Teams rubbish 'manipulated' race talk

Rivals teams have rubbished suggestions from Fernando Alonso that the European Grand Prix result was 'manipulated' by the FIA - and believe the matter was down to simple bad luck

Teams rubbish 'manipulated' race talk

Although Alonso and Ferrari are angry that delays in punishing Lewis Hamilton for overtaking the safety car meant he did not lose a position for the offence, other teams do not agree that there was anything wrong in the way the FIA acted.

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner thinks that although the events of Valencia have highlighted some areas where the safety car rules can be improved, he does not think anything nefarious went on.

"I don't think so," he said when asked about Alonso's 'manipulated' comments. "I think the safety car rules have not played out for Ferrari, and McLaren was perhaps a bit naughty with the way it worked it, but it got a penalty for that.

"Arguably it didn't cost them, but that's just the way it worked out. I don't think it was manipulated. The FIA just need to look at the safety car rules in the future."

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne added: "I think since we started changing the safety car rules, every time you change something you get all these scenarios thrown up, and I think it is just that.

"Charlie [Whiting, FIA race director] is trying to do the job as he sees it, calls it as he sees it, and he has as difficult a job as everyone. I think it is just one of those things."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said he did not understand why Alonso was so angry - because Hamilton was punished for his mistake after the FIA went through its normal processes.

"Look at the incident itself - it was very, very difficult to avoid what had happened and it was minuscule," said Whitmarsh.

"The matter always goes to the stewards. They made a decision. That is pretty normal in my experience of motor racing, but Fernando may have a different set of experiences."

Alonso, however, remains furious about what had happened - as he saw his chances of a podium finish wrecked by the safety car.

"I don't know what the penalty should be," he said about Hamilton's drive-through. "On the lap of the safety car I was one metre behind Hamilton.

"He finished second, I finished eighth. I respected the rules and he didn't. That is my opinion. It is the first time I have seen someone overtake a safety car."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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