Editor's Blog
May 16, 2010

A harsh but technically fair punishment

Posted on 16/05/2010

© Getty Images


By the letter of the law the action by the stewards to hand Michael Schumacher is correct. The rule change which came into effect at the start of the season meant what he did was illegal, but it appears unlikely anyone was aware of that. However, he can consider himself very harshly penalised for an action almost any one of the other drivers would in all likelihood have done.

As the safety car left the track Fernando Alonso tried to accelerate but on very worn tyres he lost traction and his rear-end wobbled. Schumacher, who was also accelerating, spotted a tiny opening and nipped past the Ferrari. It was superb opportunism and in the immediate aftermath the consensus was what he had done was fair.

Ferrari’s suggestions Alonso knew there could be no overtaking looked dubious; if he did, why was he so eager to hit the gas and try to speed out of the corner?

Once the rule book had been checked then, unfortunately, there could only be one outcome. The large number of Schumacher fans who have sent emails accusing Damon Hill, one of the stewards in Monaco, of settling old scores are missing the point. There was no room for leeway and had the punishment not been handed down then the ramifications would have been serious. The fact that the field was concertinaed so close to the finish made the 20-second penalty disproportionately harsh.

This will not be the end of it. Schumacher may well have his finish reinstated on appeal. Even if he doesn’t, it’s likely there will be some tweaks to the rules.

Comments

Posted by Mirek on 16/05/2010

The Race control issued a "Safety Car In This Lap" on the final lap. If the race was to end under the safety car - this comment was unnecessary and is understood to mean that the race resumes when the safety car goes into the pits. Since it was the last lap - the continuation of the race lasted exactly - one corner, in which Schumacher passed Alonso. Fairly certain that the court of appeals will reinstate Schumacher's points from 6th place.

Posted by ZILLE ALI on 16/05/2010

well i must say when the safety car was in the track lights went green and so were the flags, if there was no overtaking allowed than the lights and flags must've remained yellow, and green flags and lights means free to race, correct me if im wrong?

And i agree that ferrari's suggestion that alonso knew is dubious cause if he knew he wouldnt be flooring the paddle.
and i blame the race control and partially marshals for not taking into consideration the fact that green flags waved just after the safety car was in.

Posted by OpperMeneer on 16/05/2010

I agree. Ferrari seem to have believed the race would finish under yellow, but I was hard not to notice the big green light flashing at Rascasse. I'm also prety certain the court will reinstate Schumacher's 6th place.

Posted by marie pelser on 16/05/2010

From what we saw the safety car did not finish in front of weber at the chequered flag ,therefore the race was still on when Schumi passed Alonso.I think Schumi needs his position back.Alonso must stop crying about everything and realise he was beaten on the last corner.There was always talk that Damon Hill might do something like this.

Posted by meshak on 16/05/2010

schumacher definitely deserves 6th place...alonso just can pretend that he din try to defend..even rosberg try to pass him where he was blocked by alonso...over all DAMON HILL WON THE BATTLE AFTER 16 YEARS

Posted by Ashack on 16/05/2010

Green means "go", no? If no passing is allowed and a race is to finish under yellow / safety car, why not leave the yellows on and the safety car out? This is not a Schumacher error, but one of race control.

Posted by Rick on 16/05/2010

I think it was just confusing that green lights were waved when racing was actually not allowed.

But although Mercedes are appealing, the drive-through penalty cannot be appealed, so Michael Schumacher will finish 12th regardless the outcome of Mercedes's appeal.

Posted by Mark F on 16/05/2010

From the FIA regs:
40.13 If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

It is his job, as well as Mercedes GP, to know the rules.

Posted by krs on 16/05/2010

Green flags means go go go race. So I would say they signaled wrong. Worst case scenario because of that should be to push Schumacher back to seventh. Not that stupid 20 second penalty. He always get stupidly hard penalties.

Posted by piconico on 16/05/2010

Forgive my ignorance. If the race "ended under the Safety Car" - why then didnt the Safety Car escort the concertina of cars over the finish line? Why did it come in, followed by green flags?

And if Alonso lost the tail of his car and wobbled, what was Schumacher supposed to do? Brake and risk the car behind to crash into him?

There is something fishy here. It seems that if the penalty remains, perhaps Damon Hill can finally consider he has settled his account with Schumacher. On the other hand, if the penalty is lifted, then there will be shouts of foul - that Jean Todt is favouring Schumacher.

Posted by Neville on 16/05/2010

In terms of the Regulations provision is made for races finishing under the Safety Car. In this instance it was Officially announced that 'the Safety Car would be in this lap'. The fact that there was a green light and the fact that Alonso accelerated hard enough to cause his car to slide only serve to confirm that Michael Schumacher performed a legitimate manouvre and cannot be penalised for this occurance. Whether Hill accepts it or not these are the facts and to be part of the irregular findings made in this instance one will naturally question his motives.

Posted by Bane on 16/05/2010

Agree with the comments above... did the "Editor" who wrote this article even watch the race?

Where has the Editor addressed the real issue - namely the fact that the "new" rule 40.13 should not have been applied as the race did not in fact finish under yellow because the safety car came in to the pits on the final lap.

Editor's Comment The rule is as follows: "If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pitlane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking."

If you read this you will see the fact the safety car came into the pits on the final lap does not mean normal racing continues. Regardless of the situation on the track, if the safety car is out at the time the race would end then it leaves the track to allow the cars to take the chequered flag.

Posted by Salvador Costa on 16/05/2010

Green = go! No discussions of that! Only Alonso spanish fans think different!

Posted by Markus Thorssell on 16/05/2010

I think that the FIA is doing a big mistake here! The teams got green light, that means back to racing, the saftey car went in. We could all see this at the tvscreen. The FIA did a mistake, they should never have taken away the yellowflag and tell the team "safteycar in this lap" but they cant admitte and its very hard to penalise Schumacher for this. All drivers put the pedal to the medal in the last corner so therefore everyone thought that it was back to racing.

Posted by Keith on 16/05/2010

"The rule change which came into effect at the start of the season meant what he did was illegal, but it appears unlikely anyone was aware of that." Well, I was watching the coverage on Speed TV, and all of the announcers indicated that Schumacher's overtaking move was against the rules. It was very clear (and brought up by the announcers) that the race was finishing under the Safety Car.

It is understandable why you don't want the Safety Car to lead the cars across the finish line.

Anyone who wonders why Alonso (and all the other drivers) sped up at the finish probably has not competed themselves. It is much more satisfying to go flat out across the finish line than limp across.

I'm sure that confusion might have played a part, but MS broke the rules, period. He didn't earn 6th, but maybe only demoted a couple places instead of 12th. Mercedes is going to lose any appeal, the rules are very clear. The announcers knew the rules, so should have Mercedes.

Posted by Milan on 16/05/2010

I am absolutely gutted. I believe we are watching F1 and that in itself should mean overtaking at every possibility. Schumacher's move was a class act, absolutely caught Alonso sleeping. Even at his age, MS still is much more alert to every opportunity than any of the youngsters. This man brings a lot more to F1 than anyone else. I just hope they reinstate his 6th position. All the talk about Alonso knew MS would be penalized and that he knew no overtaking was allowed is a pile of crap. Fact is, it's safe to say, The Real Schumy is back.

Posted by Demon Hill on 16/05/2010

Schumacher has, and always will be a cheater. He deserved it and FIA will NOT reinstate his points. Never seen a driver so cheater ... did you guys don't remember incidents with Hill, Villenueve and also Monaco of some years ago ? Guy is a devil in disguise and Brawn his mentor !

Posted by Iano on 16/05/2010

MarkF,
While you are correct with that rule it doesn't apply. The race didn't finish under the safety car, the message to the teams was safety car in this lap, therefore it was in and not leading the race anymore.

Posted by londor on 16/05/2010

Rule 40.13 clearly states that "the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking". So green lights but no overtaking.

Posted by grip on 16/05/2010

Only the big Schumi would imagine and make that move in last corner of the final lap in Monaco.
This guy deserves the most brave overtake in this year's Monaco,and they gave him a 20sec penalty?
FIA go home....

Posted by Daniel on 16/05/2010

Legal move, no doubt about it. I simply don't understand the Stewards decision.

Posted by vegar on 16/05/2010

Schumacher had 18 laps less in his tires and that gave him a good chanche at attacking Alonso when the SC wen`t in. Everebody raced from the second last corner as the flags and lights and even the race controls orders reinstated the race from that point untill the chequered flag.
Schumacher did a brilliand move and he outmanouvered Alonso to win 6th position. Rosberg nearly made a pass top but then Alonso managed to block successfully.
It was great racing, the move of the race by Schumacher and I must say that both Damon Hill and the author of the article above needs to get real and fair about what happened.

Schumacher and Alonso raced because they got the go to do so.

Finally I must say I lost another bit respect for Alonso after his comment claiming he knew Schumacher wasn`t allowed to pass. A plain lie.

Posted by DK Darby on 16/05/2010

Seems to this former Formula Ford driver who both won and lost, that a simple rule is being forgotten by many an unwashed "expert" here (unwashed as in "never held a license or won an open-wheeel race"): you can't pass on a re-start before the "starting line"; hello?! If the starting line is also the finish line on that lap, the race is over. At the very least you can't pass before the pit entrance where the Safety Car/Pace Car left the track. Otherwise people, why not just pass each other in the restroom three days before the race? Or the moment your race engineer tells you over your radio that the Safety Car has turned-off it's lights? Or in the tunnel where "nobody will see you"? Remember when Schumi got nailed for passing on a formation lap? If what he did this time was ok to do, it would have been happening all over the track between every car - but it wasn't. The wording of the rule is poor, but this is from "Race-Rules 101". Even FF beginners know that, at the end of Week One.

Posted by Stephen Piccinino on 16/05/2010

We need to make a distinction between 'the race finishing with the safety car' and 'the safety car coming back in the pits on the final lap'.

If it was declared that the race was going to finish 'when the safety car was deployed', then the safety car has to come in the pits in the last corner and no one can overtake. This implements rule 40.13.

However, what happened was that no declaration of this sort took place whatsoever. The safety car simply went back in again. Now whether this occurred on lap 3, 45 or lap 78 it does not make a difference because the race was still not finished yet - and how many meters are left is irrelevant. Therefore all cars could race freely from the safety car line to the finish line and race control was correct.

Posted by Eric C on 16/05/2010

The rules are as clear as day. The safety car comes in, drivers cross the line with no overtaking. It is up to the drivers and teams to know the rules. Schumacher and Mercedes either did not know them, or are trying to weasel their way past them. The green light doesn't matter, accelerating doesn't matter, the FIA rulebook is what matters. You can argue whether the penalty is harsh or not, but they are correct in putting Alonso back to 6th place. The pass was illegal according to the rules.

Posted by Alex Bublea on 16/05/2010

It is true that if the race finishes unde safety car, the safety care enters the pits at the last lap so the others can finish the race alone. But the race control said "safety car IN THIS LAP" dammit! And the lights were green, and the green flags were waving allover the place. Schu was clearly behind Alonso when they crossed the safety car line, and then went for it because all the signals were green to go. It is not fair at all that Schu gets penalised so harshly for race control's mistake. And penalised with a "post race drive trhrough" also, because those cannot be appealed (lol). But...rules are rules, i just hope they give him back his 6th place.

Posted by Dodo on 16/05/2010

Thank you Damon H.
Nicely done!

Posted by Bemused on 16/05/2010

What is it that all you crying Schumacher fans can't see. The race is re-started under Green yes, but the rules state that when the safety car comes in there can be no overtaking to the chequered flag. Simple - NO OVERTAKING. So whether Schumacher and Mercedes understand the rules or not is irrelavent, they broke them, therefore they get penalised. That's it.

As for Damon Hill settling old scores, a 20 second penalty is hardly revenge for being cheated out of a championship by a driver who cheated on many more occassions, the most blatant being Monaco qualifying a few years ago.

And KRS - Schumacher always getting stupidly hard penalties. Open your eyes, he got away unpenalised for many indescretions in his career, particularly the Ferrari years, ably assisted by the Mclaren hating personnel of the FIA.

Posted by DJ on 16/05/2010

First of all I think the FIA made a mistake here, The Safety car should absolutely go in on the occasion it did but there should never have been green light to race the last corner. Secondly i dont think Damon Hill is the one who judged Schumacher on this occasion, Damons job today was not to judge but more to give a drivers input on complicated situations. And Last i am a big fan of both Schumi and Alonso so this is not written to anyones favor. What i would hope for is that the Appeal renders Schumi back to 7th he did deserve that and perhaps even 6th.

Posted by Maarten van Berge Henegouwen on 16/05/2010

(don't get me wrong I am a big fan of Alonso)
"Track Clear / Safety Car in this Lap / Green flags" is quite different from "Finish under Safety Car / Yellow Flags". This is actually a fairly simple case legally

Posted by Gabriel de Leon on 16/05/2010

This penalty is non-sense all of us who watch the race on TV clearly saw the message from race control. "Safety Car In this lap" this means an open race afterward. I am a Ferrari Fan and I support Alonso as well but clearly Schumacher won the position fairly at the end.

Posted by Dan on 16/05/2010

The race did NOT end under safety car. I was just surprised to see "safety car in" in the last lap.
If the race would have ended under safety car, the flags should have been yellow and there should have been no "safety car in" message.

To me, "safety car in" means the race can resume.
To me, green flags means the race can resume.

I guess Daemon Hill doesn't see green as I do?

Posted by Richard on 16/05/2010

Not a shumi fan but at the very most he should be returned to 7th since Damon is saying the race was already over before it went green. And as a driver, a green is a green regardless of the "rule" since it is impossible for Charlie to personally contact each driver out there for the last turn of the last lap. That is why the lights and flags. I suppose if a driver is to ignore the green, might as well ignore the black or yellow as well. BTW, I hope Shumi prevales as Trulli did in Austrailia. Alonso got beat, that is all.

Posted by mona on 16/05/2010

Read the new rule. "If the race ends with the safty car deployed, the car will enter pits @end of the final lap, while the f1 cars will cross the finish line without overtaking!"

Posted by asish on 16/05/2010

It appears the entire episode took place due to a failing on the part of race control. The penalty if at all deemed necessary must be handed out to race control. Should the move an position gain be considered invalid or illegal due to a failing on the part of race control, the position of of 7th place should be returned to Michael and Fernando should retain 6th. And race control must accept blame and take corrective action to not repeat such a fiasco again. FIA has been an embarressment in recent years; and the above steps could help retain some credibility. One cannot blame Damon for the absurd rules, however one would expect a former racer to understand the racer's perspective under what appeared to be a situation brought about by the manner in which the race control sent out its instructions. Plus Fernando must be the stupidest racing driver to get so excited with his car - if he believed a safety car finish was to take place.

Posted by Ian on 16/05/2010

Look at the weight of opinion here.... Green means go..... what a great move...... if the safety car had to come in then fine but leave the yellows out.... give Shumi his points back.... simples.....

Posted by Rex Lim on 16/05/2010

As much as I like Schumi and not Alonso (it should be the former in the Ferrari), rules are rules.

In normal safety car periods (say the other 3 times it was deployed in Monaco), right when the safety car comes in, racing resumes once the cars cross the start/finish line. There is no overtaking before crossing the line.

Now we also have clear rules (Rule 40.13) to tell everybody about a safety car on the last lap.

I think it really should be clear, and Mercedes is wasting money in appealing. They should just spend the money making the car better.

Posted by f1champ on 16/05/2010

I saw the youtube video from Schumi's car and there was a bright green light flashing before he made the move and green means free for all. At the worst, they should have demoted him back to 7th, not 12th.

Posted by jas32 on 16/05/2010

so what if alonso car had some mechnical failure and couldnt hit the gas in the last corner and 4 cars ran past him. Is it still fair to give all 4 the 20sec penaulty? I understand the rule but it's just stupid and unfair. They probably treak it cause they dont want a safety car to seemingly take the win dont make nice photo finish by crossing the flag first

Posted by Arsh on 16/05/2010

I thought it was fine piece of racing from Schumacher who caught Alonso napping. Sad that it was took away from him. As you said, it was harsh but technically correct.

Posted by d on 16/05/2010

the race didnt end under safety car, so schumacher should get 6th place back, if the race would have finished under safety car, the safety car should have past the finish line with webber following in 1st etc.

Posted by Daniel on 16/05/2010

If the race finishes under safety car the safety car will peel off into the pits on the final corner. This DOES NOT mean that the safety car peeling off into the pits on the last corner means the race is finishing under safety car.

40.13 says IF the race finishes under safety car... but if the race was to finish under safety car the flags wouldn't have been green and the 'safety car in this lap' message shouldn't have been sent.

If the race was to finish under safety car, 40.13 dictates that the safety car would still have pulled in but the flags wouldn't have gone green and the message wouldn't have been displayed.

Posted by Remco Hitman on 16/05/2010

Rule 40.13 is clear as day but not in effect in this particular case as the race did not finish under the safety car.

Rule 40.4 reads: "...all marshal's posts will display waved yellow flags and "SC" boards for the duration of the intervention."

This indicates that the safety car intervention was no longer in effect once the yellow flags and SC boards were replaced by green flags.

Rule 40.11 might suggest otherwise, stating that green flags are always waved as the safety car enters the pits. However, the "safety car in this lap" statement by the race director contradicts this. If the race was considered to finish while the safety car was deployed, said statement would have been for naught since the safety car must then always enter the pits on the last lap as per rule 40.13.

Rule 40.11 also gives proof that the SC period ended since it follows that the "safety car in this lap" statement is an indication that the clerk of the course decides the SC will be called in.

Posted by Dan on 16/05/2010

I am so sick of this stupid rule changes! Once again the changes have been detrimental to the spectacle. I wish we could go back to the rules as they were in 1999.

Either way, I was happy to see a more aggressive Michael. It's a good thing for everyone in Formula 1.

Posted by Paul on 16/05/2010

I am a Schumacher fan but rules are rules. Im sure half the people that posted in favor of Michael would feel different if it was Alonso passing Michael. Lets get on with it and hope someone can catch the Red Bulls.

Posted by Barry Finch on 16/05/2010

What is wrong with most of you people? The rule states as follows:

40.13 If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

Did the race end while the safety was deployed? Yes

Did the Safety pull into the pitlane at the end of the last lap? Yes

Did Schumacher overtake? Yes

This means that Schumacher broke this rule as he should not have overtaken regardless of whether it was a yellow or green flag situation.

Some of you people should wake up and smell the coffee and read the rule properly without your blinkers on.

Posted by Chino Nagellini on 16/05/2010

If the lights/flags are green then there is racing. The correct light/flag should have been yellow, it wasn't. Race control and the course marshalls made the mistake, the driver did not. Penalize race control not the driver.

Posted by Rino on 17/05/2010

If this happened during the race, Schumacher would have been instructed to let Alonso back past him and there would be no penalty. As he had no oppurtunity to do this I feel at worst he should be demoted behind Alonso not 20 seconds. Or he should keep 6th because the lights and flags were green.

Posted by John D on 17/05/2010

"He always get stupidly hard penalties. " Please. More so the opposite. Ramming, barge boards,and all the rest. Ferrari always gets preferential treatment. Schumi brain-faded. Penalty. Simple as that.

Posted by AB on 17/05/2010

Shouldn't the Stewards be investigating the actions of Rueben Barichello who threw his steering wheel across the race track after crashing out? This resulted in Hamilton running over it. This could have cauased a puncture and other damage to Hamiltons car.

Posted by Paul on 17/05/2010

"If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed..................."
The race did not end while the safety car was deployed. The safety car was in the pits!

"...........it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap..........."
The pit lane cannot be entered at the end of a lap. This is a physical impossibility. The start/ finish line is after the pit entrance. To "end a lap" the finish line must be crossed.

The rule is badly written nonsense (non-sense).

Posted by Stefano Fiorini on 17/05/2010

I do not understand all these comments in favor of Michael's pass. The overtaking was illegal by Formula 1 regulations and by regulations of all other series in the world.
There is no possibility that 6th position will be reinstated because:
1) The overtake was illegal
2) Such penalties (drive thru) cannot be appealed.

Posted by Jack Torrance on 17/05/2010

Rule 40.13 is clear enough, but as others pointed out there where green flags, there was a green light flashing and no more sc signs to be seen, wich are all mandatory in a deployed safety car situation. Add to that a message 'safety car deployed' must remain on the timing screens.

As it is, the screen message said:"safety car in this lap', wich had Brawn telling Shumi to be ready.

I think the race controller made a serious mistake with the removal of the mandatory yellow flags and sc signs aside the track. If one team was in breach of FIA regulations it was race control themselves. This will help the appeal.

The FIA installed this rule so the sc doesnt take the chequered flag. Regardless if the race was boring, there must be a photofinish. Hypocrites.
It created confusion in the teams and whatever way the penalty went, someone was gonna be wrongfully penalised. In this case I think Mercedes made the right call and should get that place back. And suspend Damon Hill as steward.

Posted by Daniel on 17/05/2010

It's worth also considering the first part of regulation 40.11

"When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message "SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP" will be displayed on the timing monitors and the car's orange lights will be extinguished."

You'd have to say that if the race was to 'finish under safety car' then the track wouldn't be safe. The message wouldn't be displayed, and the flags would certainly stay out.

A question you might want to ask is, if the safety car were due in on the last lap, and the race were not due to finish under safety car, what would the procedure be?

I would say it would be exactly what was done at Monaco.

Posted by Peter Perrone on 17/05/2010

I agree that the FIA should have used more brains than they did in setailing the safety car was coming in but no passing is allowed by leaving the yellow lights on and yellow flags waving. However, the rule is clear and has been there since the beginning of the season and Brawn should have informed his drivers. As for the penalty, there should be no penalty and just place MS back in 7th place, that would be the fairest thing to do IMHO!

Posted by Mike Metzdorf on 17/05/2010

Real racers understand the color GREEN!
Shcumi sees GREEN, it's as if RED to the Bull. His natural instinct is to CHARGE ahead. How can a racer, especially one of the greatest, be penalised for this? I would be disappointed if he had not attacked Alonso. Thanks Michael for showing us the competitive spirit.
FIA, thanks for whatever is to come of this.........

Posted by Adrian Marino on 17/05/2010

schumi is the most articulate smart drivers ever to race,it has been noted time and again that to drive an f1 car it requires 100% of a drivers concenration,some even struggle to talk to the pits and even get reminded to breath, whereas schumi can drive one of these things using 85% and uses the other fifteen to concentrate on the race and on what other drivers are doing etc,he knew alonso's tires were gone and that the race would be on from the last corner, as did alonso thats why he defended as much as he could against schu and rosberg,if the race didn't restart alonso would have let schu, rosberg,everyone pass and basically walk the car to the line knowing he was in the right.From webber on wards they all raced from the last corner cause the lights were green, and alonso got caught out, what are you telling people who are occasional viewers looking to get into the sport by saying doesn't matter green lights, you can't pass, as usual schumi brillance!everone gets upset.A Mr D,Hill???

Posted by Hitendra Vasudeo on 17/05/2010

when michael shifted from benetton to ferrari in 1997. it took about 4 season for him to become world champion. Now he is fresh as new rules and game has change in 3 years now. Mercedes cannot waste time just to honour michael . enough of respecting. he is over. unnecessary nico is getting blocked because of him. Nico has second in 3 practice whereas as miachel could not match his speed. michael had won a few race on back of some rules and also on back of barichalo. he wave also lucky on many occasion. to win a single race also is next to impossible for him

Posted by Jean Paul Tabja on 17/05/2010

It is unbelievable. Once more Formula 1 doing things the wrong way. This is not motorsports! It is a shame that things that even a 1 year old baby would understand went the other way. The safety car was not in front of the pack when Mark Webber crossed the finish line. The line was in green when Schumacher passed Alonso. What is going on here? Totally wrong and against the sport.

Posted by Brian on 17/05/2010

I think the FIA's mistake was to wave green flags too early.

As I understand it, even if race conditions are reconfirmed after a safety car returns to the pits, overtaking is not allowed until after crossing the start/finish line?

This is the way it used to be anyway.

I completely agree with rule 40.13 anyway, with the safety car entering the pits to allow the clear photo finish for the press etc..... and more so at Monaco.

Posted by Anonymous on 17/05/2010

You guys are ridiculous. I'm a huge Schumacher fan and I can tell you the ruling was correct. The rule was read out loud on the television. When the safety car pulls in on the last lap of the race all cars must keep their current positions. So what Alonso knew or didn't know does not matter. Its clear as day. Don't let your loyalties blind you.

Posted by Rovert on 17/05/2010

The main culprit here is the marshalls who waived green flags after the safety car headed into the pits.

Technically after the safety car enters the pits racing resumes only after crossing the start-finish line. Since crossing the start finish line meant that the race was over, the move is therefore illegal.

Posted by amol on 17/05/2010

Ferrari’s suggestions Alonso knew there could be no overtaking looked dubious; if he did, why was he so eager to hit the gas and try to speed out of the corner?
Fernando Alonso tried to accelerate but on very worn tyres he lost traction and his rear-end wobbled. Schumacher, who was also accelerating, spotted a tiny opening and nipped past the Ferrari. It was superb opportunism and in the immediate aftermath the consensus was what he had done was fair. If the race "ended under the Safety Car" - why then didnt the Safety Car escort the concertina of cars over the finish line? Why did it come in, followed by green flags?

Posted by F1 Fan on 17/05/2010

To the Simpletons,

I am not a fan of Michael, and I do not dislike him either.

Please consider a normal SC situation. When the SC goes in, NO CARS ARE ALLOWED TO OVERTAKE UNTIL THEY PASS THE START/FINISH LINE.

Have you all forgotten the times when the SC goes in, and the leader bunches up the field? Did you all watch China? When Jenson bunched up the field, were all the drivers stupid to just wait behind him? It was GREEN FLAGS! But the RULE - NO PASSING BEFORE START/FINISH LINE.

In this case, START/FINISH = RACE OVER.

What I am most surprised about is a TEAM in F1, moreover, ROSS BRAWNS team making such an incredibly fundamental error.

Posted by Jack Torrance on 17/05/2010

""40.4 When the order is given to deploy the safety car the message "SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED" will be displayed on the timing monitors and all marshal's posts will display waved yellow flags and "SC" boards FOR THE DURACTION OF THE INTERVENTION.

40.11 When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message "SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP" will be displayed on the timing monitors and the car's orange lights will be extinguished........
As the safety car is approaching the pit entry the yellow flags and SC boards will be withdrawn and replaced by waved green flags with green lights at the Line. These will be displayed until the last car crosses the Line.

Green flag
All clear. The driver has passed the potential danger point and prohibitions imposed by yellow flags have been lifted. ""

So technically speaking, at the time of Schumacher overtaking Alonso, there was no sc deployed, period.

This wasnt a harsh penalty, it was a major fail of the FIA and racecontrol.

Posted by Steve on 17/05/2010

Can't help it but to comment abot their rules. to my understanding about the stewards interpretation is that when the safety car is in the pits the race will continue without overtaking to the finish line without overtaking.Hmmmm.........????????

Posted by Carl on 17/05/2010

Why did race control bring the safety car in and inform the teams that normal racing will continue? Why did Alonso & all others attempt accelerate to normal racing speeds if the race was to remain under safety car conditions? Well done Damon Hill - you and the F1 authorities have yet again demonstrated bias against a certain individual.

Posted by Steve McIntosh on 17/05/2010

If you snooze you LOSE!!! Alonso snoozed and lost!!! Alonso snoozed and hit the wall!!! As the Spanish put it...JAJAJAJAJAJA!!! GO AUSSIE, You are becoming a legend Mark Webber. Please say no to Ferrari, Alonso won't let the team give you a fair go and the best car to be in is the RED BULL. Go Hard and win the 2010 Championship Mark!!! We love Down Under!!!

Posted by Schumi Fan on 17/05/2010

Points or no points, it doesn't really matter!!! Neither Alonso nor Shumacher have a shot at the championship (it will be a Weber-Vettel fight)...

However, both drivers were obviously still racing to the finish line, and Schumacher came on top!!! That was priceless!!!

I love it when Alonso has that "disappointed smirk" on his face... like the one during Quali on Saturday :)

Posted by tejo on 17/05/2010

bad call!!! those stewards are the one who should have been penalized...

Posted by Jake Thompson on 17/05/2010

Editor, the question is was the safety car entered into the pits in accordance with Article 40.13. As the lights were green, and green flags were waved, and race control gave the indication that the safety car was in this lap, and that the track was now clear. This indicates the race was started, rather than finishing under safety car conditions.

Common sense suggests that Damon Hill got it wrong. Damon, Damon, Damon, suffer in your jocks about 1994. Suffer in your jocks!

Posted by BlackNote on 17/05/2010

Hello everybody...
Just wanna remind all of you that even the official race control said that 'Safety car in this lap', and the green flags apllied, don't you ever forget that the race will actually begin after they crossed the 'Start/Finish Line'... Which mean, overtaking are not allowed until they have crossed the 'Start/Finish Line'... So, Schumacher's punishment is fair enough...

Posted by Forza on 17/05/2010

Why don't the FIA appeal comittee let Ross Brawn and Di Montezemelo settle this matter with Jean Todt as arbitrer? Perhaps the rules can be interpreted in sport terms instead of legal wordings. This is sport, not legal proceedings. As a former F1 driver, Damon Hill should have gone down the hill!

Posted by AaX on 17/05/2010

Without being more complicating, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE FIA FAILED TO ADMIT ON THEIR INCOMPETENCE FOR THE RACE INSTRUCTION THEY TRANSMITTED OUT AT THE LAST PHASE OF THE RACE, and that the Mercedes GP team is found and deemed suited to be an exemplary recipient of the 'penalty' for the new ruling in spite of their own initial erroneous communication.

Posted by Denis Lavigne on 17/05/2010

Read again:

The rule is as follows: "If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pitlane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking."

The safety car has not enter pitlane AT THE END of the last lap but BEFORE THE END of the last lap. "The end" is "the end" or else where is it? 100 meters before the end? A simple 1 meter inside the last lap? No. The end is the ending line.

Posted by Steve on 17/05/2010

please read that rule closely,

"if the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pitlane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking,"

,

if the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed....

but, race control DID NOT TELL the teams the race was ending, they told the teams, 'safety car in on this lap', and turned on the green flags and green lights..

therefor that rule does not apply, if race-control said 'safety car pulling in for end of race', different, then the yellow flags and lights should stay on...

sorry, I'm with Merc on this one....

Steve

stevenbatman AT gmail.com

Posted by steve on 17/05/2010

mr Editor,

read the rule again....

the teams were told, safety car in on this lap, and told by race control the race was continueing...

the reason for the safety car was cleared, and the teams were told, 'safety car in on this lap' ...

therefor, rule 40:13 does not apply,

and there have been races to end under the safety car, and then its a full course yellow with yellow lights and flags.

that race control showed green lights and flags, that means GO in the racing-world...

did race control misunderstand their own rules? perhaps..., but, they told the teams 'safety car in on this lap', and green lights were shown, end of story, the rule 40:13 does not then apply

Posted by Neville on 17/05/2010

The obvious point where races are finished under the safety car albeit with the safety car 'pitting' to allow the leader to lead over the line is that the safety car process remains in place ie SC boards, yellow flags etc. In this instance it was clearly relayed that the safety car was 'in this lap' and that the yellow flags and SC boards had been replaced by a green light. This glaring oversight by the Stewards when investigating this incident needs to be explained. If the Officials erred in their duty the driver cannot be punished as he was only doing what was expected of him in that he was racing!

Posted by Aroseforthedead on 17/05/2010

"it will enter the pitlane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking" Rules are clear. And green light is irrelevant. Alonso wanted to pass Hamilton and Ferrari told him not to attcack, because you know, rules. Good job Schumi (sry for my english)

Posted by James Alexander on 17/05/2010

I must agree all was green and track clear meens go go go!
It is another case of Alonso and Ferrari getting there way ( O its Ferrari they must be right)

Low and behold the Stewards never picked up the fact that when Hulkenburg crashed in the tunnel the yellows went out AND ALONSO overtook a HRT in the tunnel now I dont believe ALONSO gave that position back when he got out the other side (watch the crash on the BBC Forum. So if the FIA want to get picky then they should also give alonso a penalty if he never gave the position back to the HRT.

SO I believe SCHUI should not have a penalty should get six place back for sure,just because the FIA made a balls up on the two rules as they contradict each other and dont want to be seen in the wrong!

Posted by Patrick Brookings on 17/05/2010

I'd say there must have been something wrong in the deployment of this situation.

I mean, on the one hand the regulations say "If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pitlane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking."
Pretty clearly that means what it says, there will be no overtaking.
But on the other hand the light went green and green flags were waved, which clearly means the race is on, as cars are allowed to overtake during green.

It's all rather contradictive, so it will be interesting to see which side will win here. My guess is that, because of this contradiction, the court will overturn the penalty. But then again, you never know these days!

Posted by Björn on 17/05/2010

40.13 states that if the race ends with safety car, it will go in as it did. That does not explicitly say it will not be possible to remove the safety car in a normal fashion. Race control should not have said "safetycar in this lap", the should have said "race is concluded under safety car, but do note as per regulations - the safetycar WILL pit on last lap".

Posted by Matthias Berger on 17/05/2010

the marshall is the one to blame here..
right after the SC enter the pit , they waving a green flag and green lights at Anthony Noghes, they should wait until the drivers have crossed the line.
After green flag, any driver will instinctively tried to pass when someone in front of him went very wide. Damon is surely still pissed about 94 :D

Posted by Ali Daha on 17/05/2010

All I know is that the safety car was in and the lights were green and Schumi took Alonso to racing school.

Posted by Ali Ar on 17/05/2010

As far as I know, previously the rules said that when the SC pitted in, the field can start passing once the start/finish line is crossed. Is this rule abandoned with this new rule? Anyone?

Posted by Acca on 17/05/2010

Everyone keeps parroting "rule 40.13". So does that mean if Webber stopped between rascasse and the finish line that NO ONE will be able to finish since they can't pass him???

It's clear that the track stewards screwed up by not communicating clearly that the race was to finish under SC conditions, and by erroneously putting green flags up. The MOST they should do is just relegate Schumi back to 7th, and consider this to be a "clarifying event" so that it's clear what to do when the same thing happens next time.

Posted by Rossman on 17/05/2010

Local calls of the race stewards supersede any FIA rules. (they will have to answer to the FIA afterwards if they get things wrong, drivers are not the ones that are not supposed to think which rule supersedes which). The flag colors are the most basic rules in motorsport, and of the local stewards say green it is green. All other rules are secondary to these, any amateur driver in motorsport learns these rules from the very first time they race.
As most people here have said race control should have said "race finishing under yellow". Then it would have been clear: yellow flags, safety car coming in Everyone selecting 1st gear, put on a happy face, smile tot the crowd, and take the flag. If flags go green, you put your teeth in the steering wheel, and go.
By the way rule 235:34 clearly states you can barge any Spanish driver out of the way on the final lap just for the hell of it...

Posted by AMOL on 17/05/2010

Alonso must stop crying about everything and realise he was beaten on the last corner
Alonso knew there could be no overtaking looked dubious; if he did, why was he so eager to hit the gas and try to speed out of the corner?

Posted by narayanan on 17/05/2010

Isnt the 'no-overtaking until the start-finish line' rule is same even if the safety car was in any other lap right ? Werent drivers penalised by drive through penalties if they did pass ? So unless Alonso crashed/shunted out, Schumacher cant overtake.

Posted by lh on 17/05/2010

Also, to all people saying that racing resumes past the start-finish line, this is no longer the case this year. Drivers can race after the first safety car line (remember China when Lewis Hamilton raced Webber and Vettel out of the last corner, pushing Webber out, that was correct), so start-finish line doesn't apply anymore.

Posted by Richard Caruana on 17/05/2010

Most people here seem to forget that even under normal racing conditions, at any time of the race, once the safety car goes into the pits there can be no overtaking before the cars pass the start/finish line. We are all used to seeing the race leader slow down after the safety car enters the pits, compact the train of cars and then accelerate. Since it was the last lap, there could not be any overtaking before the start/finish line had been reached (in this case the finish line); all this is in perfect synch with the new rule, which makes MSC's move illegal.

Posted by Clinton van deventer on 17/05/2010

If Alonso knew there was no overtaking and he stated he knew Schumacher would be penalized...Then why did he fight so hard to stop Michael from entering the corner first? They almost collided...not bad for someone who "KNEW" Michael was going to get a 20 second penalty!!!

Posted by hussam al-tayeb on 17/05/2010

Legal or not, excellent move by Michael. I'm not even sad he lost his position. I'm happy we got to see the Michael we love do what he does best (show newbies what car racing is about).
He showed us he still has the guts to prove he's the only driver with a heart for the sport.
Notice how this overshadowed the race winner crossing the finish line.
Beautiful sight! The master schooling the newbs!
Good job Michael! Formula one just got a bit less boring.
Anyone who used to watch F1 in the 80s and 90s surely appreciates that moment.

To be honest, there are more words to describe what Michael did to Alonso but let us leave those to your imagination.

Finally, if Michael was driving a Ferrari and did this to any driver, he would have gotten away with it even with Damon hill in the picture.

Posted by All English on 17/05/2010

Get real here > You don`t have to look any further than who is part of that plot > guys such as Deamon/evil Hill,as a lousy Stewart and this back-stabbing Clown Alonso.... both rotten scum.
It was a perfect chance to >stick it

Posted by Smith on 17/05/2010

On the final lap Alonso was passed by Michael Schumacher into the last corner, after a safety car had bunched up the pack. He was given the position back after the race, but said he had not attempted to block Schumacher in the knowledge the Mercedes driver would be penalised.

"The team told me we couldn't overtake so when I saw Michael [I thought] that's a lot better, as they will penalise him, so we will end up winning anyway."

If he is so confident is passing is illegal, why did he block Rosberg after MS went passed?

If no passing is allowed, then why don't Webber just park his car, everyone get out of the car and cross the finishing line hand in hand.

Posted by Markus on 17/05/2010

Richard, there are new rules ths year so you CAN OVERTAKE before the start/finnishline!!

Posted by Khaleed on 17/05/2010

I agree with that person who commented "green means go". So when there was a green flag. it means that the race is back to normal.

I remember earlier in the year(might be in china), Lewis Hamilton overtook Mark webber when the safety went in. he over took him after the safety car line but before the start line. during that lap, it said "safety will go in". So we can apply this rule to every lap. what makes the final lap any different?

Posted by Anonymous on 17/05/2010

Looks like the race officials caused the confusions, so nobody should be penalised for having different interpretations here. At worst, Michael Schumacher should be just demoted to 7th. But one thing for certain, Alonso was too gutless to admit he lost out to MSC.

Posted by Allen on 17/05/2010

This is just another reason why I have given up on F1. I use to travel to 3 to 5 races per year, but now I don't even watch it on TV anymore. Soon, I'll probably even stop reading the after race articles. Engine size reductions V10 to V8 (to V6 ? ), grooved tires, now smaller width slicks, NO TESTING, engine freeze, Aro-limitations . . . and this is suppose to be the KING of Racing? HA ! I'm glad I've moved on and I suspect a lot of others have as well. I've seen better racing on the Autobahn's here in Germany !
BUT. . . from what I have read here, seems that the race controllers have screwed up. I agree with most of what has been said here. Green is GO!
As for the accusations of cheating, they ALL cheat to some extent. They are racers ! nOT sunday drivers ! BYe BYE F1 ! !

Posted by Geoff Thorpe on 17/05/2010

Race control should not have flagged the race green after the safety car went in. It is race control's error not Schimacher's

Posted by eurit35 on 17/05/2010

Everybody gets so excited because Schumacher was penalised!?! And finally he was... He escaped punishment too many times in the past and he got what he deserved! He can play no more tricks like before... There is no question of individual rule interpretation - it is in written and it is more than clear! If Mercedes and Schumacher did not understand it or did not learn about it, it still does not mean they are right! Michael ended where he belongs: at the end of the grid and outside the points. For 35 million euros and title of the greatest cheater in the sport's history, he will live with it...

Posted by Carlos Vasconcelos on 17/05/2010

F1 it's all about the show... and for the sake of the show, Schumacher should not be penalized, this overtake was SPECTACULAR...

Posted by Tundama on 17/05/2010

Shu was wrongly penalized.

Posted by digi on 17/05/2010

The best part of all of this is Damon Hill on BBC this morning chastising Schumacher for almost killing someone with his "risky" move. Hill then threw the FIA under the bus saying that they are too lax and that they need to better enforce the rules before someone gets hurt.

I think Damon must be a saboteur to F1. Under his control, F1 would simply be a high speed parade.

Posted by Rossman on 17/05/2010

For the people that commented on start finish line as ther go-ahead for overtaking: the sc line is between rascasse and anthony noghes, about where the pit entry was. Even the director of the grand prix tv viewings showed in slo-mo the onboard camera of MSC where he was behind Alonso at this line, where at the last corner (Noghes) he was beside him. Even the director thought the move was anticipated because the lights were green. The whole thing is a terrible f*^&-up. But looking at the reaction I'm glad MSC is back albeit for the controversy alone. When he is on the track things happen, and that's why I'm watching....

Posted by dave on 17/05/2010

It used to be with green flags out and SC in no overtaking before the Start/Finish, This Year its different in Monaco, Green Flags and SC in, you can overtake at the SC in line, thats where Schummi overtook Alonso

Posted by Delboy on 17/05/2010

Why show green lights and green flags if they are not allowed to race they should have stayed yellow and the sc should have led them over the finish line. I think race control are at fault Schumacher should keep 6th place.

Posted by miroslav on 17/05/2010

Driver is responsible to drive in accordance to the rules.
But flags on track should enable driver to know what he can and what he can't do- without radio, pit borads or knwledge if this is the last lap or not.

Signals on the track ware SC is in - continue racing.

I have read SC rules from sproting regulations (Englis isn't my firs laguage so I could have misubderund them).

Relavant articles are:

40.4, 40.7, 40.11, 40.13

Conclusion from my reading:
1. SC deployed = yellow + SC borads
2. SC can be called in on last lap
3. If SC is called in = "SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP" + green flags

40.11 is applied "When the clerk of the course decides it is SAFE to call in the SC"

40.13 is applied "If the race ends whilst the safety car is DEPLOYED"

According to 40.4 " marshal's posts will display waved yellow flags and "SC" boards for the duration of the intervention"

We had: "SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP" + green lights -> Normal SC exit -> continue racing

Posted by Rossman on 17/05/2010

Eurit, for 35 million (and lots more in "ze bieg manszjion" in Switzerland), I'll cheat any day of the week, and you would too! This wasn't cheating, this is interpretation of the rules.
And they are confusing to say the least. Normally in any court in hte world if rules contradict each other you are not guilty more a victim of circumstance. MSC has seen his fare share of that too.

Posted by helps on 17/05/2010

Question -

Was the final race lap (78) run under the safety car ? YES

Therefore the race concluded under SC conditions and article 40.13 - If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking - APPLIES.

Posted by Brett on 17/05/2010

How ridiculous in 2010 they still cannot do it right. All they wanted was a spectacle to finish the race at race pace. The flags should only have been green after the finish line. Not a full coarse green. If the other drivers new there was no overtaking why did the rest of them accelerate?

Posted by Hilton on 17/05/2010

You say "There was no room for leeway and had the punishment not been handed down then the ramifications would have been serious". What about Hamilton's incidents in two races earlier this year? How come he got away with it?
Schumacher's punishiments were not only harsh, but also unfair.
I agree with those who believe Hill settled old scores with him.

Posted by Hilton on 17/05/2010

I would like you to take notice of another incident that occured during this race and that, as far as I know, have been overlooked by the stewards. Right after spinning and crashing his Williams, Barrichello threw his steering wheel off onto the track, got off the car and jumped over the guardrail (I believe the drivers must put the sterring wheel back in its place after leaving their cars). What's worse is that seconds after throwing the steering wheel away, another car passes over it. Luckly, no aparent damage was done to this other car, but things could've ended up differently and another accident could've happened because of this irresponsible action taken by Barrichelo.

What do you say about the "ramifications" of going unpunished after this?

Editor's Comment Barrichello had just been involved in a high-speed crash and, as he pointed out afterwards, he believed there was a real risk of fire. I would suggest in those circumstances he was sensible to get away from his car as soon as he could. To stand on the track and replace his steering wheel would have endangered himself and other drivers.

The rule it has to be replaced is aimed at parked cars to assist marshals in wheeling the vehicle away quickly. Barrichello's Williams was going nowhere.

Posted by Mud Duck on 17/05/2010

“Safety car conditions still exist”! NOT SO!! Track was declared cleared and green flags/Light flashing. Safety car reported in on this lap. Racing speeds as green flags. There where no safety car conditions existing…FIA wrong again.

Posted by Eugène Vingerhoeds on 17/05/2010

The regulations are clear. No overtaking.
All other facts which are written here don't matter. The regulation is leading to prevent that other explications can be used.
Don't forget that regulations are made with a certain spirit. This spirit is very clear in 40.13. No overtaking.
(It isn't nice to have a finish with the safety-car crossing the finish-line with behind it the cars.)

Don't forget too there is another important rule, 40.11 which says:
In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre which is likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart. Think about the SPIRIT behind it.

More clear would be however that overtaking can be done ONLY if a car has crossed the finish-line. In all cases except a car falls down COMPLETELY (=speed zero) or leaves the track.

Posted by Hussain Galely on 17/05/2010

I think what David Coulthard mentioned on the forum is spot on. If race control wanted the cars to hold position, then they should have just left the safety car out on track which would have not caused any confusion at all. It's easier for drivers,teams and the audience to understand as well. On one hand the FIA are saying that they want to make F1 easier to understand for the fans, but on the other hand they have these confusing rule and regs.
Besides... why were there green lights/flags if they wanted the cars to hold position? My view is that the stewards are got this completely wrong and MS should be given his 6th position back. It was a brilliant move which only someone as crafty as MS could pull off! Classic Schumi!

Posted by Geoff Thorpe on 17/05/2010

Race control should not have flagged the race green after the safety car went in. It is race control's error not Schimacher's

Posted by Philip Contessa on 17/05/2010

The overlying issue here is the stupidity of the actions of the race controllers. The lights should never have been changed to green. If they were left yellow and this pass was done then there would be no excuse and the penalty would be justified. The administration just need to swallow there pride, change the rule and re-instate Schu for the best pass of the race. Just get real!!!

PS: What a superb effort by Mark Webber! He's a champion already!

Posted by Eugène Vingerhoeds on 17/05/2010

Editor: You wrote:
The fact that the field was concentrated so close to the finish made the 20-second penalty disproportionately harsh.

Regulation under 16.3
However, should either of the penalties under a) and b) above be imposed during the last five laps, or after the end of a race, Article 16.4b) below will not apply and 20 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time of the driver concerned in the case of a) above and 30 seconds in the case of b).

Perhaps too severe in this case, but regulations are regulations. As 40.13!! You can't foresee every possible incident in regulations.

I would have punished MSC with 20 seconds added to the position on the lap before the SC entered the track. That would be fair.

Posted by Rob on 17/05/2010

1. Teams should have been told "ending under safety car", not "safety car in this lap". Then rule 4.whatever would have applied.

2. Course yellows should have remained whereas green was shown.

Race staff cocked up on both points, and MSC just did what he does.

Posted by Matt Hyatt on 17/05/2010

@ Eugene

I totally disagree with you. If this race ended under safety car then you would be right but it didn't. And by that, I don't mean that the race didn't physically finish under the safety car but that the track was no longer under safety car conditions i.e. there were green lights everywhere and teams informed that it was clear for racing. It is an unfortunate coincidence that the safety is now brought in on the final lap of a race and has confused matters immensely.

If the FIA intended the race to finish under safety car conditions (which it look it looks like it did) then they are at fault for issuing the 'track clear' advice and turning the lights green. In this scenario Schumacher should not be punished.

A 20 second penalty is also TOTALLY RIDICULOUS. Why does F1 keep on cheapening itself with a lack of common sense. For this type of situation, just swap the positions around! Fernando 6th, Schumi 7th. Done. No issues, no appeals, no draconian punishment.

Posted by Vincenzo on 17/05/2010

If rule 40.11 states no overtaking then why did everyone started to sprint to the line where they could have cruised - including Webber and Vettel - clearly everyone thought that the race is to the finish line once the safety car has pitted and all green flags. The move on the snoozing Alonso was fantastic - regardless of whomever it was, and it also showed that Alonso realised that he could have potentially lost the position by challenging Schumi all the way to the final corner. If he thought he was safe the didn't have to challenge. Obviously the teams interpreted that it was a sprint to the finish line, but the FIA decided to implement another rule to show their incompetency.

Posted by confused on 17/05/2010

Can someone explain what the FIA expects fans to think when they slam Shumy for an "on track during racing conditions" alert move that endangered no one YET give Hamilton a pass for an outragously dangerous "head up and locked" move entering and exiting the pits with Vettel? F1 should change their name to accurately reflect their position ... The McLaren Racing League!!!

Posted by Jack Torrance on 17/05/2010

That was the old rule Eugene, but the Fia changed it to allow overtaking at the sc line instead of sf. And perhaps racecontrol's intention was to finish under 40.13....they did nothing to inform the teams and executed everything per 40.11, wich deals with removing the sc from the race. And then there is 40.4....look at Melbourne 2009, wich also ended under sc. It had all the yellow flags and sc boards. They are mandatory, regardless where the sc is. Yesterday there were none. That alone is in breach of FIA regulations IF control wanted to finish under sc. As it is, there were green flags wich lift ANY prohibition on racing. The teams are not psychic and cannot read the mind of what the intention of racecontrol was. They have to deal with reality. Wich was green flags and all things in 40.11.

Posted by Mike on 17/05/2010

What is so hard to understand about the rule people???
"If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking"

Did the race end with the safety car deployed? NO.
Safety car was pulled in BEFORE the end of Lap 78. The finish line is on the main straight, did the safety car pass it NO...Geeeess.

Cars are allowed to pass each after once the SC has pulled in after the last SC line NOT after passing the finish line.

So, SC was called in BEFORE the end of the last lap, lights went green...race back on.

Schumacher will have his position re-instated and Hill should be sacked.

Posted by Chuck on 17/05/2010

The rules are clear. Schumacher's appeal will change nothing. The rules will not be changed during the season. Someone from Mercedes should read the rule book.

Posted by Mark on 17/05/2010

If I am a driver, and I have not crossed the finish line and have not been given the Checkered Flag, and the Green lights go back on, I am going to pin the throttle and try to beat the car in front of me. It is a race. In my opinion there were mixed messages given to the drivers, and ALL the drivers did accelerate when the green lights went back on.

As far as Damon Hill is concerned, Schumi always had his number and still does. Schumacher ALWAYS is trying to beat the next guy, whether on the track or in his head. Damon can cry all he wants, he drove race cars, Schumacher is a racer.

Posted by Prithvi on 17/05/2010

Green means go and schumi did the right thing.

Posted by Giles on 17/05/2010


From the FIA regs:
40.13 If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

What don't you understand? The safety car did come in on the last lap as the regs require, and Shumi did willingly overtake. Alonso could do whatever he wanted as long as he didn't overtake, which he didn't. Case closed. Just another Shcumacher stunt from the old days. The old days are over.

Posted by Hong Kong on 17/05/2010

why didn't all drivers just cruise to the finish line if they didn't expect "RACING" when seeing green flag?

Stupid FIA!

Posted by Shakeel on 17/05/2010

Do not understand this ruling at all. It was clear the driver in front messed up and lost traction. What was MS to do loose traction himself and line behind him. He overtook anyone would have done the same. Do not understand this at all. I hope he gets the points & place back.

Posted by TylerDurden on 17/05/2010

My feeling is that Race Control screwed up and Schumacher is paying for it. The SC was in and all green meant that the race is back on. Race control should have kept the yellow flag in place, if they intended to keep the running order. Great move my Mercedes and Schumacher, I hope the new FIA under Todt would show a bit less favoritism towards Ferrari. By the way, I also suspect a payback from Damon Hill in this particular ruling...

Posted by Austin on 17/05/2010

I went back and watched the world feed a dozen times. It's pretty clear that when the SC comes in the lights on the track turn from yellow to green. Simultaneously the corner workers make the decision to put down yellow flags and bring out green to waive. What does that mean? To me it means back to racing and any other reasonable person it would mean that same thing.

If you add in the fact that numerous reports were that race control issued a "SC in this lap" notion I believe there is only one outcome.

Posted by jmmen on 17/05/2010

Alonso overtaking Massa entering pitlane, no rule broke!!!!, Hamilton almost crashing exiting pitlane, no rule broke!!!!, come on. Now, a rule is broken, OMG.

Posted by Jean Paul Tabja on 17/05/2010

It is clear that the regulations are NOT CLEAR even for the drivers. That is a fact. Everyone including Alonso pushed as fast as they could. It was not only Schumacher and this should be considered in any court of appeal. Race control did a bad job here. That is a second fact. Both facts would play in favor of the penalized driver, in this case Michael Schumacher.

For me it was one of the best driving moments so far this year and for sure the best of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Posted by Edwin on 17/05/2010

Im a big Ferrari Fan and in my understanding the rules are clear no one can overtake even if there are green lights, not before the start finish line, Michael knows that and if Fernando was trying to get away was because he knew that, everybody else new that, you should ask yourselfs why no one else made a move?. it is harsh that he was punish, he deserved to finish seven, and
last years punishments to Lewis Hamilton, were they fare? probably not but the rules areto be followed.

Posted by Riza on 17/05/2010

LOL.. I agree this is about interpreting the rule of 40.13, and I'm seriously confused.. lol

40.13: If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

The SC did enter at the end of the last lap (lap 78), the last lap was the 78th lap am I right? I know the end is the end, which could also means after the last lap, but there's no lap 79th, because the last one was the lap 78.

So according to what I saw on TV, the SC followed the 40.13 rule and enter the pit lane on lap 78 because the last lap was lap 78, because lap 78 is the end of the laps, and 40.13 states at the end of the last lap, not after crossing this finish line at lap 78, because the pit entry is before the finish line not after the finish line.

From what I understood, it's all very clear, 40.13 said the SC will enter the pit at the end of the last lap and it did.. but why the flags green?

Posted by Anonymous on 17/05/2010

The wording of the rule is kind of unclear (although I'm not a native English speaker, maybe that's why). To me the sentence "If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed [...]" has two meanings:

1.) Race Control *announces- that the race would end under the safety car, and nobody should be confused by the fact that the safety car would physically leave the track during the last lap.
2.) In lack of such announcement, should the safety car leave the track during the last lap, racing may commence (in line with other relevant regulations).

Posted by David on 17/05/2010

The main problem we have in F1 is that we don’t let our driver do what they are paid to do, SC was in track was green, why would you know penalise a driver for doing what he knows best, driving.

Then tomorrow the FIA would wonder why F1 is losing its supporters. Alonso was caught sleeping at the wheel so be it. We all wanted to see the Schumacher we love and respect and that’s what we got, so FIA come on mate do the right thing give us our 6th place back.

Posted by Kirill Koroteev on 17/05/2010

The rule is clear. As I understand even if the safety car leaves the track not in the end of the race and even if there's a green flag at the last turn, overtaking is only allowed once the cars cross the finish line.

Posted by cristina on 17/05/2010

I think the important thing is which rule is adapt to this case: rule 40.13 or 40.11.
So we must to make sure whether sc deployed or not.
I think message "safty car in" stands up the sc didn't deployed,"the lap is clear" also support this.So I am confusing about what is the envidence with which sterwards decide SC deployed the race.
I make sure ross brown has also stated views,but obviously it is not accpetted by sterwards of monaca.
Why?
I think it must be wrote in rules for potential question if it real have.

Posted by Simon on 17/05/2010

It's sad that at the end of a race drivers are asked to evaluate which contradictory instruction to follow. In the heat of battle, bright green lights everywhere should supersede an obscure rule book that must be retrieved from memory. Drivers react. In a sport that is defined by speed, that's how they stay alive. Rules should crafted so that driver decisions can be made without a lot of pondering. The lawyers have all day to th 40.13 has Mosley's ugly fingerprints all over it.

Posted by michael on 17/05/2010

geez!!! one of the best passes we will see all year in F1. this is a joke right. maybe all the drivers should have the rule books attached to their steering wheels so they can pull over to see if what they are contemplating doing is within
the sports guidelines. Alonso is such a cry baby and was beaten fair and square and he knows it but best of all so do we!!!!!!!!!
typical Schumacher always the opportunist.
its funny that the guy who is probably responsible for a increase of about 30% in TV viewing delivers and is penalized by the idiots who dont understand nor can interpret the rules they write. its a shame really. i find it all insulting and very frustrating.
i hope he gets his place back because he clearly
does not deserve an infraction for his actions.
i wonder if it was Hamilton or Button would there be a different outcome?
maybe not, but its so typical of what i believe to be a PRO British sport.

Posted by callah on 17/05/2010

Overtaking is forbidden until the cars reach the first safety car line (40.7), and not finish line as some of you said.

SC will always enter the pit lane if it's the final lap because they want first car to take the chequered flag and not the SC.

The only problem is green lights and flags. Yellow flag means no overtaking. Green flags means racing. That was the problem of race control. They should be punished. Because flags needs to have consistent meaning. Green flag can not mean racing and no overtaking. But you don't get justice these days. You only get blaming others.

Posted by 4F1 on 17/05/2010

So the only question is whether the race finished under safety car. Did the Safety car come in because rules dictate it to come in in the last lap if the race ends under SC, or did it come in because all debris was cleared and the Safety Car was called in because the race could have gone on...

In my opinion, the fact supports Schumacher's read of the situation. If the SC came in because of the rules, the message "Safety Car In This Lap" should have not appeared. SC should have simply turned into the pit lane still with its lights flashing as rules dictate.

But Race Control actually eliminated the Safety Car period with its message, the SC's lights went out, and according to the rules, and all the green flags and lights, race was on for the last corner.

Schumi was really really back! This is what we have been waiting for. It is so obvious that he was right.

Posted by Gato on 17/05/2010

It is sometimes kind of ridiculous on how things are being handled. I cant really understand why Schumacher is being penelised, wasnt he green? at least thats what i saw , wasnt the SC called to pits on lap 78? , werent the flags green? doesnt that mean race? i must be missing something here. I really hope Damon Hill hasnt have anything to do with it, casue his british gentlemen status will go to 16 year old resentment. I really hope that race control gives us something logical as an argument for this penalisation.

Posted by JWG on 17/05/2010

It's nice to read so many posts debating the technicalities of the rules.

However, it appears that F1 needs a simpler system for both the drivers and the spectators to follow.

Common sense leads one to believe that a green light or flag means go racing, and yellow means caution.

To avoid the confusion debated here (both on the track and in the "stands"), the rules should require the course workers to keep the track yellow after the safety car pits until the leading car crosses the start/finish line.

While yellow flags up to the start/finish line might detract from the marketing department's goals, it certainly makes the rules clearer for both drivers and spectators.

Posted by jmmen on 17/05/2010

Point me if I´m wrong, but what did Bernie said after Alonso/Lewis situations? "Drive and stop complaining", now, FIA is so rule enforcer. With all my respects, Damon, you make it all yours.

Posted by madurices on 17/05/2010

Smart guys have their fate traced... don't they, Schumy ?!

Posted by tejo on 17/05/2010

this has happened in 2009... when button finished in 1st under safety car.... he flags were yellow and SC board was shown...

there should have been no penalty whatsoever in the 1st place... a mistake by stewards that may ruin some1's effort to win a world title...
what if this happens in the last race??? between 2 drivers, 2 title chasers? and 1 has just lost because of what??? silly mistake that should never existed... FOTA should take actions against these kind of problems...

is there any punishment if the stewards make mistakes with their decision??? it's not fair... is it? there should be a punishment for mistakes like this... just to make those stewards to think twice or even three times before they decide something...

i think there will be more of these to come... let's face it... F1, FIA is run by old people... lol...

Posted by Simon on 17/05/2010

The editor's comments regarding Barrichello's wheel tossing are misplaced. Sure, he had to bail out of his car and had no time to replace the wheel. But did he have to throw it on the track? The very next car ran over it at speed. What if it took a "Massa" bounce and hit someone? Of all people Reubens should know better, it was his spring after all. 20 second penalty next race please.

Posted by James on 17/05/2010


Funny that for 16 years Hill has shown no hard feelings over 94. Yet the so called 'F1 fan's of today try to claim he has changed his tune. Quite sad the type of fan F1 attracts these days.

Posted by Vincenzo on 17/05/2010

It is incorrect to say that overtaking can be done ONLY if the car has crossed the finish-line. Rule 40.7 states that overtaking can be done once the cars pass the first safety-car line after the safety-car returns to the pits. At Monaco the first safety-car line is positioned at the entrance of the pits and not at the finish line. This makes the safety car line the moderator for the restart and not the start/finish line. Martin Brundle commented that drivers can overtake after that line. Replays show that Schumacher had not overtaken Alonso until after the safety car line and after the safety-car had pitted. Rule 40.13 is poorly written - "If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking." - one could technically argue that the race had not ended as the cars had not passed the finish line. It makes no provision for the first safety-car line.

Posted by Janos13 on 17/05/2010

This was simply the overtaking of the century!

Posted by Chris R. on 17/05/2010

What gets me is the amount of people blaming this on Damon Hill. On American TV before the race they asked him his role on panel. He said when it comes to matters of driving he would render an opinion from a drivers perspective. He does not have a "vote" only an "opinion".

In my opinion this has nothing to do with a racing from a drivers perspective. It all boils down to the rules as written, and whether they were followed properly.

If they knew on American TV that it was a violation then why did his team not know? Something tells me they may have had radio traffic from the pits telling him to try something. It will be interesting to read the appeal and the rulling from the FIA.

Lastly, conspiracy? Come on! The FIA and F1 have nothing to gain by penalizing MS. If at all it should be looking to how they can help him. A MS driving well and up in the standings would bring in move TV money, advertising, and butts in seats.

Posted by Wilbert on 17/05/2010

Well I am not a reader kind so I am not going to comment on the rules, I do think the rule is boken here, no matter what.

But being a fan of MS, I am also asking the steward to understand one thing. all of the people in the cars are racing drivers. when they saw an oportunity, they will take, the situation is:

1) the rule is not 100% represent the situation - as the steward announced the safty car will be in by the end of lap. While making 40.13 works, they should have kept YELLOW, which means no overtaking.
2) agree with a lot of comments that everyone was in a train of F1 cars and Alonso made a mistake and kick his tail out, if you put every other drivers in MS shoes, they are very likely to do the same, first it is an open oportunity and second what should MS do? risk his own race by slowing down when NOT SURE about how close the car behind is at that point???

The punish is too harsh, if any driver is not RISK SEEKER like MS, they do not deserve to be in the top of motor sport.

Posted by shaun on 17/05/2010

safety car did not come in at the END of the lap ,it came in BEFORE the end of the lap ,therefore race was on , it should have crossed the start/finish line , they moan about no overtaking in f1 so they get rid or refueling make wing,s wider , to reduce overtaking even more the when someone does overtake they get punished for it. well done FIA you,ve really made the so called pinnacle of motorsport a joke !!!

Posted by Sancho on 17/05/2010

There are times that a "techiically fair" punishment is not fair at all. This is one of them. The literacy of the rule's contents must simply be forgotten in this case. The letter of the law must be interpreted WITH the facts, not BESIDES them. And the facts that matters are the green lights and the green flags. Schumacher cannot be punished to act accordingly to the signs given on track to all drivers, and he crossed the safety car line BEFORE passing by Alonso. His punishment is absurd. The point here was actually made by the editor: "... in the immediate aftermath the consensus was what he had done was fair." Because it was fair!

Posted by M and M chap on 17/05/2010

Mud duck is correct! .... Eugene Vingerhoeds, your reference may have held more ground had the rules not changed this year to separate the finish line from the line of overtaking and free racing.

Additionally, the marshalls waved Green flags and that was clear that they understood the race was back on.

Finally, the classification of the race was not final in terms of the race order until the cars crossed the finish line, so it was all still there to fight for.

Posted by Wolf on 17/05/2010

The rules are very clear; look at 40.13 and the penalty is correct. The only error you can blame race control for is that they forgot to tell the marshalls to keep the yellow flags out to be sure 40.13 is executed.
And those (amateur)marshalls do not know the rules very well. Just look at handling the blue flag during a position fights many times. When do we have professional marshalls who are working at every GP so their flagging wil be the same high quality in every GP.

Posted by Stefano Giusto on 17/05/2010

I can understand all the misunderstandings by Mercedes and Schumi (the green light, the new rules about overtaking after the SC goes back in the pitlane, etc.), particularly if Charlie Whiting confirmed that overtaking was ok. However, art. 40.13 is very simple and clear, and the guys at Ferrari knew that very well. Perhaps, the penalty could be for once less harsh and strict, I wonder if Hamilton had done it if he would have been penalized... So far this year he escaped all penalties for much worse than what Schumi did!!!

Posted by Edward Mott (Vancouver Island) on 17/05/2010

40.13 If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pitlane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.
Please read the first ten words of 40.13.
This rule is for circumstances where the race could not be restarted due to lack of time getting the track safe.
The race did not end with the safety car deployed.
The track had been cleared of all debris and was ready for racing and the safety car came in just as it would had there been more laps until the finish. Give Schumi back his points.

Posted by Rachit Bedi on 17/05/2010

Regardless of the green lights, or the "Safety Car in this lap" message, we need to remember one thing -- YOU CANNOT OVERTAKE UNTIL THE START-FINISH LINE. Quite simple in my opinion.

Posted by Gary on 17/05/2010

As so many are quoting rule 40.13, it's strange that so many are saying it's a new rule - it isn't!

It is an old rule, stating that if the race is about to end while the Safety Car is deployed then the SC will pull into the pits instead of crossing the finish line at the end of the race, and the cars behind must not overtake each other (as per standard SC rules).

OK, so this year there is the new safety car line, and now once the safety car period is over then cars can overtake once they pass this line, instead of having to wait for the finish line. This doesn't change rule 40.13 - no overtaking.

But ... rule 40.13 has always started with an 'IF' ... and unless the specified condition mentioned is met, then it is IRRELEVANT.

So - was the race going to end under a safety car? If so, then 40.13 was in effect.

If not, then overtaking was allowed as per all other restarts ... and the restart is now (this year) BEFORE the finish line!

So - was the SC period over, or not?

Posted by thilina on 17/05/2010

michael's move was good for the sport. which made it interesting. pity they have penalized him for that

Posted by Gary on 17/05/2010

Has anyone heard of any evidence from ANYONE to show that the SC period was still active?

40.4 / 40.11 etc all point to it being over, but obviously the stewards didn't think so, even against the evidence of the green lights / flags and lack of SC boards ...

Can't believe that F1 still has the ability to make itself look so stupid ...

Posted by MSP on 17/05/2010

You don't get punished for passing a green traffic light on the road when the light is faulty and should have been red or amber...

Posted by johnny on 17/05/2010

generally--other series, the racing does not continue at the moment the sc gets out of the way--mayhem would ensue, it is at the beginning of the next lap--the sc has to be given an opportunity to get out of the way but also the cars to work their pace back up for the next lap. I do not understand why all the hubbub, schumacher, who I enjoy, was out of line. that's it. penalty. what is so damned confusing is why did they bring in the sc? there were no more laps to race, the race was over. maybe for the headlines the sc is not as promoting f1 sitting out in front, don't know, but surely the fia should rethink this matter ONE MORE TIME with regard to the final lap sc.

Posted by jeffe glenn Encinitas CA USA on 17/05/2010

The course should have never 'gone green' if the drivers were expected to hold formation. With the green flags and flashing lights it is hard to argue that the course was still under full caution.

It is the mistake of race control and Michael, at worst, should maintain his seventh place finish.

IMO he deserves the sixth place points and prize monies, as he made a legal pass when the course was open to such opportunities.

Posted by illario on 17/05/2010

i'm a schumi fan...this is what happens when you folow the green light and the green flags.
i HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE that this penalty will go through...
i need my schumi back.
than wi will se who penalises better. FIA or SCHUMI. i strongly belive in his ego and his proudnes will explode if this goes through and thats when hi will wake up and stop joking around as a turist in mercedes.
this penalty will wake the devil out of him, and thats exaktly what i want to see during this season. i want him to win and that has to come to me in SPA BELGIUM...
by the way alonso will regret for letim him pass, becose he just put himself in truble i mean he returned the trublle.
IIIIII LLLIIKKEEE IIITTTT...
I LOVE F1
I LOVE ANGRY RACING
THATS WHAT WI'LL SE IN COMING RACES...
THANK YOU

Posted by Anonymous on 17/05/2010

If racing isn´t allowed there should be yellow flags,
but they were green so stop the adulating with Ferrari and Alonso.

Posted by Pete on 17/05/2010

All of you stating that you can't pass before the S/F line need to re-read the rules. This year, you can pass from the safety car line on, you don't have to wait until the S/F line. If the race were ending under safety car conditions, the flags should have stayed YELLOW. That means you can't pass. There is no such thing as a green flag without passing in any racing I've ever seen.

Posted by Snake on 17/05/2010

Even though he won't get his 6th place back, I think he will win the appeal in light if the rather obvious: green means go. Australia 2009 set the precedent for how races under caution should finish. Monaco did not finish the same way: there were no SC signs and no yellow flags. Also, I believe that while Damon still has not let go what happened to him in 1994, and that may have played a part in the whole outcome.

Posted by eurit35 on 17/05/2010

@ confused - you are obviously very confused... My advice: read the rule one more time, sleep it over and then try to re-think your position...

@ Eugène Vingerhoeds - you are so right... you told them everything - all they need to do is read and understand what is written. There is absolutely nothing unclear in the rule text!

People, you just believe in Schumacher too much! He is born cheater and he will use every chance to cheat - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. His time is over and everybody knows it except his hard fans... And they don't want to see the truth. He was given too much by FIA already, they overlooked so many of his bad manners and tricks; but, the times have changed, he is not no.1 anymore and he can not walk away with it anymore. If this happened to another driver, nobody would bother.
Instead of discussing about Schu, better admit that Alonso is real race hero, coming from last to 6th! And MSC? From 8th to 7th? This is reality, my friends...

Posted by David603 on 17/05/2010

The stewards no doubt intended that the race would finish under the safety car, but where they made an error was that they announced the safety car was coming in at the end of the lap.

This is not necessary, if the race is to end under the safety car then no announcement is needed, and the Yellow lights should remain on, so once the safety car had come in the race was technically restarted, and Schumacher's move was legal.

Even the BBC commentators picked up on the unusual announcement, and said racing would be back on after the safety car line.

Posted by swami on 17/05/2010

It was very obvious - "Safety car in this lap" - "track is clear for racing" and "Green Flags". If people want to quote the rule abt Safety car coming in the last lap a) "Safety car IN this lap - track clear for racing" message should not have been posted by RACE CONTROL. b) in Melbourne 2009 when race finished under safety car - yellow flags were still waved and no Green flags" so even if the rule is modified to get the safety car back to pits for last lap the flags should have still been yellow and not green! end of story

Posted by Illy on 17/05/2010

Illegal or not, what a glorious move. It's good to see that Schumi fire still there (and this is coming from someone who definitely was not a fan, back in the day!).

Posted by BC on 17/05/2010

I have always enjoyed seeing Schumacker being beaten, but he has been harshly dealt with. He may be technically wrong, but so what. Why didn't they just leave the safety car out and avoid the confusion. In other similar situations he would have had to give the place back. If this was the ruling pretty much nobody would be arguing. 20 seconds in a bunched field is crazy when it could be interpreted he was avoiding an Alonso mistake.

Posted by Crash on 17/05/2010

Isn't it always the case that, after the safety car comes in, you can't overtake until you cross the start/finish line? That's how I understand a restart, the race leader sets the pace until the line is crossed. If it's the last lap, there will be no opportunity to pass, because you can't pass before the line, and the race is over once you cross it.

Posted by zoom163 on 18/05/2010

The rules are clear but we notice the safety car has left & video replay shows clearly that GREEN lights + flags are showing which means GO GO GO!!! Alonso also knows that otherwise he can just take his own sweet time to cross the finished line. But since he lost the battle to MSC, now he tells a different story. I can tell you "The Stewards" will not back down from their mstakes as they think they are the best in all the "F1" rules & regulations. There are just no standard anymore and that's very sad for the sport like "F1". There must be rules to fine "The Stewards" for making any mistakes (ie: for enforcing & not enforcing penalties).

Posted by Anonymous on 18/05/2010

Alonso is embarrassed and so he should be. Schumi pulled the best move of the race. Regardless of if he gets 6th or not...still the best! I just wish i could have seen Alonso's face at that time!

Posted by yuta on 18/05/2010

Eugen35: Alonso was hero of that day? you've got to kidding me Alonso's die hard fans..!

my opinion too to you, since you gave an advice to 'confused', why dont you also read those situation more clearly and sleep it over, you stupid retarded!

regards

Posted by Wilbert on 18/05/2010

eurit35 - When you say MS is born cheater, so if Senna / Hamilton / Alonso banging wheels with each other, it will be good racing, is that what you mean?

When anyone take risk, there is a high chance to turn out ugly, it was just MS took more of these risk so looks more ugly to some people. To be honest, one day if someone beats all MS's record, I would bet his record not so different to MS's. People just envy other that seems to be getting the right thing at the right time and taking on every of the wrong bit a the wrong time.

Posted by geri on 18/05/2010

f1 is a great sport but green is GO yellow is SAFETY CAR maybe they decide to changes book of traffic rules GREEN IS SAFETY WARNING

Posted by Adam on 18/05/2010

"From the FIA regs:
40.13 If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking."
But the green flags meant that the race was not ending with the safety car was deployed. That would mean that the SC board and yellow flags would still be out, even without the safety car. Schuey, I'm right behind you. What you did was correct. Green flag = racing even if it is only for 1 corner. While watching it I thought it was absolutely fine and would have done the same thing. I am not Schuey's biggest fan but this was classic Schuey. The guy is the biggest opportunist out there and left Alonso blushing about how silly he is! Great work Schuey, please appeal!

Posted by Hasan on 18/05/2010

I don't know why EVERYONE is missing a very important fact: When the safety car goes in the pits, no overtaking is allowed before the start finish line. Thats why in China for example, button bunched up the field in the corner before last, and none of them passed him although the safety car was in. The fact that the safety car left the track doesn't mean you can pass... you can only do that after the car in front of you has crossed the stat finish line

Posted by EMS on 18/05/2010

@Barry:
Did the race end while the safety was deployed? Yes

- No, the race didnt end, the cars need to pass start/finish line.

Did the Safety pull into the pitlane at the end of the last lap? Yes

- This is correct, SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP

Did Schumacher overtake? Yes

"This means that Schumacher broke this rule as he should not have overtaken regardless of whether it was a yellow or green flag situation."

- No, Schum did not break the rule. Grean means GO,as someone earlier said, it doesnt matter is facety car pitted last, 4th, 50th lap, grean means GO, so the race is restarted. New rule this season cleary says that "cars are allowed to overtake from cafety car line to start/finish line", so conclusion :

1. safety car in
2. green flags
3. green lights
4. new rule for overtaking.
5. LEGAL PASS !!!

Posted by Pietro on 18/05/2010

The new rule - 40.13 - states: "If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pitlane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking." I think it's clear enough. Schumacher does seem to be a little arrogant with that action that he took. All the others followed the rules. He deserved to be demoted.

Posted by z3d on 18/05/2010

This really is a joke. If there was another lap, the safety car would still have gone in. The track was green and the flags/lights indicated this. The race doesn't end until the leader crosses the line. Therefore the race finished under 100% green conditions.

The only reason this rule should have applied is if the cars had not been cleared. The safety car should have gone into pit lane and the race should have remained yellow to the line.

Since when does race finishing mean the beginning of the last lap. I'm disappointed as it took the sharpest of reflexes to make the move.

Also, ALL the cars on the track were racing. There was a lot of sliding on those cold tyres. Why else do you think they risked binning their cars if they thought no passing allowed?

Incidentally, the so called spirit of the rule argument doesn't fly either. How easy would it be to write the rule as - If safety car is out on the last lap, it will pit and the race will finish under yellow safety car conditions.

Posted by Jack on 18/05/2010

Michael deserves to have his position and points reinstated. The safety car had gone off the track into the pits, yellow flags and lights went green and green means race, which everyone did....Webber etc included....they were racing as they saw the green to race. We all saw what happened on TV and replays. Alonso was caught napping and hasn't yet paid the penalty. I would vigorously appeal...the stewards are in denial of what actually happened....it's all there people!

Posted by Nick on 18/05/2010

I'm not a Schumacher fan but as an F1 fan I can say that seeing the news on the penalty was a MAJOR turn-off. Removing refueling from the equation made formula MUCH more boring, at least be more lenient to the competitive SPIRIT of the racers!

Posted by Barnsy84 on 18/05/2010

Reading the comments it seems that some people don't realise that 'Safety Car In This Lap' is different from the race finishing under the safety car.

With both scenarios the safety car would have entered the pits on the last lap but if the message 'Safety Car In This Lap' is given as with any other of the restarts during the race, racing can resume once the cars have crossed the safety car line just before the pit entrance mot the start/finish line.

As Schumacher passed Alonso after this line then it should have been a legitimate overtake and the results should stand.

Not sure what will happen at appeal though as the drive through penalty received is not appealable, so in theory it is impossible for the decsion to be overturned. Hope it is though.

Posted by soundsgood on 18/05/2010

The accident that caused the safety car deployment had been cleared away [check the video] and the safety car would NOT have continued for another lap [to the end of the race]. IMHO Article 40.13 does not apply. It would have if there had still been a safety issue on the track.
Didn’t commentary say that the safety car can pull in at any point on the track? Is an argument about the WHOLE lap being a Safety Car period necessarily valid?
The light at the safety car line is yellow as the safety car goes by and then TURNS GREEN as it pulls in. IMHO it would have needed to be yellow for a penalty to be applied to a driver. There are green lights and flags all the way to the line, with yellow flags waved AFTER the finish line.
Importantly; To penalise Schumacher is to set a very dangerous precedent. It encourages drivers/teams to not obey waved flags but to interpret rules in real-time. If green doesn’t always mean green then maybe yellow doesn’t always mean yellow. That can only be bad!

Posted by Simon on 18/05/2010

Is it possible that Alonso with by far the oldest tires on the track was trying to go like everyone else but could not get traction? In that case MS may have simply been taking avoiding action? Remember Rosberg was right there too.
F1 has to get away from all the stupid rules that detract from the sport. If a driver farts in the cockpit he's probably breaking some rule. F1 has to simplify the rules so that drivers and fans too can understand them immediately. It's getting to the point that we have to wait for days after a race for penalties, protests, and appeals to go through before results are known. That boring Max Mosley legacy must be shreded and left behind, it's killing F1. Race results must be decided on the track not afterward by lawyers.

Posted by terence on 18/05/2010

For those who mentioned about "overtaking after start/finish" line, there is a new rule of having a "SAFETY CAR LINE". Once the safety car went into the pits, the green light came on at the SAFETY CAR LINE. If it were in any other lap, cars can starts overtaking after this line. This is exactly what Schumacher did. Due to the unclear interpretation of rule 40.13, Schumacher was punished...

Posted by George on 18/05/2010

Though I understand what that regulation says and it seems reasonable that if the sport's laws are to be upheld then the decision was the right one, I still don't understand the whole issue with the flags. As others have pointed out before, there were green flags being waved when Michael passed Fernando. To my understanding, green flags, means 'free to race', no? What do regulations say about green flags? Shouldn't the race have finished under yellow flags throughout if no passing was allowed? How was this a mistake from Michael and Mercedes then? It seems like a mistake from the stewards or race control which makeas it quite ridiculous that Michael would be punished for their incompetency. Also, I have to say that the new regulations seem odd. What would've happened if Alonso smashed the car on the barriers, lost one wheel but could still go? Would all the other drivers be forced to wait for him to cross the finishing line with a damaged car? What if he couldn't? The race would end?

Posted by jmmen on 18/05/2010

Amazing Alonso!!!, I don´t think so, who´s from the front pack does Alonso overtake?... Instead, good Ferrari strategy and timing.
Give Michael his points and position back, just for that overtake, He deserve it.

Posted by bodzolca on 18/05/2010

I think we all agree that the rule 40.13 is clear, but we don't agree whether it was applicable to that particular situation. For me the matter is settled: it was not applicable for all the reasons already mentioned. The fact that safety went into the pits on the last lap doesn't make it so, in fact this is the most typical logical fallacy ( A -> B, ergo B -> A). Mercedez has a strong case.

Rule 40.13 is a complete disaster since it establishes an unnecessary boundary condition. How hard it would be for a safety car to just drive past the finish line? Is FIA suddenly turning green and trying to save some gas? As a computer programmer, I try to get rid of such boundary conditions or elegantly circumventing the necessary ones. I know what happens when they turn awry: a mess and lost credibility.

Posted by Mikhail on 18/05/2010

@Hasan: We are missing this "very important" fact, because it's plain wrong.
You can overtake after the Safety Car line, which is just after the pit entrance. Which exactly happened in China and Hamilton took Webber.

Anyway, the ruling stays, Mercedes decided not to appeal. The decision was wrong though, they penalized a racer in a race. This doesn't look good for any race - to penalize for a well executed overtake. And everyone raced for the line (and Alonso is plain lying to say otherwise)
These rule games are killing the sport, but obviously FIA doesn't care.

But Shumacher is really back - alert and on the edge! Which is the good news for all fans.

Posted by Vincenzo on 18/05/2010

It seems that it is illegal to overtake in F1... The FIA keep changing the rules for the racing and the cars every so often to take away any chance of overtaking. It's even more evident that the FIA penalizes probably the most awesome overtaking move this year. The FIA will add a new rule in the next race - 40.99: "It is illegal to overtake at any given time during the race even when the green flags are waving. Drivers can only overtake once the race has ended and are back in the pits waiting to take their weight."

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