Ferrari’s rage at Formula One stewards and governing body showed no signs of abating on Monday after a European Grand Prix they denounced as a “false race“.
The Ferrari website (www.ferrari.com) reproduced a range of headlines from the international media to highlight.
Formula Chaos’ and how McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton had cashed in at their expense in a safety car incident.
The Italian company’s vice-president, Piero Ferrari, said he had been shocked by what had happened after the safety car was deployed for four laps in the wake of Australian Mark Webber’s big accident. “I am incredulous and bitter, not just for Ferrari, but for the sport as a whole, as this is not the sort of thing one expects from professionals,” he said.
“For a long time now, I have also followed races in championships in the United States, where the appearance of the Safety Car is a frequent occurrence, but I have never seen anything similar to what happened (in Valencia).
“If it raises some doubts over the actions that led to a false race, to me that would seem more than reasonable,” the Italian added.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who had hoped to make good use of a significant technical upgrade to shine in front of his home fans, had been third and behind Hamilton when the safety car came out of the pitlane.
It emerged alongside Hamilton, who went past while double world champion Alonso remained behind.
Although Hamilton was eventually handed a drive-through penalty, it proved meaningless with the Briton having such a big advantage on the track by then that he was able to take the sanction without losing position.
The 2008 champion ended up second at the chequered flag, behind Red Bull’s winner Sebastian Vettel, with Alonso ninth before moving up to eighth after a separate stewards’ enquiry.
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali called for a rethink on the rules, particularly the delay it took for the stewards to decide on punishing Hamilton, who was Alonso’s team mate at McLaren in a frosty 2007 pairing.
“Of course we are very angry because we didn’t get the points that we should have got from this race, considering our performance,” he told reporters.
“If you take a decision and that decision has an affect on the end classification, but because of the delay it doesn’t happen, this is something we need to consider.”
Alonso told Spanish reporters in the heat of the moment after the race that it had been ‘manipulated’ in Hamilton’s favour, a suggestion faithfully repeated on Monday in the national media.
“Hamilton was second with the help of the FIA,” declared the as.com website, criticizing race director Charlie Whiting for taking 15 laps to act against Hamilton.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo called the events and subsequent decisions by the race stewards "serious and unacceptable". “The result of yesterday’s race was misrepresentative," he is quoted as saying in a release on the team's website.
"Ferrari, which showed itself to be competitive in the European Grand Prix, paid a price that was too high for respecting the rules. Meanwhile those who didn’t follow the rules were penalized by the race officials in a way that was less severe than the damage suffered by those who did respect them."
"That is a very serious and unacceptable event that creates dangerous precedents, throwing a shadow over the credibility of Formula One. We are sure that the FIA will fully analyze what happened, taking the consequent necessary decisions. Ferrari will watch this with interest.”