Bad luck and bad tempers at Ferrari after European GP (Ferrari race review)

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2010

Ferrari were very unlucky with the timing of the safety car in the European Grand Prix.

Seeing one of their principal rivals avoid the same misfortune by illegally overtaking the safety car prompted howls of criticism from the team, calling the result “a scandal” and claiming Formula 1 “could lose some credibility”.

Four points for eight place was a meagre result from a weekend where much had been expected as the team introduced its exhaust-driven diffuser upgrade.

Felipe Massa Fernando Alonso
Qualifying position 5 4
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’38.127 (+0.052) 1’38.075
Race position 11 8
Average race lap 1’46.600 (+0.242) 1’46.358
Laps 57/57 57/57
Pit stops 1 1

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Felipe Massa

Very close to Alonso in qualifying, Massa made it up to fourth on the first lap by passing Webber around the outside of turn three.

But his race suffered even more from the safety car appearance than Alonso’s did, as he had to wait behind his team mate in the pit lane.

Alonso and Massa were the only cars who had to wait behind the safety car before pitting. Robert Kubica, 1.8 seconds behind Massa, got the message early enough to get in the pits.

After the safety car came in Massa was 17th. He moved ahead of the Virgin duo with little difficulty but couldn’t pass Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Force India. Penalties promoted him to a point-less 11th after the race.

Compare Felipe Massa’s form against his team mate in 2010

Fernando Alonso

Alonso was fastest in front of his home crowd in second practice but both F10 drivers struggled to find the same performance improvement on the super-soft tyres that their rivals enjoyed.

Fourth place on the grid behind the Red Bulls and Lewis Hamilton was a minor disappointment. But the team looked in good shape for the race and Alonso was able to keep pace with Hamilton in the opening stages.

Then came the safety car deployment which clearly ruined his race. In front of Alonso, Vettel was far enough ahead not to get stuck behind the safety car, and Hamilton overtook it.

Alonso was tenth when the safety car came in and quickly passed Nico H???lkenberg for ninth, all the while urging his team on the radio to press ahead with complaints against Hamilton.

While Adrian Sutil ahead of him was able to find a way past Sebastien Buemi, Alonso could not do the same, which hurt the Ferrari driver when penalties were handed out to ten drivers at the end of the race.

By the end of the race Alonso, on worn medium tyres, could to little to hold back Kamui Kobayashi when the Sauber driver appeared behind him on a fresh set of super-softs. Alonso crossed the line in ninth place and inherited one place thanks to Buemi’s penalty.

Sutil also got a penalty, but kept his place ahead of Alonso having pulled more than five seconds ahead of the Ferrari after passing Buemi.

Ferrari continued to criticise the race today, issuing further statements such as this:

??Scandal Hamilton, Ferrari deceived,?? titles the Gazzetta dello Sport. ??It?s Formula Chaos?? claims La Repubblica, while the Spanish daily Marca underlines in an article titled ??Formula 1 drivers have to oppose Hamilton?s favourable treatment?? pointing out how the whole race was distorted.

Read more: Alonso fumes after Hamilton penalty, Ferrari calls result ??a scandal?? (Updated)

Compare Fernando Alonso’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 European Grand Prix

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84 comments on Bad luck and bad tempers at Ferrari after European GP (Ferrari race review)

  1. Philip said on 28th June 2010, 17:32

    Alonso really needs to get his act together. For Alonso to complain about a safety car ‘depriving’ him of a podium is crazy IF Hamilton had braked and Alonso avoided either passing him under the safety car or slamming Weber style into the rear of the Mc Laren then as pointed out above Hamilton would have been 8th and Alonso 9th would that have made him happy. The ONLY way he would have been on the podium would have been if Hamilton ACCELERATED and not hesitated so Alonso could also have squeezed passed the pace car. That I contend is the REAL source of his frustration not some technical infringement. Secondly what balls the guy has to talk of conspiracy when he was GIFTED a GP win at Singapore when his team mate conveniently drove into the wall causing a safety car incident. So Alonso get over it score 1-1

    • I think his comment about being deprived of a podium was separate to the Hamilton issue, and more about the circumstances that meant that 5th back could pit, and the Ferraris must have just missed the pit entry.

  2. Kimster said on 28th June 2010, 18:04

    Its the fact that they let Hamilton race for 20 laps so he could get enough time between him and Kobayashi. When they saw he had enough time to serve his penalty and still be 2nd, they gave him a small penalty.

    • GQsm (@gqsm) said on 28th June 2010, 22:29

      Yeah, they should have given Ham a stop-go penality AFTER the race like they did with Ferrari in 1998.

      • bosyber said on 29th June 2010, 11:19

        Please GQsm, can we just let that rest: they changed the rules after it, that is why stop-and-go/drive-through in last few laps now leads to a time penalty after the race.

        Yes, it was overly creative, but it was also a rather different Ferrari, and Alonso had no part in it.

        Kimster, if you accept that race control was busy clearing the track and seeing everyone was safe during the SC period, can we agree that the rest of the laps were about on par with FIA stewarding: always longer than we mortals think they should need? Apparently they need to get easier access to aerial shots – just like we had to wait too long before that was shown to us.

  3. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 28th June 2010, 20:03

    First of all, let me say that I am not a Ferrari fan. That said, I do understand their point. The real issue is that in the case of Hamilton’s penalty, as well as the 5 second penalties handed down post race, the penalties did far less to hurt the race of those drivers then they gained by cheating in the first place. What’s dangerous about that is that it sets a precedent that drivers are better off cheating, and accepting whatever small penalty they may be issued later on…

  4. Slim said on 28th June 2010, 23:06

    To be honest, i havent been that thrilled with Ferrari’s pit strategies this year and they probably wouldnt have been on the podium anyway even if the whole safety car ordeal never occured… they still had to pit anyway and by the end of the race they had to nurse their tires

  5. franco said on 29th June 2010, 0:52

    England currently holds the upper hand in formula one politics. Hamilton can do what he wants. Ferrari has a valid reason to be upset. Anyway, the world is a sphere, and things turn around. I hope it gets better in the future.

    • Hare (@hare) said on 1st July 2010, 5:29

      With Jean Todt(France and ex-Ferrari Director) leading the FIA, the stewards of the meeting were Manuel Vidal Perucho (Spain), Gerd Ennser (Germany), Radovan Novak (Czech Republic) and Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Germany).

      Hamilton can do what he wants

      Mmmm nah. This season has seen a lot of reprimands, granted. But he’s been punished harshly on many times in previous years, leading people to think the FIA had it in for McLaren.

      This season the FIA (led by Jean Todt remember?), listened to fans and are trying NOT to destroy races by handing out harsh punishments after the fact and change race results after the race has finished.

      Hamilton is clearly the most noticeable recipient of these reprimands (in the minds of Ferrari/Alonso fans at least). But that is what the rules allow. Schumacher on the other hand, got an unfair penalty, due to the very same rulebook.

      It was noted by Joe Saward that:

      In Monaco for example, he [Alonso] should have been penalised for an overtaking manoeuvre on Karun Chandhok under caution, as the very point at which Nico Hulkenberg had crashed. Race Control missed that incident and Fernando got away with it

      That’s a 25 second penalty he got away with. You think that’s fair? He didn’t even get a reprimand.

      This is just F1. It’s been like this for years and years. It’s always controversial. Settle in for this being the case for years Franco, it’s how sport goes.

  6. schooner said on 29th June 2010, 1:03

    I am a McLaren fan, but Hamilton’s statement that he thought he was ahead of the safety car as it emerged from the pits is a bit of a stretch. We’ve all seen the replays. That said, a penalty was assessed by the stewards, and it was duly served. McLaren dodged a bullet, Ferrari were unlucky, and it’s all in the books now. Maybe some day the FIA will come up with a safety car system that actually works. Aside from Hamilton’s transgression, the fact that nearly half the field came afoul of the SC rules suggests that there are some major adjustments in order.

  7. Alpha said on 29th June 2010, 4:23

    I dont understand whats the fuss is about.

    If Hamilton did not slow down or hesitated, he would of gone pass the safety car easily, he did not gain anything from it. All we can say is that, he might have stalled Alonso to gain advantage from it. If he did, I admire him, it would take others minutes before coming up with such idea. Anyway, he didnt gain anything, but possibly made Alonso & Massa to lose position.

  8. mika pup said on 29th June 2010, 4:31

    Alonso won the most shameful F1 race in history thanks to a safety car and now he is complaining?

  9. JohnBt said on 29th June 2010, 8:15

    It’s not a ‘scandal’. It’s FIA incompetency (the World Cup is even worse with tv technology and yet the referee has the last say). Alonso’s problem is with Hamilton.
    Ferrari as usual behaves like they own F1.

    FIA do need to clarify rules and act quickly in their decisions urgently. Drivers ranting will not help at all. Alonso was not wrong about the slow stewarding decision, but for sure it was not a scandal. Basically Fernando is angry.

    For racing sake, Alonso please let go of the McLaren saga with Hamilton.
    The more you let Hamilton go under your skin it’s gonna get worse. Sincerely I believe what Hamilton did in Valencia was totally deliberate, and don’t believe a word claiming he was innocent.

    Just race as you did before Alonso, you’ll do much better.

    I will still be your fan Alonso, but please put Hamilton’s McLaren saga aside VERY QUICKLY.

    All I want to is to watch is the original NANDO!!!

    • bosyber said on 29th June 2010, 11:22

      I am not sure Hamilton really did it deliberate but clumsy, but that doesn’t really matter for the point you make. I fully agree with the rest of the post.

  10. W-K said on 29th June 2010, 11:35

    A few facts and questions.

    The timings, thanks to Keiths charts at the end of laps 8 & 9 are;

    Vettel 0.000 0.000
    Hamilton 3.73 4.129
    Alonso 5.2 5.402 1.273s behind so gap is approx 100 m *
    Massa 7.347 7.706
    Kubica 9.173 37.679 Pitted, has said he was exiting penultimate corner when SC call received
    Button 11.792 28.991 Pitted, has said was in penultimate corner when SC call received

    So much for the couple of meters behind Hamilton when SC deployed, Alonso did catch up but only because Hamilton slowed. Measurement on paused screen of BBC highlights indicates about 6 car lengths back at SC line.
    Did Hamilton react to the SC warning, if so why didn’t the Ferrari drivers?

    As Kubica and Button got the SC call before the pit lane entrance and Massa didn’t, then one has to assume the SC call was made approx 10 s after Vettel passed the start/finish line.

    Both Kubica and Button have said they wasn’t enough track left in sector 3 to obey the delta time, but still got 5 s penalty. Was this fair?

    *Info from the Formula1 site says the speed in turn 1 is 290 km/h.

    • Alex Bkk said on 29th June 2010, 12:35

      Here’s my beef. Macca has the technology to do a moon launch if they wanted. To speculate on the timing of Lewis meeting the SC’s exit is completely within the realm of reality. They do that sort of thing every pit stop. “Lewis you will come out about a few hundredths in front of the safety car”Does that sound unreasonable to you?

      They also know very well the in and out time of the pit lane for a drive through penalty and the speed of the SF car around the track. It’s just part of the equation in F1 racing.

      For the sake of turning a faster last race we saw him stopping in Q3 to have enough fuel for the well, fuel test. That’s how closely things are monitored @ Macca and in F1 in general.

      My opinion is that he was guilty as charged and that he served his penalty knowing that there would be no consequences. But was it sportsmanship? I think not. He knew what he was doing and so did Macca.

      Yes LH is a brilliant driver, but he needs to have a chat with a somewhat reformed 7 time WC driver. It would do his legacy and and Macca a world of good.

  11. Jean said on 29th June 2010, 12:46

    What Hamilton did , means any car can overtake the safety car in future , and if the rules as they stand are consistently applied , should receive a 5 second penalty for doing so.

    • Hare (@hare) said on 29th June 2010, 13:04

      mmm nah.

      You’re getting your penalties, and infractions confused.

      Hamilton received a drive-thru penalty (15 seconds or so?)

      The 9 other drivers who dived in to the pits when they should have been slowing up, got 5 seconds.

  12. Phil said on 29th June 2010, 14:03

    There is a very bitter taste in F1 at the moment caused by Alonso`s (and most of Spain`s) irrational hatred of Lewis Hamilton. This is not a two way thing like people seem to think either, Hamilton does not hate Alonso in the same way, he has no reason to, apart from maybe Alonso trying to destroy McLaren, but I do not think Hamilton is the same sort of unhinged emotional person as Alonso. He thinks that Lewis feels the same towards him and that he stuffed him on purpose, but he did`nt, he just hesitated, he was`nt sure what to do. 2007 damaged Alonso badly and its looking like he will never recover from it. He was double and reigning world champion (with a controversial car but thats another story) when he arrived at McLaren, on top of the world and he expected to be rolling in world titles by now but for one thing – Lewis. I bet not even Ron Dennis or the Hamiltons themselves thought Lewis would be that good, that quickly, and Alonso just could not cope with it and allowed himself to act ridiculously, and it has continued ever since. Maybe its because in his mind he feels that 2007 was Hamiltons fault, but it was`nt, he made a fool of himself, all on his own. The only thing Hamilton was guilty of was being too good. Alonso needs to get over it, and get rid of this misplaced hatred, this obsession he has about Lewis, or i fear that one day it may all end in tears.

  13. Vishy said on 29th June 2010, 14:52

    Such childish behaviour from Ferrari. If they thought the Safety car was unfair they should talk about it, why jump on Hamilton?? If anybody is to blame then it should be the stewards.

    Alonso is acting like a rotten spoilt kid. Love the radio transmission

    Alonso to the pits after Hamilton drive through

    Alonso: “What position was he and what position is he now?”
    Pits: “umm ahh hmm …… he is in P2, He didn’t lose any position. It is very unfair but you have to focus on race…”

  14. David said on 29th June 2010, 15:10

    Alonso’s comments are just typical of him. He is the biggest dummy spitting baby ever to “grace” the sport. If he can’t have everything handed to him on a plate he throws the toys out of the pram. He, like Ferrari, thinks he has some god given entitlement to succeed in formula 1 whether he does a good job or not. The fact is, Ferrari have been increasingly shambolic since Brawn, Byrne and Schumacher left them, they are a team in decline whose ego’s prevent them from admitting it and as such they are doomed to continue their swan dive towards midfield mediocrity if not worse. Alonso expected a coat of Red Paint to gift him titles and it hasn’t worked out that way so he’s whining like a baby, just like he did when Hamilton matched him at Mclaren. He needs to man up or shut up. It’s ironic that the only driver on the grid that is known to have benefited from cheating is branding the FIA and Hamilton as cheats for following the regulations regarding infringements.

  15. Alif said on 30th June 2010, 6:27

    Would someone ask alonso wther he whine for someone breaking the rule or for hamilton P2? ;)

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