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.

2010 European Grand Prix

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

  1. I am quite unhappy about F1fantic Liveblog as when i was commenting there and stating the obvious that Alonso was very unhappy and that he was crying, i was given a warning. I mean look at him and Ferrari now. Aren’t they overreacting and crying more than necessary. These kind of things happen for example not so long ago in 2008 Singapore GP where Nico rosberg was also in a similar position, he was running P2 got a penalty but still kept P2. We didn’t hear others crying a lot about it.
    And talking about luck, what about Alonso himself in 2008 singapore GP, nobody questioned his win at that time. Okay maybe some little talk but nothing serious. Wasn’t he got extremely lucky(cheating actually) there.
    Also so many other drivers today were also found to break one or the other Safety car rules so why getting so frustrated at only one person. He also made mistake during safety car period just like many others.

    Hamilton took his penalty and because of Kobyashi he got lucky but Hamilton can’t control the luck. Alonso just wants Hamilton to do bad THAT IS IT.
    I was one of his big fans but not any more. The guy is only happy when everything is going okay otherwise just blame others especially Hamilton for no reason.

    Alonso needs to grow up. I would always say Alonso was crying crying and crying during and after the European GP. Now if somebody don’t like the truth than i can’t help it.

  2. Overtaking the safety car itself is a serious offence in any form of motor racing and should have been hit with a more serious penalty than a mere drive-through. Intent does not come into it, what Hamilton did could have been extremely dangerous. In situations such as these drivers should be encouraged to err on the side of caution rather than risk whatever they might be able to get away with.

  3. Agree. I have lost all respect for both Ferrari and Alonso. I think they should be made to apologise for the “scandal” reference. It was a slightly confusing incident which worked to their disadvantage – which was a shame. A scandal it was not.

  4. Well i’m sorry too Johan but please think about it for a moment…why would Lewis do that?? backing Alonso and risking his own race for a penalty..it’s a decision you have to take in a split second and so he did unlikely like Alonso who had the whole race the time to think about how to complain….and so what he was ninth??? I don’t remember Lewis was driving the Ferrari so how did he spoiled Alonso’s race? What did Alonso forgot how to overtake other people and fight back to the top?? I hope he learned from Kobayashi that he indeed can overtake in Valencia

    1. He would back Alonso up behind the SC while staying in front of the SC and so end up in a better position. I think he misjudged and got a late slap on the wrist 20 laps later. Obviously we cannot be sure about this before someone has a look at the telemetry. Somehow I doubt that Maca will publish the telemetry without the FIA asking for it. Remember Alonso was complaining about it while the SC was still on track.

  5. HAM came out to Alonso`s consternation in the same position, and then cryed for the rest of the race, He was taken by KOB in the last few laps an Massa came in nowhere, Apart from the Team wanting, there is a question in there Team Selection.

  6. Some good comments from planet-f1.com

    “This is the same Alonso that won in Singapore in 2008 entirely due to the safety car – which came out because his team-mate deliberatley crashed? Now THAT is what I call race manipulation.”

    “How can Alonso complain about a manipulation, when Ferrari MANIPULATED a photo shoot to become a TEST of their new exhaust system”

    “Ha Ha Ha. go Koby, show moaning Alonso how to overtake a Torro Rosso”

    Also add Belgium 2008, Ferrari was favoured. Hamilton got unlucky.

    Bottom line everybody gets lucky and unlucky at some races. Ferrari(and their drivers) have been lucky and favoured more than anybody else. Fact.
    So they shouldn’t complain when others get little lucky.

  7. What about the Ferrari ‘scandal’ Rubens barrichello in Michael Schumacher on the A1 grand prix….i’m sorry to go a long way back but if one wants to comment on the actions of another one should always have a look to itself before doing that

    1. With all respect…. What does that have to do with the current question?

      1. Double standards from Ferrari, as always, that’s what.

  8. More bleating from the red team!!! I honestly don’t think there was going to be an investigation had Alonso not moaned on the radio. Even after the penalty he was more interested in Hamiltons possition than his own…. How does the song go?? “Shut up and drive!”

    The fact is if Hamilton had not hesitated he would have crossed the line infront of the safety car anyhow… Vetel was past and did not get a penalty.

    Alonso would have not made it and the result would have been no different. The what if bregade can say what they want. The fact is Hamilton took a penalty and through a bit of luck kept his position. There was no big debate last year with Mark Webber when he aced his drive through and went on to win.

    For me we were robbed today of a Hamilton Vetel scrap that could have been really interesting. An other Valencia bore as a result.

  9. Well Lewis wasn’t that lucky at all if you think about it..if he hadn’t have got the penalty surely he would have give us a nice show as always..maybe winning the race or not..

    I guess we will have to wait for that a little longer

  10. Of course, my opinion might change if some McLaren radio traffic comes out instructing Hamilton to delay Alonso. Really wish Hamilton and McLaren could avoid controversy.

  11. The point was made by someone else.
    NASCAR picks up the leader with the pace car and everyone else ahead comes to the back of the field in order. Of course this is done under a full course yellow. Why does F1 have such issues with the SC. It is simple to fix.
    A) When a sc is necessary throw full course yellow. There is no passing at that point anywhere on track and speed is limited to X mph depending on the track. Pits are closed.
    B) SC picks up the leader.
    C) All those physically ahead of the leader can proceed under caution to the back of the field in the order they were in when the yellow was thrown thrown i.e. no passing unless a car pulls off the track with a failure.
    D) When the field is organized behind the leader pit open under yellow.
    E) When Race Control determines the track is once again safe it informs the teams when the SC will be coming off the track.
    F) There is to be no passing until the start finish line is crossed by any car.
    Why is this such a contraversy? Is the FIA and FOTA so stiff necked it cannot learn from other series?
    This is tedious.

    1. MacademiaNut
      27th June 2010, 23:48

      After all, F1 needs to learn a thing or two from Nascar. :)

  12. It is clear that these people do not know how to handle this championship. It is very sad to be arguing about all this. The rules are not clear, they make things up everytime there is some controversy, and it is continuos improvisation…
    So sad.

  13. FiA took only Five laps to penalize HAM after they viewed the incident. Not 15 or 30 as most people are saying

    Issues are FiA didn’t see the incident in first place
    Nine other cars should of had drive through penalties
    And Ferrari and Alonso need to stop getting so hung up on HAM and Mclaren and just go racing … jeez

    1. Also I do not like how this safety car is a lottery surely they should pick up the race leader and close the pits unless u go in before the safety car is deployed

  14. you’ll all be so happy when ferrari announce they are leaving at the end of 2012. it will be good for them too, they dont need formula one.

  15. Nice to see that the subject has been left alone in general. 160 plus comments, looks like there is something to defend……..

    1. I suppose when Ferrari shut up, we’ll all shut up.

  16. If the complaint had come from someone else, it would probably have been taken more seriously – but coming as it does from Alonso (“I don’t care what happens to Hamilton!”, “If it’s the only thing you guys do today, get on the stewards to punish Hamilton!”), one takes it with a pinch of salt.
    Having said that, the drive-through penalty robbed us of a real scrap for the winner’s position, and I am not too sure Vettel would have survived Lewis’ pressure.
    Meanwhile, as usual, no one is mentioning it, but Button drove a fantastic race – boring but steady, worked out in the end for him. I’d rather watch Lewis, though, anyday!

  17. Bartholomew
    27th June 2010, 19:53

    In the next few days Lou diMonty will step up to the microphone to rap about this subject.
    Independently of the rules, McLaren have a much better race management team than Ferrari. Telepathic influence from Ron in England reaches all the way to the race team and enhances their smartness.

  18. Too many comments in this post are anti-alonso, anti-ferrari, pro-uk. You should all be less biased and more objective.

  19. Alonso’s head is a shambles, McLaren and Hamilton should take every opportunity from here on out to ratchet up the pressure.
    He has cracked again. Sledge him, let’s see him pop wide-open.

    Ferrari PR has become a paddock joke, a complete joke. Assuming this latest sorry installment of petulant nonsense doesn’t all come from the top, (big assumption) then they need to clean shop and get a grip.

    They are supposed to be a grown-up professional sports organisation, they should be ashamed of themselves.
    They make themselves and an historical marque look and sound childish, spoiled and foolish.
    Not good, it’s much too embarrassing to watch.

  20. Funny thing is, Gary Anderson, who comments now on Star Sports knows and perhaps have forgotten more about F1 than many of us put together, considered this to be another incident which may be setting a precedent. Not my words, but they are his and anyone watching on Star Sports would know this as well. This was clearly an infringement, though it took Alonso’s call to team and then one from Ferrari to stewards. Whether or not Alonso called in on him is pointless, Hamilton did infringe. Mind you, i’m not yet calling it deliberate and i won’t unless i have proof for the same. At that point, Alonso was right on Hamilton’s tail when Hamilton went past the safety car. This did give him an advantage as Alonso ended up rather poorly and had Hamilton stayed there, he’d have been somewhere in the middle with Alonso (may be one or two places up), instead of running P2.

    Another thing that he cited was that the pit-lane is shorter than at many other tracks and instead of around 20 seconds that it takes for a driver through, it took only 14-15. At this point he went on to suggest a 20 second penalty to have been more appropriate, than a driver through.

    I was thinking that infringing safety rules in F1 would merit a stiffer penalty, both for the team and the driver. However, not having any knowledge of the penalties that could be imposed in such a scenario, where a team and driver infringe safety rules (i consider it to be a different scenario than merely infringing yet another rule)… i guess the stewards did what they had to work with.

    FIA however, should land one on the derrier of the Team McMerc and Hamilton, who has well, there’s no better way to put it, found himself gaining something from infringing rules… I mean, if it happened the first time, you could let it slide… then there was Canada :P

    Better race control is indeed the need of the hour.

    Oh yeah, Germany won… What a victory. What a shame that the ref didn’t notice the superb effort from Lampard though.

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