July 16, 2010

Charlie Horse: Ferrari releases FIA decision timeline

In reply to Charlie Whiting declarations that Ferrari had ample and timely warning about Alonso's pass on Kubica's Renault, Maranello has released the following timeline in an article in today's Gazzetta.

13:31:05 Alonso makes the pass on Kubica in turn 9.

13:31:06 Ferrari sporting director Massimo Rivola calls race control. Whiting picks up after 11 seconds. Rivola asks if Race Control had seen the pass and adds that in Ferrari's opinion Alonso had no choice as Kubica left him no space. Whiting replies that he has to look at the pictures.

13:33:00 Ferrari calls Whiting again (after waiting 1:55). By now Alonso has caught up with Rosberg and Alguersauri and Kubica is losing ground. Whiting replies that the stewards thinking Alonso should give the position back. Rivola asks if this is their final decision, Whiting replies that no, it is not but that's what they are leaning towards. By now Alonso has passed Alguersauri and Kubica has fallen further back.

13:33:22 Rivola informs Whiting that Kubica is no longer in the position behind Alonso, that Alguersauri is now there meaning the Ferrari driver would have to conceed two positions. Meanwhile Kubica has been passes by Barrichello. Whiting tells Ferrari "we gave you the chance to give Kubica the position back or not. At this point the stewards will question the drivers after the race, but I understand your position".

13:35:30 Kubica retires.

13:45:31 A message that Alonso is under investigation appears un the monitors.

13:46:26 Alonso is given a drive through.

So, it's not quite as cut and dry as Charlie Whiting had said after the race and it still shows a very long time between infraction and punishment twelve minutes and coincidentally right as the safety car was being deployed.

You can understand Ferrari's hesitance given the situation and how unevenly these rules have been applied in the past. 2006, Monza, Alonso then driving for Renault put four wheels off while passing Heidfeld but was not given a penalty. 2009 Monaco, Massa missed the chicane after the tunnel while trying a move on Rosberg. On that occasion he gave the position back but in the process lost position to Vettel as well. At the time Whilting told Ferrari it was Massa's own fault and that he should have waited longer before letting Rosberg back through.

You want to keep a certain amount of leeway in these decisions though, otherwise if you apply the "4 wheels outside the white lines" rule what would you have to do, penalize a move like Rosberg put on Aguersauri with all wheels off?

All said and done though, it is still our opinion Ferrari was terribly naive to think Alonso would not get the book thrown at him at Silverstone and the better choice would have been to immediately give back the position.
(timeline: Gazzetta Dello Sport/Ferrari)

end of post


  1. If these guys actually gave eachoher room to race when someone is well along side of you rather then trying to stuff them off track all the time, these kind of things wouldn't happen.

    Maybe they should all go to Skip's driving school at Lime Rock so they can learn how to race another car!

  2. As I told in the other post, the story fo "facts immediately clear" was not going anywhere..

    The facts in this reconstruction basically fit what Withing said, but underline that he just gave "opinions", rather than decisions.

    And I think nobody in motorsport will loose a position because of an... opinion

  3. @Gattopazzo, precisely, nobody voluntarily gives a position back now, not when you have at least a 50/50 chance you will get away with it. (or 80/20 if your name starts with Lewis Hamilton :) I kid, I kid...)

  4. BTW, oddly, nobody picked up on the Rosberg pass, it was even named "move of the race"... exactly the same dynamic as the Kubica Alonso one: Algursauri pushed him to the outside, no track left and he put 4 off... had it been turn 9 it would have looked the same....

  5. Was it really illegal? It looks like it might ever so barely legal from the picture you posted above. Do you have a source for video?

  6. I think they need to add a second seat in each car for a lawyer.

  7. I think it would be ridiculous to rule Rosberg's pass illegal, but if you were to apply a strict "4 outside" rule than it would be. Alonso's case was more clear cut even though he had no choice but to go off. So in the end Both him and Ferrari have very little to stand on.
    But it's still not acceptable that a very clear ruling like this would need 12 minutes to figure out.

  8. Caption for the right half of the picture " next time I want you to black flag the red cars, at the start"

  9. Haha! I am quoting that one.

  10. He said, she said... We know how it all ends. :-)

    Alonso has had to deal with a lot of anxiety given Ferrari has been in need of better days. Expecting Ferrari managers to deal with the issues calmly and steadily may be too much to ask. Ferrari is a "business" and folks have responsibilities, but sometimes results don't just come despite all the work and goodwill.

    Alonso has helped to create some more anxiety himself when he talked of title chances all the time, of the best car he has ever driven, and so on.

    Sometimes having cold headed managers such as Ross Brawn helps a lot to keep things from going further south, but not all managers are like Ross Brawn and not every one can have as much success as Ross Brawn has had...

    People at Ferrari need to calm down.

  11. Funny tho that Ferrari told Charlie that Kubica is no longer behind Alonso 2min and 17sec after the overtake.
    If you see the race again you can see that Alonso overtakes Alguersauri 2min and 40sec after Kubica.
    It seems the guys at Ferrari can look into the future.

  12. Its pretty straight forward in the rules and in the past: if you overtake another car by cutting a chicane or corner, no matter if you were pushed out or you intentionally take a shortcut, you MUST give the position back. The question of gaining competitve advantage shouldn't even come into the issue. You can't compare any two instances because each is different.

    At any rate, Alonso KNEW he should have given that position back, the team KNEW it was questionable because they KNEW the regulations stated that any pass made in such a manner required that the position be given back. It does not matter how much slower the other car is or was before or after the pass; if Alosno was confident in his superior speed he would have backed off and made a proper pass again to prove the point. This shows a level of arrogance on both his and Ferrari's part, and it sickens me that they made such a stink about it. I never was fond of Alonso or the prancing horse but the two together have really turned me off the entire team. And, no, they arent the only ones pulling stunts like this but they throw public tantrums instead of accepting the responsibility for their actions. Sad, really. Act like grow'd ups, wouldja? - gravit8


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