Alonso rues ‘unfortunate’ Safety Car timing

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso said Ferrari had the right strategy for the Singapore Grand Prix but they were caught out by the timing of the Safety Car.

Alonso split the Red Bulls at the start of the race, then moved ahead of Sebastian Vettel when the pair made their second pit stops. But the Safety Car came out shortly afterwards, and Alonso fell behind both Red Bulls when he came in for a third time.

“A little bit unlucky [today] probably with the Safety Car,” Alonso told reporters afterwards.

“When it happened we find ourselves with the super-soft. With Hamilton it worked, the strategy, but he has a two seconds advantage to open the gap necessary to do the final stop, we don’t have that margin.

“So we stop and at the end we were not able to overtake the Red Bulls with fresh tyres – and it’s a street circuit. The strategy I think was good, just the moment of the Safety Car was a a bit unlucky.”

However Alonso said there were “a lot of positives this weekend” after one of Ferrari’s strongest showings of the season so far.

“We were competitive in free practice, which normally we are, but then in the qualifying and the race we are not any more fighting with the leaders.

“We did today, that’s some positive, but we need to keep improving because it’s not enough.”

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

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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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25 comments on “Alonso rues ‘unfortunate’ Safety Car timing”

  1. Does he also rue the fact that he didn’t recieve a penalty for the first turn? He should’ve given way to the 2nd Red Bull as well. It seems the luck balanced out.

    1. Alonso was ahead of both before braking area so he only had to give back to the one, as vettel was close enough to be considered that if Alonso did make the corner vettel might have braked with him into the turn – ricciardo no, 3 would not fit. the stewards saw it the same.
      I was hoping for a safety car with 10 laps left, just before Hamilton pitted, that way redbull could have pitted for super softs, then the finish might have been interesting.

      1. He was ahead of Ricciardo only because he did not brake for the corner. He got away with one there.

        1. He was clearly a whole car width ahead of even Vettel before the braking zone.

      2. So if Alonso went full throttle into turn one and blasted around both using the run-off, you’d say it’s ok because he was ahead of the red bulls into the braking zone???

    2. I don’t think it even was that clear, that he had to led Vettel back trough, cause it seems he was already ahead before they turned into the corner. Had he not braked that hard he might almost made that corner. Last year he also overtook a few cars there and also run a bit wider than others in the process but it was all right.
      But anyway it was the right choice not to risk a penalty.

    3. He had no chance and no apparent intention of making that corner. If he braked normally he is behind both rbrs. It’s not just whether he was ahead. He was ahead because his line and speed were way off. He got away with one there.

      1. “no apparent intention” – So he locked his wheels and damaged his tyres for what reason?

        He clearly just make a mistake.

    4. The stewards didn’t punish those turn 1 incidents that strictly. On his pole lap HAM was with all wheels off the track and nobody cared. I couldn’t watch the start, so I just saw it on the highlights. I suspect he just gave the position back to Vettel and imo that’s o.k.
      Fernando is right, the SC did cost him the podium and Kimi could’ve definately finish in at least 6th without it.

      1. It’s about going of track and getting an advantage. Not just about going off track. Losing 2 tenths of a second because of a lockup and then going off track isn’t the same as simply cutting a chicane.

        Just like no one cared that Rosberg missed the chicane twice in Monza, because it cost him time.

    5. Yeah I felt he should have given both places back, can’t blame him for that though, it’s down to the stewards.

  2. If had stuck with the super soft and managed to build at least a 10 seconds lead, with the soft being 3 seconds a lap faster in the end he might have beaten the Bulls but that’s only speculation

    1. I disagree. Ferrari had to call Fernando into the pits, because he couldn’t create a gap big enough to be able to attack the RBs by the end of the race. Plus he could have even dropped behind Massa and that would have been a disaster for Ferrari.
      Like Fernando said, he didn’t have a significant advantage as Hamilton did. So it wasn’t an option for Ferrari.

  3. Yeah was a bit unlucky how it played out. RBR was already on the back-foot with the different approach for VET and RIC. But SCs always hurt a few and benefit others, especially at a track like Singapore – Fernando should know this :)

  4. Once again Teflonso pushes his luck on this track beyond the reasonable.
    Of course he should have been punished for not giving positions back to both Vettel and Ricciardo for the first lap incident. If the run-off area hadn’t been there, his race would’ve ended in the barrier.
    But the safety car was punishing those few drivers/teams who had not made the call for driving with both compounds when the safety car came. That isn’t bad luck, thats taking a maybe unnecessary risk. As I remember only 3 out the first 15 hadn’t used both compounds when the safecar came. When You pit 2. time on Singapore, You must consider that risk, most teams had, so bad luck had nothing to do with it, i.m.o.

  5. Alonso , Singapore , safety car Mmm I seem to remember he’s had more than his fair share luck here

    1. That wasnt luck, it was all Briatore.

      1. Correct, very well executed plan. He will spice up the action on his return

  6. Yep, Teflonso is already used to “fortunate” safety cars in Singapore.

  7. Michael Brown (@)
    22nd September 2014, 2:58

    This safety car really showed how boring the lapped cars may overtake the safety car rule is.

    1. @lite992, it seems a “nice” rule and I do believe it was very common in other series, like in US, but you are right that it just takes forever for them to overtake and rejoin the back of the line.

  8. Crylonso has had a lot of good luck since the beggining of times, so…why is he blaming the SC and not himself for his mistake at turn 1?

  9. Boo hooo. the safety car didnt help my cause. Maybe that is justice for the safety car that did help in 2008 at Singapore…… ;)

  10. This is quite an interesting one.

    Without the SC, I think it would have been very close between Vettel and Alonso at the end, with a very decent chance for Vettel to overtake Alonso with the supersoft.

    Then the SC came, Alonso pitted and Vettel and Ricciardo didn’t. I then thought that the pendulum had swung towards Red Bull as I didn’t think it would be possible to go to the end on the soft tyre, and they all would need to pit again, with VET and RIC having the advantage of still having an unused supersoft for the last stint (unused as in not used in the race).

    However, then the wheels of the SC went round and round, all day long, and it then seemed definitely possible for Alonso to finish the race relatively easily on the soft tyre, whereas Vettel and Ricciardo would either have to pit or be a sitting duck to Alonso with the fresher tyre at the end.

    In the end, that didn’t happen and the Red Bulls were able to hang to their positions.

    Overall, I find it quite hard to say whether the SC hurt Alonso or not.

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