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. 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

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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?

  3. 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.

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

    1. agreed… the current system does not work obviously

    2. 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.

      1. 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

  5. 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.

  6. As for the HAM drive through, So speeding under yellows is less dangerous than beating the safety car by 3mts, if you can persuade me different then go ahead.

  7. Between Alonzo and Ferrari one wonders if they are really professionals or a bunch of whining losers.
    The only time they are happy is when they are winning and leaders of the championships.
    They need to wake up and understand that they have to compete the same way everyone else does.
    It is unfortunate that Kobayashi was slow at that point of the race but that is how it goes. If they had such a wonderful car why were they not able to catch him and Button up and get by? Of course as we have seen Alonzo never makes mistakes that cause him issues such a putting your car in the wrong place out of 2 at Montreal with Button on your tail pipes or spinning the car into the wall.
    I for one am getting tired about Luca and Alonzo whining all the time. F1 was but is no longer all about you and if you don’t like it leave. Please!

  8. I am thoroughly sick of Alonso whining. He really ought to either grow a pair or retire.

  9. I’ve not read all the comments so apologies if someone else has raised this, but watching it again, first off, the safety car crosses the pit lane white line on the way out, and enters the circuit way before the SC line, this should certainly not be allowed for the safety car for the same safety reasons that the competitiors can’t do so. Then, it looks like Lewis is just cruising past the safety car, he’s easily going to make it to the first safety car line before the safety car does, but then the safety car just boots it, he takes off like he’s trying to desparately get to the line before Hamilton…(cont’d)

    1. I beleive Hamilton was unsure weather to pass or not, that hesitation cost him the penalty.

      However Alonso saw it as a move to block Alonso from passing the safty car with Lewis. This is why Alonso is so angry.

  10. … Then, Hamilton has already put his boot down to try to make sure he gets to the SC line before the safety car does, and having done so, despite reaching the line after the SC, he can’t help but overtake it momentarily after they both pass the line. Unlucky circumstances but I can’t see Hamilton was deliberately trying to manipulate the situation. He slowed down at the start finish line as he must, but name me a driver who wouldn’t have tried to keep enough pace up to at least beat the SC to the SC line?

  11. My friends summed this whole thing up perfectly for me:

    “If it was Alonso who had jumped the SC and pulled out the gap, his fans would say it was opportunistic and daring of him to do so. But, because its Hamilton and McLaren, of all people, that have done this, its a scandal”

    Personally I think it shows that race control is still an asylum for the incompetent, the kind of people who open a door, say you go first, the other says no you, then they argue for half an hour…

  12. David Watkins
    27th June 2010, 18:30

    Hamilton was a bit unlucky to have been put in that situation and he gambled

    The only reason it paid off was the RC’s slowness to act. They clearly don’t have the systems in place to adjudicate mid-race in a timely and accurate manner and this has to change.

    Having said that, Alonso’s obsession with Hamilton was unsavoury and a further indication that he is just not the same driver he was in 2005-2006. His radio messages spoke of a desperate man looking to let off steam. And leaving the door open for Kobayashi like that was criminal.

    Still, let’s enjoy the spectacle Alonso fanboys jumping up and down and parading their massive inferiority complex against a massive, ridiculous conspiracy by the ENGLISH MaFIA!

    1. I think any driver would have complained about any other driver overtaking the SC and gaining an advantage just in front of them.

      1. David Watkins
        27th June 2010, 18:51

        They would. And then would have got on with using their superior car to pass the inferior cars in front of them.

        Alonso didn’t do that

      2. Are you forgetting the radio message Alonso gave after Hamilton served his penalty? ‘Where is Hamilton now?’ Like it matters to him at the point in the race? Shouldn’t he be concentrating on his own race instead of worrying about what someone well ahead of him is doing? Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s an absolutely fantastic driver but he’s also such a sore loser as well.

        1. Well of course he would ask where Hamilton was, they are in competition and it is relative position which is of interest in the championship standings.

          And it looks like they’re all sore losers!

  13. Shame on Hamilton and shame on the race control. Today’s race showed that according to FIA’s regulation not respecting the rules is the best strategy. A drive through when you have your place safe?? What a joke!! And what about the five second penalty!! I though they just could get 20,30 scs or a grid penalty… I just hope that HAM does not win the Champ because of the extra points he robbed today.

  14. “Ads21 says:
    June 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm
    the point is Hamilton benifited from breaking the rules and Alonso lost out by obeying them”

    This is what people need to understand. Hamilton and McLaren got caught doing an illegal pit stop. They’re a professional team and are will to take the penalty for the rule they broke. It’s the FiA’s fault for letting get a huge gap before even calling the penalty.

    The 5s penalties are also a tremendous gray area. In the end, these teams broke the rules and should have been penalized. It’s the FiA’s fault again for not being timely in the penalties and skewing the results again.

    The FIA needs to get it’s crap together. They need to make stop go penalties to ALL safety car and pitting infractions. They need to stop the penalties that come after the race. If a car get a penalty in the final laps, make the call before they get back to the garage. They have plenty of resources to do this. Whether they’re logical (like in the case) or just completely stupid,I’m tired of watching a race and not knowing if those results are going to be changed when the cars are on the bus headed home.

  15. Alonso just got back what he did to Hamilton years ago in the pitlane.

    1. Good Call an well remembered!, though I doudt that was the thnking during HAM`s calculating an mistaken overtake of SC.

      1. Sorry to quaduaple post, but do you remember Ron Dennis going mental, I think that was the beginning of the end for Fernando.

  16. Lol forgot to mention `Ferrari cry scandel`, I dont know whether to laugh or cry after the footy, pot an kettle come to mind.

  17. It is funny how alonso says they have to apologize to the 70 thousand fans who went to see the race, yet he never apologized to the ones who went to the singapore grand prix in 2008…. he only said “no comment” to them.

  18. C’mon people. The whole issue is that Alonso once again failed to beat Lewis. That’s his dilemma and crying out the whole race on the radio about it made Ferrari called it a ‘scandal’…ferrari and scandals hmmmmm that’s an interesting issue don’t you agree. Of course they are the only team that does everything right!! And what about Alonso ??? Let’s ask that to Nelson Piquet jr….Just because Alonso’s name was cleared doesn’t mean he hadn’t had anything to do with it.

  19. Sorry, I watched the matter over and over after Alonso complained DURING the time the SC was out that Hamilton slowed down to push him and Masa behind the SC. Hamilton then sped up and “Beat” the safety car. If he did not complain I would not have gone back on my PVR to check. IMHO the FIA should pull the telemetry and go over it carefully.
    IF and I repeat IF I am correct IMHO Hamilton should have received a Black flag. It really is a pity that racing is marred by this type of incidence.

  20. Alonso and Ferrari should stop whining. Hamilton hesitated because he didn’t know whether to pass the safety car or not – it clearly wasn’t intended to make Alonso suffer. They’ve benefitted from too many calls in their favour in the past and numerous instances where they’ve screwed over other teams so it’s only fair they get one back. Perhaps he should have concentrated on his own race rather than whining about McLaren – maybe if he had, Kobayashi wouldn’t have made him look like such a chump in the closing laps and he would have gained more after the post race penalties. He clearly doesn’t like Hamilton and the more he goes on, the more he sounds like a petulant child who knows Hamilton’s better than him.

    1. Well, actually we don’t know why Hamilton hesitated. We just saw that he did.

      1. Come on – he’s comng up to the safety car, he’s got a split second to decide. All he’s thought is ‘do I overtake it or not’. No way has he had time to think ‘i’ll slow down just enough so Alonso can’t pass the safety car’ while at the same time judging it so passes the safety car just in time before it gets to the line.

        1. Interestingly, in the post-race press conference Hamilton himself does not admit to hesitating at all when he was asked directly. On the other hand, he was asked a string of questions with that being the last one, maybe he was answering the other questions only.

      2. Agreed, it is a pity that some always drag the past into the last race as if that would a cheater “less guilty”. A matter should be judged on what happened on the day and not while chewing old soup.

        I would love to see the telemetry of the incidence as it should clear the matter up for once and all.

        1. Alonso’s on board should also be revealing. I believe he thinks it was deliberate. Lewis is very sharp.

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