Alonso says a Mclaren court victory would be shameful for the sport

Fernando Alonso told Spain’s Cadena Ser radio station that his head “would fall in shame for the sport” if Hamilton wins because of McLaren’s appeal against the Stewards decision over Williams and BMW’s fuel irregularities. 
I have to agree, but not because Hamilton should not be Champion, but because the FIA has once again failed to make clear regulations.  If the FIA had stated by which means the ambient temperature is measured, it would be a simple fact that Williams and BMW had or had not breached the regulations.  Then, the only decision would have been as to what punishment they should suffer.  There is a precedent (I can’t remember who was involved) when fuel irregularities resulted in teams losing points, not drivers.
The best outcome, in my opinion, is that Ferrari are left to sweat it out until the Court of Appeal hearing.  McLaren make representation that Williams and BMW had breached the rules, but with the request that the teams lose their points and not the drivers, based on the 1990s precedent.  The result would be that Williams and BMW lose their points from the race, but the drivers positions stand, and Kimi Raikkonen remains World Champion.  McLaren should also request that the FIA clarifies it’s rules and future infringements would incur penalties for the teams and the drivers.
That would be the honourable thing to do, and there is no risk that McLaren be seen as the villain by bringing about the appeal in order to promote their driver to World Champion.  McLaren were stripped of the Constructors’ Championship after Ferrari leaked confidential information to McLaren, then took them to court for having it, even though there was no evidence that McLaren had used the confidential information to improve their car.  McLaren should use this opportunity to champion the reform of the FIA’s poorly written regulations.

Now BBC have some news

I am pleased to say that I reported on the news before the BBC. You can find their comments here. They add:
Under FIA regulations, no fuel on board a car may be more than 10 degrees centigrade below ambient temperature – the prevailing temperature on the track.
But in initial findings there was a clear discrepancy.
Heidfeld’s fuel was 13C lower than ambient at his first stop and 12C lower at his second.
Kubica’s varied by 14C, 13C and 13C at his three stops, while Rosberg’s was 13C and 12C out at his two stops.
Cooler fuel can give a car a performance advantage.
It is denser, so it can take slightly less time to refuel a car or marginally more fuel can be added in the same time.
Cooler fuel would also give a slight power advantage for about three laps before returning to the temperature out on the track.
However, the total advantage for each car over the race distance was almost certainly no more than a second.

McLaren appeal Stewards’ decision

The Stewards at Interlagos decided not to penalise Williams and BWM Sauber because of ‘inconclusive’ evidence, but Williams have decided to appeal the decision at the FIA’s International Court of Appeal.
Fuel samples taken from the four cars of Williams and BMW were 12-14 degrees C below ambient temperature.  Article 6.5.5 of the Formula 1 technical regulations states: “No fuel on board the car may be more than 10 degrees centigrade below ambient temperature.”  Now, there seems to be some confusion on this.  As far as I know, there’s no way to take fuel from a car during a pit stop so I assume it’s fuel from the fuel rigs, but that doesn’t seem to be the problem at hand.
Quoting direct from the website:
FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer reported that the fuel samples from all four cars showed temperatures 12-14C lower than the ambient at the time.
But the stewards said they could not be certain the temperatures were outside the 10C limit due to conflicting evidence.
They pointed to a discrepancy between the ambient temperature recorded on the Formula One Management timing monitors and that provided by the FIA and team-contracted meteorologists Meteo France – and said there was no “regulation stating in clear terms that for the purposes of Article 6.5.5 the definitive ambient temperature shall be indicated on the FOM timing monitors alone”.
They also said they lacked “a precise reading of the temperature of ‘fuel on board the car’ which shows fuel at more than 10 degrees centigrade below ambient temperature”.
Their statement concluded: “In view of the matters referred to above, the stewards consider thatÂ…there must be sufficient doubt as to both the temperature of the fuel actually ‘on board the car’ and also as to the true ambient temperature as to render it inappropriate to impose a penalty”.
Once again, the FIA show their incompetence.  What on earth are they measuring the fuel temperature against?  The fact that they measured the fuel and initially decided that it was outside permitted limits must mean they are measuring the fuel against some pre-defined benchmark, probably the FOM timing monitor thermometer device.  It’s ludicrous to have a regulation stating “no more than 10 degrees C below ambient temperature” without adding “as measured by ….”.  Not stating unequivocally what readings are used is like having a pit lane speed limit regulation “Cars may not travel in the pit lane at speeds greater than 100KPH”, then having some bloke from the FIA sitting in the Stewards office deciding whether or not the cars ‘looked like’ they were going too fast.
Let me make this clear, I don’t want Lewis Hamilton’s first World Championship a result of another team’s disqualification post-race.  I hate to see Kimi’s title in doubt like this, but it does give Ferrari a taste of their own medicine.
I’ll keep an eye on the situation and post updates as soon as I see them.  That way you can come back to this site for news, or why not subscribe via your RSS/news reader.

Hamilton wins Championship after Williams and BWM disqualified?

I’ve seen the report tonight on the news that fuel irregularities might get Williams and BWM Sauber disqualified from today’s Brazilian F1 Grand Prix.  If that happens, Lewis Hamilton will be promoted to fourth and gain the Drivers’ World Championship title.
I don’t think Hamilton will want to win like this.  Much as I’m completely gutted by him not winning, I hope Williams and BMW don’t get DQ’ed.  I want to see Hamilton win the Championship on the track.


Lewis Hamilton should have been brought into the pits one or two laps before he did attempt to come in.  He was two seconds a lap slower, two laps earlier.  They tried to be clever keeping him out in case it rained so they could put him on the right tyres.  If he had gone out on the right tyres he would have won the race, but if he had come in earlier and they had made the wrong tyre choice, he could have come in again and the extra pit stop would have cost him just 23 seconds and got him out in fourth place.
Hamilton needed just nine points from the last two races to win the Championship, so a 4th and 5th would have done the job, even if Alonso had won both races.  When Hamilton went out of the race, Alonso was 2nd or 3rd.  Hamilton’s tyres were finished at least two laps before he tried to came into the pits.  I think he actually had a puncture on his last lap.  Keeping Hamilton out was completely unnecessary.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, you might say, but I was watching the lap and sector times and had worked this out as it was happening live.  With all the extra data the teams have, it should have been obvious to McLaren too.  Instead, they were going for the glory of getting the Drivers’ Championship a race early.  It could cost Hamilton the Championship if there are any problems in the last race.
An excellent drive from Vettel, Button, and Coulthard who also gets in the points.
Now I’ve got that off my chest, I can look forward to karting this afternoon.

Hamilton P1, Alonso 4th behind the Ferraris

I know I only posted a few minutes ago, but it’s hard to contain my excitement at the qualifying results.  Hamilton starts in pole, Raikkonen 2nd, Massa 3rd, and Alonso in 4th.
If Hamilton finishes the race ahead of Alonso tomorrow, Hamilton will be World Champion.  These qualifying results are almost as good as a win for Hamilton.
Raikkonen (Ferrari) mathematically can still win the Championship, but only if he wins and the McLarens of Hamilton and Alonso fail to get many points from the last two races.  With that in mind, Massa’s job will be to keep Alonso from passing him and threatening Raikkonen’s 2nd place.  Ferrari will also be hoping that Hamilton will crash out.
With Ferrari’s ongoing dirty tricks campaign, it wouldn’t surprise me if Massa crashes into Alonso to take him out of the race, leaving Raikkonen to try to push Hamilton hard.
The dirty tricks I talk of are the spying scandal where a Ferrari employee leaked their technical specifications to a McLaren employee, then Ferrari complained about McLaren’s possession of the specs and court battles ensued.  Despite there being absolutely no evidence that the leaked information had been used on McLaren’s cars, the FIA disqualified McLaren from the Constructors’ Championship which McLaren were sure to win.  The result was that Ferrari were given the Championship.
Further, Ferrari supply engines to the Red Bull and Toro Rosso teams.  Following the incident last week where Toro Rosso driver Vettel crashed into the back of Webber’s car while everyone was following the safety car, those Ferrari-powered teams tried to convince the FIA that Hamilton was to blame, with the obvious intention to get Hamilton penalised to affect his Driver Championship winning position.  The FIA decided not to penalise Hamilton, rightly so.  As Hamilton said “I’m not driving the other cars”.
So, imagine the situation:  Raikkonen is chasing Hamilton during the race.  Hamilton is lapping cars and approaches Toro Rosso or Red Bull cars to lap them.  No doubt the Ferrari powered cars will block Hamilton as much as they’re allowed, but let Raikkonen through easily.  Wouldn’t it be convenient if a Toro Rosso or Red Bull car crashed into Hamilton as he tries to lap them, allowing Raikkonen to take full advantage of any points on offer.  Frankly, I think Coulthard is above that sort of thing, and so is Webber under normal circumstances, but Webber is probably still upset at losing a points finish in the crash last week; a crash he blames on Hamilton.  We’ll have to wait and see.
What I really want is a fair race, with no retirements or mechanical failures, and no excuse for any more politics.
Go Lewis!

Ron Dennis drops McLaren in it – the penalty is justified – but why no Ferrari penalty?

Now, I’m a Mclaren fan and therefore biased, but I believe that Mclaren deserved the $100m fine and the disqualification from the Constructors’ Championship this year (but not from next year).  There were emails between Pedro de la Rosa and Fernando Alonso discussing Ferrari’s weight distribution, flexible wing settings, the gas used in their tyres, and their braking system.
ITV’s website sets out in detail why the FIA changed its mind and imposed the penalty (, and confirms that it was Ron Dennis himself that gave the FIA the evidence that lead them to impose the penalty (, so in that at least, Ron Dennis’s reputation and integrity should be intact.
What gets me is that Ferrari have not been penalised.  I smell a rat.  Why on earth would a Ferrari employee give another team details of their specs?  If McLaren are guilty of possessing confidential information, then Ferrari are guilty of disclosing such information.  Ferrari should be penalised for allowing its information to be leaked, to the detriment of the sport. 
Whether a spy is a hero or a villain depends on your point of view; if a British agent gets information on a hostile power, he’s a hero and so is the foreign agent who gave us the secrets.  On the other hand, if it’s a British agent that discloses the information to a foreign power, then that’s a bad thing.  It seems to me that the FIA are on Ferrari’s side and have completely overlooked the Ferrari employee’s dishonourable actions.
It’s just so suspicious that Ferrari’s agent gave McLaren the information.  How convenient it is, with just a few races left this year and McLaren in such a strong position to win both the Constructors’ and Drviers’ Championship, that Ferrari are able to get McLaren’s points taken away.  Perhaps McLaren should leak some information to Ferrari now, as an insurance policy against Ferrari doing well next year, knowing the FIA will turn a blind eye to such entrapment.