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Big three denied ultimate battle

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Andrew Benson | 17:20 UK time, Sunday, 27 June 2010

For the first time in its short history, the Valencia track produced a thrilling grand prix but the irony is that in doing so a potentially even better one - in terms of the battle for the lead - was lost.

Mark Webber's horrifying accident precipitated a safety car that led to a controversy involving those old rivals McLaren and Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso - among others - that will only add to the already compelling narrative of this brilliant Formula 1 season.

But it also ended what was shaping up to be a fascinating battle for the top three positions between eventual winner Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso.

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Had the race run smoothly, it was anyone's guess which one of them might have won. As it was, Webber's incredible escape handed a comfortable win to Vettel.

Despite the stunning pace the Red Bull has shown all season, it was only the German's second win this year and his first since Malaysia back in April, which tells its own story about how his team have failed to capitalise on their car advantage.

Team principal Christian Horner pointed out that Red Bull had won on a track where they had "no reason" to - they had not expected to challenge McLaren and perhaps Ferrari. That made it a contrast to several other races this season, which they have lost when they should have won.

Hamilton, for his part, will be content with superbly salvaging second place from a race in which he was forced to serve a drive-through penalty - and recovering from that to pressure Vettel in the closing laps.

Alonso, meanwhile, spent much of his afternoon in the lower reaches of the top 10, fuming about the way his hopes of a victory in his second home grand prix were dashed by the events that followed the crash involving his Australian friend.

The Spaniard had been confident of being absolutely competitive in the race, and his prediction looked spot on as he closed in on Hamilton and set the fastest lap of the grand prix to that point on the lap Webber had his crash.

The safety car intervention ruined Alonso's race but it took some time to work out what had gone on.

As the drivers all made their stops for tyres while the safety car was out, how, one wondered, had Hamilton managed to rejoin in second place while Alonso - who had been right behind him - had dropped to 10th?

It transpired that Hamilton had made an error as he headed along the pit straight to start lap 10.

He saw the safety car heading out of the pits and briefly lifted off the throttle before getting back on it. But that hesitation meant the safety car arrived just before the McLaren at the line on the track after which passing it is forbidden - so Hamilton committed the offence of passing the safety car.

Alonso, who then had to spend a lap stuck behind the safety car before making his pit stop, spotted Hamilton's mistake immediately and got straight on to the radio to his team to tell them they needed to make a protest to the race officials. Whether or not they needed any prompting, the penalty was duly imposed.

If Hamilton had simply carried on flat out, he - and perhaps Alonso, too - would have passed the Mercedes before it crossed the safety car line and there would have been no problem.

As it was, it ended any hopes of what could have been a superb battle between him and Vettel and it left Alonso fuming in the cockpit of his Ferrari as he struggled in vain to find a way past Sebastien Buemi's Ferrari-engined Toro Rosso for eighth place.

In the days of the previous Ferrari regime, their former team principal Jean Todt would have got on the phone to Toro Rosso to ensure their driver made way for the man in the works car.

But things have changed under Stefano Domenicali and Alonso was left to spend the rest of the race stuck and seething.

One can understand his complaints that what happened to him was "unfair" - he suffered for an incident which had nothing to do with him, while Hamilton held on to his position.

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That is not a criticism of Hamilton - one assumes he did not set out to hold up Alonso, and he made up enough time before being served with his penalty to ensure he rejoined from it still in second place - but rather of the stewards, who took 15 laps and nearly half an hour to hand down the Englishman's punishment.

Alonso's mood will have been darkened further by losing a place to Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi - another man with a Ferrari engine behind his shoulders - on the penultimate lap after the Japanese rejoined following his late pit stop on fresh tyres.

And one suspects he will have been mollified not at all by his promotion one place to eighth after five-second penalties were given to nine drivers for a safety car infringement.

In these circumstances, drivers who have not yet come up behind the safety car have a time displayed on their dashboards for each sector, which they are not allowed to beat. And five of the six drivers between Hamilton and Alonso at the end of the race were investigated for doing exactly that - McLaren's Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Robert Kubica, Adrian Sutil and Buemi. The size of the penalties meant only Buemi slipped behind Alonso.

From the perspective of a man who has been fighting this season to stay in the title battle in a car that, until the last two races, had slipped slowly from the pace, finishing eighth in a grand prix in which he should have been at least third - a difference of 11 points - will be painful indeed.

But that, of course, is relatively inconsequential compared to what could have happened in Webber's accident.

It's almost incredible that a man can walk away after landing upside down on his car's roll-hoop after running into the back of another car at 200mph.

Webber is as tough and cool as they come and it was a remarkable reminder of how different racing drivers are from ordinary mortals to see him coolly talking his way through the accident on television shortly after the race.

Nevertheless, it did, as David Coulthard pointed out on the television, raise questions about the decision to introduce adjustable rear wings next year in an attempt to make overtaking easier.

A number of drivers have expressed their concerns about the potential danger of the speed differentials that might arise as a result of a well-intentioned move to improve the show.

As Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said after the race: "Lessons need to be learned and observed from that."


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  • Comment number 1.

    Hamilton was lucky and unlucky. The safety car should not have come out between him and vettel as it gave vettel an unfair advantage. Alonso is like a little lady and it does not do much for how he is perceived. I use to like the guy however he now is showing that he is so mentally weak and has big character flaws.

  • Comment number 2.

    Andrew, it wasn't thrilling.

  • Comment number 3.

    @33rd team #2: "Andrew, it wasn't thrilling."

    Agreed. Humphrey and Brundle going on about how great a race it was at the beginning of the (once again) ill-fated forum was absurd to watch.

  • Comment number 4.

    This was actually quite a good race. In response to 33d team (comment 2), it wasn't bad either.

    Some points that arise;

    * If Hamilton hadn't have driven past the safety car, we would have had an almighty battle on our hands,

    * It is a huge testemony to safety in Formula One that Webber was completely fine after that monumental crash,

    * I agree with Eddie Jordan when it comes to the slower cars,

    * Fernando Alonso and Ferrari continue to be bad loosers, always have been, always will,

    * They should scrap the Barcelona track and just have this one for the time being,

    * Jenson Button needs to stop complaining about it "being impossible to overtake" and JUST GET ON WITH IT (he used the same petty excuse in Barcelona, when he gave Schumacher far too much respect) - if Kobayashi and the others can do it, then why can't he?

    All in all, another fascinating chapter in this hugely exciting season.

  • Comment number 5.

    re 6:24pm 33rd team comment;

    should've watched the F1 race, old lad, rather than the football.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    What IS Alonso's problem? He seems to be more upset that Hamilton got lucky than anything. Somebody needs to do some growing up

  • Comment number 8.


    ...are you ready for the miserable moaners that will try and say this race was boring?

    Are they going to try and look through rose-tinted glasses at some supposed glorious past?

    Or condemn this circuit, which has actually, again, outclassed Monaco and Barcelona and Bahrain in terms of excitement?

    I tell you what, I just hope they're not football fans, because the so-far dreary and dull world cup will have nearly driven them to their graves.

    Let's see...

    (sits back and waits)

  • Comment number 9.

    I couldn't be happier that Hamilton served his penalty and still finished second. I dont know why Ferrari think that was late when ALL the rest of the drivers who were investigated were punished after the race! Honestly!

  • Comment number 10.

    Why do the BBC employ David Coulthard, my opinion of a commentator / pundit is to offer neutral remarks at all times, this is not so regarding DC, he is obviously still linked in to Red Bull and will not have any negativity spoken about the team. Today was classic, well said Eddie J about Mark Webbers MISTAKE, why oh why was DC getting so flustered about his remarks, to make a statement like "you have never raced Eddie" is childish, unprofessional and petty.

    Please let's have a reshuffle and let DC become the Red Bull ambassador.

    Top marks Jake and Martin and the pit lane crew, however the commentary of the race is poor.

  • Comment number 11.

    I took a BIG sigh of relief for Mark Webber. Tough cookie!! Alonso, as you know, is a two times world and not shy in shouting loudest, Hamilton in very English in the way he goes about this driving business. I mean he insists on doing things the hard way. Will he ever find himself in a position where he can cruise to a victory without infringing on the rules. He seems to court the keen eye of the FIA by consistently getting into some sort of fracas in the race. I have to say that if he sorts out this aspect of his game he'll be a more complete contender as I suspect Maclaren are probably going to be the strongest team in challenge to Red Bull over the 2nd half of the season. Don't underestimate Button's positive effect on the Maclaren team. HE DOES NEED TO SORT OUT HIS QUALIFYING!! They have all bases covered in the races with the contrasting style of their drivers. And remember (Especially the Red Bull team!), to finish first- first you must finish.....

  • Comment number 12.

    Maybe Hamilton lifted when he spotted the safety car to get Alonso to lift, and then tried to floor it to beat the safety car to the line but leave Fernando behind it. Don't think Alonso can really complain - he would have tried that (remember what he did in the pits at the end of Hungary 2007 qualifying).

  • Comment number 13.

    If they had made up their mind on giving lewis a penalty, when he would lose places, alonso would not be complaining much now.

    nothing agaisnt lewis but if he had continued at the normal speed for that bit of the track when the safet car was still coming out, who knows, the ferraris could have both gotten in front of the safety car.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.


    for once FIA did not favour Ferrari

  • Comment number 16.

    I question not only the ridiculous length of time it took to impose Hamilton's penalty, but the amount of time it took the safety car to actually leave the pits after the the safety-car situation had been called.

    AB, perhaps you can inquire into this, as it seemed to take the SC quite a while to get on track. The SC should be sent out as soon as a SC situation has been called, and today there was a lull. Was the driver having a smoke?

  • Comment number 17.


    There I was happily set to watch it and pretend that there weren't a couple of dozen idiots running around after a ball, and mysteriously gremlins attacked the feed just as they entered the McLaren home where the match was on....

  • Comment number 18.

    I think the thril was taken away by the safety car. FIA need to review the safety car rules, while would drivers benefit/lose from safety car, I think in the event of safety car, the cars shoudl be allowed to resume their positions assuming no one loses a position in the pits.

    On Hamilton, I don't see any problem at all. Alonso should stop compalining like a kid. The problem was not with Hamilton and it matters les where Hamilton came out after the sfatey car. Would have been happy if after the penalty Hamilton had come in after him? Kiddish. Those of you who follow F1 dearly will remember Singapore race in 2008 or was ir 2009? when Nico Roseberg was given a drive through penalty almost 30 laps after the incident has elapsed. He was running second and maintained second. No one complained then...or is it just because it is Hamilton that thereare complaints?

    I think David Coulthard should be sacked by BBC, how can he suggest that slower cars should be bullied and let faster cars pass. It wouldn't be a race, would it? Marke was faster and because of that hw should have been on the Lotus slip strim but just take a different line on the track. He would have avoided the accident. I think it is Mark to blame to blame for the accident. Thanks he is well and not injured. I hope him and other drivers have learned from this.

  • Comment number 19.

    Great race.

    However Webber's accident has to call in to question advertising boards over the track. Luckly the bottom of the car hit it not the front otherwise consequence are not worth thinking about. Also Alonso does need to get of his high horse a bit yes Hamilton broke the rules on what was a marginal call but there is nothing, Hamilton could do about when he got his penalty I also have to add that it is rather anoying that results are not sorted out soner after the race or during as the program ends and the results are in question not good for the show. Ferrari doing a so called promotional shoot as well with this years car is very intreaging.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    Was very disappointed, though not surprised, with the comments from the BBC's Red Bull representative (DC), Is nothing the fault of a Red Bull driver in his eyes? Kovalainen was defending his position! Webber must have known that Kovalainen would need to break before him as he has far less downforce. Since DC was making such a big point of how much faster the Red Bull is why couldn't Webber have just waited for the straight, or tried to take the inside at the corner? Not very impartial there BBC.

    Also, what on earth happened to the forum? I'm sure the football was also on BBC1 so why was it also on 301, & as for freesat, we got about 10mins then a fault message and that is it. Come on BBC you are better than this!

  • Comment number 22.

    Vettel had the pace in hand to win, Lewis had a lucky weekend with qualifying and the race. Alonso is rightly frustrated as he was looking a positive result, particularly with the updates and being at home but there was no conspiracy, he was just unfortunate

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    alonso needs a slap,how pathetic is he is this what hamilton has turned him into,he is obessed,clearly hamilton has wormed into his skin and his still there causing the infection to be bitter

    hamilton got a penelty,end of

  • Comment number 25.

    --" In the days of the previous Ferrari regime, their former team principal Jean Todt would have got on the phone to Toro Rosso to ensure their driver made way for the man in the works car."--

    Andrew, do you have anything to support this statement of yours or is it some kind of blabbering?

  • Comment number 26.

    I too thought this race was compelling. The intrigue in F1 doesn't necessarily have to come from lots of overtakes. A bit like Test Match Cricket, if you know where to look, there's excitement to be had and this race had plenty going on if you knew where to look.

    To run with the analogy I'd definitely have concerns about introducing push-to-pass buttons to satisfy the Twenty20 generation. That kind of motor racing has it's place and can be found elsewhere. Let F1 retain its place at the pinnacle of motor sport.

    Great drive by Kobayashi; interesting strategy and it paid off. We could see it brewing from the start but had to wait until the end to see how it panned out. Great stuff!

    Still not entirely convinced Lewis didn't know exactly what he was doing when the safety car was deployed. Cynics might think he knew exactly what he was doing and right royally screwed Alonso over.... and I'm a big fan of Lewis, but objective enough to recognise a bit of Ayrton/Schumacher at their best (worst?) in him.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    Alonso is not complaining about Hamilton been lucky, (he wasn't) Alonso complains because Charly Whiting (English) took nearly 30 minutes to punish his friend Hamilton. It’s not too difficult guys, Hamilton broke the rules, the punishment was late which means that actually he was rewarded for breaking the rules. Alonso finished 9th because he did not break the rules. He has every right to complain, more than the English football fans anyway....:)

  • Comment number 29.

    I can't help but laugh at the way Ferrari fans are moaning about the FIA. Don't you lot remember how Massa benefited from FIA rulings in 2008 when they took every opportunity to punish Mclaren/Hamilton? Suddenly when the FIA isnt favouring Ferrari,"there's something rotten in the F1 circus".
    Tough, live with it.
    As for Alonso, it had to take his race engineer to tell him to concentrate on his race instead moaning about Hamilton. A likeable character indeed. Good on Kobayashi for compounding his misery.

    Lewis was lucky today, that's motorsport for you.

    Can't wait for the Mclaren updates at Silverstone. The Ferrari updates were only good to make their cars as quick as the Mclarens......

  • Comment number 30.

    ...and please do not start me on the 5 seconds penalty for speeding during SC. Patetic.

  • Comment number 31.

    The F1 circus is indeed just that, a circus. I feel frustrated. Charlie Whiting and Hamilton have the same nationality?? wow, I would have never guessed it. Might this be the reason why the penalty was applied to Lewis with a delay of 30 min?? I just hope from now until the end of the season, bad luck takes away from Hamilton all the points that the stewards have provided him. Let's stop protecting the britishman because he is good enough and he does not need any external help. Maybe by doing so F1 would gain in honesty, fairness and beauty.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    I agree to penalties that apply to dangerous manoeuvres in a race, but to have Alonso go on air and complain about another driver is just ridiculous considering the safety car benefited other drivers today. It's almost laughable as Ferrari wanted to ditch their car during the winter tests and now they can't ever keep up with updates even if they carry the biggest budget of all the teams involved.
    Someone here wrote that Spanish fans will stop watching F1 following the FIA late penalty to Lewis, I say who cares if the Spanish fan continue to watch or not, they (Spanish Fans) need to educate their Hero Alonso that he is not god's gift to F1, there are better drivers than he used to be back in 2005/6.

  • Comment number 34.

    nebrome well it is the ferrari international authority or otherwise known as the FIA

    vettel is sooooooooooooo annoying i wish i could punch him,if hamilton or jenson celebrated like that there would be uproar

    i cant wait for silverstone hamilton and jenson destroying alonslow,and keeping vettels finger down

    i cant beleive they were so competitve,practice was dismal,wonder what speed they will have if they had the blown diffuser

  • Comment number 35.

    i also agree with sinto post 33 and also remember spa 2008 when hamilton was first then got 3rd because of the massa incident bout time ferrari stoped getting special treatment

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    Best drivers in F1 are, by far, Hamilton and Alonso. Let's hope epic battles will come during the rest of the season.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    I agree with #10 and #18 and #21, David Coulthard's pro-Webber bias has gone too far, and the BBC need to take a long hard look at his position.

    And when he wakes up tomorrow I hope he's man enough to apologise to Eddie Jordan for his unacceptable remarks.

    Even worse is that Coulthard's inability to be objective has rubbed off on Brundle and Leggard, in whose eyes Webber can also do no wrong.

  • Comment number 40.

    Oh Sensationaljohn, don't burst a vessel over a sport, more so over somebody who most likely doesn't give a damn about you ala Alonso. You seem so emotional like your idol Alonso was today. How do you know whether Alonso would have been punished in 5 minutes or not?
    So you'd prefer it that Charlie Whiting's position was held by somebody who doesn't share nationality with any of the drivers? Do you realise how flawed your reasoning is?

    You talk like you know it all. Get a grip man.

  • Comment number 41.

    im sorry but all you ferrari fans need to get off your high (prancing) horse. how you can sit there and say that hamilton benefits from the FIA is laughable. The Ferrari International Assistance brigade couldnt 'fix' it for alonso to get into the top 3 so you're all crying about it. looking over the past 10 years mclaren have never received any help from the fia. the fia were always in the back pocket of ferrari and schumacher but now that mosley is gone you cant accept it.
    Face the facts, the ferrari isnt good enough this year and as for fernando ... grow up man. watching his post race interview was highly amusing. he cant accept hes not that good. hamilton came into F1 and blew fernando away at mclaren and has outshone "eyebrow man" ever since. Hamilton is the best driver in F1 at the moment.

  • Comment number 42.

    Andrew, if Hamilton hadn't overtook the safety car, he would have been stuck behind it for a whole lap while Vettel blitzed it round the track and into the pits, coming out miles ahead of Hamilton and Alonso. Also, Hamilton would be in the same postion as Alonso, coming out 9th or 10th, so there was no chance of an ultimate battle. In fact, Hamilton cheating was the only way there could have been a battle, and that would have been between Hamilton and Vettel.

    Oh well, Vettel won, so its all good.

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    About Dc, if he isn't acitng impartial, I am sure the bbc would have a talk with him. why automatically fire him??? You don't fire employees on a whim.

    also I dont like the idea that jean todt is the fia president after the favouritism and asking toher teams to get their cars to move over stuff. Can HE be impartial when he isn't the fairest person in the bunch

  • Comment number 45.

    Alonso, get a life. Nobody likes a whinger.

  • Comment number 46.

    Whiting has been race director for over 13 years now, made quite alot of decisions in that time, some wrong alot correct. Why all of a sudden is his discretion being called into question, just because alonso is thowing his toys out of the pram. I havent heard Massa complaining who got a even bigger disadvantage.
    I've been watching F1 along time and i do remember the Ferrari dominace of the schumacker/todt/brawn era when even attempting to overtake one of the red cars was a drive through offence. I also remeber the twenty years ferrari spent in the wildernesss.....great wasnt it.

  • Comment number 47.

    Sooo many bitter Spaniards on this blog. Being the victim is their national sport. If they win it's because they're the best in the world, if they lose it's because they are the victims of a (usually foreign) conspiracy. And just a quick look at the Spanish F1 forums like Marca will confirm just how racist they really are when it come to Lewis Hamilton.
    No doubt LH lifted his foot to keep FA back. He's a smart one is Lewis, in the long tradition of senna and Schumi. He's also the best. Alonso would have done the same but he's not got that racer's eye for the quick chance.
    BTW wasn't it the fault of the SPANISH authorities not to ensure that ALL the cars were behind the SC?
    Just a thought for the followers of Lloronso & co.

  • Comment number 48.

    Alonso was the Golden boy in 2005 and 2006, and clearly cant handle the fact that he is becoming less and less relevant as the seasons go on.

  • Comment number 49.

    Just love the way the loons come out of the word work as soon anything slightly controversial happens, and how one sided their views are and with a distinct lack of any historical context.

    The FIA and stewards make judgements based on the rules in the time it takes to make them, if you look back over the seasons and careers of various drivers then they have all been favoured and unfairly punished by the stewards... Just take one example... Lewis overtook a Ferrari by cutting a chicane, then let that Ferrari past as the rules stated he should, he then retook the Ferrari and was penalised post race by just enough time to strip him of his win in favour of guess which team....

    If you insist on wearing blinkers to watch races then don't be surprised that you get a distorted view of the race. Lewis and McLaren utilised the rule book to their fullest extent and retained 2nd position, as many drivers and teams have in the past... It possible to argue the safety car was still in the pit lane which would fit under one reading of the rule so was entitled to overtake, and he shouldn't have been penalised at all, and in fact that 'unfair' penalty robbed him of the chance of taking the win from Vettel.

    but at the end of the day the stewards judged he broke the rules, they gave him a penalty.. he served that penalty.

    As for Alonso, just grow up. Its not like you haven't taken advantage of such situations in the past and won't in the future, its not like you haven't done much much worse and gotten away with a slapped wrist punishment.

  • Comment number 50.

    sensationaljohn that is the biggest load of rubbish I have ever heard. A FIXED RACE??? All you Ferrari fans can't except that this time Hamilton wasn't unlucky. I agree that Hamilton probably should not of been on the podium but saying that is was a fixed race is taking it to far. Also I can't beleive Vettel. His teammate has been involved in a life threatining accident and he is over the moon. Kobyashi was amazing today. Button lucky again, getting an undeserved podium.

  • Comment number 51.

    Oh on DC, he was speaking as a driver, a driver who has been in a number of accidents and whilst I agree with Eddie on this matter I do see DC's point and understand what he is saying. Good on Mike Gascgoin for defending his teams right to race and his driver!

  • Comment number 52.

    I thought todays race was actaully very enjoyable, so there was not a lot of overtaking, but still a big crash, and lots of contraversy.

    firstly, hamilton was a very lucky boy today, all the conspiracy theorist will say he held up the ferraris, well rewatch the footage i have he lifts as he see the safety car for a split second then goes for it again, the ferraris weren't all that close, they chose to slow down, and would not have been ablr to pass the safety car in time anyway. Alonso still has a lot of hatered towards hamilton, just look at the recent comment, when hamiltn was asked if he would like to be alonsos team mate he said yes, where as alonso said no, just shows alonso is not mentally tough enough. As for people saying that charlie whiting is biased, well sour grapes come to mind. and to all the ferrari fans out there who are now saying that FIA supports McLarens, well a bit of pot caling kettle black springs to mind. If it was not for FIA, hamilton would have had the 2008 WDC sewn up before the last brazilian race.

    As for people calling Hamilton a cheat, well, i'd like to see some basis for this, going past the safety car when he believed he was infront? but was then penalised? i'd like to know examples of his cheating?

  • Comment number 53.

    Hamilton may have gained an advantage as did other drivers behind the safety car but note that even the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi was able to overtake Alonso or was that illegal also? Kobayashi is not English so that puts Charlie Whiting in the clear?? Alonso is one of the top drivers in F1 but his constant moaning does belittle him with fans

  • Comment number 54.

    I'm absolutely loving the Alonso/ Ferarri whinging, you're absolutely pathetic.

    Hamilton made an honest mistake, (if it were a tactic, he wouldn't have broken the rule you planks, he would have slowed Alonso down enough but got in front of the safety car before the line). I could understand the annoyance at Hamilton if he had done this, or say blocked his team-mate in the pitts to prevent him completing a qualifying lap...

    He served the penalty, deal with it, what do you want him to do?

    The fact is we were denied a great race by the numpties who put the SC out between the leader and the chasing pack

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

  • Comment number 57.

    Well done Lewis and Jenson. Alonso should stop crying, he could overtake Lewis and pass safety car no probs if wanted, cause Lewis slowed down enough at that turn, end of story. Since the penalty was served should be any complaining.

  • Comment number 58.

    Alonso and Domenicali doing their usual trick of blowing smoke in the face of the facts. Even if Hamilton had been given a penalty sooner, Ferrari royally messed up their pitstops once again and ended up in no-man's-land.

    The real culprit here was the safety car driver who let Vettel zip off into the distance leaving everyonce trailing and Hamilton with a drive-through.

  • Comment number 59.

    I have long questioned David Coulthard's position. I have always thought he just disliked Lewis Hamilton but his stubborn defence of all things Red Bull make his position untenable. I agree with the earlier comment that he owes Eddie Jordan an apology and preferably on air. That said, his persistant calls for the FIA to look at the moveable rear wing because of the speed differentials are to his credit.

    Ferrari, Stefano Domenicalli and especially Fernando Alonso should be ashamed of themselves for their behaviour after the race. I'm never been sure who Alonso hated whether is was McClaren or Hamilton (I did think it was the former but now I'm not sure). I just think he has never got over being the reigning world champion and was beaten in the same equipment by a novice (I refuse to use the word rookie, I'm an Englishman) driver.

  • Comment number 60.

    5 seconds penalty for 9 cars is just a joke. Why don't they give 10 seconds rather than 5 seconds? I think Kamui Kobayashi was driver of the day.

  • Comment number 61.

    I think for anyone who is a Ferrari fan to say the FIA manipulated a result in favour of McLaren must have a very short term memory, Mass Dampers anyone? It's nice to see decisions being given in an unbiased manner now, rather than Team Todt leaning on Max Mosely as we've seen in the Schui days Episode 1

  • Comment number 62.

    For a team that broke the no in season testing rules it is hypocritical for Alonso to acuse FIA of cheating. The time that the stewards took to impose the penalty on Hamilton is about the usual time they take to impose any penalty in any race. Alonso, as he has done before, is setting-up a smokescreen to cover his failure to capitalise on Ferrari's wonder update.

  • Comment number 63.

    The only guilty one in today's affair are the rules. The fact that a safety car enters the track 1 or 2 seconds sooner or later should not turn a race upside down. Alonso has been the unlucky one this time but it could have been just about anyone.

    Hamilton is an outstanding driver. Alonso is the only one who is good enough to beat him in similar conditions. Vettel is a little overated. Button brings all the elegance this sport requires. Webber is solid but just lucky he drives for RedBull. Kubica is the 3rd talent after FA and LH. Kobayashi brings what's missing in F1 since Montoya left.

  • Comment number 64.

    How can we tell if Hamilton slowed down to stop Alonso or because he didn't know if he could overtake the Safety Car? We can't.

    I would like to believe that Hamilton is now mature enough to have not been malicious. We don't know what it's like in an F1 car, but based on the feedback of people like Brundle and other F1 drivers, there is no way Hamilton would have had time to think "oh I know, lets slow down whoever's behind me".

    Alonso is a fantastic driver, but his personality comes across very, very negatively. He needs to be winning to be a nice person.

    Kobayashi showed why he has a seat today, it was a great strategy and some good overtaking.

  • Comment number 65.

    Hamilton was very clever today. He knew exactly what he was doing with the safety car. He needed to change his front wing and knew that this would have dropped him down behind the ferraris which is why he took the risk - albeit his timing was slightly out! If he had beaten the SC to the line it would have been totally legal. Gamesmanship certainly but very clever none the less.

  • Comment number 66.

    I have one favor I need to ask you all:

    LET'S NOT TALK TRASH ABOUT EITHER ALONSO OR HAMILTON PLEASE!!! I know there are fans on each side. But come on, without these two, F1 would not be the same. Hamilton might take the rules to the limit sometimes, Alonso might speak a little too much some other times... but they bring the entertainment to the circuits and watching them race and take their rivalry to the limit is priceless!!!!

  • Comment number 67.

    Seriously, the race is over and done with. No amount of complaining is going to change the results.
    And it really annoys me when people think they know exactly what the drivers were thinking because it is completely impossible for them to.

    Only Hamilton knows where he stands within himself - he either hesitated and wasn't sure what to do or he knew what he was doing and ruined Alonso's race. Either way - he got penalised!

    Button is a real conteneder for this Championship, been up there constantly eventhough he has had a lousy qualifying performance.

    Been a Mclaren fan since Mika Hakienen won his first championship in 1998. Mika - Kimi - Lewis all world champions.

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    "It is a huge testemony to safety in Formula One that Webber was completely fine after that monumental crash,"

    No MW has just used up a large amount of LUCK nothing more. If that car had hit the fence 5 m earlier we would be looking at very possibly a terrible and different outlook.

    f1 needs to get away from these stupidly dangerous street circuits.

  • Comment number 70.

    DC crushed out of his last race and many more before then, I remember him and Webber having a go at Vettel as a rookie at toro rosso for his style of driving and the accident with Webber, I have not had an apology yet from either one of them. Now DC acts like he was this almighty of a driver, well I'm sorry the man was a liability to the sport, he should not be allowed to give expert opinion.

    I agree that Kobayashi was the star driver of the day, I bet if given a proper car he can do some damage at the front of the grid.

    Has anyone noticed in Alonso's interviews, he seem to talk a lot about retiring and how Ferrari is his last stop, I can't wait for the day when he actually takes the step.

  • Comment number 71.

    Far too many of the above comments are either personal or political attacks. Let's just look at the facts that made this a screwed up race:

    1. It is almost impossible to pass anyone on the Valencia track, except for the three new teams (Lotus, Virgin, HRT) which are obviously uncompetitive at this time.
    When Kamui Kobayashi stayed out on deteriorating tires for so long, he eliminated any chance that Jenson Button (and those right behind him) had to contest for the lead in the race.

    2. The FIA Safety Car procedures are really messed up. The simplest way for this to work is for the Safety Car to pick up the leader of the race, and have everyone else close up before anyone is allowed to pit.
    By allowing Sebastian Vettel to go by and then coming out almost even with Lewis Hamilton, THE SAFETY CAR DRIVER DESTROYED THE RACE!! Alonso is not a crybaby, he did indeed get screwed by the safety car procedures.

    So, stop complaining about politics, personalities, and favoritism, and start asking why the FIA has such lousy procedures when it is necessary to deploy a safety car. Charlie Whiting, I'm talking about YOU.

  • Comment number 72.

    i cant stand Hamilton-and I cant stand Alonso, so no partisan comments from me, however this race was just another example of how the FIA couldn't run a drink up in a brewery.
    I am sick fed up to the back teeth of this supposed international organasition failing to apply rules consisitently or with any common sense.

    And as for Webber-I'd be giving him an eye test. These are meant to be the best drivers in the world and he drives square into the back of another car?? If I did that, I know who the police would find guilty!

  • Comment number 73.

    The FIA continue to make the spor fairer and in doing so make it even more obscure , overtaking the safety car used to be worthy of disqualification. I believe the former rule of lining up in race order and letting cars go to the leader is was the sensible , obviously to sensible option

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 76.

    And i gotta start a conspiracy:
    No forum today so they could all head off to watch England get a drubbing! (such a shame btw for the self inflated spoilt kids!)
    It was too obvious!

  • Comment number 77.

    LOL sensationaljohn you trying to be some sort of William Wallace figure? rallying the Alonso fans?

    And please tell me how it's favouritism towards Hamilton? The stupidity of this debate is just ridiculous. It could have been any driver! He broke the rules and was punished, no matter what punishment he was given it wouldn't have lifted Alonso to the front.

    Why are you also not squaring off against the others found guilty of breaking the rules?

    It's ridiculous, but i'll be happy as larry if the Nando fans eff off. That Spanish lot only turned up when he came along, it's usually evident in the bile they come out with to show they haven't watched much F1. Add to that the racism and abuse Hamilton has to suffer in Spain, AND two of the worst circuits on the calendar.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 80.

    Various cock-ups today, both on and off the track, but the worst IMO was Glock who blatantly blocked several of the leaders while trying to get past Senna. He should know better. And his penalty was totally irrelevant.

    As for Kobayashi, #71 is talking rubbish. The only person K could have held up was Button, as everyone else was being dropped. I think we might see K's strategy being repeated again given how well it worked.

  • Comment number 81.

    Alonso should really stop complaining, I seem to remember the safety car working rather better for him in Singapore a couple years ago.

    Its the safety car rules that need revising, before the race there was that interesting feature about how all the cars positions are tracked with gps to 1 metre, and they have all the lights around the track and in car messages, so why send the safety car out after the leader has just gone by? It just unfairly messes up the race.

    Also I have a question I hope someone can answer, why were the Ferrari's allowed to leave the pitlane into the middle of the line of cars going by yet Schumacher was held by the red light??

  • Comment number 82.

    Alonso obviously has a vendetta against Hamilton, over something that happened 3 years ago, he needs to get over it and stop behaving like a spoilt child!

    Even if Hamilton hadn't passed the SC, Alonso would still have been where he was down in 9th, and even if Hamilton was just in front of him in 8th, Alonso would still have lost out on a lot of points to Vettel who would have been away clear on his own, and also the bunch who got into the pits the previous lap, which included Button and possibly Kubica who would also have been championship rivals to Alonso, but he made no mention of them did he?

    Would he have companined so much if it had been Vettel in Hamilton's position (or any other driver for that matter) then whinged for the rest of the race that that driver had screwed up his race? I think not!!

  • Comment number 83.

    Steady on BrewerHorse. Your post may be deleted soon too.

  • Comment number 84.

    It's fair enough that Fernando Alonso was unhappy about the way that the Safety Car played out. However, as pointed out on Spanish National Radio tonight, the fact that he meekly followed Sebastian Buemi for 30 laps was the real reason for his low finish. How long did it take Kobayasi to deal with Buemi??? An agressive driver like Lewis Hamilton would have found a way past. And, as some in the Spanish media have pointed out, Lewis Hamilton was extremely smart playing his cards in the Safety Car incident: he took his chance and the gamble paid-off big time.

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    Today´s race was a disgrace and a farce.

    It set up a brilliant example (once again) that if you do not abide by the rules (and I am sorry but overtaking THE MEDICAL CAR AFTER A BAD CRASH isn´t a small mistake) you reap benefits. Lots of young people watch the race and learnt the following: Alonso obeyed the rules and finished 8th. Hamilton did not and finished second. A DT penalty about 20 laps into the race in a well built time cushion means nothing and Whiting knew it wouldn´t alter the outcome of the illegality of overtaking the SC.

    Once again Hamilton has benefited from to say the least controversial and more blatantly illegal moves and incidents.

    I am Spanish but live in the UK. I do not turn up blackface to the races like some idiot has posted here. I attended F1 races (I was in Valencia today) and they are very expensive. From now on I will not attend one more F1 race until something is done to give some credibility to the sport and take away the rot embedded in it.

    Perhaps Bernie and the FIA will understand that language.

  • Comment number 87.

    So the PROVEN actions both of the spectators who turned up to racially taunt the Hamilton family then and today's reactions here and other online forums (which incidentally have been PROVEN by your own moderating today) gets my comment removed?

    YOU DO REALISE THAT BY TRYING TO HIDE THEM all your really do is support them unwittingly.

    You cannot hide from the proven facts unpleasant as they are, racism is only under the surface in many European states.

  • Comment number 88.

    Funny how Alsonso spotted Hamilton's little error, maybe Alsonso could have sped round Hamilton, if hamilton was slowing on purpose, he is supposed to be racing driver, when the safety car came out, but no he wants to whine and moan like the baby he is. He was a good driver in the Renault days, but now I feel he is resting on his laurals, thinking he is the big I am, since being snatched up by the bigger teams, but he has not preformed for these teams. I have to say being a life long maclaren fan that if a Ferrari had done what Hamilton did, especially a certain 7 times champion, I wonder what would have happened to him. F1 is deffinatley a face fitting business, Ferrari's face always seem to fit. I actually though that the race was boring, other than Webbers crash. and we need to bring back refuelling, have different tyre makers and make the cars as varied as possibly. This session has no spark to it. Please stop messing about with rules and regulations, and trying to level, what has traditionally been a very unlevel field and let people race!!

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    "74. At 8:57pm on 27 Jun 2010, sensationaljohn wrote:

    we will not forget this race.

    This scandal is going to be a precedent like that of huingary 2007 when hamilton got away with it again, against alonso, when he was the one who broke team rules and triggered all the issue. This time it is a shame, you can accept a defeat if a driver beats you in a clean fight, but the favoritism towards lewis hamilton has reached an unnaceptable level and most fernando alonso and F1 fans can´t stand this sport anymore .
    If you want to post my comment do it it´s how most alonso fans feel about FIA stupid rules.... you have to be an stupid to not see how has hamilton been so favoured today and given an unfair lead in the championship against alonso. I hope karma exists and hamilton will get unlucky."


    well said plus Charlie Whiting is needs to be replaced, he clearly cant do his job

  • Comment number 91.

    Agreed Andy Brown, to ignore it is as bad as the racism itself.

  • Comment number 92.

    Have to disagree with sensational john. Lewis has never been favoured by the FIA and never will whilst he is driving a silver and black car. i feel that all you "Alonso" fans maon as much as the driver you support. Shut it and race. Is footie always fair, or rugby, do these people whinge, well foot ballers do yes, but quality sports men don't they put their frustration into the sport. Alonso and his merry bunch of supporters should maybe leave F1 if they are all so disgruntled, we true fans who have attended almost every european GP in 37 years certainly would not miss the likes of these young guns with there jumped up attitude. Where the spirit of the race gone people

  • Comment number 93.

    How can any of you people actually criticise Alonso for his part in todays events? He was robbed of a potential victory through no fault of his own, just as he was two weeks ago in Canada. It also made me laugh that today Glock was penalised for ignoring the blue flags in regards to his incident with Hamilton, and yet both Trulli and Chandok recieved no punishments in Canada.

    I'm quite certain that Lewis Hamilton knew exactly what he was doing today. Why did he slow, so much so that he actually let the Safety Car get a considerable distance ahead of him, before pulling away again? His answers after the race as well, claiming that he couldn't really remember what had happened, and that he didn't realise at the time what his drive through penalty was for, don't add up. And yet the British fans and media will wrongly continue to darling the British hero, while at the same time slamming the current greatest driver in the sport.

  • Comment number 94.

    BTW whats with all the "anti-Alonso" people commenting on this???

  • Comment number 95.

    in a statement issued on its official website, Ferrari said that the decisions made - especially in the way Lewis Hamilton ultimately did not lose a position despite overtaking the safety car – damaged the credibility of the sport.

    "A scandal , that's the opinion of so many fans and employees who are all in agreement: there is no other way to describe what happened during the European Grand Prix," said the Ferrari statement.

    "The way the race and the incidents during it were managed raise doubts that could see Formula 1 lose some credibility again, as it was seen around the world."

    Alonso himself hit out at the FIA after the race, saying the event had been 'manipulated' by the decisions made by the race stewards.

    "It's a shame, not for us because this is racing, but for all the fans who came here to watch a manipulated race," Alonso told Spanish television after the event

    "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."

  • Comment number 96.

    They really need to sort out this problem with the safety car. This is not the first time it has caused controversy, has cost one driver the race and has elevated another. It shouldn't be possible for any driver to benefit from a safety car incident nor should another driver be penalised by it. Alonso was right behind Hamilton at the time the SC came out and then suddenly he was 7 places behind through no fault of his own. No matter who you support or don't support, this is not a satisfactory situation.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    Alonso needs to stop whingeing and look at his own performance today, such as his inability to pass Buemi on the track.

    Alonso got lucky in Monaco after he was caught napping by Schumacher on the final bend, only to get the position back when the ambiguity in the final lap safety car rules (which have subsequently been clarified) went in his favour.

  • Comment number 100.

    Am I missing something? Fernando Alonso was only "right behind Lewis Hamilton" because Hamilton's car had got damaged on the first lap and even then he was not threatening to pass. Sebastian Vettel was cruising away in front and neither driver could do anything about it! Fernando Alonso would not have won, even without the Safety Car! If he couldn't pass Buemi, would he really have got past Hamilton AND the much faster Vettel?

    Let's keep a sense of proportion.


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