Ferrari has denied Charlie Whiting’s claim that the FIA official “immediately” advised Fernando Alonso to let Robert Kubica re-pass at the recent British grand prix.
The Italian team was critical of the timing of Spaniard Alonso’s drive-through penalty, describing it as a “fact” that “decisions are taken slowly” by the authorities.
FIA race director Whiting this week hit back, revealing that – before the penalty was imposed – he advised Ferrari “three times” that Kubica should be allowed to re-pass Alonso, including “immediately” after the illegal overtake.
But Ferrari’s team manager Massimo Rivola has now moved to clarify Whiting’s contradiction, revealing that the Briton at one point said the matter would be investigated by the stewards after the race.
“We just want to explain the facts so it is understood that we are not crazy,” he is quoted by La Stampa newspaper.
Rivola said he asked Whiting after Alonso’s pass “what should we do” and Whiting responded almost two minutes later.
“One minute and fifty five seconds is not immediately.”
By then, he said, Alonso and Kubica had become caught up in battles with Jaime Alguersuari and Rubens Barrichello.
Rivola said he contacted Whiting again, to ask if Alonso now needed to cede position to several opponents, and then shortly afterwards Kubica retired.
La Stampa said Ferrari is concerned with the events that followed, because the broken pieces of Pedro de la Rosa’s rear wing were lying on the track for a couple of minutes with the FIA taking no action.
Then, with Ferrari strategists convinced that Alonso will lose just 3 or 4 positions with his drive-through, the safety car was called onto the circuit, condemning Alonso to the rear of the field.
“This means that for two minutes that race was being held in unsafe conditions,” said Rivola.
© RIF | GMM