Ferrari: Red flag decided the race

2011 Monaco GP team review

Ferrari believe Fernando Alonso could have won the race but for the red flag at the end.

Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa
Qualifying position 4 6
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’14.483 (-0.394) 1’14.877
Race position 2
Laps 78/78 32/78
Pit stops 3 1

Ferrari drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78
Fernando Alonso 87.562 81.614 80.26 80.348 80.404 79.702 79.859 79.327 79.754 79.262 79.361 79.632 79.884 80.169 81.307 81.274 98.603 83.538 79.974 80.013 79.421 79.052 78.77 79.524 79.407 79.821 78.949 79.257 78.873 79.147 79.171 78.978 80.215 116.08 107.482 116.652 117.313 114.314 82.97 80.116 78.991 79.482 79.664 78.878 79.169 79.022 78.818 78.845 79.081 78.608 78.585 78.363 78.78 79.073 79.942 78.816 79.123 78.846 79.168 79.38 78.632 79.658 79.735 79.276 79.855 79.359 80.546 80.108 85.973 129.479 123.54 125.254 79.149 78.05 76.931 76.471 76.547
Felipe Massa 90.601 82.137 81.192 80.934 80.912 81.017 80.744 81.131 81.289 81.576 82.145 82.471 83.573 84.071 80.49 80.202 80.873 80.892 81.127 81.271 81.301 81.491 81.681 81.601 82.372 101.786 85.07 80.99 81.139 82.096 81.893 82.373
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monaco, 2011

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monaco, 2011

Fernando Alonso

Alonso put his car fourth on the grid and showed once again the Ferrari is lightning in a standing start by passing Mark Webber before the first corner.

Although he looked hesitant whenever he switched to a new set of soft tyres Alonso was able to stay in range of Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button.

Heading into the final laps of the race Alonso’s tyres were 18 laps fresher than Vettel’s, and behind him Button’s were 14 laps newer. Ferrari believed Vettel’s times were about to drop off and he would have been defenceless had he not been able to make a free tyre change when the race was suspended.

Team principal Stefano Domenicali said: “There?s no doubt the red flag towards the end deprived our driver of the opportunity to attack in the final laps, making the most of having tyres with slightly less degradation.

“At the restart, with everyone on new tyres, there was not much more we could do.”

Alonso said he was prepared to try a pass for the lead, believing Vettel would think of the championship and act conservatively:

“I really think in the last nine laps the tyres from the Red Bull was struggling a lot, especially in the last part of the circuit and the middle part, so I had two places already in mind for the last lap.”

“There is nothing to lose for me. I am not leading the championship so I will try to win the race and if we crash we crash.”

Asked where he would try to pass Vettel, Alonso replied: “the two long straights were a possibility or the only possibility in fact: after the tunnel and turn one”.

Vettel responded: “It was my job to make use of the KERS, and I knew that those two places would be the ones where Fernando has the biggest chance to get close or try something under braking so I was trying to spend most of the KERS in those areas.”

Fernando Alonso 2011 form guide

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Monaco, 2011

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Monaco, 2011

Felipe Massa

Massa equalled his best grid position of the year with sixth, bit slipped behind Nico Rosberg at the start.

That proved costly, as the Mercedes driver quickly ran into trouble with his tyres. Massa got past him at Tabac on lap 13, but not before he had lost 30 seconds to the leaders.

He stayed out until lap 26 before switching to soft tyres and came out of the pits in front of Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren driver tried to pass him at the hairpin and the pair interlocked wheel as Massa knocked the rear of Mark Webber’s car.

Massa stayed ahead briefly but Hamilton drew alongside him as they went into the tunnel and the Ferrari driver skidded into the barrier and out of the race.

Afterwards Massa said Hamilton tried to pass him at an “impossible place” and laid the blame for his crash at his rival’s feet: “I am very disappointed with the way my race ended.

“After Hamilton had tried to pass me at Loews, which is an impossible place to do it, hitting me and pushing me into Webber, the car was no longer right and I could not drive it properly, which is why he got on the inside of me inside the tunnel.

“That put me on the dirt and then I ended up in the barrier.”

Felipe Massa 2011 form guide

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67 comments on Ferrari: Red flag decided the race

  1. Faraz (@faraz) said on 30th May 2011, 16:26

    I agree Fernando looked like he could have overtaken Vettel. I was routing for him. Then it was all spoiled by red flags and fresh tyres.

  2. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 30th May 2011, 16:36

    I think we saw a few passes that proved it’s not impossible.

  3. dyslexicbunny (@dyslexicbunny) said on 30th May 2011, 16:37

    I completely agreed with Domenicali. It’s a shame that the race was decided by the red flag. I really think in the last couple of laps, Vettel’s tires would have gone and he would have been passed.

    I have a difference of opinion with Massa simply because Schumi did it earlier in the race so it certainly isn’t impossible. I think Massa could have avoided the accident too once he saw Lewis was committed (but I think it was foolhardy of Lewis in the first place).

    • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 30th May 2011, 16:46

      Here is the onboard video.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT-dJMBiZhQ&feature=player_embedded

      Massa couldn’t do much more, as he was trying to avoid Webber, who was also trying to avoid Buemi.

      Hamilton’s first contact with Massa was in the sidepod. I think that shows that for a successful move, you need to be fully alongside. Hamilton’s move with Maldonado was from a similar position, as well as the move with Schumacher, but in that case he was lucky and used Schumacher to bounce around the corner as he was almost out of control.

      • F1iLike said on 30th May 2011, 16:59

        It’s very obvious it’s Hamiltons fault. No matter who you are a fan of, just accept it. And that he just keeps pushing in to him is just ridiculous.

      • dyslexicbunny (@dyslexicbunny) said on 30th May 2011, 17:20

        Wow. That’s definitely not what I remembered. I completely forgot that it was a complete mess at the corner.

        I’m not sure why Lewis is whining then. Had Buemi not screwed the corner, maybe he might have had a better chance. But this one is definitely his fault.

        Thanks for the clip.

        • I don’t think there’s much room for discussion, it was Hamilton’s fault, he could have avoided the accident, and that’s it. Unfortunately for Massa, LH ruined his race. That’s certainly something that Felipe won’t forget and he’ll return the favor as soon as he can.

      • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 30th May 2011, 18:54

        The clip also shows quite clearly that Massa’s car wasn’t damaged at all so his excuse about the ensuing crash was nonsense. More likely the mental effect of the hairpin collision caused the crash rather than any physical damage to the car.

        • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 30th May 2011, 23:03

          His front wing was badly damaged and he had holes in his sidepod. If that isn’t clearly damaged I don’t know what is

          • Bernard (@bernard) said on 31st May 2011, 11:40

            The ‘holes in his sidepod’ were actually tyre marks. He lost a piece of his front wing end plate hitting Webber.

            He did the same to Rosberg on the run up to Casino Square. It would have had very little effect on his ability to drive the car.

            As David Couthard commented:

            That’s just silly really… We’ve seen this before with the Ferrari drivers, they just don’t seem to be aware of where their front wing is

            Hamilton also lost a piece of his front wing end plate hitting Massa, it too had very litte effect – confirmed by Hamilton himself on the radio and the McLaren via the telemetry.

            Hamilton also seemed to manage ok whilst driving with broken rear wing for the whole race.

        • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 31st May 2011, 14:03

          I think something was up with the car, because it’s very odd for Hamilton to just breeze past in the tunnel like he did.

      • W-K (@w-k) said on 31st May 2011, 4:28

        Massa could probably have avoided hitting Webber if he hadn’t taken such a hard defensive line into that corner.
        The comment that you cannot overtake there was proved wrong during the race.
        So I have to say, as I see it, it should have either been called a racing incident. or Massa should also have received a penalty.
        And if you don’t realise, you are going to end up on the marbles in the tunnel when another car comes alongside, what the hell are you doing in an F1 car.

        • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 31st May 2011, 8:03

          So you honestly believe that Massa should have been awarded a penalty for avoiding contact with another car and due to avoiding said contact, being hit by another driver who was not acting professionally enough to give Massa the same courtesy Massa was showing the other drivers in the corner. That is flat out ridiculous. I admire Hamilton greatly for always pushing so hard, but running into Massa like that was over the line and he should have known better, if he would have merely backed off just a tad, he could have passed him later without incident.

          • Solo (@solo) said on 31st May 2011, 17:39

            If Massa didn’t turn in on Hamilton he wouldn’t have any danger at all. Turning in on Hamilton was not an avoiding contact move. Actually that was the reason his wing hit Webber in the first place.
            If he stayed at the outside line like Hamilton did with Schumi he would have been just fine.
            Here is the pic that shows it clearly. See how the outside line is free and clear?
            http://img833.imageshack.us/img833/8646/monaco3.jpg

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th May 2011, 19:34

      Yeah, I had the feeling Alonso was really going for it. This quote shows, that Button was right in playing the waiting game there:

      “I really think in the last nine laps the tyres from the Red Bull was struggling a lot, especially in the last part of the circuit and the middle part, so I had two places already in mind for the last lap.”

      “There is nothing to lose for me. I am not leading the championship so I will try to win the race and if we crash we crash.”

      And I also think Massa could have done a bit more not to clash with Hamilton, to me it was a racing incident.

      • Eric said on 30th May 2011, 23:10

        I think the hairpin was Hamilton’s fault. He was a little too ambitious trying to get through there. The tunnel however I feel should be a racing incident. Hamilton had a lot of space on the inside. Massa should have backed off a little and ceded position. Easy to say in hindsight though.

  4. sumedh said on 30th May 2011, 16:40

    Naah, I don’t think Vettel’s tyres were going to fall off the cliff. I think his tyres had already fallen off the cliff. Vettel was lapping in the 1:16s on the fresh tyres at the end whereas he was lapping in the 1:19s when his tyres were 50+laps old. 3 seconds slower per lap is definitely “fallen off the cliff”. Button closed up to him at 2-2.5 seconds per lap. All these numbers point to the fact that Vettel’s tyres were gone.
    Vettel just decided to stay on-track knowing that it is tough to pass at Monaco. Very wise decision.

    • Frans said on 30th May 2011, 18:02

      You’re comparing 1:19s on worn soft vs 1:16 on fresh super soft tyres. you obviously haven’t look at Vettel lap times carefully. Basically Vettel was lapping in 1:19 on his whole run with the soft tyres! If you want to see someone tyres that fell off the cliff then you should look at Sutil lap times.

      • sumedh said on 30th May 2011, 19:17

        You said it! Whole run was at 1:19s. Shouldn’t his times be reducing on account of reducing fuel. Typically cars are about 6 seconds slower on full tanks of fuel. As Monaco is 78 laps long, for every 13 laps of fuel burnt, your speed should increase by 1second per lap if you used the same tyres. Vettel did 50 laps, so his lap-times at the end of the stint should have been 4 seconds faster than at the start of the stint. But they weren’t. That means his tyres were 4 seconds slower at the end of the stint than at the start (and thus compensating the advantage gained by low fuel).

        Vettel was doing a remarkable job of keeping a slower car in front. He did not put a foot wrong for the 15 laps where he, Alonso, Button were driving nose to tail. There is no reason to believe that he would have lost had there been no red flag. Button’s best chance was when his tyres were fresh and when he was able to close up to Vettel at 2-2.5 seconds per lap. After spending 15 laps studtying the Red Bull’s rear end, his tyres would have lost all bite to mount a challenge on Vettel.

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 30th May 2011, 20:25

          I agree. Though we’ll never know, I think Vettel could’ve held them off for the win. It’s a shame, ’cause either way it would’ve been an all time classic race.

  5. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 30th May 2011, 16:41

    Massa also had a DRS problem, which was probably partly the reason that he got stuck behind Rosberg for so long

    As for Felipe, we have to work out why his DRS was not enabled by the FIA electronic control in the first part of the race, because maybe, if everything had worked properly, he would have managed to get past Rosberg sooner and not lose so much ground to the leaders.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th May 2011, 16:43

      Ah I hadn’t seen that, very interesting.

      So that’s the second time this year the activation system has not worked properly on a Ferrari. I do wonder if it’s happened to other teams as well but they haven’t mentioned it.

      • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 30th May 2011, 16:47

        Well we’ve seen DRS qualifying problems for Schumacher as well.

        I think there have been a few other cases of DRS failures in the race (possibly Barrichello or a Lotus?), but I can’t remember details off hand.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 31st May 2011, 19:08

      Hmmm perhaps he could have got past him or even near him…but DRS seemed so negligible here I doubt it really made the world of difference.

  6. Andrew said on 30th May 2011, 16:41

    I think that allowing a TYRE CHANGE in that moment was the key. This aspect decided actually the race. Even with that red flag, Alonso and Button were in a much better position. No doubt. So, I find a bit strange this decision to allow the tyre changing. It is clear that Vettel was the main beneficiary from this…NO Comment.
    Today, the same aspect was mentioned by Paul Hembery: “I’ve had a lot of people shout at me from the boats around the harbour and say, ‘Why were they allowed to change?’
    “It took away something from the race and the big question was: could they have lasted? That’s what we were all asking with six laps to go and that was going to be the excitement – would Sebastian (Vettel) have hit the cliff?
    “We don’t really understand the rule and maybe we need to ask the teams why they think they should be allowed to change tyres.”….

    Something strange, but in my country (RO) these things happens and they are called “cheating”.

    P.S. – excuse me for my English in some places

    • sumedh said on 30th May 2011, 16:47

      would Sebastian (Vettel) have hit the cliff?

      The tyres had already fallen off the cliff. Look at Vettel’s time for the last lap of the race: 1:16.27, and Vettel’s time for the lap before the red-flag: 1:20.41.
      4 seconds counts as a cliff.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th May 2011, 16:50

        No, you’re comparing super-soft with soft there. Vettel’s times were actually remarkably consistent – he’d been in the 1’19s for ages and only just crept into the 1’20s once (and that may have been because of traffic).

        • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 30th May 2011, 20:51

          True, but as was mentioned above those laps were on decreasing fuel loads as well, which if sumedh’s maths is correct is a further 4 seconds that should have been dropped from Vettel’s lap times but his tyres cancelled that out.

          • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 30th May 2011, 21:03

            The “cliff” means lap times go up steeply. Normal wear sees times stay pretty much even. The gain from the lower weight is canceled out by the wear of the tyres.

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 30th May 2011, 19:02

      The tyre change possibly changed the race result (and certainly ruined what would probably have been the best few laps of the race). But it’s not a conspiracy to help Vettle or cheating since it’s in line with the rules. The relevant rules may need to be reviewed, but it’s one hell of a conspiracy theory to suggest that the rules were written that way with the intention that Vettel would be the main beneficiary.

      Besides, Hamilton was the main beneficiary: Vettel might have won anyway, Hamilton would certainly have not finished the race and he is the closest competitor to Vettel.

  7. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 30th May 2011, 16:43

    I dont know. On every onboard exiting the Rascasse fernando couldnt seemingly get the power down to get a good drive into Ste Devote, and lets not forget that even though Vettel’s tires were ancient, Fernando’s werent exactly new either – I believe that they had 30-40 laps on them already during the final laps where Fernando would be trying to take Vettel.

    However, I can’t disagree with Ferrari for saying “oh we would have won this race IF…” as they are expected to win and must give excuses.

    • Wallbreaker said on 30th May 2011, 16:56

      But at some point Vettel´s tyres simply had to give up. Remember Lewis Hamilton in China ´07 where his tyres were that much worn he couldn´t even get out of the gravel trap at the pit lane entry? I think Vettel´s tyres would have been in a similar condition at the end of a the race if there hadn´t been that red flag. I think both Fernando and Jenson were far away from that condition when you know that Ferrari´s tyre wear isn´t as high as the wear of McLaren & Red Bull and that Jenson had much fresher tyres.

      • d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 30th May 2011, 22:22

        Apples to oranges though mate, the grooved tires fall off alot more than worn than we were seeing with the Pirelli’s at Monaco. And this circuit was proving very difficult to get by. We saw Alonso’s lack of traction out of Rascasse, even with the fresher rubber. And Button seemed content to hang back and watch for an incident – tactical as always :) But he didnt seem to be attacking for position.

        • Eric said on 30th May 2011, 23:15

          I think that barring a further degradation in Vettel’s rubber he should have been able to keep them at bay. It was a little like watching Petrov and Alonso at Abu Dhabi last year. Alonso would catch up then down the straight Petrov would get away. There were a couple of moments where Alonso did get pretty close. I feel that race was anybodies before the red flag.

  8. ferrari4life said on 30th May 2011, 16:50

    Alonso’s win and a button second and they were robbed of it. I dont agree with this rule. So you have to keep your tires after quali and race but if the race isinterrupted you can change them? Thats propostrous. Absolutely unacceptable. What a way to ruin the race result, although it was good throughout.

    • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 30th May 2011, 16:54

      This rule has good intentions, for example at Nurburgring 2007, to allow drivers to change tyres according to dangerous weather conditions.

      With hindsight it’s easy to criticise the rules, but it’s almost impossible to predict every possible situation within the rules, and this is probably the first race in years that the article would have actually had the potential to affect the race result.

      • Wallbreaker said on 30th May 2011, 17:05

        You brought up that example with Nurb 07 but that was because it had rained heavily. They put on inters but needed heavy-wets. And because they did, there was mayhem on track. After they red-flagged it, everyone was able to change the tyres, but no one did because of the fact that the race was re-started behind the Safety Car when track was dry enough for inters and no-one really needed the heavy-wets anymore. So it´s a completely different situation as you mentioned. The weather conditions were pretty dangerous which wasn´t the case in Monte-Carlo

        What I do understand is that you are allowed to repair your car during a red-flag, but only if instant repair is necessary. Which means to repair a destroyed rear-wing (Lewis) or change a punctured tyre should be allowed, but not tyre change when the tyre is actually fine. If rules were this way we would have witnessed an amazing finale of this race.

  9. Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th May 2011, 17:02

    I liked the fact Massa was being aggressive and not as conservative as usual, with a great pass on Rosberg and good defending from Hamilton (obviously helped by the circuit) unlike in previous races.

  10. kaiser said on 30th May 2011, 17:17

    I find interesting the contradictory comments being put forward here.
    So wallbreaker, Hamilton is allowed to repair a rear wing, but no one change tyres…..that seems a little unfair. And i could change a puncture….what about damage to a tyre due to running over debris……
    Either you can work on the car during red flag or you can’t…….I think it should be that you can’t.
    And due to the time it took to get the track clear, either the race was going to finish behind the safety car, or on fresh tyres due to the current red flag rules…..I prefer the red flag and the 4 laps of racing…….
    Ideally, there would not have been a crash, but that is beyond the stewards control……

    • Wallbreaker said on 30th May 2011, 17:36

      Obviously you didn´t get the point of my comment. Repairs should be allowed when they are necessary which means for me that you can repair your car when it has influence for the safety on track. Do you think it would have been safe to let Lewis drive with that broken rear wing? And if not, do you think there would have been any concerns about the safety if they had continued with used tyres? I don´t think so.

      Drving over debris doesn´t necessarily mean that you get a puncture. If you drive over debris and the race is red-flagged, the engineers at the pits have enough time to check the tyre pressures. If they see an urgent reason to change it, then they should do so. If they are okay, they shouldn´t. It´s not a problem as someone of the FIA checked if McLaren changed only Hamiltons rear wing and not something they´re not allowed to.

      • Wallbreaker said on 30th May 2011, 17:37

        *influence on

      • cole said on 30th May 2011, 18:33

        I think you are completely wrong here or maybe biased…

        I think you should be able or not to change, but changing the rear wing and not the tyres isn’t the right way.

        You can argue that Hamilton’s wing was for safety reasons. Well, he could have gone slow until the pits and get it replaced.
        Same with tyres. What if Vettel’s tyres self destroyed at high speed? isn’t that a big risk here in montecarlo??

        In my opinion wasn’t good to let them change anything, but should be ethier everything or nothing.

        • chemakal said on 31st May 2011, 15:03

          IMO the difference between changing damaged car pieces or used tyres is a question of STRATEGY! Teams/drivers choose strategy but not car damages, so the current red flag rules should allow repairing but not changing tyres as it clearly influences the race results intervining in the strategies

    • W-K (@w-k) said on 31st May 2011, 4:19

      Maybe the best way to resolve this, is for the cars that need “working on” including changing tyres should go into the pits. Those that don’t stay out, and normal start procedures to apply. i.e. those in the pit lane only given permission to start after the cars on the grid have all passed the pit lane exit.

  11. Tango said on 30th May 2011, 17:27

    “There is nothing to lose for me. I am not leading the championship so I will try to win the race and if we crash we crash.”

    I know it’s against the tide here, but I quite like this comment. Thanks god there are still drivers wishing to race nowadays.

    • dlaird said on 30th May 2011, 17:41

      This is the reason I love Alonso and Hamilton. They are aggressive. Thats what racing is all about.

    • sumedh said on 30th May 2011, 19:02

      He won’t make this comment if he were leading the championship. It is not about the ‘passion of racing’ but about the championships. Always has, always will be.

  12. Paul A (@paul-a) said on 30th May 2011, 17:54

    From it’s very difficult to be absolutely certain, but it looks as though Webber had gone deep on braking but was accelerating back to near the apex; Massa had an overlap, but would have been using a lot of kerb (sidewalk, pavement) to avoid Webber; Hamilton was braking very late and hoping (optimistic? over-optimistic? aggressive? crazy?) for room on the same sidewalk, and pushed Massa into Webber, breaking the Ferrari front wing.

    The comparison with Schumacher’s earlier pass (successful – not “an avoidable accident”) has one big difference, it was only “two-wide”, not “three-wide”…

    • BBT (@bbt) said on 30th May 2011, 20:09

      and pushed Massa into Webber

      Watch it again, Massa hit Webber before Hamilton hit Massa. It is very clear. Racing incident for me.

      • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 30th May 2011, 23:06

        Look at the link above, Hamilton clearly hits Massa first and pushes him into Webber. Even if Massa did hit Webber first it doesn’t give Hamilton the right to plow into the side of him. If this had happened Massa would probably have got a penalty as well, although as he retired it wouldn’t have mattered.

        • DaveW said on 31st May 2011, 19:59

          No, I recall Massa hitting Webber first, which you can’t see from the youtube clip up here, but was showed by Speed clearly. To me, Webber was so slow into Fairmont that Massa thought, if I don’t scrunch down really hard here Hamilton will pass me. He tried to diamond the corner so much he hit Webber, but he didn’t do it early enough. Massa knew that 10 times out of 10 Hamilton is going to take that chance and so he reacted.

          It was a pretty agressive, optimistic move, but, in any event, Hamilton had his entire chassis up on the curb, which I didn’t realize until I saw the clip. Did Massa have to cede a lane to Hamilton? No. Not under current rules and practice. But other examples in the race showed that it would have been prudent and fair to do so.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 30th May 2011, 21:06

      The only difference between Schumacher’s passes and that of Hamilton on Massa was that Schumacher was given room. had Rosberg or Hamilton decided to crash into Schumacher, he wouldhave been penalized also.

      It’s just insane.

  13. Aldo said on 30th May 2011, 18:12

    In my view, what decided the race wasn’t the red flag, but the decision to allow the tire change. When I saw Vettel and Alonso with the red-mark tyres, I thought: that’s it.
    I am still confused about this, because I always thought that the cars were in “parc ferme” regime. But then there was the mechanic from McLaren carrying the whole nose to swap it from one of the cars…. I still don’t understand what happened.

  14. Tim M said on 30th May 2011, 18:40

    I think the rule allowing tire changes under red-flag conditions was obviously a mistake but what rule makers could have envisaged the scenario we had yesterday? For a start how many red flags do we see in F1 races these days??? Very rare! Especially in the closing stages of a dry race!!! The last time I can remember a similar scenario was in Canada 1997, 14 years ago! The rule allowing a change of tires under a red flag was probably designed so that teams can change tires for safety reasons when there has been a change in weather conditions, which in recent years has been the main cause of red flags.
    The rule should be amended so that you can only change tires if there has been a change in weather conditions.
    I was actually pretty surprised the race was restarted because in years gone by a result would have been declared as 75% of the race had been run.
    After the crash the FIA had 3 options 1) Run the remainder of the race under SC 2) Red flag race and declare result or 3) Red flag race and restart allowing teams to change tires.
    Presented with those options I think the FIA made the best choice under the circumstances as it was either option 3 or no race at all. I’m sure this oversight in the rules will be amended so in future tire changes under such circumstances will not be permitted.

    • chemakal said on 31st May 2011, 15:11

      What about choice 4: Red Flag and restart not allowing to change tires? Would that me against the rules or is it up to the stewards to decide?

  15. sam3110 (@sam3110) said on 30th May 2011, 18:59

    Why can’t it be the same rules as between Quali and the Race with regards to the tyres? You cannot change them, unless the weather changes. Sure if the race is red flagged and the heavens open at that point, let them slap on the wets, but if there is no change, ban it from happening. Hamilton’s rear wing, that’s ok by me to be replaced, but he got lucky as I feel the black and orange flag would have made an appearance had the red flag not appeared first. this whole thing about cars being in parc ferme up until the race but not during the race is weird, if you had a problem and were a lap or two behind, couldn’t you just add a load of stuff to the car and effectively have a 50 lap test of new parts for the next GP?

    • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 30th May 2011, 20:59

      Thats what happened to Webber in Japan 2009 he had to make two early pits so they put a new front wing on the car and set him out to do some testing.

      And in regards to Hamilton’s rear wing, I feel that that should not be changed if you also ban tyre changes, either make it free for all or nothing.

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