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. John H said on 11th July 2010, 18:57

    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.

    • edinfreak said on 11th July 2010, 18:58

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

    • edinfreak said on 11th July 2010, 19:01

      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!

  2. michael mair said on 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

  3. Oliver said on 11th July 2010, 19:12

    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

  4. edinfreak said on 11th July 2010, 19:19

    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!

  5. Kanyima said on 11th July 2010, 20:54

    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.

    • fran said on 11th July 2010, 22:40

      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?

  6. DASMAN said on 11th July 2010, 21:03

    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.

  7. schooner said on 11th July 2010, 21:28

    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.

  8. Bleu said on 11th July 2010, 21:43

    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.

  9. statix said on 11th July 2010, 23:06

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

  10. Xibi said on 11th July 2010, 23:21

    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?

    • Daniel said on 12th July 2010, 6:26

      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.

  11. Todfod said on 11th July 2010, 23:24

    As a die hard Alonso fan, I cannot blame anyone else but Fernando himself for his result today. A poor start, followed by no overtaking attempts on Rosberg, followed by a cut corner overtake, and no motivation to make places up towards the end, just goes to show that Fernando fu!#ed up.

    Sure he got screwed by the SC period while serving his penalty, but he repeatedly puts himself in these positions instead of doing what is expected of a 2 time WDC.

    I think Fernando needs to throw in the towel on this years championship.

  12. maestrointhesky said on 12th July 2010, 0:13

    I bet Alonso is loving the comparison with his old Nemesis where Hamilton is absolved for an idiotic stewards decision (Spa 2008), on the other hand, Alonso is currently being vilified for a an idiotic driving decision!

  13. JamesC1991 said on 12th July 2010, 1:08

    correct decision was made enough said

  14. DaveW said on 12th July 2010, 2:20

    How about this. If the guy you illegally passed retires, then you have to let the next guy behind pass. After all, the point of the rule is that you do not gain a position.

    Alonso is not stranger to this situation. He knows he has to give the position back. And you have to think that if you don’t give the spot back, and race on racking up a big advantage, you are tempting the stewards to throw the book at you. Especially since, say, unlike Hamilton’s latest foul, both the malice and the advantage were immediately obvious at the time of the infraction.

    He and the team basically tried to see if they could get away with a basic black and white violation. In this regard, the penalty may well have been too lenient.

    • Steven said on 12th July 2010, 5:53

      The rules are very clear… if you gain an advantage you have to give that advantage back.

      If Kubica had retired on the following straight, then Alonso would probably have got away with not letting him back through, but seeing as Kubica lasted at least another lap and Alonso clearly floored it as soon as he was through the corner, it was clear there was no intent by Alonso to give the place back.

      He didn’t have the racing line and Kubica had every right to continue following it. Alonso makes a clear move to the right to avoid having to slow down and in the process skipped the corner.

      The FIA can do 2 things… 1) put a brick wall there so in future people crash, or 2) hand out penalties… I think we are all in agreement that a penalty is better than a crash.

      Alonso was just plain stupid. In exactly the same way as his rash attempt to overtake Luizzi at the end which probably cost him at least one point.

  15. muzamil said on 12th July 2010, 5:10

    to me it is a correct decision. Remember Spa 08 where Hamilton was punished although he gave back the position and Kimi was out of the race. This case is much worse as Alonso didn’t cede the position.

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