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. Daniel Akerman (@jeangirard) said on 6th July 2014, 21:58

    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.

  2. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 6th July 2014, 22:34

    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.

    • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 6th July 2014, 22:50

      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 ?

      • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 7th July 2014, 9:14

        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.

        • Paul2013 said on 7th July 2014, 19:52

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

  3. Breno (@austus) said on 6th July 2014, 22:52

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

  4. F1Ray said on 6th July 2014, 23:08

    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.

  5. Shane (@shane-pinnell) said on 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.

  6. Paul2013 said on 7th July 2014, 10:57

    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.

  7. Ricardo Ferreira (@yes-master) said on 7th July 2014, 12:26

    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 :)

  8. Minardi (@gitanes) said on 8th July 2014, 7:10

    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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