Formula 1 drivers share the circuit, but it doesn’t always seem that way. Riders regularly run into each other and often both parties believe that they are the innocent party. F1Maximaal.nl uses the regulations and common sense to highlight the biggest incident after each race and determines which driver should have given priority.
Anyone looking in the International Sporting Code for a specific explanation of what is and what is not allowed on the circuit will be disappointed. Whether a driver is penalized for an incident or not depends entirely on what the stewards present make of it. However, the FIA did release a ‘FIA Formula 1 Driving Standards Guidelines’ document in March 2022. Based on this document, we now and in the future look at the reasonableness of a catch-up action.
Monza saw enough overtaking and often enough drivers ran into each other in turn 1. It is all the more surprising that, except for a few mini touches (such as between teammates Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri), it did not end in pieces. However, it was the Australian who was involved in the biggest incident of the Grand Prix in Italy. This incident did not take place in the first chicane, but after it. Piastri was under pressure from competitor Lewis Hamilton, who had more speed on the medium tires and used that speed to speed towards the McLarens in the closing stages of the race. On lap 41 he overtook Piastri and had a better exit from the first chicane.
That allowed him to pull alongside in the run-up to Turn 4. The overtaking action therefore actually came about before the drivers reached the corner. Hamilton was, not entirely illogical, looking for the best line, as another straight was coming up. In that search he shifts a bit to the outside, where Piastri is sitting. On board the McLaren we see how Piastri slowly pulls towards the edge of the circuit and shoots close to the grass before the gentlemen reach the curb. The super talent simply couldn’t give more than that. An over-enthusiastic Hamilton keeps pushing until his right rear tire hits Piastri’s left front tire and front wing.
The stewards went to look at the incident and quickly came to the conclusion: the Englishman had to be penalized for this. According to the regulations, it is important to place an overtaking action in a safe and controlled manner and the action of the Mercedes veteran does not meet any of these conditions in the eyes of most seasoned Formula 1 fans. Due to the fact that he had actually already passed the McLaren, it was even more illogical to line up his car so tightly, especially since he knew the McLaren was still there. The fact that Hamilton eventually got away with a five-second penalty can be seen as no less than justified. After all, the collision cost Piastri a points finish. The collision in Monza also gives the seven-time world champion two penalty points on his super license.
How Sargeant missed points
We also zoom in on another incident of the match. Many will have missed it, because the direction hardly showed anything about the battle between Logan Sargeant and Valtteri Bottas. Still, the fight was worth it. Sargeant, like teammate Alexander Albon, had a Williams at his disposal with an insane amount of top speed. The same could not be said about the Alfa Romeo of opponent Valtteri Bottas. Although the Finn was on the softer rubber, he was unable to shake off the American. In the same corner as Hamilton and Piastri, the two men collided.
In this battle it was Sargeant who went around the outside of turn 3 and ended up in the inside corner for the next corner combination. Sargeant also moves a little further to the right, but leaves the Alfa enough space. Once arrived at the apex it appears that Sargeant has brought too much speed. Bottas, determined to stay on the asphalt, just turned in. The result? The Williams slams into the sidepod of the Alfa Romeo. After the corners it is Bottas who has more speed and pulls away from the Williams. Sargeant asks his team if there is any damage and gets back that his front wing is broken. It is clearly visible in his downforce level, because from the moment he collided with Bottas, you see that he loses grip and he can no longer keep up with Bottas.
The final verdict of this collision is actually just as clear as that of Hamilton-Piastri. Once again it was the driver on the inside corner who was at fault and had to take the full blame. Rookie Sargeant also received a time penalty and two penalty points on his super license as a result of the incident. Perhaps even more annoying for the youngster was that he saw that P10 slip out of his hands. The Williams has not been worth points in a single weekend in his hands and Monza, with its low downforce, was perhaps the moment for Sargeant to break the spell and take his first point of the year. It wasn’t to be.