Fernando Alonso did not incur his stop and go penalty on Sunday because either he or McLaren forgot the rules.
That was the insistence in Montreal of Mercedes’ Norbert Haug, who told the broadcaster RTL that the Spaniard simply had to pit during the forbidden period of the Safety Car situation or run out of fuel.
“If your tank is empty,” said Haug, “then you have no choice.”
Alonso also drove a scrappy race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, handing his teammate Lewis Hamilton an eight point championship lead by finishing just seventh.
He told Spanish reporters that he suffered from bad tyre graining, and also claimed that Hamilton “benefited the most” from the several safety cars.
Haug, though, was overjoyed for Hamilton, who became the first rookie to win a race since Juan Pablo Montoya in 2001.
As for Ferrari’s inconspicuous showing, with Kimi Raikkonen also finishing behind a Renault, Williams and BMW just two weeks after a similar trouncing in Monaco, Germany’s Haug shrugged his shoulders.
He said: “When you think about where they were in very recent times and where they are today — I have to admit that right at the moment, I cannot completely understand it!”