Were Webber and Alonso’s reprimands unfair?

In a word, no. I would probably say unlucky rather than unfair. Until you see the on-board or the CCTV footage you will think the decision was stupid and unnecessary, and I too was one of the ones who jumped to conclusions after seeing the world feed. Originally, I thought that it was an act of sportsmanship and it was a great thing to see; Remember Senna and Mansell doing the same? In fact, in 2011 Webber had given Alonso a lift to the pits/podium at the German Grand Prix but that incident never became under fire from the stewards.


This incident has been the big topic since the penalty was announced, and it’s not hard to see why. Mark Webber is probably one of the most unluckiest drivers this year, and it’s not the best way to end his last season in Formula 1. The reason Mark was given another reprimand is because he breached article 30.9b of the sporting regs because he “entered the track without the marshals permission between the commencement of the formation lap and the time when the last cars enters parc ferme”. Because this was his third reprimand of the season, this automatically meant that he would receive a 10 place grid penalty at the following race (Korea). His other reprimands were from Canada when he ignored yellow flags, and from Bahrain when he made contact with Nico Rosberg. His luck goes from bad to worse, but rules are rules – when a Pirelli tyre delamination broke Lewis Hamilton’s gear box he was forced to take a ‘harsh’ grid penalty at the Bahrain Grand Prix and look at the events since then; Silverstone for ex.

As for Alonso he “drove the car in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or to any other person.” In the CCTV footage you see both Mercedes’ having to swerve out of the way of Alonso who seemed to be near, if not on, the racing line. In the on-board footage from Alonso’s last lap you see Kimi Raikkonen having to take an evasive manoeuvre to avoid clipping the side of his future team-mate. It’s Alonso’s first reprimand of the season, so unlike Webber he doesn’t have to have a consequential grid penalty for the Korean GP. If I was Fernando I would be feeling extremely happy to get away with such a lenient penalty – stopping in such a dangerous place could have caused a horrific accident.

In this mornings GP2 sprint race, Fabio Leimer slammed into the side Alex Rossi after Alex turned in to go into the back gate to the paddock. Fabio along with Sam Bird and Marcus Ericsson were heading to the pits/podium, and the turning Caterham caught the Racing Engineering driver off guard. What would have happened if Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen or any other driver on track had been caught off guard going towards Alonso and Webber? It’s unimaginable, and I think the GP2 race incident had a big effect on the decision to give the reprimands. Don’t think Mark was handed a grid penalty, because he wasn’t, it’s just it’s the rules that 3 reprimands lead to a grid penalty and unfortunately for him that happened today.

On board footage – http://t.co/Rxf9XPGTbS
CCTV footage – http://www.blick.ch/sport/formel1/der-wahnsinn-von-singapur-im-video-id2450773.html

Webber penalty
(onboard with Lewis Hamilton on the last lap)



5 thoughts on “Were Webber and Alonso’s reprimands unfair?

  1. ltjourn says:

    Do not agree at all, these men are professional drivers and are not going to swipe each other when cruising around at a third of their usual speed. It’s sad to see good sportsmanship and companionship be shot down by stupid overprotective rulings.

  2. Minko Soomers says:

    Thanks Kate for your great review. ( As always) About this incident. I think it’s a little bit harsh to give the ten place gridpenalty to Mark. Although it was a tiny bit dangerous, it was a statement of mutual respect. It took me back to the old days of formula1.

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