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Ferrari’s strange weekend in Monaco
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XPB Alonso
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 May 2013   |  9:46 am GMT  |  171 comments

Ferrari arrived in Monaco on the back of their strongest performance of the season in Spain, where Fernando Alonso took victory and Felipe Massa third, but they left the principality with just six points and a missed opportunity.

Along with Mercedes, the Italian team were one of the favourites for the win and on Friday, the car looked very impressive. Both Alonso and Massa were able to take more kerb on the left on the entry to the Swimming Pool section which opened the corner out. In contrast, Red Bull and Mercedes were avoiding the kerb.

But the team dropped the ball in qualifying and on race day, with Alonso limping home to seventh – which would have been ninth had Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez not collided and dropped down the field – and Massa failing to finish after an accident which looked remarkably similar to the one he suffered in third practice. The second one was attributed to front left suspension failure.

Alonso said: “The main problem was the pace, we didn’t have the pace. Normally on Sunday we pick up the pace, this time we didn’t, and as part of that yes we did have different problems. The team informed me that we had a plastic bag on the front wing for ten laps which was taking aero performance from the front part.

“Then we had a piece of Sergio’s front wing underneath on the floor and we lost around 30 or 40 points of aero performance, and then it was off for the last three laps so it was some up and down in the performance of the car. But the first 30 laps until the red flag we didn’t have any problem and we were too slow.”

Alonso didn’t look himself on Saturday and Sunday. He has really struggled in qualifying all season and that was the case again in Monaco where he started sixth, behind title rivals Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel while Massa started 21st after the team failed to get the car fixed in time to take part in qualifying.

Unlike last year, Ferrari appear to have a very strong car but they’re not making the most of it and the mistakes are racking up.

They have now had three weekends in six where they have gone away with few or no points. In Malaysia, the team decided not to pit Alonso when he had a damaged wing while running second, but it broke off on the next lap and sent him off track and into retirement.

Then in Bahrain, Alonso was running second when his DRS jammed open. He pitted so the team could force it closed but on the next lap, the Spaniard made the mistake of opening it again and he had to pit for a second time, ruining his chances of victory.

In Monaco, despite looking good in practice, he never really looked like he had the pace to contend for a podium, let alone the win. Alonso also appeared to have less freedom than his rivals with his steering, taking a very wide line into the hairpin and at Rascasse which effectively left him open to attack to his rivals. Force India’s Adrian Sutil took advantage at the hairpin, while Button made his move at Rascasse.

And Alonso was forced to give up a place after the cutting the chicane while defending against Sergio Perez. The Spaniard added that he was wary of getting involved in a collision with a driver who had little to lose while he had an eye on the championship.

Alonso hinted that Ferrari was struggling for traction – an issue that is magnified on the tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo. He said: “We didn’t manage to have a good pace, as is usually the case on Sunday and I wasn’t pessimistic about not being competitive on Saturday, because so far, things have always improved in the race. That wasn’t the case on Sunday, maybe down to a lack of traction, a problem we had seen before in Bahrain.”

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali added: “It is important for us to understand why we were not as competitive as we were in previous races and try to react right away in Canada. Our aim is still to improve our qualifying and try to get back to the pace we had seen to date.”

While Ferrari struggle, their rivals Red Bull – who do not have the fastest car and have admitted that they are struggling to get the maximum out of their car with the current spec of tyres – are efficiently racking up the points with Sebastian Vettel.

Everybody was talking about Ferrari and Mercedes in Monaco and yet Red Bull left the principality with second and third. That enabled Vettel to extend his lead in the championship from to 21 over Raikkonen and a further eight over Alonso. In the constructors’ Red Bull now hold a 41-point lead over Ferrari.

And while Sebastian Vettel isn’t showing the kind of dominant form which saw him cruise to the 2011 title, he has finished fourth or higher – including two victories – in the six races so far this season. That is title winning form.

Alonso also has two wins together plus a second place, but he has a retirement, a seventh and an eighth place finish.

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171 Comments
  1. James says:

    Hi,

    Ferrari were well of the pace during the race, (whole weekend really) and so far RBR have out qualified Ferrari at 5 of the 6 races so far, all I see is the titles staying with RBR, and I would question if the Ferrari is actually as good/quick as what some commentators have made out at beginning of season…

    1. Rockie says:

      Qualifying is a different kettle of fish to race pace you should know that by now.

      1. James says:

        I know that, but Ferrari still not strong enough, saw in Bahrain I believe when Vettel managed to overtake Fernando and it was debatable that even if Fernando didn’t have that problem with his DRS whether he would have managed to get back through.

        Still believe RBR will have more than enough to beat of the competition to hold on to titles.

      2. Dave C says:

        Its funny how most of the Hamilton fans love to always discredit Vettel by always claiming Redbull have the best car when its not even the case, its widely known Ferrari have the best overall package but races like Bahrain its Vettel’s brilliance that actually flatters the car, I mean just look at Webber’s performance, Vettel is clearly outperforming the car and will retaim his title.

      3. James says:

        I am a neutral fan, Redbull does have the best car, Ferrari at some tracks may be getting some good results, but I think your a bit naive to say that Ferrari has the best package(still a lot of work that can be done to improve that car), a lot of people said that Monaco was going to suit Ferrari and looked what happened their.
        Webbers performance is down to a number of factors, reliability, team orders, different driver styles, different car setup.

        I think you should have a look at some technical people, and also previous workers, One is Gary Anderson, on BBC website, looked and compared speeds of all new cars and Ferrari is down at Fourth/Fifth with their new package, their was also an article in Autosport or F1 Magazine as well looking at the data.

        I agree Vettel will retain his title.

    2. Sven says:

      This year, when the tyres and the race is everything, judging the car by its speed in Qualifying is very strange. Mercs are the best in Qualifying, but no one is calling them the best car, is it? And even then, Ferarri are nowhere as bad in qualifying as they were last year. Their drivers are just have not been performing well in Q. In the race the car is the very best. In qualifying, they are always at least 2-3rd, same as Red Bull. In fact, Alonso should have been on pole in Bahrain if he didn’t make mistakes. Alonso’s bad form in Q is the reason Ferrari seem worse in Qualifying than they really are. He’s been so bad that he was outqualified even by Massa a few times.

      1. James says:

        I wasn’t judging them just by Qualifying I was just making a point, that RBR out Qualified Ferrari 5 out of last 6 races.
        I was also taking into other points as well, RBR has one man doing technical design, Ferrari everyone has a go, Reliability problems, could say Alonso poor form.
        In the races the car is not the best, go back and look at some of speed trap times, he may of won two races, but their are still plenty coming up that are more suited to RBR/Lotus/Merc.
        If Ferrari can’t improve on Qualifying then come race days, he going to find it a struggle week in week out having to find quick way round RBR/Lotus/Mercs on some occasions then that leaves him open to crashes in the middle of the pack.

      2. Anil says:

        In Australia Massa only beat him due to being on fresher tyres, it’s been one way traffic for ALO in quali tbh.

        Alonso is clearly setting his car up for race pace as well; his tyres are always in great shape come the first stint compared to Massa.

      3. James says:

        But its still debatable if Alonso has the race pace, in Bahrain he was overtaken by Vettel, but and was questionable if he would have got past vettel again with out that DRS problem.

      4. Mingojo says:

        Sometimes I wonder. Ferrari is saying the car is not fast enough in qualy, pundits are saying that Ferrari hasn’t got the pace in qualy, but you just blame Alonso.

      5. James says:

        No, I’m blaming Ferrari I think Alonso was excellent last year and did the best of what he could, and Ferrari should have learned that it was important to develop/design him a lot faster car this year but have failed again to do so and believe it could be another year that goes by where Alonso/Ferrari dont win anything.

    3. Chris says:

      Ferrari are not the best qualifiers, but they make up for that with great starts, in Monaco, they lot thats advantage, as well as having other issues it seems.

  2. Peter Crooks says:

    The seasons best performance by Ferrari was without Pat Fry the worst performance’s are when he is at the track. As you will notice I am not a Pat Fry fan. Solution promote Rob Smedley!

    1. David C says:

      If you promote Rob who will gude Massa around the track

    2. Phil Glass says:

      promote Smedley? But who will look after Massa then?

    3. Quade says:

      I don’t think Ferrari’s poor performance was due to the presence or absence of anybody. If anything, Monaco has revealed hints of the Lotus and Ferrari cars tyre handling secret. They both lacked traction on the twisty circuit, which could be because, during the race, they go easy on the rate of torque change they apply through the tyres, making them sluggish and easy to beat around the corners.

      The Ferrari’s must be good off the start line, because they’ve got a great first lap engine map or other settings that delivers a really punchy amount of torque to shift them forwards at a rate of knots. Obviously, this cannot be done through the race, or the tyres would be ground down to the wheels.

      A comparison of straight line speeds at Monaco should confirm (or disprove) my theory.

  3. Grant H says:

    what about massa, anmy news on why the double turn 1 same crash – dodgy chassis? or driver error?

    when it happened in FP3 massa was on cold (new) tyres I believe, was he on cold tyres in the race?

    1. Random 79 says:

      It was a suspension failure

      1. Tim says:

        Yeah, the suspension failed when he slammed it into the wall at 150 mph . Sorry, couldn’t resist.
        I remember once Ferrari claimed a car had retired from a race due to an oil leak. That was true, there was an oil leak. However, there was also a con rod sticking out through the side of the engine!

      2. Random 79 says:

        Yep, as soon as I submitted it I thought I should have added ‘allegedly’ or ‘apparently’ or something similar…

        Still, I can’t imagine Massa having the same accident twice in a row…but I might be wrong :)

  4. Sven says:

    Ferrari’s problem is, this year they got the car, but not the team efficiency and the driver. The team is making mistakes and Alonso is making even sillier mistakes. That’s not how championships are won. Where’s Alonso’s 2012 form? It seems Vettel got it this year, being amazingly consistent and maximizing his car’s potential. If Ferrari and Alonso keep it up, we’ll be congratulating Sebastian on his 4th (definitely fully deserved this time)title.

    1. quattro says:

      ALO made silly mistakeS this season? Wishful thinking…

      Deserved 4th? Yea, the Multi-21-4th.

      1. Sven says:

        Yes, he did make silly mistakes, and anyone who is not a biased Alonso/Ferrari fan can see it. First, a very silly mistake in Malaysia where he bumped into Vettel, which resulted in him losing a lot of points. Second, a silly mistake of using DRS again after it broke, which cost him quite a few points as well. Third, a terrible race in Monaco where he let 3(!) drivers overtake him. The fact that it happened in Monaco of all places is even more embarrassing. Monaco is the ultimate driver’s track, where driver’s talent actually matters more than the speed of his car. Even in a really bad car you can easily keep position there. Alonso lost 3 positions on the ultimate driver’s track, where overtaking is nearly impossible. What does it say about him? That’s beyond embarrassing. Italian media rated him as one of the worst drivers of the day, absolutely deservedly.

        So that’s already 3-4 silly mistakes, and I’m not even considering his bad qualifying. Try to be objective. Alonso was absolutely great last season; this season, he’s one of the worst performing top drivers. Mistakes in 3 races of 6. That’s a lot.

      2. Miha Bevc says:

        If Vettel wins this year, you think 2013 title will be undeserved? He doesn’t have dominant car and he has been more consistent than Alonso so far… It’s still only 6 races, though.

      3. mark says:

        If Alonso keeps having a bad race after having a good one he won’t be world champion at the end of the year.

  5. Andrewinwork says:

    This confuses me a little; on the one hand we’re told that the cars were lapping literaly seconds slower than they could have acheived – demonstrated by SV’s last (ish) lap which was 2 seconds faster than the pace. Are we saying that Ferrari’s blushes were spared somewhat by the slow pace and had the drivers been driving towards their optimum then Ferrari would have been losing over a second a lap?

    1. Iwan says:

      If JA on F1 will allow:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/22654575

      “BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson has worked out the winners’ average race lap time and the difference between that and his qualifying time, to establish how much slower the driver is going in the race. The numbers look like this:
      2013: 7.57secs
      2012: 7.03secs
      2011: 8.24secs
      2010: 6.67secs
      The first thing that strikes you is that the margins between the Pirelli and Bridgestone eras are much smaller than you might imagine from the current complaints.

      But then you have to take into account the introduction of the DRS overtaking aid in 2011, and the modifications to its usage for this year. That means subtracting a second from the numbers in 2011-12 and 0.5secs this season, to account for the advantage DRS gives in qualifying. Do that and the numbers look like this:
      2013: 7.07secs
      2012: 6.03secs
      2011: 7.24secs
      2010: 6.67secs

      In other words, the numbers suggest that, give or take a couple of tenths of a second, the drivers are going no slower in the races this year than they were in 2010.”

      1. Rockie says:

        What you have done here is just as myopic as GA himself,assuming all other variables are same except for tyres n DRS over the 4 years.
        Have you considered faster pitstop times and how hard the drivers were racing in 2010 or would you compare monaco this year to the last four years?

      2. “In other words, the numbers suggest that, give or take a couple of tenths of a second, the drivers are going no slower in the races this year than they were in 2010….”

        …which is surprising considering the amount of downforce the cars have surely gained in the same amount of time.

      3. Aaron says:

        But a lot of the gains made by the engineers have been counteracted by rule changes such as the ban on blown diffusers & F-ducts, smaller wings and so on. It’s an ongoing battle, every year the engineers make the cars faster and every year the FIA changes the regulations to slow them down.

      4. JackL says:

        That analysis is a little flawed.

        For starters, he’s only looking at the average race time. Averages are not great representations (as anyone in statistics will tell you). I went back and watched the 2010 and 2011 Spanish Grands prix. A few things stood out:
        1- Lap times steadily tumbled as the cars got lighter and the track rubbered in, as expected. This year, they did not. They started dropping, then plateaued and had little dips around each pitstop phase (note the top 3′s pace towards the end of the race was in high 1.29s).
        2- The fastest lap of the race was set by a Sauber, which is the 6th best car and was over 3 seconds quicker than Alonso. In 2010 and 2011, the fastest lap was set by the second fastest car (or arguably fastest in 2010, but in either case it wasnt a mid field car), and it wasnt significantly off the pace of the leaders at the time (a few tenths in both cases).
        3- The drivers were noticably pushing. There were also 0 messages in 2011 and 2010 where drivers were told not to fight (its possible these were not broadcast, but I thought I would mention this).
        4- Why is he removing the effect of DRS? It sounds like he’s removing it to get an apples to apples comparison, but that will never happen. He also needs to remove the exhaust blown diffuser effect and the f-duct effect then. In my opinion, he shouldnt remove anything. Each year the cars were a little different and that is part of F1. To remove DRS to make this comparison is a little random and takes away from the fact that these innovations were crucial to how the car worked on those tires and impacted degradation(especially since the f-duct accomplished pretty much the same thing so at the very least that should be removed too).
        5- In the 3 years since the 2010 Spanish Grand Prix (under relatively stable regulations), teams have continuously added more downforce. To expect the 2010 and 2013 cars to have the same amounts of downforce/speed and therefore produce the same lap times is to say the engineers have done little during this time. If anything, those numbers are even MORE startling, because they are saying that in 3 years with all the development that has gone on they are still half a second slower than the 2010 cars when they should be faster. Do we really want cars that are slower as the years go on? I admit, this isnt all the tires, a large chunk is down to the regulations. But for Andrew to say we’re only a few tenths off where we were a few years ago and therefore thats not bad is whats startling. Its bad because were slower.
        6- Pirelli noted at the start of this year that there is so much more downforce on these cars that they are shredding their tires. Remember that they tested these tires in Brazil last year on their 2012 cars and no one was complaining then. It looks like theyve added several more points of downforce over the winter (as expected). For them to still be slower than last years car then is surprising.

      5. Ahmed says:

        +1 JackL
        Well articulated points

      6. Welp says:

        People who keep posting these times like it means anything…its red herring arguments.

        Look at the way the cars move in 2010 and look at the way the cars move in 2013. In 2012, drivers were pushing most times. In 2013, drivers push only at the start and before pitting. That’s it.

      7. Sam says:

        Spot on

      8. Kartik says:

        Pirelli Said that the 2013 Tires will give More Grip than they are in the Past two years.
        http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/01/23/pirelli-2013-f1-tyres/
        Considering we don’t have DRS through out the lap in Qualifying but still the Lap times are Dropping than Last year means not only cars are evolved but the More Foot print and Extra Grip is also assisting in terms of Average Lap time and One lap pace times.
        So the Statistics may get skewed with the Speed and average Lap times.

      9. Steve says:

        “Gary Anderson has worked out the winners’ average race lap time and the difference between that and his qualifying time, to establish how much slower the driver is going in the race.”

        Seems like a meaningless statistic. What is the difference between the pole winners pole time and his average race lap time? Pretty big this year I suspect. Or the difference between the average driver at each GP’s qual time and his average race lap time? That would tell us something useful.

  6. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

    I am a fan of Fernando, but I admit that this one is his worse beginning of season of all his career. He should have 30 more points and lead the classification but he fails 3 times this season. It is impossible to win a championship winning a race and disappearing in the following one.

  7. JOHN says:

    It might be time for Ferrari to look for a new team leader. Stefano has been in this position for a few years already and we can all agree that he might be a nice guy but this is not enough. A lot of mistakes , especially when building the car for the new season . Last year’s car , a failure, the year before the same. Even the year that Kimi won the title , it was due to the failure of McLaren/Hamilton on the last race.
    I will not say any names regarding who will be the best to replace him but there are a lot of talented team managers out there. It is time for the team to change. New faces , fresh ideas. Before we go to the next season and the car doesn’t perform again.
    PS: I am not saying that Ferrari can not win the title this year but they only had to match Red Bull in terms of speed and one lap performance and they failed to do it again for the third year in a row in the beginning of the season. The car might get faster later on but I have a feeling it will be too late.

    1. Dave C says:

      Thats a easy 1, bring Vettel in.

      1. H.Guderian says:

        Wrong. Bring Newey!!!

      2. Sven says:

        That is just pathetic, considering that Ferrari got the best car this season. Alonso is the one who is only 3rd in the best car. Looks like winning titles in the best car is not so easy, after all.

      3. H.Guderian says:

        @Sven WHY are you saying Ferrari has the best car? Did you see Monaco? Is it better than RBR? RBR seems pretty good to me. Anyway, let’s ASSUME you are right. Ferrari has the best car. But not a car that is ONE SECOND FASTER, right? Also, Alo /Ferrari threw away two races so far. That’s why he is 3rd. I pray every day to see Kimi on RBR next year. It will be very funny to see a lot of people change their minds about Vet. You will finally see how good he is.

      4. Mingojo says:

        He is a bit young to be in Stefano’s position ;-)

      5. Sam says:

        Agree. Would love to see how Vettel will fare in a Ferrari.

    2. Antti says:

      During Kimi’s title year, Jean Todt was still the team principle. Kimi also won 6 races against 4 wins for Fernando and Lewis, so at least in that regard, his title was fully deserved.

      1. Spectreman says:

        …and next year Domenicalli was promoted and basically ruined what should’ve been Massa’s title. Not to mention the possibility that he was also responsible for Kimi’s relative lack of enthusiasm.

      2. Brad says:

        He ruined Kimi’s 2nd title!!! Kimi was leading after Malasia and they decided to back Massa with the updates, courtesy of his friend MS

      3. Spectreman says:

        @Brad: Massa was the fastest racer that year, more victories than any other, led more laps, was the best qualifier (on average, Hamilton had one pole more). Malaysia was only the second race of the season, and updates are noutoriously a double-edged sword. Massa beat Kimi fair and square. Unluckiest title contender in F1 History, no wonder he was never the same again.

    3. Rudy says:

      +1
      I’ve been saying the same for a while, Stefano is not up to the task of managing succesfully a Top team. Strange Luca Di Montezemolo hasn’t removed him by now but I feel this is his last year as TM.

  8. Kay says:

    “Then in Bahrain, Alonso was running second when his DRS jammed open. He pitted so the team could force it closed but on the next lap, the Spaniard made the mistake of opening it again and he had to pit fro a second time, ruining his chances of victory.”

    Hardly a mistake, that’s rather unfair on Alonso, James.

    Having gone to the pits, everyone would’ve thought it’s fixed.

    1. **Paul** says:

      Yeah, that wasn’t Alonsos fault. He must take the lions share of blame for Malaysia.

      RE: Monaco, the pace of Alonso was very odd, for a driver of his calibre to be overtaken by others in lesser cars was very strange. It felt like he just knew it wasn’t his day and gave up a bit, most un-Fernando like. No doubt when F1 goes to Canada the track will suit the cars light on tyres again, and Alonso will only really have to worry about Kimi.

    2. Rockie says:

      Really by jamming it close?

    3. Random 79 says:

      I can see what you’re saying, but it was definitely a mistake and I’m not just saying that in hindsight.

    4. joshua says:

      After the race it came to light that Alonso had been informed by the team not to use the DRS…..He forgot which is why he had to come back in again.

      Easily done I guess for the likes of “Joe public” but these guys are winning and losing by seconds so this was a big mistake.

      Also, Alonso was near perfect last year and rightly received plaudits for it….so when mistakes like this are made people are rightly going to comment on it

    5. David C says:

      I think he should have checked with the team before deploying it again. The pit wall were and tech people were probably still talking to the guys who forced it closed to determine the situation when he deployed it the second time. Then again you could say the pit wall should have told him to wait until they had that discussion. I think its 50/50 on the blame game.

    6. madmax says:

      He was told by the pit team to not open it again and he did.

      1. David C says:

        Well then case closed, teams fault

    7. Kay says:

      Re: All

      I certainly don’t recall hearing about team asking Alonso not opening the flap again the first time it happened.

    8. David Ryan says:

      As others have pointed out, he was informed by the team not to use the DRS again. He forgot and did so, thus causing it to jam open again. However you look at it, that was Alonso’s mistake.

      1. David C says:

        Well then case closed, Alonso at fault

    9. David C says:

      Hey James dose anyone know for sure what the talk between team and Alonso was (as in was it broadcast) because these boys are confusing me.

  9. Chema Martin says:

    What Sebastian Vettel is achieving so far is indeed surprising and impressive. His car is not among the best, yet he’s consistently getting the most off of it race after race. If Mercedes are too strong in quali, he always manages to be second best, starting third and maximizing his chances over the race. When his car has been particularly poor, or suffered from the wrong strategy, Vettel still managed to focus and optimise damage limitation.

    I don’t know what will happen after Pirelli change their tyres next race, but I hope people remember what has happen so far should Vettel and RBR win again.

    Alonso managed to put together similar consistency last year, and got lots of praise for it, but he’s a very experienced and talented driver. If Vettel manages to achieve the same all throughout the season, being as young as he is, it will be even more impressive. In fact, it just makes me laugh when I remember those comments that he could only race when starting from pole, that he cracked under pressure, etc, etc, etc.

    1. Aidan says:

      +1

      Vettel pleasantly surprised me this season. He’s been superb so far, easily driver of the year, though RAI has been great as well.

    2. ACx says:

      You are quite right about Vettel. Its kinda gone un-noticed. Im no fan of his at all, in fact I plain don’t like him, but, despite Horner’s tantrums, we are seeing a very mature season so far from Seb. So, fair play to him. (Picture the face of “The Pub Landlord” being made to speak French)

      I wonder if Horner will still be complaining that its not racing if Seb wins the WDC, again?

    3. David C says:

      Watch yourself!!! you cant say anything positive about SB or RBR, they will find you!!!

    4. mhilgtx says:

      Bravo… because you already got the +1′s

      Not having really watched the 2011 and 2012 it has been strange for me to read all the Seb bashing.

      I am not so sure that they don’t have one of the top cars if not the top all around car but Seb has been really flawless all year.

    5. Justin Bieber says:

      “His car is not among the best”

      It may not be the best at the moment but to say its not among the best just discredit anything you write after that. As Vettle stuggle to make it to Q3?

      From track to track Red Bull and Ferrari have been up and down but always very close to the top. Mercedes is clearly the best car over a single lap but suffer badly during the race.

      I rate Vettle, he’s very good. To compare his 2013 campaign to Alonso in 2012 is absurd. The season is still young and many thing can/will happen.

      The reason some F1 fans dont like/rate Vettle is because he never suffered any hardship since he joined Red Bull.

      The sweet is never as sweet without the sour.

      1. David C says:

        He did have to start at back of the field team ” torro Rosso” he even overcame the odds and got a win, and it wasn’t a crazy lucky win, it was wet quali and race but he led flag to flag except his pit stop. Also he suffers a lot of mechanical issues compared to the others generally when he is leading races, he dosent take it put on the team on the way you see from straight into the fastest car on the grid Hamilton.

      2. Sam says:

        Spot on. Monza 2007.

        People tend to forget or are unaware that he impressed in 2006 when he tested for BMW-Sauber on Friday practice and that Red Bull had not won a single F1 race when he joined the team in 2009.

    6. Chris says:

      Guys, he’s not driving a lemon, he’s probably driving the best all rounder (though Lotus push them close). Plus I think they found something in Monaco, and if you want to dispute that, look at Webbers performance there. Me thinks changes have been made with new tyres coming in!!

  10. Anil says:

    Strange season from Ferrari so far. The car is definitely better than last seasons but the races are less predictable and as a result it’s costing them.

    It seems as though the car has one major weakness and that’s traction. Importantly, it has 3 obvious strengths:
    -Easy on its tyres (although this is a weak point in cold/wet conditions).
    -great top speed.
    -Very quick through fast corners.

    So whilst tracks like Singapore, Hungary and Abu Dhabi may not be suited to the car, India, Spa, Monza and Silverstone should provide strong points finishes.

    Ferrari are in for a up and down season depending on the track. I’m hoping for a hot summer!

    1. Elie says:

      Turn 3 at Barcelona on lap 1 around Hamilton proved the Ferrari had fantastic traction -as well as its starts. Also wet weather traction in Melb / Shanghai .However something was not quiet right at Monaco.

      1. Anil says:

        He got Lewis outside turn 3, the fast right handed. The only traction heavy corners in Spain are in s3 where Ferrari were 0.3 down vs the Merc.

        Red bulls and Merc are much faster in the wet as they simply heat their tyres much more (hence their issues with graining). Ferrari and Lotus seem to fall behind slightly in those conditions.

  11. Jon Wilde says:

    I watched Massa’s turn 1 accident in horror during FP3 on Saturday, and agreed with commentators and fellow tweeters that the incident was more than simple driver error. Only to then listen to the team rhetoric that the fault lay solely at Massa’s door, then when the subsequent carbon copy of accident took place during the race I was confused, could Massa’s really make the same mistake twice?

    This morning Ferrari have confirmed both accidents were a result of suspension failure. I struggle to believe Ferrari did not know Massa’s car suffered suspension failure on Saturday. Instead rather than come clean and risk both cars being removed from the race on safety grounds they allowed their drivers to participate in the remainder of the weekend. One can only guess as to the drivers knowledge of the possible risks, but Ferrari knowingly sent their drivers into a race in which they knew they had a high chance the component failing again. They knowingly risked the lives of not only their drivers, but of the other drivers on the grid and given the nature of the Monaco, the fans around the circuit. Had Massa not been so lucky in his second accident Ferrari could have been facing criminal prosecution.

    1. Yago says:

      If you go to the Ferrari wed page, you can see Pat Fry actually saying there was no evidence of a problem with the car in the accident on saturday practice. Therefore, the axioms that support your whole crazy point of Ferrari acting as criminals are wrong from the very begining.

    2. MikeW says:

      I think the answer is in James’ article:

      “Both Alonso and Massa were able to take more kerb on the left on the entry to the Swimming Pool section which opened the corner out.”

      and

      “Massa failing to finish after an accident which looked remarkably similar to the one he suffered in third practice. The second one was attributed to front left suspension failure.”

      It definitely suggests a car that isn’t up to the stresses that the driver puts on it.

    3. Oz Geezza says:

      Seriously,Mr Wilde you should write to the
      studios and producers of by gone era of a
      famous US attorney named Perry Mason,ask
      them to re launch the show and you want to
      ply a lead role called ” The New Perry Mason
      Show “,fair dinkum your coment is to the
      point of being libellous,all on hear say
      huh,did ever acurred to you that Ferrar is
      trying to persevere the confidence in their
      driver rather then to destroy it.

    4. Phill says:

      Those are some strong accusations there! Can we see the evidence you have to back this up? Otherwise, please stop with your ridiculous conspiracy theories

  12. Anne says:

    The only thing I like about Ferrari this past weekend was Kobayashi. And I´m begining to think they do really need James Allison.Somebody needs to figure out what is wrong and fix it once and for all

    1. mhilgtx says:

      Awesome news, LOVE me some Kobayashi. He is my nemesis when I play F1 2012 on xbox. Yeah I am 45 but don’t laugh.

      1. Brad says:

        lol! :P

  13. Elie says:

    James a puzzle most would like to know was Massas locking incidents on both Sat and Sunday-Hope he suffers no further ill effects for Canada. It would be interesting to know what Ferrari say about this- whether it was driver or setup related or some component failure which may also account for Fernando struggling in the first part of his race. On casual observation the Ferrari seemed a bit softer over the kerbs than the lead pack but looked like it did not have as much travel in the front. Perhaps with lower temps on Sunday ( 18deg at the start) it struggled to maintain heat in the tyres – and that was something Lotus I think struggled with too in the traffic with the dirty air. Mercedes forced the slower pace at the start which I think really killed many teams strategies as well as tyre performance- I loved Sebs comment in the post race the ” two buses up front”..which very much summed it up. If you ever to talk to Ross brawn it would be great to know whether they planned to erode the opposition this way as much as they were trying to maintain their tyres- because It really worked.

    I think Fernando must also be struggling mentally with the fact that despite his best efforts he now has to contend to with 2 very fast Mercedes which only seem to be improving and at the very least driving a wedge between him and Seb. Can’t be easy after he poured his heart & soul into 2012 and is thinking this year his car is better- only to find the others have found equally improvements.

    1. Anne says:

      I read that Massa is ok and he will be ready for Canada. He was taken to a hospital for a check up just in case. Lucky for Massa there is nothing to be concerned about.He left the hospital just a few hours after he checked in.

      The cause of the accident on Sunday was a problem in the left front suspension.

      1. Elie says:

        Thanks Anne- now I wonder if that figures in how they asked Fernando to drive !

  14. F*ckYeah says:

    I think he was sulking after Perez passed him, Monaco is not a track you can pass on, yet half the midfield streamed past him.

    More pain next year and onwards too, there is no chance the Ferrari will have the best TurboHybrid package, so even if they have a good car, sort the team and drivers heads out, no more WDC’s for a long time.

  15. Søren Kühle says:

    Let’s wait and see. It is a long championship.
    And Vettel is not running away with it (yet).
    In 2 or 4 races time with this inconsistency (or bad luck like Alonso likes to call it), Ferrari could consider shifting focus to 2014. It is an important season, and perhaps a difficult one for the Scuderia.
    I have a feeling that Ferrari suck at v6 turbo’s

  16. Marcras says:

    I think that the disappointments of the last few years have finally taken their toll on Alonso. He’s kept up an almost superhuman level of motivation since being at Ferrari, and come so close to the championship; I doubt even he can keep that level of focus for ever.

    1. Dave C says:

      Thats the effect Vettel gives out, first hamilton cracked from 2009-2012 and now Alonso is cracking, but the fact remains they have the fastest car in race conditions and Monaco was a 1 off but yeah it’ll be hard for Alonso to keep up the level he’s been flat out at for over 3 years, time to move over let Vettel take the seat.

      1. Oly says:

        Alonso is cracking so much that he won two out of six races so far, lmao.

    2. Anil says:

      Alonso is incredibly strong mentally, maybe the most mentally strong driver I’ve watched in the last 15 years or so.

      I’m sure he’s already thinking about the win in Canada and particularly Silverstone where, dry weather permitting, they should be very strong.

      1. Me says:

        Neat skill, being able to tell how mentally strong someone is by watching them drive a car.

      2. Brad says:

        In fact, the honor should go to Vettel if you could tell

  17. Multi 21 says:

    One might be tempted to say Ferrari are inconsistent this year. I think the opposite.

    They are having one very good race followed by one very poor race. Consistently.

    1. giorgio says:

      Canadian bet is for Ferrari & Silverstone for any but not them :)

  18. sjd1992 says:

    I don’t believe any of this about Ferrari not having the car this weekend. Alonso simply had a shocker on Sunday. I don’t think Ferrari were ever in the hunt for victory (their car doesn’t suit Monaco as much as most other circuits), and it was the repeated lack of attention by Alonso that cost him three positions. At Monaco, the hardest track of the year to overtake on, if he’d been more alert and not fallen asleep on so many occasions he’d have finished fifth, not eighth.

    Going back to the point about the car and Monaco, Ferrari’s strongest performances this year have come at tracks with a lot of long, sweeping bends, therefore it’s not that much of a surprise that they weren’t top dogs last weekend. Canada should be a bit better for them due to their good top speed, but where they really need to make it count is Silverstone, Nurburgring, Hungary etc. when they’re racing at tracks that really suit the characteristics of their car.

  19. madmax says:

    There’s an old guy lying up somewhere who had a great relationship with Ferrari and this season proves was still clearly one of the fastest out there last year.

    Why don’t they put him back in the car alongside Alonso? They are both mature enough to take it if one out performs the other and it would be great publicity for the sport.

    1. Justin Case says:

      Oh Jesus…………..yeah sure, bring him back. I never got sick of seeing him walk back to the pits after tripping over another midfield driver.

      I made a highlight DVD…….2010-12. It features all of schumi’s walks back to the pits after his race retirements. See that chin grow with each mistake

    2. Crom says:

      Now the pattern against Rosberg seems to be repeating itself with Hamilton. The ‘old guy’ who got pole in Monaco last year wasn’t so bad after all, Ross.

    3. andre says:

      What that leave the guy you are talking about also to be the driver in the stats with the most comebacks? ;-)

    4. Phil Glass says:

      But will he leave his texan hacienda for a third career? Send Eddy Jordan to talk him into it.

    5. Richard says:

      Everyone has to go at some point, for Michael, that was already a looooong time ago. Sure he still was fast, but the new generatio was already out there…

    6. Grant says:

      This is how that old guy faired against Rosberg:

      2010: Rosberg – 142, Schumacher – 72

      2011: Rosberg – 89, Schumacher – 76

      2012: Rosberg – 93, Schumacher – 49

      He was the ‘best’ indeed!

      1. madmax says:

        What that doesn’t show is

        2011: Rosberg – 0 car failures, Schumacher – 3

        2012: Rosberg – 0 car failures, Schumacher – 6

        Ross Brawn himself said Schumacher lost 70-80 points in the first half of last year with all the car issues.

        If you use just points you have Button close to Hamilton last year when he was dominated most of the year.

      2. Steve says:

        In fairness to Button, he was plagued with car problems last year as well. Everyone carries on like it only happened to Hamilton.

        But yes, Schumacher is getting a bad rap in this comparison.

      3. Crom says:

        True, but points don’t tell the full story. It’s worth looking into last year’s qualy data, Schumacher was as quick as Rosberg over a single lap, and now Rosberg is proving just as quick as Hamilton, who everyone knows is very quick.

        Schumacher’s woes and loss of points arose from not dealing as well with the wheel-to-wheel combat of the modern Pirelli/DRS era.

        Might be worth a read.. http://plus.autosport.com/premium/feature/5348/it-schumacher-not-rosberg-we-need-to-reappraise/

      4. madmax says:

        Thanks Crom, good read. So Ross Brawn, the team and Rosberg himself all say he has NOT suddenly lifted his game from last year and that he was always that good.

        Quote from article
        “It’s not too hard to extrapolate from this data that Schumacher was every bit as quick as Rosberg over a single lap; and that Rosberg is proving just as quick as Hamilton, who we know is very quick.”

        Just got to laugh how unbelievably unlucky he was in the comeback to have a teammate like that and a slow unreliable car for 3 years!
        And just to add the icing on the cake he couldn’t do his legendary pushing in the race because the Mercedes was always really bad on tyres!

    7. Anne says:

      Schumi is undercontract with Mercedes. He is their official ambassador. His job is to attend events and put up a show with a Mercedes car. And in his free time he helps Mercedes to develope security upgrades for road car

    8. Val from montreal says:

      Madmax , the stars in the cosmos were not on Schumi’s side this time … He has suffered bad luck since Suzuka 2006 and it did not want to let him go .. The F1 gods had enough of his domination ( so did Montezemelo ! ) …

      In 2009 , if Schumacher would not have that motorcycle accident , he would have been able to replace Massa in August , then he would have shocked the world by winning with Ferrari and beating Raikkonen …

      Massa would have not been kept by Ferrari after 2009 … Michael would made a 3 year deal with Ferrari with Alonso as his teamate … And Ferrari would have been world champions in 2010 , maybe 2012 too …

      MSC = 8 or 9 time F1 world champion …

      Italy’s and Ferrari’s pride restored !!

      1. madmax says:

        I think he has used up all his bad luck! Dream team with him and Alonso and I think Massa would flourish somewhere else.

  20. AlexD says:

    James, thank you for the summary. Facts are facts…I was just wondering..are the any insights, thoughts, suggestions? Is it a one off? Is it something that they will fix? is it possible for Ferrari to sort the Qualifying problem?

    I do not want to hide the fact…I really want them to win…really…

    1. James Allen says:

      The point is that the car is good but they aren’t profiting from it enough.

      1. AlexD says:

        James, it is hard not to agree with this. It looks like Vettel is doing this year what Alonso did last year. And…hopefully, it will finish exactly the same way with Alonso winning this time:-)

      2. Marcelo Leal says:

        Yes! They just need a driver…
        Alonso last year, was like Perez at sauber (making the most of a “good” car). Actually, in Ferrari’s case, in my opinion the best car of last year. Highly consistent, and for 20 GP’s, consistency is the point!
        Now, again with the best car (together with Lotus), he can not qualify in a good position, and needs to race the “marathon like” GP. Kimi is much better than him doing this, and that’s why he is fighting Vettel.

      3. Anil says:

        Very true. Canada’s long straight and Silverstone should be much better for them..hopefully they can stay out of trouble!

      4. Nuno says:

        James,

        I start to see Ferrari as Mclaren last year, best car and yet they did not profit from it. …I hope that they dont follow the same trend.
        As a Ferrari fan I think this was Alonso’s worst performance since he joined the team…definitely you could see on his face after saturday that he was not confortable with the car for some reason.

      5. Alberto Martínez says:

        But why this change from a competitive car on Thursday to an uncompetitive car on Saturday-Sunday? It seems really odd to me!!

        In Spain some are releasing theories about a problem with the front suspension in both cars, but there are no evidences.

        Personally I think that Ferrari-Alonso got it wrong with the set-up and since we are so used to Alonso performing well it has become a big talking point because of the surprise factor.

        Probably this was a one off!

  21. AuraF1 says:

    Massa’s suspension clearly has something failing on the race crash – on the sky footage they showed something around the uprights flapping around before Massa locks up so it wasn’t driver error. Perhaps it was just a freaky coincidence?

  22. Baghetti says:

    For sure Ferrari didn’t do it on purpose, but could it be that the outcome of this Monaco grand prix and Vettel/RBR’s lead in the championships will be a further restriction on how significantly Pirelli will change the tyres as of Canada?

  23. Random 79 says:

    2012;
    Ferrari – Slow but consistent.
    McLaren – Fast but inconsistent.

    2013;
    Ferrari – Faster, but inconsistent.
    McLaren – Slower, but a bit more consistent.

    Is it just me or have Ferrari and McLaren sort of swapped places this year?

    Anyway, roll on Canada.

  24. adam says:

    Maybe alonso needs an illegal mass damper, or flavio and piquet, or team orders, or maybe all of them!

  25. Paul D says:

    Alonso had a poor day, but I still feel he’s favourite for the title.

    I feel this years car is better than both the 2010 and 2012 machines and he only just missed out on both of those occasions.

    Also later this year Vettel will have absolutley no help from Webber, which could be important!

    1. Wilma the Great says:

      “I feel this years car is better than both the 2010 and 2012 machines and he only just missed out on both of those occasions.”

      Of course Alonso has the chance to compete for WDC in 2013, but in 2010 he was 3 points behind Vettel after Monaco, in 2012 he was 3 points ahead. Now he is trailing by 29 points!

    2. franb says:

      Unlike ALO I think VET has proven that he doesn’t need his teammates help to win WDC.

    3. Steve says:

      “later this year Vettel will have absolutley no help from Webber”

      He had absolutely no help from Webber last year. If anything Webber was more of a hindrance to Vettel and a help to Alonso. Nothing has changed at Red Bull with respect to Vettel and Webber.

  26. JJ says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious what’s happening. Losing all championships to Vettel in the three years he’s been in Ferrari is destroying Alonso as a driver. Hence his “I’m the best driver, my car sucks, I’m fighting Newey” mantra that he keeps repeating every time he has a bad race. He’s losing confidence. We all saw the look in his eyes in Brazil 2012 when he was watching Vettel celebrate his 3rd WDC. That was an expression of a defeated man. No, I don’t mean Alonso is completely useless now. He’s still a very strong driver who can deliver when he has a dominant car (like on the race day), but his performance in Qualifying is very affected by the lack of his confidence. It’s a psychological thing: like, deep down, he thinks he can’t beat Vettel(yes, Vettel – Alo might say aloud stuff about Newey, but he knows the truth), and because of that he really can’t beat him, despite having a great car.

    Mark my words, Alonso won’t win this championship, despite having the best or at least one of the best cars. And I’m not hating on him. I quite like him, actually; that’s just how I see the situation. I don’t like Vettel, but I think he’s mentally much tougher than Alonso. People hate on him, criticize him, but he shrugs it off and keeps improving. And for that, hats off to him.

    1. Oly says:

      somehow two victories out of six races doesn’t fit in that story.
      I think you are one frustrated Alo hater who finally lived to see bellow-average performance from this guy (for whatever reason), but you just don’t have the guts to admit that.
      Bad performance even from an armchair psychologist.

      1. Sven says:

        Have you even read the OP’s post? He/She said that Alonso is “still a very strong driver who can deliver when he has a dominant car (like on the race day)”. Both Alonso’s wins were on the weekends Ferrari were clearly dominant, so it fits the theory pretty well I think. I’m not saying I agree with the entire post, but the poster got some good points. No driver can be on top form year after year, and being defeated year after year by the same driver doesn’t exactly help one’s confidence and motivation.

    2. H.Guderian says:

      It’s easy to be “mentally much tougher” when you have Newey on your side an a car that is one second faster. Things are not that easy now for Vet and I think Alo already have his share of bad luck.

      1. franb says:

        Lets stop calling it bad luck – its poor performance and bad decision making. Please reread James article.

      2. Sam says:

        Talk to the engineers who work with Vettel or read the interview of his former F3 technical chief. He proffered that Vettel knows intuitively about cars, how it should be set up etc. He was a mere F3 rookie then but those suggestions were often more accurate than the experienced engineers’.

        A former RB engineer posted that Seb improved the STR as well as the RB after joining those teams. He could help develop the car better than their more experienced F1 drivers. The former engineer rated Vettel the best developer currently on the gird and expects Vettel to win more championship.

        That’s why all the Newey jibes doesn’t rattle Vettel cos he knows how good he is. No one can take away the self confidence that we’ve achieved through our own hard work, that’s what makes one mentally tough.

        We will never have that rock solid confidence if our success was gained through politics, sabotaging others or stepping on someone else’ shoulder.

      3. Steve says:

        Red Bull certainly do not have a car which is “one second faster” this year – it’s not even the fastest car on the grid. They did not have such a car last year either. Even in 2011 the RB was not a second faster. Car’s like that do not and cannot exist in modern F1.

    3. f1future says:

      This is just history repeating itself. You know, some things never Change. When Prost rose to the top, Lauda understood that here was the faster Driver beating him in the future. Later Senna emerged, and Prost understood he would eventually lose out to him. And when Schumacher hit the ground running, Senna understood here Comes the new Benchmark. When Alonso beat Schumacher in 2006, Schumacher understood here Comes the new star and retired. And in Brazil 2012 after the race, you could literally read in Alonso’s face that he understood that right there the guy emerged that would beat him in the future and possibly haunt him out of his Ferrari seat.

      1. James Allen says:

        Nice summary and I agree with the historical bit.

        But Vettel is already 3x WDC so he’s already overtaken Alonso!

      2. krischar says:

        Alonso overtaken in what james ? just stats

        Vettel has better stats than alonso nothing more than that.

        Time has already proven how poor vettel can be, even this season we have seen enough in malasiyan GP. I expect more of the same from vettel when webber runs him hard later this season

  27. Miha Bevc says:

    Guys, after 6 races, what do you think are the rankings of this years cars?

    Because until Monaco I was quite sure Ferrari has the best overall package. I’m still sure Red Bull is not the best, at least until they solve their tyre issues …

    1. Sven says:

      I wouldn’t pay much mind to Monaco. It’s a very specific track. To perform well there, one doesn’t even need the best car. It’s not that Ferrari’s car was bad in Monaco; their drivers were.

      My ranking:

      Race:
      1. Ferrari
      2. Lotus
      3. Red Bull
      4. Mercedes (well, that might change in Canada)

      Qualifying:
      1. Mercedes
      2-4. Red Bull/Ferrari/Lotus depending on the track. They are actually very close, but Vettel has the edge on Alonso and Kimi in Qualifying, so more often than not, RB seem more convincing. Let’s also keep in mind that this season RB got poles only in mixed conditions.

  28. Paul L says:

    Funny they’re struggling for traction but still great off the start line.

  29. goferet says:

    The problem teams will have this season is fluctuations in form for we have already seen some tracks not agreeing with certain cars and so it continues.

    Yes Ferrari have historically not been strong in Monaco more so this year as the car is pretty good at the fast speed corners so this can only mean the team won’t be very good at the twisty tracks.

    In contrast, Red Bull are wearing out their tyres on the high speed corner tracks but were able to savage something in Monaco due to their good down force.

    The best balanced car for all tracks is the Lotus for it’s good of all tracks.

    As for Ferrari not maximizing their potential, well, that’s the irony of life isn’t it for last season Ferrari didn’t have a car as fast as the 2013 but Alonso almost had a flawless season.

    As for the Vettel, it appears he will be the strongest driver in the first half of the season which always means he will not be the strongest in the second half (however, with Wunder kid, you just never know)

    Last season, Alonso was the strongest in the first half whereas Vettel was strongest in the second half but luckily for Vettel, Alonso hadn’t made a huge advantage in the first half due to those 7 different winners at the beginning.

    P.s.

    Interestingly Kimi lost Sutil valuable points in Monaco 2008 and now Sutil was the main beneficiary of the Kimi clash with Perez.

    Oh and as a foot note, Kimi apologized to Sutil in 2008 >>> miracle

    1. Brad says:

      “Last season, Alonso was the strongest in the first half whereas Vettel was strongest in the second half but luckily for Vettel, Alonso hadn’t made a huge advantage in the first half due to those 7 different winners at the beginning.”
      Feret, he had a 40 point lead cushion at the middle of the season!

      1. goferet says:

        @ Brad

        But in the old currency 40 points isn’t such a big cushion.

        In effect that’s less than two DNFs

      2. Brad says:

        I know, but it was still a very handy lead…
        till Grosjean came flying through

      3. f1future says:

        Actually it was 44 Points with ten races to go. Considering Vettel won by 3 point’s we can conclude that Vettel scored 4.7 Points per race more on average than Alonso in the second half of the season while Alonso scored 4.4 Points per race more than Vettel in the first half of the season.

  30. JackFlash says:

    A little ingracious to highlight only Vettel’s contribution to RBR’s healthy WCC lead. Vettel is certainly performing highly and consistantly, but like past seasons the RBR position is also underpinned by Webber’s haul.

    Unfair omission. Poor form.

    1. Aidan says:

      No fan of Vettel, but I think it’s pretty fair, considering that Vettel brought 107 points and Webber 57. If Red Bull had two Webbers, they wouldn’t be leading the WCC standings, which would be pretty logical, since they don’t have the best car. They have to thank Vettel for that.

      1. JackFlash says:

        [1] Vettel has 7 of Webber’s points he shouldn’t have; and Webber should have 7 more.
        [2]. In none of the past three Redbull WCC winning years, would the loss (removal) of Webbers points hauls leave RBR to have won anything.
        [3]. Vettel gains from having Webber in that team, and few people give proper credit to that. Newey and the engineering team certainly do.

  31. Luke says:

    Thank you for an interesting article, James. I agree with you completely.

    On a personal note, I have to say I’m disappointed in Alonso. It’s probably my own fault. I just bought the hype last year, maybe I overrated him, but yeah. He’s been disappointing. Not bad, just nothing special, especially if we take his excellent car into account. He’s not even the second best driver this year. Kimi is.

  32. Marcelo Leal says:

    Told ya… Alonso is not able to do a flying lap!
    He has a car that can win without pushing (“I’m not pushing”)…
    And is competing with Lewis for the 4th place in WDC.

    1. krischar says:

      No car can win races without the push

      Alonso is not able to do flying lap ? which race you watched ? Alonso competing with lewis for 4th in WDC ?

      Look back at the past seasons and realise the truth. you will sense then how good is Alonso and his performaces were exceptional

      Too many people here are too quick to Criticize Alonso (Sad – including james).

      Monaco will be one off race and Alonso will be back to his best

      Alonso is not just the driver of last season or just this decade. Alonso is the greatest driver in the history of F1

  33. James Lewis says:

    I don’t understand Alonso’s “racing” in Monaco. Alonso is no fool. So why leave the door open at the hairpin for Sutil. And again at Rascasse for Button. I can’t believe the Ferrari has an issue with steering lock. Perhaps terrible understeer? Surely not that bad…

    He was wise to keep out of the way of the late breaking Perez – perhaps Kimi should have been as careful…

    The worst race by Alonso in years…

    1. Sam says:

      He was catch napping. Button caught him totally unawares. Racing on narrow roads on tyre preservation mode for nearly 80 laps is not easy. We are all humans and have our off moments.

  34. Welp says:

    Its no coincidence that on some tracks Mercedes and RBR are fastest while Ferrari and Lotus suffer, then on other tracks Ferrari and Lotus are fastest and Mercedes and RBR suffer.

    It is proof the tyres are sketchy and gimmicky, totally manipulating the championship. Intentionally.

    1. Grant says:

      Upfront the race died halfway through, when everyone decided to drive slowly to some delta.
      Vettel could have attacked (leading to an amazing race), but of-course the tyres don’t allow for that.

      Pirelli has F1 by the balls….

  35. Frank says:

    James, thanks for the insights.
    If I remember correctly, the great Ferrari result of Barcelona was after a 2 day test by Ferrari in Barcelona after Bahrain. I do not think anybody knew about that test before last weekend. Is that fair?
    How are test tests monitored e.g. by the FIA? I am quite sure that at all the tests someone (of the FIA) checks if they are conducted correctly. If that is the case, the FIA knew about the Ferrari and the Mercedes tests. If they were not there nobody can prove which car was used (2010 or 2013), or which engine –
    Do you have any more insights e.g which other teams have had tests?
    Thanks,
    Frank

  36. mhilgtx says:

    Ferrari to me is a flawed team.

    They either melt under the pressure or they are just incompetent. I am not sure which.

    Alonso has been less than impressive. Now will he win some more races? I am sure he will, like I said before tracks that do not require a ton of traction and are front tire limited he will do well on as long as the team (which includes him) doesn’t mess up.

    So we have a car that has some obvious strengths and obvious weaknesses but a team that can’t seem to be consistent. Add in their seeming inability to accept responsibility for those mistakes and I don’t see them getting better. For example Maylasia, they tried to claim it was Vettel’s fault for breaking in a corner.

    So for me, if you look at my post after Spain I am not surprised they had a bad race the next week nor do I think they have a dominant car that will compete for the championship.

    The driver I feel for is Kimi, I fear that Kimi’s championship hopes are dashed with Perez’s failed attempt at a pass.

    1. f1future says:

      Brother You gotta Keep your faith in Kimi. You know he’s only 21 Points behind with 13 races to go so there’s atill everything to Play for. Remember that last year Vettel was 44 Points behind with only 10 races left and that couzldn’t stop him from claiming the big Price either.

      1. mhilgtx says:

        Actually I didn’t know that Vettel was that far behind.

        Although catching Vettel is a whole lot different than catching Lewis and Alonso.

      2. Kartik says:

        After 13 races in 2012 he was 39 Points behind Alonso when they Left Monza.

  37. SamH123 says:

    Ferrari have been doing almost true quali sims on Friday for a while now, they are not ‘stronger’ on a Friday.

    Traction is not their strong point and they do not win in Monaco very often, I was not surprised by their performance in Monaco albeit I didn’t expect Alonso to fall back like he did

  38. sandman says:

    I wonder how long before the italian media call for alonso to be replaced with vettel.

    1. f1future says:

      I think Vettel would be the better Option already right now. He’s fast, he’s Young and he’s still improving while Alonso is at his Peak and will start Fading in 3 years or so.

  39. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    I think Alonso is not in a bad situation, it’s true he’s not been consistent enough, but he still has good points, a wonderful car and the good news is that nowadays he has Mercedes that can take away the big points from Vettel and Red Bull, at least in Monaco.

  40. Jordan moore says:

    Everyone saying alonso has lost his edge hes lost it already trust me he will be back as usual and this will be his year and he will go on to win 4 drivers championships

  41. holly says:

    “Then in Bahrain, Alonso was running second when his DRS jammed open. He pitted so the team could force it closed but on the next lap, the Spaniard made the mistake of opening it again and he had to pit for a second time, ruining his chances of victory.”.

    Or maybe the team told him that it was OK to open it again. If you are going to blame Alonso for that, you should back it up with solid proof.

  42. Steve says:

    “Alonso didn’t look himself on Saturday and Sunday. He has really struggled in qualifying all season”

    He’s never been a good qualifier though. Given the other drivers on the grid these days, his natural starting position is always going to be third though sixth. And nowhere is that weakness a bigger problem than at Monaco.

    1. f1future says:

      Yes, I always wondered how Alonso could win Championships despite his weak qualifying skills. I think it’s his enourmos racecraft that saved him, the guy has certainly got the best racecraft of all the Drivers on the grid, he’s even better than Vettel in the races.

  43. john gill says:

    Contrast Ferrari’s fortunes with Mercedes at Barcelona and Monaco. One team lunches its tyres the other nibbles, typically. Contrast tyre stripping impact circuit of Barcelona and barely possible to skin a knee Monaco.

    If Ferrari *knew* the trick of tyres they’d have had a much better result in Monaco. Ditto Lotus. No one’s got a clue. It’s a joke.

  44. nusratolla says:

    Ferraris are the fastest cars in 2013 yet they seem to constantly implode…. Shocking.

    Alonso had a 20 to 30 points loss due to debris…. Yet Raikkonen showed in Chinese GP that you can drive with even half your car…. but then again its Raikkonen we are talking about it :)

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