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Massa will do his talking behind closed doors
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Massa will do his talking behind closed doors
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Apr 2010   |  7:18 pm GMT  |  222 comments

The incident where Fernando Alonso passed Felipe Massa on the way into the pits in yesterday’s Chinese Grand Prix has sparked a great deal of debate and is likely to be the subject of a significant amount of internal discussion at Ferrari, once everyone finally gets back to Maranello. Will the management want to calm the troubled waters or express their admiration for the killer instinct of their new driver?

It didn’t kick off in Shanghai, because Felipe Massa chose to play it straight and not moan about his team mate’s actions, as many drivers would have done in the past. But behind closed doors one imagines that he will have a few things to say. Because this was quite a move by Alonso and it made quite a statement.


It is hard not to see it as Alonso asserting his claim to be team leader. He imposed himself over his team mate at that vital moment because he knew that not to do so would hold him back and would cost him time and places. So he put Massa into that position instead.

This action has really got the Italian media going; Italy’s leading F1 journalist Pino Allievi, writing in the Gazzetta dello Sport claims that,
“We will be talking for a long time about the lightning pass on Massa in the pit lane entry. Such a thing has never been seen before between two Ferrari drivers.”

Pino should know – he’s been around for a long time and had strong links to “The Old Man” himself.

Colleagues who spoke to Massa after the race say he was pretty stony faced, but not about to do his dirty laundry in public. He told Italian colleagues,
“My wheels spun coming out of the hairpin. I didn’t know that he was also coming into the pits, but he came alongside me and when I saw him on the inside there wasn’t much I could do, I didn’t want to create an incident.”

Alonso started to lose his temper with the Italian media when they grilled him about it, “If you are looking for me to say the wrong thing you’re wasting your time, ” he snarled. “Nothing happened. He got wheelspin on the exit of the corner and I came out better and passed him. If it had happened between two cars of a different colour no-one would write a line, but as it’s us people will talk about it for ages for no reason.”

Team boss Stefano Domenicali will know that this is not the end of the matter. It needs to be carefully managed. We already have the rumours about Ferrari being cagey on a contract renewal for Massa, because he hasn’t been close enough on pace to Alonso this season and there have been stories linking Robert Kubica to the seat.

“We are friends,” said Kubica of Alonso at the weekend. “We were almost team-mates at BMW and if you believe what you read, it might happen again in the future.”

However there are also contrary stories that a one year extension for Massa is being prepared.

Domenicali’s two drivers were always going to have moments like this, it was just a question of when. In Bahrain Alonso jumped Massa at the start and it gave him the basis for his win. In Australia Massa got him back and Alonso could not pass him, even though he appeared to be faster.

Those were racing incidents and according to Domenicali, so was the one in China, although he admitted that,
“It happened in a place where you wouldn’t expect a pass. But for us it was a normal racing episode, they are both professionals and this is part of racing.”

He also made the point that the drivers did well to radio as they came down the pit lane, that Alonso was in front so the mechanics didn’t fit Massa’s intermediate tyres to him by mistake.

What is interesting about this incident is that the pair were coming in together, one of three double stops the Ferrari team made on the day.

It had started raining again and everyone was on slicks. The four cars in front of them had decided to stop on that lap for intermediates; that was 7th place Schumacher, Webber in 8th, Alguersuari, 9th and 10th place Sutil.

The cars running at the front however pitted a lap later; that was Button, Rosberg, Kubica, Petrov, Hamilton and Vettel – all of whom judged that an extra lap was desirable.

But Rosberg’s extra lap was 10 seconds slower than his previous lap, so pitting when the Ferraris did was the right call. Alonso felt that it was the moment and took no prisoners when he saw Massa struggling for grip out of the hairpin.

So when Massa says that he didn’t know Alonso was pitting at the same time, it rather implies that this was either a late call by Alonso himself or a communications breakdown whereby they both decided to come in at the same time.

For Gazzetta dello Sport there is no doubt of the significance of this. The Spaniard has had enough of politely waiting around and wanted to make sure he stays close to the championship fight. This was “The day when Alonso grabbed the role of team captain.”

It’s great stuff. It’s what makes F1 such a compelling sport.

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222 Comments
  1. Jesus says:

    It was not the nicest move from Alonso, but a needed one. Massa was blocking him for the third time in a row. In hindsight it was the right move, Alonso maximised Ferrari´s points yesterday

    1. GP says:

      Well said.

    2. Sebee says:

      Jesus, with your heavenly view of the race I can’t believe you didn’t see it for what it was. A desperate move to screw your team mate, who was leading the championship at that point. Guess who will record a DNF in Barcelona due some glitch as payback? That’s right, the home town desperado.

      Imagine a guy on the Highway made a move like that on you? That would be a boat load of bad karma and you would have no reservations grinning if you found that guy sideways into a tree or pulled over by the cops.

      1. JR says:

        Shanghai circuit it’s not a highway, I woke up early last Sunday to watch a RACE.

      2. mvi says:

        My goodness, Sebee, you are projecting your own venom into Alonso’s thinking. Looked to me like he just wanted to pass Massa, after a dozen laps behind him, and found an opportunity when Massa slipped up. What would you have done?

        And, as some F1 racers have been reminded, a public Highway has different rules from the race track.

      3. Sebee says:

        I know road and track are not same.

        My point was that karma has a funny way of taking care of business, and I for one will have no reservations cracking a grin when it bites Alonso back and takes him down a notch. That was an a$$&@le move if there ever was one.

        YO! Karma, if you’re listening, have Hamilton make that move on Alonso soon and let’s have a two-for-one. Let’s see if they take off their helmets and handle it like men.

        Yeah, I said it!

      4. Martin P says:

        Eh? This is the racetrack, not the road. And the pit lane entry is part of that race track.

        It was a clean move, before the limiter line, no one was injured and no cars were damaged – which is testament to the skills of both drivers.

        As much as I have a slight dislike of Alonso and a deep admiration of Massa, this was a great move and to be honest I think it shows the “killer instinct” that’s made Alonso twice a champion and Massa twice a bridesmaid.

      5. CH1UNDA says:

        Is this the same killer instinct that makes Lewis so hated? Or is it a different kind that can make him loved?

      6. Ken Staveley says:

        I think that the move was extremely stupid and Alonso should be punished both by the governing body and Ferrari
        To me it is Alonso/ Hamilton all over again, the man just can’t take being beaten by his own team mate. He thinks he is God’s own gift to motor racing

      7. Col says:

        Punished for what exactly? Overtaking someone? Isn’t that what we all want to see and the whole point of a race?

      8. Pierce89 says:

        I can’t believe you just compared an in-race overtaking maneuver to cutting someone of on the highway. Massa got passed because he was SLOW. Anyone who says it was wrong are just Massa fans. Hamilton passed Vettel on pit entry and you probably called it a great move.

    3. Carlos says:

      I agree with Jesús. Alonso has been cautious when behind Massa, which makes sense given that they’re teammates. Then Massa slipped up coming out of a corner – that was the “OK” for Alonso to make the pass.

      I think Massa recovered better than Alonso expected, so it wasn’t going to be an easy pass anymore. But Alonso was mentally committed by then and carried through. It happens.

      1. JR says:

        That’s exactly the point, Alonso thought the overtaking was done but found himself in parallel with Massa on the way to the pitlane. That was exactly the moment when he thought he had had enough of politely waiting behind Massa while the points keep slipping away.

    4. F1admirer says:

      Agreed. Alonso cannot afford losing more points behind a slower team mate. Sure it wasn’t the nicest move but it would’ve have been the second time in the same race Alonso would have had to wait in the pits behind Massa. Unnaceptable for Freddy.

    5. Ted the Mechanic says:

      The following is an excerpt from my response to the “Sepang – The Decisive Moments” blog last week which also discussed Webber & Vettel’s pit stop agreement. I hope you don’t mind me plugging it back in here.

      “I’ve been a bit concerned by Ferrari’s etiquette also, or perhaps I should say Alonso’s seeming restraint when tailing Massa. There may be other factors at work there though. I suspect Alonso wanted to bed himself into the team without incident or controversy before flexing his muscles a bit more aggressively in future. And he probably figures he can put himself ahead on the road in Qualifying more often than not and a softly, softly approach with Massa now may pay dividends later. The lap time chart above augurs well for Ferrari.

      We will have to wait and see how these battles between team mates play out. It seems the McLaren drivers will probably just go their own ways and I’m sure Michael would just like to catch Nico’s tail and is not too troubled by such delicate tactical concerns at this stage…

      …unfortunately.”

      (Unfortunate indeed)

      Well it seems Alonso’s had enough of “softly, softly” and has decided to make his own luck from here on in. And Massa’s payback may come in a different form now…

      Game On!

    6. Horacio says:

      I have been following F1 since 1972. I have seen lots of things. Great moments and shameful ones. And what Alonso did last Sunday over his teammate is now a mark on the “Shameful Moments” column.
      It is sad to see that after just four races Alonso managed to rot the environment inside Ferrari. He did exactly the same in McLaren.
      With all due respect, I found just absurd to justify such childish attitude because “Massa was blocking him”. Well, why he didn’t overtake Massa on the track? This is just absurd. If Alonso have a “slower teammate” then why he was BEHIND his slower teammate? Oh, sorry, because he cheated at the start and got caught… Or is that every one of Alonso’s teammates neeed to remove themselves from the track because Alonso wants to win? This is plain nonsense.
      When he was at McLaren, he created such a hated debate that he involved the spaniard and the english press in a very sad all-out war, even with racist elements, and now he is trying to do the same with the italian press. And we all need to think that this is a great thing? This is ridiculous. Sorry.
      I think Alonso is one of the most complete pilots on the grid, but his attitude is just shameful for the sport. This is a sport, and as a sport requires some sportmanship. I applaud Massa’s attitude to clean the air at a press conference and take care of the laundry indoors.

      1. rafa says:

        any comments on hamilton pulling the same stunt on vettel in the same race? No? how odd…

      2. anthony says:

        They are not team mates end of story.

      3. Sebee says:

        You see, this is what I’m talking about! Many posters here don’t look at the whole episode and how he ended up in the situation he was in. They defend Alonso for a great move. But few take the time to evaluate the situation fully. You’ve summed it up perfectly as a thinking fan should!

        We can debate this till pigs fly (I hear they can fly in ash). Bottom line karma’s gonna get you Fernando, and take you down a notch. Stand by for Barcelona and watch as it happens. As you JAF1 fans see it happen shake your head and say to yourselves, wow that karma is a b….

      4. murray says:

        It wasn’t dangerous, if neither had given way, would either have finished or with useful points. This is a race series, these guys are racers. Niki Lauda and James Hunt huffed and puffed about Mario Andretti overtaking them around the outside in the late 1970s “We don’t DO that in F1″. Andretti shrugged them off with something like “If you can, you do”.

      5. TM says:

        Sorry but your list of shameful moments must be very long indeed if this made it onto it! It may not have been the most productive thing to do in terms of Ferrari’s internal relationship, but really, this is racing and I for one hate the PR rubbish niceties that are in F1. We want to see the drivers racing not saying “here you go, after you”.

        There have been some terribly shameful incidents over the years that rightfully deserve their place on your list, but this is not one of them, and if it does then rafa is right, Hamilton’s move must also be on there.

        I am a Hamilton fan, I’m no Ferrari fan, and I’m certainly no Alonso fan, but there’s nothing wrong with his move on Massa. Also, saying that he cheated at the start is just silly, it was clearly just a mistake as you simply can’t get away with it.

        I can’t believe I’m defending Alonso(!), but there you go.

      6. kbrooklyn says:

        you asked “why didn’t alonso overtake massa on the track?”. well the pit entry is still the track so, to answer your question yes he did. and if you’ve been watching f1 since 1972 you’d know a jump start is a mistake, not cheating. ah i don’t know why i’m even bothering to explain…

      7. Sebee says:

        Jump start is a mistake? Well that’s just peachey! Every jump start ever made was a mistake of course, but some 90% were intentional mistakes. Like Schumi loosing traction when Villeneuve was passing him in 1997. Give me a break. Alonso’s entire race was a mistake – his own doing. What irritates many is that he took others down with his crappy race and made a pure a$$&@le move on Massa.

  2. knoxploration says:

    Overtaking in the pit entry is a stupid and dangerous thing to be allowing drivers to do, but I must admit I can’t so far see a rule explicitly forbidding it. Hence Alonso and Hamilton couldn’t be penalized for having done so.

    However, Hamilton most definitely broke a rule by driving past the pit entry and then backtracking across the grass to get back to the pit entry, and should have been penalized for this. Note the following, excerpted from the current version of Appendix L to the Sporting Code:

    Entrance to the pit lane
    b) During competition access to the pit lane is allowed only through the pit entry.
    d) Except in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the Stewards of the Meeting), the crossing, in any direction, of the line separating the pit entry and the track is prohibited.

    To get back to the pit entry once he’d driven past it, Lewis *had* to drive across the line separating the pit entry and the track. There was no force majeure, as Lewis had the choice to simply continue around the track for another lap. Hence, he broke the rules, and wasn’t even investigated for it.

    1. SteveB says:

      I’ll let Bernie reply…(from F1technical.net and Daily Mirror)…”What are they talking about? Isn’t this sport all about racing?” Ecclestone exclaimed to the ‘Mirror’. “I thought Lewis had a fantastic race. He drove really well and they should stop complaining and get on with the racing.

”I loved watching his performance in Sepang. I bet the fans did too. It was a whole lot of moaning about nothing,” he added.

      Nuff said

      1. TM says:

        Another 1st; Bernie talking sense!! Thanks for putting this up.

    2. Pawel says:

      Agree, both Hamilton and Alonso should be penalized for racing in the pitlane.

    3. donfabrizio says:

      Get a grip man the article is about Alonzo and Massa, not Lewis.

      1. SteveB says:

        Get a grip? This is a reply to knoxploration’s post not James’ article. knoxploration is all about Hamilton – that’s what i was replying to.

  3. Thalasa says:

    I remember once Alonso saying on tv that he wouldn’t like to have Kubica as a team-mate because they are good friends, and he wanted things as they were.

    1. mo says:

      Where did u hear that? Could u plz find the vid?

      1. Thalasa says:

        It must have been in the Spanish tv channel (a terrible thing as such) La Sexta. I don’t remember every detail but I would bet it was during an interview with Antonio Lobato, and I think they were referring to rumours about Alonso going to BMW. So I imagine it was at the end of 2007.
        I’ll try to find it.

    2. TM says:

      Alonso has also said before that he rates Kubica as the fastest driver in the field… perhaps another reason he may not want him as a team mate?!

      1. kbrooklyn says:

        obviously. isn’t it widely believed it was the same reason that schumacher wouldn’t pertner raikkonen at ferrari, and so retired instead?

  4. C.M. says:

    I must agree with Alonso here. Is there drivers on the grid who had not taken that opportunity? If there is someone, then possibly he will never become a champion. It was a clear overtaking manouver, just in a place you usually don’t see it. For sure Massa is not happy about it, but it’s not making friends out there, it’s racing.

    1. Doug says:

      It was a tough move but what else would you expect from Alonso? He’s a double world champion hungry for another championship to add to his belt.
      I think if the roles had been reversed Alonso would have been going crazy at the move.

      The test for Massa is the next few races. He must find a position where he can pull off a similar move to show that he still has the ‘Killer instinct’. It doesn’t matter if Alonso & Massa collide as long as Massa is cool about it and says ‘racing incident, no big deal’.
      It’ll send a message to Alonso & the team that Massa is in Ron’s words ‘A competative animal’.

      If he just lies back & takes it, I suspect he’s lost this years WC & possibly his Ferrari drive.

    2. TM says:

      Agreed. Let’s predict 6 who probably would and 6 who probably would not have made that move:

      Probably would:
      Alonso (he did!)
      Hamilton (he also did in the same race)
      Senna
      Mansell
      Schumacher
      Piquet (Snr obviously!)

      Probably wouldn’t:
      Kovalainen
      Coulthard
      Barrichello
      Massa
      Frentzen
      Fisichella

      Notice any difference between the lists? There are of course loads more that could have gone into the lists, especially the “probably wouldn’t”, but I purposefully put in those who have been in top line cars and not taken a championship, while their team mates have in the same car.

      I know which list I would rather see on the track on a Sunday!

  5. F1 Kitteh says:

    Is it wise to swap Kubica for Massa? As it stands now they have sort of a Hakkinen/Coulthard relationship where Massa is just a little slower but still fast enough to win and most crucially believes that it is somewhat equal treatment. Why stir the waters?

    I wonder if Massa has had enough from this and the past incidents with Freddy (2007?) that he is going to throw it all out there and drive like a Hamilton from now. And does he have that in him? Will be interesting to see if they throw it away in the end like Mclaren in 2007 ..

    1. CH1UNDA says:

      For his own sake, Massa had better buy Lewis a beer and get the low down on how to deal with Alonso. I hope he does not cower like Fisichella and Trulli. I want to see some big balls here.

      1. andyb says:

        I agree. Alonso wants fight, Massa should give fight.

      2. Azri says:

        couldn’t agree more dude….

      3. Neil says:

        I know what you’re getting at, but it’s worth remembering that Hamilton LOST a championship duelling with Alonso… I wouldn’t really hold him up as a model of how to deal with a competitive team-mate.

        If you want a good example, right now the best I can think of is Button on Hamilton – he’s doing his talking on-track where it should be :)

  6. kineticKid says:

    ‘“We will be talking for a long time about the lightning pass on Massa in the pit lane entry. Such a thing has never been seen before between two Ferrari drivers.”

    Pino should know – he’s been around for a long time and had strong links to “The Old Man” himself.”

    If that’s the case then he should know better.

    Pironi/Villeneuve should ring a bell.

    Pironi infamously stole the win @ Imola in 1982 when he passed Gilles under the assumption that the victory belonged to Villeneuve and both drivers were instructed to save fuel for the finish. We all know what happened at the next race. The Massa/Alonso incident is a blip by comparison

    1. Trent says:

      Not really what he was getting at, I wouldn’t think. I’d say he means the specific incident of passing at the pit entry.

  7. Robby Stockman says:

    I don’t understand how drivers entering the pitlane side by side is legal , same with Vettel and Hamilton . I know there is a rule against crossing the white line .

    1. Trent says:

      The unusual thing about Shanghai is that there is room to have two cars side by side in the first part of the pit lane entry. That section is also before the speed limit line, so I assume it’s considered part of the race track and therefore the normal rules apply.

      Not many circuits where this is possible though.

    2. Owen Li says:

      I agree with the 7th comment. I can’t understand why Lewis and Fernando wasn’t even under investigation for crossing the white line before entering the pit.

      1. Tommy K. says:

        That “white line” thing is really annoying….I think we should be looking at the reason behind a rule and not the actual wording of it. In China there is so much space in the pit entrance, like Trent said above, that makes this rule inapplicable in this case. It happens a lot in the courtrooms too. Judges reach decisions according to what they feel is right for each case, and don’t follow blindly a couple of lines with letters written on them! (I’m a lawyer u see…)

  8. Red5 says:

    Respect to Massa for not criticizing his team or team mate in public. There is a quality to his dignity that other drivers could learn from. Jenson also has this quality.

    However, armchair critics may wonder why the Ferrari team was not able to better manage the situation and if not plan the stops in more organize fashion at least anticipate and mitigate the possibility of both wanting the same priority access.

    Tyres, I understand, are bar coded, allocated and carefully controlled (scanned) during a race weekend. Drivers are also sensitive to tyre pressure and I would think they are set up according to individual wishes.

    The team did in fact do well to ensure they didn’t fit Massa’s intermediate tyres [to him] by mistake.

    1. Louis says:

      If they were a*holes about it they could’ve told Alonso to “go another lap pal, these are Massa’s tyres!”… but that would’ve been a disaster of McLaren ’07 proportions..

      1. Henry says:

        Haha I would have loved to have seen that! but it would have been just a little ridiculous.

      2. Dave c says:

        Henry you are a perfect example of an English Armchair fan that unfairly hates Alonso and takes any little excuse to have a dig at him, it’s only because you are scared your golden boy Hamilton can not fight with Fernando this year for outright pace if they were both at the front and that while Alonso is in his Ferrari and Vettel in a competive car Hamilton won’t win the title again, mind you he’s struggling to win a race this year and even Button is proving too much of a handful but that’s right just ignore the facts and keep taking digs at Alonso.

        So let’s just all forget about Hamiltons antics in the last few races: Australia get massively rattled by Webber and publicly moan at the team on the radio about his own tyre choice mistake, Malaysia weaving around like an idiot on the home straight just to fend off a pay driver, and in china cutting across the grass to go into the pits, does the same to vettel what alonso done but hey it’s lewis eh?! Then unecessarily fights vettel in the pitlane and last but not least knocks webber clean off the track after the 2nd safety car.

        It’s ok though with all the teams soon to introduce the F-duct this straight line speed advantage that’s aided him so well in overtaking will be gone too and we can then see a proper fight between Vettel snd Alonso for the title.

      3. James Allen says:

        OK let’s not have any name calling between readers, please. The idea is to further the discussion, not kick lumps out of each other.

  9. Stephen Russell says:

    I thought that Alonso’s move was the move of a champion, and something Hamilton did also on Vettel. Was disapointed that the BBC didnt cover it in their red button show as it really was a great moment so thanks for your article on it James!

    1. Henry says:

      I think though that there is an important difference between overtaking any car and overtaking your team mate in that situation, simply because A) the pit stops have already been set up that way round, B) because at that point of the track there is so little room for error, it is very dangerous to overtake – very easy to crash. And I think as a team manager you would not want both your cars taken off in a stupid squabble at the entry to the pit lane. Hamilton has been criticised for being unnecessarily aggressive during that race, but I would say that there is still some rationale to Hamilton at the wheel of a car, Alonso seems to loose that at times.

      I should add that I do admire him for having the audacity to do the move, and I loved his driving on sunday, but he shouldn’t have done it.

  10. Morris Mao says:

    Ferrari has to elect their leader, if they want to succeed in such a close comppetion like this season.

    Anyway, during the first round of pitstop, they arrange two divers to comeing together, rather than apply different strateges between two divers like Maclaren has show they were really troubleed by their diver policy.

    Looking forward a normal race from Alonso.

  11. Paige says:

    I really find it interesting that the battle at Ferrari has gone under the radar in the context of the situation at McLaren, which has gotten more headlines with Button’s two strategy-driven wins.

    Personally, I think McLaren has a much more stable situation on its hands. It would be one thing if Hamilton were slower than Button, but he isn’t; he’s been quicker. I don’t Hamilton throwing his toys out of the pram after Button’s early success, as he’s had the best drives of the year so far and can rest on this fact. He’s got to know that if he keeps his pace up and keeps working hard, he’ll have his fair share of results, and I see Hamilton as the type of personality to have this attitude.

    The situation at Ferrari, on the other hand, has two drivers known to show their temper at times- one of which has been with the team for a long time, the other of which is the new boy about whom Ferrari are glowing publicly despite the fact the other one has given them so much. It really reminds me a lot of Prost-Mansell: you have a driver (Mansell) with an insecure personality who had won for Ferrari in a previous year when they had an inferior car, and then the team brings in a multi-world champion (Prost) who has some experience with intra-team politicking. It looks like Alonso has chosen the same tactics with Massa that Prost chose with Mansell, who really had his head done in.

    1. Enrico Fiore says:

      in agreement I would just add that this kind of behaviour is acceptable to the team so long as Alonso is perceived to be doing well.
      Dark clouds are looming over the Scuderia…….

      1. Pierce89 says:

        @E.F.: dark clouds… what a load of bull.More like the sun is shining on the Suderia and Fred.

    2. mcr says:

      The situation at ferrari is unstable because people is willing to make it unstable. Domenicalli, Alonso and Massa are wasting their time making comments to the press, the press and the public will listen just to what they want to listen. No matter how many times they deny problems, they will never be believed.
      Alonso overtook Massa. so what?
      Alonso overtaking Massa doesn’t explain his finishing in 9th. He was just slow.
      It looks more and more like we are reading “hello” magazine.

  12. Lee Gilbert says:

    Hungary 2007 part 2!

    1. mcr says:

      don’t forget Hamilton did his part then too.

  13. Sharp_Saw says:

    I wrote the following on another thread and will do so here as it is very pertinent for this topic.
    ———————————————-
    Actually, if one would look at his overtake of Massa in a positive way this is what we get:

    WCC points = 14
    ALO 12
    MAS 2

    Now had their been “team-orders” and Alonso didn’t overtake Massa and stayed behind him and finished in 10th place.

    WCC points = 3
    ALO 1
    MAS 2

    1. Andy says:

      Why do you assume Massa didn’t loose any positions due to him having to wait Alonso at the pits? It is impossible to argue how well Massa had finished without the incident. It is also impossible to say that Alonso had finished only at the 10th spot if he had not overtaken Massa. For all we know, maybe Massa had finished 5th and Alonso 7th for a total of 16 WCC points (as opposed to Alonso 4th, Massa 9th as it turned out to be)

      1. mcr says:

        in what positions did Alonso and Massa got to the track after their pit stop?

      2. mvi says:

        Went in Massa 11th, Alonso 12th
        Came out Alonso 11th, Massa 12th

      3. mcr says:

        So if Massa went back to the track immediately after Alonso, why didn’t he finished behind him?

      4. Dave c says:

        Mcr you are so right Massa’s pace is just too slow compared to Alonso and that he should of finished 5th or 6th at least it’s what the car deserves.

        It just proves that Hamilton only took the title in 2008 due to lack of competition, it’s frightening to imagine what Alonso could of done if he was with Ferrari in 08 driving the F2008, the result would of been a easy title win. Vettel is the future and Alonso along with Button is the real deal this year.

  14. Luca says:

    If Alonso had not made his move, he would not have come fourth. I do not think I am the only Ferrari fan who dreads seeing Massa lead Fernando out of a pit stop when the team is behind the eight-ball and a charge is needed.

    1. Pierce89 says:

      Agree 100%. My first allegiance is always the Scuderia, and I loved it becase I knew it gave the team the chance for a much better finish than if Massa led into the pits.

  15. John 85 says:

    It was such an opportunistic move! its the kind of thing schumacher would have pulled over his old team mates, such as rubens or irvine. When Alonso joined the team he spoke about winning multiple titles with Ferrari, and he seems intent on establishing himself at the top of the pack in the team, and have the team molded around him.
    James, do you think that Ferrari would like Massa to revert back to the role he played for ferrari back in 2006 over the course of this season, and if he doesnt manage it, then look at bringing somebody else (Kubica possibly) into the team for next year?

    1. TM says:

      I can’t see Kubica playing that role!

      1. John 85 says:

        Maybe not that role, but there is a history of Massa and Alonso not getting along, however Kubica and Alonso are known to be good friends and have a lot of respect for one another, so maybe it would be easier to manage those two drivers in the same team, both wanting to be number.

      2. Zobra Wambleska says:

        I agree, Kubica would not play that role and would make Alonso’s life a living hell.

    2. Crom says:

      Schumacher did pull such a move, but out on the track itself – pushing past Barrichello in the dying moments at Monaco some years ago – at which Rubens was mightily displeased. You gotta hand it to Schumacher for seeing (and seizing) the opportunity, and I’d have to say the same for Alonso. I think it’s a good thing it happened because Massa needed a wake up call.

  16. Morris Mao says:

    Ferrari:

    Some news outlets used some statements by Felipe Massa after the Chinese GP, which were somehow taken out of context: obviously someone is trying to create bad blood between the two drivers after Fernando Alonso’s overtaking manoeuvre of his teammate at the pit lane entrance on lap 19. Furthermore both drivers were very clear after the race: this episode won’t change anything at all regarding the relationship between the two. Felipe and Fernando are travelling back to Europe on the same flight, together with the Scuderia’s technicians.

    A spokesperson for the team from Maranello said on the phone from Shanghai: “What happened yesterday with Fernando overtaking Felipe was just an episode in a race and I should be treated as such. Our drivers know how to behave on the track and they have shown it also this time. Naturally both want to win and they both bring fighting spirit to the races, while respecting a very simple rule: the team’s well-being is of more importance than the individual’s well-being.”

  17. Ashley says:

    Why is this an issue? Massa clearly got too much wheelspin out of the hairpin and that allowed Alonso to get alongside. If they hadn’t of been pitting that lap Alonso would have overtaken Massa in the last corner as he had the inside. Would there have been a massive reaction to that?

    The only difference is that they did pit that lap and the move took place at the pit lane entry instead. That is still part of the race track up to the speed limit line(James can you confirm this?) i think. So Alonso had the inside and Massa had to yield exactly like Vettel had to yield when lewis did it earlier in the race.

    I understand the argument that Massa then had to stack up and it cost him a position to Barrichello but bad luck felipe as it was his wheelspin that made it happen.

    As a Ferrari fan i have no issue with what Alonso did and actually i admire his killer instinct to make the move. That is what seperates the best from the good for me, all the great champions are completely ruthless.

    I’m actually more concerned about Massa’s performances so far this season, Bahrain is typically a track he goes well at but Alonso was easily faster all weekend(except the mistake in Q3). Australia the gap was even bigger at around 0.7 seconds a lap. Malaysia it was about 0.5 seconds a lap even with Alonso having the downshift problem. Also after the overtake Alonso went from 10th to 4th in China and Massa only 12th to 9th. I feel this is the issue that should be raised.

    I have huge respect for Alonso and rate him as the joint best driver on the grid along with Hamilton but i did not expect this level of performance differential between him and Massa. Does the car not suit him or is it that he isn’t quite the same driver he was before the accident?

    1. Fran says:

      Very well noticed. As Ferrari is behind Red Bull for the time being Massa should not stop a fastest Alonso, as the last 4 races have shown us. If Ferrari wants to win the WDC it has to make a tough choice sooner rather than later. Of course, Alonso should avoid to be behing Massa in the future.

      I think it should be an agreement to say whoever is making the times should go ahead.

      Another rainy day, another day that Massa has to make a couple of mistakes. The one on pit lane made him very lucky, Hamilton 2007 anyone?

    2. GP says:

      Or is it that Michael wasn’t as good as we thought?

      1. Tommy K. says:

        Michael is not as good as we thought. His car flattered him a lot back in the day…

      2. James Allen says:

        I really don’t think you can say that

      3. Crom says:

        Complete rubbish. Dragging a dog of a car to a win, not once but 3 times, in 1996 – is the stuff of legend.

  18. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion says:

    Those who are claiming that Massa would have been faster in case that pass, please, remember than when he entered third time to change back to dry tyres, he was just behind Felipe, even with the drive through penalty. And he was stucked behind Massa while he changed his tyres, but Alonso made his way to get back behind Felipe again. So, for me, the difference in race pace is as clear as a diamond.

    I don’t know what you think, and I can’t predict if Massa will up his game (and I hope so), but, until now, the fastest of both driver is Alonso, IMO. Massa must face the fact that if he wants to be remembered as a great driver, he has to equal Alonso performance, the same way Hamilton did.

  19. Lee says:

    If the roles were reversed alonso would not behave as Massa.
    As a Massa fan i have had enough. He needs to be more aggressive with alonso, next time he will leave him no room.

    1. Enrico Fiore says:

      get even don’t get mad would be far better for Massa rather than “get mad behind closed doors and don’t get even” as seems to be the case

    2. Casey says:

      Good point about if roles reversed…

    3. Satish says:

      This is Alonso we’re talking about and not DC! Alonso doesn’t have the mentality of “all or nothing”. If Felipe had tried the move, Alonso would have tried to fight back but given up in the end. Remember the Melbourne race this year where Massa mad a mistake at the penultimate corner and Alonso had a go at him, but yielded to Massa at the end when it was clear that the move wouldn’t stick.

  20. Pierre says:

    Alonso was slowed behind Massa in both Australia and Malaysia, that’s also why he did this move. I personnaly don’t think Massa will match Alonso’s pace, and this move is as you said a very clear message.
    Ferrari might have a tricky position:
    - if they don’t renew Massa’s contract, it’s gonna be war between the two drivers and that will not help for both championships,
    - if they renew it, they’ll keep a relative peace inside the team, but if Massa does not improve, they won’t be satisfied and this will probably not allow Ferrari to fight for the constructor championship…
    Races untill end of July will be very important for Massa’s future.

  21. Richard Foster says:

    This move reminds me of a similar move (although not going in to the pits) that Schumacher made on Barrichello a few years ago at Monaco. It seems that some drivers just play by a slightly different interpretation of rules and politics.

    Alonso and Schumacher are great champions and it is at times like this that we see their brilliance. Good on you Alonso, the whole of the Tifosi and the team will now be under no illusion as to who the number one driver is.

    I wonder how long Massa will remain at Ferrari if Alonso can really stamp his authority on this season.

  22. Tor says:

    If Massa hadnt taken evasive action, it would have been 2 crashed Ferraris at the start of the pitlane.

    Was a foolish and greedy move by Alonso. Massa was on the grass to avoid Alonsos idiotic and selfish amateur move.

    Alonso says if it had been cars with other colors, no one would say anything…in fact, he would have gotten a stop and go penalty in that case.

    And why do others get a stop and go for jump starting and Alonso just a drive through?

    FerrarIA times again? Todt (ex Ferarri) influence showing…

    1. Sim says:

      Nice post, all these pro-Alonso posts are ridiculous. If Massa had done that to Singapore Alonso all hell would break loose.

      If I had been Massa, I would have kept my line, and watch cheat Alonso take out the entire Ferrari team and make him look like the donkey he is.

    2. Joe says:

      Alonso was right. Nobody is making a big stink of the Hamilton-Vettel pit entrance. Exactly the same situation.

      http://i42.tinypic.com/35bxzz5.gif

      1. iceman says:

        There is a slight difference in that Hamilton was slightly ahead of Vettel before entering the pit lane, whereas Alonso was behind Massa. So you could argue that Hamilton was just “leaving room” for Vettel, while Alonso was actually making an overtake.
        But yes, a very similar situation, in both cases you would have to assume that the stewards took the view that the white line on the pit lane entry means nothing. Which of course raises the question of why it’s even there.

    3. Satish says:

      Alonso’s right about “cars with other colors”. The same thing happened between Hamilton and Vettel, but that topic is not a raging fire like the Alonso-Massa incident.

      As for Todt’s influence, you have to remember that he’s not really a Ferrari man anymore, plus Alonso is the last person he would probably help, given their history.

      1. Doug says:

        I think the whole gist of this is that ‘THEY ARE TEAM MATES’. The way you treat an oposing teams driver doesn’t have the same ramifications at all.

      2. Jarz says:

        Vettel wasnt forced on the grass to avoid a collision, Massa had to. Alonsos move was pathetic and showed his lack of character yet again.

        If Massa didnt react the way he did (thinking about the team) Alonsos move would be marked the most stupid move of the decade in F1.

      3. rafa says:

        I simply don´t get the logic behind your claims: if it´s allowed to overtake in that part, why does this move bother you so much? Because it was done by a driver you don´t like? Shocking.

  23. It was bloody cheeky and very Alonsoesque. He’s so focussed, he’d push his own mother over to get what he wants

    1. Carl says:

      And so he should. He’s paid to win and win at all costs.

  24. Tom says:

    “Such a thing has never been seen before between two Ferrari drivers.”

    Villeneuve and Pironi?

    But I think Massa’s reaction (or lack of a public one) will be a measure of the man, just as it was the day he lost the championship to Hamilton.

    It’ll be hard work at times for Ferrari to keep their prize asset Alonso happy, but he’s a proven winner. Even if Renault seem to be doing better without him…

    1. James Allen says:

      That was a breakdown of a relationship. That’s happened before, also with Prost and Mansell. Pino’s point is about one driver putting a tight move on another. Pironi just broke an agreement with GV, there was nothing marginal or risky about the move, as I recall it.

  25. azac21 says:

    Yes,
    Alonso was ooportunistic to overtake in such extreme way. However, if he is to be the “team captain” or indeed world champion this year, he will need to be overtaking Massa in a more regular manner i.e. on the actual race track. Something I am still waiting/hoping to see.

    James,
    I dont understand though, why would he prefer Kubica over Massa as a team mate? It will be more difficult for him to assert his position as No. 1 in the team.

    1. Vik says:

      Out on track the relationship between the drivers is under the control of the pitwall and subject to intense scrutiny by the public. The tiny sliver of an opportunity was probably the only window Alonso had to get past Massa. Everyone had noticed that Alonso was getting stuck behind Massa in successive races. What was he supposed to do? If he behaved like a Spanish gent, then we’d all be saying that his duel with Hamilton had humbled him and that he is not the driver he once was. He could hardly complain to the team, because, well, it would be arrogant in the extreme and Alonso may well have learned something about team politics post-Hamilton. So, what’s the alternative? He took the decision himself, he didn’t wait for permission. A little uncouth, perhaps. But, I can’t see that he had any other choice. And, crucially, it demonstrates that FA is still a fierce, uncompromising and exceptional competitor.

  26. malcolm.strachan says:

    Alonso is totally right. It was an excellent pass. Massa was slow at that point, so why should Alonso lift/brake early? This isn’t a team sport where the drivers are there to help each other; if Alonso didn’t pass him, I think many would contend that retirement wouldn’t be far off.

  27. F1Outsider says:

    Felipe got caught sleeping. In fact it looked like he wasn’t really there the whole weekend. But in a way it shows how far he’s come along in the past few years. He could’ve very easily lost his cool the way he did in Malaysia a few years ago when Kimi passed him on pit strategy.

    On balance though, he’s doing well this year. It’s been his best start of season ever and he performed reasonably well at Melbourne, a track where he usually doesn’t. Barcelona will be a good test as he’s done very well there in the past. He usually gets better as the season builds up, so let’s see how he responds this year.

  28. Tom C says:

    Good read James. When I saw them both coming in the pits and Alonso ahead of Massa I was trying to figure out how that happened. Then they showed the replay and I was cheering Alonso. This is racing! Alonso has that killer instinct that makes a champion. Massa made a mistake and Alonso pounced on it. Good for him! As far as Massa goes I wouldn’t be too upset if Ferrari didn’t sign him again. Although, I will say I think he showed good character in not airing out his feelings to the media. We know he has to be steamed about it.

    1. Satish says:

      Huge respect indeed to Massa to keep it civil and cool in the public eye!

      1. Chris says:

        Absolutely! I have total respect for that. But you can bet your bottom dollar he’s seething at the underhandedness of his so called team mate. I hope he gets an opportunity to level that score when Alonso least needs it..

  29. Andy C says:

    It’s a difficult one this. If it wasn’t against the rules then it shouldn’t matter. But so often a small thing like this blows up into a huge thing.

    As a mclaren fan, I’d be more than happy for them to go up against each other. The more attention they put on each other the less they will share info and push Ferrari on.

    1. herowassenna says:

      Seeing as they don’t do any testing anymore, I don’t see how not sharing info will make any difference.
      Teams turn up with bits every weekend and try them out.
      Anyway, if Ferrari aren’t already focused on Alonso, they will be. Whatever Massa discovers, Alonso will know about it.

      1. Andy C says:

        In terms of setup they definitely share info.

        If one driver finds a good direction and the other one does not it is not uncommon to take someone elses baseline.

      2. Doug says:

        Sharing info is what gave Vettel pole…he moved towards Webber’s setup. ;-)

      3. TM says:

        Sharing information still matters because they still need to set up the cars for each race. It’s probably more important now than when mid-season testing was still around because now there is far less time to try all the variables.

        I agree Ferrari strictly speaking won’t allow one to withhold information from the other, however each side of the pit (in any team) is very competitive, not just the drivers, and so I think some info is always withheld. I think it’s Brundle who has touched on those little nuggets of info that the drivers will hold back telling to get one up on their team mates.

  30. Jason C says:

    Thanks James. Excellent post. I’m 100% behind Alonso on this: he’s a racing driver and should steal every advantage he can. No ‘after you, sir’ rubbish. I remember Barrichello being really annoyed with Schumi once when he passed him late on at Monaco coming out of the tunnel, when the general feeling was that they should not pass each other after the last stop. At the time, I thought it was a real whine: they’re racing drivers so they should be racing. If Kubica does end up as his team-mate, it will be interesting. I see him as quite a hard character.

  31. Eric says:

    We’ve seen drivers handed marginal stop-go penalties for trivial crossing of white lines on pit entry and exit in recent years. What Alonso did was incredibly risky and he would have known this. Ferrari would be short sighted to fully back Alonso at this stage of the season: another engine failure and he’s effectively out of the championship. I look forward to seeing Massa continue to frustrate Alonso.

    1. iceman says:

      Penalties for crossing the line on the pit exit, certainly. That’s clearly understood and even a marginal cutting of the line gets a penalty. But on the pit entry? I can’t recall anyone being penalised for that.

  32. Rodrigo says:

    I really think Massa has little to complain about this episode. Inside the team he could argue that things could have gone wrong, and a crash in the pitlane would look very stupid. But in reality, Massa will be angry at himself for his mistake in the previous corner, not at Alonso.

    And as Massa’s fan, I hope to see a more fighting driver from now on, the style we saw in 2007 and 2008…

  33. Paul Kirk says:

    Personally, I hope not too much is made of this incident, when racing drivers are racing they make many extremely quick decisions, and of course they don’t have a lot of time to weigh up the pros and cons of these decisions, so you’re naturally going to take advantage of the slightest slip or delay of the driver in front! It’s just a natural reaction, that’s what racing is all about! I must admit I’m more of a fan for Massa than Alonso, but I don’t have a problem with what happened, seeing it as an aceptable racing incident, and I’m sure Massa would have made the same decision in the reversed cercumstances! I bet Massa doesn’t blame Alonso for passing him, but he probably thinks “buggar, I wish I didn’t get wheelspin then!” I’m guessing it will be the MEDIA that blows it out of proportion!
    PK.

  34. Kent Paul says:

    Fair play to Ferrari for letting them race, but remember which one is faster and has brought Santander with him

    It’s great stuff. It’s what makes F1 such a compelling sport.

    It sure is!

    1. Jarz says:

      So why cant Alonso pass Massa on the racetrack then, while others can easily?

      He should do it like a man, on the track, not like a coward little girl at the entrance of a pitlane by pushing him off the track.

  35. moi says:

    If you ask me, alonso should have been the teamcaptain a long time ago! But I still doubt that he is the real teamcaptain now.
    Ferrari needs to sort things out asap. This chaos will not get you the title. Not alonso nor massa can win a title in this chaos.

  36. matt says:

    There was nothing wrong with alonso’s move.
    It was a little bit cheeky, yes, but that’s why I love him.

    However, I don’t think we will ever hear the real story.

    What I don’t understand is why alonso can’t overtake massa on the track. He is faster, but somehow always stays behind his teammate.

  37. wow says:

    Better behind closed doors than infront of the camera.

  38. Rob says:

    Alonso’s pass and Hamilton’s re-pass on Vettel are intriguing. Everyone on the boards are crying foul, saying passing off the track, reading the rulebook, bla, bla.
    I have a feeling that what was acceptable in China was probably discussed at the drivers’ meeting.
    If it wasn’t and I was Red Bull, I would be complaining.

    Also, regarding Massa. I’d be plenty p**sed if I were him. He had 2 options. Take his whole team out of the race, or take to the Gravel and watch Alonso change his tires.

    keep up the good work James. Love this site.

  39. Destro says:

    If Massa does moan behind closed doors then I would lose respect for him. I was glad that he came back and at time seemingly on pace with Fernando but the truth is his race pace have been terrible. It was only a matter of time until Fernando asserted himself which everyone knew was coming. What Massa needs to do is respond on the track and not behind closed doors. RACE Massa, RACE!!

    Forza Ferrari.

    1. Satish says:

      ANs what is wrong in Massa raising this issue behind closed doors? Isn’t it better for the entire incident to be sorted out amongst the team rather than let it simmer within Massa as a grudge?

      1. Destro says:

        What is Massa’s issue?? There’s no issue as far as I’m concerned and last time I checked both drivers are free to race each other. It was an aggressive move and that may be the issue. But what happened on that pit entrance was just racing. Fernando made Massa look bad(stupid even) and that’s what likely angers Massa the most. Massa can simmer within all he wants but it was just racing.

        Massa was like wounded fox and Fernando just went for the kill.

  40. GP says:

    James, you sure love to whip up your blog!!! It is going to get ugly in here…

  41. russ parkin says:

    there will e more fireworks than a fire works factory in firework season. i think massa will loose his drive over it but there will be some serious problems this season, just imagine the trouble if massa didnt yeild and 2 ferrari’s blocked the pit lane entrance. they cannot afford this kind of behaviour again. as a plus point it was imense viewing which next to safety is the main point surely?

  42. Nika Wattinen says:

    What a change in stewardship over the last couple of years..! It seems that having the likes of Jonny Herbert and Alex Wurz in the room has reminded the stewards that there is motor race going on!

    1. iceman says:

      Very true! I like the way the FIA is doing business under Todt so far. Shame they couldn’t have got rid of Max Mosley sooner.

  43. Phillip Sanders says:

    Great reading this James, like you say stories like this are what make f1 such a grat sport
    I’m backing Massa to be Polarised by this incident, a defining moment where he realises its a case of win at all cost, something that Alonso does instinctively does and Massa does not.
    Fingers crossed he returns the favour in Valencia

    1. Neil Barr says:

      Or even earlier in Barcelona!

  44. Daniel Hoyes says:

    Agreed! It’s actually been quite a few races Alonso has spent more than a few laps sitting on Massa’s gearbox – three races in a row I believe – in all off which Alonso looked quicker.

    What happened after this moment in the race on Sunday proved that Alonso is a much more talented driver. Massa has really ‘learnt’ how to drive an F1 car, but when it rain you need natural talent which he is sadly lacking in.

  45. JR says:

    Here’s confirmation — if we needed it — that Alonso is not a team player. I wonder, would either Hamilton or Button have behaved like this towards the other? I doubt it.

    Schumacher in his prime would never have behaved like this — he would have pre-instructed the team to ensure his team mate wasn’t in his way.

    1. Kara says:

      Yes, forget the Alonso fanatics [mod], this was a pathetic move with no concern for teammate or team. It is close to backstabbing.

      Massa had 2 choices, avoid being hit by Alonso and then miss 4 places or let Alonso take out the entire team.

      Selfish, greedy move.

      Massa showed character by choosing to avoid collision and think about the team. Alonso showed a lack of character in every way.

    2. Neil Barr says:

      I agree that the McLaren boys would have and will behave competitively but wisely, without the arrogance or disrespect that is Alonso’s hallmark.

      I agree that, like it or not, Schumacher would have exercised the privilege of his rank and prevented being slowed by his teammate/lackey for even a moment. Unentertaining, unsporting, yes, but it effectively maximizes one’s chances. Take from that what you will.

    3. mvi says:

      I think if the McLaren guys were running 7th and 8th and wanted to get to the front, certainly Hamilton wouldn’t hesitate to make an audacious move on Button, like he did on Vettel and Alonso on Massa. (Too bad the race ended before we could see Hamilton fighting with Button for the win.)

      Webber and Vettel would probably have done the same with respect to each other.

      I don’t get this stuff about lack of character, greed, backstabbing, etc, just because a driver made a legitimate move on a team-mate. They are supposed to race. That Massa was caught by surprise is not a bad lesson for his driving in the future.

  46. Mark V says:

    And so it begins. Will the gloves truly come off? Will Alonso try to bully his teammate or will Massa start to fight back?

    Two things are noteworthy: Massa has sometimes shown an achilles heel in wet conditions and three of the last four races were affected by rain. And despite what he says about his fitness, Felipe is still only four races into a comeback from a serious head injury that was less than a year ago. That he may be slower than usual is understandable as it sometimes takes top athletes in dangerous sports years to regain their form after a scary injury, if ever again.

    So if Massa’s pace picks up and he starts to seriously challenge Alonso, will Alonso start to “throw his toys out of the pram” (a funny saying) as is often said about him?

    1. Amritraj says:

      Ferrari will not wait for years for Massa to find his form. He has a fight on his hands and he needs to throw his punches now. Because if he doesn’t, Alonso will knock him out before he even notices it coming.

      1. Mark V says:

        Don’t forget, despite the fact Massa is still coming back during a rather chaotic season so far, by his own admission he has had the best start to a season ever, and he’s only 8 points behind Alonso.

        But if I am correct in reading what may be subtle hints between the lines of James’ post, this is less about Massa and his position on the team, and more about Alonso and his having to meet Ferrari’s huge expectations.

        So far he hasn’t exactly looked like Mike Tyson. Despite being a two time champion, to many he still hasn’t proven he can deliver the knockout punch to a teammate who is equal or close to his own skill.

  47. Chris says:

    This was exactly what I was hoping for when they signed Alonso. I would love for Massa to fight back on his special track in Turkey. Domenicali will have his hands full, and I don’t think he’s capable of managing this. Here’s to a very hot summer and lots of Ferrari explosions!

    1. Neil Barr says:

      Amen to that but were Kubica to replace Massa the fun would never end!

  48. jesee says:

    Well, let us put it this way…..suppose it was the other way round. Alonso is coming in and Massa makes a crazy move like that, that puts Alonso onto the grass. How would Alonso feel?
    1.A fellow driver making a dirty move on him like that and 2. Having to que after him in the pitlane. I would bet he wouldn’t be happy. Imagine this is 2007 and that was Hamilton who did that to him, he wouldn’t be happy neither do i expect Massa to be.

    I think Massa did the right thing not to make the fuss to the press because that is never the right way and i give him credit for that. However, there would be scores to be settled and i expect the relationship between the two will never be the same.

  49. Steven says:

    The truth is that the drivers that win WDCs are ruthless, they maximize every oportunity given to them, and they race with very little regards for rights or wrongs. Was it wrong for alonso to do that? Yes, it was. Was it outside of the rules, no it wasnt. It was an oportunity to get ahead, and he took it, so what if its his team mate? Out on the track they are all enemies. When drivers say they will do whats best fot the team is just BS, they will do whatever they need to win.

    Massa better toughen up if he wants to win the WDC, it wont be handed to him on a silver plater because he’s a nice guy, but it will be taken from him by more agressive, ruthless drivers.

    1. JR says:

      I don’t agree.

      There’s ruthlessness and there’s a sporting ruthlessness. Schumacher, Prost and Alonso are examples of the former; Senna, Mansell and Hamilton are examples of the latter.

      In a war where there are no rules you need the former; in motorsport where there are rules you need the latter.

      With regard to this Alonso/Massa and the Vettel/Hammilton pitlane ‘racing’ incidents, they need to make a rule that overtaking anywhere along the pitlane — from the point it leaves the track to the point it rejoins the track — is not allowed. To avoid the situation where two drivers continue side by side in the pitlane the driver nearest the garages (and furthest from the track) should have to drop back immediately.

  50. Euan says:

    One things for sure Alonso will have no regrets about what he did and im sure he’d do it again. It can be those sort of moves which can be the difference between championship contender and champion come the end of the season.

  51. BiggusJimmus says:

    It’s the kind of thing that can make winner. He had to do it, even though he knew he would end up looking like a nasty-pasty. They aren’t there to play. They’re there to compete, and Massa can’t at the moment.

  52. Jeremiah says:

    Fast Fred has the chops 4 sure.
    If I were him I would race for Chrysler in the U.S. when he is finished with F1. He would still be within the same company.

    James, it would be interesting for you to follow the thread of a phone call between McLaren and the Spaghetty Specials in the sense of : “wherever you want to go racing, why dont we go together?” — that could mean the U.S.
    Ron will need exposure in the U.S. to market their line of road cars, and Lou wants to support his brothers at Chrysler. A rivalry between the two giants, moven over to the U.S., would give a lot of exposure to both firms.
    What do you think ?
    Cheers

  53. CH1UNDA says:

    I just hope Massa does not become another Rubens Barichello. He needs to make himself felt: he needs to make a statement in a race very soon and he needs to wash a calculated amount of laundy in public. If he looses this PR battle he might as well walk out of Ferrari and replace Kubica at Renault next year.

    1. Freespeech says:

      Massa is in a very difficult position if he wants to stay at Ferrari though I think he’s on his way anyway, if not next year certainly the year after so maybe he should just go for it (he won’t though, it’s not in him as a bloke or a racer).
      Massa an Alonso he is not or ever will be and with us all having seen what a nasty side Alonso has to his make-up maybe this is not bad thing as when the racing’s over what’s left?

  54. DavidW says:

    Good on Alonso. He is a racing driver and the best one out there. Senna would have done the same thing because he had big balls like Alonso. Ferrari will recognise that the best driver should be team captain. McLaren failed to do so and lost the 07 title as a result.

    1. swayze says:

      So in 2007 which one would you make team captain Alonso or Hamilton ?

      Let me hazzard a guess at Alonso ?

      Despite Hamilton finishing technically above him in the WDC.

      1. Neil Barr says:

        In 1979 Gilles Villeneuve was faster than Jody Scheckter but he held position for the good of the team as opposed to his own interests. The result was Ferrari won the Constructor’s and Ferrari drivers finished 1-2 in the WDC.
        Contrast that model with the faster but presumably subordinate Hamilton’s lack of restraint in 2007. That resulted in McLaren losing the Constructor’s and finishing 2-3 in the WDC.
        “Competitive animals know no limits”? Yes, but effective managers enforce and are seen to enforce limits.

  55. Peter says:

    It’s disgraceful that Massa maybe pushed out of Ferrari in place of Alonso’s ‘mate’ Kubica. I can’t help thinking that Alonso’s influence on Ferrari is proving to have a negative effect on poor Massa.

    1. Andy C says:

      Indeed. I rate kubica very highly. If fernando has any sense he shouldn’t be encouraging him to Ferrari. He might just get a shock :-)

  56. Joe says:

    The gloves are off now?

    They have been off since the start of the season. Massa seems to think that Alonso is the only driver on the grid he needs to fight against. He can block him well, but lets everyone else smoke him.

    Ferrari gets nothing with Felipe finishing 9th and Alonso 10th. Alonso will respect the team by trying not to crash both cars, but China was the drop that spilled the cup. Alonso had enough.

  57. Fausto Cunha says:

    The drivers aren´t allowed to cross the white line on the exit off the pit-lane. Why are they allowed to cross the white line on the entry of the pit-lane?

    The lines are there for some reason!!or not?

    I´m glad that Felipe didn´t closed the door at Fernando because if we had an accident on that move things would be terrivel at Ferrari.

    As for the move itself, Fernando took a very big risk that might have triggered one of the most strange accidents on F1. It was a bold decision and he came out on top.

    I have to agree with P.K: “when racing drivers are racing they make many extremely quick decisions, and of course they don’t have a lot of time to weigh up the pros and cons of these decisions” that´s what Fernando did.

    I´m not an Alonso fan!

  58. Rafael says:

    Sorry to say, but Domenicalli really needs to man up and make a decision on which driver the team will support 100% and which one at just 99%. He seems to be the type of guy who’s afraid of making decisions

    It’s pretty clear – even if not everyone agrees – that Alonso has been the faster guy whatever the situation was (whether it be gearbox failure or opening lap chaos). Massa’s failure to capitalize further on his opportunistic maneuvers on his teammate has only held his team back.

    People will say that this is racing and so on, but David Coulthard himself has said that people often forget Formula 1 is still a team sport. Being no. 2 seems to have been Massa’s role from the start (even if Ferrari never admitted it since Raikkonen arrived).

    Let’s not delude ourselves that Massa is already an established “main eventer”, given how close he came to wining the title in ’08: If anything, he himself (and the team to some extent) dropped that championship because it was already being gifted to him by the FIA (Hamilton’s DQ in Belgium and crazy penalty for a racing incident at the start of the Japanese GP).

  59. M__E says:

    Alonso really is killing Massa so far. I was a fan of massa the last few years, he seemed to be getting his head together and the confidence and consistency to come close to a WC title. But since his crash, and also having a child, he seems to have lost an edge, Alonso is absolutely murdering him so far, in fact massa is probably impeding alonso’s race results, 3 times he has been caught behind massa and lost huge chunks of time and possible wins, actually the third he didnt let happen, he nailed him in the pit lane before history repeated itself! And look where he finished.. after 5 stops including a drive through – light years ahead of massa!!

    He really does have a habit of picking the car up and running with it – a class act indeed. All great drivers polarize opinion, usually because what some people see as strengths, others view it as a weakness or flaw in character rather than driving ability.

    I see the incident as

    Alonso: “hey come on felipe, you have pretty much cost me higher positions in the last couple of races, I was nice I sat behind you and literally towed the line, but your shooting ferrari in the foot, at the moment Im quicker and we need to maximise our points against the RB”

    even with a knackered car/gearbox he was killing massa, let them race yes (and have equal status) but if one driver is murdering the other in the race, let them through, doesnt matter which way around it is either!

    1. Roger Carballo AKA Architrion says:

      absolutely agree. You said it all. If it was Massa killing Alonso I would say every word you say. Point.

    2. Syed Hasan says:

      Absolutely beautiful. That’s the comment i was looking to reply. You said exactly what i wanted to say. And yes Fernando is destroying Massa every bit, it’s surprising to see how close or ahead Massa was to Raikkonen and then Fernando is light years ahead of Massa.

      And good analytical article chosen by James. I like such spicy articles and the analysis was lengthy and that’s something that interests me a lot.

  60. Hayden L. says:

    Not really going take sides on which one is right and which one is wrong, but hopefully this will be an incentive for Massa to push very hard match with Alonso.

  61. Neil Barr says:

    Yes, we can use our imagination to “suppose” Massa could be driven enough to monster such a move but it’s a bit of a stretch, isn’t it? As old Murray would say, “If my granny had wheels, she’d be a bus.”

  62. JohnBt says:

    Nothing new about this move, it will happen again and again in F1. It depends who you’re siding for. Alonso didn’t want to be behind after his jump start fault. Could have been the other way around too. The word competition can sometimes turn ugly, but that’s what we fans want. Deep down, we fans love smoke and fire, otherwise we label it “boring”. I prefer it this way like Lewis and Vettel in the pit. Dangerous moves creates excitement, and there were no injuries of any sought. This year’s stewarding is much better. And by the way, Alonso is the faster one in Ferrari, so what should team orders be?

    1. John Johnson says:

      My view is that moves like that, although on the face of it look daring and inspired, do more harm than good in the long run and create friction within a team environment.

      Alonso was faster yes, but he made a mistake and didn’t have the wherewithal to overtake Massa on the track, so forced his team mate off the track just so he didn’t have to queue behind him in the pits.

      How is that different to Hungary 2007? The team were prepared for Massa, but nando took what he thought was his by brute force.

      Alonso is quick, we all can see that. Is the package ultimately quicker than the Mclarensor the RBR’s? I’m not so sure. But he is also disruptive, selfish and egotistical. Good luck to ferrari with him – they’ll certainly need it.

      1. Amritraj says:

        “Alonso was faster yes, but he made a mistake and didn’t have the wherewithal to overtake Massa on the track”

        Alonso had just picked Barrichello and was closing in on Massa like a rocketship. And Alonso did overtake him on track. The left-hander for the pitlane is taken at racing speed. Something which even LH did to SV.

        Alonso is not your goody-goody driver. He is a lion and wants his share.

    2. Les says:

      Agree with everything apart from maybe the team orders thing, we don’t want that if we can help it, even if it is inevitable (the Massa ‘overtake’ on Kimi at the 2008 chinese GP anyone?)

      I like the situation in MacLaren, two good and evenly matched (for different reasons) drives who will take it out on the track and try and win, but without the danger of tripping each other up. But I would be lying if I said that I didn’t find the Alonso move exciting, and a show of how ruthless he is.

      I do think that Alonso was perhaps a little blase about the possibility of taking both Ferraris out of the race, but that’s for Ferrari to question, not the spectators. It spiced things up.

      Now, can we have an Alonso vs Hamilton ding dong please?

  63. Adam Tate says:

    There indeed do seem to be many people conspiring and wanting to trump up this issue and the possible problems associated with Alonso and Massa as team mates, but it’s all a load of bull.

    Alonso is a champion, the most complete driver on the grid as everyone seems to say.
    But let us not forget that barring Hamilton’s luck, Massa would be a champion as well.

    There was conflict in McLaren in 07′ because Hamilton is so aggressive and Alonso, like Schumacher before him, wants/needs the team to be centered around his status as top dog.

    Massa has had to deal with this forever, first with Schumacher, then partnered with Kimi he was underrated as well.

    Massa doesn’t need the ego trip, he isn’t harsh or demanding like Schumacher or Alonso, or distant and difficult like Kimi.

    Much like Kubica, he goes about his business quietly, in a dignified manner and goes out and wins races. Get’s two podiums in a row after nearly Dying last season!!!
    Ferrari would be foolish to let him go, or force him to be a number 2. If Kimi and he shared joint leader status, than he and Alonso can too.

    A man that was won 11 races for the Scuderia should get more respect than this.

    1. matt says:

      I think Ferrari have too much respect for Massa.

      Ow and Alonso never claimed nr 1 position, he doesn’t want to be the nr 2, that’s all.

      We all now at mc larren they wanted lewis to win.

      1. Really? says:

        Alonso whined like a little baby when Mclaren didn’t automatically make him no1 driver, and a rookie beat him, we all know that.

  64. Owen Li says:

    I agree with comment 7.
    I can’t catch why Charlie didn’t even make Lewis and Fernando under investigation after deliberately crossing the white line before entering the pit.

    1. les says:

      Let them race, it will only make it more interessting to watch

  65. Dale says:

    Alonso showed his nasty dirty side whilst at McLaren and now he’ll do the same at Ferrari.

    Before all the Alonso supporters start having a go just spent a minute and imagine what Alonso would be saying if it had been Massa who pushed Alonso etc ?

    Alonso champion material most certainly but a nice bloke, me thinks not!

    1. hahaa says:

      At least Alonso is a champion…

      1. Really? says:

        By driving what was later considered to be an illegal car. 2 times champions with an illegal car with illegal parts…amazing, lol.

    2. mcr says:

      And would you have reacted the same if Massa had done that? We all know that you will all be saying Alonso is a cry baby, he has begun to throw his toys out of the pram, he should drive and stop moaning….

      Alonso and the others drivers don’t need to be nice. This isn’t a popularity contest.

      Was the move illegal? Because if it wasn’t, I don’t know what we are doing here talking it over and over again.

  66. Pking007 says:

    A great man once said of Alonso, “Competitive animals know no limits.” Ten cents for quessing who that was.
    Now on a more serious note. There are so many things wrong about the move on Massa. were it not for Massa’s awareness a serious accident could have happened and possibly blocked the pit lane entry which might have [mod] the race for everyone else. My problem is not Alonso, my problem is the gutless FIA that are scared to act! How could he ovetake at the pitlane entry! since when is that allowed? Has the FIA thought about the inherent danger in turning the pitlane entrance into an overtaking spot? Jeez! We all understand about not dishing out punishment willy nilly but for the FIA not to act on this is really mind boggling!

    1. mvi says:

      Do you think the FIA should also have acted on Hamilton’s move on Vettel at the same spot?

      And, I’d say Ron Dennis was speaking as much about himself as about Alonso!

      1. pking007 says:

        Of course they should have acted on Hamilton as well as Alonso move! what? do you think my criticism of not overtaking at the pit lane entry applies only to Alonso? dude, com’on

  67. Andy T says:

    James – I have no problems with Alsonso’s overtake on Massa afterall that’s what we want to see, good hard but clean racing.
    What I would like to know is were Massa’s mechanics waiting in the pitbox with tyres for him?
    Or is it the same set of mechanics who change the tyres on both cars and if that’s the case was Alonso given Massa’s tyres?

  68. Paul Mc says:

    I thought the move was ok to be honest. Ill be interested to see any outcome of the Hamilton/Vettel incident. Lewis nearly dropped it on his pit exit and with surrounding mechanics and fuel rigs its incredibly dangerous to be racing in the pit lane.

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      There were no fuel rigs. None allowed this year, remember.

      1. Paul Mc says:

        Regardless it’s still dangerous

      2. murray says:

        Look at Lewis’ and Sebastion’s exit from the pits again: they weren’t racing. They’d been released at the same time, Lewis’ wheelspin put him alongside. He can’t see if there’s anyone behind Vettel, if he backs out, there’s a real risk of Vettel’s rear wheel taking his wing or alternatively shunting him to the right, into the Williams pit crew, thereafter into the air lines hanging into the other pits. He merged into the exit behind Vettel when it was safe to do so. Vettel wasn’t erratic. Responsible driving by both.

  69. MacGraw says:

    Alonso couldn’t pass Massa in Oz (matched cars, etc) so he clearly needed to grab any opportunity he could whilst racing in China.

    No point in Alonso plodding around after Massa when he fundamentally has more speed in him.

    It was a good move by Alonso. Cheeky, but good.

  70. Steph says:

    Adding fuel to the fire, James?

    1. James Allen says:

      Not at all. Do you imagine that racing drivers just accept this kind of thing without a care?

  71. Marc says:

    I really agree with your analysis! I’d also say that the drivers’ killer instincts are constantly been diluted and put under pressure by the teams, the FIA and the media. Refreshing to see the statement Alonso has made and the way in which you reported it.

  72. Sharp_Saw says:

    I don’t want to sound like an Alonso advocate, but the fact of the matter is he was on the inside and Massa could have slowed down to avoid going onto the gravel once Alonso had got on the curb on the inside of him. Vettel did the same when Hamilton overtook him on the same spot.

    I really don’t understand what’s the big deal about this maneuver.

  73. Paulo says:

    Does anyone think that Massa has lost some pace since his accident last year?

  74. Freespeech says:

    I wonder whether Kimi would have done the same thing? I don’t think he would.

    So what does this say about both Alonso, Massa and Ferrari?

    I hope there’s a big falling out as it’ll add another dimension to the season as I fear when the rain stops all the excitement on track will disappear, after all we have been spoilt with the last 3 great races haven’t we?

  75. Alistair Syme says:

    Like him or not, Alonso is the most complete driver on the grid at the moment. He’s nearly as talented behind the wheel as Hamilton, and handily exceeds him in racecraft. While I root for him to lose, I give him respect when he wins. Were it not for Lewis’ magnificent first season and Fred’s subsequent exile in a diminished Renault squad, he would be chasing after Schumacher’s records.

    1. John Johnson says:

      Err no, he is not the most complete driver on the grid, he makes too many mistakes. Jump starting the grid was beyond a school boy error, it was unforgiveable. When was the last time a driver jumped the start?

      The most complete driver on the grid is Jenson Button. He doesn’t have ultimate pace, but his racecraft is the best at the moment.

      Alonso is driving like a headless chicken. Massa only allows a driver to get the better of him once, ask Lewis.

  76. mara says:

    There are reports from Brasilian media which says that Massa talked, or rather shouted at Alonso after the race and told him that next time he wont change his line to avoid a collision Alonso was creating…..he used very colorful language.

    ….and so it begins.

  77. Thompson says:

    Alonso is bad news…..lol

    He’ll bring Ferrari to its knees, you watch.

  78. EM says:

    I’ve been reading these comments this week and getting increasingly annoyed. First I’d like to assume the stewards know the rules and how to interpret them better than a bunch of guys on a f1 website (myself included).

    Secondly what is mostly here is complaints about people’s least favourite drivers not getting a penalty for a risky bit of driving.

    When did people start clamouring for so many drivers to get penalties? When the FIA started handing them out en masse that’s when. At the time most people complained that it was ruining the actually racing spectacle and the FIA have backed off somewhat with a more balanced system of warnings and reprimands which seem to have been heeded, hence no weaving on Sunday in China.

    If we’d seen drivers avoid the moves people want penalised this weekend we would have seen a much more processional race without half the excitement.

    I’m all for arguments on whether Alonso is better than Hamilton or whether Massa should be number one at Ferrari but forget the penalties. And don’t use the ‘it’s dangerous’ argument, motor racing is dangerous.

    1. James says:

      Who said dangerous?

      It was greedy, selfish, not thinking about the team but himself….if Massa didnt react and avoided collision, Alonso would be responsible for 2 crashed Ferraris in the pitlane and people would call it one of the most pathetic moves in F1.

  79. Nicollers says:

    When you exit the pit lane, you have to stick within the white lines. The same rule should apply to the entrance too. If those Ferrari’s had crashed, it would have effectively closed the pit lane until their cars were cleared from the scene. With the rain falling even harder, this would have meant a lot of cars would have had to either slow down comepltely or spin off. Granted it wasn’t just the Ferraris that did it, but it’s only a matter of time before someone has a crash there.

  80. Michael S says:

    I think Massa knows he is now a #2… There is no way he would have let Kimi get away with that, but then again he and Kimi were equal, I think Alonso and Santander have a lot of power already at Ferrari…. Plus they have always won with a #1 driver at Ferrari so I assumed they would find their way back to that again.

  81. Rick J says:

    I would say this event has brought Massa to a crossroads: He can either say that’s it! get his head down, focus his energies and step up his game – which I think he has the ability to do. Or he can relinquish the path to greatness and follow in Barichello’s footsteps. Maybe the arrival of a child has rearranged his priorities.

    After reading most of the comments above I still think Alonso’s move was not acceptable – purely because this was a teammate and the consequencs for the whole team could have been severe. The wrong tires on a wet pit lane entrance and you make a decision that risks collision with your teammate??!?

    If Massa had held Alonso up in previous races – why did Alonso not find a way past him? If he couldn’t he should have no complaint about being behind – clearly he was lacking sufficient speed or skill to pass?

    Personally I think Alonso is a damned fool for alienating Massa. He may well need his help later in the season. Not a man who learns from past mistakes it seems.

  82. Tim says:

    The situation at Ferrari between Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa was always going to be a tricky one.

    To an extent, both drivers have something to prove in 2010. Alonso is returning to a top team for the first time since 2007 and wants to remind people how good he is. Massa is returning to F1 following his injury in Hungary last year and needs to show he’s still got what it takes. The Massa contract talks add another dimension. This is one of the dramatic undercurrents that will run all year, in one form or another.

    Massa will have been kicking himself when Alonso passed him on the first lap in Bahrain, allowing Alonso to benefit from Sebastian Vettel’s sparkplug problem. The first corner clash in Australia put Alonso behind Massa in the race, and Massa looked utterly determined to keep his team mate behind him (if no one else) at all costs. Alonso was careful with his words after the race, but he clearly felt he’d been faster than Massa. Malaysia saw Massa finish on top again, but Alonso – carrying a gearbox problem – put in the more impressive drive. Alonso found himself stuck behind Massa again in China and decisively made his way past into the pits.

    Emnity between Ferrari drivers is not exactly a novelty. Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello fell out on occasion, notably in Monaco 2005. Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost were never the greatest of friends when they were teamed at Ferrari in 1990, Prost accusing Mansell of nearly taking him out at the start in Portugal. The Gilles Villeneuve/Didier Pironi feud in 1982 is the most famous one, given that it arguably killed one of them. Niki Lauda was dismissively contemptuous of Carlos Reutemann in 1977 (Reporter: “Do you see Carlos as a rival or a team mate?”, Lauda: “Neither”).

    And perhaps that’s the nearest historical precedent to the Massa/Alonso situation. Returning from his near fatal crash at the Nurburgring in 1976, Lauda pulled out of the title deciding final race and left James Hunt to win the title. For 1977 Reutemann replaced the genial Clay Regazzoni alongside Lauda, who saw Reutemann as symbolic of Ferrari’s loss of faith in him. Lauda’s response was devastating – he won the title with two races to go and promptly left Ferrari before the end of the season.

    The pitlane pass was a raw deal for Felipe and he’ll be feeling somewhat bruised. But he’s doing himself few favours by being off the pace and holding his faster team mate back. He needs to get his head straight and recapture his previous form, fast.

  83. Rick J says:

    Also I think the stewards really need to jump over the whole business of racing into the pit lane. You can’t tell me that Vettel’s easing Hamilton over towards the air guns wasn’t directly connected to Hamilton’s move coming in. Cause and effect on an escalating scale.

  84. Ed says:

    I think Massa’s problem is that he is excellent on some circuits, and quite average on others. Luckily for him, a few of those are gone now, so it will be interesting to see how he goes on a few of the tracks that he’s done well at, such as Barcelona. I’m sure he would love to win on Alonso’s home soil.

    Also, considering Massa’s previous bad starts to the season, I think he has been a little too conservative, just hoping to score some good points.

    It will be interesting to see what happens over the course of the season – and its great that all the promise of the 2010 season is coming to fruition!

  85. nige says:

    lets keep this simple. Massa made the mistake by his own admission. Alonso captalised and took the inside line which gave him right of way for left hander into the pits. The problem occurred because massa knowing he had lost the advantage didn’t want to give it up and ended up in the gravel. 50 50 alls fair in love and war and formula 1.

  86. I echo some of the comments elsewhere in this thread; if it is not permissible to pass another driver outside of the white line on the pit lane exit, it should not be permissible to pass another driver outside of the white lines on the pit lane entry. The FIA needs to amend the regulations now, unless they want a pile-up at the pit lane entrance at a future race.
    I hope that Felipe Massa told Fernando that if he tries that again, he will hold his line and there will be a collision that will result in Fernando having to answer most of the awkward questions.
    As far as penalties are concerned…the only penalty that will impact a driver will be a suspension from one or more future races. Fines are chump change to most drivers, probation is merely a slap on the wrist, and either of those actions will send the signal that the FIA is not really serious about changing behaviour.

    1. neil murgatroyd says:

      a) the ‘don’t cross white lines’ rule is for the ones that separate the pit lane from the RACE TRACK, this was not the case in China
      ii) the problem with suspensions, grid drops etc. is that they affect race results and can appear to be officials interfering with racing in an impartial manner. Its only OK for clear infractions (jump start etc.), admittedly one mans clear infraction isn’t anothers…
      It’s much better to issue clarifications if a driver takes advantage of a grey area.

      I think:
      1)the overtake at the start of the pits was OK
      2)dicing in the pit side by side is somewhere between a reprimand, fine, or 5 places drop next grid
      3)Button slow down was marginal but OK, you can’t blame JB for behaviour farther down the grid, it isn’t a predictable event
      4)Your pessimism about driver behaviour is untested and IMO unfounded, LH says he won’t try the same ‘break the tow’ move again, no fine, no problem, no distortion of the results by stewards
      5)It is IMPOSSIBLE to define a set of rules which will govern all future behaviour in the way that is expected when the rules are set, see ash cloud rules 4 details

      1. 4). My pessimism is rooted in observation of driver behaviour over many years, and is corroborated by ex drivers. I remember many years ago after a pile-up at the start of a Grand Prix, an ex-driver said “this is bound to happen. Put 26 of the world’s best drivers on the grid, show them a red light, and commonsense goes out of the window”. Lewis Hamilton can say what he likes in interviews, talk is cheap, but when he is out on the track the insinctive competitor in him will be dominating (that is how he got to where he is right now), and I suspect that he will do what he fees he can get away with at the time.
        5) the objective is not to create a set of rules that covers absolutely everything. That’s partly why they have stewards, if the rules were totally clear you wouldn’t need stewards except as a rubber stamp for a verdict. The objective should be to look at the rules to ensure that safety is #1, and that you cannot render the circuit unusable if accidents occur in a race. if two drivers collide at the entrance to the pit lane, that is likely to result in a race stoppage. That is not a smart outcome.

  87. GektorS says:

    Midnight in the garden of good and evil.

    For right or wrong it seems all of you love Alonso. Everybody loves this kind of character when racing is all about

  88. Shame Alonso says:

    To put your own team mate down like that shows utmost disrespect both for the team and the team mate and is very very shortsighted.

    Alonso did a completely selfish act and he has messed up 3 of 4 starts already and had a DNF perhaps because he went after Button and it only shows his concern of being behind Massa.

    Alonso has so far shown no consistency and the rubbish about him being a complete driver – well… I’m still waiting to see that.

    It was a desperate move to cut in before Massa and at the same time he also put down the team who should be making the calls.

    How on earth could Massa have even thought of his team mate pulling a stunt like that?

    The atmosphere in Ferrari is already full of negativity and tension and that is something a team does not need to handle on top of the other pressure so Alonso did not do any favour to Ferrari or himself for that matter.

    How is he going to expect any help from Massa in the future should he need it?

    There was always respect between Massa and Kimi and both helped each other when it was necessary but I see Hungary 2007 happening again and if something doesn’t go the way Mr. Alonso wants then the Team Ferrari can go down the drain for all he cares.

    It is good to observe things from another perspective too:

    In 2007 the ugly fight was between Alonso and Hamilton.

    Now they both have strong team mates again and look how classy Hamilton acted when Button took the victory. It was genuine happiness for his team mate.

    Which makes me wonder…. was Hamilton at fault in 2007 or has he grown as a person?

    Alonso certainly hasn’t.

    No company does well if they have internal fights and tension, we’ve seen that too many times.

    Sure, Schumacher was driver number one but he earned it during the years and therefore he brought Ferrari both WCCs and WDCs. I don’t see that happening in Ferrari now since Alonso just comes into the team and starts taking his position in a rather ugly way. I saw the same happening in McLaren too in 2007.

    Hopefully Massa keeps his class since the Italian media has already condemned Alonso’s act and once he falls out of their popularity things go only one way.

    Interesting to see how Ferrari will deal with the situation. Will they keep the troublemaker or get a lapdog to ensure that the troublemaker stays calm. They have Fisichella and it might be a wise move to take him in Massa’s place. Not that it’s something admirable but it depends on how they want to solve it.

    Giving out empty press releases where they assure that things are okay are only to keep up the appearance and hide what is going on behind the doors.

    The brutal fact is though that the problem in itself is not solved and who knows, maybe things have already taken a turn from where there’s no turning back anymore?

    To pull a stunt like that on your team mate shows utmost disrespect for the team and the team mate!

    1. Neil Barr says:

      “Will they keep the troublemaker”? Let’s ask Santander if they’d like to supply another platinum parachute. I’m sure any image problems would blow over in no time.

  89. rachel says:

    Alonso is a dirty driver as proved by his move on Massa. I hope Felipe thrashes him this season, and Alonso leaves Ferrari like he did Mclaren in 2007. He brings nothing but aggro to the team.

  90. Olivier says:

    Massa must feel gutted by now. Alonso and Santander are slowly taking over his beloved Ferrari:

    1. Alonso made it clear to Schumacher that he was no longer welcome in the Ferrari kitchen. Schumacher is a great friend to Massa, they’re brothers to each other.

    2. Alonso took Massa (his team mate) and Ferrari by surprise as they were expecting Massa to pit, not Alonso. Massa was not defending his on track position. He was on his way to pit! Hence his surprise at Alonso’s move. He didn’t expect Alonso to be following him to the pit box!

    So far, Massa is having a great and consistent comeback after his freak accident. Massa lives and breaths Ferrari! Unlike Alonso, whose true dream team is … McLaren! But we all know that story, don’t we?

    1. don says:

      Get over it. F1 isn’t for wousies. You will never win a title if your only hope is to finish a race and in need of an engineer who tells you when to push the throttle.

    2. Shame Alonso says:

      One thing people also forget is that Massa was leading the championship and Alonso clearly showed his desperatation over that by pulling the selfish stunt on Massa and the team.

      The Italian media have estimated that Alonso gained about 6-7 seconds by cutting in front of Massa.

      People should think about that before stating that Massa is a mess and should concentrate on his own driving instead of on beating Alonso.

      To me it looks like it’s the other way around.

      1. Joe says:

        The problem is that Massa finished the race 48 seconds behind Alonso.

        48-6 = 42 -> still a huge gap Massa needs to close up, and real soon

  91. Enrico Fiore says:

    Massa wins in Barcelona!

    Now that would be the way to respond. I think it’s possible, or at least, 2nd to Vittel. Alonso would find that devastating. Fireworks aplenty….

  92. pupfiction says:

    Putting things into perspective, and no I’m not an Alonso fan so you know.

    Overtaking a team mate in the pit lane, well you know the consequences of such a move. Didn’t see that one coming. I don’t recall Massa blocking his team mate, and this makes me think of Hamilton stuck behind Sutil and having to surrender. That was racing. When the same Hamilton was waving in front of Petrov that was a bit iffy but in my very own books that was ok.

    I would be a fan by choice, and to be very honest I would rather choose a driver whose personality is likable. Or for nationalistic reasons, things like that. Like in football.

    Massa did not make a fuss of it. He had the elegance to say that he slipped, and I think that he was more concerned by the team when he said that.

    Flashback on the Hungarian Grand Prix 2007, and what happened in the McLaren pits..

  93. Neil says:

    Team Play is missing in the era of driver equality.

    Sure, it’s only fair a team tries not to favour one driver over another, if their strategy is to have equality.

    However, a little team-play from Massa would have increased Ferraris points haul dramatically this year – all he needs to do is let FA past, and try to keep up – chances are that he would take even more points himself

    I’m glad Massa isn’t airing a grievance over this. I don’t even know that he should have one, but if he should he should have it out with FA, or his engineer or his manager – all of them should tell him to pull up his socks and get some speed on!

  94. Robert Powers says:

    Piquet-2 titles,Mansell-0.I cannot see a team wasting resources.Give both drivers a chance at the championship as long as possible.Once one has a clear advantage later in the season,that’s different.Then it makes sense to back the leader in points.

    Felipe Massa has proved himself to be worthy of this treatment.He has the desire after having come so close,as well as the most difficult person to be judged against in terms of race pace.As with Button,I still think he may be able to make a respectable showing at least and not be relegated to strictly second status.And he should let his results speak for him as all drivers should.

  95. StefMeister says:

    On the Vettel/Hamilton pit entry.

    Hamilton WAS NOT passing Vettel, He was already ahead. It was Vettel who got a better exit out the hairpin that got alongside on the right but never got ahead & then they both pitted. Lewis did signal to Vettel that he was pitting but Vettel either didn’t see it or chose to ignore it & stayed alongside.

    Was similar with Massa/Alonso except Alonso was passing Massa. However the speed advantage Alonso had coming off the hairpin meant he would have been crazy not to try it.

  96. Ryan Eckford says:

    If Massa leaves Ferrari it won’t be to Renault. It will be to Sauber to replace de la Rosa in a Ferrari-Sauber relationship. Massa will mentor Kobayashi at Sauber, while back at Ferrari, Massa’s replacement won’t be Kubica. It will be the first driver that was announced into their new young driver development program, Jules Bianchi.

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