Rosberg keeps pole after Stewards inquiry…3 hours later!

Three hours after the Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying session, Nico Rosberg was summoned to the steward’s office to answer questions over the yellow flags in sector three when Fernando Alonso spun just ahead of Nico’s teammate, Lewis Hamilton. Lewis’s attempt for pole was scuppered but by the time Nico reached the scene of the incident, Alonso had got back under way and even so, Nico lifted in that section prompting Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle to say: “He definitely slowed through that left hander more than normal. That’s a savvy pole position.”

Regardless, Nico’s fast lap was set on a continually drying track and while double-yellows mean to slow and be prepared to stop, lifting may not have been enough even though Brundle felt it was. It was for Nico Hulkenberg in Austria who also went green in a sector of double-yellows and the stewards deemed his lift adequate for the situation.

If that wasn’t enough, the stewards were also beavering away over what the press has made much about—the fact that several cars in Q1 were outside the 107% rule and my how Twitter is alight with allegations and speculation over these riveting issues that require real and even armchair attorneys to start parsing the rule book and seeking evidentiary cases based on the wording. Everyone is an expert and regardless that the practice times are a measure for pace and exceptional circumstances are also factored into the equation, the press are really peeling the skin on this onion back and running all sorts of stories one presumes are intended to create drama where little exists.

THREE HOURS! Why would the FIA feel inclined to call a meeting with Rosberg three hours after he claimed pole? Well, Lewis Hamilton was certainly dog-whistling the press about it saying he felt there needed to be clarification on the wording and he was “surprised” Nico’s lap was faster or that he was faster in sector 2. The entire debacle is ridiculous and insulting to fans who thought they had a grasp on the grid for Sunday but you never know. Depending on how much Red Bull and other teams complain and how much Lewis amps the press and social media, I guess now we could have results over turned all the way up until the start of the race. Silly…just silly.

This is the part of F1 that is tedious and really uncalled for. I read tweets from F1 journalists all parsing words and claiming safety standards etc but if the situation were serious enough for double-yellows then use the new Virtual Safety Car dammit! That’s what it’s there for or do we recall the double-yellow incident in Japan that ultimately claimed the life of Jules Bianchi and how the VSC was created for this very reason?

Regardless, calmer heads have prevailed and Nico will keep pole position with Lewis right behind him and I said in my quali review, only 13 out of 30 times has a driver won from pole here so Lewis has a very good chance of winning so the folks in the press and #TeamLH shouldn’t worry that their guy may not win, in fact, I picked him to win because he’ll have won 5 Hungarian GP’s and that’s a record and Lewis likes to beat records.

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MIE

Normally I would expect to see a single waved yellow flag at the flag marshals position before the double waved yellows to give drivers warning to slow down, then the incident that caused the yellow flags followed by a green flag. As Alonso restarted, the double waved yellows would be withdrawn and then the single yellow. Rosberg is likely to have passed the single yellow and slowed for that (slow down do not overtake, be prepared to change direction) with the double waved yellow (slow down significantly no overtaking, be prepared to change direction or stop) withdrawn before he got… Read more »

Negative Camber

In a double-yellow, certainly the VSC should be deployed if it were dangerous enough for them? Perhaps not every situation, I suppose, but that is what Japan begat and it has been a very successful system so far. I’m not sure anyone is “encouraging” Nico or other drivers to ignore the flags. The ambiguity of the regulations is by design (since the Max era) and allows for interpretation, if we don’t like that, then the FIA should make clear, definitive regulations with little or no room for interpretation and I can assure you, not one F1 fan would like a… Read more »

MIE

VSC would only be used in a race, for qualifying they would go straight to a red flag, as we saw in Q1. However the decision to deploy a safety car (virtual or real) or a red flag comes only from race control, based on reports from the marshals on the scene. The deployment of yellow flags, green flags and the striped red/yellow flag is down to the marshal at the trackside. The yellow flags will always be shown first before either the safety car or red flag.

Andreas

Indeed – the VSC is used to neutralize the race, so the drivers can keep their relative distances. The Safety Car is used to herd the cars into a single file, to lead them around an accident scene while keeping the positions (but not the relative distances between them). Neither is applicable in practice or qualifying, since they’re only racing the clock.

Shaolin

It often makes for a better race when the driver with more pace ends up in second because of some weird circumstance. LH will be pretty fired up, and know he was a little faster, and NR has come unstuck a few times with a faster Lewis right behind him.
Looking forward to the race

Negative Camber

Me too. I picked Lewis to win and I think it may be a fun race with Red Bull a possible spoiler.

Shaolin

Totally. Nico will be thinking Lewis is behind me, he is faster and he’s pissed. Lewis will be thinking I am faster and Nico cheated, this race is mine. Danny and Max are just thinking we are right behind these two, ready to pounce on any mistake as the mercs fight. Cannot wait

jakobusvdl

How do you conclude Hamilton has more pace? He didn’t set fastest time in any session, and Verstappen didn’t get to make a final run either.

Shaolin

Was he not on a pole setting pace before Alonso span out? It’s not that much of a leap to imagine he may have been fastest.

jakobusvdl

Rosberg was behind him, the track was drying, its all speculation. There’s never much time between the Mercedes drivers, it could have gone either way ;-)

Samouri

In Q3 Lewis had more pace than Rosberg, and during the last lap run Hamilton was .350 sec. up on his previous best time in the first sector, and .410 sec. faster there than Nico before coming upon Alonso. In sector two where Lewis and others backed off for the displayed yellow flags, Rosberg went purple, which gave him the time for pole position.

MIE

Alonso spun just in front of Hamilton, but he (and the danger) had pulled away before Rosberg went through that section. It is not really surprising that Hamilton slowed more than Rosberg.

jakobusvdl

I’ll concede to your persistence Samuri, but I maintain ‘it’s all speculation’ ;-)

Samouri

It’s not speculation, but fact.

Achim

1. I think the ruling on Rosberg was correct, because it was consistent with previous rulings. Rules are only fair, if applied consistently. 2. I do think they should change the enforcement of the “prepare to stop” rule for the future though. Only image what could have happened in Austria, if Hulk would have had a similar tyre failure like Vettel had in the race at the wrong moment? Either always throw a VSC or consider slow zones like in WEC or DTM. 3. Last time I made fun about the superfluous “After considering the matter extensively” preamble of the… Read more »

Negative Camber

As I have argued before, there are three trump cards to incite outrage, direction, regulatory oversight and causes in F1: Cost, Sustainability and safety. This has run afoul of the safety trump card and as such, is due all the impending ire of fans on a mission for justice according to safety trump card and all the machination that entails by tweeting the rulebook, and otherwise engaging in armchair litigation ala Black’s Law type levels. I would add a fourth trump card this year from some F1 news sites…that’s the Lewis trump card as in his dog-whistling the press and… Read more »

Achim

Fully agree. It seems many in the media lost the ability to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, when Lewis makes statements like today. Or when he had “incredible understeer” into turn 1 at Canada. I have not a problem with him trying to lobby for his interests, but the media should always be able to put it into context. But sometimes it seems many only report his view as fact. And #TeamLH is hopeless in this regard anyways.

jakobusvdl

The Sky sports commentators statement was “this is the second time that Alonso has taken a Hungarian GP pole away from Hamilton”, their bias is so blatant.

Samouri

Hobbs maybe partial towards Hamilton, but definitely not that Matchett.

jakobusvdl

The Sky sports coverage main commentator is David Croft, he is very biased towards Hamilton, his normal co-commentator Martin Brundle isn’t, and many of the pit lane crew are Hamilton ‘praise singers’. Radio 5 live often come over as the Hamilton version of ‘Bele-bers’.
Thank goodness for F1B and Motorsport where decorum, civility and objectivity tend to rule.

Andreas

I wouldn’t be too worried about fans thinking they knew what the grid would be – at least I knew as soon as Rosberg crossed the line that his time would be scrutinized. Any time there has been double waved yellows somewhere on a pole lap, I’d be surprised if they didn’t look into it. Consequently, I’d fully expect the grid to be provisional until further notice. What I don’t understand, however, is why it took the stewards so long to call Rosberg and the team in for questioning. They posted the notice at 19.16 local time – almost 3… Read more »

Paul Riseborough

I’m looking forward to NC’s critique of Vettel’s recent ‘dog-whistling’ about Pirelli’s wet weather tyres. F1 is total war, both on and off track, and dog-whistling is just one of the off-track tactics used.

Paul Riseborough

For what it’s worth, here is the link to the stewards report: http://www.fia.com/file/45564/download?token=RFKZTAxK