F1 Fanatic round-up: 19/4/2010

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More Chinese Grand Prix reaction and analysis coming up later today on the site including the team-by-team reviews. Here’s today’s round-up:


Lotus boss offers F1 rivals solution to European travel nightmare (CNN)

Lotus team boss Tony Fernandes has offered his rivals a possible solution: fly to Kuala Lumpur on his Air Asia airline, and then into Britain’s Stansted airport once the volcanic ash from Iceland has cleared from the skies.”

Renault evaluating rear wing system (Autosport)

Eric Boullier: “We will not do a copy as that will be a waste of time, but we are looking something with a similar concept – like a blown wing.”

Comment of the day

In a comment thread which quickly garnered hundred of responses, Patrickl wrote the best analysis I’ve read of the Hamilton-Vettel pitlane incident:

Hamilton was clearly released later than Vettel and he got slower off the line. The delay was so small that it was only visible in a slow motion replay though.

So realisticly Hamilton should not get a penalty for that. You cannot penalize a driver for getting away slowly.

What Hamilton did do wrong was to sit side by side with Vettel. He should have yielded the position to Vettel immediately.

At the same time Vettel was being incredibly annoying pushing Hamilton off the fast lane. If anything he made the situation dangerous when in fact there was no need for it to be so.

I really hope Hamilton and Vettel don?t get a penalty for this. It was such a racing incident and a penalty would spoil the whole race (or perhaps the next one)

I would hope they could clear up these rules though. The 50 meter release rule only works for cars who are already in the fastlane.

Now they need to make sure how to deal with a situation where they start at the same time. Yield position or carry on together on the fastlane? This needs to be clarified.

Happy birthday!

We’ve got four F1 Fanatic birthdays on one day! Happy birthday to The_Pope, Lenny, The Comedian 39 and Jiten.

On this day in F1

Forty years ago today Jackie Stewart scored the first win for a March F1 car. Among the men behind the new constructor, who supplied five of the cars on the grid that year, was Max Mosley, later to become the FIA president.

Surprisingly, a constructor using the March name was one of the entries that tried to get on the grid this year.

Read more: Much advertised racing car hoax

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 33 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 19/4/2010”

    1. What I don’t understand is why Hamilton and Alonso changed lines before the left turn at the pitlane entrance… I mean, there are some white lines showing the way around. Why not sticking between them?

      I mean, Alonso went just over the kerb at the pitlane entrance, while Massa went the right way between the white lines…

      Hamilton, during the safety car period, while warming up his tyres started turning in at the last corner and then quickly corrected his line, even crossing over the gravel, to get to the pitlane…

      I mean, why do they paint those lines there anyway then?…

      1. yeah I saw what Fernado did to Massa.Its truly sickening that he did that.No wonder fernado had problems with team mates(Lewis)etc. Im furious, Ferrari need to bring him into line real quick.On the bright side good to see Lewis & Vettel playing up a bit.

        1. You saw his true colours after not renouncing his win a Singapore. Soon Ferrari understand that too just like McLaren did.

          1. Am I missing something? I really don’t see what the problem was with Alonso’s move.
            Felipe went to the pits and as soon as he was en route, he thought he was safe which allowed Fernando to pull out the ballsy -and a little bit rude- move. If it had ended in a crash then he would have looked stupid but Felipe was very fair.
            Felipe will be upset but he should be upset just at how it impacted his race because it wasn’t an illegal move. Just my opinion though.
            Fernando needed to get ahead. If he had been delayed in the pits he would have had to put in all the hard work all over again and possibly, in the latter stages, ended up stuck behind Felipe. After his start it was do or die for him and he had to recover.
            It wasn’t illegal, it was ballsy and if Felipe didn’t like it he souldn’t have been caught napping, if the FIA or anyone has a problem then maybe the rules should have been looked at but fair play to Alonso and it added a bit of excitement. As long as it’s fair and legal I’m fine, I don’t want a parade after all and these two should be allowed to race it’s just Fernando was more clever and quicker yesterday.

            1. J. Danzig – you criticise Alonso’s move, and then pretty much praise Hamilton for doing the exact same thing. There’s nothing wrong with either situation – Vettel and Massa were caught napping by Alonso and Hamilton, who decided to execute a risky but fair overtaking move. The only difference is that Alonso and Massa are team mates, but the only way that will affect things in the team is if Massa throws a hissy fit – and he’s far too experienced and sensible to do that.

            2. To be fair with Felipe, he said he hit some puddles there making him lose some time. He did not make any trouble over it.

            3. Magnificent Geoffrey
              19th April 2010, 15:03

              I agree with Steph. If you watch the replay, it’s clear that Fernando set that move up from the exit of the hairpin and it wasn’t some sort of last second Dan-Dare lunge at all. He telegraphed his intentions to Felipe and was side-by-side with him before they even reached the entrance to the pit lane. It’s hard for Felipe because it happened to him and he lost out, but he had an opportunty to defend, and he didn’t take it.

      2. I thought that it was illegal to break the white line while entering and exiting the pits? Has this changed for this year? Last year Rosberg got a drive through in Singapore for crossing the white line exiting the pits and wasn’t it someone that got reprimanded or penalized at Spa in 07 (kinda got overshadowed by the Kimi/Lewis last corner cutting incident). Almost want to say it might been Alonso that in the last second decided to enter the pits and cut the white line to get in to the pit entrance.
        It sure did look to me that both Lewis and Fernando broke that white line while entering the pits and pushed Sebastian and Filipe out on the right hand side in the corner.

    2. Vettel was defending his position. If not – Hamilton would have attacked Sebastian at the end of the pit lane just like he did it when they entered the pits.

      1. You can’t justify pushing someone into another team’s pit.

        Hamilton should have lifted off. Vettel should not have driven dangerously in the pit lane. They both should have 5 place penalties IMHO.

        1. I agree with John H, I have been defending Vettel by arguing that Hamilton was wrong to be there in the first place, But what Vettel did was wrong as well.

          1. If you want me to be objective then yes, I agree with both of you. But in my very own opinion Lewis got what he deserved. Maybe next time he’ll be more respectful.

    3. At the end of the day, there is a fast lane and a working lane. Vettel was in the fast lane, Hamilton was in the working lane. Cars in the working lane need to give way to cars in the fast lane. Hamilton did not.

      Even so, I don’t think they should have been penalised (ether of them). The working lane was pretty deserted apart from the gun hoses. It would have been a very different scenario had the working lane had crews in it, in my opinion. Thats not saying “no harm no foul”, but tell them, and the other drivers that there is to be absolutely no wheel to wheel racing in the pit lane and move on.

      1. I thought the working lane was full of a Williams an Williams Mechancics. Who Hamilton missed thank goodness. In someways I’m happy they didn’t get punished but I think what happened was so dangerous as to be potentialy fatal, when this happens I’m in favour of a little more than a reprimand. I’d have supported a reasonable, 3-5 place, grid drop for them both.

        Regardless I hope they clarifiy the rules to prevent this ever happening again, the stewarding has been ten times better this year but the problem of clarity remains. Alan Donnelly an Max Mosleys system of keeping the rules vauge so results could be manipulated was one of the absolute worst things about Mosley’s FIA an F1 under his command. Making what’s not on clear, an the punishments as clear will do wonders for the sport.

        1. “Alan Donnelly and Max Mosleys system of keeping the rules vauge so results could be manipulated was one of the absolute worst things about Mosley’s FIA an F1 under his command.”

          Bang on!

          1. Vague yes, Mosley is a bum, most likely, conspiracy? … don’t we have enough at the moment?

        2. “I thought the working lane was full of a Williams an Williams Mechancics.”


          There was a crew out close to the McLaren crew, but Vettel pushed Hamilton off the fastlane only when the passed them.

    4. The rule should state that if a car is ahead of the other car in the pitlane then the other car needs to back off, in this case Hamliton should have back off & sit in the slipstream of Vettel in the pitlane. I don’t think Hamilton was doing anything wrong by going wheel to wheel with Vettel but the frustrating thing was Vettel was pushing Hamilton toward the teams garage in order to force him to slow down. Another thing why is a modern F1 track don’t have a pitlane where two cars can drive side by side.

      1. BeyondThePale
        19th April 2010, 16:43

        In all fairness Hamilton should have yielded and Vettel wouldn’t have needed to cut in. But the rules are so vague that Hamilton could have overtaken Vettel in the pit lane and gotten away with it, (with just a reprimand in any case). And why should Vettel allow it? I think that he was justified in cutting in, given the situation. Which was pretty risky for everybody. It is all kind of disgusting.
        F1 ceased long ago to be a gentlemanly sport, so what we need are crystal clear and well enforced rules, with a well defined penalty. Like, you can’t cross the white line when entering the pitlane or you lose 25 seconds, and if you are in the working lane you must always yield to the fast line or you lose 5 positions.
        You can’t really penalize a pilot who hasn’t clearly broken a rule, and just reprimanding the perceivedly unsportmanslike pilot will have no effect if there are no penalties.

    5. The Comedian 39
      19th April 2010, 9:22

      Happy b’day to all the other peeps! :D
      I’m 16 today :)

      1. many HAPPY returns of the day.

      2. Same to you, I’m 18 today!

    6. I have to say I agree with Patrickl’s analysis of the Vettel-Hamilton incident.

      Lewis got an incredibly slow start, and should have yielded to Seb, but Seb shouldn’t have pushed Lewis into the “working area” either. Iit was a bit childish (and dangerous) if you ask me. The thing that I really don’t agree with is Seb milking the incident in the press and making it look like he was completely innocent because that simply isn’t true. To quote Seb “I was in a similar track position as he was after the first stop and we found our way through the field,” he said. “At the stop you were mentioning I was ahead, I don’t know why he was keen to touch me. I thought hopefully I don’t suffer a puncture after that, don’t really understand because I was a bit ahead. He turned out to be a little bit faster on the track anyway so we need to see.”

      Sanity has prevailed and both drivers have been reprimanded by the stewards.


      1. Magnificent Geoffrey
        19th April 2010, 14:05

        After the race I was both drunk on Guinness and high from the action of the previous two hours and I was arguing that everyone should’ve been given penalties – Lewis, Jenson, Seb, the BBC director who kept chatting away over the ONE HD feed obliviously. But now I’ve watched everything back with a clear head I have to say I fully agree with the actions the stewards took on everything.

        Good God! I never thought I’d be saying that under a Todt Presidency!

        1. yeh, i was wondering what the flip that voice over thing was. rather odd to say the least. i wonder if that was heard globally or just on oneHD.

    7. FIA need to rule out two cars abreast in the pit lane. Simple. Why this is still allowed (eg Kimi & Kubica at Canada, the two Force Indias at Malysia, etc..) is just plain stupid.

    8. Hey Pope, Happy Birthday! Back in Europe now? i can’t remember how long you said you were staying here for… I’ve printed out some of the photos, most of them came out quite well really. who needs those ‘photographers booths’…?

      that reminds me, keith, did you get the photos i uploaded a couple of weeks ago?

      On the hamilton webber/vettel incidents, i reckon we should all just move on. altough i think hamilton would have got a penalty if vettel swerved to avoid him in the pitlane. fortunately for hamilton, vettel didn’t and fortunately for both of them they managed not to make contact. let’s hope we can make it to spain now.

      1. The Australia ones – yep, they’re great, thanks Tommy!

      2. Terry Fabulous
        20th April 2010, 2:37

        I’m with TommyC Hope you had a great Birthday your Holiness.

        Best Wishes – Brad

    9. I have always thought that racing in the pits, the pit lane or anywhere else not called ‘the track’ was illegal in every motorsport, from the safety aspect if not anything else.
      To see two supposedly experienced drivers squabbling in the pit lane, completly ignoring anything else around them was such a let down in a good race overall. I am glad that both have been repremanded, but maybe an instant drive-through penalty would have been a better solution and would have made both the drivers and the teams think about their actions more next time. Whats a verbal reprimand going to do to people who are careless and don’t read what rules there are?
      What can be done about two cars leaving the boxes simultaneously is something for the teams and the FIA to work out before the next race. Surely there are enough spare people in the pits for somebody to watch the team next door as well as the pit lane itself? Or is that too much like common sense?
      Also, although the Pit Lane officially starts at the deceleration line, surely racing cannot strictly be allowed on the entrance and exit lanes? Why wasn’t Alonso reprimanded as well? If he or Massa had hit something in the Pit Lane entrance, that would have fouled up the race for all the other teams as well. OK, so nothing happened this time, but if anybody tries it at Monaco, for instance, that might bring out the red flag……..

      1. There have been many incidents where two cars were allowed to drive side by side in the pitlane.

        I couldn’t find anything in the rules where it says that two cars cannot drive side by side in the fastlane.

    10. The thing I don’t get with the alonso massa switch is that while yes that is still the racing circuit, alonso cut the circuit to take advantage, if that was a chicane he would of had to yeild the position.

    11. Cool another COD :)

      I’ve actually changed my mind a little on the incident.

      I think it’s good to think about why the drivers were reprimanded. Vettel obviously got punished for pushing Hamilton into the Williams pitbox. That was incredibly dangerous.

      What Hamilton got reprimanded for is less clear.

      I don’t think it’s (always) illegal for two cars driving side by side. There is nothing in the rules that says so. In fact there are plenty of incidents where two cars were driving side by side in the pitlane.

      An incident that puts yesterdays incident in perspective is the Germany 2008 race:

      Around 2:21 into that clip you see Vettel doing exactly the same to Alonso as Hamilton did in China. In fact Vettel goes one further and actually pushes Alonso to the side and overtakes him! No pernalties or reprimands were dealt out for that “incident”.

      So that is obviously not what Hamilton got his reprimand for.

      Autosport claims that Hamilton got his reprimand for getting so sideways out of the box. He nearly clipped Vettel with his sliding rear wheel.

      Now indeed that was dangerous and it makes sense that they reprimanded him for that.

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