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”

  1. sumedh said on 27th June 2010, 16:30

    I agree with Keith.

    Very appropriately, he has given the blame to the slow stewarding and not to either Alonso or Hamilton.

    Formula One is a fast sport. The fastest one infact. Why the hell is its stewarding the slowest!!

  2. Ade said on 27th June 2010, 16:31

    Alonso’s race was destroyed once the SC is out after he passed the pit lane, while Button and the other people behind him did not and could still pit under SC. It’s unlucky for Alonso and the same thing happened to other drivers before. but Alonso talks like it was Hamilton who destroyed his race, not unless he intended to overtake the SC under yellow as well, but could not because do so because of Hamilton.

    I LOLed after Hamilton came out in 2nd after his DT, thinking how Alonso is about to explode in his cockpit, hahaha.

  3. MacademiaNut said on 27th June 2010, 16:32

    So, let’s get this straight. ALO is complaining that HAM shouldn’t have overtaken the safety car and should have been penalized. Let’s just say HAM was behind ALO, it still would have had ALO exactly where he was after the pit stop (just HAM behind). If HAM had not passed the safety car, ALO would be in the same position, jus that HAM would have been one ahead of him.

    Is he saying that had HAM not slowed and then overtook the safety car, they both could have passed the safety car in time?

    • DaveW said on 27th June 2010, 20:20

      This is the essential comment, Mr. Nut. And more to the point, they both would have been harmed because of Kobayashi’s dawdling. The sum of Ferrari’s comments is that it doesn not really matter what happened to them, as long as Lewis Hamilton suffered as well. The fact that KOB drank Fred’s milkshake again at the end just makes Alonso look like a hack as well as a fool as well as a whiner.

      Sorry if its brought up below, but I find it ironic that Fred’s fail with Kobayashi at the end is the kind of thing that got Trulli sacked from Renault, when Fred was in the other car, at Magny Cours. Trulli had to have a wry smile when he learned of this shocking bit of hackery.

    • hollus said on 27th June 2010, 20:25

      He implies exactly that. Had Hamilton raced on, Alonso would also have had time to pass the SC, but that’s an “if” point.
      What Alonso said (in the spanish press, they usually cite him to the end of the cite) was that “Vettel should have won, but Hamilton should have been 8th and Alonso himself 9th”

      • DaveW said on 27th June 2010, 20:54

        Fair enough and thanks for sorting out the usually misleading press quotes. But I have a hard time reconciling the specific comments about manipulation and injustice with the purpose of wanting the man who finished P2 to have been only less far ahead. Does Ferrari think they are only racing Hamilton for the WDC? Button must feel rather slighted by Ferrari’s drama.

        • Ilanin said on 27th June 2010, 21:13

          I imagine Button would be delighted to play the Kimi Raikkonen role in an Alonso/Hamilton battle.

  4. Pingguest said on 27th June 2010, 16:33

    I think we really should get rid of the Safety Car. There are better and fairer alternatives. Let’s use the alternatives.

  5. MacademiaNut said on 27th June 2010, 16:33

    Yeah.. ALO’s race being destroyed is because of the safety car, not because of HAM jumping ahead of the SC.

    • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 27th June 2010, 16:40

      That’s not Alonso’s complaint though. Ham’s rcae didn’t get ruined. He got ahead. Alo never had a chance of beating him because of what happened. He doesn’t blame Ham for ruining his race but that the whole incident wasn’t fair

      • the point is Hamilton benifited from breaking the rules and Alonso lost out by obeying them

        • Maverick_23 said on 27th June 2010, 18:32

          Not intentionally breaking the rules tho. We all saw his indecision on the on-board.

          I believe the problem was a slowly deployed safety car. It took an age from the time of the crash to the SC to get out on track. Yeah we all know drivers are told the SCs been deployed but you dont expect for it to pick you up when your running P2 when there is enough time for it to pick up the leader. Least of all running side by side with it down to turn 2.

          So, Poor race control IMO.

          Im in agreement that HAM broke the rules and was given correct punishment.
          I also agree the ALO was hard done by. But calling the race result “unfair and “a scandal” is a bit of overeacting i think.

          Singapore 08, Now thats a scandal…

  6. SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 27th June 2010, 16:36

    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!

  7. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion said on 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.

  8. Lex said on 27th June 2010, 16:38

    following the live timing on, 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…

    • Blog Raider said on 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!

  9. matt88 (@matt88) said on 27th June 2010, 16:41

    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.

    • bernification said on 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?

  10. Tim said on 27th June 2010, 16:42

    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.

    • bernification said on 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.

  11. F1NATIC said on 27th June 2010, 16:43

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Ron said on 27th June 2010, 16:50

    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.

    • Robbie said on 27th June 2010, 16:57

      Hyperbole much?

    • thespuditron (@thespuditron) said on 27th June 2010, 17:06

      What are the examples then?

    • TomD11 (@tomd11) said on 27th June 2010, 18:40

      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.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 27th June 2010, 19:36

        I concur. (comment too short)

        • bernification said on 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).

  14. Renell said on 27th June 2010, 16:53

    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.

  15. Ciaran Bodenham said on 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…

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