Montezemolo expects FIA reaction

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said he expects the FIA to analyse the circumstances of yesterday’s European Grand Prix.

Ferrari expressed outrage yesterday that Lewis Hamilton was able to finish second in the race after taking a drive-through penalty for overtaking the safety car, while their drivers finished lower down the field after staying behind the safety car.

Di Montezemolo said:

The result of yesterday?s race was misrepresentative. Ferrari, which showed itself to be competitive in the European Grand Prix, paid a price that was too high for respecting the rules.

Meanwhile those who didn?t follow the rules were penalised by the race officials in a way that was less severe than the damage suffered by those who did respect them. That is a very serious and unacceptable event that creates dangerous precedents, throwing a shadow over the credibility of Formula One.

We are sure that the FIA will fully analyse what happened, taking the consequent necessary decisions. Ferrari will watch this with interest.
Luca di Montezemolo

2010 European Grand Prix

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58 comments on “Montezemolo expects FIA reaction”

  1. The safety car rules, yet again, need tweaking. Whether this is by changing the timing of the SC’s entry to the track or by closing the pitlane (as done in 2008, no longer a fuel issue involved), something does need to be done.

    However, if Luca’s looking for some further retribution, he’ll be severely disappointed.

    1. The rules maybe are OK but it seems the race management involving SC can do with some clarifycations and simple rules of what to do and what not to do (Race Control, teams and drivers).

    2. Like I said yesterday they need to get rid of the SC altogether. Its always been unfair in every race its used as it penalises those who have driven well as they lose the lead they fairly built up. The perfect example would be China this year when Button, Rosberg and Kubica put nearly a minute on the field with a brilliant strategic call only to have it wiped out by a SC. Then you have days like yesterday when the SC brings the sport into disrepute.

      The only justification for a SC was that it would neutralise the race to allow debry to be safely removed from the track but it’s been 16 years since they brought in SCs and technology has moved on there should be better ways for the race to be neutralised. It would be perfectly feasable for each car to be equipped with a SC speed limiter like the pit lane one which would have to be activated by the driver within 5 seconds of the SC boards being put out.

      The drivers could then travel round at a safe speed untill the track is clear when the race could resume without the neutralisation of the race hurting anyone.

      1. one of the best things a safety car does for the safety of the marshals is leave a very large gap where there are no cars coming up, allowing them to get on track very safely to do some clean up.

        without a SC they would be running on and off the track every few seconds, making it take longer to clear up, and more like a car will run something over

        1. Exactly the point. The safety car is there to control the speed and route of the cars following. Imagine if this was done electronically as suggested and other teams were able to tap into each others ssystem!! Alonso since his first win, has lost the plot and in front of his home fans (who love Lewis)he looked like putting on a show, hence his frustration with his arch enemy putting one over him!

    3. I would have to agree. No reason to have the pit open during SC periods anylonger. Main reason it was allowed was to avoid drivers running out of fuel or be forced into penalty for pitting while it was closed. In indycar on ovals it’s a mad horrible scramble to get in and out and honestly not very safe and field always shuffles around but rules are simple and few complaints. Well some wants the lapped cars to be able to pass the SC to have them filed up in grid order on green (which F1 does but don’t see much better racing for it).

    4. In my view, Ferrari would be better adopting a more conciliatory tone with the FIA, there could be grounds for bringing the sport into disrepute, as there comments aimed at the FIA are too vociferous, and seem unsportsmanlike.

      1. I think you’re right. They could do themselves more harm than good going on like this.

  2. He was deemed to do so, wasn’t he? And from the results of your Poll here Keith, (Fans 45/45 thinking Hamilton did/did not do this on purpose) suggests it would be good if the FIA did some open clarification of what happened there including evidence from radio communications, video and telemetry.

    I am not sure about it being intentional to make sure Alonso does not make it. It might be (we have another guy driving around where i would be pretty sure of that, he stopped for the red light), but i rather think Lewis just hesitated.

    But “not remembering” sounds like a lazy excuse for not answering questions and Ferrari were really unlucky/tricked by Lewis here in front of Alonso’s fans.

    But even so Ferrari could have reacted with tactics, keeping Massa out there as well to split strategy. Or whatever strategy to have a go at something, Sauber showed focussing and thinking out of the box might be better than just complaining.

    I found it pretty silly for Ferrari to expect 9 drivers to receive serious punishments for the time infringement and concentrating only on this Hamilton thing.

    1. I think Ferrari are weakening their case for SC rule changes by focusing on Hamilton who could have easily made it past without ‘hesistation’ and the front running 5 seconds penalized ones, who seem to have had little more than a corner to meet a sector time.

      The problem due to the SC timing was that Vettel gained anyway, and that the timing dropped Ferrari far behind.

      I agree with people who argue for a new look at closing the pitlane for the start of the safety car (would also have stopped Schumacher from being trapped).

      But that was not Hamiltons fault – Vettel profited even more, Hamilton only suffered because he was clumsy/outsmarted himself.

  3. I’m not convinced that it would ever be possible to change the safety car rules such that pot luck does not play a role. It is inevitable that a safety car is going to benefit some and not others. If Hamilton had not hesitated as the safety car came out he would have been even further up the road from Alonso, fighting Vettel for the win.

    It’s unfortunate that the release of the safety car was mistimed, but even the teams make that kind of mistake in qualifying for example, bringing their driver out at slightly the wrong time so that he gets caught in traffic.

    I agree with Kyle, I don’t think the FIA are going to take any notice of Montezemalo; he’s just mouthing off as usual.

  4. Didn’t Ferrari have some kind of veto over new rules made up by the FIA a few years ago? Now that was a ‘serious and dangerous precedent, throwing a shadow over the credibility of Formula One’. Are they mad? Also, they did score some points, four to be exact. So suck it up and don’t be such crybabies Luca and ALO.

    I didn’t really like of dislike Ferrari and Alonso, but I’m getting there.

  5. Typical from Ferrari really. I’m surprised they haven’t done it at every single race this year…

  6. I love the idea that LDM can say with a straight face that the results of a motor race should be ‘representative’ of the race, especially after ‘Austria-gate’!

    1. Agree 100% well said

    2. I wish people would grow up a little. Things that happened in races years ago, no matter how preposterous, have zero relevance to things that happen now. Let it go already.

      1. It’s relevant when it’s the pot issuing enraged statments about the kettle.

      2. don’t you go and start talking sense now Maciek. Every thing that happens in this sport is followed by comments of but in 1985 he did this and in 1991 this happened. We really should only comment on the events of the race in question. Can you imagine what would happen if the stewards had the same hang ups as the fans.

        1. Is 2008 near enough? Ferrari called Singapore’s race a circus. In hind sight it sort of was one, but as Ecclestone said, Ferrari were the “clowns”. All their whining just made them look more ridculous.

          Hamilton didn’t whine, just stuck wtih it and simply got back on the podium.

        2. Agree that the kettle is getting a little shirty on said pots actions but really Maciek is right as is rampante, Austria has sod all to do with what happened today.

          Besides Ferrari is a changed team these days, in the case of Domenacali rather fairer. Montezemolo on the other hand seems to have lost the plot. Not so much here, Ferrari got done over, rule needs to be looked at, but the self righteous indignation is quite ridiculous.

          1. errrr yesterday

  7. So typical. This is the same reaction as we saw with the double diffusers last year. Even when they were declared legal team bosses were constantly complaining how they were against the spirit of the rules etc. Everything is fine as long as it is in your team’s advantage, otherwise its unfair, against the rules, against the spirit of the rules or you name it.

  8. Madness.

    Someone needs early retirement…

  9. Bartholomew
    28th June 2010, 14:41

    And now ladies and gentlemen ……… Lou diMonty !!!
    on the saxophone

  10. I’d give him more credence had he complained about the delay in Rosbergs penalty at the 2008 singapore GP.

    But of course, he liked that one as it took points off Hamilton.

    1. He complained about that whole race in Singapore though.

      1. Singapore 08 was a fairly controversial race all told.

  11. The safety car should have been deployed in front of Vettel as he was the leader not as Hamilton & Alonso were coming.

    1. Then Webber should have crashed into Kovalainen a little earlier.

      How are we gonna put that into the regulations?

      Article 69:
      – No car shall crash or break down on track unless the leader of the race is sufficiently far enough away from the pit lane exit for the safety car to pick him up

      That should work …

  12. safety cars suck! they always create Dilemna

    can’t see an easy solution,

  13. So with this can the F1 community now come together and officially change “Ferrari” to “Cryrrari”. I mean even for die-hard Ferrari fans, this has got to be a little deflating to have your team cry about spilled milk.

    Hey Cryrrari! The event played out as it did. It did not work out in your favor, All parties involved where punished. And even if hamilton did lose positions would that help your race? Would you think you could have passed Hamilton on track? Teflonso was close to 4 seconds behind Hamilton at the time of the incident and losing ground.

    Fix your car, make it faster. And focus on the things you can affect. Your own team.

  14. How about a nice red whine from Maranello to go along with that humble pie???

  15. Mark Hitchcock
    28th June 2010, 15:02

    The only way this is going to become a scandal is if Ferrari keep banging on about it.
    If they really are concerned about the credibility of the sport then they’ll stop undermining it and just accept their bad luck like grown-ups.

  16. I do hope that the FIA seriously reviews the Safety Car rules. They are certainly confusing and have an unnecessarily large element of chance built in. The need for refueling is gone, so closing the pits and picking up the field in order would work quite fairly.

  17. Ferrari actually have a point, but they´ve spent so much time crying wolf all season long about anything they don´t like that I couldn´t care less. And after his “deserved win” in Singapore, Alonso can´t say anything either.

  18. Somehow I think that if the safety car had come out behind Massa, Ferrari wouldn’t be telling us about how unfair the race result was for those stuck behind it. Besides all of which, it’s up to drivers to do the best they can with the cards they’re dealt – it’s called tough luck. Perhaps they could ask Kamui Kobayashi for driving tips.

    1. All the cars behind Massa were able to make it to the pit lane though.

      Come to think about it, maybe that’s a good compromise? Wait with the safety car till the first car that passed the pitlane entry comes on the straight.

  19. “We are sure that the FIA will fully analyse what happened, taking the consequent necessary decisions. Ferrari will watch this with interest.”

    I dont know about everyone else but that statement really bothered me. Seems to me, the necessary decisions, in LDM’s view, are to put Alonso on the podium.

    Ferrari will watch with interest…. what the heck does that mean. Sounds like a veiled threat to me. If they dont get what they want are they gonna threaten to pull out of F1?! Cry more?!? Sue somebody??

    I mean what’s next? Blaming Mark Webber for improperly violating the airspace above Valencia.

    Sometime you’re the fly, sometime you’re the windshield. Move on.

    1. Great post, very funny, bang on.

      Those choice lines from Ferrari speak of such entiltlement, we’ve been saying constantly this year that Monty thinks somethings wrong with F1 if Ferrari arn’t winning, it’s all in the sunshine now.

  20. I would love to see an FIA statement on this and punish the ferrari team, for doubting the integrity of sports and also making it a media headline arnd the world by saying that F1 is manipulated race.

    Well. I hope F Alo n ferrari will get some kind of ban or grid penalty!

    1. Pleas no, not like the Mosley years!. I get what you mean and Ferrari would need some reprimand for damaging the sport with not letting of these rants on how bad everything is though.

    2. I doubt that the FIA will punish Ferrari. Remember, Jean Todt is the new leader.

      1. they’d have no reason to punish ferrari in the first place. Todt/no Todt. If the complaints got ridiculously bad and unnecessary, a reprimand yes. If they continue like they are doing until silverstone, then just gaffer tape is needed :D

  21. What “consequent necessary decisions” are you referring to Luca. Boy, you and Ferrari have a pair!!

  22. I think this blog (Will Buxton) does offer some thoughts on the subject:
    A piece Buxton thought about, very interesting. Here’s what i make from it:

    1. I think the decisions are being made later than should be especially surrounding SC situations
    2. This is probably the most funded cry by Montezemelo this year, even though the language used is hefty.
    3. If there is a precedent for passing the SC (GP2 2006, L. Hamilton, black flag), the FIA might want to think about following that, or at leas seriously consider a more severe punishment or explain to the fans why not.
    4. Ferrari and Alonso should tone down their comments and enable us to take them seriously or risk a reprimand/penalty for bringing the sport in disrepute.

    5. The penalty for keeping the jack on the car should be punished harsher, although a race ban seems too much (as in the Renault case).

    1. This Buxton “journo” usually doesn’t think things through that much, although this time it’s not so bad.

      Still, there is a massive difference between a car being side by side with the safety car as it comes out of the pitlane and simply passing the safety car whilst travelling behind it first.

      I don’t know why the stewards gave 5 second penalties, but it sounded like in this isnatnce they got the minimum times set rather poorly. For instance, Button learned of the safty car in the final corner before the pit lane entry. He could not have braked there, but still he got penalized.

      I’ll bet there were more cars that got cought out by the minimum times that were set too tightly.

      All in all the drivers didn’t really win anything with their transgression either and they might even have been past the incident already.

      Giving all these drivers drive throughs would have made even more of a mockery of the race.

      These free time penalties can only be handed out after the race. So therefore it makes sense that they waited till after the race to hand them out. Gave them a chance to check the telemetry and hear the drivers too.

      I’d much rather have that than 9 cars with a drive through. Now that would have turned the race into an incredible joke and been an unfair punishment for the minor transgression of the drivers (in previous instances they drivers weren’t even penalized).

      It’s just sad that they didn’t realize that they can hand out time penalties when they penalized Schumacher in Monaco.

  23. Wait now two words RED BULL, how ‘convenient’ Weber has a ‘pace car’ incident when he has no chance of getting on the podium and the pace car deploys between Vettle and Hamilton, now that is the real conspiracy. Weber drives into the Lotus on purpose to spin both off but as we all know RED BULL gives you Wings and instead of crashing he does another aerial ( the in car footage is just great)barrel roll (oh yes the last one was in a Mercedes) then the Mercedes pace car deploys. Now this is of course complete rubbish but it just shows how a fevered brain a few coincidences create a good yarn so investigate RED (herring and a load of) BULL

  24. I’m sure Ferrari would still be upset if this had been Vettel that had done it, but because it’s Hamilton they’re acting like little kids.

    Was it fair? Not really. Was it a deliberate pre-conceived plan aimed at keeping Ferrari down? No. Have Ferrari benefited from numerous unfair decisions over the last 10-15 years? Yes. Will Alonso ever admit it was unfair he won the ’08 Singapore GP? No.

    If Alonso had managed to get passed Buemi and looked competitive down the field they’d have a far greater argument. They seem to be implying that if the safety car had come out 5 seconds later they’d have instantly overtaken Hamilton and got on the podium no questions asked.

    The one good thing to come out of this is that Luca Di M hasn’t realised now is a great time to get back on his “slow backmarkers are dangerous” sandbox. That’s a battle he’d have far more chance of winning right now and get his prized third Ferrari on the grid.

  25. “those who didn’t follow the rules”

    What rules were broken exactly? Hamilton kept to his delta time. Perhaps the fact that the safety car was released just at that time was just ‘unlucky.’

    Typical Ferrari yet again.

    1. I think he’s referring to Hamilton overtaking the safety car.

  26. all I can say is:
    Whats up Ferrari? not winning are we? yea you’ll need to lean on the the FIA again to get races wins GIVEN to you AGAIN.
    They are the ones ruining the sport im afraid- not Lewis hamilton, Mclaren or the FIA

    oh and another thing, I couldnt believe it when Alonso said the the FIA where biased towards Lewis and Mclaren – yea right! after all thats happened in the past few seasons to Mclaren!

  27. Isn’t Alonso the guy who was happy to sit at Mclaren using Ferrari data, but as soon as things stopped going his way he suddenly decided he should report it?

    Get out of your glass house Alonso and grow up.

  28. What if next time a driver actually brakes before the SC line to keep the competitors behind him and behind the SC? Would that be more illegal than braking and accelerating when the SC is pulled in the pits? Why would it be unfair and how would You prevent this from happening if You think it is unfair?

    Solution to some of the SC problem:
    The SC could be “avoided” by making the leading driver the SC? He could get the job of driving as a SC, when instructed by flagposts and pits to do so. Maybe via a SC speed limiter button, like the Pit lane speed limiter. If the pits are also closed while the SC is “deployed” in this way, the only negative effect for the race is that the race is “neutralized”, but this is a classic effect of the SC deployment.
    The transition into SC should be made visible for the other Pilots by a blinking taillight other than the one used in rain, and You maybe need additional signaling when the SC deployment period is ending.

  29. Prisoner Monkeys
    29th June 2010, 1:34

    Shut up, Luca. When was the last time a race was “representative”? There have been plenty of quick cars over the years that have failed to live up to expectations, so why should the FIA go and make special allowances for Ferrari? Because it’s Ferrari?

    If the FIA should take action against anyone, they should take it against Ferrari.

    1. Agreed. The amount of tripe Luca’s spouted over the year has been enough to bring the sport into disrepute. That is, if anyone outside F1 actually listened to him and cared who he was…

  30. The rules are fine it’s only twice this year due to bad stewarting that there has been a problem.

    As for Monte i take his words like a pinch, if it was Alonso instead of Hamilton he would be lauding his driver, “look at him he made podium with a penalty” because that’s Monte

  31. Now, there’s no question that the SC rules need to be evaluated. A system needs to be put in place that means the chance timing of a SC does not lead to gain or pain for anyone – i.e. the SC waves through everyone except the leader, and then the pack is bunched up. Or they can just close the pit-lane for three laps except for anyone with a car damaged from the incident that brought the SC out.

    But if Ferrari are going to respond in this way, there’s only one answer to them really:

    A child learns that if they want to get what they want, they must do more than whine and demand. Why hasn’t Luca?

  32. Ferrari is turning into a bunch of crying hypocrites since Alonso showed up. First with the new teams and now carrying on with hamilton. Drop it. Its done your drivers lost move on. And then Briatorie sharing his useless opinion way too harsh. Disqualified yeah right.

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