Webber Denies Disobeying Marshals
The FIA said that the Australian had no permission from either the stewards or marshals to go onto the track, which was the reason he was punished.
It should be noted that stewards did not give Webber a 10 place grid penalty for this infringement. His penalty is because this reprimand is his third, and his two prior reprimands were driving infringements. The stewards can no longer fine individual drivers for these kind of infringements, only issue them with formal reprimands.
Article 18.2 of the sporting regulations is why Webber has been bumped down the grid:
“Any driver who receives three reprimands in the same championship season will, upon the imposition of the third, be given a 10 grid place penalty at that event.”
The regulation that Webber did not adhere to, article 30.9 part b), states:
“30.9 During the period commencing fifteen minutes prior to and ending five minutes after every practice session and the period between the commencement of the formation lap which immediately precedes the race and the time when the last car enters the parc fermé, no one is allowed on the track, the pit entry or the pit exit with the exception of : b) Drivers when driving or on foot, having first received permission to do so from a marshal.”
The reality is, Webber’s punishment had nothing to do with the sportsmanlike taxi ride. Unfortunately, due to the frankly dangerous actions of both Alonso and Webber and the Australian’s current number of previous reprimands, the incident lead to Webber being penalised in Korea.
Alonso’s penalty was for stopping on the track in a dangerous position, in this case, in the middle of the racing line after a blind corner.
“For @alo_oficial [Alonso] and me to receive reprimands for our actions after the race it is comical to say the least,” he wrote. “Great moment, and fans loved it.
“And while I’m at it, contrary to reports, there was no interaction at all with any track officials after we put the fire out.”
However, Webber’s statement contradicts CCTV footage issued by the FIA, which shows marshals waving to stop Webber from going onto the track. The footage also accentuates how dangerous the actions of Alonso & Webber were.
(The CCTV footage linked, is not the full video. The full footage has not yet surfaced, however a somewhat bootleg recording of it has, which is linked above. The FIA confirms that the full issued footage shows marshals signalling to Webber.)
Not only does the FIA state that Webber was not given permission to enter the track, but he was also explicitly told not to do so.
The FIA has been reported to have stated that if Alonso had left the track completely in order to pick up Webber, then neither driver would have been penalised. Giving lifts to other drivers is not prohibited, and has been done on multiple occasions.
Even the steward at the race, Derek Warwick, hitched a ride from Gerhard Berger at the Japanese grand prix in 1988. Webber pointed this out, tweeting an image of the Ferrari with Warwick perched on the side.
He wrote: “Looks like even one of the Singapore stewards has done it…#C’estlavie.”
Warwick explained the reasons for the reprimands.
“It is not health and safety gone mad, a driver could easily have been hurt. I hope we’re not seen as killjoys.
“I want Formula 1 to be entertaining. I want it to be a spectacle. I’m a big fan of MotoGP and I wish we in Formula 1 could get closer to the drivers like they do in MotoGP.
“We have become a bit sterile in many ways in Formula 1. But we cannot put drivers at risk.
“If it had been done in a safer manner then it might have been viewed differently, but this was potentially very dangerous. You can’t have cars parked in the middle of a corner.”
It is likely Webber did not hear the shouts from marshals, due to the noise of the passing cars & crowd. However, regardless Webber should have sought permission from marshals prior to running onto the racing line – or at least have motioned to Alonso to move onto the run-off area.
Image: FIA CCTV Footage
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