Fernando Alonso won the dramatic tenth round of the 2007 F1 World Championship at the European Grand Prix. During the incident filled race from the Nurburgring s GP-Strecke circuit, Massa led Alonso for much of the race, until five laps from the end when the Spaniard and Brazilian came together as the Ferrari struggled in wet conditions.
However, rather than celebrating his third victory of the season, Alonso and team resorted to behaviour which can only be likened to that of children in a school playground. The first tantrum came just seconds after Fernando exited his car, drawing the attention of the media to the battle scars along the side of his McLaren, only to then shake his finger in what looked to be disapproval.
The next episode occurred in the waiting room ahead of the podium celebrations. An argument broke out between Massa and Alonso, who exchanged words in Spanish before Ron Dennis gesticulated to the Ferrari driver to calm down.
The drivers eventually made their way to the podium, where Dennis proceeded to make gestures toward Michael Schumacher, who was awarding the Constructors Trophy, before then appearing to make an issue out of the fact that Massa was on the second step of the podium in our opinion, a totally pathetic and unsporting thing for such a well known figure in F1 to even contemplate.
Then during the proceeding press conference, Alonso said that he had apologised for his post-race antics, stating that he was over excited. When Massa was asked what the issue was, he retorted, “if he was unhappy, it’s not my problem”.
Despite making a tactical error that left Hamilton out of the points despite a superlative drive, it is very hard to understand why McLaren reacted in such a way. Not only had they secured victory for their driver but had increased the points gap back to Ferrari, with Massa second and Raikkonen retiring midway through the race with hydraulic problems.
McLaren had better hope that such apparent unsporting post-race behaviour will not be remembered in the week ahead, as on Thursday representatives of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will travel to Paris to attend an extraordinary meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council. According to a press release by the FIA, the team “have been called to answer a charge that between March and July 2007, in breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes had unauthorised possession of documents and confidential information belonging to Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, including information that could be used to design, engineer, build, check, test, develop and/or run a 2007 Ferrari Formula One car.â€
Another worry for the Woking based outfit will be the very possible complaint that Honda or Renault may enter to the race stewards in regard to the manner in which Fernando Alonso was released from his final pit stop.