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Video: Barrichello’s steering wheel incident, a new angle
Video: Barrichello’s steering wheel incident, a new angle
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Jun 2010   |  6:45 am GMT  |  185 comments

This is amazing. It was sent in by a JA on F1 reader and, although a few weeks after the event, I think it’s worth showing because you see Rubens Barrichello’s accident at Monaco and the infamous steering wheel incident so clearly.

You also realise how incredibly brave the marshals are, tending a car on a blind bend on a street track.

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To be fair, he’s just driven a car into a barrier at +100 mph and facing oncoming traffic doing similar speeds. I don’t think he was thinking too much about the steering wheel. Yes, it can be seen as petulant in hindsight. However, Rubens appears to be one of the nicest guys in the paddock and I don’t think he’d do something if he thought it would harm anyone. There doesn’t seem to be a malicious bone in his body.


As far as I can see, he tossed the wheel onto the fairing, a bit too hard perhaps, but not SO much, and it hit whatever that first vertical part is, rather than coming to rest on the bodywork. It deflected on to the track and bounced.

I don’t think it was intentional.


David you have not seen the Video properly. Pls see it once again from 0.23 to 0.25 scs you will com to know whether he has thrown the steering or he has tossed the same on to the fairing. Also view from 0.45 scs whrein he has kep the neck rest on the fairing, that is the way he should have kept the steering.


Send this Footage of Rubens throwing the Steering to Damon(Demon) Hill.


Thats a great different view of the whole incident. Thanks James for sharing this!


Great site and articles James but I cant view the video?


Guys.!! Be fair on Rubens. Do you expect him to sit IDLE at the middle of the track in monaco?? anytime you could get hit by a car at 170 kmph at that corner… He got to come out of the car and so he took the steering and put it down. Unfortunately it rolled and went the other way.. 🙂 even hakkinen did this..


He did toss it.


Am I right in thinking that the weight distribution of the Williams seems to be more towards the front of the car since its not tilting backwards like the Ferrari.


Wow, so many comments condemning Barichello’s actions during a few select seconds during a high speed automobile race. He had just crashed his car at high speed while racing through the narrow streets of one of the most dangerous race tracks in the world, so his adrenaline would have been peaking.

He appears to then rather absent-mindedly toss the wheel towards the top of the car but it misses and it drops onto the track, bouncing awkwardly away due to its oval shape, much the way a rugby ball or American football bounces.

Considering he was facing backwards at oncoming cars, it is understandable that his mind may have been occupied with more pressing matters such as survival more than his aim. At any rate he didn’t hurl it with any real force, that’s for sure, so all told it wasn’t exactly a John McEnroe-esque tantrum, now was it? :s


As a fellow marshal from Oz – RESPECT. Alguersari $100000 – Marshal $0


Is it just me then that is really concerned in seeing the wrecked Williams being hoisted high up in the air with one of its front wheels hanging from the (already battered after the crash) tether? What it that thing broke off and the (very heavy) wheel came crashing down on unsuspecting marshalls or spectators even? Surely they should have moved it to one side, removed the loose wheel and only then lifted the car from the track… right?


I had exactly the same thoughts about the dangling wheel. That looks scary to me.

As for the steering wheel – I am not sure I’d be thinking too clearly after a shunt like that so I am loathe to criticise. There is debris everywhere and any of it could he picked up by the passing cars.

Karun probably thought this was nothing compared to what Trulli did to his race!


The point of the video is to highlight the bravery and efficiency of the marshals – how quickly they moved the car off the track is incredible.

Those of you criticising Rubens for “carelessly” throwing his steering wheel across the track clearly have little imagination. I assume you’d all be paragons of considered thought and rational action if you’d just inexplicably crashed at 150mph! To connect this with the Massa incident in Hungary is just absurd and little tasteless.

Quite obviously this angle shows that he simply removed the wheel and aimed to toss it by the side of the car – as most drivers do if their car is wiped out and they need to expedite an exit from it. It was unfortunate that it bounced into the path of the HRT and I agree the stewards should have reminded him to be more careful, but it hardly smacked of ‘unconcerned for the safety of other drivers’. I think accusing Rubens, of all drivers, of this is grossly unfair.


Here’s my two cents as they say.

Whilst it does look unintentional that the steering wheel went into the racing line, it still prompts the question why did it bounce?

I don’t except the reasoning of Rubens that he was in a panic and wanted to get out of the car quickly, he clearly takes some time after undoing his seat belt and waiting for cars to go past, surely this shows that he was clearly thinking about his actions in a calm manner, in which case the steering wheel should of been placed on the nose, yes it was quite a bad crash but I have seen worse and have seen drivers act in a better way in worse situations. Barichello should of at least been cautioned for this incident.


Looks like Rubens had a little temper tantrum. When you think of what he put up with at Bruan and ferrari I guess we can forgive him. I wounder if this will be his last year???


I note Ruebans is featured in F1 racing magazine stating he has learned not too be emotional and he is 100 per cent German in coping with what he says and the track decision he has made. Oh well, after Turkey, Vettel displayed a new side to the German coping display.

Throwing out the steering wheel is like tossing your golf club after a bad shot, a moment of emotion that is fine for your weekend golf buddies but not condoned at the professional level.


For all of Ruben’s critics out there go and have an accident in a street car at 30kmh not 260kmh in an F1 car and see how good your nerves are after it. Good video shame he didn’t get a close up of the underbody when the car was suspended mid air. That marshall must be counting his lucky stars though amazing he didn’t lose a toe or two.


Rubens clearly didn’t have any interest in the safety of others. He tossed the steering wheel and then tossed the cockpit cover back into the car rather than fitting it properly. This could easily have fallen out while the car was being removed. Careless from start to finish. Maybe, James can tell us what the rules are, but I would think the drivers have an obligation to put things back in place so the marshalls can do their job quickly and efficently. I think the FIA should have revoked his super license as a lesson to all the drivers that racing is a privilege and not a right – and a right that will be taken away if you put others safety at risk. Rubens clearly learned nothing from the Massa incident.


There’s one thing that comes through to me loud and clear after reading all the above posts, and many others from other articals, and that is that we, as humans, seem to just thrive on being able to critisise. I can hardly believe the B/S that is being written by people, many of whome have never raced cars, or evan competed in sporting competitions, or ever hit a wall at 20kph, let alone 140kph! When you heart’s going 200 beats/min., and you’ve just experienced maybe 15gs of force, and you’ve just stoped sliding along a road with no control, wondering if you’re going to hit the wall again, or if another car is going to run over you, I’d love to see what sort of actions you guys would take under the same circumstances, of course that would never happen because you’ll never have the skills or the balls to get there!



That’s a decent point you make there. I can imagine hitting the wall winds/puts off the most experienced driver.

I still think he did it out of frustration though.


I saw the article a few weeks ago about the Ferrari being lifted off the track, and noted James’ comments about the angle it was hanging at showing the rearward weight distribution. Looks like the Williams was almost level – so pretty even weight distribution?


Great video to give a different perspective. It really shows 2 things to me:

1) How idiotic Rubens was – should have been penalised without doubt.

2) How little respect for the marshall’s safety a lot of the drivers have. I’ve long thought this was the case, but this just emphasises that.

We could have far less safety cars in F1 (and other categories) if drivers treated yellow flags with some respect meaning localised yellows led to safe/slower driving.


Regarding why the video hasn’t been taken down from YouTube yet, I believe I’m right in saying that Monaco is the only race on the calendar which FOM doesn’t own the TV rights to – they’re held by ACM, which means FOM can’t claim ownership of this footage and get It removed.


The back of this years Monaco ACM F1 tickets does not have the usual message about “audio and visual recordings only for non-commercial use”.

Also I still can’t see how any one can own footage taken from private property (e.g. the balconies and gardens overlooking the monaco track).


Very interesting.

I’m planning to go to Spa later this year – its the first GP I’m going to(!) and I want to take cameras (video and stills). Is it illegal for me to take footage/photos? or is it ok as long as I don’t try and release it into the public domain?


Good question. Stills are fine. Video is more of a problem. Check with FOM to be sure. Also a word of warning the security men in Spa are deeply unpleasant. The sort who wear black and have shaven heads and dogs. Don’t mess with them


So they’ll mind if I pack my bag full of wigs?

Seriously though, I don’t want to jeopardize the (expensive) trip by not being allowed access due to contraband (video camera). I will check.


Great video.

Looking at it more and more, although Rubens seems to have ‘thrown’ the steering wheel, it looks like he aimed for in front of him, forward of the cockpit, rather than throwing it out of the car – the camber of the road sent it out of the car to his right.

The organisation in Monaco looks admirable, good on the marshalls.


I’ve seen a few people ask here why Rubens waits for so long between throwing the wheel out and actually getting out. He has to undo the seatbelts, the harness, try to radio the pits, and wait for the whole field to pass him so he can get out without being crushed. I’m now pretty sure Rubens is not a “Petulant Child” as some describe him. He is a human being and he makes mistakes and gets frustrated when things go wrong, just like the rest of us. Besides, the only reason Rubens is being critised is because he is in a media conscious age of F1 and it happened on a street circuit; Drivers that go out in gravel traps (Senna in Barcelona) get no coverage at all besides the crash, how are we to know that Rubens is the first person to make this mistake? I’ve changed my mind, I was looking too deep into it before and I distinctly want to apologise.


The track marshalls were superb. I would assume, hope, that the marshalls had live video of the preceding corner. Barrichello acts out of anger, but at least he manages to settle down and place the Hans Device back in the cockpit. Thanks for sharing this video.


That’s not the HANS device, its the remoable padding that surrounds the cockpit. The HANS device stays attached to the drivers helmet.


James, a bit unrelated question, but will you be writing an article on new tire supplier and no testing agreement. I mean, it’s total insanity that in the “pinnacle of motorsport” teams can’t actually try tires they never used, before they make the cars that will use them. I understand the need to cut costs but this is getting ridiculous. I mean, they might as well pull names out of the hats instead of doing qualifying. This is supposed to be engineering excellence and what we have now is stabbing in the dark.

Crid-Los Angeles

One thing I noticed from this angle is that it’s more obvious that he simply dropped the wheel outside the cab, whence it rolled away, as wheels will. He didn’t deliberately chuck it into the path of oncoming traffic… Furthermore, he might not yet have figured out which side of his care the traffic would have been passing.

This is not meant to exonerate him in any respect. I realize he’d just been in an accident and the car was smoking. But it was a horrible thing to do, and from the one man in the last two years who should understand what loose parts can mean on a race course. The FIA should have spanked him. And it says something about the cruel politics & economics of the sport that HRT didn’t file a noisy protest.


@Alex C

For the same reason that Alonso ‘El Cabron’ didnt get a penalty for back raping massa inside of the pit lane…


Watching it from this new angle, now I feel Barrichelo’s move more like an unfortunate bounce of the steering wheel. He doesn’t throw it on the racing line, it’s more like if he drops it near the bargeboards and then it bounces in a pretty odd way on the HRT path. Maybe stewards took that into consideration while dealing with the action.


Interestingly the car was lifted by the Crane while the field was still following behind the Safety Car. Doesn’t it bother anyone that the Tyre is so precariously attached to the car by weak tether. What if the tether had given up and the Tyre dropped on one of the cars 😕

And Yes both Rubens and Jarno should have been given some Penalty for putting competitors at risk by their reckless behavior


those tethers are immensely strong – all four wheels stayed attached during rubens’ crash. We’ve seen (in general) other crashes that were much worse, with the tethers holding. Gravity does not load the tether nearly as much as an accident.


Well there were F1 quality tethers on the F2 car last year when Henry Surtees was innocent victim


It was a sad time for motorsport indeed. But accidents produce forces that are difficult to predict, so the tethers and their attachments pose a challenging design problem. I would like to see them stronger still, but as it stands, they easily compensate for the weight of the wheel.

Midnight Toper

Very dull footage, I don’t understand why it’s been posted. It doesn’t reveal anything new about the incident.

As with any sport there will always be incidents which are overlooked and bad calls being made. Just as drivers and players make human errors, referees and stewards do to. I personally, prefer decisions that allow the game or race to flow, i.e. a referee allowing the ball to play on when there is an advantage to do so rather than award a free kick. The less meddling from the stewards the better. Penalties in F1 are becoming draconian and poorly thought out. Subtracting 10 seconds off of Schumacher’s time when the race finished under a safety car was ill-judged as the end result far out-weighed the crime.

As for the marshall who positioned himself between the Torro Rosso and the Armco barrier, I could think of other words than brave to describe him.


What I find incredible is that Rubens said after the race that he throw the steering wheel to get out of the car quicker, but he stays in the car for an eternity after he throws it.


What’s ridiculous is Rubens made the excuse that he was in a hurry to get out of the car and away from the fire. That’s patently untrue, as you can see in the video, because he took FOREVER to get out of the car AFTER throwing the wheel. I’m kind of appalled with Rubens this year. He spends all his time moaning and throwing tantrums, the worst combination of the field’s old-timer and a petulant child.


I get that he was angry,I really do. However, he should know better! Firstly because he is one of the most experienced racers in the paddock, secondly those steering wheels are bloody expensive.

Still, he is only human, and humans make mistakes. I’m just glad that the car which ran over the steering wheel didn’t suffer any damage.


Agreed that a penalty should’ve been given, most likely a cash one.

This video, like the TV coverage, clearly shows that Rubens doesn’t throw the wheel into the path of oncoming cars though — he throws it on the ground directly alongside his car. It’s surprising the distance that it bounces.

It’s still inexcusable though, and much like the increasingly petulant attitude Rubens has shown in the last year or so (snapping at his team over the radio, rushing to complain to the media about perceived wrongdoing by his team before speaking to them and getting the full story, etc.) is an indication that Rubens simply doesn’t enjoy the sport any more, and needs to retire. He’s a very nice bloke in person, but I think that his failure to capitalize on what was likely his last chance to win a championship at Brawn last year has turned him into rather a bitter racer.

As for the stewarding decisions this year, I’m not going to get into it any more than to say they’ve pretty much universally been terrible. Either enforce the rules, or strike them off the books. Don’t pretend they don’t exist.

Semi-related: I understand that Rubens’ steering wheel is back in use on Williams’ simulator. That seems incredible, given that it was hit by two cars, and dragged perhaps a quarter of the way around the Monaco circuit. If I were at Williams, I’d be considering whether I’d over-engineered that wheel somewhat, and could perhaps take the opportunity to trade some of its weight into ballast instead.


high tech machinery low tech officials, it’s OK to throw steering wheels across the track and it’s OK to bring the safety car in when the track is apparently still dangerous


Didn’t Rubens say he was in a hurry to evacuate the car after his shunt – hence the thrown steering wheel?

Reviewing the video the order of events seems to be:

@ 21.5 seconds the car comes to a halt

@ 23 seconds the steering wheel is thrown

@ 44 seconds the driver makes a move to exit the vehicle

It rather begs the question that if RB was in such a hurry to get out of the car (and the thrown steering wheel wasn’t a tantrum turn) then why did it take a further 21 seconds after the steering wheel came off to get out of the car?


I agree with the others on this. It is ridiculous that this incident was completely ignored because of the Schumacher/Alonso shenanigans.

After watching that, those marshals are extremely lucky that the HRT didn’t flick the steering wheel up towards them.


Amazing that the FIA and F1 administration didnt get this video off You tube.


This extended video clearly shows WHY Rubens should have been penalized. He clearly had the time to think about the wheel, and he tossed it out NOT because he was concerned about his own safety, but obviously out of frustration. He took the time to remove the collar and pick it up off the track and place it inside the car. He could have done the same with the wheel.


he had plenty of time from this, he faffed with the neck cover after all, he should have been charged by williams and punished by the stewards. total idiot. he threw a wobbly quite a lot last year as well, seems to be very immature for the most mature driver in the field. he should have retired last year. silly man


Hi James I just want to know if there’s a way

that you and your team can help those of us who

access the site solely on mobiles, view video

posts such as the one being discussed in the

article (in using a blackberry curve),because I never

see any of the videos only the text is viewable,

is possible maybe to post youtube links to

the video?



We’ll look into that


I really think he was just trying to exit the car. He picked up the head rest when he saw that it was relatively safe to cross the track, and he was out of the car.


Awesome video – right place, right time. And is it just me or do the cars look huge??


That incidents really frustrates me… I feel quite angry whenever I think about how stupid a move it was for him to throw his steering wheel like that. But kudos to the marshals, absolutely fantastic as always. Whenever you’re at a racing event, always give the marshals a clap and a cheer when they are hard at work.


Didn’t Rubens say he threw the steering wheel so he could get out of the car faster? It took him half a minute after throwing the steering wheel to get out, and he didn’t seem in much of a hurry. His comical explanation of this event is on par with the best of Homer Simpson.

However, the steering wheel lands pretty close to the car and then seems to roll further onto the track. I don’t think he intended it to land as far away as it did. Should have been given a penalty though, there was no need for throwing it in the first place.


As the others, and no doubt many more posters have said, Barrichello really deserves a 3 race ban or more. We all love to chastise drivers for their mistakes in the heat of the moment, many WDCs are decided by the differences in momentary reactions, 2010 may well go to Lewis for just that, but Reubens had time to think and acted like a child.

Alonso, Trulli, Webber, Vettel, Kubica all have sinned, “accidentally” hitting people who dare to try and overtake them, but this was, relatively, done in cold blood. I really like Rubens, but this really needs punishing, sadly.


Is it too late to hand out a penalty to Reubens? Surely, it’s better late than never!


Some people are forgetting Rubens excuse for chucking the wheel, he said he wanted to get out of the car as fast as possible.

He sits in the car a good 20 seconds after he through the steering wheel out of the car, so much for him wanted to get out asap.

Robert Keating

Yes Rubens knows better than that!

The next car through could have, maybe it did hit it!!

What I find great to watch is the well practiced Marshals at work!

As a Marshal it is what I watch for. Quick squirt of the fire bottle. Hooked up the crane in one motion, no delays. Someone picking up parts and another directing on coming traffic! GREAT job! Track is clear!


I’m surprised at the reactions here because I see it differently. It looks to me like Rubens chucked the wheel onto the top of the car but it takes a bounce off an antenna(?) and rebounds onto the road. He does NOT just throw it onto the road.

No doubt he was frustrated but more likely in a panic to exit the car given where he’s parked and that probably caused him to throw the wheel a bit harder than necessary.

Look at the 19th and 20th seconds of the film again.

I think it was just an unfortunate bounce.


If there’s no rule they can use against him at the moment then they need to think of one a.s.a.p.


My blood boils seeing this. Somebody needs to punch Barichello.


Nothing against Rubino but he should have known better. In that race he should have gotten some sort of penalty. But I guess Hill was more concerned with Michael as what he did was a lot more dangerous. Oh well I guess it is a bias commercial enterprise after all.


From the evidence of this video, we see that at 23 seconds in he chucks the wheel out, then he undoes his seatbelts as Chandhock runs it over at 27 seconds in. You can see Rubens jump just after Chandhock goes by and crushes the wheel at 28 seconds in. Either he is undoing his seatbelts, or sees his mistake and realises that it is too late to put the wheel back as the regulations state. He might have thrown it further than he intended to, and the added fact that he has been turning the wheel so much around Monaco and needs a good deal of strength to consistently do so, may have been a factor. At about 42 seconds in he undoes the harness, which also falls to the floor. Then he picks that up again, throws it into the car, and makes his way to the barriers. Very odd… Before I thought it wasn’t his fault but now I’m not so sure…


The regulations state to put the steering wheel back if there are wheels to steer, of course…not the case here.


Hopefully the FIA is watching!

N. Machiavelli

It does not appear that throwing the steering wheel was

necessary. The steering wheel could have been placed on the bodywork of the car and thus added no hazard to an already hazardous situation.

Worst of all, the steering wheel was thrown INTO the racing line !!

A penalty should be assessed, and it should be very harsh indeed, because it was only a matter of luck that serious

injuries or deaths did not result from Barichello’s actions.

This is the sort of behavior one expects from stupid rednecks in the US ( where I live ), NOT from a world-class racing driver.

Andrew Halliday

Nice video, wonder how long it will be before FOM have it removed from youtube 🙁


Yes I was thinking that, since FOM own all rights to all video, whoever shot it.

But well done, the guy who took it, right place right time!

Looks lie the marshals could have done with a few motorway cones there! Excellent work brave people.


The video is shot from the hotel garden overlooking Massenet, so it is unlikely that the camera operator ever purchased an FOM F1 ticket (which contains all the legal small print).

No doubt the video will still dissapear however …………..


James, was looking to see if there was a contact link for ideas/suggestions, but since I can’t see one, here goes…

Hopefully you’ll notice this posting / think it’s a good idea…

I was thinking that one of the big changes that’s coming about F1 over the next few years is the drastic changes in team budgets and the way that that might redraw the competitive landscape…

So, what do you think of an article applying your expertise in F1, and how you think this is likely to play out?…

Is it likely to move the advantage towards teams that have fewer staff but just one or two key geniuses? (the Adrian Newey’s of the world).

If it moves the advantage away from teams with big budgets to small innovaters are there some big teams which would be more set up to handle this?

Does for example Mclaren have key individuals who they can rely on? Does Ferrari rely too much on resources? Or is it the other way around?

Does Mercedes really have the right people? (Personal note, I always thought what was Brawn would drop back this year. Brilliant as Brawn is turning around an F1 team is like turning around an ocean liner. This was hidden last year since they spent huge resource the prior year trying out lots of different design ideas).

What about the changes in budgets leading to game changing in…

team makeup (head staff).

cross team technical alliance / component sharing (engines, KERS, chassis)

And, I’m sure there’s much much more you’d thin k would apply to such an article.

Anyway, was wondering if you might think it an interesting avenue for an article… I’d love to see your thoughts on this.




Interesting post..

I do think Ferrari rely too heavily on resources.

I do think that Mercedes are being let down a bit by their (former Honda) staff.

What you didn’t mention..

I think the cost cutting does help the smaller teams a little.. it does give talent more chance to shine.. but overall it comes down to being effecient with what is available to you. It’s not a magic pill that can make teams like Virgin jump to the front. If the smaller teams ever fell for Max’s pitch and believed that, I feel sorry for them. Branson could abruptly leave the sport, if he ever realises how hard it actually is. Branson is a wiley old fox though, and has already got big return from his very small investment.

The main thing you didn’t mention is teams voting for changes.. the politics between the teams and the.. “you give me this, and I’ll give you that” thing.

It’s clear right now that no teams will be giving Redbull anything that can help them. Banding together to fight a common foe.

Being a key figure and getting other teams on your side, I see that as one of the key things.. because it can nudge the rules in the direction that you want them to go. Teams like McLaren and Ferrari are not new to the sport, they know all the tricks. It’s very hard to ever keep these teams down.

There is an element of fairness and “doing the best for all” in terms of FOTA and the votes, but there is also a sense of looking out for ones own interests. Sort of the problem with F1 in a nutshell. Because everyone has to do this, there is pressure on Bernie from CVC and it filters down to the teams. The teams need to be doing well to justify their existance and the money they spend. No team is knowingly going to want to vote for something that they know comprimises their chances.

McLaren did that with KERS, and hats off too them, but it’s very rare. The teams need any advantage they can get. For example if Michelin comes back, watch out for Renault. They could be front runners again.


Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve touched on this subject in several articles in the last six months. Maybe it’s time for a pull together. Maybe also time for a suggestions section


Thanks James. Be very interested to hear your thoughts. Awesome site BTW.


Oh! Another one…:

Are certain teams advancing in development / testing methodologies which could advantage them when the effects of limited budgets are felt?

I’m particularly wondering about Mclaren and their use of sometimes spectacularly weird looking testing devices (calibration of computer models?) and Virgin’s use of exclusive CFD.


Well it does seem to dispel Rubens’ claim that he did it because his car was on fire. He wasn’t exactly rushing to get out after he threw the wheel out. Shame as he seems like a nice bloke when interviewed, but not controlling his temper is a serious lapse of judgment from the most experienced driver out there.


It was a very lame excuse. And even more lame that he got away with that excuse.

He’s always been hot tempered but this isn’t about if you like him or not, it’s about safety and common sense.


he should have got a penalty for that


The video proves the point that its ridiculous that modern F1 cars are still racing at Monaco, the track is too narrow and overtaking is impossible.

I fear that one day F1 will push its luck too far in continuing to race at a track thats not up to modern standards that result in the tragic death of a driver.


It would be a sad day if a unique venue like Monaco is taken off the calendar. It has its shortcomings, sure, but would want all tracks to be like Istanbul Park? Loads of runoff, but not even a sniff of character?

Monaco must stay.


To me it still looks like a minor accident. From what I see Barrichello slams the steering wheel onto the top of his car and it then bounces off the side and onto the road and oncoming path of another car.

When removing his head protection thing it too falls off the front of the car onto the track and Rubens has to pick it up and put it back in the car…James does that part of the track have a camber that doesn’t come across on the TV screens? It seems that way to me.

Final thought – did any of the marshalls double-check that the front right wheel was securely linked to the car? Raising it 50 feet into the air with a dangling tyre seems a tad dangerous if you ask me….


Amazing that Barrichello didn’t get a reprimand or some sorts for this. He’s actually throwing a heavy piece into the patch of other cars.

After what happened to Massa in Hungary last year, Rubens should know better!

The fact that Schumacher got penalised for safety reasons and Rubens is not, says to me that F1 isn’t correct anymore. Some rules apply to some people it seems.

Another shamefull axample of how F1 is becoming a lesser sport in my opinion!


Even more proof that he should of got some sort of penalty for throwing the steering wheel



It’s a very good video. The stewards are like referees in that they only get noticed when they do something wrong. Otherwise it’s just assumed they will do the job, but they do a very good job.

I was frustrated after the race and I am still frustrated that Rubens wasn’t at least reprimanded for that. It’s really silly and very dangerous. A bit of frustration is no excuse, for what is the oldest driver in the field. It’d be different if it was a rookie.

Typical FIA.. they were so concerned about Schumacher and Alonso, they took 2+ hours and they forgot about everything else. Trulli should have been given a reprimand as well. I can’t believe that Webber was given a drive thru in Germany last season, for something that cost Rubens 0 positions. But Trulli tries a crazy move in Rascasse (NEVER BEEN AN OVERTAKING SPOT) and ends up on top of Chandhok’s car, but it isn’t even investigated.

If someone climbed all over Lewis’s car in Rascasse or Schumachers, I’m pretty sure it would have been investigated. Backmakers are always allowed to get away with more. I want same rules for all.

The SC overtake thing took two hours because it was Schumacher vs Ferrari. Again, if it’d been backmarkers, they wouldn’t have cared so much and could have came to a conclusion much quicker. Once again, same rules for all please.

Remember when Trulli brought picture evidence to prove his point after Brazil last season.. that was pretty funny.


I don’t think it’s a case of “the backmarkers getting away with more”, by a case of the spotlight not being on them.

Most of the time should a backmarker get a penalty mid-race, no one ever remembers it, because the focus simply is not on them.

You are correct though, there should have been some sort of penalty for both Trulli and Rubens


Good point, but I’d like the spotlight to be on them all equally. I don’t mean so much with TV cameras.. but I mean.. if we see a silly avoidable crash, it should be the same as if it’s front runners.

The front runners shouldn’t have special rules (whether it be preferential or otherwise), when they go into the drivers briefings to discuss the issues and then out onto the track they should all be trying to abide by the same rules, and the stewards should be trying to enforce those same rules.

It should be so that if you blacked out the liveries and didn’t tell them the driver names, they would make the same decision.

That’s not F1, but it’d be nice if it were more like that.


Can someone please tell me on what basis Rubens didn’t get a penalty for that?

Boston F1 Fan

– Definitely. You can even hear a “thunk” when an HRT picks it up and carries it away.


Because he didn’t belong to mclaren


I was thinking the same. He said his reasoning at the time was that the car was on fire, and yet I could not see any obvious flames until after he had left the track and the fire extinguisher was deployed.


I was about to ask the same question. The rules are very clear:

“30.5 A driver who abandons a car must leave it in neutral or with the clutch disengaged, with the KERS shut down and with the steering wheel in place.”

It isn’t very clear what the penalty should be, but it must be reported by the stewards or the race director (which didn’t happen).

Also, for Vettel in Turkey, there is rule 35.4 which he seems to have broken:

“Any driver retiring before the end of the race must make himself available for media interviews after his return to the paddock. ” 🙂


To be fair you’d have to say Rubens’ steering wheel took an unlucky bounce, he didn’t throw it in the direction it ended up going in.


Reminds you of the dangers of Monaco thats for sure! On the subject of Williams, James what do you think it will take for Williams to reach anything like their former glories? Perhaps a deal with someone like Audi?

I personally find it almost uncomfortable watching their cars now having grown up with them doing all the winning. They always seem to promise so much each season and deliver so little.


Well the rest of the teams are reducing budgets so that will help. I think Brawn and Red Bull have shown that it is possible to win with a customer engine nowadays

Thomas Adelaide

I guess one persons bravery is anothers stupidity. I know I wouldn’t be risking my life for millionaire racing drivers.

I still find it shocking that Rueb’s didn’t get spanked for that act of petulance. For one of the oldest blokes in racing he sure does throw his toys out of the pram a lot.


Not only are they risking their lives, they do a bang-bang job while they’re at it. The car was off the track 40 seconds after Rubens’ foot hit the ground. That is truly amazing work.


that definitely looks like someone throwing a steering wheel out of anger/frustration rather than urgency to leave the car…



Car was lifted clear in 1:30 mins.

Excellent work boys.


Amazing footage there. The Marshals certainly risk a lot doing what they do for the sport they love. Its lucky the wheel on Barrichello’s Williams didn’t fall off as it was lifted into the sky!


The marshals are efficient! Within 70s from the incident they have the car off the track. Super job!


Cool video, very lucky to be in that spot for that particular crash! I still dont understand why he chucked his steering wheel out of the car!


Can there be any clearer evidence that Reubens should have been fined for throwing his steering wheel out of the car? This was an act of frustration not one of concern about getting out of the car quickly. Not only did he break a rule about not putting the wheel back on but he threw it onto the racing line which was also the only bit of track clear of debris (except for one small piece of carbon fibre that appeared to reach the armco). I can understand him not putting the wheel back on as it was pointless but he could easily have put it back in the cockpit which he did with the cockpit side piece. Placing the wheel on the car would have taken no longer – it seem to take an age to release his belts and extricate himself from the car – during which time he had obviously composed himself a bit.

I’m surprised you haven’t written anything James.

But yes – it does make you wonder why you would want to be a marshal!


That’s mental. Being so close you realise how big a smash it was. Hoofing the steering wheel is ridiculously irresponsible in regard to safety. I thought that the rule was you had to put the steering wheel back on under 10 seconds? He just hoofs his!


Amazing how quickly they clear everything up. Ruben was pure petulance the way he tossed that steering wheel, because you can see how he also tossed the top of the cockpit back into the car when he got out. He should have got some sort of punishment for that, it was so dangerous. Also, I thought drivers had to put the steering wheel back on after leaving the cockpit.


yeah, but can you imagine Rubens sprinting down the track chasing after the HRT car, trying to get his steering wheel back?? 🙂


Had it happened at the first race Rubens would have had a good chance of catching those cars 🙂


Incredible. What on earth was Barricello thinking when he threw that wheel out of the car? It could’ve so easily bounced up and hit passing driver in the head or been flicked up into one of the marshall’s.

Kudos to the Marshall’s. It’s amazing how quick they are at getting the car moved. From it coming to a stand still, to starting to be lifted up into the air is just over a minute.


I’m not entirely sure where else Rubens could have put his steering wheel. He was facing the oncoming traffic (you say the marshals are brave) and he dropped the steering wheel as close to the car as possible. Gravity an bad luck did the rest.


No way that was just gravity at work! That thing shot out of there like it was fired from a cannon.


Hi James

That was amazing – real F1 detail which we so rarely see. I was slightly surprised, I thought Rubens crash would have made more noise (I’ve never actually been to a race, don’t really have the money)

Please relay my thanks to the person who shared this video. It’s brilliant.


It took them 3 hours to discuss how to penalise a legal overtaking and forgot this “minor” incident. Steward’s level of incompetence is unbelievable.


It’s not just the danger, but look at the length of the video – the whole thing was cleared up in about one racing-lap time. Fantastic work.


Great video – the joys of being in the right place!

Makes Rubens excuse for tossing the wheel away about needing to get out quickly from a burning car sound rather foolish.


Marshalls were indeed brave and efficient.


I am surprised there was no fine for Barrichello.


Rubens could have been a bit more respectful to the steering wheel … suprising to see one of the HRT cars to go over it and it still happens to work..


That’s great footage….the sound is excellent. In fact I’m quite surprised that you can’t hear Rubens saying “Get to feck” as he hurls the steering wheel across onto the racing line.


Astounding, watch the Marshal at the front right, squeeze against the Armco as he hears the cars arriving… Always wanted to be a Marshal, but my need to get my head tested first…

…much appreciation for these guys as they do make the race available for the rest of us chickens.

Finally, considering Barachelo ‘threw’ the wheel out of the car to escape quickly… he sure took his time after the throw to get out of the car!!!


Actually, I don’t think he wasted much time getting out of the car. Three cars passed his disabled car before he attempted to exit his car. The first car about 5 seconds after his car stopped moving, the second around 14.5 seconds and the third around 20 seconds after his car stopped moving. It then appears that it took around 9 seconds for Rubens to remove the head rest, undo his safety belts and exit the car. He then picked the head rest off the track and 4.5 seconds later was out of the frame.

Perhaps he did recklessly throw the steering wheel onto the track. Considering the fact that he was in the middle of a live track facing oncoming traffic, I don’t think that is the case. Especially when three cars passed by after he stopped, and he took time to pick up the head rest when he was exiting the track.

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

This is very reckless of Rubens. From this camera angle he clearly tosses the steering wheel out of the car in disgust.

He also couldn’t be bothered to properly fit back the side protection.

This shows a lack of respect for the marshalls and for the safety of his fellow drivers.

He should have surely been reprimanded.

If he was one of the championship leaders he probably would have had a grd penalty. There seems to be another set of rules for mid-fielders and backmarkers.


I do not think that it was an “infamous” incident.

Firt of all, Barrichello threw the steering well on the top of the Williams car, without much success, I agree, but he did not throw it on the piste as you suggest.

If you see the incident from the front or back of the car you can see clearly the steering weel bumping on the right side of the top of the Williams before rolling down to the track.

If you don’t mind, I would like to say that you never liked Mr. Barrichello and I believe you are going a bit too far to bring this “infamous” incident (as you call it) again.

Very bad reporter. No credibility.

Shame on you.


1) This is not a news site; it is an editorial blog. Therefore, what you read here is not a reporting of news, but rather, an editorial comment on F1 events.

2) Despite #1, James did not give his opinion on anything, apart from saying “this is amazing”, regarding the video (and I agree; the camera-person was very lucky to be right across from where Rubens stopped).

3) The wheel was not even close to being thrown on top of the car. Why would he even have to throw it? He took 27 seconds to get out of the car, so he clearly wasn’t in a hurry and didn’t need to throw the wheel. Sure it was thrown close to the car and had an unfortunate bounce, but the fact still remains that simply throwing the wheel was unnecessary.

4) I think you looked at a rather extreme definition of “infamous”; in this case, he is not inferring that Rubens is evil or that his crime is heinous. What he means is that the incident is well known because it was considered by many as being bad.

Personally, I think you misunderstood James and that you owe him an apology for what you said.


I Agree,

the trajectory and the direction of the steering wheel show it all. It’s higher than rubens head, and not even touch the top of the car. It would’ve touched down on the area of what suppossed to be the right front wheel!

And yes, he should apologize!!


Interesting perspective. Sadly entirely inaccurate. I’ve known Rubens since 1992 and have always got on very well with him. Also not many others here agree with any of your other points


Glad you took the time to reply and defend your position.

I’ve been following F1 since 1967 (first Canadian GP my Father took me to)

and find your reporting to be excellent and very credible.

I have met Barrichelo twice, both times he was very polite and gladly gave my son an autograph. However he was wrong and acted impulsively in Monaco.


Look at 1:58: cars are so so close to the marshal :-S


I gave Barrichello the benefit of the doubt at the time, but that so clearly shows his impetiousness. Barrichello really should know better, especially after Hungary last year.

No question for me now, that he should have been (and in my view still should be) reprimanded and fined for that one. The FIA need to be clear on safety standards in all aspects and accept no carelessness of this sort.

Jonathan Kelk

Good video. Also kind of debunks Barichello’s defence that he flung the steering wheel to get out quickly. He clearly is not rushing to get out is he?


Sure, Rubens, you were rushing to get out of the car. That’s why you threw your toys out the cot. Thankfully the steering wheel didn’t get flicked up after it got driven over…


It puts it even more sharp focus what an idiot Rubens was by throwing his wheel onto the track like that.See the marshall flinch as the HRT went by? The wheel could easily have been thrown up at him.

The marshalls are unbelievably brave – look at the one at the end of the clip, pressed up against the barrier while cars miss him by inches. Crazy!


1 min 40 sec and the car is off the track! By far and away the quickest and most organised officials of the entire season. Means the race can restart with minimum delay.

Spot the official at the end hugging the wall whilst a f1 car travelling at 50mph whisses past within inches of his feet.


I need to apologies to Rubens. In a post immediately following this race I said that he should have been punished for throwing his steering wheel across the track. This footage clearly shows that he threw his steering wheel forward just behind the front right tyre and it took an unfortunate bounce across the track. Sorry Rubens


Maybe a matter of interpretation, but in my view apologies are absolutely NOT required. It was a thoughtless, petulant action and he was well lucky to get away without censure. If he’d had any concern about where the wheel ended up he have placed it on the bodywork in front of him.

As others have pointed out, he wasn’t really bothered about getting out in a hurry – that was just a childish excuse.

And talking of childish, for wheel read toy, for cockpit read pram!


Very quick and impressive work by the track marshals, but I hope that

Frank Williams or Patrick Head deducted the cost of that very expensive steering

wheel from Barrichello’s pay cheque. Not his smartest moment.


you can also see what an experienced driver barichello is as he starts unbuckling himself not until the situation is secure for him to leave his safetycell


Amazing! Glad you used it James. I thought it might be worth sending in.



Thanks for sharing! I hope FOM doesn’t take it down.


I still can’t believe that he wasn’t punished – either by the FIA or Williams – for throwing his steering wheel into the path of oncoming cars like that. Such a petulant and thoughtless act by somebody who should really have known better.


Most people surely would’ve lost a lot of respect they had for Rubens before that incident. Everybody has a good & bad side, but Rubens has been regarded as one of the most sensible the steering wheel incident in Monaco. All the other drivers were basically driver over his insanity right after the incident, which has surely put some dent on his so called ‘nice guy’ image. That dent even increased more since he didn’t apologize.

Does FIA review stewards performance during the season or at the end of the season? If ‘yes’, then what’s the possible outcome of the review? If ‘no’, don’t bother answering. Sick of this


“Everybody has a good & bad side, but Rubens has been regarded as one of the most sensible drivers up until the steering wheel incident in Monaco.”


I have no idea how he escaped any fine/punishment for that.

It was stupid, completely unnecessary and could have badly injured someone.

I would have liked to see him made an example of for doing that deliberately, especially given what happened to Massa last year.


well, frank, you do own the team… you could always fine him!


Barrichello claimed that he threw the wheel out because he just wanted to get out of the car ASAP due to smoke/fire etc. But the video shows that he sat in the car for nearly 25 seconds after throwing out the wheel. Still pretty flabbergasted that he received no penalty for his indiscretion yet there was so much furore over Schumi overtaking under a green flag….


I fully agree that the throwing out of the steering wheel was a dangerous action that should have been severely penalised. Especially when you look back to last season when it was a spring from Ruben’s car that hit his countryman Massa. OK, that was no fault of his but he shold have been very aware of the risk presented to oncoming drivers by stray bits of car.

Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg

Yeah, that was a great video. Since we’re so used to seeing only the TV footage, this gives us a “behind the scenes” feel to it.

By the way, James, was Rubens penalised for tossing the steering wheel? He definitely shouldn’t have done that and seemed to have just flung it out of frustration. For a driver with such experience, it seems especially naughty.


Shocking how he just tosses the steering wheel out of the car, all that money and technology!


How far did that steering wheel travel after it was hit by the Force India? That was careless from Barichello.


It was actually picked up by Karun Chandhok’s HRT and dragged down to the tunnel, before being picked up by the second HRT and being dropped at Rascasse.

Apparently the steering wheel works fine and is in fact in the simulator now.


cheers Leigh thanks for that, can’t believe the wheel is still working. Thats amazing

Glynn Harrold

A couple of points.

1) I thought that all video shot within the circuit were the property of FOM? I’ve seen numerous instances where spectator video has been deleted from youtube by FIA or FOM. Is this different at Monaco or am I mistaken?

2) It makes a bit of a lie over Ruben’s comments that he threw the steering wheel out so he could get out of the car quickly. He threw is out almost immediately, then took another 20 seconds before he actually started to get out of the car. I know there are cables and belts to undo, but if he was really in a hurry he could have gotten out quicker. He should have gotten a telling off for this incident.


Great video! Thanks to whoever sent that in. Couldn’t agree with you more James. Seeing in context how close the Marshalls get the action, really remindyoke of how dangerous their job can be.


Great video. You also realise just how short a time it is between the accident and the car being removed – clearly they assume it’s all together enough to be lifted!


Astounding – I really find it incredible that Rubens didn’t get into more trouble for throwing the steering wheel out. Thanks for posting the video James.


So Ruebens threw his steering wheel out like that for ‘safety reasons’ correct? He had to ‘get out of the car fast’ I think was his reason? Sure, Ruebens….sure.

Should have gotten a hefty fine and grid spot penalty the next race for that clown move, considering the HRT ran it over. Good job Ruebens….you should know better.

Alberto Dietz

Self-evident. Clearly threw it out of the cockpit at 0:23.


Oh yes…it is clear. I was being sarcastic in my comments. What Reubens did was dangerous, and also against the rules. No punishment however. I hope the FiA reviews this matter now with fresh evidence. Someone could have gotten seriously hurt.


Huh..!! So you were in a hurry to get out Rubens??


I think he was.

If you look, he throws out the steering wheel, and then is very fidgety as he struggles to undo the belt quickly. He then decides to sit there while other cars go past – the safest thing to do. If another car had hit his car head on he would be better to be seated than to be standing in the cockpit or worse have one foot in and one out.


Wow! I’m shocked at how quickly the marshalls had the car off of the circuit. That is a side of F1 we rarely get to see. Now I can see exactly why people say the Monaco marshalling is the best in the world.

Jake Pattison

It also shows how careless Barichello really was, and what little regard he had for anyone else driving past.

Also terrific to hear the actual incident without some commentator prattling all over the top of the ambient sounds.

Great footage. Thanks to the guy who supplied it.


Wow this is great!

I was amazed he didn’t get a penalty or fine for the steering wheel incident, but seeing this makes me actually inclined to believe his explanation of wanting to get out quickly. He should have been warned about it – as the marshals risk their lives to recover debris from the track, but I no longer think he did is through anger.

Thanks to whoever sent it in.


Great video!

To be fair to Rubens, he almost dropped the steering wheel out of the cockpit, it just happened to roll and bounce to the side of the track.

It also shows how narrow Monaco is – it looks much wider from the TV coverage.

You’ve got to love Youtube – we see things we would never see before. Amazingly, Bernie has even deleted videos like this before as technically it infringes the conditions set out on the back of any F1 ticket – a home video of Kubica’s 2007 Canada crash was deleted by FOM. Hope it doesn’t happen to this one.


…but he didn’t drop it. Even if he was in a hurry, why not just do what EVERY other driver has done and placed it on the nose. IF he was in a hurry, it might be excusable.

There is a rule in F1 that you need to be able to exit the car in less than 10 seconds in an emergency, and all drivers are tested. Barrichello took 27 seconds from after the car stopped before he was out of the car (0:22 to 0:50). If he was actually in a hurry, it would have been 8 seconds or less.

He lied to cover himself, and this video proves it.


Indeed… in fact the rule is the driver has to be able to get out of the car *and* replace the steering wheel in 10 seconds.


i dunno, i think he wanted to get out of there asap but after that HRT went by he would have been better off staying inside the car till it was clear. surely if he were to be hit it would better to be in the monocoque than be hit whilst trying to get out of the car.


I guess I can’t argue with the stopwatch! Fair point.


The marshals are definitely brave!

Interestingly Rubens didn’t really look to be in much of a rush when he chucked the wheel….though he picked up the pace as the cars started flying past!


Boy that thing just shot out of there,didn’t it.

And it shows they had the car on the hook and in the air in less than a minute after it came to rest! Incredible.


It also shows Rubens stupidity in throwing out the steering wheel. I still don’t buy when he said ‘I had to throw the steering wheel’. Utter rubbish, it was more so his frustration.


All are being harsh on Rubens on this site. He did the wrong thing, no doubt – but none of us have ever been pitched into the barrier by a car failure in the Monaco Grand Prix. I’d say it was a mix of frustration and anger, as well as an adrenaline response.

Search for ‘Hakkinen Monaco 1996’ on Youtube and you’ll see he does the same thing – it’s clearly because he knows it dangerous sitting in a stationary car in the middle of the track at Monaco.

Robert Powers

Car failure-not.This particular accident was caused by a loose manhole cover right after St Devote.

There very well may be GP drivers reading this blog who have hit the barriers at Monaco.

And if a driver is injured in a crash I would then make an exception.I could not blame them for losing control mentally.They were OK a moment before,and now their career is threatened?It’s alright by me if they overlook the rule in those cases.


Agree,WHy no penalty??


It is incredible how brave and how quick and professional these marshals are. Great video!!


The stewarts are indeed very brave and both Barrichello and Jaime Alguersuari incredibly stupid.

What was Rubens thinking throwing his steering wheel into the path of another car? His body language shows he was a little disappointed but still!

Another interesting thing in this video is the speed of the cars in SC conditions. Jaime Alguersuari very nearly collecting the marshall at the kerb. What was he thinking?

Are these guys professional racecar drivers or selfish divas?

It’s about time they get back down to earth a little and start being respectful of those ensuring their safety.


I don’t think Jaime Alguersuari nearly hit the marshall – he was behind the barrier after all.

These guys did a great job but not so long ago, the Monaco marshalls were pretty ordinary. I remember hearing a story of Ayrton Senna being given the middle finger when he gesticulated at a marshall for not yellow flagging a spun car at the Swimming Pool!


Trent, at 1:58, the marshal is on the track and Alguersuari is mighty close. Check the video again.


Sorry – quite right. I was looking at 0:43.


I think it’s fair enough to be a bit irrational / emotional 3 seconds after a big unexpcted crash.

OK it wasn’t smart to throw his steering wheel out the car, but I think that it moved across the track because of the camber of the track rather than because he tossed it across the track. I think if he had been on a perfectly flat bit of track the steering wheel would have ended up next to the car.

The 2 things I noticed, watching the video, were that the marshals are really brave, but also that lifting the car that high in the air is pretty dangerous. I guess if the wheel tether holds after a crash you can be pretty sure the wheel isn’t going to fall off, but still watching that I felt nervous wondering if the wheel or other bits of the car were going to fall off and reign down from the sky onto people.


Can’t believe you can excuse Barrichello for throwing his toys out of his pram Nick,just last year something fell of his car very nearly killing Massa,admittedly it wasn’t Rubhino’s fault “but”.The scope for something more serious was all to real,steering wheel out the back of the car that ran it over into the face of the driver in the following car,all because cry baby Barrichello can’t control himself,& no punishment.

Another great piece anyway James,again.


These guys are professionals not gentlemen racers. I don’t think they can get too emotional – there are human lives at stake. No excuses.


In some occasions brave means stupid but these guys are just great.

Regarding Barrichello, it seems that he wasn’t brave at all.


Wow! Thanks for sharing this clip. You’re right James. From this angle the wheel kinda falls down the track on its own instead of the toss that seems bigger fro the televised angle. The one marshal that squeezes up against the guardrail as the cars come by before he dashes across the track has bigger attachment, as David Hobbs says, than I. Jeeze that was close! Thanks again for sharing & posting this video.


Falls down?!?!? It’s blantantly a toss of the wheel and Rubens deserved to be severely punished for his actions if not banned outright. At his level and experience this is not a simple error in judgement, it’s a petulant and blatant disregard for the safety of his fellow drivers.

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