#F1 Features: The deflation of puncture-gate

Brought to you by Adam Macdonald (@adamac39), edited by Andrew Huntley-Jacobs

The Mercedes dominance of the weekend headlines has continued long past the chequered flag in Belgium – even without taking the race win they will dominate the sport headlines of the Monday newspapers.

The story line and sheer drama will reignite the fire of even the most passive fan, as well as the on-track contest drawing plaudits from those who thought the V8 Red Bull dominance had made the sport boring.  The two-horse battle for the title this year will continue to intrigue us until the final race in Abu Dhabi, on 23rd November.

Underhand tactics and alleged misdemeanours have been utilised by both Mercedes drivers as they fight for the WDC crown. The quali-mode used and questionable movements by Hamilton in Bahrain to defend, the ‘illegal’ engine mode used by Rosberg in Spain, the yellow-flag incident which guaranteed Nico pole in Monaco and the ignored team-orders in Hungary, all make this a more gripping story than any others in recent memory. Even those with a mere passing interest in the sport are now compelled to return for each F1 weekend, to quench the thirst for more of the drama.

Following the race in Hungary, TJ13 commented that the disobedience of Hamilton to not affect Nico’s race strategy, would provoke a reaction from the German, which today became a reality.  After a month of not speaking, the Mercedes drivers were summoned to a ‘clear the air’ talk on Thursday, which saw heated discussions and little achieved according to insiders.

So as the pair approached the chicane at the end of the Kemmel straight, Rosberg had managed to get his front wheels alongside Hamilton’s side pod, and was on the outside for the right hand turn. According to the rules prior to July 2012, Hamilton would have been well within his rights to take the racing line and in effect run Nico out of track.

Yet the rules for defensive driving were altered.

An advisory memo was issued by Charlie Whiting in 2012, which essentially changed the rules of combat for the driver in front. In the aftermath of the Belgium GP, these revised rules by which drivers must defend their positions have seemingly slipped under the radar of the mainstream media.

Following the driver’s meeting on the Friday of the Canadian Grand Prix 2012, the race director stated, “Any driver defending his position on a straight and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his.”  He continued by stating, “Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason.

The ambiguity that surrounded ‘significant proportion’ was cleared up when Whiting asserted that this is defined by a car attempting to pass getting any part of its front wing alongside the rear wheels of the car in front.

How Mercedes miss his leadership

How Mercedes miss his leadership

TJ13 is aware the Stewards looked into the incident during today’s race, quickly concluding no further action was required. For their part, they felt that Hamilton had not fully complied with the rules, leaving it nigh on impossible to hand a punishment to Rosberg for causing a collision.

However, Hamilton’s potential punishment for failing to comply with the rules on defensive driving, was sufficiently dealt with by him having to drive two thirds of a lap back to the pits with only three functioning wheels. Hence no intervention was taken by Charlie Whiting or the stewards.

The focus has changed from a need to overtake fully in the braking zone, to the emphasis being on the lead driver to avoid a crash in a defensive manoeuvre.

The fact that Hamilton was on the racing line is no longer paramount in the debate, as Nico’s front wing was alongside Lewis’ rear tyre.

Covering your back

A member of Rosberg’s entourage checked with race control what the situation was regarding the incident and was informed that it had been briefly examined and deemed within the current regulations.

In the aftermath of the race, the response from Toto, Niki et al in hanging out Rosberg to dry to the television media was extraordinary.

However, Rosberg knew he had the backing of the stewards when entering the big pow wow 16:45 meeting, which now Hamilton appeared keen to attend.

Nico went on the offensive, and predictably Lewis emerged from the meeting in an attempt to gain media favour. Immediately social media was alight with Hamilton’s version of events. There were even journalists calling on the FIA to sanction Rosberg.

Hamilton claimed, “it looked quite clear to me but we just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it on purpose” is not true.  While saying that you did something “to prove a point” is assertive and ruthless, it is damning evidence to assign culpability in Rosberg’s camp.  He followed the rules in the firmest of manners, with Lewis eventually paying the price for this.

Hamilton continued, “You know, and you can ask Fernando and you can ask all drivers, when a car is less than half a car length alongside you and you are on the inside, it’s your racing line. It’s not your job to go massively out of your way to leave extra, extra room.”

Like it or not, the days of Senna weaving relentlessly around the streets of Monaco to prevent a substantially quicker Mansell from passing him – are over.

A proper examination of the video from today’s incident will reveal Rosberg first corrected his car away from Lewis, but was not afforded the space around the outside – which was soon to become the inside.

Lewis’ incredulity at Rosberg coming into the meeting and saying it was Hamilton’s fault exposes the utter disarray within the management at Brackley – following their nigh on apoplectic opinions immediately after the race.

Rosberg has clearly decided the gloves are off and Hamilton’s much lauded aggressive driving style can easily be matched.

If anyone questioned Rosberg’s credentials for being a world champion before today – think again. He pulled off a ‘multi 21’ without disobeying team orders or breaking the sporting regulations and retained favour with the stewards. Further, the suspect management at Mercedes AMG looks even more incompetent, and Nico is 29 points ahead of Lewis with 7 races to go.

Lewis described the bosses of Mercedes AMG F1 today as, “like teachers at school who say stuff and can’t do anything“. Despite their protestations post race, they simply don’t have the respect of Ross Brawn.

This weekend saw Hamilton again attempt to play mind games with Rosberg. Before Monaco he claimed his poverty stricken background made him more hungry to win. Rosberg won.

Hamilton’s play before Belgium was he would beat Nico when his team mate was at his best… Because it would hurt all the more…

Pole position Nico, and 18 race points.

Which of the Mercedes drivers is sipping a vintage glass of red and feeling content after the 2014 Belgium GP I wonder?

243 responses to “#F1 Features: The deflation of puncture-gate

  1. If what your saying is true, then F1 is in an even bigger mess than I thought. How the f*ck do you know that a car has it’s wing alongside your rear tyre? Half way along the car is fine but not this rule. This means that drivers in front are meant to just jump out of the way of any car that even attempts a pass. F1 just seems clueless. Surely the onus should be on the driver that can see everything over the nose of his car rather than one attempting to drive forwards and check backwards in his mirror? Ridiculous.

    • A similar thing happened at Monza (2012) and Germany 2014. In the latter, the stewards said Massa would have got a penalty had he not retired, as he turned in to the K-Mag.

      I think the rule is fine, as long as it’s applied consistently, which for now it is.

    • Would the same then happen on the road? It’s basically the same, i.e. use your mirrors. I get your point about blind spots (you can set road cars up not to have one), but these are meant to be the best drivers – and the top ones can battle all day long and not touch (Alonso shows this on a regular basis). “You only have to leave a space”, when someone has a tyre inside yours.. the same applies in online racing.

    • I agree!
      a few random thoughts:
      I hate the long Summer delay as much as all of you do!
      Spa IS one of the few finest tracks in the World
      (I would not do away with them, but Monaco and Monza truly suck)
      never been a Hammi fan per say, but his SKY interview was totally awesome and amazing! WOW. good for him!
      self-indulgent, narcissistic NICO – not so much… boos are good
      Mercedes F1 is totally clueless and ineffectual unlike their car division
      the video feed was pathetic and SKY race coverage was not any better
      please NEVER give audio of RoGro and a few others as they are @)&$*!<
      babyface KMag has got some racecraft and big balls 🙂
      Kimi finally came clean while Fernando was embarrassed over n over…
      would have LOVED to have SEEN or heard a few seconds of the tight 10 lap fight between Perez and Danil for 9'th…
      Massa is a total waste as he has ever been – oops, my bad 🙂
      Spa is a Force India playground and Hulk was where?? hmmm
      yeppers. go for it JEV – or not…
      I never heard one mention of what happened to the Green Machines' Super Sub – did I miss it??
      as much as I luv seeing the next potential superstar (MAX) evolve, I MUST agree with JV and his assessment of the frigging joke called F1
      paraphrased here, but MAX supposedly said "in the end, a car is a car". some said this was arrogant or immature,
      while back in the day and older, just look at Jimmy, Jackie, Graham, AJ, Parnelli, John, Dan, Jack and many many more who proved that a car is just a car!!!
      I like the kid's 'tood!!
      I admit it. I am a bit of a Seb fan. he only finished 5'th while Daniel won, but it was great seeing him finally giving it his all by employing over-the-limit Solo II, RallyCross, NASCAR, and F1 techniques to get where he finished… am guessing Danillo had a few smiles too 🙂

      all in all, a pretty kewl weekend and race event!!!

      too bad we got the yucky Monza bull**** track next

      hey, I never said I was trying to make friends :))


  2. great article, also with Toto saying that Lewis “miscontrued” Nico’s words, is a clear indication that Lewis word games to drive the media in his favour doesn’t fools anymore, apart from those delusional fanatics whose only reason to post and attack is their lived racer

    so, as it was in Monaco, once again Lewis was trounced

    • Yep, I think Lewis has lost his bearings, and though I don’t read widely enough across the media, to assess the mood positive or negative towards him, I dare say all the allegations of racial slurring and nonsense chatter taking affront at Lewis’ detractors, indicates he’s losing it a bit with even his most ardent fans, because they’re acting up, like they’re hurt. As a fan, I say it is easy to ignore all the chatter about him, at least I can forget his music pals and earrings, but having belatedly paid attention to what the noise is about, it’s a little disturbing, and doesn’t bode well.

  3. so basically in modern f1, to make a pass one only needs to put one inch of their front wing on the tire of the car they are trying to pass, and no matter what happens, the car attempting the pass is given the position? makes no sense. sometimes the subtleties of a corner sequence do not make the modern rule so clear, as seen in the right left combination that is les Combes.

    • They aren’t given the position, they just can’t be turned in to. Basically, Lewis was expected not to come across and hit Nico. He still would have easily had the position. What I do have a problem with is whether Lewis would have got a penalty had he not got a puncture (for breaking Nico’s wing), as the stewards have said that Massa would have been at fault at Germany had he not retired.

        • You can assure us that he would’ve been penalized?!? By writing that, you betray that you know nothing about F1. The “car alongside” rule is just for the straights, not into the corners. A car ahead into a corner can wedge a following car out … it’s always been that way. Today it happened with Magnussen crowding out Alonso. No penalty. What Magnussen was penalized for, was in forcing Alonso off the track on the run down Kemmel. A straight.

          Would you have written the same article had it been Hamilton cutting Rosberg’s tire from behind? I seriously doubt it. You’d be harping on about how Hamilton’s screwed himself within the team, and that he’s on his way out.

          Hamilton never turned into Rosberg, Rosberg had plenty of room to avoid contact … he’s admitted as much. Rosberg has said he could’ve avoided contact, but chose not to. If that’s not a textbook definition of “causing an avoidable collision”, I’m not sure what is. Deliberate active action it was not, but reckless passive inaction still falls in that umbrella.

          Vettel had enough sense not to try it around the outside of turn 7 on lap 1, when he was even further alongside Lewis than Nico was on lap 2. What Nico proved today is that he’s a barge-meister. His overcooked pass attempt on Vettel, which then saw him lose a place to Bottas, was total amateur hour. But he’s consistent, I’ll give him that!

          • But, KRB, if the rules permit Nico to hold his line, that’s the end of it, surely?

            Change the rules, by all means. Debate, above and below, aplenty about what maybe wrong.

            I don’t even feel conflicted about this, as a Ham fan. I’m far from impressed by Nico’s driving, lately, but the end of season looms with double points as if it’s next week. My sense of the second half of the season is it’s compressed by the fact of those double points.

            Double points is a absurd rule, almost bound to upset a whole bunch of people, and misrepresent form in the numerical tally.

            With that unavoidable collision with a multiplier that can reverse so much work on track, why should any rule that permits a advantage to the leading driver be ignored?

            It’s not gentlemanly, it’s not appealing driving, it’s not good team play, it’s not good politics.

            But whilst there’s no excuse for all of those characterizations of the driver, I think if you introduce rules which are ruthless as to race by race efforts, then there’s no room at all to be generous, or gentlemanly, or any better driver than you have to be, provided you are actually safe.

            I believe the upset, indeed shock, is in large part because Nico has a points lead now that could be stretched to enough to see him clear of Abu Dhabi’s stupid showdown scoring.

            Ruthless is the word I feel most apt, for what has happened. But without excusing any other aspect of Nico’s driving, I don’t want any driver denied a championship by not taking advantage of a rule. I shall review it many times again, no doubt, but if it was unsafe… well it was cleared by stewards, so end of story. Except for what it highlights. The end of season stupidity gives little room for niceties. I’m upset, as a Hamilton fan, for I think he’d better dust himself down and grab a new attitude off the rack, ditching his ennui whilst at it, and stomp Nico in the next races, else he’s out, of both the WDC, and a team I believe he should have found a home in.

            No doubt about it, though, in my mind, regardless the reactions of Toto and Nikki, MB is no place now for Lewis. I don’t feel it, at all. I think the reactions to camera and any microphone within yelling distance, belied not anger so much at Nico , but shock at the effective points results. MB’s mucked up management may not know what they really want in this world, but they sure didn’t want a thirty point gap between their drivers, with races to spare to make that fifty.

      • Judge, I reckon too many just don’t want to know. It’s like waking up and the haze clearing and you’re in a hospital bed, and along comes a senior surgeon, whose demeanor you know is a conveyance of a voice of gravity… no, you silently cry, send him away, bring me a pretty nurse, I don’t want to hear anything how bad it is!

        This rules nonsense is one of the nails in the coffin, which I am quietly laying out on my mental media workmate, as to views from advertisers I’ve spoken to. “So the fans keep feeling Shanghaied by the rules, too? The real serious fans? Tell me more… no, second thoughts, are you selling any Tennis this year?”

    • Ha ha ha. I didn’t watch the race today, spent the night in our cabin and hiked the Mt. Aix trail, got driven down by thunderstorms. Whilst going up I was running mind game scenarios of the race to distract myself from the effort; the scenario that came to the forefront was Mercedes team mates taking each other out. I was almost right! It’s about time the gloves were off. Good on Nico; quit whining Lewis. Get on with it both of you.

      • “Good on Nico; quit whining Lewis.”

        +1 Gomer, +1

        Lewis better get his eye in, and I’m looking forward now to his driving. As a fan, I am excited in hope he can step up, and stomp Nico.

        As I say above, I think the reaction is more shock, because thirty points or so at seven races remaining, could easily pull out the arithmetical win, or create a very very tall order for luck and position in Abu Dhabi.

        I think the MB management are mad because any idea of a nice orderly 1-2 procession to the glorious double championship defanged dénouement is dashed.

        (what, you mean this could be a right old proper fight? Ooooh! But whilst I apologies for defanging my choice of word, dénouement, which usually has a tone of revelation or catastrophe, and MB Stuttgart surely wanted sepulchric artifice, the burial of whomever they selected must not win this year, a fixed close finale, in other words… for all that, this makes things feel more, actually… yes, exciting! Wow! Exciting. I remember that… and I now have Toto Wolff’s angry face etched in my memory, as taking affront to this possibility, of a exciting second season half… )

        I think this is great, for fans of the sport, at least fans who are not umbilically tied to one of these two drivers’ twitter feeds.

  4. i’m not so sure rosberg is drinking vintage right now. have you seen the look on his face on the podium? a german journalist said he looked as if he had just lost the championship. and that was before he was told that his bosses had been damning his action on television. they were adamant about it, even when the german pundit tried to frame it as a racing incident with 50/50 culpability (something i would agree with by the way), they kept insisting that what rosberg did was unacceptable. so he knew he was in trouble.

    i’m not sure you can see well enough what happens behind you from inside a formula 1 car to avoid an accident like that. maybe nico kept his foot on the throttle to prove a point, but still, it’s something that can happen if you try to overtake. so i would blame neither driver. fully blaming hamilton for what happened is ridiculous.

    • Well, he did what Senna routinely did. Stick the nose in and blackmail the other driver into a simple decision – back off or crash. Hamilton chose option two because he didn’t expect Rosberg to go through with it. Senna is almost universally worshipped for it – can’t quite understand why Nico gets so much hate for it. Probably because it’s the wrong guy he chose to beat.

      • I don’t know – he didn’t. But I know, I wouldn’t have spammed a website over it. And besides, for Lewis to be behind Seb there had to be a prior incident in the first place.

      • i’m not hating on rosberg, i stated several times today that i consider what happened a racing incident. what i’m saying is that it is ridiculous to blame hamilton for what happened, and that nico looked pretty shook after the race, so he clearly felt he was in trouble. maybe there will be internal consequences for him, maybe there won’t, but he didn’t give the impression of someone who much reason to celebrate after the race.

          • I hear two different stories:

            Do the rules apply only on a straight, or also inside a corner? And is there something official, or is it just a “Charlie says” rule?

          • Judge having see how Kevin defended, I doubt Hamilton would of got a penalty, blatant weaving v what was quite a tidy line into a corner from Lewis? Would seem ridiculous to me. But i do remember the rule you mentioned, and a bit of a fuss about it at the time, just get your nose slightly alongside another car, and they have to let you go.

        • Sort of Hippo: Senna IS worshipped for it, but Senna WAS hated for it, by a lot of fans as well as drivers. All that revisionist stuff etc, Senna has a young death on his side.

        • Anijs,

          I think Nico’s expression was because he knew he’d broken a unspoken rule, one that isn’t too hard to figure out: that Stuttgart wanted a close “fought” run to the finale.

          But as a Hamilton fan, I’ve felt some of the bias pro Lewis especially from Lauda, has been hurtful to Hamilton. I think this and the whole shambles of management at the Benz garage has made Rosberg think hard, and come to the conclusion that whatever he does, he may fall foul of stupefying squabbles, regardless how well he drives, or toes the line.

          Now, I rate Nico Rosberg, I rate him as a all round character, with a undercurrent of intelligence in him, which is belied by his gentle and attractive half smiles. I can sense the cogs whirring away, quietly, under that blond mop, only the upturned lips signaling his calculations have positive results.

          So far, he played it perfectly.

          In toeing the line, he was faultless, from Shumi’s attentive, almost silent understudy, carrying a humility about him off the track that was matched in performance on the track in effect on both results and the impression he made on management, through pegging his new team mate almost one for one, right up until his “perfect week” or a win, his marriage vows, and his new long contract, which I believe is a very solid one.

          Now, freed form all that, with his contract in his pocket, a drive that should bring him the title, and even a air about the team that he is the favorite son to be allowed to take this yea’s WDC, there was only one thing he had to worry about:

          What if, what if this nutcase bunch of bananas for a management team, go screw him over?

          They may not even mean to do so, I think they’re so drunk on drinking their own piddle each rowing their own boats far from the good ship Brawn, which they scuttled, delirious in the withering ocean dryness, each deliriously crying “land ahoy! I found Land! I saw it first!”, for they all want to claim the new Continent for themselves, and not arrive and be greeted by disgruntled Rosslanders.

          Nico realized he better be in it for himself and he knows the rules, and be plays by them, and amid the hue and cry of all about him, I think it’s a good thing, too, he struck his oar firmly to turn his racer about, and head for his own stretch of beach or cove, to alight safely in the land of champions, shouted at no doubt by those who arrived bedraggled along the shore by some miles, too late, and having encountered worse weather, and angry at the smartypants who played his own game, and chose, not to gamble his chances on a roulette table on a broken gyro in a storm.

          I just think Nico has struck out, and I hope he has done so decisively.

          If Lewis responds, we may have some great racing to come.

          I think this is all reaction to the intellectually impoverished management at MB F1.

          I say, well done, well done Rosberg. I think this could actually help Lewis, also, by causing a distance between the drivers’ rivalry and the pure nonsense who claim to be running that shower.

          Maybe I dream, that this is a “up yours”, but the circumstances almost invite the chance to be taken. I hope Ham takes the hint, and likewise flips the bird to the management muck.

          The expression.

          Oh, the expression.

          yes, I think that was a realization that Nico had maybe burned some bridges. Like the shock displayed by the pit wall panjandrums, it was a realization of a real change.

          Good. Good, I say.

          • I keep forgetting this, but do not forget either the potential for engine component lotteries, in these last races.

            I hope MB do not start mucking with the settings, in the name of safety.

            I believe, sadly I believe it possible, that they will be so stupid to do so now, driven by anger, to technically restrict their drivers.

            My opinion is that MB’s management are treating their drivers like dirt. Not least they are oblivious to how they stoke public opinion, by their incensed and insensible comments.

            My view just worsens. It’s not even insight. This horrible foul view of their team is all too plain to see, and they’ve two of my favorite drivers there. I’m so glad I can get enthusiastic about some of the newer drivers. Probably, as I think only R/T has said in as many words, Lewis is out of MB now. The seats market I think has gotten a lot more interesting, for real, all a sudden.

  5. Absolute rubbish written by a complete hypocrite. Would you have had the same opinion had it been Lewis who hit Nico?

    For Hungary you wrote that the team came first and Lewis cost the team points, but today the team is no longer relevant, because it was ok for Nico to teach him a lesson.

    • Touche. So that makes Hamilton and Rosberg equal in their ability to do whatever it takes but Hamilton will continue to be blamed and Rosberg gets the all clear.

      • You haven’t quite mastered the ‘walking over water bit’ and yoiu’re supposed to turn water into wine, not beer into urine 😉 But apart from these little foibles, you’re doing a fair ‘god’ impression 😉

    • In Hungary, the team cost the team points. It should have been both Mercedes coming on strong at Alonso/Ricciardo, with Hamilton the leading one.

  6. Rosberg had plenty of time to back out of that move, sure Lewis could have given him a little bit more room but the fault lays with Rosberg. Though I guess you could construe it as Rosberg playing mind games by ruining Lewis race knowing he has the points advantage even if he had a DNF himself. Cynical Rosberg using the rules as cover to get one up on Lewis is one way of looking at it. If Rosberg is still whining about Bahrain and the last race, he needs to grow up and get on with it (same with Lewis on his woes). Anytime Rosberg has tried to overtake Lewis he just hasn’t got the job done (yet).

    However I hope neither of them escalates this to the point where it will cause a serious accident. This can of worms will remain open long after both drivers have retired from F1.

    I hope Riccardo wins the drivers title, just to teach Lewis and Nico a lesson. Neither have behaved in a good way this season, while in contrast, Riccardo has just kept his head down and got on with it.

    The story of the season ? Mercedes not giving Ross Brawn the kind of control he wanted. I doubt any of what’s gone on this season between the drivers would have got to this stage.

    • “Riccardo has just kept his head down and got on with it.”

      To be fair, RIC has received the opportunity of a lifetime by driving an RB#.
      He has all the reasons in the world to keep pushing and proving himself.

      RIC would be more worthy of the WC this year.

    • Oh, and btw, you entire article is horshsh*t.
      I’ve just taken a look at the frame by frame of the incident, and at the moment Rodsberg hit Hamiton there was an entire car width and more upside of Hamilton’s car.
      Trouble was Rosberg was in the middle of the track too.

      • i see you took a leaf out of joe sawards book on how to deal with critique. quite a sad development, as the level of discussion on this page used to be unparalleled. it’s not just that now we get the same pi**ing matches between fans of different drivers on here as on other forums, they have actually become worse.

        • Look… I don’t take a leaf from anyone…. Fortis has been abused by more people than you can imagine… However he makes an argument… Whether tenuous or not…. Which is fair…. I will not accept merely..”You are shit” or similar contributions….

          • Judge, I agree people shouldn’t just something is just sh*t, I did on article and I was annoyed with myself.

            I may not always agree with you, but your site is brilliant on the whole, and even the those who criticising you wouldn’t be here unless they thought the same, so try not to get drawn into arguments, just remember they’re only here because your site is so good.

      • @TJ13

        Your honor, freedom of expression. As long as comments are not racist, abusive, inciting hate or violence, people should be allowed to express themselves. But if comments fall foul of these basic rules, they should be placed in moderation even post publication. (One specific recent racial abuse comes to mind.)

        In any case as a judge you should strive to be above all this. The guy wants to troll around and issue ultimatums… good for him. You for one can just ignore such nonsense and not get involved. The Russians have a memorable saying for such cases: “Доктор на больных не обижается”, which in translation comes off roughly as “A doctor doesn’t get upset with ill people” (with an implied hint of mental illness). You know, let delusional people just be..

        But if the delusional people get into “you are sh^t” mode (whether addressed at you, drivers, or other commenters), moderate them away. Delete or modify them with a moderator’s note. At the end of the day, you are the judge: impose the rules, and make them stick. But don’t get into dark alley street-fights..

        BTW, very good and balanced piece, with good insider pointers on rules and rule enforcement. I wasn’t entirely convinced by all the points that you make, but you know, all evidence is ultimately subject to human interpretation and beliefs. Even a judge’s..

        • As for the free speech bit. This is a privately run site, so the owner makes the rules. If someone comes into your house cussing a blue-streak at you, you have every right to ask him to leave or even enforce his departure.

          As for moderating away the abusive comments – have you any idea how hard that is in a debate as heated as yesterday?

          • “you have every right to ask him to leave or even enforce his departure”

            Sure, but I’m more objecting to the manner. A judge should keep her composure. And certain matters can be dealt with better privately. If the blokes still keep spurring insults publicly, then call the police (i.e. ban them), but there’s no need to shout at them in return.

            “As for moderating away the abusive comments – have you any idea how hard that is in a debate as heated as yesterday?”

            No doubt about this. But you have to start somewhere: Those racist bits have no place on this website.

  7. Actually it was Rosberg who used the `illegal` engine mode in Bahrain and Hamilton who did in Spain.

    The interpretation of Charile Whiting’s directive is also wrong: “Any driver defending his position on a STRAIGHT and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his.”

    Hamilton was in a corner well past the breaking zone, not on a straight. Magnussen’s penalty was in line with this directive – not for any of the forceful defending he did against Alonso in the corners.

    • The straight thing has come up before and is a clear weakness in the reguation. Remember Vettel-Alonso at Monza or Germany (Massa-Mag). In both cases the stewards believed that the lead driver was 100% responsible.

      Only in F1 can the rules be clarified and not make any sense.

      • Didn’t they decide that Parabolica was a “straight”? And so Vettel wasn’t entitled to simply follow the racing line. Of course the lead driver can cause accidents by doing erratic things (e.g. Perez in Canada & Massa in Germany). My point was simply that the attempt in the blog to suggest that Hamilton was even partly at fault by quoting that directive was entirely erroneous.

    • This is the genuine problem here, TJ13 will respond to people having a paddy and being idiots, but a genuine counter point gets left or ignored, rather that addressed. Its probably due prefering to draw a maski over the holes in the argument, but its still dissapointing.

  8. a daft rule which brundle (at the time wearing his racers hat) pointed at the time. stewards looked the other way on this one, different stewards penalized perez in canada 9_9

        • It’s only nonsense in the eyes of the ‘still I rise’ crowd. Other people occasionally tend to form their own opinions instead of consulting a twitter account to learn what they are supposed to think.

          • Listen you pikey. Have you ever done anything but insulting people? Have you ever tried providing content for others to read? I only hear you complain and insult people. Don’t try to get into a pissing match with the wrong people, you might find yourself out of your depths.

          • to Judge and FH

            well I do admit, sometimes I’ve been radical, agressive with those fanaticals whose sick attitude towards Hamilton, are making me hate them and their idolised racer, but I do not resort to “ad hominem” insults and even when I shot out of the mark, I am humble enough to admit and apologise

            but those sick fanaticals, they’re too much

            the only other racer whose fans are equal in the fanatism level is Rossi, I gave up commenting at MotoGP boards just ’cause of Rossi’s fanaticals, whose action method is exactly the same of Lewis fans, trying to mply things you didn’t say, or steering the debate into personal stuff

            enough of it, let them trounce themselves

          • @Fat Hippo,

            First off I’m an Aussie and Ricciardo fan so I was more than happy with yesterday’s result.

            However, if the ruling is that you only need to stick your front wing next to someone’s rear wheel for the guy in front to have to leave you space then something is wrong in F1. Forget about the rule. Any sane racer would have looked at Rosberg’s move and expected him to back out of it. In fact Vettel did on lap 1.

            Pretty cynical move by Rosberg. I think Hamilton has every right to be peeved. The reaction of the everyone apart from the stewards tells a story. Not a single (non-german) driver thought the move was on.

          • “Listen you pikey. Have you ever done anything but insulting people?”

            Look, FH, this right there is an ad hominem insult. You have no moral authority to lecture people on how to stay polite and avoid insulting others.

          • You may want to revisit the time tags on the comments how long I’ve kept it civil while Fortis barked at everyone in less than diplomatic terms.

          • @FH

            That’s a weak excuse to say the least. (And disregarding the specifics of this week’s debate, while Fortis has a history of passionately defending his corner—for which I simply tend to ignore his comments—, you have a history of engaging in stinging personal insults—also known as ad hominem attacks—, so you don’t hold the moral high-ground in this instance.)

            The golden rule in such cases is, of course:
            **Do NOT feed the trolls!**

            If you feel that a delusional bloke is going haywire (and hasn’t been moderated away), let him be. Engage with him only minimally, and only if it’s sane to do so.

          • +1 Do not feed trolls. I know it’s hard sometimes though. F1 brings the emotional animal out in most of us… then you walk around with a bag of troll food 😛

    • @bibabob – THANK YOU! It’s just sad it’s taken this for people to bail from this idiocy masquerading as a blog for F1 aficionados (which someone will automatically claim is untrue, not ever comprehending that, should they say anything to the contrary it makes the blog exactly what, in part, I said it is – just another virtual space where people feel their opinions are as valid as are facts).

      #1. LH did not leave the track. #2 Rosberg clearly moved his steering wheel to the right for no other reason than to hit LH as he’d adequately slowed to slip in behind LH and continue; #3 There was NOT silence following Hungary, where, I might add, that after much consternation, it was judged that LH WAS CORRECT for not slowing to allow someone ANYONE by him who was in no position to pass him in the first place (the PROPER move by Merc was to have LH pit and Rosberg to pit the following lap – a 1-2 finish would’ve been assured with the PROPER strategy).

      Nico Rosberg had the unmitigated gall to say Hungary to use “mental scars” to describe his post-Hungary mind state, making his insolence move all the more understandable; #4 I watched the 2010 Spa race Friday. It was interesting that even the SkyF1 commentators allowed that Rosberg, since coming to F1, was known for his “poor judgement” in the car, as he was nearly involved in an accident during the 2010 Spa race that would have been of his own making that he had no business getting himself into in the first place.

      Finally, to utterly and completely fail to EVER provided context for the two drivers, i.e. the past FIFTEEN years of their competitive racing lives, where Lewis Hamilton has ALWAYS been the dominant driver of the two, elucidates an agenda to trash him at every possible turn.

      For you Euros, if this was two football teams, where one dominated the other, and suddenly the lesser team claimed equality with the better team, you’d laugh and tell the players and coaches to prove it. Now, if in their matches, the lesser team injured the better teams stars each time they played and, on replay, there was a whiff of impropriety, you howl at the moon about the lesser team resorting to foul play just to hope to gain an unwarranted edge.

      And yet. The same sane thought and sober perceptions do not apply – for those with the ability to wield the hammer of the bulk of the blogposts – here.

        • Well, Rosberg is only one tenth slower than the best at his peak.. which is easily fast enough to win the WDC. He’s faster than his dad, and still tenths faster than Hill or Villeneuve at their respective peaks (0.5 off Schumacher).

          The impressive driver is Ricciardo – take out the first two races, where he was unlucky not to score, and he’s within a win of both Mercedes drivers, and not too far behind on podium count either. He’s pretty near the sharp end for pace now, with Bottas not far behind – maybe 0.2 off the best? Massa’s peak was that in 2008, Button in 2010.

          Vettel by contrast has dropped 3-4 tenths off, from his previous 11-13 peak of fastest on the grid comparatively (which Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel have all achieved). Hamilton still has the pace, but mini-errors are obscuring it.

  9. Question judge….

    Why didn’t the stewards immediately investigated Lewis for how he defended against Seb the lap before?

    How different was his move to Nico (apart from the obvious collision)?

    So if Seb had kept his foot in and caused a puncture, would your opinion still be the same?

    “Hamilton’s play before Belgium was he would beat Nico when his team mate was at his best… Because it would hurt all the more…”

    How’s that mind games? Would it have been better if he had said….

    “I want to beat my teammate when he’s not at his best, because it would feel much better that way?”

    • Lewis didn’t do anything wrong to Seb. The comparison is 100% irrelevant (and not helped by Seb running wide and having to catch the loose rear).

      • The comparison is relevant, because he tried the same move and was much further alongside Lewis than Nico was. He ran wide because he realised that he wasn’t going to make the corner, he didn’t have the racing line, so sidnt risk causing a collision.

  10. Your policy of being deliberately controversial at any and every opportunity has become quite wearing. In fact your ridculous assertions start to look like trolling. Today’s the last day I read this website, bye.

    • +1
      I have been on reading this blog and commenting here since it’s early days.
      But this is my final contribution.
      Troll on TJ13.

    • Bye… Can’t be arsed with useless commentators. For every 1000 readers, 1 person comments…. And maybe if we loose a few inarticulate commentators, we may gain another 1000 readers….

          • I fear that might be your last comment here – zero class there.
            I’d suggest you’re a lot like your hero – Lewis. More than likely a nice guy, but with clouded judgement that focuses on the wrong things. And you have a strong verbal affinity to the red mist that gets you into trouble.

          • Oh so now I’m the bad guy? Did you read his comment on the other feed? When you do, then you can comeback and comment.

            Furthermore, the every eloquent and well cultured hippo called me a bloody “pikey”, don’t see no one pulling him on such comments.

          • Maybe you sit down with a coffee and re-read your own comments. You’ve hurled abuse at everybody last night and after two hours I barked back at you in kind. Suddenly you are the wronged party? If you shout at people for two hours, don’t be surprised when they shout back.

          • Hippo, I don’t need to go over what I wrote, I know exactly what I said.

            I may have “barked” at people like you said, but I didn’t resort to name callings like you did.

            Words I used…

            Moronic, nonsense, idiotic, ridiculous, ass, arse, you’re talking bullocks……

            At no point did you see me call or referred to anyone as a “pikey”. So clearly your comment was born out frustration because I vigorously defending my corner from yourself and those who have felt the need to abuse me, because I refuse to back down from my beliefs.

            At no point did I use such a word to insult you, fact of the matter, I didn’t even insult you. I can take being shout at, because I’ll shout right back as well, but what I won’t tolerate, is when you’re going to refer to me as being a ‘pikey’. So feel free to shout at me by all means, I don’t expect anything less, I’m a staunch Hamilton supporter, so I expect to be shouted at (it’s part of the Hamfosi package) when I defend him from those who see fit to criticise and label him, especially when he’s the innocent party in what happened yesterday.

  11. Did Hamilton think that he would be free to push Rosberg off track every time he tried to over take him without a consequence -like in Bahrain, Spain, Hungary-? This had to happen if he kept doing the same, Rosberg had to show him that he has to respect him. But of course, it didn’t work as Hamilton expectec -when does it do?- and he goes directly to the media to provide more negative publicity to Mercedes, second race in a row. I guess he will never grow up to be responsible for his own bad decisions.

        • How exactly? By telling the world that his teammate admitted to deliberately ruining his race?

          Sure, why didn’t he think that was going to happen and just kept his mouth shut and play the pr role, so as not to have people like you and a the hypocrite who wrote this nonsense blame him for something that wasn’t his fault.

          • Weren’t ypu talking about Rosberg? Why would I change the subject to Hamilton? Some of us -you might find it hard to believe- think before writing/speaking, if you can’t do it to a level of at leats following your own comments please don’t answer mine, I have better things to do that trying to understand your nonsense.

    • Well….yes! None of those moves were 100% undefendable. Rosberg needs to find a way to pass without putting himself in a position to be run off the road. Going round the outside of any driver will result in you going wide on the exit unless you are far enough in front to force the issue(see RIC on HAM in Hungary) rather than just making a half hearted effort. The fact he kept his car on a line that was never going to come off and the fact he did it on lap 2 proves that he has some race craft still to learn.

  12. It seems to me that Rosberg, although he may be quick, has difficulty overtaking other cars and not just Hamilton. If the team are confirming what Hamilton is reporting, that Rosberg said it was a deliberate action on his part, then he must be given some sort of penalty. Body language gives a lot away, and like Vettel after multi21, Rosberg had a particularly “guilty” look about him after the race. But I imagine nothing will happen. We can only hope that this rivalry doesn’t end up in a serious accident occurring between them in the next few races.

      • “Mercedes said Hamilton’s remarks were a “broadly accurate” representation of what went on in the meeting. ” This is according to the BBC website.

        • Jennie Gow also tweeted that she spoke to the merc execs and they confirmed what he said was the truth. To which the judge replied to her and “fake Charlie” as being lies and he had forthcoming evidence to prove that it was. I guess this article was the evidence he was talking about.

          • @judge13, get a handle of yourself. You’re in meltdown mode, and it’s cringeworthy.

            What are the facts, as you know them? Is this from your Mercedes contacts? How high up are they? It seemed from what you’ve written before that they’re some mid-level engineers, and that’s the extent of it.

            I’m keen to know what the facts are, as you’ve heard them. If it’s in your article, I guess I have to re-read it.

          • I find it hard to believe that the eloquent and cerebral Rosberg couldn’t explain himself so that his views couldn’t be misconstrued. Couldn’t it be more likely that Wolff is on ‘defuse the situation’ mode?

          • The problem is, Rosberg doesn’t speak ‘idiot’ – and that’s the mode Hamilton’s been in since Monaco. Ever since then he’s been moire interested in playing mind-games than getting his shit together. He’s been beating himself more often than Rosberg did.

          • Hmmm, random insult for lack of arguments? Just go away. You’ve been more comprehensively beaten than Vettel got smashed today and he got a right ol’ arse-whooping.

          • No, why should I. I just don’t tend to abandon my preferred drivers when they have a hard time and even though Vettel took a bad knock today (was quite visible in the post-race interview) I think he’ll bounce back next year if not even this year.
            He had virtually no running in the dry losing most of Friday, but he still managed 5th and wrestled down none other than Alonso in the closing laps. I’d say it’s not too shabby.

          • I thought his move on Alonso was pure class…. But they look like ageing gladiators whom time is passing by… Weird… Yes I know…

          • I don’t think Vettel’s time is past yet. He has at least 8 seasons to go – if he can be arsed and even Alonso should be good for another three or four, although I doubt how many years of shit Ferrari’s he’s got left in him.

          • Care to present that in the news? Could be more interesting than poking the bear with another article in whiche HE is mentioned 😉

          • @thejudge13 I hope to god that that is McLaren you are talking about…. they seriously need to get their car together, throw money at it until it works (although for McLaren and Ferrari, that’s admittedly not the best solution).

  13. In this race we had 30 events like that Ham x Ros, and that was the unique with collision…Hamilton’s fault? Bullshit.

  14. Rubbish!

    Look at the in-car replay, and Nico’s decisive steering input into Lewis. Volitional, and fault to Nico.

    The entire article and the references to rules of combat is meaningless if one simply looks at available evidence.

    Judge? Reminds of Bernie’s in Munich.

  15. Couple of points you have incorrect. Nico used quali engine modes in Bahrain to try and pass Lewis. Lewis used quail engine mode to defend in Spain.

    This incident happened in a turn, not on a straight. Different rules in this circumstance. Just look at Rossberg’s interview while getting his neck massage after Hungary referring to how he was upset with himself for not getting far enough alongside Hamilton for Lewis to have to give him room. “It was his corner” is how Rossberg put it so Hamilton was in the right in Hungary according to his rival. How is today’s incident any different? It isn’t.

    Another similar circumstance where respect was shown by the other driver was the start of the Canadian Grand Prix. Lewis got a better start and went into turn 1/2 alongside Rossberg but had to back off because Rossberg was on the drivers line and it was his turn, not Lewis’s.

    In today’s incident Rossberg would have had to go off track to pass, instead he cut it to close and clipped his rivals tire. On purpose, I don’t think so. Stupid. Hell yes! Nico is definitely getting some killer instinct. He’s selling his soul for the title and it started in Monaco.

    • Best post of the day, straight up facts!

      “It was his corner” is how Rosberg put it so Hamilton was in the right in Hungary according to his rival. How is today’s incident any different? It isn’t.
      Another similar circumstance where respect was shown by the other driver was the start of the Canadian Grand Prix. Lewis got a better start and went into turn 1/2 alongside Rosberg but had to back off because Rosberg was on the drivers line and it was his turn, not Lewis’s”.

      These 2 examples really make me think Rosberg fucked it up today. If it had been Hamilton in Rosbergs shoes he would have fucked up aswell ofcourse. BUT the headline here at TJ13 would have read “Rosberg not budging, Hamilton too aggressive.”

    • ‘This incident happened in a turn, not on a straight. Different rules in this circumstance’

      The rule is used by stewards for battles in corners as well as straights I believe (Monza 2012, the stewards blaming Massa for Germany T1 this year).

      It’s a weird rule and I pray they clarify the thing.

      • You have to be alongside in the turn (tires next to side pods), Rossberg wasn’t. Plain and simple.

        See every other race and every other driver that passed at that spot today or another track in a similar situation (Alonso defending against Seb in Silverstone). You have to be alongside your opponent. Nico wasn’t. Just a bonehead move that helped him fortunately or unfortunately depending on who you favor. What a jackass Nico’s looking like right now. But a Jackass soon to be crowned WDC. Boo!

          • Uh.. I don’t see really what you’re arguing. Rossberg f#%ked up in a racing incident. Plain and simple. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t his fault.
            Means yeah it happens, but what a dips#%t to do it on lap 2 and screw up Mercedes race as a whole. If it had been bianchi in the other car, Rossberg would still have been the dumb s#%t who made the error.
            Still don’t see how you see it any other way. But I guess this is your site.

          • It’s not as though they never discussed it. Apparently the stewards did discuss it, but decided not to investigate.

            Maldonado also clashed with Bianchi’s tire at the start, and that wasn’t investigated, but there is more leeway given to incidents during the start.

          • I forgot that usually you are such a fan of the stewards and the FIA. Oftentimes here contrariness is presented as objective or unbiased, both in the comment and articles.

          • Check out my criticism of Charlie and the stewards…. and you’ll understand why I support this decision….

            My views on most things F1 have been forged over many years and there is little contrariness left after the plethora of debates have ironed them out….

  16. Sorry Judge but I must say this is not a fair trial.when was the judge last in the seat of a race car?

      • it would still have been a ‘racing incident’
        anyone remember those, they used to happen during races, between drivers, before 2012

        • So what did he do wrong today?

          “How the Sky F1 pundits viewed the incident“Rosberg’s hovering, he’s not really in a position to attack the car in front,” summarised Ant Davidson as he reviewed footage of the clash. “The rules say you have to have a significant part of the car alongside [to attack] but there’s not a significant part alongside, he was never in a position to mount a challenge. It was clumsy driving from an experienced driver.
          “There was a double movement on the wheel, went to turn in once and then again and it was on that second time that the contact was made.
          “If that was an inexperienced rookie driver, he would be hammered. Hamilton is on the normal racing line and Rosberg is an area where he had to back out. I can understand why people are so unhappy with the move.”
          Sky F1 collleague Martin Brundle added: “It was clumsy. He wasn’t far enough in the corner to make the move, I think it was poor driving but not intentional. Rosberg was at fault, he shouldn’t have continued that move. It was poor judgement but I am concerned that he turned out and then turned back in. He really did turn back in at Hamilton’s car.”

          • … So many plausible suggestions …. Lewis clearly said… Fu#k you… to the the team in Hungary… And he got the rewards I predicted….

          • Like I said in my first comment, you’re a hypocrite plane and simple as that.

            So now your trying to brag that you were somehow correct in thinking that this would’ve happened. But I bet you didn’t think it was Nico who would’ve been the one to collide with his teammate? I bet that you were sitting hoping and praying that it was Lewis who would hit him first….hold on, you did actually say it was Lewis who hit Nico.

            If this garbage you wrote is anything to go by, I can only fathom what you would’ve written had it been Lewis who put Nico out the race.

          • “Lewis clearly said… Fu#k you… to the team in Hungary… and he got the rewards I predicted”

            Exactly. Why is so difficult for people to take responsibility for what their own decisions?

          • I’m sorry. Brundle lost all credibility when he refused to ask Hamilton about team orders… Saying he had only 2 questions…. Jordan asked Rosberg 4 today… He’s a Bernie puppet… Trust me….

          • Lost credibility in who’s eyes, yours? Just because he didn’t ask a question that you needed an answer to?

            So haven’t you lost credibility with this ridiculous article?

          • lap 17 rosberg on vettel into the bus stop chicane, failed attempt by rosberg round the outside but vettel stayed to the right all the way through the chicane
            lap 25 raikkonen on button into the bus stop chicane, successful pass by raikkonen made possible because button stayed right all the way through the chicane
            lap 31 bottas on vettel turn 5, successful pass by bottas while vettel stays left
            a pattern appears . . .

          • lap 17 rosberg on vettel into the bus stop chicane, failed attempt by rosberg round the outside but vettel stayed to the right all the way through the chicane
            lap 25 raikkonen on button into the bus stop chicane, successful pass by raikkonen made possible because button stayed right all the way through the chicane
            lap 31 bottas on vettel turn 5, successful pass by bottas while vettel stays left
            a pattern appears . . .
            the other pattern being different stewards at times differing interpretations

      • I asked my wife, who does not follow racing, to watch the incident. I told her it was either the leading driver’s fault, the trailing driver’s fault, or just just a racing incident. Her judgement was racing incident. Case closed.

  17. Theres a surprise, Judge Freisler declares its Lewis’ fault, before concluding he is not as smart or as blonde as Nico when interpreting the letter of the law. And ofcourse completely avoids Nico admittance that he acted in a way he hadnt before and was completely culpable in not avoiding an accident. Basically saying ‘jump out the way or we crash, and Ill still lead the WDC’ a position MS knew all too well. Its frankly embarrasing how biased folk lose all sense of logic and objectiveness and act like hormonal teenage girls when it comes to certain drivers

    • “Basically saying ‘jump out the way or we crash”

      But that’s exactly what Hamilton was thinking. He turned into that corner without caring at all where Nico was. Hamilton’s attitude was “get out of my way” – he assumed Nico would just give up. Hamilton has paid for that assumption this time, but I’m not sure he’s learned the lesson – especiallly as he’s playing the victim to everyone who’ll listen.

  18. As others have said, if this was the intention of Whiting’s instruction (and the stewards today) then things are silly. If the Judge is right, it really does just mean place your wing alongside an opponents wheel (at any point) and the opponent has to continually allow a cars width, until overtaken, or the opponent has fallen back.

    That is insane.

    Surely the spirit of the rules was to prevent chopping and weaving (something Hamilton HAS done as a racer in the past). So, if as you approach a breaking zone / racing line on a straight before (BEFORE!) the breaking zone, don’t then move towards the opponent if they have their wing by your rear wheel. Fine.

    And, in this case Hamilton obeyed that rule! He didn’t move in the breaking zone at all when Rosberg was along side (I thought he might push Rosberg our at the start of the corner which he didn’t), Hamilton then – at least half a car length if not more ahead – merged onto the racing line via a tighter entry, (therefore, giving Rosberg room), but then, as the racing line carried Ham towards the apex of the next corner (whilst three quarters of a car ahead of Rosberg at least) found Rosberg turning towards his rear wheel.

    How is that 50/50, Hamilton not following the rules?

    Or, in other words, what we have heard nothing of is what is the responsibility of the following car in that situation? To expect the leading car to move?

    Also, why did Vettle get out of it, when he was closer, a lap before. Weakness? Or, knowing the alternative was to crash.

    By the way, it’s clear that Wolff and Lauda were complaining because he did it on lap 2. Their point being that by any rational calculation of the situation Hamilton and Rosberg were in making that move then – a move where it could only work by Hamilton completely moving out of the way – that Rosberg took a silly (unnecessary) risk.

    For all we know he might well have broke a team order “you can fight, but after the first corner always hold station for a handful of laps”. Not, an uncommon idea.

    By the way, I’d have much preferred if Hamilton came out of the meeting with “we’ve spoken about it and I’m unhappy, because Nico’s explanation is very weak” and left it at that. BUT…and it is a big but, what “point” has Nico proven? Wolff claims it is some vague idea that he should not give up when trying to overtake Hamilton, which is reasonable, but all he has really proven is that when in a situation where he either backs out or hits Hamilton, he’ll risk the crash. That’s not aggressive driving, it’s throwing a dice.

    The difference between today and Hungary? Hamilton might have cost a 1-2 and instead produce a 3-4. Rosberg today risked a DNF for both (or, a bigger crash), and worse of all, is in essence is using a ‘two wrongs make a right’. I think it’s this that has so angered Merc.

      • I should also add – before someone calls be a Hamilton fan without any original though…

        First, in the past Hamilton has squeezed people (Rosberg Bahrain comes to mind, not least Hungary!). But, in those cases (Bahrain more than Hung) he moved a little differently than he would if driving an ideal line. In those cases Rosberg could have hit Hamilton, if not for being complaint.

        So, Rosberg does have some justification to say “stop pushing me around”.

        BUT…in this case Hamilton did not move towards him and away from his ideal line! He took a position in breaking, stayed ahead, this position led to the racing line…and without jerking he held the line.

        Whatever Hamilton’s ‘previous’ surely an experienced racing driver like Rosberg should have known that he could bail out left a bit (mini Vettel) or, just miss hitting Hamilton at best.

        So, I’m sorry, I might be biased, but Rosberg made a mess of this one. Has anyone yet explained why at the point of impact he is STILL turning his wheel towards Hamilton’s rear? Where was Rosberg going? I saw someone say he as correcting, but why correct in that direction?! I also thought the regulations still had something about causing an ‘avoidable’ collision. Rosberg had more ability to avoid what happened than Hamilton.

        In terms of the politics, Rosberg will be fine, because he has the points. If anything, he’ll probably be better on the track now, as Hamilton might have the most damaging thing for a racing driver in his head, that he can’t trust his opponent in a close fight. This is more likely to make Hamilton cautious with Rosberg.

    • Hey…. 3 people have said they are off ski because I explained the rules…. You have engaged and suggested they are not right…. I applaud you… And thank you….

  19. Terrific article, and exactly how I saw it at the time. Very dissapointed in Lewis’s move and subsequent behaviour.

    As far as F1 is concerned, Bernie must be doing backflips! It’s Senna v Prost all over again. Yippeee!

  20. Tempest in a teapot. It was a racing incident, and Lewis lost, that’s how it goes sometimes. Lewis’ problem is he underestimated Nico and when things don’t go his way, he whines like a bitch. All the while Merc look like fools and Nico is sitting pretty!

    • Initially as it happened, I thought it was a racing incident with probably Hamilton squeezing Rosberg out. However I must admit that my impression of the incident after seeing the first replay during the race was that Rosberg had calculated it perfectly. I.e. the odds of misfortune for Hamilton were much higher than for himself. At worst, he would have taken both of them out thereby preserving his points advantage. He ended up by benefiting in the best way possible.

      I don’t buy the “clumsy move” scenario nor did I buy the loss of control during Monaco qualifying.

      Rosberg’s immediate reaction on the podium and the drivers’ waiting room left me in no doubt that he knew the significance of what he did and realised then that the tide of professional and public opinion had turned against him.

      He has gone a long way in shedding the Britney tag this season and displayed a pair of cojones I didn’t think he possessed. For that I give him credit. Shades of Prost v Senna Suzuka II (the rematch) for me with surprisingly Rosberg in the Senna role.

      BTW I am a Ricciardo fan and have no personal preference for either Mercedes driver. I do worry about the impact of the incident on Hamilton’s head though.

      Mind games Lewis? You were just handed your arse on a plate.

      • You cannot calculate the effect of a front wing/rear tyre contact…. More often than not it leaves a damaged front wing and a a rear tyre intact….

        • I remain to be convinced of this fact Oh Mighty Adjudicator especially in the past two years with the razor thin tires that are in play at the moment. (Pun totally intended)

          As Hamilton is reported to have said after the famous 16:45 meeting, he is totally confused as to where he stands now in the next race with regards to his approach to Rosberg.

          Job done Rosberg I’d say. Who did Lewis say was the hungrier of the two of them prior to Monaco.

    • Stewards don’t refer it … only Race Control would, to those same stewards. The stewards can initiate an investigation themselves, which after discussing it, they decided not to do.

      Lastly, s’more English lessons … “whose” is a possessive pronoun. If you mean to say “who is” or “who has”, then it’s not “whose”, it’s “who’s”. Easiest way to get these right is to not use contractions, like who’s or it’s … just use their long forms instead. Another is “loose” used in place of “lose”. Lose is the verb, loose is an adjective. Lose your loose change, etc. Seriously, these just take 5 mins of driling into your head, and then you’re good for life!

  21. It was just a stupid racing tangle like many I have seen in watching F1 for the past 40 years. Rosberg stuck his nose in where he shouldn’t have and Hamilton turned in where he shouldn’t have. Requires no motives at all. At least it was not a Senna move, he would have made it look much less accidental.

  22. Great and brave article Judge. Many points here are simply what I tried to express before in the post race article. Apparently I am an idiot. Despite my article about Hamilton before.

    I am shocked at people over this and my original post yesterday. Simply expressing these views gets you totally smashed, accused of racism and called a moron. All racing exp. undermined because I didn’t adhere to the populist view that Lewis is god.

    I am shocked even by those ppl I once respected. Calling me out as a troll or what not. And for what?

    Hamilton’s response post race is shocking, even for me. He does not deserve the world title based on a) his sporting performance b) his team performance c) his responses to his continual mistakes and self sabotage and d) taking two wins from the silver arrows by not following overtaking rules, and not following pre agreed to team orders.

    Hamilton has become a liability.

      • Sorry Fortis, I don’t listen to racists like you mate. I am still revolted by your comments yesterday. You just have a hateful, paranoid and close minded air to you. Like a racist I suppose. I shudder to think how you treat your family if they ever disagree with you.

        • You don’t listen to racist…haha that’s some joke, good way to start off the morning.

          Your classing me a racist, because of a quote, but somehow the comments made by R/T are which read like a story, wasn’t?

          You’re a joke and jealous hypocrite.

          Btw….I’m about 4 shades darker than Lewis.

  23. Ok, so the rule says that if a driver sticks his front wing alongside the leading driver’s rear wheels, the leading driver has to give room no matter what and is at fault for any ensuing collision ? Wow, that’s pretty retarded. But then you add that the rule should be applied when they are on a straight and before a braking area, this happened in the chicane after the Les Combes straight, that’s a turn, not a straight or a braking area… So basically any driver can just stick his nose alongside the rears of the leading driver and expect the leading driver to move away ? Now that’s dangerous. I still can’t believe I actually typed this… Anyway, if that’s the rule so be it but it’s a bloody retarded one. The trailing driver is the one who actually sees what is going on so that the trailing driver doesn’t have any responsibility in causing an accident like this is laughable.

    It will be interesting to see if drivers try this more often and we start seeing drivers taking opportunistic dives inside/outside/wherever their noses get alongside the rears of the leading driver and cause an accident (avoidable collision at the very least) and see what happens. Also : wouldn’t this rule conflict with the one that says a driver should not be causing an avoidable collision ? Or does this rule you mention out-law the one I just mentioned ? I can remember instances where there have been drive-throughs given to drivers for avoidable collisions this season (Maldonado on Gutierrez in Bahrain ? Possibly others), but if this rule that you mention is in place and enforced, which one gets precedence ? Both rules seem to be invalidating each-other.

    So for me, there are 2 grey areas : 1) Hamilton got hit in the right turn of the chicane out of Les Combes, so that’s technically not a straight and the drivers are past the braking section at this point, so by the letter of the law this rule does not apply 2) Sticking your nose in => Collision follows => Which rule do you follow contextually ? Because the trailing driver will always say he saw a gap and went for it and the leading driver will always say he gave room and couldn’t see exactly whether the trailing driver actually had his nose alongside his rears (they don’t get the benefit of 100000 replays and have a few tenths to decide on what to do). Judge, what do you think ?

    I think this is a dangerous can of worms that Whiting opened. Quite shocking that such a high figure in F1 put a rule like this in place. I can understand the need for spectacle and overtaking but in this specific case Rosberg did not have the racing line and Hamilton did not try to force him off track like in Bahrain or Hungary. The part that is really not correct is that (in the light of this rule) a leading driver cannot realistically defend his position if all trailing drivers are allowed to stick their noses alongside their rears and get away with any collision that ensues. Now I think we will see more of this : Hamilton is behind Rosberg and does the same trick (and with a bit of luck Rosberg actually gets a few DNFs, just to take the title-fight to Abu Dhabi and the ridiculous double-points thing), I don’t expect the same conclusion (racing incident, move on) but more like (avoidable collision, drive-through).

    Rosberg knows he has the backing of Wolff and possibly even higher placed men in the Mercedes management, so he is absolutely sure he will get away with mischief. The guy basically admitted he chose not to avoid collision in their internal debriefing, that speaks volumes about what him. Hamilton got slammed for costing Mercedes a win in Hungary but Rosberg will get away costing his team his team-mate’s points AND his own victory chance (which realistically would have been a 1-2 for Mercedes, so 43 points instead of the 18 they got through Rosberg). Slap in the wrist ? More like strong wording at best, and Rosberg won’t even care.

    Hamilton wanted the gloves off, he got them and I am thinking Rosberg has got this one covered. Unless Hamilton can play tricks of his own (unlikely but Rosberg seems to be pushing Hamilton in corners others haven’t done before) but the racing between these two will not be clean anymore. Hamilton needs the points, sure, so he has the bigger reason to duck out of a reckless challenge, but I am now afraid that this will go the extra step where the drivers will literally take each-other out for the sake of it. For all his flaws, Hamilton can also fight, no one gets in F1 and survives for that long if they don’t have fighting spirit (but he gets wounded way too easily). That will be the spectacle Beberstone was hoping for I guess. I admire the steel shown by Rosberg, but after Monaco this latest episode comes as an open admission that Rosberg is not prepared to take on Hamilton in a straight racing fight because he knows he will not win that one. But the guy is smart : he changes the arena and starts engaging Hamilton there, knowing he’ll win that one. I have said since July I think, but the WDC is Rosberg’s. Whatever he is doing is working out just fine, the car doesn’t brake down for silly reasons, higher-ups have his back covered, he is sitting pretty with over a race-win’s cushion up top. The fight might actually get dirty when Hamilton says “Screw it” to the WDC title and starting fighting like he has got nothing to lose (I think that’s already the case), Rosberg will probably not want that.

    It’s all done now anyway, the past is in the past and we can only move forward, Rosberg won’t get any internal punishment (it was funny that Toto said that Hamilton is not aware of the punishments Mercedes can implement, what will he do, make him sit out a race just for the example ? No, figured as much). The stewards have already cleared Rosberg anyway so I don’t even expect there will be follow-up to this. Rosberg has indeed sold his soul for the WDC title, that’s his choice. Put in his boots, I would probably do the same to be honest, what counts is being successful, no one gives a f*** about you being a nice guy and I know I would have no qualms about doing that. Obviously it’s better to prove you’re the outright best but Rosberg knows Hamilton is the better racer of the two and he has had to take the fight on a different plane to get Hamilton weakened. And while I don’t believe in destiny or whatever, I do believe that one can force his or her luck, and Rosberg is doing that this season. Anything he does, he basically got away with the best result for him, now THAT’s forcing your luck. Lady Luck has been totally smitten.

    @TheJudge : Your wording was more controversial than it usually is, you could have made your point in the posed manner that is more usual to you. I didn’t think you would need to resort to that and I thought you are way better than that, so I am kind of disappointed. You raised a good point and that’s the kind of debate we should be having, but being emotionally detached is hard enough. I hope Hamilton starts forcing his luck too, and gets away with the best result for him for the rest of the season, but that seems unlikely currently.

    That picture of Ross Brawn with the GOLD comment is absolute genius XD

    • I write it as I see it… I have said all along HAM is playing with fire… By criticising the team…. He did it again today…. I am not neutral on the matter… My opinion is clear…..

      • Oh that part is clear (that you’re not neutral). I was just hoping you would be strive to be neutral but I’m headed for disappointment I guess.

        And no, that doesn’t mean I want you to paint a picture where Hamilton is a saint, because he isn’t (I wish he would have not made that allusion to the Lord back in Hungary. Damn, if only someone could teach Lewis to just shut up at times…). No driver who gets to F1 is a saint, there is money, power, politics and connections required to get at this level. I do support Hamilton and I am willing to debate on what’s right and not so right in F1 but I guess that will eventually get me in the same bag as Fortis and get me banned or whatever.

    • “The part that is really not correct is that (in the light of this rule) a leading driver cannot realistically defend his position if all trailing drivers are allowed to stick their noses alongside their rears and get away with any collision that ensues.”

      I don’t think that’s correct. All the rule is about is common sense – if the front of a car is alongside the rear of another car at corner entry then the leading car must give room – at the entry of that corner. If Hamilton had given a bit of room at that corner entry he still would have taken the lead by mid-corner, and would have kept all four tyres intact as well.

      • Hmm, so there’s more than a car’s width there, to the edge of the track. It seems as though Rosberg expected Hamilton to edge him out like he did at Hungary, and when he didn’t, he went for the turn-in.

        Gawd I hate those teal gloves … better than the neon yellow ones he had before, but still not proper racing driver gloves for me. Not a fan of Hamilton’s white ones either, much prefer the old black ones.

      • Wasn’t hard to avoid was it, tho’ for some reason he made it that way……on the second lap of a how many lap race?
        Thought the guy was meant to be smart.

        • “Thought the guy was meant to be smart.”

          I guess leading the F1 world championship, and dominating it since Monaco via systematic and methodical reaction to Hamilton’s BS, suggests he’s not stupid.

          He’s hitting Hamilton where it hurts… 1) out qualifying him, 2) not allowing Hamilton to argy bargy his way around anymore, 3) continuing to adapt immediately to Hamilton revising rules.

          Good tactic i’d say. They were Hamilton’s two major skills, now gone.

          Pretty intelligent to me.

      • The interesting part about that pick, is the distance between the his front and Hamilton’s rear tyre as well his hand position on the wheel. Why is he still turning right?

        Matt, can you get a pick of where Seb was when he tried the same move on the previous lap? That would make for good comparison.

  24. You’re all missing the point: HAM said that he would have let ROS by if he had been closer in Hungary…so ROS made sure he was really close this time around. Plain and simple. In all seriousness (?!), ROS decided it was time for him to get some respect from HAM. Was it smart to make is point on lap 2? Ross must be smiling.

  25. Another ‘measured’ article through Rosberg-tinted spectacles. I said it before but I guess I was talking to deaf ears metaphorically speaking. It would be nice to have the pro-Hamilton take from time to time.

    • Should it be pro Hamilton or just getting the real truth? BBC, Sky … most British press worship the ground on which Hamilton walks.

      I had to watch the rerun of the race yesterday as I was away so knew what to look for and I was not taken up in the emotion of the start. For me it looked like Hamilton did what he normally does, run across the nose of Nico. Only this time Nico did not lift out and stood his ground.

      Let’s be honest folks, we knew this was coming and I don’t think this is the last time they are going to clash either!

  26. What to tell you on this assessment? If you are really not willing to look at the video footage, steering wheel moving sharply and deliberately to the right, fraction of the second before a big chunk of the car in front flying in the air, amount of space at that moment still available for the trailing car to its left, existence of the brake pedal (used responsibly by other drivers in very similar situations yesterday) and not to mention that leading driver in the championship does not have to win, he just have to finish in front to grab the title (forget other drivers for the moment), and consideration that punctured wheel at that spot of the track would cost adversary more time then eventual replacement of the nose cone, well in that case I can only say your assessment is far from objective. And all of this after we have pretty serious confirmations from many sides it was a deliberate act.

  27. If you guys want to be taken seriously as F1 journalists then this is the absolute worst kind of article to put out there… Terrible for many reasons but primary because your anti-Lewis pro-Nico bias is sickening clear for all to see.

    What makes it worse is that you have the audacity to try and vail this sentiment under some poor interpretation of a rule which becomes irrelevant once the drivers actually enter the corner (i.e. where the contact was made);

    ‘Any driver defending his position on a straight and before any braking area”

    If you watched the coverage you would have heard many notable ex-F1 drivers comment that this was a completely amateur move on Nico’s part, the front wing is not a ‘significant portion’ and Lewis was quite within his rights to hold the racing line after entering the corner complex.

    My feeling is that the Lewis hates were worried that they would be eating their words this year. This hasn’t happened, but EVERYONE knows that this is only down to Lewis’s terrible luck.

    We all know Rosberg is good, but not AS GOOD as Hamilton, and i can’t help but feel these ‘Journalists’ are making their opportunistic blows now as they know that inevitably Lewis will come through and out shine Nico.

  28. I think your interpretation is incorrect. That quote is talking about on a straight. They are entering the second part of the right left when they hit, and at this point Rosberg is not anywhere near far enough forward. They hit after Lewis is taking the second part of the corner, this is completely different from only being allowed to defend (ie move off the racing line) once down a straight. Lewis isn’t defending he’s simply taking the racing line, whilst Rosberg has driven into a position where he’ll either run out of track our hit someone. He chose to hit his teammate. I’m not surprised his boss isn’t happy. He’s had months to think about the result of such a collision, I’m not surprised at his action, I think it was premeditated for the next time that circumstance arose. All but win him the championship too…

  29. I read somewhere this morning that HAM said he wasn’t sure he could trust ROS in a wheel to wheel racing type of situation. That sounds like “mission accomplished” for ROS…HAM probably won’t pull another Bahrain any time soon.

  30. I am chiming in much later as I will typically have to do as I am insistent on watching the full British coverage of the race and without opportunity to subscribe being in Canada I have to resort to other means to acquire the race.

    Please bear with me a little while I paint my argument together. Or just skip this comment altogether as I’m sure there are better things to do than read this essay. Nevetheless…

    A little over a decade ago I left my residence and turned onto a street that has a middle lane for those needing to make a left turn. Where I need to turn is about a 500m from the light and during rush hour the traffic the street becomes a parking lot forcing anybody needing to make the left to relying on the light to turn red and for two cars heading to the driver’s right to stop and create a gap in which they can sneak through and make the turn. It is a courtesy, always done and I accepted it that day. I went into the street, stopped just before the middle lane to see as far down as I could and edged out to complete the turn. The next moment, I heard what was the equivalent of a bomb, all the airbags in the car went off and I spun quite a distance before stopping and realizing what had just happened. Amazingly, I wasn’t injured in the least and I left the vehicle to survey the aftermath. I went cold as my entire front end from the drivers side was crunched a few feet ahead of where I was sitting. Had I been out a few more feet I undoubtedly would be writing this comment from a wheelchair or have been unable to due to my new residence in North York Cemetery. The other driver had decided to save time and bullet ed down the middle lane towards the stoplight.

    The cops came, the tow trucks came and in the back of the police vehicle, I gave my version of the story which was pretty much the same coming from the other party in the incident. The Sergeant listened intently and then pulled out the Highway Traffic Act and pointed to a section where it said that “A driver cannot make a left turn until it is deemed completely clear and safe to do so”.

    “I’m sorry”, said the Sergeant (Canadians are always apologizing), “but I’m afraid this accident is your fault”.

    With that the Sergeant was at the end of his shift and turned over the report writing to a junior to whom I had to repeat the entire story after surveying the damage himself and drawing pictures on a form. As the report was being written the junior officer said something interesting. “If I were you, I would 100% per cent take this case to court (hint hint). It is unreasonable to expect this to be your fault when a car is traveling at a high rate of speed down the middle turn lane during rush hour and that is all I have to say”.

    Advice taken, court requested, and on the day, prior to the judge hearing the case, I asked the prosecutor to review the case to perhaps negotiate a lesser charge. A few minutes spent on the file and a discussion with the junior officer, the prosecutor turned and said to me, “If anything the other guy should be prosecuted for being an idiot. I can’t prosecute this case and I’m going to request this case be withdrawn, you’re free to go.”

    Had I technically been the one to break the law? I believe actually Yes. Was the other driver a stupid idiot, reckless and dangerous? Yes. Had I been seriously injured or killed, would the other driver find any comfort in knowing that “technically”, I was in the wrong? I suppose it comes down to what kind of human he is but I doubt it strongly.

    TJ, the regulation in this matter is very weak and certainly not as clear to me on how it should be interpreted if it is a right turn, left turn combination and the driver ahead is on the racing line instead of a straightaway situation.

    And so, Rosberg was perhaps legal by the period of the sentence at the end of this very weak regulation and by what would have been a weak interpretation had Hamilton been penalized as you have contended would have been the case but it doesn’t excuse him from being a complete idiot
    and certainly not reasonable by the court of public opinion. When put into the context of the consequences suffered by the Mercedes team it is even worse. Sure Rosberg benefited but he was very very lucky to have done so as Ted Kravitz pointed out having reported that the chances of this wing being damaged as 100% and the chances of Lewis’ tire being blown out being much less so. For those arguing that Rosberg is growing a pair or that he had to send a message to Lewis, I would ask them to consider Ted’s reporting and the subsequent cost/benefit ratio.

    I’m going to come from left field on this one and say that I actually believe that as a result of Hamilton’s start, he freaked out resulting in the poor decision making. Why else make the desperate and forced move so early when in fact he actually seemed to be faster at that moment naturally and the knowledge that he also had DRS to look forward to?

    Nico had a brain fart and all of the talk afterwards including the allusion that he knew that an accident could occur and went anyway was him trying to save face, reaching for any justification of his actions and damage control.

  31. The rule mentioned in this article does not apply, because the incident did not happen on a straight , but in a corner. Otherwise Magnussen would have also been penalised for pushing Alonso and Button of the track, but was only penalised for pushing Alonso of the track on a straight.

  32. Clearly, neither driver was thinking about these letters; they were racing.
    Hamilton assumed Rosberg would yield.
    Rosberg felt he must hold his line or suffer Hamilton forever him to yield.
    Rosberg’s actions did not cause a collision, but neither did he attempt to avoid one.
    That there was room on track for Rosberg to avoid should be irrelevant.
    Had this been a result of Rosberg making a lunge at the end of the strait; it would be entirely different, but this was the continuation from the previous corner.

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