F1 »

Stewards contradicted FIA advice over Bourdais.

In the wake of the controversial Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji Speedway at the weekend, it has been revealed that – not for the first time this season – race stewards went against the advice of FIA race director Charlie Whiting in meting out a post-race time penalty.

A retrospective 25-second penalty was applied to Sébastien Bourdais for the Frenchman's contentious collision with Felipe Massa on lap 51, as the Scuderia Toro Rosso ace accelerated out of the pit-lane, only to be squeezed by the approaching Ferrari coming down the pit straight and spinning the scarlet machine round in the inevitable contact.

The punishment has received widespread condemnation in the Formula 1 paddock, as it was generally held that Massa was responsible for causing the collision, not Bourdais, and yet it was the Brazilian who ultimately benefited from the record-breaking multiple Champ Car king's misfortune.

Bourdais subsequently lashed out at both the penalty and Massa, accusing the title contender of displaying a complete lack of 'respect' and suggesting the only other thing he could have done would have been to have 'unrolled the red carpet and given him the corner' [see separate story – click here].

There is now likely to be further outrage, however, as it has since emerged that the stewards contradicted Whiting's pre-race direction that 'the car exiting the pits has right of way'.

There was a similar scenario when the Belgian Grand Prix stewards demoted Lewis Hamilton from first place to third at Spa-Francorchamps last month – similarly benefiting Massa – despite Whiting having assured the Briton's McLaren-Mercedes team during the race that the world championship leader's action in yielding to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen after he had passed the Finn on the grass was 'okay'.

“The team managers I spoke to after the race all said that FIA race director Charlie Whiting had briefed them in Singapore and again in Fuji that the car exiting the pits has right of way,” explained ITV-F1's James Allen, who slated the decision as 'ridiculous', according to Planet-F1.

“If the teams cannot believe the race director, what hope have the rest of us and the wider public got? The FIA styles itself as the referee in this sport, but surely it cannot afford to keep sending out such mixed messages.”

F1's governing body has come under fire on a number of occasions this season for what has been seen as the inconsistent application of penalties, with some even going so far as to suggest there is a conspiracy theory against Hamilton and McLaren and more favourable rules for Ferrari.

The stewards have still not offered any explanation for Bourdais' punishment, or why it was issued retrospectively when there were 16 laps – or more than 20 minutes – of the grand prix left to run when the incident occurred.

Massa has insisted that Bourdais was at fault in the coming-together [see separate story – click here].


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Bourdais (FRA), Toro Rosso STRO3, Japanese F1, Fuji, 10th-12th, October, 2008
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Don - Unregistered

October 13, 2008 2:32 PM

Toro Rosso should protest the penalty. So what if Ferrari supplies their engines, Massa was at fault. Seb had another terrific drive wasted because of this biased call. F1 needs to step up, reverse the penalty and give Bourdais back his points. Total BS.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.