Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2010

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

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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. They should take an example from Nascar, where stewarding is fast and fair!
    Last week during a SC, the leader stopped on track because he fired down his engine to save fuel and couldn’t get it started right away (it was an uphill).
    He dropped to seventh, got it fired up and went back to the front… a bit later the stewards deamed that wrong, just called his team to drop back to seventh and done. (SC was still out)
    This way the error is corrected and the race isn’t over for the driver. Great stewarding, how it should be!

  2. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion
    27th June 2010, 16:37

    My only question here is:
    Did Bernd Maylander notice that there was something wrong with a McLaren passing by his side? Did he tell something to race control? Because if the answer is yes, he did, then what is to be discussed is the race control bias favoring McLaren.

  3. following the live timing on http://www.formula1.com, official f1 website…alonso in 3rd place was gaining on hamilton after the 3rd or 4th lap…the safety car period, stewards late call cost alonso and possibly massa podium places…in clean air, alonso is incredibly fast..faster than hamilton(same as in canada). anyways onto silverstone, where they say the “blown diffuser” is better suited for in the faster corners…

    1. Blog Raider
      27th June 2010, 16:52

      F1 races are done on track, sometimes with cars in front and not “in clean air” Ham got punished, not his fault Alo ended up where he his, get over it!

  4. Safety Car should enter the track in front of the driver in 1st position, not randomly in the middle of the pack. It was going to be a wonderful battle for the top positions, but they spoiled it in a very bad way.

    1. bernification
      27th June 2010, 23:14

      unfortunately, they are bothered about the voluntary marshalls safety, not track position.

      Maybe Alo needs another team mate willing to crash for him to get safety car help?

  5. Alonso has some justification for being upset with the way the penalty was applied. The delay in applying the penalty allowed Hamilton to avoid dropping a place. Alonso, on the other hand, dropped several places and finished well below where he could have been.

    But the impact of penalties has always been, to some extent, the luck of the draw. Hamilton isn’t the first driver to benefit from the late application of a penalty – just look at Nico Rosberg in Singapore 2008. Some you win, some you lose – Alonso won’t be complaining if he benefits in a similar way in the future.

    1. bernification
      27th June 2010, 23:20

      2008 Nelsinho crashed to assist his team mates poor qualifying.
      I never heard from Alo about how that penalty should have been served earlier.
      Mate, deal with what is on your own plate, stop looking at others.
      I can’t help but think this was a diversive taktik to try and unify his country men to the ‘enemy’ and not notice how poor his performance was.

      1. bernification
        27th June 2010, 23:20

        Sorry, meant rosbergs penalty.

  6. Hamilton’s Indecision leads to Alonso blaming him for the incident that left him in 9th. Had Hamilton not slowed probably both drivers would have been able to pass the line without penalization; maybe alonso would have been the only one taking a drive through. It is an incident similar to the one in Monaco when Michael overtook Alonso at the line.

    I do not blame Hamilton for what happened to Alonso (having to go one slow lap before being able to pit) but I do think that the penalty should have been harsher if not taken a lot quicker. Maybe a stop and go for 5 sec (about avg pitstop) because Since Hamilton did not have to stop in the pitlane (he only slow downs to abou half the speed, it aids him in not losing much time (0-100km/h in an F1 car is about 2 sec) which could have put him on Kobayashi or Buttons sight at the very least.

  7. I think the point is how far the outcome of the decission from the stewards is from “what it should happen”

    lap 8: Hamilton surpases the SC
    lap 9: Hamilton sees black flag (or stop and go, or drive through)
    lap 10: Hamilton got the penalty

    That would be with good stewarding, with no one complaining but only for the bad luck. How far is that from what actually happened? I think that’s the way to know if there was good stewarding or not.

  8. F1 would do better by directly giving the championship to Hamilton… I am sure that same will happen again and again, now they will add a rule for everyone else so they can not do what Hamilton did.
    F1 rules are created by Hamilton.

    Hamilton is the biggest cheater in the history of F1, and there are a lot of examples.

    1. Hyperbole much?

    2. What are the examples then?

    3. I love this. When a driver someone likes exploits the grey areas in the regulations, it’s pushing the boundaries and being clever but when it’s someone else, it’s cheating.

      1. I concur. (comment too short)

        1. bernification
          27th June 2010, 23:31

          Ron, you are tripping.

          I have watched F1 for years, and I have never seen so many punishments handed out for things that have happened for 20 or 30 years that Hamilton has suffered.
          Raikonnen, lap after lap, out broke himself at the first corner in Spa, using the staight line speed advantage he gained to pass a few times- no penalty.
          Raikonnen closes Hamilton into a corner, where the only- I repeat ONLY- thing Hamilton can do, is take the grass AND let him back in front- Penalty Hamilton.
          Japan- how many times I have seen drivers out-brake themselves into a first corner- hundreds.
          How many penalties-1 Hamilton.

          You really have no idea!

          But I’d be willing to sink a cold one and discuss! (As most people here would).

  9. bah, there’s never an F1 season where a driver/team gets shafted by the FIA – thankfully this time it was Ferrari.

    I suppose kudos for Alonso for having the mental capacity to whinge at 300kp/h.

  10. Ciaran Bodenham
    27th June 2010, 16:58

    Always play fair Alonso? It seems most of the teams are still somewhat bemused by your interpretation of fair following that “filming” day…

  11. Good race by Ham, he did something wrong and got penalized. Another thing is how big that penalty was, and it was in fact nothing, Whitting already knew the drive-through would keep him in the same position. In the meantime these other 9 pilots may get a much bitter penalty than Ham. We are talking about justice here, and the guy doing the justice has failed deeply. I expect Charlie will be resigning this week. And let´s not forget that from next race onwards whoever does what Ham did today will be disqualified, bet new rule this week. This is our loved F1 justice.

    1. Jhonnie Siggie
      27th June 2010, 17:28

      Haha what a silly and extreme post. You are wrong on almost every count. Charlie will not reign. No new rules will be written. And there will be no disqualificatins.

      You like alonso feel mad at the moment but you now sure why. Maybe you are mad that your man was caught on the wrong end of the safety car rules? Ask yourself, would you be making this same angry post if Alo was P2 and Ham was P3 when the SC was deployed? I think not!!

  12. Jhonnie Siggie
    27th June 2010, 17:04

    Alonso complained over the radio that Hamilton deliberately backed off and caused the safety car to come out in front of him. When Ferrari complained to race control, they might have mentioned that rather than Hamilton passing the safety car – 2 separate issues. I’m thinking that this might have diverted the attention of race control from the real violation.

    In the end I think we saw proper justice. Lewis erred as he had several times in the past and he got a penalty. Alonso wants Lewis’ race to be ruined because of a borderline mistake that could have been made by anyone. This is what you would expect from any competitive animal so I understand his madness. However, Lewis was helped by Mr. Kobiyashi over whom he had no control. Alonso might as well argue that hurricanes and earthquakes are unfair.

  13. my 2pence worth, if ham hadnt slowed before the s/c line and hesitated like he did alonso nstill wouldnt hav got past the safety car. thus bein el grumpo still would’ve been were he was. alonso’s startin to lose his nous and the plot end of

    1. Jhonnie Siggie
      27th June 2010, 17:17

      I agree with you. I think he knows he is mad, but he isnt sure why. Kobayashi’s strategy ended up helping Hamilton big time so maybe Alonso is feeling like slapping poor Kamui now :)

  14. I for one think the safety car was to enable Vettel win. Don’t they wave through the folllowing pack while waiting for the lead driver?

  15. Pretty rich coming from a driver who should have been banned from the sport for being involved in race-fixing, and a team who spends at least 50% of their track time cheating.

    End of.

    1. ‘50% of their track time cheating’… are you serious?

      1. Either cheating or moaning, bue yeah, pretty much.

        1. Hmm, matt88 had it right when he asked “are you serious?”, to which your answer should clearly be a resounding “no”.

          1. I’m entitled to my opinion. My opinion is that for a lot of the time I have been watching F1, Ferrari seem to have been at the centre of more scandles than any other team. So I’m sorry that my opinion doesn’t line up with yours, and my answer should clearly be a resounding whatever I want it to be.

      2. bernification
        27th June 2010, 23:38

        Well, yeah, Ferrari had a Veto for years on anyones parts, should they prove to be competitive.

        Ans Alonso, if he had any intelligence, when asked, do you consider this win valid (singapore 08) would have said ‘No’.

        That is one of many reasons people don’t like him.

  16. The result of Singapore 2008 was “unreal and unfair” but that still stood!

  17. It was funny to see someone actually overtake SC. Something I thought I’d never seen. Stewards were extremely slow in making an easy decision and gave Hamilton 2nd place that he didn’t deserve.

    After this incident and all the reprimands Hamilton has gotten I hope I’ll never have to hear about “Hamilton chase” anymore.

  18. Ferrari got screwed big time today. It’s one thing loosing out because of a bad strategy call but for the safety car to screw up Ferrari like that was totally dumb. The pace car should either pick up the leader or let all the cars pass and circulate at a controlled speed until the leaders catch up again. Obvioulsy a bad call form the stewards as Hamilton basically got a slap on the wrist. Fernando and Massa should have passed the pace car as well. They would have ended up with the same penalalty and basically still finished 3rd and 4th as they were keeping the same pace as Hamilton.

    1. Jhonnie Siggie
      27th June 2010, 17:36

      Why dont people get it. Alonso was not wronged by Hamilton. Hamilton drove to the lap time delta he received in the cockpit. He then saw the SC besides him and he made the wrong decision in the heat of the moment. Ferrari were really wronged by the fact that Webber went airborne. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Button was in the ideal place to capitalise.

      End this silliness about Lewis getting a mild penalty and curse Ferrari’s luck instead. Or maybe view it as Karma/payback for Ferrari abusing the filming loophole to test new parts.

      1. It reminded me of Le Mans this year: SC due to Nigel Mansell crashing: All Audi got behind a 3rd safety car because they had not passed a GT car that had to slow for said SC; At the end, Peugot were 40 seconds ahead by having the 1st SC.

        Audi blamed the GT, but really it was bad timing with the SC3 coming between leading drivers.

      2. The point is that Hamilton broke the rules and got advantage. It’s true that Hamilton had little time to make his decision but that’s irrelevant.

        The idea of penalties is to ensure that a) drivers won’t brake the rules b) even if they do, the unfair advantage that they get will be taken away.

        1. Jhonnie Siggie
          27th June 2010, 18:52

          The crazy thing is that we wouldn’t be having this discussion if Kobayashi wasn’t so slow. Ham would have lost positions and you would be happy. Seems to me like you’re mad at lewis’ good fortune. There was no unfair advantage.

          If you want to make the case that the stewards took too long then fine. Go look at previous races and see how long they typically take. If they usually take a similar amount of time then you have no case. If they took much longer than the norm, then the race might be seen as manipulated. In the mean time, all Alonso and Ferrari fans can do is vent ignorantly. It sucks too lose, we get it.

          1. Sigh. Stop fuming and take a look on what I actually wrote. The fact is that Hamilton got advantage because of braking rules (or are you saying that he’d been 2nd even if he didn’t overtake the SC?). Of course it was due to KOB and stewards being slow but still Hamilton got unfair advantage.

            SC was out several laps and there was enough time to make a decision. Normally when it’s clear that a driver has broken the rules (like when a driver cuts the line after pits) stewards are really fast in making a decision. This was also a very simple case and it’s a shame stewards weren’t faster than that.

            I’m not saying the results were manipulated, I’m just saying Hamilton got a very lucky 2nd place that he didn’t deserve due to slow actions from stewards. It’s not Hamilton’s fault stewards were so bad, but arguing that stewards did fine and the only problem was KOB’s slowness and that Hamilton was just a bit lucky is plain crap.

          2. PS I’m not a Ferrari or Alonso fan as you seem to imply. Actually, Ferrari is my least favourite team. I just wan’t the rules and penalties be fair and same to everyone.

          3. Jhonnie Siggie
            27th June 2010, 20:21

            We agree that the objective of penalties is to more than cancel out any potential gain from breaking the rule. Lewis got the penalty as per the rule book and served it. Your beef is that you didn’t think it was timely enough and didn’t have the desired outcome. I call the Ferrari venting ignorant because they have not produced any proof showing that the timing of the ruling proved the FIA wanted to manipulate the race. What I see is that a bunch of folks here simply want to regurgitate Ferrari talking points. What I will say to Ferrari is put up or shut up. Prove that the Stewards took an unusually long time to punish Lewis before making silly claims.

            The other funny thing is that Alonso was complaining on the radio that Lewis backed off too much thus causing him to fall behind the SC. Alonso would have had no problem just making it ahead of the SC only to have Massa caught out. So excuse me if all I see is whining because they lost.

          4. Jhonnie Siggie
            27th June 2010, 20:39

            @Hotbottoms. It’s not personal. We know you’re not very partisan and are simply sharing your views.

        2. bernification
          27th June 2010, 23:44

          And again, how many complained when Heidfeld gained positions and got a delayed penalty to keep his position?
          These mistakes happen continually, but no-one complains untill it’s Hamilton.

          1. Recently there has been a lot of debate concerning for instance Hamilton, Vettel, Webber, Button, Alonso and Schumacher. What they have in common is that they are all top drivers and any of them (excluding Schumacher) could win the championship. Heidfeld is not a top driver and thus it’s natural his actions won’t get the same amount of attention.

  19. Ferrari have become a joke.

    From constant irrelevant whining about the new teams to this. It was a Safety Car period, people were busy elsewhere, and in the end Hamilton got a penalty anyway. The penalty is going through the pitlane, not swapping cars around for Ferrari’s liking.

    Considering after all the dodgy stewards’ decisions that have gone Ferrari’s way in recent years (Bourdais on Massa to name the most ridiculous), and to hear Alonso accusing Hamilton of fixing things after he himself benefited from the worst act of cheating in F1 ever in Singapore – it’s pathetic how childish they are being? ‘It’s not fair?’ – life isn’t fair, you arrogant sore losers.

    I’ve always kept out of the team rivalries. I don’t support the teams my favourite drivers drive for, so I have no need. But this for me is the final nail in the coffin as far as my respect for Ferrari goes. Completely lacking in class.

    1. I raise my cup to you. Well said.

    2. Jhonnie Siggie
      27th June 2010, 19:15

      Yes well said indeed. All I get from these moronic comments, is that the folks at Ferrari are mad. Mad that they came out the losers. If Kobayashi didn’t create a gap and Ham had lost positions, they wouldn’t be venting now. They should be mad at karma rather than than Ham or the stewards. I often hear ppl say karma can be a b****. Maybe this is payback for Ferrari abusing the filming days rule to test.

  20. What really ****** Alonso off is that Hamilton slowed down intentionally to keep Alonso behind the SC taking the risk of falling himself behind the safety car, which he did but avoided with the trick and all ended up ok for him. If I was Alonso, I would be ****** too. He is human.

    The Pits should stay closed until the cars are ordered behind the SC in the same positions o the time of deployment.

    1. I think you’re giving Hami way to much credit here. He doesn’t have that much time to plan that scheme. It was all reaction and split second decision making. Unfortunately, he made the wrong decision and was punished for passing the SC.

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