28 June 2010
Alonso fumes at 'manipulated' race, Ferrari shouts 'scandal'
Double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso was left fuming with former team-mate Lewis Hamilton and race stewards for what he claims was a 'manipulation' of the result of the 2010 European Grand Prix in Valencia - as Ferrari cried 'scandal'
Fernando Alonso and Ferrari have launched a scathing outburst at the stewards following the 2010 European Grand Prix, with the double F1 World Champion blasting that the race was 'manipulated' and that he was penalised for 'respecting the rules' – going on to conclude that 'everything is against us'.
On home turf, Alonso was running third in Valencia when the safety car came out on lap nine to allow for Mark Webber's wrecked Red Bull Racing to be attended to, but whilst second-placed McLaren-Mercedes adversary Lewis Hamilton just ahead of him overtook the safety car on his way back to the pit-lane at full speed for new tyres, the Spaniard adhered to the letter of the law and waited dutifully behind.
Although Hamilton was administered a drive-through penalty for his indiscretion, that was as nothing compared to the time loss suffered by Alonso, with the 22-time grand prix-winner slipping virtually to the back of the field as a result of his delay and recovering only to ninth at the chequered flag – eighth following the rash of post-race punishments meted out – whilst his former team-mate finished second.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, a furious Alonso had radioed his team to demand that they notify the stewards of Hamilton's actions, but it would be another twelve laps before it was revealed that the Briton was under investigation, and four further still before his penalty was announced. Crucially, by then he had been able to pull away sufficiently from third-placed Kamui Kobayashi – the Sauber ace doing a superb job up in P3, but holding the field up nonetheless – that he could rejoin from his unplanned extra stop still in second position.
The 18 points tallied by Hamilton and just four by Alonso have left a 29-point gap between them in the title chase and seen the latter slip to fifth spot whilst the former continues to lead – and the Oviedo native was quick to express his displeasure with the stewards, who included erstwhile rival and three-time grand prix-winner Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
“It seems it was very difficult to watch a replay – it must take many laps,” he sarcastically railed in an interview with Spanish sports newspaper AS. “It's a shame, not for us because this is racing, but for all the fans who came here to watch a manipulated race. Everything is against us – it seems they allow everything, and the public has seen a race that is not quite real.
“We were running well, in third after a good start. Then the safety car came out, which wasn't too good for us, but Hamilton overtook the safety car, something that I had never seen, overtaking the medical car with yellow flags. We were a metre off each other, and he finished second and I finished ninth.
“This race was to finish second, then with the safety car I would have finished where I finished in ninth, and Hamilton in eighth – but here, when you do the normal thing, which is respecting the rules, you finish ninth, and the one who doesn't respect them finishes second.”
Alonso's reference to 'everything' being allowed is perhaps also a thinly-veiled allusion back to the previous outing in Montreal, when he had been open in his criticism after the race of backmarkers Jarno Trulli and Karun Chandhok – whose lack of co-operation when being lapped, he argued, had arguably cost him victory in the Canadian Grand prix – and in his anger that no sanctions had been taken against the pair.
Tagged as: Ferrari , Mclaren , Mark Webber , Lewis Hamilton , 2010 , Mercedes , Red Bull Racing , Fernando Alonso , penalty , Valencia , European Grand Prix , safety car , F1 World Champion , steward , overtook
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