Belgian GP: fallout

Forget for a moment how the stewards reached their decision, the feeling in the media centre here is that a truly fantastic race – indeed, a great weekend after the bitterness of Spa last year – has been tainted by Formula One policing itself in a manner that makes it look incompetent.

Reading the reactions in the accompanying blogs, it seems to be that if you don’t like Lewis Hamilton, then you think the decision is correct. And if you’re not necessarily a devoted fan of Hamilton but interested in decent racing, then it was… puzzling.

The FIA is never going to win, of course. Not when it lets Ferrari off the hook for releasing Felipe Massa alongside a Force India in Valencia and then making Bruno Senna have a drive through penalty for exactly the same thing during the GP2 race here on Saturday.

The argument in Hamilton’s case is that he did not back off enough as the Ferrari came by and gained enough momentum to retake the lead going into La Source. If that was so, then how come the Ferrari was in front of the McLaren – I mean, dead ahead of Hamilton – as they reached the braking area?

It seemed to me that Kimi simply outfumbled himself and Lewis went by. McLaren’s technology apparently shows that Hamilton was 6 kph slower than Raikkonen as they crossed the start/finish line, which is 250 metres from La Source. Where is the ‘advantage’ in that?

If the overtaking move had occurred just before the actual finish, and Hamilton had dived up the inside to do it, then there might have been a case to answer. But, the way things turned out, Raikkonen actually managed to retake the lead when they came across the spinning Williams of Nico Rosberg half way round the next lap. So where was Hamilton’s alleged advantage at the end of all that? It was Raikkonen who ultimately spun off and presented Hamilton with the lead.

It would be good to find out exactly what sort of information the stewards had at their disposal when reaching a decision which, one leading sponsor told me this evening, makes big company board rooms question the wisdom of being associated with a sport that appears to shoot itself in the foot.

I’m just sorry that we should be discussing this rather than a fantastic motor race on one of the world’s great race tracks.

Comments are now closed

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It is interesting the pro Ferrari people who say it was an advantage because he cut the chicane well all i can say is well spotted do you know anything else about F1. Any overtaking in a chicane requires both drivers to give a little to avoid an accident. Cutting corners in chicanes to avoid accidents is normal and quite common in tracks with these corners like Monza. Lewis backed off and so i ask the pro Ferrari when is Hamilton allowed to re attack. Funny we are going to Monza next which oops has a long fast start stright with a chicane at the end. So what are the drivers expected to do now when on the start 20 cars dive in their. It is quite common for cars to get it wrong and cut the corner after they give back the positions when can they start racing again as this is now unclear.

race control told Mclaren it was ok during the race so why the issue after. 2006 mass damper and Monza farce, 2007 Mclaren unfairly found guilty but Renault aren’t of spying, French penalty was a little harsh in 2008, Valencia no time or point penalty for Massa but a similar incident in GP2 was apparently punished and now we have spa.

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The fact that Autosport revealed, about Race Control telling the Mclaren team that the move was OK during the race, makes me think again that the main problem here is steward consistency! Make a choice once and stick to it! And understand that such a choice sets a precedent. They need to keep the burocracy down; If they wish to inspire credibility they need a system that guarantees this!

That said, it won’t be the end of F1; It is not the first time a victory will be controversial, nor the last. Knee-jerk reactions from dumb fans who post on the internet won’t solve anything either!

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I Think its time to take F1 back to basics, bring back a left footed clutch, with a real stick shift change, Real slicks, less electronics, and bring back real driver ability, real overtaking, out braking, real down shifting, might make it a bit more dangorous, but much more watchable !!!! Also let see lewis win the championship !!!!!!

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Hi all
I am just a normal bloke sat on his sofa watching a F1….RACE!! & probably one of the best drivers of our time meaning Lewis Hamilton of cause!!
Hamilton made what i think was a legitimate move to avoid a collision wile being pushed of the track & it just happened too be on a chicane
It was one of the most thrilling endings of recent times in F1 & am shocked & disappointed at the judges decision on taking Hamilton’s win off him & moving him into third place
I fully understand that rules need too be in place for fairness & safety but….
Lets not forget people…..
It is called F1 RACING

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Stone throwin is great, everyone an expert, ferrari this mclaren that, big thing for me is that everyone should be treated the same, otherwise you loose credibility. Me i’ve lost faith seen so many wrongs in this sport. Vote with your finger TURN IT OFF.

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