you hardly heard anything of them although they were actively making decisions all the time.

        We,some time ago,entered the era of Political Correctness & ‘Elf & Safety’ so small things get blown up into huge issues, & everyone has an opinion on everything. Of couse they are always right.

  28. TFLB says:

    I think they were both equally to blame. Hamilton did the provoking and Maldonado reacted. They should both have been penalized in my opinion.

  29. Jay says:

    It was definitely Maldonado’s fault. Heck, he goes on the grass after he cut off Hamilton!!

  30. Sinkers says:

    I’ve been watching f1 for nearly 30 years and cannot recall a driver ever deliberately driving into another in a non-racing situation. That is clearly what Maldonado did. Any other explanation from him is disingenuous.

    A five place grid drop is not taking his actions seriously enough. Okay, drivers can get a bit naughty in the heat of battle with late dives into corners etc. But to blatantly (and is anyone here going to seriously suggest it wasn’t?) swipe into another driver as you both cruise back to the pits it totally incredible. He should have been banned for the race to send out a strong message.

    As for Lewis is he reprimanded for the corner incident or what happened on the straight?

    The former would be very harsh, the later unbelievable!

    Final point – employing ex world champs to help stewards is a great idea, but surely they should have a rule which says you cannot slag off current drivers in the press (Mansell called Lewis immature and too aggressive etc) because then when you are involved in a decision that goes against them it can look like you’ve got a problem with that person even if you haven’t.

    1. kc says:

      I agree entirely.

      I cannot believe Maldonado is allowed to race today.

    2. Hendo says:

      Agree 100% with your comments.
      I cant believe that I’m actually going to stick up for Lewis here – (I share the same opinon of him as Mansell) – but regardless of what LH did in the last corner, there is no excuse EVER for ramming another car.
      And for it to happen on the cool down lap of Q2 is just pathetic.
      I could not believe that PM only got penalised 5 spots – he should have been suspended for at least this race, if not the rest of the season.

      PS of course Lewis moved to the right – thats the way the road goes! He moves to the left to give space to PM.

  31. Fret_burn says:

    Can we have an extra option in the poll for “completely Maldonado’s fault” ?

    1. garoidb says:

      I don’t think the fact that Hamilton received a reprimand should be viewed as any kind of exoneration for Maldonado. He is 100% responsible for his actions and they are deserving of a penalty.

      Whether something Hamilton did is deserving of a reprimand is a separate question. I assume the stewards have a rationale for that and I would like to hear it.

  32. Alistair says:

    How anyone can say Lewis was to blame is crazy. Both DC and Brundle said that Maldo was completely at fault and that there would be a big question mark over his even racing in the GP: they both said that kind of unsporting behaviour set out all the wrong signals and had to be punished.

    It’s shocking (although not really for someone who’s familiar with F1) that lewis was given a reprimand. Maldo just wanted revenge for Monaco and for being too slow at Spa.

    Maldo should not be racing on Sunday. If Lewis had done that, he would be banned. Mansell (and others) doesn’t like Lewis: he constantly says how easy (!) lewis has had it…

  33. Ian C. says:

    “but it’s important to recognise that in the stewards’ eyes he too is guilty of “a breach of the regulations””

    A reprimand is no penalty. What Hamilton said in Monaco is now having its effect. The stewards will be wary to penalise him for fear….

  34. Michael A. says:

    Must admit on one angle I thought Lewis, in a moment of madness, drove in to the back of Maldonaldo but having seen LH’s in car footage it does seem PM sliced across with malicious intent.

    1. Ron W says:

      What you have here is Maldonado looking at Hamilton’s gesture instead of where he was going. This clip clearly shows that. If Maldonado had wanted to spear Hamilton, he’d have retired his car easily.

  35. Nando says:

    Sort it out FOM. Only having stationary car cameras is bad enough, but only having them on nine cars just isn’t good enough.

  36. I am very disappointed with the stewards decision.

    I don’t see why Hamilton got a reprimand at all, sure he turn turn to the right very slightly but the track does curve right at that part of the circuit so he’s entitled to do that.

    As for Maldonado he went into Hamilton clearly with the intention of colliding with him … that’s highly dangerous and if it was upto me he would be excluded from all sessions until the end of the season.

    This is even worse than Piquet’s deliberate crash in Singapore a few years ago, at least Piquet was told to do so by his team – Maldonado meanwhile did it of his own accord and there is no room for that mentality in F1.

  37. The Shepherd says:

    WooW, Lewis is envied & hated by 20 someting drivers — even by rookies?! I think Hamilton should be very careful not to fall into their trap, some of them have nothig to lose.

    What went wrong with Button?

  38. Phil says:

    Wow – that’s a bit poor that they can only record 9 cars at a time. Maybe they should have demanded the telemetry from Williams instead?

  39. Divesh says:

    I think this was bit of afters after Monaco, after Hamilton touched him when passing going into the last corner, Pastor thought he’s not going to hit me again and then get away with it.

    I think when Hamilton jinked right suddenly after they both went into turn 1 Maldonaldo saw red and tried to prove a point.

  40. Hal says:

    Seriously, I really can’t see where Hamilton is to blame in all this. Why was Maldanado trying to overtake AFTER Q2 had ended?

    This was deliberate and I think he was lucky to get away with a 5 place grid drop – Nigel Mansel has made it quite public of his dislike for Hamilton in past interviews. I don’t see how he can be impartial where Lewis is concerned.

    1. Werewolf says:

      This is my problem with the whole episode. Not only did Maldonado not need to overtake, he certainly had no need to cut Hamilton close – qualifying was over and there was nothing to gain by aggressively retaking the racing line.

      On the other hand, any aggression by Hamilton at the chicane was necessary in the competition of the event.

      At this level of motorsport, even if Hamilton did try to provoke a reaction, Maldonado’s swipe is indefensible. So, my view has to be that Maldonado is definitely the most to blame and possibly entirely to blame, as he could simply have accelerated past off line, irrespective of any games Hamilton may or may not have been playing.

  41. Curro says:

    Maldonado squeezed him to the left, Hamilton turned right and made contact. Both to blame. However, Maldonado had no reason to be angry, he was very wide in the last chicane and Hamilton went for the gap with his car not sliding at all.

    It’s a concern how often Hamilton can’t restrain himself, even when he’s done nothing wrong like today.

  42. Trix says:

    What a load of b***s!!! I can’t help but feel that if the roles were reversed, Hamilton wud have had a race ban or worse. Mansell’s bias against Hamilton is no secret. This is just such a shame. How didn’t the stewards have the in-car footgae of Maldonado???? This just sucks. As long as there is an incident involving Hamilton, he never gets off free. Sick!

  43. Mark_1980 says:

    Videos: Hamilton and Maldonado crash in 2011 Belgian Qualifying
    http://www.formula1onlive.com/2011/08/videos-hamilton-and-maldonado-crash-in.html

    I think its Maldonado’s fault 100%

  44. Pedro Mendes says:

    Whats this thing abou only 9 cameras on the cars?

  45. AndyB says:

    It seems the stewards have completely lost the plot. Schumacher was disqualified for a whole season for turning into JV in 1997. Only a few weeks ago a driver was recommended to have his racing licence revoked for a retaliatory collision at Silverstone IIRC.

    PM should have at least a race ban and rest of the season banned under suspension. And just how the stewards came up with a reprimand for Hamilton in all this I struggle to work out. Much like the penalty for weaving in Malaysia. There is the horrible undercurrent of politics in all of this…

  46. Roman says:

    How many reprimands can a driver take without eventually getting a penalty for them? Lewis seems to be racking them up.

    Hamilton should know better than to put himself in a position so close to Maldonado, and for that (and his little swerves) I think they should both be penalized equally.

  47. Rohan says:

    Clearly Hamilton’s fault.

  48. AndiD says:

    I despair – this ‘pay’ driver who doesn’t have it to really compete at the highest level ‘lost it’.
    Shame on him, and shame on Williams for selling their evitable reputation for pieces of silver.
    This is NOT stock car racing.

  49. Chris Mellish says:

    Having watched every piece of available footage, including the in car from Lewis, there can be no doubt at all that this incident was 100% Maldonado’s fault.

    Coming out of the corner Lewis initially moves towards the racing line, notices Maldonado, then moves back to the left of the circuit. That was his ONLY move after turn 1.

    Watching the in car footage after that initial move you can see Lewis holds a steady gentle turn to the right following the curve of the track. Maldonado then comes steaming across his path in a straight line that takes him off the circuit!

    That was deliberate and dangerous and should have been punished by a one race ban. Lewis did nothing wrong in this instance.

  50. The Shepherd says:

    By the way, are the guys at McLaren allowed to get busy on Hamilton’s damaged car after the 3rd Qualifying session?

    1. James Allen says:

      No but they are allowed to repair damage tomorrow morning

  51. Sinkers says:

    Looks like Hamilton got let off lightly in Monaco surely he should have got a grid drop at the next race for inciting a future collision based on his Maldonado incident at the principality! ;-)

  52. PaulL says:

    That’s Hamilton’s second reprimand. One more and then a five place grid drop..

  53. John Starton says:

    Lewis Hamilton is involved in an incident. Sounds familiar…? However I’d like to mention famous Brittish journalists (except James) – it seems that for some poeple it’s better to watch F1 through a national flag – twitter was full of messages about excluding Maldonado from race, suspending his license and so on… It’s more than pathetic

    1. Ledio Gjergjani says:

      John Starton I agree. I understand its a British sport but hamilton clearly is as much at faul as Maldonado is. So in Q2 Maldonado was pushed of the racing line and that is ok.Come on people open your eyes. If overtaking somebody means hitting them or pushing them off track, than Maldonado did nothing wrong, he was applying the same ruels, to bad it did not work out for him.

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Pushed off? You seeing the same thing I am? Maldonado was miles away from the racing line at the Bus Stop, which is why Hamilton was able to sneak past in the first place.

  54. Pr0phet says:

    Finally LH doesn’t get the blame for an incident, however he does get a reprimand for something he clearly had nothing to do with.

  55. Michael Prestia says:

    Both drivers are at fault… Maldonado for the bigger collison but Hamilton for the last corner contact that probably got the ball rolling on this incident.

    1. Sinkers says:

      So there is a new rule in place that I didn’t know about where you should get a reprimand for “annoying” another driver!! There was nothing wrong with Hamilton’s corner move.

      1. Michael Prestia says:

        I’m sure I said Hamilton was at fault for contact and not cause he annoyed anyone. Karma’s lesson in the race.

  56. Jonty says:

    How has Maldonado been treated so leniently.

    To deliberately and maliciously crash into someone when not even racing is unprecidented as far as I remember in recent years.

  57. Paulo Miranda says:

    The way i saw it, Hamilton slowed down, and he entitled too.
    After this, Maldonado was faster and put himself alongside Hamilton, slowing down too, he could have just continued at the same speed.
    After La source into Eau Rouge isn’t a straight, it leans right, so i think that the first move from Hamilton was correcting the trajectory but when he saw Maldonado e gone left again. Then With Maldonado alongside him, he made a quick turn, a bit agressive, but avoiding contact i think that was just to make Maldonado go away, and after this Maldonado came to him, which is against the normal raceline.

    So i accept that the reprimand is the right thing to do to Hamilton, and the 5 race grid penalty to Maldonado is right, or maybe even not enough.

    If it was Hamilton people would ask for Ban from sport.

    As for the first contact, Hamilton was faster, Maldonado was almost stopped, Hamilton got the inside of the corner, so nothing to discuss there.

    I’m an Hamilton fan, so maybe a little biased.

    1. Will says:

      f1 wouldnt be the same without a few crashaholics. Sato, kamui (although he has imoroved this year) and hamilton. they make it more watchable and each has the apologists/fans and haters/critics. hamilton seems to have more attitude than sato or kamuinthough so raises ztronger emotions.

  58. cjf says:

    Hamilton moved to the right….Maldonado drove into him.

    So in other words they drove into one another?

    The article suggests that both the stewards and team principles believe Hamilton was also at fault, any info as to why therefore they recieved differant penalties?

    1. Chris Mellish says:

      However no team principles have been quoted in the press as thinking Hamilton had his share of the blame. Funny that…

  59. Sergio says:

    Look James. Controversial raised up if Hamilton would be punished, and you can bet for that all your money. Charlie Whiting did not punished the Brit in the past arguing a different system of evaluation(a sudden change of the aproaching). After three faults the driver should be punished. err….Anyway, if the Media Judges they say it’s allright, the “justice” prevails. But you have a big name to defend Lewis: Nigel Mansell, the man who didn’t speak so well about HAM. Potential media target depending of his behavior. Yes, yes, he is fair, he didn’t punished Hamilton. And don’t forget the genuine, the greatest, the big judge: Mr. Charlie Whiting. Sometimes a fiercy advocate of justice, sometimes a forgetful man. Excusatio non pedita acussatio manifiesta. This article proves that. If you see 1000 times the replay, you will see how Lewis turn his car on MAL. Congratulations again. No controversy necessary.

    1. Pr0phet says:

      I am sorry, but I really cannot follow the train of thought. Sounds a little higgildy-piggildy to me. Check what u r saying and what the rest is saying!

      1. Hermany says:

        I think it’s the translation software at fault, not Sergio..

  60. sp says:

    shocking decision from the stewards and sadly the flying tash involved, cant see how Hamilton could be “guilty” when he was far over to the left on a right hander??? If Maldonado cant judge that then should he even be in F1?

    Possible he (maldonado) was a bit miffed about the coming together at the chicane and thought he’d squeeze him to show is annoyance but clearly made a mess of it. Either way a disgrace.

    Can you imagine the trouble you or I would get into if we behaved like that on public roads.

    Have understood most stewarding decisions against Hamilton but sadly this one escapes me.

  61. Edward Mackenzie says:

    I’m sorry but am i blind and stupid? In what way was Hamilton at fault?

    1. LT says:

      No, you’re not. The only blind an stupid ones are the ones putting any blame on Hamilton for this.

  62. Steve says:

    There’s onboard footage that shows quite clearly that Hamilton is moving to the outside on a right hander as Maldonado sweeps across and takes him out.

    1. OscarF1 says:

      I disagree. Prior to contact footage proves Hamilton is (inch by inch) moving to the inside and even twitches his steering wheel a bit further to the right.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RPQH6xJu-g

      Whether he knew Maldonado was there or not is another league.

  63. DB says:

    “They can only record nine cars and the camera was on Barrichello’s car”. I thought every car had a camera these days.

  64. Flying_Scotsman says:

    Does anyone else think this may be a touch of red mist and a faint memory from Monaco on Maldonados part?

  65. docjkm says:

    Looked like a classic ‘whose is bigger’ sausage contest.

    James, what’s the over/under on Webber’s positions lost from his P3 start tomorrow??? Has to be at least -2 with Massa and Rosberg the beneficiaries. In fact, look for Ham-Mas ?contact at C1?

  66. Adam says:

    Maldonado should have served a race ban for a deliberate revenge attack on a driver. Plain and simple, no place for him in F1 if he is going to do this! Hamiltons move on him was for a hot lap, Maldonado’s move was a hot head!

  67. RichyS says:

    Where’s the option for ‘entirely Maldonado’s fault’?

  68. jonrob says:

    Well I also saw Lewis turn his wheel to the right just on the tv footage, but that was before Maldonaldo cut into him, he was very lucky to avoid his rear wheel being flipped up as he crossed in front of Lewis. So there was some.
    So is body repair or replacement allowed under park ferme? Good as it is gaffer tape is not designed to cope with the shear stress that will result form holding two separate parts together. Lewis was lucky not to have damage to the right sidepod’s contents.

  69. Ledio Gjergjani says:

    So let me get this right. The person who started the fight got nothing for it. If I recall Hamilton is the driver that keeps hitting people, and this should have been the time for a race ban, just so he know what happens when you push people to that point. Witmarsh needs to ask himself who the crash kid really is.

    1. LT says:

      Please explain how it was Hamilton who started it????? All the evidence points to Hamilton minding his own business and Maldonado intentionally hitting him.

  70. Speedsailor says:

    Whoever thinks Hamilton was in the wrong needs to look at Hamilton’s on-board footage. At no time dis he swerve towards Maldonado. He took his hand off the wheel to gesticulate to Maldonado but the wheel didn’t turn.

    I can only surmise that Hamilton was reprimanded for the overtake in quali 2.

    Maldonado should have been banned for this race. It was a dangerous manoeuvre. He was fully to blame for the collision. Any who says different needs glasses and Williams should send him home.

    At least Hamilton only had a reprimand, but even that is too harsh imo

  71. Rachid says:

    I find it interesting to see that the common thought of “the stewards have access to more cameras than we” is somewhat debunked now. You got the feeling they could almost literally see every angle of every car, but now it turns out a majority of the car has no camera or there at least is no way to record their footage.

  72. Heartworm says:

    Interesting they aren’t recording all the footage, I thought they would have it all.

  73. Peppers says:

    am completely stunned at Maldonados slap on the wrist.

    At the very least he should have been excluded from this race, probably several. I am at a loss to explain this dubious decision.

    (Didn’t M. Schumacher get excluded from a championship for ramming Villeneuve? Could be wrong)

    It does have to be said that if Hamilton had deliberately rammed someone on an in lap, he would have been penalised heavily.

    Are we sure Max Mosely isn’t still in charge?

    Hamilton getting a warning was outrageous as well. Maldonado was L driver slow through the first turn at the bus stop, and hamilton passed him in a matter of metres. Maldonado turned in on lewis (but even this was not a big deal) and the two made slight contact. Any other driver and this would not have even been looked at.

  74. Ralf F says:

    I find it funny how the great majority here either thinks that it was entirely Maldonado’s fault and he should get a bigger penalty, or that Hamilton was equally at fault and should have got a more tangible penalty, but no one seems to agree with the stewards ever.

    1. garoidb says:

      I actually agree with the stewards on this one. PM definitely guilty but not the hanging offence some would claim. LH did turn towards PM twice (and I know the argument about racing lines) and therefore aggravated the situation. Lesser penalty. I wish they would say exactly why they punished LH so that comments could focus on the actual incident punished rather than red herrings. It may be that their logic is different from mine.

  75. windybottom says:

    The checkered flag was out for Q2 and both drivers were slowing down. Maldonado had no reason even to pass Hamilton.

  76. Bobby says:

    Pointless penalty for someone barely troubling the midfield. Maldonado should have been thrown out of the race for intentionally trying to put another competitor into the wall. What a clown. Stewards look weak over this one. Best of luck tomorrow Lewis!

  77. Nando says:

    Why wasn’t Ham given a 10-place grid drop for three reprimands in a season?

    1. garoidb says:

      Which were the three? Others say two.

  78. Jack Roberts says:

    The key point for me is that on the two occasions Lewis moved to the right he was doing so because that’s the racing line.

    What business Maldonado has cutting back over to the left once he was alongside I have no idea and I think he’s lucky not to have been given a more serious penalty.

    As for the previous incident that one I would call a normal ‘racing incident’. Lewis needed a fast time so couldn’t just back out and there was a big enough gap to go down the inside.

  79. davej747 says:

    This is not the first time Maldonado has been in trouble for something so dangerous and unacceptable. When he was driving in the Renault World Series 2005 in Monaco he was given a four-race ban for ignoring yellow flags and hitting and seriously injuring a marshal.

  80. OzF says:

    Now we can only wonder “Would Hamilton have got pole without the damage?”

  81. Spinodontosaurus says:

    How is, or how can Hamilton be at all responsible for Maldonado blatantly turning into him? It is complete nonsense.

    1. Heartworm says:

      I thought the same, but when you look at the replay, Hamilton did make 2 distinct moves, which I believe the punishment is for. Maldonado I believe is the cause of the accident though, very careless at best, outright dangerous at worst.

  82. jack_faith says:

    like how many comments?? You have to give it to Hamilton, at least in terms of box office. I think a lot of people here are in danger of overlooking a ridiculous overtake in wet conditions from Hamilton on Maldonado on that last quali lap (and almost takes pole) He’s already goes down in F1 history for his overtaking.
    And maybe Bruno Senna’s story was the biggest of the day. Who expected that?

    1. LT says:

      Ridiculous?? It was perfectly LEGAL and was necessary!

  83. Luke Smith says:

    Hamilton was upset that Maldonado turned in on him at the last corner, Hamilton retaliated by swerving towards him when he drove past and then Maldonado reacted by driving into Hamilton.

    In my opinion Maldonado should have been excluded from the event and Hamilton sent to the rear of grid.

  84. Powersteer says:

    I’m rather intrigued by the message that FIA is sending to drivers.

    This incident is clearly a dangerous move by PM, if the local highway patrol spotted me doing that to a fellow motorist, I’m pretty sure that it’s gonna get me banned from the road.

    PM shd be excluded from any further participation in this event, another suspended ban for the rest of the year!

  85. Ron W says:

    Sorry, but I have had enough of people bashing Driver Representatives on the Steward panel.

    Mansell is not biased. McNish is not jealous/biased.

    I feel that an increasing majority are being sucking into the sensationalism that is elevating itself within F1.

    You also have to remember, and i’m sure James will back me up on this, is that commentators react to a situation they have witnessed. They make a judgement call with emotion and passion. This is good because it’s what we want to hear :)

    Unfortunately, some of you get suckered in and become blinkered to the bigger picture.

    This is a reason why you aren’t F1 stewards and cannot grasp the Stewards’ actions either.

    1. Rohan says:

      What utter rubbish. The driver-stewards are just as biased as anyone else, if not more so. It’s interesting to note that in all the times Hamilton has been treated far more leniently than he should have been (such as today), the driver-stewards have been British. It’s disgraceful xenophobia and I’ve had enough of it.

      1. James Allen says:

        I completely 100% disagree with you. They are not all British – Wurz, Pirro, Frentzen, Kristensen, Fittipaldi.

      2. Sinkers says:

        James, don’t you agree that stewards shouldn’t be allowed to pass comment on current drivers in the press? Mansell’s comments on Hamilton and then what many consider harsh treatment by the stewarding panel he sits on creates a perception of him being anti-Hamilton.

  86. Ryan Eckford says:

    That was totally stupid and idiotic by Maldonado. He should have punished more severely by the stewards. What a disgrace!!!!!

  87. The Ram says:

    James, what exactly was Hamilton punished for? Waving his hands?

  88. Jeremy Smith says:

    PM should have been taken out of the car for this race..

    Motor racing is a very dangerous sport, we do not need clowns like this..

  89. Bayan says:

    Out of topic here. Senna was very very impressive today. What a great qualifying he had. I hope his race is as good.

  90. Dan says:

    Here we go; the Hamilton fans come out to justify why it should be OK to make contact with another car (it isn’t) and the rabid anti-Hamilton fans point to yet another incident that OUR LEWIS has gotten involved with.

    Lewis has pushed plenty of drivers wide in his time, and I will admit to a wry smile creeping across my face as Maldonado gave Lewis something back in return – someone was going to get tired of his antics sooner or later. But the rules are the rules – you can’t hit another car, and that was a rule both drivers broke. It’s about time that the rules were applied to everyone, regardless of team, championship standing or fan appeal.

  91. Matt says:

    Two broken legs for Maldonado from a huge crash up into the fence would have made him realise the potential consequences of his actions far more than a 5 place grid penalty. Drivers receive more than that for changing engines or getting an overtaking manoeuvre wrong. Maldonado’s move would have got him knocked around the paddock by other drivers in junior formulae, he should count himself lucky today.

  92. Jarv027 says:

    Hamilton did provoke maldonado by swearving right something bbc commentators turned a blind eye at. Maldonado was out of order though and should have got a 10 grid penalty like schumacher when he put barrichello up against the wall last season. But i like these things makes the sport more interesting.
    9 cameras available is pathetic for the richest sport in the world.
    Was it me james, im sure vettel didnt use his DRS on his pole lap, didnt see him use it on climb up 2 eau rouge and les combes??

  93. JohnBt says:

    Maldonado was not happy with Lewis’s pass earlier on, I guess. But a bad move though from Maldo.

    1. LT says:

      Maybe Maldonado should be more upset at himself for giving Hamilton the opportunity to make that PERFECTLY LEGAL move and not noticing it before it was too late?

  94. jpinx says:

    Reading the comments makes me wonder how many actually studied the footage from the various cameras. The wheel-banging at the chicane is aggressive but perfectly normal driving when a slow car gets a fast car up the inside line. What happened after they crossed the line was silly from both drivers – LH gesticulating and PM weaving and – Ooops – I didn’t mean to actually hit him… One wonders what Frank Williams will have to say – he’s nobody’s fool ;)

  95. Carl keeling says:

    Absolutely Maldonado fault. I can nit see why anyone would allow this guy to drive in the race. Let hope his temper and lack Of ability don’t affect the race result.
    I would have disqualified him from the race. He is not in a race winning car and must understand that is hammy or vetel or alonso need to get past on their flying lap, then they are going to get by. Even if it is unexpected. He shouldn’t then retaliate. That’s just damn stupid and dangerous. Let’s hope the penalty has caused him to think akthou I doubt it.

  96. Turbo says:

    I wonder if Maldonado is still emotional about Lewis’ Monaco pass ?

    1. Will says:

      “Pass” is an interesting term to use.

  97. Hermany says:

    James,
    Surprised your write up doesn’t chime with what 95%+ of people could see with their plain eyes – Maldo had a fit of road rage and trashed another’s car. For an F1 driver, completely unacceptable. How do we know Hamilton wouldn’t have got pole with an untouched car? – can you imagine the uproar if the roles had been reversed?
    The fact that other drivers (and Mansell) are allegedly hinting LH was partly at fault just goes to illustrate the envy out there. Pay drivers like PM are never going to reach the heights – this ‘penalty’ will tell them they’ve nothing to lose if they want to go in for a bit of attention seeking. I’d love to hear Frank Williams’ take on it.
    5-place grid drop for PM and a reprimand for LH? – a joke – Mansell should be ashamed.

  98. John Starton says:

    I’m reading these comments and clearly can’t understand – are you people really watching TV through national flag? Why 90% of commentators are crying about Lewis getting reprimand? Did he lose anything? There should be a new rule in F1 – the one who gets in a way of Hamilton (the one who always have problems with other drivers) should be banned for racing forever, isn’t it?

  99. Rohan says:

    There was one person at fault for the incident yesterday: Hamilton. He instigated it by barging Pastor out of the way at the bus-stop, and then weaved into Pastor’s path on the run down to Eau Rouge. But yet again, Hamilton isn’t punished for deliberately trying to crash into another driver.

    F1 has turned into a disgrace with its clear pro-Hamilton bias.

    1. David Hamilton says:

      Hamilton’s overtake of Maldonaldo was textbook, absolutely textbook. Maldonaldo late-apexed the chicane exit, looking to get past Rubens and hoping for another lap, and Hamilton parked it precisely on the apex, looking absolutely under control.

      I genuinely would show that video as a great example of a really good (and opportunistic) overtaking manoeuver.

      Hamilton has got a lot of things wrong this season, but that overtake absolutely wasn’t one of them.

      Not Hamilton’s fault that Maldonaldo was frustrated by being delayed his team-mates mistake, overtaken by a much quicker car, and then running out of time for another lap.

  100. Hermany says:

    James,

    Can you give us any more hints as to who the ‘rival team boss’ you mention, blaming LH, is? Top team? Midfield? Red car? White car?

    Clearly, at least one team has a deranged principal.

    1. James Allen says:

      Doing a bit of fishing because keen to alleviate the threat!

  101. Just A Bloke says:

    **Off Yopic **

    James in years gone many drivers, notably Mansell used to take a REALLY wide line round La Source. 1-Is this still legal? where is the circuit limit white line
    2-With the latest simulation software can you say if this wide laine was faster all else being equal?

    THanks

    Martin

    1. James Allen says:

      Must keep wheels inside white line

      1. Nando says:

        Schumacher had both his front wheels of the track on lap 28. Are you’re allowed three transgressions in the race?

  102. Sergio says:

    Dear Allen,

    I would like to point out that I am not British nor Venezuelan and that I am a Hamilton fan.
    It seems clear to me that the two moves to the right (as you mention)made by Hamilton triggered the colision.
    The second move to the right and the first to the left made contact (front weel x back weel) spining Maldonado towards Hamilton.
    In my humble and unbias opinion, both are wrong but I believe that Hamilton provoqued Maldonado with his first move to the right.
    In order to make the Championship more interesting they left Hamilton keep his grid position so he can fight Vettel.
    I believe that blaming only Maldonado is absurd.

  103. David Hamilton says:

    James: In the past the stewards have used telemetry in making their decisions. Did they have access to Maldonaldo’s telemetry in making their decision?

    1. Ed says:

      You are absolutely correct. If they didn’t have video I am sure the telemetry from the car can show down to the nth degree when and by how much each driver turned the whee.

      I think they don’t want to loose South American money and probably to Maldonaldo aside and said in very stern word to never do that again or you can join Nelson Piquet where he is racing.

      They needed to give some responsibility to Hamilton so it wouldn’t look so blantanley like Maldonaldo was let off.

      Just my thoughts

  104. Chapor says:

    Has anyone noticed that in the final chicane when Hamilton was about to overtake Pastor that Pastor got shown the blue flag? And Hamilton gets a reprimand for that? I don’t see any other refraction that Hamilton is guilty of. Other than turning right in a right hander corner when Pastor clearly turns left. I simply do not understand it. Pastor deserves another penalty for impeding Hamilton in the last chicane. Like I said, he did get shown a blue flag. It is pathetic stewarding, simply pathetic and dissapointing.

  105. Carly says:

    Maldo took a swipe at Lewis – end of story. Regardless of any provocation (which in all honestly i don’t beleive was the case) it is totally unacceptable to take out your anger of another driver when you are in a racing car. Someone could have been killed. Maldo should have been banned from a race at least to show that the sport will not tolerate this kind of behaviour. If you look at how he approaches Hamilton, you can see that he was determined to have some kind of altercation with him. If he misjudged his attempt to show him he wasn’t happy – should he be driving a car that does such speeds?!?! He could kill himself or others if he misjudges this!!

    I am a hamilton fan, but i will be the first to say if he has done something wrong as ultimatly i am a F1 fan and want the best for the sport. I don’t think he was at fault in this case. Now lets have a great Belgium GP!!

  106. jonnyd says:

    its amazing how much disagreement there can be over a piece of video which everyone is viewing with the same human eyes.
    Ham’s move on maldonado going into the chicane was fine, nothing wrong with that, he didnt’ exactly have to barge his way past as maldo gave a lot of room and was caught unawares.

    regarding the incident after la source, it is clear that both of them try and intimidate each other. Maldo doesn’t initiate it, as can be seen from the video. It’s ham that turns to the right initially to..i dont know what…to scare him or make a point? Maldo does however….have the last word. Both of them move into each other, Maldo more so than Ham, but never the less, Ham does move right a few times.

    This is why the stewards also gave lewis a reprimand, he wasn’t entirely innocent in the whole thing. You dont need the onboard footage of either car to see this.

    That’s all there is to say on it.

  107. James says:

    Surely the stewards have seen Maldonado’s onboard footage which shows him deliberately driving into Hamilton.

    Given that this was deliberate and that they are no longer racing or qaulifying makes this incident unique in F1 history?

    Maldonado should be sent home for causing an accident on purpose. Safety and reputation on the sport is more important than their spat.

    J.

  108. James says:

    Also, Hamilton is in cool down mode, driving slowly and Maldonado catches up and goes to pass but obviously slows down enough to hit the side of Lewis’ car. It has to be intentional – he justifies it by saying “he lost control” – oh dear.

    1. OscarF1 says:

      “Surely”… there isn’t any Maldonado’s on-board footage of the incident nor any proof of deliberately causing it.
      Also, the telemetry haven’t been aired to show whether PM slowed down of LH accelerated (if any of those occurred).

      Most likely, the stewards made their decisions based on the two videos everyone have seen (which actually prove both pilots drive into each other).

      1. James Ratcliff says:

        “Surely?” Yes – all the cars have onboard cameras of which the footage is available to the FIA, as well as the telemetry.

        I think the FIA can see exactly that PM did it on purpose, just as LH had to muscle through to get a time on his hot lap.

  109. mark says:

    If you saw the footage form the front of the action you clearly see Hamiliton move twice………one small jink towards Maladono and the second towards him as Maldano is also moving to his right………..both to blame on second move……..however you have to ask yourslef had Hamilton not jinked right the first time would the incident even happened. Sundays move by hamiliton clearly shows the type of peer arrogance that Senna A. had………

  110. mark says:

    Apologies for bad typing………

  111. Past Pupil says:

    F1 bosses know that Football gets huge following based on emotion – so they are working on stirring up emotions in F1 …

    Really, though, this is the kind of thing that drove me away from F1 (I had to come back here to see what everyone was saying, having seen the incident on the news!!!), the lack of objectivity … we all saw something that looked like road-rage, and that should have a big penalty. The suspect driver has absolutely no sane explanation for why his car suddenly crashed into another car, after driving alongside it for a short while.

    But, we see no clarifications. And a light penalty. And are led to believe that the stewards seemingly don’t have as much information at hand as we expected …

    Why does F1 refuse to change … ?

  112. Harvey says:

    Hamilton does it again, [mod]. It’s one thing to use your skills to create an advantage, like Senna, Mansell, Prost, Lauda et al. It’s quite a different thing to cause incidents by your arrogance and lack of mental discipline. Hamilton should have got away from Maldonado’s car by slowing or driving to the side of the track instead of contributing to the damage of his car.

  113. Lan says:

    What Maldonado did was totally unacceptable. I don’t care if he was in the heat because of whatever Hamilton did, but you don’t act like that in front of hundreds of millions of people. It’s crass and uncouth and reflects poorly on the driver as a mature person. Same can be said about Hamilton and his well documented outburst earlier this year. For shame Maldonado.

  114. OscarF1 says:

    James, I have yet another question about Hamilton’s overtake on Maldonado.
    It’s clear LH was faster and took a better line to overtake and finish his astonishing lap but, nonetheless, he made contact with PM while the latter was on his flying lap.
    Could it be seen as a breach in article 31.7?

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s always about interpretation isn’t it? Maldonado was 2 secs off the pace in that sector on that lap, but he was caught up behind Kovalainen. And 2s would not have got him into Q3

      1. OscarF1 says:

        Thanks James,
        Of course I agree it’s about interpretation (the main reason for the 200+ comments on this article).
        What I’m curious about is the plausible case in which a top driver, trying to get the pole, encounters a significantly slower one intending to qualify… let’s say 13th.
        The way I saw it, both drivers would have the right not to be “impeded”. And I can’t find a rule stating the slower driver has to give way (For some reason I just remembered Monza 2006).
        I also understand “traffic management” has become a major issue both in Quali and Racing to avoid such situations.

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