Felipe Massa, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2016

Alonso “used Massa as a brake” – Symonds

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In the round-up: Pat Symonds of Williams is unhappy with Fernando Alonso’s overtaking move on Felipe Massa.

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While the FIA has clamped down one disputed driving move this weekend, many feel another type of infraction is being overlooked:

I say delete all times set by going off the track. In the race, give the drivers warnings, and sometimes they have justified reasons for going off the track (locking up, going over marbles).

The answer is not the penalise drivers for going off track in practice, saying track limits apply to certain corners, and setting the track limit after the white line (Hockenheim and Hungary this year).
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  • 66 comments on “Alonso “used Massa as a brake” – Symonds”

      1. I truly admire all those guys who accept Dan’s ridiculous shoe thing… how in the world they sip that thing?

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      24th October 2016, 1:50

      It was pretty clear that Massa hadn’t seen him, turned in for the corner and then noticed he had a McLaren along side him and had to back out of it.

      Obviously Pat is going to back his driver, but it seems silly to think that it was anything but a racing incident, and if blame were to be apportioned, then it would fall to Massa. I can’t see where Alonso did anything wrong, sure it was from a ways back, but he got alongside and was entitled to space.

      1. He wasn’t capable of getting through the corner without exceeding the track limits even with Massa’s car there to help slow and turn him. There’s no way he was going to get around the corner had Felipe not been there, and one of the reasons he had caught up in the first place was because he was routinely exceeding the track limits by far more than any other driver, going wide of the limits by some 2-3 car widths routinely, every single lap. What’s the point of even having track limits if we’re going to allow drivers to invent their own track?

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          24th October 2016, 3:59

          I completely agree. The track limits were a total joke, and in that respect I was routing against Fernando, but just that move by itself I didn’t see Fernando at fault.

      2. I disagree. I can’t see how Rosberg gets a penalty for his move at Malaysia, whilst Alonso gets nothing for what he did yesterday.

        1. I agree, it’s not like the Massa incident was teh only one, he went off the track after overtaking Sainz.

        2. Alonso braked so late he had no intention of making the corner. He hit massa on purpose and causes siginicant damage on massa’s car. It was a complete joke. The stewards must be blind. How rosberg can get a penalty for slightly tapping raikkonen but alonso barges a car off the track causing the other car significant damage and doesn’t get a penalty. To call this a lottery is a compliment.

        3. @craig-o Altough I think it was a bit of a clumsy move there is few in common between the two cases. Alonso just didn’t dive into the corner, he was actually in front before committing into the corner:

          Declare it a race incident and no action taken was the right call IMO.

          1. I was with you @spoutnik until I saw this:

            Fernando clearly ‘loosens’ his left turn to basically run into Massa. It’s quite slight but the intention to punt Massa is clearly there. Other drivers have done much worse though!

            1. @john-h Alonso’s front left was starting to lock (you can see a puff of tyre smoke in that video), he was obviously on the edge of grip. There’s a chance that he loosened the steering to try to stop sliding into massa

            2. You make a good point @3dom. In that case, I still think he’s to blame for not controlling the car sufficiently to avoid a collision. He seemed to be insinuating on the radio that Massa turned into him, which I think was a little disingenuous (and clearly worked).

            3. @john-h
              I imagine he saw Massa coming and tried to make sure he hit his wheel sidewall-to-sidewall rather than at an angle. I’m pretty sure Massa would have run into him either way.

    2. No idea what the “Well Done Baku!” means. Anyone care to explain?

      1. It’s sarcastic, it was a bad GP

      2. The organisers of the Baku GP had huge “Well done Baku!” banners all over the place, wich looked a bit ridiculous.

        1. I think they did it because they had a super short time frame to get the circuit ready… I heard it may have been as little as 6-8 weeks somewhere, which is how long it takes to prepare Monaco, half the size of Baku.

    3. Well, it seems to me that Fernando has been watching some argentinian turismo de carretera old races, dont you think @fer-no65 ? https://youtu.be/Bb_PGXqjrrw

      1. Sort of, but if you look at that video, the guy causing the collision is at least capable of staying on track afterwards. Fernando was basically inventing his own track, using another car as a brake, and STILL couldn’t manage to get around the corner.

        1. The guy in the vide said: you need 3 things to pull that move, 1 a car capable, 2 a corner suitable and 3 an idiot in front. Juan María Traverso is one of the greatest touring car drivers of Argentina, also one of the most controversial.

    4. Massa was so unlucky (again). He would have finished at an easy 5th place without safety car. Before the stops he had 10s over Sainz/Alonso.

      1. Although I think Massa has had many poor races this season, has also been pretty unlucky. 3 retirements that were not his fault. And I was really hoping he would finish 5th to gain Williams more points. It was very lucky that Perez was far enough behind in 8th so that he could get a free pit stop for his puncture though. Although this race, I would say Bottas was far more unlucky than Massa though. After a contact that instantly gave him a puncture, he ended up dropping over 60 seconds behind everyone before he had even made his pit stop. I was surprised that he even managed to catch up with the Saubers considering how far he fell behind and the fact that the Williams really isn’t very well suited to this style of track.

    5. Once upon a time the race gods used gravel now they use tarmac painted in red, white and blue The next race will be red, white and green. Hate the run offs, but the tarmac, beautiful( as jim Carrey would say)I love the patriotism put forward by tilke and Bernie.

      1. I actually can’t understand how it’s possible that someone’s thought that a white line could be a real limit for drivers who try to go get as much speed as they can out of the corners. You want that pilots respect track limits? Just put grass (real one) and gravel to slow the cars when they pass the line, even with only two tyres; if they think that other materials are safer than grass, put asphalt outside two meters of grass. The driver who loose control of the car can still brake on the asphalt, but in this way none can take advantage by pasing track limits.

    6. haha..classic Pat Symonds:

      “OK, he didn’t hit Sainz but he was so far off the track I thought he was going to Mexico early.”

      As much as I’m chuffed for Fernando, how come he didnt have to give Sainz the position back? Did he not gain an advantage by going off track?

      1. Track limits where obviously forgotten about this weekend. I reckon that it was a free-for-all as they were racing in America and wanted entertainment, not politics all weekend

        1. @johns23 unless you are Kevin Magnussen. In that case you are going to get a penalty.

          Alonso had to go off track limits to overtake Sainz and Massa, yet no sanction from the stewards. I don’t even care if his move on Massa was too agressive, I defended Rosberg for something similiar, but at least stick to the lines…

      2. @jaymenon10 He didn’t overtake Sainz by going off the track.

        1. Didnt he go off after passing Sainz? I mean braked really late which led him to pass Sainz, but also ran off track.

          1. @jaymenon10 Yeah, but the point is that he didn’t overtake Sainz while being off the track. Only when he was behind at the start of the long straight, and when he was already ahead.

            1. The reason he was off the track was because he took too much speed in the corner, which allowed him to pass Sainz in the first place, whilst Sainz went slower so that he could respect the track limits

    7. http://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2016/10/no-further-action-over-alonso-massa-incident.html
      Have a look,guys!
      There was a-car width between Massa and the apex. Alonso couldn’t make the corner properly! They wouldn’t touch if FA took the apex! Massa was not at fault.

      Putting the tweet from @deanobowers81 here is disrepectful for not Massa but a respectable F1 web owner.

      1. + for words about @deanobowers81 tweet. shame on him.

        1. Shame on Keith for using it. Disappointed.

      2. All that replay shows me is that Alonso didn’t make the corner because Massa turned in and squeezed him. Once Alonso went in, Massa should have set up wider, let him go, get on power early, and try to pass him back on exit. IMO it was a good move by Alonso that Massa didn’t react properly to, resulting in a racing incident.

      3. Park, I’m still thinking that Massa wasn’t at fault too. As you say, Alonso was carrying so much speed that even if Massa had given him room, Massa still would have had to drive off the track to avoid Alonso hitting him. That is sort of evident that even with contact that slowed him down slightly, he still went off the track. That was too optimistic IMO and it caused Massa a puncture. And then Alonso also had another overtake on Sainz that I simply don’t get how he got away with it. Many other drivers wouldn’t have. Completing an overtake off track doesn’t look right and I think he should have given the place back.

        I also really was a bit surprised by the amount of people saying that if any penalty was given, it would go to Massa. Well I think the other way round. Alonso had 2 overly optimistic moves. Both of them either resulting in a contact or going way off the track to complete an overtake. Just how can he get away with both of these? I suppose the Stewards will have more evidence than we will ever see and they did investigate the collision with Massa so there could be something I was missing but so far, I still don’t think Massa was to blame.

      4. I agree with this, I’m not sure why that tweet was featured, the guy has 421 twitter followers, it’s not like he’s a leading voice in F1. He also works for Force India so will obviously be biased. Love this site @keithcollantine but selecting one random anti-Massa tweet from the depths of twitter, featuring it so prominently on the website especially with the language used, just seems biased to me.

    8. After watching again and again I think it is purely racing incident. Maybe Massa could be the one to avoid that. Alonso saw that Massa was to wide in first left turn (I think Massa did that because after second turn he could get closer to Sainz) and so he dive in. After that, Massa saw what Alonso is doing and tryed to close the second corner or to squize Alonso in. The rest you saw. Alonso wasn’t too optimistic for what he tryed. He was to optimistic to try this on Massa.

    9. Stop crying ladies. This is just racing. C’mon !

    10. As long as there is grass beyond the kerb, then just let them cut the corners or run wide at every track. It’s fine. I often thought that at the Hungaroring too.. just let them cut the corners if they want to. So be it.

      1. @john-h So according to your logic barriers should be removed at Monaco to make the racing better? Drivers should keep pedal to the metal at Nouvelle Chicane because it makes racing ‘better’ somehow?

        Just no. White lines are there for a reason. F1 drivers are supposed to be world class at their business. It can’t be that hard to stay on the track.

        It’s much better to stick with the white lines-rule. Otherwise we will see even more blatant corner cutting. Where will we draw the line at the rules then if little cutting is okay?

        1. This year’s US GP was abysmal neglecting of the racing rules by stewards. I don’t think “go over the white line = lap time invalidated” is too political. It’s the same for everyone and it isn’t taking anything out of the show. Frankly I’d prefer seeing the drivers fighting their cars to stay inside the white lines rather than going over the white lines corner after corner without any trouble.

        2. So according to your logic barriers should be removed at Monaco to make the racing better?

          That’s not what I’m saying at all. Firstly, I would prefer grass up to the edge of the track but we seem to have these massive kerbs and run-off areas these days – so I’m saying, just let them use them unless specific corners are noted in the drivers’ briefing (Pouhon for example). Just treat the kerbs as part of the track.

          This would be a lot easier to police, would probably improve the racing, and remove the issue of arguing over whether the fourth wheel has travelled 1mm over the white line.

          1. @john-h Sorry but I just can’t see your point. Track limits are totally relevant when there is grass/barrier etc. right next to it, but track limits lose all their meaning when they have asphalt run-offs around? Is that what you’re saying?

            From what I’ve understood huge asphalt run-offs are there for a reason: safety. Yes, I’d prefer grass/gravel around the track too, but it doesn’t seem to be relevant option these days.
            Anyway, run-offs were not created as part of the track. They are there for the emergency situations. I think it’s silly you can massively run over the white line at COTA/Hockenheim/Hungaroring/Red Bull Ring and then be penalized only at a track like Monaco. Let’s have clear and organised rules for every track: go over the line at quali and your time is invalidated. Go over the white line say 2-3 at a race and you get 5s penalty.

            1. I think that drivers need a real barrier to avoid going over track lines: i mean, not a physical barrier as a wall, grass or gravel should be enough to disencourage drivers to run too wide while doing corners. This should eliminate every comment about who and when took advantage with his 4 wheels out of the line, across the line, gently touching the line… Are you doing that corner so wide that you go out of the white line? Can you mantain control of a Formula 1 car full speed on the grass as you were Sebastian Loeb during his races? Chapeau, you deserve to win that race. At the moment, I don’t know anyone who can do that.

    11. Apart from going off track and “using his former teammate as a brake”, given the circumstances, Fernando is having a brilliant season.

      He has more than twice the amounts of point his teammate has, he’s ahead of a Williams driver and just 2 points behind one who drives a Force India.

      Whatever said and done, Fernando Alonso as he has time and again, has delivered for Mclaren in a fantastic way. Precisely the reason why Honda wanted a driver of his caliber in the car. He provides such a consistent benchmark. He’s done this for so many years, as some usually do, it would be shame to suggest its luck.

      Compared to some other drivers (lets not be rude here) on the grid, albeit being in better circumstances, they still cant extract the best result on Sundays.

      My vote for Driver of the Year goes to Fernando.

      1. @jaymenon10 I agree, driver of the season. The number of opportunistic finishes in that car goes beyond luck. The incident with Massa is a very rare moment where I would say he was in the wrong though. As a single incident, it’s not enough to tarnish his season’s performance, and you expect drivers to occasionally come together, it was the lack of stewarding that I’m critical of.

      2. no, Ricciardo has driver the bestand most consistently, in both races and qualifying.

    12. Wow. A new low for excruciating podium interviews

      I couldn’t agree more. The novelty value of conducting the interviews on the podiums has completely worn off for me now. Most drivers – Hamilton and Rosberg in particular, who are on the podium more often than not these days and who don’t have much in the way of charisma – end up saying nothing of interest while pandering to the crowd. “What a great crowd”, “you guys were amazing”, “you make this race what it is”, “you’re the best fans in the world”, and so on. When they say it at every race it quickly loses its meaning. Are they so desperate to be loved? Then there are the inevitable “how does it feel” questions, to which the answers are always predictable. It’s not so bad when it’s someone like Martin Brundle or David Coulthard interviewing the drivers, but every time I see Eddie Jordan or a random celebrity take to the podium I know it’s going to be excruciating. The answers the drivers gave in the old-style indoor press conferences weren’t much better but at least they didn’t make themselves look like idiots in the process.

      Regarding this podium specifically, I have no idea what Ricciardo and Gerard Butler were thinking by trying to sound Texan. If they’d done the same in many other countries people would have been offended; this time the crowd just seemed bemused more than anything. Just as well.

    13. I don’t get how Fernando didn’t get a penalty for both abusing track limits as his crash with Massa. He’s a brilliant driver but if he’s honest with himself he knows he would’ve never made the corner by going in that fast. That particular corner needs a wide entry to set the car straight for that horrible copy of T8. All examples of drivers overtaking there have committed to the most shallow line through it but Alonso needed the entire track width, at that time that space was already for Massa.

      If Rosberg gets a penalty and the massive amount of bad mouthing on this very site for his overtake on Kimi in Sepang then it just baffles me that a very similar overtake gets all the praise by many.

      1. Completely agree. Alonso does receive an unworthy level of fawning everywhere – yes he is a great driver but more than anyone else he was inventing his own version of the track throughout the weekend and it looked ridiculous. The way he barged past Massa – pushing Massa off the circuit when he had every right to be there and then not even making the corner himself – should have been punished. Again, he got away with the move on Sainz, completing the move by carrying way too much apex speed into the hairpin but not being forced to give the place back and attempt to take the place again by staying at least somewhere near the track. If people keep practising this weird hagiography for some drivers, which renders them above criticism or the application of normal rules for leaving space for other drivers or receiving an advantage by going way off track, people will keep crying foul. Comparing this example with the Rosberg/Kimi incident in Malaysia (which was punished) just proves the point and it’s why driver stewards should be like race directors and shouldn’t change.

    14. While other drivers would have been badged as “dirty”, Alonso is “God”. Once again, the usual double standard, but now at a higher level.
      What if that had happened between HAM and ROS while fighting for P1?

    15. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      24th October 2016, 8:58

      I really didn’t see anything wrong with Alonso’s move on Massa, the whole reason that corner is that shape is to encourage overtaking on different lines. Alonso made the apex and didn’t even run wide, Massa just turned in as if he wasn’t there and gave no room to a car fully alongside, nothing like the Ros Kimi Malaysia move. The move on Sainz was a bit dubious though. I didn’t catch it properly but didn’t Perez defend a little late on Kyvat? I’m probably wrong because Kyvat got in trouble but it looked like Perez did a Max.

      1. How do you conclude he didn’t run wide? Yes he touched the apex, but a second or so later even having used Massa to slow down he’s completely off the track.

        1. spafrancorchamps
          24th October 2016, 13:46

          He got off the track there, because of the collision. Otherwise I am sure he would have made the corner.

          1. He went off the track to the right following a collision with a car to the right? That’s not how physics work.

    16. Red Bull announced on Saturday that Kvyat would stay on with Toro Rosso, a move supported by teammate Sainz.

      I think I too would be happy to have Kvyat as my team mate too but only if Yugi Ide wasn’t available.

    17. Lost respect for mass since I heard he was the only driver who vetoeD a higher minimum weight for drivers. Don’t really care for his interpretation.

    18. Who’s that Deano guy, why is his ‘opinion’ relevant, why on earth is his tweet, that compensates for a lack of information with fecal language, pulled out of the muddy depths of twitter and presented as something of value here?
      Any other reason than “I virulently dislike Massa, so does he”?

    19. I don’t think I fully understand Toro Rosso, in terms of development.
      I understand, as a team, they want to move forwards and engineers/drivers want to show what they can do.
      But as the ‘junior’ team, is there a line/etiquette as to how far they’re allowed achieve? At least before they start interfering with Red Bull’s races?
      Or does Red Bull see it that a competitive Toro Rosso would interfere with their rivals? Or makes their driver program more attractive?

    20. A rare occasion I agree with Pat Symonds. Massa turned into that corner because no car that would still make the corner had any business being on that part of the track. It was an absolute divebomb move and even bouncing off the Williams, Alonso still failed to make the corner.

      It’s the kind of move you get down at the local go-kart track, and if it’s a track with decent stewards the driver in Alonso’s position gets a sinbin penalty. The track limits were already a joke in this race, and a combination of bumper cars and exceeding track limits getting no penalty seems a farce.

    21. I agree with symonds, Alonso used massa as a brake, but if no one is damaged, it is fair game! Rosberg’s penalized move in Malaysia was also fair game, no penalty should have been given, – passing in f1 is rare enough, watch motogp, the drivers often do block passes and also passes where they touch, and it is great to watch and the drivers are almost always fair with each other. the pass I don’t agree with was Alonso’s next pass though.. he ran off track, so should have given the place back.

      1. “but if no one is damaged, it is fair game!”
        Massa had a puncture on the tyre that was Alonso’s 5th brake. So I don’t think this applies.
        I generally don’t think actions should primarily be judged by their outcome. But even so, I find the inconsistency infuriating. There are no recognisable guidelines behind the Stewards’ decisions, just a string of sui generis decisions that merrily contradict each other.

    22. Max: aggressive defending
      Alonso: aggressive attacking
      Vettel: ruining peoples races

    23. So there should be a ‘Vettel rule’ as well ;-)

    24. Massa has always been full of something and the virtual statman perhaps should be less bias, it’s not good to taint facts with opinions. What a dull second half of a championship, it reminds me of 2013 when they changed the tyres in order to make the top teams victorious again.

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