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Fernando Alonso wins German Grand Prix as Red Bull courts controversy
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Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Jul 2012   |  2:50 pm GMT  |  452 comments

[Updated] Fernando Alonso won the German Grand Prix from pole position, his third win of the season and another stunning drive under intense pressure by the Spaniard, who increased his lead in the drivers’ championship to 34 points.

It was the 30th win of Alonso’s F1 career, one less than Nigel Mansell and his second consecutive win at Hockenheim, following on from his controversial win in 2010.

Sebastian Vettel finished second on the road, his 40th podium in F1, with Jenson Button third, but afterwards Vettel was given a 20 second penalty by the stewards for passing Button by going off track with all four wheels. This dropped him to fifth place and promoted Raikkonen to the podium.

There was plenty of controversy as earlier Hamilton had repassed Vettel, when he had just been lapped by the world champion.

The situation around the Vettel pass on Button recalled Alonso’s move on Robert Kubica at Silverstone two years ago, where he went all four wheels off the track to pass and at that race the FIA Race Director ordered him to give the place back, which he could not do as Kubica pitted, so the stewards penalised him with a drive through penalty.

Button had got ahead of Vettel thanks to the fastest ever F1 pit stop at 2.31 seconds, which gave Button the chance to jump Vettel at the second stops.

Kimi Raikkonen got another good result in fourth with Kamui Kobayashi a candidate for driver of the day with a stunning drive from 12th on the grid to finish 5th for Sauber, ahead of team mate Perez.

It was a tense race, with the top three cars separated by less than 2.5 seconds after 60 laps of racing.

Button made a small mistake early in the final stint, flat spotting a tyre, which may have contributed to his problems at the end.

There was drama before the race; FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer had brought the Renault engines used by Red Bull to the attention of the stewards, claiming that the torque levels were not consistent with other races. The implication is that by changing the engine map the team had been achieving hot blowing of air to the diffuser. But just over an hour before the race the stewards issued a statement saying that, while they did not accept all of Red Bull’s explanations, they would take no further action as there was no specific wording for the rules around this area and that therefore the two Red Bull cars would be allowed to start the race in their normal position. However the wording of the statement hinted that this would be an area which would be closed in the near future.

At the start all the front runners went with the soft tyre, with Vergne, Rosberg, Pic and Glock on mediums.

Alonso got a good start to lead, while Schumacher attacked Vettel on the opening lap. Jenson Button gained a place to fifth, while Massa, Grosjean and Senna pitted at the end of lap 1 after contact damage. All switched to medium tyres to gain data for their team mates and to play a long stint strategy.

Hamilton had a poor start and ran into trouble with a puncture on the left rear tyre on lap 3, there was a lot of debris in Turn 1 from first corner tangles. It was a long slow lap into the pits for Hamilton.

He radioed in that he felt they should retire but they sent him back out with a new set of medium tyres, 64 seconds behind the the race leader.

Vettel harried Alonso in the opening stint, within the DRS detection zone of under one second.

Button passed Hulkenberg for fourth place on lap eight, closing quickly on Schumacher in third. He needed to pass him quickly to stay in touch with the leading pair.

He passed him straight away using DRS on lap 11.

Perez had had a strong opening stint and was up to 5th place by lap 14 after the first cars started to make stops. This netted him an 8th place after his own stop.

Some went with medium tyres, like Webber and Hulkenberg, while Schumacher and Raikkonen went with softs.

Both of them passed Hulkenberg in one move on lap 16 as the Force India driver struggled on the medium tyre.

Meanwhile Rosberg and Hamilton were lapping quickly on the medium tyre not having changed it since the start.

Alonso pitted for medium tyres on lap 18, having had data on them from Massa’s first stint.

Button stopped a lap later, also taking the medium tyres, as did Vettel, who not only lost time to Alonso by staying out the extra laps, but who came out behind Kobayashi. He managed to pass him quickly, however.

There was a superb battle between Raikkonen and Schumacher over fifth place, the Finn passed him and then drove away from Schumacher, on the same pace as leaders, 12 secs behind as the race approached half distance.

Alonso was not as fast on the medium tyre as Vettel and Button, who closed up on him.

By lap 29 Vettel was back within the DRS detection zone and Vettel closed right up as they came up to lap Hamilton.

On lap 34 the leaders lapped Hamilton but Vettel made a mistake and Hamilton reposed him, to Vettel’s disgust. This allowed Alonso to open a gap of over 2 seconds on Vettel and Button to close on Vettel.

Hamilton on fresher tyres had the pace to uncap himself on Alonso but sat behind him, apparently not wanting to influence the lead battle further.

Button pitted on lap 41, again choosing the medium tyres, as did Webber. Alonso came in on lap 42 with Vettel, who came out behind Button.

McLaren’s faster stop and Button’s out lap had made the difference. Now he set off after Alonso.

But in pushing hard, he flat spotted his right front tyre on lap 44. It didn’t seem to slow him down much, as he stayed within a second of the Ferrari, while Vettel dropped to two seconds behind.

Vettel pushed a bit too hard and on lap 53 ran wide at Turn 1, losing 8/10ths of a second in the process.

Schumacher’s 3rd stop put Kobayashi fifth, the Japanese driver proving very effective on a medium/medium/soft strategy, with a long first stint.

With four laps to go Button’s tyres began to show signs of losing performance, he had been the first of the three leaders to pit for the second time.

Vettel passed him, but went off track with all four wheels in the process, which Button complained about over the radio. The team indicated that the FIA were aware of it and the stewards did the right thing by giving Vettel a 20 second penalty.

“The rules state that you can’t go off the track to gain an advantage,” said Button. “The thing is, there would have been more opportunities for him before the end of the race as my rear tyres were damaged. That’s because I had to push hard to try and catch Fernando [Alonso], which meant I had nothing left for the end of the race. We pretty much ran out of rubber two laps before the chequer.

Vettel accepted the stewards decision, which drops him a further eight points behind Alonso in the championship, but said, “It was a difficult one, I didn’t know if he was on the inside or not,” said Vettel. “The last thing you want is contact. I can’t see him from the side of the car so I tried to give enough room and went wide. We were all struggling with our tyres and I think that was the case for Jenson and that’s why I passed him.”

“I was thinking he was still there and I didn’t want to close too early. I wanted to leave some space. The last thing you want at the end is to crash. So I decided to go off the circuit to make it safe. He had no traction but even on the slippery paint I was able to pass.”

GERMAN GRAND PRIX, Hockenheim, 67 laps
1. Alonso Ferrari 1h31:05.862
2. Button McLaren + 6.949
3. Raikkonen Lotus + 16.409
4. Kobayashi Sauber + 21.925
5. Vettel Red Bull + 23.732 (after 20 sec penalty added)
6. Perez Sauber + 27.896
7. Schumacher Mercedes + 28.960
8. Webber Red Bull + 46.900
9. Hulkenberg Force India + 48.100
10. Rosberg Mercedes + 48.800
11. Di Resta Force India + 59.200
12. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 1:11.400
13. Massa Ferrari + 1:16.800
14. Vergne Toro Rosso + 1:16.900
15. Maldonado Williams + 1 lap
16. Petrov Caterham + 1 lap
17. Senna Williams + 1 lap
18. Grosjean Lotus + 1 lap
19. Kovalainen Caterham + 2 laps
20. Pic Marussia + 2 laps
21. De la Rosa HRT + 3 laps
22. Glock Marussia + 3 laps
23. Karthikeyan HRT + 3 laps

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  1. Sebee says:

    Vettel for driver of the day!

    1. xrr says:

      Vettel and RBR,
      a penalty may be on the way coming.

      1. Sebee says:

        That’s why they deserve the vote. Entertainment value and we get to talk about the pass.

      2. JD says:

        Driving the fastest car and couldn’t overtake Alonso? Not a great race from Vettel, continually running off the track prior to the Button move. Alonso by miles driver of day

      3. Andrew says:

        What gives you the idea that the Red Bull was the fastest car? The Red Bull’s clearly have good downforce but the Ferrari had much better straight line speed and excellent traction.

        This made Alonso virtually impossible to overtake as the only realistic overtaking opportunity on this circuit was in the DRS zone and on the exit of the hairpin.

        If you want a measure of Vettel’s performance I suggest you look at what Webber achieved.

      4. JD says:

        In reply to Andrew – The fact that Vettel & Alonso both say the Red Bull was the faster package, along with all pundits & team principles pointing it out as the benchmark car since Bahrain gives me that idea!

        With the DRS open the Red Bull had superior straight line speed and it’s a well known fact that with modern aerodynamics if you can follow lap after lap 0.5-1sec behind the car in front you have an inherently faster package. Also worth mentioning the Red Bull ‘dodgy engine maps’ would aid traction, although mainly through mid-range revs I’ll admit. All this along with the superior downforce generally accepted from Red Bull means Vettel was ragged on Sunday.

        Don’t get me wrong, Vettel a great driver, a blown diffuser specialist in partcular, but a match for Alonso? No way, not Sunday or any day!

    2. luca says:

      Inconceivable! The move on Button was plain dumb, especially on a weekend during which the stewards had made it clear they would not tolerate off-piste adventures.

      This weekend Alonso was peerless.

    3. Wayne says:

      Hr drove raggedly and illegally overtook another car?

  2. MrExasperated says:

    What a stressful race for Alonso, no time for a breather on any lap.

    1. KRB says:

      Alonso drove a superb race. Not sure if they were all out all the way, maybe they had some in hand if needed. He’s got a couple of fingers on the DWC now I think. Great race for Button, was hoping he’d win. Great race for Sauber! Wow.

      Stats to date

      Wins: FA3,MW2,SV1,LH1,NR1,JB1,PM1


      T5 Finishes (2+):

      Pts Finishes (5+):

      Longest podium streaks (2+):

      Current podium streak: FA3,JB1,KR1

      Longest T5 streaks (2+):

      Current T5 streak:

      Longest pts finish streaks (3+):

      Current pts finish streak:

      Retirements (not classified)(3+): MS5,RG4,KK3,CP3

      1. KRB says:

        That second JB3 on the ‘Longest Pts Finish’ line should be MS3, shown in the line below. Brawn’s zero-defect policy paying dividends for Schumi.

    2. Irish con says:

      What’s impressive is that he set his personal best sector 1 on the 2nd last lap. He still had plenty of tyres left at the end of the race but buttons were long gone.

      1. Kay says:

        That’s strange as it’s well known that Button is a smooth driver and should be more competent than anyone else to make those tyres last.

        Seems like Button has a lot of problems this year.

      2. MISTER says:

        In the same time, Button had to push those tyres pretty hard on the out-lap to get Vettel and the laps after that to get away from Vettel and close on Alonso.

        Maybe that’s when he took alot out of his tyres.

        Having said that, I was impressed how well Alonso kept his tyres and the pace he was having in each stint just before he was due to pit for a new set. I guess they learned from Silverstone. That is very encouraging, because in a tight season like this one, you need to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.

  3. William Wilgus says:

    Nice report. Thank you. Poor Massa. His luck’s all bad. Vettel’s excuse for going off-track was very lame.

    1. Dave C says:

      Hamilton’s request to retire on the first lap was ‘lame’!

      1. deane says:

        It was, but what does that have to do with Wilgus’ comment??

      2. William Wilgus says:

        In light of that 1st lap request, what he said after the race was *very interesting*!

      3. Wade Parmino says:

        Not necessarily. If a normally front running driver is not in with a points scoring chance, then there is no point in using up the engine and gearbox by running the remainder of the race.

    2. spyke says:

      damage to the wing was clearly his fault

      1. William Wilgus says:

        Certainly. Anytime you run into the back of someone, it’s your fault. What we don’t know is why. I’m sure he didn’t do it intentionally. That’s why I mentioned his luck.

      2. Prateek says:

        Could there be any better explanation other than his lack of skill and judgement? Team mate wins the race and this guy finishes pretty much amongst the backmarkers?

      3. Kay says:

        “Anytime you run into the back of someone, it’s your fault.”

        Not if the guy in front was brake-testing the other guy in the back, or the guy in front was swerving about.

      4. Doobs says:

        Massa said the TR slowed suddenly. Got caught out.

    3. Kev says:

      Great race by Alonso. He is really showing some consistent form there and is getting rewarded.

      I have been a staunch supporter of Massa but on this occasion, it was all his doing. He ran into the back of the Torro Rosso, did his FW and it started his downfall for the race.

      You make your own race as Alonso showed, I just wish I would see the 2008 Massa again at some point of time this year.

      The starting grid move he made on Hamilton in Hungary is still fresh in my memory and he was very unlucky to have an engine failure there that season.

      1. arshad says:

        Massa has had enuf chances to prove himself, its enuf now,

        We all knw massa only for 2008, he’s having 7th season wit ferrari and we only know him for 2008. His dipping performance and confidence year on year clearly says he no more deserves a ferrari seat.

        Also we knw him for his great qualifyin speed but there too he has been beaten fair n square frm the very 1st season of Alonso.

        He’s lost all his speed and its high time ferrari bids farewell to massa..

      2. Don Farrell says:


      3. Spinodontosaurus says:

        2007 was quite a good performance all around by Massa, and 2009 was very good before the spring incident.

      4. Doobs says:

        You could say the same for Button…

      5. William Wilgus says:

        If you read Massa’s after-race comments, he said the the car in front of him suddenly slowed and he had no time to avoid it. That’s bad luck.

        It’s possible, of course, that it didn’t actually happen because of that, but what F-1 driver would be stupid enough to run into the back of a car otherwise?

      6. arshadhusain says:

        i dont blame massa for german gp accident, but all in all he lacks charisma which Ferrari, Redbull and Mclaren drivers hold.

        And how does alonso manages to stay away from problems while massa is always part of a problem,

        Alonso – Complete driver
        Seb – Fast and attacking
        Mark – Mature
        Lewis – Fast, daring
        Button – Smooth, rubber master

        Massa – confused, low on confidence, no speed, bad qualifier, zero competition to the abv top drivers

        Absolutely zero quality. Massa only has a supporter role left in ferrari

        Ferrari has been pathetic in constructors championships in past few years and it is always massa whose not scoring..

        i don’t disagree that he is having issues in heating those pirelli’s but he’s had same issues with bridgestones too and you cant buy massa’s arguement every year when his team mate fends of the tyre issues.

        Look at redbull and Mclaren drivers, they compliment eachother so well..

        just waiting for a new ferrari driver

  4. Paul H says:

    One day we’ll have a season without the stewards or FIA deciding the result. Farcical day with Red Bull doing as they please. My ideal is for Webber to win the title but not in dodgy circumstances. Whenever there is a story on a part being illegal you know it is about Red Bull before you read it. Bored of it now.

    1. Chris says:

      Ferrari fan not banking on wet qualifying sessions for the rest of the season?

    2. Puffing says:

      Gee, did you mean Alonso’s win has been a result of steward’s decission? Come on…

    3. Andrea Sasseti says:

      I agree, if the autosport analysis is on the mark then Red Bull is not only flagrantly hot-blowing their diffusor but also using their ECU as a ghetto-tractioncontrol. First they put a hole in the floor while the whole ban on the dubble diffusor hinged on that being illegal and now this? Ugh!

      1. JR says:

        Pretty embarassing

      2. KRB says:

        Yeah, it’s getting tiresome. It’s as though they bank on not getting any penalties or prior race results rescinded, yet gain the benefits for those races, before their “innovations” are banned. There’s pushing the envelope, and then there’s thumbing your nose at the FIA.

      3. Mitchel says:


      4. Andrea Sasseti says:

        Yes, it’s looking more and more like that is part of Red Bull’s strategic thinking.

        By the way, here is the autosport analysis i was talking about in case anyone missed it: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/101407

        To be fair, Red Bull isn’t the only team that seeks advantages through rule-interpretations rather than actual innovation and creativity (McLaren’s “octopus” exhaust from last year’s pre-season comes to mind and many other innovations that either never race or are quietly withdrawn after a stern letter from charlie). But this season RB has seemed especially flagrant and utterly unapolagetic and they are constantly complaining about things as well (Marko even complained about persecution). And that makes them a hard team to like this season.

      5. Leukocyte says:

        tiresome maybe, but pushing the letter of the law has been the essence of F1 for its entire history.

        Love them or hate them, Red Bull are extremely good at the technical game theory, and if the FIA can’t make a penalty stick then there can be no complaints.

        The spirit of the law doesn’t exist until the law is tightened to express that spirit precisely!

      6. Wayne says:

        Really tired of RBR constantly trying their luck. They need to be innovative but it is always RBR going that bit too fra and taking the piss.

        This coupled with Seb’s sulky, spoilt behavior (his arm spent more of its time out the car waving this weekend that it did holding the wheel) and I really cannot find much about this team to like (except perhaps Mark Webber).

      7. Luke Clements says:

        Its the over regulation and beauracracy of F1 that causes all teams, not just RBR to push the limits.

        There is no genuine F1 innovation anymore period. The 1000′s of regulations stifle genuine innnovation and instead we get quasi-innovation that simply means the teams try to do something, anything that the regulations don’t specificly state they can’t. Then the FIA doesn’t like it, so they add yet more regulations to now specifically outlaw the new thing the teams are doing, all the while creating the next opportunity to find the next thing the rules don’t cover.

        The lesson is, over regulation never works to make a better product. It always stifles. The answer is less regulation, not more. Then we would see true innovation which we haven’t for a long, long time. But then of course, we’d have whinging from many people about how unfair it is when the best teams, designers, innovators are always winning…and calls for more regulation!

        I’m over F1, the only reason I now watch is because I like MW. When he retires, I’ll retire from watching, until a new formula with much more freedom of design ever develops. I won’t be holding my breath for that one.

      8. Prateek says:


      9. Doobs says:

        They’re feeling the pressure. Car isn’t dominant now.

    4. Quercus says:

      I said last year in these very columns that the rules should be changed so that exhaust should exit at the very rearmost point of the car, level with the back of the rear wing. Then we couldn’t have all this engine-mapping trickery.

      Red Bull are at it again and it’s not their fault — they are duty-bound to maximise their performance within the rules.

  5. Nuno says:

    Perfect drive and race management by Alonso.

    About Vettel, who also did a nice ra.. If FIA and stewards are consistent with several past decisions on equal situations, no chance for Vettel. He had no chance to overtake, so let’s do it outside track, with all four wheels.

    But..Fia is about politics, and one should never trust them.

    1. someone says:

      Talking about consistency: I do remember a certain situation where a certain Nico Rosberg was overtaken with 4 wheels off the track without any punishment.

      1. KRB says:

        Hamilton was alongside Rosberg before passing, and before leaving the track. He was then pushed off the track by Rosberg. No option but for Hamilton to leave the track.

        Vettel purposely drove to the left of the kerbs and off the track to gain an advantage.

      2. Dave C says:

        Na Vettel was alongside Button before he went off track and if he didn’t go off it wouldn’t be surprising would have done a Hamilton in Valencia.

      3. Galapago555 says:

        So the stewards didn’t punish Rosberg for pushing his rival out of the track? I can’t see any consistency here…

      4. Joe B says:

        Hence why the FIA are a laughing stock. But they got this afternoon’s decision right.

      5. Elie says:

        This penalty to Vettel was spot on !! He had no intention of making the corner and did not bother to wait & nail button straight after to corner. Every comment he made thereafter was a lame excuse !
        Completely different circumstances. Roseberg aggressively protected his line whilst Hamilton was alongside -Hamilton was forced off track.fair call !

      6. Kev says:

        I think there was a clarification made sometime back about defensive driving and overtaking. Hence Hamilton’s move is illegal now whereas it wasn’t during that period.

        Can’t find the link to support my point though.

      7. Skinny says:

        They didn’t need to punish Rosberg, because he didn’t gain a position.

      8. Craig in SG says:

        Luckily, the stewards generally rely on ascertainable facts, as opposed to personal opinion.

        Please read the facts as determined by them, and put this “Rosberg cheated” rubbish to bed.


      9. Divesh says:

        James, is there not a case that Button did not leave a car’s width to the edge of the track thus forcing Vettel to go off track? How do you distinguish between a driver squeezing another driver wide and not leaving a car’s width to the edge of the track. I thought the situation vith Vettel and Button was far from black and white.

      10. James Allen says:

        THat rule applies when you have moved once off line to defend.

      11. KRB says:

        Yeah, that rule’s about when the driver is moving back onto the racing line after defending, not in the initial defensive move. Of course, if you move to the right, say, to defend, and the other car gets alongside you to the right, you can’t continue your move. It seems from the British GP on, “significantly alongside” means “rear car’s front wing even or ahead of the front car’s rear tires”.

        If this is indeed the case now, then Rosberg’s move on Hamilton wouldn’t be allowed to continue on now (I’m surprised it was at the time, as Rosberg himself got both of his right tires just outside of the track). But how does Rosberg know when the car behind is “significantly alongside”? In Bahrain, it seemed obvious, as he should’ve been able to see Hamilton’s front wing before he got to the white lines. But this is all happening in milliseconds. Perhaps a light on the driver’s dashboard, something like the blue lights that are displayed when a car is about to be lapped?

    2. Bring Back Murray says:

      “Perfect drive and race management by Alonso.”

      Cool, Calm, Collected, as usual. Didn’t get phased when Button was closing. Kept the tyres in then opened up a gap when he was ready.

      A measured weekend all round, starting from qualifying yesterday when he had the foresight to come and put a brand new sets of wets on before the session ended.

      But why oh why did Vettel muck up his great race with that obviously dodgy move? All he had to do was wait for another lap. Button’s tyres were finished.

      1. JR says:

        He simply lacks that coolness that you pointed about Alonso. Nor Hamilton has it. That’s why IMHO Alonso is on a different league.

      2. Don Farrell says:

        Yes I’m enjoying watching Vettel throw all his toys out of his playpen… that usual smug smile has been replaced by a spoilt brat sulk. :D Happy Days!

        Congrats Alonso and I’m delighted to see Button on the podium again!

      3. Doobs says:

        The young boys are fast but lack patience. Hammi with the Maldo incident and Seb yesterday…

      4. D17MO.D says:

        Personally, I think this comment is very worn out! Some people have very SHORT memories.

        Case in point, Canada 2012: Hamilton, after pitting had to drive back through the field and overtake both Vettel AND Alonso to win the race. On both occasions he purposely waited until the DRS zone to overtake both drivers.

        Hamilton even said after the race that he could have taken Alonso into the hairpin but he waited until the DRS zone to make it eaiser for himself because he knew he had the tires and the time to get the race won. That’s pretty smart thinking if you ask me? :-)

        So unless I’m mistaken, Hamilton pulled an ‘Alsono’ on Alonso and Vettel??

        How’s that one work??

      5. Lisa Thomas says:

        Two drivers went about their race in a very calm (as you say) and cool way. One had the right call made by the team on strategy all weekend, the other is coping with regular wrong calls. One looked in his mirrors all afternoon, and controlled his race perfectly, the other made extremely brave audacious moves and progressed in spite of being put on the wrong tyre.
        They have always been among the best, I think this year they will really underline their quality. Alonso, of course, and Raikkonen.

      6. SP says:

        In reply to Lisa Thomas’ post – Finally someone who sees those two drivers in the same light as I do! They have been performing extremely well and my top two drivers of the season so far. Alonso is really on top of his game and Kimi has come up to speed very quickly. Its a shame some reporters seem to disregard or overlook his quality….. I guess it would be the total opposite if he was a fellow countryman.

        Makes me think back to the days when it was Kimi vs Alonso. T’was a shame we were robbed of great battles due to the unreliable Mclaren.

        If Lotus can get their act together (which is a TALL order), Kimi may be able get his 1st win since his comeback… and maybe a few more. Either way, I think he has proved his worth. And as for Alonso, he’s got nothing left to prove :)

  6. Sergio says:

    James I would like to hear your explanation about Hamilton’s actions with both Vettel & Alonso. Gene, a pro drive has said it’s a code beetwen drivers not to overtake if your are a backmarker unless you are much more faster (it was not the case). Adding all, his team mate (Button) were part in the “conflict” pursuing them.

    1. James Allen says:

      I was surprised by what happened with Hamilton and there’s no doubt that Vettel lost some time due to that, which contributed to him losing a place to Button at the stops – although McLaren’s 2.31 sec stop had a lot to do with it too!

      As for Vettel off track pass – I can’t see how circumstances are different from Alonso v Kubica at Silverstone 2010 where Alonso got a drive thru penalty.

      1. quest says:

        But Hamilton set what was the fastest lap of the race till that point on the same lap. He was the fastest man on the track . So why should he have to get held up by slower cars just because they are a lap ahead. It doesnt make sense to me.

      2. fullthrottle says:

        Because he wasn’t going to score anyway. Why interfere with the drivers fighting for the podium? Not classy. And the argument “it was good for the show”, is disgusting. I think Hamilton needs to mature ASAP. I admire his talent and guts, btw. Not a hater.

      3. quest says:

        Hamilton is far from my favourite driver though I admire his talent. That is not the reason I am saying this. Something about the faster driver being forced to wait behind a slower one does’nt sit right with me. See how he pulled away from Vettel after he overtook him. I agree the relative states of their tyres probably played a part. If they were not racing for position, Vettel should have just let him go.

        As for saying he was nowhere, you never know what will happen later in the race. Remember Canada last year. Jenson came back from last position to win.

      4. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        IMO Hamilton was faster in fresh tires and he was correct not being aggressive in his moves near Vettel and Alonso, so it is OK when many drivers this season recuperates from back to podium. Also it was very entertaining.

        Vettel overtaking Button deserves 20 second-penalty.

      5. Seán Craddock says:

        Well I think it is different to the Alonso v Kubica incident because in that case Alonso cut the next corner, which is always a drive thru. We saw so many drivers run off track on the outside of the circuit today with no questions asked

      6. The big difference is that in many cases, the cars run wide by mistake, slide a bit, and end up losing a bit of time by bouncing over kerbs.

        In this case, you can clearly see Vettel mash the throttle mid-corner, off-line, with no chance of keeping the car on the track. He made the conscious decision to go off the track and make the most of it by picking up the throttle much earlier than he would have if there was grass or a wall there.

      7. Phil says:

        As you predicted, 20 seconds drive through ;-)

      8. FerrariFan says:

        Looking at the live telecast it was very obvious to me that that overtake was illegal. Why didn’t RBR tell Vettel to relinquish the position immediately? At least they would have kept 3rd place. It was stupid of them to think the race stewards will look at it otherwise. Somewhat arrogant I would say. Great race by Jenson and Alonso.

      9. James Allen says:

        Yes, especially as it was clear Button’s tyres were struggling. There was time

      10. Mitchel says:

        Agree totally. So much effort goes into the race weekend, then they get a fairly obvious and avoidable penalty.

        Then he calls Lewis stupid.

        Finger baby’s getting close to Lewis at his worst!

      11. Dave C says:

        Dereck warwick done this out of spite I think, much like like Alonso’s silverstone penalty on Kubica when Mansell called it, Alonso had a go at the stewards at Valencia for Hamilton’s joke of a penalty when he lost nothing and as a pay back Mansell punished Alonso, it’s ok though Seb will bounce back he’s too good, he lost 8 points but he’s not stupid there’s a long way to go, anything can happen in this unpredictable season.

      12. Doobs says:

        I think Vettel just wanted to get after Alonso asap and try to win his home race. Maybe at another venue he would have been different.

      13. ian says:

        How can you be surprised by a faster driver overtaking a slower driver.

        This is racing after all.

      14. ian says:

        I also recall Eddie Irvine unlapping himself against a certain Ayrton Senna

      15. ian says:

        Etiquette – after you sir,
        No, you first.

        I don`t think so.

        This is racing.

      16. James Allen says:

        Racing is cars on the same lap fighting for position.

        Lapped cars are not “racing” the leaders

      17. Guy says:


      18. paoloc says:

        Obviously quite different situation today compared to the one involving Irvine and Senna in Suzuka, but reading through the transcript of their encounter after the race in 1993
        http://www.themagicofsenna.com/senna/suzuka.html Senna is adamant about the rule that you’re supposed to let the leaders come by when you’re a back marker. That is lapped cars are not racing the leaders.

      19. James Clayton says:

        @James, regarding your comments about Etiquette. How is a driver (Hamilton) supposed to have a chance to make up time on drivers he *is* racing if he’s being impeded by the leaders?

        I agree Hamilton did hold Vettel up for a couple of corners one he got passed, but I think the sensible thing for Red Bull and Ferarri to do would have been to tell their drivers to let Hamilton past at a point where they won’t loose too much time, as he was clearly faster.

      20. Jim Dee says:

        Yeah I disagree too James. Hamilton needed to be on the same lap in the event of a safety car. Leave etiquette for food tv there is too much at stake.

      21. James Allen says:

        In event of safety car lapped cars can uncap themselves anyway.

        It’s fine to uncap yourself, but you have to have no influence on the cars racing for the lead. Vettel lost time to Alonso at that point

      22. snailtrail says:

        I think we all show different amounts of etiquette to different people – these F1 drivers are no different. Couldnt help but feel there was less fight between LH and FA (maybe due to all the loving words between them recently) than there was between LH and SV.

        MS seems to give LH a very hard time when he tries to overtake – but others he almost moves out of the way.

      23. Bluefroggle says:

        Suppose Hamilton got past Alonso as well. And then streaked ahead and made up a couple more places, i.e. going from say 17th to 15th.

        Suppose there was then a safety car and all the cars bunched up for a few laps.

        Hamilton would then be in with a fighting chance for a top 10 place if not a podium.

      24. Fellowes says:

        ‘Etiquette’ – how can this be selective? Is it ‘etiquette’ or ‘sporting’ to abide by the written rules, or is it acceptable to push the envelope and look for loopholes?
        In this context, the controversy around RBR engine mapping – is that non-etiquette, or is that acceptable?
        Unlapping is allowed, etiquette or not. Unless everyone abides by etiquette in all scenarios, I don’t see how there can be any complaint.

      25. James Enocre says:

        I don’t buy the etiquette thing.

        If a car impedes the leaders he gets a blue flag and has to get out of their way. Being faster than the leaders and out of position due to an incident shouldn’t prevent someone unlapping themselves and chasing the next car(s) up the road for position(s).

      26. KRB says:

        JA, what was LH to do? Go slower on purpose? He had already caught up the leading pair after being dropped into that spot by the team! He was setting fastest laps at that point, so of course he was perfectly entitled to unlap himself. I was surprised that he couldn’t do it against Alonso afterwards. I have no doubt Alonso would have let him past if he had dive-bombed it up the inside, but perhaps he was thinking Hamilton would slow him down after (but how could he? b/c if LH was then slower, he would’ve been shown blue flags to get out of the way). But perhaps he would just be slightly faster than Alonso, keep him in his dirty air, and chew up his tires to help Button. That would be entirely legal, assuming he could set faster laps than Alonso off and on.

        When you’re blue-flagged, you have two options: concede the place, or go faster than the car behind wanting to lap you.

      27. Kris Grzegorczyk says:

        Fast cars unlapping themselves always seems to remind me of Brazil 2008. Kubica was nowhere position wise but insisted on getting past Hamilton, which, in turn, caused Hamilton to get out of shape enough for Vettel to pass him and take over the precious fifth position Hamilton needed to win the title. I thought at the time that it was poor form, of Kubica to get involved but it’s totally a driver’s prerogative to run his own race and go as fast as he can.

        Vettel needs to watch himself with some of his comments. There is no reason to throw words like ‘stupid’ around when describing other drivers’ behavior. It’s pretty disrespectful.

      28. [MISTER] says:

        He called Narain a cucumber and also an idiot (I think).
        That’s just his style..unfortunately.

      29. Rodger says:

        In fairness to Vettel, I agree with his assesment that Hamilton’s pass was stupid. He was out of the race and could have taken a race contender out, too, by his actions.

        Saying that, Vettel is beginning to cut a very frustrated figure, which I haven’t seen to such an extent. His gesticulating at Hamilton with one hand off the wheel through a corner was also ‘stupid’, as was his decision not to listen to his team and protect his tyres when he was flinging his car around behind Button and almost losing it several times.
        Still, he drove a good race and is a great driver. Just needs to calm down a bit for the next race.

        By the way, anyone else annoyed at the new ‘after race’ interviews on the podium? Nice for the crowd I’m sure, but the drivers seem to speak less than when they are in a studio. Not much insight!

      30. Richard D says:

        Hamilton unlapping himself from Vettel and Alonso was a perfectly valid move for a driver who was quickest on the track at the moment. Whilst he was down in 17th or 18th, he still had the chance to chase down some more places, which he would have not been able to do if he sat back behind the slower leaders! We’ve seen a number of wins achieved by drivers from the back of the pack, so it is ridiculous to say that a quick driver should stop racing on grounds of some unwritten code practice.

      31. Irish con says:

        If seb had lord time to a back marker like alonso did in Barcelona against pic that back marker would of got a penalty. He definitely lost time with Hamilton who was a back marker. I can’t see any differences even if he was faster. I didn’t like it. I don’t want to see the race between leaders influenced because of someone who wasn’t in the fight at all.

    2. Nando says:

      Hamilton was much faster at that point. Vettel should of let him go by and then followed Hamilton upto the back of Alonso; poor race management.

      1. Galapago555 says:

        Not to talk about giving back the position after his illegal move on Button, given that he had plenty of time to try and overtake again.

        We’re used to see this kind of poor management in “other” team…

      2. Agreed. When a cool head was required, a cool head was not found.

      3. TitanRacer says:

        I agree. Hamy was a bit faster. let him by and use the DRS to work his way to Alonso. poor race management by both the driver and the pit wall. then the pass… Red Bull was clearly asleep at the wheel today!

    3. KRB says:

      Well he was clearly faster at that point, with newer tires and the DRS aid, added to McLaren’s already 10kph advantage over Red Bull down the straight.

      I’m not sure what else he could’ve done … he was dropped into that section by the team.

      LH very unlucky today with the debris on the racing line of the start/finish straight. Why wasn’t there a safety car for that? I think that was Vettel’s comments post-Valencia playing a part in Whiting’s thinking.

      1. Craig in SG says:

        I would say there was no safety car because there was no safety issue. The debris on the track was relatively small (in size) and did not pose a significant threat to life and limb. If it had been large pieces of front wing then it would have been warranted. They don’t, and shouldn’t, deploy the safety car because somebody might get their tyre cut on the debris. That’s just part of the luck involved in racing.

      2. Doobs says:

        Only one car got a flat tyre. No SC call was probably correct.

      3. KRB says:

        To Craig and Doobs, I have to disagree. Did you see the same carbon fibre chunks flying up in the air that I did?! If any of those hits a driver’s helmet at speed, it might possibly do some damage. And it was on the racing line!

        To Doobs point, should we assess the correctness of a call by how it all turns out afterwards? So if the 7 leading cars all got a puncture b/c of that debris, you’d be saying there should’ve been a SC? That’s not good enough … need better criteria than that for deciding proactively on when to bring out a SC.

        I would think that with the debris on the racing line, and with it being the early laps of the race, with the cars still fairly tightly bunched, that it should’ve been a straight-forward call to make. It just seems to me that Vettel and Marko’s “break our neck” comments probably influenced the decision not to bring out the SC.

  7. Mr Squiggle says:

    I must say I enjoyed watching Hamilton overtake Vettel, from 1 lap down.

    o-yes indeed, that was a fun moment,

    Congrats to Fernando, he is the man this year, no question

    1. Riccardo Consulini says:

      Yeahh. That was fun. But in my opinion, It was not as fun as seeing Hamilton being lapped with one of the fastest(if not the faster) car on grid. Great Stuff.

      1. Andrew says:

        Seeing as you derive such pleasure from these things you must have really enjoyed it when Hamilton lapped Button in Montreal.

        Being lapped due to a technical failure is unlucky (Hamilton would have been fighting for the win if not for the puncture), but what Hamilton did to Button in Canada was exceptional.

    2. Pasq says:

      He has been the man the last 4 seasons! Didn’t make a mistake in 2009. Shouldn’t have got near 2010 world crown with normally third fastest car! Last year he had got close to second place in championship with a poor car! Would have been greater achievement than vettels year! He doesnt need the fastest car to win as today proved, just s few tenths off! He is in the top 8 greatest f1 drivers of all time!

      1. Sean M says:

        +1. Bang on What Ive been saying for years. Driving a far inferior car generally than Vettel’s for the last 2 years yet he continually drags it to the top of the pile. He’s in the top 5 greatest for me!

      2. Pasq says:

        Cool. What’s your top five? Would like to know.

      3. hero_was_senna says:

        I’d say top 3

  8. MG says:

    Vettel’s excuse is ridiculous. I hope he gets penalized for it. And a fair penalty at that.

    1. Kay says:

      I think there oughtta be penalties for not showing respect. Like J.Villeneuve and some other drivers say, drivers these days give less respect than in old days.

      Imagine today’s cars were like 30 years ago and how Vettel drove in Malaysia 2012, Turkey 2010, etc.. could’ve hurt someone.

      1. MG says:

        I completely agree, Kay! On that note – I thought Maldonado got away too lightly during his last fracas with Lewis!

      2. Esplanadist says:

        I agree with Kay, and yes drivers should show respect of course.
        But, with respect, I sometimes wish old JV himself would show some respect and shut his trap for a minute

  9. Dino says:

    Let’s be fair with Sebastien. It is not the same cuting into a corner to make a pass that to force yourself off the track at the exit because the driver in front gives you no space. Usually off track is dirty and slippery so has no traction advantage. No penalty in my humble opinion.

    Great race for Jenson, pity for the late tyre related problems but somehow a good result mral-wise after the lastest bad races.

    Lewis, well, wanted to retire after the puncture in what looks like bad actitude, seeing how fast his car was afterwards.

    Mark was on one of his off-races, sadly because he has to demosntrate that he can be WDC contender even in the ot so good days.

    And Fernando, magestic.

    Mentions for Kamui, Kimi and Michael.

    1. JR says:

      “It is not the same cuting into a corner to make a pass that to force yourself off the track at the exit because the driver in front gives you no space”

      That is exactly what happened to Alonso with Kubica back in 2010. Alonso was penalized then, at least this time the FIA has acted consistently.

      1. Galapago555 says:

        Exactly my thoughts. At least there’s some consistency here.

    2. FerrariFan says:

      I saw it as an illegal pass right away. Jenson did not push him out of track. There was enough room on track for vettel.

      1. KRB says:

        He got the penalty, and 20 sec’s added (didn’t it use to be 25 sec’s?). Vettel now 5th.

    3. Vettel was off-line, and picked up the throttle very early, knowing the only way he could stay in the throttle is if he went off the track. There was lots of room for both cars, and if he was merely trying to avoid Jenson, he would have lifted. He intentionally got hard into the throttle at a point on the track where it would be impossible to stay on the track.

      Simple explanation for the penalty: would the pass have worked if there was grass or a wall there? No. Ergo: illegal pass.

      1. Irish con says:

        I said that at spa 2008 after all the people said it was a disgrace Lewis got the penalty. Today was much the same as that. If that was grass we wouldn’t be having this discussion. For the record stewards was right both times tho but a tad harsh as a drive thru only costs 12 seconds at this track.

      2. Galapago555 says:

        Giving back the position would have even cost less than 12 secs…

      3. James Clayton says:

        It was nothing like Spa 2008 – the penalty in that case was because Hamilton didn’t wait for one corner before re-passing, which at the time wasn’t even in the rules. Vettel here never gave the position back in the first place.

    4. hero_was_senna says:

      Lewis wanting to give up is worrying because he’s essentially throwing a tantrum.

      The acknowledged greats of the past fought until the last corner.
      As a Ferrari fan, I remember many races where Schumacher was out of position due to ill fortune, but he kept pushing till the last corner.
      2 spring to mind, Malaysia in 2002, I think, Button was heading for a podium and Schumacher took it on the last lap.
      Or what about one of his greatest drives, Brazil 2006. A puncture early on and he raced hard and finished 4th.

      I remember Prost at Suzuka 1987, just racing flat out for the sheer pleasure.

      Villeneuve, Senna and Alonso all warriors.

      Alonso, last year in Korea said over the radio, 2 laps from the end, “I give up”
      Everyone, media and fans alike couldn’t believe it of him, just reckoned it was said to lull Mclaren into a false sense of security.

      Lewis today reminded me of Hakkinen at the Nurburgring in 1999.
      Out of position after rain had hit the circuit and choice of tyres impacted on his race. He became invisible until the last few laps when he saw that he could get 6th position from a Minardi.
      He was fighting for the championship, it should never have been in question his desire to fight back.

      1. Andrew says:

        Thank you Hero_was_Senna took the words right out of my mouth! Always remember that race where Hakkinen spent most of it crusing at the back before suddenly realising the only thing between him and a few points was a Minardi. Then bam fastest lap followed fastest lap and your thinking “if you had done that earlier you might have come 3rd or 4th!”

        Lewis saying this just shows a bad side to his character. Okay you might not win this race but even his hero Senna who had a win or bust style would fight on to get something. While Lewis is growing tired of Mclaren’s mistakes I am sure there are some who will be growing tired of Lewis.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Funny really, I don’t remember him like this a few years back. In GP2, didn’t he win in Turkey by driving through the field? In 2009, with a terrible Mckaren, he fought every lap if every race, but it seems that since Button arrived, he’s becoming a prima donna.

      3. KRB says:

        Finished 2nd in that GP2 Turkey race, coming from 18th after.

        He had a bad puncture, the wheel was shredded, doing a good number on the rear suspension no doubt. Imagine you’re in that car … would you have 100% confidence in that suspension afterwards?

        Remember when his wheel blew out at Spain 2010? If it had blown out a few seconds earlier, it could have been a very big head-on crash (it was a scary crash as it was).

        LH is fearless, and has big cojones, but still that incident has to rest in your mind somewhere.

        Even after he pitted and went back out, we heard the radio transmissions between him and his engineer, where he was still questioning the suspension even as his lap times were decent.

        In the Villeneuve/Senna era’s, if you had a breakdown, you were done. Do you have any examples of either of them coming back from a serious puncture like this and fighting back for points? ’89 Japanese GP doesn’t count, as that was a nosecone (complete replacement). Can’t switch out a damaged suspension for a new one!

      4. Andrew Kirk says:

        How about Villeneuve bringing a Ferrari on 3 wheels still doing a 180mph to the pits? and pretty much having to be tied to a chair in order not to go out again as there was too much damage. Showed that all he wanted to do was race no matter the cost.

        Senna in Brazil 88 after stalling at the start he then was flying passing cars left right and centre before being blacked flagged. Senna driving and winning the Monaco 93 grand prix with a broken thumb tapped up to the steering wheel to allow him to change gear count?

        Also your point Lewis’s GP2 race is a good one but he wasn’t getting on the radio asking if his laptimes were good round Germany was he? He was asking if he should park it, how times changed I guess.

      5. Prateek says:

        I think it is only fair to add to this list Kimi at Suzuka when he fought from 17th place to win the GP having overtaken race leader Fisichella on the last lap!

      6. hero_was_senna says:

        The list would huge of drivers throughout history fighting back. How many times in recent seasons have we seen Webber start 18th etc yet fight his way through?
        Could you imagine a football team with that attitude, 1-0 down in first five minutes, they’d sit on the ball and sulk
        Sky had free GP viewing this weekend on virginmedia, it was ok but an interview with Alan jones was revealing. When asked if he’d have liked to be racing now he said ” no, drivers are too precious now”

      7. Kay says:

        @ Alonso Korea GP, I too was stunned to hear that from him lol.

      8. Craig in SG says:

        Whilst I agree in priciple with your summation, you must remember that these days the driver is limited to a certain number of gearboxes and engines. If LH believed he had no realistic chance to compete for points, it may have been the wiser decision to save the component wear-and-tear for another day. Yesteryear’s racers never had to take that into consideration.

      9. hero_was_senna says:

        I can appreciate what your saying, maybe F1 has changed aspects if the racing culture, but the drivers of yesteryear had cars that regularly expired before the end of the race. Engine failure, hydraulic failure, gearboxes turbos exploding…
        Reliability we have these days is staggering

      10. Craig in SG says:

        Yes, but they were not penalised in the next race for replacing an expired part, so there was no reason not to race.

        And while you are correct in that the reliability is fantastic, the performance does decrease with prolonged use, at least for the engine. An engine that’s raced 4 times will produce substantially (I believe) less HP than a new one, which is why they use new or little used engines at high speed circuits like Monza and Spa.

      11. Horoldo says:

        I don’t think Lewis was taking that into consideration, sounded like he was sooking a bit.
        Other drivers this season have driven from the back to score points. There was still the whole race left.
        Would other top teams really want to sign this guy?
        If I can’t win, I don’t want play anymore. Sniff!

      12. Doobs says:

        He may have felt his car was damaged. He often seems to think there’s something wrong with his car and his crew have to reassure him. He has a sensitive seat of the pants I guess. But it was surprising to hear give up rather than asking about a specific problem.

      13. Blake S says:

        Alonso saying “I give up” was a result of him not having enough fuel to make it to the finish line, if he had pushed hard enough to gain grid positions, at least that’s what I remember hearing on my tv.

      14. KRB says:

        “I give up” ~ Alonso at Korea 2011

      15. hero_was_senna says:

        Yes?? Read my post again, I did mention it…

    5. Elie says:

      Let’s be fair ! It was much worse – !he deliberately took the car off the track to overtake when all he had to do was wait three seconds then pass OR he give him back the position then pass — now that what’s I call dumb and a well deserved 20 sec penalty ensued !

  10. Christos Pallis says:

    Well Vettel’s move on Button is rightly being looked at, he straightened the car up for maximum traction aiming firmly out of the white lines that are the confines of the track. The move was therefore illegal. Black and white. Just like when Maldanado hit Lewis in Valencia. You can not go outside the white lines with all 4 wheels and take an advantage.

    Also did anyone else spot that Alonso regularly and by regularly I mean on more than 5 occasions went all 4 wheels off the track in the final double apex right hander before the finish line. This was fought on tv replay but no mention on the sky commentary. Why was this not penalised, he was getting a better exit from the second apex almost every lap when Jenson was chasing him?

    Am I the only person who saw that, surely that is also illegal.

    Still exciting race, Alonso did very well despite my earlier point. Vetted did very well too but I’m getting bored of this possibly illegal car and engine mapping Redbull are with out doubt doing.

    At Becketts corner in Silverstone you could hear their engine note change I.e. blow off throttle at the end of the DRS straight. Come on FIA this is getting silly.

    1. Quattro_T says:

      “Why was this not penalised, he was getting a better exit from the second apex almost every lap when Jenson was chasing him?”

      Jenson was close enough to see it very well. Had he thought it was giving Alonso an advantage to speak off, I am he would jump on the radio and “mention” it.

    2. Craig Baker says:

      I guess nobody saw Buttons rears light up as he struggled for traction out of the hairpin.

    3. FerrariFan says:

      Yes Alonso may have gained better exit by doing that. But I guess the rules on using extra space will apply only if they are side by side fighting for position.

    4. They really need a 3-metre strip of grass on either side of every circuit, around the entire lap. Mistakes or “pushing the limits” like that should be penalized, not rewarded.

      That’s what I like about Monaco; with the exception of the chicane, you can’t cut corners or drift wide on exits and stay in the throttle.

      1. Sammy says:

        Alo went definitely not with all 4 wheels off-track.
        He just used a bit more space of the circuit moving 2 wheels off-track.

    5. Kay says:

      He didn’t straightline the corner, in fact that line would make the corner bigger for Alonso. How much time he gained in the end was another matter. If he’d taken and cut the inside line then yer he would’ve been penalised.

      For going outside the white lines with all 4 wheels, the German GP isn’t the only case. Spa 1st corner, Monza turn 7, etc, all drivers take a wider line outside the white line but these again aren’t straight-lining or short-cutting the corner, so penalties don’t apply.

      They gain performance for having more tarmac I know, but that’s just the rules.

    6. Heinzman says:

      Button could have done the same if he thought it was worth time.

  11. DJFM says:

    It was a pretty exciting race.

    Alonso continues to pull off these wins under pressure from better cars.

    Vettel is being pushed to his limits, mentally and physically. Am surprised he kept it on track with all the off-loading he did.

    McLaren are back on top, as they were at the start of the season with the fastest car (in the dry).

    The WDC winner is anyones guess right now.

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      Would you say the Red Bull and McClaren were actually faster than the Ferrari today? Usually I agree that Alonso’s making the Ferrari look better than it is but today the car seemed generally quick. (Don’t bother using Massa’s performance as evidence to the contrary…)

      The way Alonso is going at the moment I’d say 2nd place is anyone’s guess at the moment!

      1. Kev says:

        Check the stint after the first pitstop and you will know which is the faster car. Usually the car at the front reaps the benefit of fresh air and yet Alonso was caught by Button and Vettel.

        The reason Alonso managed to pull out some gap was because he managed to use DRS while lapping the back-markers and also managing to put the back-markers between him and the chasing pack for a couple of more corners.

        Ferrari are still behind RB and McLaren (atleast in this race). If Ferrari can get the performance on par with them, Alonso would trounce the trio (Lewis, Seb, Mark) who are trying to win the title.

      2. fullthrottle says:

        I agree. Nevertheless the difference between the three top cars now is quite small IMO. This is the best Ferrari Alonso has driven.

      3. Doobs says:

        Martin Brundle said in the commentry that Maclaren think their tyres will go a few laps further than Ferrari. Button cooked his tyres with two laps to go despite fitting them a lap later than FA, and SV’s tyres were even newer.
        FA set his fastest first sector on the second to last lap(?) The two behind him, burned up their tyres fighting each other and pushing too hard. So maybe that explains some of the pace difference. Tyre management.

      4. James Allen says:

        Button flat spotted quite badly early in the final stint

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Forgetting the fact that he won so receives more points than the others, Button before the race was 3 wins behind. If Alonso could have chosen who finished behind him, I’m fairly certain Button would be high on that list.

    3. John Z says:

      I think saying McLaren are back on top in dry conditions is far from the truth. They were awful in Silverstone and they were better in Hockenheim but they never threatened Ferrari at all today. The most ominous indicator that Ferrari are now as fast as Red Bull is that Alonso and Massa set their fastest laps very late in the race, on laps 66 & 67 respectively. McLaren were counting on Alonso’s pace to drop off in the closing laps on old tyres, which has happened often this year. Instead Alonso was the fastest car at the finish. The lap times suggest McLaren still have a lot of work to do.

      Rank Driver Car Fastest lap Gap On lap
      1 Schumacher Mercedes 1’18.725 57
      2 Alonso Ferrari 1’19.044 0.319 66
      3 Rosberg Mercedes 1’19.105 0.380 59
      4 Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’19.161 0.436 61
      5 Massa Ferrari 1’19.225 0.500 67
      6 Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’19.270 0.545 62
      7 Hulkenberg Force India-Merc 1’19.372 0.647 56
      8 Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’19.469 0.744 67
      9 Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’19.485 0.760 56
      10 Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’19.607 0.882 59
      11. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’19.645 0.920 59
      12. di Resta Force India-Merc 1’19.717 0.992 67
      13 Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’19.719 0.994 62
      14 Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’19.794 1.069 59
      15 Senna Williams-Renault 1’19.894 1.169 62
      16 Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’19.997 1.272 62
      17 Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’20.013 1.288 60
      18 Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’20.066 1.341 44
      19 Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’20.091 1.366 34
      20 Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’20.596 1.871 61
      21 Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’21.753 3.028 45
      22 Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’21.788 3.063 55
      23 PDLR HRT-Cosworth 1’22.407 3.682 51
      24 Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’22.778 4.053 54

  12. Craig Baker says:

    Poor form on the part of Lewis Hamilton ignoring blue flags and interfering with the leading runners to assist a team mate.

    1. Neil Brown says:

      Poor form? He did the fastest lap! He didn’t ignore the blue flags and pulled away from Vettel until they dived into the pits. It would be pointless trying to unlap yourself, if the minute you did you then had to let the other driver through again. It is called motor racing after all.

      1. Charlie B says:

        Schumacher actually got the fastest lap, his first since his comeback.

      2. Dictionary Joe says:

        track had speeded up by that time and he did stop for fresh tyres which lost him p5 but allowed him to clock one more FP.
        imo p5 was more important, but there you go

      3. bbMitchet says:

        wasn’t it kimi?

      4. Galapago555 says:

        @ bbMitchet

        No, it was Schummie’s. He lapped in 1.18.725 on Lap 57.


      5. Craig Baker says:

        Where did Lewis finish? Totally Unnecessary.
        The event was not a 24hour enduro.

      6. Neil Brown says:

        Hindsight is a wonderful thing, however if there had been a safety car he could have been right back with everyone quite quickly.

        In regards to my comment regarding fastest lap, I obviously meant at that time with fresh rubber compared to the rest of the field.

    2. Monza01 says:

      Blue flags are to indicate that a car is about to be overtaken by a faster car. Lewis had every right to unlapping himself.

      Alonso has a much wiser head on his shoulders than Vettel and his comment was that if Lewis had come up behind him before he pitted, because he was not racing him, he would have easily let him by. Vetel would have lost no time had he done the same.

      1. Craig Baker says:

        I am sure that Vettels team would be able to furnish data on how much time was lost due to the Hamilton pass.

    3. It was totally fair. He was faster. Beyond that, it wouldn’t be fair to have to stay behind the leaders and give up the possibility of getting a whole lap back if there had been a safety car.

      1. Craig Baker says:

        If Hamilton had not retired he might have finished in 15th. If Hamilton had not interfered with a leader he might have finished in 16th. You have a convoluted sense of what is fair.

      2. Had there been a late safety car, he could have conceivably scored points. Either way, he was faster, therefore it was fair.

  13. Holly says:

    Driving leason today from Alonso and fantastic come back by Jenson. Congrats to Ferrari.

  14. Munchies says:

    Alonso was magnificent today, as he was yesterday in qualifying. By miles the most talented driver out there and for me the proof in the pudding is the lack of real professional praise he gets considering what we all know. But that’s by the by in this situation… It doesn’t really matter.

    Vettel should be punished for overtaking the way he did. His real lack of that extra piece of genius is obvious when you analise his final 14 laps. Button was great and for me is close to Alonso in being the driver of the day!

    1. You do realize that Alonso did the exact same thing at Silverstone in 2010, right? Or did he gain some “extra” genius in the last two years?

      Alonso had a great drive, but I don’t agree with your comparison of the two drivers.

      1. Munchies says:

        Well if Alonso did the same thing, then he should’ve been punished for it! If someone doesn’t get punished, you have to look at the organisation running the sport and not at the individual!!!

        As for comparisons between the two… Like in every sport, analisis tends to be very subjective and based on likes and dislikes. For me, my personal opinion, Alonso is a true racing driver, while Vettel strikes me more as an oportunist and lucky. I know this is radical and subjective to criticism. But it’s how I feel. Alonso gives me the feeling of being a driver who wants to race like Hamilton does and other before them who we all know.

      2. Doobs says:

        Alonso did get punished – drive thru pen.
        The reason he couldn’t give the place back was because Kubica DNF’d not long after Alo passed him.

      3. Doobs, the reason why he got penalized is because he was hoping he would get away with it. Kubica didn’t DNF coming out of that corner. Alonso should have just lifted and let Kubica by, and then try again.

        In both cases it was obvious that they put four wheels off the track to gain an advantage, but both were too greedy to give the place back, hoping that they could claim “they had no room” and the stewards would accept their poor excuses.

      4. fullthrottle says:

        Alonso didn’t have any room. So not the same.

      5. Alonso completed a pass by going off the track. Doesn’t matter if there was room or not. He should have given the place back on the next straight and tried again.

        In both cases, the circuit boundaries were disrespected. Vettel disrespected it by choosing to pass off the track, and Alonso disrespected it by choosing to keep the position.

        It’s very clear in the rules: if you gain or maintain a position, or gain an advantage by going off the track, you get a penalty.

  15. Peter says:

    Great drive and moves from Raikkonen again and he is staying out of trouble nicely. Also, Vettel passed Button off-track no doubt, on the other hand I don`t see the room he could have gone. I think he had no other choice really. Too much run-off area nowadays, there should be a safe “penaly” when someone leaves the track e.g. rough surface that damages the tires.

    1. Or a painted chicane that the drivers must negotiate if they put four wheels off the track onto a paved run-off.

      Or a 3-metre strip of grass on either side of the circuit for the entire lap to prevent “mistakes” from turning into better runs out of each corner.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Raikkonen today reminded me of his passing of JPM at that part of the circuit in 2004. Great skill

      1. Lynn says:

        Kimi seems to like to overtake outside the DRS zone. Good old racing! Great racing between him & Paul.

  16. OscarF1 says:

    It was a superb drive by Alonso, he stayed cool and managed the race at all stages.

    A really good race from Button too, perhaps his sole mistake was the flat spot in lap 44, which might have caused his lack of performance by the end of the race.

    Vettel seemed defeated after the race for not being able to win his home GP but I think there will be a lot of talk about his overtake on Button and, perhaps, the “unlapping” overtake from Hamilton, which prevented him from fighting Alonso for the lead and might have caused him to lose concentration.

  17. CH says:

    Wish we always had real corners instead of paint lines. Would go a long ways to taking it out of inconsistent stewards’ hands.

    1. Exactly. A strip of grass would go a long way… or if they wanted lower maintenance, a slippery piece of concrete.

      1. spyke says:

        But far more dangerous

      2. How so? It’s the same now in many cases. Entering the stadium, many cars were using the grass-crete as their line, and what’s on the edge of that? You guessed it: grass. If they put a wheel off there, it would be the same as putting a wheel off three metres over.

        I was vague and didn’t mention that it would be a thin strip. Just wide enough that if you put two wheels off, you would slide out onto the rest of the paved run-off. It just wouldn’t give you that extra 3-5 metres you need to stay in the throttle without losing more than a tenth.

    2. James Clayton says:

      I don’t think it’s possible; isn’t that run off area part of a drag strip?

  18. rafa says:

    That ferrari performs very well under colder conditions. However, Hungary next week will likely be an oven as eastern Europe tends to be every year and Red Bull had better net a strong result there because Ferrari will be clearly on the defense. If Alonso manages to outscore or damage control effectively Red bull´s attacks next week, he´ll be in the best position to get that 3d WDC.

    Kobayashi and to a lesser extent team mate Perez were amazing today. Button was impressive, and while Vettel did a good race, one feels that he made a couple of small but crucial errors that cost him the win. Raikonen was great also, pity his quail pace doesn´t his race pace (car admittedly). the other day somebody commented on this forum he hand´t been a great champion back in 2007, and in hindsight I can´t believe how unfair that statement is: it´s true it will be remembered as Alo and Ham and McLaren´s circus. However, the McLaren was illegal as it had un-disclosable info from Ferrari, and his second half of the season was impeccable. I never was his fan but have grown warm to him since his comeback.

    Flunks of the day:

    Hamilton: not all is his fault, but it seems the intangibles always have the upper hand on him and he doesn´t quite know how to deal with events out of his control. his post race interview was telling with all the “dunnos” he was giving. Understandably disappointed, however he is getting to that point in his career where he´s got to show more than just raw talent, because the competition is so intense that it just won´t do with speed and balls.

    Massa: another perpetual victim of circumstance, to the point where it win´t funny no more. He drove into the back of another car for no good reason at all.

    Webber: suffers in midfield, he did have that grid penalty, but was held by the Force India´s too long considering the machinery at his disposal. good race by the Indias as well.

    Grosjean: sometimes does well, other days is a shambles. I like him as a driver, but I wonder if he´s got it in him to go onto the top.

    Mercedes: +yawn+

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      “however he is getting to that point in his career where he´s got to show more than just raw talent”


      Agreed. He’s going nowhere if he continues the way he is presently

    2. Lotus should do well in the heat too.

    3. KRB says:

      How was any of that Hamilton’s fault? Of all the top 10 cars on the first lap, only his hit the debris on the racing line on the start/finish straight and caused a puncture. Massively unlucky. And the worst possible place to get a puncture, meaning you have to do practically the entire lap length to get back around.

      1. Andrew says:

        It’s quite strange that people are still trying to find reasons to criticise Hamilton when events were clearly beyond his control. I find the predjudice against Hamilton quite sinister.

        His racing with the front runners was a highlight of the race in my opinion and I have no doubt that if not for the puncture he would have been fighting for the win.

      2. Don Farrell says:

        Andrew… I agree… people have very short memories… Button has one good race and suddenly Hamilton is back in the dog-house.

      3. James Clayton says:

        The few laps with Hamilton behind Vettel was certainly a popcorn-shovelling-in-the-face moment! Highly amusing, if nothing else! :)

      4. Doobs says:

        If he wants to quit just because a flat drops him down the field, when his car is good enough to win, one may rightly question imo. This is the guy with a £100million 5-yr deal on the table after all.

      5. Ruse says:

        + 1

        There’s more Hamilton bashing than for any other driver, though Vettel is now getting it in the teeth too as was Alonso back in 2007

    4. hero_was_senna says:

      Weather reports I’ve seen up to next Friday show good weather for Tuesday but thunderstorms till Friday, so who knows??

  19. Quattro_T says:

    Was that beautiful or what?? bellisimo!!!!!!!

    Well done to Button for good recovery as well.

    Regarding RB’a “smart” tweaking of the rules. I think the only reason RB has not been penelised yet this year (first for the open holes in the floor and now for what looks as engine maps breaking the spirit of the rules to say the least), is that owners of F1 are planning stock floatation. Penalizign one of the most important teams in F1, can create controversies, especially if RB chooses to protest/appeal to court, that could very well harm the reputation of F1. The direct consequence would be getting a (potentiall much) less price for the stocks of the “company” when it is to be “sold” on the stockmarket. This could amount to huge figures and the stakeholders will not want to risk it. Too much bad publicity for the health of the business. The biggest teams are I guess part of those who will share the reveniews and be on the “loosers” side if this happens. I think, if that was not the case, the likes of Ferrari, Mclaren & Mercedes would have made life much harder for RB than what have been the case until now. Not only for the “incidents” from this year, but also at Silverstone last year.

    What the greedy people do not realize however, is that if so they are risking loosing what should be most important asset they have, i e the good will among the fans of the sport and their future “customers”.

    So are RB being genius, or are they just being smart cheaters? I am by no means expert in F1 car design or details of the regulations, but the gutt feeling I have had from reading the media reports, gives me the feeling each time RB has “out-smarted” the rules, that they must have known that their action is outside the spirit of the rules, especially this time when considering the wording of the stewards. They actively choose to still implement it knowing, given the circumstances, the risk of being penalized (if caught) is minimal in relation to the gain. So I know what I am doing is wrong, but I also know I can get away with it. RB seems to consitently choose to go ahead and “out-smart” things. I think it is immoral and wonder if that is also how the drinks compay finansing the operation is run as well. Can I trust what is put in the RB cans? I have not bought RB drinks for a while now and this will not make me start doing it again any time soon.

    I could be way off in all this, but this is how I am feeling anyway…

    1. Roger W says:

      The RB team exist only to promote the sales of the little cans of fizzy pop. I would expect the brief from Dietrich Mateschitz is to keep the company name in the press as much as possible. They have done this very well over the last couple of years, but as they are not as strong this year other measures have to be taken. Once the F1 team have outlived their welcome and do not contrubute to the profitability of Red Bull GmbH they will go the same way as Red Bull Air Racing went…

      1. James Allen says:

        Not if they sign a Concorde Agreement for 8 years..

      2. Roger W says:


        How binding is the Concorde Agreement? I assume there must be exit routes albeit very costly financial ones.

      3. Kay says:

        Didn’t Honda, Toyota and de la von Beemer pull out of F1 despite the Concorde Agreement?!?

        To me this document / contract or whatever is pretty pointless.

    2. Rob the Gardener says:

      Why do people have the delusion that Red Bull are the only team that pushes the limits of the regulations?

      F duct? Double DRS? Double diffusers? Hot blowing? Cold blowing? Wheel guns run on Helium?? Active suspension? Traction control? How many of these loopholes were first exploited by Red Bull?

      “There’s no such thing as ‘spirit of the rules’,” McLaren’s Technical Director Paddy Lowe commented in April.

      Good article on pushing the rules


      1. Quattro_T says:

        Interresting, thanks for the link.

        Pushing a rules has always been done, ok. A Team will “push the rules” and try to come up with parts that will give it an advantage against their opponents. My reasoning is that if later, the parts that this team choose to use and enjoy a performance advantage from using, if found to have been illegal, they should face some kind of consequence/punishment. You are mentioning F duct? Double DRS? Double diffusers?, all of which I believe were declared legal and the teams that came up with them were allowed to keep them and rightfully continue to enjoy the performance advantage that these gave them. Opponents tried in a hurry to come up with copies.
        RB has several times been found to use parts that is later found to be illegal. RB runs with illegal holes in the floor of the car for several GPs and obviously benefits from doing so. Consequence = none. RB runs strange engine maps – consequence = none. FIA asking RB to remove these “smart” parts is exaclty equal to nothing. Hence, running parts that are in the risk of being illegal, and enjoying performance advantage from these parts, is totally riskfree. The only thing that could happen is that the ruling body will tell you kindly to make sure it is not there at the next event. No questions asked about the points you have taken while running those, the tenths you may have gained during qualy/race from those – anti-sporting that is what it is. If the regulations were called the anti-sporting regulations no questions would be asked.
        It is the same as “punishing” Vettel for an illegal overtake on Button, by putting him back to his original position before the overtake (3rd) – Vettel as he sees it, does basically not risk anything by attempting an illegal overtake. If it is not discovered he has gained a position and some additional sweet points – if he is caught the worst thing that can happen is that he goes back to his original spot (3rd). The proper punishment was 20s which in this case put him in 5th. So next time any driver thinking of being “too smart”, will make a more thorough risk assement before putting the thought into action..

  20. Onko says:

    Mr Allen, would you not agree a splendid sight
    to see Pat Fry on the winners podium.
    May I say a well done Pat Fry and may you be
    there for many, many more times you derserve it
    I noted a touching moment between Alonso and
    Pat Fry.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, well done to him, Alonso and Ferrari had it under control today despite the pressure, that’s quite a journey from where they were at the start of the season.

      Again the difference between Alonso and Massa is very stark – Massa was unfortunate to have that 1st lap incident, but that’s what happens when you qualify a top three car outside the top ten

      1. FerrariFan says:

        Any further news about the Ascalenni story? Was he around in minardi when Alonso was in the team?

      2. James Allen says:

        Some suggestions he could go to Sauber.

        He wasnt at Minardi then, as I recall. But he’s very good

      3. db4tim says:

        I hope he does go to Ferrari

      4. hero_was_senna says:

        Most famously, he was the one engineer that had the full respect of Senna.

      5. James Allen says:

        Not the only one, but he worked closely with the Maestro

      6. hero_was_senna says:

        Very similar to the pressure Alonso soaked up at San Marino in 2005 or Singapore in 2010.
        The one man on the grid who seems to really handle pressure.

    2. FerrariFan says:

      I feel happy for Pat Fry after the tough few weeks he endured at the beginning of this season. Great come back!

  21. TheGreatTeflonso says:

    It’s glorious watching Vettel without a car that’s a second faster than everyone. He should have shown Hamilton the finger and maybe might have made it past. If Vettel isn’t penalized for passing off track, well, at least the bias will be evident for all to see. Mclaren Red Bull and Lotus seem to have the fastest cars now, while Ferrari are close but I believe fourth.

    1. Pman says:

      Ferrari were always faster than Lotus.
      BEsides the lotus cant qualify and spends most of its early tires on passing people.

      1. John Z says:

        I think Alonso paced this GP well today. It really doesn’t matter if you win by 3 seconds or 30 seconds, winning is winning. He was never threatened by Red Bull or McLaren. Any suggestion that McLaren are now fastest is way too premature.

  22. quest says:

    It’s frustating to see Lotus’s suboptimal strategies costing Kimi everytime. This race he might still have finished 4th, but would probably have been a lot closer to the top 3 if they has run mediums on the second stint like the others.

    They always seem to run a slightly different compared to the others and not once has it been a better one.

    1. Manos says:

      They did good with the early pitstop to undercut some cars, but the tyre choice was ridiculus. With mediums he could extend his 2nd stint, being closer to the leaders and in contention for better things. And there was evidence to prefer premiums in Q1. PITY.

  23. Seán Craddock says:

    Is there not a rule that radio communications have to be in English? I thought that’s why all the drivers speak such good English. Ferrari have done it with Alonso for the past 3 races at least, why don’t other teams just make up their own language then?

    1. Anton says:

      Really? I’ve never heard of that rule – It’s not exactly like they are cheating or anything! But seriously, it relates back to the days when team orders were banned and the FIA were monitoring the radio transmissions.

    2. Right, because speaking in code in English is just as entertaining to the fans as speaking in Italian.

      “OK, Jenson, Yellow G-2″. Would it matter if that was in English or not?

    3. Brace says:

      You must be kidding! It’s an Italian team, Italian engineer and a Spanish driver, and Spanish is quite close to Italian language. I see no reason why they wouldn’t use the language they are most accustomed to. You have enough to think about without having to concentrate on speaking foreign language.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        If I read it correctly some years ago, I believe one set of Alonso’s grandparents is Italian.
        Other than this, he raced successfully in karts, and most of the top karting teams are in Italy.

      2. Puffing says:

        I am not sure on Fernando having Italian ancestors. Fernando Alonso (father’s name) Díaz (mother’s name) was born in Oviedo, Asturias,
        in northern Spain. His mother worked in a department store and his father was employed as a mechanic in an explosives factory near Oviedo.
        As a child, Alonso participated in karting competitions around Spain, supported by his father, who also doubled as his mechanic. His family lacked the financial resources needed to develop a career in motorsport, but his victories attracted sponsorship and the required funds. Alonso won four Spanish championships back-to-back in the junior category, between 1993 and 1996 and the Junior World Cup in 1996. He won the Spanish and Italian Inter-A titles in 1997 and in 1998 won the Spanish Inter-A title again as well as finishing second in the European Championship.
        I have heard that his “italian experience” gave him the knowledge of the italian leaguage. He ride to Italy and fro in the van of his father every weekend, at least for a year, sleeping there to get back to school on monday morning in Oviedo. They say it was a good student. Now she has moved back to live in Oviedo again, no matter the taxes,, after stages in Switzerland and England.

    4. Pman says:

      What kind of racist rule would that be? It is supposed to be a World Championship

      Tomorrow if you have a Chinese team and a Chinese driver, what language would you expect them to communicate in.

      What do you think PRdro delarosa communicates in with HRT. I doubt it is English.

      1. Daniel MA says:

        Actually, I remember once De la Rosa said that although 50-60% of the team is Spanish, they always speak english because of respect for the other mechanics and engineers within the team.

    5. Spanner says:

      I like the fact that there’s many languages in F1. Adds to the idea of the best in the world (teams, engineers, designers, drivers, etc) all competing across the globe.

      Why does the communication have to be in English? It should be in whatever suits the driver / engineer best.

    6. chete44 says:

      Im not Italian, but understand it; Cant blame FA when driving under pressure he slips speaking more openly in Italian : and expreses more than just words; get my word for that :accent, tone pauses and silences add much more than you can suspect. This way they share more information in less time, both FA&Ferrari are Pretty aware since that Germany 2010 “Fernando is faster than you” from that on they dont feel quite comfortable when speaking English. And think twice how it will be understood

    7. puffing says:

      Just the official F.1 name of the race of today. Capito? Few words to the wise is sufficient. A buen entendedor pocas palabras bastan.

    8. Simon Lord says:

      Now that Ferrari are regularly communicating in a language other than Enlgish – which they every right to do – and since they are again a top team, why don’t the commentators have the services of an interpreter? To hear them saying ‘something interesting there I’m sure, but we can’t understand it’ race after race is petty pathetic.

    9. Alan Hughes says:

      In aviation all radio communications have to be in English but for some reason the French don’t think that this rule applies to them . . . .

      1. puffing says:

        In aviation, a two-way radio enables connection between pilots and air traffic controllers. For security reasons, this communication has to be highly standardized to avoid misunderstandings, and thus it is done in a single language. All round the globe, the entire communication is to be done in English. However, it may happen that small unskilled air-fields and small-plane pilots are short of knowledge of English language, and this is when the language rule becomes an exception and the local language is used to pass on important information.
        In commercial flights, the use of English is not compulsory for communication between crew and passengers. It is done in many languages all round the globe. Carriers use to use first the official language(s) of the country on which the carrier is based, then English as a courtesy with foreign passengers. Of course this courtesy is double-edged, because foreign passengers not understanding local language(s) would escape the carrier that is not speaking to them in a ‘de facto’ international language, which is English. Nonetheless, members of the crew usually communicate with each other in the language of the carrier. In private flights, crew/pilot and passengers can choose whichever language they fancy to communicate with each other, can’t they?
        In F1, the communication between engineers and pilots is private and can be done in any language they fancy to choose. If FIA thinks this communication is of general interest and therefore is to be done in a common language, e.g. English, FIA should rule the matter accordingly. But in order to do this the opinion of the teams should be taken into account.

    10. Kay says:

      What makes English superior to other languages? If anything then maybe they ought to speak Mandarin as that is now the most spoken language on earth due to the sheer population of China!

      I’m perfectly happy with Alonso/Ferrari talking in Italian (even though I don’t understand a single word of it). At least that gives the commentators something to talk about and some reporters do try their best to translate back to us, along with some funny comments….

  24. xrr says:

    20sec for Vettel. He dropped 5th place as a result.

  25. Luke Potter says:

    So Vettel has been moved back to fifth.

    Yet again a stupid penalty has been handed out in Formula 1. YET AGAIN!

    I was very much for Vettel being given some sort of penalty as he was clearly off the road when he passed Button. But why should Raikkonen and Kobayashi gain from something they had nothing to do with? The stewards should have just swapped Button and Vettel in the results, job done. It was only a small indiscretion.

    The stewards seem fixated by always giving 20 second penalties. Why don’t they just alter positions? It’s about time they started thinking about whether penalties are fair after they have imposed them.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      I think it was fair and consistent. Vettel should have given up the position that he didn’t take fairly. In the event he didn’t do it, the penalty is a drive-thru but since that cant be enforced, they added 20 sec.

    2. ian says:

      This is a punishment.

      What is transparent is that Vettel should have given up his position.

      Because he did not, he was penalised further.

      Without douby a valid decision.

    3. moxlox says:

      Because he knowingly cheated. Just like a football player diving in the penalty area.

    4. Quattro_T says:

      ” The stewards should have just swapped Button and Vettel in the results, job done”

      No, not so simple. If they did like that, it is the same as not penalizing Vettel at all. Every driver behind someone else will be inclined to make a pass, even if not in a legal way, with no negative consequences at all. “The worst thing that can happen is that I go back to my original position if penalized.”, they will think…

    5. It’s a penalty so they don’t do it again. If you have no chance at making a pass happen, and you know the only penalty for a dodgy pass is that you lose that one position, then why not try something you know isn’t quite legal? Nothing to lose.

      If you have the possibility of a 20-second penalty, then you suddenly have to think about whether or not it’s worth trying, because then you actually have something to lose.

      100% fair. Vettel tried something illegal, and was punished for it.

    6. deane says:

      It is quite simple, the penalty has to be harsh enough to deter one doing the same thing again. Just losing one place back to Button would of been crass, I am surprised you cant see that.

    7. Kev says:

      James has clearly mentioned what is the penalty if the driver doesn’t concede a place he has obtained illegally, by citing Alonso’s Silverstone example. It is a drive through penalty if applied during the race.

      Since the penalty was applied after the race, only a time penalty can be given. It is not Kimi’s or Kamui’s fault that they have benefited by being closer to the leaders. If Vettel/RB were clever enough to give the position back, they would have lost only a place.

      Now they reap the benefits of their actions.

      It is called a penalty/punishment. Swapping places is not a punishment.

    8. OscarF1 says:

      That’s just the meaning of “Penalty”.
      Trying to get advantage of an illegal move cannot be resolved by restoring the original positions but by some sort of punishment.

      Otherwise not a single driver would abide the rules.

    9. quest says:

      So according to your logic, if someone was caught stealing say a million dollars, their punishment should only be to return the million dollars back.

      If that was the case, everybody would steal all the time hoping to get away with it once in a while.

      1. Alan Hughes says:

        Isn’t that what British MPs got away with?

      2. Kay says:

        I like this one LOL!

    10. Luke Potter says:

      Looks like I’m on my own with this view :-)

      Thing is, I don’t really see what Vettel did as a “crime”. It was an extremely slight misdemeanour borne of a split-second decision. It wasn’t a blatant attempt to cheat and it didn’t put anyone in danger.

      If he’d have cut a chicane to pass it would have been fair enough to put him back to fifth because he would have clearly been able to see that he’d passed illegally and therefore could reasonably have been expected to let Button back through.

      However, in this case he couldn’t have known whether Button had forced him off the road without video replays he didn’t have access to. There also wasn’t time for the FIA to tell him to give the place back.

      I therefore think that he should have been given the benefit of the doubt.

      1. Bromite says:

        “There also wasn’t time for the FIA to tell him to give the place back.”

        No, there is an FIA rulebook sitting in the RedBull garage that tells him to give the place back.
        The call to cede the position should have come from the RBR pitwall, if Vettel himself didn’t have conscience enough to realise he made an illegal move. Which he obviously didn’t.
        Penalty stands. He’s lucky it wasn’t 25 seconds.

      2. snailtrail says:

        “I therefore think that he should have been given the benefit of the doubt” – does not come into it – if you wanna play that card then Vettels’ words about Button after the race – “Well, he didn’t say anything to me, so… he didn’t complain to me so…” was said a few mins after the cameras caught Vettel responding to Buttons’ comment that your overtake is getting looked at by the FIA.


    11. anil says:

      Well it has to be the equivalent of a drive through penalty, hence twenty seconds. I seriously doubt Seb would have finished 3rd with a drive through.

      Also, swapping places would suggest there is no real punishment for breaking the rules, other than returningto your original position.

    12. fullthrottle says:

      Because they know the rules, and the rules state a 20 second as the minimum penalty in this case.

    13. AlexD says:

      You are super wrong. Rules are very clear as soon as Vettel did the illegal oveake, I knew the 20 sec penalty will follow. How did I know it?
      Simply because it is clearly stated in f1 rules that you get 20 sec for something like this. RBR definitely knows i t too…..and now even you know it that the next time you see the same situation and the driver is not going to give this position back, a 20 sec penalty will follow. Very simple. You know thi
      Ese rules upgront, it is not coming as a surprise.

    14. Bluefroggle says:

      Bit like the Monaco race 3(?) years ago when everyone was on the last lap behind the safety car. Schumi passed Alonso in the last 200 yards and got 20 second penalty. Because the whole field was bunched up, he lost about a dozen places. There was uproar from everyone at that time too. Why not just swap the two places concerned.

      1. Luke Potter says:

        I’m surprised at the number of people who wrote “that’s what it says in the rules”. Of course it does, but this is a debate about whether the rules are correct or whether they need to be changed.

        The prevailing opinion seems to be that they do not need to be changed!

        Leaving Vettel aside now though, why not abandon drive through penalties and 20 second penalties and have the stewards award positional penalties instead? 1 place lost for a misunderstanding of the rules, 2 for slightly cheeky, 3 for very cheeky and 4 for downright dangerous. (I think they should definitely use that terminology)

  26. Mocho_Pikuain says:

    Vettel with 20 sec penalty, its official. He ends 5th behind raikkonen.

    1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      Sorry, behind Kobayashi. Raikkonen 3rd.

  27. Dmitry says:

    I am really surprised some are blaming Lewis for racing, an not just “following behind”.

    I am not surprised with Vettel’s comments… but all I have to say him and others:
    it’s your problems. Lewis did nothing wrong. And by the way, he drove in a legal car.
    And one more – Vettel earned his penalty.

    McLaren’s pit work is beautiful, really. I didn’t believe they will overcome their issues (from season beginning). Now I wish for their even greater performance recovery.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      + 1

    2. Quattro_T says:

      Do not agree.

      LH was a backmarker racing against the RACE LEADERS! Did he not make Vettel loose a couple of seconds and eventually loose 2nd? Should a backmarker be allowed to do so?

      And how do you handle the very possible scenario – LH manages with difficulties passing Alonso, but is unable to open a gap. Now race leader is running in the dirty air from the backmarker, potentially making the leader loose the race. After a couple of corners LH gets waving blue flags…what do you do now? A mess and a stupid stupid move by stewards not to tell Mclaren to tell him to BACK OFF.

      1. KRB says:

        Has English evolved such that ‘lose’ (as in, ‘to lose time’) is now spelled the same as ‘loose’ (as in, ‘you have a loose grip on the facts’)?! I see it everywhere!

      2. Leukocyte says:

        the Stewards can only enforce the rules, and there’s no rule (correctly so) against what Hamilton did.

        the scenario you describe is rare but entirely possible…that’s racing, and these random variable situations are part of the reason we love F1 so much.

      3. Quattro_T says:

        “the Stewards can only enforce the rules, and there’s no rule (correctly so) against what Hamilton did.”

        That almost sound like when C Horner goes on explaining why some of their “genius” design of xyz is perfectly fine. “Not explicitly forbidden in the book = totally fine for us.”.

        Sorry, but I feel this should be a sport above all. LH did not do that move at that stage in the race to gain anything, but to hinder Vettel and Alonso, thereby giving Button a helping hand. Far from what I would call sporting and that should not be OK.

      4. Sam says:


        What Lewis did was legal and spiced up what appeared to be a bland race. I don’t think it impacted Alonso’s result as I really think Seb had no answers for his command of the race. Lewis helped JB come into the picturea bit but so did McLarens amazing pit work

        Seb is a two time world champion … Learning to manage unusual situations whilst maintaining mental composure is the mark of a great champion … He obviously isn’t quite there. What a stupid passing error, arrogant and sloppy.

        Props to Alonso, faultless afternoon – Also great to see Sauber maintainIng their competitive form … 2 drivers in the top six … Ferrari should be so lucky!

      5. OldIron says:

        The answer to the question is pretty simple. If he can pull away, he does so. If not, he gets blue-flagged and has to yield. Seriously, why would anyone not want to see more racing?

        Its a good move for the “backmarker” in such circumstances to pass and pull away (if he can): should there be a safety car, that pass is worth a lap. Having said that, this case looked rather tactical to me.

      6. matt says:

        That wouldn’t have happened though, Alonso clearly stated after the race that if lewis was faster and was catching him, he would have let him past with no fight. Vettel just wasn’t thinking clearly, Alonso knew lewis had much fresher tyres and he wasn’t racing him at all, why lose time trying to keep him behind? Since lewis was lapping faster than vettel at that point, if vettel had just let him past straight away he wouldn’t have lost time at all…surely that’s obvious

      7. Quattro_T says:

        I agree with what you are saying, given the scenario where backmarker is much faster AND your closest opponent is FAR behind. This was not the case today was it?

        Even if we assume that LH was fast enough to not slow down the leader, the actual lifting Alonso would have had to do to let him by, AND running in dirty air for a few corners would definetly loose him at least a few good tenths. In normal cases that is not an issue, but since the 3 in the lead were so close to each other today, Alonso could have found Vettel right at his gearbox and/or Button succeeding with the undercut as he did with Vettel.

        Yes maybe Alonso said that but I am almost 100% sure he would do the exact opposite 100% of the time given the situation of the race today.

        Even if legal, but HUGELY unsportive behaviour by LH and I am sure we would have 3000 complaining posts here if someone else had done the exact same thing to LH that he did to Vettel today.

      8. James Allen says:

        Lewis was on fresher tyres in a car which in Button’s hands was matching the leading pair for pace, so of course he was faster at that point.

        It’s fair to unlap yourself, but not to influence the lead battle in any way i.e. by losing one driver time

  28. Irish con says:

    I’m a Ferrari fan. But what annoys me is that webber was over 40 seconds slower than vettel today. For me if u want to be considered a top class driver u can’t do that. Don’t remember alonso or lewis or vettel doing that before. It’s just not good enough for me.

    1. Pman says:

      Now you know why Ferrari wanted him. He’s not bad for a number 2.

    2. xrr says:

      Yes this is the problem of Webber, he is not consistent enough for a very top driver.

    3. Quattro_T says:

      As much as Webbers’ choice to sign the contract for another year with RB was logical in order to keep his championship chances alive (RB would definetly stop supporting him had he signed for another team), it came way way too early in the championship. He should have waited 4-5 more races, that way forcing RB to give him at least equall support as Vettel.

      Now that he has signed, RB feel comfortable that their driver/”their secrets” will not move somewere else next year. They do not anymore have any real incentive to support him equally as the guy they see staying with them for years to come.

      Todays result (Webber suddently ~40 seconds off leaders following his win last GP AND signing) may or may not be a direct result from what is mentioned above, but in any case his championship chances are ~ zero IMO, unless something very dramatical happens.

      1. JackFlash says:

        and of course, the dodgy throttle mapping introduced this GP by Redbull racing, to pander to Vettel’s car preferences, would have nothing to do with Webber’s fall back? Neither would a 8th grid start position. Smell the roses people.

      2. James Allen says:

        Webber started 8th due to a gearbox penalty.You don’t deliberately take one of those to hold back the 2nd place driver in the championship!

      3. quest says:

        These are theories spouted by people unable to accept that Webber while a very good driver is not at Vettel’s level. He has been beaten by Vettel in all their 3 years together.

        If his efforts were really being undermined by his own team why would he sign with them again and again.

      4. Quattro_T says:

        I think i did not make assumptions regarding who of the two I think is the better driver. I was only talking about the team standpoint. I believe RB has favored Vettel in the past (in very obvious ways at times i e no theories), and that it will continue (even more) this season given how competitive the season has been and that Webber already have committed for next year.

    4. Kenny says:

      the 5 place grid penalty probably didn’t help . . .

  29. Charlie B says:

    Vettel has been given a 20 second penalty. In my opinion slightly harsh as it means he is now 5th. But it gives Kimi another podium!

    1. KRB says:

      Y’mean Kimi.

    2. Monza01 says:

      A 20 second penalty is what’s stated in the rules for an incident that ocurres too late in a race for a drive through to be given.

      Red Bull chose not to hand back the position and lost an extra 5 points as a result. Poor decision by Seb and Christian Horner.

    3. Kay says:

      Maybe that harshness was brought upon himself by Vettel for doing what’s not allowed in the rule book.

    4. KIt says:

      So, in the official records book, will Kimi be recognized as having achieved 3rd in this race and added to his podium tally?

  30. Antti says:

    Racer of the day has to go to Kimi. Great fights with both Force India’s and Schumacher. Was fun to watch.

    1. Dictionary Joe says:

      fantastic brave move on MSC through turn 7, and even braver on di resta sustained through the next corner too way off the racing line and as brundle said on sky, “inch perfect”. I hope James will give him a mention……

  31. goferet says:

    Oh and I think it was very cool the way Lewis took one for the team by overtaking Vettel and thus slowing him down a bit there by giving Jenson a shot at jumping him in the pits ~ Good team work.

    As for Jenson’s last pitstop ~ Surely Sam Michael deserves a rise and promotion already — Fantastic work!!!!!!!!!

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Unusually short comment gf. Where’s all the stats?
      Anyway, Lewis got past Vettel then pulled away, it’s not as though Vettel was glued to his rear??

    2. Jim Dee says:

      He held vet back by catching alo…. Don’t get it.

  32. Monza01 says:

    Great race and, as a McLaren supporter, I have to say another demonstration of Alonso’s exceptional talent.

    If he wins the WDC as seems likely, he will have thoroughly deserved it.

    Two more examples of Red Bull pushing the rules up to and over the limit. A rule clarification will almost certainly put an end to their trick engine maps.

    As for Vettel, he had no right to complain about Lewis unlapping himself and not handing back 2nd place to Jensen, as clearly, he should have done, cost him the loss of 8 points rather than only 3. Now that really was stupid !

    1. FerrariFan says:

      Totally agree

    2. ian says:

      Agree with all of your posting.

      Alonso is displaying far superior talent ant intelligence.

    3. Quattro_T says:

      Noting out of the ordinary with Alonsos’ driving today really. He has been performing like this more or less every single GP since he joined Ferrari. His total point score given performance of car over the last 3 years speaks for itself.

      Some media have choosen to undermine his achievements over past years yes.

  33. Thomas says:

    Alonso is truly a class act, if he can win the title this year it will go down as one of the greatest, given how Ferrari started the season.

    Special call out to Niki Lauda – worst ever interviewer!! The post race interviews on the podium is a good idea, but having the likes of JYS and Lauda doing the interviewing is simply terrible.

    1. Puffing says:

      But it was good sarcasm from Alonso when he answered to
      that silly question of Lauda more or less along these lines:
      “I’m not a follower of politic matters, but I can tell you that winning in Germany with an Italian car designed by a Greek is a great feeling for a Spaniard”

  34. JR says:

    So surprised about Red Bull engine controversy, can this team try for once to win the championship interpreting the rules as the rest of the field?, it’s starting to get tiring for the fans and should be embarrassing for them, shouldn’t it?

    1. Kay says:

      Maybe they think it’s good marketing for Red Bull lol :D

  35. Jonathan says:

    Great race right to the end with some brilliant drives right through the field and abit of controversy to spice things up aswell!

    Always enjoyable to see drivers going at it on a traditional F1 track (albeit it one that has been altered) that has a great crowd in a fantastic stadium section!

    I probably know what your answer is going to be james as your now with the bbc but do you ever get to catch up on the sky coverage and see some of their work?there was an excellent piece on james hunt in the build up today with nigel roebuck…very moving and beautifully made!

    1. James Allen says:

      I didnt see that but I’ve watched quite a bit and I think it’s pretty good, but probably too much if it

      Race commentary is good and post race access too, it seems

      1. Dictionary Joe says:

        James, thank you for mentioning Raikkonen in your report here, even if briefly and in passing.
        I watched both sky and bbc. Sky discussed Kimi’s race and pointed out that he has overtaken the McLren boys in the ratings. Lotus buggered up his race by putting him on the soft tyre for the second stint, but he put through the bravest overtakes, as he does regularly.
        The bbc discussed every team except Lotus and Kimi.

        I hope you will include KR in your list of drivers of the day

      2. Kay says:

        I guess that’s coz BBC not sure how to name the team Kimi drives for :D :D :D


    2. hero_was_senna says:

      If Roebuck is contributing anything to Sky, then I’m glad I have not paid out for it.
      He turns my stomach as much as Murdock.

  36. oniwa17 says:

    A question for James. i watch the races from sky sports and read a few f1 websites like yours and i have a general feeling that for some reason they always more negative on kimi and give much more praise to roman. as good and quick roman is, i think kimi proved he still is quick and consistent, he is always avoiding colisions and has been out of trouble.after all he is the first on the lotus in the C*ship. dont you think they have been a bit unfair with him? keep up the good work with the website.

    1. Charlie B says:

      I have noticed this trend too. Pundits saying Raikkonen has been outclassed by his younger teammate is ridiculous. Kimi has matched Grosjean in qualifying in my opinion. And Kimi has been much better during the races, he has completed every racing lap and avoids silly incidents. That’s how you win a championship (i’m not suggesting he’s going to). Kimi gets stick for waiting for the best opportunity to overtake and avoid incidents, he gets stick for being a fair racer who leaves room for the other cars. I know Grosjean has done a good job but you can’t compare him to Kimi yet.

    2. Dictionary Joe says:

      my point exactly.

    3. Beka says:

      Well they praise Kimi also, but yes I agree generally. It seems that everybody just wants a new star from France and are trying to suck Groesjean’s greatness out of the finger. I remember Jonny Herbert saying at one of the shows that Romain is leading the lotus team which is not the case really. And he is quite far behind Kimi in standings.

    4. hero_was_senna says:

      Kimi has raced in F1 for 9 years, this is his 10th. He should be avoiding collisions and keeping out of trouble.
      He’s also won GP’s, and a WDC in 2007, whereas Grosjean is a rookie.

      His fans and alot of the media will champion him by saying about fastest laps, and how he is one of the fastest drivers of all time, yet a rookie is beating him in qualifying head to head.
      Much the same as Massa was doing to him when they were team-mates.

    5. Lynn says:

      Nothing new, the media has always been like that to Kimi. That’s why he loves the media, haha.

      But it was nice to hear Martin’s comment – inch perfect,about Kimi’s overtake.

    6. Kay says:

      “Romain” lol.

  37. Lord Spa says:

    What a farce again after a great race. I agree that vet should have had a penalty.

    But to see drivers on a podium celebrating and fans leaving the track having seen a result only for it to be overturned by the time they get home. This is ridiculous and has to stop.

    If the stewards cannot make their minds up during the race or before podium then any penalty needs to apply to the next race or preferably not at all.

    1. Thomas says:

      This is a good point. What if it had been Vettel passing Alonso for the win? We’d have had Vettel on the top step of the podium only for it to get overturned sometime later.

      There should be a cut-off point where the penalty can be applied to the current race result, otherwise it should be applied to the next race. I agree that this cut-off point should be prior to the drivers climbing onto the podium.

      Not sure what the rules are on this, but it should be improved.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        So Vettel takes the win from Alonso, 25 points and Alonso 18?
        What possible penalty could you give RBR and Vettel which would be appropriate next weekend?

        I watched a programme the other night about the Seoul 1988 100m final.
        Ben Johnson won the final and 2 days later he was disqualified because of drug use.

        IMO RBR are running very close to the legal limits, the hole in the floor which was outlawed after Monaco, but had been used for some races already, the latest episode, simply because the rules are notoriously vague.
        The arrogance of the squad and Vettel compares directly to the Schumacher/ Benetton era

    2. matt says:

      It happened too close to the end of the race to be decided before the chequered flag. The stewards aren’t superhuman, you know, they have to do things properly

    3. Simon Lord says:

      Not very reasonable – the stewards need to have time to interview the drivers involved and hear their points of view, as well as examine any telemetry if required. Penalties are surely better applied to the races in which the offending occurred, rather than to a later event where, for example, a 5-place grid penalty could be at least partially offset through a different strategy.

      1. Lord Spa says:

        Fair challenges but I would argue whether stewards really need or should have unlimited time to decide on incidents. Even with all of the evidence I am sure we would agree that the decisions are far from consistent. Many sports accept referee’s decisions even if in retrospect they are not right.

        My main point is that it cannot do F1 any good to see a podium result declared and then overturned. F1 should do what it can to reduce this happening.

        The example of the drug use would be similar to a technical infringement on the car that only became apparent in post-race scrutineering e.g. underweight.

        I still think that a clear on-track infringement should be decided promptly. There should be scope to delay the podium for 10 mins to speak to drivers. If it is so unclear call it a racing incident and deal with the drivers out of media view.

        Perhaps the delay is in the conversation with Bernie…. ;-)

  38. Hermann says:

    I’m writing after the stewards’ decision to penalize Vettel: First of all great drive by Alonso, great factory reforms being made by Pat Fry – they’ve turn a cart into a decent F1 car in just 4 – 5 months. Finally a great return by Mc Laren, especially Button. One final comment about Red Bull: if they really messed up with engine mapping, Horner is a hypocrit and now we understand why they’re against auditing.They seem to want to play dirty. Moreover Vettel was penalized like Alonso’s overtaking incident at Silverstone 2010 on Kubica {drive through penalty). I hope they have some sportsman spirit not to appeal.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      I think RBR and Vettel are fast becoming the most hated team and driver in F1. It used to be Schumi, and I really like his changed personality now. Same with Alonso, he is engaging with fans more now. It takes a long time to repair a bad reputation.

      1. James Clayton says:

        The trouble is Vettel doesn’t have that villenesque character that Schumacher had in his day, or Alonso in the McLaren days. Those were drivers you loved to hate!

        Vettel – I just don’t like, but I take no theatrical pleasure in disliking him :(

      2. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        “…that villenesque character that Schumacher had in his day, or Alonso in the McLaren days.”

        With Ferrari dominating every WC and FIA clearly supporting them it was an everyone against Schumy. What I dont agree is what u say about Fernando. He has never been a bad guy, just certain media inventions costed him that bad reputation.

      3. puffing says:

        “The trouble is Vettel doesn’t have that villenesque character that Schumacher had in his day, or Alonso in the McLaren days.”
        Alonso villenesque in the McLaren days? By no means Fernando was villenesque but for some Brit fans. To other he was the heroic character of the plot, resisting the hostility applied by Dennis in favor of his favorite.

  39. surya kumar says:

    A great drive from Alonso and button, and my what to say of vettel, When he has the best car in the field then he acts like a gentleman and saying nice things. When things dont go his way then he starts his whinnying. He deserved to be overtaken by Lewis. To be fair with Button he drove a brilliant race and in my Personal opinion Hamilton at his place would have given a much tougher fight to Alonso.

  40. J. S. says:

    Vettel’s pass on Button was a carbon-copy of another one several years ago at the same corner. I think it was Schumacher on Trulli in 2003 or so. Schumacher was on the outside, with all 4 wheels outside the white line, but had better traction and made the pass.

    Anyone remember?

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Yes but the rules have changed substantially since then.

    2. AlexD says:

      Nope, but I do remember china 2006 where MS overtook Fisi, with 2 wheels, but this was ok.

  41. Andrew Barker says:

    Right i have been watching Formula 1 for a long time and some people having a go at the blue flags from today.
    I re watched the 1993 San Marino gp a few weeks back and Aguri Suzuki held up Karl Wendlinger for lap after lap because the Sauber just wasn’t quick enough when it mattered and Suzuki was a lap down.
    For me overtaking should be an art and be earned remember these are supposedly the best drivers in the world Martin Brundle has mentioned it many times they have it very easy nowadays.



    1. hero_was_senna says:

      That was one of Senna’s greatest weapons

      1. Andrew Barker says:

        It was one of his many weapons but even Senna came unstuck sometimes. How many times in the past have you heard a driver say i was hoping a backmarker would get in the way so i could catch or pass the guy in front this is what it should be all about every overtake a real challenge.



      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I used to know a man with your name some 20 years ago.
        Anyway back on point, I don’t know if youre old enough to remember but reutemann overtook lauda during a British GP for that very reason.
        Alan jones passed prost in a German GP when fighting for the lead as they came up to lap arnoux in the sister car.

        So many skills that have been removed from a drivers armoury.
        3 blue flags and you get a penalty. I suppose they call it entertainment, but yesterday I watched Alonso using traffic to prevent Vettel and Button getting close.
        Imola 2005 was an incredible race, keeping Schumacher at bay and not catching the back markers ahead. Very very bright man.

      3. Andrew Barker says:

        I’m from sunny Warrington lol . Anyway 1978 for Reutemann and 1981 for Prost and Jones and you get my point sometimes these things need to happen to keep the race interesting how many times at home have you thought what if a backmarker gets in the way then there could be a change of position. the cars are so reliable now that DRS aside the change of order could be hard to happen with 3 blue flags move over or penalty it’s to easy for me.



  42. Galapago555 says:

    “Kamui Kobayashi a candidate for driver of the day with a stunning drive from 12th on the grid to finish 5th for Sauber, ahead of team mate Perez.”

    Sergio Pérez, a candidate for driver of the day with a stunning drive from 17th on the grid to finish 6th, behind team mate Kobayashi.

  43. Simon says:

    “Jenson Button believes that no car is faster than his McLaren after he fought for the win at Hockenheim.”


    “The Briton only qualified seventh in wet conditions on Saturday but made rapid progress in the race and finished second.”

    Second?!! Er … so, one more car faster then. Titter!

    1. Kay says:

      The Ferrari is still slower than the McLaren and RBR, so that makes sense in terms of speed :D :D LOL!

  44. Matt W says:

    Why am I not surprised that we have started seeing penalties and possible forced changes to cars against Ferrari’s closest rivals again. I wonder if Alonso will be as indignant about Red Bull possibly having to change their engine settings as he was about the Mass Dampers.

    At least they followed the actual rules by penalising Vettel for overtaking off the track. I just await the inevitable contradictory decision next time someone else does the same.

    1. JR says:

      Relax mate, and enjoy this wonderful F1 season!

      Or do you want to go back to 2011 and have Vettel (and just Vettel not Red Bull) 1 Sec+ faster than anyone from lap 1 to the chequered flag?

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      [mod] these rules apply to everyone. It’s not done to penalise Ferraris rivals.
      Alonso got the same punishment during the 2010 British GP. Button got it in Australia last year when he passed Massa off track.

    3. Kev says:

      So you have ruled out McLaren out of the WDC/WCC races then? Only Ferrari is fighting the RB. Kimi/MSC are just simply to make the numbers on the track.

      It was not reported by Ferrari. They have got their mind on improving the pace on their car rather than focusing on the competitors. Even the DDRS on Mercedes was not pursued much by Ferrari as it was by McLaren, Lotus, RB.

      Better luck finding fault with Ferrari next time around.

    4. Kay says:

      Er… maybe if Ferrari’s rivals weren’t trying too much to go over the limit then we wouldn’t see this??!
      Why blame the victim(s) when it’s the wrongdoer’s fault?

  45. Monza01 says:

    Red Bull are not cheating : they are simply using the genius of Adrian Newey to the full.

    Several times he has pushed the rules to the limit but it’s important to note that on each occasion the cars have not been disqualified but the rules have subsequently been “clarified”

    This is because he’s come up with a performance advantage that’s ( just ) within the rules and nobody has previously thought of.

    To me that’s not cheating, it’s Adrian doing his job properly

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but Newey is an aero man.
      As far as I know, he has never been an electronics guru or software programmer.
      In fact, as far as legend goes, he still uses a drawing board as he hates technology in his work..

      1. Monza01 says:

        I know Newey is primarily an Aero man but blowing the rear of the car is all about Aero.

        Red Bull’s success is not just about Aerodynamics it’s about optimising the design of every aspect of the car to work in harmony.

        This comes from Newey’s ideas and the strength of the team that he has built around him.

        He’s the guy in overall charge of the design of the car so he decides on what direction they go in and he would certainly have been pushing all the relevant people to try everything to get back the performance they lost when double diffusers were banned.

        Adrian is the most successful designer in F1 history because his designs have won eight World Championships with three different teams, all of whom work in very different ways.

        The one thing they had in common was Adrian Newey. You can’t achieve that much success by just being one guy with a drawing board concentrating on one aspect of the design.

  46. Steven Pritchard says:

    Not so much tyres as fuel saving for Button.

    A great German grand prix. Alonso really deserves the crown this year – hopefully tyres will become less important as the season goes on!

  47. Richard D says:

    At many circuits there are too many places where drivers can leave the circuit and keep racing. There was a time that if they didn’t keep it on the black stuff they’d had it! Let’s get rid of these run-off areas so that drivers cannot take advantage. Some corners are absolutely ludicrous, such as Copse at Silverstone.

  48. Andrew says:

    I must be one of the only people that disagrees with the Vettel penalty. I cannot understand why the incident was any different to the Hamilton Rosberg incident in Bahrain. Vettel was alongside Button and Button did not leave enough room for Vettel so Vettel used the outside of the track. If anybody deserved a penalty here it’s Button.

    As an Englishman and fan of Mclaren this view comes free of bias. I am not a fan of ‘the finger’, I actively disslike the Red Bull team and would like nothing more than to see them receive some karmic justice for their contempt of the spirit of the sporting regulations but in my view Vettel’s penalty was not a fair one.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Fair point, did you also say the same when Lewis left Maldonado no room and drove him off the confines of the track in Valencia?

      1. Andrew says:

        I do think that Lewis should have left more room for Maldonado, however, Maldonado’s reaction of driving into the side of Hamilton was a far greater crime.

    2. spyke says:

      no human is free of bias

    3. futureshock999 says:

      Rosberg and Hamilton happened on a STRAIGHT, where it was very clear that Rosberg simply moved over and ran Hamilton off the road while he was side by side. Button actually entered the hairpin IN THE LEAD of Vettel, and took a normal racing line, hitting the apex and then moving leftwards due to his speed. Vettel had two legal choices – either back off the throttle and pass on the next straight or next lap under DRS, or pass on the outside, but then surrender the place. Vettel _might_ have gotten away with it if he only had two wheels over, but simply placing four wheels outside the racetrack is not allowable. And as someone else has claimed, it is apparent that rather than back off mid-way through the turn, Vettel can be seen flooring the throttle, ensuring that he would run wide and pass. So it appears to be a deliberate move, and he was penalised for it as such.

      1. James Allen says:

        I agree – the Bahrain incident looked very dangerous to me. Hamilton was forced off the road.

        This was different, Button positioned his car perfectly and Vettel didn’t want to yield so finished the move off while off track, which is not allowed. It’s pretty clear

  49. Elie says:

    Great drive by Fernando no one was going to touch him &?anyone doubting the Ferrari is at least 2nd or fastest car must have rocks in their head ! Congrats to Pat Fry he must feel like the weight of the world had lifted – perhaps Mclaren should take him back!!

    Mclaren fighting for the lead as predicted ( albeit no Lewis). Lewis did absolutely the right thing in passing Vettel. If Vettel was quicker he should have passed him ?? Great work by Jenson I thought that was a gutsy drive ! I think if anything the Marshall’s should called the safety car out there was CF pieces everywhere- I’m sure a review will ensue- just seemed so wrong!

    I’m sick of these Red Bull cheats folks – that’s what they are !& if the FIA don’t throw the book at them then they will jeopardize the image of this sport worse, than some clown earlier on suggesting they ought not rock the boat!!- that’s crap-since the Silverstone 2011 the teams knew which direction the FIA was heading with EBD and illegal mapping, now this team blatantly disregards it- they should loose All Constructors points for This race . As for Vettel – he is highlighting that fine German spirit of being a sore Looser and just ignoring where he is on the track. 20sec penalty is spot on !! & consistent !! I feel strongly for this because I miss watching guys like Alain Prost drive in the 80s driving at the limit and not even riding kerns setting fastest lap, after fastest lap in 100hp turbo beasts that were difficult to drive It was fantastic!!

    Epic drives from Saubers Kamui & Perez again as I expected. Probably Kamui driver of the day . Finally I’m so pleased for Kimi Again as predicted making the podium- exceptional pass on Schumacker, & really many drivers could learn ( Massa for 1 lol)from him driving on the limit and not touching anyone- especially his starts pure joy to watch.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      I remember the 80′s. Brilliant time

      To my mind, the RBR squad is starting to leave as bad a taste in the mouth as the 1994 Benetton squad with their hidden programmes for traction control.
      Something that Senna wanted to protest against before his death, the FIA found illegal codes encrypted with the software and denial of any wrong doings.

      1. zombie says:

        Senna would have protested against Flavio’s breakfast if he thought that was giving Benetton a “strategic edge” over him ! So much for the “sensational” benetton code which was also found on Mclarens the same year.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        At Imola, Benetton, Mclaren and Ferrari were all required to provide their software codes.
        Benetton didn’t state what was hidden, Mclaren refused initially until Mosley told them that the software auditors worked for top secret military contracts so why would a F1 team be worried about leaks and Ferrari?
        The one team that is consistently accused of cheating was the only one that provided everything requested. Oh the irony!!!

        One thing comes to mind, if the cars all have a standard ecu, to police traction control etc, why isn’t this capable of suppressing engine mapping etc??

      3. zombie says:

        Because slight modifications to engine mapping is allowed ( although i’m not sure if it is Mclaren electronics who does this or the teams) just like modifications to gear ratios according to the nature of a circuit.The accussation on RBR is that they went far beyond that.

    2. Peter C says:

      Crikey, they were quick for ’100hp turbo beasts’

      My wife’s Citroen C3 could have beaten Prost!

      1. Elie says:

        Haha Peter I was waIting for someone to pick up on that typo- obviously 1000hp not 100. they dialed them up to 120Ohp on quali

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I believe BMW provided ” grenades” that we’re good for one lap qualifying in 1986. The Benetton and brabham teams used these 1,400 bhp missiles
        For races, the engines provided around 900 reliably.
        What a spectacle, tyres and engines lasting barely over a lap.

      3. Peter C says:

        Sorry, I couldn’t resist it!

        Yes’ I was there in the Turbo days The Brabham (BT 52 I think) was mega-powerful (BMW) & oddly enough the Zakspeed had a lot of power also.

        The Turbos used to leave huge black lines out of the corners………fabulous!

  50. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    James, is it IN THEORY possible Vettel got better magic mapping not penalized than Webber?

  51. Horno says:

    Alonso must be enjoying this years championship..
    Finally he can battle for the win and also demonstrate his
    superb driving and thinking skills.. Keeps his calm while
    under intense pressure..

    IMHO if he keeps up racing at this level, he will become DWC.

    James, what do you think of Hamilton wanting to retire, while his car is still capable of racing? Does he will get a reprimand from McLaren over this?

    1. James Allen says:

      Strange wasn’t it? Car went quite quickly after that, then had to retire after all.

      1. Andy says:

        Not strange if you ask me. One must understand his fears of a mega suspension failure crashing him into the barriers. He said to retire because he knew he was going no where after loosing a minute to the top ten. Which Mclaren ultimately did.

      2. davexxx says:

        I presume Lewis has enough experience to ‘know’ when he feels a car is too damaged to continue, and hence his wanting to retire. OK, he was wrong, we all make mistakes. Meanwhile I wonder if McLaren – once they were satisfied the car wasn’t unsafe to continue – cunningly decided Lewis could still play an active part in the race even though he had little chance of points – which is exactly what happened! It was the team’s, and not Lewis’, decision to try to overtake/unlap himself.

      3. Peter C says:

        Conspiracy alert !!!

      4. Liam in Sydney says:

        It seems to me that ppl are mistaken over that comment. I don’t think Lewis’ comments were directed at retiring from the race. He was more exasperated over another stuff up ruining his race, and thereby making a sarcastic comment that to avoid further exasperation he should just retire – as in permanently.

      5. Amritraj says:

        Also, he should have realised that McLaren could you used the race as an extended test session, in addition to trying different tyre strategies that may work for Button during the race.

        Seemed he just had given-up in disappointment.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      He’s still a boy, throwing his toys around in tantrem

  52. r0ssj says:

    Tense race, but another great drive from Alonso. Ferrari is fast but still lacking a little bit when compared to Red Bull and the upgraded McLaren. He did well to hold off Vettel and Button today.

    Good drive from Button today. Made some good passes to bring himself up the order and put himself in contention for the win.

    Vettel was fast today, but seemed a bit ragged. He ran wide a few times, and his pass on Button was offtrack. Not sure why he didn’t just give the place back and try on the last lap. Red Bull seem to be on a bit of a roll when it comes to bending the tech regultations. Maybe they thought they could get away with this too!

  53. Fantomius says:

    we have seen the only quick stop of the season for McLaren.. [mod]

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Mclaren have had the fastest pit stops for several races now, including both drivers. These Hamilton fan boy anti-button rants are getting really boring now. Get p
      Over. It.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Can you explain what part of his car punctured LH’s tyre?

    3. futureshock999 says:

      1) Both McLaren drivers has ultra-quick stops at Silverstone
      2) It was Mass’s wing that Lewis ran over, not Alonso’s
      Facts, they are there when you need them.

    4. Elie says:

      It was Massas front wing not Fernando ..lol even more reason for disaster !

  54. Lawrence says:

    FA drove a great race. I think JB should have tried to have overtaken FA earlier. KR only finished 16 secs off FA – he really should be challenging for wins. Clearly the Lotus and Sauber cars are good but it seems their drivers are not making full use of them. I think McLaren should stop using computers to dictate their actions. M Brundle called it right on (I think JB’s second pit-stop) and he doesn’t have a computer telling him what the teams should do. You can imagine the McLaren team saying “Well, the computer says no so we shouldn’t do it”. The Mercedes is clearly rubbish, MS looked great today but he must have been thinking “This car is crap”. How can the other teams manage consistency at worst or at best improve? Mercedes just seem to be all over the show. LH really let himself down with the “I think we should retire” statement. Pathetic. MS didn’t think that when he got a puncture in Brazil in 2006 and that is why he has seven F1 championships to his name.

  55. Lawrence says:

    Oh yeah meant to say, that Ferrari is not as bad as people are making it out to be. Maybe at the start of the season the team did not understand the tyres but that car is good. It is good in the wet too. I know FA is way ahead of FM but I think FM is done. Some people might say that the fact that FA is so far ahead of FM it is another piece of evidence of his brilliance. No doubt he is brilliant but maybe FM is really crap now (post Hungary 2009).

  56. Sebastian says:

    Looking forward to a warm and dry qualy and race so we get to see what Lotus can do under “normal” conditions. Hopefully the kimi bashing will stop after this race. His Q1 lap time was mighty and he pulled off some awesome overtaking moves!

  57. Sergio says:

    Theres no controversy about Vettel pass. The controversy would be focused on Hamilton ugliest action of this wrong called sport. I read a poll in an F1 English Website asking about Mclaren action, for instance it wins the answer> Yip, it did help JB close the gap… Please no more lessons of sport to anyone else. No credibility.

    1. futureshock999 says:

      Hamilton had the freshest tyres, and was the fastest car on the track. When you are on the fastest tyres you only have a few laps to use them to best advantage – he couldn’t get stuck behind a slower “leading” car and lose his tyre advantage to the cars in front. Vettel knows that. And since last year, team orders, and team strategies, are perfectly legal in F1, as is now stated clearly in the rules. JB and LH race on the same team – as long as Lewis didn’t crash into Vettel, he has every right, and indeed duty, to help himself and his teammate.

      1. Sergio says:

        Well I know the difference between “legal” and “sportive” or “ethics” and I understand why Hamilton did all that he did in his career with the support of English media.

      2. Peter C says:

        Why come on a UK site complaining about the ‘ENGLISH’ media (should be British by the way)
        If you don’t like like it, others are available!

        Are you saying that you understand that ‘unsporting’& ‘unethical’ is why LH has done well in his career?

        If so, I’m surprised you got past the Moderator!

        This should surely be compared to others who are ‘blameless’ & entirely ‘ethical’ through previous years.

        MSC in the Red Cars, for instance.

    2. MISTER says:

      To me it looked like Lewis made a pretty clean move on Vettel. I didn’t see much impeeding.
      I would’ve blame Lewis if he made life hard for Vettel, but he didn’t. Like in every single overtake, the car beeing overtaken will lose a few tense and gthat is normal.

      1. Sergio says:

        Well, I appreciate this site because is one of the exceptions of “English Media”. Let me say my way. Thank You. If you are interested I can show you dozens of videos, tactics, articles, even FOM videos that are all a SHAME and totally biased. For example you can watch Valencia GO 2012 and see the “main actor” is Raikkonen and Alonso appears 40 secs from the begining in one of the bests races of his career. Later you have a mad laugh, a false one after Vettel abandon. Bullshit.
        About MSC I think the same more or less than Hamilton, but much worse. He do his way intentionally. English media has too many power in F1 and they used. I am a F1 “aficionado” and a give my opinion, my free opinion. Nothing to be scared of I think.

      2. Sergio says:

        Sorry the answer is for Peter C but no link to reply him.

      3. Peter C says:

        No, giving your opinion is nothing to be afraid of, provided the opinion is objective.

        It’s just that you appear to ‘have it in’ for the “English” media, which is why I commented.

        I’m sure James can defend media things better than me. Some of what the tabloids write is only to be expected & is often rubbish.

        The same can be said for that type of Press in France, Germany, Italy, Spain – wherever.

        It is surely better to write positive things than just go off on an anti-Hamilton/British media rant, do you think?

  58. Rach says:

    With regards to Hamilton today I think he did nothing wrong with vettel. However doing things like this make you unpopular and dont get forgotten by the other drivers. I think it was unwise and one day it could come back and bite him.

    1. Sergio says:

      It’s not a question of popularity, it’s a question of ethics in the “sport”. Possibly the “supporter” factor is more important than the “sportive” one. Hooligans are not worried about ethics if their drivers can gain any advantage in points or tv protagonism. Hamilton is the “new frontier reached” guy, the first one to infringe every rule and ethic codes. Well, this is a “circus” and people can raise up his finger and aprove anything, but when you did, you showed us your view about the “sport”.

    2. JB says:

      Agree. Hamilton is very good at making enemies. It is only Mclaren and his talents that is keeping him afloat.

      I really feel that Vettel was desperate and frustrated by Hamilton’s unsporting behaviour. If he had a clear mind, he should have let Button re-pass him and start over. The worst thing could happen is that he will end up 3rd and not 5th.

      The championship is not over yet but I feel that Alonso’s flawless form is hard to defeat.

  59. Keith Read says:

    If I am to understand Vettel’s comments about Hamilton then we must assume that the FIA will soon be asked, by Red Bull, to enforce the retirement of any driver that has been lapped by the divine Sebastian.

  60. Andy says:

    Conspiracy theory number 157:
    Hamilton passed Vettle and not Alonso only because he wants to further appease Alonso and Ferrari for a seat in 2013 onwards.

    Btw, was disgusted to hear Christain Horner after the race and him saying “Vettel would be unfortunate to be penalized”. When has it become unfortunate to be penalized for a foolishness. Also, him critizising Hamilton for not “attempting to overtake Alonso”. Maybe if Vettel had the same defending skills as Alonso, Hamilton wouldn’t have had his Wunderkid too.

  61. caringforapathy says:

    The way I see it, there was nothing stopping Vettel from slowing down, staying on the track, and falling in behind Button. Button had taken track position away from him, and instead of accepting it Vettel decided to use the traction available off the track to get an advantage. If there was a wall or gravel trap there he wouldn’t have had the option, but since he did I think he decided to see if he could get away with it perhaps. It seemed a pretty easy decision for the marshals to me, and the penalty seems just.

    Comparing this incident to previous years doesn’t make sense to me as rules are always changing and evolving. Also, each track has its own rules since they are all unique too, so it’s hard to compare similar incidences earlier in the year even. In all the FP2, FP3 and Quali coverage I watched this weekend, it was mentioned several times that Charlie Whiting had warned drivers about penalties for those that were deemed to have gained an advantage by going outside the lines of the track. It actually happened a couple of times in Quali and lap times were disqualified for those drivers when it happened on their fastest laps, and so ignorance can’t be used as an excuse either. Vettel should have used the brake pedal to avoid the collision, not an illegal part of the track.

  62. Marc says:

    Disappointing that Seb gets the same penalty as Maldonado got in Valencia; not sure how passing off the track is equivalent to ramming someone from off the track and putting them out of the race…

  63. Craig D says:

    Decent race. Alonso continuing his virtually flawless season. Poor luck for Lewis but good to see Jenson having a strong race again. Looks like the car can challenge once more.

    Right decision on Vettel.

    Alonso’s got a decent points lead now but the other teams are still competitiveness to challenge. In fact the McLaren and Red Bull was probably the quicker car today.

    1. Andrew says:

      “the McLaren and Red Bull was probably the quicker car today”

      I think the Ferrari was the quicker car where it mattered on this circuit. It clearly had good straight line speed and excellent traction, this made Alonso virtually impossible to overtake.

      1. MISTER says:

        But if it was a McLaren or RedBull leading the race with Alonso second, do you think Alonso would’ve been able to keep up or even attack like Seb and Jenson did?
        I don’t.

        We all know that being in clean air is very important for aero and tyres. Seb after the race said that the car felt OK with the exception when he was very close to a car in front:
        “The pace was there but it was extremely difficult when I was close to Fernando and Jenson we seemed to lose a lot and not be able to stay close enough to try to something under braking.

        “I am not entirely happy, it could have been a bit better if it was clean air most of the race but that was not the case. Second place was the best we could get today and I am happy with that.”

        That’s why I think the Ferrari was the 3rd fastest car in Germany.

      2. Andrew says:

        Yes Alonso had more pace running in clean air, but he didn’t have the benefit of DRS that Button and Vettel had.

        I suspect that if the Red Bull was leading it would have been easy pickings for the Ferrari due to the Red Bull’s very poor straight line speed. We saw that Hamilton had no problem overtaking Vettel but Alonso was a different story due to the Ferrari’s good straight line speed and traction. I agree that if the Mclaren was in the lead then, like the Ferrari, it would have been difficult to overtake, although I’m still unsure whether the Mclaren can compete with the Red Bull and Ferrari’s tyre conservation.

  64. Andrew M says:

    Great race by Alonso, he has a tight grip on the championship lead now.

    Strong race from Button, his result and the pace of Hamilton show that in the dry McLaren are a force. However, I think the DNF today coupled with an Alonso win rules Lewis out of the title battle.

    I think Vettel is the only one who can stop Alonso now. Things have turned around so quickly this season…

    1. Ryan Eckford says:

      Red Bull might have other issues that stop Vettel and Webber.

  65. dan says:

    Hi James,

    Surely Ferrari wouldn’t sign up felipe massa for 2013. After the germany race he has slipped down to 14th on the drivers standings. He has only added little to their constructors title chance. So do you have any news on him, because surely they Ferrari one of the most famous sports teams in the world wouldn’t re sign him unless hes well inside the top 10 at the end of the season, or will a podium do it for him.

    1. James Allen says:

      The word from Italy pre weekend was that the situation is ‘fluid” with Massa still having a chance, but Ferr looking at Di Resta, Hulkenberg, Perez etc.

      I think Massa was unlucky with the start accident, but it happened because he was in midfield, not on front row with his team mate.

      They have gone beyond the call of duty to protect him; his performances for the last two and a half seasons have been way short of good enough and that’s plain for all to see

      1. Ryan Eckford says:

        What about Ricciardo?

  66. Andrew says:

    I’m getting a little bit tired of everybody constantly talking up Alonso like he is some kind of God. He has done well but I’m sure that if Vettel or Hamilton were in Alonso’s position they would equal his performance.

    Lets not forget
    -the Ferrari is an extremely quick car (easily the quickest in the wet)
    -the Ferrari team has performed brilliantly all year
    -the Ferrari is one of the best with the Pirelli tyres
    -the Ferrari has easily been the quickest car off the line all year
    -Alonso has suffered no technical failures all year
    -Alonso has been extremely lucky, benefiting from safety cars, the technical failures of his rivals and even the weather

    I also find it funny how Alonso is constantly talking down his car, at the end of the race today he was saying again how Ferrari is behind it’s rivals and needs more pace. I have a strong suspicion that Alonso is trying to elevate his own performance.

    1. James Allen says:

      He doesn’t need to do that. Anyone can see that he is driving on a higher level than the rest at the moment.

      If we have a fully dry weekend in Hungary you’ll see RBR and McLaren have a quicker car than Ferrari. But it’s about putting everything together and Alo is doing that at the moment which he is why he is where he is

      1. Andrew says:

        “If we have a fully dry weekend in Hungary you’ll see RBR and McLaren have a quicker car than Ferrari”

        Over one lap you could make an argument, it’s really hard to tell though as I believe that Hamilton and particularly Vettel are better qualifiers than Alonso anyway.

        But I think you are forgetting tyre usage. The Mclaren was quick (at least at the start of the season) for one lap, but the race pace was pretty poor because of tyre degredation. The Ferrari has been extremely kind wit it’s tyres all year and this has been a huge factor in Alonso’s success. The race pace of the Ferrari has been quicker than it’s rivals (certainly quicker than the Mclarens) because of this. The Ferrari also seems to have the golden combination of good straight line speed and good traction which makes them extremely difficult to overtake.

        The Red Bull will be quick in Hungary, their only weakness is straight line speed (which is the only reason that Alonso beat Vettel this weekend) and Hungary is all about downforce. However, they may be forced to play by the rules and stop using cold blowing in a way that is clearly against the spirit of the regulations, they would inevitabley lose some pace if this was the case.

        I’d like to Alonso get the car and particularly the luck that Hamilton has had this year and then see people say that he is “driving on a higher level than the rest”.

      2. MISTER says:

        Andrew, as I said in a comment above, if McLaren or RedBull would’ve lead the race with Alonso second, do you think Alonso would’ve been able to keep up or even attack?

        I don’t because it’s easier to drive in clean air. And that is why I believe Ferrari had better tyres at the end. Alonso didn’t had to defend hard or attack anyone, while Seb and Jenson both had to do that.
        Also, let’s not forget Silverstone and how Alonso’s tyres went off.

        Look what Vettel said after the race:
        “The pace was there but it was extremely difficult when I was close to Fernando and Jenson we seemed to lose a lot and not be able to stay close enough to try to something under braking.”

      3. JR says:

        You make your own luck, willing to retire on lap 1 does not help on that sense.

    2. Galapago555 says:

      At least he speaks Italian…

      1. James Allen says:

        Thanks for the heads up on the problem with the other post, we modded it

      2. Galapago555 says:

        I’ve just read it. Thanks a lot, James.

  67. Gord says:

    I think if Button started on pole he would have probably won the race, so really the Ferraris were lucky that they benefitted from the wet qualifying session. With that said McLaren will be strong in the second half if they qualify well.

    1. Ryan Eckford says:

      If qualifying was dry, many drivers that had punctures wouldn’t have had punctures.

  68. Jarrod Hunt says:


    In light of Vettel’s penalty for overtaking outside of the white lines, I have a question for you as to why more incidents that happen outside of the white lines aren’t punished.

    For example, you cannot cut a corner to gain time, but you can run wide to gain time, just as Alonso did on his Pole qualifying lap, and did multiple times throughout the race.

    Why is this not looked at by the stewards?

    1. James Allen says:

      They look at many things. Alonso aquaplaned off on his pole lap, so there was no intent there

      1. Jarrod Hunt says:

        Hmmm, I can’t say I totally agree with you there James.

        If you look at the line he was taking consistently throughout the weekend, he was deliberately taking the wide line to get better drive out of the corner.

        I’m not picking on Alonso, just using him as an example.

        It seems only incidents of cutting corners are looked at as being advantageous. Would you agree?

  69. Midnight Toper says:


    Two questions:

    1) Why did it take so long for the Stewards to penalise Vettel. It was clear cut and the procrastination robbed Kimi of a podium celebration.

    2) During qualifying, 3 of the faster drivers were facing a 5 place grid penalty. As I was watching on Satutrday I was curious what would have happened if MW, RG and NS had qualified 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Would they have started from 6th, 7th and 8th or, would they have started 3rd, 4th and 5th after the re-shuffle?

    1. James Allen says:

      Because the incident happened late in the race and the procedures need to be done properly, not rushed through because a fans’ favourite driver might benefit!

      1. Midnight Toper says:

        I’m actually a fan of Vettel ever since meeting him in the paddock in Malaysia, both he and Mark were very open. But, I did wonder if they delayed to keep Vettel on the podium for the sake of the home fans?

        How about the hypothetical scenario outlined in point 2? That’s the one I really would like to understand. If for example the top 5 drivers each had a 5 place grid penalty, would the polesitter remain on pole?

  70. Andrew says:

    Hi James was wondering if you are doing like a half term report or something like that on the site? Was wondering about what you make of the teams now halfway? Has Ferrari’s comeback been as good as it looked? Have Mclaren made too many errors? Who is your biggest disapointment so far? Button? Catherum? With another poor race and a win for Alonso how is Massa looking?

  71. Kay says:

    Many times in the past I’ve critised Button for not being a top driver. Today he earned it and beat his team mate on the way as well. So kudos to him.

    1. Andrew says:

      “and beat his team mate on the way as well”

      What an asinine comment, even Karthikeyan beat Lewis today, he retired from the race.

  72. Mike says:

    Come on James, get us an interview with Kobayashi!!

  73. SWR says:

    Where was the safety car after Massa’s front wing debris on the track which sliced LH’S rear tire….oh, just noticed it was a Ferarri that was leading, so no need. Also, against procedure, there was no mail to RB asking for Vettal to allow JB to re-pass (unlike in all other instances)

    1. Franco says:

      If you see LH post interview he clearly says there was no need for a safety car

    2. vic says:

      They incident happened in lap 1, so a SC wouldnt have any significant effect in the leader car (or any other car), simply because there was not time to get a gap over the rest of cars, so probably they should deployed it, but Alonso havent got any significant gap by lap 2 (o by any lap in the race), so a safety car would only had benefited him (a couple of laps without danger)

  74. Ryan Eckford says:

    Horrible luck for Hamilton, I think he could have come close to winning this race based on his laptimes. As for Red Bull, I think they have been doing what they have been doing since Bahrain onwards.

  75. Bazza says:

    I am also enjoying watching Vettel throw all his toys out of his playpen… that usual smug smile has as usual been replaced by a spoilt brat sulk which appears whenever things dont go his way. A good decision by the stewards to penalise him for gaining a place by leaving the circuit, all he had to do was wait for his opportuinity, there were two more laps SEB!!!!

    He needs to learn stratgey, yes Lewis had no chance of winning but by unlapping himself he helped his team mate and at least had the chance to chase a point or two. Well done Jensen and Fernando, a great fight.

  76. Albert L. says:

    Thanks James for the good analysis of the race as usual.
    But James, I would like you to inform us if there is any rule on the language to use in F1. Yesterday, after Alonso and Button did their second pit stops and Button had a gap of 0.635 seconds to Alonso, The Ferrari team as is their new style, radioed him in Italian. The message was as follows: ” Le tue gomme sono in buone condizioni. Avevi fatto venti tre giri. Adesso ti manca solo venti giri”. The translation in english is” Your last set of tyres were in good condition. You did 23 laps with them. You have just 20 more laps to go”. Practically this was informing him that his tyres will be in good state at the end of the race and that he should defend his position from Button since if Button insist to attack him his tyres will go off early. This is what happened and at the end it was Button who was “overtaking” by Vettel. If There was anybody on the Mclaren pit wall who could understand a bit of Italian, He would have advise Button not to sit back hoping Alonso’s tyres will go “off” at the last laps since he “Button” is the “KING” of tyre management. So Button would have “COURAGEOUSLY” overtake him and puts himself on the number position of the podium. I think Mclaren should learn “AFRIKAANS” and Redbull should go for “Deutsch” if they have any hope of challenging Ferrari. [mod]
    James I would like to know if there is any rule regarding communication in F1. When Hamilton packed his car on the track after qualifying in Canada last year, a rule was created, this year we have seen not 1,2,3… drivers packed their cars after races on the track but they were been APPLAUDED some even received STANDING OVATIONS. I have the feeling that if any team would have been doing what Ferrari is doing? especially Mclaren, the FIA would have come up with a “RULE AND REGULATION”. Please James I would like to get your opinion on this. I think the fact that Ferrari can understand the strategy of the other 11 teams and only Toro Rosso can understand theirs during races is an added advantage to the team which means there is no equity. Its just like using the kerb to overtake.

    1. MISTER says:

      Italian team, Italian engineer, and Alonso speak very well Italian.
      I think “Yellow G-9″ message to Jenson by McLaren is worst than speaking Italian. At least some people can understand Italian, unlike coded communication.

    2. DingBat says:

      Afrikaans? Is jy seker dit sal werk? (Are you sure that will work)..lol. It’s quite simple really, all the teams need to do is get a translator for every race if they want to know what Ferrari are saying. Heck, I’d translate Afrikaans to English for any team long as they take me to all the races with them and feed and house me :-)

  77. Nandan says:


    I was watching the German GP 2003 earlier today.
    What is the differenece between M. Schumacher overtaking Trulli in that race and Vettel overtaking Button yesterday?

    1. James Allen says:

      Nine years and evolution of rules

  78. F1 dingo says:

    With regards the Button/Vettel incident, what is the difference between that and the Rosberg/Hamilton incident earlier this year? (Bahrain i think?).

    1. James Allen says:

      Hamilton had no choice but to drive off the road to avoid being hit!

      1. quest says:

        Also didn’t the pass happen after they were both back on track.

  79. Aaron James says:

    Vettel invented his own track for several laps just how many corners did he go off on?!

    DOD was Kobayashi- great job from 12th and that Sauber looks in good shape. Closely followed by Alonso- who I’m tipping for WDC 2012. He’s been absolutely fantastic in a poor car and now its improved he’s reaping the rewards. A deserved WDC if he gets it.

    Dunce was Massa- I can see him being farmed out to another team for next year. Kobayashi’s seat is under threat apparantly- he responded well yesterday though.

  80. 1) Hamilton was the nutter of the day, behaving like the spoilt child he is. “I think we should retire” after a puncture.

    2) Why was Vettel penalized for his pass off the track when Hamilton was allowed to keep his place in Bahrain ??????

    3) And why wasn’t he penalized for impeding a lead driver when he was a lap down ?? Is there any ambiguity in the rules, or is he actually allowed to do that?

    1. yugin says:

      Hamilton was driven off the track by Rosberg who left him no room. Button on the other hand gave Vettel sufficient space to go round the outside.

      1. I don’t believe that was the reason because rosberg reached the edge of the track before Hamilton and Charlie whiting had mentioned somewhere that Hamilton was lucky to have gotten away without a penalty.

        The stewards don’t have any consistency in giving out penalties and I feel that issue needs to be addressed.

  81. yugin says:

    Vettel’s comments about not knowing where Button was and wanting to avoid a collision are frankly ridiculous. It was Button’s responsibility to leave enough room for Vettel to go by on the outside; if they had crashed it would have been Button’s fault. Furthermore it’s a former world champion that Button was racing, not someone like Maldonaldo, and surely Vettel could have trusted Button to leave enough room? Vettel’s comments are like saying, “I don’t know if the driver up my inside is going to overshoot the braking zone, so I’ll cut the corner to avoid a crash.”

  82. MCGARL says:

    Cool and controlled race yet again by Alonso…class apart at the minute. Really disliked him after his time at McLaren, but gotta say his performances and persona of recent times has changed my opinion completely. Disappointed with Hammy today, again a petulant outburst early in the race that ‘we should retire’. Glad that McLaren decided to ignore him and send him back out. The race is never over until it’s over as he could not foresee what might happen later in the race and it annoys me immensely that he just wants to give up and disappoint the many fans that have paid there hard earned cash to watch him. He needs to keep his head in the game and his toy’s in the pram as it seems to me that his off track antics of recent times are again causing him problems on track.

    1. Peter C says:

      When have you ever known Hamilton to want to give up before?

      Perhaps he really thought that there was something wrong because of puncture damage.


      1. James Allen says:

        No, it certainly sounded odd

  83. arshadhusain says:

    Alonso has learned ITALIAN ???, well if he has learned it then i appreciate the champions efforts. He has left no stone unturned, is doing everythin to win the championship..

    1. James Allen says:

      He speaks good Italian – its quite close to Spanish. Also speaks French

  84. Guy says:

    Great quote from Peter Windsor – ‘It was difficult to see what Seb’s problem was: if a guy like Lewis Hamilton isn’t allowed to unlap himself and race to the flag, then what was the 1967 Italian GP all about?’.

    Lots of different views on this point – that’s what makes this sport so good – everyone can have an opinion and this fabulous site allows us all to respectfully disagree but most importantly listen to others views.

  85. Andy R says:

    Its Alonso’s championship. And after 2008 I would say a “driver” who deserves it has won it.

    Bravo, really. Take a bow!

  86. Ian C. says:

    I’m not going to read 400+ comments but I’ll say the Hamilton fans seem to have forgotten about him passing Rosberg at Bahrain will off the track. Did Hamilton get a penalty?

  87. Chris Severin says:

    Is there not an argument that Button could´ve gone at least a couple more laps on his first stint? He set a fasted lap on his lap before the in lap so there must’ve been some life left in them. With that in mind he may have had life left at the end to attack Alonso….?


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