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Vettel starts title race as Red Bull dominates Sepang
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Vettel starts title race as Red Bull dominates Sepang
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Apr 2010   |  11:34 am GMT  |  240 comments

After leading but failing to win the first two Grands Prix Sebastian Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix today at Sepang, thanks to a bold pass on his team mate the pole sitter Mark Webber at the start of the race.

It was another race where the start was decisive. That move by Vettel was the key. Webber finished second, with Nico Rosberg third. Robert Kubica had another strong performance, jumping up to fourth place at the start, as in Melbourne and holding that place until the finish. And Adrian Sutil underlined Force India’s credentials with a strong drive to fifth place.

Of the big names who started at the back of the field after misjudging qualifying, Lewis Hamilton got the best result in sixth. He made up 8 places at the start. Hamilton had another swashbuckling afternoon with some strong overtaking manoeuvres. He was warned by the stewards about his driving after he weaved several times to break the tow and shake off Vitalt Petrov, who proved quite tough to pass; the first time Hamilton passed him, Petrov passed him right back again, using the Renault’s impressive straight line speed, which allowed him to compete with the McLaren.

Vettel would now be dominating the championship with 75 points on the board were it not for poor reliability on the Red Bull car in Bahrain and Melbourne and this win will come as a great relief to the team.

A 1-2 finish on a day when both McLaren and Ferrari scored minor placings boosted both Vettel and Red Bull’s championship positions. Vettel is now joint second with 37 points, two points off the lead, while the team leapt from fifth to third in the constructors’ table.

The German got a good start from third place on the grid and hauled past Nico Rosberg to challenge Webber into Turn 1. The Australian covered him initially but then opened the door in the braking zone and Vettel eased through.

“I had a good start and got the tow from Mark, I took the chance I had in Turn 1, ” said Vettel. “We both pushed, we had to fight and we had respect for each other. After that it was a question of getting away from our competitors.

“What a day. We had a magnificent car and the key was to pace yourself. It’s a good result after two races where we didn’t finish where we want to be.”

Webber put a brave face on his loss, but said that the team “blew everyone away” today and praised the spirit of the Red Bull team.

The rain which had tormented the teams in qualifying failed to materialise on race day and it was a race where teams had to decide the right tyre strategy for dry conditions. Complicating the situation was the fact that the track was green at the start after all the rain on Saturday, increasing the tyre degradation.

Starting from the back of the grid, Lewis Hamilton and the two Ferraris opted to run a long first stint on the hard tyres, whereas most drivers went for the soft tyres and a shorter first stint. The drivers on soft tyres pitted from around lap 20 onwards, with the Red Bulls getting 24 and 25 laps out of their tyres.

Jenson Button started on softs and made another very early call for tyres on lap 10, because he wasn’t making the progress through the field that Hamilton was. But this time it was the wrong call, as he was forced to do 46 laps on the hard tyres. Towards the end he was really struggling as the Ferraris of Massa and Alonso caught him.

Fernando Alonso lost the championship lead to team mate Felipe Massa after he retired in the final laps when his engine let go. It was the third Ferrari engine problem along with both Saubers. Both Ferraris had required some work in parc ferme on the engines’ pneumatic system.

Alonso had an impressive race, considering that he also had a gear selection problem from the early stages of the race. He went to lap 37 on the hard tyres and around 30 laps into the race he was able to match the lap times of Vettel who had recently pitted for new hard tyres.

Michael Schumacher, who got a great start and went from 8th to 6th, retired on lap 10, with a loose wheel nut while his nemesis from Melbourne, Jaime Alguersuari, scored his first F1 points in 10th place.

Virgin Racing got its first finish, with Lucas di Grassi despite having a fuel tank which isn’t large enough, by leaning the engine out. While both Hispania cars made it to the finish, along with Jarno Trulli’s Lotus.

MALAYSIAN GP, Sepang, 56 laps
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 4.8s
3. Rosberg Mercedes + 13.5s
4. Kubica Renault + 18.5s
5. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 21.0s
6. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 23.4s
7. Massa Ferrari + 27.0s
8. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 37.9s
9. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1m10.6s
10. Hulkenberg Williams + 1m13.3s
11. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1m18.9s
12. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
13. Alonso Ferrari + 2 laps
14. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps
15. Chandhok Hispania-Cosworth + 3 laps
16. Senna Hispania-Cosworth + 4 laps
17. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 5 laps

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george cowley ci5

even though redbull were class of the field,do people really think there reliability is back on track,they were cruising in the race with the wick turned down,if maclaran and ferrai,can get near the top rows,and put pressure on the redbulls in the race,there could be trouble ahead for vettal,forget webber here only win,when vettal has problums


Alonso, best driver for Malaysian GP. Clutch and gear problems from Lap 1, he drove his heart out. BRAVO! That’s why Alonso is the best package overall.



Can you shed any light or find out through your well placed contacts if there are any truth in the “rumours” doing the rounds in sepang that Kubica has signed a letter of intent to move to ferrari in 2011.

Some sites are reporting it as done but who do we believe!!

Can we have an ‘ask James a question’ link on your site for such things as these as you seem to be the one who keeps us all up to date the best



I think he has kept his options open, but I’m not sure that Ferrari would have done such a deal at this stage. Massa is leading the championship after all and they have a lot of belief in him


I honestly can’t see any good reason why Ferrari would switch Massa for Kubica.

Kubica is looking very good this season, but he’s against a rookie. Petrov is of uncertain ability and we have seen young guys struggle when graduating from GP2 before.


Why did Hamilton get a penalty when Petrov did exactly the same, legal, fair, towbreaking move on him in the laps before ?

Why didn’t Massa get a penalty for the far more dangerous Blocking move on Hamilton last week ?

Why do so many people watch Races, read this Blog and still do not or do not want to understand simple facts about racing. If you do not understand the difference between the two, why draw attention to your ignorance, especially when James Allen has described it so well.

Personally I do think his overtaking ability is what scares people, he is simply way better than any of the others.


I think fans like to be part of the discussion.

Armchair pundits love second guessing the stewards decisions. It’s the same with football fans and referees.

Perhaps F1 should have a yellow card – red card system. However, rather than banning drivers for a race for a red card offence let them start from the back and let their talent shine through.

Or should the winner of each race be decided by text voting…

Interesting that Kimi was voted 3 favourite/best F1 driver.

I think true fans understand the sport more than you give us credit for. That’s part of the reason we’re loyal to James’ blog.


sorry to say this but this forum is quickly becoming “lewis hamilton fanclub” and that is sooo sad!


For sure it will eb and flow as the season progresses.

Love him or loathe him he certainly generates interest for the sport.

If Hamilton had pulled off 2 back to back championships 2007 + 2008 he would have had the world at his feet. He didn’t and yet he does. All he needs now are a few podiums and to stay ahead of Button.

Perhaps we will see Lewis and Seb together at Ferrari once Alonso’s contract expires.


Take a look at all the responses to the first comment, if that doesn’t spell “healthy debate” I don’t know what does. Hamilton put up a great performance this weekend outside that minor issue, but this weekend was not his story – this weekend was all about RBR, well done to them, a well deserved 1,2.


You clearly don’t bother reading all the posts as there are many that seem to have a grudge against Hamilton.




Would the Schumi of old have parked it at the first sign of car trouble, or at least tooled round to the pit for a look-see from the mechanics?


Oh dear, that’s really grasping at straws there Pogi. Quote from Schumacher “I lost all drive”.

That answer your question?


” That answer your question?”

Yeah, fair enough. I was disappointed with Michael at first, but then I read that news about his losing drive later on.

All is forgiven, Schumi. Now kick some butt! :p


He might have got to the middle of a right hand bend before the wheel came off. He knows it is better not to risk damaging the car any further. But yes the Schumi of old may have dragged it back to the pits.


Dare I say it, that was another Herman Tilke snooze race.

Also, why are they taking the bumps out of Singapore? The 2008 inception of that track was perfect, nothing needed to be changed.


Looks like Button proved he is no genius or great driver… a real struggler if anything.

Hamilton did not block, as he was trying to move out of the path of the car behind – it was the car behind that kept following Hamilton… blocking requires the car infront to move as a result of the car moving behind…

Hamilton is miles ahead of everyone…

James Allen, I’m afraid Buttom let you down big time, and I expect this to happen time and again, as he is only any good when freak events happen to get him ahead…

As soon as Button’s talent is called upon, he fails miserably, everytime…


Surprisingly good dry race.

However…Looking more closely most of the passing was due to a significantly faster car managing to overtake thanks to poor starting position and/or pitstop strategy.

The last 20 odd laps were…well…promising, but failed to deliver any major position changes on track.

Still, an enjoyable race.

In any case, the race gave me 2 ideas:

1. Give the qualification top 5 an option to trade their grid position for points (eg. 7-5-3-2-1).

That is, first place driver could take 7 points but would have to start from the back of the grid, second place driver 5 but would start from second to last position, etc…

That way we might see more stunts (ie. on track passing 😉 like we saw today from Hamilton, Alonso, Massa & Button…

2. Create a mandatory aerodynamic ‘drag device’ that “clears the air” behind a running car enabling much better slipstreaming.

Basically an F1 car which ends to a ‘wall’* creating something akin to a suction behind the car -> highly beneficial slipstreaming -> much easier overtaking.

The problem currently is that if your car is not significantly faster on straights overtaking is very, very hard…Now add a ‘slipstream device’ which would effectively give a speed boost to the brave driver trying to overtake…well, you do the math.

* Few centimeters high one, but you get my point, I hope.


The Handford Device, used by CART on the super speedways in 1998. I don’t know how well it would work on a road course…


Hmm…googles a bit..

It might be that something like Handford Device would work better in normal racing tracks as its impact would be greatest on straights and would be virtually negligible in slow corners.

On the other hand, it would work as an airbrake so…

I gather I might be worth a few simulation runs at FIA side of things though.


“I gather *I* might be worth a few simulation runs at FIA side of things though.”

That should be it.


Wonder how the removal of pod mirror is going to slow Red Bull, Ferrari.


Looks like engine reliability will slow the red cars more…


Sounds like Alonso had to do manual heel-toe shifts, not sure if that had to do with the blow up but if so it woundn’t have been wise to waste an engine for 2 points, or worse, nothing.


Yes interesting subject:

In theory it will spoil the body airflow as the mirrors have to be moved inboard. Also it removes any excuse for the flat panels outside the front of the pods. So in theory, more body drag and less cooling.


The silver and yellow teams don’t have it while the red and blue ones do. A very subtle move behind the scenes to prevent a RBR runaway? Meanwhile Newey is complaining about F duct safety =) Gotta love this sport !!


James, Lewis started in 20th place and finished in 6th position. Jenson started in 17th place, and pitted on lap 9, and as you say was the wrong call, and finished in 8th place. Don’t you think that you went too far when you said that Button has, ” instinctive tactical brilliance “. If that’s the case then, what happened with that brilliance today???




Button as good as Hamilton, I don’t think so.

What we saw from Hamilton today is what I for one want to see in F1, being bold and proving overtaking can be achieved in F1.

Driver of the day (by a mile) Lewis Hamilton (come on McLaren give him a winning car) ❗


James, with all this fuss over Hamilton’s weaving to lose Petrov, would you consider doing a story on this subject to help set the record straight for us all.

I have done the same manoeuvre in bicycle racing, and it is purely designed to spoil your opponent’s ability to draught you, and is quite obviously not a blocking move.

Petrov did not have to follow across the track, he could have chosen to go straight and try to overtake Hamilton if he was close enough behind. I see it as a perfectly legal racing action.

But the problem now exists that we are highly unlikely to see anything like this again this season, as the drivers will fear a slap on the wrist. And the sterilisation of F1 continues…

It would be great to have this clarified.



great site btw – As I read the below reg, Hamilton made 3 moves to many! Once, ok. Twice, no way. Thrice, ya gotta be kiddin’ me! But 4 times?!

Re: “The Hamilton Weave”

For what it’s worth:

Appendix L To The International Sporting Code

Code Of Driving Conduct On Circuits

Chapter IV Article 2 b)

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

However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such

more than one change of direction to defend a position,

deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited. Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will be reported to the stewards of the meeting.”

Hammy shoulda gotten a “stop & go” at the minimum!


You just wrote it out but did not read it. It covers overtaking. If Petrov had moved to the side and Lewis blocked him more than once that would be covered in the rule. BUT Petrov was not trying to overtake, HE was following Lewis’s movements.


rpaco – Well no, I read it, UNDERSTOOD it, and then wrote it! YOU do not understand it.

Hammy’s actions belie your contention ” BUT Petrov was not trying to overtake, HE was following Lewis’s movements”. Hammy KNEW Petrov was trying to attempt a pass. THAT’S why he drove like a drunk, dancing all over the straight! Petrov got in his gear box and was going to slipstream and slingshot ahead of Hammy. Hammy knew this and the moment Petrov got in his gear box he jinked 4 DIFFERENT TIMES!! Do we want exciting racing (overtaking and re-overtaking) or do we want our fav driver/team to win?

“manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such

more than one change of direction to defend a position

…or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited. Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will be reported to the stewards of the meeting.” Please re-read slowly and carefully.

And James, please have an article on this. You do a great job of clearing minds with facts.


I have to agree. Lewis is without doubt guilty of weaving. Whether he was trying to break the tow or not is irrevelent. You NEVER see F1 cars weave that much, why? Because if they did they’d be penalised. It doesn’t matter that it was Lewis. If the cars had touched at that speed due to the excessive movement between them, both could have been seriously hurt. It’s never been acceptable to jink about that much.

Stuart the old geezer

You have the figures – out of three races, how many laps has Vettel been P1?


good point from bison when james made the leadership argument about jb i choked, it was a big joke,love him or hate him ,lewis is one of the best if not the best in formula one to some how even try to compare them is just crazy and about ms i have said before he is finish and that will be the must humiliating comeback ever nico rosberg will have the last laught….


Well said re: Hamy! Simply in a class of his own. JB would never do what he did. or if he did, it would be an exception. as for Hamy, who would bet that he wont repeat what he did today a few more times this year if he finds himself in a similar situation?

Hamy, entertainer-in-chief! Who needs Kers or new tyre regs? just keep Hamy starting from back of the grid:).


These are my top three drivers for the Malaysian Grand Prix:

Lewis Hamilton: His charge through the field showing aggregation and determination makes Hamilton a driver fun to watch. He is never happy just to settle for a few points like many drivers do and does not take prisoners when it comes to try to win a race. He was great passing cars today.

Sebastian Vettel: This kid is just unbelievable, give him a reliable and reasonable quick car and you have a winner here. He is more and more looking like the real deal.

Nico Rosberg: Very strong and consistent drive to take the final podium spot with a car that is not a match for Red Bull.

I had a hard time here because I think Robert Kubica did a great job too but I picked Rosberg simply because he is coping really well with his top of the line team mate Michael Schumacher. We’ll see how Rosberg handles Schumacher when or if he ever gets back to his old days.

Lets bring on the Chinese Grand Prix.


Your first two I agree with but Rosberg third? Sorry can’t agree with that, Alonso is a far better driver than Rosberg.


I know Alonso is a better driver than Rosberg, but I’m talking about this race. My title was “These are my top three drivers for the Malaysian Grand Prix”, so the question here is was Alonso better than Rosberg in the Malaysian Grand Prix? Not to me.


Great great drive from Lewis…the man’s got talent and knows how to entertain..”SHOW MAN HAMMY”…btw…lewis is a beast in China…be!!!


Hamilton could not do what he did to Petrov.

It’s forbidden, no one is allowed to do that.

Lewis is a world champion, and he should know the rules. Beeing a champion should mean greater responsabilities.

Petrov is just a rookie and he has a lot to learn from the big guns.

Today Hamilton gave him a lesson: forget the rules…stupid.


what do you mean?

is it forbidden to step outside the racing line?

hamilton is not obliged to help with petrov’s slipstreaming attempt. it was petrov that decides to follow hamilton rather than break the tow. if petrov was fast enough, the moment hamilton breaks from the racing line petrov could just gleefully power on ahead to be side by side with hamilton. why didn’t he do that?

BECAUSE he will lose speed without the tow.

some people just don’t get it.


I agree, blocking is when the person behind tries to overtake and this clearly didn’t happen here.

Must say though, the Renault seems to have fantastic straight line speed and as far as I know they don’t have the stall wing so how are they doing it?


LH moved first. Petrov CHOSE to follow. Take off your blinkers and learn the rules.


Im sorry but thats wrong.

Its forbidden if you are swerving to block and overtake. Hamilton moved FIRST, Petrov followed him. Hamilton moved several times to break the tow line and Petrov followed him.

There was no attempt by Petrov to overtake.

This is racing fs. Hamilton had worked hard to get that position and forced Petrov into a mistake. What would be the point in F1 if he just had to sit in a straight line and let Petrov past?

Hamiltons move was legit. Seems to me that the only people who have a problem with it is the Hamilton haters IMO.

Seems that in race pace the Mclarens and Ferraris are a lot closer to the Red Bulls than they are in Quali. I wonder if Hamilton or Alonso would have let Vettel get such an easy pass on the start that Webber gave him….certainly I think that either Hamilton or Alonso would have given him more of a race TBH.

Mclaren/Ferrari made a total mess of Quali…need to get themselves sorted for China or they risk letting RBR run away with this.


it looks like Ferrari are hoping to lose WDC. it sounds good for McLaren and RedBull. for the second race in a row much faster Alonso is being held by Massa


At some point Alonso is gonna have to be more aggressive with Masssa because Ferrari will not tell Massa to move over for Alonso at this stage of the Championship. The have learned a lesson and will not want to be see as favoring a driver.


True. As how put it: compared to how rough Kubica & Heidfeld got it on with each other back in the BMW days, Alonso seems to be wary of being aggressive towards his teammates. It’s probably because he doesn’t want to risk both cars for the sake of constructors’ points.

His current hesitations in having a real, solid go at Massa could be traced back to his hesitation in making a committed overtaking move on Hamilton back in Indy ’07.

Check it out in youtube, at 2.00mins


massa seems to be keeping his head down and racking up those points. he seems to be keeping a low profile and getting on with it. lets hope he can get the job done this year , he deserves to be a world champ.


Hamilton getting a warning was the right thing to do after all there was no danger and Petrov didn’t have the speed or position to even attempt overtaking and weaving stopped before breaking zone. Right call. As well right call not penalizing Vettel for overtaking a backmarker car running very slow in yellow flag zone especially since he had lifted considerably. Good to see sensible steward decisions and them being on top of it right away. Very good race. Many good fights and overtakes was well worth getting up at 3am to watch.


I enjoyed the race today but was also hoping for rain, it could have been a classic. Would have been nice to see Lewis take the lead for a short time. His drive deserved better than his placing.

Great stuff from Kubica again, where would be in Webber’s place?

Bring on China!



I am starting to like and rate Alonso more every race (I used to loathe the man in 05-06!).

I cannot see any other driver not just nursing a sick car but racing a sick car in those conditions like he did today…. and if he qualifies decently for the rest of the season…. Vettle better hope his car stays fast because the Scuderia will pip him!

I am a massive Massa fan too, and perhaps i’m judging him too early, he is top of the charts afterall, but he has ‘destroyed’ the last 2 Ferrari races in my book…. harsh term but there is something less menacing about him in comparison to Kubica, Alonso, Hamilton…. he needs to get aggresive! let him know Mr Smedley!

Regarding Hamilton’s outrageous ‘illegal’ swerving… how great did that look!!!

Bring on China!

ps. M.Webber – sort it out mate!


“I cannot see any other driver not just nursing a sick car but racing a sick car in those conditions like he did today…”

I remember Michael Schumacher finished 2nd at the 1994 Spainish GP after being stuck in 5th gear for the most of the race.


me too…. but that was then! the King is dead… Long live…!


I seem to remember Kimi doing a similar thing to Lewis at Spa in 08. Only i seem to remember it was Lewis that got punished, funny that.


Lewis was penalised due to cutting the chicane and not for weaving.

Ashley Edwards


Did ferrari change they engine for this race as most teams do at this track?


james williams seems to lack pace at the moment?

have you talk with the team or the drivers for what is going wrong at the moment?

i would appreciate that.

thanks in advance


Williams are I am afraid to say yesterday’s men and they will remain so unless they either tie up with a manufacturer or have complete new management.

Look how McLaren dealt with their lean years & compare that to Williams.

Williams glory days left when Newey did, they should have given him what he wanted, if they had who knows maybe they would still be one of the top 3 ❓


1) Good but nothing more

2) Zero – sadly a spent force!

3) No longer tied to BMW

4) Rosberg but neither in the real world there are 5 better drivers

5) Hamilton 9nobody overtakes like hi9m and he’s scoring far points than he should present, the McLaren will get better and better as the season progresses

6) Max Mosley if you read Pitpass on April fools day – could anyone imagine if Todt were to do this?


wow so it was an april fool’s day joke!!?? i CAN’T BELIEVE that the star sports / steve slater gang didn’t realize that and actually reported it as a genuine news item on raceday! how embarrassing!

i was scratching my head at first, but by the tone at which they reported it, i had no choice but to believe it as news. the only logic i found at the time was because had read before when Todt mentioned that the F1 commissioner’s post would be unpaid and it was difficult to find someone for it, hence maybe Mosley was volunteering to become instead.





Can anyone here imagine if Mosley was made F1’s commissionaire, surely not ❗

James please tell us it WAS an April fools prank by Pitpass.


Hilarious, wasn’t it….


Brilliant drives throughout this race, and the only thing that many here can take away is, Hamilton’s so-called weaving……pathetic. Lewis shouldn’t give a second thought to criticism that he has received from some of his detractors. These people will use any excuse to criticize him, and by now I hope that he realizes that, and simply just ignore them.

Another great drive from…Lewis.


James A a great race, but it presents some questions

1 how good is petrov?

2 what are William’s chances for 2010?

3 why is sauber so unreliable and do they have the money to stay in business?

4 out of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg which one is most likely to win the WDC?

5 who do you think will win the WDC?

6 any news on who will be the F1 commisioner?


1-Good enough. And getting better.

2-Not looking like a top 3 finish this year I’m afraid.

3-Money wasn’t the biggest problem. Ferrari engine reliability maybe though.

4-Currently Nico looking like a hot tip. Michal is in the papers for all the wrong reasons.


6-Will Max be back?


Vettel clearly the man of the season, but it seems inevitable he will be robbed of some further wins down the line by reliability problems.

Hamilton was a joy to watch, but I wonder if James can tell us what guest stewart Johnny Herbert made of Hamilton’s weaving 3 times to block Petrov?


I think that we have now proved that Button can’t drive on two types of tyres in a race. He is only good on one type of tyre. So he is not this complete driver.

I also cant say that Button is better on tyres than Hamilton.

Button appears to be better on one type of tyre and really bad on the other.

Hamilton is better on one type of tyre but not as bad as Jenson on the other so overall Hamilton is better on tyres.

If that is the case Jenson is not going to beat him overall unless he gets lucky or Hamilton becomes unlucky.


Nothing proved: it seems that the McLaren is not so happy on the soft tyre on full fuel loads. It is as likely to be the car as Button. I seem to remember last year that the Brawn was finicky about tyres too. That’s F1 racing, I’m afraid.

I guess we could say that we proved that Hamilton proved he was a genius in tyre management as he made his softs last a lot longer than the supposed 20 lap life even when in the dirty air of Sutil.

So we learned little: this was not comparable to Australia where that was the inter that gave up the ghost in less than ideal conditions – again with very heavy fuel loads.


Great race! I like the non-refueling format. It’s all about “track position” which makes racing so interesting now…give up a pit stop “window” and carry on keeping track position, or dive into the pit but loose track position

Seems like driving is so much more in the hands of the driver instead of controlled by the pitwall. I miss Kimi though.. wonder how his driving style (light on tires and ferocious pace) would bring

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

Hamilton made Button look a little amateur with his passing move today.

If Button had overtaken Hamilton then we would have had comments about Button being the No.1 driver and having sublime skill etc.

Webber smashed into Hamilton last week and there was little protest. Hamilton’s weaving had no consequence on the race and he is then berated.


James, separate question….did Anthony Hamilton go to Malaysia?


Really shame you don’t even coment about felipe’s great race…. he’s now the leader, don’t forget. he won more positions than lewis…do what? i’m sorry for it.


Leave as it is because he is not a box office guy like LH, Alonso and Schumi. What is a fact is that Felipe can only be stronger in the races to come. If he has managed to collect valuable points in the races were he struggled, the prospect for the future is good.

But yet, it’s still to early to tell to whom the WDC will go to, although I agree with Fernando when he says that in the end it will be 2 or 3 guys in the hunt. Great season so far. Spain shall give us a guide for the remaining of the season.


box office guy like….? They’re all dirvers.


So, no mention of another great drive from Lewis!!! 2nd race on a row this season that he makes a great come back!!! But of course, we all know that he can do that!!!! 😛


Hamilton single-handedly lit up this race. If there was ever any doubt as to his abilities, well…

Perhaps his overtaking skills and aggressive style are what has created so many enemies. I too would hate him if he embarrassed my driver the way he does :). Swallow it dudes!


Yeah, great.

Just needs to get himself on the podium before Vettel walks away with this years championship.


I totally agree with you! Hamilton is the real deal! If he had a better grid position he would take the fight to the RBs…They don’t seem to have a huge race pace advantage to the McLaren. China is a decisive one….


The two big beasts are Vettel and Alonso, and it’s fascinating that we’ve yet to see them fight it out hand to hand, due to Red Bull breakdowns in rounds 1 and 2, and Ferrari’s team qualifying disaster in round 3.

Hamilton’s immaturity will continue to get him in impossible positions. He’ll put on thrilling drives to halfway rescue himself from disaster, but never put together the consistent point scoring needed to get on top of the standings. Plus he will be outdriven often enough by Button to destabilize his fragile psyche and make him do impulsive things.

Today’s first lap shows where Webber stands vis-a-vis Vettel. And unfortunately he’s got to beat Vettel before he can beat anyone else. In the press conference Webber quoted Jack Brabham; right now, he looks almost as old as Jack Brabham!

Might it be Kubica that Alonso and Vettel should be worrying about?


I think you’re wrong about Webber and his chances. Sure, Vettel a better overall drive, he’s a real talent, but Webber is still a fast guy in the fastest car of the field. He should have won the race in Melbourne but his team made a costly strategy blunder.

If Red Bull continue to have such a dominating car and sort out their reliability gremlins, I’d put Webber second favourite to Vettel for the title.


‘He’ll (Hamilton) put on thrilling drives to halfway rescue himself from disaster, but never put together the consistent point scoring needed to get on top of the standings.’

Is this Hamilton, the 2008 World Champion, you’re referring to?! He’s only 7 points behind Vettel and Alonso, it’s a bit early to write off the most successful driver over the last three years.


James,I have to ask,

what happens with the LCD we saw at the first few races in 2009? the on that was in the post-race interview? It was a good idea, why is it gone now?


I found today’s race very interesting. It just shows how close this season is. We all have our favorites, and they will all have their good and bad days throughout the season. 3 races. Three different winners. Yes I know Vettel should be a clear leader, but that’s F1. It’s unfair to write off any of the top drivers yet. Vettel has so far looked the stronger of the red bull drivers. Alonso at ferrari looks the stronger but hasn’t stamped as much authority over his team mate. Lewis and jenson is much closer than most will want to admit and, nico is far outperforming his back from retirement team mate……at the moment! It’s gonna be swinging to and fro all season. Maybe 2010 will be one of the greatest.

I heard the Ferrari pit wall telling massa to use the push to pass button, essentailly a quick override to their set rev limit I assume. Is it only Ferrari that do this? And why is this an area everyone seems to be talking about introducing to spice up the show if it’s already happening, and not seemingly making any difference as is?


I agree with it being an interesting season. I heard alot of complaints regarding fuel stops and this endurance vs sprint style of racing, but I think it suits the championship better. Every lap of the championship counts more than ever.

Massa now leads and although he has perhaps not been the most agressive and leading performer in qualifying, he and Ferrari have shown great pace. Great to see him leading and can’t wait to see him win again.

All we need now is for Schumacher to win a round in Europe and this championship will be turned on it’s head!

For sure the pecking order of the teams will change throughout the season and it should be very interesting at the tail end of the season.

Great to finally see rbr get it done. Hopefully webber gets the start right at the next one.


James – what is your opinion on Hamilton’s controversial defensive manuoevre?


Don’t you mean the Stewards controversial decision to issue a warning to a driver who was being followed by another car?

Shame on Johnny Herbert – I’ll say it one more time slowly (although you’ll have to read the slow intonation yourselves); Hamilton moved first… Petrov followed him. You can’t block someone if they choose to follow you – if Petrov had chosen to sacrifice the tow at the right point and jig the other way it’d have been side by side at the corner


Look – I am not expressing any opinion on the matter in my post as I explained before, the word controversial relates to a divided opinion which clearly there is on this issue. I was just asking James if he could give an indication of how the pit lane felt regarding the issue beyond McLaren and Renaults differing points of view.

The wording of regulations is particularly vague, and having broken it down feel that Hamilton did not break the wording of the rule, and he didn’t gain anything either as Pedrov never lost the tow, however they both had to travel a much longer line down the straight meaning they lost ground on those behind. It was quite comical to watch.

However, it was a very eratic line which is probably what prompted the warning.



I think your interpretation of blocking is wrong. In motor racing history it is clear that passing around the outside is much more difficult than the inside. Moving to cover the inside is an attempt to block a pass. Drivers are more likely to do as soon as they realise there is a threat. Moving second is likely to result in contact. Who moves first is irrelevant to blocking. If a car moves well before the braking zone it is logical that the following car should attempt to maximise the slipstream.

The key thing the stewards most series want to stamp out is cars changing lanes in braking zones. If the leading driver defends the inside it compromises the corner and allows the attacking drive another opportunity at the next corner. A second move back towards the racing line gives the following driver no space, and in F1 affects the aero detrimentally.

From my memory, I’d suggest that the F1 stewards probably had no valid precedent to follow re weaving to break the tow. It was clearly an attempt to stop Petrov passing. Was it dangerous? Hamilton certainly moved more than once to prevent a pass, but it wasn’t in the braking zone.


After soooooo many nonsensical comments on this, you’ve more or less nailed it. The ‘rule’ is an agreement between the drivers that they are only allowed one move in the braking zone, which clearly LH & VP were not in. Weaving on the straight like that, however, is something most observers would say belongs in lower formulae and that once in F1, drivers should find more intelligent ways to defend their position. In common with several posters here, it is a long time since I have seen weaving like that in F1. Not dangerous, not illegal, but slightly crude and uncomfortably to watch simple because it sets a precedent. A warning was the correct punishment in my view. Lewis seems to want to define himself by pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable, and the extent to which he continues to do this will shape the way he is remembered as a driver. At the moment, he is walking the line between Schumacher’s ‘questionable’ and Sennas ‘audacious’. I know which side I would like to see him come down on, but it is a very fine line.


Sorry to intervene mate, but why is it controversial?? Let the guys race for god’s sake…


Well, it is controversial because people are divided on the issue. That is the definition of the word controversial, if there is controversy over something there is a dispute over it. It doesn’t mean it is wrong.

Some people have said that the move is ok as he was moving away to break the tow as opposed to moving to block and no action against him was needed. Others have suggested the move was totally wrong and he should have received a drive through penalty.

The stewards seem to have gone down the middle on this one and given him a warning. I am just curious as to what James’s opinion was and what the general feeling from the paddock.


What do we make of this new points system? To me it seems to make F1 too much of a numbers game. Like as in now, Massa is on top despite having performed consistently rather than supremely.

I also wonder if it will only increase the driving for solid points situation we’ve had in the past where the championship leader can afford to give less than 100% for the back half of the championship.

As I’ve suggested all along, I would have much preferred 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 with best 14 or 15 races counting (like the 80s) which I think would aid against the problems I’ve touched on above.


I think consistency should be awarded too. Like some of the Piquet’s titles, he wasn’t the guy winning the most, but was way more consistent than his rivals.


I think the change in the points system has got more to do with the increase in the number of cars to 26 more than anything else


Yeah I agree, though I’m not as much a fan of the extra “charity points” places for 9th and 10th.

If they allocate prizemoney for finishing 9th above 10th and 10th above 11th and so on then that’s more than fine, but I hate the thought of the championship leader swanning around back there to sew up the championship.

In my view the champion should give 100% at every race.


Actually PaulL, it’s too early to say anything about the points system! In my opinion it gives a huge motive to go for the win! Maybe 2nd….3rd is a disaster! that should spice up the races in a few races’ time! Teams are still learning about their tyres! When Europe starts, teams will go for it relentlessly!


Actually, in the new point system finishing 3rd is just as valuable as in the old one, you get exactly 60% of the points of the 1st (meaning, it is just as easy to regain the points lost in the following races as it was before). The good thing about the new system is that it slightly widens the relative gap between 1st and 2nd, thus motivating a fight for the victory. On the other hand, the gap between 2nd and 3rd is so small that one may not want to take a risk and try a pass from 3rd to 2nd.


Massa would still be leading the championship with the old points system, apparently. With Rosberg 2nd. :/


As a Mclaren fan I don’t even want to entertain the thought of what would have happened had Vettel finished the last 2 grand prixs, with 75 points in the bag it would have been championship over already in my opinion.

Mclaren and Ferrari lost it in qualifying because they are up with the Red Bulls in race pace,a few more upgrades will see them leapfrog the Red Bulls. I must say I admire the Red Bull pure racing spirit though…..something that Mclaren can learn from. Two mistakes in 2 weekends is not acceptable.

And what happened to Button’s leadership from the cockpit or was he just lucky in Australia? Hamilton is definitely the much stronger driver at the moment it’s only a matter of time before he starts winning and dominating Button. Massa on the other hand should be relegated to no2 driver so he can stop holding up Alonso which is a shame for Ferrari.

I think Schumacher will retire for good at the end of this season and Merc will snap up Kubica as he deserves a better car, his driving is exceptional.


Merc, please snap up Lewis instead :=))

Zobra Wambleska

And tell us please why Massa should be no. 2? He’s leading the champingship and he wouldn’t be holding Alonso up if Alonso wasn’t behind him.


It was a nice race with some overtaking, specially with Lewis, as long has we have some of the faster cars having problems on qualification we might watch some good races.

I have the feeling that it´s going to be a three driver fight for the Championship between Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton.

Red Bull and Ferrari got to be very careful, because the Mclaren powered Mercedes looks very reliable and Lewis is a very fast driver.

Again we had cars laping 2 seconds faster than the cars in front on old tyres and even so they couldn,t overtake.

Let´s go to China.Can´t wait!!


James, I’d be curious on what you can find out about the F1 communities’ view on the new drivers and particularly Bruno Senna. He is notionally the senior driver and was reputedly going to be Button’s team mate last year.

Algersuari seems to have taken a significant step forward, at least fmom my lounge room aspect.

On a different matter, I wonder whether Webber not having been first into the first corner since his F3000 days in 2000 means his mindset is a bit conservative as it is rare that for the first corner a driver can brake at the last possible moment.


Good point, Martin.



I thought this was a great race.Sad to see Michael go out early but that also showed his experience. Many of the newer drivers may have driven on hoping to get back to the pits and then had to stop out on the track.Sorry to see Alonso blow up and lose out on any points. It is nice to see after only 3 out of 19 races, 7 drivers so close on points – 39 to 30. Makes for a great season. 3 different winners so far and who knows what is to come. Roll on China.


I thought Alo stopped on the last lap, so he could have been classified 15th or something, due to laps completed! But I duno.



I was impressed with the way Alguersuari challenged the midfield. He is growing as a driver with every race. He should be good in the latter half of the season where he has driven o the circuits before.


Very much agree with this – a good couple of drives. He certainly will be one driver I can foresee progressing to the top tier teams if his performance level continues.

For all those who chastised / mocked Schumacher for finding it so difficult to pass him last week, it was great to see both Ferraris pass the Toro Rosso’s so swiftly on a course that is much easier to pass on!


You said what a relief for Red Bull, James, and I said it too while I watched the race in The Blarney Stone pub here in Osaka. Just after I did, so did Christian Horner!


Shame about Webber’s blunder on turn one, but, hey … 2nd’s nice. Overall a fantastic job by Red Bull that’s a proper shot across the bows of Ferrari and McLaren.

For the third race in a row I’m pleased (though not so surprised) by the pace of Rosberg. He’s become the quite achiever, hasn’t he? While most of the focus is on Schumi and, of course, the Big Three teams, here is Nico plugging away just like he did last year in the Williams. Remember in 2009 he finished most races in the points? I’m beginning to wonder if Nico might nab his first win this year? Maybe at a rain affected Monaco or Spa … hmm … might be worth a flutter.


Good race, with plenty of overtaking due to misposition of big guns (Fer and Macca) and gutsy drives of the likes of Petrov, Jaime and Buemi. Good performance also for Kubica. Great driver he is.

Really a shame that neither Ferrari or McClaren were on front to challenge the RBR’s, but that is racing and misfortune / misjudgement will strike everyone during the season.

As the tables show, the championship will be a real battle and the most consistent team / driver will grab it. Can’t wait for China!


I doubt either Ferrari or McLaren would have threatened RBR had they started further up the grid.

They’re in a class of their own at the moment. The other three of “big four” teams are lucy to have so many pts mostly due to RBs reliability and strategy mistakes so far this season.


So Button, the supreme strategist, the mature, wizard who leads from the cockpit, got his call wrong today. Hmmm, seems more and more like it was just luck last week.

Also, could the Hamilton-haters keep their sour grapes in check.


If it had rained as predicted Jenson would have done very nicely, as it was it didn’t but he still finished 8th to Hamiltons 6th.


@ Paul…how hard do you think it would hv rained as its malaysia? Jenson wld hv come in again for inters or full wets so he cld hv ended of worse to be honest. butoon is no god as people made him to be in the last race…bring on china!


I agree that JB called it wrong today, but he was going nowhere behind Massa & Alonso. He simply had to try something! Unfortunately for him it didn’t work today. Changing tyres may have been the only way to leapfrog the cars in front. Remember, at that time, Alonso & Massa were stuck behind the Torro Rosso’s and making no progress. Once again, this was all about poor qualifying positions and trying to make the best of it. However it did once again show us the qualities of Fernando Alonso, to drive with a gearbox/clutch problem for so long deserves a mention. With a bit of luck we can have different winner in China to spice up the championship. More mixed-up grids please!


I agree with you, Button could do nothing behind the Ferraris and Toro Roso.

In my opinion, that move wasn’t as bad as peaple are saying, after all, in the end he lose only one position, to Massa.


Yeah, hamilton made that race

Hamilton and petrov fantastic!


i second that mate! i wonder how the people who thought last week he is out of this world wld react! pure luck for jenson last week! he did well though to finish 8th


imagine the headlines if it has been Schu doing the weaving…


Nice race to watch with some great action. With the new points system is really allows drivers to leap up the table with a win…


Currently 7 drivers topping the championship table with 30 something points.

Bernie’s medal plan was clever subterfuge. This season may well go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi but I suspect there will be plenty of post-race analysis whether it is actually the best driver who picks up the title.

The new points system will keep the pundits guessing to the end. Just what Bernie wanted.


I don’t want to sound bad, but honestly i think the new teams have no place on the grid. After 3 races it is very clear that they are not good for f1, in fact it seems like f1 is allowing 3 teams to make a mockery of the sport. I think that for the first year the new teams should prove themselves first by only being allowed to participate in the practice sessions. And those who deserve a grid slot will be given one in the next season.


Don’t agree there bad for F1. There not really any slower than Minardi & Jordan were 5-6 years back.

Going back further to the Mid’90’s & before, over half the grid was further off the pace than they are at present.


I think they should introduce the 107% rule ASAP

Oliver Neilson

I can’t see the point. If the slower teams don’t make it into the race, you can guarantee that their sponsors will want to pay less as they don’t get the TV coverage. So you hobble them before they even get started. Also, the 107% rule seemed to be based on safety, I.E. you don’t have cars that are dangerously slow on the track. This is a nonsense as presumably you have to allow them to take part in practise and qualification sessions where there is a huge differential in lap times anyway. EG. a mid grid player like Barrichello, might be on a hot lap while a front runner like Vettel is on an in/out lap. I imagine that these differentials can be way outside 107%.


It wouldn’t make a difference, as I don’t think any of the new cars have been outside of 107% in dry conditions.

Give the new guys time. HRT got both cars to the finish, and they’re not allowed any out of race practice, so they are more than a little bit hamstrung by the rules they have to work under. USF1 proved what an achievement it is just to have got to Bahrain.

A better solution would have been to allow teams with less than 2 years in F1 an extra 10 days of practice (and teams buying existing GP outfits or cars would not be allowed this extra time – sorry, Sauber).

I think all three of the new teams have done a great job.


Absolutely, Jeff!



Why? The Lotus and the Virgin are already regularly inside 107%, the HRT is about a second outside, but that’s with zero testing, they’ll be there by Spain or thereabouts.

I don’t like closed-shops. Self-serving protection for the establishment big boys.

Even if they were actually outside 107% how does throwing them out of the race help them catch up? They spend millions to get a car built and the team personal shipped, do some practice sessions, q3, and then go home … yeah, what little sponsor dollars there are out there would be queuing-up for that kind of exciting proposition.

F1 is supposed to be hard, that’s the whole exact point. These guys at the back are working harder and longer than anyone else on the grid to demonstrate for you exactly how hard.

Maybe we all get off their backs for a minute, and give them even just half a chance to show what they can do.

I’d take the spirit, courage and effort of Chandhok stepping on the car’s brakes for the first time ever in Bahrain qualifying over half a dozen anonymous sub-107% Toyotas, BMWs or Hondas any day of the week.


Beautifully put, Feynman, I agree wholheartedly!



Massa was too conservative in the first half of the race and blocked Alonso behind him in the time that Hamilton was overtaking everybody!!!

I was most impressed by Mclaren and Renault pace.


Right, like these drivers prefer to play follow the leader instead of overtaking. I think maybe the hard tyres weren’t suited to the ferrari.


Looked more like the Ferrari didnt like the hard tyres, and had graining. Massa was sliding around like a wrc driver in some of those corners.

Once he got the softs on he was fast again.


Very nice race to watch. It was pretty much RBR’s day today. Ferrari and McLaren must be kicking themselves for Saturday. Still, my star of the race was a certain Mr Hamilton. A bit of a shame for Alonso but all in all good for us – just look how close are the drivers standings now.


again. The star was the winner, no mistakes, perfect start, with two perfect overtakes, conserving tyres and engine. Perfect week end.


Was that the australia or bahrain engine for alonso? He needs to stop getting stuck behind massa at the start. 🙁


Its was the 3rd engine for the season, so in China he will be using the 4th…..


Although I’m a fan of mclaren, that is the perfect result for the season. Sets things up very nicely so it will be close.

I was pretty surprised lewis got away with the weaving but i guess the theory was he was doing it on the straight rather than at the corner?

Very impressive from redbull and I have to say great performance so far this year from nico rosberg. It is a daunting prospect having ms in the team and his attitude and performances have been solid so far.


I think the rule is, if some one trying to pass moves across the track, the driver defending his position can move only once to block it. However, it was Hamilton moving first, not Petrov, and so technically Hamilton was not moving to block the pass.

I think Hamilton was warned because such tactics don’t give the driver behind much of an opportunity to make a pass.


Have to admit, Id almost forgotten about the RedBulls before Vettel met the chequred flag, seeing as all the action was behind them. The 2 McLarens and Ferrari’s was the best to watch due to them making fantastic progress through the field. Id be interested to see what Vettel would have done if he was in the Ferrari/McLaren grid spots this morning.

not quite as good as Australia, but 3 races in and its not looking so doom & gloom we all thought after Bahrain.


That was only because some of the top runners were at the back.

IMO the jury is still out on the excitement factor on the racing front. I was hoping for rain again.

There was mention of going back to the turbo engines. That would be cool. Also what about going back to steel brakes? This would make it easier to overtake again.


turbo yes, but don’t even dream they are going to be the old beasts, that were only able to be driven hard by the best. They will be mild, like the society we live in.


vettel world champion? He is driving like one.


I’m getting fed up with commentators saying Webber is ‘unlucky’. He was lucky only Vettel took the open invitation he left into the inside line for the first corner. What was he doing?

Start: wheelspin, slow away = close the door into the first corner – surely?


Agree he’s a good front runner, but I’ve still not seen him overtake like Lewis does.


And also, throughout the three races so far, with a fully functioning car, vettel has only ever been behind two people, rosberg and webber, and he overtook them pretty smartish! That makes for a 100% record, although in reality it’s just not a fair comparison!


Show me one single mistake Vettel has made this season! Show me one single race where he has not maximised his chances!


I didn’t say he made a mistake. I’ve just not seen him overtake anywhere apart from 1st corner


Must say a very impressive drive from Alonso given the state of the clutch. Even though he lost the championship lead but what a drive… unfortunate for him that he couldn’t finish the race.

Wondering if ferrari are struggling on the engine front?


Back in the pre-historic times when men were men etc and gears were manual and operated with a gear lever up in front of the right shoulder…. I remember more than one instance of drivers winning a race with only 3 gears left in fact it was common to loose a gear or two, but the they were not either sequential or operated electrically by paddles. Engines were more flexible in their power range too and could be thrashed since they were re-built before and after every race, as were the gearboxes – no such thing as sleep for mechanics then! Eee they diven nae theyre born nowa.


I remember those times too, Rpaco, now “men” are pushing prams and doing the housework while women are running countrys, businesses,etc., and racing cars. Scarey, isn’t it? Good on them for racing cars, though.



Yes, very impressive that Alonso seemed to be able to match Massa’s speed with – what sounded like – a horrible gearbox problem.

It appeared – to this uninformed viewer – he was having to manually blip the throttle on each down-shift to match the engine and gearbox speeds (manually synchronising the gears); presumably the engine-management software normally takes care of gear-synchronisation, but whatever gearbox/clutch issues he had rendered this system useless. Fundamentally this is what you do when you heel-and-toe in a manual-car, but he was doing it with a knackered semi-automatic sequential gearbox which was never designed for such abuse. Very impressive.


The downshift problems may have ultimately caused the ‘Kerblammo’ (to use the Speed TV commentators’ language) on Alonso.

Listening to the audio, it sounded like he may have hooked a gear that he wasn’t expecting and over-revved the engine.


It is visible him fighting the gears after passing JB. He must have over reved the engine.


Yes a great drive from Alonso considering the downshift issues he was having.

At this early stage it looks like Hamilton, Alonso or Vettel for the championship.


Well they had three failures today out of four engines (assuming Kobayashi was engine?) so it seems something isn’t quite right.

Does anyone know if they’ve all used the same engines right through since Bahrain? It’d be very interesting to know if they all blew within a few kilometres of running time from each other. Doesn’t bode well for getting through the year without penalties if so.


No matter what happens every engine will struggle at some point this season surely. My guess is Renault might suffer more than anybody else’s. It would be fantastic if Massa can win the championship. He is worthier than Button in my book. This is the 9th consecutive races he scored points. Good drive by Rosberg & Sutil as well. Red Bull was going to overtake Rosberg in the pits anyway. Sutil’s drive was as good as any of the frong runners. The way everyone else is going Massa could very well be WDC without even winning any race.


Don’t know about kobayashi (wasn’t it hydraulics?) but if so it’s three failures out of six: toro rosso employs Ferrari engines as well


I initially thought he had lost 2nd gear or something as he seemed to have more trouble in the lower gears than in the higher gears but it turns out it was a clutch failure. Extremely impressive that he could drive so well with no clutch! I guess the extra wear and tear on the engine as a result of the downchanges along with the heat of Malaysia will have taken their toll. A real shame as he deserved to get past Button and get a few points in my opinion.

James, what are your thoughts on racing with no clutch? How many tenths per lap is it likely to affect you by? Also, how big a part does the clutch actually play in a semi-auto gearbox? Do these cars use multiple clutches like some of the Audi road cars or is it a single clutch?




There shouldn’t be any other hot races like this for the rest of the year, so the package may be optimised just right one would think


can anyone explain to me why hamilton was only let off with a warning for weaving like crazy to hold off petrov ? imo he should have been given a drive thru


Yup, at the very least his actions deserved that he be forced to hand the position back to Petrov, and most any other driver would’ve been given a drive thru. (We hand out drive thrus for much lesser infringements – a mere 0.1kmh extra in the pit lane, for example).

Hamilton’s excuse that he was just trying to “break the tow” frankly doesn’t cut it, and it’s disheartening to see you parrot it as if it excuses him, James.

Ask yourself this? Why was he trying to break the tow? Because he knew that Petrov would likely be able to repass him at the next corner perhaps, just like on the previous pass?

So he prevented Petrov repassing him, and then gained race points by being able to vanish off into the distance unhindered – when in all reality he’d have been stuck behind Petrov at *least* a lap longer had he raced fairly.

He gained an advantage from his unsporstmanlike actions, and went unpunished. It’s pretty shameful, really.


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

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

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

Only good old Martin Brundle got it right again!


Wow is this a record number of replies on one post?!

I’ve watched it again though and I still don’t see the problem.

IF Pertrov moved first and Lewis moved across to block his line, then yes, it’d be weaving with the intent to block him. But Lewis moves first and Petrov follows him every time, not the other way around.

There’s a subtle difference there but what a difference it makes!


It was really cheeky by Petrov though, I loved his audacity! Beginning to like him already! 😉


Me too, Alias J!


K. Chandra Shekhar

Please watch the race carefully. Lewis was not blocking Petrov. Actually Petrov is moving in the direction in which Lewis was taking.


The rules say WEAVING! Hamilton WEAVED 3 times! Block or no block he still BROKE the RULES in one way or another.


That’s correct. If Hamilton were penalised it would mean if a driver is closely following another and mimicks the car ahead, the driver in front should be penalised!! IMO Ham should NEVER have been given a warning.


What I want to know is how could Petrov follow so closely without loosing all adhesion? Drivers complain constantly that as soon as you get close you loose the downforce, control and braking ability, but Petrov seemed to have plenty, he hung on to Hamilton’s tail like he was magnetised, maybe that’s the secret,magnets! 🙂


You could similarly ask why didn’t Hamilton get into a massive tank-slapper from all his weaving with the stalled rear wing? The cars don’t lose all effectiveness and the drivers aren’t looking to make maximum g-force turns on the straight as this scrubs off speed.

With Webber in Melbourne, he had an initial loss of downforce at the front, hit a bump and with the reduced downforce front of the car came up relative to the rear and this reduced the underbody generated downforce.


You don’t need as much “adhesion” when you’re going down a straight, RPACO, only when braking and cornering and accelerating in the lower gears.



He wa pretty much glued in place for a couple of whole laps.


Have to give Petrov a lot of credit BTW he showed his mettle today. (obviously ferrous re above) 😉


@ all Hamilton detractors:

Firstly, this article is about Red Bull taking their first win but yet you somehow turn it into a Hamilton thread with more than half the post so far about him or his drivinh.

Secondly, from the way I understand the rule,

Car in front moving to shake off car behind when car behind hasnt made a move = Legal espcially when the car behind has not made a move to pass

Car in front moving to BLOCK car behind when car behind has made a move in the breaking zone = Illegal espcially when the car behind has made a move to pass.

…and oh how I LOVE the timely nature of this! its just been reported on several F1 sites including PF1 that Vettel committed a serious infringement in the race by overtaking Truli under a yellow flag but the stewards decided not to punish him. How about that? the race staward is still Johnny Herbert and he hasnt changed his nationality from English to German you…


Definite drive through according to rule. Of course Lewis had the line. But rules should be equal for everyone. Imgaine Schumi making one of those moves. There would’ve been the biggest out cry ever


Irrespective of whether or not this was breaking the rules, does anyone else think banning blocking is a stupid rule! Rugby players are allowed to hand off tackles, not just fall over the moment anyone comes near them!

On a side note, anyone think button was just trying to repicate his decision making from last week with much worse effects!


The regulations for an ‘Incident’ that could result in a penalty of some kind state,

– illegitimately prevented a legitimate overtaking manoeuvre by a driver ;

– illegitimately impeded another driver during overtaking.

The first one you could argue that Petrov was making an overtaking maneuver but actually, the overtaking would not start until closer to the corner in the braking zone.

Also remember that a driver representative is now with the Stewards (Johnny Herbert I think for this race), they have an input into these decisions now which is a good thing.

There was also little in the way of a safety concern unless they were closer to the corner as they were going similar speeds. If Petrov was closer (next to) Hamilton, then that would indeed be dangerous and should have resulted in a penalty.

Finally, to agree with some of the other comments, there is undoubtedly pressure within the FIA/FOM to make races more interesting after the first race. Hamilton was (again) the most exciting driver to watch and to penalize him for this would have caused derision from a lot of fans. Worse, casual watchers of the sport who may be just getting into it would surely question rules that reduce the spectacle.


He sort of was preventing an overtaking manoeuvre because if he’d committed to one line Petrov would have been able to have a go (even if it may not have been successful).

I understand the arguments that he moved first not Petrov but personally I still felt it was a drive-through. I know Lewis has been on the end of a couple of shockers from the stewards in the past – so maybe this is the process naturally evenning itself out.

Good point(s) about Hamilton being one of most exciting drivers to watch but I wonder if such weaving was allowed whether it’d also be a lot harder for a driver to pull off a manoeuvre.

Eric Boullier, the Renault team principal, has interpreted a warning to mean he won’t be allowed to do it again so if that is the correct interpretation it may end up happy ever after for both parties; Hamilton keeps his result for what was otherwise an impressive drive yet such moves won’t be allowed in the future, which means overtaking won’t be hampered (by my above argument).


Don’t forget Petrov, DNYC, he was exciting too!



Awful driving from Hamilton, it reminds me of what I see when playing a computer game online. It’s unsporting, unprofessional and dangerous. Brundle only excuses it because he’s pro Lewis. The rest of world know that had Schumacher done the same thing he’d have got a blag flag or stop/go pen.

To say Petrov or Massa did the same is absolute rubbish. Massa was moving back onto the racing line braking (which is normal!) and Petrov moved once. He didn’t zig zag like an idiot.

The fact so many people are disgusted in this driving shows how most people feel about it. The precedent is set now though and I hope to see people using it when Hamilton is behind them, then see what Lewis feels about it.


If you did that infront of Hamilton, he would make the pass that is for sure.


Yeah, I’m sure he’d be upset… But why are you so upset?


Paul, you’re saying “so many people are disgusted”, but are those people experts or only “armchair” experts? There’s a hellova difference, you know. I can’t believe some of the inexpert comments I’m reading re this incident.



He wasn’t weaving…he was trying to break the tow, and Petrov was following him trying to keep the tow. There should not have been even a warning.


Go back and watch a reply of the entire race before the Hamilton weaving incident. Before Hamilton passed Petrov for the first time, Petrov was weaving around down the back straight in exactly the same way that Hamilton was later down the main straight. The TV feed was onboard with Hamilton at the time – why has nobody noticed or commented on this? Probably because the weaving was more noticeable from the external camera shot.


simple, the driver steward advisor was british driver johnny herbert. If he penalized hamilton the british tabloid press would be all over him and blaming him for ruining lewis’ drive of his life.


Does JH have some pro-British impartiality you can back that statement up with?

Would JH’s say override the 2 other stewards?


Vettel overtook Trulli under yellow flags that were out for Alonso’s exit, the stewards didn’t punish this either as despite it being illegal it was felt Vettel had slowed. Nothing to do with the nationality of the stewards, just finally having a racing driver involved has knocked some common sense into proceedings. A huge improvement in how F1 is being run, at long last.


So much talk about F1 being dull – and people *still* want to clip the wings of the only driver to deliver any kind of real excitement.

These slight rule bens or marginal calls happen all the time – how often have Alonso or in the past Raikonnen used off-track tarmac to get a race advantage?

F1 for grown-ups, please!


if he is the only one who excites you, let him drive alone and don’t bother other dull drivers. happy?


Just because he overtook a few people doesn’t give him any more rights than any other F1 driver. That’s why it’s a sport you know. Do we need to wait until there is a fatality with that idiotic driving before people like you will understand? Go and watch BTCC if you want to see stupid driving.


You seem to think the incident was dangerous, Paul, but I think you’ve got the wrong impression, probably due to the effect the telephoto lens has which makes the two cars apear closer together than they really are, there was no danger at all!

And don’t forget they’re experienced racing drivers, not boy racers!



Was his driving dangerous? No. So what are you on about?


The ‘1 move’ thing is not an actual rule, just a drivers gentleman’s rule as far as i know ( anyone?? ).

Anyway, Hamilon and ‘Make roads safe’…. Maybe Todt should hint Yeoh! lol


The ‘1 move’ thing IS an actual rule and is drummed into race drivers from the most humble championships upwards.


WHATS this fus about Hamilton waving side to side?VETTEL did a more serious offence by over taking under a yellow flag and he has only got a warning after the race was reviewd by stewards..he should have docked 25 seconds from his first position…


When I watched the race again I saw the Vettel incident in question and Trulli slowed down and pulled over for Vettel. Vettel slowed down and did not pass. Trulli slowed down some more. Vettel slowed down some more. Trulli slowed Dow. Pulled right off of the line and almost to a standstill. Vettel would have almost had to come to a complete standstill in order to not pass. He was trying everything to respect the yellow flag rule – more than was reasonable – but Trulli had not realised/noticed the yellow flags and kept slowing down more and more. To have handed any form of punishment to Vettel would have been totally ridiculous and I am speaking as someone who thinks the guy is overhyped, so I am not his biggest fan. If anything – the incident made me gain respect for him as I think many frot runners would have sailed past the Lotus with the arrogance that they were passing a much slower backmarker so it wouldn’t have counted.


Vettel’s was totally fair, Trulli waved him past and he’d already had to slow a lot. It’s just common sense


I must say when Lewis was weaving along the straight I thought a stop go for sure… I’ve seen much less with much stiffer penalty in the past…


I’m not a Hamilton fan, but I think he did nothing wrong in this instance. This is racing!!!!! I believe you should be allowed to protect your position….not at any cost, but trying to shake off a competitor out of your slip stream to save you from trouble in the upcoming turn should be unquestionably acceptable. But this is 21 century F1. I’m surprised they don’t make tracks be 300 km straights from start to finish!



I’ve been watching F1 (And various other forms of MotorSports) since 1989.


Me too. I thought what LH did to Petrov was unsporting and illegal.


Would LH have not been sanctioned with a drive through penalty if the moves were illegal? I seem to remember Massa doing something similar last week in Australia, without a penalty. This is supposed to be Motor Racing, let them get on with it!


But as Legard said at the time, if this was Schumacher doing the weaving, everybody would have said “what a cheater!”.


On the radio commentary Anthony Davidson was appuled by Hamilton’s weaving & said its something there told not to do in the drivers briefing.

If Petrov wasn’t behind him he woudn’t have done it, breaking the tow or not he was still blocking the car behind. I’ve seen similar weaving cause some very serious accidents.

It was one of the worst bits of driving I have seen in F1 for a very long time.


@StefMeister…And exactly how long have you been watching F1? Judging by your statement, it couldnt have been that long.


Rubbish, Stiefmeistre, go back to sleep.



who is Anthony Davidson? Petrov didn’t have to follow him around, Hamilton had every right to put that clever blocking move, what a clever driver Hamilton is turning out to be. Well done Jenson for keeping Alonzo at bay.

Oliver Neilson

What on earth is wrong with allowing racing drivers to race?. I would agree with some that he was close to breaking the rules, but honestly, these rules are killing the spectacle. Now it is borderline illegal to mount a spirited defense of a position. If you are being lapped you get three nanoseconds to get out of the way before being penalised. The way Senna used to carve his way through the backmarkers is no longer a feature of racing these days. Perhaps the rulemakers should let the drivers race, and let common sense rule instead.


Well said, Oliver, I totally agree.



I agree with the most that´s Hamilton pass on Petrov was illegal but a drive through was too harsh, maybe they should tell him to give the position back to Petrov.


We’re not talking about the pass, only the so-called weaving on the straight. Go back to sleep!



He shouldn’t have even had a warning. Hamilton was moving first and Petrov was following to stay in the tow. If it was a blocking move Petrov would have to be moving first and Hamilton reacting to block him.

Great driving by both of them.


Hamiltons warning annoyed me a bit really because it suggested that the FIA weren’t really sure what course of action to take. If he was weaving then punish him but if he was attempted to break Petrovs tow as it looked, then do nothing and let them keep racing. I’m with Martin P, no warning should have been issued.


Absolutely, Martin, perfectly correct! Seems people here are quick to jump to conclusions without fully understanding what they’re seeing. (and they probably haven’t raced themselves). BTW I’m definately no Hamilton fan myself, but I believe in fair play.



Because he is Lewis Hamilton, got a problem with that?


Because it wasn’t dangerous. Petrov was stuck to his derrière.This was the best part of the race. which overall was boring again. Shame it didn’t rain. Hamilton was scything through the field at the beginning, well done to him.


It was great, legal, driving for me. Petrov didn’t have to follow him. Hamilton was making the move 1st so he was not blocking petrov. Had Petrov made the move 1st and then Hamilton moved to block him then he should have been punished.


I’m no Hamilton fan, but to be fair, Petrov wasn’ really going for the pass but rather just a tow. As the BBC commentators said, it’s a very fine line but my impression was that it was cheeky but not against the rules. Had Petrov nudged ahead and had been going for a pass, and Hamilton had swerved two or three times in front, then it’d be a different story — definitely penalty-worthy. I believe Hamilton was warned and that’s about right. Perhaps he might cope a further reprimand (slap on the wrist) from the stewards post-race?


he claimed he was only breaking the tow on mclarens live commentary, wateva that means. i really think people who criticise lewis on here shd really run that live commentary on their computers if theyve got the time before commenting. its a really good feature and i think all the f1 teams shd do that for their fans. they broadcast everything on the teams radio i think, during the race.

i think nobody will comment on here abt jensons decision on the tyre change. was it pure luck last week or him being a genious as people were saying.

well done to both though but lewis is the master! too early to call we will see.


Yeah I couldn’t believe how blatantly he was weaving around. I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it in many years. Although Martin Brundle said it wasn’t in the braking zone I think it still impeded the Renault from coming cleanly out of the tow.

I think a drive-through was warranted perhaps.


There should have been no warning.

He was weaving to get Petrov out of the slipstream – a totally different action to weaving in order to push someone off the road.

This is a legitimate move, and the warning shows the overpolicing of F1 to a ridiculous degree. The drivers are grown ups and professionals- for pete’s sake, leave them to it.


Well said Sinnae, I agree totally! Petrov was using Hami’s slipstream to try to keep up, and was actually following Hami, if he hadn’t done that he would have lost ground, he certainly was not going to be able to pass. So Hami was NOT blocking! Personally I enjoyed seeing the action.



Why weave to get Petrov out of his slipstream if it wasn’t to disadvantage him? He should have been penalised, not just warned.


Yes – of course it was to disadvantage him, to take away the benefit of the slipstream. Where does it say it is against the rules to ‘disadvantage’ the guy behind?


I fully agree! I will never understand people wanting racing drivers to be penalised for racing. F1 is in danger of suffocating itself with rules already and some people seem to be adding to that even more by unnecessary calls for punishment.


I’m sorry but I disagree. Hamilton weaved three times accross the track, in order to stop Petrov getting alongside him into the corner. Not to get him out of the slipstream (he would have achieved this had he weaved just once and stuck to his line). There is no question in my mind he was acting against the rules as given, even if those rules are perhaps a little strict. I also note that DC did not criticise Hamilton but I think would probably have done so had it been a non-British driver.


I agree. Massa’s last-minute jink into Lewis’ line as he tried to pass last week was far more dangerous and more deserving of a penalty. Let’s face it, that move nearly caused an accident.

While Lewis did move around a lot, it was OUT of Petrov’s line, not INTO it. Technically, not one move on that straight was actually a blocking move. I’ve seen similar antics from Mansell and many others back when F1 allowed overtaking and allowed their drivers to actually race.

It was a measured, perhaps even slightly severe response from the marshals. It looks like the policy of actually putting a racer on the marshaling team is paying dividends, albeit slowly. Let the guys race!

If I were to put a more contentious spin on it, I would say that the reason he didn’t get a drive through was that he didn’t do it to a Ferrari.


He wasn’t blocking, Petrov could have taken the inside line and held it, but most likely wouldn’t have been ahead at the breaking zone. Even people who block get a warning so to suggest a drive through was deserved is a bit far fetched.


Im a Hamilton fan and I did think he was lucky. The only thing was he didnt actually block Petrov. He was trying to break the tow. I think this is the only reason they warned him. If Petrov had pulled out and Hamilton had moved then I think he would have been punished for moving more than once. I did think he was lucky their though. Thats said Hamilton once again did prove he is one of the best overtakers on the grid


Exactly, petrov didn’t actually take the overtaking line so hamilton was technically not moving to block…

Yes he is amazing at overtaking!


I agree sandeep. If it would have been Lotus or Sauber driver, they would have got an penalty. 1 side of me liked he didn’t get an penalty as I want to see racing but it was against the rules and clearly over the limit blocking. It’s said that you cn change your line just once in the straight and then back, Hamilton was all over the place some 3-4 times.

I like his driving a lot, but he’s becoming Schumacher nr.2 with his lyings and agressive driving.


Here Here, they have set a precendent now, lets hope they show some concistency, I thought you were only allowed to move once across the track.


Yes, there’s clearly too much going on under that yellow helmet.


Yeah, that bothered me. If it was Petrov pulling that on Hamilton, Petrov would get a drive thru…


have to agree why no drive thru ??

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