If you take a look at Vitaly Petrov’s Facebook page now, it is full of mostly supportive messages for the Renault driver.
Apparently, it wasn’t that way a short time ago.
You still can see the remnants in comments such as: “Total support for you Vitaly! Don’t listen stupid Alonso fans…”
Yes, apparently after the Abu Dhabi race, Fernando Alonso fans flocked to Petrov’s virtual space and left tons of mad comments after the Spaniard failed to pass the Russian and Sebastian Vettel captured the Formula 1 drivers’ title.
Here’s what Petrov is saying, via Yahoo:
Vitaly Petrov has revealed that he has been the target of shocking abuse from so-called F1 ‘fans’ on his social-networking Facebook page, with a string of sickening insults and bitter accusations that he was responsible for Fernando Alonso failing to clinch a third career crown in the top flight this year.
“On my Facebook page many people cursed me, saying I blocked Alonso – that’s nonsense,” he told German newspaper Bild, dismissing his role as ‘kingmaker’ for Vettel. “I did nothing wrong – but Ferrari did make a tactical error.
“I kept Alonso behind me for 39 laps, but no-one told me on the radio that I was helping Sebastian to be world champion. In any case, even if he had passed me, he would have also had to pass [Nico] Rosberg. I just drove my own race and I was faster than him.”
Petrov added that he only knew Alonso had been denied the title when the double world champion pulled alongside him on the slowing-down lap and indignantly shook his fist at him, a graceless move that the 26-year-old described as ‘bad manners’ and ‘not elegant’.
Ah, the hazards of the virtual world.
The reaction is being compared to some of the attacks Timo Glock suffered after Lewis Hamilton managed to pass him in the final moments of the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2008.
I’ll assume no one here thinks Petrov should have done anything other than fight as hard as he could to keep his race position. He was, after all, fighting for his own career — and that is still up in the air. I wouldn’t be surprised if he would have been cut loose already had Alonso gotten by him.
The culprit, if you have to point fingers, probably is the circuit, which makes passing so difficult. But that is racing, as they say.
Does anyone think Petrov may be overreacting to Alonso’s gesture after the race, though? As a non-Alonso fan, I can completely sympathize with his frustration in that moment. I’d think that is all is was, frustration at the track and the results and the messed-up Ferrari strategy. Did Alonso really think Petrov should have just moved over? I seriously doubt it.