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Mercedes GP decides not to appeal Michael Schumacher’s penalty

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Michael Schumacher MonacoIn what will come as a shock to most and what goes directly against whatever Mercedes GP and Ross Brawn have had to say about the incident so far, Mercedes GP team just announced that they will not be appealing the FIA decision to grant a 20 second penalty to Michael Schumacher for the incident on the final lap of the Monaco Grand Prix.

The move seems to be a late reaction to a realisation that they had a losing appeal which is quite contrary to popular opinion on the Internet and press. The press release in its full glory follows, sad day for Michael Schumacher and Mercedes and the sport of formula one. Maybe green flags would be redefined as stop racing.

The press release also addresses the charges of bias against Damon Hill, the team shares no such feelings.

Mercedes Press Release :

Brackley/Stuttgart
18 May 2010

2010 MONACO GRAND PRIX

On the final lap of the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix, MERCEDES GP PETRONAS instructed our drivers, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, to race from safety car line one until the finish line as permitted under articles 40.7 and 40.11.

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS were fully aware of article 40.13 which states that no overtaking is permitted if the race finishes under safety car conditions. However we believed that the combination of the race control messages ‘Safety Car in this lap’ and ‘Track Clear’ and the green flags and lights shown by the marshals after safety car line one  indicated that the race was not finishing under the safety car and all drivers were free to race.

This opinion appears to have been shared by the majority of the teams with cars in the top ten positions who also gave their drivers instructions to race to the finish line.

It was clear from our discussions with the stewards after the race that they understood the reasons for our interpretation and acknowledged that this was a new and previously untested situation but ultimately disagreed with our interpretation.

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS would like to emphasise that we fully support the inclusion of past drivers on the stewards panel and are completely satisfied that the Monaco Grand Prix stewards acted professionally, impartially and properly in this matter.

The FIA has agreed to include article 40.13 on the agenda of the next Sporting Working Group for discussion and to consider the scale of post race penalties. We believe that the 20 second penalty imposed on Michael to be disproportionate in the circumstances.

Whilst we cannot be happy with the outcome, we are pleased that the FIA has recognised the reasons for our interpretation. Therefore in the best interests of the sport, MERCEDES GP PETRONAS will not be submitting an appeal.

Image : Mercedes GP Media

Written by Formula One Addict

May 18th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Stewards led by Damon Hill penalise Michael Schumacher, Mercedes to appeal

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Michael Schumacher overtakes Alonso 2010 Monaco Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher might be the most successful driver on Monaco, but from this weekend he would be getting another tag of probably being the most unlucky/controversial driver at the Monaco circuit. Fresh on the heels of the controversy that the British media generated about the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix incident.

In the latest incident Michael Schumacher was punished with a 20 seconds penalty which threw him out of the points for illegally overtaking Fernando Alonso. The point of contention here is if he was allowed to overtake Alonso when the safety car went in. The article 40.13 states :

If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

But the article should not be valid here as the race monitors said Safety car in this lap.

The rules state if the race ends under the safety car period, the order will remain the same, however Michael Schumacher and Mercedes GP contend that since an all clear was given to race the overtaking move on Fernando Alonso was legal and legitimate.

FIA Stewards José Abed (FIA Vice President), Dr. Christian Calmes (a representative of the Automobile Club de Monaco), Paul Gutjahr  announced the verdict alongwith Damon Hill. The text was :

 

Fernando Alonso Monaco Race

The appeal went to the stewards where Michael Schumacher’s old foe Damon Hill was the driver’s representative. A large number of press sources are blaming Hill for the verdict. Also British press sources are very happy about the penalty, totally ignoring another incident that happened in the race, Rubens Barrichello after retiring threw his steering wheel onto the track, but no action was taken.

Michael Schumacher Monaco Race

Schumacher in his defence said :

“The message was ‘safety car in, track clear,’ if that’s given then its racing,” said Schumacher.

 

Damon Hill meanwhile defended himself and was quoted as saying :

“Believe me my only concern was that the right thing was done.

“But there was a wry smile from Michael. Slightly ironic you could say.” said Damon Hill

Ross Brawn also came in defence of his driver Schumacher and was able to demonstrate dissimilar endings at Melbourne. He also mentions the marshalls had waved green flags, a symbol for normal racing to resume.

“We believed that the track had gone green and the race was not finishing under a safety car when article 40.13 clearly would have applied,” said Brawn. “The reason for the safety car had been removed, the FIA had announced ‘Safety Car in this lap’ early on lap 78 and the track had been declared clear by race control.

This was further endorsed when the marshals showed green flags and lights after safety car line one. On previous occasions when it has been necessary to complete a race under a safety car, full course yellows are maintained, as in Melbourne 2009.

On the last lap, we therefore advised our drivers that they should race to the line and Michael made his move on Fernando for sixth place. We have appealed the decision of the stewards.”

In a video he explains that at 15:51 – Safety car coming in was flashed

15:52 – Track Clear was flashed

15:53 – Chequered flag

The appeal looks very promising as the race doesn’t appear to have finished under the safety car as track clear was flashed before chequered flag.

The result of the appeal will be announced by the FIA court of appeals and the result of Monaco Grand Prix is at the moment provisional.

Monaco Grand Prix : Force India drivers do fashion show, charity football and visit the Indian Empress Yacht courtesy Vijay Mallya

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The Force India formula one team is known to be glamorous and when you have team boss Vijay Mallya in town and the city is Monaco, its a recipe for a lot of non-racing action. The Force India divers were kept busy all through the weekend by the team doing a variety of things :

1. Fashion Show : Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi started the week with a fashion show, here are some photos from the event :

Force India Fashion Show Adrian sutil (2)Force India Fashion Show Vitantonio Liuzzi

2. Charity Football : Later on they participated in a charity football match which is a signature of the Monaco Grand Prix, more photos :

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McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton looks to repeat Monaco 2008 with new Helmet

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Lewis hamilton - Monaco Practice

Lewis Hamilton is eyeing another victory at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend where he hopes to recreate the magic he had done in the 2008 edition of the race. Ofcourse the former world champion is yet to win a race this season (that’s another matter )

He called the Monaco Race Track the greatest track in formula one.

“I love the Monaco circuit, it’s the greatest track in Formula One,” Lewis Hamilton said.

“My victory here in 2008 is still probably my best win and one of the greatest moments in my career.

“It was an incredible day. It was wet and, looking at the week ahead, the weather also looks extremely unpredictable with heavy rain forecast for much of the week.

“But even if it doesn’t rain on the Sunday, the possibility of heavily disrupted practice and qualifying sessions means that we’ll probably go into the race with a chance of one of the most exciting and unpredictable Monaco races for many years.

“And on top of that, I’ll also be wearing a specially-painted helmet for the occasion. When you see it, you’ll know why I’ll be hoping for it to swing the odds in my favour.” the British Driver added

Ofcourse the thing about the helmet is just media talk, its just that McLaren partners Steinmetz have once again given the team diamonds for the helmet (and steering wheel ?).

The Steinmetz promotions with Kimi Raikkonen the iceman used to be big hits in the past. This year apart from the Diamonds, Lewis Hamilton seems to have a Roulette wheel on his helmet to celebrate the Monaco Grand Prix.

A Closer look at Lewis Hamilton’s New Helmet with the Casino markings :

Lewis Hamilton Monaco 2010 New Helmet Design

Written by Formula One Addict

May 13th, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Hispania HRT F1 looking at a better Monaco after Spanish Grand Prix’s 2 DNFs

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HRT F1 Spain

In the talk about the Red Bulls, the Ferraris, the McLarens and the Mercedes cars, we often forget about the smaller teams who have big plans. 3 years ago people called Vijay Mallya a fool for dreaming up a podium in 2010, not such a big fool now is he ? The big teams are equally arrogant as well, take the Red Bull formula one team for example, they don’t think formula one bloggers need media access and dont even have the courtesy to reply to requests, same is the case with the Virgin F1 team which we don’t even cover due to their attitude.

The Hispania HRT F1 team has the potential to be the next dark horse in the amazingly unpredictable sport of formula one. Under the stable leadership of Collin Kolles the team has the right kind of expertise needed to deliver a competitive car.

The budget is a little shaky and therefore they had to take 2 inexperienced drivers in the form of Brazilian Bruno Senna and Indian Karun Chandhok as both of them seem to have brought sponsors with them.

Anyway, the team was looking forward to another 2 car finish at the Spanish Grand Prix but fate had something else written out for them. Karun lost out on a collision with Alguersuari for which Alguersuari had to face a drive through penalty and Senna just plain crashed on the 4th lap:P

The team now looks forward to a good GP at Monaco, team principal Collin Kolles had this to say :

“I am disappointed that we didn’t finish our home race. It’s a real pity because both drivers had good starts. Bruno Senna had to stop on the opening lap despite a very strong start which moved him up to 17th from 21st on the grid. Karun Chandhok was similarly strong and had a very good pace but retired mid-race after contact with Alguersuari. At least, the performance was much better than in Qualifying yesterday. Now, we look ahead to next weekend and are determined to have a good result in Monaco.”

Karun Chandhok commented:

“I am very disappointed with the outcome of the race. It’s a real shame what happened with Jaime. I stayed out of his way, kept the car completely straight and he just turned left into me. I was really pleased with my race until then. ‎I had a good first lap and was trying to be sensible with the option tyre and get them to last. My pace relative to the other new cars was good and I was pulling away from Di Grassi quite comfortably. In the end, although we changed the front wing, the damage to the front right suspension was too much and I had to stop. It is a disappointing end to a good day for the team.”

Written by Formula One Addict

May 12th, 2010 at 9:03 am

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