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.

2010 European Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 European Grand Prix articles

Advert | Go Ad-free


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

  1. Dansky said on 27th June 2010, 17:03

    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.

    • Jhonnie Siggie said on 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!!

  2. Jhonnie Siggie said on 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.

  3. jobseeker said on 27th June 2010, 17:09

    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

    • Jhonnie Siggie said on 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 :)

  4. Oliver said on 27th June 2010, 17:13

    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?

  5. 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.

    • matt88 (@matt88) said on 27th June 2010, 17:34

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

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

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

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

          • 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.

      • bernification said on 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.

  6. djdaveyp said on 27th June 2010, 17:19

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

  7. Hotbottoms said on 27th June 2010, 17:19

    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.

  8. 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.

    • Jhonnie Siggie said on 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.

      • bosyber said on 27th June 2010, 17:50

        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.

      • Hotbottoms said on 27th June 2010, 17:55

        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.

        • Jhonnie Siggie said on 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.

          • Hotbottoms said on 27th June 2010, 19:14

            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.

          • Hotbottoms said on 27th June 2010, 19:23

            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.

          • Jhonnie Siggie said on 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.

          • Jhonnie Siggie said on 27th June 2010, 20:39

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

        • bernification said on 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.

          • Hotbottoms said on 28th June 2010, 0:08

            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.

  9. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 27th June 2010, 17:37

    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.

    • Tiomkin said on 27th June 2010, 18:18

      I raise my cup to you. Well said.

    • Jhonnie Siggie said on 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.

  10. Jacaru said on 27th June 2010, 17:37

    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.

    • Allie500 said on 27th June 2010, 22:41

      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.

  11. BBT said on 27th June 2010, 17:38

    Oliver June 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm
    “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?”

    Very good point. They should off all been wave through. Half the field lost out because they (race control) messed up deploying the SC….

    …just stop and think about it what if Hamilton and the rest had stayed behind the SC? Vettel would of been 95% of a lap ahead (back of the train).

    It doesn’t make the Ham pass right and he rightly got penalised for it but it is not his fault ALO lost out.

    BTW it was by less than half a cars length, a very small error of judgement at what 70mph+ maybe 100mph

    • Agreed. If the SC had’ve just picked up the leader like it is *supposed* to, then none of this would’ve occurred. It’s not the first time the deployment of the SC has left a lot to be desired, and perhaps the FIA should spend some time fine tuning the process.

  12. newnhamlea1 (@newnhamlea1) said on 27th June 2010, 17:42

    The rules should re-introduce the closure of the pitlane during safety car periods, it would avoid all of this kerfuffle and nobody would be punished because re-fuelling is a thing of the past.

    • Bullfrog said on 27th June 2010, 18:13

      Well said! That was only a daft rule because people had to break it to avoid running out of fuel.

      Bringing it back would break up the mad rush too. There wasn’t much safety going on in the pitlane today, when everyone piled in at once for tyres, was there?

  13. Slim said on 27th June 2010, 17:45

    I think that theres way too many rules revolving around the safety car with the first and second lines by the pits.

    In other forms of racing there are way clearer rules revolving around the safety car. Like when theres a yellow flag, there are no positions being gained or lost and cars must get behind the safety car in formation laps before pitting.

    I think the FIA should scrap their current safety car rules completely and come up with a new system because the drivers cant even follow it.

    For example Schumi in Monaco or Hamilton in valencia, neither driver knew what they did was wrong because the rules are so unclear.

  14. Why don’t they just get rid of the SC? It causes so much trouble. Yellow flag, slow down, no overtacking, fullstop.

    • Slim said on 27th June 2010, 17:58

      agreed… the current system does not work obviously

    • newnhamlea1 (@newnhamlea1) said on 27th June 2010, 18:01

      i disagree with that, some incidents at circuits like monaco were there are blind corners, you need a safety car to slow the pack right down and prevent any colisions with safety workers and remains of cars. You also often need a way of keeping the track clear for a few minutes and a safety car is the best way of doing that because it forms the cars up into one big group. Also the cars need a rough idea of which route to take. Without a safety car, you would have to red flag the race for incidents like webbers.

      • Slim said on 27th June 2010, 18:17

        Right i dont agree that the car should be removed but i do agree with “Yellow flag, slow down, no overtaking.”(system being revised) The safety car is for the drivers’ and the marshals’ safety. Racing is not important during a time when a wreck is being cleared. Becuase honestly its poor sportsmanship to use SC to overtake when someone could be seriously injured on the track. racing must stop during sc period

  15. Gusto said on 27th June 2010, 18:11

    If Alonso spent less time crying an more time racing He might of done better, an why no safety car when there was a glass bottle on the track?, You all know the answer.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.