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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Patrick McLaughlin

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

I think Fernando may regret those comments in hindsight. It strikes me as a heat of a moment comment.

It was born purely out of the frustration of watching a title rival, Hamilton, in an ever developing car extending his lead over Alonso in the standings.

The length of time it took to reach the decision is puzzling though.

Race Control has access to timing screens, GPS and multiple camera angles and more than likely a link to the safety car itself !

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

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


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

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

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


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

There is a charge in football of "bringing the game into disrepute".

If ever there was a case for bringing such a charge by the FIA, it is now.


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

An awful day for F1.


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


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

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


Totally agree with you.

Races should be decided by car/driver/team performance not by breaking rules.

Races should not be decided by SAFETY CARS, or car/driver/team breaking rules.


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


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

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

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

He completely got away with it. Is that fair?

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


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

Hamilton got away with it fully.

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


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

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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


You are so right how Ferrari have in the past received insane favouritism from the FIA.

It's all a fuss about nothing, these things happen in al sports.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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


@Michael You're using football as an example? They don't allow perfectly good goals!! 🙂


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


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


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

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


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

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

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


Well said!

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

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


You have 3 laps to serve the penalty for fairly obvious logistical reasons.

As you can't work on the car when serving a penalty, if you were due to come in for tyres, or in previous seasons fuel, you would be able to still pit for the necessary work and then, subsequently, pit again to serve your penalty.

Historically, Fiat have used the safety car periods to their advantage. This time they, abd Alonso, were unlucky. Tough, live with it!!


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

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


Yeah, the FIA aren't called "McLaren International Assistance" for nothing! Oh, hold on a sec...

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


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

Looks like one of those "dammed if you do, dammed if you don't"" scenarios.

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


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

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


@ CPR.

The SC came up on the screen 8 seconds after Webber hit the lotus, as he was throwing the wheel out of his car.

3 seconds after that the lap counter ticked over, i.e. Vettel crossed the finish line.

Hamilton was 3.7 seconds behind Vetel.

On the previous lap it took approx 5 seconds from finish line to SC line.

So Hamilton came round turn 1 to see the safety car and Doctors car in the pit lane exit about 10 seconds after they was ordered out. Even if the caption was a bit slow to come up and the SC was ordered 1 second after impact and Hamilton had slowed it was no more than 20 seconds.


When Lewis passed the SC it was still in the pit lane exit, with the slower Doctors car following it. If he had stood on the brakes to go in behind it, that would have been more dangerous, and he got Penalised because he didn't go flat out up to the SC line at the end of the pits.

Every car except Vettel passed the SC to form up in a queue. The issue for Alonso was the lights on the SC allowing him to pass weren't shown so his in-lap was 30 seconds slower than Hamilton and Vettel in front and Kubica, Button, Barichello etc behing.


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


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


A scandal requires purposeful actions. This was clearly a delayed steward decision and I cannot imagine them favoring Hamilton on purpose. Hamilton passing the SC just 3-4 feet after crossing the line probably was the reason for the stewards not paying too much attention to it. The penalty was appropriate, notice was given within 25 minutes of decision, so it was just a delayed call.

Had Hamilton accelerated normally, he would have passed the SC well on time and Alonso might have been able to go through as well. Hamilton braked and then accelerated again, so he got his penalty because of his own hesitation to step on the throttle.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Just a reminder:

The stewards investigated the group of "too fast behind the SC" drivers after the race was over, so it was clearly not possible to impose on them a drive-through penalty. Instead, they added 5 seconds to each penalised driver's race time.

Lewis was given a drive-through penalty during the race at a time when he was in a very strong position to challenge Vettel for the lead. Lewis's drive-through added about 14 seconds to Vettel's lead, effectively ending Lewis's challenge. In my view this should be taken into account when assessing the real outcome of his drive-through penalty. I would speculate that it cost Lewis the race but we will never know.

I expect to observe Alonso's next jealousy-rant against Hamilton only with my usual sense of deja-vu.


Give the Safety Car a drive through penalty! 🙂


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


man there a lot of crybabies!

Ferrari are a joke.Cry about that.

Hamilton is sure under alonsos skin!!


Yea.. losing all respect for the guy here too.

If anything is being 'manipulated' its the vote on this site. Judging by the comments, the number of yes votes is very surprising. Maybe its just there are a lot of ferrari and/or Alonso fans that read this blog, but which don't post comments on it.

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


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


LMAO indeed!!!!


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


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


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

"Those Latinos are always whingeing. These crybabies are shameful. Ferrari is shameful"

and then it goes

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

and then it goes

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

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

and then it goes

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

and then it goes

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

and then it goes

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

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


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


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

Is there any need for that type of language ?

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

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


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


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

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

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


Alright that's enough of that


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


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


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


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


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


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


Clever response mate


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

What I am arguing is that the situation wasn't as much of a disadvantage to Alonso as he keeps making out.

If he kept going, he would have got past the SC cleanly and Alonso would still have ended up stuck back in 8th. If he slotted in behind the SC, he would have still been in front of Alonso who would still have ended up stuck back in 8th.

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


eeeer guys:

hamilton Almost did it legally??!

The safety car rules benefit some and not others?

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


"unbearable whining puppet", Yep, that just about covers it... 🙂


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


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


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


My thoughts exacaly.

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

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


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


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

Ignore Hamilton for the moment. Alonso and Massa got stuck behind the safety car and it cost Alonso 30 seconds relative to Vettel in front and relative to Kubica, Button, Barrichelo etc behind. Had the SC let Alonso and Massa pass and drive to the pits at the delta time they would have made up the time taken in passing it by driving a bit closer to racing speed but still doing the sanctioned time.

Hamilton almost passed the SC legally: the penalty was for not getting past before the the line, had he passed earlier it would have been OK.(Mad IMHO). So denying him having a chance to win, but not costing him second place isn't an outrage.

Ferrari could have flouted the rules and passed the safety car several corners later, taken the penalty and been better off. There's something wrong there.


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


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

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

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

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

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

Prof Bolshaviks

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


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


If race control could have penalized Hamilton on a timely manner, Hamilton will have returned to the track probably after Button or even back to where Alonso was. But the fact that Hamilton was able to continue racing with no traffic, he was able to build a good advantage.

Poor race management. Each race is getting worst. Houston, we have a BIG problem here.


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

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


Very well said.

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Who has said anything was 'unjustified'?


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

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


selective memory on the part of Ferrari fans


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


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


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

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



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


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

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


I'd say it is always best to forget your delusions and bizarre conspiracy theories. 🙂

Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion

In fact, when Safety car was deployed he was lapping some good 0.3s faster than Hamilton, maybe because an easy tyre treatment of the Ferrari.

23:53 when I voted, and the result at this moment shows there is little doubt about who is right this time, no matter what all the Hamfanboys want to say.


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


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

Im sure Alonso would have been happy if hed sneaked by the safety car as did Hamilton.

Hamiltons crime is that Alonso didnt also get away with it .

Ferrari have had the right side of many decisions before.

They should be decent anough to shut there traps and accept it as they cant change the result

Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion

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


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

1) Those that know F1 and appreciate his extreme talent as a racer - and

2) Those who know nothing about F1 but do watch MTV and read celebrity magazines and surf Facebook - THINK they know about F1 and post on sites such as this.

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


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


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


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


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

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

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


Is it that what you understand by a proof? I hope you're not a judge. That could be an indication in all case.

Nonetheless, about that particular Brawn said that Schumacher has always followed team's strategies without question (suggesting Alonso could have done the same).

I'm sure following the incident Alonso thought: "Mm, that's why." He is a clever guy, but... what do you think he had to do then, stop running? He did not need to know anything for the plan to go ahead.

So, no proof, no need.


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


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


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



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

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


Thanks Brogan.

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

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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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

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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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



Can you show me just one Spanish forum that has linked to this site? I haven't seen any and I have visited the most important, but I might be wrong because there are lots of small blogs out there.

I hope this isn't a void accusation trying to explain why the world doesn't share your particular point of view.

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


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


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


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


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


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

What a joke F1 has become.


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

Is that the fix you are talking about?

Jolly decent of Webber to help them out like that...


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

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

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


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

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


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


A good addition to an excellent suggestion.

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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


"Renault were then caught with a far larger amount of McLaren information..."

Sorry, but you are COMPLETELY WRONG there.

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

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

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



Right on the nail.


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


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

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

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


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

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


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


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


I agree with you about NASCAR. at least we can know the result of a race when it finishes!

I was watching the press conference today thinking that LH and BUTTON would be demoted 2 hours after.

This race was an unfair joke to fans.

The way races are called by stewards are an unfair joke to fans.

I share your frustation.

To move to a different point so we can keep things moving forward: Did anybody report why the pacecar didnt catch Vettel?

It was deployed a long time after the accident and a mildly competent race steward would have gotten that right!

That would have avoided creating this mess we are talking about.

BTW: James, you mentioned in the past that FIA/FOTA look at your website to get some opinions from fans. do you think they would take note from this or not?


Sure, they look at what the fans are saying


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


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


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


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



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


Although he was unlucky its not exactly very clever of Alonso to say these things, especially as he won a race which was fixed less than two years ago and still considers it a fair victory.

Think its more frustration on Ferrari's part that their main upgrade for the summer has left them still behind Red Bull and after Silverstone probably Mclaren too


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

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


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


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

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

Quit crying and start racing!


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


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

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

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


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


Kobayashi comes to mind for comparative performance


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


The biggest scandal was the performance of the safety car driver. How could they have got it so wrong with regards to picking up the leader?

Alonso is also upset because I think he expected to dominate F1 this year like Schumacher did at Ferrari.

It's also likely that Hamilton may have finished second still anyway. He would have made better progress through the field than Alonso and the 5 second penalties would have helped as well.

Finally, I think that Alonso is struggling to come to terms with the fact that he is no longer the best driver in F1. That accolade as difficult as it is to judge must surely belong to Hamilton now.


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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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


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


Interesting results to that poll so far, no?

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

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


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

Oops, did I say that out loud?


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


There are two separate issues:

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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


The safety just missed collecting the leader but why should it's deployment be delayed just because team red say so ?

Perhaps it should have waved the field through and collected Vettel on the following lap.


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

The answer is no. It is unfair whatever people say


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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


Lewis broke the rules in Canada also. Very very unfair. Absolutely right to say this was a "manipulated" race.

James, any idea why Michael could not have been given a 5 second penalty for Monaco instead of 25 seconds?


When Lewis does break the rules he then usually

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

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

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


Hi James,

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

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

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

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


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

So this vote isn't about the race anymore.


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

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


alonso gets what he deserves! going into a team made by schumacher, he thinks he can just jump in and dominate!? ha! what a joke! if he was so good as "experts" claim, he would have stayed at renault and built the team!

sorry but all ill ever know him as, is the man who benefitted from kimis retirements in 05 and MASS DAMPER 06,

oh ye and got beaten by hamilton in 07!!

go hamilton!!


Alonso and Ferrari are a good fit aren't they?

What is a scandal, despite all the justification (or excuses) from Whiting and co. is that it took 21 minute and three laps for the penalty to be served.

With the Monaco incident involving Schumacher and Alonso, you would expect stewards to know the safety car rules inside out.

Yet, here we are again, deliberating what might have been in a sport where, unlike football, we have video referring (so to speak).

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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


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


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

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

Christopher Snowdon

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


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

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


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


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


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


I'm starting to loose respect for Alonso now.


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


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


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

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

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


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

I think it's even more amazing that he still regards that as a valid win...


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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

I think that he probably has James.

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

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

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

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

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

Imagine what Hamilton could do in that Red Bull..


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

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


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

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

n. Machiavelli

"I think fernando is (very very VERY) lucky that Max Mosley is no longer around ..."

Huh ? [mod]

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

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

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


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


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


Moral of the story- ignore all rules.

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

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

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


+ 1

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


So his slowing down caused such huge safety issues?

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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




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


Best post so far.

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

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

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


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

n. Machiavelli

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

Such a way exists, BUT it requires competent race control

and competent stewards, as well as a complete absence of bias toward any particular team or driver. These requirements don't seem to be anywhere close to having been met in F1. What a joke F1 has become as a result. Men, some of them good men, are risking

their lives so some twat can make a shitty decision

and gift points to a driver who doesn't deserve those points. If I were in possession of absolute power a la

Stalin or Hitler, I'd take the whole of race control and

all the stewards out and give them all a firing squad.

And THEN I'd invite men of good character and sound judgement to replace them.


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


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

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

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

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

n. Machiavelli

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

Ferrari are whinging cos their aren't winning


Cheating isn't winning - it's just cheating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Come on people. Let's get real.


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


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

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

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


To me the Hamilton situation is a complete red herring.

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

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

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

Fulveo Ballabeo

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

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

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


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



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

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


lewis has got away with so many rules this season.

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

he was let out of the pits when alones was driving down and thay was side by side

nothin happend again this is after he all ready got fined the day before

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you think there should be a lot less of this, and a more genial yet competitive atmosphere surrounding the sport?

Its just getting too red-taped and Bureaucratic for a lot of fans.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

Maybe drivers should be penalised WC points?


Firstly, Alonso is a whinging little girl. He protested, Hamilton got penalised. Done. Thats it. Get on with it. Just because the penalty wasn't "harsh" enough for Alo/Ferrari is irrelevant. Remember Nurburgring 2009? Webber got a drive-thru penalty and won. Can you argue that that was a "no-penalty" penalty?

Ferrari get so much preferential treatment in F1 that it has become an standing joke (whats FIA stand for again?). So as something doesn't go their way its a scandal?

Secondly, the safety car was released too late. Vettel had already gone past. It should be picking up the leader not second place. So if Ham had slowed and got behind the SC, Vettel would have had a free run to the pits. Would we all then be here complaining about a Vet/RBR advantage? Perhaps.

Thirdly, I agree with Max. Why are the pits even open under SC conditions?


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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

If anyone wonders why the SC not come out in front of Vettel but alongside Hamilton ?

I went back to the my recording

20 seconds before the impact a caption shows

1 Vet, 2 Ham +3.7 3. Alo +5.2 4.Mas 7.3 [the same as the start of the lap, when we also saw] 5. Kub +9.1 6. But +11.8

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

26 seconds after the impact we hear KUB, BUT, and BAR are pitting: [So VET, HAM, ALO, and MAS were too far down the road to pit]. VET got past the SC legally, HAM got past - not quite legally as it turned out, and the Ferraris were the only ones who could neither pit nor pass the SC.

Roughly 2 minutes 25 after the impact Hamilton arrives in the pits and Vettel leaves: So their lap times had dropped from ~1:40 to ~2:10/2:15 [Apparently sticking to the Delta time]. But it's roughly 30 seconds more before the Ferraris stop.

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

Schumacher also complained, and with good reason. He pitted from 3rd a minute after the SC crossed the finish line, and was held at the pit lane exit even though the train hadn't formed up behind the SC. It was a further minute - ~5:30 after the impact and well into lap 12 before we see the first 3 behind the safety car.

Laps 10, 11 and about half of 12 were done without anyone running behind the SC for any time EXCEPT Alonso and Massa.


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


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


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

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