Petrov feels the Glock effect: helping someone else to the title
Petrov feels the Glock effect: helping someone else to the title
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Nov 2010   |  3:02 pm GMT  |  169 comments

I see that Vitaly Petrov has been speaking in German newspaper Bild about the abuse he’s taken on his Facebook page from irate Alonso and Ferrari fans. The Russian managed to keep Alonso behind him for most of the race in Abu Dhabi after Ferrari made a bad strategy call which brought their contender out behind the Renault driver.

In doing so he played a direct hand in the outcome of the world championship and has been attacked from partisan quarters for doing so. The same thing happened two years ago with Timo Glock, who was passed by Lewis Hamilton in the final corner of the last lap in Brazil to give Hamilton the fifth place he needed to become champion.

Glock took a lot of abuse and was cruelly accused of having deliberately slowed to let Hamilton catch and pass him. In the final stages of the race, if you recall, the rain was falling and Toyota had gambled on leaving both cars out on dry tyres. Glock was caught and passed because his tyres lost temperature and grip. The proof of this is that Trulli set similar sector times to Glock in the final two laps.

As with any driver, Glock was only informed of his time gaps relative to the car in front and behind. So he would have had no idea that Massa had won the race, nor of the circumstances. The abuse he and the team got from the anti-Hamilton brigade was horrendous, I’m told.

So now Petrov is feeling what it is like to be the “other guy” the one who plays kingmaker and inadvertently gives one of the title contenders the crown.

“I kept Alonso behind me for 39 laps,” said Petrov, “But no-one told me on the radio that by doing this I would make Sebastian world champion. In any case even if he had passed me he would have had to also pass Rosberg. I did my race.”

Alonso was furious, pulling alongside Petrov and making an abusive hand gesture to him on the slow down lap. He had clearly forgotten the praise he drew five years earlier when he held Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari behind him for the last part of the San Marino Grand Prix. Granted he was fighting for the world championship, but Petrov was fighting for position in the race and there is no reason why he should have let Alonso through.

“I know he was beside himself, ” said Petrov of Alonso’s gesture, “But his manners were not elegant. I was just faster than him.”

Petrov’s drive certainly gave the Renault F1 team management a positive way to remember him as they deliberate on whether to retain his services next season. I sense that there is a lot of potential Russian sponsorship money the team is chasing and they would prefer to keep him for that reason.

Of course the ongoing saga with Group Lotus taking a stake in the team and a title sponsorship rumbles on and may have some bearing on this situation.

The deal was due to be signed the week after the final race, but as yet there is no announcement as the political arm wrestling with Group Lotus and its Malaysian government own backer Proton on the one hand and Tony Fernandes’ Lotus Racing o the other, continues.

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A lot of the comments are saying Petrov should have moved over as he was not a title challenger.

Suppose today was the last day of the Premiership football and as it stands any of the top teams – Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea can win it with similar winning permutations to what we had here between Hamilton, Vettel, Webber and Alonso.

Imagine they were playing against the bottom three, who at this moment in time are Wigan, Wolves and West Ham. Would any of these three stand aside and let the three top teams score 40 goals one after the other to “help” their chances?

Of course they wouldn’t and they would play the best they could to try and win their respective games.

It is the same thing here in Formula 1, all the guys are there to race.

End of.


Back in the real world, spoilt brat [mod] is yet to personally apologise to cool, gentlemanly Petrov and is yet to personally congratulate superb ‘after all I’m only a boy’ Seb -true champ- Vettel.


It is difficult to maintain a reasonable amount of equanimity when it comes to Alonso’s behavior.

I suppose if one was treated as royalty at Ferrari, in Spain, and just by a world of adoring fans it might become easy to expect others to take a knee when appropriate.

Perhaps Vitaly didn’t realize he was…”in the presence of…”

The championship outcome was probably for the best I guess, as it would have been difficult for Alonso to drive next year in a royal purple Nomex robe…


1. Petrov was not faster than Alonso, Abu Dhabi is not a track designed for overtaking for those who understand. Then why are they wanting to alter the track, simply because it will be a processional track. What happened to Hamilton?, did he overtake Kubica with fresh tyres, of course not.

2. Alonso’s hand gesture to Petrov was not sporting but it does add colour to the circus. Schumacher has done worse, like getting out of the car and almost throwing punches. I’m not against all these gestures as it’s part of being human. All racing drivers have tempers hidden within and will be revealed when hunting for championships. Didn’t Vettel look like a madman in Turkey gesturing Webber was a cuckoo.

3. After Alonso cooled off he did sing praises on Petrov’s perfect drive. Not many mentioned his remark.

4. Petrov is desperate in trying to keep his seat at Renault, what a better time to sing as loud as possible to be noticed. Strike while is hot is an old philosophy.

5. Most of all, Ferrari botched up the pit stop and you can’t change that, What a shame, but that’s motor racing.

But all in all 2010 was a fantastic season.

Lilla My, I’ve read all your posting on this topic and felt it was fair and justifiable. Very level headed postings. Keep up the good work Lilla.


The Glock abuse was outrageous, as it was Glock – by choosing to stay out on slick tyres despite the rain, which was almost the cause of Hamilton losing the title to Massa.

As you rightly point out James, the temperature in the tyres went and Trulli also on slicks recorded a similarly slow lap. Only the dumb people once examining the data believed Glock had any part.

In this case, Petrov actively held up Alonso, so fans of Alonso legitimately have a gripe with Petrov. The reality is though that Petrov was within his right to defend. In my opinion Alonso had to go for a do or die attempt, I don’t think Petrov would want to be involved in an accident with a championship contender. Therefore this was Alonso’s best chance.


I’m sorry, but this ‘Alonso mistake at the start in Australia’ keeps being dragged up, even Martin Brundle mentioned it in his bbc blog. Does nobody remember that it was in actual fact Button that mis-calculated and hit his side, spinning him round?


I do smile at some the comments,i just wonder if Petrov was in the same position as Alonso what his reactions would have been,i admire Petrov,s tenacity and more so not to give in with such pressure from Alonso,but exactly what did he expect a pat on the shoulder?

A double world champion fighting to win a third on a track which offers little overtaking,he a rookie driving a car which we know was at least 5kph faster along the straights,the Renault having a new engine which could have its neck rung to its limits every lap,is it any wonder Alonso was frustrated.

Its all very well saying how the McLaren boys handled the situation,Button was having fun and Hamilton had little chance if ever,to win the WDC come the final race.

I like Petrov very much,he has shown great skill in the final race,and seems to be under huge pressure from Renault for him to continue next year,they appear to be playing mind games with the Russian which i find distasteful,frankly if he wasn,t so young to F1,i,d tell Renault to take a run and jump,he has talent beyond the monetry value his team aspires to.


Poor Alonso/Ferrari partisan fans – they will forever deny the truth that their beloved driver/team were beaten square and fair. As usually in such case the will try hard to dump the blame on somebody else (Petrov this time round) in an effort to get rid of the ‘loser’ feeling.

No one, I am afraid, can explain to them that it is OK to lose and you only become real loser when you fail to learn the lesson that follows. God bless them.


Alonso’s gesture is par for the course for a guy like him… lost all respect for him when he defended Flavio Briatore post Crashgate.


Why Petrov had to let Alonso go, there is no logic.

If Alonso want to be a Champion, do it yourself !!!, when you want to be Champion, why you said ‘ Let me go, please. . . sound so stupid.

It is Alonso reponsible to try to pass, not Petrov responsible to let anyone pass. . . Alonso drive for Champion bet, Petrov drive for his future too. . . . if Alonso become Champion, Petrov may get the word ‘Thank from Alonso, but from Renault view, he will devalue himself, which way is more resonable for him to do.

Petrov is not faster, but Alonso wasn’t faster enough to pass him. . . . Sorry man.

Many people or Alonso fan may hate the track design that it is hard to pass, but the fact is Alonso put a lot of pressure to Petrov, but he didn’t crack. . . Petrov didn’t make mistake . . sorry for Alonso FC.

Don’t blame the track, Webber can pass Toro Rosso, Kubica can pass Kobayashi. Alonso must admit that he is not faster enough to pass.

If Alonso is not in WDC fight, and Lewis want to pass Alonso to be WDC, will Alonso let Hamilton pass easily. . . No way, right ? . . . let think about it.

Don’t be selfish. . . . Petrov is not your Teammate . . OK


VET and PET are cool and getting new fans in Spain, where zombiebank’s pay driver is being exposed as a bad loser (he did not apologise in person to Vitaly there and then and he did not congratulate Sebastian in person there and then) and a mere FAD of a noisy, delirious mob, definitely non-F1.


All racing drivers are there to race for position in the race regardless of the Driver’s Championship. In my opinion, the fact that Alonso was unable to past Petrov for position to me means that Petrov was racing for position in that race as he should.

I think the only reasons you should yield to the driver behind you is if you are a not racing for position (e.g. back marker or have a problem with your car) or have cut a chicane to gain an advantage.

If, and that is a big if, Alonso wants to blame anyone for not winning this season’s Driver’s Championship, I suggest he starts by looking in the mirror then look around the Ferrai team before looking for others to blame.


For those among you that are able to read Spanish, here are two links with very different opinions on this matter from the same “journalist”, Carlos Miquel.

In his analysis following the end of the 2008 WDC (“Alonso,

the best driver of 2008 WDC”), he wrote:

“…I have little to say about Glock. It rained more on the last lap, and he gave up as he felt unable to fight anymore. I don’t like his attitude, the same as the drivers that gave way to Schumacher in Brazil 2006…”

“…as all the drivers must give their best every time, I didn’t like Alonso losing one place to Kovalainen in China’s first curve because, in his own words, he didn’t want to “meddle” in the war against Massa. It’s true that he knew that his single-seater was unable to engage the big ones, but I, as a spectator, always want a fight. That fight that Timo robbed from us by going aside to the right two turns away from the end…”

Two years later, in his article “Renaults’

new engines were key to Alonso’s defeat” he writes:

“…his [Petrov’s] behaviour is not objectionable in any way from a sports’ point of view, but it is [objectionable] in the drivers’ inner code, they usually don’t interfere in WDC’s fights. It’s something like a “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” unwritten rule that provoked the ensuing Asturian’s [Alonso’s] recrimination…”

In brief: Glock should not have let Hamilton past for the sake of the spectacle (the fact that he was on slicks under heavy rain doesn’t matter), but Petrov (and of course Rosberg and Kubica, too) should have given way to the Great Alonso the same way Massa was forced to do earlier in the Championship because of the “drivers’ inner code”. Go figure…

Sorry if my English and translation attempts are not good.


thank you, your English is very good.


Its so simple really, Alonso should have just found that famous “6 tenths”


I used to be an alonso fan , but little by litle I have lost any respect for him

this incident was the last straw for me

I am now in the anti-alonso camp

and would people please stop insulting glock over brazil 2008 ; look at the data and you will see that he did wonderfully well to just stay on the track on slicks , and that his gamble to gain places was a good one!


I think Petrov is enjoying this situation! it is all about ‘free publicity’, he is only trying to be on the papers, so he keeps on talking about it.



I was just reading something from jenson saying that adjustable front wings are not on the cars next year?

That was something that I must have missed. Is it just that they would have too many buttons on the steering wheel? The adjustable front wing actually helped the drivers dial the car in as it changed during the race.

On Kers, are none of the new teams using it next year? I’d have expected Lotus (the current one) to use it.


Oh, is that topic still active ? Petrov and Kubica were both running with totally new engines, while Hamilton and Alonso on almost three races old engines – that’s the simple reason. Other that that, it’s hard to argue that Renault are faster than Ferrari and Maclaren.


We all do and say things in the heat of the moment that we later regret. Alonso himself and people who wrote on VP’s wall are probably the same.
It’s the same throughout all sports.

Alonso was out if line but in context of it he spent 90 minutes trying to pass someone because of a mistake made by his team and he knew he was losing the championship. His anger must have been building up the whole time. We all hate to lose but for a sportsman at the top it must be excruciating.


Stupid, stupid of Fernando alonso to think you win a championship by drivers moving out of the way for you.

So is he honestly saying that Pertov AND ROSBERG should have moved out of the way for him ? Absolutely idiotic of him to make those hand gestures afterwards. such a solre loser. such a shallow minded person.

Stupid of any true ferrari fan to think that Ferrari OF ALL TEAMS should win championships by not just drivers from ferrari moving out of the way BUT DRIVERS FROM OTHER TEAMS ALSO !! the Stupidity of Alonsos behaviour, NO AMOUNT OF TALENT WITHSTANDING is just incredible!


I’m sure this has been stated… Why should he let Alonso past. It’s for position… I’m a longtime Ferrari man.

I was sad I would not want it any other way.


If he holds up Alonso, he changes the title outcome.

If he lets Alonso through, he changes the title outcome.

There is nothing to discuss bar, hopefully, the length of Petrovs new Renault contract.


Alonso participates in a sport, but he has shown several times in the most stomach-turning ways (spying, Singapore, Abu Dhabi) that he is no sportsman. Considering his repugnant personality, I’m sure that Renault loved sticking it to him this year after having to put up with him for the last few years and getting very little return on the £25 million he was paid.


It’s interesting how do drivers react on a hate towards them from some desperate “fans” over internet. It seems Petrov spends a lot of time on facebook reading all that crap and he is so embarrased that he must tell it to newspapers. On the other hand, Lewis tells it loud on twitter that he doesnt give a f**k, yet i believe he does, otherwise he would’nt write such thing at first place. I can remember Seb Vettel telling about: how awful feedback from everywhere he got after his incident with Button and i wonder how bad Michael Schumacher cares for opinion of Bild’s readers after 2010 season. It’s hard to be a celebrity i say you…you can hear a lot of bad words over the internet about yourself 😉


If the Tifosi and Alonso fans are mad,they’ve gotta aim their ire towards Ferrari strategists and not at Renault or Petrov. The decision makers at Ferrari have been shooting their own foot since 2007,and this was just yet another occasion when they were caught with their pants down.

Having said that, i think it is preposterous to claim Petrov was ‘faster’ than Alonso. Petrov drove well and on a track like AbuDhabi there is no getting past unless you make a huge mistake.

Alonso certainly has it in him to win more championships,but he is a bit impatient.If Ferrari think they’ve gotta another Schumacher, they are certainly mistaken. Alonso will not persist and persevere for half a decade with the same team for 1 title,if he cannot win another title within the next 2 years,i see him hopping to another greener pasture yet again.

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