Mercedes deny Massa held up Schumacher for Alonso

Korean Grand Prix

Mercedes have denied reports Michael Schumacher was held up by Felipe Massa during the Korean Grand Prix.

Claims were made following the race that Ferrari ordered Massa to delay other cars following Fernando Alonso’s pit stop.

The next car behind Massa was Schumacher, but a spokesperson for the team told F1 Fanatic it was “not true” that Massa had held Schumacher up.

Alonso lost almost three seconds during his pit stop compared to Sebastian Vettel who came in with him on lap 33.

Because of the delay Alonso lost one place to Lewis Hamilton and came out of the pits in front of Massa.

Hamilton, Massa and Schumacher had all pitted before Alonso on lap 32. Prior to that they had been 4.8, 10.5 and 13.8 seconds behind Alonso respectively (see here for the full data).

Alonso had been at further risk of losing places because the safety car was deployed after he had passed the pits but early enough for Hamilton and his pursuers to pit right away.

Mercedes’ denial refutes speculation that Ferrari used team orders to benefit Alonso again as they did during the German Grand Prix.

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68 comments on Mercedes deny Massa held up Schumacher for Alonso

  1. I was slightly surprised when I saw the original Mark Hughes report suggesting Massa had been ordered to hold the pack up.

    For one thing, no one seemed to notice that it had happened at the time and it seems like only Autosport has subsequently picked it up, although Hughes usually knows what he’s talking about.

    For another, I seem to recall Giancarlo Fisichella getting into trouble for doing something very similar back in his Renault days. It was in 2005 or ’06, in China or Spa. Fisichella blatantly backed the pack up so he wouldn’t have to queue in the pits behind his then team mate Alonso. I can’t remember whether a penalty was dished out, but afterwards teams were put on notice that this wasn’t acceptable practice and penalties would be issued in future.

    So if Ferrari had ordered Massa to hold up the pack they were rather foolishly risking a penalty.

    • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 31st October 2010, 22:53

      I think the incident you’re referring to is McLaren at Spa in 2005, where Montoya and Raikkonen were running 1-2. The safety car was deployed and both pitted, with Raikkonen holding everybody up in the pit entrance so that he didn’t have to queue behind JP. After the race the teams were warned that such practices would no longer be tolerated, though McLaren got away with it as it wasn’t illegal at the time.

  2. spawinte said on 31st October 2010, 18:50

    wow slow news weekend for this to get an article

  3. Autosport really dropped the ball on this one. When Keith was quickly able to establish that there was absolutely no truth to the story and considering many of the readers here have also pointed out that the race timing screens showed nothing unususual it was bizzare the way Autosport reported it as fact in their race reports on Thursday.

  4. Steve W said on 31st October 2010, 21:22

    Well done Keith,i thought it strange no other site had picked up on this,”Ferrari team orders” yet again.

    Maybe he was there with a stop watch….
    From watching the race its a ludicrous assumption to come to had he not,i can only view it now as a journalistic headline grabber without credence.

    I wonder how Ferrari see it?

    He may have to wait until 2011 to find out,or indeed Autosport.

    • Hardly headline grabbing, Hughes simply mentioned it as a detail (neutrally presented)in his race report. It didn’t even warrant a separate report, Hughes just said it was smart thinking and moved on.

  5. Regis said on 31st October 2010, 21:54

    This is the first i hear about this, if its true well good thinking by Ferrari :).

    On another note, this website should make a new article:
    “Why did Webber not brake and take out Rosberg”?

    Now that’s what i really want to know !

  6. JohnBt said on 1st November 2010, 4:42

    Politics and polemics. What’s new.

    Can’t imagine if Alonso does win this year’s WDC.
    A revolution will be implemented.

  7. Jamaza said on 1st November 2010, 7:48

    I personally believe team orders are fine and should certainly form part of what is often referred to as a team sport.

    On a related point …. I also believe that annoyed bookmakers should not be the ones dictating what is and what is not allowed in a sport.

  8. dragon_2712 (@) said on 1st November 2010, 8:48

    Of course Massa was holding up MSC. Otherwise he would have caught that cheater Alonso! And Hamilton totally would have won the race if his mclaren didn’t shoot off track, completely not his fault, he’s driving so good in the slowest car on the grid!

    /troll post


  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st November 2010, 12:49

    Mark Hughes of Autosport insists Ferrari did slow Massa:

    the information that Massa was slowed came from inside the Ferrari team.

    • BasCB said on 1st November 2010, 13:18

      I think this sounds pretty convincing, and it would make sense from the teams views about the races and season.

      That goes to show how subtle some of these things are.

      Good thing Hughes reports this, if he has the evidence to back it up. It helps give us an understanding of what goes on and how good these guys are.
      In the end, It might have been another Massa win, or some nice passes from Alonso or maybe Hamilton, resulting in the same podium.

    • DeadManWoking said on 1st November 2010, 16:06

      Mark Hughes on Ferrari’s Korean GP strategy

      AUTOSPORT’s GP editor Mark Hughes explains how Felipe Massa slowed down during the Korean Grand Prix to help Ferrai team-mate Fernando Alonso

      Furthermore, the inside information is backed up by the race history chart around the safety car period for the Buemi/Glock incident. Comparing lap 30 to 32, Massa loses 2.5s to Hamilton. Only 0.2s of this is accounted for by their in-laps (lap 31).

      The rest comes on the out-lap – strong enough supporting evidence in itself but what even the race history chart does not show is that almost all of the lost 2.3s (2.5s minus the 0.2s lost on the in-lap) came in the last sector.

      Had Massa not slowed, he – and not just Hamilton – would have leap-frogged ahead of Alonso as a result of the Spaniard’s wheel nut delay.

      Mark Hughes is still trying to fabricate a Team Order controversy where none exists. According to the Official FIA Race History Chart:

      The gap between Hamilton and Massa at the end of Lap 30 was 5.690 seconds (Massa’s gap to the leader 14.245 minus Hamilton’s 8.555). Massa’s Lap Time on Lap 31 was 1:59.851 to Hamilton’s 1:59.483 (they cross the timing line as they enter the pits); a further gap of 0.368 seconds therefore their gap on Lap 31 was 6.058 seconds (5.690 + 0.368). Their gap at the end of Lap 32 was 8.067 seconds (Massa’s gap to the leader of 33.869 minus Hamilton’s 25.082). Massa lost 2.009 seconds that Lap not 2.5 seconds as Hughes claims. At the beginning of Lap 33 Alonso comes out of the pits 2-3 seconds behind Hamilton; even without the 2 (or even 2.5) second loss Massa would never have overtaken Alonso as Massa would still have been 5.5 to 6 seconds behind Hamilton and 2.5 to 3 seconds behind Alonso.

      • DeadManWoking said on 1st November 2010, 16:14

        Damn, transposed digits again! Hamilton’s gap to the Leader on Lap 32 was 25.802 not 25.082, the 2.009 difference is correct.

      • Any idea why Hamilton had such a slow lap time in lap 33?

        • DeadManWoking said on 1st November 2010, 16:50

          He probably reached the Safety Car at the end of that Lap while Massa (who was 8 seconds behind) had not gotten up to it yet. On Lap 34 the leaders were all doing 2:43’s behind the Safety Car.

      • NoName said on 3rd November 2010, 12:49

        Small correction, 1:59.851 on lap31 was car 3 aka Schumacher’s time, 1:59.483 was car 7 aka Massa’s time. Ham’s lap 31 time was 1.59.261, a difference of 0.222.

        Not sure how that affects the rest of the math, haven’t got time to check.

        • DeadManWoking said on 3rd November 2010, 13:28

          Grrr, and now the chart is no longer accessible to non-journalists on the FIA site. But if Hamilton’s time was 1:59.261 on Lap 31, that makes the gap to Massa 5.912 (5.690 + 0.222) on that Lap not 6.058. This makes Massa’s loss on Lap 32 2.155 seconds instead of 2.009, still not the 2,5 seconds that Hughes claims and even without this loss Alonso still would not have overtaken Massa by several seconds.

  10. Faraz said on 1st November 2010, 17:01

    Keith what I mean is that a lot of people are looking for a chance to have a go at Ferrari here they have one You may not have mean’t it but they just want an excuse. Im a big fan of your blog and I’m an avid reader it was nothing against you just against the comments that were being made thats all. No hard feelings yeah??

  11. earnst said on 1st November 2010, 17:24

    lots of hot air from mark hughes.

    troll journalist.

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