Too many thoughts on Fuji

Firstly — apologies for the lateness of my review of the Japanese Grand Prix. Another busy weekend spilled over into Monday, and is spilling over into Tuesday and Wednesday as well. (I am being very naughty by writing this post.)

There are so many talking points that it is difficult to know where to start.

I guess I should start by noting that it looks as though Lewis Hamilton will be this year’s World Champion. On the basis of his performance in treacherous conditions at Fuji, he fully deserves it. I still think that Fernando Alonso deserves to be World Champion more because I think he has been on balance the better driver. But it’s points that matter.

Hamilton’s drive at Fuji was solid and impressive. In a lot of ways it was a basic pole-to-flag drive for Hamilton. Besides a little run-in with Kubica, he had no real challenges to face. Not much impressive in that, dreadful conditions aside of course. This does not rank alongside, for instance, Senna at Donington in 1993, or even with Alonso at Hungaroring in 2006.

But Hamilton’s race showed firstly that he can drive in the wet. As his engineer noted at the end of the race, he has ticked the “driving in the wet” box that he so conspicuously failed to tick earlier this year at the Nürburgring. It also shows just how quickly he is learning. He made no obvious clangers at Nürburgring, but it was overall a pretty scrappy and unimpressive race. Fuji put that to bed.

It was exactly the opposite for Alonso. It is difficult to know exactly what was wrong with Alonso at Fuji. The conditions should have worked in his favour. Driving in the wet is a major strength of his, as last year’s Hungarian GP demonstrated. At Fuji, though, he was all over the place (certainly in comparison to Hamilton). Seemingly, Hamilton got pole with a heavier car as well.

For another reminder of how well Hamilton is doing, you just had to look from the back of Hamilton’s car on lap 45. Behind the safety car, Sebastian Vettel caused one of the most embarrassing crashes of the season. Mark Webber was running second for Red Bull, and he felt like he was in with a chance of winning. Sebastian Vettel was in third for the Red Bull sister car, Toro Rosso. It would be a historic finish for Red Bull, and for Toro Rosso who were on line for their first ever podium, and their first points of the season.

Then Vettel lost his concentration behind the safety car and slammed straight into the back of Webber. Both cars had to retire from the race. Vettel was distraught — crying in the garage upon his sheepish return to the pitlane. How does he explain to the boss what happened?

Webber was noticeably furious, and threw the steering wheel from his car as though he were an Olympic shot put competitor. ITV reported that early on in the race Webber had been sick in his helmet. Lesser men would give up when their stomachs empty themselves. That’s what separates us from Grand Prix racing drivers. The decision to continue was being paid off in the form of second place.

I bet while he was running in second he had forgotten all about the vomit in his helmet. Being slammed in the rear by a driver of his sister team was probably enough to make him sick all over again. Take a sip of water to calm yourself down. Oh no, you were sick into your straw.

Furious Webber stormed back to the pitlane and blasted Vettel in the strongest possible terms. It provided the funniest moment of the race. On live Saturday morning television, in the same slot where Pocoyo is normally shown, he blasted, voice noticeably trembling with rage:

It’s kids, isn’t it. It’s kids with not enough experience, and they just go and FUCK IT ALL UP!

Here it is on YouTube — enjoy it while you can, before FOM remove it.

Vettel has probably lost a lot of his reputation with that moment. Usually it would be forgiven as a rookie mistake, but the problem is that this year there is a rookie who you cannot envisage making that kind of mistake. More evidence of what a good job Hamilton is doing. (Having said that, I can’t think of Kovalainen dropping any similar clangers either.)

Someone else who lost a lot of reputation — as if he had any left to lose — was Ralf Schumacher. During qualifying 1 he was seemingly worried about not making the cut. For whatever reason he felt the need to take an ambitious move alongside a Spyker. Unfortunately, instead of going alongside the Spyker, he just went straight into it and damaged his car so badly that he wouldn’t have been able to go into Q2 anyway. To rub salt into the wound, he qualified for it. Yesterday, Ralf Schumacher was sacked left Toyota.

I suppose this is the thing about wet races. It makes some people look like complete idiots. It makes other people look like superheroes. So many drivers put in amazing performances at Fuji. I have already noted Hamilton, Webber and Vettel (before his boo-boo moment).

But Kimi Räikkönen was probably the most impressive driver on the track. He suffered badly from Ferrari’s strategic (and rule-breaking) blunder to start the race on intermediates while everyone else was on full wets. It was a nonsensical decision in the first place, and after just a few laps behind the safety car both Ferrari drivers had to pit in to change to full wets, relegating them to dead last.

Despite this, and in those crazy conditions as well, Räikkönen and Massa both managed to get themselves into potential podium positions. Räikkönen in particular had a stunning race, with a notable move on the outside of David Coulthard being the highlight. It really is the stuff that champions are made of. I hope Räikkönen’s career won’t finish as a case of “if only” as it has been so far.

Kudos also to Massa who was ahead of Räikkönen which is really inconvenient for Ferrari’s hopes in the Drivers’ Championship. And team orders don’t exist, especially from Ferrari. So it was time for a suspicious “splash n dash” to let Räikkönen ahead of Massa, who dropped straight back to 7th.

I suppose we shouldn’t be so cynical. It did let us see a truly amazing last-lap ding-dong battle between Massa and Kubica. There was an uncomfortably high amount of the run-off areas being used. I feel that Massa’s wide line through the run-off at the final corner is what gave him the edge over Kubica in the end, but they were both guilty of using the run-off areas. It provided some damn fun racing, but you can’t help feeling that they were both… cheating?

Ah yes cheating. What about that business with starting on intermediates when they were told to go on wets? Ferrari didn’t get the email apparently! Hah! Yeah right. All of the other teams and even the commentators knew the deal, but Ferrari didn’t. Likely story. Of course, FIArrari believed them.

I should also mention Jenson Button. After his torrid season in a shitbox Honda, he qualifying performance was truly encouraging and I was hoping that he could get a good result. Unfortunately he lost his front wing early on and had to get it replaced.

Rather alarmingly, though, he ran sans front wing for a few laps without any major drop-off in performance. An illustration of just how bad that Honda is — it can lose its front wing and you wouldn’t be able to tell from the times being set.

Liuzzi almost scored a point for Torro Rosso. It would have been scant consolation for Vettel’s lost podium, but it would have been something. Yup, it would have been, had he not passed Sutil under a yellow flag! Doh!

So instead, Adrian Sutil scored his first point, and Spyker’s first point as well. Just in time to impress their latest new owner (they must have had four owners in as many years!). In seriousness, Sutil is seriously impressing this season. A drive at a better team for 2009 surely beckons.

History also for Heikki Kovalainen, who took Renault’s first podium of the year, and his first podium of the career. Apparently it is also the first time two Finns have been on the podium, so a good day to remember for Finland.

A shockingly awful day for Japan though. On their home territory, all of the teams with Japanese links did awfully. I have already mentioned Schumacher and Button. Barrichello was 10th, Trulli finished dead last of the runners, both Williams-Toyotas and both Super Aguris failed to finish. Sakon Yamamoto was 12th. Who would be a Japanese F1 fan?

This is just a bit of what I have been thinking. I could go on and on and on about that race, but I have to stop somewhere. The championship looks like it’s nearly over, but I can’t wait for the Chinese Grand Prix. Luckily, we only have to wait a few days for it.

Update: As soon as I published this, I spotted this on Sidepodcast. It provides very convincing evidence that Hamilton could have caused the collision between Webber and Vettel. It also backs up Vettel’s post-race comments about how he was being put off by Hamilton. Commentators noted Hamilton’s erratic driving behind the safety car, and it does look a little bit like Hamilton was taking things rather over the line with his excessive start–stop driving.

You can only assume that he was deliberately trying to cause an accident, or rattle his opponents. (As Sidepodcast notes, it can’t have been warming brakes, because that involves abrupt changes in speed, not the gradual halt that Hamilton comes to.) What do you think? Watch quickly, before FOM take it down.

I have to say, well done to the person who took the footage. It’s better than anything the actual TV director took of the incident, and reveals a whole lot more of what was going on in the incident.

Update: The original video has, as predicted, been removed by FOM. For the benefit of the many visitors still reading this post, here is another copy of the video. This will probably get pulled down as well.

Via Telegraph Technology.

45 comments

  1. Driving behind the safety car always looks a risky business, especially when you see it from an on-board shot. The way the cars take off and then come almost to a complete stop is a bit crazy and it was probably only a matter of time before there was a coming together – just a shame that it had to happen to 2 cars from sister teams and when they were both having their best races to date!

    I would have to say that Hamilton must have known that Webber was catching him prior to the safety car period, so was probably very conscious of him being in his mirrors – what he did was perhaps a little strange, and the fact Webber was probably trying his best not to overtake Hamilton combined with Vettel not paying 100% attention was what actually caused the crash.

    In my view at least – nothing will be done against Hamilton though of course! The penalty against Vettel is harsh in the extreme.

  2. Well this has certainly has been Lewis Hamilton’s year in Formula One cause everywhere I go he hits the spotlight even here in South Africa.The guy I think has answered a lot of people with his drive in the wet and personally i believe he really deserves the championship but as I read Alonso’s comments he is not taking this one sitting down and he should be cause the is still twenty points up for grabs. Who knows even the iceman Raikonnen can still it from both of them although unlikely.

    Lastlty People and the blog title-holder check mobivids.co.za on your mobile phones and rate and help me if you have more knowledge on the stuff thank you 🙂
    _________________________________________
    This is the way!!!

  3. I’m sorry but I really don’t see what all the fuss is about the Webber/Vettel accident. It was a rookie’s mistake, pure and simple, and trying to put the blame on Hamilton, Webber or even the pace car is just silly. Drive into the back of someone at a roundabout and see how much change you get from your insurance company when you tell them it was the other guy’s fault.

    Vettel got it right – it was his fault, he owned up, end of story.

  4. Well Vettel clearly did not have his eye on the ball, but Hamilton was driving dangerously. It’s just shocking behaviour, especially in conditions like that. I think the fact that Kovalainen was even told to keep an extra distance behind Hamilton following the Vettel incident says a lot.

    With the FIA turning a blind eye to Hamilton’s constant flouting of the rules, particularly the crane incident at Nürburgring, it seems true that Hamilton really is the new Michael Schumacher in more ways than one!

  5. Will be interesting to see the outcome of this investigation into Hamilton’s driving – if they penalise Vettel 10-grid places then I don’t see how they can just let Hamilton do whatever he wants!

    If they truly want a fair fight (and for the title to go down to the last race in Brazil) then they have to punish Hamilton.

    Of course, they also want a Hamilton title victory (or so it would seem), so I’m not so sure that we will see what is right and fair this weekend.

  6. I’m sick of the criticism of Hamilton – he’s proven himself to be a masterful driver, and people are just unhappy that he’s doing so well. Maybe it’s because he’s black but if they deduct points from him, it will be the most disgusting thing in the history of the sport. He has proven himself from carting to F1, and yet the nasty snipers still get at him and say he doesn’t deserve to win. Everyone was in the same circumstance last week, and just because Hamilton didn’t crash or retire and proved a master on the wet, it just upsets some people. How sad. I really hope Hamilton doesn’t get penalised. At one stage, someone was even trying to blame him for the Kubica touch. I am so enraged, I can hardly breathe!!!!

  7. I’m sorry, but this is pure nonsense. Hamilton is allowed to back the pack up however he sees fit, and to claim that he was guilty of “dangerous driving” is insane. Driving off-line while behind the safety car is perfectly within the rules, whatever the reason for doing so, whether it is done deliberately to put your opponents off or not. It is the responsibility of the other drivers to ensure that they don’t have an accident, not Hamilton!

    And what is this about rule-breaking in Germany? If a car is deemed to be in a dangerous position and has kept its engine running, the marshals are allowed to return it to the track to rejoin the race. That is in the FIA rules, and whether the car is in a dangerous position or not is down to the judgement of the stewards, whose decision is final. Suggesting that Hamilton “broke the rules” is simply yet more idiocy.

  8. It looks to me as if Hamilton was trying to avoid the spray from the pace car. Seems reasonable to me. at the end of the day in the wet you should leave some space between you and the car in front.

  9. Tom, I am afraid you just do not know the rules well enough.

    Nobody is allowed to back the pack up however they see fit. The rules stipulate that the leader must remain within five car lengths of the Safety Car at all times. Lewis Hamilton broke this rule at Fuji.

    Article 40.8 states:

    All competing cars must then form up in line behind the safety car no more than 5 car lengths apart…

    Also of relevance is Article 40.7:

    Any car being driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or which is deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers at any time whilst the safety car is deployed will be reported to the stewards. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane.

    Also, the use of cranes to allow a driver to re-join the track is strictly prohibited.

    Appendix H to the International Sporting Code, Chapter III, article 6.1:

    Once the car is in a place of safety the driver may, if the specific regulations of the event permit, work on it in order to re-start. In such cases other means, such as breakdown vehicles, cranes, etc. should not be brought into action until the driver has made it clear that he will not continue.

  10. Lay off Hamilton. Duncan is wrong: I saw the race too. Lewis was just frustrated at having the safety car out for such a long time. Vettil was at fault: he just wasn’t watching where he was going when he took Webber out!

  11. Simon McNair, if Hamilton was just trying to avoid the spray from the Safety Car, why did he close in immediately before moving off-line and slowing down?

  12. You say the rules stipulate that he should stay within 5 lengths of the safety car, but then proceed to quote a sentence from the rules that doesn’t say that at all!

    All competing cars must then form up in line behind the safety car no more than 5 car lengths apart

    So all competing cars must be no more than 5 car lengths apart.

    As for the matter of Germany I believe the key phrase in the rules you quote is “Once the car is in a place of safety”. Hamiltons car was clearly deemed not to be in a “place of safety” and therefore a crane was used to move it! Simple really.

  13. Doctorvee,
    I see your point but if entered the corner too fast (admittedly he should be a better driver than that) then his only option to lose the speed and not get soaked would be to run wide and slow. I don’t profess to know all the rules, I was just saying what I saw from the clip.

  14. Tom, you’ve missed the next part of the paragraph. The bit I highlighted. I’ll quote it again for you.

    In such cases other means, such as breakdown vehicles, cranes, etc. should not be brought into action until the driver has made it clear that he will not continue.

    As for the Safety Car thing, I’ll admit that the rule is slightly ambiguous. It could be read either way.

  15. no. just watched it again, what I said is nonsense. He should have followed in the patch of the pace car and he didn’t. To be honest though, the only reason you’d crash in to the car in front of you is inattention or driving too close. Like I said, I’m not an expert. We’ll leave it up to them to decide.

  16. Ok, let me quote it again and emphasise the relavant parts:

    Once the car is in a place of safety the driver may, if the specific regulations of the event permit, work on it in order to re-start. In such cases other means, such as breakdown vehicles, cranes, etc. should not be brought into action until the driver has made it clear that he will not continue.

    The cases that “in such cases” specifically refers to are cases where the car “is in a place of safety”. Hamilton’s car was deemed not to be “in a place of safety” and therefore the statement regarding the use of cranes did not apply. Or to put it another way, in the case where the car is in a place of safety then the marshals should not use a crane to return the car to the track. In the case where the car is not in a place of safety, they may, therefore, use a crane.

  17. In the case where the car is not in a place of safety, they may, therefore, use a crane.

    This is not what the cited text says, and it is a fallacy to believe otherwise. It only details when a crane may be used when the car is in a place of safety. It says nothing whatsoever about use of cranes in other situations, but I would guess that the use of cranes is prohibited by default? Just as the use of any other aiding technology which isn’t specifically mentioned in the rules would be?

    I know very little about F1 rules, though, I just know how to parse such sentences. Basically if cranes are ordinarily allowed for conditions outwith those named, the crane is allowed. Otherwise it is not.

  18. It’s quite interesting. I’ve never heard of that interpretation of the rule before, and Lewis Hamilton is the only one ever to have benefited from it. Usually when a crane is used, it is to take the car away from danger, away from the race track. Not back on it.

    I thought “In such cases…” normally referred to the general principle of re-starting, not the relative danger of the position of the car.

  19. Calum, the rules are applied based on what they say, not what they don’t say. They specifically say that you may not use a crane to move a car that is in a position of safety. Since Hamilton’s car was not deemed to be in a position of safety, you cannot penalise him for having his car moved by a crane, as that rule didn’t apply in his case.

    Basically the rules are designed so that if the safest course of action for the marshals to take is to move the car back onto the track and allow it to continue, they can do so. Whether they do that by push-starting the car or lifting it back onto the track with a crane isn’t really important. If there’s no safety reason for aiding the car to continue, the marshals are forbidden from doing so.

  20. doctorvee, “In such cases” refers to the cases where the car is in a safe position AND the driver is working on the car to get it restarted. In F1 there is normally nothing the driver can do. But since Hamilton’s car was not in a safe position anyway, it doesn’t apply.

  21. I’ve just looked at the YouTube footage of the Vettel/Webber incident and there is no way you can attribute that to Hamilton. At those slower speeds, even in the wet, there was plenty of time for Vettel to assess the situation (if he was paying attention!) as Hamilton swung over to the outer curve of the turn. Hamilton does slow down to avoid overshooting the safety car but he takes a different line as to not impede the drivers behind him.
    Verdict: Vettel’s fault, clear and simple.

  22. I don’t understand the thinking there Peej. “he takes a different line as to not impede the drivers behind him.”? You can’t really impede somebody during a Safety Car period. You can’t overtake. This is why Hamilton slowed right down, to force the cars behind into a situation like this.

    Because Webber was close to overtaking Hamilton, Webber had to stamp on the brakes and that’s what caused Vettel (who thought that Hamilton’s car had a problem — that’s how strange Hamilton’s driving was) to smash into him.

  23. Vettel has never suggested Webber stamped on the brakes, and Webber has never said he braked. Vettel has already admitted the accident was down to him not paying attention as he was distracted by Hamilton. There is no rule that drivers should not distract other drivers, either accidentally or intentionally.

    If Webber did stamp on the brakes to avoid getting his nose in front of Hamilton, it was a stupid thing to do. Drivers have overshot others on parade laps and in safety car formations numerous times in the past and had their nose or often their whole car in front. That does not constitute “overtaking” in this sense, unless they actually move ahead of another driver and pull in in front of them. Webber could have carried on as normal and allowed Hamilton to catch up and re-pass him, and would not have been at any risk of being penalised.

  24. I think it’s a bit odd to suggest that distracting other drivers is not illegal.

    I would say that kind of behaviour is easily covered by “Any car being driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or which is deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers”.

    As for the “overshoot” thing, it is a grey area and I hardly think Webber can be blamed for trying to stick to the rules.

  25. They should have brought the safety car in ALOT earlier, it was clear that the track was driveable, Silverstone has had far wetter weather and been perfectly raceable -that and all the accidents which occured behind the safety car BUT NOT in the race.

    All those drivers also complaining about it being ‘undriveable’ yet, there they were, driving and not coming in!

    I still think that Fernando Alonso deserves to be World Champion more because I think he has been on balance the better driver.

    really? I thought Hamilton was for more consistent and less liekly to drive his car off any corner at every opportunity.

  26. It depends somewhat on what Hamilton’s explanation for going so wide in that corner was. If he simply got too close to the safety car and wanted to back off, or was avoiding what he thought was a patch of standing water, it would be pretty understandable. They were very difficult conditions and it’s inevitable that there will be slight mistakes here and there. What is more difficult to understand is how Webber or Vettel can claim that Hamilton’s driving was distracting enough to cause the collision. What will they be saying next – that they were distracted by somebody in the crowd?

    I don’t think the “overshoot” argument is a grey area at all, there are literally countless precedents where drivers have gone even completely in front of other drivers and then slowed down to allow them to re-pass or waved them through and no penalty has been applied. If Webber claims he was trying to stick to the letter of the law at the expense of the safety of the drivers behind him, he is an idiot.

  27. Dunno, it’s a bit better than flouting the letter of the law at the expense of the safety of the drivers behind, which is what Hamilton did throughout the Safety Car periods at Fuji.

    The point about overtaking under the SC being a grey area is that it is possible to be punished for it. It has happened in the past, so I can’t see how Webber can be blamed for hitting the brakes in this instance. It really has come to something when drivers are blamed for sticking to the rules (Webber), and celebrated for breaking the rules (Hamilton).

  28. Drivers have passed other cars only to let them repass plenty of times before, under safety car or cutting the corner, and been allowed to – I dont see that as an excuse at all.

    Most of the new drivers were shocking in the rain and the safety car start was shambolic. I love wet races but unless these young upstarts are used to it the wet races will just degrade into farces.

    I’d like to see sprinklers on tracks and an enforced wet race 1 in 5 or something.

  29. Sticking to the letter of the rules at the risk of causing an accident that could have easily been avoided by applying a common sense interpretation of the rules that has been applied countless times in the past with no penalty, you mean.

  30. Just an update to the discussion above, re. does the leader have to stay within five car lengths of the Safety Car?

    Turns out that this is covered by Article 40.10:

    The safety car shall be used at least until the leader is behind it and all remaining cars are lined up behind him. Once behind the safety car, the race leader must keep within 5 car lengths of it (except under 40.13 below) and all remaining cars must keep the formation as tight as possible.

    40.13 refers to the final lap, when the lights on the SC are switched off.

  31. Commentators noted Hamilton’s erratic driving behind the safety car, and it does look a little bit like Hamilton was taking things rather over the line with his excessive start–stop driving.

    I have to ask, what does it mater if he’s driving erratically? Is the point of F1 not to win? If a bit of weaving confuses his seemingly incapable of coping opponents then it’s their look out frankly.

    Who were the Ferrari and BMW (I think it was Ferrari and BMW, Im not entirely sure) behaving and racing EXTREMELY erratically on the final lap? One drove the other off the track, then visa versa, then again visa versa etc. That looked to me like dangerous driving between those two yet nothing seems to be mentioned.

  32. Matthew, the rule is about driving erratically behind the Safety Car. You are not supposed to be racing when the SC is out, so you shouldn’t be playing games at that stage until the lights are turned off on the SC.

    The final lap is different of course because it was under racing conditions, the SC wasn’t out and there were no yellow flags.

  33. It’s been a long time since we had a British F1 champion.

    Both Hamilton and McLaren seem to be unfairly in the spotlight this season, let’s please not encourage this seemingly Ferrari fuelled Hamilton/Mclaren bashing and congratulate him on the well deserved maiden F1 championship win – if he manages it.

    I for one will be very pleased if he wins and Alonso’s tactics have made me completely lose respect for him as someone I previously thought was a decent driver and person.

    I almost hope Alonso doesn’t get a drive next year, but I’m not so vindictive – I just hope he’s not at McLaren.

  34. I hope Alonso leaves Mclaren cos they just want a British driver to win the driver’s championship!!! Mclaren’s tactics are so low in order to hand Lewis the championship. Lewis is good only because he’s in a good car (thanks to Alonso, we know Lewis suck at set-up even after being so long in the racing industry). Put him in a Spyker or Super Aguri and I doubt he will have such good results… I must say Lewis is very good at playing games on and off track as we have seen these past few weeks. Many have been fooled by his tactics.

  35. Put him in a Spyker or Super Aguri and I doubt he will have such good results…

    Id find it hard to argue against that. Any driver, aside from those in Spyker or Super Aguri will do worse in either of those teams than their current team.
    So your point being?

  36. eima is clearly another Alonso fanboy who cannot take the fact that Lewis has beaten Alonso hands down this season with equal equipment. Neither Alonso nor his fans can accept this simple truth.

  37. Doctorvee – in your reply no. 18 you said you had not seen before the explanation regarding use of cranes as given by Tom. It was actually covered at the time of the incident in Ed Gorman’s blog in The Times.
    http://timesonline.typepad.com/formula_one/

    People have also mentiones the maximum 5-cr-lengths rule in the debate above. I think Lewis Hamilton had difficulty in keeping to the rule in such atrocious wet conditions. I wonder whether the FIA had ever considered the rule in the context of such amount of water and spray on the track. As it is, I think on this particular corner either the safety car slowed more than Lewis was expecting, and/or Lewis went wide to avoid hitting the safety car, and at the same time he had realised that if he simply braked behind the safety car then Webber was running too close and would have rammed in to Lewis. All in all, I think Lewis behaved quite correctly and it was Webber and Vettel who got caught out. In fact, you can see Webber is going so fast that he is less than 5 cars away and in danger of catching the safety car after Lewis runs wide.

  38. It seems people just cant come to grip that this new guy Hamilton is changing F1 and taking it to another level cause i believe F1 fans expected the battle for the title to be between Alonso and Raikonnen now they are trying to find ways to discredit him.Personally i hope he wins the title and continue where he left off. 😉

    ____________________________________
    This is the way!!!

  39. either the safety car slowed more than Lewis was expecting, and/or Lewis went wide to avoid hitting the safety car

    I don’t buy this at all. If Hamilton simply wanted to avoid hitting the safety car he could have slowed down a lot less. Hamilton dropped anchor. I’ve never seen any other drivers do this behind the SC. If Hamilton is as good as his fans say he is, he would be able to manage this situation a lot more gracefully, with none of this stop-starting and darting around on the circuit.

  40. doctorvee – what an interesting and well written/researched site.
    Shame about the uneccessary language though!

  41. i think its obvous what hamilton was doing and concurs with his comments later – he was aware of the cars behind him and got out their way before he got his ride smashed up in the appaling condidtions

  42. hi men`s:
    hola me gustaria poder ver(i would like to see) el video “onboard” del accidente de alonso en Fuji. Se (i know) that it´s so difficutult to get it….
    I know that someone get it one week ago and it dissapeared. Can you send me any piece of this video onboard??? reboot7777@gmail.com
    Thaks