The new rule – 40.13 – states: “If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit-lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.”
Instantly after the conclusion of the race, Schumacher and Ross Brawn said they were sure there would be no penalty. “We were advised before the end of the race that the safety car was coming in,” Brawn told the BBC. “There was no instruction that the race was going to finish under the safety car.”
Michael Schumacher was equally sure he had done nobody wrong. “I think there is either this message, or there is the message ‘track clear’ and ‘safety car in’ and that was the message that was given to all of us and when this message is out it means track clear and back to racing. The cars were removed. I took my opportunity.”
But, as might be anticipated, Alonso did not agree with Schumacher’s review. “The race was very good and in the end I still have a good feeling,” he told Spanish reporters. “The team told me we couldn’t overtake so when I saw Michael … they will penalize him, so we will end up winning anyway.”
The result goes down Schumacher from sixth place in the original standings to 12th and out of the points. The judgment promotes Alonso back into sixth in front of Rosberg, Sutil and Luizzi. Sebastien Buemi increases a point for tenth place.