Alonso apologises for FIA criticism

Fernando Alonso has apologised for over-reacting to the safety car controversy at last weekend's European Grand Prix - and said he never intended to fuel suspicions that the FIA had 'manipulated' the race

Alonso apologises for FIA criticism

The Spaniard was furious after the race in Valencia - suggesting that the FIA had favoured Lewis Hamilton by taking too long to hand him a punishment for overtaking the safety car early in the event.

Those delays meant Hamilton was able to take a drive-through penalty without losing position.

Two days on, Alonso has said he is much calmer about the situation - and clarified that his remarks were fuelled by frustration that he had lost positions by respecting the rules, while Hamilton had effectively benefited from breaking the regulations.

"Obviously, in the clear light of day, I am much calmer than I was in the moments immediately following the race," said Alonso in his diary column on the official Ferrari website.

"At the time, I reacted emotionally and in that situation, it is all too easy to adopt a tone and say things that can be interpreted wrongly, giving rise to suspicions, something which I had no intention of doing.

"Sure, I understand that the stewards have a difficult job to do and they have to take decisions that are not easy. What I meant was that those drivers who, like us, respected the regulations, unfortunately, in this situation, suffered much more than those who broke them, even though they were given a penalty.

"And I am not referring to any of the drivers in particular: it's a general matter and I think we should talk about it together in a calm way, to ensure that things like this do not happen again."

There had been speculation that the FIA could punish Alonso and his Ferrari team for some of their outspoken remarks after Spain, but the governing body gave no indication it intended to react. Alonso's apologetic comments will, however, help serve to draw a line under the matter.

The FIA is aware, however, that the events of Sunday have highlighted several potential problems with the current safety car regulations, and has called an extraordinary meeting of thinktank, the Sporting Working Group, to go through the issues next week ahead of the British Grand Prix.

Alonso welcomed that move and hoped that any matters up in the air after Valencia can be cleared up so there is no repeat controversy in the future.

"I was pleased to hear that the FIA has reacted promptly, calling an extraordinary meeting of the Sporting Working Group and I am confident, certain even, that all the points up for discussion will be cleared up in a comprehensive fashion."

Despite losing valuable points in Valencia through the bad timing of the safety car, Alonso remains upbeat about his title prospects.

"Even if the Valencia result was not what we wanted, it has not done irreparable damage," he said. "It's true that the gap to the leader has now jumped to 29 points, but we have not even reached the halfway point of the season. We trail by just over one win, so the situation is still very open.

"The updates we brought to Spain saw us make a step forward and get closer to the front runners. I am satisfied with that, but also aware that we must continue to push on with the development of the F10, because we need to have a car capable of fighting for pole and to give us the edge over our rivals as soon as possible.

"If we are now 29 points off the championship leader, it means that in the next ten races, we have to score at least 30 more than whoever is in the lead at any one time."

shares
comments
Exclusive interview with Pirelli's Paul Hembery
Previous article

Exclusive interview with Pirelli's Paul Hembery

Next article

FOTA pushing for 'greener' F1 future

FOTA pushing for 'greener' F1 future
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022