After every Grand Prix the drivers who finish from fourth on downwards leave the back of the FIA scrutineering bay after completing a personal weight check. There they face a barrage of TV cameras awaiting comments on the race. No one is obliged to stop, and if a driver has had a dire afternoon, he very often just pushes his way through the mob, the look of thunder on his face telling the hopeful interviewers that this is not the right time.
On Sunday at Hockenheim, Giancarlo Fisichella did just that, heading straight back to the sanctuary of the Renault motorhome. You could hardly blame him, considering the afternoon he had. But his teammate Fernando Alonso, ever the professional, faced up to his responsibilities. After running his hands though his hair, he stopped to give his verdict to the Spanish and Latin American TV crews, and after that, turned to the international broadcasters.
He'd just endured his worst afternoon since Hungary last year, finished off the podium for only the second time in 2006, endured a tyre blistering problem that made the car virtually undriveable, trailed his teammate until he too had tyre problems, survived a high speed trip across the gravel that could have finished his race, and seen his ever diminishing championship lead cut by a further six points to just 11. And all this after the FIA had seen fit to take away a key piece of technology that his team had honed.