Posted on May 23, 2009
Alonso starts talking about Ferrari | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

There is a fantastic interview with Fernando Alonso in the Gazzetta dello Sport today, in which he gently moves closer to talking about Ferrari and his possible move there.

According to Pino Allievi, the number one writer on the paper, Alonso has moved to a house on the border between Switzerland and Italy, near Lugano. He spoke about the affection he has for Italy and Italians: “As a Spaniard I feel more at ease with Italians,” he said. “We have a lot of shared culture and character. We have identical feelings.”

There is a big following for Alonso here in Monaco

There is a big following for Alonso here in Monaco

As for Ferrari he started talking about the team, when asked how he imagined life would be inside the team. “It’s difficult to imagine from the outside. I can only say that when we race in Bahrain the circuit is full of Ferrari banners. You go to China and it’s the same. I see Ferrari as a symbol. At the moment I’m driving for Renault, where we are doing a great job. I only think about winning, the rest we’ll have to wait and see.”

The word I’m hearing is that these next few races are pretty important for Kimi Raikkonen. Although he has a contract for 2010, the suggestion is that he has certain criteria to meet and that an agreement, which is in place with Alonso for 2011, has a clause which could bring it forward to 2010. The next couple of months will be decisive.

One GP driver I spoke to recently said that in the briefings and at moments when the drivers are all together, Kimi seems like he doesn’t care any more. It’s as if he’s going through the motions. It’s a shame if this is true, as Raikkonen is one of the most exciting and most talented drivers in F1.

However the Italian media has started treating him with a little less respect, calling him “Forrest Gump” earlier this weekend and today’s Gazzetta piece looks to me like a preparing of the ground for Alonso and the future, in a very Italian sort of way.

Ferrari went for Raikkonen in 2006 rather than Alonso because Jean Todt, the boss at the time, had fallen out with Alonso over a test driving agreement in 2001, which Alonso went back on. Now Todt has gone and the feeling in Ferrari is quite different.

Alonso also shed a little more light on what happened at McLaren. Asked what question he would ask Ron Dennis if he had the chance he said,
“I would ask him, ‘Why didn’t you listen to me?’ ”

And on relations with Lewis Hamilton he said: “I spoke to him when we were team mates, in Turkey. I said, ‘We are fighting for the world title, one against the other, we both want to win, but we also have to find a way to work together.’ It was a frank discussion, very open. In reality, he wasn’t the problem. The team was.”

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Alonso starts talking about Ferrari
43 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Suzy
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 7:49 am 

    You cannot imagine, James, how incredibly boring this topic is for fans already (that’s what many say on forums, at least). We have been hearing this for two years now, how Kimi or Felipe will be kicked out for Alonso next season etc. Never happened. I think eventually Alonso will go to Ferrari, but in 2011.

    I am definitely not a Kimi fan, but at Ferrari right now they have bigger problems than Kimi.


    Ofentse Reply:

    Well put Suzy. Ferrari still have bigger problems than Kimi.
    But if they didn’t fight Kimi in 2008, they wouldn’t have issues with championship drought.


  2.   2. Posted By: Howard Hughes
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 7:52 am 

    Dunno why, but this post, with its allusions to the Italian psyche, reminds me of a great book I recently read called ‘Agnelli and the Network of Italian Power’, by Alan Friedman. Scarcely a word of motorsport in in, but very illuminative nonetheless if you want to understand how rumour, intrigue and ‘favours’ influence every aspect of Italian life…

    Anyway, I LOVE this site. Absolute first web stop of the day.

    [ Great book, Howard. I second your recommendation - Moderator ]


  3.   3. Posted By: Suzy
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 7:56 am 

    As for McLaren, I think the problem for Alonso was that he never really could dominate his rookie teammate. How do you give driver Nr 1 status when he is behind his teammate in the WDC as Alonso was for most of the season?

    As I see it, Alonso WAS given Nr 1 status initially. You can see that in how McLaren swapped them during the pitstops in Melbourne, giving Hamilton a shorter middle stint. But then, in Canada, France etc. Alonso started to throw away points by making driver errors. I fail to see how that was McLaren’s fault.


  4.   4. Posted By: Ski Iraq
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 8:02 am 

    I wonder if Alonso’s really thought it through with regards to whether a move to Ferrari is such a good thing. To me, he seems to very a very sentimental kind of person, if not downright emotional.

    When he switched from his “true home”, Renault, to Mclaren he said it was because of new opportunities or something like that. But really I think it was just because that was where Senna had won his championships and so he thought he’d do the same. And look how that turned out…

    Now he’s at it again, and this time it’s Ferrari where he cites the history, the culture. Deep down he must have believed that he would be happy at Mclaren before he made the move and he was dead wrong. I hope for his sake he’s right about his new team this time.


  5.   5. Posted By: DARREN
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 9:28 am 

    i have never understood why Alonso is seen as the second coming, he need a true team mate to be judged against. Then we will see how good he is… hang on we did and a rookie made him look second rate.


  6.   6. Posted By: RJ
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 10:22 am 

    The problem with Alonso was (past tense can I add) back when he moved to McLaren he was number one in every way … which we assumed, but Hamilton came in and took it to him, he couldn’t take it when Hamilton was beating him, maybe these years away from the top has helped him but i still think when he does go to Ferrari he will need to have a team mate who is no match for him like his current team mate, if Massa is still there he will be another Hamilton to him and if his team doesn’t prefer him then he will have another strop. Anyway I hope Kimi goes back to McLaren, they made him great and he will be great again if he goes back.

    James if you could give us more info on what Kimi meant by why Dennis didn’t listen to him that would be a good insight into what goes on between teams and there star drivers.


  7.   7. Posted By: Francisco
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 10:35 am 

    It will be extraordinary if James (or somebody else) manage to get the radio conversation between Alonso and this engineer at the Hungarian Qualification 2007. It was great for the fans to be able to listen the one at Australia this year between McLaren and Hamilton.

    At the end of that season, he believed (speaking to CadenaSer radio) that the championship was lost because of that particular “unfair” penalty, although afterwards he seemed very uneasy during the interviews like Michael at Monaco 2006 (Rascasse corner parking).


  8.   8. Posted By: Charlie
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 10:48 am 

    I have to say that I’m bemused about this whole situation. Kimi’s not been on fire for the last year which, true, is a long time. But he’s actually hardly been poor. He’s suffered some poor luck and had qualifying issues last year. I’m kinda surprised at how short people’s memories are.

    I mean, why is everyone convinced that Kimi’s going just because he’s had a poor season in 2008? Let’s not forget that Kimi is Ferrari’s last world champion. Massa is not a world champion. Massa had 2 absolutely childishly poor races in the first two rounds last year and people seem to have forgotten that because he ended up fighting for the WDC. Kimi nearly was…he should have won in Montreal, France and Spa and perhaps Fuji (twice scuppered by Lewis…)

    Anyway, I reckon Kimi’s looked faster than Massa all this season, so we’ll see, but I think it’d be completely irrational to get rid of him just because of a media perception that he’s no good or lost interest. I think Ferrari should just drop the driver who gets the least points this season…if they must get Alonso in. I wouldn’t, Alonso’s a social hand-grenade and wouldn’t like driving with either Kimi or Massa.

    I just wish the speculation would stop though.


  9.   9. Posted By: Howard Hughes
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 11:02 am 

    Why thank you Mr Mod.


  10.   10. Posted By: john miller
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 11:02 am 

    every day when i set on the computer the first site i visit thanks james for the effort.

    I just got one question, we heart all this drama and politic about the new budget cap introduction 2010.

    will all 2010 cars be uglier as they are now?


  11.   11. Posted By: The Flying Finn
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 11:06 am 

    His speaking of identical culture and feelings, and the passion with which he talks of Ferrari reminds of Jean Alesi. Is it the best for them both? Seemed like Ferrari had great success with the Schumi/Brawn/Todt combo which was in a way cold analytical and the opposite of what Alonso speaks off. I guess time will tell whether they can be successful together, but hey Alesi was fun to watch for sure !


  12.   12. Posted By: Grabyrdy
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 11:10 am 

    Suzy, you know as well as I do that McL don’t have number ones and number twos. Or at least that they say they don’t. Fact remains, he was the double World Champion, he was the one who sorted the car, and who needed nevertheless a certain amount of adaptation time to get on top of it. Then Ron seems to have gone off on a crusade to make him look silly at Lewis’s expense, doing no favours either to the team or, in the long run, to Lewis. At the end, they all lost the championships they should have won easily, entirely through mismanagement.


  13.   13. Posted By: Beqa
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 11:57 am 

    I do not know about kimi’s motivation as he was quite disciplined before the start of the season: lost some weight, stopped consuming alcohol etc…


  14.   14. Posted By: chuck
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 12:04 pm 

    I agree with Suzy that this horse has been beaten to death and with Ski Iraq also about the intelligence behind a movement from Renault to Ferrari. Ferrari is all about the legend and, yes, they managed to be the dominant car in the last decade.

    But I feel that Ferrari, out of Brawn and Todt, will slip into mediocrity for at least five years, until Luca Cordero di Montezemolo realises that the problem is not with the driver, but with the obsessive attention to detail that is a must when running a F1 team. Ferrari has shown for two years now showing absurd mistakes.

    As much as I would like to see Alonso driving for Ferrari, I am not so sure that he will be making the jump to a winning team with a winning car.


  15.   15. Posted By: Bore
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 1:39 pm 



  16.   16. Posted By: mingojo
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 1:45 pm 

    How do you know it’s boring for fans?


  17.   17. Posted By: Lady Snowcat
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 1:57 pm 


    I see from watching qualy at Monaco Kimi’s motivation is at an all time low….

    The other drivers are delusional or just…. hopeful….


  18.   18. Posted By: Broer Sammy
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 2:18 pm 

    Alonso better move to new teams that might be can do magic for him such Brawn did. Ferrari with Alonso? Red color not match with his character.


  19.   19. Posted By: Steven
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 3:31 pm 

    Since the Hakkinen days McLaren has the favoured driver, or the one whom Ron divides more of his attention to. Hakkinen, Raikkonen, and recently with Hamilton, there are the favoured drivers who seem to get more of the team backing around.

    You can see how Coulthard, Montoya, Raikkonen (who eventually got bored of the reigeme), and recently Alonso all disliked the way in which the clinical nature of the team sucked the life out of the individuals they were to serve the purpose to have a car for their favoured drivers. All have said that it was a breath of fresh air to have gotten out of McLaren under Ron and move on into more human environments.

    Even recently when Hamilton gets interviewed that the corporate line is being towed, and can’t even be himself which is to his own detriment.

    By the way, it was only when Hamilton decided to have his little moan at Monaco in 07 about it wanting to race Alonso when it was better to run 1-2, when the british press in their wisdom started the witch-hunt against Alonso.


  20.   20. Posted By: Ruben
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 4:14 pm 

    Chuck I agree – the mistakes Ferrari made on strategy this year and last really makes one wonder if Ferrari is the place to go.. The term Paul Tracy used back in the day “a circus clown” could have made better race strategy decisions than Ferrari the last 2 years. But the car has been better than the Renault on most specs this year and last so maybe Alonso’s the guy who can help wrestle the strategy-side back to winning form.

    If Ferrari want passion at least they will get it with Alonso.


  21.   21. Posted By: James Allen
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 4:34 pm 

    Lady Snowcat, where have you been all this time? We missed your arch comments. Please don’t go away for so long next time..


  22.   22. Posted By: Admin
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 4:42 pm 

    By the way, the photo of the pelouse full of fans is great. I think all those flags are from Alonso/Asturias’ main fanclub (AsturiasF1), the president of which, Manuel, is a good friend of me.

    Was good to see it!

    PS: He is the same guy who unofficially awarded Schumacher and Hamilton with a symbolic trophy back in March’s Barcelona test. Fair play by them, and fun thing too, for sure!

    I missed it (I was working there but only on Monday, and that happened on Tuesday), but perhaps you James spotted it in the paddock, did you?

    PS2: Sorry for going slightly off topic!


  23.   23. Posted By: Lady Snowcat
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 4:45 pm 

    Why James, you missed me…how kind…

    But how do you reckon Kimi is 5 laps lighter than Jenson per your Twittering?…

    Does 3.5kg equal 5 laps now?… is that just a function of the fact that Monaco is the size of a roulette table?…

    Or is the Ferrari at that much of a disadvantage to Brawn in the fuel carrying stakes due to KERS taking so much of the potential fuel capacity?…

    I await your considered calculations…


  24.   24. Posted By: J-Raid
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 4:47 pm 

    Ah, and I posted with Admin username, when it should be J-Raid. Obviously I’m not this blog’s admin lol

    Sorry for the confusion. If you could edit it…thanks


  25.   25. Posted By: links for 2009-05-23 « vee8 - a Formula 1 blog
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 5:03 pm 

    [...] Alonso starts talking about Ferrari – James Allen on F1 "The word I’m hearing is that these next few races are pretty important for Kimi Raikkonen. Although he has a contract for 2010, the suggestion is that he has certain criteria to meet and that an agreement, which is in place with Alonso for 2011, has a clause which could bring it forward to 2010. The next couple of months will be decisive." (tags: fernandoalonso ferrari renault kimiräikkönen Italy) [...]

  26.   26. Posted By: How is Kimi Räikkönen viewed by the Tifosi? « vee8 - a Formula 1 blog
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 6:26 pm 

    [...] James Allen wrote on his blog about the fresh rumours. Alonso is becoming a bit more effusive about Ferrari and Italian culture. [...]

  27.   27. Posted By: Peter
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 7:41 pm 

    Totally agree. I also would add that Kimi does not care coming second, third, four, …anything else than first. Until he does not really has a chance for winning again he will not show much motivation. The question is if he has the right car and the team without critical mistakes how would he respond.


  28.   28. Posted By: Spike
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 7:41 pm 

    I guess everyone can shut up about Kimi after his performance today in qualifying. He just needs a good car between his hands and no mistakes from the team.

    All these rumours about Kimi that he doesnt care or is unmotivated – they are only fuelled because he never feels the need to explain himself to the press. So they have to make stuff up instead. Im amazed that people dont recognize that.


  29.   29. Posted By: Peter
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 7:47 pm 

    Also, Montemezolo’s long term goal was or has been to have two of the best drivers, Kimi and Alonso together at Ferrari. They also highly respect each other and Kimi will be on fire if he starts winning again. The media has just built up a bit of bored Kimi with the coke-ice story, but its really getting bored now.


  30.   30. Posted By: Peter
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 7:52 pm 

    Scecond place on the grid in Monaco from a bored Kimi in a Brawn sandwich not that bad and shows just how good he is (could be). Sources from Macca told in the past that he is not one of the most talented, but the most talanted and fastest they have ever seen. Alonso-Kimi with Ferrari would be great for a few years.


  31.   31. Posted By: SeRa
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 8:14 pm 

    I can´t find the original interview on la gazzetta, could anyone put the link, please.
    Couse refering to the question that Alonso would ask Dennis, i read on spanish papers that he says: “Why didn´t you ever listen to me?” instands than “Why didn’t you listen to me?”.



  32.   32. Posted By: sean
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 9:32 pm 

    Why is everyone on kimi’s back,is it just because he doesn’t fit a mold designed by the media.All the problem’s this year and some of last year were not of his doing.There is no way alonso could have done better than kimi with what he has been given to work with.Ferrari have to look at the mistake’s they made not take the easy option and blame their driver because he seem’s to be a bored .My god schumi could be as boring as batsh#t sometimes.


  33.   33. Posted By: Alastair
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 9:38 pm 

    It’s a bit late for Alonso to be going to Ferrari, now that they are quitting F1 and who’s he going to replace next year? Both drivers have contracts, one is a WDC in his first year with the team (beating Alonso because the latter could not control his temper) and the other missed the WDC by a whisker.

    Way better to be knocking on Brawn or Red Bull’s door…


  34.   34. Posted By: James Allen
        Date: May 23rd, 2009 @ 10:21 pm 

    Two laps, not five.


  35.   35. Posted By: Top Posts «
        Date: May 24th, 2009 @ 12:40 am 

    [...] Alonso starts talking about Ferrari There is a fantastic interview with Fernando Alonso in the Gazzetta dello Sport today, in which he gently moves closer [...] [...]

  36.   36. Posted By: JEFF
        Date: May 24th, 2009 @ 5:27 am 

    oh here we go…alonso sorted the car out? sure he did.
    i case you havnt noticed, the engineers sort the car out, the driver merely gives feedback as to how it behaves. its an indication of alonsos immaturity that he claimed this 0.6 seconds worth of lap time out of the car was because of him…and it was that same immiturity that turned the team against him.
    hes a great driver, but hes also a pain in the you know what.
    btw, thus far the mclaren has improved by 2.5 seconds a lap…lewis must be a genious car developer right


  37.   37. Posted By: jose
        Date: May 24th, 2009 @ 10:34 am 

    The problem in 07 was first of all that hamilton was way faster than expected. And the the british media, as powerful as it is, ended up, messing the driver`s title for mclaren. They put pressure on dennis, and he could not handle the situation.
    The british reporters are fans after all, and they use there power to help hamilton in any way they could. It is an understandable reaction.
    I remember allen and windsor being very partisan in 07. I remember very clearly, even if they seem to have forgotten.


  38.   38. Posted By: Lady Snowcat
        Date: May 24th, 2009 @ 11:52 am 

    Thank you James…


  39.   39. Posted By: Tom Lodge
        Date: May 27th, 2009 @ 3:46 pm 

    Forget Alonso why not Seb Vettel for next year, the only thing he needs is to win races for Red Bull this season and finish second in the championship behind Button, he isn’t the finished article yet but he’s still beating Webber, he just needs experience and just you wait remember Michael in 1992/1993 then bang came 1994..

    I’m sure James would agree on this one:)


  40.   40. Posted By: fida
        Date: May 29th, 2009 @ 2:41 am 

    kimi n vettle as team mate will be superb


  41.   41. Posted By: rpaco
        Date: May 29th, 2009 @ 7:43 am 

    Dont think Kimi will be around, he will be rallying. I think F1 has lost its adrenaline for Kimi, rallying will rectify that.


  42.   42. Posted By: hassu
        Date: June 19th, 2009 @ 12:05 pm 

    Robert Kubica also purchased a rally car. Perhaps he will quit F1 and go rallying next year?


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