September 8, 2008

Fair Play

There is an Italian saying: "fare il furbo", literally "to play the smarty" that is, to act in that grey area at the edges of legality. Michael Schumacher, someone Lewis Hamilton has taken a habit of comparing himself to, was very often "furbo" and got nailed for it most of the time.

Now on to this business at Spa.
Did Hamilton give back the position? Yes.
Did Hamilton give the position with British "fair play"? Of course not.
What's troubling is that the Mclaren driver seems to have decided he could judge for himself what was "fair" or not.

After cutting the chicane, Hamilton said "I was accelerating so that I didn't lose too much ground because I thought that would be unfair".

What would have been fair would have been a gravel trap on the outside of the bus stop chicane.

For some reason Hamilton seems convinced Raikkonen, who beat him to the apex at the entrance of the chicane, should have rolled over and let him by on the outside. Maybe he's still upset by Massa passing him on the outside in Hungary, maybe he conveniently forgot how he pushed Massa off the track in Germany while complaining that Raikkonen "pushed me off the track".

Was the penalty given correct?

Instinctively I would say no. Perhaps fairer would have been a time or grid penalty for the next GP. After all Raikkonen ended up crashing out which he might or might not have if this incident had not occurred.

But here comes the irony. Apparently after Bruno Senna was given a drive though during the GP2 race for a pit lane incident similar to the Massa-Sutil one, there was a lot of protest by British journalist about a fair application of the rules. According to reports on SkySport there was a stewards communique to the teams about how incidents would be scrutinized closely and infractions punished with a drive though. This was directed at pit lane incidents but it's not a stretch to imagine there was a climate of increased vigilance and the stewards hands were, in a way, tied.


  1. So it's the British media's fault now? Quit the whining! It's obvious the FIA are incapable of consistency when a red car is involved... Hamilton was the quicker car and won the race. That's the way it should stay. As spectators we should be applauding some 'racing' actually taking place!

  2. If you go by "norris" line of thinking that means that the correct thing was for KIMI just rear end his car on Lewis back so he wouldn't be able to finish the race no more -remember months ago when Lewis "WISELY" chosen to back end Kimi car?-- .... no no, Lewis is paying what he did with Massa in germany and for been vicious and playing the "innocent" little kid that likes to sound like a saint while do stuff that real gentleman doesn't do ... that's all it is ..


  3. Will Kimi be penalised at the next race for passing under yellow?

    Me thinks NOT.

  4. I really don't understand the level of animosity directed a lewis. He had a go down the outside of kimi to get the inside on the next left...all fair. He got shoved off by kimi and used the only route available...all fair. He then allowed kimi back past....still much further should he have dropped back? 10 meters, 20? 100?

    He then repassed Kimi who had a bad exit because he was busy pushing lewis off!!!

    Of course Kimi crashed with no indluence from Lewis so the outcome would have been the same!!

    FIA sucks!!!!

  5. This one seems a bit unfair to me, so maybe he didn't give back the position as quickly as some would have liked (but indeed what else should he have done? come to a complete stop? Come on...) but he was right behind him on the straight and he out-braked him on the next corner, and no-one disputes that pass, and then Kimi crashed all by himself (right after cutting through a corner). So if you want to be tough, penalize him a few spots next race (and even then, that would still be BS IMHO).

    And if there had been a gravel trap there, maybe he would not have tried to force-pass on that turn and would have come out of it right on Kimi's gearbox just as well... He still had half of a long lap on very slippery conditions (which he knows he's good at) ahead of him.

  6. All this whining is getting really intolerable. People dislike Hamilton precisely because he acts like he is entitled to the pole, the win, and the championship. All the Mclaren whiners sound like they share exactly the same ridiculous opinion. Was Lewis ahead at the corner? His car may have been farther down the track but anyone with even a minute's wheel time heading into a corner will tell you that there are good places to be in a corner and bad places to be in a corner and Lewis was clearly in a bad place entering the corner. Farther in, sure, but bad. Kimi had the line and there was no way that Lewis was going to be able to make that pass stick. He straightlined the chicane because he had no other place to go. He pulled back in behind the Ferrari close enough to slipstream it and beat it into the corner and Hamilton fan boys are all up in arms claiming that "behind the Ferrari" is good enough. The regulations say that you cannot gain an advantage by straightlining a chicane. Lewis gained his advantage before he entered the chicane, not during the corner. He closed a gap by late braking into a line that was untenable as was proved when he had to leave the course. The sporting thing to do as supported by the stewards, was to give back the gap he unfairly closed before blowing through the corner.

    As for Kimi crashing "all on his own"? When Lewis cut inside him at the corner, a move I am sure caught Kimi slightly by surprise, Kimi's wing made contact with the McLaren's wheel. I can't help but think that Kimi's car was generating a little less downforce at the front after that contact. Hamilton shouldn't be faulted for that but lets be clear that the incident contributed to the crash.

    And for those that are commenting on the corner where Kimi left the track and used the runoff area, notice that Lewis did as well. Lewis simply used less of it. I suppose a penalty for Kimi might have been in order but I don't see how the stewards could issue a drive-through to someone that crashed out of the race just a few corners later and still maintain a shred of self respect.

    Yes, Hamilton is fast. He also has more balls than brains (although he has a considerable amount of both) and has a tendency to overdrive his tires, his car, and particularly the racing line. When he learns just a hair more control, he will be an unstoppable champion but right now he is a coltish rookie and it shows.

    I personally believe that had he not tried a stupid pass on the entry to the bus stop he would have passed Kimi with ease the next lap around. Patience will make him faster.


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