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Drivers' meeting 'promises to be very interesting'

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Andrew Benson | 18:37 UK time, Monday, 23 April 2012

Oh to be a fly on the wall at the drivers' briefing ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix next month.

The controversial decision not to penalise either Nico Rosberg for his aggressive defence against Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso at the Bahrain Grand Prix or Hamilton for overtaking by going off the track has led to considerable debate within Formula 1.

So much so, that Alonso, a man who weighs his words carefully, has decided to speak out about it. After learning of the ruling, the Ferrari driver said to his 400,000-plus Twitter followers: "I think you are going to have fun in future races! You can defend position as you want and you can overtake outside the track! Enjoy!"

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton

Nico Rosberg (left) and Lewis Hamilton may have differing views at the drivers' meeting. Photo: Getty

Alonso had earlier said of Rosberg's driving: "If instead of such a wide run-off area there had been a wall, I'm not sure I'd be here to talk about it."

On the face of it, and at first glance, the stewards' decision does appear difficult to understand.

With both Hamilton on lap 10 and Alonso on lap 24, Rosberg veered dramatically to the inside - and, unusually, right across to the white line that demarcates the edge of the circuit.

Both Hamilton and Alonso went off the track in avoidance, to varying degrees. Whereas Hamilton kept going and succeeded in passing the Mercedes, Alonso backed off and tried for the outside line, but had lost too much momentum to pull a move off.

Article 20.4 of the sporting regulations says: "Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted."

So why was Rosberg not penalised?

The stewards said his defence was legitimate because although it was Rosberg who started to deviate from his line first, he did so in a "constant and continuous straight-line manner" and neither Hamilton nor Alonso had "a significant portion of their car... alongside" Rosberg's.

In other words, because Rosberg moved first, he was always clearly in front and it was therefore effectively the other driver's decision to keep moving to the inside to the point that he was off the track.

In Hamilton's case, if you watch the TV footage back, you can clearly see this is the case.

It is less obviously so with Alonso - and the stewards had to use the footage from the Ferrari's onboard camera before they came to a conclusion.

I have not seen the footage, but I'm told it showed again that a) Rosberg moved first; and b) at no point was "a significant portion" of Alonso's car alongside the Mercedes.

During the race, viewers heard Alonso say over his team radio: "He pushed me off the track. You have to leave a space. All the time you have to leave a space."

This, though, is not actually what the regulations say.

A new rule, article 20.3, was introduced this year to formally enshrine that "any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to a corner".

But this only applies when he is making a second move - there is nothing in the rules to stop drivers going right to the edge of the track in their first defensive move.

In other words, you might think - as Alonso did - that Rosberg's driving was unfair, overly aggressive, even dangerous, but the rules contain nothing the stewards could use to penalise him.

There is no obligation, I'm told by a senior figure, to leave room for a rival, unless he is partially alongside. The question then becomes, how far alongside does a driver have to be before the man he is overtaking has to leave him room with his first move?

That's where it starts to get awkward.

"It's no different," a senior insider says, "to a conventional overtaking manoeuvre when one driver dives down the inside, gets halfway alongside and they collide. One guy says: 'You should have given me room.' The other says: 'You weren't far enough alongside.' Often drivers' perception of a situation differs from the reality."

The stewards have to use their judgement, including factors such as speed differential between the cars, when a driver moved, how many moves he made, and so on.

Back, though, to what the rules do say. Article 20.2 says drivers "must use the track at all times". This is why Rosberg said over his team radio: "Hamilton passed me off the track."

Which Hamilton clearly did. So why was he not penalised?

The stewards, I'm told, asked: "What advantage did Hamilton gain by going off the track?" And they concluded that if he had gone to the outside, he was carrying so much momentum he would have passed anyway.

The most obvious of several counter-points to that is: "Yes, but Hamilton did go off the track when you have established he didn't need to, and he did pass him by doing so, so he should be penalised."

At least two leading drivers share this view, I'm told. But you have to bear in mind that Hamilton is not the most popular driver on the grid and his rivals are "always looking for ways to nail him", as one source put it on Monday.

The problem arose in the first place because concrete run-offs surround the circuit in Bahrain. Drivers can use these with impunity, safe in the knowledge that if they are forced off the track they are not going to spin on wet grass or hit a wall.

Had there been grass there, Hamilton would not have been able to pull off the same move (another argument for a penalty being applied) and Alonso might have backed off sooner.

Equally, had there been grass there - or even a wall - Rosberg might well have given them both a bit more room.

The stewards weighed it all up and felt that, in this instance, penalising Hamilton would have been overly harsh.

The result is some drivers believe Hamilton should have been penalised, some believe Rosberg should have been, and Alonso is saying the stewards' ruling gives drivers carte blanche to overtake off the track or crowd their rivals as much as they like.

Which is why that drivers' meeting in Barcelona promises to be so interesting.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    The Stewards were ridiculous in Bahrain...
    Roseberg only made one move, as did MSC last year in Hungary against Barichello...
    However Rosebergs move was severe, left no space for the other driver, which is dangerous and unsportsmanlike.
    Roseberg should have been punished. Alonso did nothing wrong, and Hamilton wouldnt have over taken him off the track if Roseberg had left some space!
    The rules need to be clarified again...
    The stewards need to be consistant and fair in all decisions across the season.
    As Alonso said being able to defend to the wall and overtake off the track will make things fun, so enjoy!!

    p.s. highlights were terrible

  • Comment number 2.

    It was fantastic motor racing, im glad no one was punished. We want more of this.
    Also, Hamilton didn't pass Rosberg of the circuit, he managed to pull alongside him and then took him as they went into the corner. Rosberg was juts as aggressive (fairly) with Alonso but he didn't have the balls to keep his foot down round the outside, if he did he would have passed Rosberg.

  • Comment number 3.

    Personally, at the time I thought Nico was at fault, but reading the regulations above, he obviously wasn't.
    Hamilton should have been penalised, to me, it is no different overtaking like that than Button in Melbourne last year. If Lewis didn't go off the track, he would have to slow down to avoid Nico, so wouldn't have got the overtake, i.e. he gained an advantage
    I look at the Alonso one as a racing incident, Nico defends (admittedly, VERY aggressively) and it looks like Alonso is trying to slip-stream Nico and doesn't realise where the edge of the track is.
    These are exactly the reasons ex-drivers are on the stewards panel...to add common sense to it all!

  • Comment number 4.

    p.s. The BBC's highlight have been fantastic so far. I was disappointed that Sky got all the live races but so far I don't feel Ive missed anything and Im not £35 worse of every month...

  • Comment number 5.

    I must admit until I saw that behavior I thought Rosberg was an alright/fair sort of guy. However, true colours have shown through. Obviously the influence of (old style) Michael Schumacher has been rubbing off. "Gentlemen Drivers" get even fewer by each upgrade of the cars!

  • Comment number 6.

    I agree with Mark Latham, every time the races seem to get exciting drivers are unneccesarily punished for racing by their instincts.
    I they were to punish Hamilton for example then Rosberg would have to be punished also and then Alonso etc.
    Whenever I hear of drivers meetings though it just reminds me of Senna
    http://playwithflair.com/2012/04/04/feature-a-moving-tribute-to-ayrton-senna/

  • Comment number 7.

    Same old, same old. We have complained at your lack of analysis, and I see you've 'tried' to make an effort this time, but in fact, all you've done is just copy-and-pasted what stewards have said, and what other drivers have said, and drop a few regulations in. That isn't analysis.

    I've read Gary Anderson's report on how Raikkonen could have won the race, and that was brilliant, it had all the analysis we could have needed, along with his expert opinion. He really deserves the job of chief writer as well as technical analysis, that's one way you can cut costs.

    I see your still constantly bashing Hamilton. If you'd have watched the footage properly, when Hamilton returned to the track, he was ALONGSIDE Rosberg, and only overtook him when turning into turn 4

  • Comment number 8.

    @3. Not true mate. Hamilton had so much speed that he could have simply gone the other side of Rosberg. He simply chose not to. You forget that the speed at which these guys weigh up the scenarios then act accordingly is far quicker than yours (Or mine for that matter). I think the old adage "6 of one and half a dozen.." springs to mind.

  • Comment number 9.

    all has to be common sense, it is obvious that Rosberg deviated dramatically from his line on both occasions, never mind the stupid rules and how they are applied if he wants to drive like that he should go back to driving school. 2 chasing 1 now so when he tries to overtake I would expect him to get his own ---- back.

  • Comment number 10.

    The other rule we need is that cars can only be considered to have completed a race once they have arrived in parc ferme.. This business of abandoning a car on the circuit because it might run out of fuel or be underweight is utterly ridiculous. In fact it's cheating!

  • Comment number 11.

    @3 - I see Hamilton deliberately went over the line, and Alonso couldn't see it. Obviously thinking about this objectively then...

    I thought Rosberg was in the right to do what he did. Harsh but fair. Hamilton kept his foot in, alonso didn't. Ham didn't overtake off the track.

    Now, about forcing drivers off the circuit. Do I remember a certain hirsuite Spanish cockpit jockey forcing Vettel to pass him on the grass at Monza not long ago?

    Seems putting that helmet on has affected Mr Alonso's objectivity.

  • Comment number 12.

    I can't believe one of the comments about the ex-drivers adding common sense to the stewards panel. There is no common sense in this decision. They have said it is OK to force a driver off the track as long as he has not yet pulled fully along side you. Yeah that may be OK at Bahrain, but at half the curcuits that could have killed a driver, but according to the stewards that is OK. Tell me where the common sense is in this?

  • Comment number 13.

    I think in this case they were right not to penalise. Both Rosberg and Hamilton could be perceived as being in the wrong but it would have been draconian to punish both of them and we should be encouraging exciting overtaking manoeuvres. Plus as it was clear concrete run-off no-one was in any danger.

    Side note: I was impressed with Australia and Malaysia highlights but really did notice the cuts this weekend. Di Resta was the most obvious example when he suddenly dropped from 2nd to 10th with no explanation. Please try and maintain the high standard set in the first 2 races.

  • Comment number 14.

    Personally I'm also glad that no one got penalized.

    But this really seems to be a grey area. The rules should not change depending on the circuit or whether the run-off area is concrete, grass or a wall.

    What I don't understand is, if Rosberg's move was considered to be fair, why was Hamilton not penalized? Saying "he would have passed anyway" is not the type of answer I expected from the stewards. That said, kudos to Hamilton for not backing off.

    Re: "Hamilton not being the most popular driver on the grid"
    To be fair to Hamilton, I don't think there are lots of popular drivers on the grid anyway (at least not among the best). Other drivers may "respect" the best, but I don't think they are "popular". For instance, I really can't imagine Schumacher, Alonso or even Vettel being very popular among other drivers.


    At the end of the day, if this leads to better entertainment as Alonso sarcastically suggests, so be it.

  • Comment number 15.

    Was Hamilton 'forced off the track'? Not from where I was sitting - he tried to intimidate Rosberg into tightening his obvious line out of the corner and chose to keep his foot down when it was clear that Rosberg wasn't going to surrender to those tactics. I think its called competitive driving.

  • Comment number 16.

    @5 Mike

    How is defending your position on track in accordance with the regulations "showing your true colours"
    These guys are racing drivers, if you don't have that little bit of cut throat attitude in you than your not going to be a winner.
    If we had a bunch of "gentlemen drivers" as you put it, going round the track, letting each other past as it would be rude to attempt to stop the passing driver, I don't know about you but that sounds kack!

  • Comment number 17.

    Solution: Don't bother to going to boring race tracks like Bahrain, China, Valencia et al. where the run off zones are thousands of meters long and the track is surrounded by concrete. None of this would have happened at a proper race track, Silverstone, Spa, Monza. Why can't they build exciting race tracks for spectators any more?

  • Comment number 18.

    I fail to see how Rosberg wasn't crowding Hammy and Alonso off the track. If you watch the replay at full speed and realise just how fast these incidents take place and just how quick the reactions have to be, you'd see that what Rosberg did was unpredictable, severe and downright dangerous. Would people really like this to be the norm from now on? Given all the rules about overtaking, blocking, crowding, leaving room, one move etc are all designed to make overtaking safer and more predictable, how can we objectively think that what Rosberg did was safe? The driver behind has to line up the move well in advance and get a sling-shot out of the corner. If the leading driver knows and understands this, then moves severely when the overtaker is already committed (and has enough room) then the leading driver is in my view "blocking". Making one move is fine when it is to cover the inside line to the corner, for example, rather than to block or crowd.

    GP2 drivers got away with it too, but it made me wince watching that.

    If this kind of thing is perfectly acceptable, we can expect to see some very severe right-across-the-track moves to defend in the future and then carefully leaving a gap on the other side of the track when moving back across to take the next corner. Makes a mockery of the rules.

  • Comment number 19.

    I am glad we have something like this to comment on, it wasnt so long ago that grand prixs were too 'follow the leader' so the fact that we have issues like this to discuss can only be good.

    As for Alonso, well as has been said, when it suits him to moan he will, so far as i have seen Hamilton hasnt said much on it, just got on with it (possibly as he is more interested in getting to the bottom of his pit stop issues than anything else)

    or is this a careful thread published for us all to detract our comments away form the Beeb and its heavily criticised coverage ???

  • Comment number 20.

    As one of the above posters said, there should be an incentive to encourage dramatic racing, and that was dramatic!

    Having read the rules, maybe Hamilton was lucky, but would have been so harsh to penalise him. And is it just me or for a few years, didn't Raikkonen consistently run wide at turn one off the start in Spa and often gain some places. In 2008 it was wet, but he gained an advantage and I'm sure I've seen him do it before!

    Anyway, not strictly related to this article, just an overview (rant) about all that went wrong on Sunday. Apologies if some of you have already read (and hated) this, but in many ways, I'm trying to pinch Mr Benson's job. Dog eat dog, and I'm a chihuahua.

    Hope you enjoy

    http://doug-elder.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/race-whole-race-and-nothing-but-race.html

  • Comment number 21.

    Firstly, please note I am Hamilton fan, so expect some (non-intended) bias.
    My personal opinion is that blocking on a straight the way Rosberg did is simply not in the spirit of racing. Hamilton was much faster, any move in front of him that does not allow room is always going to make him lift (like in the case of Alonso) and therefore lose momentum and not be able to pass. Defence on a straight should be done like Vettel demonstrated against Kimi, where the extra speed was not quite so apparent, and Vettel forced Kimi to chose whether to go for the gap or not, not close the gap entirely.
    Last year I felt Button was in the wrong in Canada when he put Lewis in the wall. He spun up his tyres on the exit of the final turn, so he MUST have expected Lewis (whom he was fully aware was right behind him) to be carrying more speed into the straight and therefore would move alongside, what else could Lewis do? Sit behind Jenson and lift? That's not racing. Rosberg should have done the same, otherwise, like Alonso tweeted, drivers will simply move their car in front of the faster car, and force a lift and loss of momentum, killing the overtake. If this did happen on every occasion, the only kind overtake you are going to see is the kind of dummy Mansell pulled off that we still talk about today. Sometimes drivers have to admit defeat, making a car 'wide' on a straight is gamesmanship in my opinion, corners are a different matter and something I agree is contentious and difficult to have written law without huge interpretation.
    Nevertheless, It does appear that Rosberg was within the limits of the written law, but I feel that this example proved that the law is flawed. It should read that unless in, or entering a braking zone, a driver cannot 'crowd' a car that is within x (maybe 2-3?) car lengths of the rear of their car.
    Was Hamilton outside of the law? In terms of to the letter. Yes. But I believe this was not what the law intended, I think it was intended to prevent the cutting of corners, and hence why he was not penalised.

  • Comment number 22.

    I was shocked by Rosberg's moves, but it will be interesting to watch them back in light of the steward's comments that neither Ham nor Alonso was alongside when he moved.

    On the coverage - I was very disappointed. I thought the first two delayed races did a good job of showing most of the race, but this time we got about 45 minutes of actual race, and as long again of introductions and analysis! This made it absolutely impossible to follow strategy, tyre choices etc. I think I had no idea during the race that di Resta was two-stopping, for example. This may not matter to your casual fan who watches only for crashes and overtakes, but for the rest of us, it wasn't good enough. If you must allot such a short slot to the highlights for the European races (and I hope it won't be like that every time) you need to cut down on the pre- and post-race stuff (which normally I do enjoy, don't get me wrong, it's just not the race) and save it for the Forum on the web. Which, by the way, was also a bit bizarre with the commentators wandering about a mostly empty paddock..??

  • Comment number 23.

    For all those who are happy with the BBC showing only half a season, just remember that the BBC (as long as sky wants F1) will never get to show a full season again for a very long long long time. Sky have been wanting F1 for years and they ain't going to give it up easily. BBC will never be able to out bid Sky for the TV rights for a full season and since BBC had let Sky get a foot in the door, it prob won't move it for at least the next 10 years. So if everyone is happy for a mixture of good and bad highlights shows - so be it.

    Just hope the stewards don't change their stance when it's someone like FA or LH but I bet they will.

  • Comment number 24.

    Maybe I am an idealist, but I think that Rosberg would have not defended like that if there was a wall next to the track.

  • Comment number 25.

    I'd like to add my voice to the growing tide of dissatisfaction with the Bahrain GP highlights. After two excellent highlights shows in Australia and Malaysia, Sunday's show was poor - badly edited and disjointed.

    Why was it only 80 minutes long? And since it was only 80 minutes long, why were we subjected to so much filler? Why did you attempt to cram the race into 50 minutes?

    It's not good enough - especially given the excellent content we're used to - and I think we, the fans, deserve an explanation.

  • Comment number 26.

    I live in France and am lucky enough to be able to watch UK TV (all channels) on Freesat. To some extent I feel guilty complaining about BBC F1 coverage because I don't and can't pay a licence fee but here goes.

    (a) The Beeb should have moved heaven and earth to keep F1, it is very much part of the British heritage.

    (b) Are we sure that BSkyB and their management are fit for purpose to be a broadcaster ? Watch this space as the phone hacking inquiry proceeds.

    (c) On the Sundays when the GP is in the morning and highlights in the evening I spend all day avoiding watching or listening to the media in order to avoid hearing the result. Am I alone, do BBC news bulletins take this into account or have you just given up ?

    (d) Brundle was terrific, Coulthard is not a patch on him on the so called "grid walk"

    (e) In Bahrain Jake Humphreys obviously felt that the political situation needed airing.David Coulthard was obviously gagged, Who by, the BBC or Ecclestone ? You really needed the other Humphry, John or Paxman to find out what Coulthard really felt!

  • Comment number 27.

    what would have happened had Lewis hit that barrier?
    I think there would have been a very different view of the move made by Rosberg.

  • Comment number 28.

    I think the incident was contentious but considering it took place just after a corner on a straight a penalty to either driver would be harsh.

    Rosberg was defending his position and only made one move, although it was rather aggressive!

    Hamilton overtook but off the track, had this been a corner he cut then yes a penalty would be applicable, but it was a straight so if anything he was more likely to cause himself problems than Rosberg so what he did was relatively acceptable.

    Alonso backed off after Rosberg's move and he was never quite alongside so see above...

  • Comment number 29.

    What ever the rules say i cannot see how it can be right for a driver ( in this case Lewis ) to overtake off the track ? ..Either the white line is there for that reason or its not , The rules say ( as far as i am aware ) that all four wheels have to be on the racetrack and in this case they were not ? .....

  • Comment number 30.

    To all the people saying Hamilton should have been punished..

    ..where was you in Australia when Vettel passed Button by going completly all 4 wheels off circuit and T4?

    No-one battered an eyelid at that, because it didnt involve a certain Brit.

    Pathetic.

  • Comment number 31.

    Oh Si, why are you so bitter towards Hamilton? Did he do something nasty to you?

    Fact is, he didn't overtake off the circuit.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    If Alonso and Hamilton weren't alongside when Rosberg made his move then they missed an easy overtake by just dummying and going straight on. Would have been hilarious to see Rosberg go over to the right like that and Hamilton or Alonso just continue on straight down the racing line.

    Think it was pretty smart by Rosberg, why sit there like a sitting duck while they cruise past with DRS?

    And what I saw was Hamilton finish pulling alongside Rosberg off the track and then outbreak him for the corner to overtake while on the track. So Probably right by the stewards on all counts.

  • Comment number 35.

    Perhaps the drivers could have a blue tooth device, and as they are thinking of overtaking, they could call the other driver, and politely request permission to overtake. And have they considered the extra fuel they are wasting by pressing the loud pedal harder ? Greenpeace would be disgusted if they found out. It is nice to see they are all taking turns to win a race though, all this one man winning all the races business was just so unfair. everyone should try to remember it's not the winning that counts, it's the taking part ;)

  • Comment number 36.

    Consistency doesn't seem important to race stewards these days.
    If anything Nico's move on Hamilton was far stronger than what Schumacher did to Hamilton at Monza last year, yet if anything Scumacher's moved caused more of a storm.

    But then again, isn't that the close, right on the limit racing that people want to see?
    I know it's why I tune in.

    (Agree with 32 & 33.)

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    Let's get real here. Very few FIA rules are (crystal) clear-cut and black & white. Everything comes down to interpretation. The stewards are only human and - even with the benefit of all the footage - sometimes they'll get it wrong. Personally, I think Rosberg should have been punished, but, that's only my opinion and - unlike a few of the Mistra Know It Alls on here (no names) I can actually accept that maybe I'm not 100% infallible either.

  • Comment number 39.

    @ 11. I am probably not looking at it objectively, but I am certainly looking at more objectively than if it was Button instead of Alonso...I freely admit, I can't stand Lewis, but equally, I don't like Alonso much more. Most of the comments on here aren't objective either, would be very interesting to see what people would have said if it had been Nico overtaking off the track.
    Having just watched it again, I am struggling with how people say Lewis didn't overtake off the track...he was behind before he went off and was slightly ahead (or at the very least, level) with Nico by the time he came back on, and also, by going off the track, he made sure he had the inside line for the next corner, giving him an advantage there.

  • Comment number 40.

    @38

    The thing is, everyone loves the clips of watching Arnoux and Villeneuve slugging it out at Paul Ricard all those years, I could still watch that now and be entertained, so I can't see why when you get some close action these days, especially when the cars are so much safer, you need a stewards inquiry.

  • Comment number 41.

    @7. I don't normally comment on these things as I have better things to do but your comment has added nothing to this blog. The blog is under the comment & anaysis section, Mr Benson is commenting on what happened and providing one persons insight, why don't you provide your own insight instead of bashing others, also if you don't like it why are you still reading it, there are plenty of other blogs out there. As for the race it was a cracker, F1 will always devide opinion when it come to overtaking moves and steward decsions, just enjoy the season its looking like it might be a great one!

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    Rosberg was wrong on both counts. He didnt leave a gap (any gap!) in either case and with hamilton in particular it was simply dangerous driving as hamilton was already alongside. Setting a bad precident and we will see similar incidents throughout the season now. bad stewarding.

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    @40. Exactly M8. Race incidents add to the excitement. Not that I'm suggesting they should be actively encouraged, but if it's not clear to anyone who's in the right and who's in the wrong, why split hairs in the insistence on a clear-cut decision? Wouldnt it be refreshing to hear the stewards say -Well, actually , we can't make up our minds on this one. let's move on...

  • Comment number 46.

    One must appreciate that at least the stewards were consistent in their decisions. The Hamilton/Rosberg dual was a carbon copy of what happened in GP2. Gutierrez took to the sand to pass after turn 3, and no penalty was issued. With Alonso and Rosberg, Alonso didn’t close in on Rosberg at such a fast rate, in comparison to Hamilton. After the kink of turn 3, Hamilton almost immediately passed Rosberg – where Alonso’s off-track excursion was later on the straightaway.

    Hamilton or Alonso didn’t do much wrong, in my opinion. Particularly with Hamilton, he closed on Rosberg at such a fast rate, Rosberg decided to block Hamilton at a very late stage. Lewis had little choice but to pass Nico on the inside, because, the suction effect of a slipstream may have meant that Lewis would've hit Nico by suddenly swapping sides of the track. Or alternatively, Lewis could have trailed Nico and rear-ended him. Nico’ move was extremely aggressive, and so was Lewis’ – no harm no foul.

    I wouldn’t have penalised any of the drivers, it was tremendously exciting to watch – and this is the only aspect that matters. It is rare that the stewards stay out of feisty racing, and kudos to them.

  • Comment number 47.

    The rules may need adjusting for when the overtaking driver has significant more speed, especially if DRS is involved, otherwise there will be high speed collisions and an increased likelihood of drivers suffering injuries as a result. What you can "get away with" at Bahrain might be different on a street circuit with unforgiving walls.

  • Comment number 48.

    Just let them race. There was an almost identical move in the GP2 race earlier that day and nobody got in a flap about that.

    They know the risks, they are the worlds best drivers, just let them go at it. Yeah, i know its not touring cars but there are far too many stewards interventions now that spoil the show for everyone.

  • Comment number 49.

    I can see that by the wording of the rules Rosberg was not in the wrong, though by that same arguement. However, I cant see how he didnt benefit by going off the track (keeping his speed up rather than ducking back inside and try on the other side). Is this really different than cutting a chicane in order to be right on the tail of another car, as happened in Monza?

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    So long as the decisions are consistent and timely, i don't mind what the stewards get up to - but when something happens on lap 10 and the message is "Will be investigated after the race", it gets on my nerves

  • Comment number 52.

    Personally i think that all three should have had penalty,a stop go. As for Alonso's actions behind kimui going into the pits that was worthy of a black flag that was just dangerious and stupid , if there was an accident it would have just involved himself what did he gain from it? Nothing as such and even comments from the commentators were questioning the incident. Where were the stewards looking then? Must have been looking the other way.Well it is ferrari so they appear to be emmune to wrong doing . The coverage has been good so far but the editing was appaulling but im not paying for live coverage with there YAWN ! YAWN! commentators i don't think so !

  • Comment number 53.

    @42 - Why? Because you don't like the comment? Its a valid view, as it is superior. I don't promote sky, merely congratulate them on the good work they are doing, which I would have done, and have done, in the past to the beeb. I hope F1 stays on Sky, to be frank, if that channel stays as good as it is.

    As for the race, it will be interesting to see the effects of the rulings on the reast of the season, before another amendment comes into the rule book at the end of the season. Love to be a fly on the wall at the drivers briefing too.

    At the end of the day, what would this board be like, now, if Hamilton had pulled a stunt like this? It was hard racing, and I agree with it. Alonso has form for whinging when he doesn't get things put on a plate for him, so he really has to be ignored. However, no one is mentioning Ham has said nothing.

    Would that really be the case if Ham had made that move?

    Hmm.

  • Comment number 54.

    To all of those ho say Hamilton was 'alongside' and did not overtake off the track .. rule 20.2 actually states that

    'A driver may not deliberately leave the track without justifiable reason'.


    So it doesn't matter that he did not overtake, if he left the track he broke the rule; however if the stewards believed that he did not gain an advantage for the excursion from the track they have decided rule 20.2 should not apply - meaning even though it is an implicit rule it appears to be open to interpretation.

    Oh and before you state it was Rosberg crowding him off the track, the fact Hamilton was not alongside Rosberg when he started his defending move means that he had the right to go to the very edge of the track.

  • Comment number 55.

    Good article Andrew, wish this was the norm and not the exception.

    Would have liked to have seen a slow overhead shot to get a better idea of who was in the wrong. With Hamilton & Rosberg it is clear one or the other should have been penalized because either someone passed outside the track or was dangerously pushed outside it in taking unavoidable action.

    Sky promotion team out again I see. If it is so good why did Sky loose half its already very small amount of viewers in the live head to head with BBC in China??

  • Comment number 56.

    @ 43

    NR was not in the wrong as he doesn't have to leave a space when leaving the racing line to defend, it is only when returning to the racing line you have to leave a cars width.

    Also, repeating what a lot of posters have already said, I don't know what the fuss is about! That was exciting racing, isn’t this the type of thing we want to see, wheel to wheel racing? Nico didn't put anyone in danger due to the big run offs (which he would have known were there)

    I think most people on here just like a good whinge!!

  • Comment number 57.

    @54 - I'd say that in accordance to: 'A driver may not deliberately leave the track without justifiable reason', being suddenly driven off the circuit is right up there with justifiable reason...

    @55 - Not me, I am enjoying sky much. Love the dedicated F1 channel. A must for the true petrol head, F1 fan.

  • Comment number 58.

    @53. I was only joking. How much are they paying you?

  • Comment number 59.

    @31 Goatse .
    I have abolutely nothing whatso ever against Lewis ( unlike many on here i have no favoritism towards any particular driver , nor do have any dislikes ) , my point i that the rules say that a driver ( any driver !? ) should have all four wheels on the track . And Lewis didnt . If they change the rule , fine .........until then......

  • Comment number 60.

    Interesting, I haven't seen the video but you seem to suggest Hamilton was at no time alongside but yet still managed to pass. This man seems to defy physical law passing without ever being alongside?

  • Comment number 61.

    This is a bizzare decision and in my view another occasion Hamilton gets away with it which could be vital for the championship.

    Regarding Rosberg the law of motorsport suggests simply put that you are not allowed to "squeeze". This means interfere with the line of someone slightly or very alongside you as you may both end in the forests and there have been people in wheelchairs or killed from this. Examples are Hamilton-Kobayashi at Spa, Hamilton-Glock at Monza 08, Schumacher-Barichello in Hungary, maybe Schumacher-Hamilton at Monza but not Alonso-Vettel at the same track.

    In Alonso's case it can be argued that he had enough of a nose in to be entitled to the line. Similar to Button-Hamilton in Canada. Rosberg most likely was in the wrong and got away with it (although hard for the frontrunner to judge the margins).

    In Hamilton's case it is clear that he was always behind him and Rosberg was entitled to his one change of direction as far right as he wants to defend. The defending was consistent albeit a bit late and legitimate as he was ahead. It wasn't Rosberg who forced him off the track, it was his own choice to complete the move no matter what possibly frustrated from the pitstop. Hamilton could have easily moved to the outside to attempt the move as the overtaking textbook suggests or backed off in which case he would have been overtaken by Massa. It has to be one or the other; if Rosberg wasn't in the wrong (no reason he was) Hamilton was as he took advantage by going off the track limits (which he did).

    The rule has nothing to do with "corner cutting"; Webber in an identical incident overtook from the outside run-off in Singapore and was told to give the place back. Same goes for Spa Turn 1.

    Also it has nothing to do with "being brave", on the contrary overtaking this way is cowardly, not "proper" but the easy way, akin to tackling studs-up in football. Was Alonso stupid not to have done the same and take advantage.

    Finally this is not anti-McLaren, the very same incident happened in GP2 and was not penalised either. The reasoning "he would probably complete the move anyway" is quite simply absurd at this level, imagine in athletics someone getting off his lane but let off as they'd have won anyway. The stewarding overall was atrocious and as Alonso put it is setting precedents. Also once more the British media's analysis of the incidents was frankly embarrassing.


    .

  • Comment number 62.

    @57 - how was he driven off the track? Lewis was behind Nico when he went off the track, so to me, that means that he had the choice of where to go, he chose to go off the track.

    Do we really STILL have to have this argument about sky? Personally, I much prefer the sky coverage (although that probably has more to do with the fact I don't have to listen to EJ's drivel!), but if you want to argue about it, go somewhere else, lets talk f1 here!

  • Comment number 63.

    Rosberg's tactics were extreme but must have been legal as the stewards decided to take no further action. I was just happy that Lewis managed to pass him but not Alonso. The pass must have been legal as the stewards have not taken any action about it either.

    But then again it's far easier for us armchair stewards to come to these conclusions as we have access to far more data, cameras and information than the official FIA appointed ones and we have driven many, many more racing miles than ex F1 drivers.

  • Comment number 64.

    Sky F1 is better, it may have one "domestic appliance" too many, but the BBC has Eddie. Brundle/Coulthard worked well last year, but overall after 3 races it is already better than BBC was two years in, but I do hope Crofty gets over "the Murrays" soon.

    The political situation in Bahrain is hardly what the BBC and ITV is trying to convince us of - last week I saw plenty of normal people going about their businessno fires, no government brutality.

  • Comment number 65.

    Again, congratulations to the FIA for providing yet another set of rules and regulations so vague that you rarely get a consistent outcome. Although it's no surprise, they want something they can change and manipulate if and when they choose. "Hinder other drivers" and "crowding a car"! I understand what they were investigating and even perhaps why they did nothing. But if you are measuring who made which move when and judging from what the footage suggests must be fractions of a second then it's taking it out of the context of the race. For me both Lewis and Fernando darted for the inside line at the same time as Nico swerved to defend it. Rosberg knows how far they were behind and when they were going to make the move. It won't be too long until there's a repeat of Webber, Kovaleinen in Valencia or an accident at a walled circuit now this has been approved as fair and safe.

  • Comment number 66.

    Glad the race was on, especially as when I got back I saw Millibland and his cohorts had been calling for a boycott - I hope it costs him some votes....

  • Comment number 67.

    @55 - your talking average figures there. I am sure many Sky viewers did what i did - watch the build-up on the Beeb as it was the first one, see what its like and then turn over when they realise how much they miss MB on the pit walk.
    I must say i watched all the live stuff on Sky, but i had the highlights of the Quali on in the background on Sat, and the build-up was more informative than Sky. I think the next time BBC have one live, i will do the same - build-up on Beeb, race on Sky

    As for the race - i think the rules need addressing. If neither FA or LH were alongside, then fair play - But lets not forget how many times a commentator has said something along the lines of "Its very hard to see where the front of the car stops" - maybe 'alongside' needs to be defined a bit better.
    And although the rules seem to state Lewis was at fault, why should you be penalised for leaving the track on the outside of a corner? it makes no sense!
    (I know that sounds a bit Lewis-faboy, but really i'm not!, JB, HK, PdR are my top 3 drivers)

  • Comment number 68.

    @62 - speed diferential dearly, closing speed was too fast, he had to make a split second decision, given the closing speed and chose to avoid an accident. He kept his foot in. Good man. Alonso didn't have the stones to keep his foot in, so whinged, as normal. Vettel clipped kartekeyan in much the same way Ham did with Koby. Alonso forced Vettel off the track at Monza, Vettel went onto the grass and could have died, it's foolish to suggest otherwise, a spin at that speed, on grass, and it's a danger.

    Ham was not penalised, nor Rosberg, nor Alonso. Now, which of those is whinging? Rosberg and Alonso. Alonso has form, bit surprised Britney whinged.

    Alonso never, at not one point, had his nose alongside Rosbergs car. Not once. Nor did he have the speed Ham had. Fail there

    The truth of the matter is, they'd set precedents by not penalising GP2. If they hadn't, then it all could have been different.

  • Comment number 69.

    I did not have the luxury of presumably the various angles that the stewards had of the incidents, but from the single shot that we had in Australia it looked like that Rosberg made a dramatic move to block off Hamilton. Check footage of previous and subsequent laps to see if he took the same dramatic line. Last year we would have been crucifying Schumacher for similar manoeuvres, and in my mind these were at least as bad, if not worse. As for Hamilton not commenting, he seems to be adopting the politically correct stance this year in the hope that he dose not attract adverse attention from the powers that be.

  • Comment number 70.

    Clearly the rules are ambiguous in this area and so it needs to be defined further. A sensible idea may be that if the attacking driver get's his front axle level or beyond the defending driver's rear axle then it should be deemed he is alongside. In my book Rosberg was at fault as he should have given a car widths space to Hamilton and Alonso for safety's sake. The major difference between the two incidents is that Hamilton kept his foot in. Perhaps in the light of the ambiguity the stewards took the right decision, but the rules need further clarification before a serious accident happens.

  • Comment number 71.

    Benson says...

    you have to bear in mind that Hamilton is not the most popular driver on the grid and his rivals are "always looking for ways to nail him", as one source put it on Monday.
    ----------------------------
    Benson as we all know the only one looking for ways to nail him is you.

    Very sad that it took you two days after the race to come up with this cut and pasted tripe. Did you edit the highlights show as well? it would explain the poor standard of both ;D

  • Comment number 72.

    Ps. No amount of rules and regulations are going to stop a massive accident happening. Given the instant deccisions taken by drivers in the heat of the moment, its not going to make a difference what the rules say if they see a gap. I think Senna said something along the lines of "if you see a gap and don't go for it, you're no longer a racing driver."

  • Comment number 73.

    A great decision by stewards to not penalise Rosberg, as the precendent set would of eventually eliminated all overtaking from F1.

    This wouldn't / couldn't of happened at Monaco, so why even bring it up.

    I personally tune in to F1 each race to watch the best drivers in the world 'race', using their skills, judgement and nerve to outwit each other, on and sometimes off the track.

    If Lewis wants to keep his foot to the floor and go around Rosberg then great. I just wish we could have been onboard when he did.

    If Fernando decides otherwise and backs out, then that is fine too. His complaints will undoubtedly be born out of frustration of being stuck in THAT car.

    Judging by all of the 'experts' that post on here regularly, it definitely gives credence to the old addage........those who can, do. Those who can't, write about it.

    I never realised this country was blessed with so many 'experts'.

    Roll on Espana and more of that overtaking stuff.

  • Comment number 74.

    @72 - Brundle said once of senna, what made him different, is that he would place his car in such a position when overtaking, that he gave you the option of ceeding position, or crashing; were senna driving today, he would have spent an awful long time on the naughty step. He was dangerous.

  • Comment number 75.

    It was racing, nobody crashed and nobody got hurt! All we want to see is competitive wheel to wheel racing, and finally we have it. We don't want the stewards poking their noses into every overtaking manoeuvre.

  • Comment number 76.

    I'm surprised that Andrew Benson was able to right this article - I'd have thought he was still chewing on the hat he had to eat after Vettel smashed his "How Webber turned the tables on Vettel" article right back at him.

    Re the current article, I could have sworn I have seen Lewis make similar moves earlier in his career, which is why I think (other than the fact that they are pally) Lewis hasn't come out and criticised the aggressive block that Vettel pulled. And Alonso also has a bit of a cheek considering he almost pushed Vettel off the track last season I think in Italy.

    In terms of the coverage, I think BBC is keeping up the good work and the Jake-Eddie-DC combination is still the best combination out there, hands down. From speaking to friends and other casual fans, the BBC's coverage is far more interesting while Sky's is at times just a bit too technical and dry. That said, Croft and Brundle are possibly the best commentary team they have put together for F1 since Murray Walker and Brundle - I actually find myself watching a combination of the Sky / BBC coverage - BBC before/after the race, Sky during it!

  • Comment number 77.

    ^ should read "aggressive block that Rosberg pulled"

  • Comment number 78.

    No 26 Mark Bennett wrote:
    I live in France and am lucky enough to be able to watch UK TV (all channels) on Freesat. To some extent I feel guilty complaining about BBC F1 coverage because I don't and can't pay a licence fee but here goes.

    I too live in France and watch the TF1 coverage, live, of every Grand Prix. If you exclude the annoying adverts (ITV all over again) and an occasional tendancy to talk over the drivers communication then it's a good service. 2.00 pm every Grand Prix for the European season. (I remember wayching a Grand Prix on Bulgarian TV a few years ago and the adverts were split screen with the GP. Didn't help much as I couldn't understand a word of it!)

  • Comment number 79.

    70. At 13:21 24th Apr 2012, AEROFOIL wrote:

    "The major difference between the two incidents is that Hamilton kept his foot in."


    No, the difference is that Alonso had his nose in early on hence was entitled to the line

    http://i42.tinypic.com/16jhibr.jpg

    whilst Hamilton was behind and in the tow until late so Rosberg was entitled to defend

    http://i41.tinypic.com/deaa1.jpg



    .

  • Comment number 80.

    @76. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks Jake-Eddie & DC are the best combination. I am missing Martin Grumble 'though.

    @77. Careful. The anal-retentive spelling police* will be after you. We'll put down you mixing up Vettel with Rosberg, to the fact thet both look like hobbits.

    * Speaking of which - I take it you meant "...Andrew Benson was able to WRITE this article..." Right? Teehee

  • Comment number 81.

    laugh@myself. The anal retentive spelling police are blushing.

  • Comment number 82.

    Its simple, was rosberg in front? yes. did he weave? no? did Hamilton succeed in passing due to going off track? yes, could he have backed out and remained on track? yes.

    However, now it will go down as another 'mythical' pass from a driver who frankly struggled to pass wind on Sunday.

  • Comment number 83.

    fair play to Lewis for keeping his foot on it imo, Nico gave him no room and Lewis thought sod it, he didn't cut a corner, he went onto a worse surface and still overtook him, great move.

    Both drivers knew they could move to the outside if they wished, Nico set himself up in that way, it's up to the other drivers to try and pass him, nothing wrong with any of it.

  • Comment number 84.

    @79 - Would look a lot different in the same perspective. Cameras are at different heights, which can lead to a difference in the appearance of the proximity. Please, must try harder.

  • Comment number 85.

    Love the juxtaposition of comments 82 & 83!

  • Comment number 86.

    Lewis got penalised at the 2008 Belgium GP by passing Kimi off the track and had to give the position back. so since the stewards messed up, they should of given him a time penalty after the Bahrain GP or a grid penalty for the upcoming Barcelona event...come on Stewards, be more consistent!

  • Comment number 87.

    At the end of the day it is racing, not the same as overtaking on the motorway, I agree there should be equality from all stewards but surely a driver has to protect his position and it will always be his instinct to do so, thats is one of the reasons these guys are formula 1 racers, not to have a jolly and be gentlemanly to each other all the time!

  • Comment number 88.

    I have no bias between drivers involved (big Kamui, Hulk, Kov fan)

    Hamilton overtook off the track, ok
    Alonso backed off, ok
    Roseberg moved severly to the edge of the track, ok
    The wording of the rules means that Lewis should have been penalised for going off track and overtaking. Nico only made one move in a constant fashion, no penalty. Alonso did nothing wrong.
    Is this correct, depends on your view.
    I think that Nico and Lewis should have been penalized, with a grid penalty in Spain. That stops overtaking off the track, stops severe defending, and allows racing to continue uninterrupted.

    this is hardly the first time the stewards/FIA have been inconsistent. It happened last year, in 2010, in 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1973, 1972..... etc.
    The FIA/stewards need to have a serious look at the rules, there past applications, and if needs be rewrite them.

  • Comment number 89.

    We get wheel to wheel racing and then people complain it's too dangerous and there should be penalties. The penalties are applied and people complain that it stops real racing. The stewards can't win.

    For me this was real racing. Rosberg defended hard and made Hamilton and Alonso work to overtake him. Hamilton kept his foot in got down the inside while Alonso decided on a different move. This is a dangerous sport, no question about it but it'll be dangerous regardless of what you do. The drivers know the risks as they have done since 1950. Would you rather everyone just waved the next guy through as soon as they see them in their wingmirror?

    As for penalties, the wording of the regulations shows Rosberg did everything within the rules. As for Hamilton, I don't agree with the stewards saying he would've gotten through anyway as I think the move was really done at the corner but I reckon would've been close enough to make that move anyway if he'd stayed on circuit. Apply the regulations if someone makes a big error by all means (Hamilton on Maldonado at Monaco, Schumacher at Singapore) but otherwise I say leave them to it. I live in hope we one day get a modern rerun of the Villeneuve V Arnoux style fight.

  • Comment number 90.

    I think we all agree that there needs to be permanent stewards, with a consistent implementation, application of the rules. Without this, we will always be having these very clearly subjective discussions. Maybe thats a good thing? In cricket, and in football, its quite clear that discussing the mistakes of the officials, is part and parcel of the following of the sport.

    For what it is worth, I want to see more of races like that, which are completely against the grain of how you think things would pan out.

    What I would also like, is the drivers to stop whining.

  • Comment number 91.

    I'd say a good reason why they took to not penalise Lewis is that in going off the track he didn't shorten the track at all. It's not like he ended up cutting a corner to get ahead. Drivers have been left unpenalised for overtaking off the outside edge of the track at turn 4 of Melbourne before (and many other cases), so in that sense it was consistent.

    Rosberg was pretty firm, though he did make his intentions pretty clear and it's not like the other drivers couldn't have tried the other side when they saw him moving across.

  • Comment number 92.

    Substitute a chicane (say at monza) for the corner at Bahrain. Rosberg moves late to defend, Hamilton could back out & hold station ( like Alonso did) but keeps his foot in & continues straight over the run off/through and emerges about level with Rosberg but with the momentum to take him past, illegal? Off course it is & this is more or less the argument here. Without the continued momentum gained by using the run off he would not have passed Nico at that point.

    I know the crayon wielding fanboy warriors will be up in arms but, for me, LH should have been penalised, plain & simple.

  • Comment number 93.

    @92 - But they'd set a precedent. You keep forgetting this. I also think Hams closing speed was too great, at those speeds, that close, you move quickly, left or right, he chose right. Alonso's closing speed wasn't high, or anythng like Hamiltons. Nice abuse at the end mind, for we're all like that if we think Ham was fine in what he did.

    Precedent was set, so they couldn't penalise it. It realy is as simple as that

  • Comment number 94.

    With the exception of a concrete barrier, this is a carbon copy of Schumacher's controversial move on Barrichello in 2010. Though a little rude, I did not see anything particularly wrong with Schumacher's action there. He evidently left that minimum car's width and only moved once while ahead of the car. The point is that part of Hamilton and Alonso's cars (albeit a little bit) were adjacent with Rosberg, so Rosberg in my eyes, should have left that car width of space. Whether it was overlooked because there was not a wall there is the bad point from the stewards, as these rules must be consistent to prevent something like that happening when say, a barrier is present. Sure, the driver can back out, but if a defending driver thinks that whatever move he makes, it is the responsibility of the attacker to avoid an incident, we would see many dangerous maneuvres, some of which would surely end badly.
    In regards to Hamilton, although he supposedly did not make the overtake while off the track, he still used the outer limits to gain an advantage (i.e. the inside line). If he was punished in Belgium for allegedly doing as such when overtaking Raikkonen, this also presents an argument that the rule should be definitive for any apparent advantage that is gained. to be the honest, I think the only blame-free driver is Alonso, and the lack of clarity over whether Rosberg and Hamilton should have been punished suggests that clearly, something they did was not right. If you would permit me to present an over-used cliché, there is no smoke without fire.

  • Comment number 95.

    @92 - and also there wasn't a chicane, or a corner, there wasn't, so to suggest we imagine there was is just plain idiotic. If there was a wall, Ham would have been in it, or to the other side, or they'd have been a collision. You HAVE to remember, moving from one pedal to the other at these speeds, wouldn't have been possible, and a collision avoided. Alonso had no such speed.

  • Comment number 96.

    Good blog Andrew. Good racing between all I reckon, if in doubt don't penalise as it'll stop wheel to wheel action like this.

    I think the issues come when the driver following pulls out of the slipstream commiting to a move, then the driver ahead moves to defend in that direction. The following driver is so close they cannot switch back to attempt a pass on the other side without lifting.

    Love the 82 & 83 contrasting views also.

    Completely opposing views are all over this blog all because it is comparing Alonso vs Hamilton again.

    Some of them are so full of hate they are funny, like Goatse's classics:
    "He kept his foot in. Good man. Alonso didn't have the stones to keep his foot in, so whinged,"
    "you don't like the comment? Its a valid view, as it is superior."
    "Fact is, he didn't overtake off the circuit"
    "Senna...He was dangerous"
    "Cameras are at different heights, a difference in the appearance of the proximity. Please, must try harder."
    "Alonso forced Vettel off the track at Monza, Vettel went onto the grass and could have died, it's foolish to suggest otherwise"
    ...pure gold. ;)

  • Comment number 97.

    The fact is that Hamilton did gain an advantage by going off the track in the manoeuvre. But from a drivers perspective, it was a text book manoeuvre to overtake to the inside line when exiting the draft. NOBODY could of predicted that Rosberg would morph into Michael Shumacher and nail you to the cross with a drastic move the very edge of the track.

    Hamilton was committed and expected his old pal would leave him a bit of space for at least 2 wheels!! Even Alonso would have given him at least 2 wheels. Kudos should be given to Hamilton for avoiding a collision.

    On another incident, what was the ruling on the "Unsafe Release" by Ferrari and Alonso which was investigated by the stewards?

    I seemed to close for comfort for me...

    It would have been interesting to see the onboard footage from Perez (I think it was Perez, I can't be sure) if he had to brake or avoid Alonso in anyway, that would be an unsafe release.

  • Comment number 98.

    @95 - really? I don't think I hold the monopoly on the view Senna was dangerous. Ask Brundle.

    He didn't overtake off the circuit, that is a fact.

    ...as it is superior [I]Coverage[/I] - Nice selective cutting and pasting.

    A camera higher than another, will give a different depth perception, that you can't understand it, is a failing on yuor part, not mine.

    Vettel was forced onto the grass, or haven't you been watching F1 that long?

    The only valid point, was about Alonso, and I have simply tired of his whinging, its worse than Buttons.

    Janner you say? Who'd have thought hey?

    Poor effort, 2/10

  • Comment number 99.

    This sort of thing is exactly why I've given up on F1
    (and the farcical "watch 1/2 a season" deal the BBC cut with Sky)

    Far too many races decided either off the track and in the pits or off the circuit completely in the stewards box.

    Its a shame really since its something the family could watch and argue over all sunday afternoon.. but I guess its watch the MotoGp instead on whatever button the BBC want to hide it behind that day.

  • Comment number 100.

    I'm sure the Fat Cat Sheikhs can afford some Astroturf. It's the lousy parking lot style track that's the problem here.

 

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