Following his tangle with Felipe Massa during the closing stages of the Japanese Grand Prix, Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Bourdais has been given a 25s penalty. This added time demotes the Frenchman from sixth to tenth, therefore promoting team mate Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld up the finishing order. The extra point will help Massa in his bid to claim the driver’s title, and the lost points will hurt both Bourdais and his team.
The incident in question happened as Bourdais exited the pitlane after his final stop on lap 50. Bourdais came out as Massa was hurtling down the long straight, and the STR driver took the natural inside line into the first corner. From the angle of the video, it looked as though Massa just turned in and caught Bourdais’s car, sending the Brazilian driver into a spin.
To be honest, I fail to see where Bourdais could have gone to avoid the incident, but clearly the stewards feel differently. Once again, a result has been changed after a race, which annoys me a lot, particuarly when it looked as though it was a simple racing incident.
For me it’s very clear. Yes, I exit the pits, yes I’m supposed to be careful and I was. I stayed inside and I didn’t push him out, I didn’t overshoot the corner. I did everything I could not to run into him and he just squeezed and turned and behaved like I didn’t exist, like I wasn’t there. What am I supposed to do?
I’ve been in this position many, many times and I never had any incidents. It’s just a little bit of respect, you give each other room and then everything goes right, but if you don’t for sure it’s going to be an incident. Sebastien Bourdais.
The stewards in Japan seemed very much to want to penalise drivers for any infraction, as they have done for the majority of the season. It seems as though racing is no longer allowed in Formula One if you want to avoid penalty.[poll=”27″]