Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit of the Americas, 2016

Alonso keeps fifth as stewards take no action over Massa collision

2016 United States Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso’s fifth place in the United States Grand Prix has been confirmed as the stewards have taken no action on his collision with Felipe Massa.

A statement issued by the stewards said they had “examined the evidence and concluded that no driver was wholly or predominately to blame for the collision”.

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2016
2016 United States Grand Prix in pictures
Before the ruling was announced Alonso told media at the circuit the collision had been a “racing incident”.

“I think that I was side-by-side with him, it’s not that I was coming from behind or any crazy thing. I was already side-by-side so it was not the space for him to come in. But the stewards will decide. Hopefully everything remains like a race incident.”

However Massa said the incident was “a little bit different” to how Alonso described it.

“I was doing the corner and he just dived completely inside. I was already entering the corner, he just hit my car and I had a puncture and destroyed the opportunities I had in that moment. So I think yes, for sure, it’s his responsibility.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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37 comments on “Alonso keeps fifth as stewards take no action over Massa collision”

  1. Good. That corner is taken exceptionally wide, but you should never leave the door open if Alonso is behind. He saw the gap, he got the car up the inside, and they only went wide on the exit because they banged wheels.

    1. No moving in breaking zone was maby to confusing for Massa.

  2. Great news, DOD even if he got a penalty

  3. Makes no sense. If kyvat gets a penalty where Perez was hurt, why wasn’t Alonso? And his post race pr was pretty silly, when he said right after that it was completely massas fault.

    1. The Kvyat/Perez incident was completely different – Kvyat drove into the back of Perez. And Alonso said it was a ‘racing incident’ so I don’t agree on either count.

      1. One could say Perez drove into the front of Kvyat. Perez took an odd line into that corner at the last minute. Perhaps my perception is wrong.

  4. He has half his car on parallel with Felipe when the Williams turns to the inside, and they are totally side by side when the wheels impact. Fernando did nothing wrong, just agressive.

    1. Alonso was going way too fast to make the corner. Alonso even hits massa and still goes off the track. Without massa alonso would have gone so deep off the track he would have had sand on his tires. It was collision on purpose and massa had nothing or nowhere to go. Alonso came way too far back and simply drove into massa. Brave move by alonso but a failure as overtakes go. How on earth does that get him a penalty when dozens of similar moves on this season alone have got a penalty for far lesser moves. Utter joke.

      1. Alonso would have made the corner, it was the contact that disturbed the balance of both cars. Massa wasn’t aware he was there and Alonso was already side by side with Massa, hence it was the wheels that made contact.

        1. I’d even wager Alonso purposely went a bit wide and went off track after contact as to block and not let Massa catch some grip and come back at him. Alonso was on a crazy charge and was obviously very determined to make and keep as many spots as possible.

        2. Massa was already braking late and Alonso was braking even later just to match him side by side, but carried too much speed past the apex to be able to make the corner.
          The video shots from the back make that absolutely clear.
          Sainz follows the racing line through the exit of the corner.
          Then Alonso goes no less than 5 meters wide of that, with Massa on his outside being forced extra wide. Only then do they make contact. Neither lose control, both continue on the path they have set in (in Massa’s case not by his own choice).

          Alonso forced Massa off track while going way outside of the racing line. He went off track himself and overtook Massa by doing so. It was dangerous, it was unjustified.
          It is a shame that Verstappen gets all the criticism while other drivers bang each other up like this without getting penalized.

  5. Massa definitely saw him. He jinked to the right before turning into Alonso. That corner was deliberately designed to have such a wide entry for exactly that type of move up the inside. Massa knows this and shouldn’t have left the gap open if he didn’t want Alonso to try.

    I’m pleased about the ruling though, it was a very simple racing incident. It could’ve been prevented but in the end it was fun to watch and is what F1 is about.

    1. Agree,Massa left the door open going into the corner. Alonso walked in and took the position. It was a great move.

      1. Massa was avoiding Sainz, who stood on the brake pedal.
        Then came Alonso, who was racing in his own track, a track without white lines.

    2. It was almost no different to the first corner at start! Ham saw both Ros and Ric, and closed the door for either, and Ric dived, and Ros couldnt do anything… yes it is different speed and circumstances, but Massa left room enough for a Airbus A380 in that corner…

    3. The usual awful driving of Massa where he turns on you ether though you are by his side because he thinks he has some racing line or something.
      Hamilton has experienced it quite a few times and even a rule was made because of Massa.

      I am so glad this guy isn’t driving in F1 anymore. He is just awful.

  6. (Ahem, you can’t gain an advantage from running wide per se if the white lines don’t mean anything!) I was very perturbed by the flagrant disregard for track limits when the issue first took off, but nowadays I’m of the opinion that, if circuit designers afford drivers the opportunity to improve lap time by using car park runoffs and ignoring largely nonexistent apex dressing, why shouldn’t as such poorly-considered design aspects be exploited and factored into an ideal racing line?

    I’d rather see observation of track limits abandoned altogether and make track alteration the priority, rather than regulations occasionally enforced with a darts-at-a-dartboard like consistency, as they seem extremely arbitrary at present. Rectify the problem, not the result. Quite enjoyed seeing Alonso throwing his McLaren around and exploiting every opportunity to maximise his point haul to-day–even dynamically testing how much runoff he could use to improve his exits as he chased down Massa and Sainz.

    1. Finally some people like you are starting to get it.

  7. *remove the ‘as’. Wish I could edit!

  8. Once again, the arbitrary rulings by the stewards boggle the mind. Penalties for some, no penalties for others. Consistency in the rulings is desperately required.

    1. Agree. Alonso avoid penalty, while Magnussen gets a penalty for being force of the track and running wide. Where is the advantage in that

  9. Seems a fair decision in Massa’s case, but what about Alonso going off track to conclude his pass on Sainz? Shouldn’t he be punished for gain an advantage by disrespecting track limits?

    1. I thought it was curious Toro Rosso didn’t protest that.

      1. The pass was complete before he went out. He simply missed his braking there, it was not because he was passing Saiz.

  10. I don’t think this move was vastly different to the one Rosberg did on Raikkonen at Sepang, so it’s interesting that Alonso escaped a penalty. Personally i thought both were good, opportunistic racing moves, I just find it interesting how the stewards’ standards seem to differ from race to race.

    Still, it’s good to see Alonso fight so hard for a decent position, really livened up the end of the race.

    1. In Rosberg’s case he dived into Kimi who was already turning. In Alonso’s case he was already alongside and Massa didn’t leave room.

  11. For the Entertainment of the US crowd, i feel they let it slide. Had it been in any other track, i reckon they would of pulled him up on it. Maybe wrong, i actually thought it was great pass and going by what Rosberg did to Raikkonen in Malaysia, it was the right call to play on

    1. grammar-grandma
      24th October 2016, 11:47

      *would have

      1. Same same but different

  12. C’mon, if Rosberg gets a penalty for Malaysia, why is this any different? There needs to be more consistency!

    1. I am surprised people are in-cable of seeing why it is different. It seems the stewards faulty as they are they are still miles ahead of viewers because viewers just throw an opinion without watching in any detail.

  13. Is that picture not of Bottas?

  14. I am absolutely fine with no penalty being given – I think both Felipe and Fernando made significant errors in this situation, and the only plausible alternative to this ruling would be to penalise both of them (which would probably have been excessive).

    What bothers me was the statement by David Coulthard on Channel 4 during the commentary (not long after the Alonso/Massa crash) that Mark Blundell had got an early plane booked. Stewards should never act as if they know they can have an early plane, even if such an assumption is often justified in retrospect by events, as it can lead to suspicions of that early plane influencing stewarding decisions.

  15. I don’t mind the decision just the inconsistencies. Why was Rosberg v Verstappen punished in Germany but this not? Different to Rosberg in Austria that was punishable but Germany? Seemed the same as this move. I say let these go as long as they are not a complete shove like Rosberg v Raikkonen in Malaysia.

  16. Rosberg got a penalty for the same move in Malaysia. I think neither deserved penalty.

    1. Not the same move in the least.

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