Ferrari look to be ready to challenge Red Bull at the German Grand Prix, with the McLarens just behind. Did the Ferrari’s perform, or was it another Red Bull day?
It held so much promise, the 2010 German Grand Prix. The Ferrari recovery seems to be underway and capable of fighting with the Red Bulls. McLaren were a bit off the pace, but then they have all year yet still lead both the constructors and drivers due to a combination of reliability, skill and tactics.
And the start seemed promising. Vettel got bogged down off the line and then concentrated on putting Alonso in the wall – his default start setting, it would seem. But Massa in the other Ferrari managed to pass them both to take the lead, with team mate Alonso slipping in to second place.
Button, starting from fifth, got a flying start but had to brake hard to save piling in to the back of Vettel. But the McLarens were off the pace this weekend, with the Ferraris and the Red Bull of Vettel noticeably quicker (Webber has a poor weekend with a less than perfect car).
But all that comes second to the blatant team orders by Ferrari, making race leader Massa pull over to let Alonso – closer to the leaders in the drivers standings – pass him with 18 laps to go. It was an understandable move by Ferrari from a business perspective, but it left a bad taste.
Regulations were changed in 2002 after Schumacher and Barrichello had a similar situation and team orders made Rubens give way. There is no doubt team orders do go on to decide placings, but the heavy-handed – and very obvious – way this order was given is what is unacceptable.
Massa’s engineer simply said – over the open team radio – ‘Alonso is quicker. Do you understand?’. Shortly after Massa made it clear he was moving over under orders. A sad situation for what should have been a cracking Ferrari 1-2 revival. Probably best we should call this a Ferrari 2-1 instead.
Behind the Ferrari’s Vettel managed to hang on to third with Hamilton managing fourth and Button fifth to stay first and second in the drivers table.
Off to Hungary in a week. Hopefully normal service will be resumed.
Update: Ferrari has been fined $100,000 for breaching the no team orders rule. Which is 1/10th of what they got fined after the Shumacher/Barrichello incident in 2002. With no team order rule in place at that time they got fined for breaching podium etiquette after Schumacher handed Barrichello the winners trophy and made him stand on the top step. Mind you, Schumacher kept the winner’s points.
Not daft, that Schumacher.
German GRAND PRIX 2010 RESULTS
- Alonso Ferrari
- Massa Ferrari
- Vettel Red Bull
- Hamilton McLaren
- Button McLaren
- Webber Red Bull
- Kubica Renault
- Rosberg Mercedes
- Schumacher Mercedes
- Petrov Renault