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Were Schumacher's Hungary penalties correct? [split]


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#1 flyer121

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 12:50

Comments in the article http://planet-f1.com...learn-the-rules
say that Whiting did a cock up with switches which led to the error from Schumi switching the engine off ... leading to the ultimate DT for speeding which was also wrong because the race hadnt started.

Merc have grounds for protest here methinks ..



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#2 Clatter

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 12:57

Comments in the article http://planet-f1.com...learn-the-rules
say that Whiting did a cock up with switches which led to the error from Schumi switching the engine off ... leading to the ultimate DT for speeding which was also wrong because the race hadnt started.

Merc have grounds for protest here methinks ..


The pitlane speed limit is in force at all times. The penalty was correct.

Doesn't matter what happened with the lights, the mistakes were MS's, no one elses. He lined up in the wrong position all on his own, and turning off the engine is not the correct procedure.

Edited by Clatter, 08 August 2012 - 12:59.


#3 1Devil1

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 13:14

The pitlane speed limit is in force at all times. The penalty was correct.

Doesn't matter what happened with the lights, the mistakes were MS's, no one elses. He lined up in the wrong position all on his own, and turning off the engine is not the correct procedure.


Wrong. AMuS mentioned it in an article you can't get a drive trough penalty related to an incident before the race. Schumacher destroyed his race with his mistake anyway and I think Mercedes didn't care about the penalty decision of the FIA

Edited by 1Devil1, 08 August 2012 - 13:15.


#4 Buttoneer

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 13:14

[Split] in the topic title means that a moderator has split this topic from an existing one because of the information in the comments to the article;

gojensilton says...
For all this criticism of Schuey on the race day, Brundle commented after a replay from the back of the grid that Schumacher did the right thing according to the sequence of lights that appeared on the gantry. If i remember right, it flashed yellow then red, race abort! Now if that is true Schueys only fault lies in his reactions being so quick he messed up his own race due to some old bloke up in the start box messing up the button pushing on the lights!!Watch it back, the lights definately dont stay flashing yellows.

Posted: 07/08/12 12:58pm


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#5 tifosiMac

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 13:21

If the lights did indeed flash yellow then red, why was Schuey the only driver on the grid who turned his engine off instantly? No other driver reacted like this and were able to start to race as normal.

#6 rossbrawn

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 13:23

No other driver reacted like this and were able to start to race as normal.


Every other driver didn't know what to do, until Whiting waved them to do another lap.

#7 Ferrari2183

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 13:31

The pitlane speed limit is in force at all times. The penalty was correct.

Doesn't matter what happened with the lights, the mistakes were MS's, no one elses. He lined up in the wrong position all on his own, and turning off the engine is not the correct procedure.

This is correct but the penalty should have been a fine as it is for speeding in the pitlane during FP's and not a drive through...

As for the lights I think it did flash orange then red.

Edited by Ferrari2183, 08 August 2012 - 13:44.


#8 tifosiMac

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 13:33

Every other driver didn't know what to do, until Whiting waved them to do another lap.

Or in other words they waited a couple of seconds longer for correct instructions. Schuey pulled into the incorrect grid slot and thats nobodys fault but his, and he would not have been able to start the race like that. he created the confusion and ultimately became confused himself. Nobody else on that grid pulled into the wrong slot, or turned their engine off. I think its safe to say Michael screwed that one up good and proper and I doubt he would blame anybody else under the circumstances. Even the best make mistakes and Michael is not alone.

#9 Fastcake

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 13:37

Every other driver didn't know what to do, until Whiting waved them to do another lap.


Probably because it hasn't happened for so long, no one really remembers the rules.

Taking a look at the sporting regs, what's meant to happen is the abort lights come on, then a board comes out saying either "Extra formation lap" or "delayed start". Clearly that was substituted by Whiting waving them through, but Schumacher was incorrect in turning off his engine before being instructed too.

#10 teejay

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 13:42

What are Mercedes going to protest?

They were so slow Michael may of finished 11th?

#11 Ferrari2183

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 13:43

Or in other words they waited a couple of seconds longer for correct instructions. Schuey pulled into the incorrect grid slot and thats nobodys fault but his, and he would not have been able to start the race like that. he created the confusion and ultimately became confused himself. Nobody else on that grid pulled into the wrong slot, or turned their engine off. I think its safe to say Michael screwed that one up good and proper and I doubt he would blame anybody else under the circumstances. Even the best make mistakes and Michael is not alone.

But you're not getting it. If the lights did indeed flash orange/red (which I think it did), regardless of him causing it, he was correct to turn his engine off.



#12 flyer121

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 13:46

[Split] in the topic title means that a moderator has split this topic from an existing one because of the information in the comments to the article;



I believe that members who have no interest in supporting or bashing Schumacher should be able to see and comment, and can now do so.

If you have any comments about moderation, or complaints about the existence of this thread, please take it up with one of the mod or admin team via PM.



Thanks Buttoneer.

The pitlane speed limit is in force at all times. The penalty was correct.

Doesn't matter what happened with the lights, the mistakes were MS's, no one elses. He lined up in the wrong position all on his own, and turning off the engine is not the correct procedure.


Pitlane speeding is a fine in practice sessions and such like.





I m perplexed my the silence of all parties concerned except by Whiting - who generally doesn't and shouldn't talk about drivers anyway.
So why is he talking to the media about it if it was an open and shut case?


#13 tifosiMac

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 13:59

But you're not getting it. If the lights did indeed flash orange/red (which I think it did), regardless of him causing it, he was correct to turn his engine off.

I do get it. He lost out ultimately and I don't see why he has a problem. He would have lost out for his original mistake so turning his engine off had little effect as he would be starting from the pitlane anyway.

Pitlane speeding is a fine in practice sessions and such like.

So why do drivers get $10,000 fines when they speed in the pitlane on a Friday practice? The speed limit is there to protect team personel and must be obeyed at all times. Its not in place purely to prevent drivers gaining an advantage.

#14 flyer121

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 14:04

I do get it. He lost out ultimately and I don't see why he has a problem. He would have lost out for his original mistake so turning his engine off had little effect as he would be starting from the pitlane anyway.


Thats the strange part. Schumi is fine with what happened . Ditto Merc.

But to answer the question - if it was CHarlies mistake with the lights - they should have had a restart even if it required red flag and without handling out penalties. Thats what Schumi can complain about.


So why do drivers get $10,000 fines when they speed in the pitlane on a Friday practice? The speed limit is there to protect team personel and must be obeyed at all times. Its not in place purely to prevent drivers gaining an advantage.


We may not like the fines over penalties but thats what the convention is so why break it?

#15 robefc

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 14:04

So why do drivers get $10,000 fines when they speed in the pitlane on a Friday practice? The speed limit is there to protect team personel and must be obeyed at all times. Its not in place purely to prevent drivers gaining an advantage.


He said it's 'a fine' not that it's fine ;)

#16 Ferrari2183

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 14:04

I do get it. He lost out ultimately and I don't see why he has a problem. He would have lost out for his original mistake so turning his engine off had little effect as he would be starting from the pitlane anyway.


So why do drivers get $10,000 fines when they speed in the pitlane on a Friday practice? The speed limit is there to protect team personel and must be obeyed at all times. Its not in place purely to prevent drivers gaining an advantage.

He means pitlane speeding transgressions are attached a monetary fine. Schumacher was given a drive through for a transgression that occurred prior to the race starting... Charlie has lost his mind, and has the audacity to say Schumacher must read the rules.

#17 teejay

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 14:09

Charlie does not hand out penalties during the race, so the race stewards are the ones who made the mistake, if it is indeed a mistake.

I was under the belief that once the formation lap begins the race has begun, the fact the race was not red flagged and aborted means the second formation lap was a lap off the race.

#18 tifosiMac

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 14:10

Thats the strange part. Schumi is fine with what happened . Ditto Merc.

But to answer the question - if it was CHarlies mistake with the lights - they should have had a restart even if it required red flag and without handling out penalties. Thats what Schumi can complain about.

So because Michael made an error which caused RC to issue the wrong lights procedure which then told Michael to turn his engine off, you think he should have been allowed to then take his original grid position? He would have been starting from the pitlane even if he hadn't turned the engine off. His first error deserved punishment anyway IMO.

If he had have been able to do what you suggest, don't you think other drivers might try that one in future to delay the start of the race a little and to get their tyres a little warmer? Dangerous ground if you ask me.

We may not like the fines over penalties but thats what the convention is so why break it?

I was under the impression Michael speeded after the parade lap so the race was virtually underway or about to start. That is open to interpretation of course but it could be argued Michael was gaining a further advantage by speeding as he would have been had he done this during a race.


#19 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 14:11

But you're not getting it. If the lights did indeed flash orange/red (which I think it did), regardless of him causing it, he was correct to turn his engine off.


The lights flashed orange-green. There was no red light. And I am sure that the extra formation lap was part of the race total laps.

Edited by halifaxf1fan, 08 August 2012 - 14:24.


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#20 tifosiMac

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 14:14

It's also worth asking if you think drivers should be let off for speeding in the pitlane during qualifying considering its not during the race? It's still a session afterall and carries a heavy fine.

#21 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 14:17

It's a transgression that's relevant to the race though. You give fines in practice because a drive through during practice doesn't penalise you.

#22 flyer121

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 14:20

So because Michael made an error which caused RC to issue the wrong lights procedure which then told Michael to turn his engine off, you think he should have been allowed to then take his original grid position? He would have been starting from the pitlane even if he hadn't turned the engine off. His first error deserved punishment anyway IMO.

If he had have been able to do what you suggest, don't you think other drivers might try that one in future to delay the start of the race a little and to get their tyres a little warmer? Dangerous ground if you ask me.

I was under the impression Michael speeded after the parade lap so the race was virtually underway or about to start. That is open to interpretation of course but it could be argued Michael was gaining a further advantage by speeding as he would have been had he done this during a race.


You may have a point about that.
But taking up the wrong box is not really a penalty as Charlie himself showed when he ordered another parade lap.

Had MS not switched off the engine - it would simply have been one more lap.

I m not defending the cock up on Schumi;s part but I dont want to see similar screw ups from Charlie mess up a title critical race.

Anyone could have switched off their engines if the lights did actually turn red

#23 Sakae

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 15:01

This is getting more and more interesting, and I wonder if some close to F1 with access one day will publish time-line and sequence of events on the eve of that disastrous race. Some publications wrote damning articles about Michael, and Whiting seems to have offered his public criticism of a German driver which I think is utterly unprofessional, yet one now wonders wherein the truth lies?

#24 Fastcake

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 15:02

You may have a point about that.
But taking up the wrong box is not really a penalty as Charlie himself showed when he ordered another parade lap.

Had MS not switched off the engine - it would simply have been one more lap.

I m not defending the cock up on Schumi;s part but I dont want to see similar screw ups from Charlie mess up a title critical race.

Anyone could have switched off their engines if the lights did actually turn red


I'll repeat by copying the relevant sporting regulations

38.11 If, after returning to the starting grid at the end of the formation lap a problem arises, the following procedures shall apply :
a) If a car develops a problem that could endanger the start the driver must immediately raise his hands above his head and the marshal responsible for that row must immediately wave a yellow flag. If the race director decides the start should be delayed the green lights will be illuminated two seconds after the abort lights are switched on, a board saying “EXTRA FORMATION LAP” will be displayed and all cars able to do so must complete a further formation lap whilst the car which developed the problem is moved into the pit lane.
When leaving the grid to complete the extra formation lap all drivers must respect the pit lane speed limit until they pass pole position.
The team may then attempt to rectify the problem and, if successful, the car may then start from the end of the pit lane. Should there be more than one car involved their starting order will be determined by the order in which they reached the end of the pit lane.
Every time this happens the race will be shortened by one lap.
b) If any other problem arises, and if the race director decides the start should be delayed, the following procedures shall apply :
i) If the race has not been started, the abort lights will be switched on, a board saying “DELAYED START” will be displayed, all engines will be stopped and the new formation lap will start five minutes later with the race distance reduced by one lap. The next signal will be the three minute signal.
Tyre changing on the grid is not permitted during such a delay. Every time this happens the race will be shortened by one lap.


There is nothing in the rules saying red lights is a signal to turn the engines off, if there were even red lights shown. Schumacher didn't know the rules correctly and should of waited for further instruction, as the rest of the grid did.

#25 Ferrari2183

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 15:07

The lights flashed orange-green. There was no red light. And I am sure that the extra formation lap was part of the race total laps.

If it flashed orange/green then it means an extra formation lap and Scumacher was indeed in the wrong.

#26 Jimisgod

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 15:13

Comments in the article http://planet-f1.com...learn-the-rules
say that Whiting did a cock up with switches which led to the error from Schumi switching the engine off ... leading to the ultimate DT for speeding which was also wrong because the race hadnt started.

Merc have grounds for protest here methinks ..


Whiting was doing the correct procedure for when someone parks in grid slot 19 instead of 17. Schumacher has no one to blame but himself for that grid error and all subsequent issues, and if he were Maldonado, you can bet there would be threads all over here asking if he was competent for F1.

http://www.auto123.c...ot?artid=146113

#27 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 15:17

Schumacher didn't know the rules correctly and should of waited for further instruction, as the rest of the grid did.

just that nobody bothers to see what Schumacher said...he said his engine was overheating and deliberately turned it off....

#28 Buttoneer

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 15:24

This is getting more and more interesting, and I wonder if some close to F1 with access one day will publish time-line and sequence of events on the eve of that disastrous race. Some publications wrote damning articles about Michael, and Whiting seems to have offered his public criticism of a German driver which I think is utterly unprofessional, yet one now wonders wherein the truth lies?

I'll start.

00:00; German driver parks in wrong space.

I do agree that Whiting should not have voiced his criticism of Schumacher in this case, but we don't really know what the full interview covered. This may have been part of a much longer interview in which he was directly criticised, and perhaps someone with access to Bild am Sonntag(?) can provide a link or other quote that might shed light.

#29 flyer121

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 15:29

Whiting was doing the correct procedure for when someone parks in grid slot 19 instead of 17. Schumacher has no one to blame but himself for that grid error and all subsequent issues, and if he were Maldonado, you can bet there would be threads all over here asking if he was competent for F1.

http://www.auto123.c...ot?artid=146113


The entire episode is based on what the correct light sequence is in such a scenario...
... I will concede that I dont know.

Just found it odd that Charlie publicly commented on something which the parties (who took the hit ) didn't even protest about. Very defensive attitude.
And also the comments where some people said that CW may have pressed wrong buttons.

Edited by flyer121, 08 August 2012 - 15:41.


#30 Fastcake

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 15:32

just that nobody bothers to see what Schumacher said...he said his engine was overheating and deliberately turned it off....


In which case it's all irrelevant what happened with the start, Schumacher would of switched his engine off anyway.

#31 Sakae

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 15:35

I'll start.

00:00; German driver parks in wrong space.

I do agree that Whiting should not have voiced his criticism of Schumacher in this case, but we don't really know what the full interview covered. This may have been part of a much longer interview in which he was directly criticised, and perhaps someone with access to Bild am Sonntag(?) can provide a link or other quote that might shed light.

Sorry, but 0:00 is when lights go off and race starts. Events I am interested in are on timeline in interval - [x:xx]. There is a sequence of activities not well (accurately) described. I am a great believer in C&E explanations, even if we learn that Michael made a mental error, which is not a common occurance with him, but one would think he is not behaving erratically, and he doesn't fool around without a reason.

Edited by Sakae, 08 August 2012 - 15:36.


#32 Buttoneer

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 16:32

Speculate on what reason he might have had for stopping in the wrong starting position.

#33 Sakae

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 17:32

Speculate on what reason he might have had for stopping in the wrong starting position.

Yes, of course, but speculation is all what went on until now. Even if it was a simple driver’s error, still, these pilots do not live in vacuum, and there are always causes leading to a result. Michael has been on the grid more often than most, knows the rules, yet his "routine" this time contained deviation of some kind, and we simply do not know what it was, and remain curious.
I think that neither he nor a team was in a position to talk about it much after race, without being laughed out of the park regardless of facts. Crowd wanted revenge for bad performance, friend or foe, and rational discussion was postponed than to another day and more suited occasion. Sabine and Norbert tried their best to tell us in shorthand what happened, but whilst I am not accusing them from misleading us, I am not so sure that we were afforded full version.


#34 CSF

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 18:36

The parking thing was pretty daft, even if another car was slow to form up correctly. However, I was pretty interested in the reaction from the other drivers at the sight of an aborted start.

Now, assuming that they all know the rules, they should have moved away immediately, instead they waited a long time and Charlie actually had to lean over and wave them off, rather than the lights doing their business.

It has been a long time since we have had one of these, but something wasn't right, and I'm not convinced Michael was the only one to mistake the lights for a full abort. He was the only one to turn off yes, but if the front of the grid had understood what the lights were meaning correctly they would have moved off. This didn't happen.

#35 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 18:41

If it flashed orange/green then it means an extra formation lap and Scumacher was indeed in the wrong.



Yes definitely, orange - green. I have the race on my dvr and watched it again to be sure. Schumacher's mind was somewhere else that day I guess.

Edited by halifaxf1fan, 08 August 2012 - 19:04.


#36 Coops3

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 18:48

I'm almost positive the lights flashed orange and then red.

Re. the idea that it should have been a fine instead of a drive through for speeding in the pit lane. Yeah that's what happens in practice sessions, but it wasn't exactly a practice session was it.

Didn't Schumi get a drive through years ago for doing something wrong on the formation lap? Can't remember what it was he did but it was the race where he got black flagged for not serving his drive through. It's the same thing surely?

#37 dkt

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 18:55

The lights flashed orange-green. There was no red light. And I am sure that the extra formation lap was part of the race total laps.

Actually there was red light which might cause confusion, so they do have a point, also about the drive thru penalty.
Posted Image

#38 tifosiMac

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 18:56

I'm almost positive the lights flashed orange and then red.

Re. the idea that it should have been a fine instead of a drive through for speeding in the pit lane. Yeah that's what happens in practice sessions, but it wasn't exactly a practice session was it.

Didn't Schumi get a drive through years ago for doing something wrong on the formation lap? Can't remember what it was he did but it was the race where he got black flagged for not serving his drive through. It's the same thing surely?

Silverstone 1994, ignored drive through penalty for overtaking on the formation lap and was eventually black flagged.

#39 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 18:57

I'm almost positive the lights flashed orange and then red.





You can see the orange - green lights at 8 secs.

Edited by halifaxf1fan, 08 August 2012 - 19:00.


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#40 Coops3

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 19:06



You can see the orange - green lights at 8 secs.


But then they flashed red after that as I recall.

#41 BigCHrome

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 19:09

Stop blaming Schumi's mistake on others.

#42 Coops3

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 19:16

Stop blaming Schumi's mistake on others.


Who are you talking to?!

#43 Buttoneer

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 19:51

Not sure. Certainly nobody in this thread.

Actually there was red light which might cause confusion, so they do have a point, also about the drive thru penalty.
Posted Image



You can see the orange - green lights at 8 secs.

Notice that there are four rows of lights. We see only two rows from in front of the cars in the video, because of the UBS board. The drivers see four. What we need is the view the drivers had at the same moment.

#44 Muppetmad

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 20:06

I must say that I'm confused as to why Schumacher got a drive-through rather than a fine for the speeding in the pit lane; I recall at the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix that Webber got a fine rather than a drive-through for speeding in the pit lane when leaving the pit to go to the grid, and Schumacher didn't commit the offence during the race so it's a strange decision to me.

#45 PayasYouRace

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 20:11

I think once the formation lap starts, i.e. when the lights go green to release the cars, it's considered "the race".

#46 Coops3

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 20:12

I must say that I'm confused as to why Schumacher got a drive-through rather than a fine for the speeding in the pit lane; I recall at the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix that Webber got a fine rather than a drive-through for speeding in the pit lane when leaving the pit to go to the grid, and Schumacher didn't commit the offence during the race so it's a strange decision to me.


But he got it while everyone else was on a formation lap. If you can get a drive through for overtaking on the formation lap, why not for speeding in the pit lane?

#47 ThePum

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 20:17

Ohw, I think the penalty was correct, and not high enough. If one driver should know what to do, it would be the oldest one, right?



#48 Ferrari2183

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 20:21

I must say that I'm confused as to why Schumacher got a drive-through rather than a fine for the speeding in the pit lane; I recall at the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix that Webber got a fine rather than a drive-through for speeding in the pit lane when leaving the pit to go to the grid, and Schumacher didn't commit the offence during the race so it's a strange decision to me.

I find this strange as well. It couldn't have been for speeding once the race was underway because he would have started at the edge of the pitlane (where the speed limiter ends). We also know that the additional formation lap didn't mean the start of the race because 1 lap was deducted from the quota.

I think getting a drive through for an offence outside of the race is really silly. It would be like punishing a driver with a drive through in the race for speeding in the pitlane during FP3 or qualifying (when the event actually starts).

#49 sharo

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 20:28

No one is insured against own errors as in this case it all started with Michael not taking the right grid slot, I think we need to know when exactly the speeding offence was made. Because I remained with the impression that it was made during his forced pit stop.
I recall reading somewhere that Michael suspected the punctured tyre to be the cause as he said he pressed the speed limiter button. Besides, we don't know what the actual over speed was. Even 1 km/h above is an offense.

Mercedes did right not to blow the case. It all started with their driver's error. As to why Michael did 2 errors in a row we may learn some time in the future. Anyway he has more than enough time now to refresh his knowledge of the rules and the changes which have been made in the rule book. :)

#50 halifaxf1fan

halifaxf1fan
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Posted 08 August 2012 - 20:43

Not sure. Certainly nobody in this thread.



Notice that there are four rows of lights. We see only two rows from in front of the cars in the video, because of the UBS board. The drivers see four. What we need is the view the drivers had at the same moment.



That top row of lights facing the drivers on my recording, which is a high quality hd recording by the way, are flashing orange(caution) lights not reddish as it appears in that screen capture. The lower row are green.

Edited by halifaxf1fan, 08 August 2012 - 20:44.