Error caused Alonso’s DRS to ‘offset’

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In today?s round-up: Fernando Alonso?s DRS was set off by an error and Toro Rosso is fined ??10,000 for an unsafe release after a wheel bounced off Jaime Alguersuari’s car moments after he had pitted.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Fernando Alonso rear wing mystery explained (BBC F1)

??BBC Sport has learnt that an error caused Alonso’s DRS to ‘offset’ on that lap. That meant it was not enabled until 300m before the end of the straight, and was then available after the corner for a short time. This meant that he gained no advantage from the situation – in fact it actually caused him a disadvantage – so was given no penalty.

??FIA officials are still investigating what caused the error.??

Toro Rosso fined after wheel comes off (Reuters)

??Toro Rosso were fined 10,000 euros ($14,460) at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday after a wheel bounced off Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari’s car moments after he had pitted. The driver, who had started in a career best seventh place, retired on the 10th lap after a vain attempt to nurse his car back to the pits on three wheels.??

Exclusive: Prosecutor Widens F1 Bribery Probe (Sky News)

??Two more board directors of Formula One motor racing?s parent company are expected to be questioned as part of a probe into a $50m bribery scandal that threatens to engulf the sport.??

Lotus celebrates ‘best performance’ yet (Autosport)

??Heikki Kovalainen hailed his Lotus team’s performance as its best ever after beating some established teams on pure pace in China.

????That is our best ever performance,? the Finn said. ??It’s not the highest place we’ve had but today we beat two midfield cars in a straight fight so I am very happy, with my performance and the performance of the whole team.???

Perez apologises for Sutil collision (Autosport)

??Sergio Perez apologised to Adrian Sutil for their collision in the Chinese Grand Prix – though the German said his greater concern was why Force India’s tyre wear had been so bad at Shanghai.??

Paul di Resta to fill Michael Schumacher’s boots (The Express)

??Michael Schumacher?s comeback troubles with Mercedes could be great news for Britain?s latest F1 star, Paul di Resta.??

Nick Heidfeld via Twitter

??Not happy with P12 today. The start itself was very poor, but I was able to make up some places in the first corner. Later I had some problem with KERS, which made overtaking and defending quite difficult. In the second stint the pace was quite good.

??We made an early second stop in the hope to get some clean air, but as Adrian and Kobyashi stopped the same lap I could not show my pace??

Karun Chandhok via Twitter

??That has to be the best dry race I’ve seen in a very long time. Lewis and Mark were outstanding in particular making their 3 stoppers work. Hard work for teams and drivers, but the combination of the new tyre supplier & the DRS appear to be working very well for the spectators !??

Timo Glock via Twitter

??Not a really great weekend. Race was difficult unfortunately. The Team put me on a 3 stop strategy which was not the right way to go. But we did learn something out o fit. Hopefully Turkey upgrade will be a step [forward]!??

Lotus Renault GP via Twitter

??Wishing @RGrosjean a happy birthday!??

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

??If China showed us anything it’s this: marbles don’t prevent overtaking. Let’s nip that one in the bud.??

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

What did you think of the Chinese Grand Prix? Picasso 1.9D FTW said:

Seeing Nico win would have been so sweet, but I still gave it a 9 (gotta keep something in reserve!) because I have to rate the race not the result. In any case, I?m happy with any result that comes from determined, skilled driving and sporting behaviour, which we had in spades today. Great drivers battling desperately hard but respectfully, with all of 5 WDC winners on track showing their best sides.

Whilst the best of the rookies didn?t fare quite as well as in the last couple of races we have a good clutch there who still give plenty of entertainment, and of course Webber?s charge was thrilling.

But for a few laps I dared foolishly to hope that Rosberg would break his duck at last. Damn shame. As for Hamilton, a superb drive and the overtakes really put him out of Jenson?s reach today. A deserving winner.
Picasso 1.9D FTW

Read more: Rate the race: 2011 Chinese Grand Prix

From the forum

Have your say in the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix Awards.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Alan!

On this day in F1

Forty years ago today Tyrrell won their first race with a car they had built themselves.

Jackie Stewart won the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama in a Tyrrell 003. The team had previously bought chassis from constructors such as Matra and March.

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Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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109 comments on “Error caused Alonso’s DRS to ‘offset’”

  1. Flava Flav has to be chief of Ferrari or they will spend the next 20 years without winning

    1. That’s not even funny.

      1. I am referring to “Flava” Briatore, a strong personality with a proven winning record

        1. And a proven cheating record too!

    2. They’ve had top 5 finishes in every race so far. Not what they were aiming for of course, but hardly a total crisis, such that they won’t ever get back on the pace.

      1. But never let facts get in the way of a kneejerk reaction from Ferrari fans David ;-) (joking)

        1. Actually it’s a funny dichotomoy we’re seeing:

          – Ferrari does badly, fans stay calm, management goes into crisis mode
          – McLaren does badly, fans become scared, management carries on as usual

          1. Dichotomoy? Juxtaposition!

          2. And twice I couldn’t spell dichotomy…stop trying to be smart!

          3. Not on the forums/blogs i’ve been reading Icthyes….

    3. Surely you’re joking?! ;)

  2. So with Hamilton winning a race by (amongst many other things) making a good strategic call and looking after his tyres better than Button et al, can the myth about him not being able to think and not being able to look after tyres finally be let go of?

    1. Haters gonna Hate, but the myth of Hamilton not being able to look after his tyres was long gone a while ago. Some People just keep telling us that he can’t even though its obvious that he can. And yesterday he did a better job of it that his team mate who is meant to be the best at it on the grid.

      1. I think all the drivers at the top can manage their tires if and when they need to. Not sure if it’s the car, the driver, or the combo, but Vettel has been amazing with tire management so far this year. Perez at Melbourne was pretty phenomenal too.

        1. Its not as hard as the commentators make it out to be.

          Often they will say things just to make it sound more exciting. For instance, they will keep going on about how good Paul di Resta is doing, when all he has really done is beat a very slow team mate.

          1. Sutil very slow?

          2. The majority of the press on Sutil I’ve seen over the last number of years is fast but never able to get consistency.

            I don’t consider him a slow driver. He is too crash prone.

      2. he was lucky. just tell me how he was suffering when both ferrar is were right behind him ,before the 1st pit stop,where all the cars were racing under the same circumstances. and instead of giving any credit to himself,he should thank the enineer that came up with that strategy. he has not merit, just look what webber did just because of the tires.

    2. HAM had an extra brand new set of option tyres to use during the race though.

  3. The DRS explanation is futile, it will never stop the witchhunt

    1. What I don’t get is why a technical problem that didn’t help Alonso is seen as punishment enough, but for the Saubers it means being stripped of 3 world championship points….

      1. What makes you think it didn’t help Sauber?

      2. alonso’s rear wing was the fault of the FIA- so no punishment.

  4. yeah right, timo. the team put you on the same strat as button, hamilton and rosberg. is that a polite way of saying both you and your car are awful?

    1. Bad karma from Interlagos forever

      1. Will some Ferrari fans ever let it go that Timo Glock couldn’t drive a Toyota on dry tyres on a wet track faster than Lewis Hamilton could drive a McLaren on wet tyres on a wet track?

      2. I hope you aren’t suggesting (like some fans still are) that Timo somehow wanted to stop Massa getting the championship back then? Haven’t you realised yet that if Glock really wanted to stop Massa and let Hamilton win the championship, he would have pitted on intermediates that day, rather than staying on dry tyres?

    2. Probably!

    3. All three of the drivers you mention were in the top 10 and therefore needed to use at least 1 set of used tyres at some stage in the race. For them, three stops was clearly the better option. The Force Indias were proof that 2 stops needed a level of precision not possible when some of the sets in use were worn.

      Below 10th, things got more ambiguous. Not participating in Q3 (or even Q2, in Virgin’s case) meant that all the tyres in use would be new and the precision question was no longer a problem. So the question of “2 stops or 3” depended on what your car was like at tyre wear. If it wore them out quickly (like Red Bull or Mercedes), 3 stops was better. If it was relatively kind on tyres (like Williams or Hispania), 2 stops was better. Virgin is towards the kinder end of the spectrum and should therefore have been on 2 stops.

      Hope this helps.

  5. I was actually awaiting the results of the stewards championship before taking as final the result of yesterdays race.

    1. To see is vettel is penalised for weaving at the start?

      1. No-one gets penalised for weaving at the start. That rule is ignored by the stewards unless there’s contact.

      2. I think teams have a handshake agreement that whatever happens before the first corner is allowed unless it causes a collision.

        E.g. Raikkonen at Spa, none of the teams complained to the stewards (and FI obviously would have if they had a case)

  6. Far too early to call Di Resta a star, in my opinion

    Sure he has so far had consistent results, despite being in a FI, but still..

    1. He’s outdriven Sutil, who in my opinion has had more than enough chances to impress over the years only to be outqualified and outraced 3 out of 3 by Di Resta. Time for FI to cut him loose and bring in the Hulk alongside Di Resta.

      As for Mercedes, why not undercut RBR and offer Ricciardo a drive in place of MSC?

      1. I really doubt DiResta will be with Force India for long… so maybe its too early for Force India to replace Sutil. Mercedes would much rather have DiResta racing for them when Schumi retires, as Ricciardo is still an unproven talent.

        Di Resta has had a strong start to the season, but I think its a little too early to say that Di Resta is getting the better of Sutil. We should wait for a good 3-4 more races to see a clearer picture.

        1. I see di Resta going to Mercedes and then to McLaren whenever Button calls it a day. Ricciardo will be thrown into the perilous world of STR and maybe jump up to Red Bull if he’s good enough.

          1. Button’s still young enough he could race for another decade if he stays sharp and wants to continue. Same for Alonso. I doubt any of the top drivers will retire anytime soon, with the possible exception of Webber, but even he could go for a few more years if he wanted to.

  7. I’m not sure how Ferrari haven’t figured this one out yet…

    Ferrari + Charlie Sheen = Duh, Winning!

    1. Some people have suggested Flavio Briatore will be in charge at Ferrari soon. Question is who parties harder? Flavio, or Charlie Sheen?

  8. Is there anything in the regs that says how DRS failures are dealt with? I would imagine there will be more this season – and they could even conceivably be the FIA’s fault if there is a glitch in the system. Or what if a piece of rubber gets stuck and the wing doesn’t completely close. Does it always come down to arguing if there was a performance gain? It can be a difficult argument to make that your driver didn’t gain an advantage (no matter how small) and could result in some nasty penalties.

    1. If something does get stuck in the wing in the activated position, it would cause a performance disadvantage to the driver, because there is significantly less rear downforce. They’ll suffer in the corners and have less traction.

    2. Deliberate DRS failure would be a breach of the technical regulations and therefore cause disqualification.

      Accidental failures are less clear. At a guess, I’d say there would be no penalty provided the cause could be demonstrated, couldn’t be helped and couldn’t reasonably have been fixed in a pit stop.

      1. Agree – They need to find out what caused Alonso, and others having issues already this year, to have those problems, and make it more reliable – it can’t be safe to have it active when a driver doesn’t expect it.

  9. “Michael Schumacher’s comeback troubles with Mercedes could be great news for Britain’s latest F1 star, Paul di Resta.”

    I’ve suspected Mercedes have been planning this for a while now: prime di Resta for a race seat, but give him a year in a satellite team before promoting him to Mercedes GP. If he keeps driving circles around Adrian Sutil, then I expect he’d get called up at the end of the year.

    The only loser in all of this is Nico Hulkenberg. Willi Weber has clearly been trying to set up up as The Next Big Thing in Formula 1, and while Vettel is the current young German sensation, Weber wants Hulkenberg to be their heir apparent to Michael Schumacher and have him “study” for a year under Schumacher’s leadership before taking over from him once he retires. And that’s why a test driver role was such a big mistake – it gives everybody else time to impress a whole year ahead of Hulkenberg.

    1. Fail(I don’t want to conclude he failed though) of the Hulk is dark side of current F1. Very talented man but without big sponsor. for sure di Resta is much likely to replacement of Schumacher but I still has hope that the Hulk has way to revive. but his plan of career is quite ruined, many years would be wasted.

      Well, maybe somewhere else want him but I don’t know…Massa looks like strong now so Ferrari don’t need replacement. after 1 or 2 years there’s Bianchi so they don’t need the Hulk. Lotus? if they get into midfield successfully maybe…

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        18th April 2011, 4:21

        Very talented man but without big sponsor.

        He could get one with ease if he tried, but when Williams asked him to find a sponsor, he said he wouldn’t do it. Apparently he thinks talent is enough to get by. And it is … for maybe eight of the drivers. Everyone else brings sponsorship in some form.

        1. I’m sorry but what has this guy done to set him out from any of the other rookies? I cant seem to recall anything special.

          Going quicker than your team mate is not special when your team mate is dead slow.

          The only reason anyone has even noticed him is because the commentators are constantly either interviewing him or pointing him out and giving him shallow unfounded compliments in order to forcefully boost the Brits career.

          The only reason a team would want him is because he is a good marketing tool.

          1. Erm… he put a Williams on pole? And not a 1990s Williams, the 2010 Williams.

            Not sure how much sponsorship Hulk had to get – remember, Pastor is putting up 8-digit funds to get the other Williams seat. Not sure how Hulk could even get close to that.

            In the end, Hulk will get di Resta’s F1 seat if and when PDR moves up to Mercedes. And honestly, I think Rosberg isn’t showing good enough form to lead Mercedes long-term, and may be let go to let Hulk take over after a couple of years as well.

          2. Erm, Journeyer… infy was talking about Di Resta not Hulkenberg there

            “The only reason anyone has even noticed him is because the commentators are constantly either interviewing him or pointing him out and giving him shallow unfounded compliments in order to forcefully boost the Brits career.”

          3. Heinz-Harald Frentzen got his seat at Williams because he’d beaten Schumacher in their pre-F1 days.

            Di Resta beat Vettel in Formula 3000 Euroseries. I see history repeating itself.

          4. Frentzen tied with Schumacher in the 1989 German F3 championship, but both were beaten to the title by Karl Wendlinger. The two were team mates at the Sauber Mercedes sportscar team, but alternated as driving partners for Jochen Mass so never actually raced against one another. He got his Williams seat because he performed well at Sauber, especially in 1994-95. He qualifed fifth for his first GP, scored points in his second and was generally better than his results suggested. All the while Damon Hill was thought to be failing to make the best of some pretty decent machinery.

            Di Resta beat Vettel in the F3 Euroseries, not F3000 – neither driver ever raced in F3000.

          5. Agree with infy. Let’s wait and see if he’s the next Hamilton. I’m still not convinced.

            On the other hand I think Mercedes would want someone more recognizable as a replacement for Schumi for marketing reasons, like Vettel. And I’m not sure if there’s anyone relatively ‘free’ in the market who would suit them at the moment.

          6. Not sure how Hulk could even get close to that.

            Doesn’t matter how much he could bring – his problem is that he never tried. He was asked to bring sponsorship to the team and it was made clear that he needed to do so in order to retain his seat. And he said no without giving it a second thought.

  10. i just watched the replay – it is lap 25 (same segment as Button second pit) and they have been showing the Alonso | Schumacher battle for 2 laps. You can clearly see the wing open at the DRS line on lap 25 and close at the braking zone. maybe the replay was from 3 laps previous, but it didn’t look like he was that close, then.

  11. i mean maybe the replay of the DRS flap opening out of the zone was from 3 laps earlier…

  12. So when Renault lost a wheel in Hungary 2009, the FIA wanted to kick them out for a race, but Toro Rosso are given just a 10,000 euro fine. Both incidents were dangerous, yet the penalties, are not even close to being similar.

    1. The FIA also reinstated Renault into Valencia. We saw numerous drivers lose their wheels last year, and none of them received such severe penalties.

    2. The worst thing about the Renault incident was that when Alonso asked what was wrong before the wheel came off, they lied to him so that he would come back to the pits (if I recall correctly).
      It was deliberately putting people in danger that justified the harsher penalty in my opinion.

      Obviously this could also have happened with Torro Rosso as well and we just didn’t hear the radio message.

    3. Both incidents were dangerous, yet the penalties, are not even close to being similar.

      The FIA isn’t exactly similar these days. Or didn’t you notice the whole UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT signs that went up at the beginning of 2010?

      This is the thing that irks me about people campainging for change: the lobby really hard for it, and when they finally do get it, they proceed to complain that things have not stayed the same.

  13. Ferrari should have go for 3 pit stops. As soon as they know that rivals are catching up, they should have called them for a tyre change. Rather than play safe.

    Pirelli behaviour is totally different from Bridgestone. One no grip, should have changed.

    Example, towards the closing stage of Chinese GP, Webber was faster than Button 2 seconds per lap. And If there were 3 more laps, Webber could have overtaken Vettel.

    1. I think it was a dead giveaway at least for switching Alonso on a 3 stopper to try something to get forward.

      But they must have felt good with themselves being close to the leader.

  14. Could somebody explain why Timo glock complains about 3 stop strategi?

  15. FIA should allow DRS to be used at anytime. Just like the allow it in qualifying. And to re-introduce re-fueling. Otherwise most of the drivers have to back-off due to low fuel level. Like Rosberg in Shanghai GP 2011.

    To allow in season unlimited private track testing and unlimited use of wind tunnel. Renault has 2 reserve drivers and it is pointless because they cannot test cars.

    FIA capped budget to allow lower budget teams to remain in F1 but look at the 3 bottom teams, no improvement (at the moment). And no TV coverage.

    1. Well Luca (because it has to be you), I think you might find that there has been an improvement in the ‘bottom’ teams – HRT didn’t qualify for the first race, and now they have no problem, and Lotus finished ahead of someone other than HRT and Virgin.

      I love the ‘unlimited private track testing’ bit – which team is it that has a private track? Nice touch to pretend that you are suggesting this for the benefit of Renault!

    2. Allowing DRS to be used anywhere would not have any sort of benefit to anyone. Either scrap it, keep it in its current form, or impose another kind of restriction on it.

      Allowing refueling means that peoples races will instead be ruined by faulty rigs instead. Apart from Virgin last year because of small fuel tanks I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t finished under the ban due to fuel.

      In season testing keeps costs down and teams don’t seem to be adversely affected too much by it.

      FIA capped budget – This would be OK, so long as there are no “technical freedoms” given to those who follow the cap: this would create a two tier season. And there is improvement in the 3 teams: HRT are now within 107% rule and Lotus are close to catching Williams.

    3. FIA should allow DRS to be used at anytime. Just like the allow it in qualifying.

      But qualifying is completely different to the race. Qualifying is all about putting in that one perfect lap at precisely the right moment. Racing is about managing fuel load and tyre wear and lapping consistently whilst countering the other drivers. Why should the rules for both be the same when they’re worlds apart?

    4. FIA should allow DRS to be used at anytime.

      I have the complete opposite view. I think it should be banned. On Sunday, after the race, I went to a BBQ with several friends, and I wasn’t surprised to discover that NOT A SINGLE ONE among the guys I talked to managed to understand the silly rules to use it. We wont see them in front of the TV anytime soon.
      IMO, DRS is confusing for the fans and ridiculously artificial.

      1. No offence, but if my mother can understand it (she’d be the first person to belittle her own intelligence)…

        1. Ichtyes, no offense taken. But maybe your mom can explain to us why they feel they need to put a sign beside track so the drivers know when to use that ridiculous device. Oh, but they can use it ONLY in that place, but ONLY if they are inside a second of difference.
          Ridiculous rules create ridiculous situations, as Alonso’s DRS opening and closing at the wrong place.

  16. Here is a pretty nice report from US fans visiting the presentation of renaming the Ausin circuit into circuit of the Americas.
    They were allowed to drive onto the track! Great videos of that included.

    Looks like that 1st corner is really pretty spectacular drive up the hill.

  17. Happy birthday Alan!

    1. From me as well.

  18. so it’s an FIA software error that Alonso was able to use DRS in a forbidden zone, but to activate it Alonso would have had to push the DRS button, no? IF so he knowingly did something illegal, shouldn’t that be penalized? If this is the case, sure, it was a software error that made DRS available to him there, but nothing forced him to acticate it at that point now did it, if he did, he did it to gain an advantage.
    I surely hope the wing didn’t just activate by itself, that would be incredibly dangerous but I doubt that is what happened.

    1. It might be the case that, during the race, Ferrari have the DRS button wired up to be effectively permanently depressed, such that it opens automatically if the conditions are met without the driver having to be aware that it is available on that lap. Alonso would therefore not have knowingly attempted to activate it. If the FIA’s software is not reliable, this is a risky setup – the wing could open halfway round a high-speed corner…

      1. It would be more risky from the team’s point of view to have DRS activate without the driver’s knowledge – the driver needs to be aware that they are going to lose downforce suddenly so they can be prepared.

        Even if he did press the button he didn’t have it available for as long down the straight, so it would only be fair that he can use it for as long as anyone else.

        1. Good point. That sudden extra speed could be dangerous if the driver wasn’t expecting it.

          I think the crucial point here is that this system is entirely outside of the teams control. The comments implying FIA bias towards Ferrari are (in this instance) completely unfounded as it was a bug in the FIA software that caused this issue. Alonso couldn’t use DRS on the straight when he should have been able to.

  19. Just to see if the result still stands. They could add 20 seconds to both Mclarens for stoppong in the wrong pit, or to Webber for having too many fresh tyres. You never know with these people. Vettel’s start line dance isn’t going to get a reprimand as we all know

  20. This meant that he gained no advantage from the situation – in fact it actually caused him a disadvantage – so was given no penalty.

    Good that he didn’t get a penalty, but I don’t like the reasoning: he didn’t gain an advantage.

    In Sepang, where Alonso/Ferrai were also at fault, but given a penalty, although he certainly didn’t gain an advantage by colliding with Hamilton. Nor did he get disadvantaged by the penalty. For consistency, they should’ve given him a non impacting penalty yesterday as well. Although to me, they could have communicated the same after Sepang and not given him a penalty then.

    Also there’s some inflation in the fine for ‘a wheel coming off’ from $50.000 (Renault, Hungary 2009; after appeal, first punishment was a race ban), via $50.000 again (Mercedes, Hungary 2010) to $14,460. Especially the first incident Renault had in Hungary was fairly similar to this one. The Mercedes thing was extra dangerous, however that Sauber mechanic stepping away made it funny (as far as I remember nobody got seriously hurt).

    I think Jean Todt should step in and make way with these inconsistencies for once and for all. They should provide the stewards with a little handbook with all the punishments (and unpunished faults!) of the last ten years.

  21. “BBC Sport has learnt that an error caused Alonso’s DRS to ‘offset’ on that lap. That meant it was not enabled until 300m before the end of the straight, and was then available after the corner for a short time. This meant that he gained no advantage from the situation – in fact it actually caused him a disadvantage – so was given no penalty.

    “FIA officials are still investigating what caused the error.”

    I should think so too! I can’t see Alonso would even want to deploy it just after the corner, barely giving the car time to find it’s balance.

    Ultimate responsibility is down to the FIA.

    I’m surprised the word ‘penalty’ has even been mentioned in the same breath.

    1. It opened whilst he was accelerating so of course it gave him an advantage – even if only tiny.

      I wonder what would have happened if McLaren’s DRS opened at the same point… hmmmm

      1. Read the article. The DRS was not enabled until 300m before the end of the straight. This means that Alonso should have been able to use DRS for the whole 750m overtaking zone but could only use it for the last 300m. The fact that he may have a had a slight boost in the short run out of the hairpin is outweighed by the extra speed he lost down the back straight.

    2. Agreed. There’s no way the FIA can penalise anyone in this situation except their own computer programmers. It’s a ridiculous way for any team to attempt to gain an advantage because it’s so easy to spot.

      1. For me this is another argument against DRS – a reliability issue with the detection system could disadvantage a particular team or driver. The difference between that and some other kind of reliability issue is that this is a system designed and provided by the FIA, not the teams themselves.

        1. It has teething problems and the FIA are the first to admit it. I don’t believe the teams are THAT bothered…yet.

  22. The question is did alonso press the button after the hairpin??? If he did he should be punished as that is blatant cheating. Something tells me if it was Hamilton the decision would be rather different!

    1. @Damon
      were you reading my mind? how did you know tha’s exactly what i have been thinking? lol

    2. Hewis Lamilton
      18th April 2011, 16:13

      Did Vettel press the button after the hairpin?

      Did Sutil press the button after the hairpin?

      Did Button press the button after the hairping?

      The rules do not dictate when the button can be pressed, but rather where the DRS zone begins and ends. (I like how people turn this into how Hamilton is held to a different standard. Absolutely nothing to do with Hamilton.)

  23. Classic F1 politics though: Ferrari are proven to have engaged a performance enhancing system outside of where the regulations allow.

    The result? Swept under the rug as being a minor software bug. In other words…{avoid any panic, investigation or rumours…it’s a one off.}

    Ignoring the potential as a performance enhancer, the safety implications are insane especially if (as the case may or may not be) Alonso didn’t know it was engaged.

    I work in software – there’s no such thing as a ‘one-off’. If it’s happened once in effectively only 5 hours of controlled running, I guarantee it will happen again.

    1. We all know what would have happened if this “bug” appeared in a one Vodafone You-Know-Who Mercedes. Wink-Wink-Nudge-Nudge. :)

    2. We know it is bugged to hell already from previous races where teams and drivers have complained about it not activating at all.

    3. I seriously don’t know who the FIA think they are fooling? They seems to think everyone else is 5 years old. Let them answer us if the result would have been the same if it happened to a McLaren.

      1. Hewis Lamilton
        18th April 2011, 16:16

        What does it have to do at all with McLaren? Not a dam thing.

        1. Except if it is somehow a glitch in the McLaren systems ECU :-p But that’s a different (part of) McLaren than the race team.

    4. Indeed, and it could happen at a much more crucial time, say in a last-lap battle for the lead. What if someone’s DRS should activate but doesn’t because of another ‘one-off’ glitch?

  24. I remember watching Sutil shaking hands with Dieter Zetsche before the race in Shanghai. I think Sutil would be the obvious replacement for Schumi and not PDR. He is German and has more experience than the Hulk. Hulk and PDR should be a good fight at force india next season.

  25. The solution is pretty obvious: re-program the DRS so that the FIA can’t control if it can be opened or not, only whether the driver is allowed to use it (i.e. the flashing light coming on).

    Then if someone uses it outside of the zone, we’ll know that it’s cheating. 1s time penalty for every time it’s used illegally. If used to overtake someone, 10s penalty.

    1. Isn’t that how it is supposed to be? The FIA is in charge of checking the conditions, causing that light to go on (or not); it’s up to the driver to push the button.

  26. Do the cars not have cameras in them that could show if Alonso pressed his DRS button or it activated spontaneously? I just don’t buy this line about how ‘no advantage’ was gained. If their wing didn’t open until 300m from the end of the straight that’s unfortunate, but if they illegally used it outside of the zone because it was still available then that’s cheating (even if it was only available due to a glitch in the FIA’s system) The fact that they were disadvantaged previously is not justification for using it when they shouldn’t have – if it can be shown that it wasn’t simply a malfunction that caused it to open.

    1. It doesn’t matter if Alonso pressed the button or not. If the FIA disable the device outside the zone then it’s not Alonso’s fault if it works at the wrong part of the track.

      1. How can it possibly ‘not matter’ whether or not Alonso made a conscious decision to use an overtaking aid outside of the zone in which it is permitted. The fact it was available, possibly due to a technical error is one thing, choosing to use it quite another!

        1. Its the same as with KERS and you’re not trying to tell me that every driver stops using it after judging precisely 6 seconds in their head?

          The system cuts it out until it is recharged, in the same way the DRS is not meant to work outside the stated parameters.

          I’ve seen many a driver press the KERS button when they’ve got none left. Should they be penalised as well?

        2. It might be ethically dubious, but it is not outside the rules. The rules make no provision for this situation because it is never supposed to arise. Alonso probably was a bit annoyed he couldn’t use DRS where he actually wanted (and was legally allowed) to, so when he saw it was available after the corner he used it.

          Regardless, Alonso is not to blame. The FIA are.

        3. Hewis Lamilton
          18th April 2011, 16:19

          Show me in the rules where it is not allowed to attempt to activate DRS while you are not inside of the DRS zone.

          I can’t seem to find it. Can you?

  27. “‘That is our best ever performance,’ the Finn said. ‘It’s not the highest place we’ve had but today we beat two midfield cars in a straight fight so I am very happy, with my performance and the performance of the whole team.’”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Perez behind Heikki because of a drive-through and stop-and-go penalties? That’s not a straight fight as far as I’m concerned.

  28. Montezemolo: “It’s a crucial moment: we must react quickly”

    At Maranello Luca di Montezemolo has planned a long day’s work with all of them to take stock of the situation. It’s clear that the Ferrari president is far from satisfied, as he confirmed in a declaration released to, in which he took the chance to invoke a reaction from all involved. “This cannot and must not be the team’s level,” said Montezemolo.


  29. I still gave it a 9 (gotta keep something in reserve!) because I have to rate the race not the result

    Me too, Massa’s result was poor but he had a splendid race.

  30. Who is this “Luis” guy?

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