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GP Week : Issue 56
>>F1HUNGARY Stewards Little as! THE first win for a KERS car in Formula 1 may be bigger news than at first thought. You see, the thing about Hamilton’s win in Hungary wasn’t the fact that he won, but the way in which he won. He didn’t just fluke it. Indeed, after Alonso was out of the picture he almost walked it. And coming home second ... was another KERS car. The fact that only two teams still use their KERS had caused a major rethink over the technology for 2010. FOTA wants to drop it completely. But will this win, and the potential wins it sets up for later in the year cause a rethink? Mercedes boss Norbert Haug certainly seemed to think so. But he would, wouldn’t he? He’d just won a race with it! For now at least the future of the technology is undecided. Indecision itself was rife in Hungary. The lot of an FIA steward is a tough one, and they came in for some serious questioning over the race weekend. First up there was GP2 qualifying and the frankly bizarre choice to penalise Franck Perera for being driven into by Romain Grosjean. Shrieks of institutionalised bias towards GP2’s Renault-backed drivers drowned out the sounds of the cars way into Saturday. But Grosjean raced, and Perera was kicked out. Not so much indecision. More of a bad decision. Felipe Massa’s accident changed the whole mood of the weekend, but the stewards still came in for some stick. With 59 laps remaining of the race we were informed that the first lap contact between Raikkonen and Vettel would be debated after the race. Was 59 laps of the Hungaroring not long enough to make a decision? It seemed a bit of a cop out, and of course ran the risk of an unsavoury and disappointing denial of a podium spot for Rosberg had Raikkonen been penalised. The stewards didn’t look into Raikkonen’s run down to the first WILL BUxTOn GPWeek Editor corner in which he appeared to bang wheels with Hamilton, who in turn bounced off into Webber. Vitaly Petrov had been handed a drive through for exactly the same misdemeanour in Germany and the GP2 and F1 penalties are supposed to be the same. So where was the consistency? Again, it was indecision. Mark Webber’s pit release wasn’t looked into despite clearly being of an unsafe manner. And yet Renault has been suspended from the European Grand Prix for not only an unsafe release of Fernando Alonso but for endangering other drivers by knowingly sending him out with a dodgy front right. And yet last year, in France, Raikkonen drove around with a broken exhaust for lap after lap until it flew off. How was that not deemed unsafe? All anybody wants is some consistency. Yes the Alonso incident was dangerous, even more so in light of the death of Henry Surtees at Brands Hatch two weeks ago. But the penalties handed out need to have a basis to them that is maintained across race weekends and across disciplines. The need for a permanent race steward, and one with some race knowledge, was shown once again in Hungary. Let’s hope that whichever prospective FIA Presidential candidate gets the nod amends this serious oversight as soon as possible. Pos # Driver 1 1 2 4 FORMULA 1 Round 10 BUDAPEST Team Laps Lewis Hamilton Kimi Räikkönen 3 14 Mark Webber 4 16 Nico Rosberg 5 2 Jarno Trulli McLaren-Mercedes 70 Ferrari RBR-Renault Williams-Toyota 6 10 Timo Glock 7 22 Jenson Button 8 9 Brawn-Mercedes Toyota 9 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 10 23 Rubens Barrichello 11 6 Nick Heidfeld 12 8 13 5 Nelson Piquet Robert Kubica BMW Sauber Fernando Alonso STR-Ferrari STR-Ferrari RBR-Renault Renault Brawn-Mercedes BMW Sauber Renault 70 70 70 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 70 Toyota 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 14 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 69 15 11 Jaime Alguersuari 16 12 Sebastien Buemi Ret 15 Sebastian Vettel Ret 7 69 69 29 15 Ret 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1 Time 1:38:23.876s +11.5s +16.8s +26.9s +34.3s +35.2s +55.0s +68.1s +68.7s +69.2s +70.6s +71.5s +74.0s +1 Lap +1 Lap +1 Lap +41 Laps +55 Laps +69 Laps Grid 4 7 3 5 6 13 8 11 9 12 15 14 18 16 19 10 2 1 17 Points – Drivers: Button 70, Webber 51.5, Vettel 47, Barrichello 44, Rosberg 25.5, Trulli 22.5, Massa 22, Hamilton 19, Raikkonen 18, Glock 16, Alonso 13. Manufacturers: Brawn 114, Red Bull 98.5, Ferrari 40, Toyota 38.5, McLaren 28, Williams-Toyota 25.5, Renault 13, BMW Sauber 8, Toro Rosso 5. 1 opinion