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Alonso – “Put the money on me now”
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Alonso – “Put the money on me now”
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Feb 2010   |  6:55 pm GMT  |  110 comments

Yesterday, amid all the drama around Ferrari and USF1, we had another bouncy communication from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. He has been speaking with Don McRae of the Guardian, who has a good relationship with Ferrari’s communications department and has done some very good pieces with Felipe Massa in recent years.

Picture 6
Alonso says that the bookies have got it right in backing him as favourite for the title, “Put the money on me now!” he jokes. But he underlines the optimism he has already shown about the competitiveness of the Ferrari, “I expect Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull to be big contenders. But we are very happy where we are at Ferrari,’ he says.

The Ferrari has shown well in testing so far, initially proving reliable and more recently showing a good turn of speed especially in the long runs.

Ferrari has made good use of the front wing, I’m told, and Alonso was trimming it expertly during long runs last week to balance out the tyre wear.

Starting on Thursday the teams will be in Barcelona for the final test and Ferrari, like many of the teams, will have a very significant aerodynamic upgrade. The team didn’t want to go into details when I spoke to them today.

In the interview he says that he understands the Ferrari myth already, understands what being a Ferrari driver does for your status and your place in the sport,
“My father always told me this would happen,” Alonso remembers. “He said, ‘If you race for Ferrari then you can retire. Your life is complete.’ So after I won my two championships for Renault I said, ‘I’m happy now – my career is complete.’ And he said, ‘No, no, if you drive for Ferrari people will forget the championships. They will remember you as a Ferrari driver.’ I said, ‘OK, Papa, we’ll see.’ Now I think he was right. Ferrari gives you a special feeling.”

I find this very interesting because this is something Michael Schumacher took a long time to appreciate. It was only later in his career that he understood the myth of Enzo Ferrari and the emotional cache of the team. He was not a student of the sport, nor was his father, who largely stayed out of his early career, unlike Alonso’s. Schumacher had not figured it out by the time of Jerez 1997, for example, when he deliberately crashed with Jacques Villeneuve. Had he done so, he would probably not have done it. This is something Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo impressed upon him the evening after that race.

Alonso has had his own bumps in the road. The 2007 season with McLaren was his low water mark. He had joined the team he had admired as a child, because it was Ayrton Senna’s team, but first he found that Ron Dennis was not the man he thought he was, then he had problems containing his rookie team mate Lewis Hamilton, which led to him getting embroiled in the Spygate scandal, about which he told McRae, “With the spy history I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But I was very happy to help the FIA discover everything.”

“2007 was very difficult but I learnt a lot personally. It was good for my career to take that step of joining them and growing up. I learnt how to work with a team and also to withstand the media pressure. The difficulties I had were coming from the team and the media. Now I am much more prepared for everything in Formula One – and in life as well.”

All eyes will be on Barcelona this week, where Alonso and Felipe Massa will get their hands on the definitive Ferrari F10 for the new season. Alonso promises ‘battles’ with his team mate, but assures us that these will be only on the track.

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110 Comments
  1. JF says:

    I’ll definetly put money on him. Long live the King!

    1. Dale says:

      If Lewis has an equal car Alonso has no chance, unless of course his teammate crashes

      1. PaulL says:

        Why’s that? Wait let me guess… because Hamilton scored one more second place than Alonso in 2007?? End Debate!

        I’m not saying he’s better/worse than Lewis, but I would say that up until now there’s been no better race-day driver than Alonso. Monaco 2007 was to me an example. Hamilton looked faster at times over a single lap, but in the opening and middle phases of the race he couldn’t seem to hang with Alonso on net-fuel pace. Nearly 10 seconds it was in the opening stint before traffic closed it up..

        Anyway, I believe Alonso is still getting better so it will be interesting to see who wins.

      2. Jasper says:

        I couldn’t agree more! And in the case of Monaco ’07 Alonso even got the Fastest Lap, despite Hamilton appearing faster over a qualifying lap, why? Because he managed the tyres and had the grip left when the fuel burned off to post the FL. People sometimes accuse Alonso of being a sore loser but Hamilton certainly was when Alonso beat him in Monaco with that whole FIA inquiry. Pole, fastest lap and race win, no argument. You can’t win a world championship by qualifying in pole position for every race, Senna learned that in 1986. And Lewis is probably the best over a single lap out there in my opinion. But if you want to win races and the World Title you’ve got to be able to take care of the car over the race distance. And at no other time in the past 15 or so years will that be more important than this year with full tanks. Fuji 2008 was another example of Alonso’s ability to do that. I don’t know if there’s anyone in the field in 2010 who can do that better than him, I guess in November we’ll find out!

      3. Jasper says:

        Did Lewis dump Nicole Scherzinger for you by any chance?

        If the lad (JF) likes Alonso leave him be, he’s not stopping you from liking Hamilton is he? You should start writing some interesting insights for a change and stop filling James Allen’s excellent informative website with crap.

      4. phil says:

        Schumi will drive circlse around both of them. :-)

        Lewis will destroy his tyres, Alonso is more intelligent and conserve. Lewis has no chance.

      5. Bayan says:

        Yes Yes Yes.. I can’t wait for the season to start.

      6. A.K. says:

        Didn’t they once have equal cars (or did they) and there was only a point between them? How does that equate to no chance?

      7. ARVI says:

        enough of lewis songs!!! i hate to see him open his mouth and say – i was born to win championships blah blah blah!!!

      8. Antoine says:

        You simply can’t stand success :-(, too bad

      9. RPS says:

        they may have had equal cars, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to establish where the team’s loyalties lied.. Alonso vs Schumacher will be a great battle. Almost a reversal of roles in terms of who’s is the under dog.. Hamilton has been spoon fed since he was thirteen.. time to actually prove he is a legend in the making.. i’m sorry, he maybe a good driver but so far it’s been because of the financial backing he’s had.

        Vettle or Hulkenburg are the best of the youngsters.. that is pure talent not cheque book racing..

  2. Scott Bloom says:

    This is going to be an amazing season. I can already feel it in the air.

  3. pmj says:

    Alonso is very confident isn’t he?

    I certainly would not write off the other main contenders – Button, Hamilton, Schumacher, Vettel.

    I personally think that we could be in for a very close and exciting season and I don’t care who wins at this stage!

  4. This is why this year really is going to be one of the best. I fully expect Alonso to win the title. But I fully expect Lewis to win it. And I fully expect vettel to win it.

    Then behind each of them are seriously strong team mates who could spoil the party!

    I just wonder what will happen, and wether or not the change in points will make the difference.

  5. Erik ( Brazil ) says:

    I can’t wait to see the battle between Felipe and Alonso this year. Felipe had the measure of Kimi last season, if he can keep up with Alonso this season he will finaly shed his 2nd rate driver status.

    1. A.K. says:

      2nd rate? He ain’t second rate. His amongst the top four or five and can beat anybody, consistently.

    2. Bayan says:

      You’re a joker man. Felipe Massa has been disproving everyone for years now and you still call him 2nd rate.

      You’re a real joker buddy!!

    3. mcr says:

      I think very few people now regard Felipe Massa as second rate driver. He nearly won the championship in 2008, only a point difference with Hamilton, so they were quite evenly matched.

  6. Ash says:

    Hi James,

    Enjoying your posts and can’t wait for the new season to start.

    Would you agree with Alonso and put the money on him? Who would be your top 5 contenders for this season?

  7. This should be an interesting year for Alonso. With all due respect to him (since he is definitely one of the top drivers on the grid), he doesn’t seem to like world championship level team mates.

    He blew everyone away in his first season for Minardi in 2001, qualifying the car much higher than it deserved to be, proving what a talent he was.

    But his team mates were Marques and Yoong. With all respect to them, neither set the F1 world alight. Other team mates have been Truilli and Fisichella, both good solid drivers, but neither is really championship material.

    The only driver he has been paired with that can even come close to match him is Lewis Hamilton. And we all know what happened there.

    So, do people think he’ll be able to cope with Massa? It’s going to be interesting to find out.

  8. Nick Someone says:

    “Ferrari has made good use of the front wing, I’m told, and Alonso was trimming it expertly during long runs last week to balance out the tyre wear.”

    James, has the amount they can changed the wing angle changed in the rules this season?

    I remember thinking at the start of last year that the front wing changes would be an important part of driving in 2009, but then very few people mentioned it through the season and some teams didn’t even get that feature working till a long way into the season.

    1. James Allen says:

      It wasn’t such a big thing last year but with low fuel quali and then a 45 lap first stint it apparently is and the engineers tell me Ferrari has it tapped.

    2. rpaco says:

      No the change per lap is still the same as last year. A great pity, because this is definitely an area that could stand significant development. Movable aero features would be even more significant on the rear if allowed. Air brakes should be allowed too, they work on airplanes.

      But reading what James and others have reported each week during testing, it seemed that Ferrari have the tyres down pat now. Strange then that having got the load balanced and trimmed, they are going to screw it up and have to start again with new aero next week.

  9. Henry says:

    I have to say I am a little disappointed with his comments, yes Ferrari have an amazing, pre-eminent position in the history of motorsport, but it does seem a little like he just turned round and slapped Renault and McLaren in the face; happy to be involved in ‘uncovering’ the spygate scandal and that his two victories with renault will be forgotten? He is undoubtedly a brilliant, hugely talented driver but to me this doesn’t show off his character as being anything like as special as his skills on track. I hope if he does go on to win this championship, and it is very early days yet, that he does it with a little less arrogance and doesn’t forget all his past teams which have supported him for so long.

    But all the same, I firmly believe that sportsmen should be judged almost entirely on their success in their field, not off it – lets hope he has a brilliant season because it will be great to watch!

    1. Thalasa says:

      Henry, I don’t think Alonso says what you say he says. Alonso says that his father told him, PEOPLE would forget the two titles with Renault. Not that he himself was going to forget about it.
      Just think of Schummacher, I bet many people don’t remember with whom he won his first two titles. I think Alonso likes speaking out his mind, and this sounds arrogant for some people.

  10. Good to see that Fernando has now rationalised the blackmail attempt into being happy to help the FIA to discover everything. Time smooths these things over, perhaps just as well for F1. However, some of us will remember it.

    1. Drezman says:

      Presumably you hold Pedro in even greater disdain now he’s back in front line. Afterall he was the one talking to Coughlin asking for info and passing it to Alonso.

      Alonso may be complicit but lets get the pecking order sorted if it’s gonna keep being cast up.

      1. Thanks for your comment, Drezman. However, I don’t recall Pedro offering to blackmail Ron Dennis with it. I think the pecking order is pretty clear.

        Still, let’s draw a veil over the whole business, we have better things to think about this season.

  11. Peter Brito says:

    Alonso is a very curious character.
    Obviously none of us have any details on exactly what went wrong during that season, however according to Ron Dennis’ article in last months Esquire; “the truth will come out eventually”…
    I think that Alonso had the idea that he was going to build a team “much like Schumacher did when he moved to Ferrari” and consolidate a couple more world championships.
    He let his frustrations of his incredibly fast team-mate get the better of him, and as a consequence of things going sour between him and team boss Ron Dennis: He stabbed McLaren in the back.
    Alonso will be fine so long as he gets what he wants; I think he will have the measure of Massa this season, but it would be very interesting to see what happens if he doesn’t.

    1. tuskedloki says:

      If the truth over spygate is yet to come out according to Ron Dennis, should the FIA not reopen the investigation? It seems a clear addmission that McLaren once again misled the WMSC, or at least did not tell the whole truth!

  12. colm says:

    Dare I ask, when he says:

    ”But we are very happy where we are at Ferrari”

    Is this the Royal ”We”?

    1. henry says:

      Haha no probably not but you never know, I bet he wouldn’t mind the implications. He is in a unique position testing all in spain surrounded by thousands of doting fans, with a very strong car, it can’t help but fuel his confidence (read arrogance!).

  13. Zami from melbourne, Australia says:

    Ferrari was nearly forgotten as a champion’s team when they failed to win a single championship for nearly 2 decades. Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn & Jean Todt along with a few more incredible brains together basically rewrote the story of formula 1. So James, when you said MS took a long time to understand the value of being a Ferrari driver, I believe it goes both ways. From what I have seen Ferrari took too long to give MS the status he earned himself. His career as a Ferrari driver is extra ordinary. Can you single out one more driver in the history of F1 has built a team the way Michael did? Why Ferrari is the most successful team in the history? It is largely (if not mostly) because of Michael Schumacher.

    Anyway, we cannot tell the story of the season by just looking at the tests so far. We will have to wait till the race goes to Malaysia in my opinion. However, what we have seen so far and judging by the quality of the Ferrari drivers you’ll have to be a fool not to back Alonso as a champion. People are bullish to say sometimes that Massa will beat Alonso more often. Massa a terrific driver & I think Massa and Alonso is the best combination this year. But Alonso has got the results behind him. So wouldn’t you put your money on Alonso even if it is the smallest turn over James? Who do you reckon the best pair James? I’m guessing the team of two most recent champions!

    Alonso’s comments about being a Ferrari driver are very true. Just stop and think for a second regardless of which team you are a fan of. Numerous numbers of champions are remembered only when we see the names on the website or newspaper or somebody passes away. But every F1 fan can tell the name of F1 champions (or even just a driver) for Ferrari without using the Google.

    On the other day James you mentioned Vettel as a strong contender in reply to my comments. Yep I agree he is a strong possibility; even though he makes some horrible mistakes from just being too aggressive sometimes. But the RBR doesn’t look as reliable as McLaren, Mercedes and of course Ferrari. The engine will play a big part in this year’s championship I believe as well along with all the other changes. How reliable is Renault engine this year?

    1. James Allen says:

      Ferrari thinks RBR are strong

  14. Red5 says:

    I’m sure Massa has already put a monkey down on Alonso for 2010 Champ.
    If I were Button, I’d do the same.

    1. henri says:

      Poor monkey…what did he do to deserve being put down? lol

  15. MarkG says:

    When I read the interview at the Guardian, I got a totally different nuance from what Alonso said.

    Bearing in mind English is not his first language. He said “put your money on me” and outstretched his hand. I took this to be him joking, saying don’t give your money to the bookies, just give it to me instead.

    1. seye says:

      Thoroughly agree with this, his words have been twisted yet again as over confidence.

      my bets on massa to beat him this year though

  16. Red Andy says:

    Alonso seems to me like a new character, his tumultuous time at McLaren and “wilderness” years at Renault have clearly taught him something. Unfortunately there are always going to be those who aren’t going to let him forget 2007 in a hurry, but hopefully he will be well placed to silence his doubters this year.

  17. Hyperion says:

    Great article, as always, James.

    Interesting to hear about the front wing- I have to say that I thought Ferrari’s front wing looks the simplest on the grid!

    Let’s hope that the weather is kinder to the teams at Barcelona.

    1. rpaco says:

      Funny, only this afternoon in a shop in Sutton on Sea, I saw a large framed photo of Senna in the McLaren and the front wing was just one element, so simple, it just looked so much more “right” than they do now, in fact the proportion of the wings front and rear was better.
      I cant help thinking that a limit of one wing element plus one moveable flap would be a move forward in limiting both downforce and cost.
      Still I’m an old git, and think the old cars looked and sounded better.

  18. Penfold says:

    He seems very optimistic. But we’ve seen Ferrari in this position before only for Mclaren to develop the car very well over the course of the season and overtake them, do you not agree James? I understand the hype around Alonso but i find it a little strange how he’s making all these comments. None of the others on the grid are doing the same. I get the feeling this is mind games and shows how desperate he is to get one up on his rivals.

    1. Silverstoned says:

      … and will only make things worse if the outcome goes against our hero!

  19. Irish conor says:

    Fernando a good ferrari spells trouble for all u Brit mclaren guys out there. Going to b sum beat downs this year and I can’t wait. All the millions and millions of Ferrari fans are in for a good season me thinks

    1. Steve says:

      Huh? Are you confusing this forum with text messaging? Please, try harder next time.

  20. Jorge Alvear says:

    Im torn on where to place my money! So many choices this year with legitimate chances. Perhaps I’ll wait until after the Barcelona test? James, who are you wagering on this year? :-)

    1. James Allen says:

      Alonso, Hamilton or Vettel.. not sure yet.

  21. Freespeech says:

    I am of the view that a Leopard doesn’t change its spots :!:
    Should things start to go Massa’s way at Ferrari we’ll see the same Alonso we saw at McLaren, Alonso is who he is, he’s a great driver when things are going well but has a nasty personal side when things don’t.
    I think there are many, me included that believes he must have known about Crashgate including more than a few F1 journalists.
    I hope that the Ferrari, Redbull, Mercedes and McLaren are within a tenth so we see who really is the best driver, best racer and best sportsman, my money would be on Hamilton and I think Vettel will really shine this year and wouldn’t be surprised if he proves to be Hamilton’s greatest challenger if the cars are all on the pace.
    I hope no one team/car pulls ahead in Barcelona as it’ll end up spoiling the season ahead for all true F1 fans.

    1. F1ART says:

      Thanks you saved me the time of writing the same post, spot on!

      1. Steve says:

        I agree but I’m hoping (against hope?) that Button aquits himself well.

    2. rafa says:

      Me thinks this more of the same nonesense: why would Alonso sponsor Piquet to crash: what did he stand to gain? A few more points, a victory that didn´t add anything except a certain glory against the odds of being uncovered and eventually forfeiting his chances of signing to Ferrari. Why did Piquet not blow the whistle on him, there was definitely no love los between them?

      i am the first one to admit that Alonso might not be the most charming guy in the world, but me thinks that failing to see the same in other drivers just because one supports them is being blindfolded.

    3. Thalasa says:

      Obviously people can believe what they want, but the fact is that there is no evidence that he was involved, Piquet didn’t accuse him, and for the plan to go ahead Alonso didn’t need to know. The only think he had to do is to run as fast as possible and to follow team orders.
      My believe is that Alonso probably didn’t know anything until it happened. I can imagine him into the cockpit at the moment of the crash thinking: “Ah, that’s why I had such a weird strategy.” Then I don’t see the reason why he had to say anything.

      1. F1ART says:

        Not like he would have asked in the pre race briefing as to why he had such a strange strategy? Of course not he is only a driver.
        So the team makes the decision and nothing to do with him.
        Come on he was a double world champ he decides his strategy, Piquet’s gripe was with Flavio not Alonso so why would he drag him into it?

      2. rafa says:

        I ask you guys again: what did Alonso stand to win with such action? Can you give an answer which seems logical, because that´the very first thing any investigator asks: motives. I don´t find that he would have any reason to go along with the plan.

      3. Thalasa says:

        Not long ago, when different people were giving their opinion on the issue, someone (I don’t remember who) from Ferrari said that Schumacher used to follow team’s strategies without question (he was suggesting that probably Alonso did the same). Why should Alonso act in a different way?
        What I say is that whether Alonso did know or did not, there is no evidence and no one involved accusing him. I agree with rafa: I see no gain for Alonso in following such a stupid and dishonest strategy. Specially thinking he is a guy so self-confident and sure that he will take more championships.

      4. F1ART says:

        You said it in the first sentence?

      5. F1ART says:

        SAO PAULO, Brazil, Oct 15, 2009 (AFP) – Felipe Massa has reignited the controversy over the ‘crash-gate’ affair at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix saying his Ferrari-bound team-mate Fernando Alonso must have been involved in the Renault plot.
        Speaking at a meeting late Wednesday with reporters ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Massa said: “He knew. (It’s an) absolute certainty.”

        also Friday, October 16th, 2009 – Posted by Formula1Blogger
        Nelson Piquet Senior has been talking to Gazzetta dello Sport regarding the recent crash scandal
        Piquet also implicates Alonso in the crashgate scandal of last year, saying he was fully complicite with the plan:
        “Do you think Alonso would conceive a race where he starts 15th and makes a pit stop almost straight away? It was a perfect plan.”

        Finally if you think Alonso is completely innocent, all I can say he credited himself with the clever short first-stint fuel stop immediately after winning Singapore GP
        but when interviewed at Spa by FIA he said his engineers made all of those decisions – he simply drove to their strategy.

  22. Vinicius Antunes says:

    Well I am a brazilian, thus I’m all for Massa, but I start to feel like Alonso might already have some of the team in his side by now. Massa still got Rob Smedley tough (if I’m not wrong). That will be a fierce, and I hope, fair battle – even more interesting than Button x Hamilton.

  23. Al (21prods) says:

    “Put the money on me now!” he jokes.

    Knowing Alonso, I’m sure he would have said the same one year ago, before the season started at Melbourne. When he is relaxed, he always seems to have a good sense of humour.

    I also think that he matured a lot after 2007, so I agree that we will see him battle with Massa on track and not outside the track.

    PS. I would like to see how Hamilton copes with Button if (and it’s a big IF) the latter finally has the upper hand thanks to his driving style suiting better to the tires. He is so young and yet so successful, he cannot be as matured as Massa, Schumacher or even Alonso.

    1. Thalasa says:

      “I’m sure he would have said the same one year ago.” In fact he said the same. You probably didn’t see it, but every year during the first weekend Alonso is asked to predict where he thinks he is going to finish the season. He writes his prediction in a piece of paper and introduces it in an envelope only to be opened at the end. Last year instead of writing he was asked to put a sticker on a “grid”, and it was obvious to me that he placed it on no 1. At the end of the season he admitted with no problem (even though they didn’t show the “grid”) that he thought he was going to win. He said they were surprised by Brawn and everything started to go wrong from then. That is what I remember.

  24. John Glynn says:

    My £20 is on Fernando. Have promised the Mrs a night out if the boy wonder does the business, so she’ll have him to thank. Here’s to some epic battles and LOTS OF WINS.

  25. Carlm21 says:

    Would of gone for Alonso but it wouldn’t be much of a christmas hamper compared to the hamper Massa would get me for winning the title. Either way the ferrari looks the car to beat and hopefully Massa can get off to a flyer.

  26. Racehound says:

    Have to say J I was always on Fernandos side from the very beginning, after Monaco 07 and the stewards inquiry instigated by the Shamiltons!!!! I still feel Fernando was treated appallngly by Dennis, (who I lost every ounce of respect for after his seriously misguided handling of the whole issue, [mod] I first started the “Alonso to Ferrari” rumours back in August 2007, as I was already convinced by then that Fernando was going to bail out [mod] at the end of that season. I was gutted he couldnt get to Ferrari for 08, but you know what its like recinding 1 contract to tie up another, and Im sure Dennis vetoed Fred from joining Ferrari directly from his “team”. Or is it the Shamilton team now, Im not sure? Anyway, heres hoping Fernando stuffs it up em real good this season, coz they dont like it up em you know!! #:)

    1. neil says:

      James do you have to drag your website down and such immature drivel?

  27. AlexD says:

    I do not know what to say. We leave in a world where no one is certain of tomorrow. People might think they are and this might work for some time….but at the end of the way everybody comes to a very simple fact – do not put your trust on people.

    I am glad that Alonso is positive….but I am sorry for what he has done and said and many people will never trust him.

    I really do not know whether he is really going to be a part of the Ferrari history….whether he is going to be a legend.

  28. Thomas in Australia says:

    Sad that Massa seems to be an afterthought at Ferrari these days.

    As for Alonso, I don’t think there is a more duplicitous guy on the grid….

    1. PaulL says:

      Well that’s straightforwardly fallacious.

      Btw did you hear what Hamilton told the stewards not once but twice (both in Australia and Malaysia when quizzed again in the face of evidence to the contrary) about Trulli passing him under the SC?

    2. mcr says:

      I don’t think Massa is the afterthought at Ferrari. What happens is that Alonso is the new guy on the block, and after all the controversy of the 2007 season, the two years in a dog of a renault, seeing him now in a Ferrari ( a thing which many thought would never happen) has attracted the press’ attention. I don’t think the interest of Ferrari in Massa has disminished. They have retained him, so they must be interested in his services. It is the press that gives focus and voice to the drivers, so ones seem to be more important than others. That has nothing to do with the general atmosphere inside the teams.

      1. Thomas in Australia says:

        Very well put MCR, that’s changed the way I view the situation. I have to admit, i’m probably biased against Ferrari.

        As for PaulL, not too sure what you’re on about there mate.

  29. michael blane says:

    usually alonso is very honest when he says where a car is in performance, it looks fast, solid, good on the tyres and consistant. james, that looks a very good solid base to develop the car and improve over the season. hes my tip for the title and possibly up to five before he retires.

  30. Andrew says:

    Did you mean to write “cachet” instead of “cache”?

    Also, tried to contact you via the “editor1″ email address and it bounced.

    Keep up the good work. You may delete this message upon reading.

    1. rpaco says:

      Mean two different things sunshine.
      Cashet = elan, charisma, status, flair, superior ease, prestige (as Mr Bridger might say)
      Cache = store of anything ie memory, arms, supplies. Although in context perhaps cache would have been equally relevant.

  31. danish Hanif says:

    i will put all i have on alonso

  32. Dieter 53 says:

    Its a great read, but i treat this with caution, Brawn had a big advantage and later in the season, more teams were eating their points and taking more wins. Things change very fast in this part of the world.

    If you play your game correctly, then you might be unstoppable, like Ferrari did in 2002 and 2004, so did McLaren in the late 90′s, these moments are like betting on a driver to be a back to back champion.

    Also once we reach Europe, the field would be even much tighter, thats just a feeling I have.

  33. Hugo says:

    “In the interview he says that he understands the Ferrari myth already, understands what being a Ferrari driver does for your status and your place in the sport”
    I remmeber him saying he would never drive for Ferrari.

    1. JR says:

      Can you please tell us when did he said that and provide a link if possible?

      Thanks.

  34. thef1geek says:

    For you to know exactly where Alonso’s current best price is go to http://bit.ly/d93muO it’s upadted at every change and lists the best bookie’s price and link.

  35. James W says:

    Very tempted to put £10 on him. Would love Schumacher to do it, but Ferrari just seem immense this season, already…!

  36. clutter says:

    i will put all i have on Alonso,it never, never, never to lain again.
    If he has doubts he does not say anything….and it seems arrogant.
    Always it loses when pocker with Kubica, Fisichella and Pedro because it does not know to lie, it does not know to make light. If it says that the F10 is very good, it is good.
    Cheste, tests of reliability, 1º week Jerez, fuel consumptions, 2º week control of degradation of wheels, Montmelo… Q3 simulations. In Montemlo, the F10 with new so large diffuser DDD with channels DIN a3 side its potential.

    PD; John Iley, the “artist” of “superb” the aerodynamics of the F60 (ironic way off) card by Mclaren… long successes!!!
    Many million we did not forget nor we pardoned 2007 either, but because of Ron Dennis.

    1. Steve Mc says:

      God bless Google Translator! :0)

    2. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  37. adam says:

    Alonso seems to have forgotten he was part of the Spygate conspiracy. He was one of those pumping Coughlan for more info via PdR.
    He was happy to help the FIA enquiry because he was given immunity, there were no altruistic reasons.
    I suppose it should come as no surprise. This is the man who recently stated he still considered the crashgate victory in Singapore 08 a worthy one!

  38. jocker12 says:

    Fortunately, there is life after Ferrari… Schumacher proves that, as well a Barrichello, who fought for the title last year….

    Alonso needs to focus on his job, which is not about talking, by the way…. He might be surprised this year to find a strong competition with Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull and …. the Ferrari car driven by Felipe Massa…
    He had learn from “Spygate” about himself, as much as we learned about himself.
    And his attitude about Crashgate, doesn’t let too much room for anymore comments… What Crashgate and what attitude? Better ask his teammate, Felipe Massa….

  39. Ian Blackwell says:

    If he says so it must be true. Goes without saying that he would refund anyone losing a bet like that.

  40. JohnBt says:

    1st – Fernando ALONSO
    2nd -Sebastian VETTEL
    3rd – Filipe MASSA
    4th – Lewis HAMILTON
    5th – Jenson BUTTON
    6th – Michael SCHUMACHER.

    Just my gut feelings for 2010. Forget the past, else we’ll be some old naggers going on and on and on and on……everyday is like a countdown to some rocket launch.

  41. Toni says:

    My money’s also on Alonso mainly because I feel he’s the most talented driver out there. Alot is said about what Lewis done to Fernando in 2007 but considering that the important componente of the team (Ron Dennis) went with Hamilton (and understanably so) what we have to look at is where Alonso ended up in the points at the end of the season. He’s a calculator on the track and he’s got all of the necessary skills to compete with the top drivers… Just ask Schumi.

    But I also feel that even though Ferrari look pretty strong at the moment, that the field will be tight and that it’ll go down to the wire. Even with that I feel that Alonso is the strongest out there. He knows cars and he knows how to make the work at each circuit… That last one you can ask Hamilton and his personal team at the paddock.

    Magnificent stuff James!!! It’s so refreshing to read such an open blog!

    Let’s hope we get a great season full of great races.

  42. Erico says:

    Of course he was in the wrong place in the wrong time, he was working with it all along.

  43. Kedar says:

    Hi James,
    I remember you writing that Alonso likes a bit of under steer and a longer wheelbase and Hamilton likes a bit of over steer (shorter wheelbase?). Do you think this season’s regulation will play into the hands of drivers like Alonso then?
    It would also be great if you can list the drivers on the current grid who prefer this. should be an interesting viewpoint.

  44. Ryan Eckford says:

    I think Fernando Alonso, Ferrari and many Formula 1 fans are going to be in for a massive shock this season. I think Renault, with Robert Kubica and McLaren, with Lewis Hamilton are going to fight for the World Championship. Mercedes, Lotus(possibly) and Red Bull fighting for third. Williams and Ferrari fighting for sixth, Force India, Virgin(possibly) and Toro Rosso fighting for eighth, and Campos, USF1 and Sauber at the tail of the grid. In the battle at the front, Kubica will win his first Drivers World Championship and Renault it’s third Constuctors World Championship.

    1. Racehound says:

      Where did you buy that crystal ball?? Its faulty!!! #:)

      1. James Allen says:

        Please read the rules of the blog. Your other comments today cross the line of what is acceptable here. Please stick to the rules or don’t comment

    2. SplinterBoy says:

      I think you need your head testing my friend!!!
      I reckon it’s a better bet that Kubica doesn’t end the season with the team he’s starting with & Lotus no better than a P7 in any race!

    3. Bayan says:

      Wow,, thanks for that.. needed a good laugh.

  45. Zavi says:

    Hi james
    Its my first time commenting here just wanted to ask you that once and for all this B Spec thing which once we heard was all but a rumour which got many ferrari fans worried.
    Ive read somewhere of toyota engineer and diffusor thing,still all i want to know from a credible source as you is that no B Spec now and all of those were rumours and there was no truth to it…

    I know Ferrari is doing great already but wonder what would happen if they introduce a B SPEC….but still do yo agree to rubish this theory once and for all

    1. James Allen says:

      Ferrari has a new chassis in Barcelona this morning and it is a substantial update on the car which tested in Jerez. The original car looked pretty competitive to me so I’m not concerned that this is a B spec car because the original was rubbish. They have a good basis on which to build, that is the important thing

  46. Andy C says:

    I wish Fernando the best of luck. If he had made the statement after the last test (when we’ll see just how much sand people have been carrying….) I would have been impressed.

    However, if RB or McLaren have been holding back or come to the session with blistering pace and the Ferrari is not fastest, I suspect he might have egg on his face. :-)

    Good that he is confident though, I am very much looking forward to seeing some great battles this year.

    4 top teams could be fighting it out most weekends. Cant wait !

  47. Frankie Allen says:

    I don’t rate Alonso as the best driver on the grid, but when he comes out with comments like this, I would happily put money on Ferrari winning the WDC.

  48. The Limit says:

    I think Fernando’s optimism is down to two big factors, one he knows the car is good, and two he knows he is finally in a team he can compete for the championship with. It is obvious by his comments that joining Ferrari has been a longterm ambition of his, and we all knew, since he left McLaren in 2007.
    To be perfectly honest, he must be glad to be out of Renault after spending two seasons in the duldrums. Also there was last year’s Spygate scandal and the fall from grace of team principal and friend, Flavio Briatore.
    As for the season ahead, everybody is getting worked up about the possible Hamilton vs Alonso battle, the classic Ferrari vs McLaren scrap which we probably consist of several debatable stewarding decisions. I am not so sure. Alonso’s biggest threat may well be the man on the other side of the Ferrari garage, in Felipe Massa. I feel that may prove a tougher nut to crack than most people think!

  49. Thalasa says:

    I recognise that I am biased against Hamilton and specially against McLaren (not that much now that Ron with Cola Dennis is gone-or isn’t he?), but on the topic of how Hamilton compares with Alonso, I’d like to make the following consideration: Alonso won a couple of world titles agaisnt Kimi and Schummacher, with some margin (remember that the year he won against Schumi he was given a totally unjust penalty for “obstructing” Massa on quali. It was laughable).
    Hamilton let go in the last race a championship that was his, and nearly lost a 2nd one which miraculously saved in the last corner.
    Conclusion: Hamilton, who is a great driver, cracks under pressure; Alonso does not.

    1. SplinterBoy says:

      Absolute rubbish.

      Hamilton was in his first & second seasons, was younger than a comparable alonso was when he was fighting for those championships, got screwed over in belgium 08……which was equally as laughable, will have matured considerably after last seasons ups/downs & in relation to the point you make about throwing away the title in his rookie year, you could argue that was the team’s mistake……much like it could be argued that the team made some ill-called decisions for kimi which won FA his first world title!!

      Don’t get me wrong here, i’m not an anti-alonso man…..he’s a great driver, but i believe lewis is even better!

    2. Frankie Allen says:

      Biased is way too neutral for your position. Go back to the beginning of that season with Hamilton and Alonso. Identical equipment, Hamilton in his rookie year in an F1 car, only knowing a handful of tracks. The pressure was so great on Alonso he made more mistakes in those early races than at any other time whilst winning those two previous world championships. Alonso cracked big time which resulted in him blocking Hamilton in the pits during qualification. Yes Hamilton messed up in not winning the championship, equally so did the team. But there was only one starring role as the Dreyfus of the pit lane, Alonso.

      1. Thalasa says:

        I have to disagree with you Frankie. As long as I back my biase with reasons (although people may disagree), I think my position is not that extreme.
        About the mistakes produced by Alonso on those first races, I’ve heard that it had more to do with getting used to the new car and specially to the new tyres than it was down to pressure. On the other hand, I would say that being a double world champion and seen yourself relegated to a secondary roll by your own team must be extremely frustrating.
        Two more details showing why I think Alonso is better than Hamilton:
        1.- Last year Hamilton crashed when going on his own on third place with no pressure whatsoever. I’ve never seen Alonso making a mistake when going on his own. He takes it easy and accept his position at the end of the race. Cold mind.
        2.- After a dreadful start in one of the races last year, Hamilton had to be ordered by his team to keep racing, because he thought it was better to give up the race and save tyres and engine. Alonso never ever gives up, and that’s something I also admire about Massa.

        I am willing to change my mind if you give me the right reasons.

  50. S Hughes says:

    Just imagine if Lewis Hamilton had said this, even in jest. The F1 forums would be in meltdown over his arrogance and general cockiness. Alonso says it and it’s just accepted. I guess it will always be so.

  51. Peter says:

    He may be confident but he mustn’t be cocky. Lewis Hamilton and Seb Vettel may have something devastating up their sleeves.

  52. Something we should all remember is that any Championship points system is inherently false. You must all have read the comparisons between the various points systems we’ve seen over the years, showing that Piquet wouldn’t have won this, Reuteman would have won that, Prost would have had the most titles of all. Every time the FIA changes the system, the Champions need to do different things.

    Points systems are designed to encourage consistent drivers, those who deliver reliable finishes every race. I submit that this is not the measure of a World Champion, they should win races! As long as the car holds up, a worthy champion should win, not soldier on for 3rd or 4th. In this respect, Bernie Ecclestone’s idea was a good one.

    If the FIA would stick to one points system forever, it might have some legitimacy, then the oft-quoted maximum points of a driver might remain as a standard. Now, what does it matter that David Coulthard, for example, scored xxx career points at 10 for a win, when the future winners will gather 25?

    Regarding the ‘who will organise the setup/preserve the tyres best’ scenario, Michael S. is one driver who has had to do this before and is not too bad at it. Given an equal car, who knows? If we have a lot of rain it won’t be a contest.

  53. Silverstoned says:

    I doubt Alonso can do a Raikkonen and be champ in his first year at Ferrari.
    Can he win his first race for them? again doubtful.

  54. Hi,
    Most talk about the ±ves of Alonso and Lewis. And some say that he is the best driver at the moment.

    If one has followed keenly Alonso usually faced difficulty (or couldn’t) passing Heidfield. James what do you think of Alonso’s overtaking (Yes, Germany was great, overtaking Massa)?

    He couldn’t overtake Lewis in US.

  55. CHIUNDA says:

    Just like everybody else i am curious to see how Lewis compares to Alonso and Schumacher this season.

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