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TOV Forums > Professional Motorsports > > Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy

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danielgr
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F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-06-2007 14:00
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I am surprised no-one brought all the things that have been going on latelly...

This weekend there has been so many new stuff, this post concentrates on "Hamilton's Fuji affair"...

Some facts
1. It's amazing that "no official F1 camera" got Hamilton's move behind the safety car, but that a Japanese fan got it, then posted it in you_tube... The FIA is trying to close the source, but I don't get it, since that was not official TV footage, it was home-made... In any case, just type "Hamilton Japan you-tube" in google and you'll find the latest working version. According to press reports, more than half a million people have seen it already...

2. I haven't found direct mention on it on English media (f1live is down and I didn't find it that explicitly in Autosport; it might be there though), but apparently there was a drivers meeting on the evidence from the video, and although most of them are smart enough not to make explosive declarations, they agreed on that it was Hamilton's fault and that he should have been punished.

3. They had sanctioned Vettel for crashing on Webber... but then when the video appeared... they just decided that Vettel wasn't responsible, but "neither was Hamilton". He was just told "not to drive like that again", and FIA said that "from now on that will be punished".

4. Alonso has unveiled that there were already complaints to Whiting against both him and Hamilton in Monza, and that the race director warned before the start of Fuji that one was not allowed to accelerate-brake behind the safety-car (as well about the minimum distance regulations).

A few public comments
There have been many "public" critics, here are some of the more concerned people's comments:
- Kovalainen was apparently asked from FIA "not to get too close to LH" (Autosport).
"Obviously it looks like he has done something that was, I think, not acceptable. Webber has been quite outspoken about it, and all I have to say is that when I was behind Hamilton, he was also doing a little bit of accelerating and slowing down, and that moment I didn't inform my team about anything because I didn't think it was anything too dangerous, and I was able to cope with it."

Kovalainen is at the centre of fresh intrigue about what was going on behind the safety car, amid reports that Renault advised him to stay well back of Hamilton on advice from FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

"I was surprised to hear from my team that I had a warning from the FIA to not get too close to Lewis. I was surprised, because I didn't feel I was causing any danger to anyone."


- Kubica, also remained quite "diplomatic" when asked if he thinks he would have got a penalty if touched any other driver (FIA).
"This is a difficult question which I would prefer not to answer. I think this season we have had many contacts between the drivers and nothing happens. We have also had one contact between two drivers which are sitting next to me, and nothing happens, so this is my answer."
Also, if he felt ok about his penalty.
""In my view it was not okay because from the driversí point of view I had not hit him on purpose and we had seen many contacts between two drivers and nothing happened. I get a drive through and we lost less than six seconds and I didnít gain any position. Unfortunately it destroyed my race. It was an FIA decision of the stewards and thatís how it went. We had no time to ask for the decision to be changed. Normally if the accident happens the decision is taken after the race, for example with Nick and Ralf in Nurburgring, but this time it was different. I think that the last time it happened that a driver got a drive through penalty for contact was many years ago.

- Alonso, has actually started to open his mouth after his boss told the press yesterday that "he should talk more (to support his team)". Here is what he said to AS regarding this incident:
(before the verdict) "It's a decision that will be as random as the FIA usually does, one that will go on heads or tails[...].
If it was me I would have been already punished."

(after the verdict). "This year he has been "lucky", like when the crane took his car and put him on the track, which will be penalized from then on. Now he has driven behind the safety-car in some way, which won't be allowed from now on. I wish that if in the future he is found in situations like the ones we got in Monza or Hungary this year, he will also get penalized, and just as quick."

Massa, one of Alonso's traditional "enemies", was maybe one of the most critic on the whole thing (AS reporting on Brazilian press).
"What happened past Sunday is simple too much. On one hand we saw a race where Kubica was punished hard and unfairly for touching LH. The polish was on the inside, on the good side, and there was no intention on touching the other car, so I don't get his sanction. On the other hand, the race leader made some mistakes behind the safety car that should have been punished. In fact, I have seen the video on the Internet, and I don't have any doubt that he should have been sanctioned by braking too hard and causing Webber-Vettel's accident."
"This year many drivers have been punished for small things, but there is one that never has any troubles. It seems as if somebody wanted Hamilton to win the World Championship".


Bernie has been pretty clear concerning his compatriot (Autosport, AS):
"Lewis Hamilton has been a real breath of fresh air and has resurrected Formula One. I have been in motor racing longer than I care to remember, but I have never seen anyone like him. He has been nothing short of a miracle worker.
We lost a big hero in Michael Schumacher but in Lewis we have another[...]
It is painfully obvious to me that the right guy to be world champion is Lewis. In fact, my main fear would be if he didn't win it. Kimi Raikkonen barely talks to anyone and as such has done little for the sport, and as for Fernando Alonso, in his two years as world champion he has done nothing."




There is much more to read, but I can't post everything. In the end, to each his own opinion... the only thing that might be clear for anyone, is that LH isn't really making friends among the drivers...

danielgr
Profile for danielgr
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-06-2007 14:15
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I've just found the "drivers meeting" thing on Autosport. Here is a small quote:

The allegation that Hamilton's driving had contributed to the collision between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in Japan was discussed late on Friday at a meeting of the drivers presided over by Formula One race director Charlie Whiting.

"The drivers' briefing has no purpose," Alonso said.

"You go there to hear what Charlie Whiting and the other officials say. Twenty one drivers have an opinion, Charlie and the officials another, and so it's like talking to a wall.

"It's better not to waste time and try to have fun in the car."


JMU R1
Profile for JMU R1
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-06-2007 14:15
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I don't see why the drivers should be mad at Hamilton. its just the FIA playing favorites again. The same way they've always played favorites with Ferrari and der Schumacher. At least its somewhat nice to see them favoring someone other than Ferrari for once.

I can't even say what the FIA should or shouldn't have done at this point because I have no idea of where they want the line to be. Lewis was driving dangerously and there is a rule about it but the accident wouldn't have happened if Vettel had been looking where he was going. I can't see why Kubica was penalized for hitting Hamilton and Vettel wasn't for hitting Alonso (or was it Coulthard) but at the same time I don't know how they didn't penalize Alonso for driving Hamilton off track at Spa (also against the rules).

The FIA should just do a gameshow where they throw darts at a board or play roulette to come up with their rulings because they can't do much worse at this point. At least a game show would be entertaining and if it was truly random it'd be more fair than it is now.

danielgr
Profile for danielgr
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-06-2007 14:58
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JMU R1 wrote:
I don't see why the drivers should be mad at Hamilton. its just the FIA playing favorites again. The same way they've always played favorites with Ferrari and der Schumacher.

Well, I guess that in the end many drivers just agree with you, since the overall motto seems to be turning to "now we know that things are like that, so'll be it".

I guess that those having the same feeling you have about FIA favoring MS in the past, thought that kind of practice would change now that he is gone. So maybe they first showed their disappointment at finding themselves on "the same old shit", then "live with it".

musicmanvin
Profile for musicmanvin
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-06-2007 17:40
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well, i honestly thought LH was going to get punished.. because the rules said that the driver had to keep a certain amount of distance behind the safety car, and couldn't fall back to far behind the safty car, also the rules stated that you aren't allowed to pass the person in front of you.

everyone was supposed to be going at the same speed and following behind each other in a straight line with a certain amount of distance separating the cars.. and if what Alonso said about the race director saying that no one is allowed to brake and accelerate heavily behind the safety car, then LH broke a rule and should have been punished.. Also i remember reading that Webber was told not to get to close to LH, instead of LH being told to not brake heavily and accelerate.. and Webber cant stay to far behind because thats also a rule and he would have gotten punished for being to far behind... and Vettles punishment has been lifted. but it seems like hes gotten a different one at china, i wonder what happened i cant find anything about it

so, i would say its the FIA favoring LH because hes about the win the WC as a rookie and will get the FIA more MONEY...


sadlerau
Profile for sadlerau
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-06-2007 19:43
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JMU R1 wrote:
....
Lewis was driving dangerously and there is a rule about it but the accident wouldn't have happened if Vettel had been looking where he was going. I can't see why Kubica was penalized for hitting Hamilton and Vettel wasn't for hitting Alonso (or was it Coulthard) but at the same time I don't know how they didn't penalize Alonso for driving Hamilton off track at Spa (also against the rules).



What Alonso did in Spa IS ok under the un-written driver's code. The car on the racing line has the right to follow that line to the edge of the track. That is why I don't think you will find any comment on the incident from other drivers. If Hamilton chose to stay beside Alonso and not back off, it is Hamilton's problem. Massa and Kubica had a similar situation going on the last lap at Fuji.

At non-professional levels of motor sport, you usually give your opponent just enough room to stay on the black stuff, but you try and squeeze him enough that he thinks he has to back off. If your lucky.

Hamilton was not doing too much wrong, just doing it too suddenly, that is why the FIA has not punished him but said you can't do it again. Vettel only deserved a reprimand. Bummer for Webber though!!

SonyFever
Profile for SonyFever
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-07-2007 00:55
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Thanks danielgr for the collection.

I almost forget Kubica was punished... and yes I think it was more Hamilton's fault because Kubica was already there when Hamilton tightened his line. But in those condition it's difficult for every driver... so this was minor compared with his maneuver behind SC.

I saw the Youtube video and it was apparent Hamilton should be punished. His move was erratic no wonder Vettel said he thought Hamilton had mechanical problem.

A couple of drivers talked about the incident on Friday press conference and I feel they could be more outspoken. But nobody dare touching FIA in these days I guess, so unfortunately there's nothing anyone can do....

Honda Dream
Profile for Honda Dream
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-07-2007 05:37
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And I believe such situation should be punished with drive-thru. Hamilton was off the track at Spa not because FA did not leave him any space. He was off because he did not back off and he was supposed to regulationswise. FA was on the racing line and had a right to follow it while Hamilton was supposed to stay behind him on the track and not go wheel to wheel using off the track area. The same should be done to Massa and Kubica at Fuji. The fight should be executed on the track. Off track is for extraordinary circumstances but because they put asphalt now on it they think they can race on it too. It should be gravel like before. They would never entered it because "he did not leave me any space".
JMU R1
Profile for JMU R1
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-09-2007 13:26
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Actually the generally accepted criterion for passing is that if the overtaking driver is more than halfway past the other car before turn in, then the other driver must yield racing room.

Hamilton was passing on the outside and was clearly next to Alonso. Furthermore it was clear that Alonso drove wider at corner exit than he normally would, driving Hamilton off track. Alonso even ended up with wheels off the track. I don't know if he did so on purpose but it certainly looked like it. If someone is passing on the inside or outside the driver being passed does not have the right to drive them off track if the overtaker has pulled more than halfway next to them.

floundericiousMI
Profile for floundericiousMI
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-09-2007 16:59
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musicmanvin wrote:

everyone was supposed to be going at the same speed and following behind each other in a straight line with a certain amount of distance separating the cars..



Anyone else remember a certain young british driver, driving a Williams-BMW in year 2000 who managed to plow off and crash at Monza while in (I think) 5th place behind the safety car? The cars ahead of him slowed dramatically for racing space behind the safety car and he didn't see it coming!

sadlerau
Profile for sadlerau
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-09-2007 19:02
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JMU R1 wrote:
Actually the generally accepted criterion for passing is that if the overtaking driver is more than halfway past the other car before turn in, then the other driver must yield racing room.



Actually that is the rule when the passing car is attempting to take the corner off the car in front, diving down the inside, off the racing line. If the pass is on the outside, the car on the racing line has right of way.

I'm no Alonso fan, but he was perfectly within his rights at Spa.

JMU R1
Profile for JMU R1
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-09-2007 19:59
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sadlerau wrote:
JMU R1 wrote:
Actually the generally accepted criterion for passing is that if the overtaking driver is more than halfway past the other car before turn in, then the other driver must yield racing room.



Actually that is the rule when the passing car is attempting to take the corner off the car in front, diving down the inside, off the racing line. If the pass is on the outside, the car on the racing line has right of way.

I'm no Alonso fan, but he was perfectly within his rights at Spa.


Not true. If someone is overtaking on the outside that does not give the other driver the right to drive him off the road. The driver getting passed should not track out all the way to the edge of the track if another driver is beside him.

Think of it this way. If someone is passing on the inside and pulls up far enough before turn in, then the driver getting passed cannot turn into him and either strike his car or run him off the road to the inside. The same is true in reverse.

Think back to Suzuka in 2005. Alonso made a pass on the outside at 130R (on Schumacher I believe). If Schumacher had driven him out to the curbs Alonso would have been forced off the track at well over 150 mph.

There is actually an article on passing etiquette in Sports Car magazine this month (SCCA's official magazine) that talks about just this kind of thing. I'll have to see if he (Randy Pobst) specifically addresses passes on the outside.

sadlerau
Profile for sadlerau
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-09-2007 20:52
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I think the thing your missing in this, is how close to the limit of adhesion was Alonso during that first corner at Spa? We shall never know, but there lies the problem. If Alonso WAS on the limit, or just over, then the line he took looked pretty normal to me. Because Alonso was on the racing line, it was Hamiltons problem to keep clear of Alonso's car.
I don't see this being any different from the Massa incident on the last lap, at Fuji, where Massa was carted wide into the "grass".

The 130R incident is very different. It is a curve, as opposed to a sharp, "low speed" [now there's a relative term] corner. The inside car will always be much more careful in a curve, because the damage and/or loss of control from even the merest touch, will have much greter consequences for both cars at a curve like 130R.

Watch the start of most any GP, and the first corner shuffle, especially one that incorporates a tight corner, will always end with some cars being forced wide off the track. If your not searching for the grip limit, your not playing the game :)

Neilap
Profile for Neilap
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2007 00:59
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It obvious to me that Alonso deliberately forced LH off the track. LH had a better start, pulled alongside FA going into the turn. If Alonso had kept his 'normal' line (normal because of his misake, locking up and losing pace) LH would have passed him. He drove LH off the track. LH drove off track to avoid an accident and was luckily able to maintain speed. Neither driver was given a penalty but I think if one was it should have been FA. He made the mistake and then decided to cover up by driving a competitor off the track. Look at what other drivers did on the first corner, Alonso's move was extreme. Also, if Alonso was on the normal racing line how would someone on a lesser line pull alongside him and be in a position to pass? Alonso's position was compormised. LH was in control while FA was floundering about.

Had Alonso not locked up, maybe he would have had better exit speed and needed to use up more of the track but from where he was the line he took was not defensive but aggressive. Its done all the time in racing. LH does it at the start of races when he chops accross the the track; the difference is he does not force anyone off the track, just to the edge of it.

SonyFever
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Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2007 01:01
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Well it's usually advised not to pass others from the outside, even if you're faster due to safety reason... but these drivers are some of the best in the world, and some of them know each other's driving style so well that some of the moves that appear dangerous to us are all within their controls, if not plans.

I think the general rule of thumb for us don't necessarily apply to them :)

sadlerau
Profile for sadlerau
Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2007 01:34
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Neilap wrote:
It obvious to me that Alonso deliberately forced LH off the track. LH had a better start, pulled alongside FA going into the turn. If Alonso had kept his 'normal' line (normal because of his misake, locking up and losing pace) LH would have passed him. He drove LH off the track. LH drove off track to avoid an accident and was luckily able to maintain speed. Neither driver was given a penalty but I think if one was it should have been FA. He made the mistake and then decided to cover up by driving a competitor off the track. Look at what other drivers did on the first corner, Alonso's move was extreme. Also, if Alonso was on the normal racing line how would someone on a lesser line pull alongside him and be in a position to pass? Alonso's position was compormised. LH was in control while FA was floundering about.

Had Alonso not locked up, maybe he would have had better exit speed and needed to use up more of the track but from where he was the line he took was not defensive but aggressive. Its done all the time in racing. LH does it at the start of races when he chops accross the the track; the difference is he does not force anyone off the track, just to the edge of it.



Well actually no, I don't agree with your assessment. One of three things happen in this scenario - the inside driver eases the throttle to tighten his line, giving his opponent "racing room", or the outside driver eases the throttle and backs out of the situation.

Lastly we have what happened at Spa, and at Fuji and most other tracks of the world. Two intensely competitive individuals, who don't particuarly enjoy each other's company contested the same piece of ground.

It was a racing incident, please get over it. Sure, a nice person would have given the other room, but tell me where in the job description does it say you have to be nice to be a World Champion?

Do you remember some of the antics between Senna and Prost, when they were team mates at McLaren? I do, and the Alonso and Hamilton show is VERY tame by comparison.

Mechanic
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Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2007 04:51
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Thank you for taking the time to write this up and quote the items you did. I've been trying to follow these controversies to reach some objective conclusions, and your comments are consistently insightful.
Dren
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Re: F1-Fuji: Lewis Hamilton move behind safety-car controversy    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2007 08:07
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Massa needs to pull a Schumacher and drive into Hamilton at Brazil so Kimi and Alonso can fight for the Championship.

 
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