Ferrari need Focus

Why did Ferrari lose the European Grand Prix? Because of a safety car? Because Lewis Hamilton made a mistake? Because the FIA were not quick in imposing a penalty on the British driver? Or none of the above?

Ferrari lost the race because of bad luck, coupled with the fact that a fuming Alonso wanted blood, rather than a penalty. His radio comments to the team “Get on to Charlie, that’s all you have to do this race” (quote not word for word, but the idea of it) shows that at that point, he didn’t care about clawing back positions, he cared about what happened to the McLaren in front. His continued questioning – “what position was he in? What position is he in now?” – shows how rattled he was. Did he lose focus? Did the team?

Ferrari seems to have a problem following other cars. Remember Bahrain, when Alonso was backed off from Vettel because of high temperatures. The same reason was given for why he fell away from Button in Canada. Coupled with the fact that the new exhaust system was untested (well, apart from a ‘promotional video shoot’ at Ferrari’s test track), there may have been a reason why Alonso couldn’t get close enough to Sutil and Buemi to overtake. Yet Sutil was able to overtake Buemi, and Kobayashi was able to overtake both Alonso and Buemi on the last lap – tyre advantage yes, but shouldn’t Ferrari have a car advantage?

The fact is that Ferrari feel an injustice was done. Firstly, they believe Hamilton held them up behind the safety car, and then they feel that the FIA were slow in giving a penalty, so the McLaren could rejoin in second. This is not the first time a penalty call has come late, and favoured a driver. Remember Singapore 2008? Apart from the race fixing scandal other things happened too. Nico Rosberg drove not just over the white line at the pit exit, but way outside it. The call for a drive thru came so late, he was able to take it, and rejoin second, having built a huge gap to third.

If Kobayashi had not managed to get himself into that position, then Hamilton would have had the pack on his tail, and would have lost badly after his drive through. That was luck – good for McLaren, bad for Ferrari. Had Hamilton not passed the safety car, He may well have still come out in front of Alonso when they pitted. Alonso would still have likely finished 8th – unless he felt he could follow Lewis through overtakes.

So why are Ferrari still angry? A move was made, a penalty was taken, there was a lot of luck. Some races you win, others you lose. They need to concentrate on why they couldn’t pass slower cars, rather than the exploits of other teams. Otherwise they are in real danger of the 2010 season turning into a two team race at the top.

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