The embarrassment at Ferrari over the team's spectacular and ill-tempered outburst in the wake of the 2010 European Grand Prix last weekend is clearly spreading, with Stefano Domenicali like Fernando Alonso having since elected to tone down his comments somewhat regarding what the Scuderia
had originally blasted a 'scandal' and a gross 'injustice'.
Alonso yesterday reflected that 'in the cold light of day', he could see that he had 'reacted emotionally' on Sunday evening in Valencia [see separate story – click here
], when the Spaniard had scarcely held back in his censure of former team-mate and bitter rival Lewis Hamilton for illegally overtaking the safety car, and his condemnation of FIA stewards for what he saw as barely punishing the Briton for his transgression, meaning those who dutifully 'respected the rules' by remaining behind the safety car had in actual fact come off significantly worse in a 'manipulated' race [see separate story – click here
Current team-mate Felipe Massa was similarly inadvertently penalised by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the safety car appeared, dropping behind a whole stream of other drivers who unlike him had been able to peel into the pit-lane immediately.
Whilst conceding that to adopt a 'counter-constructive attitude and complain just for the sake of it' – what some would say is precisely what Ferrari initially did – is 'useless', the Prancing Horse's team principal Domenicali is insistent that the safety car regulations must be clarified and amended in order to prevent any such similar incidents re-occurring in the future.
“The outcome of the grand prix left us with a very bitter taste,” the Italian mused. “We had everything we needed to clinch a good result, and we ended up with a handful of points which is even less than we brought home from our worst race, a month ago in Turkey. It is a real shame, because over the weekend we showed that we had made a good step forward in terms of performance.
“The opening stage of the race looked promising, [but] then came the unfortunate blow linked to the safety car period, which arrived at the very worst moment for us in that both our cars had just gone past the pit-lane entry and therefore were forced to do a full lap behind the safety car. That definitely compromised our race.
“I think that the incidents linked to the neutralisation put some questions on the table regarding how to manage situations like this and the eventual penalties linked to them. We have to ensure that our sport remains credible in the eyes of those involved and those who follow it, at the track and in front of their TV screens.
“We need to be careful to avoid taking a counter-constructive attitude and complaining just for the sake of it, because that's useless. We need to be very calm at these times, but we can't pretend nothing has happened. However, I repeat, rationality must prevail over emotions, which are very strong.
“I think what needs to be done is to evaluate the sanction by keeping in-mind the time of the decision and the way the race is developing. These are important issues. Looking back during the post-race analysis, it's clear that you are advantaged by not following the rules because at the end of day you gain more points. This is not alright from the point-of-view of the principle of the sporting regulations, and we need to work on it. Let's hope it's different next time.”