WTF Is With That Penalty To Michael Schumacher?
I’m a little bit pissed off at the FIA and Damon Hill after this weekend’s F1 race at the beautiful Monaco race track. With 2 laps to go, Karun Chandhok and Jarno trulli collided heavily (with Chandhok lucky that he didnt lose his head) and out came the safety car. On the last lap of the race, Charlie Whiting brought in the safety car and declared the track clear and initiated race conditions for the final corner of the track.
The incident happened on this corner, when Fernando Alonso tried with all his might to get up to speed in his car, and slid all over the place while Michael Schumacher nipped him to the corner, taking the extra place at the final corner.
At first, the stweards were all in a kerfuffle because they believed that Michael had passed him before the line of the safety car. When the video footage from his car was reviewed it was very clear that he had already passed the line, so it wasn’t an issue anymore. Then came in the rule about passing in the last lap if the race is finished under safety car conditions.
Section 40.11 applies: “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.” – This is exactly what happened in Monaco. Whiting declared the track ready for racing, so technically, the race did not finish under a safety car. This also applies in the same section if the cars are to finish under a safety car: “As the safety car is approaching the pit entry the yellow flags and SC boards will be withdrawn and replaced by waved green flags with green lights at the Line.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.”
So, of course Ferrari are already being morons by saying that they were told about the rule, that their drivers would remain in position until the finish line. The question is, if that was the case, then why didn’t they tell the rest of the teams, and more importantly, why did Alonso try so hard to keep his Ferrari at top speed going into the corner to avoid being passed?
Many, including myself, were hoping that these questions would be answered by the FIA, however I can probably argue that they never will. Another thing that gets me all mad right now is that Mercedes have announced that they will NOT appeal against the time drop. This really sucks for Michael, as the team have a perfectly good reason to appeal the decision and they are turning their backs on him.
So, once again, the FIA punishes yet another driver who makes a last minute crowd pleasing moment. Here is my middle finger to the FIA.