TEAM principal Stefano Domenicali bemoaned Ferrari’s wretched run of misfortune after his cars finished outside the points at yesterday’s incident-packed British Grand Prix.
For the first time this season, the Scuderia came away from a grand prix without adding to their points tally, leaving Domenicali to concede that a “curse” has descended on the team.
Ferrari were outraged at the end of the previous race in Valencia after becoming embroiled in a safety car wrangle that cost them dear.
Two weeks on and the fates remain against the Maranello marque, with Domenicali critical of a drive-through penalty handed to Alonso yesterday.
“We seem to be really cursed at the moment, when everything that could go wrong, does,” said Domenicali.
“We are not happy, but we must not feel sorry for ourselves. Instead, we have to react calmly, remaining focused and continuing to work in the way we did over the past few weeks.”
Alonso was hit with his drive-through penalty after cutting Vale corner in his bid to pass Renault’s Robert Kubica.
The Spaniard appeared to have nowhere to go as the cars entered the corner side by side and his actions avoided a collision, but he failed to cede back the place as per the rulebook. Ferrari asked the race director whether Alonso should give the place back, but by the time they received confirmation they should, Kubica had dropped back with a mechanical problem that would lead to his retirement.
The race stewards nevertheless issued the penalty.
“You can have a situation where immediately there is a possibility to give position back to a driver if you feel there is really an advantage to be gained, but we felt that was not the case, otherwise we would have done it,” Domenicali continued.
“As soon as we received the information that in the opinion of the stewards Fernando should have given back position to Robert, he was already very far behind and slowing down because he had a problem.
“We feel the penalty is very harsh.”
Alonso has now been denied a shot at a podium finish at each of the last two rounds, and his 14th place at the flag yesterday will be a bitter pill to swallow.
The two-time world champion refused to be drawn on the stewards’ actions, saying only: “It’s not my job. I drive the car. What the stewards say is always right...”
But he added that his third place on the grid for the race had given him encouragement for the future, and he is convinced both titles remain up for grabs. The Spaniard is 47 points behind title leader Lewis Hamilton with nine rounds remaining, while the Scuderia are 113 points shy of McLaren in the constructors’ battle.
Felipe Massa fared no better than his team-mate, his race ruined at the start by a puncture caused after a brush with Alonso. The Brazilian suffered two more off-track moments and a further puncture on his way to finishing a lowly 15th.
Massa has failed to score a point at the last three rounds, and said: “I have to find some way of getting rid of the bad luck that is following me around.”
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