Alonso defends decision not to change broken wing

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Sepang, 2013Fernando Alonso defended the decision not to change his damaged front wing which led to his retirement from the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Alonso broke his front wing on the first lap of the race by hitting Sebastian Vettel’s car: “We were very unlucky,” he said. “After making a good start, I touched with Vettel at the second corner. It was a surprise to find him there, almost stopped and I don?t know what speed he was doing.”

He admitted the decision not to change the front wing was taken as he and the team wanted to wait until the track had begun to dry and he could use the pit stop to change to slick tyres as well:

“Despite the fact the car was damaged, it didn?t seem to be too bad and, together with the team, we decided to keep going, because if we?d stopped immediately and then again on lap three or four to fit dry tyres, we would have dropped too far back and definitely lost the chance to finish up the front.”

But the wing failed almost immediately after he passed the pit entrance, sending him skidding into a gravel trap. “It?s easy to criticise this decision, but at the time it seemed like the right one,” said Alonso.

“It was certainly a shame, because here we could have fought with the Red Bulls, but circumstances didn?t help and apart from the wisdom of the decisions we took, bad luck really played its part, when you think how many off-track excursions there were in Australia without any consequence and even here when the cars first went out on track.

“Now we are already focusing on the coming races in China and Bahrain, where we hope to do better than last year, so that we arrive in Europe with as many points as possible.”

Team mate Felipe Massa was held up behind Alonso in the first corners and finished fifth. Team principal Stefano Domenicali said the result left a “bitter taste” after his cars lined up second and third on the grid.

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Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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Keith Collantine
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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104 comments on “Alonso defends decision not to change broken wing”

  1. I always thought it was dangerous to continue racing with a front wing that is hanging off? It was a no-brainer. He had to come in.

    1. Indeed, I think it was telling that Button got warned by his team that Alonso’s FW would fail soon before that straight while Ferrari thought they could pull off another lap of driving in anger @craig-o.

      1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
        24th March 2013, 16:13

        @craig-o : Exactly, as an Alonso fan, I almost hanged myself when I saw that Alonso didn’t pit at the end of the first lap. I was almost sure he wasn’t going to finish.

    2. The decision not to pit Alonso was the right one,as risky as it was.It was too early for slicks,and it was pointless putting him on inters on a drying track,he would be running last,in the thick of it,it just wouldn’t work.His luck finally ran out,simple as that.

      1. By your logic, anybody with a broken car that is falling apart should not pit unless it is within strategy.

        No front wing? Don’t worry, keep driving. A box now does not fit with our strategy.
        Flat tire? Oh don’t worry, you can make it. A box now does not fit with our strategy.

        1. Fikri Harish (@)
          24th March 2013, 17:47

          Considering he managed to hold on to his position for most of the lap with a broken front wing, it does seem like a good idea at the time.
          Risky yes, but the payoff would’ve been worth it.

        2. @fihar Hindsight is a wonderful thing,at the time he was doing quite well considering circumstances,but it didn’t hold,it broke off.It was a difficult situation,much more complicated than you make it out to be,and your examles are not comparable.Like i said it was complicated,sometimes you risk it and it doesn’t work for you,tough luck.

      2. @kimster381

        The decision not to pit Alonso was the right one,as risky as it was

        Except for fact that the front wing is supported by 2 uprights, which one had broken and the other was now taking the load of the entire wing. Add to that, the instability of a flapping wing dragging on the road, which put additional lateral motion, which in most cases will result in a catastrophic failure at some point.

        Ferrari have been in this caper too long to hope for the best.

    3. Yep. I am mainly critical of this decision to stay out from a safety standpoint. As I commented straight after the race, I shouted at the screen when Alonso didn’t pit at the end of lap 1 because even if his wing would stay fixed, surely he would have been given a black and orange flag and forced to pit for having a dangerous car.

      At least I hope he would have been flagged. This sort of thing is really dangerous in open cockpit racing. I think the stewards need to take action more quickly in these situations. When I watched Massa’s onboard of the start, following in the wake of Alonso with torrents of water coming off the back of Alonso’s car it sent shivers down my spine. Massa (or anyone else for that matter) probably wouldn’t have been able to react if the wing suddenly snapped off and flew straight for a drivers head. It would be a freak accident for the wing to come off and part/all of it to actually hit a driver in the helmet but I don’t think the risk is insignificant.

      Remember in Spa 2011 Senna broke his front wing at the start of the race and it came off under his car on the run down to Eau Rouge, part of it tearing off Button’s wing mirror at high speed and another piece tore off part of his front wing. In that instance nothing could be done as the wing failed so soon after initial contact but it goes to show that these failures can be very dangerous for the drivers behind.

  2. It was an especially unwise decision seeing as the cars didn’t end up pitting the lap afterwards, but a few laps…

  3. It’s easy to criticise this decision, but at the time it seemed like the right one,

    Since when has it been recommended to drive around with a front wing which is halfway off the nose of the car?
    If it was just a bit of endplate etc. gone then I would agree, but the whole wing was barely hanging on to the car. How on earth they imagined that to hold up, I have no idea.

    1. Fair play to Alonso for sticking behind his team (Paul di Resta take note!), but it was one of the most perplexing decisions I’ve ever seen from a team to leave Alonso out instead of pitting him immediately.

      1. As soon as Alonso passed the pit entrance I thought that they would have to show him a black flag as it was clearly going to be dangerous if the wing dropped off. Webber was lucky that Alonso didn’t take him out after the wing failed too.

  4. I like to think the stewards were prepping a meatball anyway but the wing didn’t last long enough for it to be shown.

    1. I certainly hope they were, they should have thrown it the first time he came past the pits.

      1. He went by the pits once :P So I’m sure they were about to.

  5. It was insanely dangerous to keep him out. He deserves at least a 5 place grid penalty, probably 10, for the next race. That wing could have killed someone on the straight. It wasn’t even close.

    1. I think the rules say somethig about parts that are waving/vibrating that should be imediately removed. Alonso’s wing was pretty stable until it fell off.

      1. Just like the Space Shuttle Challenger was flying until it blew up?

        1. He he. Something like this.
          It was pretty much the same situation with Raikkonen at the French GP 2008. There was a part of the F2008 that was partially detached but there wasn’t any penalty there.

          1. If they can replace a broken exhaust in 10s then I am pretty sure Kimi would love it to be fixed.

      2. It was not stable at all @klaas, as it was hanging only from one pillar with the left side scraping the ground. All the other teams noticed it would probably fall off, not sure why Ferrari took a far to risky gamble with it.

        1. @bascb It moved together with the whole car not flapping relative to the car’s body.
          In hindsight it’s always easy to say what should have been done. If it resisted 2 laps more and they changed it together with the tires then people would have called it an inspired move. It’s true they took a huge gamble that unfortunately didn’t pay off.

          1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
            24th March 2013, 16:16

            @klaas : Absolutely agree with you there! I have been tryin to explain exactly that to people, but you know, there are many of those anti-Alonso types. :p

          2. Funny. I’m rather anti-Alonso, but I would never blame him for that stupid decision: He can’t see the wing at all, only feel it. It’s understandable that he wanted to continue, as the car certainly had speed.

            The team, OTOH, should have pulled him in immediately. There was no doubt that it was hanging on a thread.

            Actually, I think they should have been fined heavily for endangering Alonso and other drivers.

          3. guys,&klaas, @shreyasf1fan come on, what is Anti Alonso in saying that the team should have called him in as it was pretty clear to the other team, and even the TV pundits, that the wing would not survive another lap or 2 from being dragged over the ground?

            One of the most dangerous situations is when the FW gets lodged under the front wheels because a driver then cannot do anything to either stop the car, nor turn it.

            Alonso was fine, he would have told the team how drivable he felt the car still was, but its the teams job to decide on this as the driver cannot see the wing.

        2. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
          25th March 2013, 11:55

          @bascb : No I wasn’t talking about the wing matter. I was talking about how people are so sure Alonso won’t get the title.

          1. Are they? Haven’t seen much of that in this discussion really so why bring it up @shreyasf1fan?

          2. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
            26th March 2013, 7:23

            @bascb : No, not really in this discussion, but I have been hearing it a lot in other articles.

    2. Nah I think the driver shouldn’t be punished in such cases although part of the decision making it should be the pit wall who has the saying.
      It should be handled like unsafe releases with a fine for the team.

    3. This would be extremely unfair given that Alonso wasn’t shown the black and orange flag; Ferrari’s defence of “race control clearly didn’t think it was dangerous” ought to be unassailable.

      1. Race control had around 30 seconds to make a decision, notify the trackside stewards and then lift their flags. Alonso crashed out well before the process could be completed.

  6. Tough luck for Alonso. It’s in these kind of races when Championships are lost.

  7. It is very easy to take the right decision knowing the outcome. during the race Alonso took the risk and unfortunately for the competition it was not work… That was all.

  8. It was pretty obvious that the wing was potentially dangerous. He should have been called in.

    More impressive though was how Alonso defended and held on to his position despite not having a functioning wing. It was likely this that made Ferrari decide to keep him out, thinking it was ok. A short, but seriously impressive piece of driving.

    1. Oh, it was functioning alright. Until it fell off, that is.

  9. It was a smart gamble which did not pay off. Obviously no one knew it was this risky that the wing will explode. Even though the wing was sparking a lill bit, It was obvious Alonso wanted to have track little more dried up before doing a full service at the pit stop to gain maximum advantage. if the strategy worked then it would have been the smartest move around. So can’t blame him for that. It is what it is.

    1. It was a moronic gamble.

    2. It was a smart gamble which did not pay off. Obviously no one knew it was this risky that the wing will explode.

      We have seen that “explosion” hundreds of times… It wasnt surprise. I though Alonso was very lucky to survive throught lap 1. I dont understand Ferrari´s decision at all. High risk, low reward… Alonso managed to keep the position just because Webber was careful: Wet conditions, lap 1 and broken car ahead. Most likely Alonso would have been out of top10 after 1-2 laps.

  10. I don’t understand why he wasn’t given a black-and-orange flag for it. It was clear that it was in a dangerous state.

    I presume that they would’ve given him a warning during that second lap.

    1. I think that your third sentence answers the first!

    2. @Magnificent-Geoffrey I don’t think the wing lasted long enough. As soon as he passed pit-in, on NBC Steve Matchett instantly said “I can imagine Charlie Whiting is going to take a very dim view of this” and suggested a black & orange flag would be forthcoming shortly. Will Buxton also metioned during the broadcast that the team were in the pit lane ready for him to come in, so it seems it wasn’t necessarily the team’s decision for him to stay out, but Alonso’s own poor decision.

      1. depends. If they have said to him

        Ferrari: you have a bit of damage, we have a wing ready if you need it. how does it feel?
        Alonso: ok im still reasonably quick
        Ferrari: ok keep going

        Then there isnt much to be said, alonso cant see the extent of the damage from where he is.

  11. Still a brilliant piece of motor racing, he was able to defend Webber for the whole lap, “a la Villeneuve”
    Ferrari were amazed that the wing didn’t held , i was actually amazed that the wing held for 1 lap
    It was too risky not to bring at that point,

    1. If you would like Fernando to end up like Villeneuve you should back up their decision to leave him out with damaged car.

      1. I was referring to Gilles not Jacques ,when he had a broken front wing in a wet race in Canada

        1. @tifoso1989 I think Boomerang was referring to Giles’ death, some suggested his recklessness contributed to that outcome.

          1. Ah ok !!!

  12. Had a hard LOL at this bit: “It was a surprise to find him there, almost stopped and I don’t know what speed he was doing.”
    For sure, not fair to Olympic Samurai, no?

  13. I guess everyone is a lotto winner in hindsight. Alonso was able to keep it on the track in wet conditions with the wing the way it was and able to fight off Webber. With the track drying, you could see what they were trying to do. I think Ferrari took a risk which if it came off, Alonso could’ve been on the podium and everyone would be hailing Ferrari’s clever call. If they pitted him immeditely he would’ve been plum last and with maybe a chance of finishing in the bottom end of the top 10 at the very best.

  14. It was the right decision, if he had pitted for wing change he would have lost several seconds (more than a normal pit stop), he would have been 22 in the grid and very distant from 21. The plan before the start was that at lap 3,4,5 to pit for dry tyres, and in his first lap Alonso feels that the car was ok…. he was still 2nd. Raikkonen showed today that if you get stacked behind slower cars: you run out your tyres and lose too many time…in small words Alonso would had finished with 0 points with or without the wing change.
    The only thing that could have saved his race in case of pit was a “chaotic race” but this didn’t happen the race was dry and without any safety car. We also save one engine, and we have a +fresh engine for the 17 remain races. I don’t blame the team, it wasn’t an error…it was the right decision.

    Just it didn’t work out, Alonso was very unlucky…there are small differences sometimes, Vettel had a broken wing in Abu Dhabi and everything was ok even the safety car comes out so he could have changed the wing…in Brasil he was involved in a collision and still was able to finished the race, while Alonso was involved in two collision last year and in both 0 points.

    Luck or Unluck is part of formula 1 and sometimes can decide also Championships.

    Anyway i don’t believe that this incident will affect Alonso championship because is different to last year, this year he have a car capable to fight the Red Bull in every race while last year he didn’t have and should have to finish any race too had a chance. This year Ferrari seems to be in the same level if not better (which i believe it is) than Red Bull…so this can be as a Boost for Alonso and the team for next races.

    The funny part for the end…as there are people that claims that it was dangerous and ALSO a penalty for Alonso… i can’t deny that these conclusions put a smile in my face.
    I dont remember people claiming the same thing for Vettel in Abu dhabi, or for Raikkonen in this race when he lost part of his wing…or for any driver when he lose some part of the car but still race…strange…
    As normal everything get exaggerate when it’s Ferrari and Alonso in the middle…same as with team orders…i can’t even imagine if it was Ferrari in place of Red bull or Mercedes today…it would have been the apocalypse day…

    1. BOTTAS picked his way from 21st to 11th, so with a better car it should have been possible for Alonso to get a decent haul of points even if he’d dropped right to the back of the field at the end of the first lap.

      But Captain Hindsight was never my favourite superhero. Ferrari felt it was the right call at the time, we’ve seen drivers carrying on in much more heavily damaged cars without penalty, so there isn’t really a case to answer here.

      1. Fikri Harish (@)
        24th March 2013, 17:54

        Well, with six car retiring in front of him, that’s not exactly an achievement is it? Gutierrez is the only midfield car running behind him when he finished.

    2. @nomore – Disagree. How many points did ALO lose the championship by last year? Three. The idea that someone of his talent, in what is a very solid car couldn’t get up to 8th from a first lap debacle is a bit of a stretch. It is very possible he may have ended up outside the points, but that happened anyway. I think the debate centers around the assumptions that would have to be made to prompt ALO to stay out.

      Broken front wing mount, to stay out another 2 or 3 laps everything would have to go perfectly. The wing was scraping on every right hand turn, and not just a little bit, a lot. It was scraping under braking and on some straights. So every time it scrapes and flexes under pressure you have to hope it doesn’t catch or scrape or torque enough to break the other strut/mount. Only if all that happens does he have a shot at staying up front. And even that is debatable as he was losing so much downforce. If something goes wrong he is at best going to be at the back (which he would have been if he had pitted) or at worst, out of the race.

      It’s not a question of race talent, it was out of his hands. I would rather make sure the car was sound and leave the risk in ALO’s hands, i.e. make up the lost time, than to leave him in a broken car where he has no control over material failure.

      1. Agreed, it was a stupid call and I hope they’ve learned a lesson from it

  15. “After making a good start, I touched with Vettel at the second corner. It was a surprise to find him there, almost stopped and I don’t know what speed he was doing.”

    Yes yes Alonso, you keep telling yourself that.

    On topic though, I don’t see how you can defend that decision at all – a front wing hanging off is inevitably going to fall off when the high levels of downforce push on it at high speed, so that was a mistake from his team which probably cost him good points. It was a no brainer to bring him in as far as I’m concerned – he was going to lose a heap of time anyway, not to mention the fact he was a danger on the track.

    1. He is defending the teams decision because he’s trying to be a team player. There really is no point in blaming the team for something that will probably never happen again.

      In his mind, he probably does blame the pitwall. I’m sure if he could have seen the damage he would have chosen to pit.

    2. @Vettel1

      While watching the race even I thought Vettel looked very slow just before Alonso made contact with him… Having said that it was more of Alonso’s miss judgement to run into the back of Vettel’s car… But the damage was very big considering the impact was nt that huge…

      It was probably a bad decision by Ferrari to keep him on the track..but at least he is not blaming his team..

      And Boy ohh boy.. he did drive brilliantly before crashing out…

      I’ve seen cars driving around with lot more damage with out any penalty .. and to be frank if Vettel was the one driving with a damaged front wing.. I dont think you would be complaining…

      1. @puneethvb

        Having said that it was more of Alonso’s miss judgement to run into the back of Vettel’s car

        Exactly – I was half-joking with my comment though! ;)

        if Vettel was the one driving with a damaged front wing.. I dont think you would be complaining…

        You must be joking, right? I’d be complaining far more if it was Vettel because he’d have been out of the race! The danger is still the same regardless of who the driver is though so I don’t accept that if indeed you were implying such.

  16. Nice to see Alonso sticking by his team and not blaming them, but rather sharing the blame as a team. Ferrari have already admitted it was their call, not his (obviously as the driver cannot see the wing or its damage!).

  17. “very unlucky,”


  18. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    24th March 2013, 16:40

    Tomorrow’s headlines in Italy and Spain:
    “Fernando had the guts to keep racing” , “Vettel stopped in front of the Gladiator” , “Ferrari must strenghen nosecone”

    1. Should i laugh now or tomorrow ?????

      1. If you want a good laugh, read what Vettel said in the post-race press conference. He keeps telling about passing Mark: I didn’t do it deliberately, I didn’t mean to ignore the strategy or the call. Poor guy didn’t know what he was doing, it was totally out of his control.
        So @omarr-pepper I think the main title we’ll have tomorrow will be ‘Marko: Alonso’s mind games made Vettel act like an idiot’

      2. If you want a good laugh, read what Vettel said in the post-race press conference. He keeps telling about passing Mark: ‘I didn’t do it deliberately, I didn’t mean to ignore the strategy or the call.’
        Poor guy didn’t know what he was doing, it was totally out of his control.
        So @omarr-pepper I think the main title we’ll have tomorrow will be ‘Marko: Alonso’s mind games made Vettel act like an id*ot’

        1. +100000

        2. Lets discuss Vettel in the comments on articles about Vettel, Red Bull, and their problems, not in those where we discuss the wisdom of not stopping Alonso please @klaas, its quite irrelevant to this discussion what Vettel said about his own or Webbers race.

          1. @bascb The guy whose comment I answered definetly didn’t discuss about ‘the wisdom o not stopping Alonso’ but merely suggesting headlines. Since there were other events more important than Alonso’s retirement it’s safe to assume that the team order row will get more attention and coverage in the media. Also taking into account Helmut Marko’s persistent accusations adressed to other drivers I suggested what in my opinion is a far more probable headline ;)

          2. I would say that “MARKO: they should have let Seb past earlier on” would be more realistic @Klaas!

          3. @bascb Good one but it’s too inoffensive for Marko’s style. He usually has a go at other teams and drivers.

    2. @omarr-pepper and you are the editor of how much newspapers?

  19. Yeah, not exactly the greatest of calls by the Ferrari team. Good for Alonso sticking by them though, especially when a small amount of points lost here could eventually decide the championship.

  20. FIA had to give Ferrari a chance to pit the car at the end of the first lap before taking it further. No point going through the whole decision making process when Ferrari pit straight away to fix the damage. Alonso crashed out within 10 seconds of passing the pits, which is not enough time for the FIA to react.

    1. A black and orange flag is not a punishment, just a “return to pit”. It should have fallen immediately. The car was a danger to Alonso and other drivers around him.

  21. If the wing came straight off the would pit, if it was raining they would pit if track was dry and race started dry they would pit. Conditons were changing they took the gamble it failed. If none of ths happened he may have seperated vet and web from what happened. in the long run that webber and vettel have this argument may be more advantageous down the line….if is f1 spelt backwards.

  22. Hindsight is a wonderful thing….

    at the time i knew it was risky but i could see why they kept him out, his speed wasnt actually that bad and was still able to fight with webber, had they pitted him then…and then again a few laps later he would have been so far behind that its very doubtful he would of made it to the points. Massa’s race pace want amazing (he was running a slightly different strategy to the car around him though) would have been interesting to see if Alonso would have had the pace to fight the red bulls, we’ll see in china!

    1. We all know that the front wing going under the car is one of the most dangerous situations in F1. Forget optimal strategy, Ferrari should have got him in on safety grounds alone IMHO, not least because he was endangering other drivers.

      1. @john-h – exactly. Brundle said on the commentary that front wing failures are behind only brake failures and suspension failures I believe (although I need backed up on the latter) in the “I’ve just **** my pants” scale!

        1. i agree with all of what you said, imagine at the time of the failure Mark Webber was in front of him !!!! thanks heaven he wasn’t

  23. Hindsight is a wonderful thing….

    The second he passed the pit entrance I was wondering if I could recall a dumber decision in Formula 1. I couldn’t come up with any before he went skating and I can still only think of Briatore’s decision to crash Piquet.

    No hindsight here, it was terrible, terrible idea from the word go! Had it been the final point needed in the championship sure, but to give away points like this? Absolutely crazy!

    1. @poul were points possible had he pitted though? he would have been at the back…and a long way behind even the guy running in 21st, a few laps later he would have had to pit again for slicks…im really not sure he could have come through to finish in the points

      1. I am almost certain he would have scored some points. Five retirements plus the inevitable overtakes of the Marussias and Caterhams alone would have put him 13th.

    2. @poul – Absolutely agree. I was thinking the exact same. As a Ferrari fan seeing him carry on really hurt.

  24. I think he’s one of the finest drivers on the grid, but this is a bizarre thing to say. How can you defend that? It’s incredibly dangerous.

  25. What about blaming Vettel for his mistake that caused the problem in the first place?

    1. @magon4 Any insurance company will blame the person who ran into the car in front 99% of the time, as the driver in front has no way of avoiding someone hitting them from behind.

      1. @dragoll in F1, the law is oppoiste.

        1. @magon4 Grosjean and Maldonado have both been penalised in recent times for running into the back of other drivers.

  26. Vettel was hard and will see more Senna-Prost this year having similar cars. I think Alonso learnt that today. Not to stop was dangerous. Ferrari should be told.

  27. Alonso’s point is that the team took the risk of not scoring 1-2 (max 4 points) and instead trying to fight for podium in the difficult situation they were put in. After all at the time the call had to be made, Alonso was holding his second place with the broken wing for a whole lap. So he probably lost 2 points because of this decision but the bigger deal is that he lost 15-25 points because of a stupid mistake in the wet and some bad luck. But that’s it, he’s not the only title contender who will face trouble this season.

  28. Ferrari should get a penalty for this nonsense. Utterly ridiculous that they let him drive on with a wing dragging on the floor.

    To even think of defending this ridiculousnus makes it even worse. Webber almost got collected by this act of sheer stupidity and arrogance. What if Webber had been slightly further ahead and Alonso had T-boned him?

    If they don’t have the brains (or too much arrogance to allow them to think) then FIA should do it for them. They were right in banning Renault for letting the car go away with the wheelnuts on poorly. Not just by accident, but as a part of their pit stop routine. They accepted the possibility of a wheel not being locked.

    The decisision to drive with an illegal car should be punishe much more severely. As is they tend to keep away with this nonsense.

    The only time I remember someone getting penalised was when Vettel drove on after ramming Kubica. His wheel as off and he drove on for an extra lap on 3 wheels behind the safety car.

  29. It’s funny that Ferrari should say this now, because I remember hearing it live on radio 5 live yesterday (watching RTL for the video), and shortly after the crash they cut to Jennie Gow, who said:

    “James it was fascinating, as the car of Fernando Alonso went past the pit entry and decided not to come in, I saw one of his mechanics lift his arms on both sides, put them back down as if to say ‘why didn’t he come in?’ It was very Italian, it was a brilliant moment…”

    Check it out here:
    at 23:40

    So not everyone at Ferrari agreed with it.

    In my opinion, staying out was not an option. I was extremely surprised to see him go past the pit entry and start a new lap. I wasn’t very surprised to see him crash out seconds later.

    1. From an engineering point of of view I will gladly upgrade your opinion to a fact. With one out of two fixtures entirely broken the width of the total fixtures decreased from maybe 30 cm to around 2 cm increasing the force on fixture two by a factor 15…. easily. Now add that it was actually moving way more than the design allows….

      Even without applying the risk of someone else hitting the thing at 300 + km/h the decision was nothing short of idiotic. For someone existing in the same physical world as the rest of us there is simply no excuse. That’s what the mechanic displayed.

  30. I think he would have gotten max 5 points. A calculated risk I’d say. That said, I’m surprised he was even allowed to stay out on safety grounds/

  31. If it were another team, any other team, the FIA would have handed a penalty to them. Terribly unsafe to drive around with that much of your car so close to falling off at any moment. Then it happens right in front of the front runners spreading sharp bits everywhere in the breaking zone going into turn 1. What a royal “crap” job from the whole lot. Damn good thing it was a wing and nothing with a little more weight (Massa…)

    1. @kimithechamp Given your username I’d’ve thought you’d remember McLaren doing essentially the same thing with Kimi Raikkonen at the Nurburgring in 2005 and not getting punished.

      If the stewards want a driver to pit because of a potentially dangerous fault on their car, they use the black and orange flag. As was done with Robert Kubica at Monza in 2009 when he had a broken front wing on his BMW.

      In this case, there simply wasn’t time. There was maybe 20 seconds between Alonso passing the pit lane entrance and crashing out of the race.

      1. Keith, please explain how you can compare a flat spot with a heavy load bearing wing missing some 93% of it’s integrity?

        Did McLaren take it too far at Nurburgring? Absolutely, but it was a much slower progressing issue that took 20 laps to evolve of which most were not “certain disaster” unlike this.

        1. What Poul said.
          Additionally, my stance would be, why did the FIA not direct the stewards to force Ferrari to pit the car? Obviously the wing was an issue LONG before Alonso passed the pit lane entry. How many laps does the FIA need in order to figure out the wing is CLEARLY a danger? He was already driving nearly on top of it around turn 5 I think (load of the car on the right hand side allowing the wing to slide further under the left tire) sparking like wild… only a few ways to get sparks like that and I’d think with their expertise the FIA, Ferrari, and Alonso would all have a pretty good idea what’s going on.
          Although the differences in the situations are well highlighted by Poul, I’d also point out the Massa indecent happened well after the 05 Kimi one you reference, and I’d think Massa’s has certainly highlighted the importance of the rules for unsafe cars on track.

          1. Its likely they did not get any chance to do that @kimithechamp. They would have waited for Alonso to pit after that first lap, as without doubt millions of watchers expected to see.
            Only he did not pit, and about 20 seconds later it would become an academical question.

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