Alonso’s race ruined after Kubica pass

2010 British Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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.
Luca Colajanni

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.

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187 comments on “Alonso’s race ruined after Kubica pass”

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  1. According to La Sexta reporters, it seems ALO asked the team what he should do, and the Team told him to keep the place as the movement was legal.

    In any case I think ALO should have returned back to KUB the place without asking his team. That movement was clearly cutting the chicane, so cristal clear for everybody what to do…

    ALO is not managing properly the pressure he feels, and that could be the end for any top driver, if he don’t fix it quickly.

    1. We clearly heard Alonso tell the team that HE felt that he did nothing wrong. maybe the team confirmed this, but Alonso did not sound uncertain about it at all.

  2. Seems like some people would do weel to read this:

    In particular

    “There will be a lot of opinions from people watching on TV while having a beer, saying we should have let Kubica by in a moment when, first, there was nothing to do – if there’d had been a wall instead of grass I would have crashed against it and they would have penalised Kubica most likely.”

    I feel that a 5 to 10 sec penalty would have been more fit. Allthemore when considering that Kubi dropped out one or two laps after the incident and the fact that he left Alonso no room to pass.

    1. actually something different Alonso said there made me much happier:

      “Forty seven points seem a lot, but we don’t see it that way. Besides, before coming to Silverstone I trusted I could fight for the title, but we had to confirm that the car was working well at this track.

      “And now after Silverstone, regardless of the points we have lost, the car was flying in the race, so now I believe I can win the title much more than I believed before.”

      Alonso not giving up and feeling OK as his car was certainly up to the job. I still see him giving it some good fightback this year.

      1. Yes, that is the attitude Ferrari and Alonso need to have. Try their best and don’t get down when things don’t go your way, but come back like Webber did.

    2. “I think we did what we had to do and I don’t think we had to change anything,”

      This means Alonso/Ferrari still thinks that move was legal and not a tacit admission.

      Ferrari knows is not useful to argue anymore so there is no fury like Valencia.

    3. 5-10 sec penalties would not be given during for incident that are investigated during the race. The minimum that the stewards give during a race is drive through!

  3. Bartholomew
    11th July 2010, 17:06

    And now Lou diMonty will step up to the microphone
    Ferrari should just pack up and go race in America

    1. Copy and paste from other thread:

      They have been here for 60 years, and have been through worse times than where thy are now. So there is no reason they should suddenly quit.

  4. I must say I was rather conflicted by the penalty.

    On the one hand I thought Alonso deserved it due to the precedent set but on the other hand it rather messed up my prediction because before that, I had four drivers in the right positions lol.

  5. I am a little unclear as to whether the stewards would investigate an incident such as this as a matter of routine or only do so if (in this case Renault) made an official complaint about an unfair advantage being gained. In other words, if Renault took the view (however unlikely) that Kubica had, in fact, left Alonso with nowhere to go and that it was all just a racing incident and didn’t want to make an issue of it, could the stewards turn round and say, irrespective of that, Ferrari were wrong and should be punished.
    I only ask this because, if it is the latter, it could go some way (perhaps not all the way!) to answering the question as to the length of time for the decision to be taken. If Renault complained, I suppose in the interests of fairness, the stewards would then need to seek Ferrari’s response. All of that I can see would take longer than if the stewards, having seen the incident for themselves, simply took a view based on the video footage.

    1. I remember how Raikkonen at Spa 2009 was pushed off track by a start incident between (IIRC Trulli and Heidfeld). Raikkonen went wide and with his KERS button actually got a great exit out of that wide corner.

      Brundle said that perhaps no one complained about an unfair advantage and that’s how he got away.

      Same race and at the end of Kemmel, Barrichello simply neglected to brake, went straight through, skipped a whole corner blatantly passing 3 or 4 cars and got no penalty either.

      In that incident there was a crash too so maybe no one complained there either.

      Especially the Barrichello incident was pretty obvious.

  6. It wasn’t completely Alonso’s decision to overtake in this instance. Possibly 75% of the fault lay with him? The sensible decision would have been to penalise him one position, in event he was penalised 15 or so?

    1. “in event he was penalised 15 or so?”
      Thats why it was too harsh. I agree with what the stewards gave but the fact that it took too long to decide on what was a easy decision annoyed me, then the penalty got mixed with a safety car. Without the safety car they would have got demoted what 2 places in which he probably would have gained back. Lack of speediness in the steward’s room hits farrari again suprisingly, but thats coming from a fustrated and disipointed ferrari fan.

      1. Ferrar were contesting the decision. It’s their own fault it lasted longer than need be.

  7. Just BAD LUCK really… the stewards could have easily ruled that Kubica pushed Alonso off the track as the cameras, on board and otherwise show Alonso ahead in the corner. However, being that Alonso was deemed to have gained an advantage, the stewards had to punish him… further bad luck 1) the pit lane is very long in Silverstone and 2) the SC came out and bunched up the field, relegating Alonso to the back of the field…

  8. I looked at the video of the incident a few times. I can clearly say that Kubica gave Alonso enough space to have atleast 2 of the left side wheels on the track. Alonso preferred to go away from the track to gain an advantage so that he can get a better run after! End off story as this is the minimum penalty that could be issued by Stewards during a race as Alonso did not give the place back before the next white line mark. The 5/10 sec penalties can only be applied if the stewards make a decision after the race.

    1. One of the videos is from Alonso’s onboard camera and you can see that he changed the direction of his steering wheel and took the shortest path and cut the corner. It is an instinctive decision made by Alonso.

      1. when I say two wheels of Alonso’s car on the track, I mean the track + Kerb, then he would not have got a penalty!

  9. I guess i’ll be alone on that one, but anyway…

    I think Alonso was in front of Kubica when they brake, and Roberts pushes Fernando out of the track. I’m not sure, but i think Alonso was in the clean part of the track and in front of Kubica.

    Anyway… Let say Alonso did it wrong, and he deserved a DT. Why he announced incident involving cars 8 and 11 will be investigated after the race, but one lap later he announces the DT? And after that they deployed a SC for cleaning small pieces on the track that were there for several laps.

    I think they deployed the SC just after the DT to move Alonso to the past position. And the did that to punish Alonso’s staments after Valencia.

    That’s the way FIA punishes: harsh, late and unfair. At least they are unfair with everyone, so in some way that’s fair (a very special, sick and disgussting justice)

    1. Never heard that the race control ever said that they will investigate the incident after the race!

      Coming to the cutting the corner, Alonso cut the corner by such a big margin and drove straight across the corner cutting it, he should have known that he has to give the place back. Even the BBC commentator said very instinctively that he should give the place back as he cut the corner in a big way and go an advantage over Kubica.

      1. My mistake. I thought they said after the race, but i was wrong, it was incident involving cars 8 and 11 is under investigation.

  10. Rules are rules but FIA must review their way of applying. Stewards are too slow in taking decisions and when they take, very polarized to UK drivers… what did Alonso to FIA?? Winning 2 championships??

    1. Btw Spa 08, even though Hamilton (UK driver) gave the place back to Raikkonen, he still got a penalty for the incident after the race! Guess what the FIA are polarized to? Errr … their rule book!

  11. This reminds me of Spa 2008.

    Personally, I think Alonso was pushed over and not given a car’s width… and hence was right to keep the place.

    Still, as with Hamilton at Spa ’08, Ferrari could have helped themselves by allowing Kubica to re-pass, and not take the risk.

    The SC timing was very unlucky though.

    1. Why should he be given car’s width? Do you call that racing? that too between to immediate corners?

    2. Btw Hamilton at Spa 08, even though he gave the place back to Raikkonen he still got a penalty for the incident after the race!

  12. michael mair
    11th July 2010, 19:11

    Alonso surely can’t have much more bad luck to draw on.the underlying performance does not match the results,so he should be optimistic of some good results to come this season.

    ps sooooo glad webber won

  13. Alonso asked for prompt decision by the stewards. He got it.
    Alonso asked for a harsh penalty for the offending driver. He got it.
    Unfortunately he got it all. Even Mosley would have been proud of this moment. :-)

    Make fun of the FIA and they use u as an example at the slightest opportunity.

    Realistically we need to get back to racing and not this obsession with punishments. This is a professional sport, a little elbowing and kneeing is to be expected. For such a forced situation the driver should keep his position

    1. He he he … Well then we should have tracks with out corners like nascar

  14. There a lot of these twin corners on various tracks and none of these places are for overtaking as there is no place for 2 cars at the speeds they go! This is not a place for overtaking end off!

  15. Fran, actually you are wrong in thinking you may be alone in what you are thinking because I live in Spain and I see your line of argument almost all the timem
    As long as a decision goes against Alonso, however fair, as per the rules, people here never seem to accept it.
    It’s probably understandable because of the passion you have for Alonso but that should not cloud your judgement.

    The stewards didn’t get the penalty out of the blue. There are lots of precedents accumulated over the years and perhaps the most overt and rather popular one was the Hamilton/Kimi pass at Spa in 2008.
    Although Hamilton gave the position back, he retook it shortly after. Ferrari protested profusely and Hamilton was penalised ever if Kimi had crashed out of the race for reasons not connected with the passing. The rule was clarified after that race and you would think Fernando/Ferrari would remember that.
    I know this has been referenced to above but it would seem some people haven’t read it or looked back into the history of chicane cutting.

    1. Is what i said…

      FIA usually takes the wrong decission with everyone, so at the end the mistakes are balanced, and all the drivers supporters very angry.

      Probably next time Alonso makes something bad he won’t be punished, just to compensate last mistakes.

      Why do it right if you can do it arguable?

  16. Gutted for Alonso – one of the drives of the day. He was great to watch.

    IMO – fair overtkae as he was pushed off the circuit AFTER he made the pass. If they had made contact, KUB would have been penalised as he was behind.

    Its really about time we stop penalizing drivers for racing, Its racing, not a funeral procession! GRRRRR.

  17. From
    When Alonso was asked if he thought the penalty was fair, he replied “It’s always fair”.
    I’m guessing there must have been a private dressing down from the FIA after the Valencia outburst.

  18. I think the penalty was justified. Of course Alonso had bad luck with SC, and also with the fact that Kubica retired so he couldn’t let him back past. However, how about slowing between three to five seconds in one lap, if that had been OK to do.

    But, I say that despite Kubica was not giving much room, Alonso was not enough ahead to have completed the pass.

  19. Im surprised by ferrari.
    Low performance, wrong strategies, stupid decisions (or no decisions when needed). What happened to this team?

  20. The race analysts at RAI weren’t impressed with the penalty, but it is understandable from them since they’re Italians.

    The incident reminded me of Hamilton at Spa, but that day, Hamilton did give back his position, yet still received a post race penalty which robbed him the victory. Strangely, at that time, Ferrari said it was a fair thing. Now that they committed the infringement (which Hamilton did not!), they are saying it was unfair on them. Can anyone explain their view to me please?

    1. I can’t explain their view for you. I will tell you that Hamilton did infringe the rule. The rules says you can’t “gain advantage” that doesn’t just mean you can’t gain a place, it also means you can’t cut the track and get a run on someone into the next corner.

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