Crucial mistake delayed Alonso’s pursuit of Massa (Ferrari race review)

Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Hockenheimring, 2010

After failing to score at Silverstone Ferrari bounced back with a one-two at the Hockenheimring.

But the race will only be remembered for their controversial decision to order Felipe Massa to let Fernando Alonso by to win.

That might not have been needed had Alonso not made a crucial mistake which cost him an opportunity to pass his team mate earlier on in the race.

Felipe Massa Fernando Alonso
Qualifying position 3 2
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’14.290 (+0.497) 1’13.793
Race position 2 1
Average race lap 1’18.553 (+0.063) 1’18.491
Laps 67/67 67/67
Pit stops 1 1

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Felipe Massa

Massa went from third on the grid straight into the lead as Sebastian Vettel was preoccupied with trying to keep Alonso behind.

When Alonso pitted Massa was 1.5 seconds ahead, an advantage which was cut in half as Alonso enjoyed the benefit of pitting first.

In fairness to Ferrari, they had to do that to protect Alonso from Vettel’s pit stop one lap earlier. Still, given what happened later, you have to expect they wouldn’t have been disappointed had it also put Alonso in front of Massa.

In light of Ferrari’s later explanation that Alonso was faster than Massa and they were concerned Vettel might pass them, it’s worth paying close attention to the variations in their lap times and gap between them.

For the first six laps after Massa’s pit stop Alonso was all over his team mate and clearly being held up by him. The Brazilian driver struggled with the switch from super-soft to hard tyres and was locking his brakes at the hairpin.

Then from lap 23 to 27 Alonso suddenly dropped back and Massa increased his lead over his team mate to 3.4 seconds. Vettel also dropped back, because Massa had improved his pace: he set fastest lap on laps 23, 24, 26 and 27.

After that Alonso began to catch Massa again but it took until lap 41 for him to get the gap down to a second.

Compare Felipe Massa’s form against his team mate in 2010

Fernando Alonso

There is no doubt which of the two Ferraris were quicker in qualifying – Alonso was almost half a second faster than his team mate. The gap was a lot closer than that during the race.

After being delayed by Vettel, Alonso’s best opportunity to pass his team mate came on lap 21 when Massa had to pick his way past Bruno Senna at turn two.

Alonso slipstreamed up to his team mate, pulled alongside him on the outside as they approached the turn four hairpin and had his nose ahead for a few hundred metres.

Massa kept the inside line and held the position but Alonso emerged from the corner with his front nose underneath his team mate’s rear wing. But he chose to try to pass on the inside of the fast right-hander that followed – which was never going to work – and squandered his opportunity.

After that exchange Alonso appeared to back off and let Massa get away a little. At the time I wondered if he was saving fuel in order to be able to run to the end of the race on a full-rich mixture.

It seems he chose to do this at a time when the pair weren’t fighting their way through lapped traffic – which, as we’ve often seen, can present drivers with the best opportunity to overtake.

Alonso appeared to be in control of how far back he fell from Massa and how close he allowed Vettel to get. He then began to catch Massa again as the pair closed in on more lapped cars.

But on lap 35 Alonso’s Ferrari snapped sideways at turn ten. He caught the slide, but it put him onto the run-off area. This moment was not shown on the main television feed but was seen on the onboard camera channel.

That allowed Massa to increase his advantage to 2.7 seconds and, crucially, he was able to lap the Virgins before Alonso had reduced the gap again. For Alonso, what could have been a significant opportunity to get past his team mate was lost.

By lap 40 they’d both gone past Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi. Now Alonso sat around a second behind his team mate, matching his lap times.

But he was not under pressure from Vettel. The Red Bull driver caught Alonso by just 0.285s from lap 40 until the moment Massa was told to let Alonso pass.

Compare Fernando Alonso’s form against his team mate in 2010

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195 comments on Crucial mistake delayed Alonso’s pursuit of Massa (Ferrari race review)

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  1. Calum said on 26th July 2010, 13:03

    Doesn’t matter about the mistake does it, Ferrari knew what it wanted so Alonso was always going to win regardless of on track mistakes.

  2. graigchq said on 26th July 2010, 13:04

    it’s clear from all this that Ferrari had many opportunities to get their team orders in place without anyone being any the wiser..

    They could have just held Felipe’s pit stop up by a second or two, meaning he would emerge behind Alonso, they could have turned down massa’s engine mapping to give alonso a bit more raw pace to overtake in the traditional fashion.. they co0uld have just told Felipe before the race NOT to overtake Fernando on the first lap.. any of which would have worked and not raised all the controversy or broken any clear rules. Why it had to happen over the radio in front of the millions of viewers is beyond me..

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th July 2010, 13:05

      They could have just held Felipe’s pit stop up by a second or two

      No, far too much risk of him ending up behind Vettel.

    • Calum said on 26th July 2010, 13:28

      Massa could have just ran wide at T1?

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

        Send your CV to Ferrari, quick! =D

        Come to think of it, that would be a very wise one. And you can actually control it in T1.

        Other option would be to go wide in the hairpin, but that would be a little more obvious.

      • Karan said on 26th July 2010, 16:01

        How exactly can you tell him that? “Hey Filipe, can you let Alonso through at the start?” I think there would be a lot of things to worry about with the start at such high stakes.

      • davinder said on 26th July 2010, 20:36

        I think Filipe wanted to make it as obvious as possible.

    • Ben Curly said on 26th July 2010, 14:20

      I don’t think Felipe wanted to do it quietly. He acted as a team player, but he wanted us to know that he was in position to win.

      Felipe could arrange a fake battle on track, with Alonso emerging victorious… What would be the public reaction then? Well, I’ll tell you what I heard many times this season: “they should replace Massa in Ferrari, he clearly can’t keep up with Alonso”. Today not many people say that.

      • Damon said on 26th July 2010, 15:25

        EXACTLY. That’s what happend.
        It wasn’t AT ALL difficult for Massa to do it in a way that nobody would even suspect team orders.
        But it would be humiliating for him.
        So he had chosen to do it in a way that revealed the truth.

        • LewisC said on 26th July 2010, 15:59

          Learning from his countryman, former Ferrari “Number Two”… ;)

        • mfDB said on 26th July 2010, 16:29

          You’re right Damon, and in doing this…publicly acknowledging the ‘team orders’ and humiliating the team…he might have fast tracked his departure from Ferrari.

          • Adam Tate said on 26th July 2010, 17:57

            If revealing the truth in anyway has fast tracked Massa’s departure from Ferrari it may actually be a good thing. He deserves better. Ferrari may catch up they may win the constructors championship this year, but after this crap, I sincerely hope they don’t.

            Kimi sure wouldn’t have been an arrogant douche and pushed for Massa to move over for him.

            I find it amusing that before the season everyone pointed at the McLaren driver pairing and said it echoed Prost and Senna, but all the controversy has so far been with Red Bull and Ferrari.

    • In my memory, Massa had a very poor pit stop

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th July 2010, 14:55

        Not really, he only lost a tenth to Alonso in the pit stop. The rest was differences in their out and in laps. Actually I’ll put the list up in a minute.

    • emiil said on 26th July 2010, 17:31

      yeah …i still not get it how Ferrari mess it up….i think HRT will to better job…its so strange team like Ferrari to make this stupid in front of millions viewer mistake

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 26th July 2010, 19:41

        It was up to Smedley and Massa to be as subtle or as blatant about it as they wanted. They weren’t happy about it, and so they made it as obvious as they could in order to draw attention to it, and rightfully so. I imagine they’re both probably in some hot water at Ferrari right now, but probably less than if they’d defied the team and held position. I feel really bad for Massa. He’s getting ripped apart by his home press, trashed by many fans, and is likely in the dog house at Ferrari, but he really didn’t have much choice.

        • Ronman said on 27th July 2010, 10:48

          would love to hear what Barrichelo and Massa said to each other in the… i want to have a word with him Bar uttered after the race…

        • Mike said on 27th July 2010, 13:41

          Can I just point out the similarity between this and the Piquet thing?

          Seeing as I defended of Piquet, not that I think he deserves his seat back.

          • Jarred Walmsley said on 28th July 2010, 5:57

            The two incidents were as far different as is possible, the Piquet crash was very dangerous and could easily have injured or killed someone. The Massa incident in no way could have hurt anyone. And also unlike the Piquet incident which was a team principal decision, the Massa decision was a team management decision with everyone fully aware of it. Massa deserves no blame whatsoever.

            Although, if the similarity you are referring to is Alonso benefiting both times then yes that is a very suspicious coincidence.

  3. Alexi said on 26th July 2010, 13:04

    Most likely Alonso pulled back and got close to Massa again to show Ferrari he was the faster driver. That’s how I perceived it anyways, looking at the whole thing.

    • Joe said on 26th July 2010, 14:09

      That was my thought on it to. This wasn’t the first time in a race where Massa has held up Alonso, only to let a faster car start sneaking up on them. Massa also has a REALLY rude tendancy to let Alonso get REALLY close and shut the door in dramatic fashion, causing Alonso to drop back a bit. While I understand the teams frustration with Massa’s driving antics against his team mate, I don’t condone how that pass was done. While I don’t think there were team orders per say, I do think Massa and Alonso agreed at some time in the past to not block or hold up the other car and the team was telling Massa he needed to honor his agreement. However, like I said, I don’t condone that pass, if the team said pass, then by all means hammer the team, but there is no reason to hammer the drivers (yet) because Alonso at least had no clue (as evidenced by his radio conversation back to the pits after winning).

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 26th July 2010, 19:43

        While I don’t think there were team orders per say

        What race were you watching?

      • lengy said on 27th July 2010, 2:19

        “because Alonso at least had no clue (as evidenced by his radio conversation back to the pits after winning)“.
        !I don’t know what race you were watching BUT Alonso’s Radio conversation once he crossed the line (note I refuse to say won the race) told me that he was well aware of what had happened, as he asked how his team mate was ! In a VERY sheepish voice???? There are some die hard Alonso supporters that need to take off the Blinkers just for once and see the Truth. No I am not a Massa or Ferrari Supporter But feel Massa was treated badly by the team.
        I do believe Alonso should also have got a Time Penalty for his part in HIS Cheating win!!!

        • anthony said on 27th July 2010, 5:29

          its a team sport.thats not cheating its team work.if ferrari were cheating they would have been givin a penalty or a ban.

          sypgate..lewis lies..thats cheating

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th July 2010, 9:35

            They were found in breach of article 39.1 of the sporting regulations and article 151c of the international sporting code. They’ve been fined and the matter has been referred to another court. I think it’s safe to say they broke the rules.

            sypgate..lewis lies..thats cheating

            When did Hamilton lie during ‘spygate’?

          • anthony said on 27th July 2010, 18:21

            sorry sypgate and lewis telling lies at the Australian Grand Prix is cheating..but his team told him to do it ,so its ok ;)

    • BBT said on 26th July 2010, 20:52

      Yes, I commented the same during the race… he dropped back gave himself room and then showed what he could do…. but it was much faster than Massa, he wasn’t closing that quick.. lol

  4. BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th July 2010, 13:14

    So it seems Ferrari was planning to do this as most people (Coulthard and Brundle as well) said they should have, with Alonso taking the opportunity when passing the backmarkers.

    First time did not work out, so Alonso dropped back to spare the car, waiting for the next chance. Then he made that crucial mistake meaning he was too far behind to make it work.
    After that Ferrari resorted to kindly asking Massa to “do what was best for the team” and let Alonso pass.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 26th July 2010, 19:45

      Yeah. As James Allen wrote on his blog, I don’t think it’s the fact that the team issued an order as much as the fact that they’ve done it this early in the season when there are still so many points up for grab in the championship. I think it would be viewed differently if it were Abu Dhabi and it meant the difference between clinching the championship or not.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th July 2010, 19:50

        Actually if the team does it anyway, i would like them rather to do it openly (team leader asking the driver to do this favour) instead of trying to fool us with “fuel saving”, “misshifts”, staged passes or whatever.

        They might find a fan base anyhow (see ferrari 2000-2005).

        And yes it’s more acceptable when it’s done like Interlagos 2007 or the other way around in the last couple of rounds to help a teammate bag it.

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 27th July 2010, 0:23

          I agree. I think there’s an argument to be made for changing the rule for exactly this reason. Teams like Ferrari will give team orders no matter what, and if they’re going to do it anyway, at least if it’s legal, then there’s transparency.

          • Jarred Walmsley said on 28th July 2010, 6:00

            Yes, I also agree with that, it makes sense, however generally a driver will assist his team mate however possible in the fight for the championship in that circumstance. But transparency would be a good idea

  5. F1NATIC said on 26th July 2010, 13:17

    Hey Keith how can we catch the on-board camera channel?

    • graigchq said on 26th July 2010, 13:23

      on BBC website during the race, under the main video feed, are more options… DRIVER TRACKER (highly recooomended to watch with a second laptop/PC or monitor) and the onboard feed – which is also available via the Red Button, as is the alternative Radio 5 live commentary feed with the main BBC video.

      Many many options. Driver tracker made all the difference to really understand what is happening minute by minute, for example, i was able to follow the gap between Hamilton, Button and Webber for the whole race, despite only getting 5 minutes TV time on the trio during the race.

      • F1NATIC said on 26th July 2010, 20:24

        damn, this is screwed up! I dont have access to that in America, the BBC should really give its services world-wide because there is so much stuff I would like to see from their red-button and I-player…

        • Newnhamlea1 said on 26th July 2010, 21:18

          Im sure the bbc would happily give you all of it if everyone in america paid the $400 a year (roughly) licence fee that i have to pay.

          • lengy said on 27th July 2010, 2:37

            Personally I would love to have the chance to pay a percentage of that 400 UK pounds, (remember F1 is not on every week and is only for 6 months of the year) so 100 quid p.a. would do it for me!

            I pay 99 euro to watch MotoGP live and without Adds via their official site, Also so I don’t have to hear the waffle of our local broadcasters and don’t start me on the adds every 4 mins. !!!

    • SPIDERman said on 26th July 2010, 14:24

      YOU watch the onboard camera shot by using the BBC red button options as below-
      if you have HD capable TV and you are using set up box with HD capability, just go to bbc hd channel the usuall way,then as the channel loads,press the red button which will bring up the various channnels running…select the F1 live broad cast and you will see that at the top right corner of your picture,there will be options for live tv commentary/live 5live commentary/onboard camera.
      select whichever you want to use.
      THE same selections apply if you are using free view or free sat channels
      ALSO the same selections apply when you access any BBC CHANNEL that is running if you are not on HD CAPABLE equipment…
      therefore in summary …this the sequence=
      -selec tany bbc channel
      -press red button

      -top right screen shows options available
      for example live tv commentary
      live 5 live commentary
      live on board camera
      -select your desired choice and enjoy..

      FOR ME i usually make best use of technolgy by RUNNING THE LIVE TV on with 5 live commentary because it usually more exiting and point by point more precise
      because i find the live tv guys too measured and sort of conservative in their coverage
      ALSO with my laptop running iam usually running two open pages ie one showing the official F1 LIVE TIMING SCREENS,WHICH IS ACCURATE lap by lap and exact car/driver positions the entire race..
      THE SECOND page may run showing the new BBC FEATURE showing the exact GPS positions of the cars on the track
      YOU CAN RUN THESE LINKs MINIMIZED and only point your mouse hwere you want to view..
      …it great if your operating system is windows seven/or vista as well
      for me windows seven is the best.

      • Calum said on 26th July 2010, 16:42

        Don’t forget to run F1F Live Blog ;)

      • Ads21 (@ads21) said on 26th July 2010, 22:16

        Oh that list looks familiar, but my laptop infuriates me. I really want driver tracker for pitstops, the F1F live blog and obviously live timing but I’ll get “Internet Explorer not responding” so often during the race.

        Keith you’re probably right about the driver tracker not being much use in the race normally, but during the stops I think its essential veiwing when the TV director isn’t paying attention

        • SPIDERman said on 27th July 2010, 0:46

          IF YOU ARE getting “internet explorer not responding” mostly it could i suspect you are on using an in correctly set up windows vist/xp/windows7 browser…
          OR your broadbanb connection speed is too low..but this should not be a problem unless again your RAM is also too low which makes hard for your laptop to load multiple applications
          A decent laptop with at least 1 GB ram should be able to run most browsers easily
          ..but your best option is to get a laptop of at least 2 to 3 gigabytes RAM, a good procecer series ( i prefer intel )any series from number T4400 up to T8500 would do…although intel have launched a new series of i3 procesors.
          should be dual core as well(core 2duo)
          Please note that for me i use dell inspiron 1525 core 2 duo with 4 GB RAM and a basic hard drive memory of 160 gb
          IAM able… during the FORMULA ONE live broadcast run the bbc live internet broadcast,the formula one OFFICIAL live timing screen,the new bbc GPS system for the cars and also load the F1 fanatic web page plus the autosport webpage which i subsscibe to
          all these run throughout the race as am able to get instant reactions in real time..
          THE red button service is very exellent on BBC as well….as it opens a whole host of links to many live sporting ativities on the sports multiscreen..
          i hope am not boring people with this….but just be advised that am die hard formula one fun..

  6. Timba7 said on 26th July 2010, 13:28

    Vettel handed the first win and now Massa, lucky duck. Atleast Massa would have won driving.

    The fact that Massa would be still fighting the WDC without orders is sad really. He clearly is contracted as number 2.

    Money talks bs walks.

    • Calum said on 26th July 2010, 13:38

      “Money pays the mortgage but you can’t show a mortgae to your grandkids”

      • kowalsky said on 26th July 2010, 13:53

        but you can give them a paid house as an inheritance. I think it is what massa has chosen to do, as another brazilian did at ferrari a few years back.
        Everybody is talking about the decision,but massa could have just kept the foot down and win the gp. He didn’t. If you look at the history of the sport reutteman in brazil 1981, and arnoux at france 1982 didn’t obey team orders. And face their actions like men. Today we have a bunch of corporate drivers that makes me hard to understand how can capture the young fan’s imagination. Certainly they don’t capture mine.

        • mfDB said on 26th July 2010, 16:35

          He was out of the WDC chase well before this race….his decision to yield was smart, his decision to make it so public was very stupid.

          He did the same thing for Kimi in 07 at his home race and Kimi did it for him in 08….the only difference is that Massa thinks he can make up the points (maybe I’ll eat my words if he wins the next 4 races…but he won’t).

          • Adam Tate said on 26th July 2010, 18:03

            Just because of your rude comment, I hope he does win the next four races, it would be a fitting dose of sweet karma for all the crap he’s had to take. A true fan could see that.

          • mfDB said on 26th July 2010, 19:00

            I would LOVE for Massa to win the next 4 races, I just don’t think he will based on the 1st half of the season and where the car and his team are right now. I wasn’t being rude, but you however were quite rude saying that I’m not a true fan.

    • Adam Tate said on 26th July 2010, 18:01

      So true mate! The sad statistic is that 3 out of 4 of Alonso’s last race wins were gifted to him. Singapore 08, Bahrain and now Germany. His last win of merit was Japan 08′

      • kowalsky said on 26th July 2010, 19:48

        a true fan!!!! what is a true fan? the politicaly correct fan, that tells what people want to hear? I was what you call a true fan before you were born.
        I would love to see massa win, if he deserves it. Last sunday he did, but his season was so bad up to that point, that the team couldn’t let him win. He could have won anyway, but he decided like his fellow countryman barrichello, that he’ll go for the second driver role, before upsetting the team and get fired.

  7. maiquel said on 26th July 2010, 13:31

    so… if you do something against the rules you can receive punishment depends on how do yo make it, I mean, if you do it with elegance and discretion like “save fuel” there is no problem but if you do it so horrible as Ferrari yesterday there is it.

    In BOTH cases must be punish it.

    by the way, in the same way that a team can manipulate the result ordering a pilot to be overtaken by his mate, wouldn’t be the same when a team order a pilot NOT try to overtake to his mate?

    • edugg said on 26th July 2010, 13:37

      Are you serious?????hahaha don’t make me laugh

    • Christian said on 26th July 2010, 13:43

      I’m not a McLaren or Ferrari fan (Williams if you must know), but there is a difference between “save fuel” and “swap places please”.

      The first one happens at a point in the race where the drivers HAVE been racing and the team is asking their drivers to just see the cars home now, you’ve had your race, let’s pick up the points now.

      The second one was Ferrari saying “right, you’ve had your race, the fans have watched it and invested their time, but WE don’t like that outcome, please swap positions”.

      I don’t like either, but the Ferrari one manipulates the order achieved with racing to that point and is therefore far more insulting to the fans.

      • kowalsky said on 26th July 2010, 14:00

        fans deserve it. they are stupid enough to still go to a gp, and pay 300 euro to see such a mediocre show. How long is it going to take to realize, it is a tv show, not worth paying money to watch. It took me a while i have to confess. Now i watch it on tv, and go live to moto gp, where you still can see real men, risking their lifes, and real characters of the track. You british have the tt,(lucky devils) a real test for men and machine. F1 it’s a real test for polititians, and prima donnas.

      • nelly said on 26th July 2010, 23:14

        I agree, but maiquel has a point. The team order ban is for all kinds of team orders. Breaking it one way is the same as breaking it in another. To me, I don’t see how breaking a rule less obviously makes it any better. If it’s sometimes acceptable, I’m not surprised Ferrari have pushed it and done it the way they have considering how they’re defending the incident. If Mclaren did issue secret team orders then it still had the chance to change the end race result. I’m not defending Ferrari in any way though. I don’t like team orders at all. I think they all have the potential to change what the real race result would be and, as you say, insult the fans like Ferrari did and are still doing by seemingly lying about it. I just don’t see the point in having a ‘team order ban’ when some seem to be allowed and and some don’t. It just seems as if the FIA want to make it look as if all is peachy in Formula 1 when it isn’t and Ferrari have now pushed it too far. Team orders should be banned completely although there is no real way of going about it unless you ban radios and pit boards which you can’t do.

    • If your playing a game, say a board game like Settlers of Catan or Risk or Chess and everyone is cheating at every opportunity and you don’t cheat at all, YOU WILL LOOSE. Some board games are actually built around “cheating”.

      In the last 3 races Ferrari has not cheated but has been punished. This was their opportunity to get some back by pushing the envelope of “cheating” by making their clear #2 give up a place to their #1.

      The “rules” are poorly enforced so this was the right thing to do in this situation. and $100,000 is a fair punishment…. in fact I bet Ferrari would pay $200,000 in a heart beat to correct the rules that caught them out at Silverstone and Canada. This is racing, not your church softball league. You take every opportunity to score points because one point can make a huge difference (see 2007 and 2008).

      Carl de Cordova
      Austin, TX
      The new home of F1 in the USA

      • Eric said on 26th July 2010, 16:19

        thats $100,000 for 7 points thankyou, you can now go to the finish.

        why 7 because that is all it was worth between 1st and 2nd 25 verses 18.

      • Patrickl said on 26th July 2010, 16:36

        How on earth had Ferrari been unjustly punished?

        In Canada they were unlucky with the safety car. That’s not punishment. It happens. Just as Hamilton dropped from P2 to P8 in Singapore 2008 due to a “unlucky” safety car (which was actual cheating).

        FIA have changed the rules so that more drivers will be punished if the same thing happens again (Vettel and Hamilton in this example) and others will benefit more (like Button, Kobayashi and Kubica would have)

        In Silverstone Alonso passed Kubica in an illegal manner. His own fault. So he did cheat and was punished.

        In Germany the team decided to cheat and it remains to be seen if they receive an actual punishment for that.

        The fact that Ferrari thinks they are above the law or are somehow owed by the system is nonsense.

        • Manu said on 26th July 2010, 18:23

          In Germany the team decided to cheat…
          How does what they did qualify as “cheating”. Tell me. Ferrari were just way faster than anyone on the track, but it seems to me that you just can’t accept it. Ferrari won, they were the best out there, period. You’re just bitter because Alonso is closing the gap with your beloved Hamilton. Live with it.

          • pride said on 26th July 2010, 20:19

            Hamilton is much much better than Alonso. In his rookie year he demolished his self esteem.

          • Patrickl said on 26th July 2010, 20:49

            Cheating as in “breaking the rules on purpose”. Seems pretty obvious what they did. We still have to wait and see what penalty they get for it , but still.

            The fact that they cannot even have a proper race when they have by far the fastest car is even more damning.

          • Jarred Walmsley said on 28th July 2010, 6:35

            Well, I dislike both Alonso and Hamilton, namely because to me they both seem very arrogant. I support Mark Webber because he’s the closest I as a New Zealander has to a representative and want him or Jenson to win the championship, Mark for the reasons above and Jenson so he can prove that he really is a good racer and didn’t just get lucky with the BGP001 last year. Anyway, I’m off on a tangent now, the point is that in Germany they deliberately and with malice decided to fix the race result because they liked Alonso better. That is why it qualifies as cheating and that is why they should be punished

  8. Boombatz said on 26th July 2010, 13:31

    I am sooooo jealous. Here in the States, we get stripped down coverage on tape delay…and you guys in UK have online, onboard coverage with track maps.

  9. Terry said on 26th July 2010, 13:39

    To think of all the flack I got yesterday when I said that Alonso was going faster than Massa and that the timing sheets would show it. Thanks for posting this.

    • Christian said on 26th July 2010, 13:48

      It doesn’t matter if he was quicker or not. You win races by being first on the track. If you’re second you have to overtake the car in front. Otherwise it’s a completely hollow victory.

      Petrov had the fastest lap in Turkey, should he have won that race? Of course not.

      • Christian said on 26th July 2010, 13:51

        I’m not having a go at you though Terry. I’m just disappointed in the order swap.

        If F1 was just about who can drive the car fastest we might as well do away with the race and just have qualifying.

        I like that we have both parts to it. Lets see some quick laps in qualifying and some other skills (like overtaking and strategy) used in the race to decide the winner.

        • kowalsky said on 26th July 2010, 14:08

          don’t take it so hard on yourself. F1 has been like that for ever. And if you look at it without the emotion, what ferrari did it’s what they had to, even if we don’t like it. Just imagine the criticism they would have received otherwise. In italy and spain at least. The tiltle is lost already, by the many mistakes alonso and ferrari made. This it’s just going to give them some much needed oxigen. Some heads are going to roll at ferrari, no matter what.

        • mfDB said on 26th July 2010, 16:47

          Christian, the only reason team orders are banned were because of the Shumacher debacle where the fans were sick of him dominating…they ordered Rubens to let him past and the fans were bummed. In reality team orders have been a major part of the history of F1 and the style of F1 racing. It is considered a team sport and back in the day, drivers would actually pull over to swap cars if needed (imagine Hamilton had a huge point lead over Button and Hammy crashed out of a race, walked to the pits, and then Button pulled over and handed the car to Ham…). The only reason they banned it was for the ‘show’ which goes against the principle of the sport in my mind.

          It does make the win seem hollow when thinking of it from the single driver point of view, but there are 2 Ferraris and Ferrari have 1 goal. Win both championships. They don’t think Massa can do it….why, because the results of his racing this year are not as good as his teammates. Remember when he let Kimi by in 07 so that Ferrari could win both championships. All the tams do it…ALL of the them…

    • Patrickl said on 26th July 2010, 16:38

      Where does it show that Alonso was substantially faster than Massa then?

      At best you could say that Massa slowed down for a few laps after they ordered him to let Alonso past.

  10. Nick said on 26th July 2010, 14:10

    Alonso making a mistake ? Not possible.

    • i am a big time alonso fan, but this season he has been highly error-prone… the jump start… the crash in Monaco…. the mess he got into trying to pass Kubica… all mistakes from Fernando…
      i also condemn this position swap…. though, still want Alonso to win WDC.. :D

      • kowalsky said on 26th July 2010, 18:00

        are you an unconditional alonso fan? No matter what.
        It is one of the things that amazes me. Once a fan has decided to support a driver, it is so hard for him to change his mind, no matter how mediocre the driver becomes.
        I liked alonso during his championship years, but after those he become harder to swallow, year after year. I am from asturias like alonso if it is of any interest to anyone.

        • Winning the first race with a new team is no ‘mediocre’ stuff… 5th place in the driver’s standings, with a car that has been off the pace for the major part of the season… the drive in Malaysia, where he almost brought the damaged car home in the points, was impressive… was attacking Button, and almost passed him, in a car which had some gear box issues….

          what i meant was that, Alonso being Alonso, he shouldn’t be making these many mistakes.. And I am no Hamilton-hater… In fact, the two of them are my favorite drivers… want to see them go head-to-head more often…

  11. Vita said on 26th July 2010, 14:20

    Fernando Alonso is a cry baby. Again and again he showed as though he should be given the “win”. He complained & whined. It’s always other people’s faults. The amazing thing is he seemed not to have any sense of embarassment at all. If he thinks he’s faster than Massa, why couldn’t he overtake? After all it’s a race. To me the fact that he couldn’t overtake Massa proved that he was not any faster. He just default to his usual self – demand – I must win because I’m in faster car, double world champions. What a lot of rubbish Alonso – you should be ashamed of yourself. It was amazing that he was not questioned for Singapore scandal. Now it looks like he’ll get away again.

    • Ron in Michigan said on 26th July 2010, 15:19

      “The amazing thing is he seemed not to have any sense of embarrassment at all”.

      Not amazing at all when you consider the fact fact that some people go through their entire lives without any sense of shame, guilt or embarrassment. I’m not sure what the technical term is, but i’m sure there is a name for it.

      Yesterday Alonso his patented go to explanation, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED”.

      LOL. Spare us all Alonso. Any ardent viewer of the F1 over the past season and a half can clearly see that your driving skills have diminished considerably. I used to stand up for you in conversation after conversation, stating unequivocally that you were THE BEST DRIVER IN FORMULA. And i’m a Hamilton fan.

      Don’t know exactly when it happened, but, you’ve lost your superiority over the field.

      Maybe it’s karma for Singapore, another one of your “I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED” moments.

    • mfDB said on 26th July 2010, 16:49

      Massa did the same thing to Kimi in 08 when he almost won the WDC. Same thing really

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th July 2010, 16:50

        Except Raikkonen was out of the championship at that stage. I must have typed that reply in response to five other versions of that remark now.

        • mfDB said on 26th July 2010, 17:37

          Yeah, but as far as Ferrari is concerned, so is Massa. It’s pretty unrealistic to think he will beat out Alonso and win the championship. that is why I said same thing really, implying that it’s not identical, but quite similar. The point is, no one was being a cry baby and this isn’t that crazy. The problem is not WHAT they did, it’s HOW they did it…..

        • mfDB said on 26th July 2010, 18:00

          Also, what about Heikki letting Hamilton by in Hockenheim in 2008? I pretty sure Heikki was not out of the championship (not too sure on the points). But no one really seemed to care then. I think the biggest difference is that Massa made it very public (so I guess one could argue that Massa was being the cry baby).

          I’m not sticking up for Ferrari and alonso, I was kind of annoyed at the event, but it seems like some folks are over reacting.

          What’s your take on Hockenheim ’08? did you post a similar article on how you were annoyed with McLaren? Maybe I’m wrong on Kovy’s points, but it seems identical…

      • JSC said on 26th July 2010, 17:57

        I think there are two differences that need to be highlighted. 1, as Keith mentions, Kimi was out of contention for the championship by China 08. And 2, there was no inclination that he had been ordered to do it by the team. We all accepted it as Kimi understanding the situation and supporting Massa, which he himself said in the post race interview. The situation at the last race cannot be more clearly different, in my opinion. But that hasn’t stopped a thousand people from claiming that Sunday’s farce was the same as Kimi Massa China 08, or Massa Kimi Brazil 07, or Lewis Heiki at Hockenheim 08…

        • mfDB said on 26th July 2010, 18:02

          So the only difference is that you heard it on the radio and Massa made it public. that only means that Massa was annoyed, not that its different. Also, see my above comment on Hamilton in 08….

          • JSC said on 26th July 2010, 18:09

            It wasn’t Massa who made it public, it was Smedley. And yes, this is the only reason the stewards have a case against Ferrari. They are not the only team that give orders, but they seem to be the only team who think they are above FIA reproach.

          • mfDB said on 26th July 2010, 19:03

            That is seems pretty true, the way they all did that was stupid. They are a mess right now…Although I think Massa made his move very obvious…

            Check out what happened in the IndyCar race


            this makes F1 look good…

    • Horacio said on 26th July 2010, 17:44

      I agree 101%. Alonso’s ‘celebration’ after his ‘win’ was a very sad moment.

  12. rok said on 26th July 2010, 14:27

    The main point probably is Massa knew before race what he should do. I even belive in his contrat it says Nr.2 if… and probably this “if” clause was mented to be used only till Felipe and Smedly got their own ways.

    Nowadays a driver has his contract, like you have in youre real life job, where it says what you do and dont do. In cycling someone like Vinokurov has to help his main driver in team, despite being an awsome cycler. And nobody seems to have problem with that… in F1 thes strategyc maneuvers are used usualy only after the half ponint of the championship because they try to see who is in the best positon till that point.

    In case of Ferrari they have the best chances by far by prefering Alonso over Massa. He has proven a lot quicker driver than Massa this year and has smalest deficit to WDC leader. Adding to that, they have a perfect chance by playing one player take best spot in race, because Red Bull and McLaren have two drivers in top places so they cant play on one sole driver. Which, nicley shown, was the 07 season.

  13. Christian said on 26th July 2010, 14:30

    Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard are saying that the rules need to be changed so that team orders are allowed. Which would mean seeing this kind of position swap taking place far more often.

    As a fan I’d rather see racing. So am obviously against that. I do however appreciate something needs to be done to make this easier to police.

    Maybe it’s time to ban team radios? Reduce communication with team and driver to boards at the pit wall only. Then have a set list of legal phrases, like “Pit +1 Laps” etc.

    Of course, teams could elect to use a certain phrase as code for “swap places”, but then they would be losing a phrase they could need far more often.

    Plus, it would make it very entertaining when something goes wrong with either the car or pit stop strategy. The radio could probably stay in-case of emergency only.

    • mfDB said on 26th July 2010, 16:59

      So you would rather see what the Red Bulls did in Turkey….If you look at the team order moments since it’s been banned (say Massa moving over for Kimi in Brasil so Kimi could win the WDC), I think that team orders show a lot more class.

      We were watching racing and none of sunday’s events took away from that. It is not practical as a team to have your 2 cars race more than they did….Alonso attempted it once, Massa blocked and they both ended up 1/2….

      Its a shame how the team orders ban has taken away from the ‘team’ aspect of F1 and I agree with DC and Eddie.

      • Christian said on 26th July 2010, 17:07

        Heh, you and I are obviously in disagreement on team orders. You seem pretty fine with them.

        I’ve been watching F1 for 20 years, I’m aware they have happened before.

        That doesn’t mean I like them or as a fan should decide to except them. I invested a good seven hours of my weekend watching the practise sessions, qualifying, and race, only for the result to be decided off the track (it’s the same issue I have with penalties being handed out after a race as well).

        It may have happened before, but that doesn’t make it right.

        • Christian said on 26th July 2010, 17:08

          And granted it’s a team sport, but surely people would rather see racing than race fixing?

      • Christian said on 26th July 2010, 17:10

        and yes, I’d rather see what happened to the Red Bulls in Turkey. Two drivers fighting it out for position. Okay, they crashed, but it was entertaining and real.

        I’d take that over Sunday’s events any day.

        • mfDB said on 26th July 2010, 17:55

          Wow, you’re being rather dramatic. “Race fixing”…”real”…I dunno, I guess there is a difference of opinion. I found the forced pass annoying too and obviously would rather have seen Alonso make the pass himself, but I think everyone is freaking out a little bit. Banning radio’s isn’t the answer.

          Team orders are a part of the sport, doesn’t make me fine with them necessarily, but I understand the team being forced to use them. the drivers are racing for the team, the team provides the car and the pay check.

          I just think some folks are overreacting to this event. Where was everyone when Hekki let Hamilton by in Hockenheim in 2008? Massa and Kimi in 07 and 08…etc…etc

          • Christian said on 26th July 2010, 19:08

            I don’t think I’m being dramatic. Merely attempting to discuss an alternative, and giving reasons why I personally don’t like the events of Sunday.

            I know what I’d rather see as a fan. I’m more than happy for you to have a different opinion.

          • See, I disagree Christian. I think RBR at Turkey was a clear example of team orders, they just had the sense to disguise it a bit better, plus Webber made it as difficult as possible for Vettel to pass. And of course Vettel muffed it up anyway. If he’d made the pass stick, we’d have been talking about that instead of the train wreck it then became.

            Look, I don’t like what happened on sunday any more than the rest of you. But I think its just naive to expect that this will not occur, or that some teams do it and not others. And so, forgive me, but I just can’t get all outraged by something I accepted as inevitable years ago, however tacitly.

  14. Deep Freeze said on 26th July 2010, 14:30

    Your analysis and assumption of a so called, “mistake” missed a very important point that SV brought up in the post-race interview.

    Following another car closely resulted in a signficant increase in tyre graining and degradation. SV made a point of mentioning this as an issue in his post-race comments. This characteristic of tyre wear makes perfect sense as aerodynamic downforce is lost when following closely so the tyres must be worked much harder to maintain pace. FA spent many laps following FM in the early stages of the race and when FM chopped across FA during his passing attempt it appeared only logical that FA needed to ensure a wreck didn’t occur that would take both of them out. It appeared as though FA backed away from FM deliberately to save his tires for a late race charge if it was needed. SV was doing the same thing and would have definitely been into the mix hard if FM had kept backing up FA as we was prior to letting him through.

    The ease with which FA reeled FM back in while in dirty air shows how much faster he was than FM.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th July 2010, 14:53

      It’s hard to say exactly how far back the ‘dirty air’ effect is felt, and it probably affects more cars more than others. It’s safe to assume that within a range of about a second it becomes very hard to get any closer (hence next year’s ‘proximity wing’ proposal). At the start of the lap Alonso went off on he was over two seconds behind. Is that close enough?

      Regardless of that, it was still a mistake, clearly.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th July 2010, 19:52

        From what the team told Webber when discussing how far he should be behind Button, it might be as much as 4 seconds on the straights. But probably it gets worse at some 1.2-2 seconds.

      • joc said on 30th July 2010, 12:50

        That´s how I see it: It wasn´t a mistake, he was previously instructed by Ferrafi not to try to overtake Massa in order to avoid a collision. That´s why we then listened Alonso saying “this is ridiculous” meaning either you let me try a move on Massa or he has to let me pass. Ferrari then decided to let him pass. I was trully disgusted when I saw the pass but I genuily think that Alonso is not to blame and Ferrari is. Am I wrong?

  15. Gusto said on 26th July 2010, 14:37

    I think we should be thankful to Smedley for having the balls to give the radio message to Massa in a way that everybody would understand what was happening, He probably knew that this would put He`s job on the line but done it anyway. A thing that struck me as odd at the time was a radio message He gave to Massa on lap 28 that went something like…” the gap is 3 seconds, concentrate an keep it up, you can win this race ” why not say ” you WILL win this race ” was there a agreement saying if you can get, say 5 seconds in front, team orders wont kick in….just a thought.

    • Adam Tate said on 26th July 2010, 18:15

      Amen on that one Gusto! Smedley is the best. It did take balls to do that and you could hear the anguish he had for his driver as he did. If Smedley’s job is on the line for this I will have lost all respect I ever had for Ferrari.

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