Charlie Whiting has hit back at Ferrari’s latest criticisms about the timing of F1 officials’ in-race decisions.
After Valencia, the Italian team was furious that Lewis Hamilton’s penalty for overtaking the safety car arrived so late it had little effect on the McLaren driver’s race.
And at Silverstone, this time with Fernando Alonso penalised for overtaking Robert Kubica on the grass, Ferrari said the instruction to allow the Pole to re-pass his Spanish rival came so late he was far behind and already slowing with a technical problem.
In a website report on Monday, Ferrari repeated La Gazzetta dello Sport’s claim that F1 had become ‘Formula Lullaby’ because of the slow decision-making.
Ferrari’s controversial website writer described it as a “fact” that “decisions are taken slowly” by F1’s officials.
But Briton Whiting, the FIA’s F1 race director, said on Tuesday that in fact he advised Ferrari immediately after Alonso’s overtaking move that the position should be given back to the Renault.
“On the radio, I suggested to them that if they exchange position again, there would be no need for the stewards to intervene,” he is quoted by Italy’s Autosprint magazine.
“We told Ferrari three times that in my opinion they should give the position back to Kubica,” Whiting added.
“And we told them that immediately, right after the overtaking manoeuvre. But they didn’t do that and on the third communication they said that Kubica was by then too far back to let him regain the position,” he revealed.
Team boss Stefano Domenicali was quoted on Monday as saying Ferrari needed to wait for the FIA’s final decision about whether Alonso should give back the place, “otherwise we would be accused of being not aggressive enough”.
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