Same old Ferrari, Always Cheating

 


Anyone even slightly interested in Formula 1 must have been absolutely seething yesterday. Well, anyone who isn’t a Ferrari and/or Alonso fan.

Many people are acting suprised by yesterday’s events, which saw Fellipe Massa’s race engineer inform him that he was running slower than his team mate who was behind him, followed by the question “do you understand that?”. A few corners later Massa slowed down on the exit to let Alonso through, his engineer then apologised to him over the radio. Massa later claimed it was his decision to let his team mate through. I, like many others, think pressure has been placed upon him by the Ferrari management to let Alonso through in order to get the “best possible result for Ferrari”.

When you look at the standings before the race, its easy to understand that decision. But the simple fact is that such an instruction is illegal in the modern sport. Wether you believe that is wrong or not is completely pointless to debate, which is why I found myself shouting at the hypocrite that has a big square jaw and mild Scottish accent on BBC’s F1 coverage yesterday (that’ll be David Coulthard for those that don’t know who I am on about).

So, taking out the obvious points situation out of the equation, why else would Ferrari do such a thing? Well Alonso’s behaviour in recent Grand Prix has become increasingly irratic and childish, throwing around complaints left right and centre. The most famous incident this season involving Michael Schumacher at Monaco where he was passed on the final corner after the Safety Car had pulled in. The claim was that they shouldn’t have been racing, but following a procession to the finish line, but it was clear from Alonso’s line through that corner that he was racing and it bit him on the arse when Schumacher did the same. So what happens when Alonso and Ferrari make a complaint? its investigated.

A few races later Hamilton got his timing wrong and passed the Safety Car before the white line, Alonso made a complaint, Hamilton was fairly disciplined with a Stop Go penalty which he took but events during the race led to him retaining his position, Alonso claimed this “wasn’t fair”. Whilst at Silverstone Alonso passed Kubica by cutting a corner, rather than allow Kubica back through Alonso flew away and tried to get away with it and was punished with a Stop Go penalty. A normal penalty under normal circumstances but in the events that happened (Kubica retired before the decision was made) it became rather harsh, the fact remains that it was Alonso and Ferrari’s own fault, they were reccomended to yield the position by numerous sources (other teams, plus the race director) but ignored such advice. Now this incident.

Before this had taken place Massa was clearly struggling on the harder compound tyres. Alonso was putting in faster laps (although immediately after a fast Alonso lap, Massa would reply with a faster one) but Massa was making mistakes. There’s clear footage of Alonso gesturing after a Massa mistake, just as there was when Alonso felt Barrichello held him up in Qualifying at Silverstone (despite there being huge gap between the two cars) and Alonso later claimed “this is ridiculous”. I think its clear that because of his previous two World Drivers Championship titles, not to mention his (sometimes incredibly immature) temperament, Alonso is #1 Driver in the Ferrari garage. I have no problem with that, but clearly if he’s as talented as people would have you believe and if he was indeed much much faster on a regular basis in yesterday’s Grand Prix then he would of eventually passed Massa with no help from those on the Pit Wall or (if the decision was indeed Massa’s) his team mate.

It was revealed late yesterday, early this morning that Ferrari have been fined for the incident, which is I can’t complain against there’s not quite enough evidence to force through a stricter punishment. Even so its hard to see Ferrari receiving a more harsh punishment than this. Formula 1 is Ferrari, Ferrari is Formula 1 especially now Jean Todt is President of the FIA. The case has also been forwarded to the World Motorsports Council, but I see very little else happening, at most they will have the points taken off them. I think a fair punishment would the points being wiped from the Constructers Championship for the race and the Driver’s points switched around, even though there’s an easy argument to suggest Massa would eventually have been passed by Alonso without instruction.

But once again, despite an incredibly entertaining season, Formula 1′s repuation has been dragged through the dirt. It’s hard to be enthusiastic when cheating is in abundance from every team involved. I think its about time Team Orders were re-introduced but communication between the driver and his pit wall reduced to using just pit boards and not microphone and earpieces. But then I also think that Blue Flags (or at least a Blue Flag meaning let the faster car through) should be abandoned.

20 Comments
20 Comments
Posted by RivaOni

 


Anyone even slightly interested in Formula 1 must have been absolutely seething yesterday. Well, anyone who isn’t a Ferrari and/or Alonso fan.

Many people are acting suprised by yesterday’s events, which saw Fellipe Massa’s race engineer inform him that he was running slower than his team mate who was behind him, followed by the question “do you understand that?”. A few corners later Massa slowed down on the exit to let Alonso through, his engineer then apologised to him over the radio. Massa later claimed it was his decision to let his team mate through. I, like many others, think pressure has been placed upon him by the Ferrari management to let Alonso through in order to get the “best possible result for Ferrari”.

When you look at the standings before the race, its easy to understand that decision. But the simple fact is that such an instruction is illegal in the modern sport. Wether you believe that is wrong or not is completely pointless to debate, which is why I found myself shouting at the hypocrite that has a big square jaw and mild Scottish accent on BBC’s F1 coverage yesterday (that’ll be David Coulthard for those that don’t know who I am on about).

So, taking out the obvious points situation out of the equation, why else would Ferrari do such a thing? Well Alonso’s behaviour in recent Grand Prix has become increasingly irratic and childish, throwing around complaints left right and centre. The most famous incident this season involving Michael Schumacher at Monaco where he was passed on the final corner after the Safety Car had pulled in. The claim was that they shouldn’t have been racing, but following a procession to the finish line, but it was clear from Alonso’s line through that corner that he was racing and it bit him on the arse when Schumacher did the same. So what happens when Alonso and Ferrari make a complaint? its investigated.

A few races later Hamilton got his timing wrong and passed the Safety Car before the white line, Alonso made a complaint, Hamilton was fairly disciplined with a Stop Go penalty which he took but events during the race led to him retaining his position, Alonso claimed this “wasn’t fair”. Whilst at Silverstone Alonso passed Kubica by cutting a corner, rather than allow Kubica back through Alonso flew away and tried to get away with it and was punished with a Stop Go penalty. A normal penalty under normal circumstances but in the events that happened (Kubica retired before the decision was made) it became rather harsh, the fact remains that it was Alonso and Ferrari’s own fault, they were reccomended to yield the position by numerous sources (other teams, plus the race director) but ignored such advice. Now this incident.

Before this had taken place Massa was clearly struggling on the harder compound tyres. Alonso was putting in faster laps (although immediately after a fast Alonso lap, Massa would reply with a faster one) but Massa was making mistakes. There’s clear footage of Alonso gesturing after a Massa mistake, just as there was when Alonso felt Barrichello held him up in Qualifying at Silverstone (despite there being huge gap between the two cars) and Alonso later claimed “this is ridiculous”. I think its clear that because of his previous two World Drivers Championship titles, not to mention his (sometimes incredibly immature) temperament, Alonso is #1 Driver in the Ferrari garage. I have no problem with that, but clearly if he’s as talented as people would have you believe and if he was indeed much much faster on a regular basis in yesterday’s Grand Prix then he would of eventually passed Massa with no help from those on the Pit Wall or (if the decision was indeed Massa’s) his team mate.

It was revealed late yesterday, early this morning that Ferrari have been fined for the incident, which is I can’t complain against there’s not quite enough evidence to force through a stricter punishment. Even so its hard to see Ferrari receiving a more harsh punishment than this. Formula 1 is Ferrari, Ferrari is Formula 1 especially now Jean Todt is President of the FIA. The case has also been forwarded to the World Motorsports Council, but I see very little else happening, at most they will have the points taken off them. I think a fair punishment would the points being wiped from the Constructers Championship for the race and the Driver’s points switched around, even though there’s an easy argument to suggest Massa would eventually have been passed by Alonso without instruction.

But once again, despite an incredibly entertaining season, Formula 1′s repuation has been dragged through the dirt. It’s hard to be enthusiastic when cheating is in abundance from every team involved. I think its about time Team Orders were re-introduced but communication between the driver and his pit wall reduced to using just pit boards and not microphone and earpieces. But then I also think that Blue Flags (or at least a Blue Flag meaning let the faster car through) should be abandoned.

Posted by Insectecutor

David Coulthard is a big ponce who needs to shut up. I can't believe they still let him on the BBC when his whole job appears to be to apologise for and promote Red Bull.
 
I find it pretty entertaining watching Ferrari's comedy of errors this season. They deserve a grid penalty though, not a fine.

Posted by RivaOni
@Insectecutor: 
 
Coulthard really winds me up. I read his autobiography before the season started and he spends a good chunk of it bitching about team orders and unfair treatment then he defends Ferrari's actions yesterday and Red Bull's bias towards Vettel all season. Really cannot stand the bloke.
Posted by Tofford

It is a stupid rule really although I agree its a bad thing for spectators its impossible for teams not to have team orders. At the end of the day they shouldn't have done it and they need something that actually effects them in the championship not their bank accounts

Posted by RivaOni

Agree again. You're always going to have a #1 and #2 driver, wether thats based on talent, championship standing, repuation or just something like their personality or their relationship with the rest of the team. I think the simplest solution is to get rid of that rule for next season and take out driver-pit wall communication via the use of comlinks so the driver just relies on the pit boards. 
 
And fining a team like Ferrari is never going to make a difference, the amount they were fined was less than one of their road cars costs. Pointless really.

Edited by MachoFantastico

Ferrari broke a rule so should be punished. They would have probably got away with it if they hadn't had done it so blatantly, McLaren did it once (in 2008 I think) with Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton, but they did it in a smart way as Heikki locked up around a corner and it gave Lewis the run on him to pass. A lot of teams have done it, but Massa and Smedley were so obvious it was almost as if they wanted to shout 'WE ARE LETTING ALONSO THROUGH HERE' that was the issue. Smedley in particular realized what he had done wrong and kept saying 'a great result for Ferrari' when interviewed. It was all about the way Ferrari handled the situation that as caused them to be fined and potentially sanctioned. Matters like that hurt F1, and David Coulthard can say what he wants it the fans that should matter at the end of the day and they lost respect.
 
Don't care about how you look at it, Massa deserved that win yesterday and it was salt in the cut for him that it had been a year to the day since he had his crash that could very much have killed him. I have no respect for Alonso who as an history of cheating in F1, but it was sad to see Massa give in so easily. Guess that's why he got that new contract. As for Coulthard, as much as I like the chap, he defends Red Bull way to often and it's looking very obvious to all. Having said that, I love the debates him and Eddie Jordan have so I wouldn't get rid of him, Eddie Jordan is an absolute legend though and a credit to BBC's fantastic coverage of Formula one. Puts the ITV coverage to shame, love watching the forum and everything the BBC offer. 

Posted by XenoNick

Huh thought i was the only F1 fan here. I think the stupidest thing is that it was Ferrari who got busted for team orders again. A fine is way to light a penalty. I agree team orders always occur but when it involves the first two posistions of the race it becomes a bigger issue.  I personally think it was just due to Alonso's bitching, which he has done alot of recently.  I'll admit he is a skilled driver but he wines and bitches to much.

Posted by PhaggyBigNastyMcKill

Ferrari are run by Italians, nuff said. 

Posted by ShaneDev

I thought they always had to let the bigger teams away this shit because if they dont then they leave and the F1 loses popularity. On the BBC all they seem to talk about is how much the sport needs the popular drivers and teams, I wish Louis Hamilton would fuck off though. I am not to up on the rules of the sport but seems dickish to cheat.

Posted by Osaladin

I guess I can understand why Ferrari did it, but that does't mean that I agree with it. Also, I think it was just bad taste to not give Massa a chance to win it on the anniversary of his accident. I will say one thing about Alonso, I like him less and less ever since he joined Ferrari, he has become somewhat of a whiny bitch, especially to the media. Just let everyone race, that is when F1 is at its greatest.

Posted by lebkin
@RivaOni: I don't know anything about F1 beyond the basics, but I found your post really interesting. Sports internal drama is always interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by KaosAngel

Ferrari sucks, they buy out every win...don't even deny it.

Posted by c1337us

Eh it's Formula 1 this shit has happened before and will happen again. Fines are not a deterrent.

Posted by Supermarius
@ShaneDev said:
" I thought they always had to let the bigger teams away this shit because if they dont then they leave and the F1 loses popularity. On the BBC all they seem to talk about is how much the sport needs the popular drivers and teams, I wish Louis Hamilton would fuck off though. I am not to up on the rules of the sport but seems dickish to cheat. "
This seems like some weird European sports thing. The commentators during the world cup would also talk about how certain star players were allowed to score while moderately offsides because people want to see the big names perform. To a US sports fan that seems like insanity. Normally we want to see anyone who cheats get annihilated for it.
Posted by intoblivion

Massa could of refused, but It might of cost him his drive.

Edited by Hockeymask27

What I find funny if the pit crew would have shut up at at " is faster than you" Later on Massa could have made it look like he messed up a turn. 

Posted by RivaOni
@Supermarius said:
" @ShaneDev said:
" I thought they always had to let the bigger teams away this shit because if they dont then they leave and the F1 loses popularity. On the BBC all they seem to talk about is how much the sport needs the popular drivers and teams, I wish Louis Hamilton would fuck off though. I am not to up on the rules of the sport but seems dickish to cheat. "
This seems like some weird European sports thing. The commentators during the world cup would also talk about how certain star players were allowed to score while moderately offsides because people want to see the big names perform. To a US sports fan that seems like insanity. Normally we want to see anyone who cheats get annihilated for it. "
In regards to F1 its an odd relationship. F1 is Ferrari to so so many people, and Ferrari need F1 as their marketing tool. They enter into other motorsport competitions but F1 has always been the most important thing to them, its why Enzo set up the company after all. Its due to this that the FIA are always scared to punish Ferrari. I'm sure if the "spygate" scandal from a couple of seasons had have been reversed (i.e. Ferrari using McLaren development documents) then the punishment McLaren received (being removed from the Constructors Championship) wouldn't of been applied to Ferrari and I also think that matters will only get worse now that Jean Todt is Preseident of the FIA.
 
It's also apt that you bring up cheating in football. This World Cup was atrocious for dirty tackles and diving and it was mostly European and South American teams that were guilty of this. People don't like to see it, but its near impossible to get rid of in the modern game for two reasons, the players are so much more athletic than the officials and FIFA refuse to use replay technology for anything, so dives and general dirty play will be around until those issues are addressed.
Posted by PhaggyBigNastyMcKill
@RivaOni said:
" @Supermarius said:
" @ShaneDev said:
" I thought they always had to let the bigger teams away this shit because if they dont then they leave and the F1 loses popularity. On the BBC all they seem to talk about is how much the sport needs the popular drivers and teams, I wish Louis Hamilton would fuck off though. I am not to up on the rules of the sport but seems dickish to cheat. "
This seems like some weird European sports thing. The commentators during the world cup would also talk about how certain star players were allowed to score while moderately offsides because people want to see the big names perform. To a US sports fan that seems like insanity. Normally we want to see anyone who cheats get annihilated for it. "
In regards to F1 its an odd relationship. F1 is Ferrari to so so many people, and Ferrari need F1 as their marketing tool. They enter into other motorsport competitions but F1 has always been the most important thing to them, its why Enzo set up the company after all. Its due to this that the FIA are always scared to punish Ferrari. I'm sure if the "spygate" scandal from a couple of seasons had have been reversed (i.e. Ferrari using McLaren development documents) then the punishment McLaren received (being removed from the Constructors Championship) wouldn't of been applied to Ferrari and I also think that matters will only get worse now that Jean Todt is Preseident of the FIA.  It's also apt that you bring up cheating in football. This World Cup was atrocious for dirty tackles and diving and it was mostly European and South American teams that were guilty of this. People don't like to see it, but its near impossible to get rid of in the modern game for two reasons, the players are so much more athletic than the officials and FIFA refuse to use replay technology for anything, so dives and general dirty play will be around until those issues are addressed. "
Or, millions of fans would finally get tired of this BS and just walk away to a different hobby, leaving the cheating countries be the King of disgraced sports that nobody gives a shit about anymore. 
Posted by McSmunions

like another poster, i have no idea what you're talking about but it sounds interesting, i think i might just have to watch a race now. so what exactly is the rule? you can't give team orders for another team mate to pass you?

Posted by RivaOni
@McSmunions said:
" like another poster, i have no idea what you're talking about but it sounds interesting, i think i might just have to watch a race now. so what exactly is the rule? you can't give team orders for another team mate to pass you? "
Its basically "A team cannot give orders to their drivers that will effect the outcome of a race" which is basically don't instruct your drivers to let one pass the other on purpose.