Alonso retracts Valencia criticism

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

2010 European Grand Prix

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131 comments on Alonso retracts Valencia criticism

  1. judo chop said on 30th June 2010, 2:02

    Can anyone explain how Alonso would’ve finished significantly higher than 8th if Hamilton had stayed behind the safety car? If Hamilton had been DQ’d, would that have prevented Alonso from being passed by Kobayashi?

    • bosyber said on 30th June 2010, 8:03

      Probably, because he would not have lost focus.

      Or maybe he would have passed Hamilton when that nose was changed, and Kobayashi would not have passed Hamilton? But still, not higher than 6th, I think.

      • RaulZ said on 30th June 2010, 17:19

        The matter is that Hamilton would be just in front of him: 7th. Its not personal, they’re fighting for the championship.

        Alonso said that just before the race and He would have said that with someone else because, that’s true, he complains.

  2. Jhonnie Siggie said on 30th June 2010, 2:25

    I just want to say to all those who were extremely angry after the race that I told you so. I likened their behavior at the time to a herd of cattle simply obeying their master. Various individuals in the aftermath of the race simply wanted to regurgitate Fernando’s and Ferrari’s talking points.

    Do we feel smart now that we were so miffed for Fernando now that the man himself has said oops I was too heated in the moment and I maybe just overreacted at tad?

    What will experts tell you about crisis situations such as the BP oil spill? They say that the first reports are almost always incorrect but you don’t know exactly where. That is why we went from 1K to 5K to 20K to 60K barrels of oil. During the Turkey incident involving Hamilton and Button, it took more that 1 week for the situation to become fully clear.

    Let us not be like cattle guys. Don’t be so mad in your little cubicles for Lewis and Fernando while they have gotten over these things and are out partying with the elites.

  3. chazzers said on 30th June 2010, 3:10

    Ferrari’s PR deptartment obviously has Mondays off. Good to know.

  4. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 30th June 2010, 5:18

    Oh dear…whine and moan, it’s okay, you can just retract what you said once the mud has stuck.

    But I’ll give Alonso the benefit of the doubt, that this was sincere.

  5. W-K said on 30th June 2010, 6:50

    I see Alonso got it right about “It would have only needed a few seconds more or less to totally change our race.”
    If the SC call had come a few seconds earlier he could have dived down the pit lane and had a 5 sec penalty. And not seen what Hamilton did.

  6. Too bad Spanky is no longer in charge at the FIA; you know he would have administered some corporeal punishment to Freddie’s back side,regardless of his retractions. After all, he IS slandering the sport!

  7. Mike said on 30th June 2010, 7:54

    No one will deny that the stewards created a giant cock up. And as the driver who was most negatively affected, Alonso has every right to be angry. In fact! don’t we want the drivers to show emotion? Don’t we want drivers to tell it how they see it? and to say things in the heat of the moment? that’s one of the things F1 should be!
    Drivers are meant to be 110% emotionally involved.

    But Luca, should not have joined in, For him to accuse the FIA of cheating is not good at all. A driver is meant to get upset when things don’t go his way, but a team boss is meant to have some restraint, And back the FIA up even if it was hard done by, for the good of the sport.

    Now we have Alonso and Massa apologising, but for me, this only makes it worse. This is Luca making them apologies to make himself look better, when in reality, He must formally apologies for his comments.

    • W-K said on 30th June 2010, 9:14

      Isn’t your criticism of the stewards a bit OTT, at the time of the Hamilton/SC incident, the only people in the F1 world looking at it were the people who saw it in front of their eyes.
      The rest of the F1 world, all the officials, press TV cxamers’s etc were concerned about Mark Webber. Except possibly the other drivers and their race engineers who were warning their drivers to expect SC deployment.

      • Mike said on 30th June 2010, 9:33

        Even if it is understandable, it was a cock up. I don’t think you can argue against that.

        It took 16 (or close to) laps to come to a decision, which meant that Hamilton served his penalty 19(?) laps after the incident. My computer games have functions to allow me to easily go back watch replays, so I don’t see why the stewards shouldn’t have access to this relatively basic technology.

        The main point of my comment was a criticism
        of Luca di Montezemolo.

        • Jhonnie Siggie said on 30th June 2010, 10:40

          You can only say the stewards screwed up if they took an extraordinarily long time to decide. How about you go look at stats from previous races before you reach such premature conclusions? Would you whine so much if Mr Kobayashi wasn’t so slow and created a gap?

          The only thing people will agree with is that the safety car rule needs looking at. Ham got the penalty prescribed in the rule book but it did not have the effect of more than offsetting any potential advantage. Most of this though was due to good fortune (short pit lane and slow Kobayashi). Your post is all about blame blame blame the fia with little recognition of the actual facts. Do you want the fia to start handing out arbitrary punishments or follow the rules?

        • Obbo said on 30th June 2010, 11:22

          Mike, I agree with your ‘main point’ about Luca and that it was natural for Alonso to be annoyed that his race was disrupted. But not the rest. The stewards delay has more than adequately been explained and I don’t think your computer game analogy holds up. Even I as a programming nerd can still distinguish between code generated scenarios and the complexities of real life! Now if you want to complain about the whole system of dealing with safety car and other infringements I’m with you! And yes we do like to see drivers 110% involved but you can’t seriously be saying that it is a good thing to be so unstable as to lose ones head to the detriment of the ability to perform at even 90% of ones capabilty? Final question. Suppose Fernando made it past the SC then jumped Lewis in the pits. Would Fernando have agreed that those left behind the SC had a right to complain? Or would he have said “I am not concerned with their position, these are the rules”?

        • W-K said on 30th June 2010, 13:19

          The questions you haven’t asked are;
          When were the stewards asked to investigate the Hamilton/SC incident,
          Was all the evidence available, i.e. I understand they had to wait for the helicopter video.
          Where they involved with other matters.

          Only when you find those details can you decide if the Stewards were slow in reaching a decision, but not before.

    • “In fact! don’t we want the drivers to show emotion? Don’t we want drivers to tell it how they see it? and to say things in the heat of the moment? that’s one of the things F1 should be!
      Drivers are meant to be 110% emotionally involved.”

      Couldn’t agree more, I’d much rather support a driver who is passionate about his racing but has flaws than a driver who aspires to have no personality in front of the media so he can try keep a skweeky clean image for his sponsors.

  8. I can understand his frustration, the way it worked out wasn’t right, and he lost out because of it.

    Lewis got away with it, because he broke the rules – and the penalty was applied far to late to have any real significance. Having said that, I don’t think he broke them intentionally – and had he not broken them, he too would’ve been unfairly punted back into the pack with Alonso and co.

    Though, Fernando is the last person I thought I’d hear beating the ‘manipulated race’ drum. When was the last truly manipulated race again?

    The whole deployment was a mess, and I don’t think anyone was trying to gain too much of an unfair advantage, it just worked out really badly – and almost really badly for Lewis as well, who along with Alonso, certainly didn’t deserve to be back so far in the pack.

  9. Oliver said on 30th June 2010, 9:41

    If Alonso new where the safety car line was, why didn’t he attempt to race the safety car to the line much earlier.
    I think Alonso was also done in by the regulation that suggests all cars stay within a certain distance from the car ahead.

  10. kowalsky said on 30th June 2010, 10:00

    It’s such a brainless way to act, what alonso did after the race. First he wasn’t right, on the manipulation claim, second he gave the fia a good reason to give him a penalty for puttting the sport into disrepute.
    And don’t forget that todt and alonso are not the best of friends. I don’t think he will be penalized, but i am pretty sure he’ll get a warning, just because the fia don’t want to throw more wood into the fire.

  11. ado said on 30th June 2010, 10:55

    I hope Alonso doesn’t mean a word of it.

    It was and still remains manipulation by British stewards. I didn’t see a British referee during England-Germany, obviously.

  12. Anthony said on 30th June 2010, 11:09

    it would be interesting to hear the radio transmission with Hamilton as the safety car came out if there is one….

    • Splint3r said on 30th June 2010, 12:25

      Yes. It should give an insight as to exactly what was going on in the mclaren department.

      We had the audio on the LH-JB mixup in Turkey. Its kind of weird we are yet to hear anything about the audio transcript on the SC incident this time from mclaren. conspiracy theory anyone? :D

  13. DGR-F1 said on 30th June 2010, 12:27

    I hope we aren’t all going to be taken in either by Ferrari’s media-speak as spoken through the suddenly calm Alonso and goody-goody Massa. Of course Ferrari still want something to be done about this, and I think we will be hearing their grumblings all through the rest of the season, as much at the FIA as at McLaren, Sauber, the small teams and anybody else who ruins their races.
    Also, just how much can the Sporting Working Group hope to achieve before the next race? Very little I would think. This is just a bit of PR from Todt to calm things down and make everybody feel that something is happening.
    I think its going to take much longer and wider discussions to sort out the penalties so they fit the situation, and to get the Safety Car behaving as it should too, but I think the FIA have been too complacent this year, having satisfied themselves that by including an ex-driver in the stewards it automatically makes things better.
    We still are lacking the ‘joined-up’ thinking required at a race-track, and at least an acknowledgement that both the drivers and the teams are not deliberately going to break the rules (no matter what Alonso thinks!)

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th June 2010, 15:04

      Ah, so next we will be hearing bad things about Renault as well.
      They might get in the way of Ferrari scoring major points pretty often as well.

  14. Safety:

    Its not just about breaking rules. The appearence of the safety car signals there is a dangerous obstacle on the track. Overtaking it could have put lives of a number of people, marshalls, drivers, drivers needing help being removed from their cars etc at risk.

  15. Nick said on 30th June 2010, 13:06

    There is no doubt that Alonso has the natural talent to be THE top driver but he has become so weak mentally since 2007 that his results are badly affected by his inability to put that year behind him. Don’t think he’ll recover and get back to the top regardless of car/team.

  16. Typhoon said on 30th June 2010, 13:57

    I find it amazing that such am accomplished driver (Alonso)let this play on his mind the for the rest of the race and affect his performance, even letting the Sauber past on the last lap. Even Hamilton expressed surprise about this ‘weakness’ in one of his post race interviews. I can help thinking he would have gained a few more points at Valencia if just concentrated on his own race.

    • pitbul said on 30th June 2010, 23:34

      “I don’t remember too much about it to be honest.”
      liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar,liar, liar, liar, liar

  17. aNT366 said on 30th June 2010, 15:48

    Cuanto gilipolla suelto.

  18. Chaz said on 1st July 2010, 10:06

    I was watching the Euro GP at a friends house and Alonso’s protests produced two main remarks. 1) “Me thinks the lady doth protests to much” was one and 2) “its funny how the cheaters always feel hardest done by when things don’t work out their way”. I just thought I’d throw that out there to mull over…

  19. James said on 2nd July 2010, 11:43

    this alonso guys always whinges when he doesn’t win or doesn’t get his way,he is a shame on the sport and a lucky 2 time world champion

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