Formula 1 News

Webber: "penalties are not always necessary".

The Aussie and Red Bull driver considers the stewards were to harsh and quick on giving Massa a drive-through sanction for his incident with Hamilton.
Friday, November 4, 2011

Nov 3, 2011 (F1plus Team).- The on track episode between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa in Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix was nothing more than a racing incident. That is the opinion of fourth-placed finisher Mark Webber, who emphasizes that penalties should not be a default reaction of the FIA stewards following any on-track dramas.

“You could argue all day about the rights and wrongs of the latest crash involving Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa but it was a 50-50 incident in my opinion,” Australian Webber wrote in a column for BBC Sport.

“The corner they collided at is quite a quick one - fifth gear at about 135 miles per hour - so the brakes don't go on much. It's very difficult to pass there but Lewis got a good run off Turn 4 and got down the inside of Felipe. It was the age-old thing. Lewis went for it, Felipe was still going to commit to the corner, then Lewis tried to back off and couldn't.”

On this occasion, Massa was handed a drive-through penalty as the stewards – including former Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert – believed the Brazilian could have avoided the incident by not turning into the path of Hamilton.

“F1 is getting into a bit of a road-car culture with penalties,” Webber continues. “The attitude seems to be that someone must be to blame when there is an incident…yes, Felipe could have made space for Lewis but, in my view, it wasn't clear-cut.

“The drivers have always said that they want the stewards to be consistent and, to be fair, that's what they are trying to be. If someone's had an absolute howler then fine, give them a penalty, but sometimes it might be better just to say it was one of those things - what we call in F1 ‘a racing incident’ - and let it go.”

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