Whitmarsh disagrees with Ferrari’s Massa treatment

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2012In the round-up: Martin Whitmarsh disagrees with Ferrari sacrificing Felipe Massa’s qualifying position to benefit Fernando Alonso.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Whitmarsh: I don’t agree with Ferrari’s call (The Telegraph)

“McLaren’s Whitmarsh stressed that he was ‘not criticising’ Ferrari, but added that it was not the way he believed race teams should be run. ‘I don?t think so,?? he said. ??I think it was quite a tough thing to do personally. I?m not criticising anyone for what they do. Team principals have to decide how they run their teams and it?s very clear that Ferrari are very focused on Fernando.'”

Alonso ‘proud’ of Ferrari (Sky)

“I am very proud of the decision and very proud of the team for telling the truth. Not many teams when they made that decision would have done that.”

United States GP – Conference 4 (FIA)

Sebastian Vettel: “I think you misunderstood. I wasn’t complaining about Lewis, obviously. I wasn’t too happy send a nice big invitation to Lewis when I obviously had to go through Karthikeyan and he was basically right behind at the DRS zone; to do a big difference within one corner is hardly possible and then he took that opportunity – fair enough – down the straight and passed me. I tried to defend, I moved to the inside but I knew that he would have so much more speed that he can pick either side, so it didn’t really matter what I was doing and after that, I was obviously not too happy, because on all the laps before I tried to manage the gap to him, tried to manage the tyres until the end of the race, to be able to attack towards the last couple of laps. We had, I think, something like 20 laps, 15 laps to go at the time. It was not targeted at Lewis, it was more targeted at the backmarker which, as I said, gave a nice big envelope with an invitation to Lewis.”

Alternators ‘a worry’ for Red Bull (Autosport)

Christian Horner: “I think the new version has raced on other engine cycles [at other teams], so hopefully that is what we will have for Brazil.”

Red carpet, choppers champagne greet Formula One in Texas (Reuters)

“[Mario Andretti] said although the track has the best design for spectators that he has seen, he doesn’t expect a ‘big wow’ from foreign visitors. ‘The Formula One contingent is very used to being in the Taj Mahal,’ said Andretti, a Circuit Of The Americas ambassador. ‘Nothing is going to impress them.'”

F1 Races Into America and Austin Keeps It Weird (The New York Times)

“The first year of a new grand prix always attracts more people than the subsequent years. The US Grand Prix at Indianapolis had 225,000 in its first year, in 2000, but never again. So the real test will come not just this weekend, but next year and in the following years. For the moment, it still feels pretty weird.”

Mexican fans flock to Texas to cheer on Perez (Chicago Tribune)

“More Formula One visitors are expected to come to Austin from Mexico than from any other foreign country, said Steve Alberts, communications manager at the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau. Four charter flights from Mexico were set to arrive in Austin carrying about 500 fans, said Jim Halbrook, a spokesman for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and more Mexican fans are flying to other Texas cities.”

Kevin Garside: Vettel may have the best car, but he’s also blessed by genius (The Independent)

Kevin Garside: “Alonso has enhanced his reputation this season by the brilliant husbandry of an inferior car, nicking a win here and there. That is precisely what Vettel did until Newey found something on his drawing board in the latter part of the season that worked.”


Comment of the day

@PaulT praises Pirelli’s appropriately Texan headgear:

The Pirelli Stetsons on the podium were a small but inspired touch and will certainly have helped make the race (and F1) memorable to US fans.

I can?t remember if this has been done before (I mean swapping the traditional baseball caps for some other headgear with a local flavour).

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

Ten years ago today Bernie Ecclestone denied a report claiming he was about to bring the interactive F1 Digital + television service to an end. A few days later he admitted the story was true.

The subscription service was only offered in the UK for one year in 2002. After it was wound up many of its features began to appear in free-to-air broadcasts.

Here’s an advert for the service from the 2002 season:

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

150 comments on “Whitmarsh disagrees with Ferrari’s Massa treatment”

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  1. I don’t know why some made themselves believe Alonso did not need this kind of assistance from Ferrari.

    OK, those on the dirty side of the grid did not fell some three- or five-some places behind – but did not gain a single place either, as far as the five affected drivers in the top ten of the grid is concerned. I think it is fair to assume even Alonso could have managed a 7th-8th at the first corner at best. From then on, we would have had problems. Consider how many factors played onto his hands yesterday: Schumacher and Hulkenberg held up Raikkonen in the beginning, who had a quicker car, judging by clean air lap time diffs on mediums. Raikkonen also messed up his pit stop, and got traffic right after it. Only one thing missing and Raikkonen would have been ahead of Alonso after the pit stops. Grosjean – who had an even better setup than Kimi, once again judging by clean air lap time diffs of the two – wrote himself out of contention will childish errors. He may have finished third as well, but a lot less likely, I think.

    I think Ferrari’s move can be best described with the word ‘desperate.’ It reflects their philosophy perfectly, one of its most extreme demonstration. It is traditional: think of the driver swaps of the 1950s. It is tough for the drivers, but they sign for that as well. I want to believe Alonso would have been forced to do the same in a reverse situation. Of course, I doubt we will see something like that.

    I want to emphasise that I think this is a philosophical debate, its arguments from both parties challenging the others most profound views on the nature of and attitude towards racing as a team sport.

    1. @atticus-2, the thing with Raikkonen being held up felt for me as “again Lotus, somehow you need better way to get kimi ahead of those guys” – ie. not luck for Alonso, but a failure of Lotus to for once take Schumacher into account.

      I do agree with you that Ferrari are being a bit desperate. In a way, you’d wish McLaren were equally willing to go all the way, than likely one of their drivers might still be in the fight for WDC (and who knows WCC).

      I still found it a good illustration of why I’m not a Ferrari fan, though I sort of admire their dogged determination to win this.

  2. How can a driver be proud because he gain an unfair advandage over his teammate and the other people that had to switch sides ??
    Thankful yes , but proud?because they favorite him?
    I don’t blame Ferrari for doing this, since its not illegal but imagine what would had happen if the same were done by Redbull….. now its not only ok , he is also proud!!! WOW

    1. @cosmas I too would be proud, my team willing to go under the medias scrutiny for the sake of my championship? Yes please!

  3. Alonso THE Great
    19th November 2012, 11:00

    What massa did from Australia to this point. Massa did nothing and pathetic to watch all season long. Hs slept nicely from australia to this point throught out the season with the exception of 2 races.

    Alonso’s brilliance and talent only keep Ferrari still in tight contention. Had alonso performed the way massa did ferrari would have been in 6th place (WCC).

    Alonso has saved ferrari from massive embrassment and keep many people still in the job at ferrari. Otherwise ferrari can be only seen as midfield team

    You people here may not like alonso fine. However have a reality check

    The amount of alonso bashing here and in many other sites are unbelievable. Despite the man is Genius and maestro

    1. Drop Valencia!
      19th November 2012, 12:29

      while Webber has robbed plenty of points from Alonso this year, Massa has not stolen a point from Vettel, indeed copping this penalty is the only thing Massa has helped Alonso with all year, an incredibly weak #2

  4. A bit dozy this morning after staying up for the BBC highlights. They didn’t show any interviews on the podium. Sounds like it was Mario Andretti, were they any good?

    I hope they close the loophole on that stupid rule. How can they change the gearbox (or pretend to) but keep the car in parc ferme? If the penalty had been to send Massa to the back, maybe it would have deterred them.

    But a great bit of lateral thinking in the F1 tradition, and Ferrari raced hard and got the best result they possibly could. More importantly, Massa’s back to his best, so he could be in among the title contenders in his home race – that’ll add a bit extra to the decider.

    1. They didn’t show that @tomsk? aww, I recorded BBC highlights to watch it all later, but that is sad to miss. Yes, it was Mario Andretti, and yes, it was good. He asked good questions, took his time and the drivers were making all the right noises. As usual it wasn’t the most enlightening interview you’d see with them, but still, good for what it is.

  5. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    19th November 2012, 11:46

    “Come here boy, come here Massa…Sit Massa… I SAID SIT!!! Stay…Now take a five place grid penalty for Alonso…There’s a good boy ” Said Domenicali, as he sat in his favourite rocking chair puffing on a blunt made from and by jelly babies.

    Massa was plagued by terrible nightmares for weeks. He was convinced that the mysterious Boogieman they call “Senor Teflonso” was living under his bed…
    This is an excerpt from my new book entitled: “But seriously, does Filipe Massa have ANY self-respect?”

    It’s available to buy for £1,000,000 (Gift vouchers and Euros NOT accepted)

  6. Well, I’m sometimes thinking that maybe Whitmarsh should take a bit of the determination of Ferrari to win the WDC (and/or WCC), and maybe one, or both of his drivers might still be in the WDC fight and his team in the WCC one, but I agree that this isn’t what I’d like to see all teams do.

    Just a few days ago, I thought about changing my avatar, but I guess I’ll keep it here. I think the grid difference was made a bigger issue than it was, and I think Alonso might still have made a good start, maybe to 5th instead of 4th, but he would have gotten third anyway. Remember, it would have kept Massa ahead of him, so easy switch later in the race, and until then Massa could have done some holding up of his own (RAI for example).

  7. “Starting on the dirty side ruined my race” said Bruno Senna.

    http://tazio.uol.com.br/f1/largar-do-lado-sujo-acabou-com-a-minha-corrida-diz-senna-10o (in Portuguese)

  8. Brilliant move by Ferrari, using the rules to their advantage. It’s a professional foul and it’s used all the time in team sports. To win at the highest level you need to use every trick in the book and this one was in the book.

    1. I guess its ok then for Ferrari to ask Massa to “accidentally” t-bone Vettel in Brazil. Its all part of using every trick in the book (your book of tricks more likely)

      1. The stewards will see from the telemetry if this was accidental and why do you not think of Red Bull asking this to WEB? Also it was legal. Do you know what legal means? From the moment on Massa took the RIGHT amount of penalty, it’s legal.

        1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
          19th November 2012, 19:20

          Also it was legal. Do you know what legal means?

          Tax avoidance is legal…doesn’t make it right though, does it? Just because something is legal doesn’t mean that it should be embraced, accepted and/or encouraged.

      2. This is for Blutto – I didn’t say it’s okay to cheat; quite the opposite. The rules allowed what Ferrari did, they were clever to figure it out, and it worked. The FIA can close this loophole if they want; it’s all part of the game.

    1. Bit confusing that whoever created that swapped the sides of the grid around.

    2. So if the good-side cars at the front of the pack gained a spot on average, Hulkenburg and Grosjean weren’t affected by the grid-shuffle at all, Senna lost 1 spot because of it (minus 2 plus one the one he was given), and Maldonado has no excuse?

      1. MAL lost these places later on, when he run wide at turn 2 or 3, not on the first corner.

  9. If it only effect Massa (there team) I wouldn’t have such a problem with the unsporting behavior.

  10. All they have to do is change the gird penalty to an even number (either 4 or 6 places). That way, it wont’ change which side you’re on.

  11. A good way to stop it is to have a 4(or 6) grid spot penalty for a gearbox change. Rather simple solution, I’m surprised I haven’t seen it mentioned earlier. And I think its nonsense that Ferrari only help Alonso. They’re helping him because he’s in the hunt for the CHAMPIONSHIP. Of course they’re going to back their driver who still has a chance at winning the championship. Thanks for the wonderful site Keith, I visit multiple times per day!

    1. I’ve had this tab open for nearly 8hours, I guess someone did already think of it.. oops.

  12. I would go much further than Whitmarsh and say Ferrari should be banned for at least one year. I have had it with them. They are spoilt brats. The fans and true racing are of no concern to them. We have seen them cheat some years ago by effectively telling Massa to get out the way of Alonso at a time it was not allowed. Ferrari have countless times flouted the rules especially during Schumacher’s era.

    Many other teams including Red Bull have shown that manufacturers are not the bee-all-and-end-all of F1. Formula one can produce thrilling racing without them. And maybe the cost cutting measure could gain real traction without them.

    Ferrari emotionally black mail far to many folks by protests about their F1 heritage. What a load of nonsense. When you constantly play by your own rules and bring the sport into disrepute then on your bike matey.

    And if I remember correctly Ferrari also get a technical veto which in my book is outrageous and beyond any sense not to mention blatantly a conflict of interest and completely unfair to all the other teams. Every argument I have read about this has never as yet convinced me why they should still have this.

    It’s time for Ferrari to take a break and if they then decide to play by everyone elses rules then they can come back after having had time to reflect. And I for one would be very interested to see their production cars sales if they take a sabbatical…

  13. I think there’s nothing wrong with the team’s decision. The real is that really embarassing to me, was that this two guys playing their role…… Domencalli and Tombazis. It’s long enough for this guys playing hide and seek. Ever since Domenicalli and Tombazis take over the hot seat at ferrari, what kind of achivements do they bring???? None…… because ferrari nowdays moving backwards not forward in terms of developments and innovations. Come on LDM, get someone else who knows how to take control of the team not spending the money on something else. Just create a new FR and RW for every race and then tell the public…oh no it’s not matching with the F2012!!!!! Don’t lie to me eventhough i’m not an aerodynamicts. Mr LDM all you need.. 1. Geniuses with fresh ideas and innovations in your aero dept and.. 2. A team principal who knows how to take charge and control a team…. before the funder pull out all their money from your business.

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