Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2014

Alonso and Vettel at odds over battle for fifth

2014 British Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

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.”

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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

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

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

    1. 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.

      1. @tmax
        you made my day, I spilled my coffee

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          6th July 2014, 19:34


          I should know better than to give the FIA ideas.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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….

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

      1. 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.

      2. 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…

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

    1. Conveniently ignoring Vettel’s constant whining

    2. Also, after the race, Alonso admitted he wouldn’t have been able to keep Vettel behind much longer anyway.

      1. @raceprouk

        That’s what Alonso said, yes. I’m sure that if he’d kept Vettel behind he would have said something entirely different.

    3. @raceprouk , he also conveniently ignores the fact that Alonso pitted for the last time on lap 26… So of course it was always going to be easier for Vettel since he had fresher rubber… If anything, that makes Alonso look so much superior as a driver than the “lady” crying about the hard racing….


      1. Sure. But when alonso overtook Kimi on older tires in the spanish grand prix. It was magic. Right?

      2. Straight. Line. Speed.

    4. Both of them were whining

  7. 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.

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

    2. 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????

      1. @karter22

        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.

        1. 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

          1. 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.

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

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

    3. 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.

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  9. 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

    1. would like to see Vettel battling with same intensity and determination against his teammate

      I’ve given up on that.
      It’s become obvious VET is not as good as RIC.

    2. @palmerstoneroad
      They should have got their answers over a period of 4-5 years, not “even today”.

    3. @palmerstoneroad

      “lost again in comparison with Ricciardo today” – due to worse strategy (again), not worse driving.

      “Alonso kept him behind for more than 10 laps with a superior car” – faster around the lap but slower on the straights, so it was not easy to overtake despite lap time advantage.

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

  11. The racing between these two was absolutely electrifying. The crying and complaining from these two was totally disgusting. Both sounded like absolute babies who forgot what it is they are: RACING drivers. I have a suggestion for both cry-babies: go sit somewhere and watch the duel for 2nd between Arnoux and Villeneuve at the French Grand Prix and get some perspective on what real racers do. Both of those men pushed each other to the limit, bumping wheels, cutting each other off, and even pushing each other off track. No HANS devices, no asphalt runoff, no astroturf, no safety measures to speak of in comparison to today. You know what they did after? They didn’t cry about the other one not giving enough room. They didn’t scream about someone cutting across their wing. They didn’t scream to the stewards about unfair or unsafe driving. They put their arms around each other, huge grins on their faces, and went and watched the replay to relive the moment. To this day, Arnoux calls it his favorite race of his career. Shut up, grow a pair, and drive, Vettel and Alonso.

  12. This is not directly connected to the article above, but . . .
    The funny thing is that on the Sky feed yesterday, Alonso after he exited in Q1 smiled and waved at the camera. He didn’t seem upset or bothered; no brooding introspection, no venomous flash of his dark eyes. To me, he seemed almost happy, releived.
    And then I read this quote in the article above “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” And I just wondered if the fuel problem with the Ferrari engine in particular had helped him make up his mind about his future. And that was why he seemed happy.

    1. What do you mean exactly ? That he’s searching for reasons to leave the team, so every race he “fails” is another proof for him to cancel the contract ?

      1. In a way, yes. But it’s not that HE “fails”, it seems to be that the team is failing him. And I think that every time that happens, it might be reinforcing a decision he has already made.

        1. Ferrari’ve wasted many years not delivering a competitive car having an extremely good (4 me the best) pilot.

  13. Something just hit me. This battle was amazing, and we only got it because DRS.

  14. The Alonso / Vettel battle is the kind of racing a F1 fan tunes in to see. Pity we don’t get it more often. As both drivers have said, the radio comments were just silly adrenaline filled bitching, and they will both have forgotten about it already. That of course, won’t stop the media making a big thing about it.

  15. Shane (@shane-pinnell)
    7th July 2014, 7:04

    The main difference between the complaints about the track limit infringements is that Vettel was clearly gaining an advantage. All drivers had the occasional off, Vettel seemed to be doing it on every lap in an attempt to gain an advantage (in addition to DRS) down the straight. This was a great battle though. This battle is even more evidence that DRS is a gimmick. Without DRS we would see many more of these battles.

  16. I do not understand why people critize their comments over the radio. To be honest I was amazed they had corage to talk to the radio, when I drive my motorbike to the limit I can not even breath properly and it is just 650cc so if they can drive that way and talk at the same time… no problem for me.

  17. These two pilots gave us the thrill we want to feel in a pure F1 race. Yes, they moaned. But, fortunately, no ban was given for the track’s limits abuse. And, in the end, Vettel show how great he his, as Alonso did the same avoiding Vettel’s overtake for so many laps. They are absolute incredible pilots and winners. And they need to be fighting for the 1st place, not the 5th place.
    However, they gave us something to remember about, something special, that only F1 can deliver. Huge fight at incredible speeds and risk. Pure racing for me. I’ve noticed that, during that battle, I forgot the engine noise discussion, or the restart stupid rule for the next year, etc. I just focused in F1 stupendous racing.
    Thank you Vettel and Alonso for giving us hope :)

  18. You can criticize Alonso all you want about his whining afterwards, but ultimately actions on the track are what its all about – and he’s been a part of some of the best wheel-to-wheel racing we’ve seen in our generation. Whether it be Hamilton, Webber, Massa, Schumacher, Raikkonen, or in this case Vettel, Alonso has continually demonstrated that he fights fair on the track. The fact that he’s almost always exceeding his own car’s pace in the process means that he commands the utmost respect for me. He’s never really had much to lose by going ultra-aggressive in these races, yet his collisions with other drivers are remarkably low.

    How things can change in 12 months – a year ago we were saying similar things about Raikkonen. But now things have corrected themselves back to normalcy again: Alonso is the ultimate racer – as we should have already learned before.

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