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Who to Blame for Racing Incidents

The last race in Bahrain saw two very different but highly controversial accidents. Firstly, Lewis Hamilton ran into the back of Fernando Alonso on the very first lap. Given the history and animosity between the pair, itís unsurprising that this incident caused speculation from the moment it happened.

It looked like Alonso didnít pull away from the corner, thus leading others to think that he had maybe done it on purpose. Either braking or not accelerating out of a corner would be a really unsportsmanlike thing to do, but we have seen that Alonso is not against hindering Hamiltonís chances at getting some results. However, Renault have confirmed that this is not the case, and Alonso had his foot to the floor Ė itís just the car is so bad that it didnít go anywhere. They even have the computer printouts to prove it.

Now McLaren have said that Hamiltonís front wing failed moments before the crash, meaning there was nothing he could do about it. Either way, itís safe to put this one down to a racing incident, with no blame involved. Hamiltonís race was completely ruined anyway, and Alonso wasnít likely to be in the points regardless, so no challenges were issued by either party.

The other accident in Bahrain came courtesy of David Coulthard and Jenson Button. Coulthard has been involved in similar accidents recently, and seems to complain that his wing mirrors are either too small or in the wrong place so that he canít see drivers behind him. Jenson Button came from way back to attempt to overtake into a corner, but after jinking around to try and avoid Coulthard, he eventually had nowhere to go and ran over the Red Bullís wheel.

Afterwards, Button said that Coulthard should have given him room, whilst Coulthard proclaimed it just another racing incident. The problem with overtaking accidents, is that itís always difficult to tell who had right of way. Should the driver from behind be at a certain point alongside the car heís trying to overtake before heís allowed to go through unscathed? Or should the one in front have right of way and be free to turn into his corner unaided?

Itís an age old question, and I donít think there are any answers. Itís a shame that many overtaking manoeuvres end up in accidents like this, because as a sport F1 needs more overtaking, and a driver will have no incentive to do it if heís worried heíll just end up as a DNF.

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