Get out of my way?

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Well, in a busy weekend for sports fans everywhere, there will be one battle that will be talked about for at least the next couple of days. Am I talking about England V Germany? or was it Mexico v Argentina? could it even be England V Australia in the Cricket or any of the weekends international rugby fixtures? Nope, I'm talking about the great battle of the pit lane between Eddie "The Irish Bloodhound" Jordan versus David "been there, done that" Coulthard.

Now before I go on much further, I'm going to nail my colours to the mast and not just because I'm a Lotus fan either, but because Eddie Jordan was absolutely, 100 percent correct. Ever since Coulthard failed so incredibly badly to get past Enrique Bernoldi in the Orange Arrows, he's had a bee in his bonnet about passing back markers.

There is a simple rule that should be applied, on the road, at sea or even in the air (no that doesn't include Webber in this case) the overtaking vehicle keeps clear. Webber knew he was going to be faster than the Lotus and knew he could get past, it was just a matter of time. Could you imagine trying to pull that one with your insurance company? Reason for crash: Guy in front was driving a FIAT Panda and when I pulled up behind him in my BMW I didn't realise he was going to be so slow so I just ploughed into the back of him. Not my fault Guv'nor. He should be quicker. I could just see that one working.

Heikki is a clever enough driver himself to know that he isn't going to keep the Red Bull behind him. I don't think he would have deliberately swerved to do so. Looking at the footage several times it would appear that Heikki makes a slight move to the right expecting Webber to try and go around the outside. Nothing happens so he pulls out towards the centre of the track and starts to shape up for the corner. Obviously, I've no idea if he'd started to brake by then or not but there was more than enough room for Webber to get down the inside under braking or Webber should have backed off and known full well that he would have zipped past on one of the long straights.

So back to DC, His argument is that because you are in a slower car you should just get out of the way because you are going to loose out at some point. How on earth can that be a valid argument? Isn't that like saying the boxer with the shorter reach should just chuck it in because he can't win or the least fancied horse in a race shouldn't bother to enter? Stupid in the extreme. It is not the duty of every driver on the track to get out of the way of a Red Bull (or any other top team) for that matter, just because they are quicker. Its up to the driver behind to find a safe way past. I believe its called over taking. Its something that the very best formula one drivers of the past used to be very good at. Just think, DC could have been a world champion if all those pesky cars in front had have just stepped to one side.

To further stick the boot into DCs argument, he claimed that the Lotus was some 4 seconds a lap off the pace of the Red Bull. When confronted with Kobayashi's performance in a slower car DC said that's different he was only a second off the pace. Well in qualifying (Q1 when all three cars were involved) Kobayshi was 1.539 off of Webber's time and Kovi was 2.333 of Webber's time so half of that quoted. Just to confirm it in race conditions, Vettel set his fastest lap in the remaining RBR on lap 52 in a time of 1.39.141, Jarno Trulli in the sole surviving Lotus set his best lap on lap 53 in a time of 1.41.770 just 2.629 seconds off the pace (and keep in mind that Trulli was having issues with his car). So still not "4 Seconds" off the pace.

Finally, it has been so hard for the new teams given how far they've had to climb to get where they are today. Given more notice to join the grid and given the choice of which engine they wanted in the back instead of being hamstrung with the slower Cosworth engines and this would be an issue at all but then again there would be the risk that a new team might hit on a golden formula and suddenly be quicker than say a Red Bull? How would a spokesman for Red Bull Racing explain that?

So the question is, who is right, Eddie Jordan or David Coulthard? I'm with Eddie all the way. What about you lot?
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Using DC's logic Senna should have got out of Mansell's way at Monaco in 1992 as Mansell was obvioulsy in a much faster car. Kovi and Webber were fighting for position therefore Kovi, regardless of what point you are at in the race and what position you are fighting for, has the right to defened that position as long as he stays within the rather bizarre "single blocking move" rule F1 now has.

What is strange is that DC seems more vexed about it than Webber. Maybe Mark is just happy to have walked away from it unscathed?
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
I honestly believe this was a simple case of bad luck. Hekki was unaware as to which side MW would pass him on, and as such moved about a bit.

At the end, HK move to the left to give MW the inside line at the corner, MW move at the same time to the left to go around HK, and the impact happened. If I am being totally honest MW didn't require the slipstream all the way down to the breaking zone and should have given himself more room. He didn't and his race ending was the consequence, just thanks the Gods they both got of that alive and well.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I'm glad you posted this c_a_t.

I abso-bloody-lutely agree with you on every single point.

We heard the bitching about the "B teams" as Coulthard calls them holding up Alonso in Monaco and now he's at it again, blaming Heikki for Mark driving into the back of him.

Last time I checked the new teams had paid the same entry fee as everyone else and are bound by the same rules and regulation so they are perfectly entitled to race.

I was glad to see first Eddie Jordan and then Mike Gascoyne put him in his place.

The whole concept of this is just ludicrous.
It's not a GT race where there are different classes of cars racing.
It's an F1 race where every car competes at the same level with the same opportunities.

Thankfully (most of) the drivers agree with Eddie and Mike as a lot of them have been in a "B team" at one point or another.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Mike Gascoyne's comments are quoted here:

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/84869

They do make for some fun reading.

Webber, in his comments, has added another second to the time Lotus are supposed to be off the pace. According to Webber, they are now 5 seconds a lap off the pace. As can be seen from the fastest lap times, Lotus hasn't been 5 seconds behind the Red Bulls all weekend.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
It's patent nonsense. As I commented in chat during the race, DC seems to lack objectivity whenever Red Bull drivers are involved. It's becoming embarassing, frankly.

Either you're on the grid or you're not. Whatever delusions of grandeur Red Bull may have now, we can all remember when they were tugging along behind mid-grid. It's a race, simple as that.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
It does not matter about any objectivity, whether Kovalainen should have leapt into the ocean with a faster car coming up behind him, but quite frankly Webber is experienced enough to understand that driving into another car in front of you is not the way to get to the end of the race.

There is no excuse. There is no question. The only stupidity I saw really from the "B class" was Senna and Glock having a ding-dong and nearly compromising Kobayashi's race.

The Lotus team is heading in the right direction and nearly got ahead of Kobayashi in a straight fight in Canada qualification. 5 seconds a lap slower than Red Bull? Only if you've not seen a timing screen since Bahrain!

Essentially, I prescribe some "Growup" to quite a few people this race - Coulthard, Webber, Alonso, Dominicali...
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
teabagyokel said:
It does not matter about any objectivity, whether Kovalainen should have leapt into the ocean with a faster car coming up behind him, but quite frankly Webber is experienced enough to understand that driving into another car in front of you is not the way to get to the end of the race.

There is no excuse. There is no question. The only stupidity I saw really from the "B class" was Senna and Glock having a ding-dong and nearly compromising Kobayashi's race.

The Lotus team is heading in the right direction and nearly got ahead of Kobayashi in a straight fight in Canada qualification. 5 seconds a lap slower than Red Bull? Only if you've not seen a timing screen since Bahrain!

Essentially, I prescribe some "Growup" to quite a few people this race - Coulthard, Webber, Alonso, Dominicali...



Genius !!

(and now I've got a new signature as well !!)
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
cider_and_toast said:
teabagyokel said:
It does not matter about any objectivity, whether Kovalainen should have leapt into the ocean with a faster car coming up behind him, but quite frankly Webber is experienced enough to understand that driving into another car in front of you is not the way to get to the end of the race.

There is no excuse. There is no question. The only stupidity I saw really from the "B class" was Senna and Glock having a ding-dong and nearly compromising Kobayashi's race.

The Lotus team is heading in the right direction and nearly got ahead of Kobayashi in a straight fight in Canada qualification. 5 seconds a lap slower than Red Bull? Only if you've not seen a timing screen since Bahrain!

Essentially, I prescribe some "Growup" to quite a few people this race - Coulthard, Webber, Alonso, Dominicali...




Genius !!

(and now I've got a new signature as well !!)
Thankyou, cat, the word genius tends to be bandied around in my presence, admittedly in a sarcastic sense some most all of the time.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Anyone remember this?

I'll bet you DC does - maybe he should just get out of the way?




 

dave

Rookie
Speshal said:
Anyone remember this?

I'll bet you DC does - maybe he should just get out of the way?




Maybe thats what he learnt from that spesh and now everyone should move out of the way of cars behind them. (It would increase overtaking)

Does anyone remember who was battering trulli at monaco for moving out of the way of the faster ferrari of alonso and not being competitive?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I'm very disappointed to read Brundle's comments. It would appear that he agrees with Coulthard.

Kovalainen is entitled to defend his position but frankly there was no point. Webber had a race-winning car and was clearly going to pass before the end of the lap.

Kovalainen is racing Virgin and Hispania, with an envious eye on Toro Rosso and Sauber; there is no point him losing time or crashing out of the race defending hard in a straight line against Webber.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8768437.stm

Was it Brundle who berated Trulli at Monaco? Or was that Coulthard?
I can't remember.
 

Boyle

Race Winner
Contributor
With all the criticism that Trulli received following Monaco, you can't help but laugh at the contradiction of view points now that there has been a crash. Trulli was out of order in Monaco by waving Alonso through because it was for position. Maybe in Canada he felt he needed to hold Fernando up a bit when he should have let him by under blue flags. Now people are criticising Kovalainen for holding station and making it more difficult for Webber to pass.

Anyway, Eddie Jordan is totally right (how many times am I going to say that this season? :) ) - when it is for position the driver in front has every right to defend no matter what the difference in pace is. Is Coulthard saying that if Button had to get past Kobayashi rather than waiting for him to pit and therefore being held up lap after lap, that Kamui should just let Button take the podium position (in the scenario that Koby didn't have to pit again) away from him? I'm sorry but it's racing and I thought that of all people DC would appreciate that.

This was a racing incident in which, thankfully, neither driver was hurt.
 

dave

Rookie
Having just breifly looked at that article Bro, I seen Brundle says that Webber misread the movement across the track by the Lotus.

So doesdn't that mean that the incident was caused by a mistake from Mark Webber?

Why would you expect the car infront to move out the way of you when racing for position?



As for the Trulli criticism i can't remember exactly who it was but it did seem at the time that everyone was in agreement that Trulli shouldn't have done it, so i guessing that Brundle or Coulthard were saying that Trulli was wrong if not both of them.
 

cosicave

Banned
cider_and_toast:
This is a good article. There are several interesting aspects to it.

My first point, that should not be in dispute, is that ANY car has every right to defend his position if on the same lap as someone who is attempting to overtake; even if there is a significant speed differential. - However, it is obviously in the interests of both drivers, to apply some common sense to this argument.

Next: I believe that Webber did not make his intention clear as he tried to get the maximum tow from Heikki, making it almost impossible for Kovalainen to know which way to let him past, if he intended to do so (which is not absolutely clear).

Three: In the simplest sense, the onus is incumbent upon the driver who has the best view of the situation, to take the lion's share of the necessary precautions, to maintain proper margins of safety. Obviously this is almost always (NOT ABSOLUTELY ALWAYS) the driver who is approaching from behind, just as is the case on the road, as you rightly say.

Four: (and this depends entirely on whether Heikki was in fact trying to prevent the overtake) It is possible - just possible folks! - that although the Lotus needed a far earlier braking point, Heikki actually braked even sooner because he was off line and unsure of the levels of grip he would find on the tighter approach to the corner. - If this is the case, it may help explain Webber's total surprise at the difference.

Five: As a fellow racing driver, David Coulthard has expressed a view which has surprised me. I will therefore attempt to work out the possible reasons for his stance: 1) He found himself at odds (once again) with his fellow pundit Eddie Jordan, and in sticking to his guns, has found himself somewhat out-on-a-limb, further polarizing reaction to his initial statement - which is very easy to do with Eddie! 2) He is big friends with Mark Webber. 3) He has allowed his sense of loyalty to his last team, to cloud his logic.

The end result was the disastrous misunderstanding of one (or more) driver's lack of appreciation of the possibilities, but it could have been so much worse…
In my view there is little doubt where the majority of 'blameworthiness' lies, however, I agree with the race stewards not to take further action: this racing incident involved perhaps more than one misunderstanding and may mitigate Webber's lack of appreciation, to some extent.
 

DOF_power

Banned
I don't see how a hopeless back-marker should be congratulated for tacking out a championship contender.

I disagree about the everyone has the right to defend situation.
In the old days the slow car would pull to the right, this was an unwritten rule in the 50s and 60s and in the 20s and 30s it was actually a written rule.

Blocking is one of the reason overtaking was killed in F1.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
DOF_power said:
I don't see how a hopeless back-marker should be congratulated for tacking out a championship contender.
If you're specifically referring to the Webber/Kovalainen incident then Webber took himself out.
Granted Heikki might have braked earlier than Mark was expecting but the onus is on Mark to be aware of the situation, especially approaching a corner at high speed.

I also don't think it's fair to refer to Heikki as "hopeless". I doubt many of the current drivers on the grid could do that much better with the Lotus in its current form.
 

cosicave

Banned
DOF_power said:
I don't see how a hopeless back-marker should be congratulated for tacking out a championship contender.

I disagree about the everyone has the right to defend situation.
In the old days the slow car would pull to the right, this was an unwritten rule in the 50s and 60s and in the 20s and 30s it was actually a written rule.

Blocking is one of the reason overtaking was killed in F1.
1) I don't believe anyone is congratulating Kovalainen are they?
2) You disagree about defending one's position, even if they are on the same lap?
3) Gentlemen's agreements are exploited by some more than others. It is therefore necessary to have a definitive rule, which is no longer simply 'a gentleman's agreement', but a written one. This is not only in the interests of fairness, but, far more importantly, in the interests of safety.
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
I agree that to a certain degree cars should have some common sense when it comes to allowing faster cars past, you simply cannot apply the idea that cars should let faster cars by them though.

Example being Alonso on Buemi in Canada. Alonso driving a car more than a second faster than Buemi, but Buemi leading the race at the time.

My opinion is that if a guy has a car that is generally a lot faster than the guy in front of him, the guy is a formula1 driving, and should therefore have the skill and awareness to pass a much slower car.

The speed differential should mean little.

Obviously mistakes happen though.
 
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