Alonso fumes after Hamilton penalty, Ferrari calls result “a scandal”

Fernando Alonso called the result of the European “unreal and unfair” after falling from third place behind the safety car to ninth at the chequered flag (before being promoted to eighth).

Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton got a drive-through penalty for overtaking the safety car yet still finished second.

Alonso said:

I think it was unreal this result and unfair as well.

We respected the rules, we don’t overtake under the yellows and we finish ninth. That is something to think about.

It completely destroyed the race. Hopefully we can move forward because after the victory of Vettel and podium for McLaren ninth place is very little points for us.

We need to apologise to the 60 to 70 thousand people who came to see this kind of race.

They gave a penalty already to Hamilton but it was too late – 30 laps to investigate one overtake.
Fernando Alonso

The stewards were also considering whether to penalise nine drivers for their speed behind the safety car, a decision which has not yet been taken.

The delay in giving a penalty to Hamilton, combined with the gap opening up behind him because of the slow Kobayashi, meant he didn’t lose a place when he took his drive-through.

But he lost a lot of time to Sebastian Vettel and was unable to challenge him for the lead at the end of the race.

Hamilton denied he overtook the safety car deliberately, saying:

I saw the safety car was pretty much alongside me, I thought I passed it so I continued.
Lewis Hamilton

However it does appear from replays that he might have backed off at first, unsure whether to overtake the safety car or not.

Alonso may suspect Hamilton backed off deliberately to prevent him from getting past the safety car as well – but if he’d had the awareness to do that, surely he’d have also made sure he stayed ahead of the safety car himself?

This controversy could have been avoided had the stewards made their decision more quickly. This is not the first time we’ve seen them take a long time to make an important call like this one.

Update: Ferrari described the race as a “scandal” in a statement:

A scandal, that’s the opinion of so many fans and employees who are all in agreement: there is no other way to describe what happened during the European Grand Prix. The way the race and the incidents during it were managed raise doubts that could see Formula 1 lose some credibility again, as it was seen around the world.

Update 2: Ferrari continue their criticism, issuing this quote from Piero Ferrari:

I am incredulous and bitter, not just for Ferrari, but for the sport as a whole, as this is not the sort of thing one expects from professionals. For a long time now, I have also followed races in championships in the United States, where the appearance of the Safety Car is a frequent occurrence, but I have never seen anything similar to what happened today at the Valencia circuit. If it raises some doubts over the actions that led to a false race, to me that would seem more than reasonable.

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352 comments on Alonso fumes after Hamilton penalty, Ferrari calls result “a scandal”

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  1. Rubbish Dave (@rubbish-dave) said on 28th June 2010, 15:46

    There are a couple of things to consider here:

    Precedence has shown that the penalty for overtaking the usual penalty for overtaking the safety car is disqualification (See: Hamilton, 2006) Except in marginal cases (See: GP2, portugal 2009)

    So race control not only had to sort out Webber/Kovalainen and safety car procedures (rather than say, possible penaaltys), this and people speeding through the safety car period. So a delay is understandable, and entirely normal, it seems. But also the degree of penalty – Hamilton was, after all, next to the the car as it passed over the line.

  2. GalTrack said on 28th June 2010, 16:43

    Hi! I read another translation of Alonso’s words, where “this kind of race” was rather “a manipulated race”. It seems to be the correct translation, as apparently Domenicali said that Ferrari does not believe the race was manipulated, and that Alonso probably said that due to his deep deception.

    But, hey, if Alonso says the race was manipulated, maybe we should believe him, no? The guy seems to know a whole lot about this… :-)

    It’s funny how some drivers are considered as saints whatever they may do, and others as devils. Alonso had many a bad sentence, toward the FIA, other drivers, or its own team (like, e.g., saying that the Renault team will cost him the title when they had badly screwed a wheel, provoking his *first* give-up of the season 3 races before the end!!!).

    Anyway, I guess we find ideology driven people everywhere, including F1 specialists. Actually, what I’d like to see some guys not supporting anything or anyone, just enjoying to watch races, beautiful passes, brakes, driving, set-ups…

  3. Blik said on 28th June 2010, 18:01

    Mommy Vettel hit me!…………..did you hear that?

    Schumi passes a competitor in Monaco and what happens?
    Lewis passes a SAFETY car and what happens?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th June 2010, 8:29

      It’s pretty standard for drivers to let their teams know when they suspect they have car damage, so the team can prepare for a pit stop. Bruno Senna probably should have done it on Sunday…

  4. Pet135 said on 29th June 2010, 1:14

    Fia gives your wins

  5. Pet135 said on 29th June 2010, 11:29

    Black Flag for Hamilton!!!

  6. Pet135 said on 29th June 2010, 11:33

    The f1 is no longer sport

  7. Neim said on 29th June 2010, 14:24

    With Hamilton I am ashamed to be English.
    Hurray Button!!!

  8. te haminton is crazy but he safe car is illegal.
    fernado alonso winer jajajaja
    hijos de puta

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