Bristish GP Controversy in Black and White

Schumacher is the rightful winner! What happened: - 3.15pm Lap 43, Schumacher passes Wurz under a stationary yellow flag - 3.16pm The safety car is sent out - 3.39pm The stewards' decision to penalise Schumacher 10 seconds is ...

Schumacher is the rightful winner!

What happened:

- 3.15pm Lap 43, Schumacher passes Wurz under a stationary yellow flag

- 3.16pm The safety car is sent out

- 3.39pm The stewards' decision to penalise Schumacher 10 seconds is recorded.

- 3.43pm Ferrari receives notice of a 10-second penalty, but the document says that it is a type 57 (e) penalty - one to be added at the end of the race, which cannot be applied given that the offence occurred with 17 laps to go. This is 28 minutes after the offence - three minutes beyond the time limit for the penalty to be notified.

- 3.47pm Covering itself in the confusion, Ferrari brings Schumacher in for a stop-go, but he crosses the finish line before reaching his pit. He rejoins the circuit and, strangely, does two more laps.

- McLaren protests but it is thrown out because the notification was not displayed on the timing monitors and because more than 25 minutes elapsed before Ferrari was told. No alternative penalty is imposed on Schumacher, but McLaren's protest fee is returned, a tacit admission that the stewards have messed up.

- McLaren appeals the rejection of its protest.

The rules:

Article 57 of the F1 sporting regulations states:

Should the stewards decide to impose a time penalty, the following procedure will be followed:

a) The stewards shall, no later than 25 minutes after the moment at which the incident occurred, give written notification of the time penalty which has been imposed to an official of the team concerned. Notification of the penalty, which will include the time at which the stewards' decision was made, will also be displayed on the timing monitors.

b) Subject to (e), - see rules above - from the time the stewards' decision is notified on the timing monitors the relevant driver may cover no more than three complete laps before entering the pits and proceeding to his pit where he shall remain for the period of the time penalty

c) If an incident for which a time penalty is imposed occurs with 12 or less complete laps remaining to the finish of the race, the stewards shall have the right to add the time penalty to the elapsed time of the driver concerned.

Stewards' errors:

- They did not pass notice of the decision to impose a 10-second time penalty on Schumacher to Ferrari until 28 minutes after the incident. The rules dictate that the team must be told 'no later than 25 minutes after the incident occurred';

- They failed to post notice of the penalty on the official timing screen monitors;

- They are said to have decided that Schumacher's penalty should be added to his race time, but failed to notice that because it happened with 17-laps to go, any time penalty had to be a stop-go.

-------------------------------------------------------- Steven D Scott Peterculter, Scotland -------------------------------------------------------- F1 Home Page : http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/2792

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari , McLaren