Controversy as Alonso wins manipulated race (German Grand Prix review)

Fernando Alonso claimed his second win of 2010 in the German Grand Prix – but only after team mate Felipe Massa was ordered to give him the win.

The change of positions has already drawn widespread criticism and both drivers were clearly subdued on the podium afterwards. The stewards are investigating what happened.

The pair took the lead at the start as both overtook Sebastian Vettel. But Vettel’s attempts to keep Alonso behind let Massa through into the lead ahead of his team mate.

Pinched between the Ferraris, Vettel slowed held up Jenson Button. That allowed the McLaren driver’s team mate to pass him as well as Mark Webber.

Vettel was the first driver to pit, his team smartly taking advantage of a small gap in the traffic behind.

Alonso reacted, pitting before Massa, but after his team mate pitted Alonso was still behind. Lewis Hamilton came in too and was briefly stuck behind Robert Kubica when he came back out.

But Mark Webber came off worst in the first round of pit stops, ultimately losing fifth place to Jenson Button. Button stayed out late and came close to getting ahead of Hamilton as well as Webber.

That left the Ferraris first and second, with Felipe Massa struggling to begin with after he switched to hard tyres.

At first it looked as though Alonso might be able to pass his team mate. He made a concerted effort when when was briefly held up behind Bruno Senna but Massa held the inside line for the hairpin and Alonso’s attempt to pass failed.

After that Massa began to pull away, building up a gap of over three seconds over his team mate. Later Alonso began to bring the gap down again and came within range as Massa hit more traffic.

It was at this point that Rob Smedley got on the radio to Massa with a message that has already become infamous. It was clearly a coded instruction to Massa telling him to let Alonso by.

Later Ferrari’s press officer Luca Colajanni defended the decision saying the team were concerned about the threat of third-placed Vettel:

If Felipe would have struggled more Vettel could have joined Fernando and that could have been a danger for the team.

When you are on the pit wall you have to think about all the potential scenarios. Vettel could have joined them and maybe in last ten laps of the race we could have been in trouble.
Luca Colajanni

However he denied Massa had been told to let Alonso by, saying:

We didn’t let Fernando pass. It was a driver decision. We inform the drivers about situation. We didn’t give any instruction at all to what they have to do. It was his own decision.
Luca Colajanni

Even when Massa slowed after being passed, Vettel wasn’t able to do anything about the Ferrari, and followed him home in third. But afterwards the stewards summoned Ferrari to explain themselves raising the possibility that Vettel may yet gain more places.

The McLaren drivers had a quiet race to fourth and fifth. They might have been pushed harder had Webber not developed a problem with high oil temperature, meaning he had to drop back from them.

Kubica took seventh ahead of the Mercedes duo, Nico Rosberg leading home Michael Schumacher after getting past him via the pit stops. Vitaly Petrov claimed the final point ahead of Kamui Koabayashi’s Sauber.

The two Williams drivers fell out of the points having started in the top ten and came home 12th and 13th.

Pedro de la Rosa ran a long first stint on the hard tyres but ultimately finished where he started in 14th.

The two Force Indias finished 16th and 17th behind Jaime Alguersuari after a terrible race for the team. Both cars were in for repairs at the end of the first lap.

The only two drivers of the new teams to finish were Timo Glock and Bruno Senna.

Alonso’s win means he is still fifth in the drivers championship but is now within 13 points of the Red Bull duo – assuming the stewards allow him to keep his win.

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275 comments on Controversy as Alonso wins manipulated race (German Grand Prix review)

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  1. BTDelusionals said on 25th July 2010, 16:14

    So this race is manipulated but the last two weren´t. Talk about british bias

    • British bias? No – Keith isn’t the type for that. I’m more concerned at the fact that suddenly this is the worst thing to have ever happened in the sport, when exactly the same thing went almost unnoticed when McLaren did it in consecutive races in 2008. Not to mention several other incidents over the past eight years.

      • Bob said on 25th July 2010, 16:27

        Of course it’s British bias. The fact that Mr. Collantine even puts the word ‘MANIPULATED’ in the title based on his own ‘expert’ opinion, before any ruling has even been made by the FIA shows how unprofessional he is.

        But this website is just small-fry, a pittance compared to far more reputable sites out there. Like someone said, if you don’t like it you can get out. Shame on you, Keith.

        • Tom Watson said on 25th July 2010, 16:33

          I feel the name is more to do with Irony than it is British Bias/unprofessionalism.

        • Fer no.65 said on 25th July 2010, 16:36

          it was manipulated, like it or not, it was…

          And this website isn’t biased at all…

        • Maciek said on 25th July 2010, 16:41

          Then why do you come here?

        • Gusto said on 25th July 2010, 16:44

          Keith knows more about F1 than all us put together and the race result was clearly malipulated. It`s a fact that when cheaters get caught out they go on the offensive, Iv`e yet to read a comment by a Ferrari fan that is calm and coherent.

        • kaiser said on 25th July 2010, 16:46

          Keith is only stating fact

          All can see that this race was manipulated by Ferrari so that Alonso could win……..

          We now wait to see if the FIA have any balls at all…….

          And Bob, if you don’t like this site, which I think is very well run by Keith, then go to one of those ‘other’ sites you talk about….

          And I am not British…….

        • David BR said on 25th July 2010, 16:57

          Bob, so why does FIA’s own site say, quote: “Felipe Massa handed Ferrari team mate Fernando Alonso victory in the German Grand Prix”??

          Since FIA are acknowledging the race was handed to Alonso, either they think Massa did it of his own free will, or it was a team order. Or to decide which needs investigating.

        • Spencer said on 25th July 2010, 17:04

          Even if the race was not manipulated by Ferrari, the outcome was manipulated by Massa. Thus stopping us fans seeing Vetel catch the Ferrari’s and Alsonso being forced to get past Massa. When all said and done the fans were “Robbed” by a MANIPULATED race.

        • Gentleman Alonso lol said on 25th July 2010, 17:19

          Rather an unnecessary attack on Keith..I guess it was just an excuse so this half-wit can have a go at us Brits… pathetic.

          • Kester said on 25th July 2010, 18:30

            This website has shown bias from time to time, but that’s nothing that can be helped. Keith is clearly a British fan of Formula 1, who most likely follows MacLaren and Hamilton.

            Admit it on not, there is bias there.

            Regardless, as a Ferrari fan, I can see why so many people are annoyed, but at the end of the day the two drivers are hired by the team; it is therefore the team who decided who they want to drive for them and what their respective contracts say. If a team want a certain driver to finish ahead of the other it should be there decision.

            Finally if this happened in the last couple of races in the season no one would have batted an eyelid. Being out of contention or not doesn’t make the ruling any different, and I think all the people that are making a fuss should ask themselves if they have made the same level of fuss in the past when drivers have relinquished positions in the final few races of the season. It doesn’t matter if it’s race 1, or race 19 the act is the same, it’s either always acceptable, or never.

          • Mike-e said on 26th July 2010, 2:43

            like you say, its all cheating. But the mclaren team never asked alonso to drop back from third place in 2007 to allow hamilton passed and to back up the bmw into him so hamilton could have had the chance to take the title…. they could have, but they didn’t…. think about that before you get on your high horse.

          • Mike-e said on 26th July 2010, 2:45

            that race of course being the final found in brazil where raikkonen (100pts) finished 1 point ahead of alonso and hamilton both tied on 99.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 26th July 2010, 18:39

            “But the mclaren team never asked alonso to drop back from third place in 2007 to allow hamilton passed”

            Well, that’s completely different, since it isn’t just asking one driver to let the other through, but asking one driver to back up several cars and end up letting another car through. And Raikkonen got 110 points, with the Mclarens on 109.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th July 2010, 20:33

          The Stewards confirmed that stance with their ruling (using team orders and bringing the sport in disrepute) and handing a fine to Ferrari as well as having Ferrari before the World Council in September.

          That’s Manipulation to me. And Bob, if you think the site is not up to it, as you say, pleas don’t bother to come back here.

          Most people visiting here like the largely unbiased articles here and more and some F1 insiders are looking at the site from time to time as well.

        • matt90 said on 25th July 2010, 20:48

          Why don’t you stick to more reputable sites then? But anyway, it clearly was manipulated, hence the title, and the FIA have now confirmed this. A ruling doesn’t need to be made before you can recognise a fact- the same way as when Alonso overtook on the grass at silverstone, I didn’t need clarification before I could recognise it was an illegal move- I used my eyes. And why would it be British bias? I expect the brazilians and anybody else not spanish will have similar ‘bias.’

        • bye then bob (waving…)..

        • spudw said on 26th July 2010, 2:43

          Bob,

          First, your delusional. For anyone who thinks Ferrari management didn’t have a decisive impact on the race order in a manner inconsistent with the sporting regulation is out of touch with reality.

          Second, Keith’s site is more honest, factual and informative than any of the corporate site’s I’ve seen. And I get my F1 news from no less than seven F1 sites on a daily basis.

          If you don’t like an honest assessment of Ferrari’s cheating ways, just log on to ferrari.it and leave the real F1 fans to lament the lack of integrity that led to a manipulated result in today’s race.

        • If you find the site so offending, by all means leave.

          Keith, you do a great job. This was a race as heinously manipulated as Austria 02. You do a great job with all you articles. Thankyou and keep up the great work!

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th July 2010, 9:08

          The fact that Mr. Collantine even puts the word ‘MANIPULATED’ in the title based on his own ‘expert’ opinion, before any ruling has even been made by the FIA shows how unprofessional he is.

          If I pretended that race was anything other than fixed the majority of readers of the site would, quite rightly, condemn me for being naive and not knowing anything about Formula 1.

      • Rob81 said on 25th July 2010, 16:43

        Alonso is not innocent
        on the fisrt laps he radioed “it’s ridicuolos” of course mentioning that he had to “stay” behind Massa.
        All the other radio conversation doesn’t need explanations,….”Alonso is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?”
        it was missing only a wink or a horse head for Massa,,,

      • bronek82 said on 25th July 2010, 16:47

        McLaren did the same in 2008

        • adam23 said on 25th July 2010, 17:07

          No, because if Kovalainen didnt let Hamilton pass, Mclaren would have been 3rd and 4th, as it was, they were 1st and 4th. In addition, Hamilton would have passed anyway, something Alonso tried and failed to do.

          Today, if the lap finished after 45 laps, Ferrari would have 43 points, as it was, Ferrari got 43 points.

          This is not the same thing

        • John H said on 25th July 2010, 17:14

          There was no team order in 2008, it was Kovalainen who decided to do what was right for the team.

          If you have evidence to the contrary, then perhaps you would like to post it up here so we can compare it to what Rob Smedley’s message.

      • Asha-D said on 26th July 2010, 2:33

        Drop the Ferrari/Alonso fanboyism. You don’t owe them anything. In races where McLaren were deemed to have broken the rules. Penalties were served. $100,000 is nothing to ferrari.

    • matt88 (@matt88) said on 25th July 2010, 16:18

      In Britain Alonso should have been more careful, but surely Valencia was much more ‘manipulated’ than this.

    • Electrolite said on 25th July 2010, 16:19

      No, they weren’t.

      If you don’t like the blog and it’s so called British bias then find somewhere else?

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th July 2010, 16:23

      This race was manipulated, you’re just delus- oh, you’ve even named yourself that.

    • Giuseppe said on 25th July 2010, 16:29

      Every team does it.

      RBR when a faster Vettel was told Webber is quicker than you, “stop catching him”

      McLaren engineered a Lewis overtake over Kova

      Massa and Kimi traded positions in 2007 and 2008.

      Massa is just being frumpy, he’s out of the WDC. If i was him i wouldn’t even wait to be told

      • Cyclops said on 25th July 2010, 16:33

        Also Heidfeld was told to let Kubica in Canada 2008.

        Every team does it, but when it conferences Ferrari it’s almost like murdering an infant, whereas in case of other teams it’s just a felony.

        It’s not British bias. It’s anti-ferrarism.

        • Cyclops said on 25th July 2010, 16:35

          it should be “concerns” of course ;)

        • matt88 (@matt88) said on 25th July 2010, 16:37

          “Every team does it, but when it conferences Ferrari it’s almost like murdering an infant, whereas in case of other teams it’s just a felony.”

          Holy words! :D

          • nelly said on 25th July 2010, 17:05

            Anything to do with Ferrari is like that :) I’m not justifying this at all but the fact that all teams do it shows that the rule preventing team orders is just pointless. A rule is a rule, it doesn’t matter whether the orders are obvious or not obvious, what time of the season/ how many people are in contention for the championship. If one kind of team order is wrong, so should whatever other kinds there are.
            The team shouldn’t have done it though. Could have been an excellent 1-2.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th July 2010, 20:41

            I agree on Nelly about this. Team orders are a fact.

            The FIA should act on them (mostly hard to prove and enforce as teams are more carefull then Ferrari did here or RBR in Turkeys team order blundering crash), or change the rules to allow them with some clear limitations.

            In the last case the team should clearly state their intentions before the race, so everyone can decide weather they want to support such a team.
            I have trouble with Ferrari doing this here, even if i understand their reasons for it. But i find arguments about “saving fuel” or “missing my braking point”, staging a nice overtake, etc. even worse from a sporting point of view.

      • sasbus said on 25th July 2010, 17:06

        Well taken to the extreams we have had instances where drivers were requested to crash to help their teamates :)

        Clearly this is a situation of “Who pays the Ferryman”

        BTW. Certain complains would not have been voiced had the situation been instigated by another team other than Ferrari.

      • matt90 said on 25th July 2010, 20:56

        This is my biggest gripe. The exact same thing happened in 07 and 08 with Ferrari. I suppose it was more acceptable then because it was at a point in the season when it was obviously vital- a point proved by it keeping them in the hunt and allowing them to finish 1 point ahead/behind. Ironically, I reckon the new opints system placing more importance on 1st lead to this. If there was only a 2 point (20%) benefit, perhaps they would not have so blatently manipulated the race at only midway through the season.

    • megaman said on 25th July 2010, 16:30

      Out of interest does anyone know what potential punishments can be given for this, also a message to eddie jordan, please stop shaking hands with people with your left hand, its rude, just swap your mic over ej!

    • Why were the last 2 races manipulated? Because Ferrari didn’t win?

    • SPIDERman said on 25th July 2010, 16:37

      what British bias…stop being delusional and come to earth …we all saw live on TV a great race being ruined by these uncleverly coded messages for Massa and Alonso to trade places
      I SUPPORT GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP and not this kind of open ended race manufacturing from any team
      maybe this time the FIA WILL get its act right by handing the ferrari team a punishment that will teach them and others some lessons see links

      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/85539

      http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/239690/ferrari-called-to-stewards-office/

      • Ronman said on 25th July 2010, 16:58

        First and foremost, those who think Keith is Biased should pack up and leave. second, s obvious as it is, i have my doubts that it is an all clear team order…

        When Bar conceded to MSC in Austria, infamously. he was threatened by something, not sure what it was but it made Bar so angry he made it very obvious by slowing down blatantly just before the finish.

        In Massa’s issue, he’s a 100% team-player, so i don’t think he needs to be told, it’s something he’s agreed to do with all his past teammates, he did it with Kimi, and Kimi returned the favor in 08 i think he only needs a message to confirm that he’s holding up his teammate, to help him make his decision.

        now I am a Massa fan, and i hate to see him do what he did (if he did actually do it on purpose), but Massa is a guy that knows his place, or perhaps, for his own conscious’ sake he missed a gear on that hairpin exit… but i have a feeling the team will blame the gear change and Massa being the “magnanimous dud that he is” will say he missed a gear, whether he did on purpose or by accident will remain a mystery…

        • Mike-e said on 26th July 2010, 2:56

          the footage shown on tv clearly showed massa using less than half throttle untill alonso was about to pass him…. this is him pressing his foot half down, not anything to do with gears or anything like that. The measurments are taken from the pedal. So he obviously let him passed, and the fact rob said sorry clearly shows it was an order, and one he didn’t want to give.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th July 2010, 17:07

      The headline is a reference to Alonso’s description of the European Grand Prix as “manipulated”. That one clearly wasn’t. This one clearly was.

      • sasbus said on 25th July 2010, 17:11

        Ferrari just fined $100K.

        Anyway the truth has two faces it depends from which perspective you are viewing.

        Obviously this contnues to prove my theory that forces are at work to act against Ferrari lately.

        • bosyber said on 25th July 2010, 17:23

          If that were so, I would say: a lot of them are at Ferrari.

          Silverstone was easily avoidable, for example, and in Valencia they probably could have, and in my opinion should have, salvaged more, but they let Alonso worry about Hamilton instead of focusing on his own race. Massa was let loose in the back during the Montreal, Valencia, and Silverstone GP, no others needed to work against them.

          • matt90 said on 25th July 2010, 20:59

            haha exactly. Ferrari’s greatest enemy seems to be themselves. Especially in Silverstone too.

      • Jay Menon said on 26th July 2010, 2:54

        Yeah..thats the first thing I thought about your headline Keith, quite a good dig, unfortunately no one here saw the funny side of it.

        People here should realize by now that Keith is not biased and he lets his facts to do the talking.

        I am a little cheesed off that everybody is making such a big deal out of this and forgetting the fact that Ferrari, both Alonso and Massa have been blistering quick this weekend and drove good races. As usual, we always focus on the negative.

        Once again, Alonso is made out to be the bad guy. This was a team desicion and obviously Massa and Alonso were aware of this, so why is Massa putting up a sad face? If Alonso is the scheming SOB that he’s made out to be, the management in Ferrari or any team he’s driven for have no spine. When Michael Schumacher used to do it, it was his “Sheer Competitive Nature”, but for Alonso, he’s a scheming genius of a whiner.

        Like I said on the other post, they must have had an agreement that the faster guy will go through, they should have done a little bit more suttly though. If Alonso was slower than Massa, I suspect the same would have applied?…what would we be saying then? Massa was not fast enough and he hasn’t been all season. He was 0.5 s slower in quali and has been behind Alonso by the same deficit on most weekends.

        When you need points badly, why would you risk a chance of sure 1-2? From a management stand point it made sense, obviously not a popular move. We dont know what the agreements were on the team bus, but if Alonso was faster and let past, why couldn’t Massa up the pace and try to be faster? Would he have been let through?

        My summary of this “fiasco” is that it was a sensible move by Ferrari, but it was not applied in a clever manner at all.

        I asked in on the other post, how different was this to Mclaren’s “Hold Position” comment to Jenson after he tried a pass on Lewis is Turkey? I know he was asked to save fuel after that, but it was funny how the comment went through just after he attempted the pass.

        • PT (@pt) said on 26th July 2010, 19:03

          Good point. McLaren clearly employed team tactics as, it seems, Red Bull did at the same race. It’s just because Ferrari foolishly did this in an obvious manner (openly talking about t in the radio) that so many are ranting about it.

          But any team orders, by nature, are detrimental to the nature of the sport. Just don’t blame Ferrari and Alonso alone as the culprits. Autosport reports that Christian Horner laments that this became a “manipulated” race. Just when did Horner personify honesty?

    • Losenhoofies said on 26th July 2010, 6:45

      I live in Vancouver (Canada), and i have to wake up real early (5am) to watch the F1 races. After today’s race, now undertand how stupid I’am. Not gonna have this trouble of waking up so early on Saturdays and Sundays anymore.

      F1 used to be a great sport, now things have changed and I don’t undertand how companies/sponsor can still link their names with this.

  2. mateuss said on 25th July 2010, 16:16

    If we think about this, Ferrari are cornered, aren’t they? What they can do now? Confess? – Penalty for 39.1! Keep lying?-We saw how the stewards liked that in Australia 2009!

    • Only if the stewards can prove Ferrari were lying. It’s very likely no one ever said to Massa, “Pull over and let Fernando through,” which means that everyone can keep insisting that Felipe chose to yield the place.

      • mateuss said on 25th July 2010, 16:29

        Spygate 2007! Did anyone at Mclaren said they were spying at any point?

        • Perhaps not. But they didn’t come up with a convincing alternative explanation for why all that Ferrari data was being photocopied by a team member’s wife, either.

          Ferrari’s story, as far as we know, is that Felipe chose of his own accord to let Alonso through, after the team informed him of the facts (Alonso was behind him and going faster). I don’t see how anyone can produce any evidence to contradict that story, no matter how much certain parties might like to believe that a team order was issued.

          • mateuss said on 25th July 2010, 16:57

            I think the opposite, every move and action of the Ferrari team was recorded on cameras and telemetry, and you have to be a bit …I don’t know what… to suggest that the situation isn’t completely clear as distiled water. Where as in 2007 the situation was a bit shady and no one even now don’t know what actually happened, therefore they could have sang all kinds of songs back then, and it didn’t work.

          • Yeah, everybody knows what happened, but how do you PROVE it?

            (I was going to elaborate more on this but the news has just come through that Ferrari have been found guilty, so maybe my understanding has been somewhat flawed!)

          • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 25th July 2010, 18:59

            Welcome back Red Andy haven’t seen you on here for a while. Once again though it means I’m left to agree with you on all of your points. On the live blog I said exactly the same thing that it would be very difficult to proove and punish so now I feel like a moron but it’s alright if they’re getting it right :P

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th July 2010, 20:44

          No, but then again, nothing was really proven by the FIA. Just Mosley stating he didn’t believe a word they were saying and handing them a hefty fine.

          McLaren and Mercedes did not appeal as they wanted to get the whole thing behind them. But if they had went to the courts, the penalty would have been overturned in the same way Briatore’s penalty was overturned in court.

    • Todfod said on 26th July 2010, 14:25

      I really dont think they need to lie.

      Look back at Germany 2008.. Kovi being told he is slow.. 2 laps later Lewis is allowed to pass through. Keep it in mind that mathematically Kovi was in the title hunt too.. in the same position Massa was yesterday.

      Also see Canada 2008. Where Heidfeld was leading the race with Kubica and Alonso closing up on him. He was told he was slow too, and let Kubica pass for the win.

      Why wasn’t there the WSMC involved in these two racing incidents. Infact there were no excuses made by either Mclaren or BMW Sauber on these team orders. It was very conveniently forgotten by the media as well.

      Now when it comes down to Ferrari and Alonso doing the same… it becomes a huge issue.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th July 2010, 14:54

        Look back at Germany 2008.. Kovi being told he is slow [...] He was told he was slow too, and let Kubica pass for the win.

        Have we got any quotes or audio from these messages? I’m not sure I remember either of them.

        • Todfod said on 26th July 2010, 16:43

          Nope couldn’t find any quotes on the kovalainen pit radio message. However, if you see the video footage, it seems pretty obvious – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5GTlupZuEI
          at 1:50. It was also ironic that a week later heikki secured a drive with mclaren for 2009.

          However, in the press conference after the 2008 Canadian Gp –

          Q: (Peter Hesseler – Abend Zeitung) Question to Nick and to Robert: Nick, did you let Robert past voluntarily or were you advised by the pit? And Robert, do you think you are being promoted to number one in the team to go for the title?
          Nick Heidfeld: “Well, as there are no team orders allowed, no, but as I was on a one-stop, a lot heavier than Robert, knowing that, it’s clear within the team that I wouldn’t make it too difficult for Robert.”

          Robert Kubica: “I think you have to ask this question to someone else. I don’t think so. In the end, both drivers have to score points for the team, but I would say if you are leading the World Championship as a driver after seven races, with, apart from Australia, our worst place finish was fourth place, after this race I think I’m the best qualifier in the field this season, so I think we have to push. Maybe in the future we won’t get another chance, so I think we have to use this opportunity which might mean in five races that we don’t have any more chance but while we have chances, I think we have to give our maximum and I hope the team will give their maximum. I will give maximum support to fight for it.”

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th July 2010, 16:48

            I’d forgotten the BMW drivers were on different strategies as well.

          • Todfod said on 26th July 2010, 18:22

            They were on different strategies, but Kubica still had to make a stop, and if Heidfeld made life a little tough for him, he could have been ahead of him after his pit stop.

  3. Eric said on 25th July 2010, 16:17

    Massa should have taken Alonso out, like what happened with Webber an Vettel, that would have sorted the guys out on the radio.

  4. Alexf1man said on 25th July 2010, 16:17

    Like Mclaren in Hungary 2007, Ferrari should lose their constructor’s points for this weekend!!! And this will be Todt’s first real challenge relating to his old team.

  5. David BR said on 25th July 2010, 16:17

    Smedley: “So Fernando is faster than you? Can you confirm you understand that message?” [a few corners later] “Sorry.”

    Never seen anyone so sheepish as Alonso on the podium. This isn’t what Formula 1 needed in a so far brilliant season. FIA should realize that, read their own regulations, acknowledge what EVERYONE watching around the world saw, and penalize Ferrari. Scrap the team order rule next seaon, if that’s what the teams want. But the regulations stand and they’re there for a reason – precisely to avoid the spectacle we saw today and last seen – in this form – with Schumacher and Barrichello.

    • Mike said on 25th July 2010, 16:23

      Actually, I think, or suspect, that, maybe Alonso wasn’t so sure as to what happened? I mean, Of course he would guess, but, I think he seemed unsure in the press conference, and when Massa answered his questions, Alonso lost a lot of confidence.

      As much as I hate Alonso, I think he might be innocent here.

      With Schumacher and Barrichello, it was bad, but now, it is both bad, and illegal… I doubt the stewards can do anything but penalise Ferrari in some way. I hope that it doesn’t hurt Alonso too much, because, both Ferrari’s drove a good race.

      • Electrolite said on 25th July 2010, 16:27

        I agree Mike. This was not orchestrated by Fernando and he would have wanted to win this by himself. Alonso is of course on the recieving end of most of the uproar and it has made him look like a bit of a villian. If he won the 2010 world championship with all the skill in the world, Ferrari’s decision today would be no doubt held against him.

        • edugg said on 25th July 2010, 16:33

          He was complaining (as always) a few laps earlier abut Massa’s pace.

        • David BR said on 25th July 2010, 16:36

          Justifiably so. Alonso leaves too much dubious stuff in his wake for him to be as innocent as he makes out. You know what the proof is? Hamilton. Precisely the only one who refused to cede to Alonso’s ‘demands’ within the team.

        • Eric said on 25th July 2010, 16:41

          you two (Mike & Electrolite) are your on worst enemy, i cant see how either of you could admit he didn’t know,
          im faster than him, he’s slower than me. why want he let me pass.
          like a baby crying for its bottle.
          i cant stand you any more Alonso your such a cry baby.
          you would do that to your own team mate.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th July 2010, 16:32

        “As much as I hate Alonso, I think he might be innocent here.”

        How many occasions will something happen around him, only for it to be assumed he is innocent? Like Singapore? No wonder he’s nicknamed “Teflonso”.

        • Steven said on 25th July 2010, 17:11

          Your post makes no sense.

          He was in a car racing. How the hell was he also micro managing team orders?

          Ferrari management were looking after themselves. They would rather have a WDC and a WCC, then just one of them.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th July 2010, 17:27

            How the hell did I indicate that he managing all the team orders? I was merely pointing out that he is often involved in these controversial circumstances, with the assumption that he is innocent. If you can’t even see what he’s been surrounded by, then you weren’t paying attention at Hungary 2007, Singapore 2008 and that spygate saga.

            He doesn’t “micro manage” the team, but he does have a little influence (like getting on the radio to get Hamilton penalised at Valencia).

            While he hasn’t actually said “make Massa slow down”, his poor behaviour (like calling Massa’s perfectly fair defense “ridiculous”, and the hand gesture) clearly suggested that he wanted the team to move him out of the way, not continue fighting Massa.

            Yes, Alonso didn’t want a DNF as he’s fighting for the WDC, but if he wanted the win so badly he should’ve made the pass and win or collect the points for second, instead of crying about it as always.

          • RaulZ said on 25th July 2010, 22:02

            DavidA, I think that Alonso considered ridiculous the fact of passing a team mate with the same car if the other doesn’t want. He prefered the points to make another Vettel-Webber rodiculous.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 26th July 2010, 15:34

            @RaulZ – he wasn’t saying “ridiculous” to the team wanting to swap the cars around. He was saying it because of Massa’s defending, and Massa’s defending was reasonable.

          • RaulZ said on 27th July 2010, 10:36

            @David A, Alonso just said “It’s ridiculous”. Why are you understanding that and why can’t I think otherwise? I see you hate Alonso but nothing that happened had anything to do with him. Everybody is reading that phrase to incriminate Alonso. If you are reading between the lines then you’d understand that “saving fuel” is a tem order. Think about it. Be honest. Admit that all these comments are just being biased.

      • David BR said on 25th July 2010, 16:33

        Alonso’s second big talent in life is coming out ‘innocent.’ The idea he didn’t know is scuppered by the fact he said something (Felipe’s defence?) was, quote, ‘ridiculous’ when he couldn’t overtake Massa. Obvious what: he thought Massa should have let him past. After he caught up again, *then* the team order came through. Alonso knew full well what was happening.

      • “Actually, I think, or suspect, that, maybe Alonso wasn’t so sure as to what happened? I mean, Of course he would guess, but, I think he seemed unsure in the press conference, and when Massa answered his questions, Alonso lost a lot of confidence.

        As much as I hate Alonso, I think he might be innocent here.”

        I agree with you. I think Alonso was kept out of the loop and was not informed or aware of all the controversy that was going on around him. Maybe that was done deliberately, to make sure he “acted naturally” in press conferences that followed.

        This was a Ferrari team management decision that had nothing to do with Alonso. Ferrari should not have done it. If Alonso was genuinely quicker he COULD have passed Massa on the track without incident. It’s pretty clear that Massa is not the kind of driver who would would do something silly or risky to defend his position.

        • Electrolite said on 25th July 2010, 17:50

          Alonso obviously knew the team would be thinking about letting him through! What me and Mike were saying was that Ferrari gave the orders, but it makes Alonso look bad because of their decision. ‘Electrolite you’re your own worst enemy’… Slippery slope I think!

          • David BR said on 25th July 2010, 20:00

            +1 Patrickl

            Clearly this coded team order had been pre-arranged, hence Smedley’s ‘read-my-lips’ spelling out of the message and request for confirmation, though I suspect it wasn’t anticipated for this race. But Alonso clearly ‘activated’ it by complaining that Massa defending his position was ‘ridiculous.’ Here in Brazil that earlier comment quickly led to a discussion and condemnation of Alonso’s attitude by the TV commentators – so when Smedley passed on the message, it was immediately connected to Alonso’s earlier whining.

        • Patrickl said on 25th July 2010, 18:02

          Alonso was calling for team orders!

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th July 2010, 20:47

        I am pretty sure he was not told about it, although he must have realized it after seeing Massa sitting in the car in parc ferme.
        He was trying to thank him, but Massa was not having any of it. Great guy.

        • David BR said on 25th July 2010, 23:30

          The missed gear excuse was the best bit. Ferrari must have twigged a while later that the telemetry was going to prove that one wrong, so they switched to saying Massa had given way of his own accord. But they didn’t switch stories quickly enough to stop Alonso asking after he’d crossed the line, ‘But what about Felipe, did he have a gear box problem?’ Maybe I’m too cynical, but sounds like the way Massa was *supposed* to give way on track (planned earlier for future eventualities, like today) didn’t match the obvious way he actually did give way simply by dawdling after the turn and pulling to the side.

  6. Electrolite said on 25th July 2010, 16:22

    I think what this has shown is quite the soft spot for the Massa/Smedley team. It was the fact it was the anniversary of his near fatal accident that made Ferrari’s decision as maligned as it is today. Steph explains it the best in another topic about this.

  7. roberttty said on 25th July 2010, 16:25

    it’s decision time for Jean Todt

  8. Kent Paul said on 25th July 2010, 16:30

    Just awful :(

    It’s a very sad day for racing fans, it really is.

  9. almanac said on 25th July 2010, 16:31

    its not a title that should be seen in an unbiased article Keith isn’t it?

    • Owen G said on 25th July 2010, 16:52

      As this is a blog, surely Keith is completely entitled to his opinion? And expressing an opinion doesn’t make you biased.

      Also, as someone has already pointed out, I think the choice of words is more ironic than anything else.

      • sumedh said on 25th July 2010, 17:12

        The choice of words is not ‘ironic’. It is a rather sly attempt by Keith to take a dig at Alonso by using his own phrase “manipulated race” against him.

        But nevertheless, it is a blog, the writer is entitled to his own views on any matter and we as readers are free to comment on them and express views of our own.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th July 2010, 20:50

          Hardly call that a “rather sly attempt”. It’s only fair to say that, after Alonso complained a lot about the “manipulated race” in Valencia when he now profits from a really manipulated race.

          • RaulZ said on 26th July 2010, 12:07

            It’s only fair to say that, after everybody complained a lot about Alonso’s manipulation words in Valencia when everybody now complains with the same words.

    • Christian said on 25th July 2010, 16:59

      The title is unbiased, and so is the article itself. All Keith has done is report on what happened.

      The title says there is controversy as the race was manipulated. The title does not state if he thinks it was wrong or not… Where is it biased?

    • Andrew S. said on 25th July 2010, 17:01

      oh for heaven’s sake, the title is correct. the result was manipulated because it was a team order, no matter what the stewards decide and no matter if others have done it in the past or not, it WAS a team order. you either didn’t watch the race or you were blind.

  10. Rob said on 25th July 2010, 16:33

    Ferrari won’t be punished, I’m sure; the FIA showed that they had no desire to stamp out team orders when they brought in a vague and unworkable rule as a sop to the spectators and pretended that it mattered to them. There are so many potential get-outs for them in this case, such as saying “not enough evidence” that rules were broken. Plus all the controversy just works as even more indirect advertising for the sport – how many of us are actually going to stop watching because of this?

    • David BR said on 25th July 2010, 16:53

      I think it goes like this: the teams want team orders. The Schumacher 2002 episode was bad for the sport. So a ‘rule’ was introduced undoubtedly with a memo distributed to the teams: okay, do your team orders, but make it subtle! Ferrari today didn’t do that. So what do FIA do?

      That’s how I think it goes. But it isn’t what I want. I hate team orders and want to see both drivers racing under ALL circumstances, even when a championship is at stake. Unrealistic I know. But I think it’s true of most spectators – and the drivers themselves.

  11. Antifia said on 25th July 2010, 16:34

    The more I think about it, the more I am mad at Massa himself. He should have been a man and told the team to back-off. A clear “I am not letting him through” on the radio would have done the job. Think of what LH would have done in the same circunstances. Seeing that Spanish flag going up and their anthem playing was just sickening – If Massa is there representing himself alone, and the money and the F1 seat is what matters the most to him, than he should ask for the Massa family flag to flow when he is up on the podium instead of the Brazilian one.

    • sumedh said on 25th July 2010, 17:18

      LH did do that at Monaco 2007. And look what the team went through for the rest of the season.

      Massa, unlike Hamilton, is a much more loyal (to the point of being subservient) to his team. He won’t shout abuses to his team over team radio, ever.

      A by-product of this soft personality is sometimes one is treated unfairly, like Massa was today.

      But what he did was right, Massa is indeed not in a position to challenge for the championship this season.

      What happened was unfortunate, but made practical sense.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th July 2010, 20:52

      Look at what Webber did and said (making Vettel have to work for it). Did not bring the team much good though and Horner still blames him for it.
      Vettel more or less admitted it when he told the BBC, that it was pretty obvious when they showed him the pass and adding “but it’s not good to crash”.

  12. rampante (@rampante) said on 25th July 2010, 16:35

    This was a very poor move by Ferrari but the hysterical rants are well over the top. Nothing was going to stop a Ferrari 1-2 and the only punishment can be a financial one to the team. No other team was robbed of victory. Team orders exist in F1 even though they are not allowed. Every team is guilty and the rule should be changed, it is a team sport.

  13. Manu said on 25th July 2010, 16:38

    Only the first and second positions were “manipulated” (sic). Not the entire race.

    Also I haven’t seen anyone mentioning Hamilton’s excellent performance today. P4 is not bad at all considering RBR and Ferrari were way faster.

    • TomD11 said on 25th July 2010, 17:27

      Well yes, technically, but who’s to say that if Alonso had caught up with Massa under his own steam there wouldn’t have been an incident which affected one or both their races.

  14. DannyJ said on 25th July 2010, 16:38

    This is no surprise, Ferrari are well known cheats, Alonso is a well known cheat (Piquet Jnr anyone?) Why does this sham surprise anyone? It shouldn’t, cheats will be forever cheats, and failures as men. very satisfying! Hammy is still in the lead :-)

  15. rampante (@rampante) said on 25th July 2010, 16:38

    I also need to say in defence of this site that I am an Italian in Italy and This is one of the most un biased sites I have found and the reason I am here more than any other site. It is a UK based site and if anyone expects less than a passionate response from British fans they should not be here.I have still to see any bias from the author.

    • Rob81 said on 25th July 2010, 16:46

      +1, Italain here too, this is the best F1 source and unbiased website

      • bosyber said on 25th July 2010, 17:28

        Could you tell what the Italian TV makes of this race? I hope happy for Ferrari finally showing the pace, and bringing home a 1-2, but how do they see the swapping action?

        • Italian TV speakers were astonished and immediately had the same reaction as you have here, and all over the world.

          But after that they asked the drivers their thought about this fact. All of them didn’t deny the existence of team orders (in all teams) and said that this is the racing business. If you like to work here, this is the meal you have to eat.

          My thought:
          I know it’s sad to say, but I like F1 because there are teams that are racing with driver, and thsoe are the sort values; so no surprise that ALL teams uses team orders when they need.
          It’s really unuseful to state a rule like the 39.1, useless and unfair to the F1 fans that should ask for a rule observation and enfringement punishment. FIA is simply not capable to make this rule observed by the teams.
          I agree with you that Ferrari could make a more stylish way to ask Massa to let Alonso pass, but they didn’t, usually Italians have style, but not always :-)

    • matt88 (@matt88) said on 25th July 2010, 17:04

      I quote. Sometimes i don’t agree with what Keith says, but i don’t think it is due to a ‘British bias’ from him. :)

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th July 2010, 17:08

      Thanks rampante I appreciate that.

      • RaulZ said on 26th July 2010, 10:41

        I think you are bias for example when you said some comments before “Who manipulated Valencia or Silverstone?”. I supose you know what happened then and I see you treat people as if they were silly.

        I cannot demostrate nothing about those GPs but you cannot demostrate nothing about this weekend. So, let the people explain their own opinion with the joke of “manipulation” as the only interference from your side and stop trying to make us believe that this is diferent from Valencia and Silverstone. Both races were manipulation.

        I was waiting for your good english sense of humor then, when you looked like a professional journalist informing without any opinion. So objetive then. So funny sometimes, so serious othertimes.

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