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Alonso’s first win since Bahrain this year, and most controversial since Singapore 2008.

FERNANDO ALONSO of Ferrari took his second win of the season at last Sunday’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. The 2005 and 2006 World Champion won the 67 lap event in a time of 1:27:38.684, at an average speed of 130.367 mph. However he only won the race because Ferrari ordered his team-mate Felipe Massa to move out of his way, just as they had done to Rubens Barrichello in Austria in 2002 (Barrichello was ordered to move over on the last lap and let Michael Schumacher win). Massa ended up finishing second – a year to the day after nearly being killed in Hungary – and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel (who was one of six Germans in the race) came home in third. Vettel also set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:15.824 (134.934 mph) tour.

Vettel started the race from pole, but when the lights went out he immediately moved across the track and tried to squeeze Alonso into the pit wall. This gave Massa (who started third) a clear run into the first corner and took the lead. Alonso stood up to Vettel and snuck through on the inside meaning that the Ferraris were first and second. On the run down to the best overtaking place on the track – the turn four ‘Hairpin’ – Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) passed Mark Webber (Red Bull) to take fourth place. Nearer the back of the field both of the Toro Rosso’s made contact. Jamie Alguersuari broke too late and knocked off Sébastien Buemi’s rear wing, causing him to retired. Oops!

The top five of: Massa, Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and Webber began to pull away from sixth place man Jenson Button (McLaren) and at the end of lap 12 Vettel made his pit stop. He came back out in sixth place and more importantly, into clean air. The rest of the leaders came in soon afterwards giving Button the lead, with the only real looser being Mark Webber who came out in traffic.

Lap 16 saw Alonso try and pass Massa at the Hairpin but the Brazilian held his position. Alonso’s next big move came on lap 21 when he and Massa were lapping backmarkers. One got in the way of Massa on the exit of turn three and Alonso got into Massa’s slipstream as they tore down the straight before the Hairpin. Alonso pulled out from behind Massa and got about a quarter of a car length ahead. But Massa had the better entry position for the corner and kept the place again. Alonso almost had the pair off when he had a look on the entry to turn five but correctly decided not to risk a massive crash. While all this was going on Sebastian Vettel was right behind the two Ferraris and worrying Alonso. A few laps later Button pitted and Massa led from Alonso and Vettel.

The race chugged along for the next 25 laps or so, as the watching millions wondered when Alonso would try and make his move on Massa.

Then on lap 48, Formula 1 was taken back to a time that I personally wish to forget. Felipe Massa’s loyal race engineer Rob Smedley told Massa: “Fernando, is, faster, than, you. Can you confirm you understood that message?” Smedley sounded like he was talking and holding back rage at the same time. Those who knew what Ferrari did in the past knew what was about to come next.

Sure enough, on the very next lap as they exited the Hairpin, Massa slowed down and Alonso blew past him and into the lead. On the next lap the watching millions heard Smedley again talk to Massa, but this time to simply tell his driver and friend: “OK mate good lad, stick with him now…sorry.

The race continued, with the only real incident being Pedro de la Rosa (Sauber) and Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus) making contact with each other and the Finn retiring as a result.

On the podium it was very clear to see that Massa was fuming as he stood next to Alonso (who as you can see from the above picture had a smile a mile wide). Ferrari team boss, Stefano Domenicali, brought both drivers back out onto the podium for a group hug in front of the press. This only just rubbed it in. It was like they didn’t even care.

By making Massa give way to Alonso Ferrari broke the rules. Article 39.1 states that: “Team orders that directly affect the result of the race are prohibited.” They were fined $100,000 and will face the World Motor Sport Council later in the year to face charges of manipulating the outcome of a race…again.

Cheated – Rubens Barr… (sorry) Felipe Massa (right).

In my opinion, Ferrari have gotten off too lightly. It was because of their actions in Austria and America in 2002 that Article 39.1 was brought in to the rules, banning team orders that affect the outcome of a race like this. Even my mum (a casual F1 fan) said after the race that: “They spoil it when they do that.

My dad (lifelong F1 fan) said that Ferrari should be banned for three races for bringing the sport into disrepute again. This would see them miss: Hungary, Belgium and worst of all for them, Italy.

I wouldn’t be that harsh, but what I would have done is leave the race result alone but take away the points scored by Alonso and Massa.

What would you have done?

PS: I know Hungary qualifying is tomorrow but I just haven’t wanted to write this blog because I felt so reluctant to watch any highlights of it because of what Ferrari did.

DRIVERS’ STANDINGS (11/19 GPs)

Pos

Driver

Constructor(s)

Points

1

Lewis HAMILTON (ENG)

McLaren

157

2

Jenson BUTTON (ENG)

McLaren

143

3

Mark WEBBER (AUS)

Red Bull

136

4

Sebastian VETTEL (GER)

Red Bull

136

5

Fernando ALONSO (ESP)

Ferrari

123

6

Nico ROSBERG (GER)

Mercedes

94

7

Robert KUBICA (POL)

Renault

89

8

Felipe MASSA (BRA)

Ferrari

85

9

Michael SCHUMACHER (GER)

Mercedes

38

10

Adrian SUTIL (GER)

Force India

35

CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS (11/19 GPs)

Pos

Constructor

Engine

Points

1

MCLAREN (ENG)

Mercedes

300

2

RED BULL (AUT)

Renault

272

3

FERRARI (ITA)

Ferrari

208

4

MERCEDES (GER)

Mercedes

132

5

RENAULT (FRA)

Renault

96

6

FORCE INDIA (IND)

Mercedes

47

7

WILLIAMS (ENG)

Cosworth

31

8

SAUBER (SUI)

Ferrari

15

9

TORO ROSSO (ITA)

Ferrari

10

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One Comment

  1. I can’t help but feel that everyone’s at fault. Alonso for not being able to actually overtake, Ferrari for the disregard for the entire sport, and at the end of the day, Felipe was much slower than Fernando, and he should have been able to pull away.
    But it doesn’t cover up what happened. The WMSC meeting is September 10th, which is unfortunately too far away for proper action. Having said that, I would prefer to see only a constructors penalty, rather than impede the drivers.


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