[update] F1: Schumacher Penalized 20 Seconds for Alonso Overtake

What Happens When the Lights Go Green and the Safety Car Conditions Still Apply

UPDATE: Mercedes announced that it would appeal the stewards’ decision (a panel that included Damon Hill as the drivers’ representative), so the confusion and debate is not yet over with a WMSC hearing forthcoming.

12:53pm EST — After much confusion amongst fans, reporters, and team members, the stewards have released their decision regarding the Michael Schumacher overtake on Fernando Alonso in the closing seconds of the Monaco Grand Prix.  Schumacher was penalized twenty seconds (effectively six positions) for passing under the safety car conditions.

For the final of four safety car periods during the race (read the full race report here), one that began with just three laps left, the safety car led the drivers for the final laps, with notes from race control that the race would end under safety car conditions, though the safety car itself would turn into the pits before the drivers crossed the finish line.  Apparently, the sporting regulation states that during the race on a restart the drivers are allowed to begin racing once the SC line has been crossed, but rule 40.13 states that “if the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pitlane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.”  Therefore, and even though the lights on the circuit went green, there was to be no overtaking.

Typically such an infraction would result in a drive-through penalty, but since the race ended seconds later, Schumacher was assessed the twenty second penalty.  While the news is not yet official from the FIA or the F1 website, Autosport has the news, with the analysis that “stewards deemed the race was still finishing under the safety car.”

The final race positions are as follows (with championship standings found under the tab at the top of the website or here):

1. Webber
2. Vettel +.4
3. Kubica +1.6
4. Massa +2.6
5. Hamilton +4.3
6. Alonso+6.3
7. Rosberg +6.6
8. Sutil +6.9
9. Liuzzi +7.3
10. Buemi +8.1
11. Alguersuari +9.1
12. Schumacher +25.7
13. Petrov +5 Laps
Chandhok +8 Laps
Trulli +8 Laps
di Grassi
de la Rosa


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