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Whiting: Verstappen penalty justified

NEWS STORY
07/10/2018

While Max Verstappen - not for the first time - believes the stewards got it wrong, and that the time penalty meted out to him for the first lap incident with Kimi Raikkonen was not justified - the Red Bull driver suggesting the Finn was responsible - the FIA's race director, Charlie Whiting disagrees.

"It was quite clearly a penalty because Max went off the track and rejoined the track unsafely," said Whiting in a post-race media debrief.

"You are required to rejoin safely," he continued, "and Kimi was there and he pushed him off the track. So I think that was a fairly straightforward one for the stewards."

Asked about the subsequent clash with Sebastian Vettel, the Briton agreed that it was a racing incident with neither driver fully to blame.

"Seb tried to get up the inside, and it was a reasonable move," he explained. "He got halfway alongside and Max turned in... a bit of a classic really.

"Stewards don't normally give penalties unless they are sure that one driver was wholly or predominantly to blame," he added. "Opinions will vary on whether there was equal blame, but certainly no driver was predominantly to blame they felt."

When it was put to Whiting that in China Verstappen was penalised for such a move on Vettel, the Dutchman having earlier compared the two incidents, he replied: "In China he came charging down the inside into the hairpin, and almost T-boned Seb, I don't think there was any similarity between the two.

"I haven't had a look at the one from China," he admitted, "but my recollection from that incident as it was a very clear case of causing a collision, and I think what Sebastian was doing was a genuine attempt to overtake. What Max was doing in China was opportunistic at best."

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1. Posted by Stitch431, 09/10/2018 5:36

"Here is what Kimi himself said to ESPN after ha had ten minutes to calm down: "In an ideal world, I could have given him more room, I tried to go outside and leave as much room as possible, I know it's impossible to steer when you bounce back over the curbs. I do not think he was trying to hit me on purpose. If we were to ride side by side on the track, he would not push me out, because we all know what would happen next". I think that says it all."

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2. Posted by Stitch431, 09/10/2018 5:26

"Guys, if he (Max) would not have been a passenger (the car slid through the newly dyed artificial grass), he would have had the possibility to "choose" the moment of rejoining the track. However, he was sliding! And he has his steering wheel turned in all the way to the left (look at the onboard). There was not a thing in the world he could have done more in that split second (braking was not possible as he was sliding). "

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3. Posted by TokyoAussie, 09/10/2018 4:29

"I am not going to accuse the FIA of consistency, heaven forbid. In this one case, where Verstappen came back on track and forced Kimi off, I thought the 5-second penalty was not nearly severe enough. Kimi would have been ahead without that incident, therefore the least that should have happened is Max being told to relinquish position."

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4. Posted by Frank H, 08/10/2018 21:22

"Vettel managed to get back safely to the track after he and Verstappen collided at Spoon. Really screwed up Vettels position to sit and wait, but he rejoined safely (and didn't gain any advantage what so ever)

Verstappen thinking Kimi should wait for him to rejoin is just absurd way of thinking. If you screw up, you should make your best not to screw up other peoples races either. (Just as some people try to recover more or less impossible spins by staying on the throttle, taking out more cars (Like in Barcelona))

I think Whiting and his staff do the best they can. Although incidents often are similar to previous, all are also unique in their own way, and there will always be discussions. But lately I think they've better in keeping it consistent, than they have done earlier.

"

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5. Posted by Racer76, 08/10/2018 13:40

"OK. Here's my take. Max is extremely talented, but often doesn't know his limits. Like Schuhmacher in 2005 (when in all fairness the powers that be tried to steal the victory) or Ayrton. He impeded BOTH Ferraris (OK, they impeded each other many times anyway). This is the final stretch of the championship so it might have been a wise idea to get out of the way. In both incidents...."

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6. Posted by mickl, 08/10/2018 12:30

"Way too lenient IMO. He should have been made to give the place over to Kimi straight away as he clearly gained an advantage by shoving Kimi off the track. The rules are the driver must rejoin in a safe manner, not barge others out of the way."

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7. Posted by bfairey, 08/10/2018 10:24

"When are they going to retire Charlie Whiting?"

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8. Posted by Mad Matt, 08/10/2018 9:03

"With all due respect to Alex Wurz the rules say that you have to rejoin the track safely. Max could have waited for a space as other drivers have in the past. It is the responsibility of the driver who has left the track to make sure his return is safe."

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9. Posted by Stitch431, 08/10/2018 6:00

"Well, Charly, this is what one of your own stewards said about it on live broadcasting: according to Alex Wurz, here in Austria the commentator, the artificial grass had just been dyed green, because of which he (Max) slipped straight and shot back onto the track as it were. It is also visible in the onboard that Max has completely steered the wheel to the left. He could do nothing more than he had already done here. Wurz would, if he was a steward on duty, not give an extra penalty because it is a racing incident (no intention). Also remember a few races ago in Austria it was exactly the other way around and Kimi pushed Max of the track coming back onto it after sliding off. He did not get any punishment for that though...Then there is the action of Vettel who was clearly behind Max and then torpedoed into his side. Lucky for Max he got no damage and Vettel did himself no good. Still, he should have been punished for this blunt fault but was not and again, the other way around (China) Max was punished!. Seems to me the FIA still wears Ferrari glasses.""

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10. Posted by Pavlo, 07/10/2018 20:46

"Charlie and stewards were consistent today, but consistently wrong. They’ve built a practice of stupidly low penalties. Imagine if in soccer one would score a goal from offside and get a warning. Or goal with a hand and get a yellow card - but the goal is counted.
Isn’t it obvious that the penalty must be bigger that the advantage gained? Strangely in F1 it’s not. And strangely only Max got it right, 5s is more than acceptable price for kicking the opponent off the track. Will we see this strategy from Kimi or Valtteri in the next races? :)"

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11. Posted by nonickname, 07/10/2018 20:02 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 07/10/2018 20:11)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

Rating: Neutral (0)

12. Posted by klmn, 07/10/2018 19:29

"Charlie and the stewards did a very good job. BTW Charlie has the most difficult job in this circus and he does it very very well."

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