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Ferrari fire back with details in Alonso penalty row
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Ferrari fire back with details in Alonso penalty row
Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Jul 2010   |  4:11 pm GMT  |  173 comments

The row over Fernando Alonso’s penalty at Silverstone for overtaking Robert Kubica illegally and failing to give back the place has moved on a step.

Ferrari sporting director Massimo Rivola today released a minute by minute account of Ferrari’s actions during the period after the disputed overtake. He reveals that Ferrari was on the radio to FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting within 14 seconds of the incident.

Alonso: Seriously unhappy (Darren Heath)

Alonso passed Kubica for fourth place by cutting off the circuit. He did not give the place back straight away and soon after the Renault hit technical problems, slowed and then retired. Nine laps after the incident Alonso was hit with a drive through penalty, but then a safety car was deployed meaning that the field bunched up and Alonso went to the back of the field.

Whiting said earlier this week in the Italian magazine Autosprint, “We told Ferrari three times that in my opinion they should give the position back to Kubica. We told them that immediately, right after the overtaking manoeuvre. On the radio, I suggested to them that if they exchange position again, there would be no need for the stewards to intervene.

“They didn’t do that, and on the third communication they said that Kubica was by then too far back to let him regain the position. It’s not true at all that the stewards took too long to decide. For us, the facts were clear immediately – Alonso had gained an advantage by cutting the track.”

However today in Gazzetta dello Sport, Rivola contests this view.
” We don’t want a polemic, but there are some things to be cleared up here because Ferrari made decisions with a certain logic. Rivola says that he was straight on to Whiting at 1-31pm after Alonso’s move, asking him to review the pass and saying that in Ferrari’s view there wasn’t room to pass Kubica on the track. Whiting asked for time to view the pictures of the pass.

At 1-33pm Ferrari called back, Alonso is now a lap and one sector further on and in pursuit of Rosberg, while Kubica is falling back. Whiting says that the stewards think that Alonso should give the place back. Rivola asks if that is a final decision. No, says Whiting but that’s how we see it. Meanhwile on track Kubica falls further back and Alonso passes Alguersuari.

At 1-33pm and 22 seconds Rival points out that Alonso now has Alguersuari between him and Kubica. While they are speaking Barrichello passes Kubica so there are now three places between Alonso and Kubica.

According to Rivola, Whiting says that he gave Ferrari the possibility of giving the place back and that as things are as they are the stewards will hear you after the race. 30 seconds later Kubica retires.

At 1-45pm the stewards investigation begins and at 1-46, just 55 seconds later, the stewards decide that Alonso should get a drive through penalty.

Ferrari are very angry that for two races in a row the stewards have not acted fairly, in their view. In Valencia Lewis Hamilton overtook the safety car but the punishment was so late in coming that it didn’t penalise him at all, meanwhile Ferrari lost a lot of ground by doing the right thing.

Ferrari’s website this week carried a story focussing on newspaper articles in Italy and Spain, which criticise the FIA stewards and race director for the amount of time key decisions are taking this season, describing it as “Formula Lullaby”. There is also the suggestion that whether and when punishments are handed out depends on who it is that is being punished. And that Ferrari is being singled out for some special treatment.

Meanwhile team principal Stefano Domenicali has said that despite the big loss of points in the last two races which would have kept them in contention, the world championship is still winable.
“Anyone who does not believe that we can win the world championship would do better looking for another job,” he told his team. “No one here is giving up: there are still nine races to go and anything can happen. We will have to do our job perfectly, that is to say the Ferrari way and then the results will come.”

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Excuses, excuses! It was very obvious just watching on TV that Alonso could and should have just given up the place right away. Shouldn't drivers and teams (especially those as experienced as Alonso and Ferrari!) take responsibility for their own actions from time to time, rather than pathetically asking the stewards for advice every time?

Come on boys, when it's that obvious you could sort it out yourselves and avoid a penalty. If only you could concentrate your efforts on getting your championship challenge back on track, rather than coming up with these elaborate excuses!


Have to agree; it was in Alonso and Ferrari’s gift to make amends within a few seconds of the incident occurring but they chose not to. Renault and Kubica chose to complain and the stewards chose to impose the rules and the penalty.

So in short it’s all about choices and Alonso/Ferrari made the wrong one.


Now Alonso has turned Ferrari into cry babies too - instead of these aimless analyses, they should be developing the car


It was also obvious that Kubica essentially forced Alonso to go off track. That shouldn't be a reasonable defense. Leave no room, fine. But Alonso was practically alongside, and was simply pushed over.


All I ask is, who had the line?



Alonso was on the OUTside - that's why he ended up off the course and tried his luck cutting the *next* corner.


Look what Alonso did to his own team mate at the start of the race, then consider what he did to him again in China (forced Massa off the track on the way into pits) then what he did to Petrov in Turkey (turned in on him & damaged his front wing) then what he did to Button & Schumacher on the 1st corner in Melbourne, see a pattern emerging?

I do, it goes, "I'm Alonso, I'm the best, get out of my way or I will jump up & down like an angry spainard & tell the team that pays me $20 million a year not to talk to me because I am angry & emotional."


Kubica stayed on the racing line (and he did) then he clearly didn't go out of his way to 'force' anyone into doing anything. Had he gone off-line and bumped wheels or suchlike, then Alonso would have something like half a leg to stand on, but... Kubica did nothing aggressive at all (unlike a certain RB driver at the start of the British GP - surprised more hasn't been made of that move James? Maybe because there was so much else going on?..)If


If this were Monaco or Singapore, Alonso would have lifted.

Once again, the lack of penalty in new tracks and/or sections isn't as huge as walls and gravel traps. What a shame.


You can't stay on the racing line when you have another car right alongside on the inside.


When its obvious that a car overtakes the safety/medical car shouldn't it be an obvious BLACK FLAG!!!


Um get with the program that was the last race, this is about whether Alonso's penalty at the British GP was justified or not. Unless you wanbt to discuss the controversies of the 1986 season now too?


No controversies worthy of importance in 1986. Prost won in the end which ended any debate. 🙂

Going back to our topic here, I think it is very obvious to everyone, inclusive of some Ferrari and Alonso fans (at least amongst my group of friends) that they should have given the place back immediately. I find it surprising that after Spa 2008 they have already forgotten.

This would have never happened in the Todt era. Ferrari needs to focus a little better on racing matters and the possible consequences of questionable moves.

James, do you think Ferrari are a little too much under the influence of Alonso?

He seems to be driving the team a bit more than he should.


Irvine said yesterday that he thinks the emotion of Alonso, allied with the emotion of a Brawn-less technical department at Ferrari is creating a mutual spiral. A bad combination in other words. He worked there.


Maybe, if the driver in question passes the SC at 100+mph somewhere on track - i.e. if it's obviously dangerous. But the valencia incident wasn't 'obvious' at all - very marginal - SC was exiting the pit-lane with medical car behind (they both look very similar - couldn't they be painted different colours?) and the SC-line can't be easy to see from an F1 cockpit. The fact that the stewards took ages confirming what had happened, eventually using overhead footage, also shows how un-obvious it was. In the end a reasonable penalty was imposed and Lewis was lucky, thanks to Kobayashi staying out, not to lose places. All in all, the correct decision - after all, it's not the same as it would be if the SC driver radioed race control saying 'Crikey, someone's just flown past me at 100mph on the back straight' - that would be 'obvious' and deserving of a black flag. (It'd be interesting to know if the SC driver (Maylander?) radioed anything about the incident at the time - did he know immediately that there'd been an infringement? Or wasn't he sure either?..)

Anyway, there are many recent-past examples of cutting corners/chicanes to overtake - the rules about that certainly are 'obvious', as both FA and Ferrari must know..


It's a difficult one, Kubica was under no obligation to give space but then Alonso was forced wide necessarily. You can run off the track and not lose a place ala Schu at Hungary 06, but not gain a place it seems.

I guess, in every situation where the person being passed shoves you off the track, the only legal route is to concede the corner and try again.

I'm not sure if there is a fairer way?


The problem I have with this incident is that it was the first bit of action in the race after lap 1. Again by making the race interesting by having a go ends up costing more than driving slowly behind and boring the crap out of everyone around the world.


I agree. Alonso was keeping me entertained and overtaking a much much slower car.

I understand the need for a punishment but I think seeing Kubica had fallen out of the race it should have been investigated after the race.


If Kubica was so much slower why did Fragile Fred take so long, and eventually make a mess of, overtaking him?


You could argue it the other way, though. If he'd conceded the place back, he'd have had to try again = more overtaking action.

I don't agree that rules should be ignored for the sake of action.


That's a fair point.


I think you're right. That said, even conceding the corner might still get you a punishment (as Hamilton found out in Belgium). You need to concede, and make it quite obvious that no advantage is gained by not overtaking at the next corner, etc.

Tough one to call, but I think that if Ferrari were so quick to contact Charlie after the incident, they obviously knew that it would be a controversial one, and would have been better off just immediately conceding it and trying again. Alonso was clearly quicker so could have easily regrouped and had another go next lap.


Because there is nothing in the rules to provide an exception, to being pushed off in the section covering advantage from cutting a corner.


This was not a difficult call. He gained a place, he had to concede it back and try again. The fact that he was pushed off is immaterial.


@Knuckles - because it still violates the rules. There is no clause permitting you to run off-track to gain a place


"The fact that he was pushed off is immaterial" ... because?


Dave i dont see where the tough call is - Spa 2008 settled this issue with Ferrari being the beneficiary then - these guys are turning F1 into some juvenile play ground game where there is more whining than racing.


Whoa, lots of people jumping on my 'tough call' statement. I'm not defending Ferrari here. Probably the wrong choice of words as I think I've confused people.

Don't get me wrong - I think the stewards made the right decision. Regardless of Kubica's retirement, a rule had been broken and so a punishment had to be issued.

My point was really only that Ferrari claim they were straight on the phone to Charlie within 14 seconds. If that's the case, they knew they were riding their luck, and so they should have done the safest thing and let Kubica straight back through. I agree with you that whining after receiving a punishment they must have expected is petty.


Thats the definition of racing, the driver infront is not supposed to just let you pass, even if you're driving a Ferrari(I think Alonso needs to get that in his head).


That really doesn't change anything, does it? Charlie gave his view - not a final decision - and the stewards later backed Charlie to make it a final decision.

Maybe this shows a delay by the stewards, but not by Charlie.

Ridiculous penalty. There was no space left for Alonso.

At worst, with Kubica retired, Alonso should have been made to allow 1 driver through. Dropping him to the back of the grid cheated the fans of a good race.

Another FIA travesty.


There was no space left because Alonso was not able to complete the overtake without Kubica giving up, which he is under no obligation to do.

It's a shame Kubica didn't pit with his problem, and then rejoin, and then Fragile Fred be told to give up the place!

Ferrari simply can't work out that the playing field has been levelled.


"Ridiculous penalty. There was no space left for Alonso." ??

So if theres no room to pass ON the track you should just drive OFF it to make the pass?

*Thats being "ridiculous."

If theres no space left then dont bloody go there!


Not ridiculous at all.

They did not listen to what Charlie said, and should have known that to give back the position was the right call.

He was in contravention of the rules. There are two applicable penalties, a drive through or a 10 second stop-go. They gave the more lenient of the two penalties available to them.

Maybe next time Ferrari will listen to what the race director tells them to do, rather than trying to gain an unfair advantage by ignoring him.

Letting just one driver through would not be a reasonable penalty, and is also not a valid penalty within the current F1 sporting regulations. If Alonso had cut back behind Kubica, who's to say how many seconds he would have lost to people on different pit strategies while he struggled to legally pass Kubica?


There is a precedent for this when Lewis cut the track in Belgium in 2008 and got a penalty after just letting Kimi back through, well just!

They have nothing to complain about!


Spot on!


Exactly. Alonso may have good grounds for feeling aggrieved but Ferrari as a team haven't a leg to stand on - they were very happy to accept the precedent set at Spa 2008 and it is hypocritical of them to object to it when they are on the other side of the decision.


The penalty was harsh indeed.

That said, he broke a rule, and so a penalty HAS to be given. Otherwise you're setting a precedence for 'letting people off'.

They are bound by what those penalties are - a drive through is the least serious.

It was just bad luck that the safety car came out before, rather than after, the penalty.


It's called karma Mr Rivola, live with like the rest of the paddock had to in the Mosley years. As they say, every dog has his day and you had yours big time. Now it's payback time.

Strange though that everywhere Alonso goes drama follows. If I were a team boss the last driver I's employ would be him.


That's why your not a team boss then isn't it.


Its funny how the tables appear to have turned on Ferrari after they were perceived for many years to have been assisted by the FIA


Oh for god sake, it's simple there was no need for Ferrari to contact anyone. Alonso left the track and gained an advantage by gaining a place. There is absolutely no argument about this, he should have immediately given the place back and tried to overtake correctly at another corner.

I don't understand why they didn't do this. The rules are crystal clear on this matter, it's not like it was open to interpretation. Other drivers have suffered as a result of doing exactly the same thing. Alsono was unlucky due to the Safety Car, but he's only got himself to blame. It's nothing to do with the FIA or stewards!


I totally agree. As a fan watching the race I was immediately yelling at Alonso through my TV to give the place back. How could he think that "being forced off the road" is an acceptable excuse to pass someone by cutting a corner? If that were true, then why wouldn't you deliberately put yourself in the position of being forced off the road for every single overtaking maneuver? The result would be a disgrace to the sport.


It is true. Alonso did gain the advantage of making sure Kubica didn't drive into the side of him. Good point.


@Josh I don't know if you're trying to be funny or not. Why would Kubica have driven into the side of Alonso? Surly Alonso would have hit Kubica as he was the one attempting to overtake.

It's all irrelevant though, since however you look at it, Alsonso tried to overtake, was unable to do so because Kubica perfectly fairly defended the racing line. As a result Alonso left the track and gained an advantage.

It doesn't matter how it happened, the fact is it DID happen and he should have immediately handed back the position.

Regardless of any rules, it's the sporting thing to do anyway! Just like in football when a team kicks the ball out of play to treat a player, the opposition hand the ball back again.


Fully agree. It was obvious to everybody that Alonso should have given the place back immediately, Ferrari knew this but tried to confuse the issue by contacting Charlie.

It seems like a deliberate attempt to create an anti Charlie, anti Steward situation. Lets see if Ferrari start trying to get rid of Charlie.


Also, I find it rather amusing that after years of the FIA making judgements that blatantly worked in favour of Ferrari when ever it could. Now that a couple of decisions have gone against them they are throwing their toys out the pram.


What about the race fans, two races ruined and for what?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but who's Charlie Whiting? If I remember correctly there was an incident where mclari, possibly spa asked chalie what they should do, he gave his opinion, mclari followed that but fia still punished them.

Ah well at least there is some comfort for Ferrari fans and that is the other Ferrari team is doing well, leading both championships.

What is this guy on about you ask....... not so long ago when Ferrari and Renault were fighting for the championship where were mclaren? All of a sudden 700 pages arrive and bang mclaren are up there hence why I now refer to them as mclari. ............ yes Ferrari fan here and really upset


Speaking as a race fan, nothing makes me happier than to see a combination of Alonso and a red car going backwards. Well, maybe Baby Michael getting a puncture on the first corner.....!


I've not seen any evidence that the spygate affair wasn't a 2-way flow of data.

In any event, I'm sure McLaren are delighted to accept your staunch support.


Haha! It's quite obvious for a few races that Fernando's found the right team to perfectly complement his own whining temperament - but it's only now I've realised some of the Ferrari FANS also have the same whingeing mentality..


Ferrari are trying to make their problems the FIA's. Whilst the race director should be capable of giving a quick answer it is up to the stewards to enforce the rules. On the other hand I think race control (CW) should focus purely on issues relating to the safety of the drivers i.e at start of the race, when to deploy SC , pit lane open e.t.c. Other teams have been caught out in the past asking for Mr W's opinion , but in this case Ferrari were frustrated by following the renault lap after lap. The could have passed him a lap later if he was that slow. I do think hard and fair competition is acceptable between drivers but cutting corners deliberately hoping to get away with it is just not on.


"I do think hard and fair competition is acceptable between drivers but cutting corners deliberately hoping to get away with it is just not on."

How do you know Alonso deliberately tried to cut the corner? It looked to me that Kubica took the corner with a rather spacious radius(as he is allowed) thus leaving no room for Alonso on the track.

Passing off track is illigal so the best option for Alonso had been dropping back behind Kubica straight away.

The penalty was deserved, it only became a harsh one because the SC was deployed a minute or so later.

This brings me to the following point:

Why are all sanctions as they are ?

Clearly if you look at the punishment Alonso got in the end, it doesn't make sense and I can imagine it felt unjustified.

The same can be said from the race two weeks before. Hamilton got a penalty which effectively wasn't (much of) a penalty.

So, why can't the penalties be like subtracting points from the total standings?

F.i. overtaking off track is a penalty of 5 points.

These drivethroughs stirr up the order in a very unpredictable way and that itself has nothing to do with racing.


The FIA is Ferrari's problem in this case and the last.


I don't know why Ferrari like to flirt with danger, for me, if your guided by the race director that giving the place back is advisible but not final, that should be good enough. You give it back while you can. If you don't and role the dice, you have to be prepared to take the concequences!

Whether or not the incident is worthy of penalty is another debate entirely, but if you're seeking clarity on a an incident with the powers that be you surely have to take the hint.

Alonso and Ferrari should now have learnt from incidents this year, but something tells me that they won't!


Perhaps, in the past, marginal decisions used to go their way, so there's a culture of rule risk taking within Ferrari. Thing is, things have changed, innit.


Sorry, but if Ferrari had to ask Charlie it the move was legal then that in itself indicates there was room for it to be considered illegal - they should have given the place back immediately and then got back to the business of overtake Kubica. Simples.

This argument that "in Ferrari’s view there wasn’t room to pass Kubica on the track" is quite simply ridiculous... so in that case cutting corners is justified?!?

Alonso was on the outside breaking into Club, level with Kubica, and didnt lift off knowing he would cut the second apex! Just think back to Hamilton/Raikonnen battle in Spa 2008. Conveniently Ferrari forgot the outcome of that one...


I dont think Ferrari were complaining about the penalty, they were complaing about how long it takes for them (stewards)to decide.

I mean Hammy passed a safty car and it was blatant. And how long did it take the stewards to give him his penalty? Why is no-one complaing that Hammy should have given himself a drive through on the next lap?


It's immaterial how long the FIA took to make the decision here - by not giving the position back Alonso and Ferrari were counting on not being punished - full stop.

Be it 5 minutes after the incident or 20 minutes, the decision cannot be made instantly - but if they wanted to avoid a penalty they certainly needed to give the place back right away. They took a gamble and it didnt pay off. Live with it, rather than moan like this.

Not sue why people keep bringing the Hamilton Valencia issue as they are not the same thing but anyway... in Valencia the FIA needed to study footage and GPS to determine 100% that LH he had overtaken the Safety car before the limiting line - that is why it took time to reach a decision. Dont forget that in Valencia the immediate priority during the SC period was Mark Webber, then clearing the track of debris and only after that sort out the actions SEVERAL drivers took as the SC came onto the track.

You can debate the effectiveness of these penalties, not how long the FIA stewards took to reach a final decision.


The main weakness in Ferrari's case is that it was fairly obvious to everybody except them that, despite the extenuating circumstances, Alonso had gained an advantage by leaving the track, so he must drop back behind Kubica immediately.

You can't say we'll give the place back later, and only if Race Control tells us to. For that reason, the fact that Kubica later fell back is not relevant - they should have given him the place before the next corner, not waited.

It's up to each team to abide by the rules, whether Race Control tells them what to do or not.


It was obvious to them too.

They were just trying to get in front of the situation and politic a favorable decision.


Hi James - can you think of any relevant precedents on Alonso and Ferrari's side? I can't think of a case where a driver overtook another by taking a short cut and got away with it.

As far as I am aware, gaining an advantage by taking a short-cut is *always* wrong. However, Kubica's driving is more in a grey area.

If Alonso and Ferrari want to argue that Kubica's driving was at fault, wouldn't the smart thing be to give the place back then complain to race control about dangerous driving (while trying to overtake again)?

PS Didn't Hamilton also complain (after the race) at Spa 2008 that Kimi gave him no room - ie that the actual cutting the chicane occurred in pretty much identical circumstances. So if Ferrari were right at Silverstone does that mean they now think Hamilton should have kept his win from Spa...?


Hungary 2006, Schumacher and De la Rosa. Can't recall the outcome but I think there was some controversy over that


Schumacher (in a Ferrari) cut the chicane on consecutive laps in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to keep Kubica behind him.

He did not get penalised for cutting the chicane, probably because he was Schumacher in a Ferrari. He eventually finished with one point after contacting Kubica and having to pit with a damaged car.

No wonder Ferrari are aggrieved. They're suddenly discovering that the rules of the sport also apply to them now. 😀


Wrong. Schumacher had been ahead of De la Rosa, not behind him. Penalties are only awarded when the driver passes another off track, niot if he is already ahead. He would only get a penalty for trying to defend his position if he would have done it a certain number of times. Quit making a story out of a non-issue.


Ironically that was Kubica's first race. Off topic, but I seem to remember Schumacher defending hard on worn-to-the-canvas inters... eventually getting tagged by Kubica which damaged Schu's suspension. It led to his retirement (an "appointment with karma"?), which was a pity as the race was made interesting by his gritty effort on those tires. imho anyway.


I remember after the controversy at Spa 2008, FIA has defined clearly how to concede the position back before you are allow to overtake again which is after one chicane at least. Is this definition still valid, anybody?


Asking the referee whether you are about to be punished or not is way beyond anything other we see in sports. You do your part, you compete following the rules and the referee's job is to give a penalty whenever he thinks rules are broken. There shouldn't even be ppossible to negotiate with the stewards during the race. Their only official response is announcing an incident being under investigation and giving out the penalt if needed. I do not believe Alonso should get punished for that move, but chatting with the stewards that way is not acceptable either. After all, how quickly does Ferrari think such a decision can be made? And if they were to follow the rule that the FIA cleared up after the Hamilton-Raikkonen Spa incident, Alonso should have given up the position right after the next corner. Not possible to get an answer in that timeframe...


In all sorts you can stop the action, that is the difference, racing not so much....


"--/but chatting with the stewards that way is not acceptable either."

Why? Is there a regulation or something that disallows teams to contact with race control?

Unfortunately I didnt see the race this time. But I have seen many previous ones and way too often I have noticed inconsistency, illogical decisions from the stewards. Therefore I think it is absolutely ok and even necessary to ask for clarifications when the race is still going, not after all cups are already given.

Moreover, if questions are asked, teams can probably get the best wiev of whether the stewards understand the rules or not...


First of all, according to my racing ethics, I don't think Alonso should be punished. I've explained why in detail on my website at http://wwww.f1grip.gr/index.php/f1grip-columns/drivealyze-this/458-drivealyze-this-alonso-vs-kubica-silverstone (it's in Greek and I don't know how good of a job built-in browser translators will be doing).

This is, though, irrelevant. It's ok to have a friendly kind of chat with the stewards but let us not consider this a norm. Apart from it not being the established thing to do, it would encourage more aggressive actions on-track followed by negotiations with the stewards in the background; then trying to avoid the penalties by new on-track manipulations and so on.


This doesn't prove anything: Ferrari should still have immediately radioed Alonso to give the place back to Kubica right after the Spaniard was pushed wide through the corner. They know the rules. I'm a big Alonso fan, and yes, the stewards did take too long to decide, but the whole thing was pretty simple really. Plus, Whiting already said that in his view, Alonso should give the place back yet Ferrari decided to ignore his advise. If they were just going to snub the race director, then why did they even bother to ask him???

I'm sure even if Fernando didn't return the place immediately to Robert, but had conceded it after Whiting's advisement then Mansell would have probably persuaded the stewards that no punishment was necessary since any advantage gained had gone (similar to Alonso-Klien Japan '05). But no, Ferrari decided to once again take a leap of faith and pepper it with a sense of entitlement.

Sorry to say, but for all their speed and inspired fight backs, Ferrari have been pathetic for most of the year. They seem to have believed in their own hype and have succumbed to a sense of entitlement, constantly thinking "How bad can it be? What can they do, huh? Remember, we're Ferrari!". The only reason they were so successful during the Schumacher era was because Ross Brawn and Jean Todt always made it a point to keep the boys on their feet and battered them to never take anything for granted. The team needs a new leader. One who can provide the team with a strong platform to perform and someone who has a very strong character to tell di Montezemolo to shut it - Todt style!


The only person bringing Ferrari down is Alonso. they are playing polemics because dear old Alonso feels hard done by. While he is at the team they are not going to win anything.


Except another championship or two, before he's done, mark my words.

When you're losing, the calls go against you and your snap decisions blow up in your face. When you're winning, things fall the other way. Ask Lewis "Safety Car Drag Racer" Hamilton.


But it's how you respond to adversity and bad luck that matters - so far, Alonso is giving every impression of a guy undergoing a nervous breakdown in slow-motion.


Does Alonso need permission to do everything? If I was in his seat, I would have given a little lift after the corner, and let Kubica past again. Sure, there was no room left for Alonso, but that doesn't give him ANY excuse to short-cut the track and overtake anyone.

If I was forced off the track, would it be acceptable if I cut through the infield, skipped a whole sector and rejoined 10 places ahead? No. What if I just cut 5 meters across the grass and passed one car? Still no.

It doesn't matter how much you break it down, getting forced off the does not suddenly give you freedom to overtake other cars by cutting the course.

Michael Grievson

I know it easy to comment from the armchair but really from experience Ferrari should have said immediately to Alonso "let him past and try again on the next lap". Alonso could have done this himself. He was faster at that point during the race.

Even if he couldn't have got past again Ferrari know they would have taken more points home than risking a pentalty which they went on to receive leaving them further behind in the championship.

A lot of teams seem to wait for the stewards to tell them what to do. For me its best to rest on the side of caution knowing the outcome would have been more favourable.


Alonso knew that he was wrong when he gained that advantage over Kubica, and would have finished with some points if he had just given back the position to Kubica, instead he winds up with zero, and only has himself to blame.


Well, FIA seem to have an issue this year again... Now Seb Vettel and particularly Hammy are allowed to escape whatever they do -- which is called "letting them race" -- while others like Alonso or Schumacher are penalized harshly for minor offences... Maybe they are not "allowed to race"??


Just as long as they race *on the track!


seems that way, doesn't it.


100% agree.


I really think Ferrari does not benefit from being in the news regarding things like this. They're damaging the image and history of the Prancing Horse.


Ferrari are whining about one of the first correct stewards' decisions we've seen all year, after a lengthy string of slap-on-the-wrist penalties or wishy-washy warnings that left the driver who broke the rules profiting from his infraction. This is doubly pathetic given that at the previous race, Ferrari (rightly) complained about Hamilton being given a penalty that still let him profit from his action, yet now at the next race they want the very same thing for themselves.

It was clear to every viewer possessed of sight that Alonso was entirely outside of the track when he completed his move against Kubica. The rules and precedent are quite clear that this required him to hand the place back, and indeed Ferrari indicate that they were aware of this by the fact they were asking questions just seconds after the incident. The decision to risk a penalty by trying to weasel their way out of giving the place back was theirs alone, and they have only themselves to blame for not playing fair in the first place and returning the place.

Claiming that Kubica was "too far back" to return the place is complete and utter nonsense. He was only "too far back" because the place had been gained illegally. It's a bit like claiming that if you rob a bank, you should be allowed to use the money you stole to hire high-priced lawyers to find a loophole in the law that lets you keep the balance of the proceeds.

This is a very clear, black and white issue. Ferrari's driver made an illegal pass. Ferrari and their driver chose not to give the place back. Ferrari and their driver were appropriately penalized for that fact. Karma decided to bite them with bad luck causing a safety car at the moment of their penalty -- something the stewards couldn't have known would happen, and couldn't have been expected to somehow mitigate.

Tough luck, Ferrari. You were hard done at the previous race, for sure, but this time you got exactly what was deserved for trying to profit from a clearly illegal maneuver. End of story.


You are wrong in most of your points.

You say: "Ferrari are whining about one of the first correct stewards’ decisions we’ve seen all year, after a lengthy string of slap-on-the-wrist penalties or wishy-washy warnings that left the driver who broke the rules profiting from his infraction. This is doubly pathetic given that at the previous race, Ferrari (rightly) complained about Hamilton being given a penalty that still let him profit from his action, yet now at the next race they want the very same thing for themselves."

No. Ferrari did not complain about the penalty. This is different form Valencia, when they DID complain. This time, however they didn't. Just to quote Alonso: "I accept everything they do. They are the judges" and "You can just say one thing: if a penalty must be punishing it must be always like this". But you can review all the quotes by Alonso or Domenicalli for yourself.

However, after Charlie Whiting publicly said that he had told Ferrari to let pass Kubica, Ferrari was left in a position where it seemed that they had acted foolishly and then answered. So they published the detailed chronology of the events so that we fans could understand why they acted how they acted. That's not whining, that's explaining why you did what you did.

You say: "It was clear to every viewer possessed of sight that Alonso was entirely outside of the track when he completed his move against Kubica."

No it wasn't. Alonso was even with Kubica when Kubica closed the door. If Kubica hadn't done so, he would have passed without going on the outside of the track. So it wasn't "clear to every viewer possessed of sight". It is debatable whether he gained an advantage by going out of the track or if he had already gained the advantage and afterwards went off the track to avoid a collision. It's not "black and white" as you say, it's rather greyish to me.

You say: "Claiming that Kubica was “too far back” to return the place is complete and utter nonsense. He was only “too far back” because the place had been gained illegally."

Again, no. Kubica was "too far back" because he was having mechanical problems with his car.

Best regards,


Spot on!

It wasn't "black and white" numerous photos online show Alonso perhaps slightly ahead while still on track... and Ferrari, this time at least, are simply clarifying and responding to comments from Whiting.

Ferrari don't need to say much, the whole world has seen the past two races. I don't think there is much of a conspiracy against Ferrari, but their recent luck has been horrendous...


God damned doom brained idjits... so now in Ferrari's mind every violation of the rules deserves an arguing of said rules with the stewards (and Charlie)... come [mod] on, blatant overtaking without using the track isn't something you need to discuss, it's been a clear rule -- let the guy pass, and try again. So what if Kubica squeezed him off the track, that's what Schumacher always did when he drove for Ferrari.

Looks like Ferrari did this on purpose... provoke the stewards, and when they get punished, cry like little children saying "it's not fair, it's not fair!".

Of course Whiting saying it's his opinion (instead of "that's the rule") doesn't help FIA defend themselves. Does Whiting have a role in catching mistakes/dole out punishments? I presume he does when he's the one that catches anyone jumping the start... or is that a job of the stewards as well?


Charlie refers the matter to the Stewards. The Stewards ultimately decide on what penalties (if any) are dished out.


I agree the stewards need to be quicker but also it was immediately obvious that Alonso needed to give the place back, so what were Ferrari playing at? They had far less to lose by giving the place back immediately.

Zobra Wambleska

So, there you have it. Ferrari has explained everything. It must be absolutely wonderful living in their world, but extremely annoying when others get involved. Alonso has finally found his home.


So Charlie said that stewards would look at it after the race, but the stewards chose to look at it a few laps later, once Kubica had already retired? That seems unfair to me. If he'd said they'd look at it after the race, then that's what should have happened.


I think I may apply for a job on the Ferrari pitwall. I could have looked at that and immediately given them some timely advice.

Better get the C.V in order as I am sure a few others on this site could have given the same advice.

P.S Look forward to hearing you on Talksport James - 12-2pm Saturday, I assume that you can hear this via Talksport.net if you aren't in blighty.


That's right. You can.

Horner's Vet Helmut

It such a shame to see a great brand such as Ferrari to continue to air their dirty linen in public.

There seems to be a great deal of pressure on the employees to deliver. As soon as something adverse happens towards them, an emotional press release is made aportioning blame elsewhere. I used to think that working for Ferrari would have been an engineer's Mecca, but now it appears evident that politics and a blame culture are endemic within the organisation.

Domencialli and Rivola seem to be intent on covering their backs as is typical of most over-promoted individuals.

In the past, we have seen plenty of occassions whereby a driver gains an unfair advantage and is then told by his team to immediately concede his position. As a boss, you are paid to make decisions, not seek clarification.

Ferrari tried to force the Stewards hand by harrying them to make a decision quickly, it backfired and this pushy, unsporting behaviour was rightly rewarded.

Alonso too, should have known better, he has been in F1 long enough.


The simple fact is that Alonso used an off road area to pass Kubica. Sure if he had done it to avoid a crash then he would have allowed Kubica back in front or at least to pull alongside him. And I'm sorry if Lewis Hamilton can be penalised like in France 2008 and Belgium 2008 for two similar incidents then Alonso has to. Simple as. But it seems that Alonso believes it's one rule for him and another for the the rest.


pfffffffffff, you talking about the pilot whose new name should be "the Legislator", every time he does something wrong,the rule gets cleared for the next race... lol


What goes around comes around


So McLearn is going to get theirs soon.

Zobra Wambleska

They got theirs a few years back; about $100 million worth.


Never a truer word spoken


My pet subject is drivers being forced off the track, and the reason why Alonso has an excuse is that Kubica broke the sporting code which says that you cannot force a driver off the track. Alonso was well along side Kubica, and Kubica quite deliberately closed the door around the corner.

The similarities with Kimi and Lewis at Spa are there, but in this case Alonso was even better established and had every right to be aggrieved.

However, two wrongs don't make a right. Rather than arguing over the overtake, Ferrari should have lodged a protest that Kubica had broken the sporting code annex L, IV 2b, (and regardless it should be raising it at the next drivers' briefing). They should have given the place back knowing the precedent and then expected Kubica to concede or get a drive through, if needs be getting Renault to consent that the two moves had cancelled each other out to avoid a penalty.

A driver should be able to establish himself on track alongside another car without fear of being deliberately pushed off the road. That is not to say that they can overtake off the road, but they should then be able to quickly get a stewards decision on a drive through penalty when the car in front defends by driving you off the road.

"...manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as... ...deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track... ...are strictly prohibited."

It's not like it is an unwritten rule, and it's not like I haven't mentioned it a zillion times!

Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion

Finally an intelligent thinking. There's a previous breach on the sporting code. Then comes Alonso's fault, as resault of a previous one. And I agree Ferrari should have played the safe card, give back position and call for a sanction for Kubica.

To everybody who thinks that Kubica had no reason to let Alonso pass, think about it this way: you would have never seen a wheel to wheel battle between Arnoux and Villeneuve at Dijoun 79. That could happen because the driver who was at the inside of the turn keep racing on his line, no pushing the other driver out of the track.... come on. Watch it on youtube. After all, it's one of the greatest moments on Formula 1 history.


Bit subjective though. For example, if Alonso had the opportunity to back off and therefore not get forced off track then was the rule broken? (Not necessary arguing with you here - I might go and watch a replay with your point in mind.)


I think the subjectivity comes from the "I will just spear the car around the course and see what I can get away with" (thinks Schumacher vs Kubica, Canada). However, if Alonso was able to stick to the track and make the corner, why should be back off as long as he leaves a car's width for Kubica as well?

The image I have in mind is that if someone can get a nose alongside another car, then they have gained the right to the track. It then forces the other driver onto the back foot - they have to back off to make the corner and leave room.

OTOH, if the overtaking driver has overcooked it on the outside, then they are going off the track. If they overcook it on the inside, it is the overtaking driver who is at fault for not leaving the overtaken car enough room.

Of course, if the outside car has left it into the braking zone to pull the move, then they should not be surprised that the inside car cannot make the corner and perhaps should back off for self-preservation, but that was not the case, Alonso had made the move, had the pace but was denied the road quite deliberately, as Kubica said in is press comments (if I recall correctly).

There was some great in-car of Button at Vallencia where he showed it was quite possible to drive at speed with other cars, wheel to wheel, without contact, through corners, each giving he other space. (Then there was the insanity of Kubica and Massa a couple of years ago where they simply ignored the track all together!)

There is a nasty F1 habit where it is accepted practice for a car on the inside to simply drive to the outside of the track to "defend" a corner. If you ban that move (which is already banned!), you then bring back the "Mansell around the outside of Berger" move which is impossible these days as you just get run off the road.


Watching that again, doing what you suggest would essentially involve Kubica giving up without a fight... Do you really want racing where the slower car rolls over and gives position to the faster car? Isn't defensive driving part of racing?


All the incident pointed out as far as im concerned is how ridiculous the low kurbs & tarmac runoff next to the track is.

If the kurbs has been higher & there had been grass on the outside of that turn Alonso would have lost time going across it anyway so may not have come back on track ahead of Kubica.

Something else is that I don't really like seeing drivers push another off track like Kubica did & like others have in the last 10 years.

I remember 20 years back when I started watching F1 & other series when we had high kurbs & grass/gravel runoff drivers used to give each other room & not shove each other off as soon as someone got alongside them. We also never saw people jumping chicanes as we do now.

The root cause of incidents like this & hamilton/Kimi at Spa '08 is the fact that shoving people wide & jumping across a chicane is all too tempting with the low kurbing & tarmac runoff we now see at those sort of corners. The car doing the pushing knows there's no risk to either car & the car doing the cutting also knows the same.


The problem with high curbs is that they launch a car going over them. This can lead to some very severe accidents. Not a good option.


Im not talking about the sort of high kurbing we saw Pre Mid-90's just slightly higher kurbs than the practically flat one's we see today.

They run slightly higher kurbs in american racing such as Indycar & we don't see cars flying off them & we also don't see drivers cutting across them.


If you go off the circuit and gain a place then you should give it back. Simple. Kubica had a right to defend his position.

Also it amazes me how a double World Champion with nearly 10 years of experience in F1 and Ferrari 60 years of experience could not have simply let Kubica passed straight away. Alonso was clearly quicker so he would have got passed again and then he would have had a decent haul of points.

Where has the ability to read a situation during a race gone from Alonso and Ferrari?


Why did they have to wait for the steward's decision before giving the place back?

It should have been obvious to the team on the pitwall and most of all to Alonso himself.

He should have let Kubica straight back through then the penalty would have never happened.

Ahy oh why oh why can't Ferrari ever take a decision that goes against them on the chin? They really are the whingeing champions of F1.


Yes the stewards drag their heals but based upon SPA 2008 with Kimi and Lewis which I totally supported at the time! (Go Ferrari!!) then yes Alonso should have given up the place and to be honest I could see a drive through coming miles away....and so should have Ferrari...how long have they been in the sport - oh yeah since the beginning thats right.... Oh well Alonso win in Germany - easy! providing the FIA have a day off - ha

Paul Summerfield

From what I could see, Alonso and Ferrari thought they were being clever, after the illegal overtake, Alonso had the hammer to the floor, setting fastest sector after fastest sector, obviously trying to gain enough ground that even if they got a drive through they would be far enough up the road to not lose out [as Hamilton did in Velencia] unfortunately for them though the safety car came out and the rest is history... The fact that Kubica retired had no relevance to the offence nor should the penalty have been negated.


I agree. Though Alonso would never admit to it, and probably the same goes for Ferrari, it appears that that is what he was attempting to do.

Ferrari feel cheated. Which is fitting considering cheating is what Alonso seems to be best at. How exactly can Ferrari expect a blatant move such as that to go unpunished? It's been said a hundred times, and it'll be said again, that the position should have been given back immediately which would have avoided all the hassle. You can't blame the stewards and the race director for punishing a mistake that you made.


Nothing breeds paranoia like paranoia. Alonso's head seems to be full of it, with no sign of him learning from these incidents. He's got to change his approach and outlook if we're to see the best of him again. I don't think Ferrari are helping him in this respect.


I absolutely agree about the paranoia. I have seen that a lot in british forums coming from McLaren- fans. I think it was paranoia about half fo the F1 world being racist.

But you really don't have to worry about Ferrari. They will survive. If Whiting will- is another question. Some more strange 'incidents' and he will be the one to take his head. And frankly, its about time. I think he is getting too old for the job...


Just what are Ferrari playing at here? Are they trying to get on Charlie's wick by calling him a liar?

You just know that the next response will be video & audio footage on formula1.comm showing exactly the exchanges, and exactly the timing Just like we saw (to McLaren's embarrassment) in turkey.

And I bet it won't be flattering to Ferrari...

BTW @Louis - Whiting can indeed only express his opinion of what the Stewards will say, and it is a proper defence. The Stewards are the ones to make the decision, not Charlie nor anyone else in the FIA.

Even when he was the one who observed Alonso's false start, he is only in a position to report it. The Stewards decide.

Charlie's position is to run the race safely, and make decisions based on safety, but the information at his fingertips for *that* purpose (which requires much faster decision-making) also makes it easy for him to provide information to the Stewards, and to help them investigate events. That's why he's always at the centre of things, but he isn't the enforcer.


Ferrari sicken me. Do they not remember sending a lawyer to the McLaren hearing after Spa when Hamilton was punished despite giving the place back?!

What do they expect to happen when you don't give it back?!


Who is calling the shots with regards to race strategy? I can't help but wonder if Stefano and Alonso's race engineer respect Alonso a bit too much. Are they afraid of giving him instructions during the race that may upset him? Surely if Ross Brawn had been on that pit wall he'd have told Alonso to give the place back immediately.


I think this is spot on. Having dumped Kimi for Alonso the team have a LOT riding on him doing well - and it isn't going to plan because they've gone from one extreme to another (the grunting iceman to an over-emotional prima-donna with a seriously unhealthy obsession with Hamilton). They built Alonso up as 'better than Kimi' and now they're paying the price by letting him make desperate, emotional decisions when it should be them ordering him to do things on track (eg. give place back to Kubica).

Admittedly, they probably didn't realise, until he arrived, how much Hamilton had gotten inside his head - fact is, he hasn't been the same WDC-challenger since Lewis gave him a mental wedgie in 07..

Ferrari's management need to take control ASAP, or they're going to end the season a laughingstock.


Did they really need to ask if the move was illegal? They were reckless and incompetent to not give it back on their own. The rest is just crying and moaning.


Like so many, this issue boils down to one thing: sportsmanship. More specifically, lack of it.
If Alonso had a shred of fair play in his body he'd have let Kuby back straight away.

The current trend for silly discussions with the stewards over team radios is probBly the reason for the deterioration in gentlemanly behaviour too. Drivers (and teams), you drive. Stewards, you steward. And let's get back to at least a semblance of sporting behaviour from the pedallers.


I think history will eventually regard Alonso's move to Ferrari a complete disaster for both parties - no doubt he wants the outdated MSC-model-setup (i.e. tame no.2), but cannot back that up with dominant on-track results (due partly to his, frankly, increasingly unhinged obsession with Hamilton and the team's lack of anything like the Brawn-Todt axis to produce a decent car and make sensible, let alone race-clinching, quick decisions).

A match made in heaven. Alonso whines about Hamilton and the team whines about stewards, blah, blah, blah... We're all enjoying the show though.


Alonso obviously gained an unfair advantage by passing Kubica. Passing with all 4 wheels clearly off the circuit is illegal.

There is a recent precedent for this when Lewis and Kimi were battling at Spa in 2008, Lewis cut the track - accidentally and gave the place back, admittedly by the skin of his teeth. Lewis then retook Kimi and it was deemed after that race that he hadn't done enough in the way he gave the place back.

In my view there is no difference between that incident and what happened at Silverstone in 2010. Alonso and co would have a right to complain if they had received a penalty after giving the place back.

I also admit that they were unlucky with the timing of the safety car, but safety cars are random and the safety of everyone involved is more important than whether a penalty is served.

Ferrari should get a grip and accept that currently are having really bad luck!


"55 seconds later, the stewards decide that Alonso should get a drive through penalty."

It took 20+ minutes to decide on Hamilton's drive through penalty when he illegally passed a safety car. Does anyone else see any issues here with Stewards? There is no excuses with the amount of technology they have in this day and age to take that long to make a decision. The FIA is doing everything they can to stick it to Ferrari!!! Bottom line.

SIDE NOTE: We all know the FIA is pissed at Ferrari because they did not accept a budget cap and led the formaton of a break away group. If a budget cap was in place no one would have the ability to catch up to red bull as we have slowly seen this year and they would have walked away with the chmapionship. Everyone is implemeting their blown diffuser and its costing mega millions to do. Everyone is implemeting a rear wing staller... So YOU ALL CAN thank Ferrari for a decent year of competitive racing and saving the pinnacle of motorsport!


..must be fun to be in a tiny minority.


So you reckon the stewards deliberately took their time in Valencia in order to help Lewis? I suppose Sauber were in on the plot, too, keeping Kobayashi out? Don't you think it more likely that everyone was more worried about making sure Webber was OK, and they looked at the rule-breaking after that? (I bet, had there been a big accident going on at the same time as the Alonso-Kubica incident, the stewards would have taken just as long as they did in Valencia.)


why not just fine Ferrari $100 million?

richard hughes

Wow. When in a hole, stop digging.

Ok, the way it worked out for FA was a little harsh but the fact of the matter is that he broke the rules.

Quite funny really as they helped define the rule which they broke. (Spa 2008.)

FA seems to be imploding this year - not sure what it is. Maybe the pressure of driving a red car or maybe Hamilton has got right inside his head.

Watch this space - i predict more fireworks in the next few races between FA and LH.


Pushing wide or cutting the corner? I think it's quite clear to me Alonso was left no room in passing a much slower Kubica. Could someone post some video footage in Youtube? It's pointless to argue without any evidence, we want to know whether the Stewards acted fairly this time. Everyone hated those bad Referees in the WorldCup. So we have to apply same standard to the race stewards. If they acted not in good faith, we need to remove them.


Ferrari have been alienating their fans over the past two seasons with their constant accusations of unfair treatment. Get your act together and do what you do best - winning.

That said, if Whiting had told Ferrari within seconds instead of a few minutes of the incident to let Kubica repass, they'd still cry out with calls of an unfair decision and would've said that Kubica should have been penalized instead.


It's not Charlie's call!


Whiting gave a personal opinion, not an instruction. Ferrari asked if that was his final decision and Whiting asked for some time to review footage. When overtaking in modern F1 is close to impossible, Ferrari were right to expect clear instructions, not a vague opinion.


I find that F1 is becoming increasingly a British managed & run business, in which Anglo-Saxon logic and behaviour is becoming the norm. Somewhat putting to ridicule what I would now call "foreign" outfits, Ferrari unfortunately being one of them. And Ferrari also have that double edged knife called Todt at the FIA, who has made a point of being over zealous regarding his impartiality about Ferrari. So much so that the prancing horse is in a weaker position than the other teams. There is a solution I think - unfortunately. Put in an Anglo-Saxon boss and Ferrari will become a more politically correct team in the eyes of today's F1 managers and decision takers.


This incident raises a number of issues.

We need to encourage racing and overtaking attempts. Many have referred to the Spa Kimi/Lewis incident. If I remember correctly there was a great deal of comment about the ruling limiting those drivers willing to have a go. And the penalising of Alonso is just as restrictive.

Also, Speeny’s comment above about the rule re crowding a driver to the edge is a good one. Webber did just the same to Vettel yet there wasn’t even a murmur about it. That said, I don’t think even Horner had the brass neck to put in an objection.

Whilst I would suggest we do not need overtakes at all costs, how much more sensible would it be if, rather than have afterburners fitted to the cars, we modified the rules to limit blocking and such.

We need moves like Alonso’s and Lewis’: that’s why I watch motor racing. I don’t like the idea of the overtaking driver being forced off the circuit and then being subject of a penalty.

On the penalty itself, from the timings it would appear that Whiting told Ferrari that Alonso should give back the place within two minutes, a bit over a lap, after the incident. Yet Ferrari did nothing about it. They took a risk, no problem with that in F1, but it didn’t pay off. No one to criticise but themselves.

On a small point, probably not strictly relevant, but at the Spa incident, McLaren contacted Whiting who said that Lewis, in allowing Kimi to repass, had negated the advantage.

Probably even less relevant, Ferrari were adamant that it was obvious that an advantage had been gained and that the fact that Kimi decided to go farming later was irrelevant. But then, would any team manager say different if it was their driver? But, whilst we can’t really criticise them, there is a rather delicious irony, especially if you are a McLaren fan.

I accept that Kubica was, by that time, in trouble but that was irrelevant. If Alonso had slowed immediately Whiting’s comments were relayed to him, ostensibly to negate the advantage, perhaps dropped behind a couple of cars, and then, when it appeared fruitless, speeded up, I feel sure that in the present stewarding climate the penalty would have been deemed to have been served.

One point on which I think Ferrari needs to take care: they have, with their driver, rather publically criticised the FIA over the safety car incident. I would assume that, given his comments since, Alonso has been warned regarding his future conduct. But after that, the Ferrari website carried considerable criticism and it did not aid the dignity of the sport.

Given the animosity between Todt and Ferrari when they parted company it is with some relief, and respect, that I note no immediate overreaction from the FIA president. Boy, have I been proved wrong about him.

But now Ferrari have featured press reports critical of the FIA’s decision, some bordering of the libellous, on their website. They might feel they have been hard done by but, like all sports, you can’t commit to a campaign against the organisers without expecting some form of retaliation.

Despite McLaren feeling very hard done by, Whitmarsh’s letter in response to the findings of the enquiry into Stepneygate, where they refuted most of the findings and criticised the penalty, was, on the face of it, respectful. I say Whitmarsh’s letter but it was, more probably, an army of lawyers who created it.

Having been subject of discipline myself I know full well that, once found guilty, it is a requirement to accept the findings and punishment. Please, Ferrari, take care. We don’t want you to lose points or to suffer some stupid additional penalty ’cause the FIA feels it has to exert its authority.

I can see the team’s point of view. I would see it a lot more clearly had they not chosen to ignore the advice from Whiting just two minutes after the incident.

I tell you what, though: this is a fascinating 2010. There’s enough happened so far to keep us talking all through the off season. And we’re just half way through.


Good post, but isn't it true to say that, quite simply, Whiting has been exposed her to be a liar? He presented the scenario that he had been calling Ferrari to urge them to return the place, while in fact Ferrari have now proven conclusively that this was not the case at all...

I'm no Ferrari fan, and I can't stand Alonso as a character, but I can clearly state two things - 1) that had Alonso not driven off the tarmac he would have been crashed into by Kubica, and 2) the sport needs Ferrari a lot more than they need the FIA, and the sport has been given a lot more by Ferrari than the FIA over the years. Todt, more than anyone else on Earth should recognise this, unless the sudden power of his presidency has gone to his head and obscured his normally excellent clarity of vision.

Ferrari do the things they need to do to the best of their ability - namely bringing fans, glamour and success to the sport, which is surely the chief aim of any team, and to push every possible angle they can to gain a competitive advantage.

The FIA do not do the things they need to do to the best of their ability, namely making the purest, fairest, most efficient and transparent decisions possible. They do not, and this was yet one more example in decades of tiresome, frustrating examples. They really are not, despite replacing Mosley with Todt, fit for purpose...


First of all, it is Ferrari's responsibility to know the rules and to ensure that they follow them. If they have a question about them, then it is up to them to contact the stewards.

It was blatantly obvious that Alonso gained a position by cutting the corner. Whether due to being pushed of by the other car or not, it is immaterial. He had to give it back and then resume the fight. That was clear and obvious.

The fact that Ferrari decided to wait and see if the stewards reacted to the event and then see if they were going to penalize Alonzo made the consequences of waiting their own fault. To blame the resulting drop through the field on the stewards' long reaction time is just idiotic. Ferrari knew Alonso committed an infraction. They tried to get away with it. They got caught and required to pay a penalty. It was further bad luck that it happened just as the safety car came out.

Too bad. You screwed up. You take responsibility and accept the consequences.


I still cannot understand Ferrari not giving the position back immediately, off their own initiative, never mind Whiting.

Ferrari are well aware of the full situation after the incident in Spa 2008, where they sent there own lawyer to ensure Massa kept first place.

Ask anyone in the paddock and they would all quote unanimously that the position had to be returned immediately. Many may well also see little point in returning the position once Kubica is no longer there, but that is another issue.

I cannot believe that Ferrari would do anything else than to advise to return the position immediately, unless the agenda was being driven from the cockpit.


I was all ready to write a rant about Ferrari crying because they didn't get their own way.

However I just watched the race edit on Formula1.com which shows the incident once at racing speed. On that it looks like Alonso was forced into cutting the corner by Kubica. So at first glance without replays if I was on the Ferrari pit wall I'd have asked for guidance. It looked like it was Kubica's fault he lost a place.

Ferrari gambled it would get called that way, if it didn't Alonso might be so far up the road the penalty wouldn't hurt too much. Fair gamble. It probably explains why Fernando didn't moan too much about it.

The risk taking and complaining shows how desperate Ferrari are for points this season, it wouldn't surprise me if they had a target to hit or there's big changes coming to the team management.


No sure it's that obvious mate. David Coulthard, an experienced racer who has never been a fan of Ferrari supported their case and thought they were hard done by during the commentary. Also, My main problem is that the radio traffic, I assume Ferrari can back it up, proves that Charlie Whiting is a liar. That's a real concern


Alonso has not been exceptional the last two races, but he has been on course for some solid points before the stewards have intervened with the race. He is simply going through a patch of bad luck. Like most things there is an ebb and flow and I'm sure Alonso will catch a lucky break sooner or later. He just has to keep focused and realise that a lapse in judgement will see him make mistakes for which there is no natural balancer.


AT least this seems to have pre-empted 3-Car-Monty's usual rant about slower cars getting in the way.


sporting Code, Chapter IV, anexe L:

2,b) Overtaking, according to the circumstances, may be carried out on either the right or the left.

However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited.

Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will be reported to the stewards of the meeting.

F1 sporting regulations:

16.1 "Incident" means any occurrence or series of occurrences involving one or more drivers, or any action by any driver, which is reported to the stewards by the race director (or noted by the stewards and referred to the race director for investigation) which :

- necessitated the suspension of a race under Article 41 ;

- constituted a breach of these Sporting Regulations or the Code ;

- caused a false start by one or more cars ;

- caused a collision ;

- forced a driver off the track ;

- illegitimately prevented a legitimate overtaking manoeuvre by a driver ;

- illegitimately impeded another driver during overtaking.

Who breaches the rules?

Kubica, or Alonso?

In a near future, a driver will force a driver off the track... and we all must ask why FIA dont pelalised these actions before..

And what happens with Rosberg overtake?


Charlie must be banned from F1.

It's my opinion.

( Sorry if my english isn't good)


alonso did what hamilton did the race before...he tried it on and waited for the consequences. Essentially he put the ball in the court of the stewards to make a decision. They did what they did and he got punished. He has been on the wrong side of two decisions. Conspiracy? hard to prove. It would all go away if the stewards made decisions FAST. Hamilton got so far ahead in his offence that the punishment did not fit the crime. Alonso had legitimate claims there. The structure is there ie: the rules, so it should all follow logically. the problem is that there is a BIG intagiable that is not so logical and that is the APPLICATION of those rules by the stewards which, as we have seen, can have a dramatic effect on outcomes. That is poor. can someone give us the headlines on the acrimony between jean todt and ferrari when he lEft. I am a little out of the loop there.


...you omit to mention one key point. Fragile Fred and Ferrari had it within their control to give the place back. They chose not to. Lewis, having passed the safety car by half a metre in a nano second had no such option. He could not penalise himself. Fred gambled and lost, Ferrari carry on whining as usual.


Agreed, Fernando got an advantage cutting the chicane, but I think the penalty was a bit harsh from my opinion.

10 seconds could have been added to his overall time like they generally do for the infringements in the closing lap as the person who was overtaken retired anyway.

Its also surprising that Ferrari is going all out against the FIA though their ex team boss is at the helm of FIA. Can this then be perceived as renewed animosity between Alonso and Todt (when Alonso allegedly turned down a Ferrari offer in the past for McLaren)


I don't understand most of the comments over here.

Most of you seem not to read this part of the article:

According to Rivola, Whiting says that he gave Ferrari the possibility of giving the place back and that as things are as they are the stewards will hear you after the race. 30 seconds later Kubica retires.

They woud hear Ferrari AFTER the race, that been said you simply can't give any penalty during the race for the action being made by Alonso.

However, thinking about it, Ferrari would have been wiser to give back position immediately.


Ferrari were trying for a professional foul, and sadly it backfired.

How long will it before Ferrari start talking of leaving F1.. "toys out of pram".


I'd be interested in how this impacts Charlie's approach to future contact from Ferrari during a race.

Ferrari are being very short sighted here, I think. The next time Charlie is just going to stick to the rulebook and stiff-arm them if they come to him for guidance.


The whole story starts to smell bad....

If Gazetta's story is true, which sounds very possible, what were the stewards aiming for? Benefiting Button maybe????


Got to love the comment about Alonso having passed Alguersuari. Alonso influencing Alguersuari's race after overtaking by Kubica by unfair means actually supports the penalty and this guy tries to use it to support his case.

Damian Johnson

Ferrari and their supporters need to grow up and stop blaming FIA, racing stewards or even Lewis Hamilton. A 5 year old would know that Alonso should have handed back the position to Kubica.

I also find Ferrari's hypocracy staggering as they were so very vocal after Spa 2008 to defend the decision to give Hamilton a 25 second penalty so that their driver, Massa could snatch an undeserving win. Two years later Ferrari conveniently forget Spa 2008.

Why was Ferrari even allowed to send a lawyer to this hearing as this should have been a strict matter between McLaren and FIA. The bad old days of Ferrari International Assistance?

The Spa 2008 was a very bitter pill to swallow for McLaren/Hamilton fans so its a sweet moment to see Ferrari being forced to drink its own medicine!


It looks as though you need to both grow up and move on!


I'm going to be honest here, the stewards have been just awful this season. Inconsistant penalties (especially compared to previous seasons)and this incident just tops it off.

What annoys the most is last season Webber was given a drive through penalty for an unsafe pit release in Germany, however that has gone completely unpunished this year.


No point whinning. They were told immediately to give back positions. It's a mistake for Ferrari so live with it.

As indicated they can still fight for the championships, please show us how can you do it with dignity.

And this year's stewarding has not been perfect as expected with assistance form ex racing drivers.


It depends on how you define 'immediately'. And, they were not 'told to' as in 'this is our decision'. They were told 'its not our decision but maybe you should'. Very vage and by no means an 'order'.

Aside from this, Whiting has done it before: tell the teams something and different things happen afterwards. Its not the first time he brings himself into trouble.

Unfortunately for Ferrari they seem to be on the top list for dubious decisions this season. And i don't see that to change anytime soon, so they better learn to live with it.


There's been different reports regarding Alonso's penalty. So we get confused as to what the stewards said as the media is the only source for our comments.


For 2 races running Ferrari have been negatively impacted upon by correct steward decisions.

That's life.

Get on with it


correct but the APPLICATION of the punishment is what the issue here. Hamilton got an unfair advantage with the stewards dithering in the last race. Alonso did the same and he got punished straight away- 55 secs v the 16 or so minutes for Hamilton may smell of conspiracy, but it looks and is incompetence from the stewards.


The FIA should fire Charlie Whiting for his incompetence.

I don't watch F1 to see some toilet grade race director influence race results.

Too many times, Charlie has affected the race outcome through political sabotage or sheer incompetence.

I watch F1 to see teams and drivers fight it out.

A race director should be invisible, and simply state what needs to be done...

Why couldn't he just tell Ferrai, the ovetake was questionable? Give the place back..

Nomally it's McLaren that are the victims, but I guess Ferrai have now fallen foul of the corrupt official.

Damian Johnson

CW did not affect the race outcome. Alonso damaged his race by cutting a chicane and not handing back the position. As a result of what happened at Spa 2008 and specifically in relation to the race communications between McLaren and CW, Ferrari were 100% well aware that CW cannot give a definitive statement on the legality or otherwise.


TOTALLY AGREE! FIA on many occasions has been totally incompetent. What a shame. Beware of the light blue shirt men.


There's no post race statement from Alonso regarding his cuttrack, because... he knew he's guilty!


Alonso gained an advantage, and should have given it up straight away. End of story.

Last year at Singapore, Webber gained an advantage by going off the track to overtake a driver (Alonso?). When the message from the stewards came through, Webber was forced to concede two positions, as the driver had been overtaken by another car (Glock, I think).

As some of the blind McLaren/Hamilton devotees have felt the need to bring up Spa 2008, perhaps they should also comment on Monza 2007 where Hamilton overtook Massa by cutting a chicane on the first lap but escaped even an investigation. More proof that their claims of Ferrari favouritism/bias against Hamilton is pure twaddle.

Damian Johnson

I am not a blind McLaren/Hamilton devotee as you suggest but I can spot a FIA hatchet job when I see one. There was more to Spa 2008 than just chicane cutting as your comment suggests.

You would know that Hamilton at Spa 2008 unlike Alonso gave back the position and so to make the Hamilton penalty stick, the racing stewards applied a new law retrospectively. How often does that happen in F1? And was 25 seconds a fair penalty? Allan Donnelly, Max's right hand man, also interviewed Hamilton after the race and acted as the go between for the racing stewards even though he was not listed as being a member on the stewards panel.

And with regards to Ferrari favouritism, which team received a secret technical veto from FIA and also receives a higher share of F1 revenues? I leave everyone else to draw their own conclusions on whether Ferrari has had more than its fare share of favourable FIA decisions.


The issue at Spa was whether Hamilton gave up the advantage that he obtained. If you have evidence that he did then please provide it.

The time penalty given was in lieu of a drive-through penalty, and was the corresponding penalty under the circumstances.

Your claim that a new law was introduced retrospectively is not true. A clarification was issued that drivers should not overtake again until the next corner.

Most F1 drivers at the time were of the view that Hamilton deserved the penalty.

Ferrari receives more money than the other teams because of its huge popularity – deal with it.

As for the secret veto, perhaps other teams would have been offered the right to veto had they signed the Concorde Agreement at the same time as Ferrari.

You conveniently ignored Monza 2007. There were a number of other questionable decisions that went Hamilton’s way that year as well which the blind McLaren/Hamilton devotees and Ferrari bashers conveniently ignore.

You claim not to be a blind McLaren/Hamilton devotee, but you appear to have an issue with Ferrari – get over it!

Robert Higginbotham

Here is the Alonso/Klien incident.


Two or three laps later Alonso was required to let Klien past. I don't recall a great deal of controversy surrounding this incident.


Damian Johnson

If you were to pay attention to the facts, then you would have noticed that I stated that Alonso should have given the position back straight away. If I were a blind Ferrari devotee, would I have done so?

The concept may be alien to you, but there are people who can follow F1 with an open mind.

You have again conveniently ignored Monza 2007. Why could that be?

As for your “evidence”, perhaps you need to review the situation.


It is true that Hamilton gave up his position to Raikkonen – I never denied that. However, he did not drop back to give up any time advantage that he obtained by cutting the chicane, but instead immediately proceeded to reclaim the position once Raikkonen was past.

How much of a time advantage did Hamilton obtain by cutting the chicane? Did he drop back by this amount of time? Drivers are required to surrender any time advantage that they obtain from going off the track. It would be easy for McLaren to produce a simulation to demonstrate Hamilton’s lap time had he not cut the chicane, and to compare this with what happened.

Do you have such evidence?

There is a precedent for the FIA giving penalties to drivers cutting a chicane and not giving up the time advantage that they obtained. It happened at Suzuka circa 2002. A number of drivers cut the chicane leading on to the pit straight. When Michael Schumacher did so, he slowed down in the first sector to give up the time advantage that he obtained, whilst others, such as Montoya, did not. Drivers falling in the latter category were given penalties.

Perhaps you see this as further proof of FIA bias towards Ferrari…

Alonso was involved in a similar incident to that at Silverstone at Suzuka in 2005, when he overtook Christian Klien by cutting the chicane, and he was required to give back his position a few laps later.

There are precedents for the penalty handed to Hamilton at Spa 2008, but despite the evidence there are undoubtedly some who will continue to ignore the facts and regurgitate their emotionally-driven twaddle.

Did the FIA “construct a rule” after Spa 2008 that said you cannot overtake until the next corner?

Your claim that Raikkonen’s car had “no grip” suggests that you are in disagreement with the fundamentals of physics. Perhaps you can elaborate on this matter! Or perhaps what you meant to say was that Raikkonen’s Ferrari had a lower level of grip than Hamilton’s McLaren. But the question remains, where would Hamilton have been relative to Raikkonen had he not cut the chicane?

Are you able to answer this question, or will you resort to the same twaddle?

Niki Lauda also drove for McLaren - it is interesting to note that you didn’t mention that! Did you agree with Niki whenever he came to the defence of Michael Schumacher, or is your support of Lauda’s comments highly selective?

Ex-McLaren driver Alex Wurz stated on ITV that he thought the penalty was deserved.

I never claimed that other teams had the secret veto, so once again you have, at best, misunderstood the facts. What I said was that other teams may have been given the right to a veto had they signed the Concorde Agreement at the same time as Ferrari. There was a time when any team had the right to veto a proposed rule change.

It is interesting to note that when Mansell drove for Ferrari and Senna drove for McLaren, the FIA was supposedly biased against ‘our Nige’ and supported Senna! Two decades later the same organisation was biased towards Ferrari and against a British driver at McLaren. Hmmm…

Some would undoubtedly conclude that you have let your emotions, and other issues, get in the way of the facts!

This event happened almost two years ago. It is time that you became au fait with reality and moved on! We shouldn’t be wasting our time on this issue!


Can we have less personal stuff here between posters. This post is borderline not allowable. Keep it polite


From your comments, one might conclude that you are a blind Ferrari devotee! The evidence clearly showed that Hamilton had dropped behind Kimi’s car. The problem with Kimi’s car was that he had no grip in the rain so slowed right down for the bend just after the hand back. That is your evidence!

As for determining what was “sufficient advantage”, is for the subjective interpretation by the stewards. There was nothing in the rule book with which to outlaw Hamilton’s hand back. That was at the heart of the debate and required FIA to construct a rule after Spa that said you cannot overtake until the next corner to legitimise the controversial decision made by the stewards.

As for your comment that most F1 drivers were accepting of the Spa decision. Well my response is that they would say that would n’t they as Lewis was leading the Championship and they need to get the points margint down. A far more credible view can be taken from ex F1 drivers and many were outspoken in criticising FIA, most notably Niki Lauda. As an ex Ferrari driver, even Niki said that he never believed that FIA was biased to Ferrari until the decision at Spa and said that he was starting to believe it.

Instead of making wild assertions, where is your evidence that other teams besides Ferrari also had the secret technical veto? It’s quite damning for a neutral sports body to be agreeing a technical veto with one of the competing teams. Using Max’s Mosely’s famous word, that’s “polluting” F1.


Dealing with such situation in Poland we say "Ferrari and Alonso pretended the Greeks" (don't know English equivalent).

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