Skip to main content

F1: Rosberg / Hamilton Clash Unacceptable For Mercedes, OK With Stewards

This F1 season has had its fair share of controversy already and we have only just passed the mid-point of the year. Most of the problems have revolved around the Mercedes team, who have produced a car so far ahead of the competition that it has effectively turned its drivers into championship enemies.

Post-race at Spa we have another clash to discuss, with the drivers having very different views on what happened. 

The bare facts: on the long uphill run from Radillon to the Les Combes chicane Rosberg managed to slipstream his team mate, placing his car on the racing line and on the outside of Hamilton for the first right-hander. As Hamilton swung back for the following left hander Rosberg held his line and the front wing of his car touched the rear tyre of Hamilton's, causing wing damage and a puncture. After the race Hamilton made serious accusations that Rosberg had deliberately hit him. Rosberg claimed it was a racing incident. 

The stewards saw no need for action, although the team's principals Toto Wolfe and Niki Lauda suggested this wasn't the view of the team and internal action would be taken. 

So who was in the right?

First of all, were the stewards correct to take no action? Normally I'd say yes. The FIA have asked for fewer penalties for such incidents. However in what was clearly a battle between championship contenders that level of lenience doesn't apply. 

The letter of the law states that it is the overtaking driver who has responsibility for avoiding a collision unless he is substantially ahead of the car being passed. At no time was Rosberg ahead. And he certainly did nothing to avoid the collision. 

Under the circumstances - that is that Rosberg had effectively ended his championship rival's race - there should have been no question that Rosberg should have been penalised. Having failed to take action the stewards and FIA have left the door open to who knows what kind if issues in forthcoming races. 

The same failure to censure Alain Prost after he drove into Senna at Suzuka in 1989 led to Senna exacting revenge one year later - in a manner that potentially endangered both drivers, marshals and spectators. 

It seems unlikely that Rosberg will receive a post-race sanction, just as it's unlikely that Mercedes will take meaningful action internally. Lest we forget, this is a German driver, in a German team. 

Do I think Rosberg deliberately hit Hamilton? No, because in the position that they were in the most likely loser was Rosberg himself. The puncture to Hamilton's car was a fortunate side effect of some poor driving. Schadenfreude. 


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.