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Trulli spells out what happened with Hamilton
Trulli spells out what happened with Hamilton
Posted By:   |  02 Apr 2009   |  5:33 am GMT  |  47 comments

I’m grateful to Robbie for sending me the link to YouTube where there is an extract of Toyota team radio, which gives a vivid picture of what it he experienced when Lewis Hamilton passed him in the final stages of that Australian GP. Trulli slows down to let him repass, but he doesn’t pass.

Hamilton is in front of the stewards, two of whom were Melbourne stewards, as I write this.

Some bits I pulled out from the Trulli recording which I find interesting – Trulli says that if he has a KERS car behind him he is ‘in trouble’ at the restart. The KERS made quite a difference to the racing and certainly helped with overtaking non-KERS cars. Once everyone has it of course the situation will be normalised, but for the moment there are some good opportunities for KERS cars.

When asked whether Hamilton passed him under the safety car, Trulli is not sure if the safety car had been deployed or not. This shows how much of a picture a driver has at a time like this. He knows that there were yellow flags, but hasn’t noticed any SC boards around the track.

Trulli spells out that he passed Hamilton, because he was going very slowly, but then he slowed to let him back past and Hamilton does not go past.

Very interesting stuff and I’m sure under the FIA’s new transparency rules regarding the stewards decisions, full radio extracts of this incident will be published on the FIA and websites once the decision has been reached. Another example of how the internet is bringing the fans and media closer to the sport and, critically, closer to understanding the sport!

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Pity that FOM has decided to have that video removed.

Even though the FIA said there would be more openness about stewarding decisions, it doesn't seem to be the case at all . As far as I know, none of the evidence of the Trulli/Hamilton incident has been released.

Personally I feel that if the stewards are to penalise Hamilton, we the public must get to see (and hear) the reasons why or it will just fester away belief in their decisions even more.


Thanks for this excellent stuff.


I just can't understand why Lewis had to lie, i mean, he should have know that truth will come up, we all saw interviews, youtube clips, and hell, we all watch the race on TV.

Sometimes is does look like stewards are always on his head, but he sure as hell isn't making his life any easier.

OT : james, there's been heaps of talking around alot of forums, and people are starting to recognize your page as one of best regarding F1. I don't know about your commentating skills as I'm from Croatia, but you are doing very good job with this "blog", keep it up 🙂


This really makes it clear that both drivers were simply trying to avoid a penalty and neither were trying to gain an unfair advantage.

What this clearly shows is that the FIA failed everyone involved on Sunday: The teams, the drivers and the fans. Why did they not clarify what needed to happen during the race?

How can professional racing take place when its is being governed and overseen by bumbling incompetent fools?


Other interesting thing at the end Yarno says something along the lines of "Its a miracle because yesterday I had no grip and now overnight it's ok" Did the team modify the rear wing to comply with the rigidity requirement overnight in park ferme?

Its also clear that it's very confusing to a driver not being able to read the steering wheel messages with the sun in his eyes.

However even if the safety car had pulled in Yarno couldn't pass until the SC2 line which I think is the same as the finish line. So that argument would not hold water.


This could end up being serious for Hamilton if he hasn't told the truth. The FIA must think something is suspect if they have decided to investigate this again.


James can you clarify this on the Safety car rules:
on the media many F1 "experts" are saying that Button was a bit lucky to win the race,because the safety car(caused by Nakajima) was called later than expected,when Button was already doing his pit-stop.
Had the safety car been called sooner,they say,he would have lost the race.Then someone has suspects over race director intentionally delaying the safety car in order to favour Button.
But the point is:I think this is all wrong!
With the new rules the pit lane is always open,so if the safety car had been called earlier,Button would have done his pit-stop on that lap and retained his first place.
I´m surprised to hear so many wrong analysis,even on channels completely funded by the taxpayer!
What do you think is the right interpretation?


The evidence against Hamilton appears to be building considerably.

As you mentioned, the FIA's new transparency laws are brilliant as they ensure we are able to finally get a glance of what truly goes on in pit lane.

And as a result, some of the stewards decisions, which can seem perplexing at times will finally be clearer. If we were given access to Hamiltion's radio last year in Spa, we would be in a better position to judge the bus stop pass scenario.


All this extra information that is now available may bring some fans closer to the sport, but it's driving me away! It won't be long before Bernie or the FIA elect to hold the podium ceremony just before the start of the following GP, just so they can be sure they have the right three up there!


Hooray! Web 2.0 has finally reached Formula 1.

Thank you James for sourcing this one out.


Any rumor as to *when* the stewards will be making an announcement - does it need to be before the weekend officially starts, before FP, before quali, or is there no time limit?


Surely the teams would let the drivers know straight away on the radio that the safety car was out. They should know seconds after it has been deployed in theory.

It sounds like McLaren told him to let Trulli pass him because they feared that in overtaking Trulli, Hamilton would receive a penalty. How ironic that the penalty has gone the other way!

As soon as I heard the ruling I felt Trulli was hard-done by. I thought at worst he should have only be demoted to 4th. However, I suppose the drive-through is the most lenient penalty they can dish out.

It certainly sounds like something was missed out at the first hearing in Melbourne.


This is excellent, thanks James! You're right, the transparency really does help understand the decisions.



I've not heard one of those before - so much detail!

If we take it at face value then it seems that Toyota acted in good faith and the penaltly could seem harsh.

Wouldn't it be great to have more access to these feeds?


To think that F1 could not become a bigger joke than that which Max and Bernie had already achieved.

How does the 'winner takes all' idea look now it appears one driver may win the first six races before the factory cars catch up, we could have been robbed of another exciting finish.

This stupid mess the 'stewards' have made of incorrectly punishing Vettel, not punishing Kubica, let alone the whole Trulli/Hamilton story is just beyond a joke, but nobody dares complain about it, frightened of Max and his evil vendettas.


News just out on Autosport that Lewis has been strpped of 3rd, what a great day for Max, the Trolls and Racists, but truly a sad one for Formula1.

They stole his magnificent win at Spa from him, tried to denigrate his WDC with the 'most winners' idea, make sure he has to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds to race... the first to do so and possibly the last, now this.........

Any more of this and I will not be the only fan thinking of taking DIRECT ACTION.


Well here we go - ALL CHANGE.
Hamilton excluded , Trulli back to third and whatever changes down from there.

This from 10.00BST 2/4/09 Beb news
''Lewis Hamilton and McLaren have been stripped of their podium finish and all points at the Australian Grand Prix.
The sport's world governing body said they were excluded "for providing evidence deliberately misleading to the stewards at the hearing on March 29."
A post-race hearing promoted Hamilton from fourth to third after Trulli was penalised for passing the Englishman while the safety car was out.
The Toyota of Trulli has been reinstated to third place.''

What bugs me is this is really b*ggering up the scoring for my F1 fantasy league at work


This just gets worse. The FIA really need to sort this tinkering out, what happened happened. We shouldn't forget that the Brawn cars are racing under protest. Only in F1 - makes me pretty sad.

Anyway, thanks for a great site James - fascinating stuff. Nice work.


So if Hamilton is thrown out, Force India have their first point in F1!


All this proves another rumour about Hamilton: that he really isn't very bright at all. Contradicting your evidence to the stewards by talking to TV crews and journalists? How stupid is that? Or is it just supreme arrogance?


Formula One has now gone from a Gentlemans Boxing game, to American Wrestling.

I'm not going to bother with the rest of this season now. I feel insulted. It's not a sport, it's a manufacturered soap opera.

What's the point in watching a RACE James?

It seems if you have ANY interest in the championship, you just need to visit a website a few days after a race to see who's winning.


Oh dear, Lewis and McLaren have been caught bang to rights here, and this is far from the first time. Hungary 2007 and McLaren was penalised there too for misleading Stewards.

McLaren have been at the centre of so much drama these past 3 years. A lot of people are quick to finger the FIA for it, but you know McLaren bring a lot of it on themselves with this utterly cynical approach they seem to pursue offtrack.

They seem to have made a mistake in instructing Lewis to let Jarno re-overtake, and then seem to have taken the view that the stewards could rectify that mistake after the race.

It is a calculating and utterly cynical way to go about correcting a mistake. And the thought processes behind it - and given the divergence between what Lewis/McLaren said immediately after the race, and after their debriref - it kind of explains why McLaren are always finding themselves in trouble.


Hamilton has now been disqualified! Well done with the early scoop on this story yesterday.


Silly boys, honesty is the best policy. By time we have had all of the FIA decisions on this race we could have Alonso and the two STR cars in the top 3 the Oz GP.

Great blog James, now set as my home page. I was surprised to hear your voice under the BBC red button last night (pit lane reporting at Malaysia 2000) did you give the beeb permission?


Great stuff James - absolutely fascinating, I never realised just how much contact there is between driver and engineer.

On your point about the FIA being more transparent - are you sure they'll publish the radios? It would be nice to hear the McLaren radio as well!


I have just seen that Trulli regains the 3rd place and Hamilton excluded from the results...


Wow!!! I can't help but turning my mind back a couple of season's ago, to a certain hearing in Paris!!
That's amazing.


It's difficult to say...When the engineer asked Jarno when Hamilton actually passed him,he explained it vougely...Maybe it's because it is difficult to explain the situation over the radio.But then the engineer told Jarno that it was already very clear,.that he was in P3.So,what do you think,James?DId Toyota make the right call?


Oh my. Haven't listened to the radio conversations yet, but this LH decision plus Vettel is surely going to add to the clamour for the stewarding to be revised. It's good that they seem to be reconsidering both, but surely the stewards should have looked at the radio (now open to everyone, after all), CCTV, telemetry, etc in the first place?! If they didn't, and that is all that the 'new'(!) evidence consists of, they are going to look like amateur clowns...

Awaiting the FIA publication with interest (not least to see if they actually publish what they've been promising!)...


I think it was Martin Brundle who said that whenever you mention Lewis Hamilton and FIA stewards in the same sentence, you can pretty much include the word "penalty" in there as well.

Overall, I just think it again comes down to a bunch of bumbling idiot, good old boys, stewards who are there purely because they are friends of Max/own a Ferrari dealership/whatever and have no concept of what is happening. How many more people have to say this? Get rid of Max's planted man (Alan Donnelly), appoint an ex-racing driver and show some transparency. I don't know why Max is continuing the witch-hunt - Ron has stepped down now.

I just suppose it is lucky in some ways that McLaren don't have a fancy diffuser...


I'm a huge fan of Hamilton's, but if he lied, he should pay. This is not how we want to see them perform, this would not be a sport if they get on with lies in such way, they have almost ruined Toyota race, only for them to win another point, is not fairplay.


On a different note, this is the worst-quality radio I've heard since Adrian Sutil's radio in Valencia. Either transmission quality in Australia is awful or Toyota's massive budget hasn't been spent on radio equipment...


Having listened to the radio now, and ref James' comment about Jarno's awareness of the SC - it sounds like Timo's engineer was very quick to announce the safety car deployment (and remind him about the safety car timings, tyres, etc), Jarno's wasn't. Something that Toyota will surely be changing if my reading is correct...

(My understanding is right, yes? Each driver has a separate radio channel, so although what we are hearing here is a mix of Glock's and Trulli's, Jarno will not hear Timo's engineer?)


Correct me if I'm wrong. At no point do I hear Jarno tell his team he went off the track which is why Lewis passed him in the first place.
I agree with the decision but not with the penalty.

If Jarno hadn't gone off in the 1st place non of this would be an issue!


im pretty sure your right, radios are separate, but the bloke who recorded this seems to have is receiver tuned for both driver frequencies.

and to Alianora, re the bad quality, i think in one of the comments it suggested the bloke was recording this from home, near the track, so maybe it is the distance causing the bad quality.


This quote from Jarno sums it up for me:

"I have always been honest and it has paid off. It was a controversial end of the race and it was hard for anyone to understand, but I never lied. I was honest in my statement and I never changed it."

Hamilton got what he deserved.

Well done to James on the early news!


why have FOM taken the video away?
The FIA are trying to be more transparent.....
Hopefully I'm find it on the official F1 website..


I'm sorry but that was not an apology from Lewis Hamilton. It was trying to justify himself by letting someone else take the blame. It reminds me of my kids when they did soemthing wrong, they would say, "He made me do it."

If a person is caught in a crime, he might have been talked into it, but he is just as guilty.

Both Ryan and Hamilton should have been fired.


They also supply an engine to the brawn team. So they don't want to apeal against their own cars if you get what I mean. Still shows how good the Merc engine is, gives them good rep.


Judging by the way McLaren aren't joining the other teams campaigning againt the trick diffuser, I wonder if they're putting their eggs in that basket, I mean they've pretty much got to redesign the back of their car anyway supposedly.


I thought if Lewis was disqualified then everyone would move up one place?

Stephen Kellett

How stupid is that? Or is it just supreme arrogance?

Both. They often go hand in hand. People that think they are untouchable often behave in stupid, ignorant and arrogant ways.

This has done more damage than meets the eye. The fact that McLaren have been penalised as well means they are also accused of misleading or being party to it. This under the new team boss that was McLaren CEO at the time of Stepneygate.

Ron Dennis always maintained you do things fairly and honestly. He is no longer responsible for this. I doubt he'll be pleased - first race out under new command, no points and found to be in possession of a sausage on a cocktail stick. Not good. All over a single point in the first race. Not as if it was for the World Championship, even if it was, it would be dishonourable.

Shame, as my analysis of Hamilton's race was pretty much what James ended writing here - that he had taken the Schumacher attitude and it had paid off. Then blown it with some poorly judged opportunism at the end.

Excellent result for Trulli. I hope they give him his trophy back (assuming they gave it to Hamilton and its not in the cabinet back at MTC).


Who knows, on the 14th April the FIA may still exclude the two BGPs, Toyotas and Williams due to an illegal diffuser giving us the following results:

1 Alonso
2 Buemi
3 Bourdais
4 Sutil
5 Heidfeld
6 Fisichella
7 Webber
8 Vettel

I agree, in that it looks like a bit of a joke for two drivers/teams trying to avoid penalties.


Surely Jarno takes Lewis's place so the points below don't change do they?


John: The pit lane entrance is open all the time but the exit is not. When the safety car and it's "train"is passing or about to pass the pit lane, the exit is closed and during this period the green light is not shown at the pit lane exit and it is an offence to exit te pit lane Fairly much common sense really for once.


The drivers should know exactly when the Safety Car comes out - they're supposed to get a message on their steering wheels when the Safety Car is deployed, along with a mimimum time to get back to the pit.

I think Peter Freeman is right; Jarno and Lewis were trying their best to avoid a penalty. In fact, Lewis could not have overtaken Jarno on the last lap because it would have been in breach of Article 40.7, irrespective of the legitimacy of the Jarno's pass on Lewis.

The FIA would have been better off doing nothing at all on Sunday, but restoring the previous situation would have been justice. This is only half-justice - Jarno has the position he earned but Lewis does not.


If I was Hamilton I'd call it a day now. He's had his world championship. He's reached his childhood goal. Go and race for Mercedes in DTM or something.

And now that Ron Dennis is off doing new things, and concentrating on the Sports Cars, I think McLaren itself should call it a day, and go in to sports car racing, and perhaps develop a sucessor to the McLaren F1 super car to go along with it.

It will be interesting to see what Hamilton has to say, and to watch his body language in the Press Conference for Malaysia later today.

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