Monday, July 12, 2010

Well Played, Sir.

Seems like bad luck is following Alonso around this year the way good luck is following Hamilton.

Yesterday's result, however, can be laid at Alonso's feet almost entirely. He claims he had an issue with the clutch at launch; whatever actually happened, Alonso fell backwards through the grid in the run up to the first corner. He found his feet ahead of his team mate, however in my view he defended his line rather aggressively against Massa, triggering a collision with the result that Massa had a tire go down and was forced to pit at the end of lap one. Thus ended Massa's day.

Later on Alonso got tangled up with Kubica, engineering a situation where he allowed himself to be forced wide, cutting the corner -- after which he went charging off into the distance.

At that moment I said Alonso had cut the corner and should hand the place back. To do so now would mean a loss of 5 seconds; if Alonso stalled long enough, the FIA would force him to make a drive-through which would cost him 20 seconds.

And isn't that more or less exactly what happened?

The fact that Alonso's penalty was assigned just before a Safety Car period was just bad luck, but with all the bad-mouthing of the FIA and stewards that has been coming from Ferrari over the last two weeks I don't think anyone in the stewards' room felt terribly bad for Alonso.

The net result was Ferrari's worst event since something like 1988. Well done, sir.

(Update: I stand corrected, it was the worst finish since 1978:
But Ferrari suffered their worst two-car finish since the 1978 French Grand Prix, when Gilles Villeneuve and Carlos Reutemann finished 12th and 18th respectively.
Worst result in 32 years. Outstanding.)

The whole weekend makes me think about going back and looking through the other incidents of Alonso having bad luck to see how many of them he actually engineered for himself.

Somehow I don't think this is the kind of result envisioned by the Ferrari team directors when they ousted Raikkonen and had Alonso join early.