Ferrari mouthpiece newspaper Gazetta della Sport has a story that chronicles the radio back-and-forth between Ferrari and the race bosses at the British Grand Prix. And it seems to counter claims that Charlie Whiting order Ferrari three times to have Fernando Alonso give back his position to Robert Kubica.
Autosport has gone to the trouble to translate the piece into the Queen’s English:
13:31:05 The overtaking move takes place at Club and after one second Rivola calls Whiting, who replies after 11 seconds. Rivola asks: ‘Have you seen the pass? In our opinion there was no room to overtake.’
26 secs after the pass, Whiting asks to be given time to watch the TV footage.
13:33 Ferrari makes a second radio call – 1m55s after the pass. Alonso has completed another lap plus one sector, and is behind Nico Rosberg and Jaime Alguersuari, while Kubica drops further back.
Whiting tells Ferrari that the stewards think Alonso could give the position back. Rivola asks: ‘Is this the decision?’
Whiting replies: ‘No, but that’s how we see it.’
Rivola informs the team while Rosberg overtakes Alguersuari. On the GPS screen that shows the position of the cars, Ferrari sees Kubica dropping further back. Meanwhile, Alonso overtakes Alguersuari at Turn 2.
13:33:22 Ferrari makes a third radio call.
Rivola tells Whiting: ‘Alonso doesn’t have only Kubica behind. He would have to concede two positions now.’
While they discuss the matter Kubica is overtaken by Barrichello so Alonso would have to now give up three positions.
Whiting replies: ‘We have given you the chance to do it or not. Things being this way, the stewards will hear the drivers at the end of the race, but I understand your position.’
13:35:30 Kubica stops so Alonso can no longer give the position back.
13:45:31 The stewards investigate the Alonso/Kubica incident. The monitors then display ‘car number 8 under investigation’, 14m26s after the pass.
13:46:26 Just 55 seconds later the stewards decide that Alonso should have a drive-through penalty.
It looks pretty damning, although I have to wonder if that is the full and complete set of transmissions or whether anything was omitted — on purpose or by accident.
If it does come out that Whiting didn’t order Ferrari to give back the move, that’s a pretty straight-forward hit to the FIA’s credibility, and Whiting’s in particular. Just how bad, in your opinion?
And what, if anything, might be done about Alonso’s penalty and his loss of points?