Alonso and Vettel at odds over battle for fifth

2014 British Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2014Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel complained about each other’s driving during and after an intense fight for fifth place.

Vettel made several attempts to pass the Ferrari during which time both repeatedly claimed that the other had exceeded track limits on the circuit to gain an advantage.

The Red Bull driver also accused Alonso of leaving him too little space when the pair went side-by-side into Brooklands on more than one occasion.

“It felt very close inside [the cockpit],” Vettel told reporters afterwards. “A couple of times maybe too close.”

“Obviously got a bit silly when we both started to complain, I think, about the other car going off-track. But I don’t think the people care too much whether the car is half a metre further to the left or right at some exits of the corner.

“I knew when I got the message that I should respect the limits that he was complaining because that’s the sort of thing that he tends to do. So I decided to do the same thing. I don’t know who won in terms of keeping the list, maybe we need to ask the stewards.

“I was tight I think twice, it was a bit too harsh I think into turn six, if I don’t back out of it then we crash, because I could stay on the track and with me there he couldn’t make the corner so… yeah and the other hand you know it’s tough when your racing, it will be hard.”

Alonso, who was warned about exceeding track limits earlier in the race, complained furiously on the radio after he’d been passed by Vettel, insisting the Red Bull driver had done so because he had been able to use DRS because he had gone off the track at the final corner.

“He take the DRS thanks to the track limits in the last corner,” Alonso told race engineer Andrea Stella. “He take the DRS out of turn five and out of turn nine. What more I need to do?”

Afterwards Alonso said, “obviously there was a lot of adrenaline in the moment,” and said he had been coping with several problems in his Ferrari.

“Unfortunately we had the battle in the wrong moment of the race, probably. We had even discussed with the team two laps before the battle when Sebastian went out of the pit if we retire the car because we had some aerodynamic problems.

“The rear wing was stalling and it was causing a lot of problems in the car. We have battery problems and suddenly Sebastian arrive there and we have battery problems, stall problems and we need to save fuel in the last part of the race. So we said that will be impossible to keep him behind.

“But the laps was going on and on and he stayed behind and yeah at the end one lap before or one lap later he will overtake us anyway. The track limit was just some kind of thing to keep the team busy I think he was complaining about me, I was complaining about him, that was funny from the outside.”

2014 British Grand Prix

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157 comments on Alonso and Vettel at odds over battle for fifth

  1. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 6th July 2014, 17:21

    Great battle between them and even though there wasn’t much respect towards each other in regards to the radio whining the respect was there on the track where it counts. Honestly I think a lot of the aggression on track came down to the fact that they could trust each other not to crash, I don’t think Alonso would’ve defended that hard had he been fighting against Magnussen or Maldonado for example.

    Little cheeky of Vettel to call Alonso out as someone who whines all the time when he too is a renowned whinger. But hey, they can both cry on the radio all they want if it keeps producing racing like that.

  2. Breno (@austus) said on 6th July 2014, 17:23

    Fight of the year. One of the passes is bound to be pass of the year.

  3. Piffles said on 6th July 2014, 17:26

    Very good battle, and top class driving from both drivers: absolutely no complaints. As Alain Prost said on Canal+, this kind of thing is exactly what we watch F1 for. It’s a shame we had these unnecessary, childish, backhanded, dishonest, hypocritical, disgraceful arguments over the radio. Alonso & Vettel need to get put back in their place with a pair of good slaps in the face. Grown men don’t go complaining to their mammas when things don’t go their way.
    Of course, if the tracks were designed properly, going “off-track” would risk resulting in accidents like Raikkonen’s a little more often and drivers would therefore be inclined to respect the track limits a bit more.

    • elchinero (@elchinero) said on 6th July 2014, 17:34

      Piffles — totally great racing … glued to TV watching consummate professionals exhibiting their (rare) skills. Nice that the TV directors held coverage. +10.

    • Alonso has a long history of “working the refs” like this, and with some success, so it’s inevitable that other drivers will respond in a similar fashion.

  4. Jonathan189 (@jonathan189) said on 6th July 2014, 17:26

    This was a perfect demonstration of why DRS is overpowered. It does its intended job of producing close, exciting racing… but only in situations when the car in front would otherwise have a big straight-line speed advantage over the car behind.

    • Mcquiz (@mcquiz) said on 6th July 2014, 19:20

      It’s a shame that DRS can never be balanced. At some tracks it does just enough to make overtaking possible. At others all it does is that the driver infront goes on the inside to defend and long before the straight ends the other driver has passed easily like in China.

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 7th July 2014, 0:10

      I dislike DRS as much as most here, but I don’t see that this was a case that showed that DRS was overpowered. Or do you think that it is overpowering if Vettel breezed past Alonso after pursuing him for a mere 13 laps?

      I think this is what DRS was supposed to achieve. But the reason why it worked this time, and usually is overpowering, is that Alonso had a straight-line advantage that was almost perfectly equalised by DRS. On the average overtake, cars will have more similar straight line speeds.


  5. Michael Brown said on 6th July 2014, 17:27

    I wonder if the stewards will investigate Vettel’s supposed DRS use after turn 9. Sometimes from the distance it looks like the wing is open – at least to me anyway. Last time I remember an incident with DRS like this was with Alonso, and he wasn’t punished.

  6. Michael Brown (@) said on 6th July 2014, 17:33

    It would have been really funny if Alonso and Vettel could radio each other to shout at one another.

    • tmax (@tmax) said on 6th July 2014, 17:49

      I agree . But Please don’t say it loud because the FIA might introduce a new Rule next year that every driver should speak 10 “interesting” sentences during each race and there will be 1 point after every race for that and 2 points in the last race !!!!!!!

      Needless to Say Ricciardo’s very Formal Office like Talk would be worth interesting in such situation. I am just Imagining How Ricaciardo would be speaking to different Drivers in such Situations.

      Riccardo & Kimi ( there can be more. I am going wild with imagination)

      Ricciardo: Excuse Me Mr. Raikkonen. Can I have a word with you Please ?
      Kimi: (silence)
      Ricciardo : Mr Raikkonen Could you please confirm that you can hear me ?
      Kimi: (silence)
      Ricciardo : Mr Raikkonen I would like to speak to you a Moment. I hope you are able to hear me. If so, Please respond by saying yes or no.
      Kimi : what the $%^$& do you want ?????
      Ricciardo : Mr. Raikkonen . Thank you for acknowledging the message. I would like to state here that I am planning to overtake you on the track. It would be great if you leave enough room for me in the DRS zone so that we can have a clean pass. Please acknowledge if you are fine with the idea.
      Kimi : ( To Ferrari pits ). Please tell Big Luca to Cancel my Contract effective immediately. I am retiring from this race and the sport all together. #%%$^$%^ everyone.

  7. tmax (@tmax) said on 6th July 2014, 17:35

    After a hour of Red Flag and an utter boring race…. I would say bring it on….. No complaints from me what soever

    I would say that was the thing woke me up from my sleep. I would not mind both Vettel and Alonso complaining and crying and shouting. Atleast that made me feel there are some humans out there. After last years Pirelli drama, the only thing that is worth remembering this year was the tangle between Alonso and Vettel. Some few glimmers of hope from an other wise dying sport being converted into Entertainment.

    Yeah the drivers did complain like Kids in an high adrenalin situation….. but Fans please don’t complain like them sitting on the couch like who started first complaint et all !!!!!!

    Also another take away from the race is the Lewis’s complain that the new Trophy just “…….” and I agree with him totally. F1 is on a race to the bottom at all fronts.

  8. caci99 (@caci99) said on 6th July 2014, 17:35

    Great battle, no need to spoil it with arguments who did what. I think it was a fair fight from both. Seems the drivers see it as fair fight as well after the race, and adrenaline went down.

  9. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 6th July 2014, 17:36

    The best thing was that these two amazing drivers could fight – and that was due to durable tyres. This race and 2010 season just confirms that durable tyres can give (not always) better racing than paper-thin rubber.

  10. David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 6th July 2014, 17:47

    I don’t get why some are complaining about the complaints, going as far as “It could’ve been Dijon ’79 but wasn’t because of it” . I think when it got pretty obvious how both were complaining about things both were doing the drivers’ complaints became a great addition to the battle, not a thing that ruins it.

    And I wonder if I’ll ever take to the Internet one day as an adult, enter a forum of people talking about the good’ol 2014 British GP Vettel-Alonso battle, and present my view as somebody who watched it live on TV in HD….

    • matiascasali (@matiascasali) said on 6th July 2014, 21:04

      Agree, and even more: can you imagine what was Villeneuve saying to Arnoux and vice versa in that epic battle?

      • Daniel Akerman (@jeangirard) said on 6th July 2014, 22:02

        We know what they did after that battle: they went TOGETHER, all smiles, to watch the replays and relive some of the most incredible racing of their careers.

      • Daniel Akerman (@jeangirard) said on 6th July 2014, 22:07

        From a Road and Track Magazine article on the famous Arnoux-Villeneuve battle: “After the race, both men leapt from their cars to shake each other’s hands and embrace. Courage, camaraderie, and the brotherhood of speed. That’s Formula 1.”

        I guess not anymore…

  11. Jorge Lardone (@jorge-lardone) said on 6th July 2014, 18:13

    Alonso, the weeping child of formula 1. Vettel won because it best driver. It’s simple.

  12. Cole said on 6th July 2014, 18:19

    This track limit rule is a joke. While I can understand forbidding cutting the corners, why disallow going wide? Tracks already have grass, gravel or walls on some cases to prevent it. Maybe they should make the outside even slower to prevent it, but let the drivers to choose where to go could increase passing lines.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 6th July 2014, 18:32

      Why disallow running wide? Because that’s not the track.

    • karter22 (@karter22) said on 6th July 2014, 19:53

      Why disallow running wide?

      Seriously?? Could it be because it allows the driver to go faster through the curve because he can carry much more speed????

      • Eric (@) said on 6th July 2014, 20:24


        Invalid argument. So can the driver in front or behind him. Nobody can get an unfair advantage because everybody can do it if it’s allowed.

        What the real problem is is that it isn’t in the spirit of the sport, not respecting the track limits. Which is also b.. .sh. t. Just look at races 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Cars were going ‘off’ left right and center. Some drivers could do it better than others, taking kerbs or a run off patch. Some took too much risk and span off. The difference between then and now? We had far more real racing back then. Of course that’s also because of other differences such as DRS.

        So long as there’s no wall or gravel trap at the other end of the kerbstones drivers will continue to push the limit and more often than not, exceed that limit.

        Telling drivers to not exceed track limits is like telling them not to use DRS to make the racing more fair. It aint gonna happen.

        • matiascasali (@matiascasali) said on 6th July 2014, 21:06

          if you don’t want the drivers to pass the track limit, put a gravel trap in every side of the road. Or linde mines, for that matter :D

          • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 6th July 2014, 22:44

            Yes, let’s have gravel traps that cars get beached in or flipped by, requiring yellow flags and maybe safety cars to clear the stricken car out of the way.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 6th July 2014, 22:56

            @raceprouk – Other solutions would be small amounts of grass/gravel before the tarmac runoff (like Fuji Speedway), or abrasive tarmac strips (like Paul Ricard).

          • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 6th July 2014, 22:57

            The Fuji idea is good, but the Paul Ricard idea only works because that circuit has run-off thirty miles deep :-P

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 6th July 2014, 21:34

      Maybe they should make the outside even slower to prevent it

      Spot on there mate.
      Requesting drives not to take advantage of what’s being made available to them is just plain silly.

  13. Cristian (@cristian) said on 6th July 2014, 20:28

    I may not be entirely up to date concerning this rule, but when having a 5 second stop/go penalty aren’t you supposed to drive in the pits, stop for 5 secs and not have your car worked at during that time? I was under the impression that you had to leave and return the next lap to change your tyres. And, also, don’t you have to stop in 2-3 laps after the decision was anounced?
    Alonso did nothing of these. Since nobody complained I assume I may be judging this wrong, but I would like someone to bring me up to date with this rule.

    • Breno (@austus) said on 6th July 2014, 20:57

      no, you can do it in a scheduled pit stop, or never serve it and have it added to your time by the end of the race.

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 7th July 2014, 0:15

      It’s a new rule. It is just confusing that they call it 5 seconds stop & go, which is exactly the same name for the more severe punishment where you get a drive through and a stop & go without being able to have work done on your car. I think they should call it 5 second time penalty or something. After all you don’t stop and go, you stop, get your tyres changed, and go.

  14. palmerstoneroad (@palmerstoneroad) said on 6th July 2014, 21:18

    would like to see Vettel battling with same intensity and determination against his teammate.
    Let’s not forget he was only battling for P5 after starting in P2 and lost again in comparison with Ricciardo today.
    Alonso kept him behind for more than 10 laps with a superior car (given the gain Vettel got after the overtake).

    Who is still questioning whether Vettel is overrated got its answers even today

  15. Jason (@jason12) said on 6th July 2014, 21:35

    Degrad tyres have robbed us of some great racing the last couple of years.

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