Will the Monza FIA stewards examine Rosberg case?

The big question this week is whether or not the FIA will decide to take another look at the Rosberg/Hamilton incident in the light of the Briton’s revelations about what happened in the team meeting.

At the time the stewards clearly regarded it as a racing incident, and indeed while they looked at it the incident was never even flagged up on the timing screens as the subject of a formal investigation with a ‘no further action’ outcome.

By the time Hamilton’s comments became public, the race weekend was in effect officially over and the results confirmed.

Lewis revealed that Rosberg said in the meeting that he could have avoided hitting his team mate, a choice of words that so close to the FIA phraseology of “causing an avoidable collision” that the governing body could easily justify a further look, especially given that a World Championship contender caused his direct rival to score no points. The impetus to go ahead could come from Jean Todt, if he is so inclined.

The procedure is quite straightforward. If the FIA decides that a “new element” has emerged, then the Spa stewards can be reconvened and can summon the relevant parties – the two drivers and the others in the meeting, namely Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff and possibly Niki Lauda.

If it is not practical to reconvene the stewards, they can delegate the stewards of the next race in Monza to take over the task. While three of the Spa stewards hail from Germany, Belgium and Italy and are thus readily available, the problem may be ensuring the presence of Venezuela’s Vincenzo Spano.

The most recent example of stewards taking a second look came after the Massa/Perez incident in Montreal. Neither driver was interviewed at the time, as they had gone for medical checks, but the Mexican was penalised. However, lobbying by Force India led to Perez being given a chance to state his case in front of the stewards at the next race in Austria, with telemetry and his own evidence regarded as the new element.

However the most high profile instance came after the 2009 Australian GP, which by co-incidence also involved post race comments to the media by Lewis Hamilton – although in that instance he incriminated himself.

Jarno Trulli had passed Lewis under the safety car, but Lewis revealed straight after the race that he had been told to let him by. His story changed when he was later interviewed by the stewards, which led to a penalty for Trulli. The FIA later learned what Hamilton had said to the media, the case was re-opened the following weekend at the Malaysian GP, and Lewis was excluded.

The question is whether the Hamilton comments are regarded as a “new element,” the problem being that there is obviously no record of what was actually said in the meeting. Realistically the likelihood is that the FIA may regard getting to the truth as a futile exercise, and that there is no point in pursuing it.

However if the Monza stewards do look at the case it’s worth noting that the driver representative will be Derek Warwick, who made his own feelings clear in a BBC radio interview this morning.

“I think what Nico was trying to say is he’s had enough of the forceful driving of Hamilton at Bahrain and again at Budapest, and he wasn’t going to give in,” said Warwick. “What was stupid or silly of Nico was he did it on the second lap of a Grand Prix. That is unacceptable. You can’t have team mates take each other out. I agree with Toto Wolff, it’s totally unacceptable.”

However he stopped short of saying that the FIA should take action: “It’s a difficult thing. At the end of last year the drivers asked for the stewards to be more consistent, so we gave a few more penalties put for various incidents. Then about three races ago they asked the FIA to relax the rules and let guys sort it out on the track, and that’s effectively what’s happening at the moment. You can’t please the drivers either way. I think it’s something that we need to look at, but I think it’s an internal problem, not really a problem for the FIA or the stewards.

“They have to somehow reprimand Rosberg and make sure these two guys don’t touch each other. They said right from the beginning of the season that they are going to allow these two guys to race and if they’re going to do that they have to expect a massive fallout, and they have to expect what happened on Sunday.

The most likely outcome if Rosberg is deemed to have caused an avoidable collision would be a grid penalty in Monza.

16 Comments

Filed under F1 News, Grand Prix News

16 responses to “Will the Monza FIA stewards examine Rosberg case?

  1. Ceejay

    All Rosberg would have to do is say that he said it in the meeting in order to wind Lewis up. Which he may well have done. Are Mercedes going to punish Lewis for breaking confidentiality of internal meetings? If I was Nico I’d refuse to attend any more of these meetings if all Lewis is going to do is give a slanted briefing to the british press afterwards.

  2. Off Track

    What a wonderful, magnificent, uproarious controversy. Just what the doc ordered for Bernie and the FIA. But they can’t let it overwhelm them and run and run.

    Some similarities with the “multi 21″ business with RB, but there you had Seb far out of reach of team mate Webbs. Here, on the other hand, we have two evenly matched drivers performance wise and it presents Toto and Lauda with a bit more of a dilemma.
    Here’s wishing them good luck!!

    If Lewis does not find a way to claw some sort of gain out of this situation, then frankly he has lost the 2014 title. He needs good advice and steely nerves. Alas, these are things Nico seems to have in abundance. Difficult days for Lewis.

  3. CTP

    Are there two words more mutually exclusive than “Todt” and “impetus?”

  4. GeorgeK

    Adam, is your posting based on pure speculation or have you heard rumblings to the effect the Monza stewards will be tasked to reexamine the incident?

    Regardless of the outcome MB needs to take Lewis to the wood shed for taking internal team issues public.

    • Lee

      Come on guys, there is no excuse for any driver taking his team mate out. If it’s true what Rosberg said , then I think Hamilton has the right to voice it publicly. That situation could have been a lot worse, Somebody could have been hurt. Is Rosburg so desperate to win he would go to any lengths? I think a lot of the F1 drivers are going to look at him differently. Silly man.

  5. R. Thompson

    Your thoughts on Ham/Ros are eagerly awaited. The TV team in America — two Brits and an Aussie — were very harsh about the boos, stating that the lap 2 excitement was very clearly a racing incident. Hours after the race, I see the British media in a froth about the evil Hun. I believe Hamilton is, along with Alonso, one of the two top drivers in the field. I also believe he’s a child in a man’s body. HIs statements and actions often border on outrageous, but he’s never held accountable in the British press. Now he leaves a team meeting and immediately begins stirring the pot by mischaracterizing what Nico said. Being determined to not give way is not the same as deliberately crashing into someone. This event is the culmination of many actions within the team, along with a very pro-Hamilton F1 media, who typically see no wrong in his actions. All IMHO, of course…

  6. Mack

    Mercedes is clearly backing Rosberg in 2014, Lewis is left high and dry….this is too bad for the sport, Rosberg should be severely penalized give his actions…all you need to do is “just listen to the fans” booing at the race!!

  7. Chris

    FiA must investigate. Can anything be much worse in motor sport than not taking action to avoid an accident. Nico needs to be banned. He was an idiot. If they don’t the next incident could be a serious accident.

    • GeorgeK

      IMHO, stewards had the opportunity to investigate at the time of the incident and declined, end of story.

      No one should overreact to a team internal dispute/discussion because of the possible misinterpretation of an offended driver.who then goes public with it. We call that being a rat, and rats never get respect (unless your last name happens to be Lauda!)

      Why just ban him, erect the scaffold and hang him in the paddock at Monza!

  8. the skwirrell

    a simple racing incident that was grossly overplayed by Hamilton. complete nonsense and carry-on by a big sook. time to play Toni Child’s song, “Stop your fussing”, maybe.

  9. Si

    Lewis has really let himself down on this one – it is as if he is trying to goad the FIA into re-opening the issue to throw off Rosberg, but he must respect that team business is confidential and surely he should understand that.

  10. Clive

    Now we know the FIA have passed on this, it’s up to Mercedes to nip it in the bud.

    Given their car’s overwhelming superiority, an obvious option for them that (a) wouldn’t harm the team, (b) suitably reprimand Rosberg, and (c) restore the appropriate drivers championship positions would be to rest Rosberg for one race and give the car to their reserve driver. (Not that I could find out who that is. What’s Heidfeld up to thee days?)

    • GeorgeK

      Parking Nico for a race is more like castration, not “nipping”! A bit excessive, don’t you think?

      • Clive

        Well, Nico’s action at Spa meant that Hamilton was denied the chance to score points in one race. So it would seem that a commensurate penalty would be one that does the same thing to Rosberg. Missing one race does exactly that. How is that excessive?

  11. GeorgeK

    Clive, i believe it’s excessive because I don’t think Nico did it with malice aforethought, and you could legitimately say Lewis owned some of the responsibility as he intended to drive Nico into the grass as he did at Bahrain and Hungary. And the contact occurred in the heat of competition in a blink of an eye moment.
    If the FIA thought that there were any grounds to deliberate and premeditated contact they’d be imposing official sanctions.

    Finally to think MB would voluntarily sit their own driver is a real stretch, especially when it’s obvious Lewis put his own slanted twist on the meeting. At least according to Toto.

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