Alonso: For first time this year we were trying to win, not limit damage
Insight
Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Jun 2012   |  9:04 am GMT  |  101 comments

Fernando Alonso has issued a robust defence of the Ferrari strategists after he lost the win in Canada yesterday and ended up fifth by gambling on a one-stop strategy.

The Spaniard led the race on lap 50, when Lewis Hamilton came in for his second stop of the afternoon. As Alonso came around at the end of lap 51, Hamilton’s new soft tyres were still coming up to temperature and Alonso had a 14.8 second lead over him.

It was enough, arguably, with Ferrari’s track record this year of very fast pit stops, to chance their arm on a stop and retain the lead. He would at the very least have come out side by side with Hamilton. But Ferrari were thinking about Vettel, who was only three seconds behind at that point and clearly also contemplating a one stop.

“I don’t want to hear anything about strategy mistakes, ” said Alonso last night. “Tyre degradation made the difference. We stopped only two laps earlier than Grosjean and he finished second. ON his car the tyres lasted 55 laps on our car only 45 laps. That’s the story right there.

“We tried to win the race, but the gamble of only making a single stop did not pay off,” added Alonso. “When Hamilton came back into the pits for his second stop, we chose to try and play our hand: now itʼs easy to say that we should have made that choice too, but it would have meant we had tried nothing and we could also have lost position to Vettel.

“Also letʼs not forget that it was that very same strategy that allowed to us to get ahead of Vettel at the first stop. The car was competitive practically all race long: it wasnʼt the quickest because here the McLaren, as was expected, was very quick, but definitely we have made a step forward in terms of performance. We need to work out how to improve the tyre degradation.”

Ferrari’s argument is that they were going for the win, not for damage limitation, as they had done at every race so far this season. Perhaps they got caught up in that mentality. Because once Hamilton pitted for fresh rubber, there should have been a damage limitation element to their next move.

For a full analysis of how the race got away from Alonso and Vettel check out our UBS Race Strategy Report, which will be live soon here on JA on F1

Strategy Insights
Strategy Briefings
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
101 Comments
  1. Rob Newman says:

    It is not a strategy mistake – it is simply the driver’s lack of skills in managing the tyres. Grosjean and Perez did a fantastic job in managing their tyres and their skills should not be underestimated.

    Ferrari has a race winning car but they got too greedy (as always) and over-estimated their drivers skills. Compared to other cars, the 2012 Ferrari is kinder on the Pirelli tyres. But the driver cooked the tyres.

    1. James says:

      The same driver who managed to make his supersoft tyres last three laps longer than Vettel, and two more than Hamilton, to jump them both in the first round of pit stops? The same driver who jumped Hamilton by managing his tyres and holding back in Monaco? Ok.

      1. brendan says:

        so why didnt he come in after lewis then and beat him on his new supersoft tyes? we all know ferrari made a mistake (51 laps on a set of tires)what was he doing?is he the new tyre testers for Pirelli ha am just glad i didnt bet him

      2. Doobs says:

        Vettel was three seconds behind FA and they would have lost position to him. Vettel being closer in the championship is arguably a bigger threat to Alonso than Ham. After the way the tyres lasted better than expected in Monaco, they must have throught it was worth a shot.

      3. Alex says:

        Thank you James!

    2. pimp's main prophet says:

      Alonso’s lack of skills???? Come on!!!
      Alonso was going for the win while Perez and Grosjean (with a car at least as winning as the Ferrari) were nowhere near.

      1. Seán Craddock says:

        what do you mean they were nowhere near? Grosjean closing down Hamilton and finishing only 2.5 secs behind…

      2. J says:

        And you think Hamilton was pushing at the end when he knew the win was in the bag? It means nothing.

      3. Kirk says:

        Lewis stopped pushing (presumably to save fuel, knowing McLaren) once he was first and safe.

    3. Mingojo says:

      Nonsense!!! Lotus and Sauber are kinder on their tyres than the other teams. Also Lewis pitted and won the race. Is he not good with his tyres?

    4. Laurence H says:

      Wrong, wrong and wrong. I’m not a fan of Alonso, but he clearly is a brilliant driver. The Ferrari is not as kind to it’s tyres as the Lotus or Sauber. We’ve seen that all season.

    5. arshadhusain says:

      it is simply the driver’s lack of skills in managing the tyres –

      Commo Alonso is best in managing his tyres.. he is the craftsmen..

    6. Wayne says:

      No I don’t think so, Alonso is incredibly smart as well as quick. You see him follow an intelligent pattern in almost every race, where he starts out easy and comes back hard when everyobne else’s tyres have gone away.

      Can’t tell you how much Also has grown in my estimation since 2007.

      1. brendan says:

        alono was 5foot in 2007 he is 5 foot 3 now

      2. Wayne says:

        Thanks for the update :)

      3. Rob Newman says:

        LOL!

    7. Rod Aguirre says:

      Diver’s skills? That’s pretty silly…

    8. Kay says:

      I guess you need to recheck the stats again for the driver you mentioned who led the championship after Monaco.

    9. amit ray says:

      he cooked the tire,because ferrari never started the race with one stop plan….till lap 50 alonso was pushing lewis….there is no way that tire gonna hold up to the end…perez and grosjean long decided on a single stopper and managed them properly…
      i believe alonso is simply defending his team here…perhaps he himself has a part in this failed decision…
      but in terms of driving ability there is no driver in the present generation who can match with him…drivers like kimi,vettel they all have very limited window of optimally working and need constant pampering from engineers to bring out best results…alonso can always show his flare and tenacity with whatever machinery he has been given..

  2. MISTER says:

    Makes sense what Alonso is saying. They risked it and did their best, but it wasn’t enough.
    The teams are still learning about the tyres and they obviously didn’t know how long the softs are going to last.

    I think Ferrari are looking at the positives and that their car is now fighting for wins and is in good shape to build their way to win the championship.

    1. Wayne says:

      Agreed, smart and rational analysis from FA.

    2. Jorge says:

      Yes, initially when I was watching their race, I said ops mistake… 1 pitstop oh no! but I have not honestly admit that Ferrari desire to win gave us a fantastic and emotional last laps in Montreal.

      If not for that strategy, the race would have finished flat… no suspense.

      1. MISTER says:

        Exactly Jorge. I was really dissapointed that they have not pitted when I saw the pace of those behind.

        My opinion is if Alonso would have pitted, even with a fast stop and even if he would’ve got in front of Lewis, he would’ve been a sitting duck in the DRS, just like after the first stop. Ferrari wanted to win, not finish second. I salute them for that.

    3. Pat Guillon says:

      Hindsight is a wonderful thing & I don’t think you can be too hard on Alonso or Ferrari for giving it a go but the real mistake was not to follow Vettel into the pits. They have forgotten the fate of Lotus & Kimi in China in that you can lose a lot of positions when the tyres go off.
      Great race none the less. Fascinating that the top ten was split evenly between 1 stoppers & 2 stoppers so either approach was winnable.

      1. Kay says:

        Well.. seeing someone else trip over and face planted himself don’t hurt until it’s tried on self lol.

        Hopefully Ferrari have learnt their lesson. Though I must say they should’ve learnt this from 2010 Abu Dhabi.

  3. Kedar says:

    I dont buy this argument that they were going for the win, but wasnt it obvious that when Alonso was overtaken by Hamilton that the win was no longer there? Couldn’t they just pit, put on another set of super softs and see how far they went? The worst case in that instance would be they finished fifth for sixth and the best case a podium finish.
    I am wondering though that the championship they lost in Abu Dhabi when they pitted Alo covering Web came to haunt them here and they were trying to play to their own strategy

    1. Wayne says:

      Both Alonso and Seb missed the pit stop window and from there on in every lap they made they moved further and further into the mire. Alonso was on for Second or Third and they gambled for the win. They might not do it again but it can be argued it was worth the risk in Canada.

      It’s these bloody tyres, noone has a clue how long they are going to last before they self destruct.

      1. Doug says:

        I think the teams are beginning to get a clue. Just like last year…. the races will settle down and become more predictable.

      2. Martin says:

        You made me think of an interesting point. For the fastest possible race you might have wanted to stop even earlier than Hamilton did, but he needed to be sure that Alonso’s tyres were sufficiently worn that Alonso couldn’t pass him before Hamilton turned his tyres on.

    2. Matthew Yau says:

      I agree. They received a lot of criticism for their strategy calls in Canada. They had three chances to pit and finish on the podium.

      None were taken. Alonso coming out saying we’re were going for the win and not doing damage limitation is damage limitation in itself.

      Three chances Ferrari! Come on!

  4. Metin Mete says:

    I still cant understand how Ferrari claim they did the right thing. They claim that they were racing for win but they did not do the same what the leader did. Instead, they focused on the 3rd driver. Very very similar mistake when they did in Abu Dhabi 2010!

    Lets say it’s true. They should have the data about Vettel whose tyres were gone first in the first stint. In this season early stops always paid off but Alonso did an exception here during first stops. I mean all the plusses were with them. But they opted to the wrong thing.

    Had we had 2 more laps, Alonso would finish 8th!

    1. J says:

      Or if his tyres held on for 2 more laps he’d still be on the podium. It’s a moot point; easy to say all this in hindsight.

      1. Metin Mete says:

        I dont agree that we said it easy in hindsight, because i had written all of these mistakes during race on Twitter, @metinmete. I had written that one stop strategy is clearly wrong strategy for Seb and Alonso when they were running after Lewis pitted.

  5. TheGreatTeflonso says:

    Just want to note that Ferrari were even tweeting live, before the race ended, that the last few laps were going to be painful. So they already knew it was wrong, why not try and cover Vettel after? I’m not sure if Alonso is being diplomatic or honest. Rosberg was less than half a second behind him at the end.

  6. Nigel says:

    “I don’t want to hear anything about strategy mistakes ”

    I’m not surprised – he and the team must be more than a little embarrassed.

    “Perhaps they got caught up in that mentality”

    I think you’re right there.
    How else to explain a huge gamble for the win versus the absolute certainty of second place, coupled with, as you point out, the outside possibility of passing Hamilton ?

    Missed your radio commentary, James.
    What happened ?

    1. James Allen says:

      Jonathan’s doing a few this year. Always part of the plan

      1. Nigel says:

        That’s a relief; thought we might have lost you.

  7. Edoardo says:

    Seems to me that such a trick should have been tried on a track where overtaking is at least difficult, not here where speed is everything and, as Alonso said before the race “it’s hard to improve on (qualifying) time because there are only 5-6 turns”.

  8. Stephen says:

    If Fernando was lapping the same pace as Grosjean in the race, his tyres would have lasted fine. It’s not so much down to tyre management, you can’t lap at the hot pace the leaders were running at with the load going through the tyres and expect them to manage a one stop as well as cars lapping a few tenths of a second slower each lap.

    1. Kevin McCaughey says:

      What Stephen said. That’s exactly why Grosjean got the podium (and all power to him – real solid drive). Had Alonso taken a similar approach he might well have been second. Personally I think they should have 2 stopped it though.

    2. Anop says:

      +1 exactly what I think. Once Fernando was 3-4 sec behind Lewis in 2nd stint he was matching Lewis’s times. And Lewis said after the race that he was giving it everything to make the 2 stopper work. Grosjean was not doing that hence could go that 10 laps more than Fernando.

      I was surely disappointed in the last laps but I am sure Fernando did not make a mistake with the call on 1 stopper.

      How can people even compare Abu Dhabi 2010 to this one? They played safe that day and lost. They played aggressive yesterday and lost. Which is better? For me its the latter one for sure.

      Btw don’t think it has happened to Fernando in Canada so it cannot happen to Lewis/Sebastian. Still 13 races to go. Sooner or later it is bound to happen to everyone.

  9. Dougel says:

    Ferrari lost focus of the strategy and started to instead focus on Hamilton. To make the one stop strategy work they should’ve pitted Alonso 2-3 laps later, as Grosjean did. Instead they pitted early to try to contain Hamilton, this failed, and the extra few laps on the tyres proved critical.

  10. pimp's main prophet says:

    Prior to the race Alonso commented several times that due to unpredictability so far, he would be focusing race by race on his immediate rival on the championship’s standings. That was Vettel yesterday.
    Realizing that the Ferrari was competitive probably got in the way….

    1. Blade Runner says:

      Nail hit on the head with that comment I think.

  11. azac21 says:

    I also think this is just a “brave face” show from Alonso. I would like to know what the radio coms between him and the team were at the last 30 laps of the race. Was the team that made the decision not to pit? Was it Alonso? Or was there a shared decision?

    Although this was a bad strategy call I do think that this time in the season is the right one to take this sort of risks. As Fernando the Great said, the most important thing is that for the first time the team was fighting for the win rather than fighting to limit damage.

  12. AlexD says:

    For once, I do not want to here anything:-)
    If this is how Ferrari is trying to win, I suggest they stick to their defensive strategy as it is working much better.

    It was clearly a massive gamble and it was not needed. Nobody was sure how these tyres are going to behave as the temperatures were very high.

    Alonso is typically calculating every single point and so he should have known that pitting after Hamilton would allow him to be second at worst.

    1. Anup Kadam says:

      Pitting after Hamilton would have put him in the 3rd place behind Vettel and Hamilton..and no one knewed how the tyres would behave..even Seb lost the grip and performance from his tyres and finally pitted..but it would have be rather reverse also…consider Monaco..

  13. James Encore says:

    Here’s a thought. Gary Anderson said post Race on BBC that Alonso’s non-stop cost him about 25-30 seconds. If the gap was 14.8 seconds after Hamilton’s stop and 13.something at the end that’s right. If Hamilton had tried to 1 stop he would have ended up behind Grosjean and Perez; if Vettel had stopped instead of Hamilton, he would have won. The simple fact is of first 3 cars on lap 50. McLaren were the only ones to make the right call.
    From Red Bull and Ferrari’s point of view, Hamilton was leading when he stopped. If he’d got it wrong, he was going to end up behind them. If they copied his move Hamilton was definitely going to end up in front: staying out was the only way they’d pass him.
    By the time it was clear Hamilton was going to catch and pass them both, Vettel & Alonso had lost too much time to Perez and Grosjean. You can argue that Red Bull and Ferrari should have seen that, and they’ll say they couldn’tl whatever Red Bull/Vettel made decided to go hell for leather on super softs for the last few laps and see if they could reel Alonso in. Vettel wasn’t going to lose any more places by trying it and if it worked he’d make a place. The safe option for Ferrari would have been to pit Alonso at that point an neutralize Vettel’s move they didn’t and they lost a place. With the facts they had in front of them that was the only thing that could have been called a mistake.
    What must worry Red-Bull, Mclaren and Ferrari was that Sauber and Lotus did so well on two sets of tyres.
    Don’t bet against an 8th driver winning the 8th race.

    1. James Allen says:

      One Lotus did well on 2 sets; Raikkonen’s tyres fell off a cliff.

      1. Sebastian says:

        Didn’t look like Räikkönen fell off the cliff. He was pretty consistent but running a lot in traffic. He gained on Grosjean at the end of the race.

        He had some warm up issues going on to the super soft. This allowed both Rosberg and Perez to overtake. If he could have run in free air, I think a better result would have been possible.

      2. Antti says:

        I have to agree with Sebastian here. It didn’t look like Kimi’s tires fell off the cliff, neither 1st nor the 2nd set. He pitted on lap 40, having just made his fastest lap of the race by that point on lap 39. Like Sebastian points out, it was the very poor two laps after his pitstop when he lost valuable seconds and arguably a podium place (he lost positions to Perez, Rosberg and Webber due to those two laps). Other than that, he was on the same pace as Grosjean, finishing only 10 seconds behind his teammate.

      3. Toleman fan says:

        James,

        Interesting you think Kimi’s problems were in his 1st stint, which he finished just in front of Perez (although’ Perez was able to go slightly longer, or else came in early to cover Kimi). I was tracking Kimi’s lap times through the race, and I thought the opposite.

        It looked to me very much as tho’ his second set of tyres just never delivered. He spent the whole of his second stint -much- slower than either Rosberg or Perez, and lost a load of places as a result, including to both of them.

  14. Chema Martin says:

    I think Ferrari made the right move at the time Lewis stopped. Hamilton was clearly losing his edge in terms of performance while the other two were not, at least not so evidently. However, 5 or 6 laps after that, it was very clear that the strategy was a mistake. Red Bull reacted late, they should have pitted probably 2 laps earlier, but Ferrari had no response.

    Having said so, it is quite clear to me that Ferrari have made a very strong improvement, and, under certain conditions, they may have the best car (which I believe applies to all leading cars, because I see nobody that can be strongest everywhere). I think it is time for them to attack and cut the “poor car” talk.

  15. Gudien says:

    Nice to see teams try different strategies. Nice to see McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus, and Sauber doing well. When is Merc going to get their act together?

    1. Nathan says:

      too much Honda blood in Merc for them to get their act together.

  16. A.Green says:

    I expected Ferrari to come in with about 15 laps to go and put Alonso on the super softs that was the only chance they had.Ferrari did drop the ball. I can understand that Alonso wants to remain positive but we all know when Vettel overtook him he really must have wonderd why he wasn’t called in.

    1. ida says:

      Thats what i thought cos i thought i heard he saved a set from qualifying….is that right? Then i thought they might sneak the win. Then i saw Lewis’ times!! JAMES could you enlighten us on why Fernando didnt put on super softs for the last 15 laps

      Must say were blessed with so many qualified race engineers posting. If only Andrea Stella and Fernando read this site….. its all so simple driving these cars and predicting the tyre degredation rate…. after the race!

      1. James Allen says:

        It will be in the Strategy Report coming soon

  17. ronmon says:

    If that had been Hamilton, he’d have thrown his guys under a bus. That’s one big difference between him and Alonso.

    That said, just after the McClaren pit stop I was thinking that Fernando whould have come in a lap or two later for Super Softs and really taken a run at it. But they get paid the big money to make the decisions.

    1. James Clayton says:

      “If that had been Hamilton, he’d have thrown his guys under a bus. That’s one big difference between him and Alonso.”

      This the first race you’ve watched this year? A bit late, but welcome to the season!

  18. JohnBt says:

    Alonso’s just being loyal to the team. Big mistake made, so let’s move on. He’s only 2 points behind Hamilton. It’s not end of the world. Just don’t repeat it again.

  19. Twister says:

    Ferrari could have won last 3 races with perfect strategy… yeah i know it’s easy to say now.

    1. veeru says:

      Absolutely. But, that’s racing! if it were that simple, you and I won’t be watching this

  20. Craig says:

    I don’t really understand Ferrari or Red Bull’s decision making processes in that race. Hamilton pitted with 20 laps left to run. In most races this season there has been a marked time difference between old and new tyres – always greater by at least 0.5s and often closer to 1s.

    As such, and with Alonso only 15 seconds ahead on the track logic would suggest that Hamilton would have been able to make up the time difference and pass even if Alonso’s or Vettel’s tyres did not drop off the cliff.

    With the ease of passing in Canada with DRS the race win for Hamilton was pretty much a certainty as soon as he pitted. Surely they didn’t need the benifit of hindsight to realise that?

  21. Senninha says:

    Seems time to analyse the obvious tyre quality ( spread ) in all details….

  22. Kevin McCaughey says:

    Ferrari had a choice of following Lewis’ pit or taking a punt and hoping the tyres lasted, giving the chance of a win.

    If the gamble had paid off (tyres lasted 55 laps instead of 45 like Alonso said) everyone would have said they were geniuses.

    You win some, you lose some. I think Alonso is just being philosophical. There’s really no point looking back and beating themselves up over the strategy – they took a gamble, it didn’t work, move on. It seems a totally natural state of mind to me from Alonso.

    I am not a Ferrari “fan” as such, but I think they are doing a good job at the moment and that was an optimistic, forward looking gamble they took, from a team that feels like it’s a winner again. Seems healthy to me.

    1. JR says:

      Could not agree more.
      One a side note I think DRS zone on this track should be revised or even banned. Those overtakes in the middle of the straight are ridiculous, they don’t add anything to the show but the opposite.

  23. Neil says:

    Hindsight is wonderful :)

    I have to say that if ferrari hoped to beat hamilton by finishing on those tyres, they had to believe it was a faster strategy than hamilton.

    Combine that with Vettel apparently on the same strategy, it seemed like hamiltons move was the gamble of the three.

    By the time it was obvious that they’d made the wrong call, vettel threw the dice once more, but this time Ferrari were right to stay out.

    I think they covered the right guy, but unlucky that they were both on the wrong strategy.

    As for Hamilton and Mclaren, I agree with ronmon, Hamilton would’ve been furious if it hadn’t paid off – to be told Vet & Alo were pitting again, only to seem them stay out, he had to be wondering if they knew something he didn’t. As it turns out, it seems an inspired move by the team.

    Props to Alo for backing his team too, they did have the car to win.

  24. Nigel says:

    “I agree with ronmon, Hamilton would’ve been furious if it hadn’t paid off”

    It’s fair enough to criticize drivers for what they do.
    Criticizing them for what you imagine they might do seems a little unreasonable.

    1. Doobs says:

      He’s got previous

  25. Hermann says:

    Dear James and all,
    I think Alonso is right. Do you remember where Ferrari were at Albert Park? No straight line speed, lack of traction, debatable downforce. It was more a cart than an F1 car. Now? In Canada, where straight line speed is very important, where traction from the slow curves is fundamental, Alonso battles all weekend – fp1, fp2, fp3, qualifying and the race. Ferrari and Alonso took a risk to win and it went wrong. What could have we said if it went right? In my opinion, considering there is still room for improvement on the F2012, Ferrari and Alonso can seriously battle for the championship. The weekend is in the bottle’s half full, only the result is half empty!

    1. veeru says:

      when Fernando was taking multiple jabs at the final corner in Albert Park all through free practice, I said to myself — “This year is just going to suck”

      It was a bucking bronco with a huge attitude problem. It was tamed, groomed and developed well and now its a real prancing horse.

      You are absolutely right — serious challenge is possible

  26. Anop says:

    Fernando is right in one sense. “At least they were fighting for the win and not limiting damage”

    Moving forward with development is all this championship about. Who has improved like anything? Its Ferrari.

    I like Lewis and I am very happy for him BUT sadly McLaren are not improving. Still 13 races to go and Fernando is only 2 points behind Lewis. Ferrari will bring more and more updates not to mention we have 1 month break in August and 9 races after that.

    History has shown us that Ferrari and Fernando come alive when it really matters in terms of results for championship.

    This is what every F1 fan dreams about. Lewis vs Fernando in a straight fight. Canada has just told us one thing that its – “Game On!!” :-)

    1. 6 Wheeled Tyrrell says:

      Hear Hear!

    2. Jeff says:

      McLaren not improving?

      Their pitstops are getting faster. They won the race, and almost everyone on this forum agrees that whatever Alonso and Vettel had done, they wouldn’t have caught Lewis. That seems like improvement to me, though granted Jenson has gone precipitously backwards right now.

      Looking forward to the next race. 8th different winner, anyone?

  27. LeighJW says:

    Just another example of the lottery that is 2012. A different combination of driver, car and tyres seems to suit each different circuit. More please :-) Looking forward to the eighth winner next time, even though logic dictates we’ll get a repeater next time.

  28. xvohj says:

    Alonso just lost 8 points today, it is not a big problem especially if we consider that the car performance improved.

    The good thing about the race, actually both Hamilton and Fernando beat Vettel if you consider their race pace. Vettel could not disappear after the start as he used to do with the dominant cars of last two seasons.

    I think Vettel was lucky at the end because he had the advantage of the following car.
    If Alonso had pit in first Vettel had the option to fallow the suit easily. RBR took the advantage of the position and pit in Vettel after Alonso got past the pit entry which means Alonso could have only give an answer at best one lap later which also means he had already lost over 3sec against Vettel. So even if Alonso had covered the last move of Vettel and pit in the fallowing lap, most probably he would end up at the back of Vettel with very few laps left to past a car as fast as his own, and one should consider that RBR was the fastest car on the track on the supersoft tyres.

  29. Rich C says:

    Glad to see him stand up for the team strategists.

  30. Gord says:

    If only Ferrari used this site’s strategy calculator …

      1. Doobs says:

        They could ask any of the armchair experts here and the Championship would be in the bag ;)

  31. andrew says:

    Did anyone happen to notice Alonso’s rear wing at the closing stages of the race? The left hand leading edge portion was besmirched by a very large piece of tire clagg.

    Now, if we believe that these aero devices make a large difference in performance, then this piece of the puzzle should better complete the picture and help explain the coincidental tremendous lap time fall off.

    1. James Clayton says:

      You don’t think it’s just that his tyres were knackered then?

      1. andrew says:

        I think tires may have played a role, but the fouled rear wing added insult to injury, so to speak.

    2. David Ryan says:

      That would explain a certain degree of loss of pace, maybe a few tenths in the faster corners or the odd oversteer moment. It doesn’t explain being 4 seconds off the pace, as Fernando was towards the end of the race, nor the visible traction and turn-in problems. For that, the only feasible explanation is the tyres having cried uncle.

  32. Matt W says:

    I think it was a worthwhile gamble from Ferrari. I think they felt the tyres would just about last but were caught out by the severity that they degraded. As JV said on Sky, the tyres really shouldn’t degrade that quickly and severely.

  33. Every other driver should be taking notes on this. When your team makes a call, you support it 100%. Disagree behind closed doors if you want, but when you drive for a team, you should be on board. Right call, wrong call, it was the call at the time.

    Ferrari will bleed for Alonso, not a bad situation for a driver! I imagine that if they asked for a pint of blood from every mechanic to make their car faster, they would all roll up their sleeves and get back in line 4 times.

    1. veeru says:

      wow. nice.

  34. J Richardson says:

    So with Hamilton pitting and Alonso trying to play the long game did it not count that a few laps after Hamilton pitted Alonso only had about 2 laps to do the same? With Grosjean and Perez closing like mad to which he would have lost out in the same manner Vettel missed out to a podium?

  35. Raymond YZJ says:

    Maybe Fernando was scared of the pit crew not changing his tyres, thanks to Spain-Italy in UEFA? :P

  36. JB says:

    IMO, if Lewis wants a challenge like Michael Schumacher or Adrian Newey did. He should got to a mid team like Force India, Sauber or Williams and make them the top team.

    But I doubt the man is the courage or the aptitude to do it. He will end up with one of the top 4 teams.

  37. Mike84 says:

    “Went for the win” — which win, the WDC or the race? They did not have to win the race to stay on top in the WDC. Should have played safe.

  38. Mike84 says:

    Why did Alonso pit the 1st time when his laptimes were still improving? Especially if they had not completely ruled out a 1-stop.

    1. James Allen says:

      To get track position over Vettel and Hamilton who had stopped and were getting up to speed on new tyres

      1. Mike84 says:

        Thanks, I was just wondering if he could still have done that if he’d stayed out a bit longer, plus it would have made a 1-stop less risky?

  39. Anup Kadam says:

    Three way battle till the end…
    Fernando vs Lewis vs Vettel

    The best man comes out on top…
    The driver who wins the 2012 championship will be a worthy driver and the best on the grid…

  40. Ryan M says:

    I think theres a point to be made that at the time when Hamilton HAD to make his second stop because he was complaining about his rears etc. etc. in true Lewis style Ferrari was comtemplating a one stop as was red bull, this wasnt the case for Mclaren because Hamilton had already ruined his tyres. My point being OK it didnt work out for Fernando but just the fact that they thought it could shows that Ferrari and Fernando have a better understanding/skill on the Pirellis than the Mclaren/Hamilton outfit, which will pay dividends for the rest of the season.

  41. anthony says:

    we ride together, we die together. good on you alonso, backing the team. it did almost work, at least they have learned something about how far they can push there tires. Its not the end of the world and they wont make that mistake again, someone else will , they will all try it at some point !

  42. David Ryan says:

    Much as I admire Fernando’s “we’re all in this together” attitude, and the attempts to put this down to a win-or-bust mentality, for me Ferrari simply had another weekend of strategic mishaps. They left both drivers out on tyres that were well past their useable life and paid the penalty – it’s as simple as that. It’s not a question of hindsight either – as Gary Anderson said on the BBC, the writing was on the wall for both Alonso and Vettel on lap 52 when Hamilton started catching them at a second a lap and rising, so given they have the split times on their screens I do not understand their belief the tyres would last. Alonso ended up the best part of 4 seconds a lap off the pace towards the end, and but for good fortune he could easily have lost 5th place to Rosberg at the line. I don’t know why, but Ferrari seem to have some serious issues on the strategy front and I fear if they don’t sort them soon they will take themselves out of the title race. There aren’t many days you can afford to throw away podiums when you’re in a title race.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH Strategy
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer