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Button cleared, no penalties

OFFICIAL: Jenson Button's race clashes with Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are both deemed 'racing incidents' by the stewards.

McLaren's Jenson Button will not face any punishments following his clashes with Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton during the F1 2011 Canadian Grand Prix.

Button and Alonso made contact on lap 38 and the stewards then announced they would investigate the incident after the race. However having reviewed video evidence and heard from both drivers and team representatives, it was deemed a 'racing incident'.

“Car 5 [Alonso] was on an out lap having pitted. Car 4 [Button] appeared to be firmly established on the inside line prior to the entry of the corner and drove onto the kerb to avoid Car 5 on the outside.

“In view of the conditions and the statements by both drivers and their team representatives, the Stewards decide that this was a 'racing incident' and have taken no further action,” read a statement.

Meanwhile, Button was similarly cleared following his clash with his own team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, on lap 7.

“The Stewards have reviewed the Incident involving Car 3 [Hamilton] and Car 4 [Button] on their 7th lap of the race. The Stewards reviewed the lines of several cars, including the two cars involved, using multiple angles of video evidence over several laps, the speed traces of both drivers, the GPS tracking data from the cars and have heard the drivers and team representatives,” read an additional statement.

“The Stewards concluded that:

“1) Exiting Turn 13 there was a legitimate overtaking opportunity for Lewis Hamilton as his speed was greater than Jensen Button's.

“2) Both drivers took lines substantially similar to many of the other drivers, and did not move as far to the left as the preceding driver, Michael Schumacher. At the moment after Hamilton moved to the left to pass, Button looked into his mirror. It appears from the position of Hamilton at that moment [and is confirmed by the drivers] that Button was unlikely to have seen Hamilton.

“3) At the point of contact Button had not yet moved as far to the left of the track as he had on the previous lap, or that Schumacher had on that lap.

“The Stewards have concluded that it was reasonable for Hamilton to believe that Button would have seen him and that he could have made the passing manoeuvre. Further, the Stewards have concluded that it is reasonable to believe that Button was not aware of Hamilton's position to his left.

“Therefore, the Stewards decide that this was a 'racing incident' and have taken no further action.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
11.06.2011- Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
11.06.2011- Saturday Practice, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
11.06.2011- Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26

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Ben M - Unregistered

June 13, 2011 12:56 AM

Good. F1 needed a result like this after all the recent negative press. Imagine the backlash if Button got his win taken away after such an amazing race finish on primetime European TV!

Sparky62 - Unregistered

June 13, 2011 1:08 AM

The commentators and other experts had it right. If Button and other drivers had been taking that line lap after lap, i.e merging to their left after exiting the corner, then he had every right to do so if he was unaware of Hamilton being there. He did not deliberately squeeze Hamilton as video and telemetry showed that was his normal racing line and common sense says he could not see the other car in his peripheral vision or rear view mirrors.

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