After a frustrating race in Valencia Fernando Alonso had more bad luck in the British Grand Prix.
But this time he was at least partly the architect of his own demise.
He was handed a drive-through penalty after the stewards judged he’d passed Robert Kubica by going off the track – and Alonso failed to give the position back.
Alonso passed Kubica at Club, pulling alongside the Renault driver on the outside. Kubica gave him little room, forcing the Ferrari driver onto the run-off.
Alonso rejoined the track in front of Kubica and didn’t cede the position back. This was surprising, as we’ve seen on several occasions the stewards order drivers to hand positions back having taken them by going off the track.
At Singapore last year Alonso was given a place back by Mark Webber after a similar incident on the first lap.
Instead Ferrari and Renault debated the matter with the stewards. Predictably, Alonso was eventually told to give the place back to Kubica.
But within moment of decision been taken, Kubica was out of the race. Now the stewards told Alonso he would have to serve a driver-through penalty.
This was harsh, but completely in line with past decisions – and entirely avoidable had Alonso had the sense to give the position back to Kubica in the first place.
It got worse for Ferrari as the safety car was summoned onto the track moments later, meaning Alonso would have to serve his penalty after the field had bunched up, costing him even more dearly.
Ferrari’s press officer Luca Colajanni referred to the team’s frustration after Valencia when interviews about the penalty on the BBC:
Today we had another example that maybe people need to think about it. We had to give back a position and no-one was around to collect it.
But there are referees in every sport and you have to respect their position, wrong or right.
Their less vehement reaction to this setback compared to their fury after Valencia is perhaps a tacit admission that their driver could have avoided this penalty.
2010 British Grand Prix
- Technical review: British Grand Prix
- Liuzzi explains hard tyre struggle
- Ten F1 fans’ stories from Silverstone
- 2010 British Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Was new Silverstone a success? (Poll)
- Alonso: we’ll catch Red Bull in Germany
- Michael wants Silverstone bumps eased
- Who was the best driver of the British Grand Prix weekend? (Poll)
- Both cars in points (Williams race review)
- Kobayashi takes sixth (Sauber race review)
Image (C) Ferrari spa