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Alonso fumes as title rival Hamilton gets away with it
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Alonso fumes as title rival Hamilton gets away with it
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 Jun 2010   |  10:08 pm GMT  |  596 comments

One of the features of the European Grand Prix was Fernando Alonso’s anger at the actions of Lewis Hamilton when he safety car was deployed and at the length of time it took for the stewards to deal with it.

Alonso has tonight accused the stewards of “manipulating” the race, while Ferrari said it was a “scandal”.

Alonso feels he's not on a level playing field (Photo: Ferrari)


On lap 9, the safety car was deployed to neutralise the field following Mark Webber’s heavy accident. Hamilton passed the safety car, just, after the second safety car line, in contravention of the rules. The timing of the safety car going out was odd as its objective is to pick up the leader and he had already gone through.

Alonso was right behind Hamilton in third place when it happened, but whereas the McLaren was able to drive around to the pits at his own pace, Alonso had to follow the safety car and lost time and ultimately, track positions too. .

Alonso radioed his team immediately to tell them that Hamilton had broken the rules. But it was not until lap 21 that it was announced that Hamilton was under investigation by the stewards and a further four laps until the penalty was judged. It was quite marginal, but the overhead shot is conclusive and the stewards will have been able to see that straight away, once they got around to looking at it.

In all that elapsed time, the field behind third placed Kamui Kobayashi had been left way behind Hamilton and so when he served the drive through penalty, he was able to rejoin ahead of the field and hold his second place. Had he observed the rules he would have finished eighth, in Alonso’s view.

Alonso is angry not just because he lost points – he could have been second or third today- but also because the championship battle is now becoming clearer and Hamilton is one of Alonso’s key title contenders, along with Vettel. And this was an occasion when Hamilton took an advantage of a misdemeanour to open up a larger lead over Alonso, now 29 points.

“It’s a shame, not for us because this is racing, but for all the fans who came here to watch a manipulated race,” Alonso said.

“We were running well, in third after a good start. Then the safety car came out, which wasn’t too good for us, but Hamilton overtook the safety car, something that I had never seen, overtaking the medical car with yellow flags. We were a metre off each other, and he finished second and I finished ninth.

“This race was to finish second. Then with the safety car I would have finished where I finished in ninth, and Hamilton in eighth. But here, when you do the normal thing, which is respecting the rules, you finish ninth, and the one who doesn’t respect them finishes second.”

This is the second race in a row where Alonso has been angry with the race control and stewards and felt that they did not act fairly towards him. He was livid straight after the race in Montreal with the way the traffic was allowed to slow him down at crucial moments, particularly Jarno Trulli on Alonso’s in lap to the pits. He had a lot to say privately about this in Montreal, but didn’t make a big noise about it in his media statements there.

This time he has had a big go publicly and the team is fully backing him up. It’s along the lines of his “I no longer consider this a sport” line at Monza in 2006 when he was very harshly treated by the stewards for blocking Massa in qualifying, when he was a Renault driver. Here Ferrari are on the receiving end.

Tonight the Ferrari website has called the European GP a “scandal” which damages the credibility of the sport,

“A scandal , that’s the opinion of so many fans and experts involved in the sport, who are all in agreement: there is no other way to describe what happened during the European Grand Prix. The way the race and the incidents during it were managed raise doubts that could see Formula 1 lose some credibility again, as it was seen around the world, ” said a post.

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596 Comments
  1. Patrick McLaughlin says:

    I dont the situation was managed well but it is not a scandal.

    I think Fernando may regret those comments in hindsight. It strikes me as a heat of a moment comment.
    It was born purely out of the frustration of watching a title rival, Hamilton, in an ever developing car extending his lead over Alonso in the standings.

    The length of time it took to reach the decision is puzzling though.
    Race Control has access to timing screens, GPS and multiple camera angles and more than likely a link to the safety car itself !

    James any thoughts as to why it took such a long period of time to reach a judgement ?

    Is this time period consistent with previous incidents requiring punishment during the race ?

    1. Michael P says:

      Because they wanted Hamilton to build a big enough lead over third place Kobayishi so that the penalty was only for show… or they are sleeping in race control? When an infraction happens in Hockey, Basketball or Soccer the referee blows the whistle and the penalty is handed out. We do not wait for the offending team to score a couple of more goals before the ref says okay the lead is big enough now lets give the other team a free kick. WAKE UP RACE CONTROL!!! With all that technology it should not take 25 F’en minutes to make up a decision on a drive through penalty! What BS!

      And another dumb FIA rule… when you get a drive through penalty why do you get three laps before you have to serve it. You get a penalty you should serve it immediately.

      The 9 or 10 drivers that were outside the delta on the SC outlap… = a 5 second penalty??? Why not just break every rule because the penalties are so pointless that the benefits of breaking rules far out weigh playing within them. F1 is losing a loyal fan in me… I was disgusted with today’s race.

      1. Peter Jones says:

        Yeah, the FIA aren’t called “McLaren International Assistance” for nothing! Oh, hold on a sec…

        Sometimes a decision / SC / penalty helps out a driver more than it should, sometimes it hinders more than it should. I just hope you were equally disgusted at all the times the odd penalties went in your favourite team’s direction and not just when you lost out.

      2. John Gibson says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the 3-lap rule was a way of ensuring that a driver could still make a refuelling stop if absolutely necessary prior to serving a penalty – i.e. if the drive-through were to be served immediately, then there was a potential risk that the driver in question might then run out of fuel on the next lap if the penalty was served at a particular moment in the race.

        Of course, now there is no refuelling, so there is no reason for it not to be served immediately.

      3. SteveK says:

        You have 3 laps to serve the penalty for fairly obvious logistical reasons.
        As you can’t work on the car when serving a penalty, if you were due to come in for tyres, or in previous seasons fuel, you would be able to still pit for the necessary work and then, subsequently, pit again to serve your penalty.
        Historically, Fiat have used the safety car periods to their advantage. This time they, abd Alonso, were unlucky. Tough, live with it!!

      4. Pionir says:

        Of course, Alsono could have just followed Lewis past the safety car if he was so sure Lewis was going to “get away with it”.

      5. Mario says:

        Well said!

        Hamilton is a master craftsman in rule braking as he gets away with it often. He hesitated for a moment and clearly made the decision to go whatever the consequences, that’s some fast thinking bold bravery that mocked the rule book to the satisfaction of all the rebel souls.

        Alonso has lost this one and it all happened right in front of him. No wonder he is seething.

      6. Jorge says:

        One only point: Races should not be decided by a SAFETY CARS.

        I don’t mind if races are decided on pitstops ’cause that is a team effort. But if F1 is the pinnacle of motor racing, races should NOT be decided by SAFETY CARS.

        That’s why, we had the NO PIT rule when SAFETY CAR was out a couple of years ago.

      7. Pionir says:

        Quite right and now there’s no chance for cars to run out of fuel I don’t see why it doesn’t return. They can always allow cars to stop but keep the lights red at the end of the pit lane for a couple of laps so only emergency stops will be made and avoid everyone piling in at the same time which seems quite dangerous in itself to me.

        The new race from the safety car line rule also seems daft top me. Races should be from/to the start/finish line.

      8. Realist says:

        Let’s be honest. McLaren has over the years been on the receiving end of some harsh penatlties and Ferrari has quite often been given preferential treatment. As we saw, it took longer for the race stewards to investigate the cars that were in infraction of the “delta lap” than it did for them to assess and penalize Lewis so let us not complain about the time frame. Also, the rule of completing your penalty within 3 laps has been in effect for every driver for a long time with no complaints so please let’s not whine now. But then again that seems to be what Fernando does best when he’s being beaten. Perhaps this is Ferrari once again trying to remind the governing bodies who they are and what has to happen. If the FIA and F1 play into this, then that, to me, is the bigger scandal.

      9. Hare says:

        @Michael You’re using football as an example? They don’t allow perfectly good goals!! :)

    2. CH1UNDA says:

      I think RC control have other duties to perform and would probably not like to get into the habit of being dictated to as to what to investigate or not. This system is broken but it is broken for everybody – in the past Ferrari have enjoyed insane favoritism from FIA – they should now know how other teams felt during that time.

      Alonso should drop this sense of entitlement where in his view the field is only level if he is winning – about the truly scandalous and fixed 2008 Singapore race, he was emphatic in 2009 that he won; well, so was Lewis emphatically second yesterday. When he was shouldering Massa off the pitlane earlier this year he revelled in his genius about how that was a mark of a champion – well so was Hamilton’s reading the situation as it presented itself to him yesterday.

      Alonso may not want to believe that Lewis can beat him unless he is favoured but for some, it is starting to look that he is mentally fragile and thoroughly rattled by Lewis Hamilton. That is not a weakness a Champion and a team of Ferrari’s profile should be giving away.

      1. Thalasa says:

        Yes, you’re right, Lewis is starting to read he is the only one who can break the rules. Surely from now onwards anyone passing the SC will be harshly punished. As always.

      2. "for sure" says:

        Well said. Alonso thought this was his year with his dream team. Well it’s not going to be, stop whining! As you say, he has often dispayed a sense of entitlement that is truly pathetic.

      3. John Gibson says:

        I think it is worth pointing out that Massa made similar comments in Ferrari’s press releases after the race. I don’t see anyone jumping down his throat on the usual F1 internet forums, though, which suggests that some fans react differentl when Alonso is involved compared with how they react when it is another driver. i.e. bias.

      4. TheNewNo2 says:

        I have to say, I hadn’t seen Massa’s comments, but I admit I am biased against Alonso – he seems to whine all the time if he’s not winning. Massa I like, and I take his complaints more seriously, but I don’t agree with them. I agree that Hamilton got away with it somewhat, but it was certainly a marginal call and I don’t see any attempt to fix the race here. It was a mistake, he got a penalty, case closed.

      5. A.K. says:

        But the fact remains that Hamilton was able to come second predominantly because he broke the rules.

      6. TheNewNo2 says:

        I agree he broke the rules, but it was by about 3 feet – this isn’t a case of being well behind the SC and barrelling past, he was alongside it. Heck, if he hadn’t slowed down at all when he saw it there’d be no confusion at all and all would be fine and dandy.

      7. Dale says:

        You are so right how Ferrari have in the past received insane favouritism from the FIA.
        It’s all a fuss about nothing, these things happen in al sports.

      8. mtb says:

        Isn’t it the stewards, as opposed to race control, who decide whether or not to investigate an issue? As far as I am aware, the stewards decide whether or not an incident warrants investigation – the wishes of competitors are irrelevant.

      9. Vinola says:

        Well said CH1UNDA- to further buttress your point about Alonso’s mental fragility, re- read the story with the names swapped- Hamilton for Alonso, McLaren in place of Ferrari. That will be an unlikely story, wouldn’t it?…and even less likely that our host will devote his entire blog piece on such a story; Hamilton/McLaren whingeing.

      10. Sujith says:

        Ferrari is just expressing its frustrations of what happened. If McLaren were in their shoes they would have went for an appeal against the FIA gloriously calling the stunt “The Need for Clarification” Ferrari has accepted the loss but is concerned about the credibility of the sport. F1 Fans like us should not allow these sort of things to happen in the future. As a fan’s point of view, the whole situation is a disgrace.

      11. Sara J. says:

        Alonso may not want to believe Lewis can beat him, but the double world champion had his chance when they were both in McLaren’s in 2007 and failed to prove himself. He has a short memory when it comes to those who have benefited from safety car incidents.

    3. Andy says:

      If you look at previous races you can see that it takes time before incidents are investigated and punishments handed out. This is always longer when the safety car is deployed, presumably because of all the work race control has to do whilst the SC out they cannot pass the incident on to the stewards to investigate until after.

      1. Stefanos says:

        Most comments here are either missing the point, which James makes very clearly, or just taking pot-shots at Alonso and Ferrari.

        It took race control an inordinate amount of time to investigate this incident and hand over a drive-through penalty to Hamiston. During this time, he was able to make enough of a gap between himself and Kobayashi, to exit ahead.

        So, the penalty was pointless. In fact, it wasn’t a “penalty” in any sense. Had it been given within a few laps post the incident, Hamilton would have exited much further back, and may not have scored any points at all, or would have struggled to score one or two at best.

        He completely got away with it. Is that fair?

        James, did race control offer any explanation as to why it took that long?

      2. Andy says:

        I wouldn’t say he completely got away with it, but I do understand what you mean.

        If he hadn’t have had the penalty he would have been challenging for the lead off Vettel. Whether or not he could have passed him is another matter but the penalty certainly stopped him taking the win.

      3. Stefanos says:

        Andy, he would never made a pass on Vettel, it was obvious later that Vettel was (obviously) saving his engine.

        Hamilton got away with it fully.

        It is irrelevant whether one agrees with the situation and the penalty. What matters is that a penalty was given, but it was pointless, simply because it took almost half an hour for it to be given. This is why Ferrari and Alonso are “fuming”. I do not believe that it is fair.

    4. **Paul** says:

      Disgraceful decision from the FIA yet again. To allow Hamilton 15 laps to get a lead up, then the manditory 3 laps to serve his penalty has allowed him to drop perhaps 12 seconds or so. Compare that with Alonso who was directly behind Lewis, he dropped to 10th(IIRC), any driver will know which is the far greater penalty on a circuit that’s very difficult to pass on. I disagree that Hamiltons punishment should have been to appear just in front of Alonso, Alonso didn’t cheat, ergo he should have ended up behind him.

      This has nothing to do with my stupid fellow countrymen backing Hamiltons cheating and everything to do with fairness and good sportsmanship. The punishment didn’t fit the crime, in fact Alonso would have done better to have overtaken the safety car as well, and what kind of precedent is that to set I ask?

      Whilst on the subject, the 5 second penalties. In my 25 years watching F1 I’ve never seen such a thing. In Monaco this year we saw Schumacher pull off a stunning overtake on Alonso under green flag conditions, yet the apparent minimum penalty he could be given was 25 seconds. So where I ask does 5 seconds come from?

      Frankly the FIA are even more farcical than they were during the pro-Ferrari years, and now it’s pro-Hamilton/Mclaren. All of which is at detriment to the sport. For the first time since Schumacher took out Hill in 94 I turned off the TV wondering if the sport is worth following at all, because it felt very manufactured yesterday, and although I’m not an Alonso fan I think he can rightly feel absolutely aggrieved by yesterdays actions.

      An awful day for F1.

      1. Jorge says:

        Totally agree with you.
        Races should be decided by car/driver/team performance not by breaking rules.
        Races should not be decided by SAFETY CARS, or car/driver/team breaking rules.

      2. nick f says:

        Hamilton didn’t “cheat”. He broke a rule because he had about 3 seconds to remeber a rule in a big rule book whilst driving an F1 car and talking to someone on the radio. It was just one of those weird things. Unfair to Alonso, but then life isn’t fair. Coincidence and luck / bad luck, often play a big part in success or failure.

      3. C says:

        I guess that in your view, Hamilton had a lot of trouble remembering that you can’t pass a safety car?!

        Next up, will he claim he couldn’t remember if refueling is illegal?

    5. Ravara Mike says:

      Alonso’s reaction to the safety car incident says much about his vulnerability – particularly in reference to Hamilton. He is a supremely talented driver, but had to be reminded by the team to focus on the race – not what was happening to Hamilton after the drive through penalty was served. Let the driving talk and don’t let the mouth run away with you!

      1. nick f says:

        To be fair to Alonso, a lot of drivers get emotional at times. Think about Lewis on the radio complaining in Australia, and imagine the emotion going on with Mark Webber after he lost so many places at the start. I’m sure that was a contributary factor in his crash.

    6. Nevsky says:

      What is a scandal, is Alonso’s charge of race manipulation. He has been the beneficiary of the most dangerous race fixing of recent times. His hypocrisy is breathtaking.

      There is a charge in football of “bringing the game into disrepute”.
      If ever there was a case for bringing such a charge by the FIA, it is now.

      1. KERS says:

        Your reasoning contains a fallacy: it’s called the “tu quoque argument” (try Googling it). That Alonso was beneficiary of race fixing is totally irrelevant to the merit of his charges.

      2. David C says:

        Your argument misses Nevsky’s point regarding Alonso’s hypocrisy, which was perfectly valid in my opinion.

    7. Muppet says:

      I hear what Ferrari are saying, and it sounds like this :

      “waaaaaaah waaah waaaaah, we’re not winning, we need 3 cars and more money and we should own F1, wwwaaaaaaaah”

      Of course, I’m not fluent in cry-baby, so I could be wrong

  2. CPR says:

    I think after Webber’s big crash they wanted the SC out ASAP. There was also a lot of debris on the track. To not put out the safety care would have been dangerous.

    Looks like one of those “dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t”” scenarios.

    Anyone know the timing between Webber’s crash, the SC being activated and it then leaving the pits?

    1. Galapago555 says:

      It’s not a problem of “when” the SC should have been deployed. It’s a problem of “how” and “when” Race Control managed Lewis’ action overtaking the SC – that, by the way, is potentially very dangerours, and that is the reason for it to be penalised.

    2. Kedar says:

      Also just to keep things fair, why cant they close the pit lane? I remember this was the case and they changed it to ensure that no car runs out of fuel. Since refuelling is no longer allowed why not simply close the pit lane? and a lap before the SC comes in let the rest of the field line up behind the leaders?

    3. Another James says:

      @ CPR.
      The SC came up on the screen 8 seconds after Webber hit the lotus, as he was throwing the wheel out of his car.
      3 seconds after that the lap counter ticked over, i.e. Vettel crossed the finish line.
      Hamilton was 3.7 seconds behind Vetel.
      On the previous lap it took approx 5 seconds from finish line to SC line.
      So Hamilton came round turn 1 to see the safety car and Doctors car in the pit lane exit about 10 seconds after they was ordered out. Even if the caption was a bit slow to come up and the SC was ordered 1 second after impact and Hamilton had slowed it was no more than 20 seconds.

      @Galapago555
      When Lewis passed the SC it was still in the pit lane exit, with the slower Doctors car following it. If he had stood on the brakes to go in behind it, that would have been more dangerous, and he got Penalised because he didn’t go flat out up to the SC line at the end of the pits.
      Every car except Vettel passed the SC to form up in a queue. The issue for Alonso was the lights on the SC allowing him to pass weren’t shown so his in-lap was 30 seconds slower than Hamilton and Vettel in front and Kubica, Button, Barichello etc behing.

    4. J says:

      Along with the issue of the SC I don’t think fans of the sport like seeing drivers blasting past the Medical car on it’s way to aid the driver at the scene.

      Luckily MW walked away from the crash but if it had been different we would want heavy penalties for all of the drivers driving at full race pace behind the SC and passing the Medical car on a yellow.

  3. A scandal requires purposeful actions. This was clearly a delayed steward decision and I cannot imagine them favoring Hamilton on purpose. Hamilton passing the SC just 3-4 feet after crossing the line probably was the reason for the stewards not paying too much attention to it. The penalty was appropriate, notice was given within 25 minutes of decision, so it was just a delayed call.
    Had Hamilton accelerated normally, he would have passed the SC well on time and Alonso might have been able to go through as well. Hamilton braked and then accelerated again, so he got his penalty because of his own hesitation to step on the throttle.

    1. Paul says:

      If you watch the footage the safety car briefly crosses the pit exit merge line which isn’t supposed to be crossed.

      I think this balked Hamilton who did not know if the safety car was going to continue pulling left onto the track proper. As it happened it drifted back into the pit exit lane.

      I think the root cause is bad driving of the safety car, if it had come out of the pit exit properly then I don’t think there would have been any confusion.

      Alonso is understandably upset by I think being angry about how Hamilton was penalised is being angry about the symptom rather than the problem which is both the design and execution of safety car procedures.

      1. Dave says:

        Give the Safety Car a drive through penalty! :-)

      2. David Ryan says:

        I don’t think blaming the safety car is really on – Lewis lifted off before that happened, and in any case he wouldn’t have been able to see the safety car doing that anyway (peripheral vision in an F1 car = zero). Hamilton’s right foot was the culprit here: ironically it’s one of the rare instances where keeping your foot down would be the correct course of action. Passing the safety car after the SC line was always going to end badly, and he got the penalty he deserved.

        What I don’t understand is where this 5-second penalty nonsense has come from. Lewis broke the SC rule and got a drive-through, which at Valencia is 20 seconds or thereabouts (possibly 25 with the lower pitlane speed but not sure). Nine other drivers break the SC rules and get 5-second penalties. There is no logic in that. Some of the rule breaking may have been marginal, I grant you, but so was Lewis overtaking the safety car. It almost feels like they were worried about the backlash from changing the results, which is frankly cowardly if that is the case. Rules are rules, and if the stewards aren’t willing to enforce them properly then they shouldn’t be performing that role.

        On the subject of the initial topic, while I can understand Alonso’s frustrations it all boils down to bad luck in the end. They could easily have pitted before the safety car was deployed and avoided this scenario – instead they took a gamble and lost out. I do support Ferrari among others but I feel this post-race complaining is becoming tiresome.

      3. Geoff Cee says:

        Just a reminder:
        The stewards investigated the group of “too fast behind the SC” drivers after the race was over, so it was clearly not possible to impose on them a drive-through penalty. Instead, they added 5 seconds to each penalised driver’s race time.
        Lewis was given a drive-through penalty during the race at a time when he was in a very strong position to challenge Vettel for the lead. Lewis’s drive-through added about 14 seconds to Vettel’s lead, effectively ending Lewis’s challenge. In my view this should be taken into account when assessing the real outcome of his drive-through penalty. I would speculate that it cost Lewis the race but we will never know.
        I expect to observe Alonso’s next jealousy-rant against Hamilton only with my usual sense of deja-vu.

      4. David Ryan says:

        Article 16.3 of the F1 Sporting Regulations states, in regard to drive-through penalties imposed after the race:

        “However, should either of the penalties under a) and b) above be imposed during the last five laps, or after the end of a race, Article 16.4b) below will not apply and 20 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time of the driver concerned”

        That quite clearly states that 20 seconds is the penalty to be applied in such circumstances. The stewards instead elected to deviate from the prescribed penalties in Article 16 in favour of utilising Article 18, but without giving any explanation as to why. Given that the FIA made a big deal about the stewards providing the justifications for their decision after races, this is a notable omission and for me does not inspire confidence in the reasoning behind it. My suspicion is that they did not want to rock the boat by drastically changing the results, and if so that is a concern.

        I readily agree that Alonso’s complaints are nothing new in regard to Hamilton, but to my mind that does not detract from what to my mind was poor decision-making by the stewards.

  4. Stuey says:

    James do you know if the incident was spotted straight away or was it Alonso complaining that highlighted it?

    The length of the time on the decision I think was too long which is why I’m interested to know. I know there is a lot going on, but the announcement about the investigation was a long time coming. Do the stewards take time to debate the type of penalty to be given as well as if the incident broke the rules?

    Hamilton should have waited – I know its a race but when the safety car is out it’s there for a reason – you don’t race it!

    Regarding the odd timing of the safety car, considering the nature of the accident, was it seen more of priority to get the medical car to the scene rather than pick up the leader? Although we had watched Webber get out the car, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

    I said in my other post on the race – maybe there needs to be a fixed penalty for certain transgressions – passing the safety car without being told it’s safe or passing under yellows should maybe be a stop-go and nothing else.

    1. vivek shetty says:

      It was Alonso’s complaining on the radio that brought that incident to light.

    2. Kieran says:

      Rather than concentrating on the punishment, maybe this serves to point out that the safety car rules are deeply flawed as Hamilton could legally have overtaken the safety car just a few yards before it crossed the line and slowed down enough so Alonso could not.

      Also the pit lane opened with Button being the first available to use it

      I think a change to the SC rules is required so that the pit lane only opens once the leaders approach the final section of the track under the safety car. Admittedly this rule still confer an advantage to Hamilton in this situation, as Hamilton would be able to pit without waiting for the oncoming SC traffic to pass whereas Alonso would be forced to wait at the pit exit, however, so would the rest of the field behind Alonso. Therefore Button would not have a bigger advantage than Alonso and it would all be more fair for those stuck behind the SC.

  5. the3robbers says:

    …Alonso is just a bad loser…he is always looking for someone else to blame…i’m getting tired of his whining.

    1. n3ptun3z says:

      I got tired a long time ago, his childishness is quite draining.

    2. CH1UNDA says:

      cry baby champion – LMAO listening to that whining on the radio yesterday

      1. vivek shetty says:

        LMAO indeed!!!!

    3. Steve Skooz says:

      Yea.. losing all respect for the guy here too.
      If anything is being ‘manipulated’ its the vote on this site. Judging by the comments, the number of yes votes is very surprising. Maybe its just there are a lot of ferrari and/or Alonso fans that read this blog, but which don’t post comments on it.

      Watching the rerun of the safety car exiting the pit lane onto the track, no one in their right mind would say Lewis deliberately passed it before the 2nd line. He slowed first.. if he hadn’t he’d have been gone down the road, and Alonso wouldn’t have made it anyway.

    4. russ says:

      man there a lot of crybabies!
      Ferrari are a joke.Cry about that.
      Hamilton is sure under alonsos skin!!

  6. Darren says:

    could Alonso and Ferrari stop moaning like babies and get on with it,

    1. Dorian says:

      Clever response mate

    2. Michael P says:

      Yeah Darren I’m 100% positive if Ferrari got away with such a transgression you would be calling out the FIA bias towards Ferrari.

    3. KERS says:

      There is a very clear undercurrent of chauvinistic cultural racism in all that. With all these one sided accusations of being crybabies whiners and so on. I see clearly a pattern. It goes:

      “Those Latinos are always whingeing. These crybabies are shameful. Ferrari is shameful”

      and then it goes

      “Ferrari are always bending the rules. Schumacher was a cheat. Todt was a frog eating bastard and a cheat. Brawn was.. ehr.. a British genius. They cars were illegal. Or maybe they were legal but they were fast only because the designer was British.”

      and then it goes

      “Those Latinos are too hot headed. To have two Latin drivers was a big mistake.”

      “They wanted to make Ferrari too Italian. Italians can’t organize and do not have work ethic. Toddt was French and was better (tough a cheat) but Domenicali is too weak.”

      and then it goes

      “Now that we speak of Italians. Liuzzi sucks and there is probably a British driver who is better than him ready to substitute him”

      and then it goes

      “Those people do not understand British concepts such as fairness and sportsmanship”

      and then it goes

      “Hamilton may play fast and loose, but he is the epitome of British bravery. He overtakes in typical British fashion. His critics are probaby racists, or sore losers, or greasy Italians or tortilla eaters”.

      Yes, the poster is a sore loser, a whingeing crybaby, whose inferior Mediterranean intellectual faculties, do not understand British universal values, of fairness, manliness, sportsmanship, presumption of innocence, common law, free trade, fish & chips.

      1. James Allen says:

        Alright that’s enough of that

      2. Mark says:

        Hey James, Don`t want to become a moan here but is there any way you can prevent foul language being used on this site, I understand you have replied to this and i also have no problem with people expressing there opinion but my young son(9) reads this site regularly and i would hate to have to stop him . Like i said i don`t want to be a moan but anything that can be done to stop it would be great. (Maybe just a notice of adult content) Any way thanks for the great stories you constantly bring to us every day and week ,keep up the good work!!

      3. James Allen says:

        I surprised, because we moderate out all bad language. Did we miss some? I’m sorry about that. Absolutely no way do we tolerate bad language here and if you’ve seen some then its a moderating error

      4. Muppet says:

        hahaha, I love F1.. not a dull moment this year :)

      5. Darren says:

        i find it difficult to understand why people are having a go at L.H it was not his fault , but the F.I.A , dont see many ferrari fan saying how unfair the illigal testing was.

      6. senna says:

        james don’t you think hamilton’s way of dealing with the issue in front of the cameras ” i don’t remember much of it” it’s an insult to intelligence. He, like all great drivers, can remember what the car did exactly, on all the turns of spa, and tell the engineer. But he forgets a significant event with the safety car. It doesn’t make him look good in my view.

      7. TheNewNo2 says:

        Very few people outside Britain seem to understand the greatness of fish and chips.

        I really don’t think there’s any racism here. Sure I support Hamilton, partly because he’s British, partly because I like his style. The fact is Alonso seems to whinge a bit, for good or bad, and while he’s a very good driver he doesn’t seem to have a good attitude to it all – witness his reaction to “Spygate” being to try and blackmail his employer. I agree that Hamilton shouldn’t have passed the safety car as it happened, as he was behind it, but the margin was 3 feet, which is nothing at speed.

        You are right, if the roles were reversed, I would probably be a bit pi**ed at Alonso, but I’d like to think I’d still appreciate that he did a good job to get a big enough gap that the penalty was not a big deal, and I’d like to further think that Hamilton and McLaren would take it on the chin and get on with the business of racing.

      8. swayze says:

        “Ferrari are always bending the rules. Schumacher was a cheat. Todt was a frog eating bastard”

        Is there any need for that type of language ?

        Moderaters please delete as needed This one must have sliped through the net

        On a side note James it seems you are a victim of your own sucsess as the site seems to have now attracted all the “fanboys” that plague so many other forums When i first started reading (and posting replies) it seemed to me as if we had some intelligent articulate posters Now i stick to reading your posts and leaving all the comments to others as i cannot be bothered to trawl through the rubbish to get to the affore mentioned posts. Shame really

      9. James Allen says:

        We are going to tighten up on that. Stick with it. Thanks for the feedback

      10. PeterF says:

        I think a lot can be seen about a person themselves from what they say about others. That is an incredible insight from such a simple statement!

  7. knoxploration says:

    I’m no fan of Alonso or Ferrari (and must admit I’m rather enjoying seeing their panties in a bunch), but there’s no question that the stewards yet again did a terrible job today.

    What, exactly, is the point of having rules if we don’t enforce them? And how can we feel we’re enforcing them, when we hand out penalties that don’t have any effect whatsoever?

    Of the eleven penalties handed out today, only two made even the slightest difference to those being penalized, and only one of those to a points-scoring position.

    Hamilton’s was by far the laxest of the group, because he scored a podium solely by ignoring the rules. There was no realistic chance of him standing on the podium had he not broken the rules. To say there’s no bite in a penalty that allows the driver to keep the gains he made by breaking the rules is the understatement of the century.

    It seems like common sense to me that if a rule is broken, the driver should be made to surrender any positions made since breaking the rule, plus (if applicable) a further punishment. For example:

    * In Monaco, Schumacher should’ve been made to hand the place back, but not further penalized since the wrong flags / lights were shown.

    * Today, Hamilton should’ve been made to drop back to the position directly in front of Alonso, and then given a further appropriate penalty (drive thru, grid drop, time added, cash, whatever) for having broken the rule himself.

    I’d also have to ask — why exactly do we allow drivers multiple laps after being told of their penalty before they have to serve it? This serves solely to allow them to either continue to adversely affect other drivers alongside whom they shouldn’t be racing, to consolidate their position (as Hamilton did today), or both. The rules should require that the penalty be served immediately that the pit entry is next reached, unless the car was within, say, two corners of the pit entry at the moment the penalty was ruled upon.

    As is, the rules are too frequently not enforced, the drivers seem to pay very little regard for them, and the rare penalties imposed differ wildly from race to race, and even from driver to driver for the same infraction.

    1. GP says:

      Very well said.

      I wouldn’t use the word scandal, the right word is incompetence. It’s amazing how often the FIA shoots itself in the foot.

    2. Gary says:

      … if Hamilton had been 1 or two yards (not much, is it?) further up the track, he would not have broken any rule, and the only reason he wasn’t was because he slowed down a bit when he first saw the safety car leaving the pit lane …

      How on earth is this such a blow to F1? How is it that a penalty incurred for a transgression, caused by slowing down when seeing the safety car, such a lax enforcement of the rules?

      Actually, Alonso was whining because Hamilton slowed down when he saw the safety car, and that made Alonso unable to get past it as well … it was only luck for Ferrari that Hamilton was that yard or two further up the track, or else there wouldn’t have been any penalty at all – although in the end it made no difference.

      Alonso thought that Hamilton deliberatly slowed down to try stay ahead of the safety car BUT leave Alonso stuck behind it, which may be a bit dirty, but (I think) not against the rules – Hamilton’s mistake was to drop behind the SC at the crucial moment that they crossed the SC line – a silly miscalculation of a yard or two, no great deal, but he rightly got penalised for it.

      I remember Monaco, with Ferrari saying that Schumacher’s overtake was dangerous, that the lights flags were red, blah blah blah – Ferrari seem unable to face reality when someone else is smarter than them and gets one over on them, and mouth off bigtime without worrying too much about facts getting in their way

      1. Steve Skooz says:

        Yea.. ditto that!

      2. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        Agreed, if Hamilton was two yards further up the track he wouldn’t have broken any rule. But he wasn’t. And he did.
        He should have been penalised and wasn’t, he was slightly inconvenienced nothing more. He was stopped from challenging for the lead, he wouldn’t have beaten Vettel anyway.
        The concern is that by overtaking the safety car he made a massive and illegal gain over the car behind. This was never corrected.

      3. PeterF says:

        Dudu he got a drive through penalty! He WAS penalised you are griping because the due penalty just happened to not cost him like you think it should! The FIA responded to Ferrari’s pointing out of an infingment, investigated it and handed Hamilton the due penalty!

        What do you want from the FIA here? To invent rules and punishments on the fly?

      4. Jorge says:

        If race control could have penalized Hamilton on a timely manner, Hamilton will have returned to the track probably after Button or even back to where Alonso was. But the fact that Hamilton was able to continue racing with no traffic, he was able to build a good advantage.
        Poor race management. Each race is getting worst. Houston, we have a BIG problem here.

      5. David C says:

        Where was the moral outrage when Webber received a drive-through penalty in the German GP last year and still ended up winning the race? The answer: there wasn’t any. In both cases an infraction was committed, a penalty was imposed, but the driver was able to prevail in spite of the circumstances. It seems to me that a mountain is being made of a molehill in this case, largely because of the enmity Alonso feels towards Hamilton, rather than on the actual facts of the case.

    3. Marybeth says:

      I suppose, if I were a Ferrari fan, that I might be protesting also.

    4. Another James says:

      I have to agree that the stewards and the rules come off looking bad. [Although as usual, Ferrari and Alonso look like whining children]. You’re right about Monaco too, I can’t remember a driver being punished for passing when he was being shown a green flag at the time.

      Ignore Hamilton for the moment. Alonso and Massa got stuck behind the safety car and it cost Alonso 30 seconds relative to Vettel in front and relative to Kubica, Button, Barrichelo etc behind. Had the SC let Alonso and Massa pass and drive to the pits at the delta time they would have made up the time taken in passing it by driving a bit closer to racing speed but still doing the sanctioned time.
      Hamilton almost passed the SC legally: the penalty was for not getting past before the the line, had he passed earlier it would have been OK.(Mad IMHO). So denying him having a chance to win, but not costing him second place isn’t an outrage.
      Ferrari could have flouted the rules and passed the safety car several corners later, taken the penalty and been better off. There’s something wrong there.

    5. TheHand says:

      My thoughts exacaly.

      What i am concerned about is the 5 second penalty for those drivers who went too fast on the SC lap. They gained more time than the penalty by ignoring safety rules. So next time the safety car comes out you can just hammer it on the lap and then get a penalty of 5 seconds (but you made up 10 seconds so who cares about a 5 seconds penalty). it sets a bad precedence…

      The 15 minutes to decide on a Hamiltons penalty was just plain amateur stuff.

      1. Peter Jones says:

        Those drivers were already near the end of the lap when the delta time came up – there was no realistic way they could have slowed down enough to meet the time without causing an even bigger danger on the circuit. That’s why they got a lenient penalty. I’m quite sure if they did a whole lap and still missed the delta, they would have been treated much more harshly.

    6. David says:

      Hamilton got a podium in part because he qualified well (3rd) and started well (into 2nd). It bears no comparison, for example, to Alonso’s win in Singapore 2008 where he benefitted enormously from the Safety Car Shuffle. Pure sour grapes for Alonso and Ferrari to suggest Hamilton’s 2nd was undeserved. As for the ‘misdemeanour,’ I think the penalty was bordering on unfair to Hamilton – it was marginal and he was evidently unsure whether he should drive on or slow down – and fractionally missed passing the line first because of this. To label this a ‘scandal’ is Ferrari throwing the sport into disrepute, not Hamilton. Ferrari dug for the penalty when the stewards/SC saw nothing, got the penalty they wanted and still complained afterwards. I seem to remember a whole load of Ferrari misdemeanours going by unpenalized or judged very later over previous years – including unsafe releases of Massa etc. And as for Alonso and scandals… is it really worth commenting?

    7. CH1UNDA says:

      Actually the problem is not Hamilton overtaking the SC but rather the SC not picking the leader when it came out – but even then if it had been done properly, some back marker would have got the benefit of being at the pit entry at just the right time like Button did and the whole thing would still have been unfair; but at least we would not have been subjected to Alonso’s moaning.

    8. Peter Jones says:

      If Hamilton had kept going at his normal speed, he would have cleanly got past the safety car before it entered the track. As it was, he hesitated and backed off slightly, and missed it by a small fraction. So realistically he should have always been in front of the SC and it’s only his own fault that he was in that situation at all.

      As it was though, he did break the rules and got penalised for it. I agree that it seemed a little weak, but considering the amount of time it took the stewards to find the aerial camera shot that showed just how close it was, it was totally unrealistic to expect the stewards to rewind and undo 20 laps of a race. OK they could have held him up for a minute to put him behind Alonso, but how would the stewards have corrected the fact that Alonso was too busy moaning about the penalty to bother overtaking Buemi, etc and score a decent amount of points? Or is that what you were hoping they would get from the multiple 5 second penalities for drivers not keeping to a delta that they couldn’t have realistically kept to in the last few hundred metres of track?

      Ferrari just need to accept that the Safety Car rules will always give some people a huge advantage compared to others just due to the luck of being at the right place at the right time. In China they got lucky twice, I’m sure next SC they’ll probably get lucky again. But this time they weren’t.

      1. rafa says:

        eeeer guys:

        hamilton Almost did it legally??!
        The safety car rules benefit some and not others?

        Let´s get something clear: Hamilton broke the rules, not almost complied with them, which is a figure of speech that may well equate to “yeah, that was not actually legal, but since I support Hamilton and think that Alonso is an unbearable whining puppet, I´ll ignore the ethics of it and enjoy that Fa got a good kick in the butt”. Actually that comes as a more honest and balanced commentary than these half baked ideas of things being “almost legal by a yard or two”.

      2. Richard says:

        At 100+ mph those 2 or three feet equate to a very small fraction of a second. OK he misjudged it by that fraction so the offence is not as great as if he had been yards behind and blatently overtook.

      3. Lockster says:

        “unbearable whining puppet”, Yep, that just about covers it… :)

      4. rafa says:

        and by the way: the yard or two that was lost to making it almost legal is probably, the distance Hamilton esteemed necessary to pass the SC and leave Alonso stuck behind: there´s not even a loop hole exploitation in there: hamilton broke the rules to gain an unfair advantage over Alonso, because if he had complied with the rules rather than “almost doing it”, one of two things would´ve happened: alonso racing Hamilton for second or for eighth. So alonso is right to whine. Next time one of you guys fill up your mouths with one of your “I just want to to see the best guys race each other in even conditions”, just remember that you overturn that statement when your allegiance to a particular driver so demands it.

      5. Peter Jones says:

        I’m not trying to argue that because it was close he deserved to get away with it – he definitely broke the rules and definitely deserved a penalty. I can even understand (and mostly agree with) the argument that the penalty he received was unfair considering the effect it had on him at the time.

        What I am arguing is that the situation wasn’t as much of a disadvantage to Alonso as he keeps making out.
        If he kept going, he would have got past the SC cleanly and Alonso would still have ended up stuck back in 8th. If he slotted in behind the SC, he would have still been in front of Alonso who would still have ended up stuck back in 8th.

        Either way Alonso wouldn’t have got close to the podium – he couldn’t even manage to overtake Buemi on track, so how did he expect to get past Hamilton? The thing that screwed him over was the timing of the SC, not anything that Hamilton did.

      6. Peter Jones says:

        And yes the safety car does benefit some drivers more than others, just by the nature of when it comes on track and picks up the leaders. That’s always been the case in the past and will always be the case in the future regardless of how often they change the SC rules. No one seems to be complaining about how Vettel also got an advantage because the safety car didn’t get out early enough.

        Same is true with any external conditions that affect the speed of the cars, such as rain – the cars closest to the pits can change onto wet tyres quicker and lose less time. It’s just one of those things that drivers and teams have to accept and hope the luck goes in their favour next time.

      7. bouke says:

        Even if Hamilton managed to be genius enough to ruin Ferrari’s race in such a short amount of time (because, face it, that is what MSC used to do to great effect, and Alonso apparently thought it up himself too!), even then, Alonso was wrong to complain for the entire race.

        This is a two-times WC, last few races we have seen him check with pits how the race was going for others while driving at speed, as an aside. And now he needs his engineer to remind him to focus on the race at least twice?

        Sorry, but that is not the way to win another WC, he should have got over it and let the team deal with it as best they could (and did!), focussing on getting past Buemi, and defending against Kobayashi for all he was worth: potentially a lot.

        Did you hear MSC moaning to his team about how bad it all was this race or in Canada? He did not get much out if it at all, but at least he kept going at it, even if their strategy ruined his potential 3rd place now two races in a row.

      8. TM says:

        The thing that makes this whole argument redundant (and any argument for OR against whether what he did was wrong or right) is that Hamilton did get a penalty; it was decided that he did a wrong thing and he was punished.

        I understand that some people are upset about the consequences (or claimed lack of them) of that penalty, but that is a different matter entirely. It doesn’t say in the rules that a penalty should be awarded based on how severely that punishment will play out based on the current position of every other driver on the track. If a precedent was set for doing that now then imagine how messy it’d get on future decisions.

        The relative consequences of penalties have always depended on other driver positions; sometimes it plays out worse than other times.

        The only real alternative I can think of is post-race penalties based on relegating an offender a certain number of positions (as even adding time on still makes consequences uncontrollable). I’m not saying I’m for that but it would be a viable alternative.

      9. "for sure" says:

        I think you have just demonstrated that Hamilton really is a genius.

        If you really believe he managed to compute all the variables, analyse the rulebook, decide on the best course of action, and execute it all in a millisecond so as to disadvantage Alonso, then all of the other drivers may as well give up now.

  8. Voyager says:

    How does this compare to the usual ‘Red Car’ advantage as seen in the Hamilton ‘penalty’ at Spa in 2008?

    1. Andy Gibson says:

      You have to go back 2 years to try to back up your Red Car conspiracy theory? Maybe have a think on that.

      1. Voyager says:

        Sorry, I didn’t know there was a statute of limitations on events that could be considered on the forum.

        I suppose I’ll have to forget that FIA stands for Ferrari International Assistance’ too.

      2. Andy Gibson says:

        I’d say it is always best to forget your delusions and bizarre conspiracy theories. :)

    2. Irish con says:

      Listen mate stop talking nonsence. Seriously do u a have a clue what ur talking about. Get on YouTube and watch susuka 2005 and watch out for the alonso and klien incident. If you do that you will see the same incident as kimi and Hamilton with the same decision being taken by the stewards and fia. Do Hamilton fans know f1 began before 2007 because it seems alot of them don’t know the rules. Please guys do ur research before talking nonsence

      1. Peter Freeman says:

        I have looked this race up and the best evidence I can find is a record that Alonso had to give back a place to Klien due to Alonso cutting the chicane. I have not found where Alonso was also handed a penalty for leaving the track, or for any other reason.

        If you could point us towards your reference so we can see how Alonso was penalised after giving the place back to Klien I would be most grateful as I would love to have a historical perspective on the penalty given to Hamilton for leaving the track in Spa 2008.

        Thanks

    3. CH1UNDA says:

      selective memory on the part of Ferrari fans

      1. Dorian says:

        @ Irish con: I hear you there mate. Most Hamilton fan boys do think that F1 started in 2007 and therefore have a particularly skewed and partisan opinion on every debate.

    4. mtb says:

      What evidence do you have to prove that Hamilton’s penalty was unjustified?

      Did McLaren produce a simulation demonstrating what would have happened had Hamilton stayed on the course, and use such a simulation to prove that he sacrificed the advantage that he gained?

      The hyperbole surrounding Hamilton’s Spa 2008 penalty was, and still is, far worse than anything that Ferrari/Alonso said yesterday.

      1. Voyager says:

        Who has said anything was ‘unjustified’?

      2. mtb says:

        Your use of the word penalty in inverted commas would normally imply that you are questioning the validity of the penalty.

        Perhaps you merely made a typographical error, or perhaps you had some other reason for doing so. If so, I offer my humblest of apologies for any misunderstanding.

    5. cjf says:

      Back in the Schumi/Brawn/Todd days Ferrari were clearly favoured, especially with some questionable technical interpretations eg. tyre warming ovens. However I have seen nothing to support the idea that this favouritism still exists with the “new” ferrari team. It’s laughable that Mclaren fans still cite Spa 2008 despite the fact that every current driver interviewed without exception agreed Hamilton deserved the penalty. I think the Mclaren victim mentality has contributed to the overly lenient stewards decisions this year (i’m almost surprised Hamilton didn’t escape with a reprimand for overtaking the SC).

      1. Peter Freeman says:

        I am astounded that you cite Spa 2008 as an example where Hamilton and McLaren were NOT unduly penalised.

        Hamilton was specifically penalised for leaving the track, NOT for gaining an unfair advantage or for breaking any other rule, all that had nothing to do with the actual penalty given on the day.

        Now I ask you to think of all the F1 races in the history of F1 and of the thousands of times cars have gone off the track tell me when another driver has been penalised for leaving the track? Can you find one other example? How come even on THAT DAY when multiple other drivers left the track was Hamilton the only drive to be penalised for this?

        That there has been no precedent before or incident since Spa 2008 of a driver being penalised for leaving the track indicates that it was indeed and extra-ordinary penalty!

        It it fair to use the rules to punish a driver for doing something that the rules do not cover but yet is considered wrong? It this not in fact abandoning the rules and simply making it up as you go along?

        Think about it, according to the rules it is impossible that Hamilton alone was punished for leaving the track that day. So why was he penalised?

  9. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion says:

    In fact, when Safety car was deployed he was lapping some good 0.3s faster than Hamilton, maybe because an easy tyre treatment of the Ferrari.
    23:53 when I voted, and the result at this moment shows there is little doubt about who is right this time, no matter what all the Hamfanboys want to say.

    1. Mark M says:

      You can insult all Hamilton fans , who in the main are probably just race fans , but you need to understand in racing sometimes you win sometimes you lose.

      Im sure Alonso would have been happy if hed sneaked by the safety car as did Hamilton.
      Hamiltons crime is that Alonso didnt also get away with it .
      Ferrari have had the right side of many decisions before.
      They should be decent anough to shut there traps and accept it as they cant change the result

      1. Dorian says:

        @ Mark M: I understand your comments but regarding Hamilton fans, well there are two types:

        1) Those that know F1 and appreciate his extreme talent as a racer – and
        2) Those who know nothing about F1 but do watch MTV and read celebrity magazines and surf Facebook – THINK they know about F1 and post on sites such as this.

        Unfortunately, I think the ratio is about 50/50!!

      2. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion says:

        And so you think that I’m on the Alonso’s side…. Come on. What happened those years with Ferrari was unfair and out of the bounds of the sport. And what is happening with Hamilton these days sounds pretty similar, isn’t it? Modifying the rules book each time this guy gains and unfair advantage is not the best way to raise Formula 1′s value, IMHO.

    2. Peter Jones says:

      So if Alonso was capable of going so quickly, why did he sit behind Buemi for such a long time? Surely it would have been in his best interest to overtake cars and be as close to the front as possible to take advantage of any potential penalty instead of sticking at the back and waiting for the stewards to fix things in his favour?

  10. Nash says:

    Interesting too see Alonso forgetting his benefiting (some say his “involvement”) in the biggest scandal in F1 manipulating a race outcome through a safety car period.

    1. Alberto Dietz says:

      Second biggest, dear Nash. Which wouldn’t have taken place had two super licences been most rightly withdrawn in the first, and biggest.

    2. Thalasa says:

      No proof of “involvement”, no need of “involvement”. He only needed to run as he usually does.

      1. Peter Freeman says:

        And stop VERY early to be on track with fuel and tyres BEFORE the crash…

      2. Thalasa says:

        Is it that what you understand by a proof? I hope you’re not a judge. That could be an indication in all case.
        Nonetheless, about that particular Brawn said that Schumacher has always followed team’s strategies without question (suggesting Alonso could have done the same).
        I’m sure following the incident Alonso thought: “Mm, that’s why.” He is a clever guy, but… what do you think he had to do then, stop running? He did not need to know anything for the plan to go ahead.
        So, no proof, no need.

      3. Peter Freeman says:

        Of course its not proof, it’s just a highly beneficial coincidence!

        Personally I think Alonso learnt a lot when he was at McLaren. In the early part of the 2007 there was a mole at Ferrari feeding McLaren inside information. Back then Alonso used to request specific information from the mole that he thought might be useful and then personally run tests in the McLaren simulator to try out his stolen info to see if it would benefit him. Later when he found that Hamilton was faster than he was he went to Ron Dennis and demanded that team orders (which were and are illegal) be applied in the team to force Hamilton to slow down so that he could win. When Dennis refused to do this, Alonso threatened to take his own emails, detailing his own theft and use of Ferrari information, to the FIA, so that McLaren would be penalised for having and using Ferrari information.

        But of course no matter all this, in Singapore there was no evidence that Alonso was involved… he simply won while the rest of the team took the fall… Alonso just ran, as usual.

  11. mtb says:

    ‘scandal’ is totally over the top – reminiscent of the twaddle that we were subjected to when Hamilton was given a penalty at Spa in 2008 – but the FIA certainly needs to reconsider the penalties in such siutations.

  12. Brogan says:

    It is explained here why it took Race Control so long to award the penalty.

    http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns22390.html

    ————————————————

    The delay in penalising Hamilton was because Whiting and the stewards wanted to be absolutely sure that a penalty was justified. Hamilton at first seemed to slow down when he saw the Safety Car out of the corner of his eye, then realised that the Safety Car line was further up the road and carried on. Whether he got there before the Safety Car or not, was a close call.

    Proving it was no simple matter. Race control has the use of a GPS system but there was no back-up timing loop at that point and so they had to find footage of the incident. That was initially from the wrong angle and was inconclusive and so they had to locate aerial footage. There was also the question of exactly where the timing transponders were on Hamilton’s car and the Safety Car respectively which, if you are talking about less than a car’s length, is significant. That all needed to be checked and speeds/distances ratified.

    1. Rik says:

      NASCAR & IRL have a camera at pit exit to determine these things. One would have thought that F1 was profitable enough for the FIA to manage to afford to have cameras specifically monitoring any line they rule to have such significance….

    2. Brace says:

      Yeah, right, grandprix.com. Not only they are biased heavily towards Hamilton, but they are trying hard to put down Alonso in each and every article they can.

      1. "for sure" says:

        Nice to see such a balanced response to a helpful and informative post.

    3. Nazdakka says:

      This isn’t a scandal, and the above explanation seems reasonable. Hamilton got the penalty, and there’s a long history of the F1 stewards taking a long time to come to decsions, sometimes to the detrement of justice. Claiming that there is a conspiracy based on them taking a while seems like paranoia.

      However, I do think that the time taken by the stewards to make decisions is something that needs to be looked at – there have been plenty of occasions when a timely (and binding) decision by the race official could have prevented a much bigger problem later on.

      Finally, the claim, implicit in Alonso’s words, that Hamilton intentionally broke the rules here seems improbable – if he hadn’t hesitated slightly on seeing the safety car he would have beaten it to the SC line and we wouldn’t be having this discussion. It was a close call. It’s not like Hamilton has a great history with the stewards to fall back on either.

    4. tristan says:

      that’s fine but it would have taken the stewards literally 5 seconds to calculate the effect on hamilton of a drive through penalty. that effect being NOTHING! just because it takes some time to get to the bottom of, doesn’t mean the rules weren’t broken and a penalty is required. a stop-go would have been much more fitting. the details laid out above are irrelevant.

      1. Phil says:

        Not quite – at the time that he was given the penalty if he had done the drive through immediately he likely would have ended up behind Kobyashi and Button.

        However, he put in one or two fast laps to pull ahead an extra second or two of Kobyashi and Button giving him the extra time he needed to do the drive through and and *only just* get out in front of them. But it was very close. If he hadn’t done that fast lap he could well have come out behind them.

    5. alex petrov says:

      Hamilton told that he didn’t notice Safety Car before it was already behind him. Hilarious liar.

      1. david says:

        Source?

    6. John Gibson says:

      I take anything on http://www.grandprix.com with a serious pinch of salt, given that it is written by a journalist who has repeatedly hown himself to be far from objective in the past concerning (a) Ferrari and (b) Fernando Alonso.

      1. James Allen says:

        Who is that, then?

      2. CH1UNDA says:

        That would be Joe Saward, a colleague you may have encountered in the pitlane on occasion?

      3. James Allen says:

        I don’t believe he is involved there any more..

      4. Rob E says:

        Per James’ reply, Joe Saward is definitely not involved with Grandprix.com these days.

    7. TM says:

      Thanks Brogan.

      I think it’s also worth remembering that as Brundle has said many times, when in the cockpit you can’t see in front of you properly, so that fact that he was so close to being over the line before the SC would suggest he really didn’t know the SC had passed it before he had.

      Not saying the fact he didn’t know means it’s not illegal or deserving of a penalty, but that rightly should reduce a sentence – even in a court of law if an offence is a mistake then the sentence is less than if on purpose.

  13. lam says:

    First; Spanish forums have yet again linked to this poll to rig it. That is why you got 700 votes in 10 minutes in favor of Alonso.

    What is manipulation is how Ferrari always wants to change the F1 rules, to suit them.

    And what is a scandal is Alonso acting like a little sulking girl, a total sore loser.

    He could not even pass Buemi for a long time. He should get over Hamilton, too obsessed with him…and concentrate at driving the damn car.

    1. joe says:

      knew something was fishy. they really are the scourge of decent f1 forums. one of the best things about this website was the decency shown in everyones comments. hope it stays that way.

      1. James Allen says:

        It will, don’t worry. We won’t allow the level to be taken down

    2. Irish con says:

      Get over mate and except your wrong. Ferrari got screwed. It’s as simple as that. That’s why people are voting in favour of the red team. Not because the half of Spain are on here but because anybody who knows what there talking about can see it just wasn’t justice today.

    3. SeanG says:

      That’s an insult to girls all around the world. He is acting like a 7 year old child.

    4. Euklides says:

      @1am:
      Can you show me just one Spanish forum that has linked to this site? I haven’t seen any and I have visited the most important, but I might be wrong because there are lots of small blogs out there.
      I hope this isn’t a void accusation trying to explain why the world doesn’t share your particular point of view.

      BTW Very good work, James. Best site on the net.

  14. Marco says:

    Do you really have to ask the question if it’s a scandal? Of course it is did you not watch the race? It’s an absolute fix!!!!!

    What a joke F1 has become.

    1. Andy C says:

      Read the entry above. There was good reason behind the delay.

      I think nothing does f1 more damage than Ferrari and their totally immature press comments recently.

      Yes, fine that you are angry, and complain, but accusing the stewards of deliberately manipulating the race is completely unnacceptable.

    2. Peter Freeman says:

      I take it you mean that the FIA contracted Webber to flip his car at the perfect moment so they could time the safety car to split Hamilton and Alonso as it came onto the track, all the while being in league with Kobayashi, starting him on hard tyres to keep him on track during the crash and hold the field up and away from Hamilton while they pretended to penalise Hamilton to make it all look right JUST to keep poor old Alonso from the front?

      Is that the fix you are talking about?

      Jolly decent of Webber to help them out like that…

  15. Max says:

    Here’s a question: Should F1 bring back the 2007-2008 rule for closing the pit lane when the Saftey Car is deployed? None of this fiasco would have happened if that rule had been in place. Hamilton would have had no reason to overtake the Safety Car, and the cars who sped back to the pits would have had no reason to do so.

    The closed pit lane rule was dropped because cars that had to pit for fuel on the lap the SC was deployed were forced to take a penalty or run out of fuel, but with the refueling ban that’s not a problem anymore.

    1. Tom C says:

      Agreed. Bring back that rule and none of this nonsense would have happened. Take as much chances for ridiculous calls out of the hands of the stewards as possible.

    2. Carlos Marques says:

      Come to think of it, that’s an excellent suggestion.

    3. Paul Miller says:

      exactly!! Totally 100% agree. It dose n’t matter who it benefited or hampered the outcome of the race should be played out on the track. The SC rules need to be changes and quickly.

      1. Chris says:

        Yes that is probably what should happen but.. It only dilutes the spectacle further.. As f1 fans we love to moan when the race is boring, processional etc and then when there is a shake up, we come up with every reason and way to stop it happening again!! Let them race as we have seen season after season it evens itself out eventually ie spa 2008 anyone? I love this sport haha

    4. Baz says:

      But what I don’t understand is why didn’t Alonso, and Hamilton for that matter, pit immediately instead of starting another lap? If they had done that then neither of them would have been caught up with the SC joining the circuit. Or have I missed something?

    5. iceman says:

      Seems like a good idea to me. The only shortcoming I can see is that if someone’s suffered a damaged front wing or a puncture, perhaps through no fault of their own, then they could be unjustly penalised for pitting. However that could easily be solved by saying that you can pit under the safety car but tyres can only be replaced in case of a puncture, and then only with the same type of tyre as was removed.

      1. Peter Freeman says:

        A good addition to an excellent suggestion.

        I think the spirit of the 2007-2008 pit lane rule could now work, especially with the exceptions you have suggested. It would mean that cars needing repair would still loose places like they would during the race, but the loss would be minimised in terms of time to the front runners as the field gets stacked up in SC conditions.

        All round sense in 2010 and 2011, I hope they institute this as soon as they can. As fair as possible racing is what every true fan should want to see!

  16. Andy says:

    I would not say it was a scandal but it is certainly something that needs to be investigated for the future.

    I would personally question the use and need of the safety car in F1 any more – once it’s deployed the drivers are given target times to stick to, so would it not be possible when there is a big incident like today’s that the drivers have to just stick to a given time rather than having to follow the safety car? This would mean that the safety car would not effect the out come of the race but at the same time slow the drivers to a safe speed whilst incidents are dealt with??

    1. tank says:

      Good point about the minimum lap times, but maybe the point of the safety car is to form a train. This way the marshals have a completely clear track for much of the time they have to spend actually milling about.

      Perhaps the lead car needs to bunch the pack as an amendment to that sort of scheme? Instead of Vettel and Hamilton rabbiting off to do their pit stops…

      1. Andy says:

        I wouldn’t say they rabbited off to the pits, after all they did not face penalties for going too fast after the SC was deployed, unlike many others on track.

      2. tank says:

        I thought it was fairly obvious that they got a pit stop and returned to the track in their original positions by being faster than the cars trapped behind the SC.

        I might be wrong, but I think delta t is only applicable if you are *behind* the SC.

      3. Andy says:

        I believe you’ll find the the delta is applicable from the time the SC is deployed – to stop people rabitting off to the pits.

  17. joe says:

    Only the Ferrari fans are calling this a scandal. not everything that goes against you is a scandal Fernando. Singapore 2008 was a scandal. this was an unfortunate event. people might have been more sympathetic to you guys if you had taken it straight. you win some, loose some, that is sport and life in general.

    1. Tom C says:

      I agree Joe. I’m a Fernando and Ferrari fan and as mad as I am I wouldn’t call this a scandal. However, I do disagree that it was just an unfortunate event. When the FIA is involved in such slow calls at almost every race (I know not every race) and they fail to change the system to make it faster and fairer to all participants its more than an unfortunate event.

    2. Jerry says:

      Don’t forget the stolen Ferrari dossier: emails show that Alsonso was only too happy to take full advantage of that scandal when he was at McLaren.

      In F1 you make your own luck, and the winner takes all. Shut up and take your own medicine like a man, Fernando. Lewis can.

      1. sixtenths says:

        “Alonso was only too happy to take full advantage of that scandal when he was at McLaren”

        Yes, and then publicly tried to blackmail them with it as a desperate last chance move when it became increasingly apparent that the Rookie Hamilton was fast enough to beat him. He blatantly, publicly, demanded preferential treatment against Hamilton. When he did not get it, he grassed them up to a very happy Max Moseley who then used it to continue his Vendetta against McLaren and Ron Dennis in particular. $100 Million fine if I remember. Alonso was the person who most deserved punishing, along with the handful of McLaren employees who were involved. Renault were then caught with a far larger amount of McLaren information, but Max Moseley was not after them, so they got off, scot free. Likewise with Alonso’s blatant collusion in the cheating with Crashgate.

        Luckily Mr Alonso, Teflonso, Lloronso, you cannot cheat Karma.

        How will his deranged rattled pssyche cope with seeing Lewis win the WDC in 2010 ? He will probably realise that Ferrari may well fail to catch them anytime soon, adding further to his humiliation, I think he will find an excuse to leave F1, he sounds as though he is looking for it already.

      2. Alberto Dietz says:

        sixtenths,
        Right on the nail.

      3. mtb says:

        “Renault were then caught with a far larger amount of McLaren information…”

        Sorry, but you are COMPLETELY WRONG there.

        Renault had less than ten McLaren drawings (seven or eight I believe). Furthermore, Renault cooperated fully on the matter, allowing a third party, agreed upon by McLaren, to audit its internal systems.

        Perhaps your comment was influenced by one of a number of articles that were based on a dossier produced by a former magazine editor, which was full of misinformation.

        And if you should remember McLaren initially escaped punishment from the FIA for merely having Ferrari data in its possession.

  18. Tom C says:

    Well count me in with Alonso! I’m angry about this!!! When are the stewards going to get with the rest of the racing world and give out real penalties and do it quickly. This nonsense of giving out penalties 20-30 laps after an incident or not until after the race MUST end! The stewards/FIA influence the races TOO MUCH! Had they looked at this right when it happened and given out a penalty within 4-5 laps the penalty would actually have been a penalty and not a farse that did nothing but SCREW Alonso and the fans!

    I love F1 but I am so fed up with the FIA and how they do/don’t give out penalties. As bad as NASCAR or IRL is in the States at least race control gives out penalties quickly. F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motor sports but its being relegated to being a joke series with this crap! And its not like it happens once in a while. Almost every race weekend something idiotic is being done that takes the races out of the RACERS hands and has it decided by the utterly incompetent stewards/FIA! Man I’m mad!

    James, PLEASE relate to anyone who can make a difference how maddening this is to the fans!

    1. Nick Hipkin says:

      F1 is far better than Nascar, there is literally no stewarding there at all! Just see last weekends race for all the drivers who punted others off with no punishment

    2. cjf says:

      Agree, so far this year we’ve seen a string of meaningless reprimands instead of actual penalties for clear rule breaks and again today people breaking the rules and making a net gain from it. I imagine drivers will increasingly be tempted to chance rule violations since the deterant isn’t really there.

    3. canuck says:

      I agree with you about NASCAR. at least we can know the result of a race when it finishes!
      I was watching the press conference today thinking that LH and BUTTON would be demoted 2 hours after.
      This race was an unfair joke to fans.
      The way races are called by stewards are an unfair joke to fans.
      I share your frustation.
      To move to a different point so we can keep things moving forward: Did anybody report why the pacecar didnt catch Vettel?
      It was deployed a long time after the accident and a mildly competent race steward would have gotten that right!
      That would have avoided creating this mess we are talking about.
      BTW: James, you mentioned in the past that FIA/FOTA look at your website to get some opinions from fans. do you think they would take note from this or not?

      1. James Allen says:

        Sure, they look at what the fans are saying

    4. Paul Miller says:

      The SC and the penalty situation seem to be quite unreasonable at the moment, and I stress not to individual drivers either way. There has to be a re-think of the rules so that fairer racing can take place when the unfortunate event of an incident occurring.

    5. Scuderia@China says:

      Totally agree. Start losing interest in the game and I am pretty sure I am not the only one.

    6. Peter Jones says:

      As Brogan said earlier, the reason why it took them so long to issue the penalty was because of the time it took to find a camera angle that showed definitively which car hit reached the pit lane exit first – both the track cameras and in car shots were inconclusive.

      I’d much rather they took time to get proof that the rules were broken instead of working off hunches. With the amount of team lawyers that seem to get involved at a drop of a hat, there’s no way they can do something just because Alonso says someone broke the rules. Well maybe they could back when Max ran the show and the FIA deserved their nickname, but not anymore.

  19. Calixto says:

    How can this whining [mod] who won a truly manipulated race in 2008 can cry out like this? are there no limits to his hypocrisy?

    1. bethov says:

      As a basic level basher you won’t believe this, but he had nothing to do with that issue, as it was clearly stated then by FIA. You don’t care about it, I know, but a remainder seem necessary, all the time, for unbiased people.

      Regards.

      1. Tommy K. says:

        Hey bethov, the FIA said that Alonso had nothing to do with 2008 Singapore crash. Do you really believe them?? After all, u say that they manipulate things in every way they can and want. Jesus, this whole FIA thing is a mess….

  20. Nick Hipkin says:

    Although he was unlucky its not exactly very clever of Alonso to say these things, especially as he won a race which was fixed less than two years ago and still considers it a fair victory.
    Think its more frustration on Ferrari’s part that their main upgrade for the summer has left them still behind Red Bull and after Silverstone probably Mclaren too

  21. Pablo says:

    I’m not sure Hamilton’s actions themselves were the scandal; I’m happy to put my faith in Occam’s razor (‘the simplest explanation is usually the correct one’) and believe that by being confused and hesitating he turned a legal chance to pass in to safety car in to a illegal pass of the safety car.

    It’s not even a new scandal, but the same old scandal of F1′s rules being an excessively complicated mess. It’s not unusual for drivers to lose little from a drive through. It’s completely usual for the stewards to take ages to hand out punishments. It’s completely usual for half the grid to be screwed by the safety car.

  22. Luke says:

    Seems like Alonso has some pent up anger with Hamilton. Hamilton had to make a split second descion, it must have been milliseconds as to whether he was past the safety car or not. I dont think he intentionally tried to cheat. Alonso dosent have great moral ground to stand on does he? His speed came from out in season testing which is banned (apparantley).

  23. Andy says:

    Although Ferrari and Alonso have a point (Lewis should’ve gotten his penalty sooner), it is still impossible to take their side. Ferrari have been in a position where their driver got a stop-and-go penalty, which did not affect the results at all (Schumacher in Silverstone ’98); had they protested then as vigorously as now they would have a leg to stand on. To imply that the race was “manipulated” is such a strong accusation that FIA should penalize Alonso and/or Ferrari for that. Maybe Alonso should remember that he was the greatest beneficiary of the only truly manipulated race in recent history.

    In the end, what happened to Lewis should not have influenced their own race in any way, and I have a feeling they are subconsciously trying to use this incident to hide their bad performance yet again.

    Quit crying and start racing!

  24. Pepe Paellas says:

    The procedure change when Hamilton infringes them. Always excusing to.

  25. Antonio says:

    Sorry for English not good but this posted on Spain sites to get vote Alonso and not Hamilton, so cheating vote.

    I bit shamed Alonso is Spanian like me and he talk like this. He must better drive like man, not talk like baby anymore. Put Spain ashame.

    Hamilton he get penalty for it, done. Why Alonso think he will be second, he don’t even have passed Torro Rosso? And Kobayasi humiliate him too? What second position he talk about?

  26. PaulL says:

    I’m trying to work out why Alonso was unable to make any places. I’m sure a bunch of haters will come out and say “he’s not Hamilton!”. I’m trying to work out if Alonso himself is not steady, canny, or brave enough or if that Ferrari engine is just too slow both in terms of torque and top end power? And of course the relative performance of the Ferrari F-duct vs other teams.

    1. CH1UNDA says:

      Kobayashi comes to mind for comparative performance

  27. Wallabee says:

    And the tests Calixto? Baby, it does not cost.

  28. JW1980 says:

    The biggest scandal was the performance of the safety car driver. How could they have got it so wrong with regards to picking up the leader?
    Alonso is also upset because I think he expected to dominate F1 this year like Schumacher did at Ferrari.
    It’s also likely that Hamilton may have finished second still anyway. He would have made better progress through the field than Alonso and the 5 second penalties would have helped as well.
    Finally, I think that Alonso is struggling to come to terms with the fact that he is no longer the best driver in F1. That accolade as difficult as it is to judge must surely belong to Hamilton now.

    1. RDN says:

      Haha, so it turns out that the problem was Ferrari’s and not Kimi’s. I miss Kimi at Ferrari, it was less bullshit and whining.

  29. Nesto says:

    The issue here is that, in this situation, if you respect the rules, you’re disadvantaged and if you break them, you may receive a penalty but ultimately you will benefit enormously. I remember a similar thing happened last year in qualifying when I think Buemi crashed in the final moments of Q2 and the Brawn cars ran through the yellow and got into Q3. Alonso, respecting the rules, had to back off and thus was knocked out.

    This has nothing to do with Hamilton specifically, if it was any other driver Alonso and Ferrari would still be digusted because their race was compromised. As Alonso states, he was a meter behind Hamilton and finished 9th. Of course, there is history with the 2 drivers and this being Alonso’s home race, he was under enormous pressure to deliver at a track where he hasn’t yet. Schumacher race was also destroyed when he had to sit at pit exit as the field circulated past, I didn’t understand that either.

    It was mishandled completely and IMO, saying that Alonso/Ferrari is “whinging” is ridiculous, they have a fair argument and had the pace to be on the podium. I don’t believe anyone did any passing other than Kobayashi on fresh softs vs. 50 laps old hards. Honestly, I’m unsure how Hamilton didn’t pass a sideways, locked up Vettel on the restart.

    Hamilton’s penalty fits the crime, IF handed out in a timely manner. But after so long, well, we all saw it had no effect as he lost no position. It should have been a stop and go frankly. The 5 second penalties ? What was the point ? Why issue penalties that have no real consequences ?? The stewards need to think more clearly about what is a proper penalty that will inflict some actual damage. Then again, at their current rate, they’d hand them out after a few races.

  30. Lopek says:

    I think scandal is the wrong word to be used and has deflected attention away from valid issues that Ferrari & Alonso have. Maybe their actual meaning is lost in translation somewhat?

    For me the incident threw up two significant issues that the FIA need to address.

    1) The outcome of races should not be affected by the luck of where you are when a safety car is deployed. It is time to close the pits when the safety car is deployed. Then get the leader behind the safety car, everyone lined up and closed up before opening the pits. Basically Nascar style safety cars.

    OK second cars of each team will have to queue, but that is the same for every team (and many do now anyway). Better that than some teams/drivers being massively disadvantaged by bad luck completely out of their control like Ferrari today.

    2) Penalties should penalise drivers. It’s that simple. Today’s (so called) penalties were a joke – may as well have done the equally useless “reprimands” that have become popular from the stewards this year.

    As far as Hamilton, I would like to believe there was no intention to cheat on his part, it was just a close call that he got wrong. But wrong he was, and if he had not got it wrong he would have been back with Alonso. His breaking of the rules gained him advantage and that is just wrong in any sport.

    Ferrari and Alonso should have focused their issues on the FIA’s (usual) incompetence rather than Hamilton/McLaren which just leads to calls of sour grapes etc.

    1. Gary says:

      I agree fully with you on almost everything, it should always be about the drivers and their driving, and all rules required should be changed to make it so. Allowing a SC to arbitrarily mess up the race for some drivers is ridiculous.

      But – as for Hamilton, if he had not got it wrong then he would have been fully legal! He didn’t have to break the rules to gain an advantage, he actually only broke them by fractionally slowing down – and if he hadn’t slowed he would have been fine.

      Alonso’s grief was because he thought he too could have got in front of the SC if Hamilton hadn’t slowed so much! Listen to his first radio message, he complains about Hamilton slowing down, NOT about overtaking the SC.

      But, I sometimes wonder if the FIA are actually deliberately causing some of this grief to ensure F1 is always in the news, to attract new followers, but relying on the pissed off knowledgable fans to still hang around. It gets a bit much sometimes, though, and I really feel pushed to the limit by their *apparent* stupidity.

  31. Nesto says:

    Sorry, I had to vent. Regarding the poll, is it a scandal ? NO. but yes, the SC rules need to be redone yet again. Basically, when an accident happens and the safety car is needed, no positions should be gained or lost, simple as that.

  32. Andy W says:

    What a load of gibberish. I just wonder how much pressure Ferrari put on the stewards to investigate this instead of everything else they had to consider in those 20 laps…

    9 cars speeding behind the safety car (which means they are going to have to check them all), the shunt between Kovi and Mark. All the data they needed to collect for all these incidents from race control (who had their own headaches to deal with, what with the whole managing the safety car the marshals, medical services, the media and all the rest.

    Nevermind this is hardly the behaviour or a world champion, I can understand and forgive his anger immediately post race but then to go on and on…. I just wonder how many feathers this outburst will ruffle not just in the FIA and the paddock but also in Ferrari.

    Yes they are used to courting controversy and they did have run ins with Max last season, but to kick up this stink with Todt as the new president and when the stewards did investigate and punish Lewis… that might be seen as a massive own goal. Ferrari aren’t used to drivers causing trouble off the track or in attacking and criticising the team the way Alonso already has this season.

    1. Komieko says:

      The best unbiased opinion I have read thus far. Let the record show that in 2008 Lewis broke no rule and was penalized 25 seconds, in the greatest race I have seen to date. The rule Lewis was repremanded for was adopted AFTER the race and instituted at the next race. Talk about retroactive punishment. Anyway, Lewis got over it and so should Alonso. Alonso is riding a fine line of critizing the officiating a little too much. After all, I was expecting 0.7 tenths of a second he claims to deliver with upgrades.

  33. penalty says:

    Alonso and Ferrari are perfectly right here and I agree with their emotional statement. The delay to give Hamilton a drive through penalty was really odd. Too odd actually to be incidental. The situation for the stewards was pretty clear, Hamilton broke a rule, but it took more than 14 laps for the stewards to judge it properly. It was another bad afternoon for FIA.

  34. Peter Hermann says:

    Interesting results to that poll so far, no?

    There was always some kind of manipulation in F1, this is nothing new. For many years, it was Ferrari benefitting from it, but two wrongs don’t make it right.

    Something has to be done. I say: out with Whiting. Maybe you should set up another poll for that. I bet it would get 90%.

  35. Allan says:

    Yeah! This has to be the worst scandal since Singapore 2008!

    Oops, did I say that out loud?

  36. Lee says:

    F1 has lost a fan today i will never watch this farce of a sport again. The only thing that annoys me more is all the hamilton nuthuggers.

  37. Rik says:

    There are two separate issues:

    1) the various infringements from Hamilton, Button, et al. These were all technicalities, none of which directly affected Alonso’s race (or safety). Complaining that these drivers were not more severely punished seems somewhat hypocritical given both Ferrari & Alonso’s past records.

    2) the actual deployment of the SC and the way it impeded Alonso & Massa (and arguably should have impeded Hamilton) relative to the other drivers. This is the key aspect. The current SC rules are supposed to stop such arbitrary advantages/disadvantages. It didn’t work and two drivers got screwed. If the SC had waved past Alonso & Massa they would have been able to make their pit stops & exit in the same positions relative to the other drivers. That would have been fair and we would have had a great race to watch.

  38. Feb says:

    Well I read in a non-english source that there is no such rule about passing SC, clearly stated in the regulations and correct me if I’m wrong James, but I haven’t seen any otherwise statement from you either.

    So what’s this fuss about? Ferrari is being just ridiculous by calling it a scandal and showing “the opinion of so many fans” as a support to their claim.

  39. George says:

    I had to vote NO because I think ‘scandal’ is overstating it. Having sat through the BBC explaining how race control have instant access to the GPS systems on each car I do think they were rather lax in their reaction to Lewis’s transgression though and he did get away rather lightly.

    I will say though that I used to be an admirer of Fernando – I loved his ‘take no prisoners’ approach to racing and his genuine enthusiasm for the sport. I’m starting to wonder if his ‘wilderness years’ at Renault have taken their toll though. He doesn’t seem to be enjoying his racing and seems to throw his toys out of the pram at a moments notice. He needs to grow up a bit and leave the tantrums to Vettel.

    1. George says:

      Ok, I’ve just read the link in comment #12 about the delay in the decision and I’m somewhat more forgiving towards the stewards.

  40. Ted Rolfkopter says:

    Autosport is reporting a 20 second penalty on Timo Glock for not heeding blue flags, so perhaps Ferrari’s complaint about badly behaving “new team” traffic was indeed received by the governing body.

    This second case of rules infractions regarding the safety car is interesting, in light of Monaco and now in Valencia (Monaco Jr./Lite?). Both have resulted in the call for rule ‘clarifications’; it makes one wonder what the next rule ambiguity will be, and the subsequent penalties, outcry and demand for disambiguation. Perhaps the relevant sporting regulation is 40.6, which states…

    “40.6 The safety car will join the track with its orange lights illuminated and will do so regardless of where the race leader is.” Were McLaren / Hamilton in confusion as to how to form up, behind the leader or the safety car, supposing that the expectation was for the safety car to pick up the leader? Hamilton’s apparent hesitation approaching turn two as the safety car came out might suggest this.

    All very confusing — quite likely for the stewards as well, who, if in their attempt to penalize, failed to consult timing and scoring to see if it would have any appreciable effect. A third GP in a row leaving lots to discuss!

  41. Sebee says:

    A few more against Alonso like this and maybe I’ll consider us even for that stunt he knew nothing about in 2008.

  42. adam says:

    The safety just missed collecting the leader but why should it’s deployment be delayed just because team red say so ?
    Perhaps it should have waved the field through and collected Vettel on the following lap.

  43. monktonnik says:

    I don’t think it was managed particularly poorly. Bearing in mind the severity of the accident that had just happened they were probably occupied with other things.

    I think that Alonso’s actions are a bit cynical actually, particularly the implication that he was telling his team that “the only thing you have to do for the rest of the race is to push race control” (or words very close to that). It reminds me of footballers who immediately start making the yellow card gestures to the referee when a team mate has been fouled.

    What I find distasteful is that Alonso is effectively saying even though I wasn’t impaired I didn’t get away with it, so I am going to call the sport into disrepute. The fact is that Hamilton was penalised. Speaking as a Button fan I would have loved to see him lose track position, but he didn’t and that is that.

    Ferrari have had the benefit of the stewards not looking at incidents until after the race or delaying decisions several times in recent years. As a team I think that they are testing the FIA.

    Picking up on Calixto’s point. The last time this happened was Nico Rosberg in Singapore 2008. The stewards took 20 mins or so to make a decision on his penalty and that effectively neutralised any loss of track position iirc.

    I don’t remember Alonso’s outrage being on display then. Perhaps he had something else on his mind.

  44. Rob Silver says:

    I’m far from a Hamilton fan, if anything I’ve been a follower of Williams for a very long time, but I don’t see how the punishment could have been much quicker AND correct at the same time.

    There was no vast conspiracy to cause this mess, and Alonso needs to understand that. The behavior of Alonso and Ferrari in this matter, frankly, is such that they themselves should be brought up on charges for the appalling way they have gone about attacking the sport’s governing body in a thoroughly unprofessional way, when official protests would more likely actually accomplish something. As it is, they come across as crybabies who threw their toys out of the cart because the supposed “most important team” in F1 didn’t get their way for once.

    The punishment fit the crime and the punishment came in such a timeframe as to still be applicable to the race. I’m sorry but those are the facts. Crying about the problem won’t make it change or go away.

  45. walter says:

    The main point is: Was Hamilton really penalized for braking the rules?

    The answer is no. It is unfair whatever people say

    1. PeterF says:

      He was given a drive through penalty! Was it his fault the Stewards had to contend with a crash, 5 cars with time/safety car penalties as well as his borderline infringement which they themselves found hard to spot except from the air?

      You are just sour because his due penalty just happened to no drop him from second, and you disregard that it DID cost him a possible win!

      Unless you think the FIA are responsible for Kobashi not pitting then how is it unfair? What should the FIA do, invent punishment on the run?

  46. sixtenths says:

    He was ranting and raving ! After all the smug confidence earlier in the season that Santander had bought him a title challenging car, the realisation is dawning that Lewis is going to keep on beating him, Jenson in Montreal and now Kobayashi passing him too in this race seems to have pushed him over the edge.

    He genuinely seems to be trying to pressure the FIA into sanctioning Lewis on ever more desperate grounds because he simply cannot beat him any other way.

    Moaning about “manipulation” when so many, including his current teammate, are still livid about his escaping unpunished when he was so clearly in on the Renault Crashgate scandal will only highlight his weaknesses and add to the pressure he claims to love feeling.

    The Italian papers should be a good read tomorrow, I dare say someone may point out that he should be concentrating on racing the entire field, not continuing his unhealthy obsession about the driver who kicked him off the top of the pile.

  47. Mclarista says:

    Does anyone thinks Alonso remember anything that happened on Singapore 2008?

  48. Carl Craven says:

    Lewis is one of the best drivers in the current field and yet time and again he is caught breaking the rules one way or another but suffers nothing in racing terms from the punishment.

    If Lewis had suffered from the punishment or if he hadn’t broken the rules in the first place he would not be leading the title race today.

    1. J. Singh says:

      Lewis broke the rules in Canada also. Very very unfair. Absolutely right to say this was a “manipulated” race.
      James, any idea why Michael could not have been given a 5 second penalty for Monaco instead of 25 seconds?

      1. Charlie B says:

        When Lewis does break the rules he then usually
        gets away with a reprimand or a fake penalty so it looks like the FIA punished him like in Valencia. After the race the rules are then clarified/changed so nobody else can benefit from them and will get a penalty, so it really is one rule for one person another for everyone else.

        I don’t want to be really critical and anti-Hamilton but these are just the facts. For years now Lewis has got away with a lot (sure you could say the same about Alonso but I am not talking about that right now). The FIA should be clearer with all rules and make sure the punishment fits the crime. If nobody broke the rules their job would be easier and it seems it’s almost always the same person.

        I would also like to point out I am not a Ferarri or Alonso fan, why would I like the team and driver that effectively ended my favourite drivers F1 career? I now like Vettel and Kobayashi.

  49. Leroy Butts says:

    Hi James,

    Always a good read . . but yes I must agree, LH got away with murder today. When are the the FIA going to put a stop to LHs controversial shenanigans ..

    I will admit, I am not a fan of LH, but he is continuously breaking the rules and pleading innocence . . whether it be on public roads or the race track

    On another note, after he passed the safety car, was he driving within a “safe” manner? I think not

    From what I understand, LH is the record holder for most penalties given, surely it is obvious, he doesn’t care for the rules or sportsmanship . .

  50. Nadia says:

    James, this poll is rigged like someone mentioned. Alonso fans posted it on Spanish sites, including the one I was on just now, which have nothing to do with F1 and accompanied it with racist remarks towards Hamilton and called everyone up to vote against him.

    So this vote isn’t about the race anymore.

    1. James Allen says:

      That’s pretty sad

  51. Lucas Manuelli says:

    I think the real enemy here are the rules. Whoever was stuck behind the safety car and couldn’t make it to the pits was at a major disadvantage. Why don’t they just change the rule. Say everyone has to circulate at less than some fixed speed (i.e. something akin to the pit-lane speed limit) until the safety car picks up the leader. That would have avoided today’s issue. Also maybe it should be that until the leader is picked up and everyone has a fair chance you can’t pit, or you can pit but cannot leave the pit-lane (i.e. the red light is on at pit-exit like what happened to schumi).

    I Just think that at this point the rules are written in such a way that unfair things can happen.

  52. bont says:

    alonso gets what he deserves! going into a team made by schumacher, he thinks he can just jump in and dominate!? ha! what a joke! if he was so good as “experts” claim, he would have stayed at renault and built the team!
    sorry but all ill ever know him as, is the man who benefitted from kimis retirements in 05 and MASS DAMPER 06,
    oh ye and got beaten by hamilton in 07!!
    go hamilton!!

  53. Frenchie says:

    Alonso and Ferrari are a good fit aren’t they?
    What is a scandal, despite all the justification (or excuses) from Whiting and co. is that it took 21 minute and three laps for the penalty to be served.

    With the Monaco incident involving Schumacher and Alonso, you would expect stewards to know the safety car rules inside out.
    Yet, here we are again, deliberating what might have been in a sport where, unlike football, we have video referring (so to speak).

    I don’t think it was deliberate on Hamilton’s behalf. He is just not as sharp as he used to be when Ron Dennis made him learn the F1 rulebook.

    That said, this is in no way comparable to Singapore 2008 when the stewards took an eternity to give Rosberg is drive through penalty as he had been forced to pit or run out of fuel.

    All in all, punishment does not fit the crime once again.

  54. Peter says:

    Sure the safety car wasn’t handled well and he and Massa did not benefit from it. But I find it absolutely hypocritical of him claiming the race was ‘manipulated’ after his Renault team manipulated the 2008 Singapore GP in the most gross and horrific way possible from which he was meant to benefit from! Just utterly hypocritical!

  55. F1_Dave says:

    I think the way the penalty was handles was a joke.

    Hamilton basically gained a big advantage from breaking the rules. If he had stayed behind the pace car he’d more than likely have come out the pits behind alonso as he changed his front nose at his stop. By breaking the rules he was able to maintain 2nd.

    then by waiting so long lewis was able to build a gap so that the penalty ended up not really been much of a penalty.

    something else that screwed ferrari is that a bunch of cars ignored the lap time display so were able to jump ferrari at the stops.

    on both occasions ferrari got screwed for sticking to the rules while others broke them.

    i certainly think the pace car rules need to be looked at and also the way penalty are dealt. a penalty should be a penalty and breaking the rules shoudn’t give you an advantage over those who follow them.

    1. Gary says:

      As a matter of interest, how did Hamilton gain a huge advantage by breaking the rules?

      Situation 1: Hamilton keeps going at normal speed as medical car is in process of leaving the pits, and the medical car comes out between him and Alonso, with Alonso screwed.

      No rules broken: Hamilton 2nd, Alonso back around 8th.

      Situation 2: Hamilton slows a bit seeing the medical car in the pit exit lane, wondering if he can stay ahead or not. He ends up 1 yard or two *behind* the medical car just as it goes over the SC line. He goes on thinking he’s ahead of the medical car, but actually he’d ended up passing it just after the line, so stewards give a (belated) drive through penalty.

      Rules broken. Hamilton very lucky to keep 2nd, and Alonso back around 8th.

      Second place was Hamiltons to lose – he made a slight mistake which gave him the penalty, but he was able to keep his place due to the lateness of the call.

      Alonso lost 3rd due to the timing of the SC period and the resulting medical car on track, and not because Hamilton broke any rule. He was just plain unlucky.

      1. F1_Dave says:

        lewis gained a huge advantage by breaking the rules because by passing the safety car (Intentional or not) saw him able to build a big gap to the cars behind.

        Had he not passed the safety car he’d have come out the pits down the order as alonso did & as i said above likely would have been behind alonso as lewis had to change his front wing.

        its clear that by overtaking the safety car it allowed him a big time advantage over those who didn’t.

        the late penalty call (Which obviously wasn’t his or mclarens fault) basically allowed him to take the penalty with no position loss.

  56. Cap says:

    There’s truth in saying the sport lost a bit of creditability today.

    Alonso was right behind Lewis fighting for posistion. Then all of sudden, Lewis does something against the rules and gains an unfair advantage over Fernando. Yet he goes onto finish 2nd whilst Fernando 9th. It’s not exactly creditable that the guy who followed the rules loses 16 points to someone who didn’t.

    I remember in Singapore 2008 Nico Rosberg recieved a stop and a go penalty for pitting whilst the pits were closed. Similarly it took the stewards ages to apply a penalty for a clear cut infringement. Also, i’m surprised Hamiliton didn’t recieve a stop and go today as well. Lewis was a bit lucky to only lose 15 seconds in the short pit lane in valencia. Oddly if he had recieved the penalty after the race he would lost 25 seconds and some actual posistions.

  57. Ian Blackwell says:

    I think Alonso is trying to cover his own inability to pass anyone by his whining. The way I see it Hamilton was penalized after the stewards did due diligence (which was completely justified) and his drive through penalty was actually more severe than the other drivers that got the 5 second one. The reason Alonso was so far behind was not because of some ‘manipulation’ but because of the fact that he could not pass a much slower car in front of him in the laps before the penalty was taken.

    I suppose Alonso, Stefano and Luca would only be happy if the FIA had it in their official rulebook that slower cars on the same lap need to slow down and let him by every time they see him in their rear view mirrors. It is time perhaps to admit they weren’t fast enough to do better than p3 today and that their ‘huge’ upgrade package has been what they thought it would be.

    1. Steve McGill says:

      I agree. Furthermore Alonso should have just got on with passing the cars in front of him and making his way up the field. He can’t say u can’t overtake cos Kobayashi managed it!!!

  58. James W says:

    It’s quite a silly situation. Had Hamilton not passed the safety car he would not have finished second, or it would have been highly unlikely that he would have. But Hamilton seemed rather undecided and unsure on what to do in the first place. The safety car lines are new this year, so Hamilton was bound to be a bit vague.

    But I do agree with Ferrari and Alonso. The investigation and penalty took far too long. It should have been far quicker.

    1. Kedar says:

      Add to this the 5 second penalty awarded to 10 drivers absolutely pointless! Fair or not it, its not doing much to the Race control’s reputation. all in all a terrible day for “referee”ing

  59. Spenny says:

    It seems the drivers and teams were caught out by the very swift deployment of the safety car. With Whiting deploying the car into the pack rather than ahead of it, then it could not help be unfair. In fact, I’d guess that this is what confused Hamilton, because his instinctive reaction was to follow the safety car, and then he realised, under the rules, he could actually race it to the safety car line – how bizarre!

    It strikes me that Alonso and Ferrari have accused the FIA officials of bias and rigging the race, and we could yet see Alonso and Ferrari being called before the WMSC to explain their comments under the infamous “Bringing the sport into disrepute” regulation. Or will Todt leave himself open to accusations of bias by not investigating the slurs on race officials? They might get away with it in the heat of the moment, but if they push this too far, and the FIA have already been at pains to cover themselves and must be irritated, then they might find themselves on the receiving end of worse than a lowly race finish.

    I think Alonso will crack and do something daft at the next opportunity he has to interfere with Hamilton.

    1. Michael says:

      Under what rules can you race the safety car??? Does that make any sense?

      1. Spenny says:

        Under the rules where it turns out that it is not counted as on track until the second safety car line, it appears – hence my comment.

        What is interesting is how many people assume that the decision was obvious and clear cut when the ruling has become pedantic and artificial – which actually is very much the way things are done in F1 and sometimes the decisions will appear to be against common sense.

  60. Christopher Snowdon says:

    I like Hamilton, but like the England football team, there’s just to many dramas with him!!! When it wrecks other people’s races, and it’s in full view of the fans (and even more so with the stewards considering how much technology they have access to), that’s not on. When he was a rookie, fair do’s, but he’s not know, time to grow up Lewis, and show some respect to fellow drivers!!!

    1. Gary says:

      How did Hamilton wreck Alonso’s race? How did he not show respect?

      Hamilton HAD 2nd place, fair and square, and due to a moment of stupidity (he should know the rules inside out) he nearly lost it through hesitation. However, Alonso was stuck behind the medical car, just as some car had to be. Did Hamilton plan for the medical car to come out then?

      1. tristan says:

        he wrecked alonso’s race by deliberately blocking him until the last moment before passing the SC. simple. i love all these LH fans conveniently assuming that lewis doesn’t know the rules of his own sport… really?! you’re a past WC and you don’t care to be 100% crystal clear on all rules???

  61. Phil says:

    I doubt we will have any impact on the issue of safety cars, but as some people have been saying, vector times can be managed by the drivers and teams. This might save a lot of confusion in these situations if they didn’t have to deploy the safety car unless the situation was dire. When a safety period is deployed, all cars have to comply by the end of the next braking zone. Simple. The field won’t bunch up, which is fairer and the advantages from pitting at the right time will be marginalised. They could even lower the pit lane speed limit to help manage the advantage gained from pitting while the cars on track pass by at reduced speeds! I’d like the FIA to listen to the fans, but I suspect most fans prefer for the field to be bunched up during safety cars rather than for a fair race result!

  62. Dom says:

    Its not occurred to anyone that race control might have been a bit busy worrying about that little bump that caused the safety car!?

  63. Chris Crawford says:

    I’m starting to loose respect for Alonso now.

  64. zxzxz says:

    what do you expect lewis to do; when he’s allowed to break the rules over and over with no punishment of course he’s going to keep breaking them.

  65. BiggusJimmus says:

    I don’t understand why race control cannot simply manipulate the field under the safety car so that the track positions are maintained as they were as the sc was deployed. Pit or pit, do as you wish, first of fifth stays that way and there would be no complaints. As for Alonso, it was just bad luck.

  66. Tom (London) says:

    Alonso’s not having a good season, some of that is down to a run of bad luck but he is also clearly suffering from some sort of inferiority complex which is affecting his driving. He really needs to let go of 2007.

    The FIA made Ron Dennis publicly take back his fixed comments or risk McLaren being kicked out of the Championship, I wouldn’t be surprised if Alonso see the wisdom of back tracking a little.

    Also its time the Spanish lost their two Grand Prix, the tracks are both rubbish and the fans who attend can not be trusted. Throwing broken bottles on the the track is the real scandal.

  67. Lockster says:

    Isn’t it amazing that the only “Manipulated Race” that Gonzo isn’t happy to whinge about is the biggest race manipulation in history (Singapore 08) when he had his own teammate crash his car to gift him the win.

    I think it’s even more amazing that he still regards that as a valid win…

  68. Paul Douglas says:

    Ferrari need to reign in the hyperbole. The rhetoric on display here, and also in their discussion of the new teams, is completely out of whack. Lately, Ferrari has started copping a serious attitude, they remind me of a puffed-up 14-year-old sneering at the youngest year in school. Back in the day, I couldn’t stand McLaren’s cold, corporate attitude as engineered by Ron Dennis. Since Whitmarsh took over, they’ve softened wonderfully. Unfortunately, in the intervening time, Ferrari have started acting like children. I had hoped to like both teams going forward, but every time I feel like I can start to feel good about Ferrari again, they put out another official release in which they slander anyone and anything which remotely opposes them and I just want to reach out across the internet and punch them in their collective face.

  69. Rich C says:

    Way over the top to call it a ‘scandal’ – but it *is another example of f’d up stewarding.

    However, because of the way they constantly run their mouths I rather enjoy it when ferrari get it in the ass.

  70. HR says:

    Surely the only ‘scandal’ are Alonso’s comments, in which he basically accused the FIA of fixing the race. Whenever the safety car is deployed there are winners and losers and he lost out to the cars behind him (who were able to pit) so was that fixed too?

    From all accounts even issuing the penalty was a line ball decision and nothing like as clear cut as Alonso alleges.

    And remember Mark Webbers win in Germany last year when it took the steward’s nine laps to issue him with his drive through penalty, so the time it took to adjudge Hamilton’s penalty was pretty normal.

    But, unfortunately Alonso believes the whole world is against him and nothing is going to change that. Really Fernando Alonso is a great driver but a really small man.

    1. Phil says:

      He really does have a streak of paranoia, doesn’t he?

      There were even signs of that way back in the day, when he was at Renault complaining about his team not backing him up.

  71. Thomas, Canada says:

    All F1 drivers are PURE RACERS who would sell their own grandmother for an extra 10th or two. If the roles were reversed Alonso would have done precisely what Hamilton did, which was “go for it” on a marginal call. These guys are all risk takers, exploiting the margins, pushing the envelope.

    Hamilton knew what he was doing and he got away with it, simple as that. Alonso is mad as hell simply because it was Hamilton that committed the crime.

    By the way, this is the same scenario that Nico Rosberg found himself in a couple years back driving for Williams in Singapore. Again, there was a delay in arriving at the penalty and again Nico exploited it so that when the drive-thru was taken he got back on track without loosing a place. Don’t recall such a big deal being made then…..but then again, Alonso wasn’t involved.

    If the championship comes down to Hamilton vs Alonso, Hamilton will win because he gets under Alonso’s skin and when someone is under Alonso’s skin he doesn’t perform as well – serious flaw for a superb double world champion.

  72. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Fernando…hand back your win at Singapore 2008 before you accuse anyone else about manipulating a race.

    The real “scandal” was Alonso being outdone by Kobayashi on the last lap. Echoes of Sato in 2007.

    Alonso can see that Hamilton is the true no. 1 driver in F1 at the moment and it seems to be getting to him.

    Ferrari were wrong to replace the super cool Kimi with the forever whining Alonso. How long before he walks into Stefano Domenicali’s office threating to throw his toys out of the pram?

    1. James Allen says:

      That’s a very interesting observation, Mike. You think Hamilton has matured now moved ahead of Alonso?

      1. Andy says:

        Yes, very much so, Lewis appears to have mastered the “Rossi patented getting into the head of the oppersition” technique pretty well.

        It’s been commented how calm cool and collect he is (by DC a couple fo weeks ago)

      2. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

        I think that he probably has James.

        I heard Jonathan legard comment on an interview where Alonso said that he would not be happy to have Hamilton as a team mate. When asked the same question about Alonso, Hamilton replied that he would be happy.

        Alonso’s career over the last four years has been scuppered by the arrival of Hamilton. First he is forced to move outside McLaren and wa probably cursing Alonso and Dennis while he was sitting in that Renault. Secondly, his consistent points scoring would have him fighting the WDC with the Red Bulls….if only it was not for Hamilton.

        Hamilton is turning out to be Alonso’s worst nightmare. Fernando has stated that he will finish his career at Ferrari because to move anywhere else would be a move downwards. NOT TRUE…there’s McLaren…but HE can’t move there.

        Hamilton may end up being the sole cause as to why Fernando may exit F1 with much less success than he was hoping to achieve.

        I truly think that a matured Hamilton is moving into a different class. Even Jenson seems to accept it and is happy to have high points finishes.

        Imagine what Hamilton could do in that Red Bull..

    2. Sharp_Saw says:

      I think that Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull are very close in terms of competitiveness at the moment with Mclaren having a slight edge. McLaren were at par with Red Bull with Hamilton without any updates to their car this weekend. There is every reason to be worried at Ferrari. As I stated earlier, after all the Santander money and Alonso’s recruitment, Ferrari are under serious pressure to perform and win at least one title otherwise the Kimi scenario in hindsight could look like a very big blunder despite Ferrari’s assertions to the contrary. I am a Kimi fan, so their might be a little bit of subjectivity in my viewpoint.

    3. Phil says:

      He’ll probably be demanding pretty soon that Massa fall in behind him because of their points difference.

      At some point of course, it will only make sense – assuming that the points delta between the two remains the same or gets larger.

      But if Domenicali doesn’t immediately concede to the request, expect Alonso to start throwing toys.

  73. Andrew says:

    I think fernando is (very very VERY) lucky that Max Mosley is no longer around, or I think he’d be in a lot more trouble than Lewis over these continued questioning of the FIA. Referies.

    Also let’s not forget that fernando was the key man to benifit in the biggest proffesional foul of the sport ever!

    1. n. Machiavelli says:

      “I think fernando is (very very VERY) lucky that Max Mosley is no longer around …”

      Huh ? [mod]

      The truth is that F1 in general is lucky that Mosley is no longer around.

      You’ve got a strange perspective, that much I will give you.

  74. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    James, will your “half-term report” and driver rankings be coming before or after the British GP?

    Am anxious to know your thoughts in the true driver pecking order!

    Thanks

  75. rich says:

    James: would you ba able to clarify what the ruling is on when you have to follow the safety car? If the SC is in the pit lane exit are you forced to stay behind it or is it once it has passed the safety car line at the end of the pit lane exit? The replay that I saw shows Hamilton, momentarily getting out of the throttle once he sees the SC in the pit lane exit, then gets back on it and passes it. Had he not lifted, he would have been through before the line and free to continue his lap.

    The point I am trying to make is that, save for Hamiltons momentary hesitation, Alonso would have been severely disadvantaged at the expense of Hamilton and it would have been his hard luck and he would have had to accept it. It seems to me that he is trying to make more out of a technical infingement by Hamilton whcih in actual fact was just Alonso’s bad luck.

    As for the length of time it took for the stewards to look into it: that is inexcusable as it was obvious that Hamilton had taken some advantage over Alonso by how much ahead of him he was at the pit stops. Alonso has a right to be annoyed here, and he has an unequalled ability to elevate his grievances higher than they deserve.

    With regards Stewarding, the FIA has made a number of large steps forward under the new president, however they still have some way to go in terms of using the technology at their disposal to enhance the accuracy and timeliness of their decisionmaking.

    They have done this exact thing before, in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, when Nico Rosberg pitted under Safety Car conditions, when the pitlane was closed to to avoid running out of fuel. The stewards took so long meting out a meaningless punishment to Felipe Massa that they gave Nico Rosberg enough laps in clear air whilst the pack was help up behind Giancarlo Fisichella so that Rosberg’s penalty eventually amounted to nothing and he finished in second place. Bearing in mind the circumstances leading to the safety car deployment and the winner of the Grand Prix that day, Mr Alonso has some neck making noise about manipulated races!

  76. Dave P says:

    James… a badly worded poll… its leading people to think it means do you support alonso or not… when it means was the safety car handled correctly… two different things..

  77. Precision Man says:

    I have my own opinion but i remember last year, the safety car waited and it favored Button and this time the safety car comes in at the moment and the Ferrari gets to be behind. The safety car is the Mercedes and a Mercedes engined car gets 5 sec. If Ferrari wins its a problem, last year Brawn dominated and this year Red Bull takes all poles and most wins and its not boring, McLaren lost 1 race in 88, Audi and Citroen win every year in rally and Le Mans. F1 has politics and unfairness, its no longer a sport.

  78. Carlos Marques says:

    Moral of the story- ignore all rules.

    Speed up as fast as you can when the SC is deployed- what’s the worse that can happen? A 5 sec. penalty after the race.

    Pass SC if you can- the others will be delayed behind it and a drive through penalty will not be a big deal in this scenario.

    That’s what the competition learned from Hamilton today, and that’s what everyone will do from now on- I would…and I suspect Fernando was one tiny step away from saying so in the press conference- it pays to cheat…

    1. MacG says:

      + 1

      The “sport” lost today . . . . cheating and unsafe driving are now the way to go.

      Anything goes and the whole sport is now meaningless, ruleless drivel.

  79. Marcus Redivo says:

    It would be interesting to see what Ferrari’s reaction would have been in the same circumstances if the offending driver had been, say, Liuzzi, or Hulkenberg instead of Hamilton in a McLaren.

    For that matter, also the reaction of the Alonso fans.

    1. MacG says:

      I’m not a fan of any driver. IMO safety rules are fundamental and a driver who breaks them should, at the very least, be black flagged. A technical infringement is one thing, but a safety infringement should face a draconian penalty.

      I would have black flagged Lewis for passing the safety car.

      I would have banned him for 3 races for then accelerating away in front of the safety car and ignoring the risks on the road ahead.

      1. Gary says:

        So his slowing down caused such huge safety issues?

        If he hadn’t slowed down a bit when he first saw the medical car, he would have been ahead of the medical car before the SC line, and have broken NO rule … would you still be baying for his blood then?

      2. MacG says:

        it is not his slowing down, it is his accelerating to overtake the SC. He passed a SC sign at least 15 seconds before he reached the point where the SC was. He chose to overtake it and this is entirely wrong.

  80. Nick Pauro says:

    All whining and personalities aside, I am more concerned about what appear to be variable punishments…?

    Why do they take so long with all their technology to reach decisions that Martin Brundle can call within a few replays? Why even have an ex-driver there if you are going to deliberate for so long? There doesnt seem to be a consistant level of scrutiny applied…

    Moreover, why only 5 second penalties for some ‘crimes’, 30 seconds other times and knowledge of such punishments coming hours after the race…?!

    The time lag must be unique in sport where the outcome of the competition is not the outcome you witness until its all typed up hours later!

    Sill – it is probably why I love it so much! But I long for a proper track race where speed and tyres etc settle the outcomes, not freak weather, dodgy refereeing and all at totally uninspiring venues like Valencia!

    Now come on Ferrari, get after those Bulls and McLarens!

  81. John Z says:

    I don’t think it was a scandal but if the stewards aren’t going to bring Hamilton in by lap 11 or 12, then they should have waited and added 25 seconds to his time after the race. He passed the safety car and the punishment should be fitting.

    1. Spyros says:

      I agree, and, while Alonso is the last driver I would cheer, I think the appropriate punishment for Hamilton would have been to black-flag him.

  82. F1ART says:

    Singapore?

  83. Chris says:

    The part that frustrates me the most is that Hamilton, Alonso and Massa should have been held up behind the SC destroying their races while Vettel was free to race round to the pits. How is that fair? Then to add insult to injury Hamilton passes the SC and gets away with it while the Ferraris stay behind and get their race destroyed. Just to be clear my biggest problem is with the rules rather than with Hamilton, neither of them deserved to have their race destroyed but rules are rules and you shoudln’t gain an advantage from breaking them, no matter how unfair they are.

    1. MacG says:

      There has to be a way to get the cars back behind the safety car in the order they were before the SC incident occurred.

      1. Chris says:

        What about the SC coming out with a light on allowing cars to pass until the leader catches the car? This way noone gets stuck behind the SC until it has picked up the leader and it would still be safe since they would be following their delta time. This way Vettel would have been ahead of the SC, Hamilton, Alonso and Massa would have been allowed to pass and follow round at the same speed Vettel was going and the race order would have been preserved. To be honest this is how I thought the current rules worked but clearly I was wrong!

      2. n. Machiavelli says:

        “There has to be a way to get the cars back behind the safety car in the order they were before the SC incident occurred.”

        Such a way exists, BUT it requires competent race control
        and competent stewards, as well as a complete absence of bias toward any particular team or driver. These requirements don’t seem to be anywhere close to having been met in F1. What a joke F1 has become as a result. Men, some of them good men, are risking
        their lives so some twat can make a shitty decision
        and gift points to a driver who doesn’t deserve those points. If I were in possession of absolute power a la
        Stalin or Hitler, I’d take the whole of race control and
        all the stewards out and give them all a firing squad.
        And THEN I’d invite men of good character and sound judgement to replace them.

    2. Phil says:

      Best post so far.

      Why exactly can’t they come up with some safety car system that preserves the current order??!

      Personally thought it was lame that Button who never seems to actually do anything interesting in races lucked into a podium.

      Instead you have drivers who put on a show – Alonso and very nearly Lewis also, getting effectively penalized.

  84. Nick Williams says:

    I think it is blindingly clear to anyone with all their faculties in place that Alonso was heavily penalised in this compared to Hamilton. After Montreal it is easy to understand his frustration at the moment with the waythings are working out for him on track.

    Lewis gained a huge advantage by disregarding the rules and the penalty was nowhere near harsh enough considering the lead over 3rd place that he was able to build while the stewards snoozed.

    People who cheat the rules should not be allowed to profit from it so I think Ferrari’s anger is totally justified. Hamilton should be disqualified as his result is not an accurate reflection of where he would have finished had he not cheated and flouted the rules.

    His ‘what me’ attitude in the interview with BBC’s Lee Mackenzie is irritating in the extreme. I think he should crash his car at the first corner at Silverstone to redress the points balance.

    1. n. Machiavelli says:

      “Hamilton should be disqualified as his result is not an accurate reflection of where he would have finished had he not cheated and flouted the rules.”

      We in America have a sports figure whose “character”
      seems to be on the level of Lewis Hamilton’s. His name
      is “Tiger” Woods. I believe that says it all.

      It’s a sad world when these sorts are looked upon as
      any sort of worthy champion, instead of being the target of the derision they so richly deserve.

      And just so it doesn’t appear I am targeting certain
      ethnic groups, I will add that I believe Lance Armstrong [mod] and that the truth about this arogant ass from Texas WILL come out, despite his
      denials [mod].

      I am sick and tired of “men” of low character being held up as “champions”.

  85. n3ptun3z says:

    I beleive Hamilton’s original investigation was NOT actually about him overtaking the Safety Car, but about driving too slow when the SC warning appeared in their cars and holding up Alonso so that Alonso was stuck behind the safety car when they arrived at the 2nd SC line. Alonso complained about THIS and that started the investigation. McLaren retaliated initially by saying he was driving in accordance to the DELTA SPEED. The stewards only THEN realized that Hamilton actually overtook the SC illegally after finding nothing wrong with his speed on the data sheets during the SC period (courtesy of video footage). This speed during SC issue, is then what triggered the investigation into the other 9 cars afterwards which recieved their 5 second penalties. That is actually why it took so long. Safety Car periods are ALWAYS lottery situations and Alonso has benefited strongly from previous such periods. Hamilton innocently thought he was right to pass and was penalized accordingly, served his punishment and issue was finished and done. For Alonso to STILL be livid about the rookie that upstaged him all those years ago, in this day and age is both shocking and incredibly embarassing. Someone needs to sit him down and explain the way of the world to him. That sort of behaviour was okay back in school but now he must GROW UP and accept that Hamilton has just been a much better driver from day 1!!

    1. Nick Williams says:

      Do you seriously believe that if the roles were reversed and Alonso had done the same as Hamilton that Hamilton and Mclaren would not be complaining in the same way as Alonso. To say that Hamilton has been better than Alonso from day one is not correct. Hamilton has been driving a better car than Alonso except for 2007, when they finished on the same points and same number of wins. Hamilton was a rookie but the best prepared ever, Alonso had to get used to the new Bridgestone tyres which all drivers running Michelins in 2006 struggled with. I think Alonso and Hamilton are virtually indentical in talent and racing skill and this is why they are so aggressive with each other. They know they are both the best…

      1. n3ptun3z says:

        Alonso’s biggest problem with Hamilton has always been that as a rookie, Hamilton was proving to be as good as the current World Champion (Alonso at the time). Can you understand how embarrassing and ego deflating that was? As if Alonso’s brain needed more messing up (considering past stupidity on his part) the situation went further to completely mess up his mind set and standard of ethics beyond repair, he was never okay with that and will never be. That alone makes him an extremely disappointing athlete on the whole, who holds bitter grudges.. has no moral sense of team spirit/commitment.. lacks self control to the point that it affects his race focus and cannot even offer a proper apology when obviously in the wrong. Good driver he may be but not that outstanding and CERTAINLY NOT as good as Hamilton. Given the same car Hamilton will whip him from start to finish – every lap. Mind you the Ferrari was actually the faster car in Valencia so he has proved it already! I actually reckon Kobayashi, Kubica, Vettel and Sutil could do the same as well!! Would McLaren react the same? When last did you hear them acting the fool for minutes on end over the radio and after the race throwing around dangerous and baseless accusations like Ferrari did?

  86. John Snow says:

    This happens regularly, remember Rosberg in Singapore, Webber in Germany

  87. Peckers96 says:

    Did this not happen in the 2008 race with Rosberg’s and Kubica’s penalties? I seem to recall that it took something like 14 laps for them to receive their penalties for pitting before the pitlane was open which allowed Rosberg to pull a huge gap to the third-placed driver and do his drive-through without losing a position.

    Sorry, Fernando, as the French would say, c’est la vie.

  88. John says:

    Sour grapes from ferrari which couldn’t match there pre race pace hype. Hamilton did wrong behind safety car fair enough. Alonso wants to shut his trap and drive faster instead of whinging about hamilton, he’s not exactly golden behind the safety car neither.

    Ferrari are whinging cos their aren’t winning

    1. MacG says:

      Cheating isn’t winning – it’s just cheating.

      Ferrari aren’t whinging. They are pointing out that others and cheating and breaking the rules.

      If it wrong to point out that people are breaking the rules, then we might as well get rid of the police as they complain all the time when people break the rules.

      Defending cheating makes no sense. Unless we are going to say all the rules are now scrapped and we can happily allow drivers to force each other off track and do anything they want. (Maybe fit a tank turret to the to the top and literally blow your opponents off the track.)

      I think we should allow drivers to take short-cuts: they can drive round in a tiny loop passing the finishing line 50 times a minute and then get the races over and done with in less then 2 minutes – what’s the point in driving round the whole track when you could just take lots of short-cuts and ignore all the rules.

      Maybe we can get rid of the cars completely and we can just let a driver hop backwards and forwards over the start finish line and when they have hopped 60 times to simulate 60 laps, they can be declared the winner. They can cheat by pretending they have an invisible car.

      Actually, what’s the point of making that much effort? Let’s just pick the wining name out of a hat. We can get rid of the tracks, teams, cars, drivers and everything else and we can just pick a random winner . . . but of course, we can cheat with that as well by only putting one name in the hat.

      Oh, flick, let’s now worry about the hat. Let’s just think of a name and declare the person the WDC for the next 20 billion years. Racing within rules is such a waste of time of money and effort.

      Any driver who did what Hamilton did should have been black-flagged. If safety rules can be ignored/given meaningless penalties, then there is no point in having the rules . . . and if you follow that logic, then there is not point in having the racing at all.

      Supporting Lewis’ actions and the FIA’s poor un-enforcement of the rules, is to vote for saying that the sport is meaningless drivel worthy only of contempt.

      Good on Ferrari standing up for the rules. The rules give the fans something to watch. Good on Ferrari for supporting the fans.

  89. SeanG says:

    Ferrari running their new exhaust layout for “filming” borders on being a scandal.

    Alonso winning a race as his teammate crashes his car is a scandal.

    Come on people. Let’s get real.

    1. mvi says:

      I guess you were equally outraged with other teams, e.g. Mercedes filmed Schumacher trying out new enhancements back in May.

      1. SeanG says:

        Its not about being outraged. Its about people exploiting the rules. Europe seems to be in the dark ages when it comes to rules. Too many situations comes down to hoping people do the “right” thing.

        It should be impossible for Hamilton to do what he has done. Just as it should have been impossible for Ferrari to have done what they’ve done.

        Its not just the FIA, take a look at FIFA and the world cup… Complete nonsense.

  90. splidge says:

    To me the Hamilton situation is a complete red herring.

    The real question is why on earth the safety car came out in such a way as to favour Vettel and Button at the expense of Hamilton/Alonso/Massa. OK, so if Hamilton had acted differently then he and Alonso might have got through. But it looks like at least Massa was inevitably stuck with a full lap behind the safety car with everyone else either getting in front of it or getting to change tyres and make up the lost time by catching up to the pack.

    I think Alonso is more than entitled to be very annoyed at finishing 9th. But I think focussing his ire on Hamilton is misplaced when the real injustice was the timing of the safety car.

    As another commenter has said, with fuel stops gone it’s no longer a possibility that a driver *has* to stop on a given lap except maybe if they have car damage (this tends to pretty much wreck a race anyway). So why not close the pit lane until the pack is formed up in order behind the safety car?

  91. Fulveo Ballabeo says:

    What a surprise: Fernando is bitching, moaning, whining, and complaining.

    When Alonso first came into the sport, he had the bit between his teeth and was 100% focused on the job. Somewhere along the way, he got lost. It’s supreme arrogance that he believes the world is out to get him (starting with his McLaren blackmail hissy-fits, up to now). His Mansell-esque theatrics are growing tiresome.

    Hamilton made a mistake, and race control made a mistake. Not good, but blown calls are a (regrettable) part of sport. That does not make it a purposeful, anti-Alonso conspiracy. An example of a purposeful conspiracy would be the Singapore scandal…

  92. duke says:

    I understand Alonso’s frustation about the delayed decision from the stewards. By all means, it was an injustice. But this kind of incident has happened before in Singapore 2008. Why did Alonso hold his tongue then? Because he did benefit from it!

    Hypocrite.

  93. Matt NZ says:

    Hamilton was 2nd at the time of the safety car coming out and the incident…After the incident, and after his penalty he finished the race in…that’s right…2nd!

    If that’s a scandal, then Ferrari need more excitement in their lives

  94. ste says:

    lewis has got away with so many rules this season.

    he stoped on track in canada after qualifying and got a 10.000 fine which was a joke coz he went on to win and is team are mega rich whats 10 grand to them

    he was let out of the pits when alones was driving down and thay was side by side
    nothin happend again this is after he all ready got fined the day before

    and then this today overtakes a safey car so he could change his nose coz he know if he didnt alones would of had him in the pits and a few others

    anyone remember what happen to schumacher in monaco 25sec and all he done was overtake a driver (which was alones) on track and the rules showed that was a very fine line so why is lewis getting away with all this in my eyes he is a cheat and the sport is supporting cheating for some reason

    today just shows me the sport is all wrong and am a brit but id sooner see someone win it or hasnt cheated if i was ferrari id think about leaving the sport coz now a days its gettin such a bad name think back a few seasons ago when McLaren had the whole book of the ferrari car and got a 50 million fine u would think thay would learn but no the cheating is still carrying well i think i will be turning over next time the raceing is on coz its a fix !!

  95. dipietro15 says:

    Hamilton forgot what happened when he passed the safety car? Maybe the stewards should forget that he finished second and take all his points away.

    Hamilton knew exactly what he was doing and what the consequences were for Alonso behind him. He’s not an ignorant innocent in this – the look on his face in the press room after the race said it all: “Uh oh…maybe they’ve caught me in a lie again…I’ll play dumb.”

    Only the British can manage to cheat their way to success and then hold their noses in the air as if the victims they leave in their wake are whiners.

    If Fernando Alonso has nothing to complain about tonight, then I guess Frank Lampard doesn’t either. Give me a break.

    1. Smiley says:

      Ignoring the insults in your post you actually make an interesting point when comparing to Lamps non-goal. If England got over it and used it to their advantage maybe they would have put in a better performance. Don’t you think Alonso would have been better off doing the same?

    2. Phil says:

      Very classy. Not. So, it’s the British that are at fault is it?

      We’re all the same, are we? Xenophobic nonsense.

    3. monktonnik says:

      “Hamilton forgot what happened when he passed the safety car? Maybe the stewards should forget that he finished second and take all his points away.
      Hamilton knew exactly what he was doing and what the consequences were for Alonso behind him. He’s not an ignorant innocent in this – the look on his face in the press room after the race said it all: “Uh oh…maybe they’ve caught me in a lie again…I’ll play dumb.”….”

      I agree with this. I think it is obvious that Hamilton hesitated and therefore new the safety car was there. I felt his body language was very defensive and he was not telling the whole truth. He is a terrible liar; he shouldn’t do it.

      “Only the British can manage to cheat their way to success and then hold their noses in the air as if the victims they leave in their wake are whiners.”

      This is nonsense and it has no basis in fact at all.

  96. Lalit says:

    James,

    I am becoming very confused about the whole stewarding episodes and I am sure less ardent fans of F1 must find it very unnerving, and a turn off from watching any more races.

    Let me try to list the various points, and maybe see if its just me or anyone else thinks its wrong too -

    1. Hamilton always seems to think he is ‘The One’, probably due to his background where Maclaren always backed him up and he was always assurd of reaching his goals, if he has given enough. I think this translates into him doing things like running into back of Cars stopped for red light in the pitlane, fighting with Vettel when entering and leaving pits, and I think the biggest sin of all, overtaking a safety car. I mean how can any driver, road or track, overtake a car with flashing lights, unthinkable.

    2. Schumacer was penalized for obeying the flags/instructions of marshals (Monaco 2010) and not the rule book (which in any case had a loophole). Today they could simply have followed the rulebook (which they were told to do in Monaco) and not obey the red light (sice per the rulebook, it shoudl not have been red yet). They would been quite up the order in that case.

    3. Then the stewards thought 9 drivers (thats half the field) speeding under safety car conditions, is worth only 5 secndds of penalty, while genuin overtake when green flags were shown but it was safety car by rule book standards, incurred 20 seconds.

    All these double standard, make this very unsatisfying and confusing for F1 fans, and I think ony the totally ardent fans wll surive such ‘scandals’.

    Do you think there should be a lot less of this, and a more genial yet competitive atmosphere surrounding the sport?
    Its just getting too red-taped and Bureaucratic for a lot of fans.

    1. James Allen says:

      It is a complex sport and there have always been issues like this. Look at Senna vs Prost 1989 when Senna is penalised for driving down the escape road at Suzuka after the collision. I agree that there are nuances now, especially regarding the safety car rules, which are too complex for a fan to follow and most of the media don’t understand them either

      1. MacG says:

        That’s not fair. The fans understand the rules: they just think they are unfair and unequally applied.

      2. senna says:

        in suzuka 1989 there was fia manipulation, last sunday there was not.

  97. ste says:

    it was the changeing of the nose which stood out for me if it was just the tires then i wouldnt of had that much of a deal about it. it was the fact he needed a new nose too and the little cheat knew what he was doing

    1. mtb says:

      would the nose have been changed had Alonso entered the pits on his tail?

  98. Bull Run says:

    Since F1 took up the Full race yellow, with a caution car deployed,from NASCAR, why don’t they employ the complete Nascar rule. The caution car picks up the lead car. In this case the Red Bull leading the race, not as they did, in front of the Ferrari of Alonso. Nascar also allows all lapped cars to regain their lap.

    1. monktonnik says:

      I must admit, this is how I thought it worked.

  99. Tim B says:

    Fernando seems to be losing the plot a bit of late. Top sports people need to concentrate their energies on the things they can control – he was good at that in his title winning years.

    It was unfortunate, but hardly a scandal. On the broadcast the overhead camera angle was the only view that clearly showed that Hamilton had passed the safety car, so it’s perfectly understandable that RC took a while to find the right footage and make a decision.

    I can’t see how to speed up the process except by adding more RC personnel and more/better facilities to search the available video footage.

    A better alternative might be to extend the range of penalties and allow the stewards to scale the punishment to ensure that the driver is actually penalised in terms of his results. However, I can forsee problems there as well. I don’t recall too many people complaining last year when Webber’s penalty in Germany didn’t affect the result.

    Maybe drivers should be penalised WC points?

  100. Cheffo says:

    Firstly, Alonso is a whinging little girl. He protested, Hamilton got penalised. Done. Thats it. Get on with it. Just because the penalty wasn’t “harsh” enough for Alo/Ferrari is irrelevant. Remember Nurburgring 2009? Webber got a drive-thru penalty and won. Can you argue that that was a “no-penalty” penalty?
    Ferrari get so much preferential treatment in F1 that it has become an standing joke (whats FIA stand for again?). So as something doesn’t go their way its a scandal?
    Secondly, the safety car was released too late. Vettel had already gone past. It should be picking up the leader not second place. So if Ham had slowed and got behind the SC, Vettel would have had a free run to the pits. Would we all then be here complaining about a Vet/RBR advantage? Perhaps.
    Thirdly, I agree with Max. Why are the pits even open under SC conditions?

    1. MacG says:

      Hamilton didn’t get a meaningful penalty. The other drivers and the fans were cheated by Hamilton’s actions and the subsequent meaningless penalty.

      1. Anthony says:

        the penalty was bigger than the one alonso got in singapore 2008

  101. Jake says:

    Firstly, I think that the stewards decision was a little delayed, but no where near a scandal.

    Secondly, I’ve just watched the highlights on the bbc website and have noticed something. The problem for Hamilton was that he hesitated and this meant the safety car had just passed the SC line before he passed it. I think I know why he did this.

    It appears to me from both the helicopter view and Hamilton’s onboard, that as the safety car takes the first corner in the pitlane, it runs wide over the pit lane white line as if it’s just going to rejoin.

    Obviously I can’t be sure, but it seems to be just after this that Lewis backs of, so for me, this is quite likely to be the reason. Obviously it doesn’t change the fact that Lewis passed the safety car and therefore had to be punished, but it may explain what could be considered a slightly leniant punishment.

    Finally, I’m sorry, but did I just hear Alonso moaning about a race being manipulated. Surely everyone else can see the irony too.

  102. Another James says:

    Alonso’s comments about the race being manipulated would have him on a disrepute charge in other sports. And might be answered with two words. REMEMBER SINGAPORE.

    People MIGHT look at what is wrong with the SC rules, but only Fernando would stop worrying about what Lewis gets or doesn’t get; speaking as a parent, I think makes him look like my 6-year old, especially with radio calls like the one he made on lap 17 “Keep working with Charlie [Whiting] with Hamilton it’s the only thing you have to do in the whole race”.

    If Hamilton had not lifted but gone flat out to pass the SC and made it before the line, there would have been no question of a penalty and he might have challenged Vettel for the win. Alonso would always have lost out, and if Hamilton hadn’t passed it at all Alonso wouldn’t have finished any higher. The fact that Alonso wanted Hamilton moved down even though he himself wouldn’t have benefited tells you all you need to know on that score.

    But isn’t it mad that drivers are put in a position of racing the safety car ? Hamilton was supposed to race the SC to the the line near (but not at) the end of the pit lane exit – a line which is very difficult to see from the cockpit.

    If the SC must come out in the middle of the field why isn’t there to be a way for cars to pass it legally and with minimum delay until the car behind is the leader. Hamilton and Vettel effectively “Lapped” the Safety car, and everyone else in the field overtook it, but Alonso and Massa did a full lap behind it.

    If anyone wonders why the SC not come out in front of Vettel but alongside Hamilton ?
    I went back to the my recording
    20 seconds before the impact a caption shows
    1 Vet, 2 Ham +3.7 3. Alo +5.2 4.Mas 7.3 [the same as the start of the lap, when we also saw] 5. Kub +9.1 6. But +11.8

    At the moment of impact the caption at the top of the screen reads Lap 9/57, 8 seconds later as Webber throws his steering wheel out SC is displayed, and 3 seconds after that the counter ticks over to Lap 10/57 as Vettel crosses the line. There just wasn’t time for the to get out in front of Vettel – it’s about 5 seconds from the start line to safety car line. So Hamilton was passing it within ~10 seconds of it being deployed and ~18 Seconds of the first impact.

    26 seconds after the impact we hear KUB, BUT, and BAR are pitting: [So VET, HAM, ALO, and MAS were too far down the road to pit]. VET got past the SC legally, HAM got past – not quite legally as it turned out, and the Ferraris were the only ones who could neither pit nor pass the SC.
    Roughly 2 minutes 25 after the impact Hamilton arrives in the pits and Vettel leaves: So their lap times had dropped from ~1:40 to ~2:10/2:15 [Apparently sticking to the Delta time]. But it’s roughly 30 seconds more before the Ferraris stop.

    Which begs another question: why was the delta time so much faster than the actual lap behind the SC ? Ignore Hamilton. The Ferraris could have blatantly overtaken the SC, driven at delta time, taken a drive-through and come out better off. When a team sees the Penalty is less than the potential gain they must feel the rules are stupid, doubly so what happens to another competitor proves it.

    Schumacher also complained, and with good reason. He pitted from 3rd a minute after the SC crossed the finish line, and was held at the pit lane exit even though the train hadn’t formed up behind the SC. It was a further minute – ~5:30 after the impact and well into lap 12 before we see the first 3 behind the safety car.
    Laps 10, 11 and about half of 12 were done without anyone running behind the SC for any time EXCEPT Alonso and Massa.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes but the Ferraris would only have been better off doing that because Kobayashi didn’t pit and held the field up. The Ferraris would not be in a position to know that would happen at the time. Without Kobayashi they pass the SC, get a penalty and lose probably 5 or six track positions depending on how long it takes stewards to hand out a penalty.

      1. Another James says:

        You’re right they certainly could not have predicted how the track positions would have panned out. But they went from 5 seconds behind Vettel to 35 seconds behind him while Vettel was doing an in lap to the Delta time and they were doing theirs obediently behind the SC. A drive through would have cost 15 seconds, so in terms of total race time they would have been better off.

        The SC had to let cars pass until Vettel came up behind it. And I realised overnight that it had to go much slower than the delta time otherwise the leader will never catch it up. So why didn’t the co-driver in the SC know they were holding up the 3rd place car and turn the green passing light within a couple of corners. Alonso could have done the full lap to the same time as everyone else and come out with the same gap to Vettel in front and Button behind has he’d started the lap with.

      2. Alysha says:

        Great analysis here, Another James. Which points to another issue with the “Delta time” regulation: there was no requirement for Vettel to slow down on the pit straight and let himself be picked up by the safety car. In CART/IRL (road course rules), he would have had to slow down immediately giving the safety car a chance to pull out in front of him. Should the safety car have picked up race leader Vettel in this scenario, the driver probably leading the race on the restart could have been Kobayashi, followed by Button, Barrichello, Kubica, Buemi, Sutil, Hülkenberg, Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso.

        To prevent such unfairness (not Kobayashi who did not pit, but Button/Kubica/etc. who would have jumped the leaders because they cuaght the pit lane entry before the safety car), you just need to close down the pit lane until the queue is formed. As is done in American racing (NASCAR and CART/IRL) for more than a decade now. But I guess that the FIA would rather not benefit from the tried & tested American experience.

    2. iceman says:

      The delta time has to be a lot faster than the safety car. If it wasn’t then the field wouldn’t be able to catch it and bunch up, which is the purpose of the safety car – to give the marshals clear track to work on.

  103. Colin says:

    If there was ever a GP where Alonso would expect favourable stewarding it would be Valencia surely. To come out and basically accuse the officials of corruption is remarkable.

    When Alonso won his first world championship I felt he brought a breath of fresh air into a tiring sport. However his self-important antics since his 2007 season with Mclaren have alienated many potential fans.

    His attitude seems to be that he is the best, everyone should get out if his way and work towards the sole goal of enabling him to win. If he’d spend as much time driving his fantastic Ferrari car to it’s limits than thinking of any reason to moan and whine about the other drivers (not just Hamilton) then he may have some more supporters and achieve much more.

    Alonso really has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to Hamilton and I get the impression Hamilton knows it and uses it psychologically against him……Good!! The psychology of a sportman trying to beat another is all part of the game.

    Alonso….get over yourself and start racing!

    1. mtb says:

      Alonso displayed such characteristics long before 2007. The problem was that there were a large number of individuals who overlooked these because they were desperate to see Schumacher beaten.

  104. Jake says:

    Oh and finally finally, I don’t understand all the people (including Alosnos himself) saying that what Lewis did ruined his race/screwed him etc. Fernando came 9th and no matter what Lewis did he still would have finished 9th.

    1. mvi says:

      It has to do with relative position and points won for the championship standings. If Lewis had been promptly penalized, he would have placed much closer to Fernando in the points scored for this race, instead of leaping far ahead with the second place.

  105. peterg says:

    Through a combination of Kobayashi – who had every right to be there as it was where he was fed in – holding Alonso up, & Hamilton being able to pull out a significant lead from the Kobayashi/Alonso battle, by the time Hamilton served his drive-through the penalty was a meaningless as Lewis maintained his second place.

    Hamilton’s gaffe at with the SC at the pit exit was a cut & dry infraction, the stewards enormous delay in getting around to ruling on it was the real crime.

    Regardless, in every sport there is going to be controversy on referee’s & umpires calling line balls (look at the recent World Cup). Something tells me if the situation had been reversed & Alonso had received the benefit of a bad call by the stewards, & Hamilton was to suffer the bad outcome………..old Fred would not be lamenting Lewis’s ill fortune & calling for the stewards heads.

    Not the most exciting race, in fact it was a bit dull, Valencia does not really lend itself to a passing. Despite his complaining over the matter, I too would have liked to have seen the Hamilton-Alonso battle race to the finishing line, Alonso in front of his home crowd would have pulled out all the stops, who knows what the outcome would have been.

  106. Anthony says:

    It was bad luck for the Ferrari drivers, but it isn’t clear that Race Control did anything wrong.

    If the safety car had left the pits 10 sec earlier, it would have come out ahead of Vettell and then all of the leaders would have been stuck behind it equally.

    But that still wouldn’t have solved the problem, as probably Button would have won the race. It really is a lottery, but not a scandal.

  107. Paul Miller says:

    James, I take it you’ll be at Spa this year? i must admit I love the Senna memorial in the public area at the bottom of Eau Rouge.

    Me and my mates are bringing our caravan again and are staying at the camp site Eau Rouge just outside Stavelot. Hopefully see you you on the Thursday if your about. We’ll be the daft Scots wearing anything the Scottish tourist board say will improve the image of the nation. I’m kidding obviously.

  108. Ragerod says:

    The reasons why a penatly was required have been explained and it would be wrong to have penalised Hamilton without conclusive evidence although I’m surprised it wasn’t picked up the safety car itself. It was a marginal overtake and a misunderstanding rather than an intentional disregard of the rules so I think a drive-thru was the right penalty but it suited Hamilton. In the quest for consistency you can’t penalise a guy more just because it is felt he’ll get off lightly.

    Alonso’s frustrations are understandable but I think the 5-sec penalty for the other drivers is too lenient and should be the equivalent of what it would be in the race which is a drive-throu penalty. It seems to me that they looked at the results and picked a time penalty that wouldn’t affect the results too much.

  109. Gustavo says:

    I can only imagine how “fair” the whole situation would have been for Alonso had he been in Hamilton’s position. That was a very tight call and to say that the race was manipulated based on what happened is just nonsense and it simply reflects Alonso’s frustration as well as a very childish attitude in a losing situation.

    Nonetheless, there’s something that I still don’t quite get which is that Hamilton came in for his drive thru penalty with something like a 14 second gap to Kobayashi and yet he came out quite comfortably ahead. I would have thought that the whole process of coming in, driving at 60 km/h for the entire length of the pitlane and then coming out would take more time.

  110. bethov says:

    So, same polemic driver breaks again rules, gets it away unpunished (a real punishment I mean), and Alonso should just shut up and eat it once again? I think not.

    Hey, it’s Ferrari not Alonso talking about scandal.

    Regards.

  111. RON says:

    Has Charlie Whiting ever done anything credible in F1?

    He has been the center of scandal after scandal…

    To me he is just another Mosely type figure, [mod]

    His total failure as the self proclaimed head of the OWG group was also a dismal failure, that ended up in the corrupt season of 2009…

    For me, Charlie Whiting must be replaced with a more credible and professional engineer…

    Charlie has been at it too long and simply not fit for purpose…

    1. Red5 says:

      Not sure many people will agree with you, Ron.

      I take it this was your first F1 race….

    2. mtb says:

      Whiting is the race director, not a steward. He is not responsible for the actions of the stewards.

  112. Owen says:

    Few times I have been so angry after an F1 race as I was last night. It is absolutely scandalous that with two championship contenders that the one that broke the rules and cheated (yes it was cheating, no two words about it) benefitted with a haul of points whilst the one who followed the rules relatively lost out.

    It is not fair to Alonso or any of the other drivers in the championship that Hamilton got the haul of a 2nd place position for his actions, because it artificially distorts the championship.

    To me the only course of action that would be suitable would be to strip Hamilton of his points, that’s the only fair thing to do.

    1. MacG says:

      Spot on.

    2. Another James says:

      @owen Do get a grip. Cheating is blocking your team mate in the pits (Alonso Hungary 2007), Getting your team mate to crash for you (Alonso, Singapore 2008) or overtaking a teammate in the pit lane entry. Cheating is bully the officials to give penalise an opponent (cause of at least one yellow card in the world cup).

      According to FormulaOne.com, turn 1 at Valencia is a 290KPH (180MPH) 6th gear corner. Hamilton comes round the corner to see the doctor’s car and safety car in the pit lane exit, doing about 1/4 of that speed. His first reaction is to lift (who wouldn’t) then – because he has 200 meters or so to pass the SC legally, he accelerates, but completes the move a fraction too late.

      Anyone who has ever found themselves in two minds about overtaking on the road, and completed a overtake as the road markings change should feel sympathy for Hamilton – on the road it could earn you 3 points, but it seems owen you’d call for immediate loss of licence etc.

      What was not fair to Alonso and Massa was the safety car not letting them through, costing them 30 seconds relative to everyone else in the field. Alonso finished 9th when he should have had a podium: and he might lose the championship by a few points to Button, Vettel or Webber because of that.
      It was unfair to Alonso was passed by Button, Barichello, Kubica, Sutil,and Kobayashi. But that would have happened whatever Hamilton did. Hamilton’s late pass of the SC cost him the chance of Win and that may impact the championship (doubly so if Vettel ends up winning it). Imposing a wrong on Hamilton because Alonso suffered one at the hands of the safety car lights operator would not make a right.

      1. Alysha says:

        The Hamilton explanation assumes that it is normal for someone to be taking a curve at 280 kph in sixth gear under safety car conditions when there are waving yellow flags everywhere around the circuit (i.e. any segment could require you to slow down immediately). Lewis did as he should have under the regulations, but you have to question how F1 has it where drivers are not required to slow down immediately and meaningfully after a major track incident. The nonsensical nature of the regulations (at least for a Canadian used to seeing lots of pace cars in North American racing) was shown when Lewis was put in a situation where he had no choice but to race the safety car to some line hundreds of meters past the pit exit. Let me emphasize that: under current F1 regulations, a driver can and must race the safety car on the pit straight and the extended version of the pit lane — that’s totally stupid.

        By the way, congratulations to Tilke for designing a circuit (Abu Dhabi) where the pit lane ends out of a tunnel two turns past the pit straight. It looks cool, but as Valencia showed, the pit lane out line matters from a strategic perspective.

  113. FA says:

    James, check out the 2010 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona where Alguersuari served on lap 35 a drive-trough penalty for a collision with Chandhok on lap 25.
    Before his penalty,Alguersuari was tenth in front of Petrov, but also emerged tenth in front of Petrov after his penalty, because between lap 25-35 he was able to make a lead of 15 seconds over Petrov.

    Identically, Buemi served on lap 22 a drive-through penalty for unsafe entering the track in front of Trulli on lap 14, but after his penalty Buemi emerged in front of Trulli because he was able to extend his lead over Trulli.

  114. Stephen says:

    I feel more sympathy for Massa than Alonso although both drivers suffered unfairly. However, it’s clear that they were the victims of circumstance rather than intention and the obsession with Hamilton is telling.

    The SC car was poorly deployed but there is not a Safety Car system in any form of motorsport that is fair, whether pits are closed or not. We’ve seen many cases of drivers unfairly penalised over the years by being in the wrong place or on the wrong tyres when the SC is deployed. A scandal it ain’t.

    It is clear though that coupled the Schumacher incident at the end of the Monaco grand prix that SC periods need to be tightened up in F1.

  115. Panya says:

    I was fuming too when I was watching the race. The penalty to Hamilton should have been made much quicker and more severe!!

    I am sure that we will see a reversal of comments if this had affected Hamilton instead of Alonso….

  116. Phil says:

    Personally, I think that this was an example of Hamilton’s smarts – something which he is not often recognized for; often because of lazy journalism.

    The way I read the situation, when I was watching it, is that Hamilton knowing the rule of not being able to pass the safety car *after* the safety car line, attempted to back up Alonso, so that only Lewis could sprint past the safety car *just* before the safety line.

    Very smart thinking. Particularly given that he needed a new wing (at least in order to attack Vettel). If he had not backed up Alonso, putting him behind the safety car, then when Lewis entered the pits, he would not have been able to have his wing changed without losing a position to Alonso (and possibly also Massa if he too had gotten past the safety car).

    All in all, very smart, quick thinking. People are so used to not thinking of Lewis as being clever though that they put it down to a mistake. And, that he was unsure of the rules.

    Really? I don’t buy it, I think he knew exactly what he was attempting to do.

    Now, he didn’t quite pull it off right (obviously) – since he didn’t quite time the overtake right, but as it turned out with the late call for the drive through he still managed to keep second, and kept a driver he rates as one of his main competition further behind in the points.

    Brilliant!

    Finally, Alonso I believe fully recognized all this, and that was what really steamed him – I think he even said on the radio something like “Hamilton backed me up behind the safety car”. He knew what Hamilton was doing, and didn’t buy that it was a “mistake”.

    The problem I think for Ferrari, is (and correct me if I’m wrong) – there wasn’t really a rule that covers this. Yes, there is a rule that say you cannot overtake the safety car once it passes the line, and there is a rule that says that cars cannot overtake each other while the safety car is/(is being?) deployed.

    But (as far as I know), there is no rule about backing up a car behind the safety car.

    James, is this your understanding? Is there any such rule?

    If not, then people can jeer all they want, and call it “cheating” but I’m afraid it’s really just great gamesmanship – knowing the rules really well, and playing them to your maximum benefit. Bad in this case for Alonso fans. Great for Lewis fans. And if Alonso had pulled the same move on Lewis, right now Alonso fans would be marvelling at him.

    1. Stevie P says:

      The same thought has crossed my mind Phil… and that’s why Alonso was particularly angry.

    2. Thomas, Canada says:

      I agree totally with this post. Hamilton new what he was doing and very nearly pulled it off to perfection. He mugged both Ferrari’s and that is what ticked them off so much.

      It goes to the earlier post that Hamilton is maturing into the supreme racer – the extra capacity to think while driving at 100%. Must have brought a tear to Schumacher’s eye watching this!

    3. Sergio says:

      Please James Allen, could you looking for the San Marino GP2 race 2006 ? Same actor: Lewis Hamilton. Same action: overtaking SC. Diferent consequence: Black flag.

      1. James Allen says:

        Yes, that point was made here yesterday

      2. kbdavies says:

        But it was under VERY different circumstances!

    4. Hugh says:

      I agree 100% very well read. It’s the sort of smarts one would expect at this level, a pity Webber wasn’t as sharp. Hamilton’s task was very difficult as he only had a car’s length to work with and as such understandable he didn’t quite pull it off.

      1. Phil says:

        Exactly! I’ve read comments elsewhere deriding this possibility on the basis that Lewis must have been really crap if he was aiming to do this since he didn’t (quite) pull it off.

        What they fail to recognize is exactly what you say – he only had a car’s length to play with since he needed to time it so that Alonso couldn’t closely tail him. It would only work if the back of his car passed the front of the safety car *just* before the safety line.

        Not even to judge even at the slower speeds of the safety car.

        So, all that while having to look at where the safety car was *and* check his mirrors to see where Alonso was.

        Very tricky. But very smart to attempt it. And overall ended out working to his benefit – since we’ll never know if he might have had problems if he’d been unable to change his wing, which of course he would not have been able to, if Alonso had also gotten past the safety car.

  117. Steve Smith says:

    It’s not a scandal, it’s called ‘Karma’. A scnadal is when your team arranges to crash one of its cars into a wall to manipulate the race.

  118. Travis says:

    So from now on one should just go ahead and pass the saftey car. The advantage gained is greater than the penalty given out.

    And it was obvious from the overhead shot what had happened. What’s up with the stewards, this wasn’t that hard of a call?

  119. JRay says:

    I have to agree that the safety car issue was a joke. As I watched the race I saw Vettel and Hamilton behind the safety car and wondered “what happened to Alonso?” I think the worst part of this is that we missed an opportunity to see a great battle. Hamilton’s drive through was laughable, by the time the stewards did anything about it he wasn’t penalized at all. So again I’d rather see Hamilton and Alonso battling it out in 8th and 9th than completely destroy one drivers race. Same goes if the roles were reversed. Something has to change with the safety car rules.

  120. James B says:

    Suck it up precious. It’s tough being a victim, but even tougher when your normally the beneficiary eh Nando. How do you think Mark Webber felt being punted off under SC in China? That cost him a podium too. Was that a scandal?

  121. XT says:

    This is a little rich coming from someone who benefited from one of the biggest scandals ever engineered for his benefit. Quit throwing your toys out of the pram and concentrate on your driving, I am getting irritated with all the whining coming from the Ferrari. Its racing, get on with it!!

  122. Marcus Redivo says:

    Having now watched the helicopter footage of Hamilton’s pass of the safety car several times, I think it is quite possible that Hamilton was trying to use the safety car as a pick against Alonso.

    Hamilton clearly gains on the safety car when it first comes into view; he backs off sufficiently so that the safety car begins to gain on him, and then makes a sprint to the safety car line. Safety car wins, Hamilton loses, penalty ensues.

    It almost worked. It WOULD have worked as planned if he didn’t lift, but he underestimated the safety car’s speed and acceleration.

    If true, this was quick thinking on Hamilton’s part. Sorry Fernando, you were outmatched this time. And you Lewis, you owe Kobayashi a favour.

    A parting shot: what if Hamilton HAD successfully crossed the safety car line BEFORE the safety car, and Alonso did not? What would Ferrari be saying?

  123. Paige says:

    The irony in all of Alonso and Ferrari’s complaints about Hamilton is astounding. They should be complaining about the lax penalty given to Button, Barrichello, Sutil, and Kubica- they should have been given 25 second penalties rather than 5 seconds.

    They’re only complaining about Hamilton because they know that, really, he’s the favorite for the championship at the moment and are looking to play mind games. The FIA followed standard operating procedure in investigating and penalizing Hamilton; it’s EXTREMELY rare that they announce an investigation of an incident less than 10 laps after it’s occurred. A flaw in the sporting governance? Perhaps, but certainly not “manipulation” of the result or a scandalous situation. Ferrari understand all of this. They just see an opportunity to play games.

  124. Kirsty says:

    He ALWAYS feel he’s victimised. I love that he actually used the word “manipulated”.
    SC situations are never fair.

  125. Madhu says:

    Well! For a driver who was allegedly port of the 2 biggest controversies in the last 2 years one of them being Race Fixing, this should be no big deal i would say!

    Alonso – what goes around comes around!

    I am loving this!

  126. N. Machiavelli says:

    Forget this latest Alonso / Hamilton controversy for a moment and look at the big picture.

    F1 contains WAY too much “funny business”, outright cheating, and other unsportsmanlike behavior.

    You cannot simply point a finger at only one team, or at only one driver. Recent decades have been rife with distasteful acts committed by drivers, team managers, engineers, ex-drivers, etc.

    The manner in which F1 is policed is borderline incompetent and has been subject to gross favoritism in the past. I don’t care which driver or team you favor, this stuff is bad for the sport, and it insults the hardcore fans who are the most ardent supporters of the sport.

    In any case I am happy that Mark Webber escaped serious harm, but I must point out that his accident
    quite likely would not have happened if F1 had not permitted a non-competitive car to pretend to compete. Teams which cannot actually compete make
    the racing more dangerous and add NOTHING positive to the actual racing. And if Kova really did deliberately brake well before the normal braking point, he should be deeply ashamed and he owes Webber a sincere apology. Kova won’t EVER win the WDC anyway, so
    what’s the point in acting like a mobile chicane for those who are in contention ?!?

    1. Andy says:

      Who judges when a team is capable of competing and when it is just a moving chicane? Lotus have, in my opinion, been the bright spot of the season so far, and Kova clearly the best driver of the new teams. Webber failed to realize how much sooner Kova needed to brake for the corner, but this is nothing new, in the past there have been teams that, relative to the top teams, have been much slower. It is a part of being a racer to deal with these situations. Kova had every right to race against Webber. To imply that he deliberately braked early is something I can’t understand, why on Earth would he do something like that? He wanted to keep Webber behind him, not make it easier for him to pass him.

  127. agus says:

    The FIA is just ridiculous. This Hamilton SC passing handling was self destructive to this sport. What steward did will encourage drivers in the future races to also bend the rules, even for this kind of black-and-white one!
    And the Schumy’s red-lighted in the pit lane case was also did not make any senses.

    I do not care which drivers will win in this sport, and also am fine if others supporting any particular driver for any reasons, but we have to make sure that the rules is clear and be enforced so that only the best will win!

  128. JC says:

    The fact is that Hamilton did not get truly penalized for his offence. I fully share Knoxploration’s view.
    Meaningful penalties, fairer rulings…

  129. Craig for NZ says:

    wouldn’t it be easier for big accidents when the medical car needs to be released straight away to stop all the cars on the start finish straight, then restart the race once the situation is resolved like they did with Burti’s Spa crash in 2001?

    1. Red5 says:

      Don’t need to stop the pack just bunch them up and pick up the race leader.

      If the track was blocked with damaged cars and debris then I guess the race would have been stopped.

  130. Tim says:

    I’m not a fan of Hamilton or Alonso, but to me the stewards have made a huge mistake here and need to be accountable. Imagine if this happened in the last race of the season and that lack of penalty to Hamilton decided the world championship! There would be legal action…

    This was really poor for F1 in general and I’m quite a disappointed fan and feel sorry for Ferrari.

  131. Diamond says:

    Not an Alonso fan my any measure, but it was a tough call. That said, given his past on issues of race rigging I think he would serve himself best if he would keep his mouth shut and let Massa do the legitimate complaining.

    As I have said previously – even though they are the best talent on the paddock (Sebastian, Lewis, Alonso), individually they can really whine when things aren’t working for them.

    Fortunes change constantly and Lewis certainly has had a good go of it of late. All the best to him, as it will change. We have had Vettel, Button, Webber and Hamilton all in purple patches this year, and it seems the rotation is happening again.

    1. James Allen says:

      And Senna and Prost didn’t whine?

      1. Dorian says:

        Exactly James!!

      2. Diamond says:

        As a newcomer unfortunately I can’t comment on them. I’m certainly no expert, I can only comment on the last couple of years. I beg of the current crop please prove me wrong on my observations.

        Act like men and not whining school boys. Maybe I am too idealistic. Anyway…I am getting off this soap box I think I have said enough on this subject.

        On a related matter, it did bring me some joy to see Kobayashi on a charge at the end of the race and showing some of the top runners how it is done. I am sure like Jenson did by not over taking him after the safety car, Alonso will treat him with more respect next time. (Am I showing myself as as the typical Aussie going for the underdog?)

      3. Kirsty says:

        Prost and Senna took each other out, even steven, fine. And they only whined about each other. Alonso was allowed to keep his win in Singapore, he still thinks he “deserves” the win. And all of sudden he’s got a problem with manipulated race??

  132. CH1UNDA says:

    Alonso and Ferrari crying foul is like the Devil calling Angels the gate keepers of Hell – its just so fake, ironic and sarcastic

  133. iceman says:

    i could understand the frustration of Alonso & ferrari here..btw im a ferrari fan.. you come on GP w/ developments w/c cost fortunes w/c ordinary people cannot imagine,just to gain milliseconds off to their pace.. Here comes this accidents w/c cause SC to be deployed,im really annoyed that front runners are sometimes getting punished because of not acting on time to pit their cars, you cannot pit all 2 cars on the same time right?basically one the cars will loose his position,front runners are the ones who are gambling rather than cars w/c is at the midpack.. SC should also protect performing cars from loosing their position in the race due to deployment of SC,like pit will be closed for all teams, and all teams should pit together and when all of them have pitted already,cars should sort each other in current position before the accident happen,what happen yesterday was a joke and mockery w/c we called the pinnacle of motorsport, would be nice if one of the under performing teams like HRT will cause SC deployemnt on the lastlap so that one of their car might be lucky enough to be at the podium..
    now.. for those people who are saying that punishment are fair & square,imagine your team have all of this badluck.. nuff said

  134. wxwax says:

    I don’t understand F1′s safety car rules.

    Are the pits opened before the field is brought under control and is in order?

    What kind of fair play is it for the red cars to drop so far down the field under the controlled conditions of a full course yellow and a safety car?

    It’s bizarre.

  135. AlexD says:

    My personal opinion – it wasn’t the best approach from stewards. Let’s say that Ferrari could have done better today, they had the car. But this is not the real problem – Ferrari is hoping for bad luck to happen to their rivals as this is the only way they can win in 2010 and bad luck happened to them, which is not what they wanted.
    They do not have the car like Red Bulls to say “Ok, we get over it” and next race we will show everybody. They do not have anything to show other teams and this is the real problem. Ferrari knows they don’t have anything to answer Red Bull and even McLaren. This is what they mean by scandal.

  136. hah says:

    why should anybody arguing about Alonso complaining, its within his right as participant of the race to complaint after seeing the rule broken infront of him…??

    Everybody have their own right, it simply MR LORD LEWIS broken the simple rule that and manage to get away with it that make Alonso furious..

    You guys can keep bashing him whatever you want but keep in mind…once the similar happen to you…dont say the POLICE are not fair etc…

    What a NON-SENSE…

    To avoid all these to repeat…close the PIT ENTRY during SC period…very easy FIA dot.

  137. alex petrov says:

    I see that for some is better to predent that everything was ok and Alonso is just whining. Let’s wait until you all will whin then Hamilton will be in Alonso’s place.

  138. Nesto says:

    To help (although I doubt it would work) others understand why Alonso is so irate about Hamilton, heres an everyday life example of what happened. You ever have an idiot on your bumper and you just want to get rid of him ? So what you do is negotiate traffic so that only you can make it past, rocket off into the distance while hes stuck in behind. Now you know what you’re doing and if everyday drivers can AND do this.. and last I checked Hamilton is quite smart and VERY competitive, how can you not think what he did was deliberate ?

    What else could have been on his mind ? He was quite far behind Vettel considering there were only 3sec apart in the race and Alonso/Massa were 1-2 sec behind. He had plenty of time to get ahead of the SC yet he cut it to the last possible moment so that the Ferraris didn’t make it and ultimately he did.. albiet illegally but luckily, the so-called penalty had no effect.

    Now imagine you’re that guy who got left behind in traffic… except now you’re a F1 driver and in the midst of a championship battle mid-season, aren’t you the least bit ticked at the guy who ruined your race and managed 2nd ? Even if you didn’t get passed him, you had 3rd. Instead you’re 9th. Hmmm…

    Btw, anyone who brings up Hungary 07 or Singapore 08, etc. is silly. Yeah, lets all bring up the past cuz its so relevant when we’re discussing the present.

    1. David Hodge says:

      I don’t think it is silly!

      Alonso benefitted from deliberate and proven manipulation by his team to cause a crash which resulted in a safety car from which he gained huge advantage.

      So given that precedence, it is a bit strong of Alonso to complain about manipulation when he was happy to go along with it when it was in his favour.

  139. Eric says:

    Yes Hamilton was wrong. The rules are clear cut on this. The white line issue was a bit marginal so you can understand why the stewards took a long time to decide. In the end, Hamilton actually got a larger time penalty than the other penalised drivers.

    But Alonso and Ferrari clearly don’t understand the safety car and its implications with no refuelling: YOU DON’T NEED TO PIT FOR NEW TYRES AS SOON AS IT COMES OUT. If Alonso had remained out he would have been in 1st. Then after the restart the field would have spread out in a few laps enough for him to pit and return somewhere higher than 9th.

    The 5 second penalty for the other cars is a joke as well. What these cars did – going too fast with the safety car out and marshals/debris on the track – was dangerous and they only received a 5s penalty. Whereas Schumacher overtook Alonso in Monaco when it was perfectly safe to do so, only marginally broke a clearly flawed rule, and got a 25s penalty. Significant inconsistency in the sanctions issued. I feel that safety issues should be accounted for in the penalties awarded, if the driver endangers others then the penalty should be higher, and lower if he does not. I fear that the penalties were light so as to avoid changing the podium after the race. :/

    1. Charlotte says:

      Well Said!

      After the whole Schumi-Monaco thing the stewards said they felt the punishment was harsh but it was the only one available to them within the rulebook- so where has this 5 second penalty suddenly come from?

      1 rule for 1, 1 rule for another!

    2. mvi says:

      Your scenario may have worked, assuming of course that the super-soft tires would have held up.

  140. Owen Li says:

    Though prohibited,Lewis passed the safety car,and he gained nearly 1 min from Alonso by Nano’s being held behind the Safety Car.
    At last,Lewis was only handed a drive through penalty,which means about 15 seconds loss.That’s absolutely unfair.
    If you cheat in an exam and gain 60 points,at last you are only fined 20 points,is that fair for the students who study hard?

    1. AlexD says:

      not 15, 8.5 seconds

  141. PaulB says:

    Let’s get perspective – this is the team only last week was ‘filming an advert’ with the new exhaust fitted! If we want fair – then all publicity work should be on last years cars….

    And his hatred was only really directed at one man wasn’t it….lots of other drivers ‘jumped’ the ferraris as well….

    1. mvi says:

      Re perspective, at least you know that fuzzy rules about filming events will be looked into (according to Martin Whitmarsh), after Ferrari along with others like Mercedes have used them to test enhancements.

      As for the race, others did not make illegal moves on the Safety Car to end up ahead of the Ferraris, they followed the (rather lamentable) existing regulations (except for some speed infractions). I don’t think hatred comes into this. Frustration certainly does.

  142. tank says:

    The deployment time was strange – however you can rule out neither bad coincidence, nor corruption, since there is human involvement in the heat of the moment.

    If it was the latter, I see the intention of vaulting Vettel and ensuring his race win. Button was key in this too. The championship would have closed up slightly had Hamilton been caught by the SC – Button, Vettel, then Hamilton. Granted, to manipulate the standings like that in real time make that scenario less plausible. I do feel it was strange that Ferrari had to point out the breach by Hamilton, but then it might simply have been missed.

    These arguments are bound to go around in circles since we don’t know all the facts (which does make it more interesting, admittedly). We are forced to use our opinions in place of them… and as you’ve said James, F1 fans are passionate people.

  143. RickeeBoy says:

    1. Alonso is crying yet again, and if it’s not his bleeting it’s his crawling up Ferrari’s posterior – He a superb driver shame he’s a got LH chip on each shoulder.

    2. He does have a point about the unfair Safety Car which is not correct.

    3. As per CART or NASCAR – As its a Dangerous Safety period then it should be 100% full yellows with the Safety car picking up the leader and everybody keeping their respective positions until the Pits are then opened, to stop unfair advantages just because where you situated on the track…. but because in F1 there is only one pit per team then that wont work –

    4. So … Unlucky Alonso – nothing will change – Unless somebody can suggest a better rule.

    5. The penalties for infringements were about right – including Lewis’s drive through.

    1. Thalasa says:

      “The penalties for infringements were about right – including Lewis’s drive through.”

      What it was wrong was the timing for penalty. And that made all the difference.

  144. Red5 says:

    Certainly confusing for many fans and bitterly disappointing for Alonso. However, it’s hard to imagine Ferrari being so vocal if they had gained position as a result of safety car.

    I’m sure the FIA will review the timing of the release of the safety car which by a matter of meters put Lewis in a position to take the advantage. He should never have been in a position to squeeze past and gain track position. And I think the team should have been on the radio clarifying the situation.

    In addition, I hope the FIA and stewards review the time it takes to make judgments. Do they need more stewards at every race or more video evidence? I suggest they have both already but need to find a better and quicker way to respond.

    As Max says above, should the pit lane be closed when the safety car is deployed? A number of drivers were caught out hurrying back to the pits. And poor Schumi stuck at the end of the pit lane; at least he had time to reflect on his place in F1 as the younger generation drove past.

    1. Tifosi says:

      I think you are mistaken. If not for the wrongly lit red light, Schumi would have finished in top 5, in an ailing car, with no brakes.
      Who in the younger generation that you point to, would have been able to do that?
      Certainly not Hamilton (I bet he even breaks down a toyota corolla if he had one)

  145. murray says:

    If someone cuts a chicane and gains a position, they have to surrender it. Why couldn’t F1, with all the gee-whiz pit-to-car-to-Charlie Whiting duplex comms, simply order Hamilton to fall back behind the safety car? It’s a clumsy rule, clumsily handled, but borderline competence isn’t necessarily scandalous. Lewis paid a penalty, so they can’t try for more blood there, but the frustrated hyperbole is understandable. It’s not always easy to see the line separating passionate and ridiculous, either. Everyone’s an umpire.

  146. Monji says:

    I am an Hamilton Fan and I’m proud of supporting him, the guy’s THE REAL NUMERO 1 currently jokes aside.

    While I support Lewis I always almost agree with the GREAT Martin Brundle judgement on Lewis and for this race Martin didn’t even see why Lewis should have been penalised in the first place, his maths were that Kubica and Button would be the beneficiary of the safety car incident but to his and my surprise Vettel and Hamilton were, the real qquestion here is why didn’t the safety car catch Vettel first, really guys don’t take too much pleasure being a hater, when Hamitlon is in the picture everyone wants to leave a comment.

  147. Ziz says:

    Did Lewis break the rule? Yes! Did the stewards take time to investigate? Yes! If a bunch of people are given good equipment, time and a relatively large rulebook to decide an “incident” and a possible punishment normally they will take their time to do it “perfectly right”. It is well within how the System works- just see nowdays judgment system in Real Life.

    Meanwhile in FIFA Word Cup there are only instant decisions, the referee must decide if the ball was over the goal or not without using any helpful equipment or video… no real comitee to help them either. It takes no time at all to make a good or a bad decision. And the fans are still moaning…

    Conclusion:
    - If their hero loses the fans are moving no matter how good the referee and Co is.
    -I still like the new FIA approach that they hand out only MINIMAL punishments- and they do not want to decide the end result of a race.
    -Lewis should shut up and try not to give the most transparent “explanations” after doing something wrong. If you do not want to be seen as a Bad Boy who Lies Poorly try to learn to say things that make sense or at least can be proven. Anyway his punishment was appropriate.
    - Alonso should cure his Lewis phobia (he is really mad this time- usually he call his archrival “Lewis” now it’s Hamilton). For example Button was behind him before SC, he also broke the rule, and escaped with minimal punishment later and finished well ahead of the great Spanish driver (still he remains good guy, no cheater and no scandal :-P), Alonso has no problem with Button at all…
    -I wonder about the Spanish Vodafone Campaign- Lewis and Button are the Benditos Malvados to Alonso :-) Well, in movies the best of the Bad Ones can cause real trouble to the Warriors of the Light Side like Alonso :-) that makes a great movie and it does happened here.

    1. mvi says:

      Button did not make an illegal move to get ahead of the SC. Like many others he did infringe the speed constraints.

  148. Spyros says:

    I thought Ferrari and Alonso were completely wrong in Montreal, but here it’s different. What happened affects the result of the championship just as badly as “crashgate”, as far as I’m concerned – assuming Ferrari and Alonso are still in it, with 1-2 races to go.

    In 1994, Schumacher was black-flagged, because he briefly overtook another car during the formation lap. Yes, the rules have changed since then, and what he did then would be allowed now. But his penalty was thought justified on safety grounds. Here Hamilton overtakes the Safety car, and the only punishment, effectively, is having about 16 seconds added to his time?

    I think Hamilton should have been black-flagged. Simple, effective, and it wouldn’t matter when the stewards saw it.

  149. Flintster says:

    Listen, blame the game – not the player!

    Alonso and Ferrari are right to complain though – Lewis broke the rules and yes he did his time but the stewards should not have taken so long to make their minds up which gave him an unfair advantage.

    I’m with Ferrari and Alonso on this….

  150. ExC says:

    I think you are wrong when you say the reason why Alonso was terribly angry: “…the championship battle is now becoming clearer and Hamilton is one of Alonso’s key title contenders, along with Vettel.” No, James Allen. If the victory would be in a fair & square mode, probably Alonso would be dissapointed not angry. Yesterday was a real shame for the sport and final evidence that they are one “product” with privileges since his entrance. Maybe anyone could think it is an insult or a consequence of anger or moan, but too many facts nowadays could support one idea in F1: If you are a cheater, if you break the rules, you will obtain the prize in the Bernie´s category. This is entertentainment.
    Yesterday the always “1000 replays Bernie’s TV broadcast forget the reason to have Alonso 11th while Hamilton, the driver who was just before him, remained 2nd. No questions, everything “normal”. For Charlie Whiting also. No investigation. But suddenly we can hear Alonso’s radio assuming the new charge of race’s director. Whiting dissapeared. From that moment (late and motivated for a driver not a Director)Whiting took a lot of time to delivery a drive & through. I completely sure yesterday was englishmen embarrased. Those they know F1 has changed and they have a new example of champion: Lewis Hamilton, the “new Schumacher” since one year before his entrance in F1. The Senna’s “inheritor”. Well here he is. You swichted your brilliant history of F1 for the new style in Hamilton: agressive, fast, quick to achieve his targets. The man that never knows what happened in track.
    Remember Jenson Button 2nd slot and Montecarlo’s McLaren mistake: the gentlemean, the real fair & square contender is the second. Nor Alonso need it to put the things right, you can have the perfect comparison in two english guys. What kind of F1 to chose for.
    Weaving-dangering in pits-cheater-no fuel qualy-overtaking SC= No punishment at all.
    Moaning?whining? What else? You the english permit injustice in your faces?

  151. Lojen says:

    As usual this is not as cut and dried as many like to make out. It was a combination of unforeseeable and unusual events that has led to this situation.

    Firstly the timing of the safety car seems odd, why did it not pick up Vettel?

    Secondly Hamilton’s overtake was extremely marginal. It’s not like he was sat behind it for half a lap and then decided to just blaze past. It was the slightest of misjudgements when he saw it exiting the pit lane and we are talking about a single meter or two.

    Thirdly we have the “Kobyashi” factor. Who could have foreseen that Koby would not pit? If he had of pitted then the following pack would have been a lot closer to Hamilton and the drive through would have dropped him down a good number of places.

    The only real facts are that Hamilton broke the SC rule, however marginally, and was then awarded the appropriate penalty. Thanks to how slow Koby was the penalty in this instance didn’t end up costing him any places, but as I originally stated, this is just the result of a bizarre set of circumstances, not some pre-planned cheating or manipulation of the race by anyone.

  152. chetz says:

    i just feel so happy when alonso whines.its what he is meant to do. racing happened by chance!

    moaning about what’s fair and what’s not while he was driving n to be reminded by the race engineer: concentrate on the race now… what a gem! :D

  153. Lojen says:

    Oh and just to add, Hamilton in no way wrecked Alonso’s race, or even affected it in any way. Alonso was doomed to pick up behind the SC regardless.

  154. Prof Bolshaviks says:

    This should annoy a few people, but think about it and you’ll see the point. Maybe teams will use this strategy in future…
    Kobayashi should have won that race.
    Step one safety car out, don’t pit move to third.
    Step two overtake Hamilton behind safety car.
    Step three overtake Vettel behind safety car.
    Step four overtake safety car. Now drive around the track fast as you like to get on the back of the train of cars.
    So kobayashi is now in first place a full lap
    up, 1:40 in Valencia.
    Serve three drive throughs, total loss maximum one minute. Then have 5 seconds per lap he was too fast under safety car conditions. Probably maybe two. Gives him thirty seconds to pit from first and put fresh tyres on.(assuming he doesn’t pit under the safety car when already a lap up.)
    Cruise to the end.
    Easy to win in F1. For extra incentive, have de
    la rosa overtake to 2nd place and hold every
    one else up.

    1. Lalit says:

      hilarious….
      I think the sport keeps shooting itself in foot
      (Or maybe they know that we idiots would keep following no matter what)

    2. agusn says:

      From now on, teams and drivers will calculate cost and benefit for breaking every rule … chaos!

  155. MacG says:

    The safety car is there for, well – the clew is in the name – safety.

    Lewis clearly hesitated on seeing the SC, and then overtook it AFTER the SC line. It is a million percent clear, he passed the SC illegally and gained a huge illegal advantage.

    The issue here has to be one of principle. Are drivers to follow the rules, especially the safety rules, or are they free to ignore them whenever it gives them an advantage.

    We all know Hamilton hesitated. We all know that there was an incident on the track the needed the drivers to drive slowly behind the SC. Passing the SC is one thing, but the truly sickening element is that Hamilton then accelerated hard to race off around the track, fully knowing that there was an incident on the track but choosing not to drive slowly with the pace of the safety car. If Hamilton had ploughed round a corner and driven into a marshal, would people still be defending his illegal actions?

    Safety rules have to be paramount. At the very least, Hamilton (who was clearly already hesitating) should have dropped back and allowed the SC to re-pass him (like a driver who takes an unfair advantage by cutting a corner and has to give a place back) – he should not have sped off recklessly, potentially risking the lives of marshals and drivers.

    If you flout safety, you really should face a heavy sanction. Hamilton (or ANY driver doing what he did – Alonso, Schumi, Button, etc) should have been black flagged and he should have been given a three race ban.

    In Canada, Hamilton (but it applies to ANY driver) couldn’t get his car back to the pits in qualifying and just got a meaningless fine, even though there was a clear advantage to running a car with insufficient fuel. He now breaches safety and gets a totally meaningless penalty at a time when the penalty can make no difference to the outcome of the race. These actions trivialise the sport and the FIA. They mock the fans. They lack decency, intelligence or integrity.

    Clearly, in the future, ALL the cars should ignore the SC and just keep driving around it to get as much advantage as possible. And not just once, if the SC is out for 5 laps, then the drivers should drive around it five times – there is no point in observing the rules if you can gain a huge advantage by ignoring them. And clearly, even safety rules now have no significance. After Valencia, the FIA have signalled that the lives of marshals and drivers and spectators are entirely expendable. I always thought safety rules were the line in the sand that should never be breached – but the FIA has now defecated over that line, and stuck two fingers up at the fans and track-side spectators.

    ANY driver doing what Hamilton did should have been black-flagged and then given a race ban.

    We’ve already seen Hamilton disregard the lives of others by his dangerous driving on public roads in Australia. In Valencia he sped off past the SC heading towards an Australian driver who had just flipped over at high speed in his car.

    I hope that the Australian courts have more decency than the FIA. I hope they look at Hamilton’s recklessness and give him an exemplary 6 month prison sentence.

    1. Gary says:

      What about Alonso – he was furious on the radio that he also didn’t get a chance to do the same …

      And what about all of the cars further up the track ahead of the medical car – are they all rampaging maniacs too?

      They all drive under yellows / double yellows a lot, they don’t become mad loonies just because a medical car / SC isn’t in front of them!

  156. Harvey Yates says:

    The question is whether the penalty should try to right a wrong or whether it should just reflect the action.

    The rules limit the times when drivers can overtake the SC. It is quite clear, especially from the overhead shots, that Hamilton failed to comply with the regulation. He gained an advantage. Currently the stewards have a choice of penalties for such a breach of regulations.

    In this specific instance I would suggest that the stewards were in a dilemma when working out the penalty. At least, one would hope so otherwise there was no excuse for the length of time it took them to announce the punishment. So perhaps, like any group of fans at the moment, including those on this blog, there were those on both sides of the argument.

    Hamilton passed the rearmost SC whilst it was in the marked pit exit. There is no problem there. He then backed off, running alongside the lead SC for some distance. When the two cars crossed the mark on the track signifying the point after which overtaking of the SC was banned, the cars were side by side, but significantly the nose of the McLaren was level with the A post of the Mercedes. As the cars crossed the line Hamilton accelerated and then went on to gain a significant advantage.

    The suggestion that this was a cold, calculated move by Hamilton to put some distance between himself and the following pack does not really stand up. All he had to do, all he should have done many might say, was to maintain a slightly higher speed and he would have been in front of the lead SC by the line. It was an error that, for instance, MSchumacher would not have made, at least in the ‘old days’.

    So what is a suitable punishment for such a minor infringement?

    If we look at a wrong being righted then it is quite clear: LH was second at the time of the offence and second after the punishment. No change there.

    If we think of there being a punishment for the act itself then it would seem that LH had a chance of victory. The penalty effectively removed this. As an aside, it also destroyed what might have been a classic finish to the race.

    So LH was punished, against that there is no sensible argument. But so were we.

    But should the stewards have considered Alonso’s position? The fact that he was pushed into 9th position is of no relevance as that was a function of the regulations. He did not lose his third place through any action of Hamilton.

    I have not written all the above just to close without saying what I would have preferred.

    The stewards are like and magistrates: they need to decide which, if any, offence has been committed and, if so, a suitable punishment taking into consideration (inter alia), the range available to them, the attitude of mind of the offender, the degree of loss to the victim and the gain to the offender, what might have happened and the deterrence requirement. It is all subjective, including the offence. And they should do so without emotion or prejudice colouring the conclusion. So whilst I feel they took much too long to reach a conclusion, I’m willing to accept their decision.

    In this case, that a breach of the regs took place is a given. The stewards considered: that the action of LH was not of itself dangerous but merely a matter of inches; it was not a deliberate act to gain an advantage; he gained nothing; those behind him lost nothing (none were likely to challenge him, Alonso was unlikely to better third.)

    I would have considered something else: the public.

    How about a 10-slot grid penalty at the British GP? That way we would still have had a race at Valencia, although I accept that LH was unlikely to challenge the RBR. But you never know. It might have been fun. And I think after being demoted to that extent Hamilton would not make the same mistake again, at least for a while. And further, I would bet that seeing LH make his way up the board would have been quite exciting at Silverstone.

    As a footnote, the fact that Hamilton did not speed up enough to overtake the SC before the line shows his major weakness. He does not think as tactically as other WDCs have in the past. I would like to hear the pit to car radio as he ran along the straight. The McLaren pit crew should have supported him by informing him of the regs and telling him not to overtake after the line.

    That’d be a good question for Thursday.

  157. Stan says:

    I remember on Saturday after qualifying, there was a camera in the weighing room and you could see Lewis shaking hands and having a laugh with his fellow drivers. When Fernando came along he rebuffed Lewis and turned his back on him. I remarked as such to the folks with me. You could see that Lewis was upset and totally bemused, wondering what he might have done wrong. My thoughts are that Fernando had this storming around in his head even before arriving in Valencia.

  158. Richard Wilson says:

    It was a mess but it was an honest mess. Now I’m off to watch my copy of the latest Ferrari test (sorry, promo video)

  159. Mightyquin says:

    I assume the ruling would be the same for all tracks – so the white pit lane exit line is considered a wall … and in Abu Dhabi it actually is, and even feeds out to the outside of the track.

    Would any driver in that situation be expected to know exactly where the safety car is as it pulls out, and whether they would be 1 or 2 feet ahead or behind it by the safety car white line?

    I agree with the earlier post that the pitlane should be closed under SC conditions, as the risk of running out of fuel is no longer a consideration.

    There would need to be a rule regarding cars who had not yet changed tyres if the SC was deployed near the end of a race though (e.g. Kobayashi yesterday) – but I doubt the FIA would think of that until after it happened once.

  160. Nesto says:

    I really do hope this gets investigated. Say what you will about the past, the thing is in all those events, someone was punished (except Piquet *rolls eyes*). Hamilton is exciting because he is fast and like many greats, bends the rules and sometimes breaks them. In fact, I can’t think of any other driver in this era who has done things no other driver has done before, good and bad. His actions have created rules to ensure no one does them again.

    There may not be a rule for this exact situation but without a doubt, it was UNSPORTING and was done to gain an unfair advantage. His answers in interviews that I’ve seen so far, clearly illustrate to me that he knew what he was doing and is once again, playing dumb. We know you are not dumb, Hamilton nor is McLaren. Everyone knows where everyone else is on track and calculates things down to the millisecond, theres no way he doesn’t knowingly use the SC to block his rivals. I was confused when I saw Vettel & Hamilton in the pits and the Ferraris nowhere to be found. Something MUST be done.

  161. Jonathan Kelk says:

    Am I th eonly one who thinks the SC rules are a bit out of date now? Surely we can do away with SC rules and replace them with a temporary speed limit around the incident. Keeping that speed limit to the same as the pit lane would suffice, so the drivers would only have activate their speed limiters. The technology must already exist to do this.

    Then we can stop much of this random ‘driver X just happened to be at the pit lane at the right time’ business.

  162. JP says:

    I think there is an element of Karma in this and it is a bit rich to call it a scandal since Alonso was the beneficiary or Singapore-gate.

    Maybe he should stop sulking

  163. David Hodge says:

    Whilst Alonso’s talents are without doubt, I am afraid that this is just whining caused by a sense of entitlement (which actually I think all top line drivers have) along with this chip on his shoulder about Hamilton and McLaren which he cannot seem to shake off.

    1. It was a marginal pass. Hamilton himself I think was unsure and hesitated then kept going. If he had been another 5 metres up the road, he would have been easily past it.

    2. Late deployment by race control. Mind you, perhaps at the time they were more focussed on medical cars, getting the med-evac heli fired up and so on. We’re talking less than a minute here though.

    3. Delay of the stewards decision is interesting. Are we not supposed to be getting full reports from each race from them?

    4. Ferrari and Alonso had good fortune from the safety car, namely Monaco which allowed him to close up to the field and China where the penalty for his own self-inflicted (Hamilton did not do it to him) jump start which allowed his penalty to be negated there. Safety car timing to your own position is just luck – sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. Grow up Fernando!

    5. Schumacher got held at the end of the pitlane and put into last place. Do we see toys and dummies flying from silver prams? No. Alonso needs to be careful there is not a “bringing the sport into disrepute” charge here. Put it this way, were Max still in charge and a McLaren driver said the things Alonso did, then he would be up before the beak for sure.

  164. Matthew says:

    Hamilton probably should have received a harsher penalty. Unfortunately though, after years of Ferrari bias I have no problem at all with them being on the receiving end of a poor steward’s decision!

  165. Grant says:

    Alonso is a crybaby, Ferrari have benefited from the safety car on numerous occasions including at Monaco so why do they think they must be the ones to benefit ? Alonso is bringing the sport into disrepute by saying the race was manipulated – and this only a few days after Ferrari broke the rules by testing their new diffuser !

    How about Alonso concentrates on trying to drive as quick as Lewis and not moaning all the time.

  166. Jan Isley says:

    Seems like just a few races ago there was some agreement in the internet crowds about how nice it was that the stewards were going light on fines and penalties this year and letting the drivers get on with racing. Now …

    I have lost no interest in watching F1 but my ability to wade through this many pages of whining between different fan boy camps is waning. James, I enjoy your posts but the comment section maybe not so much.

    1. James Allen says:

      I know, I think we need to tighten the comment up now away from polarised debate

      1. CH1UNDA says:

        James, I am curious to know how you expect the discussions about this post not be polarised – by the very title you have used, either a comment is in support or against yesterday’s events which basically makes it an Alonso vs Hamilton debate by default. This is especially so given that Alonso’s comments were essentially subjective comments about Hamilton gaining as a person rather than objective comments about improving Safety Car management. Compare and contrast Alonso comments and Schumacher’s comments – now one can have an objective discussion about Schumarcher’s comments.

      2. krampa says:

        That would be too bad for me. I enjoy reading the biased comments of the Ferrari, McLaren and RB fan base.

        As long these are not insulting, I think these should remain. Just recognise them as biased comments from very energised fans.

        F1 can be boring without conspiracy theories. What would we do if Alonso had not whined all race long?

  167. Matt W says:

    People have short memories. After years of decisions going Ferrari’s way suddenly they are saying Mclaren is favoured. After Singapore 2008 which arguably cost Ferrari the title Alobso has the cheek to complain about manipulated races.

    You win some, you lose some. Alonso and Ferrari are unhealthy obsessed with Hamilton. They need to get on with it. Hamilton getting a penalty would not have changed Alonso’s race and Vettel would have gained even more breathing space.

  168. Jonny M says:

    The simplest solution now that the cars are fuelled for the duration of the race is to do what they did before and not allow any pitstops under the safety car. This way everyone retains position, no-one gains any advantage and it avoids a repeat of the Valencia situation.
    Slightly off topic though, if we had been at a different circuit (ie one where you can overtake), how good would it have been seeing Alonso & Massa charge up the field. Alonso ended up where he was because overtaking is nearly impossible at Valencia. The argument may be a bit bigger than the simple injustice that Ferrari are feeling.

    1. James Allen says:

      I agree with your point and it’s worth looking at. But despite all the wranglings, SC provides a rare opportunity for a car down the field (like Kobayashi) to get a result like that, or indeed for a Button who started 7th, to get on the podium.

      1. Matt W says:

        But that is all a bit artificial to me. To keep the rules as they are just to make some races a lottery borders on entertainment rather than sport.

      2. Greg says:

        Yes, but thats not racing. Button was on the podium out of absoulte luck, just like Turkey. Massa on the other hand was robbed of a good result which is frustrating.

        Another point, Massa said the safety car was going like 10KPH and his car nearly stalled. Something to look ito james??

  169. AdrianP says:

    Hamilton obviously had to be penalised – one can’t have drivers trying to overtake the safety car.

    There has been some suggestion that Hamilton deliberately backed Alonso up and then tried (unsuccessfully) to outdrag the safety car, which, if right, should be quite heavily penalised (deliberately dangerous driving), but presumably the evidence just was not there to support that conclusion. But if exactly the same thing happens again, maybe the stewards will make that inference more easily.

    The only argument is as to whether Hamilton should have been more severely penalised than the drive-through. It would have been pretty obvious at the time that the penalty was given that a drive-through was not going to affect Hamilton’s position (allowing for a few laps to extend the gap to Kobayashi), so there must be a case for saying that the appropriate penalty might have been a 10-sec stop go, or something like that.

    Safety cars are always to an extent a lottery: Alonso has no real complaint about being dropped back to 9th or wherever: these things happen; sometimes you’re the beneficiary, sometimes you’re the loser. Maybe the safety car rules can be tweaked to make things more fair, but this is something which has proved elusive. It’s not just F1 – at Le Mans the Audis lost over 1min at the beginning of the race just by being on the wrong part of the track when the safety car came out.

    I do get the feeling that the stewards have erred too much on the side of leniency this season. I’m not sure that the introduction of ‘guest’ drivers on the stewards panel has actually been a good thing (i) because they will generally tend towards leniency; and (ii) it’s very hard to achieve consistency; and (iii) none of these drivers have any experience whatsoever of stewarding. Leniency may be, in some senses, ‘good for the show’ but ultimately it leads to driving standards dropping, and no-one can blame drivers for extracting the maximum margin of appreciation from the enforcement of the rules.

    As interesting as the actual infringement is what Alonso’s outburst reveals: (i) one can see that he’s under a considerable degree of pressure at Ferrari, especially at this race, where Ferrari were supposed to deliver; and (ii) Hamilton still has a very special place in Alonso’s heart…

    1. kbdavies says:

      The question is – Why was there no such uproar when the same benefit(late application of penalty) gave Rosberg a win this year, and Webber a win last year?
      Is there some subliminal or subconscious vendetta against Hamilton? If so, why.
      This incident is NOT about Lewis, it is about Safety Car Rules application. Why has it turned into a “Lewis fest”?

      It seems every time he does something, it is either twisted/exaggerated/manipulated to be the worst offence ever, or, there is a clamour for the worst possible penalty to be applied.
      With Lewis, it always seems an unbelievable amount of vitriol pours out when he errs – even though he may not be the first such driver to commit the said offence.

      WHY is there so much hate, opprobrium, dislike, and prejudice displayed against Lewis?

  170. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion says:

    I wonder why nobody here has thought about SC rol and that safety car is race control itself. I mean, SC has permanent comms with race control, and a steward goes in it.

    So, James, when Hamilton overtook the SC, what did those people driving the SC said to RC? Because, I believe they have eyes on his face, don’t they? Can you find a copy of those comms? Because we’re told that Charlie Whiting issued the Hamilton’s penalty because of Ferrari claim…..

    1. James Allen says:

      Of course the safety car driver will have radioed Whiting

    2. CH1UNDA says:

      Is it possible that the first impression of Race Control was that there was no infringement at all? That could explain part of the delay in the sense that when the Ferrari call came in, everybody in RC felt it was a low priority activity in the context of what was going on on the track in respect to Webber’s car.

    3. Paul says:

      Given how close it was, it’s possible that those within the SC weren’t entirely sure, perhaps even misreading the situation and incorrectly beliving that Lewis just made it in time.

  171. steve w says:

    There is still much we don,t know……yet,firstly no radio transmission aired by McLaren before the SC deployment,why did LH slow down then accelerate? When asked at the press interview what happened when the SC came out,his reply ” i can,t remember”?? All the events appeared orchestrated,yet the SC deployment is as it stands,a lottery,as a Ferrari supporter i can understand the anger and frustration,but also feel FA should sometimes accept its racing,and to vent his anger behind closed doors.
    I have no doubt he would have stepped on to the podium in Valencia,it wasn,t to be,this will either fire Ferrari up and make them push hard for more developments……to win,or this race will be their nemesis for the rest of the season.

  172. Paul says:

    Alonso……Singapore……Piquet…….enough said…..its not fair that Alonso has one more GP win to his name, but we accept it….this is another reason why I don’t like this driver….

  173. James D says:

    It was very marginal and Lewis was in the wrong, brought about by a moment of indecision – he doesn’t seem to be very good about making tactical decisions on the go. The way Alonso reacted was a bit pathetic though. He reminded me of a football player, who is on the receiving end of a minor foul but then rolls around on the floor acting like he’s been shot before protesting to the referee that the other guy should be sent off.

    New rule maybe: Any driver who directly addresses Charlie during the race should get a drive through.

    1. Michael Brown says:

      None of the drivers can address Charlie Whiting directly during the race. Alonso merely asked his team to talk to Charlie about another driver overtaking the Saftey Car, possibly one of the most serious infractions there can be in an F1 race.

      To use your football analogy, if a player saw another player kick the linesman in the balls it would be his duty to point this out to the ref, in case he hadn’t seen it.

    2. MacG says:

      It really wasn’t a moment of indecision. Take a look at this video:

      http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2010/06/28/did-hamilton-try-to-stop-alonso-getting-in-front-of-the-safety-car-video/

      Hamilton can see the SC coming out of the pitlane from a long way back. He deliberately chooses to speed up to overtake it. Doesn’t matter how close to the SC line they were, clearly the SC was coming out of the pitlane for the safety of the drivers and marshals, and Lewis – on seeing that – should have given way and moved in behind it.

      When you’re driving down the road and see an ambulance coming from a side road and trying to get into the road you are on, do you accelerate to make sure that you are in front of the ambulance?

      Are you so keen to beat the ambulance that you will actually accelerate to overtake it . . . knowing that your speed will possibly be dangerous for the drivers and people on the road in front of you?

      It isn’t that the SC and Lewis were side by side running at a similar speed. It isn’t that Lewis kept his speed consistent and just happened to be ahead the SC at the SC line. it is that Lewis was many metres behind the SC and he deliberately accelerated to pass it.

      Accelerated.

      Drove faster on to a track where he knew that (because the SC was being deployed) there was some element of severe danger.

      That is out and out dangerous driving.

      Doesn’t matter which driver was behind the wheel: it was deliberate dangerous driving that ignored the safety of other people . . . the driver should have been black-flagged and should be banned for 3 races.

      If you’re lying injured in the middle of a road, do you want the driver coming along the road next to be deliberately accelerating towards you?

      Do you want other drivers to drive in front of the ambulance that is coming to your aid?

      Shame on Lewis and shame on the FIA.

      Lewis is already being done for dangerous driving in Oz. The FIA should have acted with greater clarity and severity.

      I hope the Aussies give Lewis a prison sentence – I don’t want him accelerating to the scene of an accident and putting the lives of drivers and marshals at risk just so he can cheat his way to a few extra points.

      I don’t want Lewis to do that and I don’t want any driver to do that.

      Totally lacks any element of decency or sportsmanship or humanity.

      Shame on the sport and shame on the people who are defending someone who puts a few points over the safety of other drivers and marshals.

    3. Rich C says:

      “New rule maybe: Any driver who directly addresses Charlie during the race should get a drive through.”

      roflmao

  174. Sorry, but for a driver to have been involved in various F1 scandals and to have directly benefited from a ‘manipulated race’, it’s ironic for him and Ferrari to complain so much when the shoe is on the other foot!

    However having said that, I fail to see why all of the penalties were applied so late – the stewards must have had access to all the laptime and telemetry data?

  175. Matas says:

    There are two things race control did wrong in this race. The stewards decision is the most discussed one, but the actions of the safety car itself is maybe even more important, because it caused all that mess. Safety car has to catch the leader. And if there are any other cars behind it has to signal them and let them pass:

    “40.8 When ordered to do so by the clerk of the course the observer in the car will use a green light to signal to any cars between it and the race leader that they should pass.”

    Had the safety car simply let Alonso and Massa to pass nobody had lost the places. But it dragged them for the whole lap and only after they pitted and lost the places begin letting other cars through. In this case Ferrari is somewhat right to call it scandal and manipulated race because is seems that race control did everything to ruin Ferraris race.

    Second is the stewards decision itself. The basic principle of all the rule making is that the penalty should punish the offense. Otherwise we just encourage further offenses because it’s more to gain than to lose by doing it. And in this race stewards did just that. Of course we can find many excuses – stewards were busy, they are always slow, they had to examine all the evidence, etc. But we can say the same in almost any situation yet we get more timely and appropriate penalties. And stewards have complete freedom in choosing the punishment – they could have given stop and go penalty or added some time to the end result if they saw that situation has changed and drive-trough is not enough. But they chose the penalty what had no effect at all.

    We had a lot of controversial decisions, but this is a special case, because when we have contradicting evidence or different interpretation of the rules we can always say – stewards were trying to do their job, but they made a honest mistake, it always happens. But in this case evidence is clear, rules are clear and there’s no any error in judgment just stewards consciously letting the crime go unpunished, basically saying – break the rules if you can, you’ll gain more than obeying them. Yes, they gave him a drive-trough, but in almost any situation we can find a type and a timing for the punishment for it to have no any real effect, for example infamous serving of a drive-trough on the last lap by Schumacher – it’s not a punishment, just ridiculing of it.

  176. For Sure says:

    I dislike Alonso but I understand his point which is someone got unfair advantage in championship points by overtaking the safety car.

    Normally when you penalize drivers, they pay for it big time but this time it made no difference as he finished second. So that is something that the sport needs to look into.

    Having said that Alonso seems to be ‘unhappy’ when he is not the best driver.

    James you have said many times that Alonso is the best driver. Every engineer agrees that.
    The question is do they still feel the same?
    He was so well-known for his consistency but apparently he made more mistakes than any other title contender.

    I think the whole consistency is just a myth. When you have certain car/points advantage you can play it safe. When you play safe you are consistent. In the face of adversity, he doesn’t seem to cope well and rise above the challenges as Lewis does.

  177. Lee Gilbert says:

    The key point here is simple.

    Alonso is not happy that he lost out. In fact, I wouldn’t be if I were him as he was looking strong just before the Webber incident

    BUT…

    Hamilton probably would have cleared the line fairly had he not hesitated – if he had cleared the line then it would have been one of those ‘some you win, some you lose’ scenarios

    The hesitation cost Hamilton a few yards and the penalty – which was the correct penalty – had he not hesitated we would have nothing to talk about

    Alonso was not impeded by Hamilton – he would never have made it anyway

    As for the delay between the SC car and the LH penalty – the Stewards had a lot to sort out including the “bingo” set of car numbers that had not hit their delta time after the SC light went on – the order in which they investigated clearly impacted on the time

    Ultimately, I cannot see ANY reason why this is a scandal. Alonso is just annoyed that he lost out on his home turf

  178. Alexx says:

    Why didnt the officials driving in the SC report it immediately to race control when LH made the pass?

    Why arent they being given a reprimand!

    Another thing I noticed is that the revolving driver steward in race control, might be contributing to the inconsistent decisions as each driver will have a different view!

    maybe a permanent driver rep needs to be trained and employed by race control? This will also help the drivers understand the tolerance levels.

  179. Peter says:

    I think that the stewards are making a few wrong decisions this year.. They are WAY to lenient.. As with the running out of fuel during quali, and now this.. With such light penalties the teams will continue doing it.. Knowing that a small fine or a handful of seconds (that can be easily be made up with strategy during the safety car as all the cars running slow, so speeding can gain huge advantages) will not affect your race that much. So i wont be surprised to see a few teams “run out” of fuel in the Spa Francorchamps race, as there a lap less fuel for quali will probably gain you 0.3 sec if not more.. I think the stewards need to put stronger penalties in place to Assure teams wont infringe as it will cost them too much in the race to risk!!

    1. Stevie P says:

      Peter, I believe the “low-fueling for quali” scenario will be more harshly dealt with in the future… I can’t quote the exact wording of it, but I’m sure that particular loop-hole has been closed.

  180. Elly says:

    Alonso is absolutely right.
    I think, Hamilton must be punished after his cheating and disregard towards the rules and the rivals. I’m tired of him and his behavior. Who is he to break the rules, to lie after it and to pretend he’s a good boy?!

  181. Nicci says:

    I think Alonso has a bit of a cheek talking about manipulated races. Singpaore 2008 anyone?

    Ferrari have a cheek calling it a scandal. I’m sure they’ve used a penalty to their advantage before….was it Silverstone 1998 where they finished the race in the pitlane taking a penalty?

    Yes Lewis did something wrong in overtaking the safety car. But the stewards and race control were a bit busy mopping up after an accident to consider penalties. They did so at the earliest opportunity and, thanks to some sauber shaped luck, were able to make it work for them.

  182. Richard says:

    I’ve always thought the whole idea of the safety car is a scandal. A horrible import from America that has no place in F1. Even when it works out as it’s meant to, it’s awful to see the solid leads that drivers have built reduced to nothing. But it fits in with the Bernie agenda of “spicing up” the racing. I’m getting sick of all these artificial rules to make the race “more interesting”.

    Yesterday was a total fiasco. Yes, a horrible accident for Mark, and thank God he’s OK. But there was no earthly reason for a safety car.

    Jonathan Kelk’s idea is a good one. Better still, just reiterate what double waved yellows mean, and disqualify anyone who doesn’t observe them. Take away their licence for repeat offenders.

  183. Rob Jackson says:

    First, Ferrari clearly don’t like it when decisions go against them. McLaren and others have all to often been on the receiving end of unfair treatment by the stewards. Now Ferrari get it they complain. Bad sportsmanship.

    Second, regardless of the ins and outs of the situation, why did Alonso put so much energy into his anger and not into his driving? Had Hamilton been delayed and put back in the field like Alonso was it is almost guaranteed that he would have tried hard to overtake the cars in front. Alonso couldn’t & didn’t overtake.

    The only embarrassment was Alonso and Ferrari’s petulance. Grow up.

  184. Life is unfair says:

    After the safety-car period, Mr. Alonso had, let’s see, a rather high number of laps left to do what he gets paid for, to race a racing car. The impression I got was, that he had a mental breakdown because according to him, Lewis did a “booboo”, and he went “woo-woo”. Then he swung his toys out of his pram via the radio, and “daddy” kept telling him that “it’s alright”. For a two time champion, Fernando Alonso surely lacks the mindset of a champion. If this is all it takes for him to lose his concentration, I can only imagine how difficult that year at McLaren was for him. Poor man, hope he receives proper therapy for this trauma.

    Alonso, and Ferrari, obviously have memories comparable to a goldfish, having the nerve to use terms like “manipulation” and “fixing” and “scandal”. Alonso obviously thought it was still a “sport” after Singapore 08, didn’t he.
    Of course he knew nothing about it, and pigs, they still keep flying.

  185. Jason C says:

    Thinking about this overnight, it seems that Hamilton cannot come out of this well.

    When the safety car was exiting the pits, Hamilton should have maintained his speed and therefore been long past by the time the SC got to the SC line. His ‘moment of indecision’ bugs me: he should know the rule regarding SC deployment. If he doesn’t, he’s inept.

    If, on the other hand he is not inept, and knew full well the rules, then he’s committed quite a dirty offence: backing Alonso up and then shooting past the safety car at the last minute, leaving Alonso to trail around after it. Imagine Michael Schumacher had been driving that McLaren. I think the reaction here and elsewhere may have been a bit stronger, even though Hamilton and Alonso have more than their fair share of fans and detractors.

    The lateness and impotence of the eventual punishment are certainly suspect; overtaking the safety car I would have thought was a fairly major infringement, and worthy of a stop-go rather than a drive through.

    1. John Johnson says:

      Whatever mate.

      Deliberately slowing down to stitch up Alonso is exactly what Alonso would have done given the opportunity.

      Can you remember when Alonso deliberately braked, under SC conditions, to force Schumacher to overtake and thereby incur a penalty.

      F1 is not like a game of rounders or Bowls :rolleyes:

    2. steve w says:

      Couldn,t have put it better myself Jason C,we,ve no transcripts from Mclaren once the SC had been deployed,and as seen from the heli shots LH did accelerate and then slow down before going again.

    3. J. Singh says:

      I would have thought overtaking a safety/medical car was a Black Flag offence.

  186. Michael Brown says:

    Regardless of anyone’s personal bias (and it’s clear there are a lot of Alonso haters here), the fact is that there shouldn’t ever be circumstances where the gain made by breaking the rules outweighs the penalty applied, and this clearly happened in Hamilton’s case and in the case of the drivers who received a 5s post race penalty.

    The penalties that can be applied should be flexible enough that they can be created to cancel any gain made by breaking the rules plus a bit more to act as a penalty. In Hamilton’s case they could have forced him to wait in the pits until Alonso had gone past, which would have been the proper and fair thing to do.

    1. Lo says:

      Strange, you saw a lot of Alonso haters, I saw a lot of Hamilton haters who also rigged the votes by spamming Spanish forums.

  187. Lex says:

    Alonso needs to stop crying and to get on with his own race. he has had plenty of similar decisions benefit him in other races. One of the many reasons I don’t like Alonso. It is also shocking that he can just come out and basically say that the race result was a fix – any other sport he would be heavily punished. He is obviously forgetting Singapore…

  188. Paul Mc says:

    With all the technology in the world it seems F1 cannot do the basics right. Safety Car should have been deployed in time to get ahead of the leaders and they took an eternity to give Lewis a penalty. I feel for Alonso and understand his point but it’s in no way a scandal or fix. It looks like the FIA will again have to clarify the SC rules.

    1. Spenny says:

      I think the problem is that to deploy the SC in front of Vettel would have probably needed a Tardis. The TV coverage didn’t show it, but there simply wasn’t any planning in the deployment of the safety car; with a potentially fatal accident, Charlie simply wanted to get the safety car straight out and the niceties of where to put the car were not part of the decision.

      What was really interesting was if the helicopter had been filming the Webber accident rather than the safety car exit…

  189. Nando says:

    Does Charlie Whiting direct the stewards? If he does then I can understand them not investigating the penalty during the safety-car period there are more important issues at hand then combing over a technical infringement.
    The time for deliberation after that while it may of been a little excessive is understandable, it’s not a common situation and there were many variables to consider.
    I assume the stewards having taken into account the human element and have to decide on whether there was premeditation.
    Whether the stewards should apply a harsher penalty then would normally of because it’s taken them along time to come to a decision is up for debate. The driver could equally be disadvantaged by the stewards taking their time to make a decision.

  190. SK Anand says:

    I have a question. Why were the 10 drivers given a 5 second penalty for speeding behind the SC, and not deducted 20 seconds?

    Thanks

    1. steve w says:

      Good question,because the rules were according to M Brundle,anything between 20/30 seconds,maybe Ferrari will do the same next time,its only 5 seconds………..

  191. MacG says:

    http://beta.bbc.co.uk/i/sx8k3/?t=30m14s

    UK readers can look at the BBC video above. 30:15 into the video, Lewis passes a SC yellow flag sign on the pit wall saying that the SC is deployed/being deployed.

    15 seconds (a full fifteen seconds) later, he deliberately accelerates to pass the SC. 15 seconds. That’s not a moment of indecision. That’s not driving at a consistent speed and just happening to be in front of the SC. That’s a deliberate move to overtake the SC. Completely and utterly out of order.

    Allowing a driver/team to cheat, means that the fans are the ones who are cheated in the end.

    His actions are indefensible in any sane and rational world.

    Haven’t we had this before when Lewis overtook other cars under the SC and then lied about it to the stewards?

    This discredits the driver, the team and the sport.

    Hope the FIA look at this again, wipe Lewis from the race, and give him a 3 race ban.

    (I think that should be the punishment for any driver doing what Lewis did.)

    1. Michael Brown says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Well said!

    2. Jason Jackson says:

      I’m sorry pal but this is nonsense. You talk about this being indefensible in a sane world when referring to Lewis passing the SC 15 secs later. Yet if he’d passed it 14 seconds later & Nando 14.5 secs later poor Massa would be the only one complaining…….or not as it’s not his style. Truth is Alonso got dealt a bad hand, simple as that. He was driving just as hard as Hamilton when the SC boards were shown (hence being “right” behind him) so if they’d both got past the SC would you be calling for 2 of the biggest drivers in F1 with 3 titles between them to have 3 race bans? I somewhat doubt this debate would even be taking place.
      At the end of the day LH got a penalty. The fact it didn’t effect his position (see also Rosberg Singapore 08, Webber Germany 09) is just the way F1 rules are at present. As for drawing ref to his “previous” behind the safety car…..a Toyota fell off the Melbourne track, he passed it, no problem. The lying afterwards was shameful & indefensible. Different argument my friend

      1. steve w says:

        Sorry but MacG does have a point,and frankly i don,t see how you can call this nonsense,whatever you think LH got off very lightly,and to make matters worse he gave little regard for why the SC was deployed along with the Ambulance,the other option was a “stop and go ” penalty,which should have been applied.

  192. Nick172 says:

    Ferrari need to remember what goes around comes around.

    Alonso benefited from the stewards taking ages to give him a drive-through for jumping the start earlier this season.

  193. charlier says:

    What a joke, How a world class driver payed millions of pounds can make comments like this is ridiculous. He should be banned… And ferrari suspended for backing him up. The only damage done to the sport is from the rubbish coming from them..

  194. Jakub says:

    This is all very amusing. I think the stewards made the right calls with the information they had at the time. Perhaps Ferrari are just trying to deflect the focus away from the fact that their updates were not as effective as predicted.

    1. steve w says:

      Effective enough to be within 2 seconds of LH.

      1. Lo says:

        Hamilton having a broken front wing, yes.

      2. steve w says:

        Thats true(forgotten his coming together with Vettel)

  195. JohnBt says:

    Alonso and Hamilton are F1 fans most loved and disliked driver on the grid. Any comments made by them will be blown opened to heavy criticisms be it right or wrong.

    Alonso’s remarks in stewarding issue was not wrong.

    5 secs penalty seems to be a new rule, unless someone can enlighten me. Shouldn’t it be 25 secs.

    FIA must sought themselves out urgently not so much the drivers. Damaging to F1. Hence, create angry and confused fans. Worst if you’re a punter.

  196. Mike says:

    I’m sure Race Control and the Stewards did everything in the most timely manner they could, in order of importance. Lewis hesitated and the decision was marginal – he served his penalty. The Ferraris were unfortunate due to their track position at the time (happens to every team at some time).

    BUT… once the Ferraris were were behind the Safety Car, no-one forced them to pit. That was their own strategic decision and a poor one to have Massa stack in the pits and further compromise his position.

    Alonso needs to shut up, drive his own race and worry less about what Hamilton is doing. He might then have been able to fend off Kobayashi (almost a rookie) and not rely on the stewards to gift him points. His complaining is not befitting of a two time WDC.

  197. Blanchimont says:

    Dust off the old VHS recording of the British Grand Prix from 1998 and forward to the bit where Ferrari are given a penalty and take it on the last lap so the timing beam is triggered on entry to the pit lane, the race won, and the penalty of no meaningful consequence whatsoever.

    I’ve got no problem with teams suggesting, calmly and rationally (Mercedes are doing this well at the moment), that in their opinion the rules have been misapplied, or the rules should be looked at because they are still capable of causing a result that is felt to be unjust. But throwing toys out of the pram doesn’t help at all, it contributes to the sort of heated debate that splits down the middle and results in no meanigful engagement on the substance of the matter at hand, and always just opens you up to charges of hypocrisy and the age-old points about treatment of Ferrari in the past. If there is any scandal, it is that a legitimate discussion about the nature of the F1 penalty system, that could have become ever more relevant following Schumacher’s heavy penalty in Monaco earlier in the season, is likely to be missed on the basis it is too easy to dismiss this latest incident as a latin temper tantrum.

    1. Karthi says:

      Yeah!!!If Ferrari calls hamilton pitstop a scandal wat abt the 98 british grandprix penalty?

    2. tom says:

      Well remembered Blanchimont.
      It to the race control 25 minutes to issue the pentaly and ferrari took full advantage by finishing the race then taking the penalty.
      (could not beleve their brass neck at the time)

      Ferrari seem all to easily forget the past,when things do not go their way.

  198. winarthez says:

    I think that the scandal is the fact that the driver who didn´t follow the rules finished 2nd, and the driver who follwed the rules finished 8th.

  199. F1 dingo says:

    Now I’m no Alonso fan and certainly no Hamilton fan, however the headlines do have a certain ‘pot, kettle, black’ about them!

    “manipulating” the race eh, that sounds familiar – Singapore, Renault, Nelson, Flav….wonder who one that race.

    Swings and roundabouts my friends, rev up and move on!

  200. James Punt says:

    Surely Alonso is going to roasted over hot coals for this little outburst. Openly accusing the FIA of fixing the race to favour one driver? If true, then the sport has zero credibility.
    An inquiry into the events should be held and if the Stweards have a valid reason for why it took so long, then Alonso should be punished for bringing the sport into disrepute. If the Stewards are found to have deliberatley delayed their decision to allow Hamilton to finish second, then they get the sack and Hamilton losses his points. A line needs to be drawn under this for the good of the sport.

    It seems Ferrari maybe playing a bit of politics here. Create a big story about how they have been hard done by and hope that no one notices that the big upgrade was a bit of a damp sqib and it helps put the illegal test story off the agenda.

    1. Chris R says:

      I agree with you. I first thought of the whole ‘if you’re not giving pain you’re taking it’. Obviously Alonso did lose out in this, but the strength and severity of his accusations are ridiculous.

      Alonso must surely be aware of how bad race-fixing accusations are, how much they damage the sport and teams.

      Am I being too simplistic in thinking this is just the combination of a home race/increasing pressure from the team’s requirements, added to a racing incident that saw Alonso lose out?

  201. Justin says:

    I’ve noticed quite a few times over last season and this season that Alonso has been quite cordial to Hamilton on a number of occasions, even shared the odd laugh with him.
    However a couple of things drew my attention in Valencia, the first was a report that Hamilton and Alonso had both been asked if they would ever drive together again; Hamilton basically said yes, Alonso gave a single worded answer “No”. The other thing I noticed was that after qualifying Hamilton went to congratulate Alonso, but was completely blanked and fixed with a hard stare.
    So these things along with the way that Alonso was carrying on alarming about Hamilton’s penalty make me wonder if something else has happened recently to sour their relationship [again], or more likely as I suspect Alonso is playing up to expectations in front of the home crowd?
    Interestingly Hamilton’s response to Alonso’s tantrum was basically saying that he’s exposed a big chink in Alonso’s armour – just upset him and he can’t drive any more. Absolutely right good on you Lewis.
    The other point I’d like to make is the rest of the Fiat team carrying on about it being unfair that Hamilton kept his place. I seem to remember Schumacher once winning a race for Fiat whilst serving a penalty. That seemed to be OK to them though

    1. mvi says:

      You must be thinking of some other event. I just quickly reviewed the end of the Valencia qualifying video on BBC. Hamilton was talking to Vettel. It was Alonso who went over to Hamilton to congratulate him with a handclasp, then as he went on his way Hamilton patted him on the back. (Alonso had already congratulated Vettel on their way in.)

      I don’t think past unfair decisions should stop anybody from pointing out a current unfair situation.

    2. steve w says:

      Why are you calling Ferrari Fiat?,Who are i know Ferrari,s paymaster,but as far as i know Ferrari,s don,t have Fiat engines,still i suppose you could call Rolls Royce a VW,Jaguar a Ford…………..

  202. Ade says:

    Actually the one person who perhaps would/should have gained the most had Hamilton stayed behind the safety car was Jenson Button as he’d have taken a solid 2nd place with his team mate and rival then probably down as low as 7th (as per Mr. Alonsos speculations). I’m sure Jenson will never be drawn into commenting on it all as team politics won’t allow, but it would have been really interesting to have his thoughts on whether there was a fitting punishment for Lewis’ SC infringement as he’d otherwise be top of the pile again today wouldn’t he?

  203. Richard Wilson says:

    Red Bull arguably lost just as much than Ferrari by this but Horner doesn’t seem too bothered about it. If Hamilton had not scored Vettel would be ahead of him in the championship now. I think Ferrari have over played their hand

  204. Andy S says:

    It was a good move by Hamilton he was side by side with the safety car, as Hamilton was on the racing line the safety car was right to yield and pull in behind unfortunately blocking Alonso.

    move-on next race…..

    :)

  205. Greg says:

    Why is Massa not mentioned at all in this, he suffered more than Alonso having to queue behind him in the box.

    Fan view-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71rgvLNuWEE

  206. Jenny Tools says:

    I think what really upset Alonso was that when both he and Hamilton came round to where the safety car was emerging, Hamilton backed off big time while he tried to decide if to pass the SC or not, this caused Alonso to back off also and then Hamilton decided to pass the SC leaving Alonso stuck behind it (this can be seen very clearly from the helicopter shot)

    1. dipietro15 says:

      Exactly. This is the essential wrongdoing that everyone seems to be overlooking – Hamilton intentionally backed Alonso up behind the safety car and then took off down the road.

      1. Gary says:

        It’s a bit dirty, similar to trying to use backmarkers to delay the person following you, but with a much better pay-off. Not illegal, but …

    2. John Johnson says:

      Lewis backing off doesn’t mean Alonso has to. If Alonso had any speed of thought he should have overtaken Lewis and beat the SC to the line. Or was he just as confused as Lewis?

      1. mtb says:

        In case you were not aware, overtaking is not permitted during safety car periods (unless the car ahead leaves the circuit). Alonso would have been given a penalty for overtaking Hamilton.

    3. Neil Kenward says:

      That’s exactly what occured to me. It looked like Lewis was trying to time his passing of the SC just prior to the second SC line, thereby backing up Alonso behind it.
      I think he just got it wrong and paid the penalty. Just imagine Alonso’s reaction if he had timed it better…
      Of course it’s not the sort of thing Alonso would ever do, is it?

      1. Alysha says:

        Not to bad mouth him, because many other drivers have done such things, but in past safety car situations, Hamilton forgot that the light at the end of the pit lane could be red and clobbered Raikonnen in Montreal, and didn’t know if he should let Trulli through or not in Melbourne. I doubt that Hamilton or most drivers have studied the FIA regulations in much detail. I am surprised that, with the importance of race management by the driver, teams do not drill some key items of strategy and regulations into them so they can make the right call in such situations.

  207. Fausto Cunha says:

    Nobody should be aloud to stop on the lap the safety car is in, the pack should be regrouped and then the pits would open for everyone.

    I can understand Alonso frustration but Lewis was given a penalty and he served it, obviously he gained from his illegal overtake of the safety car, but he served the penalty he was given.

    It took even longer time to be anouced that nine cars were under investigation, so Lewis long decision wasn,t the only one.

    I think we should go back and apply the pit lane close rule, before it was harsh because somebody might run out of fuel or serve a penalty under the safety-car , but with the no refuelling that´s not a problem anymore.

  208. Amer says:

    And singapore 2008 was not manipulated in Alonso’s favour…he’s a sore looser

    As for Ferrari they are becoming a joke with Luca’s regular remarks such as three cars, bringing rossi in, having a go at slower teams bla bla bla…they should be concentrating on thier race craft rather then media hype. Now that Kimi is no longer their they cant blame any one can they, earlier everything was Kimi’s fault.

    Kimi rocks btw:)

  209. Martin P says:

    I wonder how often drivers complain about other drivers on the radio, maybe Alonso was just unlucky in coming across as a bit of a whiner because it happened to get broadcast?

    Anyway, fortunately Ferrari already have something prepared for Alonso to use in the next race:

    http://store.ferrari.com/en/kids/clothing/infant/small-bib-and-rattle-set.html

    He can literally throw his rattle out of the pram. Probably at Lewis!

    1. Khan says:

      Infact they often do, remeber Button talking about Alonso’s jump start a few races ago?

  210. Faisal says:

    First of all you all need to get this point that NOWHERE Alonso said that he could have been 2nd/3rd bla bla bla. He is perfectly fine with being 9th but what he precisely means is that I obey the rules and I’m 9th, the guy who broke should got 2nd, he shouldve been 8th. OK ahead of me but that was massively unfair.

    The whinging was a bit too much I agree. He should have been silent. That would have gathered more sympathy for him

  211. Gustavo says:

    What bothers me is that when the penalty was issued, they knew the gap Hamilton had.
    Thet should have penalyzed him with a ten seconds stop, not a DT.

  212. Aaron James says:

    The Ferrari/Alonso reaction is a bit extreme, although (I’m a Ferrari fan) I certainly understand the frustration.

    Lewis broke the rules and got a massive benefit from doing so. It could well be at the season’s end Lewis wins by a couple points. Points he will have won by breaking the rules at Valencia.

    There’s little the stewards, the FIA much less Ferrari can/could do about it though. The rules are pretty codified. But one wonders if Ferrari are putting a stake in the ground now they’ve identified their chief opponents. The idea being Lewis has gotten away twice now, with serious incidents (the fuel in Canada, the overtake here) and next time Ferrari expect the FIA to throw the book at Lewis/McLaren.

    As an aside, has there been a more penalised driver in modern F1 than Hamilton? I mean the amount of incidents he has been involved in, in his short-time in F1, seems without parallel. Even Michael would have struggled to keep up with Lewis’ visits to the Stewards.

  213. Sergio says:

    Look this photo in a spanish forum if you can.
    http://www.forocoches.com/foro/showthread.php?p=61468837#post61468837

    Please be sure to take the correct decision. You have all the resources because you are supposedly race’s director.

    Ok, you know. He was Alonso who claimed for Hamilto’s penalisation, no action was taken before his radio message, and it’s very “difficult” to see the infraction.

    20 laps delay decision. Need it to say more?

    Imagine the opposite situation. No I can’t, for sure english press would declare war to FIA.

  214. Ginger says:

    I’m a Lewis fan but it was a shame for Alonso & Massa that they lost out in this way. It spoilt the fight for the lead and the podium places.

    Where Fernando and Ferrari are losing out is in the moaning about the decision. Okay the penalty for Lewis was deserved but handed down too late. He lost time and a chance to fight for the lead and that was a loss to the race, the fans and Lewis.

    The decision was delayed due to everything that happened. No fix or manipulation at all.

    Did Lewis shaft Fernando on purpose? Maybe but we will have to read about it in a book, maybe James could help Lewis write it!

    Either way would Fernando do the same to Lewis if he had the chance? WITHOUT A DOUBT!

    A man who would jump his teamate into the pits. A man who would delay his teamate so that he couldn’t get his pole lap in? He would do it and smile.

    This is a man who famously got the benefit of the SC in 2008.

    The boot will be on the other foot later in the season.

    I wonder if they will be at the same press conference at Silverstone? You bet!

  215. Annie says:

    I honestly don’t get what all the fuss is about. Hamilton broke the rules and was given a penalty. It’s not his or anybody else’s fault that Ferrari is pathetically slow this year. Maybe instead of complaining about other people, Ferrari should just focus on improving their car.

  216. AlexF says:

    Don’t forget Spa 2008 when Ferrari was gifted of a win for Massa after a scandalous penalty for Lewis who gave back the position to Raikkonen after a request from Charlie Whiting.
    Ferrari team (and Alonso) are like a small boy who watns always to be at the center of the game.

  217. LeighJW says:

    Hamilton’s actions had no effect on Alonso’s race. Had Hamilton not passed the safety car Alonso would still have finished where he did.

    1. mvi says:

      But they have a huge effect on Alonso’s and others’ championship standings because of the haul of points from second place, rather than just a few from further back.

    2. MEF says:

      Yes, and Hamilton would have finished 8th.

      Thus, he wouldn’t have such an advantage in the Championship…

      Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work that out.

      1. LeighJW says:

        I don’t recall Alonso being too concerned when a certain Renault safety car incident gifted him a win a few years back. He was well prepared to take the points from Crashgate.

      2. mvi says:

        Nor does Hamilton or any other driver have any problem accepting gifted points either.

  218. MEF says:

    What is beyond questions is that Alonso understood the rules clearly – and had he purposefully disobeyed them, he would have ended up 3rd or 2nd.

    A rather sorry reflection I think.

    1. LeighJW says:

      I don’t think Hamilton did anything on purpose although I do understand that there are those who alway assume he is in the wrong.

      1. MEF says:

        That wasn’t my point in any way…

      2. LeighJW says:

        I did not mean to imply that it was.

  219. Rich C says:

    Ok, I see only one way to ensure this never happens again:

    Do away with the SC, as some have suggested, AND give RC a “panic button” that uses the ECU on each car to immediately reduce *everyone’s speed to something safe – perhaps the pitlane speedlimit.

    1. Spenny says:

      Unfortunately, a panic button would cause accidents: an F1 car suddenly losing engine power is like a family car in an emergency stop – and if the race controllers didn’t realise another car was a Webber’s worth behind, you’d end up with another shunt – or you cut the power mid-corner and you’ve just spun the driver off into the tyre barrier. Controlling the cars automatically just cannot be done safely.

      You can’t rely on communications between pit and car and you have to allow drivers time to react.

      What will be interesting is to see what clarifications come out, if any, in the next drivers’ briefing.

  220. Chris says:

    I agree 100% with autosport.com’s Tony Dodgins’ analysis of the steward’s decisions throughout the European GP. In my view they did all that they could’ve done given the situation and circumstances.

    It’s obvious, watching the onboard footage, that Lewis hesitated when approaching the safety car. It wasn’t an act deliberately aimed at Alonso.

    It’s always the same with Alonso and Ferrari … When they don’t get their way and when results go against them, they cry foul … Perhaps Alonso should get on with it and concentrate on his job instead of moaning and criticisng others whilst he’s driving!

    1. fausta says:

      This taught the drivers it can be better to go ahead and break the rules if they aren’t going to punish fairly. Obviously a LH fan.

      1. Chris says:

        Actually, I’m a JB fan!!

    2. mvi says:

      That is a very interesting article especially if you start digging into it. Did Tony Dodgins also write the article for GrandPrix?

      What strikes me is that for the Hamilton decision the stewards ‘used precedent’ because they feared being labelled inconsistent, but for the decision on exceeding the speed delta, they were able to do some on-the-spot thinking and show some understanding of what the drivers were up against.

      It sounds to me like the stewards ‘using precedent’ was an excuse for not bothering to think through an appropriate and fair penalty for the Hamilton case. Surprising with all the time it took them.

      The precedent they used, according to Dodgins, was a drive-through penalty received by Mark Webber in the German GP 2009 for causing a collision by weaving at the start (not for infringing safety car rules). According to Dodgins the precedent is that Webber did not lose his leading position by serving that penalty. So to be consistent in this case in Valencia, the stewards were constrained to give a drive-through penalty that could be served without losing a position. Otherwise, Dodgins says they would be dubbed “Ferrari International Assistance again”. Amazing!!

      Regarding the disallowed English goal at the World Cup, Dodgins said:
      “the burning issue was how, in the 21st century, top level sport can fail to make use of simple, instantly available technology …. The whole world knew it was 2-2, but it wasn’t. Simply ridiculous. Formula 1 showed them how it should be done.”

      Really?

    3. Phil says:

      How can you be sure it wasn’t intentional? … Personally, I think it was. But AFAIK, backing up your opposition isn’t against the rules.

      He obviously didn’t quite time it right though. If he’d timed it a bit better he would have balked Alonso and yet still gotten past the safety car before it got to the line, and then he wouldn’t have had any penalty.

  221. Peter says:

    Should Alonso followed Hamilton to pass the SC. He could have been third, second or even first : )

    1. Damian Johnson says:

      Hypocracy on a massive scale from Ferrari. Alonso has already benefitted from the Safety Car on several occasions in 2010 including Monaco and also at China. I didn’t hear Ferrari complain about the injustice to McLaren at Spa 2008 where Hamilton was given the infamous 25 second penalty after the race for a legal over take (with post race rule making) crowning Massa with an undeserved win. No Ferrari complaints I recall! Is this Ferrari whining because they can no longer rely on technical vetos to manipulate F1?

      1. Phil says:

        I can’t help but wonder if there is bad blood between Todt and Ferrari. I think I read somewhere that they didn’t part ways as amicably as it might be thought.

        If that were the case, then I doubt Montezemolo can expect the FIA to be as compliant as they once were.

  222. Stephen Kellett says:

    I seem to remember that when a race was fixed in Singapore and Alonso benefited from that fixing (even though he claimed to have known nothing about it) he refused to give back his race position despite the enormous unfair advantage that gave him (and possibly denied Felipe the worldchampionship that year).

    Mr Alonso, meet Mr Kettle and Mr Black.

    1. mvi says:

      The FIA said it was too late to change the results of the previous season. Alonso wasn’t asked to give the win back and at some interview he said he did not care if they did take it back. Who would they have given it to?

  223. onyx says:

    Another example of Ferrari ‘losing it’!Lets be honest, ever since Todt left they have been in disarray.Domenicali’s a nice bloke but clearly not up to the Principals job.I mean kimi only won in 07 because the Championship was fixed by Moseley!Theres no innovation any more just following everybody else and Alonso i think knows it which is why he’s bleating…
    Even if Lewis(and i’m no great fan)had been stuck behind the SC i bet he’d have made more passes.And as for Alonso letting Koba through…well really!

  224. fausta says:

    This was one of the most poorly managed races by the stewards in a long time. Match that with the Speedtv commentator’s, which are just a segment of the LH fan club, and we had a race which was very difficult to watch.

  225. Gary says:

    James, can you confirm it was the medical car and not the safety car that Hamilton overtook?

    And, if so, can *anyone* find the rules that dictate the behaviour of the drivers around the medical car?

    And, finally, any rules that specify that the SC line after the pits is the place where the medical car is deemed to have joined the track (strangely enough, still within the pit exit line at Valencia)

    Because, a lot of people are complaining about the stewards’ delay, but I wonder what rules they were reading to give the penalty (or not)

    1. Faisal says:

      Watch the video posted in this comments section by one. It clearly were both cars he could see coming out and overtook both of them

  226. Richard says:

    TH personwho has not been mentioned too much over this incident is Vettel. OK, he was totally innocent as he was a couple of seconds ahead at the time the safety car closed upon the line that Hamiltion was adjudged to have fouled. But he shouldn’t have been! If the safety car had been deployed properly, Vettel followed by Hamilton and Alonso would have bee formed up in line astern. Having got the timing wrong and created the incident for Hamilton, I’m a little confused as what happend next as on the next lap the safety car appeared to be waiting for Vettel and Hamilton to complete their pit stops whereas it should have been continuing round the track with whatever train had formed behind it and Vettel, Hamilton etc would have had to tag on behind.

    I suspect that the Stewards recognised what a debacle had been created by the incorrect deployment of the safety car and awarded such lenient penalties.

    Time for rules change again. The whole object of the safety car it to bring the race under control and that need to be done as quickly as possible. I would suggest that the pit lane be closed until the race is under control.

    1. LeighJW says:

      I agree with this. I’ve been asking the same question.

      When Hamilton passed the safety car presumably Vettel was a couple of seconds in front and the safety car failed to pick him up because it wasn’t deployed in time?

      If the safety car fails to pick up the leader shouldn’t it wave the other cars through until the leaders arrived on the next lap? Did it do that?

      If it did, the extra lap done by Vettel and Hamilton before they pitted would have put them at the back of the queue? Wouldn’t it?

      I was fully expecting the new leader to be Button as he was first in the pitlane having lucked into being in the right place at the right time. I am confused as to how it wasn’t JB in the lead!

      Explanations gratefully received….

  227. Bayan says:

    They should have given Hamilton a stop/go penalty instead of a drive through.. clearly, the stewards would have known that a drive through would bring him out in second and thus not amount to anything.. what a farce.. thank God to Sutil and Kobayashi for providing entertainment.

    1. Phil says:

      Apart from the fact, that they didn’t know that – Lewis came out *just* ahead of Kobyashi and Button.

      If he had not managed to pull an extra few seconds on the fast laps he did *after* receiving the penalty instruction (but before serving it) then he would have ended up behind Kobyashi and probably also Button.

      Race control however aren’t clairvoyant. The point being you’re asserting something as fact (that the stewards would have known); there’s evidence there that they would not have known this.

      1. Bayan says:

        If the timing screens for formula1.com are able to show the difference between Kobayashi and Hamilton at that point, i’m pretty sure the stewards could have at least thought that there is a chance that this “penalty” is really not going to do anything.

      2. Phil says:

        Maybe, maybe not. Or maybe they just thought the penalty was reasonable. We’ll never know.

        I don’t think it’s black or white though.

    2. Ade says:

      And now you’re suggesting it is okay for the stewards to manipulate the result…..!

      1. Bayan says:

        So then what are the stewards there for. Is there any action they can take (other than a penalty in the next race or just a warning)that won’t manipulate the result???

  228. Paul du Maitre says:

    To be honest, after a quick recollection exercise, one can understand that Alonso could be under the impression that the FIA is trying to favour Hamilton. It suffices to remember him trying to break away from Petrov in Malaysia, his running along Vettel all the way through the pit lane in China, and his running on the fumes at the Canada Grand Prix. All of them regrettable actions, without consequences for him. Valencia just adds to the list…

    1. cjf says:

      He also raced Alonso down the pitlane a couple of races back despite having recieved an earlier reprimand in China for the very same thing.

      Hamiltons history behind the safety car isn’t great having lied to the stewards about Trulli overtaking him behind the safety car last year, arguably having caused the Vettel/Webber safety car crash with his eratic behavior in Fuji 2007 and also having been black flagged for overtaking the safety car during his GP2 days.

  229. EM says:

    There are many good points here both in the pro-Alonso and anti-Ferrari camps but let me cut through a lot of the nonsense.

    Ferrari look like a team that is rattled. A season of lacklustre results and performances from both drivers and the car seems to be taking it’s toll.

    Firstly Alonso, even if you accept he was not complicit in the Singapore conspiracy he was seen on camera after admitting how lucky he was to benefit from the safety car. That’s what happens with the safety car period, some people benefit and some lose, it’s part lottery and part good management of the situation. However it’s his reaction that is interesting, it shows a man under severe pressure, more concerned with doing down a rival than his own standing.

    The fact is Hamilton was penalised and although he stayed second his rule breaking meant he didn’t get the chance to pressure the fragile Red Bull or test the widely held theory that they don’t hold enough fuel to do a totally competitive race. He might not have overtaken Vettal in straight fight but he’ll never know because he broke the rules and got punished.

    Maybe he was thinking of the overall championship positions,well doing 200mph down the back straight at Valencia isn’t the place to do it. Never show weakness Fernando, get your head down, drive YOUR race and work the rest out behind the scenes.

    Maybe he thought Lewis was backing him up so he got stuck behind he safety car, unlike others here I don’t have the powers of ESP so I have no idea what was in Hamilton’s mind, again let us assume he was. Has Alonso never backed the field up before a safety car restart?

    Now onto the team. F1 is pretty much the total marketing for Ferrari so for them to label it as fixed, unfair and a travesty is a little self defeating. The sad thing is they DO have a point, it took too long to make the decision and the current safety care rules are over complex over emphasising the lottery aspect.

    I can’t believe Ferrari are naive enough not to now that the safety car isn’t there for safety, it’s there for show. It’s a chance to bunch up the pack, get cars out of order and keep things interesting. Sadly for Ferrari they couldn’t take any advantage of the opportunities it presented they were too busy on the ropes.

    1. Harvey Yates says:

      I think you should be banned from this forum for your attempt to destroy it.

      Reasoned logic and sensible argument, as was evidenced in your diatribe, all without the benefit of prejudice and rampant invective, will limit what others can say on such matters as this.

      Good heavens, you leave no room to contradict your considered statements. Where’s the sense in that?

      No, James, you must ban this person with immediate effect and wipe this obscene posting, with its common sense and rational argument, from all your records.

      EM, if that’s your real name, don’t you abhor any team? Isn’t there a driver whose brakes you would cheerfully sabotage? If not, are you even an F1 fan?

      What next? Evidence?

  230. Alysha says:

    I still don’t understand why the safety car did not quickly let Alonso and Massa (and others?) through. Red Ferraris do not look like the RBR of race leader Vettel, so they should have received a quick green light from the safety car and driven past. My guess is that this must be cleared with race control, even though the safety car is equipped with a computer displaying race data. (If not, they should get Kangaroo TV in that car pronto.)

    Likewise, I don’t understand why the safety car did not promptly radio back to race control that it was racing a McLaren out of the pit lane and that this McLaren may have improperly gotten ahead. This would have saved a lot of time on the subsequently penalty (not to mention the embarrassment of having to react to a complaint from Alonso broadcast on worldwide television).

    All in all, there were lots of things that are dodgy about the way F1 handles safety car situations — from the regulations, to the Delta time concept, to a permanently open pit lane with a sometimes closed pit lane exit, to the placement of the safety car in and out lines, to the role of the safety car co-pilot (the subject of this post) to … The FIA should do a complete rethink of its safety car approach otherwise some niggling details will create other such problems in the future.

    1. Faisal says:

      Problem isn’t with SC. Problem is with the amount of punishment they give. The punishment does a little to take away from the defaulter.

  231. Manos says:

    Perhaps someone should remind Ferrari how Schumacher won the 1998 British GP…

    1. LeighJW says:

      Was that the one where he took his stop-go penalty at the end of the last lap of the race and therefore took the chequered flag before reaching his pit?

  232. Nando says:

    Why are people assuming Hamilton would of finished 8th if he’d stopped to drop in behind the safety car.
    He clearly had great race pace towards the end would of least got upto 6th behind Sutil and looking at the time gaps I’d imagine he’d be within 5-seconds of Barrichello and could quite possibily have finished 3rd.

    1. Ade says:

      …behind his team mate Button who, whilst quiet on the subject, is still as much damaged by Hamiltons questionable points haul last weekend as Alonso who is just making a lot of noise!

    2. mvi says:

      Maybe he would have. But we were denied the opportunity of seeing that.

  233. Sergio says:

    The short way to be champion in 10 steps:

    1)Weaving in a straight if you are menaced by a faster car.
    2)Use the slow line of the pits close the mechanics if necessary.
    3)In qualy, to be assured to save 3 litres for the FIA.
    4)Always overtake SC and run.
    5)And more important: to be assured other drivers can’t do the same as you in points 1,2,3,4.
    6)Speak about moaning, whining. Don’t forget some beauty words of justice, team working, luck, and integrity.
    7)Raise the SC issue as general question to be solved.
    8)Push the press button to do their job.
    9)Try to convert the plot as mere battle of championship beetween Alonso and Hamilton.
    10)Agree with FIA always and defend it.

    Enjoy

    1. kbdavies says:

      Oh, grow up!

      1. Sergio says:

        Thank you very much for to be an evidence of point 6). You say something like “Don’t annoy us”, we’ve won in a bad way and that’s all. It’s hilarious that you are so worried about emotional responses and your arguments are: none at all! There’s no way to argue a reason to defend a cheater rewarded by his actions. I don’ t see english webs showing GP2 2006 San Marino, same overtaking to SC, same driver, different consequence= black flag. Grow up english masses.

  234. Brent says:

    Hamilton intentionally backed up Alonso,it was the only way Hamilton was going to stay ahead of Alonso(and several others) while he changed his wing on the pit stop. He had to put the safety car between them. It almost worked perfectly. If the stewards had looked at the lap chart, before assessing the penalty, they could have seen the advantage Hamilton gained. It should have been a stop and go penalty

  235. Weber fan says:

    All in all, lying Hamilton (again, are you surprised?) is being only encouraged of braking rules by now (Petrov incident – no punishment, low fuel qualifying in Canada – no punishment, overtaking SC in Valencia – practically no punishment). It’s not fair not only to Alonso, but to all other drivers on the grid.
    About Alonso chances to be second, if no accident with Weber both Alonso and Massa would jump over Hamilton through pits due to his front wing replacement.
    Alonso was penalised for his mistakes (jumpstart), now also for Hamiltons and it was not fair.

    1. dodix says:

      Practically no punishment??? Hamilton might have a chance to challenge Vettel for victory, but at the end of the day he only got second place because of that drive through penalty. Funny, no body can see that.

      1. Weber fan says:

        Funny is that nobody can see that he overtook SC deliberately (and lying about it after the race like in incident with Truli last year) and he deserved disqualification, not a penalty.

  236. Foobar says:

    Awesome.

    Rules are meant to be broken it seems as long as the payoff is worth it…Reminds me of football with its culture of diving.

    Hey, on that matter, what’s the penalty for skipping light at the start? You might gain something like 20 places if you’d ignore the red light. :-D

  237. Colin says:

    The safety car is a hot topic!! Race Control know where an incident has occured and therefore which sector of the lap. Why do they not just restrict that part of the lap with a minimum sector time.

    What about saying the sector which has an incident that warrants double waved yellow flags must be taken at pit lane speed. Make the minimum sector time equivalent to driving that sector with pit lane limiter on.

    Telemetry and GPS would tell race control who had not applied the limiter prior to crossing the sector line and removed it before passing the end of the sector line.

    If a car was already in that sector when the incident occured then they would have to proceed as they do now to the end of that sector with care and no overtakaing under double waved yellows(safety car wouldn’t have even got out of the pitlane anyway under current rules).

    1. Kedar says:

      Great Idea, why not have a couple more “pitlane speed limiter” like buttons at 50,100 and 150 KPH? This way the race control can dictate the max speed in a particular sector. The target speed means theoretically the driver can speed at the accident zone and slow down just before the sector marker to be within the target time.

    2. Alysha says:

      Your suggestion works well for an incident like Mark Webber’s in Valencia. However, it may not work for sudden monsoons like the 2007 European Grand Prix (Nurburgring, first lap) and some Malaysian Grand Prix, when a safety car is deployed for numerous incidents or the entire track is deemed potentially unsafe. As well, there is still the problem of a (relatively) slow medical car at any point on the track between the pit lane and the accident.

  238. RickeeBoy says:

    Arg !!!!!!!!!! The English scored a goal and it was never given therefore the whole of the world is against us – Its all terrible – but wait – We English are the huge conspirators to deny Mr Alonso a Ferrari win ………. Some you win some you loose ( like Sunday ) – try being a sportsman for once and while saying it was wrong just accept the result but request the FIA to take a look at the rule book.

  239. Darius says:

    I think the safety car was managed all right. The safety car and the medical car had to be deployed as soon as possible because you don’t want to risk the health of a crashed driver. I think nowhere in the rules it is said that the safety car has to come out of the pits just ahead of the race leader.

    Of course, Ferrari and Alonso have a point that the penalty to Hamilton was applied way too late for it to have an effective meaning. From reading a piece on Autosport I understand that the race directors did not have a suitable video shot of the Hamilton/safety car incident immediately. Therefore effort should be made that this thing would not happen in future races again.

  240. Sergio says:

    I suggest a BBC documentary about “luck” in F1 2010.
    I hear this word as a “reason” from several people involved in F1.
    The consequences of disciplinary decisions on every driver of the grid related to luck.
    Asuming FIA is defending the integrity of the sport and the spirit of sportmanship, only remains the word “luck”.
    Then analise it. Third partie incidence in the drivers 2010 championship. Who knows, maybe we could discover an extraordinary guy who is “luckier” than the rest. Not emotional factor allowed.
    Interesting for sure.

  241. Weber fan says:

    For me, the most rightful solution after this race would be that FIA clear results from this race and don’t count them for championship.
    About McLaren and Hamilton, protecting them by stewards mean that they were given plenty of points in last 2 races and big advantage in both standings.
    Personally, I think that F1 never had so much controversies and don’t want to watch it like that, without sport spirit and credibility (and it’s not only about last race). And think that lot of true F1 fans will agree with me.

  242. Sy says:

    What a surprise, Alonso has spat his dummy out AGAIN!

    Hamilton hesitated in overtaking because of the timing of the release of the safety car, if he hadn’t hesitated he’d have easily got through before the safety car line, as it was they actually crossed within a fraction of a second of eachother, allbeit Hamilton after the safety car.

    The punishment was fair in my view.

    If the Ferrari was that fast, why wasn’t Alonso overtaking? You can bet that Hamilton would’ve been, as were other drivers!

    Alonso and Ferrari should’ve concentrated on racing rather than whinging! You can alway tell when Alonso is under pressure, he makes stupid mistakes and becomes eratic. He’s not the same driver that he was when he won the championship.

  243. Richard Wilson says:

    Great blog James but it is turning into PF1 or Crash with all these comments which is not a good thing

  244. mauri says:

    There are four huge problems.
    First is management of what happens during neutralization and first lap of pace car. If really we need an american style race, in which real values race are scrambled by fate, then, at least manage the SC is always in front of race leader and noone can enter box before the pace car has passed once in front of the entrance.
    Second is that when a driver break rules there has to be a punishment. The goal of punishment is double. First goal is to restore things how they had to go, I mean for the rest of the drivers. The second purpose of punisment is to set the pilot who broke rules in a worse position, also to discourage him and others to repeat the breach of rules.
    The third problem is the time reaction of race direction in choosing penalties and applying. Its’fundamentally not true that F1 rules aren’t flexible enough, possibly is true the opposite. After specific punishments, article 18 of F1 rules says that stwards can apply all punishments of motorsport.
    The fourth problem is that the best driver among new ones is blatantly protected in his mistakes since he entered F1. He’s not only hated by a growing number of people (not everyone has the competence to appreciate driving ability) but mistakenly brought to believe he’s allowed to do everything ha wants. The reputation of beeing unfair and to have stolen results is not the best one a driver can take with him along his career.
    For several reasons, Valencia 2010 has been a black milestone in F1.

  245. Andrew says:

    The thing that keeps springing into my mind is what would now be the hot topic if Lewis had seen that he was alongside the safety car and had braked sharply in order to let it through? Alonso is one metre behind Lewis, hits him and they are both out if the race – who’s fault would that have been?

    1. Alysha says:

      Under safety car conditions, double yellows are waved around the track. Drivers are expected to be ready to not only brake, but even stop, at any point on the track. The case you present would probably be deemed bad driving by both Hamilton and Alonso. Especially as Lewis could have braked progressively and then let the safety car through immediately not to incur a penalty.

      But basically drivers should not be racing the safety car and driving at high speeds during neutralizations. The regulations should not put Hamilton in a situation where he has to race hard or brake hard when a safety car is out.

  246. Gary E says:

    All you Hamilton Haters crying over poor Alonso need to get a grip.

    There was no baised against Alonso, no conspiracy or favoritsm towards Hamilton. The race director did everything in response to WEBBER. You know the guy that was upside down at 190MPH? THAT was his first priority, making sure the medical car got out there and that there would be no other possible accidents coming up to that corner with Webber stil sitting there. Anyone to blind to see that this was the priority should check themselves in and not be released into general civilisation ever again.

    And for those still not getting it, theres several articles on well know F1 sites that explain exactly why it took so long for the Drive through penalty to be given. But lets not get some facts in the way of some good old fashion Hamilton bashing.

  247. W. Sacco says:

    I have a few comments on the GP:
    -the handling of the situation by FIA, specially Mr. Whiting, was disastrous. It reminds me of a similar, although much less serious situation,in the 1998 British GP,when failure of race commissioners in handling a penalty to M. Schumacher in proper time led to a huge outcry by McLaren and the British press or to the 1975 British GP when the red flg was shown exactly in time to favor Fittipaldi and McLaren.
    -there should be a modification of safety car rules.The pits should remain closed until all cars are aligned behind the safety car in the previous racing order, for at least one lap.

    1. LeighJW says:

      “The pits should remain closed until all cars are aligned behind the safety car in the previous racing order, for at least one lap.”

      Then when the pitlane opened and everyone stopped there would be ‘stacking’ which would be even more unfair on the second driver in each team. He wuld have to queue while his team mate got serviced.

      1. LeighJW says:

        …although a rule which stopped pitting during the entire safety car period would probably work ok. Perhaps no pitting until at least one lap after the safety car has gone back in?

        There are running out of fuel issues to stop that anymore.

      2. W. Sacco says:

        Yes,something along these lines.The present chaos Should be avoided.Now that no refueling is allowed ,there is no need for pitting in such a hurried and unordinate way. FIA should copy the best aspects of the rules about safety cars and pit stops of US racing,where, if not perfect, they work much better.

  248. Khan says:

    there is alot of hypocricy around. if ferrari tests by using the filming days, a rule clarification is sought by whitmarsh and a couple of days latter, hamilton breaks the rules to secure a 2nd place.
    Ferrari might have had prefrential treatments in the past but mclaren team are no saints

  249. DNH says:

    Who here hasn’t been go-karting? When there is an incident there are yellow or red lights where you either slow to walking pace or stop. Surely F1 could use a similar system? They could have a speed limiter like they do for the pit lane when then yellow lights go on and all the cars maintain their relative positions? Can’t be that hard surely.

    1. Khan says:

      Agreed. They can have a button on the steering wheel which can limit the speed to safety car requirements and FIA can use the system in the same way they use for pit lanes in handing out penalties for speeding.

    2. DNH says:

      I have never understood how it can be safe for cars to be at racing speed when there is an accident on the track, regardless of where the safety car is.

    3. Anthony says:

      They just need to bring back no pitting when the SC is out, it was taken out of the regs because the teams were scared they would run out of fuel but we don’t have to worry about that anymore, this is the fair way to do it.

      However the FIA might not want fair, they may want the SC to spice up the show.

  250. Michael SW20 says:

    Scandal or no, I am glad Alonso is on the receiving end of this.

    It lends an air of tension and competition to the season – which can only enhance the fans’ pleasure.

    Besides, Hamilton may have overtaken any number of drivers, just as Alonso was overtaken by a scintillating Kobyashi.

  251. W. Sacco says:

    You ´re right.It should be remembered that Hamilton is a frequent transgressor of the rules and has never received a appropriate punishment.

  252. Damian Johnson says:

    FIA now need to stamp down very hard on Ferrari/Alonso for the accusation of race manipulation. One can only imagine how big the fine would be if McLaren ever had said that under Modeley’s tenure at FIA so Ferrari/Alonso should not be allowed to escape a sanction from FIA for bringing F1 into disrepute or does FIA still mean something different?

  253. Gary Naylor says:

    One comment that has not been picked up on by many is that from Hamilton himslef. He said that,as he approached, he saw the safety car cross the white line (dividing the pitlane from the track) and he slowed down. When it went back into the pitlane, he accelrated.

    Question to all the Hamiltion-bashers here, if he had held station (from the time he initially saw the safety car cross the line) would Aloson et al have been happy then? Unlikely, as the accusation then would be that Hamilton held up the field.

    Take a look at the video and it is very clear that Hamilton holds back as the safety car moves across the line.

    1. Nando says:

      Hadn’t noticed this, the safety-car driver has clearly made an error and shouldn’t of crossed the white-lane before the safety car line into traffic like that. Possibly one of the mitigating circumstances that the stewards took into account.

  254. Phil says:

    Let’s face it, if Fernando had been in front and Lewis behind, he would have tried to do exactly the same thing – get ahead of the safety car and bottle Lewis up behind it. Gamesmanship has always featured in F1 – Hungary 2007, anyone? How about overtaking somebody as you both enter the start of the pitlane – not illegal but definitely unsporting.

    Given how close things were it’s only a fluke that Lewis even got a penalty. Fernando needs to stop acting like a spoilt kid and get over it.

    And as for Ferrari’s hot air about it all, they are in no position to make such statements given some of the actions of the team and a certain seven times world champion over the years. The guy and team that failed to support Eddie Irvine’s realistic championship bid in 1999…

    The sport’s history is littered with politicing by the teams, in terms of events on and off track and Ferrari has always been one of the bigger offenders.

    All in all a sign of just how tight things are, and the desparation of Ferrari and Alonso to do well when unfortunately they don’t quite have the package.

  255. LeighJW says:

    All the ‘race fixing’ comments seem to rely on the assumption that Hamilton deliberately passed the safety car after backing up the others.

    What I saw on TV was Hamilton back off seemingly because the safety car started to move out across the pitlane exit blend line before it reached the second safety car line.

    When the safety car went back inside the line Hamilton accelerated and passed. However, this hesitation was pivotal. If LH hadn’t backed off he would have passed it long before the second line which he was perfectly entitled to do.

    This can all be seen about 5m20s into the BBC hightlights here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8766004.stm

    I see no malice aforethought in this action. Just bad timing and bad luck (for some more than others).

    C’est la vie.

    1. Spenny says:

      Actually, when you look at that again with that perspective, you can see that Hamilton actually steers away from the safety car, which lends credence to the fact that he thought that the safety car was coming across onto him.

      This looks more and more like Hamilton correctly racing past the safety car and being impeded by believing it was coming across the track. Of course the safety car is not bound by the racing rules, but I think it does put the final nail in the coffin of the suggestion that the action was aimed at Alonso (and rather explains why Hamilton was confused about what went on).

  256. Dan says:

    Can any tell me what exactly happened with the other safety car penalties – Button, etc.? I had assumed it was speeding after pitting and then catching up the SC but I am now getting the impression it was for going to fast before the pitstop, i.e. in the last few metres from when the SC was triggered to the pit lane?

  257. tom p says:

    I think Alonso is more upset with the team that Hamilton. Sure it’s hard to pass there but it’s not impossible. Alonso problem is the Ferrari. It’s fast in clean air but once behind another car it’s slow. He couldn’t pass the cars he out qualified, and he couldn’t hold off Kobayashi in the last few laps.

  258. EM says:

    Alonso is now saying that having had time to reflect he realises his comments were over the top, he points out he has no malice to any particular driver and is glad the FIA are going to look again at safety car rules as he still feels what happened isn’t totally just.

    Credit to him for this considered and mature clarification. Now he needs to get that mindset in the car as I believe he has a great chance of fighting for the championship.

    Now if only some of the F1 ‘fans’ on all sides could display the same dignity now that the heat is out of the situation. If only…

  259. mike says:

    alonso won his titles when there was the pro michael and ferarri era. At least it was a fair fight. I like both drivers in Hamilton and Alonso. The race control are to blame here due to the time it took to make a decision. It killed the race and Alonso’s chances. Alonso is so smart to pick it up…his engineer did not have a clue what was going on. Hamilton will keep on this if they are not going to react quickly and enforce rules. You cannot fault him for a winning strategy. Now look for Alonso to do likewise to bring it to officials attention. Shame on race control and F1-make it a fair fight in that everyone is at least going by the same set of rules dispensed quickly and appropriately so “PENALTY” actually means “PENALTY”

  260. Gaza says:

    It seems that Alonso has acknowledged that he let his emotions get the better of him and apologised for his “manipulated” remarks.

    He also says he no issue with any driver in particular but would welcome a look at the current saftey car regulations.

    Commonsense it seems has prevailed.

  261. mike says:

    Ferrari’s choice of words could be better-incompetence rather than manipulation should have been used. The issues here is like wall street where smart savvy guys out think the system and their technology (or in this case Hamilton’s brains) is out ahead of the rule of law or more significantly, the application of it. F1 should just cop to it and say they blew the play. By the way- taking time to make a decision and say drivers are being “investigated” opens it up for violations and drivers commiting an offence and leaving the punishment for later and the courtroom. F1 has got worse this year- not better.

  262. Malcom says:

    James, you have been quoted regarding the Hamilton penalty in saying that ” even though he was given a penalty, it came so..late..that he was able to serve and not lose a position “….and….” It certainly was a long time and in that time Hamilton built a big enough lead to take the penalty, and come out in P2, that does not seem fair “. I wonder did you express that same concern James, towards Nico Rosberg at Singapore in 2008. Rosberg wasn’t hurt by a penalty that he had received, and finished in 2nd place, because of the length of time it took the FIA to implement.

    There wasn’t any outcry or uproar regarding Rosberg. In Rosberg’s case would you have ever used the term ” that does not seem fair “…….So why Lewis?

    1. mike says:

      fair call but I would suggest that there is a lot more at stake, like a world championship when the names Hamilton and Alonso get involved. Like most things in life, the rules are really only looked at when a significant player in the market has done something agregious in nature. It serves the media frenzy but at same time it can put sunlight on a dark spot and make thing more transparent, and hopefully better long term.

    2. Matas says:

      The situation with Rosberg was very different because he lost positions – he was leading at the time and after the penalty he dropped to fourth place. It can be argued that he gained more than lost, but definetely he was hurt by the penalty unlike Hamilton who retained the position. Moreover the breach of regulations wasnt deliberate – Rosberg simply ran out of fuel so he hadn’t any other choice than to pit. And Hamilton could have followed safety car as Alonso did, but he chose to breach the regulations.

  263. mauri says:

    Let’s face facts, instead of listing excuses. Stop defending when it’s impossible to do or assuming everything is acceptable because once, some other driver, also avoided to be punished. If You see a guy passing with red light then You can’t breach any other road rule and avoid punishment if they catch You. Make yourself caught repeatedly doin’it and see what happens to you. It’s from year 2007 that a very young and very talented driver is repeatedly saved from his race mistakes and rules breach. Other drivers get normally punishments, sometimes avoid it, this is phisological. Ours gets mostly reprimands, and he’s even recovered offroad and set back in track. It’s not true it happens because rules are unclear about punisments, F1 rules are just the most flexible ones about it, very effective unless who has to decide is not competent or bad faith. When a peculiar situation is not listed, art 18 allows any other motorsport rule to be applyed. This driver is young and very talented, he has all the time and the ability to develop a unique career without risking to have also a bad fame to carry on. Yes, there’s no proof of manipulation in Valencia and officially, everyone who’s upset but involved, is now taking a formal step back. We couldn’t aspect anything else, but there’s plenty of episodes which confirm this young driver benfits some special threatment by stewards. There’s too much money and to much show behind nowadays F1 and far less sport and fair play. Who is really found of F1 and motorsport, I mean us, can’t behave like a futball team supporter, and who appreciate this young talented driver should defend him and prevent he gets a bad fame instead of pushing just in this direction. I can’t wait Silverston to bury this Valencia awful race.

    1. mike says:

      Well said, I think the stasis of this argument (and most in f1) is conjecture (did it happen?) versus definition . Alonso is asking if his car got stolen whilst Hamilton is saying “no” he just borrowed it (with some help of the officials in their inability render judgement) As soon as we get into definition arguments you actually cede the conjecture because whilst you admit the car was taken, you are putting your spin on it. At law, it would not stake up. Car is gone- serve the punishment. By the way, Hamilton did serve the punishment, which proves Alonso’s point. I think Alonso’s latin temperament gets in the way sometimes, but if you look at his central points most times, they do have A LOT of merit. People just see and hear the temper not the substance.

  264. Dax says:

    Well the SC is a roll of the dice in F1, it makes the race unpredictable so which is added entertainment. Well Fernando should should recollect what happened in Singapore win Pique deliberately went into the wall so the SC was deployed to help him win. In the last race it went against him so I don’t see any big issue apart from the usual mind games from Mr Alonso.

  265. Nick says:

    Well it has caused some controversy hasn’t it!

    Just a few observations from my point of view.

    1st if Hamilton had kept his foot down it is my understanding that Alonso would of passed the safety car upon exiting the pitlane, if he chose not to do so he’l have still ended up behind the SC

    2nd i dont understand the complaints about the time it took, yes Hamilton managed to pull out a lead but race control always take that amount of time to issue a penalty, hence why in the last 20 mins of the race they issue penalties after the race

    I understand the frustrations, but he’s experiencing the same frustrations as everyone else Hamilton/Massa spa 08? Alonso/Piquet Jnr Singapore 08? The list goes on

  266. kbdavies says:

    What is totally hilarious, is that Alonso and Ferrari, two entities that, in this decade, have benefited the most from race manipulation and fixing in F1, are now accusing others of the same!
    You couldn’t have dreamt this up!

  267. Malcom says:

    Mauri..He surely got special treatment from the stewards alright, a race win taken away at Spa in 2008.

  268. Pete Schnabel says:

    It has been a few days now since the SC incident and i have just heard the words “Black Flag” connected to Hamilton’s maneuvre. I’m surprised that this is actually not exactly what was handed down to Lewis, since a SC is deployed and ahead of the SC is potentially [quote]“where there may be an injury, track workers on the scene in a dangerous position, or huge amounts of debris on the tarmac. People’s lives are likely in danger, yet a driver ignores the rules and drives past the safety car to speed around the track for his own gain.”[/quote]
    Why was such a penalty not immediately handed down for such exact reasons?

  269. Damian Johnson says:

    Alonso never complained when he gained substantially from the deployment of the SC in China and Monacco this year. So why do we have to hear so much whining from Ferrari after Valencia? Anti Hamilton nonsense from Alonso???

  270. Bertsta says:

    Well we wanted more passing in F1. Someone should tell the Mclyin’ kit car boys it doesn’t mean the SC!!!!

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