Insight: The last-lap Monaco pass

Insight: The last-lap Monaco pass

17 May 2010 – The Monaco Grand Prix featured the first real controversy of 2010 after what has been a generally civilised start to the campaign. However, the FIA International Court of Appeal (ICA) is now required for the first time this year after Michael Schumacher was handed a 20-second penalty for his last-lap pass on Fernando Alonso.            

Background

Lap 75/78: Trulli and Chandhok collide as leader Webber laps both cars
The incident in question would never have happened had Jarno Trulli and Karun Chandhok not collided at Rascasse on Lap 75 of 78, with leader Mark Webber having had to avoid the crash as his Red Bull was directly behind, due to lap the Lotus and Hispania.

With the Italian's car coming to rest atop that of the Indian, the Safety Car was naturally deployed by FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting, meaning that yellow flags are displayed around the circuit and no driver must overtake before the silver Mercedes sports car peels off into the pit lane.

At this point, Alonso was running sixth for Ferrari and one place ahead of Schumacher, having leapfrogged the Mercedes during pit-stops.

New rule for 2010

Lap 76/78: The Safety Car is deployed with 3 laps remaining
Since the start of this season, regulations have been modified regarding Safety Car restarts. In previous years, the car would switch its lights off before pulling back into the pit lane, green flags would be displayed around the circuit and racing could result once cars had crossed the start/finish line.

However, overtaking can now recommence once cars have past the Safety Car line, which is located before the pit lane entrance and, in Monte-Carlo's case, on the exit of La Rascasse corner, meaning overtaking can begin from this point onwards on any other lap of the race.

Prior to Monaco 2010, only two races in F1 history had reached their last lap under Safety Car conditions - the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix and 2009 Australian Grand Prix, in which Mika Häkkinen and Jenson Button drove the field across the line, with the Safety Car having pulled into the pit lane on the final lap, to record their respective victories for McLaren and Brawn.

Such a situation is addressed in article 40.13 of the most recent version of the FIA's Formula One Sporting Regulations, which were published on 11 February this year:

'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.'

Consequence

Stewards select, from a list, what they believe is the most appropriate penalty
With this in mind, it is clear that Mercedes GP and Michael Schumacher have contravened the rules and have been penalised by race stewards as a result, who were incidentally presented with a number of options, as stated in article 18.1:

'The stewards may inflict the penalties specifically set out in these Sporting Regulations in addition to or instead of any other penalties available to them under the Code.'

According to article 16.3, 'The stewards may impose any one of three penalties on any driver involved in an Incident :
a) A drive-through penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane and re-join the race without stopping ;
b) A ten second time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop at his pit for at least ten seconds and then re-join the race.
c) a drop of any number of grid positions at the driver's next Event.

However, should either of the penalties under a) and b) above be imposed during the last five laps, or after the end of a race, Article 16.4b) below will not apply and 20 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time of the driver concerned in the case of a) above and 30 seconds in the case of b).'


Post-race opinions from the Team Principals:

Ferrari - Stefano Domenicali:
"According to our understanding, the rules are pretty clear but we have to wait for the stewards' decision."

Mercedes - Ross Brawn:
"There is a new regulation this year. I think Stefano says that if the race finishes under the Safety Car you can't do that, but the Safety Car went in. The FIA said the Safety Car went in so, according to the instructions of the FIA, the race didn't finish under the Safety Car so we advised our drivers that they could still race between the Safety Car line and finish line. Some even said Michael overtook Alonso under yellow but we have screenshots that there are green flags being waved right before Michael overtook Alonso."

Appeal

With 20 seconds having been added to Schumacher's race time, dropping him to 12th place, last of the finishers and out of the points, Mercedes GP confirmed on Sunday evening that the incident would be filed for appeal.

However, the Brackley team is able to protest only the stewards' decision (as green flags had been waving), as opposed to the penalty itself, meaning that the punishment will not be lifted even if the team does win the appeal.

The matter will now be addressed in the Paris-based ICA, with dates of the appeal and its outcome yet to be released.

Ironies

A former driver now acts as a steward at every F1 race meeting
Although the procedure is clearly stated in Formula 1's rules, much gossip has been generated as Damon Hill - the closest 1994 and 1995 World Championship rival of Michael Schumacher - was the weekend's ex driver in Race Control, keeping up with the FIA's new-for-2010 initiative which states that one former driver will be on-hand alongside three other stewards, in this case being José Abed (FIA Vice President), Dr. Christian Calmes (a representative of the Automobile Club de Monaco) and Paul Gutjahr (President of the FIA Hill Climb Commission).

A second irony in the principality is that the much-talked about move took place just metres away from where Schumacher's Ferrari stopped in the 2006 qualifying session, a moment which resulted in him losing that year's pole position and being relegated to the back of the grid by stewards, who deemed that the move was a deliberate ploy to prevent Alonso - then a Renault driver and the closest challenger - from seizing the top spot.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Saturday 6 February 2016

  2. Prost rules out F1 role with Renault 14:20

    Prost rules out F1 role with Renault

    Four-time World Champion Alain Prost has ruled out taking on a role with the Renault Formula 1 team as it prepares to return to…

    F1
  3. Profile: Renault Sport Academy members 11:02

    Profile: Renault Sport Academy members

    Amid its official launch earlier this week, Renault confirmed the return of its Driver Academy, which intends to unearth the…

    F1
  4. In photos: Kubica's Formula 1 career 09:02

    In photos: Kubica's Formula 1 career

    Five years ago today Robert Kubica suffered serious injuries which truncated his Formula 1 career. While he has returned to…

    F1
  5. Video of the Day: Making a street race 05:06

    Video of the Day: Making a street race

    Formula E highlights the preparation required for a street race ahead of Saturday's Buenos Aires ePrix.

    FE
  6. Friday 5 February 2016

  7. 19:11

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  8. Renault pays tribute to axed Maldonado 19:05

    Renault pays tribute to axed Maldonado

    Renault has paid tribute to Pastor Maldonado, thanking him for "two years of loyal service", after the Venezuelan lost his seat…

    F1
  9. Video: Renault's 115 years of passion 16:22

    Video: Renault's 115 years of passion

    Renault marks its works Formula 1 return with this reflection on its 115-year involvement in motorsport.

    F1
  10. Booth, Lowdon enter WEC as Manor 15:23

    Booth, Lowdon enter WEC as Manor

    John Booth and Graeme Lowdon have announced that they are to enter the 2016 World Endurance Championship, in the LMP2 category…

    Misc
  11. MotoGP to introduce stewards' panel 14:08

    MotoGP to introduce stewards' panel

    MotoGP is set to introduce a dedicated stewards' panel to make calls on rider actions, following the controversial incident…

    MotoGP
  12. Hill: Rosberg to be stronger in 2016 13:08

    Hill: Rosberg to be stronger in 2016

    Damon Hill reckons the disappointment of finishing championship runner-up over the past two seasons will make Nico Rosberg a…

    F1
  13. Vasseur thanks Mercedes for Ocon deal 12:02

    Vasseur thanks Mercedes for Ocon deal

    Renault's new Racing Director, Frédéric Vasseur, has thanked Mercedes for allowing affiliated driver Esteban Ocon to join the…

    F1
  14. Video: Stoll on Renault's new chapter 11:02

    Video: Stoll on Renault's new chapter

    Renault Sport President Jérôme Stoll overviews the French manufacturer's latest motorsport era.

    F1
  15. Bell: Enstone 'starved of resources' 10:32

    Bell: Enstone 'starved of resources'

    Bob Bell says he is excited to play a role in the latest Renault works Formula 1 team, as he returns to an Enstone factory that…

    F1
  16. Kobayashi takes Wurz's Toyota WEC seat 09:13

    Kobayashi takes Wurz's Toyota WEC seat

    Kamui Kobayashi has taken Alexander Wurz's Toyota LMP1 seat for the 2016 World Endurance Championship season, after the…

    Misc
  17. Video of the Day: Argentinian racing legends 05:26

    Video of the Day: Argentinian racing legends

    Ahead of this weekend's Buenos Aires ePrix, Formula E looks at the greatest Argentinian racers.

    Misc
  18. Thursday 4 February 2016

  19. News on Schumacher's health 'not good' 16:58

    News on Schumacher's health 'not good'

    News on the health of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher is "not good", his former Ferrari boss Luca di…

    F1
  20. Ex-Ferrari engineer Dyer joins Renault 15:50

    Ex-Ferrari engineer Dyer joins Renault

    Former Ferrari chief engineer Chris Dyer has joined the recruiting Renault works team as Head of Vehicle Performance Group, the…

    F1
  21. Nato completes Racing Engineering line-up 14:08

    Nato completes Racing Engineering line-up

    Norman Nato has joined Racing Engineering for the 2016 GP2 season, completing the team's line-up. French racer Nato, 23, made…

    GP2
  22. Palmer: 'Immense potential' at Renault 13:36

    Palmer: 'Immense potential' at Renault

    Jolyon Palmer says that he sees "immense potential" at Renault in the coming seasons, as the French manufacturer embarks on its…

    F1
  23. Video: Bell on Renault technical role 12:02

    Video: Bell on Renault technical role

    Bob Bell discusses his new role as Renault's Chief Technical Officer as the 2016 season approaches.

    F1
  24. Stoner surprised himself with test mileage 10:31

    Stoner surprised himself with test mileage

    Casey Stoner has admitted that he surprised himself with the amount of mileage he was able to complete at this week's opening…

    MotoGP
  25. Lorenzo praises Michelin after first test 10:00

    Lorenzo praises Michelin after first test

    Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has praised new MotoGP tyre supplier Michelin for the apparent improvements it has made to…

    MotoGP
  26. F1 set to scrap power unit token system 09:37

    F1 set to scrap power unit token system

    Formula 1 is set to scrap its controversial power unit token development system from the 2017 season, in the wake of recent…

    F1
  27. Head protection given green light for 2017 09:22

    Head protection given green light for 2017

    Formula 1 chiefs are reportedly planning to introduce driver head protection for the 2017 season, following the latest round of…

    F1
  28. Vasseur confident over Renault drivers 07:25

    Vasseur confident over Renault drivers

    Renault's Racing Director, Frédéric Vasseur, has backed Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer to live up to the expectations of…

    F1
  29. Video of the Day: Abiteboul on Renault return 05:22

    Video of the Day: Abiteboul on Renault return

    Renault's Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul, discusses the manufacturer's full-scale return to Formula 1.

    F1
  30. Wednesday 3 February 2016

  31. Toro Rosso STR11 passes crash tests 16:43

    Toro Rosso STR11 passes crash tests

    Toro Rosso has confirmed that its 2016 challenger, the Ferrari-powered STR11, has passed the FIA's mandatory crash tests…

    F1
  32. Jordá to stay on with Renault in 2016 16:29

    Jordá to stay on with Renault in 2016

    Carmen Jordá will play a role in Renault's new works Formula 1 team, the French manufacturer has confirmed, though her official…

    F1
  33. Video: Renault's works F1 team launch 16:12

    Video: Renault's works F1 team launch

    Relive the full presentation as Renault launches its Formula 1 programme for 2016 and beyond.

    F1
  34. Renault realistic over 2016 prospects 15:06

    Renault realistic over 2016 prospects

    Renault has vowed to stay realistic over its chances for the upcoming season, with the French manufacturer aware that it will…

    F1
  35. Magnussen 'can't believe' Renault chance 14:25

    Magnussen 'can't believe' Renault chance

    Kevin Magnussen says he "can't believe" that he will be racing for Renault in 2016 after concluding a last-minute deal with the…

    F1
  36. Rowland heads Renault Sport Academy 14:04

    Rowland heads Renault Sport Academy

    Reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion Oliver Rowland will head Renault's new young driver scheme in 2016, as it plots its return…

    F1
  37. Video: Frédéric Vasseur on Renault role 13:28

    Video: Frédéric Vasseur on Renault role

    Frédéric Vasseur, former ART junior team boss, discusses his new role as Renault's Racing Director.

    F1
  38. 13:02

    Photos: Renault launch presentation

    F1
  39. Renault presents new F1 car and livery 12:54

    Renault presents new F1 car and livery

    Renault has become the first team to present its car for the upcoming Formula 1 season, pulling the covers off a…

    F1
  40. Renault signs Ocon as reserve driver 12:51

    Renault signs Ocon as reserve driver

    Reigning GP3 champion Esteban Ocon has been appointed as Renault's official test and reserve driver for the upcoming Formula 1…

    F1
  41. Renault confirms Magnussen for 2016 12:43

    Renault confirms Magnussen for 2016

    Renault has formally announced that ex-McLaren racer Kevin Magnussen will make a return to the Formula 1 grid with the…

    F1
  42. Vasseur appointed Renault Racing Director 12:41

    Vasseur appointed Renault Racing Director

    Renault has announced that it has signed ART Grand Prix boss Frédéric Vasseur as its new Racing Director ahead of its comeback…

    F1
  43. Video: What's new in Formula 1 for 2016? 11:32

    Video: What's new in Formula 1 for 2016?

    Mercedes Executive Director (Technical) Paddy Lowe overviews what's new in Formula 1 for 2016.

    F1
  44. 10:26

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sepang test - Day 3

    MotoGP
more news