Fernando Alonso dropped to 9th after the safety car
Fernando Alonso blasted the result of the European Grand Prix, calling it “unreal and unfair” after the safety car incident where he dropped from 3rd to 9th place, while Lewis Hamilton overtook the safety car and managed to keep his position, after a delayed drive-through penalty decision.
After the race, Fernando said:
"I think it was unreal this result and unfair as well.
We respected the rules, we don’t overtake under the yellows and we
finish ninth. That is something to think about.
It completely destroyed the race. Hopefully we can move forward
because after the victory of Vettel and podium for McLaren ninth
place is very little points for us.
We need to apologise to the 60 to 70 thousand people who came to
see this kind of race.
They gave a penalty already to Hamilton but it was too late – 30
laps to investigate one overtake."
Ferrari were similarly furious, describing the race as a scandal. Felipe Massa, Alonso’s team-mate, fell to 15th place and never recovered after the safety car. A team statement on their website read:
"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. 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."
First of all, they are both certainly correct in being furious at Lewis Hamilton, who managed to get away with overtaking the safety car, whether it was intentional or not. Meanwhile Alonso, who never broke the rules once, fell to 9th. The reason Hamilton didn’t lose any positions because of his drive-through is because the stewards took far too long to issue the penalty, by which time Lewis was able to create a large gap to stay ahead of Kobayashi after his penalty.
However, I must say that they are completely over-reacting when it comes to being annoyed about the safety car itself. Sometimes, drivers and teams lose out or benefit from the safety car deployment, and this cannot be avoided. I mean, look at Mercedes. Michael Schumacher fell to the back of the grid, and do you hear him whinging as loud as Ferrari? It is true that Schumacher wasn’t even in a points-scoring position, but it’s just an example.
Also, if Ferrari were to gain massively from the safety car, I doubt the other teams would complain as loudly as they would (Barrichello’s win in Germany 2000 springs to mind). In this case, when they lose out, they should just start thinking about how to get back up the field, but Fernando couldn’t even get past Sebastien Buemi.
While Ferrari are in the right, they need to learn that whining and over-reacting like this isn’t going to get them anywhere.