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. Unfortunately I could only see the four hour delayed FOX tape of the race, -which in retrospect is probably why F1 is not popular in the US!! Apart from harping on about how the US was robbed in the world cup by a “disallowed” goal -the commentators were blatently pro everyone except Hamilton, who they called a “cheat”.
    As everyone knows the US cannot win anything without a “judge” -or an unfair advantage but my concern is that I have no choice but to watch the FOX broadcast in two weeks if I want to see Silverstone!
    To me Hamilton clearly was not certain what to do – but imagine if he had been ahead and did not go for it what the team would have said!!
    Why is not simply that the pace car picks up the leading car -and if it is deployed late it has to
    overtake the cars in front of it under the yellow and until it does so & passes the pits in the lead – no pitting is allowed until the next lap??

  2. tactical said on 28th June 2010, 1:57


    regarding Singapore Alonso clearly stated his position: ‘I risked my life that day as in any other race’ Judge that as you wish, but that sentence sums it all, and I believe him.

    Today we saw, again, a man apparently specialized in ‘bending’ the rules, ‘again’, being ‘lucky’, once again.

    By the way, Hamilton had to change front wing during pitstop… Quite a good reason to… ‘hesitate’.

    Keep the good work anyways Keith.

  3. Ferhahahahari said on 28th June 2010, 3:09

    Alonso deserves some credit. It must be vewy scawy faw a wittle girl competing at this level

  4. Prisoner Monkeys said on 28th June 2010, 3:09

    I still think Ferrari brought those penalties down on the other drivers because they didn’t like the way Hamilton’s situation was handled. They expected to be racing Hamilton after the stops, and when they weren’t, they decided to bring about action from the stewards in the hopes of getting nine twenty-five second penalties issued, which would have promoted Alonso to fourth. That someone would be willing to alter the race outcome like that just because one ruling didn’t go their way really rankles. There’s your disgrace, Ferrari. It’s you.

    • Ady (@ady) said on 28th June 2010, 7:58

      I agree, I beieive that the in-lap speeds where typical of other GP. Exept no one thought to complain in previous GP.

      I assume that the reason for the low penalties was more to stop other teams from trying this tactic to gain places in the future.

      They were caught doing 31 in a 30 zone. Technically against the rules but so minor it doesn’t affect safety.

    • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 28th June 2010, 8:27

      “I still think Ferrari brought those penalties down on the other drivers because they didn’t like the way Hamilton’s situation was handled”

      Well maybe but the fact is if a team complains it should be looked in to. If rules are broken they should be punished. There’s no way to spin that.

      Ferrari’s attitude may not have been to your liking but if all the other cars hadn’t ahve breached the rules then surely they wouldn’t have been punished? Or if no-one bothered to notice and they got away with it then that isn’t the best example either.

  5. How unfair is it that the driver who qualified third, took second place off the line and had the pace to challenge for the win should end up finishing on the podium


    Seriously, fans bitch and moan when the safety car interferes with the result but apparently only when it affects their favorite driver? 2nd was Hamilton’s rightful place to the take given the pace he had and the race he was driving. It was unlucky for Alonso to have been stuck behind the safety car for sure but to whine about Hamilton is simply schadenfreude. What if the safety car had come out five seconds earlier and caught Vettel. Would a result of Vettel 8th, Hamilton 9th, Alonso 10th be a fair result? Would a Button race victory in a weekend he was out-qualified by a Renault and two Ferrari’s be more justified than Hamilton’s 2nd?

    Why didn’t Fernando Alonso call F1 a scam and cut up his superlicense when he learned he only won the Singapore Grand Prix as a result of the most deliberate race fixing scandal the sport has seen in decades?

    Fernando should take the advice of his race engineer.

    Australian Autosport Community

    • Mike said on 28th June 2010, 3:53

      Matt, did Hamilton pass thew safety car after the line?

      if so, then why did they wait so long to penalise him?

      It doesn’t matter what his “rightful place” was. that’s just a load of rubbish, they should have penalised him straight away and that would put Hamilton behind Alonso.

      If you can’t see why Alonso is upset you are blind.

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 28th June 2010, 4:58

        I’m willing to bet the stewards took their time about it because they were debating whether Hamilton knew he was breaking a rule. The incident happened practically on top of the safety car line, and drivers can only see the tops of their wheels – they can’t actually see the nose of the car. So it stands to reason that Hamilton couldn’t see the line at all when he physically passed the safety car. I’m willing to bet that the stewards debated this and questioned whether Hamilton knew he had done something wrong.

        • Mike said on 28th June 2010, 7:27

          I agree, But, if it is how you said it, then Alonso has every right to be angry.
          That’s the thing I was at least trying to highlight.

        • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 28th June 2010, 8:28

          The intent doesn’t really matter though. I think that’s why the stewards took so long too but the rule was broken and very clearly whether he meant it or not. They can’t read his mind so they should have just dealt with what they could see. I understand what they were trying to do though and I genuinely don’t think ti was deliberate but that’s just speculation.

          • BasCB said on 28th June 2010, 12:30

            I think Whiting explains here , why it happend like it happend (after Webber flying and before the incident took place) and the reason of reacting only after some time.

            The delay in penalising Hamilton was because Whiting and the stewards wanted to be absolutely sure that a penalty was justified. Hamilton at first seemed to slow down when he saw the Safety Car out of the corner of his eye, then realised that the Safety Car line was further up the road and carried on. Whether he got there before the Safety Car or not, was a close call.

            Proving it was no simple matter. Race control has the use of a GPS system but there was no back-up timing loop at that point and so they had to find footage of the incident. That was initially from the wrong angle and was inconclusive and so they had to locate aerial footage. There was also the question of exactly where the timing transponders were on Hamilton’s car and the Safety Car respectively which, if you are talking about less than a car’s length, is significant. That all needed to be checked and speeds/distances ratified.

  6. Ferhahahari said on 28th June 2010, 3:22

    Well said Matt. Perhaps another solution would be to give the italians an additional 10% engine capacity. It certainly made their motorcycles seem competetive. What a crock of poo.

  7. Mike said on 28th June 2010, 3:50

    Sadly the point here is being sorely missed…

    Of course Hamilton did not try to keep Alonso behind on purpose. But, Hamilton clearly broke a rule, and should have been penalised straight away, it wasn’t a did he or didn’t he moment, he clearly passed the safety car after the line.

    So who is at fault? the stewards, If they had got their act together and penalised him straight away, he would have dropped back a lot, and the penalty would not be another minor “controversy”.

  8. Ferhahahari said on 28th June 2010, 3:52

    It just nice chatting with sensible ppl about my love for F1. I fondly recall the days when ferrari were revered rivals, but sadly, I have come to the realisation that without the the sheer genius of the schumi of old, their true colors are shining thru. This is just another case of drooling little babies throwing a tantie when their fia cronies didnt load the dice in their favor. Welcome to the real world, its about time McLaren benefit from fia decisions, for years we have been racing their decisions alone. In outright racing car terms McLaren knocks seven sorts of snot out of anything else. Before fernando has (the borrowed) balls to call anyone a cheat, a long hard look in the mirror would be in order. The end

  9. Phil said on 28th June 2010, 3:55

    He really hates Lewis does`nt he ? I have only just realised how much damage Hamilton did to Alonso in 2007. Well, he damaged McLaren and he has damaged F1. Alonso has made rods for own back with his past behaviour, and he, like Schumacher, deserves everything he gets in my opinion. He should be concentrate on raising his own game, not trying to get Lewis penalised.

  10. David BR said on 28th June 2010, 4:37

    So. Another scenario: Hamilton doesn’t brake as he sees the safety car and goes through. Alonso follows. He misses crossing the line before the safety car by a few feet. The SC and stewards don’t notice anything untoward.

    I’m trying hard to convince myself Alonso would have called his team on the radio to complain he’d overtaken the SC, receives the penalty, but complains he’d received it too late, and then gets out of the car, picks up his 3rd place trophy, climbs down from the podium and exclaims to the media his 3rd place has been manipulated, while Ferrari complain bitterly of the scandal they’ve caused.

    Sure fire certainty that one…

    • Katy said on 28th June 2010, 12:00

      This is what I mentioned above, you just put it a lot better haha.

      • David BR said on 28th June 2010, 22:09

        Sorry Katy! Read it now. Agree totally. The point is that Alonso seems to have been annoyed that Hamilton slowed down and stopped him from passing. He might have complained if he’d overtaken the safety car only, but been so annoyed? Only because he thought Hamilton did something to him personally. So if that’s the case, he thought *he* had a chance of getting past too. Which is precisely your point above: if so, it would have been marginal at best. But Alonso would have tried anyhow. So why all the *apparent* umbrage from FA and Ferrari about a rule infringement Alonso himself would (presumably, on evidence) have been happy enough to risk?

        And in all of this I find it bizarre that Ferrari are *mad* at Hamilton’s advantage in the race, but not Vettel’s. The SC should have come out before them both and ruined everyone’s race equally! That’s what it’s there for :0)

  11. Anagh said on 28th June 2010, 5:04

    Agreed, the Stewards took a bit of time to decide the punishment, but then they always do. And for Alonso’s criticism, it’s not like Hamilton knew Kobayashi will come 3rd when the safety car pits and will block the rest of the crowd.
    It’s just a sad day for Alonso. But Ferrari is just furious it’s losing control over Formula 1. They do not have the right to call Formula 1 a scandal.

  12. Anagh said on 28th June 2010, 5:08

    Question: Is there sum rule which states that once the penalty has been declared, it has to be done instantly? or it can be done anytime in the course of the race?

    • Katy said on 28th June 2010, 12:05

      I think if you’re given a drive through you can only cross the finish line twice, then you have to go through the pits.

      I think it’s been controversial before, I assume it was Schumacher who got one a couple of laps from the end and drove through the pits on the last lap crossing the line in the pits. That might be wrong though as I have a terrible memory!

  13. justdrivewhiner said on 28th June 2010, 5:51

    so alonso, next time you should put bombs on the cars in front of you. and take the title…. :))

  14. i seriously think ALO hates HAM… HAM destroyed him both mentally n reputation in 2007. A double World Champ being owned by then a rookie in his first year in f1 is simply not acceptable to the demanding ALO.. he is simply possessive. If he wins this race, he simply cant be bothered with HAM passing or not passing the SC.

    It is obvious he is worried that HAM will get away with the pts he doesnt get. This is called envy. which is ” if i dont get it, no one else would”. I guess theres plenty of evidence to show that in yest race.

    He started off the whole think of the SC, keeps calling on pit radio, to ask Ferrari to complain to charlie Whiting.

    Then he got the response that they r investigating (ALO kept quiet fr a while), an later an drive through penalty for HAM, so ALO thinks, hmm ok at least he got a penalty.

    After 3 -4 laps of the Drive thrgh penalty, he calls ferrari again, “heys, wheres HAM???!”Simply,because he cant see him in his mirrors or infront of him

    Ferrari responded ” He did the drive thrgh, came out as 2nd again, no position lost”
    He shouted across the radio “Hey this is really not fair, blar blar blar .”.Ferrari knew they cldnt do anything else since HAM served his race penalty and the SC controversy was “over” in terms of racing rule

    So now, they come to the media and blast all over the radios, tv and papers that it was a scandal huh?!. Ferrari “rocks” man. Anything that is controversial but with them gaining advantage is NOT controversial. The Schu era, all those ferrari related scandals, where theres too many to mention. Those race fixing , where they ask barrichelo to slow down for schu to win? The schu famous monaco incident, their obvious but kept insistence of no kerbs in Indianapolis to disallow Michellin tyre teams race, and so much more.

    So ultimately, i have one conclusion. Ferrari did build F1 , but it is also destroying f1.

  15. Accidental Mick said on 28th June 2010, 7:35

    Posting this on Monday so I hope everybody has calmed down:-)

    Yes, it took the stewards 14 laps to issue Ham’s penalty but am I correct in thinking that it took Ferreri 9 laps to make the initial protest? If that is so, the stewards acted quite promptly.

    The safety car was the problem. I quite like the idea, suggested in a different post, (sorry not to give appropriate credit) of doing away with the safety car and, instead, remotely imposing the pit lane limiter.

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.