The Canadian Grand Prix saw an interesting collision in the pitlane and blame was rapidly attributed to Lewis Hamilton, but was it deserved?
Watching the replay a couple of times made me wonder “Why was Raikkonen let go with a car alongside?” and “Isn’t it illegal to overtake in the pit/garage area?”.
I believe the blame is partially with Raikkonen’s pit crew who sent him out alongside Piquet, forcing him to drive down the garage area. Blame also rests with Raikkonen himself because “you give way to the car already in the pitlane when you are getting ready to leave you garage!”. I’m fairly certain it is against the regulations to undertake a car already in the pit-lane by using the garage area, and also you shouldn’t then block the pit exit run-off by parking up two abreast.
Still Lewis should have been paying more attention, and I’m sure the steward’s inquiry will be interesting!
Well the steward’s inquiry has been completed and they have given Lewis Hamilton a 10 place penalty on the French Grand Prix grid (See BBC News story here). In the BBC article Lewis mentions that Raikkonen was racing Kubica in the pit lane;
“I saw the two guys in front of me battling in the pit lane and all of a sudden they stopped,” explained Hamilton
Oddly enough although there are many sites stating the penalty handed out, including the FIA and Formula 1 websites, nobody appears to have the ruling reason for the penalty… So if you are an FIA steward, or find the reason for the penalty, do let me know.