Kimi and His First Corner Run-Off at Spa



Hi there.

I have just joined this forum as I have been becoming a little bemused by much of the nonsense which is being posted on the 606 board these days.

I wonder if you could help me out.

Someone posted an article on another forum just recently (I'll let you guess which one), in which he argued that when Raikonnen left the track at the first corner at Spa, he gained a "massive advantage" by doing so.

Now I am absolutely no F1 expert, but I have watched this onboard footage several times now, and I can see no way how Kimi benefited from the manoeuvre. The very opposite would actually appear to be true, judging by the way that both Hamilton and Massa streak away into the distance as Raikonnen struggles desperately for both traction and stability before he manages to rejoin the track.

I would appear to be very much in the minority in this view, however, and I am intrigued to understand how he could possibly have accrued an advantage.

As such, I would be most grateful if you could take a quick look at the footage and provide your own opinions on the incident. I think I trust you gents to provide an informed and reliable answer.

With many thanks.


It's interesting because he appears to lose ground at first but then has a significant speed advantage over Massa at the top of Eau Rouge.

So either he was carrying more momentum as a result of his excursion or Massa lifted....a lot.

I suppose you could argue that he gained an advanatge by going off track because:
1. He would have had to enter the corner more slowly to make it around.
2. If he had followed the track he would have had to back off due to traffic in front of and next to him.

I expect as a result of all the shenanigans from last week, we may see a tightening of the rules and some re-wording to make things less ambiguous.

P.S. Welcome to the site
Thanks, Brogan. And thanks for your comments.

I still don't get it, though. The more I watch the footage, the less I can understand how Kimi can have reaped the benefit of going off at the first corner when he went past Massa so much further up the track. Surely any advantage would have long evaporated, given the distance involved and the relative speed of Massa as he headed up the hill?

I find it most confusing.

(How do you add a smiley?)
That incident isn't so clear without seeing the telemetry.

The one later on though is much more obvious.
Kimi detours outside the circuit at Pouhon for several seconds and gains significant ground on Lewis.
If anything, that is the incident that should have earned him the same penalty.

There's a comprehensive help guide here: How Do I.....?
I have to say the Pouhon incident would seem cut and dry to me and should have at least been awarded the same sort of sanction as Lewis but this earlier incident dosn't seem so cut and dry.

On looking at it several times I can't see how Kimi got any advantage as he looks like he is barely able to keep it going in a strate line. It seemed to me that Massa was driving like miss daisy in the wet and was far more cautious than kimi. Maybe that explains why kimi was able to get past him.

One thing remains certain, that the Ferrari is an absolute dog in the wet. Should be an interesting weekend in Monza for them then.

It is an interesting one and really quite hard to tell wether there was an advantage gained or not however, if you look at this from the perspective of the track conditions and look at past races it wasn't uncommon for that strip to be used as it offered more grip in the wet than the actual racing line and also gave a straighter line down the hill into Eau Rouge which would indicate a momentum advantage could concievably be gained.

As brogan pointed out this was demonstrated more clearly at pouhon later in the race when kimi followed hamilton off the circuit but stayed wide whereas lewis rejoined the circuit earlier. Question is do you apply the rules as written if so then technically both should have been penalised twice. Mind you if Kimi had been penalised in the first instance the later parts wouldn't have happened anyway.
Ironic really that Kimi is reported to have said about an incident you may remember near the end of the race
"If there had been a concrete wall he (Hamilton) would not have been there in the first place." :yes:
I'd imagine this has been posted on 606 by a Hamilton fan, but there we go!

  1. Kimi didn't go off the track, he fell off the track
  2. Kimi didn't take a shortcut
  3. There was no grip in run-off at La Source
  4. Massa tends to slow in the wet (See how much slower he went than LH on last lap)
    [*]His car is painted red so is not vunerable against stewards

Sorry, point 5 may not be true... (although the evidence is mounting...)
Yes - that seems to be one of the problems with 606 at the moment. There are too many nutters who are extreme in their support of one particular driver or team, and employ all manner of sophistry in support of their arguments and claims. It's sad, because it dilutes the overall quality of the contributions by a good number of highly knowledgeable and thoroughly objective contributors. I say very little on the F1 pages, as I know very little about the sport, but wish to learn from those who do.

By the way, I support no particular team or driver and harbour no partisanship or prejudices whatsoever. In truth, I still don't know what to make of the Hamilton incident. I have listened to all the arguments, and to be honest, I can see both sides.

What strikes me as most ridiculous about the entire situation is that Raikonnen crashed out of his own accord with absolutely no intervention by Hamilton. Also that with great irony in my own view, Raikonnen was travelling so slowly in the wet once Lewis had let him past, that it was almost too easy for the McLaren to re-pass immediately. Had Raikonnen actually been able to drive that Ferrari with even the smallest degree of competence in the wet, then Hamilton would have had to wait until at least the next corner, and there would have been no arguments or questions. In these circumstances I find it almost perverse that Lewis was stripped of the win.

The greatest joke at all, of course, is that Massa, who was never even in the race, and so far as I could see, not even really racing, was awarded the 10 points. And all because one quick driver who was actually attempting to win the race through bold and skilfull driving on the track overtook Massa's own team mate, Raikonnen, who himself proved incapable of even keeping his car on the track in the wet.

It is here, I believe, that Formula One has embarrassed itself and left itself open to global ridicule. Hamilton may have technically committed a driving offence, and that's another matter, but the way this has been handled by those who govern the sport smacks of incompetence at best, plain bias at worst.
A quote from Colin Chapman CBE, Head of Group Lotus. April 10th 1981

(this was taken from a press release written with journalist Jabby Crombac in the wake of the Lotus 88B being banned from racing. Lotus was fined 100000 dollers for making this statement but it as always Chapman was spot on)

In fact sod it, I will type up the entire release. Enjoy.

"For the last four weeks we have been trying to get the new Essex-Lotus 88 to take part in a Grand Prix, to no avail. Twice it was accepted by the scrutineers, twice it was turned down by the stewards under pressure of lobbies. The USA national court of appeal ruled this new car eligible and gave a firm recommendation it should be allowed to race, it was still forced off the track by protesters and the black flag.
And now we have been turned down again from participating in the Argentine grand prix, evne though the Argentine Automobile Club's technical commision commented on the innovative design it features and the wothiness of its technical advances.
At no time throughout this ordeal had any steward or scrutineer come up with a valid reason for the exclusion consistent with the content and intention of the rule
It is a particular disappointment for this to have happened at the Argentine Grand Prix which has marked more pleasent points in the history of Team Lotus. It is here in 1960, that we were welcomed into the band of sportsmen competitors with our first full Formula one car, which was as innovativne then in its way as teh Essex lotus 88 is today. It was also here in 1977 where we ran the first ground effect car ever in motor racing, a prinicple which every Formula 1 car has since copied.
Throughout these years we have witnessed the changes which have taken place in Grand Prix racing and unfortunately seen what was fair competition between sportsmen degenerate into power struggles and political maneuverings between manipulators and money men attempting to take more out of the sport than they put into it.
We have a responsibility to the public of the Grand Prix and to our drivers and this has stopped us from withdraawing our cars from this event. But for the first time since I started Grand Prix racing 22 years ago, I shall not be in the Team Lotus pit during the race for this reason. During this period no team has won more races, more championships than we have, nobody has influenced the design of racing cars the way we did, through innovations which are already finidng their way into everday motor cars, for the benifit of increased safety and energy conservation. And yet we are being put under the unbearable pressure by our rival competitors who are frightened that once again we are setting a trend they may all have to follow.
The matter shall go to its next stage at the FIA Court of Appeal in two weeks time, We shall defend our case with all the arguments we can muster for the defence of the cause we consider worthy.
When this will be over I shall seriously reconsider with my good friend and sponsor David Thieme of Essex Motorsport wether Grand Prix racing is still what it purports to be: The Pinnacle of sport and technological achievement. Unfortunately, this appears to be no longer the case and if one does not clean it up, Formula 1 shall end up in a quagmire of plagiarism, chicanery and petty rule interpretation forced by lobbies manipulated by people for whom the sport has no meaning.

Colin Chapman

Buenos Aires April 10th 1981 9am.

I think Chapman hit the nail on the head with his prediction of the direction F1 would take. If you read the final paragraph it would seem like we are now there.
Good post, cat.

Prescient words, indeed.

Remarkable that Colin Chapman saw the writing on the wall even then - over 25 years ago.

It's sad, though, isn't it, that his prediction has seemingly proved to be true.
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