As if the retirement of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen in a race where BMW won wasn’t enough to open up the title campaign, the McLaren driver has been hit with a ten grid-slot penalty for his part in the accident that took himself and the Finn out of the grand prix yesterday. The accident saw Hamilton hit the back of Raikkonen has the Ferrari waited at the end of the pitlane alongside eventual race winner Robert Kubica. Also charged was Nico Rosberg, who moments later clipped the back of the McLaren.
Raikkonen and Kubica were doing what they should do, and that was waiting at the end of the pitlane because the red light was showing. The reason for the red light was down to the safety car leading the pack past the exit road of the pitlane, and cars have to wait in this position until the pack has moved on. However, Hamilton says he was caught out by the light and the two cars stopping in front of him.
Although the drivers appeared relatively amicable immediately after the incident, Raikkonen is obviously not entirely happy about the situation, the Finn now having failed to score in the two most recent races.
Obviously, anyone can make mistakes, as I did two weeks ago in Monaco, but it’s one thing to make a mistake at two hundred miles per hour but another to hit a car stopped at a red light. I am not angry because that doesn’t achieve anything and does not change my result. Kimi Raikkonen.
The pitlane exit is being very controversial this year, with Rubens Barrichello having been caught out on more than one occasion. However, seeing a car hit a stationary car in the pitlane is a new one on me.
It wasn’t a great stop. I saw the two guys in front battling in the pitlane and all of a sudden they stopped. I saw the red light but by the time I stopped it was too late. Lewis Hamilton.
The grid slot penalty will happen at the next race in France in a fortnight’s time.
Dare I suggest Lewis joins Rubens for his appointment at SpecSavers…?