Whitmarsh careful not to detract from F1 title prestige
Scuderia Ferrari
Whitmarsh careful not to detract from F1 title prestige
Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Nov 2010   |  8:25 pm GMT  |  195 comments

The tension is showing in the run up to the final pair of races in this year’s world championship as the three team bosses fighting for the titles lead their troops into the great unknown at Interlagos.

And with it has come a suggestion from Red Bull that if Fernando Alonso wins, there will be a stain on the result because of the team orders row back in July. “It would be frustrating (if Alonso won the title) because we’ve obviously worked under the auspices that team orders have been illegal,” Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner told BBC Radio.

Whitmarsh: Taking the high ground

Ferrari were fined by the FIA for using illegal team orders in the German Grand Prix to switch Felipe Massa for Alonso, but not deducted points and the extra seven points he gained that day now put him in a strong position in the drivers’ championship. Anyone who is 25 points or more behind him after Sunday’s race is out of the hunt for the title. Mark Webber is his nearest challenger 11 points behind. Lewis Hamilton is 21 adrift, Vettel 25.

Ferrari responded directly to this today, team boss Stefano Domenicali saying, “When you consider the car Red Bull have had this year, in my eyes it’s a miracle that we are fighting for this title at all,” in an interview with German news agency SID. “If we had that advantage, the championship would be decided already.”

Meanwhile McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has said that nothing should spoil a great title fight, “We shouldn’t detract from what really, probably, is one of the greatest Formula 1 championships in our history, with issues about what teams did or didn’t do during the course of the year,” he said in a Vodafone teleconference today. “You’ve got to give Ferrari credit. Regardless of the team order debate and all those other things, Ferrari were really struggling mid-season, they’ve had a resurgence and they’ve looked very competitive – and Alonso is a formidable competitor.”

Whitmarsh, who gets on far better with his opposite number at Ferrari than predecessor Ron Dennis ever did with his, is thinking of the bigger picture of F1’s image here. But he’s also playing a conciliatory role in a partisan squabble, partly in deference to his position as chairman of the teams’ association FOTA. He and Domenicali sit down together on FOTA business all the time and he has wisely chosen to rise above this.

Horner’s comments can be interpreted in several ways. To some extent they are true, of course. But do they need saying now? They betray anxiety that after all their speed and phenomenal development, Red Bull might actually lose this championship. If they do it won’t just be the seven points Alonso gained “illegally”, but also the 50 Vettel lost from reliability failures in Australia and Korea and plenty of others from the mistakes by the drivers and many other factors.

The comments up the ante ahead of this weekend’s race. There are always some good mind games in the final stages of a tight championship fight, but it’s a shame Horner has gone this route. I know that many fans feel this way about Alonso’s position, including former FIA president Max Mosley, who had a dig at Ferrari on this score last week.

I agree that they broke the rules and that a points reconciliation rather than a fine would have been appropriate. But the situation was dealt with at the time and we have to move on. There have been many situations like this in the past and the integrity of the championship is what counts.

In any case, if you look at this in a fair minded way, Alonso has fallen foul of a couple of very heavy calls by the FIA and lost many places behind safety cars in the European and British Grands Prix. Those cost him at least a couple of podiums, far outweighing the seven points gained in Germany. What goes around in F1, almost always comes around.

Nothing every goes quite the way you expect it to here at Interlagos. Think of the last two year’s title showdowns with the last lap thriller for Lewis Hamilton to finish fifth and clinch and a similar scenario for Jenson Button last year.

This weekend will be no different. No-one can afford a slip up, but equally no one has a clue what the outcome will be on Sunday and you can’t ask for more than that in sport.

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wow the british press has gone viral it has become hilarious to most african sports lovers like me they sense a nando championship and they dont like it at all and am sure if it was ham in nandos position they would be hailing him as the worlds greatest ohhh i love britsh press comedy.


Haha, Francis, you nailed it. With such a nice style as well.


And all of this is why this is a great season.


James – I think this is Christian Horner’s biggest blunder of 2010 – has anyone picked up on this angle yet?

“It would be frustrating (if Alonso won the title) because we’ve obviously worked under the auspices that team orders have been illegal”

So, if they weren’t illegal, you would’ve backed one driver over another?

Obviously the aim of the statement was to have a dig at Ferrari but isn’t Christian at the same time undermining everything he has outlined as being integral to the spirit of Red Bull Racing? Has it all been lip service?

I think, with one statement, Christian has managed to blow away the thin veil of equality that he’s tried so carefully to wrap around Red Bull in order to protect the team’s PR modesty and the delicate driver relationships.

If I were an F1 journo, I’d be giving him a very hard time.

I don’t believe he can wriggle out of this either – his choice of words are quite specific: “worked under the auspices”, implying they would have “worked” differently.

Maybe it’s just a turn of phrase but I’m not so sure.


It also backs him into a corner if he needs to switch drivers here or more likely in Abu Dhabi.


was there not a rule that u could take an extra engine without penalty in the last race a few years back. was that done away with or was that moto gp or superbikes im thinking of


Difference is Ferrari did something illegal in the race, which was also confirmed by the stewards, they should have lost those points.

RBR didn’t break any rules by the mechanical failures yet lost points.

Anyone who says the championship isn’t stained if Ferrari wins, is being as biased as they come.

Because of this weak FIA sentence, I don’t know anyone who thinks F1 is a fair ‘sport” anymore. We may not be the vocal, but we are still a majority who feel this season is a joke because of this amongst other reasons.

It seems the only people who still take this championship serious are the die-hard Ferrari, Mclaren and RBR fans who cannot see anything else than the colors of those teams.

None of the contenders deserve the title.

Doing something illegal in the race with 2 cars? All points taken away for both cars (not just the 7 people talk about for some reason) and then suspended for some races too. That would have been the only appropriate and only honest sentence…not just 100k which they laugh at.


I admit it was painful to watch the two Ferraris sandwiched between the pace car in Valencia… but with a little warm milk and honey, I fell asleep and got over it..

You seem to be an objective(?) fan of the sport – what is your take on what Hamilton did in Valencia? He directly pocketed 11 points from Alonso (and possibly cost Alonso 11 points to his other main rivals as well)? In one instance, Hamilton committed the infraction whereas Alonso did nothing wrong. Hamilton could have easily been black flagged, but he wasn’t. It’s fun to be a fan or a pundit, but we have no say in these things…

Both situations were addressed by the governing body and the books are closed.


Well, at least in Brazil we can expect hard punishment – if not from the FIA but from the Brazilian law – for the Team orders.

“Brazilian prosecutor says he’ll have Felipe Massa arrested immediately after the race if team orders were given during GP.”



Forget the politics – this is a big boys game and it is only winning that counts, the way you win isn’t relevant and neither is the way you lose.

By any means!! – the motto of the really determined.


Great article, James! I really appreciate your unbiased opinion and pragmatic style of writing.

I seriously think Christian Horner needs to get his act together and quit being such a hypocrite. Of course, RBR practiced team orders this year, most notably in Turkey and in the UK.

The only reason he (Horner) is avoiding the issue now and is so keen on “equality”, is because it’s Mark Webber who’s on the verge of becoming champion and not Sebastian Vettel. Remember in Silverstone, CH argued that their reason for giving MW’s (new) front wing to SV was because the German was (then) ahead in the drivers standings and therefore “earned” the privilege of being the team’s no. 1 priority? Given that Mark is now placed higher bet. the two, why the sudden hesitation in implementing that same policy/logic? Absolute hypocrisy!

In fact, Red Bull’s unwillingness to act, in support of Mark Webber, is in itself a team order. The team’s refusal to implement that policy they had in Silverstone (to support/prioritize the driver more strongly placed to win the championship) is an act of bias: it impedes Mark and favors Seb. David Coulthard once said that team orders can come in varying forms and Fernando Alonso also once stated that providing 2 equal cars is fine, but offering/providing “support” to a driver (which most of it went to Lewis in ’07) is another – more pivotal – subject altogether. That seems to be the reality at Red Bull Racing right now.


Many believe that Alonso could not accept that he was not an automatic No 1 at McLaren in 2007 having been equalled by a rookie driver! Funny that Alonso is happy to accept team orders, suach as at Ferrari when the shoe fits but appears not to like it when the shoe is on the other foot! Hypocracy?


While I largely agree with your views here, I do find it odd that you think Alonso “has fallen foul of some very heavy calls”. He certainly was unlucky with the timing of the SC in Valencia, but certainly the call was not meant to disadvantage Alonso in anyway, but rather ensure safety of Mark Webber. In fact, it was Alonso himself who destroyed his race, by letting this incident get to him, losing all focus and consequently losing positions on track due to bad driving.

In Silverstone, he got a fair punishment for an illegal pass that any other driver would have gotten as well, like we’ve seen over the years. Everyone knows that when you perform an illegal pass, you must forfeit your position back before the next corner in order to avoid punishment. Alonso did not, and hence he was punished as the rules dictate.

I don’t see anything that could be regarded as Alonso falling foul of very heavy calls.


Andy, I honestly recommend you to review what you say here with the rules in your hand:

1. SC in Valencia allowed Vettel to pass because of timing. Hamilton braked, let Ferraris after the SC and accelerated to pass SC (no idea of his intentions but that is what he did). SC didn’t allow Ferraris to go pass him as it was his must and totally wrecked the race. Then they needed 20 laps to give a penalty to Lewis that meant nothing (I steal 100.000 pounds and get a 100 pounds fine?). I guess you know he received a black flag for the same some years ago…

Alonso lost 18 points there because Hamilton’s front wing was damaged and so he would have been passed in the boxes (P2 then)

Not criticising Hamilton but that is what happened in my view.

As for UK race:

– Alonso’s overtaking was legal. It was done out of the circuit, being forced out of the circuit by Kubica when Alonso already had the position (yes, the penalty according to the rules is for Kubica)

– In the moment he was forced out he has paired with Kubica and faster than him. Position was his. With one third only of the other car in front of the rear tire you can not move and claim the position if I remember well

– When overtaking was done, Ferrari asked what they should do. There was no answer.

– Reanult also didn’t thought giving back the position was necessary.

– After the race Charlie told that he had effectively warned Ferrari. Then Ferrari came with the transcriptions and we could see that when Charlie said it minutes after the overtaking Kubica’s car was broken! Charlie, seeing the evidence against him then decided to shut off

– How can you give back the position to a retired car? What’s the sense of doing it? It is absurd

– The penalty came during SC period many laps later. This SC was waiting for three laps after the accident. During this period investigation was announced and penalty was at the same time than SC. Incredible

That was a bad joke of a race and James saying they were heavy calls is being very respectful with FIA in my opinion


In Valencia, the only question is was Hamiltons punishment proper, and while I agree with with Alonso that it was not, it does not mean that for some strange reason Alonso fell foul of a heavy call by the race control. I simply do not understand the logic. Alonso was certainly unlucky with the timing of the SC, but at that point, and I hope Alonso’s fans could agree with this, it was far more important to ensure Webbers safety than to think how the SC will affect the race. In the end, Alonso himself ruined his race even more by letting this incident get to him, causing him to lose many more places on track simply because he wasn’t concentrating and was driving badly.

In Silverstone, it’s ridiculous to claim the pass was legal. Kubica and Alonso were fighting for the position, Kubica did not yield (he is racing, after all, you don’t just yield a position) and had the race line. Instead of going for the pass from outside the track, which is illegal, Alonso should’ve backed down at that point and tried a pass later on. Given that he did pass outside the track, he should’ve realized himself that it was an illegal pass from outside the track and give the position back (claims like “He pushed me there” are just excuses, he simply should’ve backed down). He did not give the position back voluntarily, and for that he was justly penalized, just like every other driver in the past before him. It would have been a heavy call by the FIA if the had -not- given the penalty.


Please read the rules regarding who is in the race line.

Certainly you can not overtake outside of the track, but you can not push someaone outside of the track! Alonso’s move was not voluntary but forced by Kubica. You would have, strictly speaking, 2 illegal movements, one causing the other. Race direction didn’t act to clarify the situation and both concerned teams saw clearly that Alonso was not to blame, he didn’t took advantage because he already had the position.

Appreciate your arguments but he had the race line, as I said you can not claim the position when a car is paired to you, this is not Ben Hur or something. It is clearly stated in the rules and it is useful to take a look at it because helps to understand many situations, like Webber and Hamilton in Singapore

You can check a good analysis (sorry in Spanish) here:



What Charile said or did not say is irrelevant. That was was a big complaint by McLaren at Spa 2008. At least Hamilton bothered to hand back the advantage to Raikonnen unlike Alonso who did not bother, preferring to make a tactical decision that failed. Alonso has himself or his team to blame. No one else!



There was no disputing that Hamilton went behind the tail of Raikkonen (common practice for fulfilling the requirement of handing back a position at the time) so how much further would he need to fall back in your eyes? An arbitrary amount to enable Raikkonen in a Ferrari to win the race I suspect.

The rules never stipulated what handing back position meant and so we had a situation where FIA invented a rule and retropectively applied this to favour Ferarri! So no excuse for ALonso in a Ferrari not undertanding the rule!


Go take a look at the footage of Spa 2008, he didnt completely give back the place.


Oh dear, here we go again! How much of an advantage did Hamilton gain, and did he hand this advantage back? The only proof that McLaren could offer was that he was travelling 8 km/h slower than Raikkonen when he passes the start/finish line. So much for their super-duper simulation software which enabled them to predict that Hamilton would overtake Glock just before the finish line a few races later.

I will take all of the moaners seriously when they exhibit similar levels of outrage over the treatment of Alonso at Suzuka in 2005.


While I’d rather Webber win the WDC than Alonso, this is simply based on personal bias…I don’t like Alonso and will openly admit as much.

BUT, I will also admit that he is one of the best drivers on the F1 grid at the moment and if he wins this championship I suspect it will be by more than 7 points anyway.

I disagree with Christian Horner’s decision to bring this up, because it’s not as if there haven’t been questions over the legality of the RB6 this year – granted they have passed every test thrown at them, but there’s no denying their wings DO flex…

Martin Whitmarsh is proving what a class act he is and I think Horner could learn a thing or 2 from his McLaren counterpart.


Mclaren’s cars have had flexing wings in the past. And Whitmarsh didn’t really keep is mouth shut about Red Bull, did he?


I think the main destruction for F1 title prestige is the number of errors all five(4 to be realistic) title contenders have made. I would not give a drivers championship title at all this year.

The team order suspicion thing for Alonso is nothing compared to spinning in Australia, making false start in China or going off at Spa. Team orders? Well, we heard really strange things from people of Red Bull too, after Turkey. No real team orders, but preferring Vettel was revealed quite cleraly.

One more thing. Vettel lost more than 50 points with retirements due to technical problems. On both occasions, his rivals gained a race position too, finishing higher than “expected”.


Disagree. There have been some mistakes, but it’s the same down the years


Me too. You have to take the rough with the smooth. Great championship. Really excellent.

Great blog too. Thanks James.


i found the alonso engine story in some german website, so many different stories on this, could be an ace up ferrari sleeve?


Assume Horner will get the ‘Bullet’ from the Good Doctor Marko should Red Bull fail to win the championship..they could bring in Flav!


I have said several times this year, that such tight season brings the best and the worst from teams and drivers. The pressure is immense. My personal opinion is that Alonso is hugely better than Vettel and Webber and will be a far more deserving champion, but he has too made mistakes, as all the others.


Hi James off topic I know, are BBC trialing Brazil GP on H D ? Virgin media are flagging it up on cable network.


There is now a BBC One HD Channel that shows HD content when available and up scaled SD content at other times.

So it will be a up scaled SD feed.



Well I don’t think it’s being shot in HD, but I’ll check.



The issue of Alonso’s Bahrain engine being used again in Abu Dhabi is something to do with the sporting regulations wording on engine changes. I’ve read somewhere that if an engine is replaced under article 34.1 (I think) then it can only be used again during practise sessions for the rest of the season, with the exception of the last race of the championship, where a team is free to use it for qualifying abd the race.

So the real question is whether Ferrari have deliberately kept this engine in their pocket for just this scenario, or whether they’ve chosen to put the mileage on it during practise sessions throughout the year.

My feeling this week is that Alonso should take the 10 place penalty this weekend, because a blown engine during the race would be the end of his title challenge. Interlagos has always been a track you can overtake on so he could realistically expect to finish in the top 5 or 6 at least, giving himself a fighting chance in the last race. Only the team will know how much life they’ve got left in their engines however, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t have any problems at all in the last 2 races, that car’s been bulletprof during the second half of the season.

I’m an Alonso fan, but I also like Hamilton and Button too. Red Bull should have walked off with both championships by now, but the rate at which both Ferrari and McLaren have (almost) caught them has been phenominal! I like Christian Horner, he seems like a decent guy, but I can’t help thinking that if a Ron Dennis character was running that team then they wouldn’t be in the position they’re in. You’ll know a lot better than me how accurate that comment is, and I’ll admit that he’s had some pretty tough PR situations to deal with, along with Helmut Marko saying stuff to the press without engaging his brain first.



I don’t think Vettel agrees with the “what goes around comes around ” comment.


No, I don’t think he does either.

Without making any comments about any other drivers, I think Vettel ( based on his behaviour in Turkey ) was led to believe that he was the chosen one. Or he believed it all the time without being led. He didn’t need to say to his engineer that he needed to pass Webber, he simply moved across on him knowing Webber would get out of his way, no questions asked. This assumption tells a hell of a story.


Does seem strange of Horner to bring this up again now. I think all the teams have had their moments (Whitmarsh and the flexible-wing, SD and all of the ferrari team post-Valencia) but the timing of Horner’s comments does his integrity and standing no favours at all. Almost seem like they’re preparing themselves for having to explain how they let a championship slip despite having the most dominant car in recent memory. I don’t know how the year-end evaluation process looks at RBR but I can’t imagine it being too comfortable for Horner should one of his boys fail to bring the title home.

James, out of interest, do you think his job might come under pressure should they fail to win one or both championships? F1 seems less like football in that there seem to be fewer candidates around but surely that would represent gross underperformance.


All the teams should let their drivers do the talking on the track. Shame for Christian that the RB has not been able to turn strong quail performance into championship points. As you point out James, the 7 points gained by Alonso in Germany hardly make up for the 50 points Vettel lost in reliability.

Martin is typically taking more of a back seat in the argument. Most probably they have more tricks up their sleeve for next season. I don’t see the Red Bull carrying over such a large advantage, which will put Horner very much on the back foot if Mark and Sebastian cannot get their cars to the finish.

There could well be more teams fighting it out at the front next year, which will mean points are harder to accumulate. Ferraris strategy to back the stronger driver, earlier in the season will most probably pay off in the long run. Alonso could well drive his way to another 3 titles.


I know you have to sit on the fence regarding Ferrari so you can interview them personally in future etc… but reality is they blatantly broke the rules of the sport and were not penalised by a weak willed FIA whose job it is to protect the sport and by extension the industry and all the teams in it including Ferrari. By doing so they demoralized a great driver in Massa and then publicly asked him to lift. Now they are saying he will be on a level playing field next year. He cannot be that silly to believe that. What a joke. One only hopes they win by more than 7 points or all but the most dedicated Ferrari/Alonso fans will consider it a tainted championship. Only the FIA is to blame for soiling their own product. Lets hope by luck the sport is not damaged by this dodgy decision. Red Bull has followed the rules of no team orders (so far) and if they win then it will be a victory for sport over business. If team orders are seen again it will further muddy the waters.


The FIA’s decision was pretty transparent: they DID penalize Ferrari, and they chose to do with a very weak penalty because they acknowledged that the rule was problematic (i.e. there’s little difference between subtle and overt team orders, so it doesn’t make sense to let one go unpunished but punish the other one harshly).


The FIA did penalize Ferrari.


$100,000 fine for Ferrari is like giving you a parking ticket for $2 a day for parking your car in central London outside your office. They will be happy to keep doing it if they can win championships. The only way to enforce the rule is points reverse. If the rule is to stay, it can be enforced by the FIA storing a copy of drivers contracts.


Controversy is as essential to the sport as sportsmanship and fair play. The “mano de dios” (hand of god) of maradona is as famous as his magical goal in that 86 semi-final against England.

If you have such a pure soul impervious to human baseness, then stop watching F1 and any sporting event altogether.


I am not being too pure about it. The problem is that if the sport continues to be tainted by letting Ferrari effectively get away with breaking the stated rules of the game the broad (not hard core) fans may bleed away and then the sponsors may bleed away. Its like hitting the goose that lays the golden egg. For a soccer world cup final , choice is to do a handball to prevent a goal and win world cup- then they get only a fine for the handball of 100K?. Horner has a bit of a point. For the other teams looking ahead for the next two races, they will be thinking “Hmm, if we are in the position to do so, we can fix the race and win the championship and pay a 100K, or follow the rules and lose tens of millions in publicity for our sponsors for not being world champions. Not a hard choice is it.?


Spot on mate. Well said!


Not true about your first line. I’m not sitting on the fence, I’ve expressed my view


Fair enough,

Just concerned about what the FIA decision will do to influence team orders over the next two races.

Alonso drove a very, very smart race in Korea staying out of trouble.

Looking forward to your report on channel One Australia again and what should be a fascinating weekend.


Just a pinch of hypocrisy from Mr. Horner, methinks, since I would say that a lot of the teams have worked under the auspices that flexible body work has been illegal.

In the same way, Mr. Horner, that your car “technically” doesn’t have a flexible front wing, so too Ferrari did not “technically” ask Felipe to pull over for Fernando.


James, we’re all missing a major trick here. We’re motorsport fans and you’re a motorsport journalist. A marketing manager would unravel this in an instant-

Ferrari- The brand is king. Drivers, rules, points don’t matter. Ferrari have been notorious for flouting rules for decades. Ferrari must be the pinnacle brand to sell its cars. Doesn’t matter how or who. Winning builds the brand mystique.

Red Bull- Need a brand Ambassador. Helps if he’s a champion and hails from home territory. Energy drinks are bought by teens and twenty+’s. An ambassador like Schumacher or Woods used to be- is worth the cost of running the team. Ironically, Webber the outdoor sportsman and favorite of all female fans, doesn’t cut it. He’s worked too hard to get there. Red bull is about instant success and an instant Champion is it. The problem they are fighting is to maximise Vettel’s market value. A championship is only a factor. Webber being more popular is just as big a problem. Look at the blame in Istanbul and the comment from Berger.

Webber has value as Vettel’s whipping boy next year, but it’ll be another brand ambassador, probably from an emerging market in 2012.

And poor McLaren are old school chumps building cars and supporting drivers to win races – like its sport?

The scary thing? F1 will soon be about building the unbeatable car and insert any marketing creation into the cockpit. Drivers will be chosen by how they look with their teeth whitened.

So how bad do Ferrari look now?

PS. Please Lord let Webber win.


Now that’s a good one!

[mod] The world is full of good looking kids with white teeth, the problem with your “theory” is that they have to drive fast.

As a former driver and instructor, I’ve come across countless kids with white teeth and pockets full of money. Their only problem is they were either too scared or too slow.

By the way, Kubica doesn’t exactly look like Brad Pitt and yet he’s one of the hottest properties in the sport.

You’re post was good for a chuckle though.


Cheers GP,

Yes its going too far to suggest Justin Bieber will be driving for Red Bull yet, but its my thoughts exactly on Kubica. He wont be driving for Red Bull either- not without a rhinoplasty and a new nationality in a bigger market for drinks.

Webber has said today “I wasn’t supposed to be in the hunt and it’s been inconvenient.” He’s forcing them to support him by attacking their market perception (where it hurts). RB still isn’t taking its best chance to win in order to preserve the standing of its star driver.

Q: What is a team that isn’t racing to win?

A: A marketing exercise.


And marketing didn’t play a role in McLaren’s decision to hire Button?


“F1 will soon be about building the unbeatable car and insert any marketing creation…”.

I just want to ask you a question Matt, is it that simple to build the unbeatable car ? If you have a recipe for that, you’re officially a billionaire. If not, all what you said is rubbish.



Please see the explanatory rant replying to GP below.

We already have # 2 drivers in minor teams on the track because they bring in money rather than talent.

How do you feel about a leading team parading a #1 “pin up” driver to chase market share ahead of winning?

Its OK now because Vettel has the talent. But what is next if competition is always running second?


Of course, that’s it. We’ve wasted nine months following this thinking it was a sport!!


No truer word ever said!! Clearly not a sport if we can have blatant swaps because one driver does not posses the skill to pass another and be gifted with 7 free points! I

Regrettably, it would seem that some don’t care how there favourite driver wins in order to win the WDC. History will show the manner in which it was won.


Yep, just as we saw at 2008 in Hockenheim! History will show that McLaren threw it away after the middle of the season – deal with it!


Ok, tongue was slightly in cheek there. I think Horner’s behavior can only be explained because he’s stretched too far between running a team and keeping an entirely commercially driven owner appeased. If Webber and Vettel fail it will be because Red Bull racing is a commercial venture more than a sporting one. If Ferrari win, it will be because they are always focussed on winning.


I think Alonso will be a tainted champion if he wins. He refused to downgrade the Singapore GP win which his teammate intentionally crashed out for him to win. He refused to downgrade this Germany win and the fact that both drivers were told to turn the revs down and Alonso secretly turn the revs back on and he had speed advantage. And comments like “This is ridiculous” show his lack of ethic.


I think you might possibly be delusional….this post from James already highlighted several occasions where Alonso had some very unlucky decisions count against him, instances which cost him more than 7 points. He didn’t complain much. Now you expect him to police his teams as well? To call out Renault on a fix he was unaware of? He was still the fastest guy in Singapore that year.

And then call out his own team, Ferrari, on their strategy? He’s an F1 driver, not a saint. I for one am glad you aren’t a fan of his, because he doesn’t need a fan like you…he’s got many others with some semblance of human reasoning. Let me save you some time and note that there isn’t a driver in F1 that is as….morally righteous (incessantly daft) as you demand. If there is one, he certainly won’t be a World Champion.


The truth must hurt for Alonso fanboys. And if you could swtich your brain cell on, common sense suggests that just because you are robbed that doesnt give you any right to rob a bank.

Fastest guy in Singapore? Kimi set the fastest lap. Again common sense suggests that just because he was fastest doesn’t mean he deserve to win. And Alonso didn’t deserve to win Singapore GP because his team cheated for him and he refused to degrade it.

I guess his fans must be like him.



Let me rephrase, fastest guy in Singapore who finished. Kimi was fastest but you don’t get any points for crashing out of the race, right? Maybe your issue with Alonso fans stems from them having several hundred million brain cells and you, as you say, waxing lyrical with your lone brain cell. Good luck.


I agree the Singapore thing is weird, but that has nothing to do with this year.

In the Hockenheim post-race interview, what else were the drivers going to say? It wouldn’t have been normal for the drivers to incriminate their team.

And it’s logical to assume that Ferrari thought they had an internal agreement to let a faster driver through. They had already lost points when Alonso had gotten stuck behind Massa in the middle of the pack in previous races – he was faster, but didn’t have the large speed advantage needed to make a safe pass (which seemed to be a bigger problem earlier this season than recently). I think that pre-race agreement is what led to Alonso saying “this is ridiculous,” because it was a big change from his almost deferential behavior in those previous races. The message that Massa got, “You need to stay more than 1 second in front of Alonso” or something like that was another strong clue that the team had a system in place.

Playing with fuel mixes does bother me though (and not just because Red Bull and McLaren did that too). That’s much less acceptable to me than agreeing to let faster drivers through.


Hi James

I do feel there is some merit to Alonso not being regarded as the true champion if he should win, however is it fair to say that if his total number of points is more than 7 over 2nd then he truly deserved it ?

Secondly, take away the win given to him and he still sits tie first for wins.

Basically I feel it comes down to Alonso and Webber, if they want the championship then go win the last 2 races.


What about the fuel saving thing that went on in Mclaren? Shouldnt that be mentioned when talking about team orders?


Grasping at straws to make light of blatant Ferrari rule breaking…..?


McLaren dropped the ball in the second half of the season. Some of their more enthusiastic fans have trouble coming to terms with this fact and look for convenient smokescreens.


Fuel saving requests came as soon as lap 30. So where is the question of team orders??And even after you saw them going head to head for half a lap, do you think team orders even exist at mclaren???


When Hamilton asked if Button would try to overtake him, the answer that he was given from his team was “no”. Most people have been able to figure out what “save fuel” meant in light of that conversation.

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