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

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

2010 German Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 German Grand Prix articles

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

  1. 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.

    1. Here, Here! (short but to the point)

  2. 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..

    1. 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.

    2. Massa could have just ran wide at T1?

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

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

    3. 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.

      1. 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.

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

        2. 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.

          1. 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.

    4. In my memory, Massa had a very poor pit stop

      1. 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.

    5. 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

      1. 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.

        1. 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…

        2. 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.

          1. Jarred Walmsley
            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. 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.

    1. 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).

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

        What race were you watching?

      2. “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!!!

        1. 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

          1. 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’?

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

    2. 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

      1. wasn’t much faster, doh!

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. Jarred Walmsley
            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. Hey Keith how can we catch the on-board camera channel?

    1. 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.

      1. 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…

        1. Newnhamlea1
          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.

          1. @Newnhamlea1
            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. !!!

    2. 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.

      1. Don’t forget to run F1F Live Blog ;)

      2. 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

        1. 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. 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.

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

      1. 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.

        1. 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).

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

    2. 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′

      1. 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. 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?

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

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

    3. 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

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

        1. 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.

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

          2. 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.

          3. Jarred Walmsley
            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. 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.

    1. but you have good weather in the us, and good food.

      1. Doesn’t compensate :D

      2. We’ll good race coverage any day.

      3. Have you seen their food? Its good if you like burgers, but for anything else…

    2. Ron in Michigan
      26th July 2010, 14:57

      “I second that emotion”.

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

        2. 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…

    2. 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. Alonso making a mistake ? Not possible.

    1. 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

      1. 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.

        1. 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. 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.

    1. Ron in Michigan
      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.

      1. “I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED” looks more like a Hamilton declaration….

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

      1. 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.

        1. 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…..

        2. 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…

      2. 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…

        1. 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….

          1. 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.

          2. 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…

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

  12. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

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

      2. 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.

        1. 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

          1. 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.

          2. 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
    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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

  16. Will anyone ever take Alonso’s hysterical outbursts seriously again? I was actually beginning to feel sorry for him lately,but now this!!!!!!!!
    Alonso you act like a spoilt brat and deserve to be remembered for what you did yesterday to Felipe.

    BUT,there again,I wonder how much Felipe was paid with a back hander.Any Guesses??

    “Nice new 50 bedroom house,large swimming pool,full gymnasium OH!! nearly forgot to mention the new Ferrari on the drive, and the personal use of a bright red private plane!!.

    1. LOLz

      Austin, TX – the new home of F1 USA

  17. This is a great analysis, especially for those of us who were doomed to watch on FOX, which showed little but commercials for DirectTV, and the rest of the time we saw Michael Schumacher battling for 12th place. Or we saw some lousy music video with CG twinkles in the old man’s eye.

    The sum of this analysis is that Massa was the better racer yesterday. He capitalized on his start, he held off a major pass attempt. He cracked off the fast laps at the right moments to foil Alonso’s attacks. Meanwhile, Alonso made two or three crucial errors that put and kept him behind Massa. Alonso was faster, at certain times, but he is basically demanding that Massa be handicapped for his errors.

    Let’s recall Nurburgring in 2007 when, after coming together as Alonso made the pass and took the win in a brilliant drive, Alonso nonetheless confronted and berated Massa before TV cameras in the garage for the incident.

    Massa needs to look at Hamilton in 2007 and choose his moment to gouge Alonso’s massive ego. Alonso will crack just as he did at McLaren. Massa may want to end his career at Ferrari but he is destroying his reputation and his prospects going forward if he can’t. Alonso is a bully and Massa needs to remember that all bullies are at heart insecure cowards desperate for approval.

    1. hahahahaha, DaveW, you’re first paragraph is spot on…

    2. Dave W! That was perfectly said!

    3. Alonso cracked in 2007? hahahah That´s funny considering Alonso and Hamilton were level on points at the end of the season with the whole team backing Hamilton (read Ron Dennis comments before the last GP) It was pretty clear that Hamilton cracked not Alonso that´s why he lost a championship that he should have won by a mile instead of giving it away!!!

  18. I think Ferrari did what they needed to do to try to preseve their best interests wich are, by the way, fight for the championship, alonzo and massa know very well that the team comes always in first.
    It was Massa who have putten himself in this position with so much lack of pace all year long, so why try to spoil all ferrari efforts at least to have one driver fighting for the championship.
    Didn´t Raikonen gave his position in Shangai to keep Massa fighting for the championship back in 2008, don´t remenber this controversy back then.
    Put Maclaren and Red BUll in the same situation and the result would be the same.
    Ferrari did shoot itself in his feet,( not handling the situation before the race in such a cenario) but letting Massa win the german grand prix instead of Alonzo would have been also shooting in his feet again not letting Alonzo have the 25 points for the victory.
    So, if FIA obliges teams to have tatics with tyres why can´t the teams have tactics with their drivers.
    One more thing, this is a TEAMS EFORT SPORT, there´s a lot of money involded in that so, if you wont to see no team orders you should try Indy car or Nascar, they are good at it and provide a good show, i like it but also understand that F1 is different.
    IT has been always like this why try to change it.

    1. They’d be shooting themselves in the feet if they didn’t do it? I don’t see how! Massa was not drastically behind Alonso in the drivers championship, and Alonso would still haul in a decent number of points.

      They did it for one reason and one reason only, to appease the crying baby.

  19. For me, what’s probably the most galling thing about this was Alonso had a decent chance to pass Massa fair and square, and he failed.

    On lap 21 he had such a good overlap on Massa when they came up to the hairpin that – even though he was on the outside – I reckoned he would probably get him either on the way in or as they came out of the corner.

    Massa defended his position well and it’s to his credit, even though he wasn’t the fastest drivers on the day.

    He shouldn’t have had his win taken off him by the team. I was very disappointed with them.

    1. Me too! Are you going to say this loudly in an opinion piece?

    2. Keith, I have to find your reaction to this situation a bit disproportionate, especially given what you said a couple of seasons ago when Kovalainen let Lewis by:

      “Kovalainen wasted no time in letting his team mate past. Hamilton quickly went by – and Heidfeld shortly emerged from the pits behind Hamilton, showing the McLaren driver would have had an even tougher time had he not passed his team mate so quickly.”

      And even what Lewis himself said during the press conference:

      ” I have to say a big thank you to Heikki, he was a great team-mate. He didn’t put up a huge fight and saw that I was quicker and enabled me to get past quicker. And so a big thank you to him. ”

      I didn’t see any entries on manipulated races then, and I don’t think we need to now either.

      As i see it, Massa’s engineers were very vocal in the laps leading up to the pass, about letting Felipe know that he had to push to the limit so that Fernando wouldn’t close the gap. However, once Alonso clearly did, they had two options:
      1) Alonso could have had a go or three at overtaking Massa, and risk 42 points a la Webber and Vettel, or 2) Felipe could move over and avoid the risk altogether. I submit option 2 was much more reasonable for a team struggling for points as Ferrari is at the moment.

      Let’s all chill a bit about manipulations please.

      1. Alex – I agree, well said…

      2. First off all, a win is something quite different from giving up a 4th place to allow your teammate to have a chance to win it.
        Especially when Heikki was clearly slower there.

        Alonso did have a try, Massa blocked it off and was finding speed again, second time he had a small of and was to far away. Sure the team feared they would do a Vebber crash. But they could have just told Alonso to keep his cool and follow Massa after he blew 2 chances to get past.

        The fact it is actually a year after the Hungary accident made having to give up his win even worse for Massa and Ferrari. Their back to being a team only for fans “functional winners”, as Joe Saward called it in his blog.

        1. No it’s not…not at all different. giving up a position for your teammates advantage is what we are talking about.

      3. At the end of the day its about appearances. Austria 2002 stands as a historic event because Ferrari decided that they would make a purposeful, obvious show of what has gone on with a wink and nod forever. It was damaging to the sport, bottom line, because perceptions matter.

        And in this case, appearances take on a special emphasis: Fresh in the FIA’s memory, after Valencia the FIA told Ferrari to shut up about “manipulation,” primarly in private, after hearing them campaign against the integrity of the sport for several days. So now we Ferrari again challenging the FIA’s basic authority over how races are run and making the FIA look like its not in control of things. The FIA is not going to let it go with another private talk this time. Even Ferrari cannot make a living by twisting the FIA’s tail.

      4. Very well said Alex, i couldn’t agree more !

      5. “Lewis was nearly one second quicker and when he [Kovalainen] was told Lewis was quicker he just let him past. It was a tremendous sporting gesture.”

        Dennis then concluded:

        “True teammates do these things because that’s the way they are.”

        – Ron Dennis after the 2008 German GP

        1. Riiiiight…..well, thats what Ferrari should have made it look like too….

    3. well Keith .. you’ve done a very good job of being part of marketing industry. good work mate! I think Ferrari should start to think the same way too, get a nice-looking driver with diplomatic ability and let the critics flow through fan-site despite having a natural driver whose direct in conversation. the debate over team orders have gone to the level that separate men with boys now. and marketing will always work better with boys. there will be no end when we’re talking about team orders – every team does that. it looked very clear to be honest.

  20. Most of us work everyday to make a living and we expect to be rewarded for our labor. Why shouldn’t FM expect the rewards for his drive at the German GP? P1 wasn’t handed to him by Alonso or Vettel he took it in a sporting fashion that was appreciated by the fans. But he gave it up (team orders) in manner that defy the spirit of competition.
    I am sadden that he allowed himself to be manipulated by Farrari in this manner. I am even more disgusted with Farrari management and Alonso having no shame for their actions. What I saw was a rape in progress and the end results were all over Massa’s face at the end of the race.
    What a sad sad day for Formula 1 and Filipe Massa.

    1. He works hard…for Ferrari, which is a F1 team and car manufacturer that puts A LOT of money into Formula 1. At the end of the day, Ferrari wants Championships and Massa’s reward is a very big paycheck. At the end of my day, for all my hard work my reward is a paycheck too, not a shiny trophy. If my boss asked me to step aside for another employee I would either A) step aside for the better of my company and job and deal with the issue like a man, or B) not step aside and confront my boss to let him know why I am the better man for the job…..Massa did not do either of these. I am a big fan of Massa, but his behavior here is **** poor (both letting Alonso past in a very obvious, media craving way and then sulking about it). If he cares that much, then go win the race. If he knows he should step aside, then step aside and ****. Alonso’s behavior is equally **** poor. He should not have cried like a baby saying ‘this is ridiculous’…like KC has said here already, make the pass….if it is too risky for the team, then get on the radio and say I’m faster than Massa, don’t want to wreck your cars, what should WE do…..

      1. He should not have cried like a baby saying ‘this is ridiculous’…like KC has said here already

        I don’t believe I said anything like that…

        1. Not what I was saying. It is supposed to read, like KC was saying…make the pass.

          In other words, at least try to pass a few times before your screaming over the radio. I do believe you said that he should have tried or did try to make the pass and failed….

      2. @MfDB
        While I agree that if Massa believe he could win the race he should have stood up for himself. However, Farrari is still the 800 pound gorilla in the room. They manipulated this race and turned it into a fiasco. They didn’t do for the team points because they had them wrapped up no matter who won. They did it to insure FA got the maximum WDC points.
        Every driver in formual 1 competes for every point they can get and when they feel cheated by teams and officials bad things happen. I could name numerous incident both recent and past to illustrate, but that’s not necessary because we have all seen enough races to understand the nuances of this business/sport.
        However, that does not mean we as paying fans shouldn’t expect everyone driving a car to compete. That’s what we pay a lot of money to see.

      3. ok.

        you were making great points until you got to “He should not have cried like a baby saying ‘this is ridiculous’…”

        For crying out loud man…. think for a minute about what your saying. Alonso is driving a car at 200 miles per hour! While trying to keep a very talented young german with a faster car at his home race from passing him, while trying to pass Flippy Springhead and draggin’ a canoe behind him! (sorry…. thats from an old song)

        We got to hear about 1% (IMHO) of the radio traffic between Alonso and his garage during the race Sunday. But as Douglas Adams said, “it was the best 1% (sic)”.

        You gotta believe if you work for the FIA you will hear more of that conversation than what FoxTV gave me here in Austin tx. I am sure the entire thing will be public when some author writes a book a few years from now. But don’t judge Fred on what he said in the heat of the moment.

        And another thing…. when he said the line “thats rediculous” it was probably about the 10th time Alonso had tried to do a friendly pass on Massa. And this was against Massa, his team mate who was slower while Alonso is in 5th in the WDC standings, mind you. Really smart, coordinated athletes (ie. Lance armstrong) sometimes have trouble riding a bike at speed and talking on an iphone. Hell, I have fallen off a mountain bike at 5 mph while trying to send a text message.

        Before you denigrate Fred, think about how hard it is to do what he did Sunday. Talking on the radio while driving in NASCAR is hard. What he was doing and what he did is amazing. Very few people in the world could do it at all. Alonso did it well enough to win. (Which is his ONLY job, BTW.)

        If I was in the left hand seat of a production Ferrari that Fernando Alonso was driving at Hockenheim I probably wouldn’t be doing anything but screaming and loosing my lunch.

        1. Well I’ve heard him and many others keep their cool on the radio. I completely disagree with your argument, he was saying what he said and how he said it out of frustration not because he was scared and can’t handle the car.

  21. Maybe now, all the Alonso fanboys will quit ragging on Schumacher.

    1. Hahaha they should! If anything Alonso is proving to be even worse than Michael was! I’m just waiting for when he will punt a rival off track!

  22. Just read Schumacher´s opinion and couldn´t agree more.
    Everybody knows Ferrari likes Massa very much and what goes aroud comes around, maybe next year it will be the other way around.Lets not forget it was Massa who put himself in this poor position in first place.
    Those 8 points can be crucial by the end of the championship, let us see then who was right.
    With both Maclaren and RBR drivers fighting for the championship and Ferrari putting all their eggs in Alonso maybe we can have something like 2007.
    We know RBR wonts Vettel as his maine contender as Hamilton for MACLAREN so they will soon or later do the same thing FERRARI did.
    One more thing, it was the TEAMS who built this SPORT, not the drivers, they come and go, but the TEAMS stay.

    1. Everybody knows Ferrari likes Massa very much and what goes aroud comes around, maybe next year it will be the other way around.

      How did that work out for Barrichello then? I don’t remember Schumacher having to support too many of his championship efforts.

      1. Well, no, but then Rubens never put himself in position to win a championship, did he? We saw Schumacher let Irvine by in Malaysia to help him towards the ’99 title.

        And more recently, Massa helped out Raikkonen in 2007, only to have the favour returned the following year. So, if the situation was reversed Massa would undoubtedly benefit from team instructions.

    2. Bartholomew
      26th July 2010, 17:06

      FIAT sells a lot of cars in Brazil. Maybe when Chrysler starts taking off with all the new product they are working on, we will have Fast Fred and then a second driver that will be American.
      The future of Ferrari is in America. Lou diMonty will convince the Indy Cars people to allow different kinds of engines in the cars, not only Honda. This will be good business for everyone.
      Sorry for aleways being off topic ! cheers

  23. Back then Ferrari knew the only way to get to the top was getting the best driver and give him all the tools needed to be up front. Barrichelo allways was a good tool bringing goods points back home, that was his job.
    As i said before, Ferrari is in F1 because they wont to win, they only wont the drivers to bring there cars first,
    it´s their philosophy.
    They don´t care if it is Alonso or Massa, what they really wont is Ferrari first and the drivers must know that.

  24. The aero package in F1 is so bad, that faster drivers can’t pass slower drivers. If they don’t change this,just more boring racing.

  25. Keith what do you make of the comment from Smedley that Massa should push and that he could still win the race. It was around the time that he was setting those fastest laps.

    Is there some indication that Ferrari might have set Massa some sort of ultimatum? For instance a minimum gap that he needs to pull to Alonso to make sure the team won’t order him to let Alonso past?

    1. Roughly what lap was that? I’ll have a look on the video.

    2. I noticed that too. The TV commentators didn’t pick up on it.

      He said “3 seconds ahead… we can win this. We need everything now.”

      I was thinking, “Why does the margin matter? If he’s ahead, he’s ahead, right?”

      Evidently, something was going on. Maybe the instruction was “If you can increase your lead to x seconds we won’t swap the cars”.

      An alternative explanation is that Massa had to build up a lead while Alonso was in fuel-saving mode to have any chance of holding him off.

      1. I think Alonso stopped the first attack on Massa on the implicit agreement that then Massa would stop defending, so both could pull away from Vettel. I read that message at the time as “Massa, you can just run normally now, no defending needed as you won’t be attacked, but we need fast lap times for the strategy”. And indeed, Massa’s laps got faster after the message, as did Alonso’s.

  26. just before the halfwaypoint, i think it was 28

  27. Bartholomew
    26th July 2010, 16:57

    These debates add a lot of excitement to the days between races. In previous years we had Max, Flava, Bernie and Lou all fighting, to keep us riveted to the news.
    If there where only clean races with no politics and quarreling, this would not be enough fun.

  28. I disagree completely, it should be about the racing, I am sick to death of all the BS, and it always seems to centre on FA, F1 would be better off without the demented crybaby.

  29. Keith, you have not done your homework on this one:

    ” … 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.”

    Domenicali very clearly stated after the race that the team had told Alonso first, then Massa, to turn the engine revs down a bit in order to preserve the engine for a few laps and also save a bit of fuel. Alonso did this first, laps 23-27 or so, Massa did it a bit later. There is no mystery here and not a case of Massa suddenly finding extra speed. Alonso was faster throughout the race, and in fact all weekend.

    1. Have you got a quote on that? As usual I looked at quite a bit of material before writing this but didn’t see that particular one from Domenicali.

      1. Here you go Keith, from, dated 7/25/10 at 16:58 GMT. ” … we had some laps with the same situation for both drivers …” is what you are looking for here. I was watching live timing on during the TV broadcast, as I do with every race. After lap 20-something, Alonso suddenly started lapping by almost 4-5 tenths slower, then he started picking up and Massa slowing down. This is clearly what Domenicali is refering to below.

        ” Q. Felipe said in the press conference that the reason why the pass happened was because he was struggling with the hard tyres. But how do you explain that at the beginning he was struggling, then he built a gap of 3.5 seconds and then Fernando caught up?

        SD: We wanted to control the race. We gave them certain targets in order to control and respect the pace from behind without any risk. We saw Vettel coming up; we informed our drivers that both were catching up. We were also managing that in order to protect the engine we had some laps with the same situation for both drivers, to have a little bit of saving on the engine. When we saw Vettel coming again, we said okay let’s go up and push it because they are getting close. That is what we did in terms of management.”

  30. jose arellano
    26th July 2010, 18:19

    come on people. massa struggled for half the season… if they where closely matched on points they would let them race..

    1. Precisely. Put yourself in Stefano’s shoes –

      1) The constructors title is close to impossible to win now

      2) The WDC is looking hard too, but the driver who has shown potential all throughout the season has been Alonso.

      Now you are presented with the opportunity of wining none of these titles or winning one of them. What would you do??.

      Every point matters

      1. So your saying it’s ok to contravene the rules and illegally swap your cars? Let’s not forget that whatever the motive was, it’s still a violation of the rules.

        1. Heikki / Hamilton….Hockenheim 08….

          1. I love the way everyone keeps bringing that up. The simple fact was that Heikki wasn’t ordered to do it, he chose to. Massa was ORDERED to move over. Its the same reason why nobody complained about most of the others that happen during a championship race.

    2. Barely the point since Alonso hasn’t exactly shone this season either!

  31. I really need to get these alternate video shots of the race. Without Keith pointing this out, I’d never have known about the Turn 10 Lap 35 sideways moment for Alonso. Seems the main feed left a very important part. And Star Sports doesn’t have half the features BBC offers. And BBC’s live race features can be accessed only in UK.

    Great insight Keith. I understand your disgust with what happened. I don’t support what happened at all. It’s just that as an Alonso fan I want my mind to believe that it was a deserved victory. But whenever Alonso attempts to do anything, something or the other happens to discredit the achievement.

    I too can’t understand why Alonso failed to make his move stick when he had the opportunity to do so – that would have given him praises and accolades for a deserved victory and put the “No. 1 Ferrari driver” concept firmly entrenched in the minds of spectators. Now it has just made things worse. Are his overtaking skills diminishing?

    But why did Massa submit to such a request (if it was genuinely made as seems to be the case in all probability)? To keep his Ferrari seat? Or as Ben Curly pointed out earlier to purposely create a sympathy wave towards him? And would Stefano Domenicali have had a part in it, by openly saying “sorry” on the radio and talking about his magnanimity?

    1. I’m sorry, it isn’t Stefano Domanicali but Rob Smedley – a slip of the fingers.

  32. Two things not mentioned it seems:
    1. Remember Indianapolis 2007 with Alonso going spare because he couldn’t pass Hamilton and McLaren wouldn’t give orders?
    2. I think I recall MS having a contract at Ferrari whereby his team mates were not allowed any testing while he could and did, with predictable results.

    I think the testing ban is brilliant. This year has been the most interesting season since I started watching when Newey was designing Williams. Although I recognise that F1 has become a business rather than a sport surely the teams should not be allowed to behave like BP?

  33. You´re right JOSE ARELLANO, Alonso has made a better job through the season and what happened in this race is just the result of that work.
    Also, it looks like there was a race inside another race, and even in that case Alonso was faster than Massa as F1 FAN pointed earlier.
    Also good video from HAMILTONGO, didn´t remenber Maclaren got a fine for that.

    1. What Alonso has done during the season and on Friday and Saturday don’t matter. He didn’t win because of any of those factors. He won it because SD gave it to him.
      After watching re-runs of the race, I’m not convinced he had what it takes to get by Massa; at least he didn’t do it Sunday.

  34. I like Brazilian just have to say: total Indignation! In Brazil on Sunday woke up at 9:00 in the morning, rest day to see this farce …. while the FIA not to adopt the method by a pilot team that will not change.
    Santander boss at Ferrari, that is the question ….

  35. Well…. this could be as it is…. but I don’t remeber you trying to demostrate something so deeply

    It was clear who was faster and it was clear that Ferrari didn’t want to risk too much in a battle… it’s unfair to tell your slower driver to be passed, but it would be also quite unfair to tell the faster driver not to overtake your slower mate in order not to risk….

    I don’t think that Domenicalli would have let Alonso to try again after the incident in lap 21…. it doesn’t matter if Alonso made that mistake and it doesn’t matter if Vettel was close or not…. the point is that if you don’t want your drivers to risk, you have to take the logical decision

  36. Alonso: Stefano, tell the FIA to punish Lewis for overtaking the saftey car.

    Stefano: Done.

    Alonso: Stefano, tell the FIA to change the safety car rules.

    Stefano: Done.

    Alonso: Stefano, give me number one status.

    Stefano: Done.

    Alonso: Stefano, give me a Maserati.

    Stefano: Done.

    Alonso: Stefano, Let me pass Felipe.

    Stefano: Done.

    Alonoso: Stefano, lie about team orders.

    Stefano: Done.

    Alonso: Stefano, give me a unicorn.

    Stefano: Done.

    Felipe: Stefano, can I have a unicorn?

    Stefano: Of course not!

    Michael Schumacher: I agree.

    Felipe: ….

    Rob Smedley: Sorry, good lad.

    1. Love it. Hilarious.

  37. Alonso is poison, nothing but

    Whatever team he goes to he always brings trouble. I remember he had this problem with Fisichella in China 2006 then began his trademark whinging at the next race.

    I don’t even need to mention 2007.

  38. people perception of alonso is making very difficult for him to be judged unbiased. People don’t like him, and even though he did nothing wrong this time, he is being punished by the mayority of the fans anyway. He didn’t do much wrong this weekend, and his performance was good. It was a team decision. He sure agrees with it though.
    Massa on the other hand, was set for a victory, but his mediocre season cost him the chance of victory. But remember he got resigned for another year, without deserving it. So he became a second driver by his own choice.

  39. This will not be popular (I’ve read the polls), but let’s look at what went right and wrong impassionately. FYI, I’ve been following F1 since I was a teenager in the early 1950s and do *not* have any favourites or prejudices.

    First, Alonso was fastest all weekend (FPs, qualy) by several tenths. In the last 17 laps of the race – once ahead – he pulled away from Massa by 4.2 seconds, or again 2 to 3 tenths per lap.

    Second, Massa was told the truth by his engineer, that Alonso was faster. That is not a “team order” unless one accepts the conspiracy theory that this was “coded”. Smedley did not help with his tone of voice in “can you confirm?” and dumb comments like “Sorry” and “magnanimous” without which the team order saga might not have even started.

    Next, whether we (the fans) think it’s right or wrong, F1 is a team sport, with hundreds of millions of dollars invested by the teams, who have contracts with their drivers (conditions not published) who are, after all, just two out of dozens or hundreds of other employees doing what’s best for the team and the salary that the team pays them.

    Rule 39.1 is (since 2002) clear *if* a team order was given, rather than Massa acting in “team spirit”. Massa was quoted (Autosport) as saying: “For sure we don’t have team orders in the team. You just do the race you can and if you cannot do the race you can you have to think about the team.” As for rule 151(c), if the media weren’t all over this overtake like blue flies in a cow pasture, it wouldn’t even have crossed the FIA’s mind.

    It’s a storm in a teacup; Ferrari should read Smedley the riot act and then we can all get back to enjoying F1.

  40. Its simple, before the race Alonso is 47 points under Lewis and Massa 72. Alonso is the only ferrari driver who can win the drivers championship. If both are in P1 and P2, its a simple decision if im team manager.

    Less hypocrisy because the F1 will always have team orders. For exmaple, Button fighting with Lewis(Turkey GP) radio, “please save fuel”, come on!

    1. That’s right. Speak up! Paul A and Fran. We need more sane voices like yours to drown the mostly biased and prejudice-driven reactions of most fans and the common media.

      My point is this – if Ferrari is guilty, so are McLaren (Turkey 2010) and Red Bull (Turkey and Silverstone 2010) whose team boss Christian Horner is pretending to hate all this while he himself (or the powers-that-be at Red Bull)has been accused of favoritism.

  41. I’m trying to think of ways we could stop this happening, Getting rid of the incar radio? By scrapping the constrictors championship and introducing a new scenario? Because let’s be honest team orders will always be around the way the sport is nowadays

    1. Quite an appropriate freudian slip there! I like the sound of that: “Constrictors Championship”. The team that hobbles their driver the most wins ! No reliability concerns with that championship, with RBR comfortably leading ;)

  42. I think the point were missing is that Alonso tried and failed to overtake Massa, Alonso then moans to the pit, Massa is then ordered through an obvious an gut wretching radio message to let Alonso through, Massa then lets Alonso through in a blatent `there you go boss` hope you choke on it manner, Massa then stays in front of Vettel who was the worry all along of ruining a Ferrari 1-2…

    If you cannot see the damage this has done to F1 then you are truly a Ferrari fan through an through.

    1. You write “Alonso tried and failed to overtake Massa.” Possibly, but fans, FIA, FOM and FOTA (alphabetical order) while all suggesting that overtaking is one element that is missing, are fully aware that current aerodynamics are not exactly conducive. Also, Alonso – please remember that he is an experienced driver but involved in three recent overtaking incidents (Schumacher Monaco, Hamilton/safety car Valencia and Kubica Silverstone) – might have thought that “discretion is the better part of valour” and that he did not want to repeat an RBR incident of just a few races ago.

      1. Overtaking numbers are up on previous years, an Button starting 14th at Silverstone and finishing 4th does seem to confirm that overtaking can be done. As for Alonso`s overtaking incidents, Monaco was Schumacher pulling a fast one, Valencia was just a case of wrong place wrong time and how He moaned all the way to the finish line instead of racing and Silverstone was obviously gonna end in a drive through as He didnt return the place. I just find it hard to respect a driver who moans a driver out the way. And the look on Massa`s face after the race was the look of a broken Man.

  43. Has anybody got any suggestions on how to stop these things happening because the way things are it will never change. I’ve got some crazy ideas lol

    1. They need to change the Aero package in F1 ,so we can have wheel to wheel action again.

  44. It leads us to one thing:
    Such regulations that forbide team orders shouldn´t exist in the first place.
    Teams will allways give orders, it´s as simple as that.
    IS FIA going to police the teams even when they are in their factories when meeting with the drivers ? Of course not, it can´t be donne so better stop with this nonsence, it leads to nowhere.
    FIA should worries more trying to find solutions to improve the show instead of going after the teams.
    Why couldn´t Vettel even try one time to overtake Massa?
    Or Alonso only 1 time to Massa, or Button to Hamilton, or Webber to Button and Hamilton ?
    The problem is here, find the solution and no team orders are needed, and the show will be much better.

  45. At Ferrari they like it complicated…

    And they do it so well at Interlagos 2007…

  46. In my mind the best racing-driver nowadays is Kubica. Unlike Schumacher, Alonso and others, he doesn’t need a excellent car to make great results. He has nothing, but just a Renault’s car that is worse than Mercedes’ cars and still can get in front of some cars of the top teams. Alonso is a driver like Michael, he won’t be able to win if he doesn’t have a great car and the whole team working for him.

  47. Keith, for some reason there’s no link to this article in the Articles In Full box, you can only navigate to it from the front page…

    1. Odd. Try it now…

      1. Now it’s there.

  48. Please help me remember if Alonso’s maneuver that pushed out Massa entering the pit lane (I can’t remember which race it was) had any aftermath in regard to Driver Championship’s points, thanks. I haven’t read all the posts so if it was mentioned earlier I apologize in advance.

  49. They should try and introduce something to try and prevent this, how about this? Team orders are allowed but the drivers are only allowed the points, with the team not getting any constructor points for using the option of team orders? I think it’s a good idea myself

  50. alonso could’ve just made a move on massa and taken them both out like vettel did to webber in turkey and have the team blame massa saying he was in the wrong for not allowing room and defending his race lead. LOL.

  51. Keith (or anyone who knws), what were there average lap times on the softs and then the hards? Also, what was the average laptime before Massa gave the win to Alonso? Sorry if this is a fuss just I’d like to know how Felipe was doing up until the call. Thank you for anyone who knows and sorry for my awkward request!

    1. The difference between the hards and the softs were 0’7 sec, at least thats what they were saying.
      As for Massa and Alonso, i was watching the race and paying atencion to the live timig and they were laping at 01:17 min.
      They were laping consistant times very close to each other but also we could see that Alonso could have been quicker had he clean air.
      Don´t remenber Massa being so competitive this year as he was in the german grand prix.

  52. SAME CIRCUIT, SAME CURVE, SAME TEAM ORDERS, DIFFERENT PLAYERS (KOV-HAM), DIFFERENT TEAM (BRITISH) = NO INVESTIGATION FOR MACLAREN. That’s year 2.008 when Hammilton won the WC by 1 point difference to Massa. Ron Dennis: “We have just informed Kov about Hamiltons pace” – Comments in Spanish but images very clear:

  53. Have any of you reviewed lately the overtaking season 2008 of Hamilton to Kovalainen in Germany and the radio conversations? Surely not

  54. To the article’s author (and lot of people wants to learn something):

    About if Alonso was saving fuel…..He wasn’t saving fuel. Read….

    The Friday test day in Hockenheim, Ferrari has a meet with his staff and drivers. They agreed how to know who is the best/faster driver on the track.

    If one driver is behind of his team mate, the prosecutor driver to deserve to gain his position must slow down up to 3-4 seconds behind of his team mate. Leading teammate must drive as a hell once gap is 3-4 secs. Then the prosecutor driver must try to close the gap again to less than 1 sec. If he does, he deserves to gain the position.

    After that meet, Alonso to his nearest people said Massa ain’t a problem.

    Now, let’s see what happened on the track.

    Massa’s engineer told him Alonso is 3 secs (after increase from less than 1 sec to 3 secs) behind. He told him now it was his time to fight, he can win the race if he push as hell on the next laps.

    Once Alonso closed the gap again, Massa’s engineer told him the famous phrase “Alonso—-is —-faster—-than—–you—–Do you understand it?”

    That’s the phrase to say Alonso has demonstrated on the track he was faster than Massa so Massa must leave him pass.

    1. And how do you know all this?

  55. Because I’m not a briton F1 follower. I’m a serious F1 follower since lot of years ago.

  56. Good point Alexi,i also think running so close can overheat the engines,and we saw before Ferrari with Alonso having to back off enough to cool everything down,there is no doubt in my mind Alonso would have passed Massa,his usual tactic is to attack 10 or 12 laps before the end providing he is close enough.
    Keith thanks for pointing that out.

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