Ferrari One-Two Marred by Fine following Tame German Grand Prix
Ferrari’s second first and second place finish and general domination over the weekend at the German Grand Prix was marred by a maximum $100,000 fine for breaching sporting regulations, after Felipe Massa appeared to allow Fernando Alonso to pass him and win the race after a less-than-coded message from his engineer. While Ferrari officials and Massa himself denied any instructions effectively to hand the race to Alonso were issued, the constructor decided to accept the fine without appeal “in the interests of the sport,” according to team boss Stefano Domenicali. Bridgestone’s attempts to inject interest with the widest possible gap between tyre compounds were foiled by low track temperature allowing the super soft tyre to run longer than had been anticipated.
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone director of Motorsport Tyre Development, said: “Both compounds worked better than we expected. The super soft lasted very well. A good example of this was Jenson Button who was to gain position by staying on the super soft for his first stint longer than the other front runners. The hard compound did take longer to warm-up than we usually see with the prime tyre, and we saw evidence of this in the race with locked brakes, less grip in the corners and lower traction before it was in its correct temperature operating range.
“I believe that today was a good illustration of the strength of our development engineers in Japan. These tyres were designed before the start of the season, and we have many changes such as the narrower front tyres, and no more refuelling meaning heavier cars. Despite this, our engineers have produced tyres capable of working well with this season’s cars, even when we try an extreme allocation as we did here.”
The victory was Alonso’s second of the season and his first since the season-opener in Bahrain, leading team-mate Felipe Massa across the line and keeping up the pressure on the McLaren front-runners and the chasing Red Bulls. Sebastian Vettel was the only German driver to make any impression in their home Grand Prix, finishing third, while Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Mark Webber made up a predictable top six. Robert Kubica’s seventh place was notable, beating both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes GPs despite driving a less-fancied Renault.
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