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Vettel cruises to win in controversial European Grand Prix
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Vettel cruises to win in controversial European Grand Prix
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 Jun 2010   |  2:56 pm GMT  |  381 comments

Sebastian Vettel won the European Grand Prix at Valencia today ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

But the stewards had a busy afternoon, investigating ten drivers in total.

It was Vettel’s second win of the season, the seventh of his career and it put him “back on track” as he said, after some races blighted with problems.

Rubens Barrichello capitalised on Williams’ improved performance and the safety car to pick up a well deserved fourth place, Robert Kubica was fifth and Adrian Sutil sixth. Kamui Kobayashi was a candidate for driver of the day with a barnstorming ride to seventh place.

Sebastien Buemi had a strong run helped by the safety car.

Sauber got both cars to the points for the first time this season, the first shoots of a recovery for the team.

It was another brilliant but controversial performance from Hamilton, who incurred a penalty which didn’t cost him any positions.

The majority of the race saw Vettel out on his own, as first Kobayashi got himself into third place during an early safety car period, which turned the race in the early stages and allowed Vettel and Hamilton to make a break.

Then Hamilton got a drive through penalty, which dropped him 15 seconds behind Vettel, but because of the Kobayashi factor he was able to serve the penalty without losing any positions, much to the fury of Ferrari and Fernando Alonso in particular.

The safety car was triggered by a monumental accident for Mark Webber, who flipped his Red Bull in a high speed collision with Heikki Kovalainen on lap 9.

Webber walked away from the accident, which is sure to raise all kinds of questions about the wisdom of rules to encourage overtaking by increasing speed differentials between cars.

At the start Hamilton passed Webber for second place into turn one, and as Webber got off line, the two Ferraris went through as well. As he struggled to recover and battled Button, Webber lost further ground, dropping to 9th place.

Hamilton had a run at Vettel into Turn 2 and the pair touched lightly, Hamilton reporting a vibration as a result.

Schumacher got a good start, jumping up to 11th from 15th on the grid. He started the race on the harder tyre, which gave him a strong tactical position. But that was squandered later when Mercedes mistimed his first stop and he had to wait at the pit lane exit as the cars behind the safety car went by.

In the opening stint Vettel pulled away from Hamilton at around half a second per lap, the Red Bull’s advantage was mainly in the faster corners of the final sector.

Webber made an early stop on lap 8 to try to jump ahead of the Williams cars, which were holding him up. But once again problems with the wheel nut delayed him by around four seconds.

On lap 9 Mark Webber suffered a huge accident when he closed quickly on the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen and took off as he hit him. The Red Bull flew up into the air and flipped over, landing on its roll over hoop. With Webber having just pitted and dropped behind him, Kovalainen was trying to defend the position.

This brought out the safety car and a flurry of pit stops. Button was the first car to get to the pits and he jumped up to fourth as a result. He was followed by Barrichello and Kubica and Buemi.

Vettel and Hamilton pitted together, Hamilton taking the opportunity to change his front wing as he changed his tyres. They rejoined in first and second places.

The Ferraris lost out badly as the safety car came out just in front of them, Alonso dropping down to 9th place and Massa, who had to stack behind Alonso, dropped to P15.

At the restart Vettel made a mistake and Hamilton almost passed him, but Vettel held the position. With the safety car, Kobayashi did not pit and got himself up to third place. This held the field up and allowed the front two to get away at a second and a half per lap.

Alonso protested against Hamilton for overtaking the safety car as it was deployed and the stewards took a look at it during the race, giving him a drive though penalty.

Nine other drivers were investigated by the stewards for going too fast behind the safety car.

In the train behind Kobayashi, Button quickly fell to 10 seconds behind the leaders, with 13 cars nose to tail behind him.

Hamilton served the drive through penalty and stayed in second place, thanks to the train behind Kobayashi. Because it took the stewards quite a while to decide the penalty, this allowed a big enough gap to open up to Kobayashi for Hamilton to get a penalty-free penalty.

Kobayashi pitted with just four laps to go, rejoining ninth. This promoted Button to third place. On fresh tyres Kobayashi passed Alonso for eighth on the penultimate lap and Buemi on the last corner. It was the Kobayashi of old.

Hamilton retained his championhip lead to take to Silverstone in two weeks time.

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381 Comments
  1. Nigel Clarke says:

    I am a Ferrari fan and Im upset with the shameful behaviour of Alonso who seems to be constantly WHINING bringing shame on himself and the team.

    1. Sebee says:

      You know, under MS Ferrari were a power house. I can’t help but feel they are doing damage to themselves as a team and as a brand by constantly moaning last few years. Their drivers moan. Team bosses moan. CEO moans. As a guy who has a Ferrari shirt or two from those MS years i’m sock and tired of these sore loosers. When they are on a taking end of a lucky or sneaky advantage no one at Ferrari moans. Alonso is a perfect fit on the post 2007 Ferrari team. I couldn’t believe that was a two time champion wasting time, energy and concentration moaning on the radio. Why not pull over and ask FIA for a box of tissues?

      1. beka says:

        The only one who was not moaning was axed out of the team.

    2. James says:

      I’m no Alonso fan, but I think he has every right to be upset after this one. He lost a lot of points to one of his main championship rivals because his rival broke a rule and gained a big advantage.

      1. Dave Roberts says:

        James, I replied to you on Twitter that I thought it showed just how much Hamilton has got under Alonso’s skin and therefore shows a weakness.

        In post race interview Hamilton has suggested the same. Whilst I agree that Alonso has justification for feeling hard done by don’t you think his complaint has more poignancy to him simply because it is Hamilton?

        I imagine that Hamilton has gained a mental advantage over Alonso today and I think he will rather enjoy learning of Alonso’s protestations.

      2. PaulF says:

        The deployment of the safety car should surely not, of itself, change the race order. Of course, people may gain or lose advantage because of the chance of the timing of their pit stops. Here, through no fault of his own, Alonso lost 6 places. I wonder how even the most ardent Lewis fan can justify that? The point is not that LH gained places relative to Alonso bu that anyone did. Do the safety car related delta times need re-visiting? Having said that, all of this pales into insignifcance compared with Webber walking away from that shunt. Well done mate!

      3. I think you are wrong about the Hamilton grudge thing, Alonso wants to beat everyone which by definition means beating Hamilton as well as everyone else. I don’t think Alonso likes Hamilton but to be honest I think you could say that about a lot of other drivers and fans, including myself.

        Hamilton is by no means talent free but his career is largely manufactured which means he is more like the winner of “The X Factor” rather than Beethoven.

        Anyway, the above is subjective but what is not subjective is the fact that Hamilton broke a very serious safety rule today and received (effectively) no punishment. That would get under anyone’s skin and Alonso is no different. The message sent out by race control and the stewards today is to overtake the safety car and ignore safety car delta times as you will make up more time than the resulting penalty will cost you. Nice one guys!

        I believe Alonso will soak this experience up and come out fighting at Silverstone. He is a much more mature driver than he used to be and will use this experience as positive reinforcement of his will to win. He who laughs last laughs longest! :-)

    3. redmist says:

      RACE WAS FIXED!

      Ramilton should have been black flagged and the other 9 should have had a 20 – 30 sec pen

      more scandalds! Ferrari should appeal and burn the FIA

      1. Alberto Dietz says:

        Redmix, for real (WMSC) prevaricating / fixing see Spygate and Crashgate. Everybody including true fans knew two super licences should have been withdrawn for life in 2007, but moral relativists in charge chose to please an alien, fickle mob instead.

      2. redmist says:

        So you call deliberately holding up Alonso making it look like he was going to pull up behind the safety car and then going for it not bad then???

        Looks like to me he slowed down way before the first corner!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKYyvHvO-jA&feature=player_embedded

        Thought the safety car had a meaning to it!

        Not to mention the 2009 lie gate! This bloke makes Schumacher look clean!

        Btw I’m British but I’m disgraced to be after all that cheating that went on yesterday!

      3. redmist says:

        Also not to mention the other 9! The FIA can’t just make up the rules as they go along!

        THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A 5 SEC PENALTY!

        Ferrari can and should appeal against it Charlie should lose his job!

      4. Nigel Clarke says:

        Im not saying whos right or wrong but as a man if I were Alonso I would do my talking on the track the way hamilton does the fact that the rulings favoured Hamilton is not his fault the rules are there to be tested all great champions test them maybe Alonso should try it Oh yeah wasnt he involved in a race fixing scandal Alonso gets everything he deserves losing track position in the last corner what a mug he was probably whining on the radio at the time pound for pound Alonso is the most complete driver,so he needs too get back to racing the team need to give him and Massa a decent car Dominicalo get your act together PEACE

      5. Alberto Dietz says:

        Redmist, pretending you are not even remotely aware of what I have clearly stated won’t do. Neither will trying and failing to refute my position. Clue: Plea bargain sucks big time.

      6. redmist says:

        my point! he should have been black flagged simple! its not the first time ither that Ramilton has passed the safety car It was 2006, GP2 race in Imola

      7. Alberto Dietz says:

        redmist,
        You have avoided the 2007 prevarication thing, the real issue that makes rules meaningless. For the time being however you are kindly referred to the notorious aggressor’s own and I believe, phoney, apology as this is likely to be followed, as usual, by his next toys-thrown-out-of-pram act in the not too distant future. http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_news_item.php?fes_art_id=41277

  2. Armchair Observer says:

    My race observations:

    - Webber scientifically proved Red Bull does gives you wings, after Vettel failed to prove it in Turkey.

    - BBC commentators demand that drivers let their close friend Webber pass, even when they are in position to defend. Webber can never be blamed for his mistakes and bad judgement and the cars in front of him should dissolve into thin air.

    - Spanish fans trying to sabotage the race by throwing a bottle on the track failed when Raikkonen dressed as a marshall made a sprint for it and collected it…ran all the way to that penthouse swimming pool we’ve seen 34 times during the race, to chill in it with the bikini girls while drinking the rather dull Spanish beer in the bottle.

    - Alonso caused laughter when stating ‘howwhat? ahemmeltun steel sekondah afta pinaltee???? nawt fairuh!!!’.

    - Kobayashi makes Button remember Brasil 2009, showing he can still do it with a slower car with even a lack of colors.

    - Backmarkers decided when getting lapped, the right way to do it is to race like it is your last race, drive the one in front of you off the track to make it easier for the frontrunners to lap the cars.

    - Frentzen wanted to break the record of how many cars at once one can penalize after the race, wanting to enable Schumacher to get the 3rd position.

    - Spanish director of the broadcast did not replay the humiliating and awesome move in front of the Spanish audience by Kobayashi on Alonso anymore. He did replay Kobayashi’s brilliant last corner move on Buemi and made sure Alonso wasn’t in the shot, way in the back sulking.

    - Kobayashi is just an amazing driver. Give him the tools to show it.

    - Vettel seems a bit deaf when talking to other drivers, everytime another driver says something to him he says, ‘heeeh?’.

    1. Marcello says:

      This has got to be the funniest comment I’ve ever read in JA blog. Nice one mate.

    2. DC says:

      “Alonso caused laughter when stating ‘howwhat? ahemmeltun steel sekondah afta pinaltee???? nawt fairuh!!!’.”

      Genius mate…pure genius…i’m still laughing!

      :o)

    3. Feb says:

      one really funny perspective this is :)

    4. Dave Roberts says:

      I enjoyed your take on the race and agree with it. You mentioned the BBC commentators, does anyone else feel embarrassed by Eddie Jordan’s antics? I thought he was quite a fresh change when he first came on last year but now I squirm at his self praising comments no matter what the subject.

      I was quite surprised by Clive Chapman’s put down prior to the race and thought that Martin Brundle was quite embarrassed by the cutting remark.

      1. James Allen says:

        Tell us more. I didn’t hear about that, what happened?

      2. Chris R says:

        I think that’s when Eddie alluded to a business deal during the 90′s where Jordan and Lotus almost merged(or something), and Chapman said “we were just using you Eddie”.

        I do remember being surprised but then put it down to a joke between friends.

      3. Dave Roberts says:

        I couldn’t help but think that it was a case of many a true word said in jest, but to my mind it certainly curtailed the conversation speedily.

    5. k2san says:

      Thank you for making my weekend reading ending in tears of laughter!

    6. Carlos Eduardo Del Valle says:

      Now that’s excelent. Thanks for that, Lmao

    7. Marybeth says:

      @Armchair Observer, Well done. :) I wonder if Kobayashi thought of Alonso as a backmarker…?

  3. Peter Jones says:

    That was a surprisingly good race, with an excellent, well-deserved result for Kamui.
    I just hope the stewards don’t mess around with the results too badly – while it would be good to see a Sauber get third, it would be much better if they got their moment on the podium.

    And great to see Webber got through that crash unhurt.

  4. AlexD says:

    James, I am 100% sure that the whole world understands that the decision of stewards was manipulated – Alonso and Massa stayed behind the safety car, as they should and Hamilton did not. More words are not needed – SHAME FOR THE SPORT. PERIOD.

    1. CH1UNDA says:

      I am starting to think Alonso is using the Lewis penalty to cover for his own very poor performance in the race; how did that incidence change the race for him – Button, Barichello and Kubica could still have beaten him. Indeed if he had done anything close to a decent job as Kobayashi had done, he could have salvaged 6th. How rediculous it sounds for Ferrari’s lead driver to explain that he finished 8th because Lewis finished 2nd – crazy! What is the cause and effect relationship between those two?

      1. Phil says:

        My guess is that you’ll find that Alonso thinks Lewis purposely backed up behind the safety car, intending that only Lewis would be able to go past the safety car *just* before passing the safety car line. Thus effectively penalizing Alonso.

        If so, and if there is nothing in the rules to preclude this, then smart gamesmanship from Hamilton.

        You can be sure that Alonso as another fierce competitor would have done the same if the shoe was on the other foot.

        Combine that with his history with Lewis, and you have a very pissed off Alonso.

    2. DC says:

      oh for goodness sake…

      the reason the decision took so long was because the overtake of the safety care was so marginal…Lewis broke the rules by a tiny margin, to the point that he was confident he was in front fairly, it took the stewards time to get hold of the data and review the video footage…to me looking at the TV footage I thought Lewis’s was just in front so I think it is fair enough they took their time to be sure, it is after all their job! … he did hesitate though, and that probably caused Alonso to get stuck, but then that is Lewis’ right as he had track position at that point… so Alonso should shut up and drive his own race.

      There is no conspiracy, this was just one of those things, like Lewis losing his place at Spa in 2008…what goes around comes around…

      I guess the problem with a drive through penalty has always been that the person serving it may have enough time to get in and out without losing a position. It must have happened before…

      In fact I believe MS won a race (Silverstone?) in the pit lane serving a stop and go penalty! Sometimes it goes your way…sometimes it doesn’t…

      Just goes to show how close it all is at the top.

      1. ExC says:

        What an arguments to defend Hamilton cheating. Is there in England any person who defend a race fair & square? Are real the holiganism even in F1? The BBC scientific shows are one of the best in TV, please try to learn some maths and understand cause and consequences to a good and a bad action. You are the evil in thios movie guys. You have the power and you decide for the glorious empire. Hamilton can do weaving, dangerous driving in pits, runnig out fuel in qualy, overtake SC, but no moaning spaniards “we can have the control” and Charlie and friends do their jobs brilliantly. No space for reasons here, just defend the english golden boy. Great example, great attittude, congratulations pirates, you have won again.

      2. Brent says:

        Hamilton only “broke the rules by a tiny margin”. It was a “marginal” overtake was it DC, I remember seeing him pass the safety car after the line and accelerate away. Maybe Frentzen had to bring in forensic experts, but the rest of us saw the infraction first replay.

      3. DK says:

        A common sence comment, i agree with you 100% Alonso has a bit of a cheek stating the race was manipulated, Piquet faking a crash to allow his team mate Alonso to pit 1st and win the race in 2008, now that is manipulation, not what Lewis did. Like you said the margin was so minimal, there was no intent there, it was just circumstance. Have a listen to Lewis’s interview on the bbc F1 website, it is great the way he answers the questions, he makes Alonso sound pathetic which we know he his. Alonso really needs to grow up and concentrate on his race not Lewis. Oh and ive just remembered when Alonso waited to back Lewis up in the pits with mclaren so Lewis did not have the time to make quali. What goes around comes around. Lets just hope Alonso can get over this for the next race, im not sure he will.

      4. Brent says:

        DK when I read the drivel of Hamilton fans like yourself it makes me laugh. Hamilton cheats and Alonso is the bad guy, what a warped perspective. You sound like you believe Hamilton would admit it if he knew he passed the safety car illegally. His past lying would tell us differently.

      5. DK says:

        Brent: It may look obvious from the helicopter shot after the event but not from where Lewis was in his car. Why on earth would Lewis purposly pass the saftey car after he crossed the line knowing he was going to get a penalty? At the time he would have no clue as to how things would turn out and would not want a penalty thats for sure. He just misjudged it as had he accelerated 1 second before he would have made it. Im really commenting on Alonsos outbursts considering his past. You have to admit he does seem obsessed with Lewis. The redbulls did not have an issue like Alonso or ferrari and its them that could really do with lewis not scoring so heavily.With safety cars there are winners and loosers, next time round it will no doubt be Lewis who gets effected, but you can bet he wont react like Alonso thats for sure.

      6. Irish con says:

        I’d love to know how it was marginal. From the helicopter shot even stevie wonder could see Hamilton was behind when they crossed the line. The amount of British based bias on here is unbelievable. The fact is lewis gained a huge amount for so little punishment. If he stuck to the rules like alonso did he would have finished behind alonso and maybe massa. People are forgetting he had to change his front wing. So that takes a dozen seconds or so and two Ferrari stops take 10 seconds at most. So maybe you can see why Ferrari and alonso are so annoyed. The team that broke the rules gained end of.

      7. Jingjing says:

        Pit Lap Time in Pit
        Lewis 10 25.971
        Fernando 10 20.649
        Felipe 10 22.571

        data from http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=375013&FS=F1

      8. Nevsky says:

        Not only was it marginal, but the original complaint from Alonso was that Hamilton was going too slowly, and backed him up to be trapped behind the SC.

        LH did indeed back off on seeing the SC, and had he kept his speed up, would have avoided his transgression. There is no guarantee though that Alonso himself wouldn’t then have been caught out. In fact he probably would have, as he says he was only one second behind Hamilton.

      9. Phil says:

        That for me is the interesting question – Is there a rule which precludes a driver from backing up another putting them at a disadvantage.

        My guess is that there isn’t – after all it’s a very unusual marginal situation. It would only occur when two drivers are approaching the safety car line almost at the exact same time as the safety car.

        Plus, if I understand correctly, the drivers have a time ‘delta’ they have to drive to – i.e. a minimum and maximum time, then they have to be have enough margin in that delta to slow down to put their competitor behind the safety car.

        All very unusual.

        If Hamilton used the rules to his advantage then very smart thinking, and I would class it as great gamesmanship – NOT cheating. The difference of course importantly being cheating is breaking the rules, gamesmanship is using the rules to your upmost benefit.

        Something which I’m absolutely convinced Alonso would have done if the positions were reversed. I can totally understand it pissing him off though, as it did screw his race. But… all’s fair in love and war.

      10. Curro says:

        Reading throught to post-race conference there’s a moment when Hamilton is asked whether he doubted before passing the SC, and he says ‘no’. But the images show he slowed down for a moment, then floored it again when he decided he was going to pass the SC after all. Which to me looks like he is lying (remember, it would not be the first time).

        Alonso has every right to be p**sed off, but he cannot afford his whining image to grow. As the man himself said on Tv after the race, all things normal he would have still finished 8th or 9th, with Hamilton just in front. It’s in his own interest to let this story die and get on with his season.

        The bottom line is, there is a pattern during the last 3-4 years where Hamilton has been consistently stretching a number of rules with little or no penalty, only for those rules to be strengthened right after his actions.

      11. Phil says:

        He thinks Hamilton backed him up on purpose to put him behind the safety car and screw his race.

        So, he was most annoyed that Hamilton did this. Wasn’t really anything to do with passing the safety car. The complaint was an attempt to reciprocate – to penalize a competitor.

        And, when that failed unsurprisingly you have red mist. One of your main competitor just used the situation to the max, to screw your race. It can be argued that this is ‘unsporting’ but it ain’t cheating (as far as I know – since there AFAIK there is no rule about backing up a competitor).

        Hamilton however didn’t quite time it right, thus overtook the safety car *AFTER* the line. For him to end up coming out of this without losing a position must have made Alonso blow a fuse.

        Alonso will have to get past this though – the last thing any of these guys can afford is to let one of their competitors ‘get in their head’.

    3. kenny5 says:

      3 points:

      1) Hamilton did not overtake the safety car. The safety car was in the pitlane with alonso behind; Hamilton was ontrack at the time. This nonsense of drawing various lines across the track and penalising champions for the stewards interperation of them is making a joke of the sport.

      2)why did the stewards decide to wait until after the race to penalise half the field for breaking the rules? As this was a clear matter of fact, the offenders should have been handed drive-through penalties – and everyone would know where the stand.
      James, do you know on what grounds the stewards decide to issuse a drive-through or postpone the decision until after the race?

      3)After the ledgend Schumacher passed the sleeping whinger in Monaco, after the safety car pulled in, after the so called “safety car line”, under green flags, the stewards accepted that there were 2 different interputations of the rule. They however stated that they had no other option but to penalise Schumacher 25 seconds…..

      Now; where has this 5 second, safety car related penalty come from? why was this not available to the stewards in Monaco??

      Another example of the FIA making it up as they go along…

  5. Ed says:

    James, now that refuelling is banned, do you think that the pits should be closed during SCs again?

    It was a problem in the past as cars could run out of fuel, but that issue is gone now.

    1. James Allen says:

      No I think the pits should be open as it provides a chance to shake things up, much needed with no refuelling strategy

      1. stephen says:

        I have to disagree,unless a car is badly damaged,ie engine or body work,there is no need for cars to enter the pit lane once a SC is deployed,the whole spectacle today ruined the chance for fans to see SV,LH,FA,FM battle.
        This F1 not GP2,and as for the penalties,they bore no relation to advantages gained,they were in fact a token jesture at best.

      2. BiggusJimmus says:

        No please leave it open. Adds interest, has an element of danger attached, which is ironic.

      3. malcolm.strachan says:

        I completely disagree. The pits should be closed. It should never be an advantage to be in 10th place and be a disadvantage to be in the top three.

        Beyond that, the pits should remain closed until the leaders are behind the safety car. If the safety car is slow out of the pits, then the leaders should not be able to gain an entire lap. That is patently ridiculous. One of two things should happen: 1) either the remaining field should be waved by the safety car until the leader is the first car behind the safety car, or 2) the leader should be radioed to slow down and wait for the safety car. The pits should remain closed until this is all sorted out.

        Leaving the pits open under the whole caution is like randomly reversing grids. It is not a fair thing to do in a sport, and is more like a gimmick than anything.

        I can’t believe that more people aren’t lambasting the safety car rules and procedures, since Vettel and Hamilton gained a wildly unfair advantage by not getting picked up by the safety car and Button, et al, got another unfair advantage by being just slow enough in the first 9 laps to take advantage of bad pitlane rules… and Alonso, is hung out to dry. I don’t like the guy, but there is no denying he got a raw deal on Sunday.

  6. favomodo says:

    Safety car: close the pitlane until the cars are in the right order after the safety car. Then open the pitlane (there is no fuel problem anymore). If cars decide to pit it is at least a clear situation of the order and the consequences of pitting. Now it is a lottery. Again Valencia turns into a non-watchable race (okay, the Webber-Kovalainen clash was spectacular)

    1. TM says:

      Actually this is an excellent point about the fuel. The rule was only changed because of cars running out of fuel when the pit was closed. This would be a lot clearer to spectators than deltas.

    2. malcolm.strachan says:

      Exactly! This lottery is ridiculous.

  7. Anthony says:

    Now alonso is saying this was a ‘manipulated’ race because he was 9th and hamilton 2nd…. Hamilton served his penalty and worked hard to retain his 2nd place

    when i think of a MANIPULATED race i think of singapore 08 when alonso only said ‘no comments’…. Now he wants to comment… How funny

    1. CH1UNDA says:

      How sarcastic – Ferrari talking about unfairness and Alonso winner of the Renault fixed Singapore 2008 race talking about manipulation. I couldnt believe the amount of whinning from the Spaniard – he let Lewis who was minding his own business totally ruin his race; Alonso appears very fragile psychologically, even more fragile than most people believed – if i were LDM i would be realising i made a mistake on kicking Kimi out of the team.

      1. mtb says:

        You really do need to get over your Alonso complex!

      2. Alberto Dietz says:

        You mean complex like in:

        “The e-mails show unequivocally that both Mr. Alonso and Mr. de la Rosa received confidential Ferrari information via Coughlan; that both drivers knew that this information was confidential Ferrari information and that both knew that the information was being received by Coughlan from Stepney.”

        (from p. 4 of the 13 September 2007 WMSC Decision)

      3. mtb says:

        Alberto Dietz

        And your point is what exactly?

        I am not a fan of Alonso, never have been, and doubt that I ever will be. Hopefully that addresses the basis for your comment.

      4. Alberto Dietz says:

        mtb,
        CH1UNDA made an accurate comment which you failed to refute. I merely brought you back to reality, as only a fool or a fraud thinks of plea bargain as a good, hence ElFred’s superlicense is and can only be invalid regardless of the moral relativists who didn’t take it (and PdlR’s) away for life in 2007.

    2. Brace says:

      Served penalty long after he reaped the fruits of the his scam. By the time he was penalized, he already took what he needed from the situation and could afford the penalty. If he was penalized when he made mistake he would have ended up on the read end of the pack while cars were bunched up.

      James, this is really travesty! How can stewards allow this to keep happening? This 5s penalty is also crap. If Alonso overtook safety car, drove fast race with Vettel and Hamilton, he would have finished much higher.
      So where’s the justice in that?!?

  8. Jack Flash says:

    Once again, different rules for Lewis and the rest. One car overtakes the SC; others, don’t. The one that overtakes (in breach of the rules) gets no penalty (ok, he has been told seriously not to do it again, like when running out of fuel, like when changing three times his direction not to be overtaken by Petrov), and at the end of the day is 2nd. The ones that respect the rules are 9th or worse…

    1. Anthony says:

      He lost the chance to fight for 1st. He served his penalty and worked lots of fast laps to stay 2nd. A penalty is a penalty and he served it.

    2. Jean-Christophe says:

      Gets no penalty??

    3. TM says:

      I don’t think you watched the race, because he did get a penalty.
      Hilarious.

      1. n3ptun3z says:

        People seem to have missed the point, 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!!

  9. BH says:

    What a joke of a race… Pathetic. Shame on the FIA!

  10. Jack Flash says:

    James, why in your opinion it took so many lapos to Race Control to investigate Lewis overtaking the medical car? Was it so difficult to tell? IMO, should he had been penalised sooner, the penalty would have costed him some racing positions. Do you agree?

    1. James Allen says:

      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

      1. DC says:

        I’m sorry I have to disagree…looking at it on TV it looked marginal to me… i think they took their time to simply get the facts straight. It must take time to gather the data and review the footage…maybe there was a difference of opinion in the stewards office…

        Will they publish the transcript? I Thought that was something new for this year, yet i’ve not seen one yet from any of the decisions made.

      2. Eric says:

        It probably looked marginal to you because you’re viewing it with biased eyes. This is as far as I’ve read, and the amount of nonsensical posts is astounding. Especially those who are can’t seem to understand why Alonso should be angry. Had Hamilton not broken the rules, he would have finished directly in front of Alonso. Look at the points distribution and it’s pretty clear why Alonso is rightfully angry.

      3. DC says:

        In reply to Eric…

        Lewis was alongside the SC not behind when they crossed the line the stewards needed to take that into account. That is what made it marginal. From the on board you could not see the SC as Lewis crossed the line. Lewis himself thought he was in front. Alonso is where he is in the table because he is not quick enough. Nothing wrong with my eyes.

      4. senna says:

        life isn’t fair. And f1 suffered again because of it.

      5. Monji says:

        What’s not fair here is that the FIA had to wait for Alonso to complain before any action was taken. No one seems to mention that, Sad hey.

      6. redmist says:

        yeah not to mention they waited 30 min to give out the penalty! of course he would have made up more time by then

        should have been black flagged!

      7. mtb says:

        Are you sure that the FIA waited for Alonso to complain? Remember, there were 10 cars who broke the rules at that stage. The stewards were undoubtedly busy.

      8. BiggusJimmus says:

        he only built a lead because Kobayashi was slow. That wasn’t his fault. It was just the way the flower bloomed.

  11. TM says:

    Let’s be clear – for Alonso to after the race say that the race was, quote “manipulated” is a joke.
    This is the man who won the Singapore GP in 2008 because his team mate crashed on purpose. Not his fault? Well maybe, if you believe that he had no input into it, but even so, when asked later if he still counted it as a win, he said yes.

    Eddie Jordan called it right after the race, Alonso has this hatred eating him up.

    And for Domenicali to act the way he did when his team have purposefully manipulated the testing rule so that they test new parts on a filming session is also quite funny.

    I’m not saying Hamilton did nothing wrong, but he paid a penalty, and Ferrari and Alonso have to stop constantly playing this holier than thou attitude game. Also maybe Alonso’s true colours might be showing in Ferrari now, after the way he belittled the guy on his radio in front of millions of people.

    Within 24 hours of now di Montezemolo will be saying some new rule or other that has to be changed.

    1. Jean-Christophe says:

      Can’t agree more on this. I’m just amazed at how unprofessional Alonso and Ferrari sound.
      Such comments coming from fans could be understood, but from a 2 times WDC and a team that have made such an impact in formula one is just shameful

      1. Phil says:

        Look to Montezemolo.

        He sets the tone for the organization. A vain arrogant man with a tendency to polemics.

    2. C Pitter says:

      You were right – he has demanded the safety car rule be changed. LOL

      1. TM says:

        James maybe next race there should be another competition like you held re. Virgin qualifying yesterday, only this time;

        “who can guess which rule Ferrari will say needs sorting out after Silverstone”?

        Lol!

    3. Dave Roberts says:

      I think you are right. Surely this is a simple case of “you win some, you lose some.” I think that Alonso and Ferrari are trying to cover over the cracks of their inept performances.

      I am now surprised that Alonso did not cry foul when Hamilton overtook him when he was baulked by Buemi. His obvious insecurities are bound to seek a conspiracy at every juncture at this rate.

    4. n3ptun3z says:

      Yeah Eddie Jordan is 100% correct. Alonso is so hell bent with hatred it is blatantly obvious. At first the general concensus was that he was angry with McLaren and his relationship with Hamilton was always fine, but after this weekend one has to wonder. Surely by now he should have let go of it? If he feels so hard done by, he must relinquish that farce of a 2008 victory which he diligently declares a valid one. Talk about being a hypocrit of note!!! Hahaha!!

  12. Paul says:

    I’ve never been Kobayashi’s biggest fan, but he was exceptional today. His pace in the middle of the race when he was a few tenths off the leaders on older tyres was phenomenal. It really was the Kobayashi we saw in Abu Dhabi. Now he needs to work on delivering this performance consistently. I just don’t get the feeling that he could ever string a championship together. He’s like a less error prone version of Sato in the respect that he has some amazing giant killing performances like today

    1. mtb says:

      Fantastic performance! He deserved a podium!

  13. F1F says:

    The Ferrari`s are such a lame car in this time of year. Alonso, proved again that he is a better talker than a driver. The man o the race Kobayashi, for passing big mouth alonso:)))), good job mate;)

  14. Peter Jones says:

    And Alonso is moaning about a “manipulated race” already? What is it about Ferrari and their sour grapes?

    According to Autosport he’s whining about how “Unfortunately everything goes against us and it seems they are allowing everything.” Even if this one decision was a little shaky, he seems to have forgotten about the many that always seemed to work in their favour instead.

  15. MrExasperated says:

    What’s the point of a penalty if it’s a ‘penalty free penalty’ as James says!

    The one’s committing the offenses shouldn’t be the ones that benefit the most from them!

    1. JR says:

      Was it really a ‘penalty-free’ penalty? It dropped Hamilton far enough back to mean he couldn’t have a go at Vettel for the lead, even though he was demonstrably faster in the closing stages. He was also lucky in managing to rejoin the race just ahead of the 3rd and 4th cars (though, I admit, Hamilton is a driver who proves the saying that ‘you make your own luck’).

      The drive-through was a fitting penalty for a minor infringement of the rule that a driver should drop behind the safety car if it’s not ahead at the 2nd SC line. On the helicopter shot you could clearly see Hamilton dithering slightly and I believe he thought he had got away without infringing the rule.

      Truly Alonso is a mardy bum (as we say in Yorkshire); he knows Hamilton served a fair penalty, yet he’s still not happy because Hamilton got lucky and he, Fernando, was not able to benefit from that penalty.

      1. mtb says:

        Vettel demonstrated that he could go quicker when required. Given the nature of the track, I am not sure that Hamilton would ever have got past.

      2. Jean-Christophe says:

        May be. But the Red Bull is known for having reliability issues. So who knows what might happened if vettel had to push his car. Instead he just crused to victory?

      3. adam says:

        It’s worth noting that McLaren set the fastest lap of the race. Without the penalty
        Hamilton may well of pressured Vettel into making another mistake.
        If Hamilton had not taken overtaken the SC Button would have been running second because he pitted earlier. He was the one who set the fastest lap once in clean air.

    2. TM says:

      Of course it was a penalty.
      It’s like saying if a penalty in football isn’t scored then they should be able to keep taking it again and again until they do score to make sure the other team is punished. Webber won a race last year despite a drive-through. Should he now give up that win?

      1. n3ptun3z says:

        I cant agree with you more TM… you’re right on the money there. This whole issue of the effect of a penalty being issued and visibly felt is nonsense, it’s not hamilton’s fault that Kobayashi was holding up the pack by over a second a lap at that stage. Hamilton took a chance and got punished, he cud easily have falled way behind even Alonso if the rest of the pack was right up close behind and at race leaders pace. Hamilton had NO WAY of knowing how things would be when the SC returned to the pits and therefore could NOT have ‘manipulated’ the race as the baseless accussation goes. What I would like to know is, who was doing the manipulation, and what was the original plan? Let me guess, to make sure Alonso doesn’t win? In Spain? Yeah right!!

  16. sixtenths says:

    Alonso’s mid race raging about Hamilton was so revealing, talk about obsessed !

    “Pit : 5 cars in front of us are under investigation for the safety car, so i want you to stay cool” Forgetting to mention Hamilton has served his, and is not one of them.

    FA to Spanish TV [Translated] “for the 70 000 spectators here it was a race corrupted, [manipulada, no real]”

    Posters whining about drivers who get drive through penalties, yet loose nothing, might do well to remember Webber, recently, twice and obviously, Schumi for famously winning a race in the pitlane.

    1. mtb says:

      That comment was made after Alonso had been told that Hamilton’s penalty was served.

  17. Trixie says:

    Kobayashi in the Sauber, wins my Driver of the Day hands down!

  18. James,
    For me, Hamilton overtaking the medical car was worthy of more than a drive throh penalty, especially if it turns out that Hamilton or Mclaren were intentionally trying to trap Alonso behind it. When Hamilton was asked in the press conference what happened he had a similar look in his eye when he said he “couldn’t remember” as he had when embroiled in liar-gate.

    Any evidence of pit radio traffic between Hamilton and the team about their intentions as Hamilton crossed the start finish line? He seemed to back right off very very early. If he had kept on it then both he and Fernando would have cleared the medical car. Was this him getting his own back on Fernando after that race in 2007 when Fernando made him wait in the pits to stop him putting in an extra qualy lap?

    Look at his eyes in the press conference and see if you believe he “can’t remember” what happened…

    Cheers,
    Craig.

    1. CH1UNDA says:

      I doubt Lewis thinks about Alonso as much as Alonso thinks about Lewis. To Alonso, it appeared the objective was to beat Lewis whilst for the Briton, the objective was beat the rest of the field – which is what the sport is all about. The one who got his objectives right maximised the points haulage.

      1. I don’t think Lewis ‘thinks’ very much when out there which is both a blessing and a curse. Then he blames the team when they make the wrong call for him regarding tyres etc.

        Alonso was closing Hamilton down today until the safety car ruined our prospect of a good race between the two. Alonso didn’t have the chance to race the leaders today which is the main reason he is upset. He was 3rd before the safety car and something like 12th after it. In retrospect he should have overtaken the safety car as well and then he would have probably beaten Hamilton because he needed a new nose at his stop and Alonso didn’t.

        Not fair!! Muchas!

        ;-)

      2. Babi says:

        If, if, if… Alonso should let the wheels do the talking. We are getting tired of his ‘ifs’ after every race. In Montreal it was ‘if the backmarkers hadnt held me, i would have won’. before that he had many other ‘ifs’. Well, if hamilton hadnt taken a hit on his nose he would have won. if webber hadnt lost places on the first lap, he would have finished second and avoided the shunt. If Chandok had a Mclaren, he would have taken a podium. if, if, if, we could let the racing be decided on the track rather than on the microphone!

  19. Ez says:

    This is why there needs to be a human variable in the penalty process. The stewards should have penalised Hamilton as they did, but, also been able to take into account any advantage he had gained due to the delay in the decision and passed that on for a stop-go penalty. They made a great leap forward by adding a former driver to the stewards panel, then get archaic in the penalty process. It is really runing a great sport!

    1. TM says:

      Sorry but I absolutely disagree. It’s not Hamilton’s fault how much time they took to decide. If penalties are going to be given based on that then they should stop mid race penalties and just demote drivers a certain number of places at the end. There are far too many variables for penalties to be handed out in that way; i.e. if this time it was too long then what isn’t? What would be the exact cut-off time for him to deserve a stop-go?

      1. Ez says:

        The determination for the stop-go would be the laps elapsed since the infringement. When it is such a simple thing to check the overhead and see that Hamilton overtook the SC, the infringement should have been levelled at him within 3 laps. The easy option would be that under safety car, the pits are immediately closed (no re-fuelling so no-one needs to pit) and the entire grid must slow to Pit lane limited speed on track until the safety car can overtake and assume the lead, then the cars can form up behind it. This would solve all these problems and then allow for an entertaining race instead of a ruined race that wasn’t worth watching after lap 15!

    2. Ez says:

      P.S. Had Alonso breached the rules as Hamilton did theoretically he would have finished 3rd, so this asks the question, Alonso followed the rules and lost, next time this sort of thing arises, will he ignore the rules and just accept the ridiculously small penalty for putting his own life and others in danger. The FIA is too tight with its penalties, they need to relax them a bit and let the panel judge the penalty. For crying out loud, what is the point of having former drivers on the panel if they still can’t make the penalty fit the crime! The same as Schumacher being held up in the pits by an errant red light when he clearly had time to go, and button being penalised for his delta time for the sector when he got the slow down message just before he crossed the line. It really was a joke. My point above about the cars all slowing and pits closing would solve all these issues.

      1. James Allen says:

        Very good point

  20. Lamer says:

    Apparently Alonso needs a 1-year break to cool down his nerves. Inability to pass Sutil and Buemi, followed by losing his place to Kobayashi, is a real disaster.

    1. mtb says:

      How many overtaking manoeuvres were made in the race? Kobayashi’s late charge, whilst excellent, was aided by fresh tyres.

  21. Rafael says:

    I’m a big fan of Fernando, but even I have to say it: Boy, oh boy! does this guy need help!

    He was literally going ballistic over the radio after Hamilton escaped unharmed from his drive-through penalty.

    I suppose for all his genius and skill, 3 years having not held the championship has made him desperate or driven him crazy altogether. Sadly, that’s what’s making him vulnerable. I really hope he comes out of it.

  22. Ed H says:

    Will be upset if the FIA gives a time penalty to the 9 drivers who “Aledgedly” broke the safety car speed limit. The drivers themselves said that the Safety car was initiated too late for them to realise. A grid penalty for Silverstone would suffice, but if it is a time penalty, then what happens to Hulkenberg, who crashed out? He looked extremely upset…

  23. Ron Colverson says:

    Anyone else sick of Alonso’s incessant whinging? Oh how I cheered when Kobayashi passed both him and Buemi at the end. Yes I know he was on fresh tyres but an inspired strategy, skilfully carried out. So glad and relieved that Webber looks OK too.

    1. n3ptun3z says:

      I used to support Alonso vehemently from 2005 to mid 2008 when his relationship with McLaren was coming apart at the seams because he wanted ‘preferentail treatment’ and McLaren refused to favour him. His bitterness is surely worthy of professional help as it’s bordering on an illness now. The whole race was ruined because Hamilton came 2nd while he came 8th? No one else on the track seems to think so, LOL!! Ferrari have a major liability in that guy. Funny how Massa is incredibly quiet this year though – wonder why.

      1. Ron Colverson says:

        The sad thing is that Alonso is (or at least was) good enough not to have to resort to this bitching and whining. He should concentrate on letting his driving do the talking.

      2. n3ptun3z says:

        That’s an interesting concept there (that he was good enough) – do you think that perhaps he already peaked and there is nothing more to come from him? I happen to think he WAS a good driver, but not necessarily a shockingly fast one. He has always had one thing going for him and that is a ‘never give up’ attitude. His success may have been misconstrued by himself as being a very good driver which I have to disagree with, for one I think given the same car, Kobayashi would whip him from pillar to post coz that chap is a dare devil and just straight up fast! Massa needs to believe in himself more and he can do exactly the same.

  24. Paul Miller says:

    James do you not think that they should close the pit lane again when the safety car comes out ala pre 2009. The reason this rule was abolished was because teams who needed to make a fuel stop were unfairly penalised.

    Now as refuelling is now banned there is no reason for teams to make a pit stop during this time and would stop the nonsense we got today where the Ferraris were penalised so heavily for the safety car coming out.

    1. James Allen says:

      The safety car seems to be presenting a lot of problems, if you think back to Monaco. In previous SC rules it was very unfair if drivers were caught out needing fuel when it was deployed. It’s time for a real rethink on the S Car, in my view

      1. Matt W says:

        I don’t think a re-think is needed. There are already so many rule changes and grey areas that drivers have no idea what to do. Hamilton marginally broke the rules, served the penalty and that should be the end of it. Alonso got held up out of pure bad luck and he and Ferrari should have concentrated on their own race rather than worry about Hamilton’s.

        Ferrari need to stop denigrating the on track action. Just get on with it.

      2. Paul Miller says:

        Hamiltons situation is not really an issue, neither is the 9 drivers who were under investigation. It is the fact that 2 drivers from 1 team were penalised severely (especially Felipe). It is because the safety car came out at a certain point.

      3. Tom (London) says:

        I don’t understand why the stewards are needed in these sorts of situation. The computer knows where the line is, where Lewis was and where the safety car was. The correct decision to award a drive through penalty could have been taken immediately by a computer.

        Having said that, if Hamilton had been given a penalty immediately and then finished out of the points then he would have been very hard done by considering everyone else only got 5 second penalties.

        Infringements of the rules need rigidly defined penalties to avoid any doubt of bias.

        However I don’t think that there was a deliberate attempt by Hamilton to break the rules any more than I think the FIA are trying to manipulate the race.

      4. mtb says:

        The stewards were probably busy with all ten cases.

      5. Matt says:

        It’s quite obvious from the Helicopter shot that Hamilton overtook the safety car. From the car shot it isn’t. So it could be that the stewards decided straight away that it was a penalty but spent some time debating how much.

  25. ABBEY says:

    I repeat my comment. I´m not trying to disturb (my post is “waiting for moderation”, mmm.

    All this manipulation…

    James, your point of view shoud be free, have the courage to say the true about the safety car and what happened. A driver forget about the rules and his punishment means nothing.

    ¿Why is Charles Whiting commanding these decisions?

    God, Todt will make good Mosley´s baloney.

    Thank you

    1. DC says:

      Nothing to do with Charley Whiting, it was a Steward decision. He’s race director not a steward, at least that is my understanding of the setup.

    2. Jean-Christophe says:

      He did not forget about the rule. I think the contrary should be said. He slowed down wondering wether he should pass the SC or not. Had he not done that, he would have cleared the SC and all this controversy would not have come up. Why risk a drive through? May be he knew at the time that Kobayashi would hold everybody up

      1. senna says:

        very well said. the thing is that everything is coming out right for him. He is on the zone, and the opposite can be said about alonso and ferrari.
        Mclaren and hamilton have the habit… the winning habit.

  26. ABBEY says:

    Sorry about this, if JA believes it, please delete it:

    40) SAFETY CAR
    40.1 The FIA safety car will be driven by an FIA appointed driver and will carry an FIA observer capable of
    recognising all the competing cars who is in permanent radio contact with race control.
    40.2 Thirty minutes before the start of the formation lap the safety car will take up position at the front of the grid
    and remain there until the five minute signal is given. At this point (except under 40.14 below) it will cover a
    whole lap of the circuit and take up position.
    40.3 The safety car may be brought into operation to neutralise a race upon the order of the clerk of the course.
    It will be used only if competitors or officials are in immediate physical danger but the circumstances are
    not such as to necessitate suspending the race.
    40.4 When the order is given to deploy the safety car the message “SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED” will be
    displayed on the timing monitors and all marshal’s posts will display waved yellow flags and “SC” boards
    for the duration of the intervention.
    40.5 From this time, any car being driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or which is deemed potentially
    dangerous to other drivers at any time whilst the safety car is deployed will be reported to the stewards.
    This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane.
    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.
    40.7 All competing cars must then reduce speed and form up in line behind the safety car no more than ten car
    lengths apart. In order to ensure that drivers reduce speed sufficiently, from the time at which the “SAFETY
    CAR DEPLOYED” message is shown on the timing monitors until the time that each car crosses the first
    safety car line for the first time, drivers must stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU.
    With the following exceptions, no car may overtake until it has passed the first safety car line for the first
    time when the safety car is returning to the pits. However, if the safety car is still deployed at the beginning
    of the last lap, or is deployed during the last lap, Article 40.13 will apply.
    - if a car is signalled to do so from the safety car ;
    - under 40.14 below ;
    - any car entering the pits may pass another car or the safety car remaining on the track after it has
    crossed the first safety car line ;
    - any car leaving the pits may be overtaken by another car on the track before it crosses the second
    safety car line ;
    - when the safety car is returning to the pits it may be overtaken by cars on the track once it has
    crossed the first safety car line ;
    - any car stopping in its designated garage area whilst the safety car is using the pit lane (see 40.10
    below) may be overtaken ;
    - if any car slows with an obvious problem.
    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. These cars will continue at reduced speed
    and without overtaking until they reach the line of cars behind the safety car.
    40.9 The safety car shall be used at least until the leader is behind it and all remaining cars are lined up behind
    him.
    Once behind the safety car, the race leader must keep within ten car lengths of it (except under 40.11
    below) and all remaining cars must keep the formation as tight as possible.
    40.10 Whilst the safety car is in operation, competing cars may enter the pit lane, but may only rejoin the track
    when the green light at the end of the pit lane is on. It will be on at all times except when the safety car and
    the line of cars following it are about to pass or are passing the pit exit . A car rejoining the track must
    proceed at an appropriate speed until it reaches the end of the line of cars behind the safety car.
    Under certain circumstances the clerk of the course may ask the safety car to use the pit lane. In these
    cases, and provided its orange lights remain illuminated, all cars must follow it into the pit lane without
    overtaking. Any car entering the pit lane under these circumstances may stop at its designated garage
    area.
    40.11 When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message “SAFETY CAR IN
    THIS LAP” will be displayed on the timing monitors and the car’s orange lights will be extinguished This will
    be the signal to the teams and drivers that it will be entering the pit lane at the end of that lap.
    At this point the first car in line behind the safety car may dictate the pace and, if necessary, fall more than
    ten car lengths behind it.
    In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the point at which
    the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which involves no erratic acceleration or
    braking nor any other manoeuvre which is likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart.
    As the safety car is approaching the pit entry the yellow flags and SC boards will be withdrawn and, other
    than on the last lap of the race, replaced by waved green flags with green lights at the Line. These will be
    displayed until the last car crosses the Line.
    40.12 Each lap completed while the safety car is deployed will be counted as a race lap.
    40.13 If the safety car is still deployed at the beginning of the last lap, or is deployed during the last lap, it will
    enter the pit lane at the end of the lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without
    overtaking.
    40.14 Under certain circumstances the race may be started behind the safety car or resumed in accordance with
    Article 42.5(a). In either case, at the ten minute signal its orange lights will be illuminated, this being the
    signal to the drivers that the race will be started (or resumed) behind the safety car. At the same time a
    message confirming this will be displayed on the timing monitors.
    When the green lights are illuminated the safety car will leave the grid with all cars following in grid order
    no more than ten car lengths apart. During a race start there will be no formation lap and race will start
    when the green lights are illuminated.
    Overtaking, during the first lap only, is permitted if a car is delayed when leaving its grid position and cars
    behind cannot avoid passing it without unduly delaying the remainder of the field. In this case, drivers may
    only overtake to re-establish the original starting order.
    Any driver who is delayed leaving the grid may not overtake another moving car if he was stationary after
    the remainder of the cars had crossed the Line, and must form up at the back of the line of cars behind the
    safety car. If more than one driver is affected, they must form up at the back of the field in the order they
    left the grid.
    Either of the penalties under Articles 16.3a) or b) will be imposed on any driver who, in the opinion of the
    Stewards, unnecessarily overtook another car during the first lap.

  27. lukas says:

    Lewis should get stop/go penalty

  28. senna says:

    hamilton reminds me more and more of schumacher. being close to the limit of legality and most of the times coming out on top.

    1. Anthony says:

      is that supposed to be a compliment or what? if I remember correctly Schumi is a 7 times world champion!

      I hope Lewis follow his steps then…

      1. senna says:

        both. They are both top drivers taking advantage of anything that comes their way. But schumi did some things that hamilton hasn’t done yet, and i think never will, because the fia wouldn’t allow. But yes they are alike, because their mental process is the same.
        Alonso should have followed him and pass the sc as well, and pay the penalty, but that’s easy to say now.

    2. TM says:

      er… I’ve never seen Hamilton drive into anybody (let alone twice!) for a championship. I’ve never seen him pretend to crash to block the rest of qualifying.

      1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        I’ve never seen Schumacher lie about a car passing him under the safety car. Also I’ve never seen Schumacher overtake the safety car when he shouldn’t.
        Get over it, Schumacher has done some things, Hamilton has done some things. Stop being blind about the whole thing.

      2. TM says:

        Well it seems like they’ve each done a lot of things that the other one hasn’t done. Not exactly proving the point that they’re alike.

        You don’t know anything about me, what is this ‘whole thing’ I’m being blind about. I said further up I agreed that Hamilton deserved a penalty.

    3. Steven says:

      Hamilton hasnt put any driver in danger yet.

  29. ashley edwards says:

    I felt that race was better than last years. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t crap. If the 9 drivers do get a penalty do they get a grid drop for the next race or 25 sec time penalty?

  30. omar kamal says:

    Infact the safety car was deployed infront of Hamilton along with Alonso and Massa with a less than 1 second between the three, Alonso and Massa respected the saftey car and stayed behind but Hamilton decided to break it and passed the SC and by the end of the day, he was rewarded for that with 18 points and a hilarious penalty compared to loss he would have if he respected the rules (Look where Alonso and Massa ended the race) …..it was just unfair!!!

  31. PaulL says:

    I think today’s situation with the safety car and penalties was an abject failure of the system. Ferrari played it correct and were the only ones to suffer.

    Anyway, moreover this season is exciting me less than seemingly most fans. In EVERY race now, after the pitstop it’s just follow the leader until the flag unless you’re an odd-duck on strategy.

    1. kenny5 says:

      i believe the outcome of Hamiltons penalty was fair. it was a margional mistake on his part – less than a carlength – and he shouldnt have to suffer for that.

  32. Ben says:

    I cannot believe how anyone can say (including coulthard and brundle) how webbers crash was anyone fault but his own.
    As David kept stressing the redbull was so much faster “4 seconds a lap” that there was no need for Mark to be running so close to Heikki towrd the breaking zone. If the Lotus is 4 seconds a lap slower because it doesnt have the huge performance of the red bull then it will need to break earlier. If webber had not been so “greedily slipstreaming” as Eddie jordan so beautifully put it and even jinking to the left to follow Heikki as he moved back toward the braking zone (leaving tones of room on the right for mark to brake 80m later) he would not have to react so quickly. Webber left no margin and ended up crashing them both out of the race. And it was a race for position so matter what the speed difference Lotus have no need to jump out of anyones way especially as, as David & even Mark kept said he would have been through in the next 15 seconds.
    No need to be so close. Did make learn nothing from his run in with Vettel in Turkey.
    I still cant beleive Coulthard and mark pointing finger at heikki saying he was moving all over the place. He was in front and it was Webbers jink in behind Heikki that caused the crash when the lotus breaked at his useual breaking point.
    Alonso! Whats his problem? If Hamilton had not lifted so much when he saw the safety car he’d have cruised by before the line and Alonso would still have ended up in 9th!

    1. TM says:

      After watching it over and over I think it was just a (rather spectacular) racing incident. Kovy was moving around a lot but not exactly weaving. Mark then reacted and didn’t know which side to go.

      It’s like when you’re walking towards someone in the street and you both try to let each other through but keep stepping in the same direction blocking each other!

      Certainly I agree with EJ that the (rather patronisingly termed) ‘B’ teams should not let anyone they’re racing through.

      1. mtb says:

        Agree – a racing incident.

      2. Kate says:

        +1 to all of this – both seemed to be confused as to which side the other wanted to be on. I think some people need to keep in mind that the most important thing is that both are OK.

    2. n3ptun3z says:

      True about Alonso, he was about 15m back and couldnt have passed the SC in time anyway. Funny though because his original complaint was that he was held up by Hamilton going too slow and that’s why he couldn’t pass the SC. Alonso needs serious help to get over 2007, it’s like a cancer in him and he is starting to sound like a bitter old fart living in the past.

  33. Jeff Doununder says:

    Another great race, but the FIA still can’t get the safety car rules right. It is still a complete lottery who benefits and who’s race is ruined. Plus how can the fans tell what the delta time is?

    Surely a NASCAR/Indycar situation would work better, where the safety car comes out and bunches everyone up for a lap, then those who choose to can pit, leaving those who don’t with dominant track position. Effective (in creating a safe racetrack and nullifying the competitive advantage) and much more simple!

    1. Steven says:

      Then Alonso/Ferrari would complain that it removes the gap that they work so hard to get, theres no pleasing those people.

    2. malcolm.strachan says:

      100% agreed. Notice how you never hear whining and complaining about safety car rules in NASCAR or IndyCar? They have a solid system, and it would be great to implement in F1.

      I still think, even in the refueling era, that the pits should have been closed; if you are that close to the limit that you need to pit that lap, then tough for you and maybe you should have factored that possibility into your strategy and pitted a lap earlier.

    3. Jeff Cranmer says:

      The biggest catch with the ‘bunch them up first’ concept, is that the driver in each team who is lower down the order at that point ends up having to queue up behind his teammate in the pits, and if you bunch them up first, that maximises the penalty applied to the second driver.

      It seems to me that a more fundamental question in the last race is this. If the safety car is supposed to pick up the race leader, then why did the car come out when the leader was long gone and block others instead?

    4. Jeff Doununder says:

      Good point Jeff! Not much has been said about the clear advantage Vettel received by being ahead of the safety car, which one could argue won him the race.

      In regards to the bunching up/teammate disadvantage, one could argue that it forces teams to split their strategy, where the 2nd driver could use better track position to their advantage (a la Kobayashi). Personally I never saw anything wrong with the 2nd driver slowing down to create a 25-30 sec gap between themselves and their teammate, thus ensuring they did not lose track position.

  34. walter says:

    This is incredible. Driver now know it is better to brake rules. SHAME to Charlie Whiting. HE SHOULD GO TO NEVER COME BACK

  35. Damon says:

    As a Schumacher fan I was very angry at Mercedes decision to pull Schumacher in after the safety car. He started on hard tyres for a reason and that was so that he could run a long first stint, so why bring him in after 12 laps. If they kept him out like Sauber did with Kobayashi, then Schumacher would have been at least 6th instead of 16th. Shocking decision by Mercedes but all the media will remember is that he was 16th.

    It is very ironic how Schumacher was known to always have luck fall in his favour, but it now looks like it has all run out as he’s been very unlucky lately.

    1. stoikee says:

      According to Ross Brawn, they believed the soft tyres can last till the end of the race that’s why they pitted him. But they were surprised the light on the pit lane exit was red even though it wasn’t supposed to be.

  36. Sergio says:

    I think it is enough. For me F1 is over until the right spirit of fairplay will comeback. No more warns to Hamilton, no more concessions, no more privileges denied to other drivers since Tony Scott Andrews alogside Whiting. It is too much. There is not argument capable to justify a bad example for the youth: Do the bad thing and do not respect the rules, you will be prized, especially if you have a name defended inconditionally by the english press. I forecast three months before Hamilton arrived to McLaren the problems with Alonso and you can read it in spanish. Every thing it is too clear and very sad for the real competition. No tv brodcast, no 100 replays as usually does when the break is commited by “other”. Until Alonso coment by radio the break in the rule, no action: nothing! Astonishing justice! Enjoy your F1: really it is for you.

    1. CH1UNDA says:

      Sergio – Lewis served a drive through penalty, 9 other drivers were given time penalties which lifted Alonso one position up – what else could have been done?

      1. Galapago555 says:

        Just giving a fast response to Lewis infraction. As simple as that. Before the SC he was 10 meters before Alonso. After the SC and breaking the safety rules, he was 7 positions ahead. That’s it.

    2. Robert says:

      lol – Get over it. Alonso won a race that was fixed from the start and still has the nerve to count it among his wins. Controversial things happen, this is motor racing.

    3. Marcello says:

      Sergio came down no one is out there to get Alonso, although I didn’t really get what you trying to imply here, however I guess you’re saying Lewis is getting a preferential treatment, and if that’s the case, then I’ll say your memories are failing you because you seem to have forgotten what happened to Lewis in 2008 in terms of penalties that is, but I guess as an Alonso fan for you the penalties were fair.

      If I were you, I will be concerned about Alonso getting caught napping at the end of pretty much every race, Monaco, Turkey, and now Valencia.

      1. Curro says:

        I think Sergio’s point is that the investigation on Hamilton’s infraction only came when Alonso complained to his team over the radio. I think it’s a very good point. What where the stewards doing until then?

      2. Jean-Christophe says:

        May be just making sure that what made the safety car come out in the first place was cleared and the track was safe to race which is their main focus while the SC is still out.

      3. n3ptun3z says:

        Your statement suggests that stewards are capable of watching every inch of the race track like hawks and this is impossible. The offense was less than a car length and unless scrutenized, it would have been impossible to tell from the track side. The offense so angrily reported was NOT even what Hamilton was punished for anyway.

      4. Alberto Dietz says:

        Maybe ElFred’s past his sell-by date.

    4. TM says:

      Slightly over dramatic there.
      1) I don’t think you can solely blame Hamilton for the situation at McLaren in 07… or do you?
      2) Hamilton didn’t get a warning, he got a penalty.
      3) How do you know whether they would have investigated if Alonso hadn’t said anything? Did he also complain about the other 9 driver’s deltas not being correct?
      4) re. the replays, this is down to the TV director surely? Probably Spanish considering it was in Spain. It wasn’t that they weren’t interested in showing replays, it was that they were more interested in showing women in boats and pools.

      1. Curro says:

        It was obvious from the moment the Ferraris came into the pits much later than LH that something weird was on.

        As far as I know the broadcasting in Spain is done by the FOM team, most probably English.

  37. Timo says:

    What a farce. People who obey the rules get burned again by F1 incompetence. A real shamefull race.

  38. Galapago555 says:

    China, 2010; Alonso jumps the start; he gets a drive through penalty on lap 5. Valencia, 2010; Hamilton overtakes the safety car on lap 9; he gets a drive through penalty on lap 20!!! It is good to get this kind of penalties, isn’t it? How many positions lost Alonso in China because of the penalty? 14!! And Hamilton in Valencia? None!!

    1. Galapago555 says:

      Sorry, I mean Hamilton got his penalty on lap 27.

      1. CH1UNDA says:

        I think it would help Alonso if he concentrated on his race rather than crying about Lewis – he was so distracted he allowed Kobayashi to overtake him! If he had stayed ahead of the Japanese and overtaken Buemi, he would have been P6 and much closer to Lewis

      2. stoikee says:

        Kobayashi had a fresh set of soft tyres against Alonso’s worn hard tyres.

    2. Smiley says:

      Valencia, 2008; Massa unsafe release into pit lane on lap 37, gets a $10,000 fine after the race. These things happen, its just this time it’s for a team you don’t follow.

    3. FS says:

      Currency of penalty is time, not positions. Comparing how many positions a driver has lost as a result of a penalty is irrelevant

      1. Galapago555 says:

        OK, that’s your opinion. Mine is that drivers are racing for positions, not for time, so the relevant point is how many positions the penalty means – if not, it could be worthy not to respect the rules and creating dangerous situations, like Lewis did today.

  39. Matt W says:

    Alonso was disgraceful today and summed up the modern Ferrari attitude of relying on the stewards than getting on with it.

    They can bring out all the regulations they like but Domenicali basically told Alonso not to race and wait for the stewards today.

    1. AgBNYC says:

      I have no hatred for Hamilton and no love for Alonso… You want to compare outbursts over the radio between the two this season? Don’t take out England’s annihilation in football on Alonso. Alonso was basically told to calm down, get the incident out of your and don’t be stupid… he did NOT tell him not to race, he was told to let the stewards to do their job and their response was typically late… and weak…

      1. TM says:

        It did sound to me like a message saying there was no need to race the cars under investigation in front (although I don’t have anything against this).

  40. Alfonso says:

    I agree with Fernando Alonso, the race it is been manipulated by Charlie Whiting taking the Hamilton drive though penalty so late ‘on purpose’.

    1. James Allen says:

      Why would they do that?

      1. Galapago555 says:

        James, you have talked about it: “… thanks to the train behind Kobayashi. Because it took the stewards quite a while to decide the penalty, this allowed a big enough gap to open up to Kobayashi for Hamilton to get a penalty-free penalty.” Did they actually need almost 30′ to make the decission?

      2. CH1UNDA says:

        Is this the same Alonso that won a manipulated Singapore 2008 and all in his team were punished except himself?

      3. Robert says:

        why would the FIA favour Hamilton? What a load of nonsense, especially in light of all the penalties they handed out in 2008 to him.

        Plenty of drivers have served penalties and suffered no position drops (Webber and Rosberg off the top of my head in recent years).

        When it happened to them we all applauded them for making up a big enough gap but when it’s Hamilton suddenly all the knives are out!

        The double-standards are in how some fans perceive these penalties not in how they’re distributed.

      4. James says:

        I don’t think it was deliberate manipulation of the result (at least I hope not) just incompetence in not dishing out the penalty sooner.

        I think the stewarding has been as bad as ever this season yet this seems to be forgotten amid everyone thinking how wonderful it is former drivers are involved.

      5. michael grievson says:

        But I think the poster was suggesting the delay was deliberate to affect the outcome of the race

      6. k2san says:

        James you’re quite right here. Thank you. I got a lot of negativity after the same remark a couple of races ago on a different website. In my opinion the SC incident was not taken into consideration at all by the stewards until they were pointed to it by Ferrari. I think they were overwhelmed by what all happened and were looking at all the standard info ie the times of all the drivers. When they got around to investigate it it was already too late. It was in fact sloppy stewarding. Can you verify what really happened at race control? ie time line?

      7. mtb says:

        CH1UNDA

        “…all in his team were punished except himself…”

        I was under the impression that Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds were the only Renault employees who were punished.

        Can you enlighten me?

  41. Paul says:

    Re the Hamilton/safety car incident, it seemed to me that when the safety car came out it briefly crossed the merge line on pit exit that the racing cars aren’t allowed to cross. It seemed to be at this point that Hamilton slowed up, perhaps confused as to whether the safety car was going to continue coming across the track.

    The safety car then seemed to pull back into the pit exit lane and soon after Lewis pulled forward again.

    Obviously Alonso is annoyed, and legitimately so as it compromised him, but I don’t think Lewis was trying to compromise Alonso, he was simply briefly confused by slightly erratic safety car driving.

    1. Jeff Cranmer says:

      Very good point.

      The video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32vI5IWkg9Q&feature=related is enlightening. At the start of the video, Hamilton is taking the short line around the corner passing the two cars exiting the pits.

      The forward car moves towards the pit exit demarcation line, and you can see Lewis brakes and moves to the outer edge of the racetrack to give the car the maximum amount of room. Evidently, as it becomes obvious that the safety car is not going to cut across the track, he then decides to go forward and pass before the ‘do not pass’ line, which is still ahead of him at this point.

      He doesn’t make it in time, and therefore gets a justifiable (though delayed enough to make it ineffectual) penalty. It appears that Alonso thinks he slowed down deliberately to gain a competitive advantage, but it looks more likely that he acted to avoid potentially punting a safety car, then accelerated again once the danger had passed.

      Poor safety car management, slightly erratic driving of the safety car, slack stewarding, a minor lapse in judgment by Lewis, and ElFred’s (and Luca’s) toys fly out of the pram once more :-)

      Time penalties are always going to have a variable impact. If they’re applied on lap 1, the impact can be a drop from first to last. If they’re applied late in the race, it may not even cause a single loss of position. That’s racing.

      Lewis has been on the receiving end of some very unfair stewarding decisions in the past. This one went in his favour. Score one for Karma, particularly given the team and driver it hurt the most.

  42. CH1UNDA says:

    James, i am looking forward to your technical analysis of the Red Bull underbody following Webber’s crash. Your piece on Ferrari’s was very informative. Hope there was still enough pieces left of the blown diffuser. But important to say it was great to see Webber alright after that very frightfull crash.

    So Alonso is still obsessed with Lewis – his comments about the race being manipulated were very amusing considering the Singapore 2008 race he won! It was surprising how Alonso was so consumed with Lewis being punished until his team had to ask him to focus on his own race – terrible whining on the part of a 2 time WDC.

    Can somebody clarify whether if found guilty a time penality would be mandatory for the 9 cars under investigation? Or is there an option for lose of grid slots at the British GP? Hope if there is an option the stewards go for lose of grid slots.

    Good to know Lewis was not racing Vettel for the win but rather driving the mature race to bring the car home. He surely has learnt alot since his first season back in 2007. It was also refreshing hearing him call to save fuel once he determined he had nailed the second postion and was out of Kobayashi’s threat.

    So neither Alonso nor Button could not overtake blaming Valencia for their processional races only for the Japanese warrior to pass two cars in the last lap! Kobayashi definitely driver of the day – wonderfull racing, almost Lewis-que overtaking if not on this occasion even more exciting considering he took Buemi virtually on the last corner!

  43. mika pup says:

    Not that big a deal. Hamilton was to finish second.

  44. Daniel Dinu says:

    Totally unfair to Alonso and Massa what happened with the safety care and Hamilton. A bit of a farce that penalty after 20 laps.

    1. Robert says:

      What does Hamilton have to do with it?

      They were always going to end up where they did because of how Ferrari played the strategy. It’s not that Lewis deliberately bottled them up behind the SC and then made a sprint for it, how could he have possibly known that the SC was going to emerge from pit-lane at that precise moment?!

      I know Lewis is brilliant but he’s not omniscient. ;-)

      1. Alberto Dietz says:

        Lewis also seems a nice chap with excellent taste, i. e. not exactly a mysoginist.

    2. senna says:

      life isn’t fair. During the dominant years, ferrari most of the time got the best part of the deal, now they are getting the worst and they whine. Sorry but we are not buying it. We still remember the schumi years, and you are just suffering the same pain that you inflicted.

    3. n3ptun3z says:

      I seem to get the feeling that the issue here is about Alonso beating Hamilton. How about winning the race? Why is it only unfair to Alonso and Massa? Did Hamilton beat only those two or the rest of the field? Why is there such bitterness about Hamilton beating Alonso soundly?

  45. In my humble opinion, this is a race to erase from a Formula1 championship… boring track, hyper strange race, and bored people launching bottles inside the track are not so good for this sport.
    Is almost incredible how an exit of a safety-car can change a race.
    Formula1 must return to Montjuich…

    1. n3ptun3z says:

      I agree, the track is shocking to say the least. Extremely unattractive and not conducive to much risk taking. Can 1 overtake, yes but not easily which is what we want. The track must not be a hinderance to overtaking at all, but must encourage it. As spectators we would like to see that.

    2. Phil says:

      Whoever threw that bottle on the track should be thrown in jail.

      Reckless endangerment of the driver’s lives. Totally irresponsible.

  46. Fm says:

    lotus hk acting as a ramp for webbers flyby
    Should have got out of the way

    1. Ian says:

      Maybe Red Bull REALLY does give you wings….!

  47. Irish con says:

    James or anybody outthere explain to me how the guys and teams that stuck to the rules got totally screwed by the silver team. I’m not saying lewis deliberately cheated but how can it be that if you stick to the rules your punished more. No doubt about it the penalty did not fit the crime considering it’s gained him so much time. I’m not a bitter Ferrari nut but till someone watching our sport for the first time today how could you explain that. Surely the next time you should just overtake the safety car if it gains you so much.

    1. Ian says:

      It looked to me very much like a ‘technical’ infringement by Lewis – ie if he had not momentarily lifted he would have been ahead of the Safety Car line and that would be that. As it was either (I suspect) a moment of indecision, or a reaction to the possibility of the SC crossing into his path, my view is that it was barely due a penalty at all.

      1. Irish con says:

        May I remind you that under yellow flags and safety car conditions that lewis shouldn’t be flat. The simple facts are lewis overtook the safety car or after the line. He then had an enormous advantage as alonso had to sit behind for the whole lap. It cost alonso a second place today. Lewis hamilton got away with murder today.

      2. Phil says:

        No, it cost him a third place. It’s unlikely he would have been able to get past Lewis even if he’d been faster.

    2. Brendan says:

      Some comments seem to imply that it is somehow hamiltons fault that Alonso finished where he did. If Hamilton did not pass the sc do you think alonso’s finish place would have been different?

      Maybe next Alonso can start a conspiracy theory that Hamilton has a special button on his steering wheel to trigger a sc. It would then all make sense!

      1. irish con says:

        if hamilton had of done what alonso done he would have finished behind alonso. hamilton had to change front wing in pitstops so would probably not scored a point today if he done the correct thing.if alonso done what hamilton done he would have finished second. maybe the british bias can be done away with on here and people can see that it actualy was advantageous to cheat today.

  48. Michael P says:

    Both Ferraris should have sped past the safety car and accepted a drive through. Would have been better off to breach the rules then follow them! IT takes the stewards over 25minutes to decide on a penalty and by that time it was a pointless penalty.

    1. Talion says:

      Real problem here is that safety car is deployed for, you know, safety reasons.

      From now on, it seems the winning strategy is to overtake the SC and run like hell. Most you will get is a DT that you may be able to overcome if it takes them 20 laps to decide the penalty.

      Result would be a risk increase on the track.

      The only way that the SC would work in total fairness would be if “after the risks are gone”, drivers are allowed to return to the position they were before the SC entered the track. It would mean 1-2 laps more but IMHO, SC is out 1-2 laps more than needed already.

  49. KidrA says:

    How come it took so much time for the stewards to penalise Hamilton? It almost felt like they were waiting for Hamilton to pull big enough gap to Kobayashi, not to lose a position. I hope that’s not the case but there’s been too many times already this season when Hamilton has broke the rules and got away with it. Makes you think there’s something more than just luck on his side.

  50. Chris Anderson says:

    Heads need to roll at Mercedes If it was not Schumacher’s choice to come in when running 3rd

    They keep destroying his races as a fan its getting frustrating. Schumacher must be furious.

    1. senna says:

      he is having all the bad luck he never did when he was at ferrari. What goes around comes around.

  51. Chris says:

    A Valencia GP that wasn’t boring!! Hard luck on Alonso, I don’t think people should be blaming Hamilton though. Even if he hadn’t passed the SC they would have been 8 and 9. It’s the SC rules at fault, why should Vettel be handed the race just because Hamilton and Alonso got caught behind the SC?

  52. Brace says:

    I really don’t understand why are all those drivers “under investigation”. FIA know they didn’t obey the time delta, so give them appropriate penalty right away. This is just stupid. More arbitrary ruling for the clear cut rules. That’s what brings those moves like Hamilton did today on safety car. You know “let’s see if I can get away with it”.
    Someone breaks the rule, give him penalty right away and get on with racing.
    Today’s race is totally messed up. Made it pretty much pointless for watching.

    1. CH1UNDA says:

      The point is he did not get away with it – he was penalised. Alonso should be delighted his whining got his nemesis some much needed punishment.

      1. Alberto Dietz says:

        Hence the term ‘alonsonia’, the haunting fear (found in ElFred and deluded alonsisti) that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

  53. JimmiC says:

    I hope, at the regrettable expense of Webber, that all this deformed wing/KERS business is binned as a result of that incident.

    There was a moment in that incident when I really thought Webber was seriously injured – he threw his steering wheel out and seemed to rest his head back as Mansell did when he crashed heavily at Japan ’87, like he knew he was out for the season. Glad to see him out, shaken but not stirred.

    1. n3ptun3z says:

      Yeah this movable wing that can be adjusted when within 1 second of the car in front is shocking, you have to wonder at logic of this. Ban the F-duct coz it costs money to develop, but impliment KERS and a movable rear wing which i) COST ALOT MORE to develop; ii) are incomparably less safe than a simple F-duct; iii) and iv) will make the car atleast 50kg heavier thus increasing the average fuel consumption of F1 per annum – as such WE as FOTA in conjunction with our trusty brainless FIA are i) saving costs; ii) increasing over-all driver and spectator safety and iii) making Formula 1 a greener sport. Go figure!!

  54. Steve Arnott says:

    Staggering that a car can flip and land upside down at 190mph then crash at probably 130+mph and the driver can walk away – and then be interviewed afterwards, seemingly calm and unshocked.

    Who cares about the result? The biggest result is that Mark Webber (and Heiki) is still in one piece.

    Steve

    1. Robyn says:

      Amen to that.

      I mean, I wanted Vettel to win this race, so it’s not as though I don’t care about the result at *all* – but my relief at Webber (and Kovalainen) being okay has outweighed pretty much everything else.

  55. Gary says:

    I can’t believe all of the comments on the TV commentary against Kovalienen on BBC – at the last part of the incident just before the crash, the Lotus went left and Webber did too – if the problem was the Lotus, why didn’t Webber just go right, or at the least stay straight?

    I saw it as Webber misjudging the Lotus’ braking distance, and as such therefore Webber carries almost all of the blame – it cannot be right for faster cars to plow into the backs of slower ones just because they don’t know their braking points (they should learn them first!), especially when they actively steer to be directly behind the slower car in front when it brakes!!!

    Or, as Webber was so much faster, why didn’t he just try to overtake somewhere else less risky!

    But, even if Coulthard on BBC again showed his Red Bull bias, at least it has brought to a head one area of stupidity with the newly proposed rules for next year ;-)

  56. Brian G says:

    Well, we’ve gone from the most exciting dry race of the season at Montreal to, in my opinion, the most boring (after the first 10 laps) at a track that for TV viewers has to be very disappointing. Even during quali yesterday I believe Martin Brundle said of the 25 corners that the drivers have difficulty knowing ‘where they are’ on the race track. How about the television audience?

    It seems to me that the released 2011 rules allowing drivers to manipulate body work according to a computer controlled and enabled system so they can pass is turning the driver into a computer gamer instead of a driver.

    Why not install cruise control, blind-spot sensors, anti-collision sensors, etc. into a driver-look-a-like black box and let the talented drivers get on with a more fitting occupation.

    Also, bring back testing for new/young teams so that they can get up to speed before endangering other drivers on race day because of vast speed differentials. Charging them huge amounts of money for the privilege of racing in F1 then taking away their paid-for right because of the 107% rule removes any incentive for investors in these new teams.

    Sorry, I just had to rant.

    Brian

  57. Ian Blackwell says:

    Oh I know the Ferrari/Alonso fans are going to go on and on and on about the injustice of it all but I think there needs to be some realization that just like the woeful England football team, you just weren’t good enough. I counted 3 teams faster than the red cars in race trim.

  58. Mario says:

    You call this controversial? How about that goal for England that never was? How disgusting!

    The sooner FiFa allows for TV incident reviews the better, until then the game of football will be reduced to a joke every other match, or every single match as is the case with this World Cup.

    Never mind, back to F1 I am happy for Hamilton’s second plays mainly because this boy makes his own luck, and he is lucky, isn’t he just?

    Hang on a sec, didn’t Germany produce their luck as well?

    1. Mario says:

      Just notice the how I spelled the word ‘place’
      I must have been really furious.

    2. n3ptun3z says:

      Yeah there is a logic to that actually, in anything you have to go out and make your own luck sometimes. I think to sit around waiting for luck to happen is not going to work too often so like Lewis, you take your chances and do what you think is right. If you incurr a penalty so be it, but do what you have to to put you in the best possible position to succeed.

  59. JuJu says:

    sorry for alonso. He was whining alot. haha

  60. Col72 says:

    What are Alonso & Ferarri moaning about ? I am I right in thinking that if Hamilton had been a metre or so further up the road at the safety car line, he would have been ahead of the safety car without penalty and Alonso would have been ligitimately behind it as he was?
    For a double world champion, he should grow up and let his racing do the talking. . .

    1. CH1UNDA says:

      hear! hear!

    2. senna says:

      correct. He hesitated and that cost him the penalty. He made a mistake and got the drive through. As simple as that. ferrari think he should have paid more for it. So talk to the fia to rethink the rule. End of story.

  61. Armchair Observer says:

    A quick question James. If Kobayashi had pitted in the last lap, he would be in front of the finish line when getting the soft tires on….and cross the finish line in the pits with the new tires. Similar to Schumacher Silverstone. Is that allowed? He would have been at least 5th then, maybe even 4th.

    1. senna says:

      since silverstone they re wrote the rule. You can’t finish the race on the pits. The same that’s going to happen with this one i assume.

  62. me says:

    Hamilton and rules?? no no. What a cheat he is!

    1. n3ptun3z says:

      hamilton broke the rules and got a penalty which he served. How is this cheating? Is Alonso also a cheat for his race win in 2008 and holding up Hamilton behind him in the pit lane in 2007? I bet you enjoyed that one and cheered wildly didn’t you?

  63. CH1UNDA says:

    5 seconds penalty for all drivers under investigation over SC rule breach – apart from Glock who gets 20 seconds – how many places does Alonso gain as a result?

    1. CH1UNDA says:

      1 place from 9th to 8th – that is adding injury to insult for the Spaniard – i am sure he and Ferrari will have a few saucy comments to make about that!

    2. stoikee says:

      Hmmm! I don’t get it, where in the rules did the 5 seconds come from?

      1. mtb says:

        Very strange considering the penalty that Schumacher received at Monaco!

  64. CPR says:

    Firstly, really glad that Mark Webber is okay. Not so long ago that could have been fatal.

    Meanwhile: ooh, there’s a hornet’s nest – Alonso complaining about Hamilton.

    James – the stewards seem to have treated what Hamilton did as a similar level to speeding in the pit-lane (though ironically Hamilton’s problem was going too slow here). Do you think that’s fair? Doesn’t seem to be a matter of safety or attempting to gain an advantage really – though I think he needs to read the rule book a bit more.

    PS If I remember correctly, we had a similar end result, where a drive-through penalty was given late after a complicated safety car scenario and didn’t end up costing the driver much – Rosberg and Kubica at Singapore 2008 (though they got stop and go penalties).

  65. Kakashi says:

    I am very confused with this race…
    the order changed so much after SC…
    I am glad for webber that he is ok
    someone please tell the CLOWNS to not fight with faster cars.. do they want to wait till someone gets KILLED???
    phew that was very scary.. Kova couldn’t decide which way he wanted to move…

    Also glock handed over 20 sec penalty? what difference does it make anyways when these teams are upto 4 laps down ????

    Bottom line…. FIA is a joke… the race results were definitely effected by FIA
    BIG THUMBS DOWN FOR FIA!!!!!!
    In my books, F1′s sports credibility went down.. i will think hard if i really want to be following such a sport
    good bye!!!!

    1. Ian says:

      I’ve not been a fan of the FIA (in the past) but you have to say that the strength of the Red Bull car saved Webbers life today – thumbs UP to the FIA for that one that one I say!

  66. Rafael López says:

    Whiting and Hamilton “picked up” money and time to F1 fans (again).

    What a joke!! I don’t want to be in the skin of a spanish familiy father that come to Valencia from Madrid, Seville or Barcelona, and spent maybe 1500 euros or more to pay tickets and stay in the city for to see this new chapter of “Hamilton rules”.

    At least I see all in tv and I’ve not spent this kind of money, but after years and years to give Formula 1 my love and my time, I’m seriously considering to stop watching races, specially cause what we’ve seen today is a procession of cars looking for a result previously manipulated by the lack of efficiency of 20 stewards sited in a refrigerated room with 120 tv monitors. What the hell are they doing for to realise so late that something happened between Hamilton and Alonso?

    F1 s**ks!!

    1. Ana Cattoni says:

      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!
      I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!

    2. senna says:

      another f1 fan that’s upset. Do, like me, and travel to moto gp races. They are not gaining me back as a fan. I cheated on them, because they didn’t take care of my wants and needs. Like a woman would say.

  67. Jonathan says:

    Lucky Hamilton. The penalty the stewards imposed was amazingly lenient and did nothing whatsoever to cancel out the huge advantage he gained by overtaking the SC.

  68. Sharp_Saw says:

    A very eventful race. I don’t know where to start from; so much to talk about.

  69. Now I’m hearing about 5 second penalties being applied to the SC speeders! Where in the regulations does it mention 5 second time penalties? I’ll bet MSC would have been happier if they had pulled one of these out in Monaco for him rather than the 25 second penalty.

    Seriously, I though the only options were a 20 second penalty, a 30 second penalty or a grid drop at the next race?

    James, can you elaborate?

    1. senna says:

      he can’t. It’s imposible to elaborate on the fia way of ruling. They are the worst enemies of the sport.

    2. Maxime says:

      If you read the three or four analysis that James made to the penalty Schumacher received at Monaco, you will fine there’s nothing preventing the stewarts to give arbitrary times penalties.

      It has to do with something along the lines that The Sporting Code used in F1 is just a special case of a more general The Code, in which penalties available to the stewarts are more flexible.

  70. isaac5 says:

    Shame: shame on Whiting, only thinking of how to benefit Hamilton (it is amazing how he is faster that the electronic devices to see Alonso jump-starting and takes 20 laps to see Hamilton overtaking the SC). Shame on the FIA with the absurd rules that steal the show from the fans (why don’t they hire someone with some common sense to make the rules?). Shame, shame, shame! I feel robbed, and I feel that the rule-breakers are the only ones who take profit at last. This is not sport, if F1 keeps going this way, I’ll quit.

  71. Rungs says:

    Wonder if anyone managed to get a good snap of the underside of Webber’s car?

  72. Daniel says:

    What a “lucky” driver is Hamilton! When he seemed to hesitate when in parallel with the safety car, maybe he was thinking in letting Alonso stuck with the SC, which in the end he did. And walked by without penalty! Such a “lucky” boy!

  73. Paul Webster says:

    What is a post-race 5 second penalty?

    Is there another part of the regs to cover this – because looks like it should be 20 or 30 – which would have had a much bigger effect.

    “16.3 The stewards may impose any one of three penalties on any driver involved in an Incident:
    a) A drive-through penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane and re-join the race without stopping;
    b) A ten second time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop at his pit for at least ten seconds and then re-join the race.
    c) a drop of any number of grid positions at the driver’s next Event.
    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 in the case of a) above and 30 seconds in the case of b).”

  74. Steve JR says:

    I bet Webber feels like he won the race after walking out of that one and it was nice to hear the top 3 show concern.

    It’d be nice to see Alonso and company quit the whinging and quietly focus their energy on beating the competition

  75. phil says:

    This really frustrates me that the safety car issue is still an issue. It should be easy with all this technology in F1 to say to the drivers and teams, the moment a safety period is called, all cars have to conform to a controlled pace immediately after the next braking zone, no matter where they are on the track. This controlled pace is then maintained until the safety period is over. This is the fairest solution, and we all care about fair race results don’t we!

  76. Rick M says:

    I’d like to comment the Stewards. They did an excellent job, despite having to rule on the most incidents I can recall for any one race.

    The punishments, if any, fitted the crime and were metted out fairly. While Ferrari and Alonso are moaning about some stupid conspiracy or manipulation, they should be reminded of 1)Singapore and 2)last week’s filming, i.e. test session, respectively.

    Ferrari have benefitted from so many rulings and circumstances in their favour that they should be the last to bitch when circumstances just don’t go their way. Too damn bad.

    1. mvi says:

      I prefer to see just rulings that are fair with respect to the situation, without having to take history into account.

      1. Rick M. says:

        History didn’t have anything to do with the rulings. Hamilton made a mistake, he got punished, but, as it turns out it didn’t affect the outcome. The rules were applied fairly. Don’t blame Hamilton, or the stewards for that matter, blame the rules.

  77. Feb says:

    Wow! what a race it has been, first canada, now this one.. and i have high hopes for the brand new silverstone as well.

    i watched webber’s red bull flying over kovie’s lotus with eyes wide open and it was really shocking to see him walk right away. we all know how far F1 has developed over the years but i guess, today, the audience, like me, saw that for themselves. that was truly amazing.

    another amazing thing is that kobayashi passed the home boy alonso in the end. maybe alonso should have concentrated on his own race, instead of trying to ruin hamilton’s and complaining when lewis did not miss his position in the race. this reminded me of button passing alonso in canada.. something still doesn’t work for alonso in the rosso corsa, it seems..
    and mentioning kobayashi’s result, as a hopeless fan of schumacher (hopeless for this season at least), that made me think, what if schumi, too, had not made those fatal pit stops? although those two fastest laps and reducing the 20s gap between jaime and himself down to 0.5s in 10 or so laps were rewarding, i wonder when driver#3 would give us, his fans, a true rest with a podium..

    related with that, i wonder how the results of the investigation of the 9 drivers deliver for the rest of the pack.

    anyway, congrats to seb on his “mature” and clean racing this week. he would give himself a break after the last few races and i hope he really is “back on track”.

    and on a more unrelated note, christian horner was wrong when saying “germany’s best result of the day” :)

  78. Sergio says:

    Now I am understand the english strategy naming whiners to the “enemy” contenders. This privilege is just for Lewis Hamilton in, for example, Montecarlo 2007 in a press conference (nº2 driver remember?). No way. It is an english formula with english bosses with english press with english located teams (majority of them) and the special way to handle a championship. You are good saying words like “Team” or “moaning always at your convenience. Tha facts are clear, no moaning, just watch the tv and see haw is the golden star of the every GP: waving, dangering in boxes twice, one more lap in quali without fuel, overtaking SC. A shame for the real contenders and honorable people. Please defend Hamilton’s actions and Whiting way to aply the rules, don’t desapoint me and be the EMPIRE.
    At least in football no chance to break the rules and obtain a prize.

    1. Rob Silver says:

      Frankly, your whining is as bad as Alonso’s was in his ‘finest’ moments today.

      He wasn’t fast enough to challenge, he drove badly, and just cried about it and won himself absolutely NO followers with his performance.

      The reasons it took so long to adjudicate a decision on Hamilton? Easy. A penalty like jumping the start is cut and dried, but almost any other penalty has cases for human judgment to be applied, this is why they brought a driver onto the stewards committee staff. In Hamilton’s case, they would likely have looked at telemetry to determine speed and acceleration/deceleration of the car, and also reviewed how far ahead the safety car was when Hamilton passed it.

      There’s no question Hamilton broke the rules (and he knows it, I’m sure), but to accuse him of doing it deliberately or with intent to attack Alonso purposely, or to suggest that race control were in collusion with him is just absurd hyperbole fueled by Alonso’s manic ranting.

      He (Hamilton) got penalised as was fair for what he did with all circumstances considered. The fact that he was so much faster than the cars directly behind him and able to pull out that lead are simply to his credit, and nothing else.

      Penalties that cost the driver nothing aren’t a new thing in F1, so let’s not get carried away with declaring Hamilton and Whiting as in cahoots over something ridiculous like this, eh?

    2. mtb says:

      Is it the fault of the English that their country is the preferred venue for running an F1 team?

      I do agree about the inconsistency. I remember the big moan that Button had in Suzuka last year because of Nico Rosberg gaining an advantage during the safety car period, and the sympathetic hearing that he was given.

    3. Phil says:

      I’m getting a little sick of people implying or as it appears in your case outright saying that Formula 1 is ‘rigged by the English’.

      How exactly does this work? When did it start? I seem to remember this being an international series since forever. A series which has had a whole host of different drivers of different nationalities win it.

      But no, because Alonso gets unlucky it’s all the fault of the English.

      Got to wonder when this decision was made to rig things against him. At what point after Alonso won his 2 WDCs was the decision made to rig things against him?

      I blame the press for geeing up nationalism. And it’s getting kind of ugly.

      1. James Allen says:

        There has always been this undercurrent with F1. The non Anglo Saxons in the sport and following it looked at Max, Bernie, Frank, Ron etc and took the view that the Anglo Saxon element dominates what happens in the sport

      2. Abhijeet says:

        Seems like Bernie/Max favoured Ferrari more than any team, with the skewed revenue distribution and the several times they got away with cheating themselves [Malaysia 99 really solidified Ferrari's image in my mind, to be honest]. I don’t understand the reasons for this undercurrent that you talk about.

    4. Jeff Cranmer says:

      “At least in football no chance to break the rules and obtain a prize.”

      I believe that, 2 matches into this world cup, there would be an entire nation of people on the western end of ‘the pond’ who would disagree with you. Thankfully the USA still got through to the group of 16 despite the best (worst) efforts of the referees to prevent it.

      You could also point to the Ivory Coast player’s blatant play-acting to get Kaka sent off as another example of the huge opportunities for unfairness built in to ‘the beautiful game’. But this is a thread about F1, so I’ll stop the digression.

      If it is such an ‘English’ formula, how come the chief of the FIA is a French, ex-Ferrari man? You’d also need to explain decisions such as Lewis having the win stripped from him at Spa in 2008, Alonso getting away scot-free from both Spy-Gate and Sing-gate, not to mention most of the Schumacher years where almost every decision seemed to go in his favour.

      Lewis slowed when he thought that the safety car was going to cut across the track, then got on the gas again, but had then blown his momentum to cross the safety car line before the safety car (just). Alonso thought Lewis did it to mess up Alonso’s race, hence he spat his dummy out. The stewards should have been on it faster, and the safety car driver should have been driving a bit less erratically coming out of the pits.

      Did Lewis create a technical infringement deserving a penalty? Yes.

      Did he deliberately cheat? No.

  79. Robert says:

    Alonso saying “I think it was unreal this result, and unfair as well,” is a bit rich coming from the winner of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix….

    Great drive from Lewis, always controversial, always brilliant.

    My driver of the day – Kobayashi.

    1. Michael S says:

      Great point!!!!!!!!!

    2. The difference there is that Alonso knew nothing about the arranged crash and the truth only came out weeks or months after the race by which time the result was official and couldn’t be changed.

      F1 results are provisional for a certain amount of time after the race to allow any issues to come to light and be investigated but I think the limit is 6 hours or so, not 6 months!

      1. Jean-Christophe says:

        Right. But still manipulated and unfair. And when asked if he counted it as a win he still said “yes”

      2. My point is that Alonso did nothing wrong either today or in Singapore 2008.

        Hamilton did do something wrong, he overtook the safety car but due to the delay in issuing the drive-through penalty the punishment was neutralised.

        Hamilton is far from “always brilliant”. Remember him running into Kimi in the pitlane? Crashing in Monza on the last couple of laps? Beaching himself in the gravel in China?

      3. Alberto Dietz says:

        Craig: Crashgate = Cui bono?

      4. Just because Fernando benefited from crash gate doesn’t automatically make him guilty of anything.

        To me, his incredulous comments about the safety car openly and publicly to Flavio just before going to the podium highlights his surprise that the strategy worked.

  80. Ken Staveley says:

    I think it’s time Alonso grew up and stopped moaning about Lewis Hamilton. He is simply a sad individual with an axe to grind, but he should let the past go.

  81. Francesco says:

    Mr James , please you have some input in this
    can you please explain how can sefty car allow
    Vetel,driving ‘Red Bul’ to continue and to some extend allowin Hamilton though penalised
    leter,but stop Ferrari drivers who run 3rd and 4th,result a shables.
    If Luca Di Montezemolo have any back bone he would pull his team out of the reminder of F1 calender and sue FIA of negligence to adminisrate its rules.

    1. Francesco says:

      Truly one have to say what we witnessed is not professional at all.
      Sefty car should have let all through till Vetel come bihind the safty car again as he was the leader of the race.
      Please correct me if I am wrong.

    2. James Allen says:

      It was the timing of when the S car came out. Vettel had already gone through

  82. James D says:

    The much vaunted ‘dream team’ of Alonso and Ferrari is starting to look more like a nightmare to me. It looks as if rather than bringing out their strengths they are bolstering and bringing out each others’ weaknesses, which are remarkably similar.

    Both the driver and the team seem to suffer from a sense of entitelement and a tendency to blame everyone but themselves when things aren’t going well. Alonso’s obsession during the race with Hamilton and his punishment demonstrated a complete inability to put annoyance to one side in order to focus on the task in hand – which is one of the fundamental skills needed in any sport.

    Unfortunately Ferrari and Alonso have both underperformed this year. The car has not been fast enough and the driver has made too many mistakes. Focus on blaming and putting down others rather than taking responsibility for their own failings is not the way back to the front.

    1. Alberto Dietz says:

      Luca knew better yet he signed ElFred of all people.

  83. Luke Potter says:

    Ferrari are making an awful fuss, but this was completely avoidable – why not have the Safety Car wait at the pitlane exit until the leader comes around instead of creating confusion as to whether it can be overtaken or not? If it trundles around waiting for the leader it takes even longer to find him.

    I disagree with Ferrari that the race was a scandal, but it was poor that it took the stewards so long to decide on Hamilton’s penalty, which was a simple enough thing to decide on – it was quite clear what had happened from the helicopter shot.

  84. mtb says:

    Is a 5 sec penalty sufficient for speeding during safety car conditions?

    The penalty that Hamilton received for overtaking the safety car was far less than the time that he gained by doing so, hence the punishment for such actions needs to be reviewed in the future.

    1. Absolutely correct! A stop and go penalty would have cost around 25 seconds so would have done nothing more than put Hamilton back where he should have been (ie. just ahead of Alonso or in fact due to the fact he needed a nose at his pitstop, just behind Alonso). The drive through only cost him about half the time he made by overtaking the safety car. It’s like stealing £1000 and only getting fined £500 when you are caught!

      I would have thought that overtaking the safety car would have been a very serious offence with possible DQ penalty.

      1. mtb says:

        It should be. It is a very dangerous action.

  85. James says:

    First it’s the Petrov weave (subsequently outlawed), then it’s the old low fuel trick (also subsequently outlawed), whats next, a safety car clarification. Wow he really breaks new ground in every race, at this rate he’ll win for sure, especially with the addition of legitimate points, if he earns any.

  86. Flintster says:

    outragious! Hamilton cheated and the stewards manipulated the race to allow him to finish 2nd! Should have been black flagged – Ferrari are right to be angry.! And how hard is it to drive round a Lotus on a wide track? Very according to Webber! Useless

    1. Andy C says:

      Of course with your plethora of F1 experience I’m sure you would have nailed Heikki in the perfect passing manouver.

      If you think that like about F1 and the stewards dont bother watching. If you want to see Ferrari win, what about a one make championship?

      I like a lot of fans are getting sick of hearing Alonso come up with lots of excuses. Presumably the stewards also put dust on the track to allow Kamui to get past Fernando at the end?

  87. Prof Bolshaviks says:

    Well, we now have a situation where Ferrari are crying foul play, saying the race was manipulated. A bit rich from Alonso considering his win at the same track for Renault.
    However, looking at the penalties and how they were applied, it can be advantageous to break a rule, get track position and then take a penalty later.
    When teams are pushing so hard to gain small amounts, we could now see professional fouls coming into team strategy.
    I’m not saying that teams should break rules deliberately, but if you get an advantage and don’t suffer anything more than a reprimand or 5 seconds added to your time, drive throughs that do not inconvenience you anything like losing track position does, it would be foolish to not exploit the situation.
    Simply put, would you rather spend 20 laps behind a slow car, or dive across a chicane and see if you can pull out the 15 seconds a drive through will cost you?
    I understand the above example may not receive a drive through, but you see my point.

    1. Paul Miller says:

      If you insinuate things please get the correct race.

    2. mtb says:

      Exactly. The matter requires urgent review.

  88. neil m says:

    I noticed Christian Horner said before the race that there had been no safety cars at this race for the last 2 years, so there was probably going to be one this year…
    Did he know something? Singapore anyone?

    Tongue firmly in cheek. Glad you’re OK Mark

    Ferrari were unlucky, but only Ferrari and Alonso would sulk so badly and whine so loudly. Surely anyone else would shrug, say “that’s racing” and get on with it. Outrageous behaviour, and as much to do with their new exhaust which blows, but not in the way that they hoped.

    They’ll be back, but get a grip guys, it’s not all about you.

  89. Mark120 says:

    Yes, it was a controversial race, displaying once again the lack of clarity of racing rules. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth seeing the inconsistency of the stewards’ decisions, but think of horrific refereeing in World Cup in South Africa. It may be a kind of consolation to every F1 fun. Hamilton was once again very lucky, as was J. Button. Congratulations to both McLaren drivers though. What a bad luck for Fernando. I really feel sorry for him. I am very curious of in depth analysis of the race.

  90. Harvey Yates says:

    Who says Valencia is dull?

    Conflicting stories coming out of Lotus: Kovy braked at his normal spot, which is some distance earlier than the front-line cars, or, alternatively, Webber missed his braking point. Perhaps I’m reading too much into this but I can’t help thinking that my first impression, that Kovy braked early, might be true.

    Was he trying to slow Webber or put him off so that he’d mess up the corner? Whilst I’m not fully in agreement with DC as to Webber being a complete innocent I do think that discretion might have been the better option for Kovy.

    As for the penalties, I’m with Ferrari with regards the length of time it took the stewards to come to a conclusion over Hamilton so I would suggest there should be a public explanation. The fact that LH was in error seemed clear enough so I would have thought that there could have been a disagreement over the penalty. But even so, 25 minutes?

    The mass penalties seem reasonable. I can’t see their speed altering the result in any way so, as long as the offenders have a mark on their record, that seems enough.

    Whilst the race wasn’t dull, it was far from exciting. Had Hamilton not been penalised we might have been sitting on the edges of our seat for the last dozen laps. As it was it sort of fizzled out, so a bit of a disappointment.

    But I don’t think the spectators were as disappointed as Ferrari. I assume they would have had big hopes for their upgrade. But it too sort of fizzled out. They must be a bit nervous of McLaren’s promised major revisions for Silverstone. Perhaps that was what made Luca a bit tetchy. Or there might have been something else.

    A scrappy race for most. Williams, despite a disappointing reliability issue for one car late on, must be well pleased. A bit like RBR I suppose. McLaren’s 2-3 was probably what they were hoping for at the start. But a disappointing result for Force India perhaps. I expected them to do better. Still, promises well for the next race.

    Kobayashi’s tactics were superb. I thought he’d left it too late to go onto softs. I reckon he was twitching a bit though. Sauber with two top 10 finishes must be well chuffed.

    An interesting race leaving us with lots to talk about.

  91. sf says:

    if alonso took jump start 12 sec earlier then he won then won the race in china.

    1. Robert says:

      lol – it’s worth a shot. Someone should try it.

  92. roy says:

    Alonso is complaining about fixed results here he should not be so quick to claim this, him being the beneficiary gaining a win from cheating while at renault. What goes round surely comes round he should take that on the chin and keep quiet. If he makes too many waves the sneaky test session may yet bite him too.

  93. Galapago555 says:

    Martin Whitmarsh: “So, yes, his penalty was frustrating for Lewis, frustrating for us, and ultimately I suppose you’d have to say it was frustrating for the spectators, at the track and in front of their TV screens, too. But, as I say, you have to accept these things and move on.” Is he joking? What does he exactly mean? A harder punishment for Lewis’ overtaking the SC, or simply what happend (no penalty at all)?

    1. Robert says:

      No, he means we were denied a battle for first place between Vettel and Hamilton.

      You lot are really making a meal out of this safety car thing. It was a 50/50 situation that happened in the blink of an eye. A harsher penalty would have been a real shame as Hamilton was simply caught out by being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

      If Lewis had braked and allowed the SC to merge in front of him Alonso would have complained of brake-testing instead.

      1. Rafael Lopez says:

        What great conjurer Whitmarsh is!!
        Really, he should have his own late night show!! Or give him a seat at UN!!

        Common Martin, is better to shout out that to say this kind of bullshit!!

    2. mtb says:

      This is the sort of twaddle that only McLaren could come up with.

  94. Lopek says:

    Call my naive, but I always thought the idea of a penalty was to penalise a driver/team. This race was yet another F1/FIA farce.

    Hamilton loses nothing from his penalty, and 8 of the 10 post race penalties have the same none-effect. Pathetic.

    An issue that seems to have been missed completely – due to uproar about the Hamilton overtake I presume – is why was the safety car deployed in the middle of the leaders anyway? That essentially gifted the race to Vettel and destroyed Ferrari’s race.

    Surely the safety car should pick up the leader. If it misses the leader it should wait until he comes around again.

    Ferrari were running a strong 3rd and 4th before the Webber accident, and after they are 9th and 16th through no fault of their own. F1 races should not be decided on good/bad luck of a safety car deployment.

    It’s time for F1 to look to Nascar for safety car rules – close the pits, get the cars lined up behind the safety car and then open the pits for everyone together. OK the teams second cars would have to queue, but it would be same/fair for every team.

    1. mtb says:

      There was a dangerous situation on the track, and allowing the drivers to continue to race until the the leader reached the pit exit would have been irresponsible.

      1. Lopek says:

        They are not allowed to race. Whether they are lined up behind the safety car or not they can not overtake. And they are given a delta time, a max speed (min lap time) they can travel at when the safety car is deployed.

        The physical safety car is obsolete imo with the delta times – or it should be if the deltas are set correctly. But the clearly are not – Vettel and Hamilton were able to circulate much quicker under the delta time than the Ferraris were behind the safety car – 20-30 seconds quicker from what I saw on the timing screens. That makes no sense to me at all. If the safety car speed is there to control the cars to a safe speed for the marshalls how are the delta time speeds so much quicker?

      2. iceman says:

        The delta times have to be substantially faster than the safety car can go. Otherwise it wouldn’t be possible for the field to close up behind the safety car, which is necessary so that the marshals have the maximum amount of time to clear the track. If everyone just dropped to the delta speed but maintained the gaps between cars, then the whole track would be still be populated with cars and the marshals wouldn’t be able to do their work.

  95. zxzxz says:

    a complete embarrassment for f1.

    hamilton again comes out of controversy completely untouched by (meaningful) penalty.

    he should have been outright disqualified for such a severe safety infraction.

    1. Jeff Cranmer says:

      Had he been 3/4 of a car length further down the track at the safety car line, it would not even have been an infraction of the rules.

      It’s not like he was about to pile into broken cars and bodies on the track at that point, and he was still under delta-time rules once past the safety car, so would be way off racing speed.

      It was not a ‘severe safety infraction’. Note also that Alonso was not ticked that he passed the car, but that he slowed down first which prevented him doing the exact same thing.

  96. True Blue says:

    I think someone should have a word in the ear of Alonso.
    He is in danger of letting his hatred of Mclaren and Hamilton interfere with his driving .

  97. Michael S says:

    Congrats to Vettel…… Probably the only driver to avoid controversy and craziness today

    1. mtb says:

      Yes, he seems to be the forgotten man in this thread! He was nursing a damaged gearbox, and paced himself well. He could go faster when necessary, as was evidenced late in the race.

  98. sf says:

    if alonso took jump start 12 sec earlier then he won the china race.

  99. Junior Bruno says:

    James…

    I think it must be noted the lack of race strategy of Ross Brawn and Mercedes. The Canadian race saw Michael Schumacher running third then pitted though he was on the harder tyres! then they run him on softs for nigh on 30 laps, this race again running third and on harder tyres, theyt pit him, while you can see from Kobayashi that if he staye dout he would have had Button and co behind him and would have had a different race. Where is the strategy? I think myself and alot of other fans are wondering what the heck is happening.. also the fact that Schumacher the man who always could read a race so well and make decisions (ie setup at Spa 1992, Spain 1996, Monaco 1997, Usa 2003 and such) could not think to himself the hards will last X laps I am running third now let me give it a go, Nico has pitted and so let me be different.. It just seems a like something strategicly and tactical from Ross and Schumi is missing.

    Alonso!.. Needs to stop his obsession with Hamilton and focus on his own driving, I noticed today that the car changes seemed to suit Massa and he seemed reinvigorated well before the pit stop anyway, pace wise he was with Alonso. But he moans soo much its getting irritating ‘Manipulated race’ he calls it yet the race he won when his teammate was told to crash he never called that ‘Manipulated’ so he needs to sort himself out.. I would have LOVED to have heard his radio transmissions when Kobayashi overtook him, I really would!

    Ferrari, should really sit him down and get him to focus.. he needs it as I believe he will not go forwards with his current attitude which is alienating him with F1 fans..

    While Hamilton congrats, Rubens great race and also Jenson should not have said Germany 1 England 0 as he was a few goals short..

    JB

    1. James Allen says:

      Some very good points there. Worth examining more closely

      1. Klaas says:

        My thoughts exactly on Merc strategy mate

      2. phil says:

        James,
        I can believe I am asking you to defend the FIA, but I think it is worth your while explaining the chain of events and a time line that lead to Seb passing the SC and Lewis and the rest getting mixed up with it. It is far too easy for us all to sit here and throw our opinions out there. You should devote a column to it. It would be great to be able to show logically what happened. Surely the FIA have no conspiracy or desired outcome, except for the safe running of a GP.
        Thanks, Phil.

      3. James Allen says:

        I will look at it in the FX Pro Strategy Briefing early in the week

  100. Rufus says:

    The stewards this year are pathetic. And the season is still young, I’m sure that they will provide lot more “excitement” in the remaining races. I kinda miss Maximillian now.

  101. Klaas says:

    I am just wondering if Ross Brawn has lost his tactical abilities? What a horrible strategy choice for Schumacher again?
    Not only did they pit Schumacher way too early, he was on the hard tyre and had 3rd position in his pocket and he had Kobayashi behind him to hold up the others. Then to make matters even worse they put him on the soft tyre. Did they not learn from Canada? There was no way he could have gone to the end on the soft tyre from there.

    They should have done what Sauber did, at least then a top 6 position would be possible.

    No, Ross I think it’s time you start eating your midrace banana again, cos quite frankly you just missed a huge opportunity today to salvage something from an miserable weekend.

    Mercedes needs to start employ people who can read an f1 race… .

    1. Junior Bruno says:

      Ditto… but do you not think that Schumacher (I am a lifelong fan) should also be able to give his opinion I mean he has been driving the car must know the durability of th ehard tyres and know that the team are fluffing it pulling me in, same as in Canada when he had hards and a clear track near enough..

      The ability to read a race needs to be sorted or ross brawn needs to let norbert haug run the team for the duration of the race so that ross himself can read and make decisions, while Schumacher needs to know that Mercedes is not what ferrari was when he was there with strategy and he needs to use that race instinct and such..

      But he could have stayed in 3rd and would actually have been on a very long stint and would have enjoyed a good result.

    2. senna says:

      brawn the same as alonso had lost their mojo. And there is no time machine to get it back.

    3. Pablo says:

      I think it just shows that his reputation was somewhat overblown; while he might have been slightly better than the others teams, he wasn’t working miracles.

      Basically, I think he was flattered somewhat by the era. The Brown-Michael partnership was during a period of two horse races, when the guy in third was frequently so far behind he was irrelevant.

      With Michael in second, and third place soon more than a pitstop behind, Brawn could creatively throw the dice. If it worked he looked now a genius, if it didn’t, he was still in second and it was soon overlooked.

      By comparison, the last two years it’s been so close between the top three or four teams we almost always see drivers losing four or five positions minimum when coming in to the pits.

    4. Jan Isley says:

      I have only the BBC broadcasts to go on, but I do not recall hearing details of exactly who decided what and when for the pit stops in question. Do you *know* these were all team strategy calls versus MSC having a say or no?

  102. Ian says:

    “Webber walked away from the accident, which is sure to raise all kinds of questions about the wisdom of rules to encourage overtaking by increasing speed differentials between cars.”

    I truly TRULY hope that we won’t end up with ‘sanitised F1′ where cars are deliberately frustrated from overtaking by the rules. The accident looked (to me) to be caused by Webber getting into a tow (and the Lotus’s braking zone) too close to the corner – I suspect Webber was anticipating darting down the side of Heiki by outbraking him but misjudged the slower cars braking point.

    Hats off to the FIA for the safety of F1 cars mind – watching it live I feared the worst!!

  103. Jey says:

    Speed channel didnt relay the GP live and had to rely on BBC for todays race.

    Schumi is absolutely right about the commentators.Two of the gems that came out today were
    David”BS”Coulthard saying that there was no competition between the Lotus and Redbull so Heikki should have given way.WTF.They were fighting for position and if fastest car should be given way,why the heck conduct the race at all.Hand over the trophy to the fastest team then.

    Again during later part of the race Michael set the fastest lap and what do we have here.The genius commentary team going gaga over Nico who fuel adjusted was the fastest in Canadian GP.Excuse me arent we on Valencia now?

    Lady luck for sure need to smile a bit on Michael.She seems to have deserted him completely on his comeback.Why the heck did the pitlane show red lights?It was clearly obvious from Schumi’s onboard camera to see the SC go by and then there was wait before the train followed.Schumi’s race was spoilt by that.

  104. bomskok says:

    Right…so this means that the risk of getting heavily penalised for breaking the rules are pretty small, so lets all overtake the safety car and speed behind it, because the worst that will happen is that you will get a drive-through 20 laps later or a 5 second penalty afterwards! The FIA has just set a precedent, so they cannot go worse than this in future now!

    1. Nando says:

      They’ve set a precedent for a driver passing the SC a couple of metres after it’s past the SC line while still within the pit-lane lines.

  105. Hahaha says:

    Look at all these Alonso fans going crazy, hehe, love it. If Alonso did the same as Hamilton they would all be defending it.

    Question to them; why couldn’t Alonso in a Ferrari pass Buemi in a Torro Rosso? That is a champion? Whining like a little girl in the car and after the race, obsessed about Hamilton this Hamilton that? Lol.

    9th/8th was the maximum he could get with his sulky whining like a little kid.

    Kobayashi is the driver of the day for sure. His last lap, overtaking 2 cars, showed a master at work, one with balls.

    1. senna says:

      agree. Alonso was like him in 2005, but now he is a shadow of his former self. Get ready to change or move over, you are not making good use of a fast car. May be kovy could do better.

      1. redmist says:

        uhhh he was the fastest car on track before the SC came out!

        and i agree with stephen fresh tires and the same engine don’t compare to tyres that have done 50 laps lol

      2. senna says:

        fair point. I am not talking about the speed in the race. He is pretty fast still. i am talking about the hole thing. He doesn’t have that mental power that made the ferrari might trumble in the past. His brain is not at the same level, and i don’t know the reason why.

    2. stephen says:

      With fresh tyres,and yes he did make light work passing FA and SB, both on tyres which had completed about 50 laps.

  106. El Shish says:

    James, I imagine you have access to far more radio communications than we as viewers are. Are you surprised at the ‘hand holding’ approach that Ferrari have with their drivers.

    Massa’s need for Rob Smedley to tell him where to push, where not to, etc. is mentioned quite regularly but I’m surprised at how much encouragement Alonso either seems to need or Ferrari feel that he needs. Today, the ‘it’s not fair’ was the obvious example but I remember that in Monaco, it seemed he got a big ‘well done’ for every over take of the Virgins, Lotuses, etc. Given Alonso’s experience and pedigree, I was quite suprised.

    What do you think? Is this normal and something the rest do but we don’t hear or is this down to the nature of the drivers? Or is it a Ferrari thing?

    1. James Allen says:

      It varies from driver to driver, I don’t think you can say it’s a Ferrari thing. Clear communication is always a good thing

  107. Nick L says:

    Alonso seems unable to move on from wounding that Hamilton inflicted on his ego when they were at McLaren. That is sad as it is consuming him and his race craft is suffering as a result.

  108. vivek shetty says:

    James,

    Could you kindly analyze the whole Hamilton-SC incident more in detail?

    With various people commenting as they like, we would love your insight.

    1. James Allen says:

      I will but I need time to analyse it properly

      1. mtb says:

        It would be greatly appreciated!

      2. Steve Mc says:

        Careful, James, if you take too long to come up with your post you will have hundreds of people claiming you are manipulating the analysis for Lewis’s benefit…

  109. Daryesh says:

    James, should the teams and drivers look for the “weakness” of the rules, as they could think that the first time that “weakness” is going to be punished in a “weak” way? Or, the stewars should punish “in an exemplary manner” so nobody tries to search for the “weakness”?

  110. richard says:

    Maybe a better safety car rule would be that if it is deployed, then all cars should be back in the order they were when it came out before the car is called in again. It does seem a bit unfair to have races decided by the timing of accidents, even if there is also some skill involved in responding to them swiftly.

  111. Wingers says:

    Quite Possibly the biggest Farce in Sport I have ever seen!

    SC rules are a joke, and make the sport looking a joke. And then all the drivers that essentially cheated by speeding taking a HUGE advantage over the ones stacked behind the Safety Car, namely Alonso and co. Get a mere 5 second pen???

    Why through an accident that is no one’s fault should anyone actually gain an advantage? If a race is stopped, the results are taken from the lap PRIOR to the Race finishing. Why not do the same with the Safety Car? Flag comes out, and everyone gets to shuffle through their pits, slowly carefully, not worrying about stacking a team of two cars, and then in the lap or two following prior to a restart all the cars get back into their order they were in? Simple, and easy for the poor fans to understand?

    Pathetic display of a race today, very disappointed, and F1′s hole digging just gets deeper!

    1. senna says:

      you are young to the sport, i assume. This type of thing happen for decades. shame on the fia poor rule making.

  112. Alexx says:

    why was Lewis saving fuel after the SC?

    Surely all the drivers saved enough fuel behind the SC for 4/5 laps to make the end of the race if they were marginal, as refuelling is banned! They would actually want to burn the fuel off, as the extra fuel is weight!

    Am i misssing something?

  113. Andy C says:

    Perhaps I am just cranky from the utter drivel the England team dished up this afternoon James, but……

    Good response from Hamilton when told about Alonsos comments.

    However much merit Fernando and Ferrari think they have in all of those whingeing sessions (slow cars, stewards conspiracies etc), they are losing a lot of credibility.

    Its the perfect example of the boy that cried wolf. They come out with utter bobbins so much these days, that when they probably do have a case, people write them off as moaning.

    Presumably the stewards also pressed some sort of magic button that made sure Kamui could pass Alonso?

    To be quite honest, whenever I see Alonso or Stefano on the TV now I put mute on, as I can’t be bothered listening to their chat and complaints.

    James,
    what are the rules surrounding promotional days for track driving? I would have thought the rules should specifically exclude new parts being fitted (i.e anything not on the race car at the last race)?

  114. Jose says:

    A real shame, really. Thanks God, shortly after we have had the soccer match. Sorta poetic justice.

    1. senna says:

      justice?!!! no justice on the first goal from argerntina. The same type of poor rule making. f1 and football suck.

  115. Rob Silver says:

    Alonso wasn’t fast enough to challenge today, he drove badly and let his heart rule his head to the detriment of his car. When he found an excuse, he gladly latched onto it and decried everyone else other than himself. Frankly, Fernando, you won yourself absolutely NO followers with his performance.

    The reasons it took so long to adjudicate a decision on Hamilton? Easy to explain with a little thought and rational logic. A penalty like jumping the start is cut and dried, but almost any other penalty has cases for human judgment to be applied, in fact this is the exact reason why they brought a driver onto the stewards committee staff for this season. In Hamilton’s case, they would likely have looked at telemetry to determine speed and acceleration/deceleration of the car, and also reviewed video of how far ahead the safety car was when Hamilton passed it and when he was likely to be sighted, etc. Then they probably would have argued intent and all sorts of other permutations of what if before coming to an adjudication. If it was a contentious decision among stewards, this could have taken some time I’m sure. That Hamilton simply got on with the race and was fast enough to get so far ahead is simply to his credit and nothing to blame him over.

    There’s no question Hamilton broke the rules (and he knows it, I’m sure), but to accuse him of doing it deliberately or with intent to attack Alonso purposely, or to suggest that race control were in collusion with him is just absurd hyperbole fueled by Alonso’s manic ranting.

    He (Hamilton) got penalised as was fair for what he did with all circumstances considered. Penalties that ultimately cost the driver nothing aren’t a new thing in F1, so let’s not get carried away with declaring Hamilton and Whiting as in cahoots over something ridiculous like this, eh?

  116. Andy C says:

    After my previous moaning session :-)

    I just wanted to say well done to Kamui, Pedro and the boys at Sauber today.

    James,
    do you think young F1 drivers get enough time nowadays to perform in F1 before losing their seats.

    It seems with the total lack of testing nowadays, if they dont do what Kamui did in his few race stints they very rarely get long enough.

    I’m thinking of how decent performances have been for Alguersuari and Buemi have been this year (when both looked shaky last year).

    Surely 1 days testing per GP (on a Thursday), with only the test drivers allowed to drive would allow a feeder into the formula.

    Also, what about a feeder series based only in europe with 1 year old F1 cars for test drivers? I’d love to see that. :)

  117. nuvolarifan says:

    What a farce. Encourage _certain_ drivers to go ahead and break the rules. Offer silly, irrelevant post-race penalties. Wait extremely long periods of time to even think about making a ruling on an infraction on track, and do everything you can to make sure that there is no race for the fans to view. The FIA did well today – destroying the credibility of the sport and encouraging the fans to finds something else to watch.

    I am done with F1 in the summer – there are much better things to do than sit around and watch garbage like this. NASCAR is better than the joke we saw today – worst thing since the 06 USGP. This “sport” is truly apalling.

  118. Stuey says:

    Glad Mark was fine that was a horror accident, something you really don’t ever want to see.

    Congratulations to Vettel, we didn’t see a lot of him in the race I think, but great drive holding off Hamilton on two occasions and controlling the race from there. Keeps the drivers table nice and close, which is what I like to see

    Apart from the brilliant Kobayashi overtakes at the end due to fresh rubber on his car and the opening lap incidents, I thought once again the problems of cars not been able to get close together to pass was a problem. Looking at the timing screen there were lots of battles with cars within a second of each other but there wasn’t any overtaking. And now a safety flaw has possibly been highlighted in the suggested solution – one which is unpopular anyway.

    I think the system of punishments really needs to be looked at. When Hamilton got the call for the drive through – he was being told to push to build the gap to 3rd so he would be safe. I don’t think that’s right. A car should have to serve the penalty by the end of the following lap – after all the decision is made why wait any longer. There should also be defined penalties for certain specific offenses, rather than the choice they have at the moment. That way we would know what to expect. And if a time penalty is to be applied after the race for a drive through, it should be defined at the start of the weekend so everyone is in no doubt of what they will get; after all it’s not hard for someone to work out the specific time lost driving through each pit!

  119. alex petrov says:

    Tragic day for F1. Total shame. Drivers who obey rules are “whining”, drivers who drive according their own reglament are “winning”. 5s penalties – what is it? Can we expect 1s penalties someday?

    1. Jason says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I am by no means an Alonso or Ferrari fan, but today I feel completely sympathetic to them. The stewards could have easily given a stop-go penalty to ensure that Hamilton came out behind Kobayashi. Plus, the 5 second “penalty” for violating the delta time is a complete joke. If this is going to be standard penalty, wouldn’t it be worth the risk to get to the pits at race pace if it means gaining track position?

      The lesson to be learned from this race? Ignore the safety car and the delta time and you’ll end up finishing ahead of the drivers who actually follow the rules.

  120. Brace says:

    James, why in the world did safety car came out in the middle of the leading drivers? It’s nonsense. Shouldn’t he pick up the leading driver?

    1. James Allen says:

      Exactly. See the latest post on Alonso’s anger

  121. Andy says:

    Funny, I don’t remember Ferrari complaining how “penalties should have consequences” in 1998 after the Silverstone GP, when Schumi won the race by serving his stop’n-go after crossing the finish line…

  122. Bogdan L. says:

    I really don’t understand how FA and Ferrari (even Massa) complain this much. Sour grapes?

    They should look real hard to their performance before pointing fingers. FA stood behing Buemi for so many laps that it was completely ridiculos. Sutil passed Buemi with no problems. Kamui came from a log way behind and overtook them both in the last corners, true his absolutely fresh tyres helped but I remeber Alonso defending absolutely godlike vs Schumi at Imola for about 15 laps. Again he was caught with his pants down, as in Monaco.

    It’s funny that the FA supporters all cry foul but they seems to forget Singapore 2008.

    Take Hamilton out of the picture and let’s focus on FA. Whatever LH did, FA was still going to be stuck behind the SC and finish where he did. LH had no influence on this.
    Vettel and LH were pulling away from Alonso before the SC. If LH whould have stayed behind the SC how would FA and Ferrari justify the poor performance they displayed today?

    I am not saying LH was innocent. He did break the rules although it was very close. Still, he was penalised for this. The view from the heli was clear, but put yourself in LH car, from his POV. He still had the vibration from his contact with Vettel, the distance between the 2 SC lines is very short, he had to comply with the Delta Time, everything was in place for a mistake.
    I don’t think it was deliberate, it was a mere mistake.

    The Safety Car rules should be clearer and hold the cars whatever the position. If there is danger on the track than no car should pass the SC, not even lapped cars.

    PS Thank you JA

  123. sherred says:

    Everbody seems to be forgetting that the safety car is there for drivers and stewards safety. It is not there to shake things up or as an extra piece of strategy.
    Today Hamilton arrived 2nd only because he cheated, no matter how marginal. It is quite clear that the punishment did not fit the crime. He should have been put back just a couple of seconds in front of Alonso. He was only in a position to “save” his 2nd place because he cheated.
    So basically the system favours the cheaters.
    I think that the safety car is a temporary suspension of the race and so no changes of position should be allowed, so before the restart all cars must be in same positions they were when the SC was deployed. The change being that they are all bunched up together.

    1. Brent says:

      When the stewards finally made their decision(14 laps latter)it should have been a stop and go, to cover the 10sec gap Hamilton had accumulated between the infraction and the penalty.

    2. redmist says:

      yeah agree totally with this

      Race positions are taken a lap before the saftey car and people must follow, under the saftey car no one must enter the pits. and if anyone overtakes the saftey car or tries to take advantage should be black flagged!

  124. Brent says:

    I find it bizzare, the undying, blinded support of Hamilton/McLaren in any situation by his/their fans. Hamilton cheated, Alonso complained(as anyone would about cheating that affected them)and yet to the sightless McLaren fans Alonso is whinning. The stewards, to the complete benefit of Hamilton, take a drive through penalty worth of time to decide Hamiltons fate and as a result he suffers no loss. Alonso complains about the stewards pathetic decision and he is a whinner. Hamilton fans don’t seem to mind winning any way they can.

  125. David says:

    Why is it that these two drivers in particular generate such polarised opinion?

    LH was found guilty and took his punishment, in fairness it wasn’t black and white and the rules regarding where the safety car officially joins the track are not clear. LH took the gamble, after initially hesitating, and it paid off.

    If the same incident was involving Jenson and Filipe, I can’t help but think that this would have been a non-event and the vitriol displayed here, by both sides, would not be happening.

    Get a grip people, there is no conspiracy here.

  126. Spenny says:

    Ferrari were only slightly hard done by – Kobi showed that it does not always pay to pit when track position can be thrown away with the pack formed up.

    Once you’ve missed the chance to pit, the best tactic is to hang on until the field has spread out again, and then pit, minimising the number of places lost.

    I’d be interested in knowing why the SC was deployed at that time, because if Hamilton hadn’t dithered he would have been genuinely given the advantage. When you look at the unusual design with the very long but open pit lane, then the change to the merge line and then the second safety car line, it must be really confusing, and it seems Hamilton’s main mistake was instinctively slowing when he saw the safety car and then realising a fraction of a second late that he was entitled to pass it.

    Poor track though – Button nurses his car, has all the fuel and tyre performance he needs and can’t take a car that he has 1.5 seconds a lap on.

    It was also a shame that we didn’t get a proper sight of the build up to the Vettel-Hamilton clash – Hamilton seemed to overrun the corner, but I couldn’t tell how much he was blocked (if at all) then once again Vettel turns into another car that he hasn’t cleared – and Vettel also deliberately ran the warm up and safety car restart at such low speeds to try and give other people braking problems (but in the second case, stuffed himself) which seemed against the spirit of the rules. Lucky for him there were so many other incidents or I think that Red Bull tactics would be coming under more scrutiny.

  127. Smiley says:

    I was really surprised by Alonso taking the Hamilton situation so personally. Yes, Hamilton gained an advantage by overtaking the safety car after the second line. Yes the punishment was light and probably should have been a stop/go but the fact is that Alonso himself was not impacted by Hamilton’s actions.

    Whatever happened Alonso was always going to be behind the safety car. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, which happens to all drivers throughout the course of a season, and work at the gaining places back. Even if Hamilton had dropped in behind the safety car Alonso would have, more than likely, finished in the same position.

    1. AlexD says:

      I agree. I am a Ferrari fan and this is what I am saying – they need to win races by their own pace and not by good or bad luck.

      Alonso was not able to overtake Sutil, Buemi and was overtaken by Kobayashi, who later on overtook Buemi as well.

      Alonso made a jumped start. Ferrari had problem with reliability. Ferrari are developing their car by copying Red Bull and McLaren.

      There are bigger problems at Ferrari then Hamilton not being penalized fairly.

  128. Baz says:

    I have a question. Instead of starting a new lap, couldn’t Alonso and Hamilton have come into the pits, thus avoiding the situation with the SC joining the circuit? (After all, the teams would have know that the SC was being deployed.)

  129. Brace says:

    “…he is more like the winner of “The X Factor” rather than Beethoven.”

    Beautifully said, Craig!

  130. Jean-Christophe says:

    What I wonder is whether Alonso could not face a penalty for bringing the sport into disreput.
    Breach of International Sporting Code 151. c)
    There would be quite a lot of toys flying around lol

  131. Richard says:

    Perhaps it’s time to change the safety car rules again! Pitting during safety car was reintroduced because teams claimed that it caused them problems if SC happened when they were due to stop for fuel. Now we have no refuelling so that arguement is out of the window. OK they do need to stop for tyres but that timing is more variable. It is utter madness if as soon as SC is declared everyone dives for the pits. The whole object of the SC is to bring the race under control to deal with an incident. With all the pitting today it was around 3 or 4 minutes before control was established, by which time the recovery had already been completed by the excellent marshals.

  132. cjf says:

    Prior to the pitstop under the safety car, we heard Alonso on his radio saying something about Hamilton backing cars up, a pescimist may think Hamiltons ‘moment of hesitation’ was a deliberate attempt to get infront of the satefy car whilst keeping the Ferraris behind it,in the press conference he claimed he could not remember what happened behind the safety car whilst looking very sheepish, hmm. Also the safety car driver would have suspected instantly that Hamilton may have overtaken him, why therefore was the stewards investigation not immediate?

  133. Trent says:

    Webber’s crash was eerily similar to that of Marco Campos at Magny Cours in 1995.

    Glad he’s OK and further evidence that open-wheeler drivers deserve big time respect!

  134. Gaz says:

    Its quite clear that mentally Alonso has never fully recovered form the 2007 season of being beaten by a rookie with the X factor…….. that’s true.!

    1. redmist says:

      last time i checked and saw they had the same points at the end of the year so unless i wasn’t watching the same championship… so i hardly say he got beaten with the same points

  135. Malcom says:

    James have you given any thought to how that beer bottle that Lewis notified his crew about got on the track? What level of hate have some Spanish fans sunk to.

    1. James Allen says:

      How do you know it was aimed at him?

      1. senna says:

        i think it was an spectator that reacted like that due to frustration. Carlos sainz was comenting on spanish tv and was like that as well. It is funny to see how most of the spanish fans are reacting. They believed their own lies, that alonso was much better than hamilton, and blamed renault for giving him a bad car, now that they have a ferrari, they are running out of excuses.

  136. Steven says:

    Alonso and the spanish fans cant get over the fact that Alonso got beat by a rookie. Get over it!! Alonso needs to drive his race, get the team to make a better car and stop crying. Seems like Alonso has a Hamilton complex.

    Oh, and the jump start was pretty obvious for anybody watching that race, no need to review it.

  137. Diamond says:

    Behind Vettel out front, a really crazy race. Loved Kobayashi’s gutsy race. Especially to stick it to Alonso on the final lap! Love to see the underdog do well. Tough day for the Silver Arrows. Great to see Barrichello back up there. Vettel deserved the win. Very clean. Was that a bottle Hulkenberg ran over to de-laminate his right rear tyre before it caught fire?

    And glad Webber was safe and unhurt. Suspect he might have a whopper of a headache on Monday. But come on, is a crash like this really going to stop a guy that at the start of last season was hit by a car whilst cycling and then started the 2009 season with a broken leg?! (in Tasmania of all places – I won’t even start with the jokes there!)

  138. BA says:

    Time for stupid question… :P
    Where the safety car line(s) are located?
    Is the line which was crossed by Hamilton and Safety Car while they were side-by-side before entering the first corner called a “safety car line”?

    1. Jeff Cranmer says:

      I believe that is the case. Lewis was about 3/4 of a car length short of legality when the safety car crossed that line.

  139. Malcom says:

    James, so you agree that a bottle was thrown, shouldn’t that alone have troubled you and the FIA. It obviousy bothered Lewis when he radioed his pit that their was a bottle on the track. Who else but Lewis had racist remarks hurled at him at Barcelona in 2007, and a special area had to be set aside for Mclaren, because of the racial abuse demonstrated by many Spanish fans. Why didn’t any of the commentators here in the U.S. on Speed Channel, not even raise the question of how that bottle wind up on the track?

    1. James Allen says:

      Well a bottle ended up on the track. Who knows how it got there

  140. beka says:

    I wonder what will Lewis’s next controversy be…
    Any guesses?

  141. Marybeth says:

    James,
    I have seen the question raised on another site, “Nobody has talked about how after a lap Webber went from second to 9th? Okay so he had a bad start and went to 4th after a few turns, but then lost how many more positions? Bad tyres?”, & that is my question too. If I had your resources I could try to find an answer, but I don’t. Can you find an answer for us?

  142. Ed H says:

    Okay, here’s the only thing I don’t understand:

    In Monaco when Barrichello threw the steering wheel out, people on this blog made a monumental fuss, claiming that he should have been punished, fined reprimanded, etc. It was so noteworthy that even James posted a video of Barrichello’s accident from an entirely different angle using footage caught by a spectator.

    When Webber had that huge accident yesterday, not only did he throw out the steering wheel, but also he threw out the cockpit sides! The footage clearly shows this, but I guess people were far too caught up with the action at Valencia than they were at Monaco, to notice…

    I personally don’t really care who did what, but I’m a bit bemused that the readers on this blog see Barrichello as the “Hate figure” and Webber does not recieve such abuse simply because his accident looked more spectacular, and he was on the ridiculously huge run-off area. It’s pretty useless to try and compare accidents, particularly at different circuits. Webber was in the same fit of rage anyway, and it’s the thought that counts. Surely if Mark can be excused, then so can Rubens?

    1. Marybeth says:

      It is my guess that Mark was concerned there might be a fire & he wanted out as fast as he could.

    2. BA says:

      I think the two are different cases. Barrichello tossed the steering wheel in the middle of the track. While Webber did it at run-off area. Whilst both were still a dangerous thing to do, but the severity that might be caused are largely different. Unless someone would deliberately visit that particular area at high speed which is impossible without accident or being overshoot. Surely he’ll end up at the tire wall or hits Webber’s wreckage straight away (which is caused by Webber steering wheel (?) yeah right…) :)

      1. Phil Waddell says:

        I totally agree with Ed H here.

        Marybeth, didn’t Rubens say the same thing?

        BA, I daresay that Mark Webber didn’t know exactly where he was on the track after flying through the air and bouncing off the tyre wall.

  143. iceman says:

    Something doesn’t quite add up with these penalties handed out to Kubica, Button et al.
    Presumably since they were penalised for going too fast in the final sector, the safety car boards must have come out before they entered that final sector.
    But if that’s true, then how come Massa and Alonso, only 2 and 4 seconds respectively ahead of Kubica, didn’t have time to pit? At the point Kubica entered the final sector Alonso would still have been a good 15 seconds from the pit entry.
    Can anyone explain that?

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