Monthly Archives: July 2010

Kobayashi hit with 5-place grid penalty

Kamui Kobayashi has suffered another setback to his Hungarian Grand Prix drive, with the news that he has received a 5-place grid penalty for ignoring a red light at the end of the pit lane. The red light was for the FIA scrutineering garage, but Kamui went straight on into the Sauber garage.

This means that the Japanese driver will drop from 18th to 23rd on the grid, in between the two Hispania drivers. This means that the back row will be both Japanese drivers, with Sakon Yamamoto in 24th place (again).

Meanwhile, Pedro de la Rosa, fellow Sauber driver, will start from 9th on the grid, with a chance at his first points of the year.

Vettel dominates to take pole in Hungary

Sebastian Vettel took pole position, well ahead of his team-mate Mark Webber, while Fernando Alonso was 3rd. Lewis Hamilton was 5th, while Jenson Button was 11th. Here is the full report:

Q1

With the short nature of the track, several drivers were being warned of traffic impeding them on their runs, which may be why so many drivers went out early on. The fastest lap was set by Vitaly Petrov two times in a row within 5 minutes, before being beaten by team-mate Kubica.

After this, the Red Bulls went out, and instantly broke into the 1.21 barrier, with Sebastian Vettel setting a 1.21.360. Mark Webber went 2 tenths faster, while Michael Schumacher is very close to the dropout zone in 15th, while Jaime Alguersuari was 18th.

Within a few minutes, Jenson Button, Alguersuari and Michael Schumacher all fall below 17th, before setting another time to get out, leaving Kamui Kobayahshi out of Q1. The Virgin of Timo Glock was the fastest of the new teams today.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Kamui Kobayashi

19) Timo Glock

20) Heikki Kovalainen

21) Jarno Trulli

22) Lucas di Grassi

23) Bruno Senna

24) Sakon Yamamoto

Q2

Within a few minutes, the Red Bulls blasted their way into 1st and 2nd, leaving the others to fight it out. Most others were on the harder tyre, but Jenson Button switched to the soft tyre to try and get through to Q2. He only got to 9th after 2 attempts though.

Felipe Massa, in 7th, went out on a run on the super-softs to try and ensure he got through, a strategy used by Jaime Alguersuari. Alguersuari, however, only got 16th, and was knocked back to 17th by Sebastien Buemi. Nico Hulkenberg was 11th, and trying to improve, but made a mistake at Turn 11 and ruined his chance.

Mark Webber beat Vettel (who decided not to go out again) with a 1.19.5. Meanwhile, the main battle was to stay in the top 10, as Jenson Button was knocked into 11th by Hulkenberg and De la Rosa. He went out again, but failed to improve, leaving him out of Q2. Alongside him were both Force Indias and Toro Rossos, Barrichello and Michael Schumacher.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11 Jenson Button

12) Rubens Barrichello

13) Adrian Sutil

14) Michael Schumacher

15) Sebastien Buemi

16) Vitantonio Liuzzi

17) Jaime Alguersuari

Q3

Fernando Alonso was first out, and set a a.19.9, the fastest lap for a Ferrari this weekend. He was followed by Massa and Hulkenberg, while Nico Rosberg went 3rd. Lewis Hamilton was half a second slower than Alonso, while Webber’s tyres were slightly cold, despite this he set a 1.19.184.

Then, Sebastian Vettel smashed that time with a 1.18.7, surely the fastest lap of the weekend. That time was 1.2 seconds faster than Alonso in 3rd. While everyone pitted before their final runs, Pedro de la Rosa went 7th, but Vitaly Petrov made a mistake on his first run, but he still went 8th.

Mark Webber failed on his final run, leaving Vettel free to take pole. Alonso was 3rd ahead of Massa, while Hamilton was invisible in 5th. Nico Rosberg was 6th, while Vitaly Petrov beat Robert Kubica for the first ever time. Pedro de la Rosa was 9th ahead of Nico Hulkenberg.

Final positions in Q3:

1) Sebastian Vettel – 1.18.773

2) Mark Webber – 1.19.184

3) Fernando Alonso – 1.19.987

4) Felipe Massa – 1.20.331

5) Lewis Hamilton – 1.20.499

6) Nico Rosberg – 1.21.082

7) Vitaly Petrov – 1.21.229

8) Robert Kubica – 1.21.328

9) Pedro de la Rosa – 1.21.411

10) Nico Hulkenberg – 1.21.710

Cypher Group abandons F1 2011 application

The American-based Cypher Group have announced that they are to withdraw their application to the FIA to compete in the 2011 Formula 1 World Championship. They have claimed that, despite amassing much money through sponsorship, they still did not have the budget to compete fully.

Here is their full statement:

"We remain completely committed to developing a credible and 
viable Formula One team and were able to raise a considerable 
amount of sponsorship and interest in recent months. However 
after much deliberation, we have decided that the budget we 
have is not sufficient to allow us to pursue the project in a 
manner befitting the series. It was not an easy decision, but 
one made out of respect for the FIA Formula One World 
Championship and our loyal supporters."

I’m disappointed to see another team drop out, but to be honest, they weren’t as viable as some of the other options. Having said that, it’s good to see them admit defeat when they realised it, unlike another certain American team.

I know I said I would have written an article on the 2011 applicants by now, but unfortunately I was delayed all last week, so it will be up after the Hungarian GP weekend.

Hungarian Grand Prix practice in pictures

Red Bull, especially Sebastian Vettel, completely stamped their authority on the rest of the field today. Here are the pictures from Friday Practice 1 and 2:

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Vettel still leads in Hungarian FP2

Sebastian Vettel topped Friday Practice 2 in Hungary, by almost half a second to Fernando Alonso. Mark Webber was just behind the Ferrari in 3rd position. There were concerns about the kerbs on the track, after Fernando Alonso tore up a chunk of the kerb at Turn 11 near the end of the session.

Sebastian Vettel retained his pace in FP2 in Hungary today

Sebastian Vettel retained his pace in FP2 in Hungary today

Behind the top 3, Felipe Massa was the only driver who was able to set a 1.20’s lap. He was 4th, and leading Vitaly Petrov (who had Renault’s new front wing) and Lewis Hamilton. Robert Kubica was 7th, Nico Hulkenberg 8th, Jenson Button 9th and Michael Schumacher 10th.

Pedro de la Rosa was 11th, ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Rosberg. Kamui Kobayashi was 14th, Jaime Alguersuari 15th, with Sebastien Buemi splitting the two Force Indias of Sutil and Liuzzi.

Jarno Trulli was comprehensively the fastest driver of the new teams, 4.4 seconds off Vettel’s time.  Behind him, the Virgins of Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi were 20th and 21st. Bruno Senna was 22nd, and Sakon Yamamoto was 23rd, amazingly only 1 tenth slower than Senna. Heikki Kovalainen suffered a hydraulic problem after 5 laps, and therefore was well off the pace in last place.

Times from FP2:

Pos.
Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1′20.087 33
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1′20.584 0.497 34
3 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1′20.597 0.510 36
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1′20.986 0.899 33
5 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1′21.195 1.108 33
6 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1′21.308 1.221 30
7 Robert Kubica Renault 1′21.375 1.288 37
8 Nico Hülkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1′21.623 1.536 41
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1′21.730 1.643 33
10 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1′21.773 1.686 31
11 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1′21.809 1.722 38
12 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1′21.844 1.757 36
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1′22.039 1.952 28
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1′22.212 2.125 37
15 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1′22.469 2.382 43
16 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1′22.507 2.420 22
17 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1′22.602 2.515 38
18 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1′23.138 3.051 36
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1′24.553 4.466 37
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1′25.376 5.289 35
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1′25.669 5.582 32
22 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1′26.745 6.658 33
23 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1′26.798 6.711 32
24 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1′27.705 7.618 5

Vettel and Webber dominate Hungarian FP1

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber completely dominated Friday Practice 1 in Hungary today, beating all of their rivals by more than an entire second. Robert Kubica was third, but nowhere near the Red Bulls. Lewis Hamilton suffered several problems in this session.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber completely dominated FP1 in Hungary today

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber completely dominated FP1 in Hungary today

Vettel’s fastest lap was a 1.20.976, which was 0.13 seconds faster than Webber. However, Kubica was an entire second slower, leading many to speculate about the Red Bulls running light on fuel. Jenson Button was 4th, but another 4 tenths off Kubica’s time. Rubens Barrichello did yet another good performance in the Williams to get 5th, while Pedro de la Rosa was impressive in 6th. Fernando Alonso was testing their new blown rear wing, and came 7th. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were 8th and 9th, followed by Nico Hulkenberg.

Adrian Sutil was half a second faster than team-mate Paul di Resta, and Felipe Massa was12th on his return to the Hungaroring. He was the first out on track, although he was lapping the track slowly at first. Vitaly Petrov was 13th, Kamui Kobayashi 14th, while Paul di Resta was 15th. Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari were 16th and 17th, while Lewis Hamilton struggled with the balance of the car, as well as suffering a technical glitch, and was 18th.

The two Lotus cars were miles faster than the Virgin or Hispania cars. Jarno Trulli was 19th, and an entire second faster than the fastest Virgin. Heikki Kovalainen was 20th, followed by Timo Glock, Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna. Sakon Yamamoto was last, 7 seconds slower than Vettel, and an entire second slower than his team-mate Senna.


Driver Car Best lap Gap # of Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1′20.976 29
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1′21.106 0.130 27
3 Robert Kubica Renault 1′22.072 1.096 21
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1′22.444 1.468 17
5 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1′22.601 1.625 25
6 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1′22.764 1.788 24
7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1′22.772 1.796 25
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1′22.777 1.801 25
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1′22.792 1.816 26
10 Nico Hülkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1′22.966 1.990 25
11 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1′23.003 2.027 19
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1′23.007 2.031 26
13 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1′23.249 2.273 24
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1′23.327 2.351 23
15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1′23.520 2.544 19
16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1′23.780 2.804 22
17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1′23.868 2.892 28
18 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1′24.075 3.099 15
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1′25.032 4.056 22
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1′25.210 4.234 23
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1′25.990 5.014 21
22 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1′26.868 5.892 17
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1′26.990 6.014 34
24 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1′28.157 7.181 24

Hungary 2009 flashback: Massa injured while Hamilton bounces back

Entering the Hungarian Grand Prix, Mark Webber had just taken his first ever career victory, and had entered the title fight. Red Bull were only 19.5 points behind Brawn, while Ferrari were very close to Toyota.

The Hungarian Grand Prix also saw a new F1 driver in the paddock, as Jaime Alguersuari was brought in to replace Sebastien Bourdais, who was struggling against rookie team-mate Buemi. While he was the youngest F1 driver ever at 19 years and 125 days, he was unfazed by criticism claiming he was too inexperienced.

Felipe Massa had just taken the first podium position for Ferrari in 2009. However, all hopes for this race were shot when Massa suffered a horrible accident in qualifying. An errant spring had broken off Rubens Barrichello’s car, and was bouncing right on the racing line. Felipe, who had just qualified into Q3 and was on his in-lap, drove straight into the spring, hitting him just above his right eye at 270km/h. The car went straight on, with Massa unable to stop it, and smashed into the barriers.

Having seen the death of Henry Surtees in F2 only a week before, the paddock held its breath, before hearing the news that Felipe was in a critical but stable condition, with a head cut, bone damage to the skull (possibly fractured) and a serious concussion. He underwent successful surgery after the weekend, and remained in intensive care in an induced coma for 3 days after the accident.

"Strength, Felipe, we are with you". A message for Felipe Massa from the Ferrari team

"Strength, Felipe, we are with you". A message for Felipe Massa from the Ferrari team

Once Felipe was taken away, the car removed and the track cleared, qualifying resumed. In Q3, most of the drivers had set their final times, and were heading into the pits to end the session, when the timing screens went blank. The FIA and LG later identified the problem as a broken cable, but nobody had any idea who had taken pole position, with drivers chatting in parc ferme about their respective times, although they did not know each others’. Eventually, the timing screens went to the backup, and a light-fuelled Fernando Alonso was revealed as the pole position winner, while Jenson Button was down in 8th. The reason he was slower was because most of his Q3 was spent repairing the same suspension piece that had broken on Barrichello’s car, as a precaution.

Alonso leads at the start, while Hamilton and Raikkonen make excellent KERS-assisted starts

Alonso leads at the start, while Hamilton and Raikkonen make excellent KERS-assisted starts

At the start, Webber and Hamilton made fantastic getaways, while Sebastian Vettel collided with Kimi Raikkonen, dragging him down to 7th. On Lap 4, Hamilton made further progress, making an excellent move on Mark Webber for 2nd place, using his KERS to the max.

After the fuel weights were released, it was clear that Alonso was 3-stopping, and Renault didn’t disappoint, by bringing him on Lap 11 (out of 70), with a 6.6 second stop. However, there was a communications error, as the car was released while the mechanics were still working on the left front wheel. The spinner, or extended wheel cover, was not properly fixed, and was moving around with the wheel. Fernando asked to immediately pit again, but didn’t make it back unscathed. His wheel detached on the way back, and he three-wheeled his car back to the pits. He changed tyres and went out again, miles behind anyone else, but retired soon after.

This left Lewis Hamilton free, and leading the race. He put his foot down to lap up to half a second faster than anyone else on track, and extended his lead from Webber. The Red Bull was struggling for pace, and was being caught by the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. At the first set of pit stops, a slight delay meant that Webber was released alongside Raikkonen, and lost his position. His team was later given a reprimand for an unsafe release.

There were worse problems for team-mate Vettel. After his first-lap tangle with Kimi, he complained on Lap 21 that his car was undriveable, and there was something broken on the car. With signs of smoke at the back of the car, the team opted to stop him, and sent him out with a new front wing and tyres. However, it didn’t fix the problem, and Sebastian soon retired.

From here on, Timo Glock made the most progress, using 2 long stints to leap up from 13th on the grid. He would have got even higher than 6th if he hadn’t been held up by Kimi Raikkonen after the Finn’s first stop, and Glock was low on fuel.

Jaime Alguersuari did well in his first ever Formula 1 race

Jaime Alguersuari did well in his first ever Formula 1 race

Jaime Alguersuari, despite all the rumours that a 19-year-old F1 driver would cause the apocalypse, drove very well in the heat of Hungary. He received a little present near the end when team-mate Sebastien Buemi spun twice, allowing Jaime through, and finished the race ahead of Buemi in his first ever race.

Lewis Hamilton desevedly takes the chequered flag for the Hungarian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton desevedly takes the chequered flag for the Hungarian Grand Prix

However, the focus was on Hamilton, as he drove fantastically to take the win in dominant fashion, more than 11 seconds ahead of Raikkonen, who led Mark Webber. Nico Rosberg was an impressive 4th, keeping up his string of points finishes in a row for Williams, and he held off Heikki Kovalainen and Timo Glock. Jenson Button didn’t make any more progress after Lap 1, and remained 7th ahead of Jarno Trulli.

This meant that Mark Webber was now 2nd in the championship, and now a serious contender to unseat Jenson Button at the top. Jenson said during the race: “How can the car be so bad at the moment?”, which was a clear indicator of his frustration with the car, which was not being developed in the way he would have liked. Vettel and Webber were right behind Webber, while Hamilton doubled his points tally in one go, going from 9 to 19 points, although he was still 8th overall.

It was a very quiet last race for Nelson Piquet Jr, who finished yet another race out of the points for Renault. It was announced after the race that he would be replaced for the rest of the season by Romain Grosjean. However, there was one more incident to be dealt with regarding Piquet, which would be revealed later on in the year.

Next up was the European Grand Prix. The main concern was regarding Felipe Massa, who was later declared recovering, and his replacement for the rest of the season. While Michael Schumacher was initially suggested as the replacement, a neck injury ruled him out. So, a face not seen in the paddock for 10 years was about to take everyone by surprise…

Thoughts on the German Grand Prix

Isn’t it very strange how Ferrari change tack on the rules so quickly? After Valencia, they blasted the stewards, called the race a “sham”, after the safety car penalty mix-up. In Great Britain, Fernando Alonso ignored the rules, stole a place off Kubica, ignored common sense, and rightfully earned a drive-through penalty. You would have thought that they would have learned their lesson. But no, screw the rules, we’re Ferrari.

I’ll explain. In both Valencia and Britain, the team were using the rulebook to argue their case. For Valencia, they wanted an immidiate drive-through penalty for Hamilton after he overtook the safety car, and rightfully so. In Britain, they skated around the rules, claiming that Alonso did not gain an advantage by cutting the corner, even though he clearly did. However, not a single Ferrari team member could explain their way around breaking rule 39.1 : “Team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited.”

It shocks us all to believe that Ferrari could try to bring Formula 1 back to the sham of Austria 2001 and 2002, when Michael Schumacher and the team stole 1st and 2nd positions off Rubens Barrichello two years in a row. As these 3 videos show, very little has changed in 9 years:

The media’s reaction has varied by country obviously. The British media are screaming “Fraud-ula 1″, and the Star were so angry they couldn’t even spell:

Meanwhile, the Brazilian media have grilled Felipe Massa, claiming he was spineless and weak in allowing Alonso through. And over here in Ireland… you could barely find it. The newspapers here don’t care about F1 (something I have vowed to fix in my lifetime), but no matter which way you look at it, Formula 1’s reputation has been ruined yet again by Ferrari.

Many people talk of “improving the show” to attract more casual viewers. How do they expect to do this when people open their newspapers and read “Fraud-ula 1″?

But enough on this sham, back to the race. Unfortunately, the German Grand Prix fell below our expectations, as there simply wasn’t much to note, apart from the obvious. I would however like to note Pedro de la Rosa’s excellent overtake on Nico Hulkenberg as a highlight of the race for me.

Also, I’m sure we were disappointed by the lack of action generated by the large gap in the tyre compounds, as the super-soft tyres held up much better than expected. This meant that, while a few drivers started on the harder tyre, the usual 1-stop, soft to hard tyre strategy worked well. However, Nico Hulkenberg’s strategy is well worth a mention. He started on the soft tyres, and managed to drag them up to Lap 35, by which time they were completely shot. While he went a few laps too far, this is an example of the changes that are needed in tyre compounds, as they need to be even softer to mix things up a bit.

Vitaly Petrov has made a good step towards retaining his seat for 2010, by getting his first points-scoring position since China. He finished 10th, although he mistakenly believed he was outside the points, and only found out after the race! Like Eric Boullier was saying, this is exactly what Petrov needs to do to keep his seat, by upping the pace to get closer to team-mate Kubica. Remember Nelson Piquet Jr nearly won here in 2008, thanks to a perfectly timed safety car? The difference here is that the new Renault driver doesn’t need sheer luck to keep his seat. A few more good performances and Petrov will be my favourite rookie driver of the year.

Driver of the race – Felipe Massa: Exactly one year after his horrible accident, an excellent performance should have got him the win. A clever move at the start got him into the lead, and although he fell away in terms of raw pace, still deserved to take 1st place.

Driver of the new teams – Timo Glock: He was easily the fastest driver of the new teams, and overcame a difficult 23rd position on the grid.

Best rookie – Vitaly Petrov: Got his first points scoring position since China, and has also improved in terms of qualifying. While he is still well behind Robert Kubica, he does seem to be catching up. His race seat for 2011 will become more and more secure with each of these good performances.

Best team – McLaren: It was hardly going to be Ferrari. While Sebastian Vettel finished ahead of Button and Hamilton, it must be noted that the two McLarens were extremely close in terms of pace to each other, although they would have wanted to be closer to the podium finishers.

Least impressive – Sakon Yamamoto: To start off, when the race began, he didn’t realise that the pit limiter was still on, which dropped him to the back of the grid after a terrible getaway. Then, when he was trying to adjust his brake bias, he his the engine fire switch, and cut out the engine, forcing him into retirement. An absolute waste of a driver, and is costing HRT and Karun Chandhok dearly.

German Grand Prix stats and facts

Once you look behind the headlines, you can find the fact that this is Williams 100th race since their last win. Here are more stats and facts from the German Grand Prix:

  • Fernando Alonso’s win means that he is now in the top 10 of Grand Prix winning drivers, with 23 to his name, as many as Nelson Piquet Sr. On the other hand, if Massa had won, then he would have had 12 wins, 1 less than Lewis Hamilton.
  • Sebastian Vettel’s 5th fastest lap of his career means he has as many as Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton.
  • Also, Vettel’s  11th pole position means he is in 30th place overall.
  • This is only the second time this year that Red Bull have not led a lap in a Grand Prix. The other time was in China, when Sebastian Vettel again lost his lead at the start, although Fernando Alonso jump started into the lead.
  • This was the 3rd pole position in a row for Vettel, although he has bottled the last 2 in a row at the first corner.
  • The qualifying gap to Alonso (0.002 seconds) was the smallest pole position margin since the Italian GP in 2006, when Kimi Raikkonen took pole.
  • This is Williams’ 100th race entry since their last win. However, taking Indianapolis 2005 into account, they have actually only competed in 99 races since their last win.
  • This is Red Bull’s 100th race entry, but again, only 99th race start, thanks to Indy 2005.
  • Robert Kubica has now out-qualified his team-mate 11 times in a row this year (every race), the only driver to do so.
  • Felipe Massa has completed the most laps, with 666. 3 drivers are one lap behind on 665 (Rosberg, Hamilton and Alonso) as they retired with one lap to go.
  • I could be wrong, but I think it is the first ever time in Formula 1 history that 3 different teams have scored 2 1-2 victories in a single season.
  • Many people are claiming that Nico Hulkenberg’s pit stop was 2.9 seconds, and therefore the fastest pit stop in F1 history. Unfortunately, I had a look at the replays, and there was a huge timing error, as the stop was actually around 4.5 seconds.
  • Not exactly a historical stat, but I’m guessing it’s the first time that a driver tried to adjust his brake bias, and hit the engine fire switch instead, cutting out the engine and forcing him into retirement. Three cheers for Sakon Yamamoto!

If you know of any more, let us know in the comments.

Massa and Alonso grilled in press conference

Both Ferrari drivers, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso, have been hounded by the press following the team orders controversy surrounding the German Grand Prix. After Felipe was ordered to allow Fernando through, who went on to win the race, they were promptly summoned to the press conference, where they just about survived a grilling.

Normally, the first part of the press conference is an extremely boring affair, with lots of “for sures” and “the team did a great job” statements. However, the second part is much more interesting, when the newspaper journalists get to ask any question they want, and the drivers must respond. So without further ado, here are the stinging questions that Felipe and Fernando endured:

Q: (Ian Parkes – The Press Association) Fernando and Felipe, via a coded message it appears that we’ve just witnessed a clear case of team orders being handed out. To Fernando, do you feel embarrassed about taking such a win, and to Felipe do you feel angry about having to give up such a win?
FM:
For sure, you always want to win. That’s always what we’re working for. For sure we don’t have team orders, so we just need to do the race that we can and if you see that you cannot do the race that you can, you need to think about the team. I think that’s the most important thing.
FA: Yeah, same. What’s important is the team result, so I’m happy.

Q: (Fredrik Af Petersens) Felipe, you said earlier that you lost out to Fernando on the hard tyres. How come that after you were passed, that you were doing more or less exactly the same lap times, a couple of times even faster?
FM:
I was pushing hard as well but maybe I think he slowed down, I don’t know. He was controlling the pace.

Q: (Alan Baldwin – Reuters) Felipe, after this afternoon, do you now think you’re the number two driver at Ferrari?
FM:
Well, I cannot say that I’m there fighting for first position in the championship. I’ve lost many points, important points, and the only thing I can say is that I know what I can do, I can win races, that’s what counts and everybody saw today that I can win races and I can be competitive. For sure, what happened today is something that has happened in many races this year: when I put on the hard tyres I struggle. This is exactly what happened in the race. On the soft tyres, I was very strong and then when we went onto the hard, I was struggling again, so there’s no news about that. So I know why sometimes I’m a little bit penalised, it’s just because of the very hard tyres that we have this year. I don’t think it’s a good thing, to be honest, because you don’t have strategies any more. Then also the grip level on hard tyres for me was always a little bit of an issue this year, and most of the races that we used these tyres I was struggling. And this is another one where I was very good on the soft tyres in the first part of the race, and then we put on the hard tyres and I was struggling again. It’s a similar issue that we have had in some races.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) Alonso, in a normal race, do you think you could have overtaken Massa, and Massa, in a normal race do you think Alonso could overtake you?
FM:
Well, I think I was holding in a good way anyway, but the race is long and you always have many laps, so you never know what can happen in 20 laps. So maybe yes.
FA: Yeah, I think there was one moment also on (I don’t know) which lap it was but we were side-by-side into turn six, especially with the people we were lapping – always there is a better chance to overtake and even though we didn’t see too many overtakings here today we’ve seen a lot in the past on this circuit but this year maybe with the new cars etc we didn’t see too many.

Q: (Ian Gordon – News of the World) Fernando, you said after Valencia that the race had been manipulated in favour of Lewis. Those words seem a bit hollow now. Where will this victory rank in your career, is it up there with Singapore 2008?
FA:
I think you have a very strong result from Ferrari today, one and two, a very strong performance all weekend and if the final thought of the weekend is your question it’s because maybe you didn’t see the whole practice, qualifying and the race, so maybe it’s too early for you that Ferrari came back so strong.

Q: (Ian Gordon – News of the World) Team orders are banned in Formula One. They were banned in 2002, that was blatant team orders.
FA:
Sure.

Q: (Ian Gordon – News of the World) Eddie Jordan just said that you two should be kicked out of the race.
FA:
Again, if this is the final thought of the weekend for you, I think it is because you didn’t see the performance of the team and the performance from our car this weekend.

Q: (Juha Päätalo – Financial Times Germany) Fernando, I think we all know what happened on lap 48 and we don’t need any fairy tales about tyres or anything to be clear of that. I just want to ask you, because in 2006 in Monza you said that Formula One is not a sport any more for you but was that which we saw today a sport?
FA:
I think we tried to do our race, we tried to do as good as we can. We are professional drivers, we try to work in a team and we try to do the best we can every day, not only here on the track but also between the races, at the factory etc, preparing the races. Again, I think we’ve been doing a good job over the last couple of races and finally we got a strong Sunday with a strong result. I think we are happy with this, although there are things which are more for you if you want to write all these things.

Q: (Carlos Miquel – Diario AS) Fernando, do you feel that some people are worrying because you are back in the championship?
FA:
Maybe it seems like this, yes.

Q: (Byron Young – The Daily Mirror) Fernando, what have you got to say to the people who would call this a dirty win and if you win the championship, a dirty champion?
FA:
I have 19 races to… look at the overall races, there are a lot of points that we win sometimes and a lot of points that we lose sometimes. As I said, today was a good day, some other races were bad days for us, disappointing but as I said before, we need to remain focused, keep working, keep developing the car, not to be too excited when we win, not to be too down when we lose. In November, (we need to) try to be in the fight for the championship, not forgetting that Red Bull has so far been very dominant, not scoring many points on Sunday, or the points that they should have scored on Sunday, but remain very strong and McLaren as well, leading both championships, so there is still a long way to go for us.

Q: (Byron Young – The Daily Mirror) The reality is, though, that you couldn’t beat him on the track, so you had to get the team to do it for you.
FA:
If that’s your opinion.

Q: (Byron Young – The Daily Mirror) I’m asking you, is that not your opinion?
FA:
No.

Q: (Byron Young – The Daily Mirror) He had to give you this win, didn’t he, Fernando?
FA:
No.

Q: (Ian Parkes – The Press Association) Fernando, you’ve said that you’re happy with this win but to be honest, I’ve never seen a driver look less happy in the middle of a podium there today, and in the middle of this press conference here. Why can’t you just be honest with us for once, and just admit that this win was handed to you on a plate today?
SV:
Can I go?

Q: (Ian Parkes – The Press Association) Go Sebastian! Sebastian, give us your thoughts?
FA:
Hopefully the next question is for Sebastian. No, stay, stay. As I said, I think we were competitive on Friday, I was very competitive on Friday, first position. Finishing second in qualifying by 12 centimeters, I heard yesterday and today I think we scored the fastest lap of the race, so overall I don’t think I was very slow this weekend.

Q: (Miran Alisic – Korpmedia) I have a question for Sebastian. I think you had some not similar but close situations with Mark as well. Do you feel proud that what has happened at Ferrari today hasn’t happened in your team?
SV:
Don’t you have another question maybe? Yeah, maybe they should have crashed. I don’t know, I haven’t seen the incident. I was too far back. I always saw them going into the hairpin when I was coming out of turn five, so I don’t know what you’re all talking about. I can guess but I don’t know. For sure my advice would not be it’s better to crash because also then you get a lot of questions that you have to answer so… Yeah, for me I was focusing on my own race and trying to do my thing, trying to stay close enough, trying to get closer, trying to put them under pressure. It didn’t work, so I’m not pleased with that. No matter who you race, it’s always difficult in Formula One to pass people and sometimes you have to take a lot of risk. When you don’t have to race your team-mate, you’re racing for the team, both of you, both drivers and on the other hand everyone looks for his own advantage. We had a couple of situations this year in our team, so it’s quite a comedy that we are not in focus at this stage but life changes quickly, so… It’s never wise to say anything that you might regret. Maybe in a week’s time. I’m happy where we are now, as a team. Again, I can only repeat that from the outside there was more of a fuss made than there was inside. I can assure you that Mark and myself are always looking to do our best but on top of that, I think we understood many times this year that the team is the main priority and we are racing for the team, in the end. We don’t get our cheque from you guys, we get it from the team. I think that’s something we always have to respect.

Q: (Ralf Bach – R & B) Felipe, you said it was your decision to let Fernando past, so my first question is why did you take this decision, as a racing driver in Formula One, and my second question is do you have any idea why Rob Smedley said sorry to you? FM: No. (Regarding your first question) As I said, because I was not so strong on the hard, so we need to think about the team.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) Felipe, Rubens damaged his image a lot in Brazil when he did what you did today. Until now you had the support of the country; aren’t you worried that now after you did what Rubens did you have deeply damaged your image in Brazil?
FM:
For sure not, for sure not. I’m very professional and I’ve showed in my career how professional I am. You are professional as well, you work for a company. I believe you are doing what you have to do, so I’m professional and today I showed how professional I am. That’s it.

Q: (Tony Dodgins – Tony Dodgins Associates) Fernando you’re getting quite a bit of flak but as you say, you’ve been the quicker Ferrari driver for most of the weekend. We see it so often that the guy who is second on the grid gets beaten away by the guy who is third. Is there ever a case for actually asking to reverse the positions on the grid?
FA:
I think there are some circuits where the clean side is an advantage. There are some circuits where it is not an advantage, for example in Hungary next weekend, it will be crucial to be on the clean side. There are other circuits like that. There’s nothing we can do. We have a fifty percent chance of being on the clean or dirty side of the grid, unless you are the quickest which secures the clean side. The only thing we can do is to fight for pole position which allows you to be on the clean side. If not, I don’t see any other possibility. Maybe there should be more distance. Instead of eight meters, maybe 12 or whatever.

Q: (Tony Dodgins – Tony Dodgins Associates) Take today, if you’d been able to opt to start third instead of second and actually swap places, would you have done it?
FA:
Maybe I would have done a bad start, you never know. I think it was a good start today, overtaking Sebastian and that was our target today. You never know.

Q: (Anne Giuntini – L’Equipe) To both Fernando and Felipe, we always talk about the show, the necessity of the show in Formula One. Can you conceive that race lovers and show lovers might be a bit frustrated today?
FA:
Well, I think we try to put on a good show always for people, for spectators but as Felipe or Sebastian said, we work for companies, we work for teams. Sometimes, as we saw this year, there are crashes between team-mates and the loss of 42 points for the team. Today Ferrari has 42 in their pocket, so I think it’s what we are here for.

Q: (Ted Kravitz – BBC Sport) Fernando, after the pit stop, when you were behind Felipe, we heard a radio message, it wasn’t very clear, but it sounded like you were telling the team guys ‘think of the victory.’ Did you say that?
FA:
No.

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