Alonso’s race ruined after Kubica pass

2010 British Grand Prix

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

  1. fyujj said on 11th July 2010, 16:25

    The stewards are getting very wrong by thinking that the ‘rule’ is more important than the race. The rules are made so there’s a fair race.
    EVERYONE could see the maneuver between Alonso and Kubica as it was on focus in the transmission. If it was wrong, then they should swap back the positions soon after. How come they should wait for Renault to complain?
    After Kubica left the race, there was no reason for a penalty anymore SINCE NO ONE ELSE HAD BEEN DISFAVORED.

    The good referee is the one that goes unnoticed.

    • KnottyBwoy said on 11th July 2010, 16:39

      Are you from ferrari too? :-)

    • CapeFear said on 11th July 2010, 16:41

      You’re blind, you do not realise that Alonso took a massive lead in front of Robert which he would not of had if he was behind. he gained an advantage.

      The penalty was sound, the car wasn’t on the track anymore the only penalty they could give was drive through.

    • Daffid said on 11th July 2010, 17:02

      You’re completely wrong to say no-one else was ‘disfavoured’

      Alonso was being (fairly) held up by Kubica. Once he was past him, that unfairly disadvantaged the other (slower) cars he was chasing,as it potentially allowed him to catch and attempt to pass them sooner than he should have.

      yes Kubica’s retirement and the safety car made it all rather academic – and made Alonso’s decision to speed off into the distance rather than give the place back seem even more foolish, but they Kubica wasn’t the only car racing with Alonso when looked at in a ‘whole race’ context.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th July 2010, 17:27


      Alonso gained time after passing Kubica that he would not have gained had he not overtaken him.

      • hamder said on 11th July 2010, 18:11

        And he returned in front of Button after pitting because of it, Button would have been disfavored if not for the penalty-

  2. KnottyBwoy said on 11th July 2010, 16:31

    Now who’s the cheater? Hahaha! See, if he’s in Lewis’s place in valencia, he’d do the same Lewis did but the sad thing is he was caught by the safety car after Lewis passed. Alonso is a more radical cheater than any driver in F1. He should have given back the place to kubi immediately and that should be a common instinct for a straight and honest F1 driver. Last week, they want good punishments from the stewards for those who break them rules…now they got it…as they wish! Bwaaaahahahaha!

  3. DannyJ said on 11th July 2010, 16:39

    Here here… he might be a great driver and they may be a great manufacturer, but they’re also cheats, and the FIA are watching, at last… Karma, ahhhhh….

  4. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion said on 11th July 2010, 16:47

    I’m really disappointed with this forum…. who has gained position in that corner? Come on, even David Coulthard said it was unfair…. comparing this issue with Valencia’s is absolutely out of place. This time you don’t need a rule modification to let it clear.

    I’ve heard that after the incident Alonso inmediately turned down revs and waited to give position back, but Kubica’s differential broke and nothing could be done. I don’t know if it’s true, although it could be seen by telemetry.

    Alonso (and I don’t mind if it is the Fred, the Hamilton or any other driver in this case) was at the inner side of the turn, absolutely paired with Kubica. If there was a penalty to give it was to Kubica for dangerous driving.

    • Nick said on 11th July 2010, 16:57

      What’s wrong with a lift immediately after the corner? A bit easier than to “turn down the revs”. Or is Alonso THAT stupid that he needs the ECU to make him slow down ?

    • Pablo said on 11th July 2010, 17:03

      Agree. One thing is go side by side into the corner and one different thing its try to take out the track another driver (I race karts, i know “a little” the difference)…but, you know… if Alonso was Hamilton there was no penalty

      • Nick said on 11th July 2010, 20:36

        I agree. Ham would have let Rob back through immediately with a little lift and would therefore not have been penalised unlike Alonso who deliberately chose to ignore a basic rule of F1 and then goes all emotional…again. You can’t ignore rules and then moan. Simples.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th July 2010, 17:28

      I appreciate your point Architron and if I was writing the rules from scratch I wouldn’t allow drivers to push their rivals off the track.

      But these are the rules we have and we all know if you overtake another car by going off the track – regardless of whether the other person forced you off the track – you have to give the position back.

      We saw that on several occasions last year – Button at Valencia and Webber at Singapore for example.

      • Juan H said on 11th July 2010, 18:06

        Yes, these are the rules. The problem is that sometimes they are applied and many other times they are NOT applied. Drivers never know what is going to happen; if this were as you said it would be quite silly on Fernando/Ferrari not to have Kubica past (I think they should have done it).

        We could see in catalonian TV how two members of Ferrari team (boss included) and Fernando’s agent were talking to him before he had to leave for the TV interview. I can imagine them telling him “you better keep your mouth shut (meaning do not tell what you are thinking) if you do not want to get another penalty next race”. And that is quite logical, I do not recall the FIA referring to something Fernando has done like “you bad boy, did something wrong, but that is OK as far as you do not do it again”… do you?

        • Jeff J said on 12th July 2010, 13:38

          “Yes, these are the rules. The problem is that sometimes they are applied and many other times they are NOT applied. Drivers never know what is going to happen”

          There is a question of consistency from circuit to circuit but in this case the stewards at Silverstone were being consistent. For all of the support races over the race weekend the stewards were handing out penalties for cars with all 4 wheels off the circuit who were gaining an advantage from it.

      • Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion said on 11th July 2010, 18:59

        appreciate your point, and agree with it. And you know, as I know, that this issue is far away from easy reading of the rules, just a planet appart from a fanboy argument, what I dislike so much.

        Maybe we will find FIA clarifying rules next week in order to bring late justice to racing, like it happened with the safety car overtakings, empty tanks qualifying laps, waving on straights, driving on the blue line of the pits, etc etc etc.

    • Daffid said on 11th July 2010, 17:54

      I don’t know about turning down the revs, and I’d like to see the full race data, but watching it on the BBC’s race tracker, Alonso appeared to open up a large gap as soon as he was past. If he wanted to give the place back, all he needed to do was lift off the throttle for a second, but he didn’t, he sped off into the distance.

      • Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion said on 11th July 2010, 19:01

        knowing that in that turn Kubica lost his differential, the gap was innevitable

    • Patrickl said on 12th July 2010, 0:18

      I completely disagree with all you say, but good point about the BBC pundits getting it wrong AGAIN though.

      It seems to be getting worse and worse.

  5. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 11th July 2010, 16:47

    All Alonso had to do was think “Oops I cut the corner there” let him back passed and he’d have finished 3rd or 4th.

    • nelly said on 11th July 2010, 16:54

      At the end of the day, regardless of whether things got unfair with Alonso, that is what should have happened and as Keith said, I think Ferrari realise it.

    • Maksutov said on 11th July 2010, 17:34

      yep i agree, pretty simple

      • Dianna said on 11th July 2010, 18:44

        Alonso,being so passionate and fiery is with the wrong team,as Ferrari are the same as him — so easily fired up..look at the way all this is affecting Felipe Massa? The poor man looks a shadow of how he was with Michael Schumacher.
        Ferrari need cool headed drivers,and Alonso needs to be with a cool headed team.

        They are destroying each other.

        • Patrickl said on 12th July 2010, 0:21

          Good point. If Alonso was in a more level headed team they would have told him to cool down. They would have explained that it was his own mistake and just deal with it.

          Now his team is just as nuts as he is and they are freaking each other out to the point where Alonso cannot even overtake Buemi or Liuzzi anymore.

  6. IDR (@idr) said on 11th July 2010, 17:04

    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.

    • Patrickl said on 12th July 2010, 0:22

      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.

  7. sasbus said on 11th July 2010, 17:06

    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.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th July 2010, 17:23

      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.

      • bosyber said on 15th July 2010, 21:27

        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.

    • Luca said on 11th July 2010, 18:06

      “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.

    • edinfreak said on 11th July 2010, 19:09

      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!

  8. Bartholomew said on 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

    • David A said on 11th July 2010, 18:37

      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.

  9. TomD11 said on 11th July 2010, 17:43

    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.

  10. Pops said on 11th July 2010, 17:49

    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.

    • Patrickl said on 12th July 2010, 0:28

      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.

  11. 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?

    • Ryan M said on 11th July 2010, 23:31

      “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.

      • Patrickl said on 12th July 2010, 0:29

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

  12. AGBNyc said on 11th July 2010, 18:29

    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…

  13. edinfreak said on 11th July 2010, 18:29

    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.

    • edinfreak said on 11th July 2010, 18:31

      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.

      • edinfreak said on 11th July 2010, 18:46

        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!

  14. fran said on 11th July 2010, 18:46

    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)

    • edinfreak said on 11th July 2010, 18:54

      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.

  15. Sularetal said on 11th July 2010, 18:56

    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??

    • edinfreak said on 11th July 2010, 19:02

      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!

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