Alonso retracts Valencia criticism

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2010

Having pilloried the European Grand Prix stewards in the 48 hours following the race, Ferrari have begun to tone down their criticism of Sunday’s event.

Fernando Alonso was first to take a step back from his earlier criticism of the race as “manipulated”, saying “we should talk about it together in a calm way, to ensure that things like this do not happen again.”

Alonso said:

We were particularly unlucky in terms of the timing of when the safety car appeared on track. It would have only needed a few seconds more or less to totally change our race. It does not achieve much going over the events that followed on. Obviously, in the clear light of day, I am much calmer than I was in the moments immediately following the race.

At the time, I reacted emotionally and in that situation, it is all too easy to adopt a tone and say things that can be interpreted wrongly, giving rise to suspicions, something which I had no intention of doing.

Sure, I understand that the stewards have a difficult job to do and they have to take decisions that are not easy. What I meant was that those drivers who, like us, respected the regulations, unfortunately, in this situation, suffered much more than those who broke them, even though they were given a penalty.

And I am not referring to any of the drivers in particular: it?s a general matter and I think we should talk about it together in a calm way, to ensure that things like this do not happen again. I was pleased to hear that the FIA has reacted promptly, calling an extraordinary meeting of the Sporting Working Group and I am confident, certain even, that all the points up for discussion will be cleared up in a comprehensive fashion.
Fernando Alonso

Team mate Felipe Massa, who lost even more places than Alonso during the safety car period, added:

What happened needs to be looked into because it is not normal than someone commits a serious infraction like overtaking the safety car, when there is a dangerous situation on track and is not really penalised in practical terms.

We must talk about this together and do something to ensure a situation like this does not happen again. The team has told me that, next week there will be a meeting of the Sporting Working Group: that?s good and it?s an obvious indication that the FIA is paying close attention to the matter.
Felipe Massa

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131 comments on “Alonso retracts Valencia criticism”

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  1. Have you recently angered the FIA? If so, call 1-800-BACKPEDAL toll free NOW!

    1. Lol so true.

      The bottom line is they were very very unlucky nothing more or less on the up side one day they will be very very luck like Hamilton was on Sunday

      1. hahahahaaa, nice, I wondered which way Alonso would spin.

        Still Alonso does have the excuse of things said in anger, his retraction has merit, an being fair he never really went for Hamilton himself, don’t think attacking his biggest rival particularly appeals to him. Domenacali at the time probably took the wisest course at the time, expressed his anger then no commented.

        However later and the next day, along with the rest of Ferrari they all poured in calling scandal and manipulation, “in the cold light of day”. Alonso’s retraction is reasonable, he had a right to miffed an he may have said certain things he didn’t mean, not so much the rest of them, an they haven’t apologised yet.

        1. miguelF1O (@)
          29th June 2010, 23:50

          will alonso blame fifa for spains offside goal vs Portugal or admit and apologise all of the people watching the game

          1. Jhonnie Siggie
            30th June 2010, 1:56

            Haha… good point

          2. ha hahaha
            like it

        2. Scribe, I think you’re the most reasonable and unbiased McLaren fan around! :-)

    2. Classic Alonso line:

      And I am not referring to any of the drivers in particular:

      He comes up with some corkers..

      1. up there with:

        I was one metre behind

        1. spanky the wonder monkey
          30th June 2010, 10:15

          yeah, i thought that was quality. he was nowhere near hammi when the SC came out.

    3. Ha! Spot on, yet Todt appears to have done it so much more gracefully than Mosley ever managed, without allowing any sign of confrontation.

      It’s a shame Alonso had to make it so personal, carping on about Hamilton rather than the flawed SC car rules, especially as it appears all sides agree they need to be reviewed.

      1. Does any of the teams really agree that the rules need to be changed? AFAIK only Ferrari and Mercedes want the rules changed.

        1. I’ve not heard any teams defending the current rules and I can’t see why anyone would object to making improvements. The teams, the FIA and the sport’s pundits have all said they need reviewing.

  2. InternetF1Fan
    29th June 2010, 22:09

    I am really enjoying this. After years of having FIA in their pockets, Ferrari are finally tasting their own medicine.

    Hopefully this will make Ferrari fans realize how us McLaren fans have been feeling after years and years of unfair penalties and decisions going against us.

    This safety car incident is absolutely nothing compared to the win that was stripped after the race in Spa.

    I didn’t hear Ferrari complain about race manipulations then.

    1. As a McLaren fan it did get slightly arm wavy mouth droppy to sit there listening to Ferrari claim Charlie Whiting an the FIA were manipulating the championship in McLarens favour.

      Many have made the good point that all this looking back can do F1 no good, but come on! Are they hearing themselves, have they heared of irnoy, do they really belive the rubbish they’re spouting, an were was the indignation when Ferrari International Assistance was calling the shots?

      1. miguelF1O (@)
        29th June 2010, 23:52

        as a mclaren fan you should be a bit ashamed cause it looks bad for mclaren and its not the fans fault but it seriously looks crooked

        1. @miguelF1O
          eeer I should be ashamed? That’s a bit personal. Anyway what have McLaren got to be ashmed of as a team? One of their drivers made a mistake, an was punished, though late due to intervening circumstances. Only Ferrari thought it looked crooked, an my friend as you will just have read in the article, they are now apoligising for saying so, saying all that suggestion of it being a crooked race was merley heat of the moment anger.

          Get your facts right please, an don’t tell me I should be ashamed for my opinion or which team I happen to support.

          Mohammed, well thats your opinion, certainly the way the penalty was invesigated an handled was suspicious an it was just one of any number of penalties McLaren, an any other team threatening Ferrari incurred from about 98 onwards which pointed to bias from the FIA.

    2. if you mean spa 2008.
      Hamilton deserved that penalty.

      1. I absolutely do not agree, and I’d like to explain my reasons for it, but I can not be bothered to start it all up again. I simply want to say that people still think it was a terrible decision and even if you do agree with that penalty, it was certainly far more of an issue due to the much larger furore surrounding it.

        1. now now children.. we’re all big boys and girls here. Lets play nice eh? :)

          1. lol, I was just trying to say that regardless of whether you agreed with that or not, it was certainly a bigger scandal. But my comment seems to have started up exactly the debate about 2008 I was trying to avoid :S

        2. @matt90. Just watch the Suzuka race of 2005, where Fernando overtook Klein with a maneuver similar to that of Hamiltons’s in Spa 2008. Alonso was asked 10 laps later, to wait for Klein to pass him and then overtake him fair and square again. In the process, Alonso lost close to 10-15secs and a potential victory.

          I completely agree with the penalty handed to to Hamilton and there was no foul play on the part of Ferrari out there. I honestly can say that Hamilton has gotten away with a lot of shenanigans this year.

          1. Except that race control said afterwards that Alonso should not have been told to hand the place back to Klien:


          2. Exactlly… Keith: Funny, couse the same race control said during the race to give back place to Klien…

            Anyway… the penelty handed to Hamilton in Spa was absolutly correct… he gaind unfair advantage, whether you like to admit it or not. And i was then not a McLaren fan nor a Ferrari.

          3. rok – perhaps I wasn’t clear, my point was that Suzuka 2005 does not set a precedent that justifies Spa 2008; in fact it shows why Hamilton’s penalty was wrong.

      2. that’s your opinion, i think otherwise.

      3. ahh spa 2008, Hamilton played by the rules, and then the fia changed them to fit the penalty.

        The problem was that the Mclaren was so much faster under the damp conditions, under normal circumstances, Hamilton wouldn’t have been able to overtake at the next corner after giving up so much speed on the straight.

        1. Exactly Sam, I had forgotten that bit, which is the main point ! Hamilton did what had long been accepted, he gave the place back and went again. Then all of a sudden it was no, you have to give the place back then wait two corners, then go again. ???
          Anyway I digress.

          1. If you feel that Spa 08 was bad driving from Hamilton, an he did gain a place by driving on the margins of legality, then it just shows how good the FIA have been this season.

            When someone does something a bit off, an the whole affair was a crock in the end, reprimand and clarify, punish next time. So the right way to be doing things, it’s the way laws have always been developed learn from precedents. The FIA inconsitancy wasted 16 years of precedents an made the rules infinitley less clear an open to manipulation.

        2. They invented a Hamilton-Spa Rule at that race to retroactively punish Hamilton. Let’s see if there is a new Hamilton-Valencia rule. Maybe it can state:

          Notwithstanding any other provision of the Sporting Regulations, any driver who overtakes the SC, whether or not the violation is intentional or reckless, will be placed behind Fernando Alonso. Any penalty granted under the rule will not be subject to appeal.

    3. While I can see your point I really think people have to look at this in the bigger window of the effect on the sport.
      Luca di Montezemelo is a huge threat to the sport with his outbursts about the FIA, the new teams etc. It all looks like sour grapes on his part and he should be sanctioned under the same regulations that others get hammered on for do things that bring the sport into disrepute.
      Alonzo, while a good driver and world champion, does frequently make some pretty stupid mistakes one of them being over driving and putting the car into the wall or off track. He made a positioning error off turn 2 in Canada which allowed JB to pass. That was, in Luca’s view, the fault of a new team car being too slow.
      If Luca can escape without sanction for calling the FIA out in public as he did what’s the big deal with Hamilton? How is it so different?
      For sure the FIA needs to adopt NASCAR or Indy Car rules around the SC, have it pick up the leader and position everyone in order before the pits are open. It needs to define when the pits are open after the field has been aligned and when they can pass when the SC comes off track. The only reason to pit when pits are closed now is a blown tire and the penalty can be set for that as it is with low fuel in NASCAR. The bottom line these attacks out of Maranello have to stop. I for one do not see anything sincere here in Alonzo’z “apology”. What I see is expeditious damage control so Todt will not come down hard on Ferrari and with the Ferrari blood he has in his veins I suspect it will suffice.

  3. Look I love Fernando but some of that was pure Ferrari speak

    “I was pleased to hear that the FIA has reacted promptly, calling an extraordinary meeting of the Sporting Working Group and I am confident, certain even, that all the points up for discussion will be cleared up in a comprehensive fashion.”

    Where was the source for this Keith? was it a writen statement or did Fernando actually say it. That paragraph I’ve quoted just doesn’t sound like something Alonso would say out load and given that Felipe eneded with a similar I have every faith in the FIA makes me very skeptical that these are the drivers own words.

    1. Agreed, that is the party line. Not typical of driver speak.

    2. You can see in the links in the article.

    3. or the other alternative is that it was translated from Italian/Spanish and therefore he’s sounding different to how he usually would in English

      Given what he says or the ghost writer says in the rest of the blog I’m certain that he hasn’t really changed his veiw of the incident. Of course he’s no longer in the heat of the moment and has moderated his criticism of the stewards, but he’s probably still rightly furious that Hamilton benifited from breaking the rules and he suffered massively from obeying them. Especially when its seems that Hamilton may well have done it intentionally.

      Another important bit is how he talks of channeling it as positive energy, some of his best performances have come such as Monza 2006, Spa and Monza 2007 and Singapore 2009 all at times when he had a siege mentality after huge controversy.

    4. I suspect that someone in the FIA probably had a private chat with Alonso and Stefano, to tell them to cool it, at the risk of getting hauled up on Article 151 charges…

  4. its amazing!if ferrari are unhappy a meeting of the brains is called to keep them fed up with them acting like they run the show.roll on silverstone.another 1-2 for the brits please

  5. I think both Ferrari and Alonso did the right thing (Massa already commented much more relaxed shortly after the race), calm down, tone down the crying foul and get working at improving the situation.

    I am a little curious, weather the FIA had to give explicit hints of the need to cut the anger out or Ferrari realized they were hurting themselves most from it.

    Also there might just have been an element of purpose in this.
    Just think of the harsh critisizm of the combined Italian and Spanish press of Alonso, the Team and Luca for having their new cure-all exhaust system and a working F-duct and still they end up only 8th and 12th(penalty corrected)! Ferrari would have seen riots for 2 weeks and cries to dump the lot of them immediately.

  6. Also interesting to compare Brawn calling for “clarification” about the red pit light and the way Ferrari / Alonso ACTED.
    I am pretty sure Brawn (in cooperation with Witmarsh) did more to get the FIA at the table and discuss how to improve than Luca acheived here.

    1. I agree that Ferrari got pretty hysterical about it, but when you watch Alonso’s interviews with the BBC he’s clearly very angry, but he’s extremely matter of fact and says nothing unreasonable. His argument that it was unfair that Hamilton benifited from breaking the rules and he suffered from obeying them was and is extrememly valid.

      1. I agree. He was mad just because his race was compromised by obeying the rules. I really wouldn’t look too much at what the spanish press has said, a lot of it is always exaggerated.

        1. Also completly agree. Its the fact you do everything by the book and then you get a 12th place and someone who brakes the rules (and i think overtaking SC and a medical car is as far as you can go) get a lovley reward of geting a panelty some 15 laps later so you can stay second…

          The FIA is yawning that it hasn’t got authority, but how can you have it if you let a driver get away with such breaking of rules… in my opinion the only right penelty would be (considering how long did it take to review the tape) disqualification or at least 10 seconds stop&go (which as far as i know was not possible by the regulations).

          1. Part of the reason it took so long to give the penalty was that it was such a fine line; from either drivers eye view it wasn’t obvious at all.

            It seems a fair enough penalty for the slightest hesitation; if he’d been going just slighly quicker there wouldn have been no penalty at all, and Alonso’s race would still have been messed up.

        2. Spanish sports press is for crouds of people that doesn’t follow F1. I think that it happens the shame in UK. People is happy with riots, that’s not Ferrari’s problem.

          1. Probably a typo there, but it fits really good RaulZ

            I think that it happens the shame in UK

            Your perfectly right about all tabloids being the same and a shame for their hyperbole!

  7. I have a surprising amount of respect for after this. And if it was Ferrari who pressured him into it, then I’ve gained a surprising amount of respect for them- especially as their boss isn’t known for withdrawing criticism, normally he just raises it to a more ridiculous level. This was the sensible thing to do. I do wonder though whether the FIA had a word which lead to this…

    Also, I think he is still probably referencing Hamilton more than anyone, but it needs to be noted that he didn’t intentionally overtake the safety car and had he hesitated for a fraction of a second less he would have ended in the same position (maybe challenged Vettel too) completely legitimately. Although had that happened then Alonso would still have been in the unfortunate position he was in before (assuming he didn’t quite make it past the safety car) only he would have had nobody to complain at other than circumstance itself.

    1. …had he hesitated for a fraction of a second less he would have ended in the same position (maybe challenged Vettel too) completely legitimately. Although had that happened then Alonso would still have been in the unfortunate position he was in before (assuming he didn’t quite make it past the safety car) only he would have had nobody to complain at other than circumstance itself.

      That would have been best.

    2. “it needs to be noted that he didn’t intentionally overtake the safety car”

      Problem many people, including a plurality of F1 fanatic are very skeptical that it was accidental due to what he said after the race and knowing the kind of racers the top drivers are.

      Also I don’t think Alonso has changed his views of the incident just that the adrenalin is no longer pumping through his system and he’s moderated his language.

      1. Look, a certain number of fans belived Hamilton did it on purpose but I’m afraid the alligences of people on both side of the argument was always fairly partisan. A plurality is a great turn of phrase to hide the fact that there was no concensus. Mostly the only decent answer not based on speculation or loyalty was that we can never know, the two leading theories on Hamiltons actions are both equally plausible and in different ways equally unlikley.

        Alonso is apoligising because either he or the team realise he has made his situation untenable an has started to damage the teams integrity, Race Controll was dealing with something far more important than Hamiltons minor infraction an so normal procedure was delayed, an suggestions of manipulation were ridiculous. Alonso’s apoligised because he and the team gave the FIA good reason to come down on them.

        1. “the two leading theories on Hamiltons actions are both equally plausible and in different ways equally unlikley.”

          I broadly agree with that. Which is why I disagreed with your origional statement which said matter of factly that Hamilton didn’t do it deliberately :P

          1. Did I say that? huh, well if I did I hadn’t thought it through.

            In the end I thought that Hamilton wouldn’t have had time to think about what he was doing to Alonso’s race, any canny he may have had when he sped back up was soley on what being being behind the saftey car would do to his race, there’s also no way he could’ve factored in Kobayashi.

  8. I could understand ferrari’s frustration if hamilton had overtaken the SC whilst under full SC conditions. The problem was that the overtake took place 1 or 2 metres from the SC line. (not very visible from the cockpit of a formula one car). Yes hamilton probably knew about where it was. But not precisely and thought (after hesitation) that he would make it. Ferarri, start racing your races and not trying to pull everyone else back. Hats off to Hamilton for managing to get under rivals skin without trying.

    1. Actually he started to pull alongside the SC before the line, but he pulled ahead of it after the SC line, hence the penalty. If it had transpired as you described there would have been no penalty.

      1. I agree with TIM,

        Hamilton pulled ahead of the SC because the SC braked for the corner, in your link listen to the engine noise.

        I don’t think anyone is smart enough to pull the stunt first go that Alonso is claiming.

        1. The safety car driver drove erratically while leaving the pit lane. He at first attempted to cross the thick line into the race track. Hamilton was forced to slow down, the safety car now corrected itself and accelerated. Same time Hamilton tried to race it to the safety car line.

  9. It’s all good. But their continued stance and demand, with respect to Hamilton, that it was unfair that his penalty had little effect is boring now. It makes no sense. It is exactly like saying a soccer team profited by cheating if they block a penalty kick earned with even the most heinous foul, as someone else said.

    Anyway, does Massa really want a set of rules where a penalty must precisely create the situation that would occur but for the infraction, rather than the intent and aggravation(e.g., recklessness) of the foul? This would mean, for example, that letting off the pit limiter a hair early, and earning yourself a drive-through, should justifiably be met with howls of injustice. It has to work both ways. There is a limited set of penalties and range of discretion for a reason. The fact that they per se and in some situations, produce “under” or “over” punishment is factored into the bargain when the rules are made. And you factor that into your choice of how much to risk breaking them.

    So they will continue with this sorry insinuation, that Hamilton profited by cheating, and it will go down forever in the book of grievances Ferrari have against the jealous, hating world, ruled by mean Englishmen. I hope Ferrari’s caterers bring many liters of ice cold Haterade to the season finale or wherever Hamilton may clinch, because they may realize a terrible thirst.

    1. Ferrari are just lining up their excuses for not winning anything this season. Again. Seems odd given Alonso isn’t that far off right now and Red Bull can probably be relied on to be unreliable still, so I guess they are genuinely worried McLaren will leap ahead with their version of the blown diffuser. Or something. Actually I’ve no idea what goes on in Ferrari minds, but slightly deranged it certainly looks…

      Hamilton’s response was bitingly good:
      – Asked if Alonso’s comments were a case of sour grapes, Hamilton replied: “Yeah. I even saw him overtaken by a Sauber on the big screen. It’s very unlike him to be overtaken by a Sauber so he must have been completely in another world.”
      Salt. Wound. Enjoy Fernando!

      1. Actually Hamilton here again shows hes real face. Getting overaken by Kobayashi on NEW SOFT TYRES isnt that much of a brag. Unles if you havent got nothing to say in youre defence and you just skip to attack, even with a really really bad argument and of coure personal accusation… a shamefull act from Lewis, which in my opinion is the wors person in whole F1

        1. I agree. He’s really the evil of the film. ;)

        2. It’s a very measured wind-up for the personal vendetta against him by Alonso and Ferrari. But enough, I can’t be bothered to argue against this Hamilton-rage anymore, and I’m being heavily modded for trying to do so.

          Enjoy the rest of the season!

        3. Jenson Button was ripping off some very quick laps on some pretty ancient tires, wasn’t he. As was Hamilton near the end. Fact remains, Alonso laying down rose petals on the road for Kobayashi was inexcusable. Ferrari on old tires no match, helpless, before a Sauber on new tires is not a good story for Alonso. The best you can say about the situation is that Ferrari’s mythical Ferrari “race pace” failed to appear once more.

  10. Anyone else think that Jean Todt has had a quiet word with them about this? Convening the Sporting Working Group seems to be a simultaneous message of “yeah ok, let’s look at this” and “shut your mouth before you dig a really big hole for yourself”.

    1. basically yes, hopefully the teams don’t look at Ferrari’s actions an feel it’s a good way to get things done.

      1. Personally i have a feeling Ross Brawn (his red light clarification) and Withmarsh (for FOTA) did more to get the FIA at the table do discuss improvements.

        The information on that meeting was into the media this morning (or maybe late yesterday) so this would have probably been a reaction to that or part of the “deal” with the FIA not to push on argueing.

  11. Seeing as Alonso and Ferrari were completely correct in their original comments made after the race, this retraction has damaged them imo. Not as much as it’s damaged McLaren and the FIA though – just because McLaren don’t like Ferrari truthfully stating that one of their drivers cheats on a regular basis, they’ve got the FIA (who are quite clearly in their back pockets) to pressure Ferrari and Alonso into making this retraction.

    1. McLaren have the FIA in their back pockets? Really? Lewis Hamilton constantly cheats? Really?

      1. No! McLaren?!?? Never!

        1. Sorry for that… it should also be… No! Lewis… never! Not even this year at least 3 times

    2. lol, you never cease to amaze me with your basket of facts created out of thin air!!

    3. … or alternatively :

      They were in no way “completely correct”, but there are now a bunch of fans that got way too overexcited, failed to rationally think for themselves, swallowed the Ferrari/Alonso party-line whole, and are now left high-and-dry when the team woke-up, realised how foolish they looked and backpedalled.

      Whaddya think is more likely?

      Ferrari were cynically playing to the peanut gallery, and of course you now feel just a little bit silly and ashamed that you got taken-in so readily … hence your denial, you dig in further, you double-down on a losing proposition.

      C’mon son, let’s keep things sensible here, eh?

  12. Heh, Alonso has always been a mouthful.

    I found much more interesting the “debate” between Jordan and Coulthard about the small teams giving place or not, than Alonso’s usual whining.

    1. That was great TV :-)

    2. If Jake hadn’t been there, I think David was about to give him some verbal.. and Eddie would have returned it :)

  13. I think they have been put in their place by the FIA. No one pays any attention to a temper tantrum. Alonso is just a whining little boy. He has no respect for any other driver, and Ferrari has no respect for any other team.

    Great driver or not, great team or not, I have no respect for them now. All they do is complain, until they benefit from someone else’s misfortune, then they claim to be the masters. The man is a joke, and Ferrari are a bunch of one trick ponies. Importantly, this is ‘In my opinion’. Each to their own, and I respect that.

    1. But Lewis on the other hand has respect for other?!? lol… how more bias can you be?!?!

      1. My bias is only anti Ferrari/Alonso. I rather like Massa, he’s a nice guy. And what makes you think I’m a lewis Hamilton fan?

        Alonso & Ferrari are like this with everyone. remember them mocking the return of Lotus, and saying there was no place for great names like Lola in ‘their’ league? Too much pride, no humility.

  14. alonso was on a different planet by the end of the race and durin the interviews. not to knock koba’s driving but if alonso wasn’t already in a temper tantrum he would have never let him pass him like that. its barely half way through the season….but i dont see alonso gaining any ground on the redbulls or mclarens.

    1. Has Alonso really been that good this season? The only great pass I can remember him making was Felipe in the pit entry lane at China…

  15. haha I can imagine alonso reading this with a gun held to his head by an unnamed FIA board member.

  16. If it was’t for Kobayashi holding up the field the penalty given to Hamilton would be sufficient. Hamilton would have been in about 10th position.

    Is Ferrari going to say Sauber was in on the conspiracy?

    I think Ferrari is panicking and under a bit of pressure from the Tifosi to beat Red Bull and Mclaren.

  17. glad to hear it. very mature of them (moreso fernando, massa didn’t really say much)

    “At the time, I reacted emotionally and in that situation, it is all too easy to adopt a tone and say things that can be interpreted wrongly, giving rise to suspicions, something which I had no intention of doing.”

    More or less what vettel should have said after turkey…

    1. Exactly. At least Alonso had the cojones to do the mea culpa when he’d calmed down a little. Vettel left it up to Webber to do it for him.

    2. Exactly, that’s why Alonso earns respect, while Vettel is still a little kid.

      All of us have failures (except Hare) but our achievements come by owning up to them and go on to improve.

  18. Briatore is stating hamilton should have been black flagged for breaking the rules apparently…..thats right briatore…take the moral highground!!!!! God forbid you would ever break the rules or dare i say cheat…..

    1. Jhonnie Siggie
      30th June 2010, 2:29

      Haha… Where did you find this?

      1. Wasn’t that in some italian newspaper? Shows you how Ferrari thinks they should mouth off like that to get heard, apparently big mouths work in Italian sports press (after a bad week at World Cup too, tempers were rising?).

        1. I think it was a spanish newspaper, it seems they are pretty much the same. And the Football news is almost as bad.

    2. Isn’t Briatore, Alonso’s manager from another planet? :-)

  19. Shame I don’t have “great TV” in Brazil.

    I am 100% Ferrari, I really like Alonso and the way he drives, but as for a race being “manipulated”, he didn’t complain about Singapore ’08, did he?, and he didn’t let go of his victory in the name of “fair race”, as far as I know. Both Felipe and Ferrari were the biggest losers then!! Say what about that, Alonso?

    1. You know, that is a very good point. A year ago when the Singapore scandal became public knowledge, and Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds were fed to the wolves, Fernando Alonso was as quiet as a mouse.
      I fully understand the argument that some people made back then that there was no proof of Alonso’s participation in the scandal concerning Piquet Jnr crashing his racing car in order to dictate the result of the grands prix. However, it was he who benefitted the most from the actions of others.
      One cannot read Alonso’s recent comments, inwhich he almost preaches to us about the morality of a driver who races ‘by the rules’, without remembering the events of 2008. If this is the way Fernando really feels about Formula One, which he once described as ‘not being a sport anymore’ back in 2006, why did he not comment on the events of Singapore? Why did he not surrender that hollow victory in the name of good sportsmanship, which would have cleared him once and for all of any suggestion of wrongdoing?
      Double standards! We have seen this before in F1 over the years with other drivers, but to say that Fernando’s and indeed Ferrari’s comments are abit rich is a massive understatement.
      I also think it is a sign of weakness from both parties. I firmly believe that if Ferrari and their Spanish superstar driver concentrate more on what ‘they’ are doing right, and finetune their efforts, then they will push McLaren and Red Bull all the way to Abu Dhabi. They were unlucky in Valencia, they were mugged for sure, but crying about it in public only weakens their cause and emboldens their rivals.
      Following the events of Hungary 2007, when Alonso and McLaren hit rock bottom as a partnership, the Spaniard turned out some of his better performances of that campaign. So much so that he nearly won the title, and tied Hamilton for second in the championship.
      The only way is forward, but sometimes I feel these drivers need to look themselves in the mirror and be more realistic. Don’t do what England’s football players did, talk a good fight and then fold. Show your worth on the racetrack, not in the tv interviews before and afterwards.

      1. maestrointhesky
        30th June 2010, 13:00

        Well said! (I have to pad this comment out because the site won’t accept my first 2 words only!)

  20. Even though I don’t like Alonso very much, I completely understand his anger after the race. You have to feel sorry for him, he’s had an awful season.

    In Melbourne he spun on lap 1 – without the spin, he’d probably win the race or finish 2nd.

    In Malaysia he had an awful qualifying and a gearbox problem in the race + engine failure.

    In Shanghai he had a nice opportunity to win, but jumped the start and received a penalty, hence finished 4th.

    In Monaco he would probably fight for the win, but made that error in FP3 and had to star on the back of the grid.

    He didn’t make it to Q3 in Turkey.

    In Canada his race pace was similiar to Hamilton’s, but he finished 3rd because of traffic.

    Now in Valencia he was again very fast, and would probably challenge for the win once he’d get on the harder compound, but had a lot of bad luck, whilst Hamilton had another good race.

    Many people tend to think how much of bad luck Vettel had, losing two wins, but Alonso’s was even worse. Had there been no crashes and spins and retirements or anything from any driver, with finishing orders in races only depending on pure speed, Alonso would probably be leading the championship with a big advantage.

    1. The summary is appreciated. And let’s look a slight bit more closely:

      Melbourne-driver error
      Malaysia–team error, driver error, mechanical
      Shanghai–driver error
      Monaco–driver error
      Canada–poor performance (lapped-traffic fails)
      Valencia–dumb luck, poor performance (kobayashi fail)

      What do we see here? We see a guy who flung a POS Renault around the track like a genius—but, now in a Ferrari, is looking kind of shaky. And he is thus losing his cool.

      Based on this catalogue, you have to say that the points table accurately reflects the teams’ and their drivers’ ability to deliver on race day.

      1. Perhaps Alonso expected this year to be a cakewalk, and when it didn’t turn out that way has lost the head a little?

        He needs to do a Webber, keep calm & get himself back on track when things don’t go his way. Afterall, there are still, what, 9 races to go? A lot can happen in that time.

        1. I think both Alonso and Ferrari expected that somewhat after testing. They needed it to be a good season after having both had a bad 2009 (and 2008 being ultimately disappointing).

    2. I don’t agree with Dave’s analysis of him being a flaky driver, he’s made some uncharacteristc mistakes amongst some Mark Webber levels of bad luck. But hes also but in some quite remarkable recovery drives with Malaysia one of the best drives of his career.

      Yet despite all his problems we should remember he’s still with in striking distance of the lead of the WDC. 27 points is only 11ish in old money.

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