Monday, June 28, 2010
Alonso Accuses FIA of "Manipulation."
VALENCIA, SPAIN – The Spanish Grand Prix is being termed by some as “one of the darkest chapters of modern Formula One.” A horrific accident involving Mark Webber in the opening laps of the race was caused when Webber tapped Kovalanien’s Lotus which sent him airborne slamming him into the tire wall. By God’s grace, Webber was able to walk away from the accident unhurt, but the events following the accident has resulted in reports on the Ferrari’s official website quoting fans as saying Hamilton is a liar and a cheat, McLaren "thieves", and the FIA a "Federation of clowns". In fact, Fernando Alonso even accused the FIA officials as “manipulating” the outcome.
What has caused this virulent outcry? When the safety car came out for Webber’s accident, Lewis Hamilton running in 2nd place, overtook the safety car resulting in a pit drive-through penalty for the McLaren driver. The penalty however allowed him to stay in 2nd place. The Ferraris were running 3rd and 4th and per rules, followed the safety car around the course before a pit stop to take on hard tires. This resulted in Alonso dropping from 3rd to 10th. Ferrari maintains that Hamilton’s penalty was anything but a penalty and cost Ferrari a strong finish since the track is not amenable to overtaking. “I think it was unreal this result, and unfair this result as well,” said the Spaniard. “We had been fighting for podium. We were one meter behind Hamilton, we respect the rules, we don’t overtake under the yellow, we finish ninth and he finishes second. So that’s something to think about. It completely destroyed the race. We need to say sorry and apologize to the fans who came here, 60-70,000 people, to see this race… We need to improve for the next race, we need to be a little bit more competitive, hopefully start on pole position, and maybe avoid these problems. Silverstone will be the next chance for us to recover these positions we lost.”
Nine other drivers were handed out 2 second penalties for driving too fast behind the safety car. This was little satisfaction to Ferrari as it moved Alonso only 1 spot from 9th to 8th place.
Webber’s teammate, Sebastien Vettel need not make any apologies as he was the dominant force of the race winning from the pole position. “We had a sensational race weekend last year and we try to repeat that. One more thing. Most important of today is the fact that Mark (Webber) had quite a big shunt but he is fine. It shows that the cars get safer and safer but still there is a lot of risk. I am happy. I asked on the radio, so I am happy to hear he is all good.” At least there was one class act in Valencia.