No flag to Raikkonen no penalty to Trulli – Was that right ?

Several things happened yesterday that could have changed the podium line up. While Hamilton’s drive through penalty is still one of the talks of the race the opinion of the majority is that the penalty was justified. From what I have seen I tend to agree with that. There were however 2 other incidents that I am not sure were handled correctly by the race control.

Incident one – Raikkonen’s exhaust pipe

If there is a car on track that may pose danger the stewards can call it back to the pits to get rid of the danger. There is even this nice black flag with orange circle for that purpose. When Raikkonen’s car suddenly lost some pace on lap 36, a piece of the loose exhaust pipe appeared to be bouncing arround chassis hanging there only on a piece of wire. It was only matter of time before that piece of car gets loose and flies away. Ferrari were aware of that and based on post race words from Domenicali chose to let it fly away itself rather than bringing the car to the pits and cutting it away. Even when Raikkonen came for his regular pit stop nothing was done with the pipe in order not to waste valuable seconds…

Question: Why was it not possible to remove the exhaust at the pit stop?

Domenicali: It had already fallen off. It was already flying away. There was the cable of the lamda and we decided not to cut that because we were maybe losing more seconds, and we had Trulli pushing behind so we took that into consideration, and I have to say that in terms of strategy, in terms of teamwork everything was done correctly.

So everybody was aware that piece Kimi’s car will eventually get loose and fly off and nobody found that to be a potential danger to other drivers or to spectators ? I am happy for Kimi to be able to finish the race and in 2nd place under such circumstances. But I do wonder why the race control did not take any action to make sure his car poses no danger. After listening to the French GP digest at Sidepodcast I see that I am not alone …

Incident two – Trulli vs. Kovalainen

One journalist suggested at the post race press conference that Trulli and Kovalainen touched the wheels while fighting for the 3rd place with a lap to go. I do not think their wheels touched although they came very very close. It however looked to me that Trulli did make a sudden movement in Kovalainen’s direction when the cars were almost side to side forcing Kovalainen off the track. Was this a display of excellent racing we all want to see or an example of dangerous defensive driving from Jarno Trulli ? After watching the replay several times I do wonder why Trulli’s maneuvre was not at least investigated by the stewards …

At the end no flag to Raikkonen no penalty to Trulli – Was that right ?

23 Comments Post a Comment
  1. BobNo Gravatar says:

    The FIA are out to get McLaren.

  2. alinNo Gravatar says:

    trulli and kovalainen did thouch and the move made by jarno was not fair; cosidering that, I have to say that he was very determined and I for one have to cograt him for beeing a real racer; when he was at renault, I think, he lost one place in the last lap on magny-cours because he was not as determined as yesterday.

    still, the point you are making is correct: kimi and trulli should have got some penalty – even though not in the race itself, but for the next one, a grid penalty for silverstone…

    alin’s last blog post..Fotografii Franta – Cursa

  3. francoisNo Gravatar says:

    Wouldn’t the burned away engine cover and the exhaust pipe have made it likely that Kimi’s car was underweight? As BAR found out a few years ago you don’t have to be too much underweight to be in trouble with the FIA…

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      As Kubica disqualification from points finish on his debut in Hungary 2006 has showm, all you need is heavily worn tyres to finish the race with underweight car … There is however quite a lot of debris on the track that the drivers can pick up on their tyres when they are making their way to the pits to compensate for some weightloss the cars may suffer.

      I am not sure how heavy that piece of exhaust Kimi lost was, but all the cars passed the scrutineering after the race, so obviously no problems there …

      • sidepodcastNo Gravatar says:

        “I am not sure how heavy that piece of exhaust Kimi lost was, but all the cars passed the scrutineering after the race, so obviously no problems there …”

        do you think ferrari were smart enough to overfill kimi during his last stop to cover the potential weight loss?

        on a different subject… threaded comments? wow. and love the larger / small options too :)

        sidepodcast’s last blog post..Episode 67 – Unless Something Spectacular Happens, This is Gonna be a Really Dull Race

        • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

          well if in Ferrari they were sure that piece of car would fly away one has to assume someone on the pit wall thought about the possible weight loss :-) adding a bit more fuel is by far the easiest way to fix the problem

  4. […] No flag to Raikkonen no penalty to Trulli – Was that right ? – F1 Wolf I completely agree here, especially about Kimi. That was just car too dangerous (tags: KimiRäikkönen FrenchGrandPrix FIA stewards JarnoTrulli exhaust) […]

  5. draconteNo Gravatar says:

    i´m spanish and my english is a little bad, sorry if i have too much mistakes ;)

    i think that kimi’s incident is like severals years ago, with the rear-view mirrors when Motoya was in mclarenor williams i´m not sure, but this kind of incident was very comun some years ago, his rear-view mirror was hanging several laps and the stewards didn’t show him the black flag with orange circle to nobody.

    in nurburgring in 2007 Massa touched to Alonso, this year coultard have been touch twice times in similar circunstances.

    Hamilton passed vettel car completly but the chincane too. He went to much quicker and he have to go thought the chicane. Vettel had to brake or at least to rise up the foot of the acelerator for to take fine the curve. Hamilton had advantaje of this action, if he went less quicker maybe he couldn’t to pass vettel at the end of the straight.

    thanks if you could read and understand all ;)

    draconte’s last blog post..Evolución del R5

  6. I thought Trulli had banged wheels with Kovalainen and I was appalled – but on second look he didn’t, so I’d class it as hard but fair. Banging wheels has to be taboo – once you start doing that you can have cars launching into the air which, as the saw at Magny-Cours last year (in GP2) can have horrific consequences.

    Black and orange flag for Raikkonen? Probably. I don’t think a piece of car has to be very heavy for it to be a problem if someone hits it at 200mph.

    Keith Collantine’s last blog post..The driver debates: David Coulthard

  7. StewNo Gravatar says:

    Initially I thought for sure he touched Kovalainen, but obviously not. To me it was a show of strength and maybe tested Kovalainen a little. No penalty there in my opinion.

    For Raikkonen, unfortunately he had that problem, but he should have been forced into the pits for a quick fix. No one can say for sure that that piece couldn’t have flown off and hit another car or driver. The statement that it posed no danger to the drivers or spectators in garbage.

    Stew’s last blog post..2008 French Grand Prix Results

  8. alinNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t know, it looks to me that they toched; let’s say they didn’t – this is not the most important thing, but the fact that trulli forced kovalainen out of the asphalt bend and he shouldn’t have done that; they were whell-to-whell and next there was a fast chicane were heikki would have lifted for sure.

    as I said in my earlier reply, bravo to jarno, but he forced kovalainen too much – from the right hand of the track to the very left.

    alin’s last blog post..Kimi poate schimba motorul fara a fi penalizat

  9. trullis move wasnt for a penalty…. a driver can defend his position and it doesnt matter if it does it nicely o very agresively…. what you CANT do is to defend it one way, and then defend it to the other way. wich didnt happened so theres no need to penalty….

    kimi flying pieces did deserve the flag… imo

  10. dieGoNo Gravatar says:

    Well, I don’t know what to say about Kimi’s car…I have no idea. But, about Trulli’s move, I don’t think it was to force kovalainen out of the track, he was just defending his position. Before his move, Hamilton did almost the same with Alonso during an overtaking. They touched and nothing happened, what, for me, was correct.

    PS: As a portuguese speaker (brazilian), I apologize my english.

  11. Josh JNo Gravatar says:

    Hey wolf, I have to agree with you wholeheartedly. the fact that nothing was done to the ferrari was shocking – not least of all after it came in for the pit stop. For those of us most liable to conspiracy theories, you would have thought that at least the FIA would have made sure that ferrari removed the piece at the pitstop. And for Ferrari to admit to the fact that they knew about it, but chose not to do anything for the sake of a few seconds is inexcusable. if that had hit someone it could have killed someone.

    As for truli, regardless of whether or not he actually touched wheels, he definitely made a very definite “jerk” out towards kovy as kovy was in the process of actually overtaking him. Personally i don;t think that was hard racing – I see no difference between that and brake-testing someone. If it had been schumi – people would have been up in arms, but because it was poor old truli (who got well and truly stitched up here a few years ago – which subsequently led to him being dropped by renault – quite rightly in my opinion!), and because it’s very good for F1 for toyota to finally get a podium, and incidentally because god forbid the FIA give a ruling in favour of Mclaren, Truli gets no penalty. I thought it was a really nasty little move, he thought it was something he could get away with, and he did – which to me makes it all the worse.

  12. […] it is true — as Clive and Milos have both noted — that arguable two other drivers should have been given penalties in […]

  13. […] The events of last weekend in France brought out suggestions someone is out there to get McLaren. On one hand string of penalties to Hamilton and Kovalainen on the other hand not even an investigation into Trulli’s defending 3rd position from Heikki, no action taken ag…. […]

  14. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Well I’m nobody to complaina bout the steards, I know they perform their work quite “well and acurate”. But I would like to again be giving alarm for the marshals behaviour, again too slowly or lazy (for sure things weren’t controlled well by their control chief). I saw many mistakes in showing the flags on time and the most amazing is to leave the end plate from the rear-wing of Bourdais car after it splited away. Well, seems the people in Magny-Cours Circuit already had ready the documents to go for their pensions… As no more races will be done there for several years, and if keep that so, for many more.

    The incident with the Ferrari was not usual, I never saw before that an exhaust joint just melted and broke, I would say this happens a single time in 500 races, because the motor parts are really well fixed. What about not showing him the black flag with orange dot, well that was strange and more than curious when you hear that Ferrari believes the exhaust remainings will just jump away in any moment. That’s work of stewards, marshals and their cheaifs don’t take any decission about it except noticing the problem and advising the race control (and always the TV broadband is there for it).
    So Kimi should have seen that flag once the marshals just noticed there was something hanging there and provoking danger to the public and race competitors. They surely didn’t advice of that situation… It’s really strange to be about running 20 laps with a problem, and suddenly see that flag, what about the 20 laps before? Didn’t have a problem then??? Just the race conrol didn’t know about it at the right moment.

    About Trulli’s closing the door, well it is allowed while the other car didn’t pass yours, so this is a legal defending movement. Anyway, I don’t think Trulli atacked in a desperate way, he was aproaching a very fast corner and another car comes besides not allowing you to catch the propper race line, one thing you try to get the race line before or second thing is you slow down. Did Heikki do that? Did Trulli do that Also? Both did the same, even if looks like Jarno comes closer and closer, and seems they touch each other, to that’s clearly not a dirty movement of Jarno Trulli, it looks more like he needs to get wide to catch the corner without crashing both cars in it. Bacause the sudden movement isn’t left, it is to right giving Kovalainen space, I think Jarno believed that Heikki was going to spoil both race then.
    Looking Kovalainen now, ne did miss the turn so he was too fast, almost touched the grass on the battle and that could be race end for both drivers being so close. He did manage to sneak on the left side of the Toyota while it was getting the race line, and then find himself closed by the grass lesft, the Toyota at the right side and the end of the straight in front. So just passed cutting the corner, there was no other way.

    I would say that’s a battle, and not a meaning of investigation, Jarno clearly gives space to Heikki when they’re in the corner’s entry and Heikki just missed the corner because was too fast.

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      I almost forgot we have a race steward here :-)

      • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

        HAHA I’m still a marshal, but wait, someday I’ll be!! :) But I alrady got apointment for next exams which will give me more category ;) Will be teaching more specified material about open wheel races and I rally wanna get into the rules management :)

  15. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    First, if we do not allow aggressive driving and protection of your place, especially on the final lap, then whats the point of racing. His move risked his position as much as Hiekki’s, thats racing. Well done Trulli!

    How many times have we seen loose brake lights, loose front wings, etc… without a forced stop or black flag. I do think Ferrari gets special treatment, but the precident was set with the prior events. How could they rule otherwise?

  16. AlvinKassimNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Wolf,

    I agree. It seems the FIA has 2 sets of rules, one for McLaren and the other for Ferrari (and to a certain extent other teams as well). There are so many examples over the years especially when it comes to Ferrari. To me, Ferrari is so dominant sometimes because of outside help. It just makes F1 sick by not being able to enjoy seeing the best man and team win on the track, instead it has outside help.


  17. […] won here last year and his Ferrari will be fitted with a fresh engine for this race following his troubles in France. Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position at Silverstone in 2007, the race however did not go that well […]

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