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Two penalties from Australia - The Safety Car is brought out for one incident, and causes another

Published by Christine

This article was originally written for BellaOnline, but is republished here for posterity.

There were two main penalties handed out after the Australian Grand Prix had been completed. One affects the results of the race we've just seen, and the other will have some bearing on what happens in Malaysia next weekend.

Trulli vs Hamilton

In the last few laps, when the safety car came out for the incident with Vettel, Trulli ran wide off the track. Hamilton went past him, which was a perfectly legitimate thing to do, and they carried on for a few corners. Trulli was now behind the McLaren, and says that Hamilton slowed right down and either had a problem or was allowing him to pass. Hamilton says that he wasn't letting the Toyota past him.

Thus, Trulli was given a 25 second penalty, post race, which pushes him from 3rd place all the way down to 12th, and promotes Hamilton and the others upwards.

Kubica vs Vettel

The incident that caused this safety car period in the first place was a collision between Vettel and Kubica. The pair were battling for second place, and they both turned into a corner at the same time, aiming for the same piece of track. It was inevitable they would crash, and both ended up spinning off into the wall. However, Vettel did manage to travel a little way round the track with one of his wheels hanging off.

After the race, the stewards called the pair to discuss the incident, and Vettel held his hands up and admitted it was his fault. It seemed more like a racing incident to me, but if Vettel believes it was his fault, then it is very honest and gracious of him to admit this. Especially as the stewards handed him a ten place grid drop for Malaysia. Red Bull were also fined for allowing Vettel to continue circling the track, despite the fact that he was only running on three wheels. It looks like they thought they might be able to cruise behind the safety car and pick up a point. In the end, Vettel ended up in the wall, but clearly this is not allowed, and the fine is justified.