Lewis Hamilton reckons Fernando Alonso's vociferous complaints over the safety car controversy that has overshadowed the European Grand Prix are just a case of sour grapes.
Alonso and his Ferrari team were furious that Hamilton was able to effectively escape without punishment for passing the safety car, after it had been called out for Mark Webber's crash. Alonso and Ferrari believe delays by the FIA in handing Hamilton the punishment allowed the Briton to build up enough of a cushion over his nearest competitor to take a drive-through penalty without losing a place.
However, AUTOSPORT reports that the delays were caused simply by the FIA getting hold of timing data, aerial film footage and transponder location information to be 100 percent sure that Hamilton had definitely passed the safety car before the line. Furthermore, the decision to hold Alonso and Massa behind the safety car for half a lap, which upset them even more, was purely because the FIA wanted to protect the medical car – which had been rushing to Webber's aid following his accident.
Asked by Britain's Press Association whether Alonso's complaints were a simple case of sour grapes, he replied, "Yeah, I even saw him overtaken by a Sauber [Kamui Kobayashi] on the big screen. It's very unlike him to be overtaken by a Sauber, so he must have been completely in another world. But I don't understand why I affected his race so much.
"Everyone has a right to their opinion, and he must be disappointed with his own result, but I didn't do anything to him."
With rival teams not backing Ferrari's angry stance, Hamilton defended the role of the stewards this year, who have shown themselves more willing to let drivers compete rather than rush in to punish them harshly for indiscretions.
"The FIA are doing an incredible job because they are allowing us to race this year," he said.
Hamilton's stance will do little to calm Ferrari down, whose president Luca di Montezemolo said on Monday that the situation was "unacceptable."
"The result of yesterday's race was misrepresentative," di Montezemolo said on Ferrari's website. "Ferrari, which showed itself to be competitive in the European Grand Prix, paid a price that was too high for respecting the rules.
"Meanwhile those who didn't follow the rules were penalized by the race officials in a way that was less severe than the damage suffered by those who did respect them. That is a very serious and unacceptable event that creates dangerous precedents, throwing a shadow over the credibility of Formula 1."