Russian fightback?
Sochi 2016
Russian Grand Prix
Montezemolo gets tough with Alonso: Where do they go from here?
Scuderia Ferrari
XPB.cc
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Jul 2013   |  7:27 am GMT  |  526 comments

In an extraordinary statement issued on the Ferrari website last night, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo publicly attacked his lead driver Fernando Alonso for disloyalty at a time when the team needed to “close ranks” following a disappointing showing in Hungary.

“The Ferrari I saw in yesterday’s race doesn’t sit well with me,” said Montezemolo – and he wasn’t just talking about the performance on the track, but about the way his team was functioning.

According to the statement Montezemolo was particularly unhappy with comments Alonso made about the car, after he trailed in a distant fifth in Budapest, unable to compete at any stage of the weekend with the leading Mercedes, Red Bull and Lotus cars. But there is no reference to any specific comments and Alonso has said the same thing for some time; that Ferrari needs to find developments which work in order to compete.

There is no reference to the signal of disloyalty put out over the weekend by Alonso’s contact with the Red Bull team, but this is surely the subtext of Montezemolo’s loss of temper.

The statement refers to “rash outburash that, while understandable in the immediate aftermath of a bad result, are no use to anyone.”

Alonso had said that “as a birthday present (he was 32 yesterday) I would like the same car as the others”. But there doesn’t seem to be any specific comment anywhere which goes overboard in criticising the team.

However Ferrari’s statement goes on:

“That was a reference to the latest comments from Fernando Alonso, which did not go down well with Montezemolo, nor with anyone in the team. So, when Montezemolo called the Spaniard this morning to wish him a happy birthday, he also tweaked his ear, reminding him that, “all the great champions who have driven for Ferrari have always been asked to put the interests of the team above their own. This is the moment to stay calm, avoid polemics and show humility and determination in making one’s own contribution, standing alongside the team and its people both at the track and outside it.”

Montezemolo was announced as President at Ferrari in November 1991, in a turbulent period literally days after star driver Alain Prost was sacked for criticising the Ferrari team.

In over 20 years at the helm, he has never publicly criticised a driver like he has done with Alonso. If this is the public side of the outburst, one can only imagine what was said privately. Ferrari has been around for decades and has had many great champions pass through its doors. Alonso has been given leeway to criticise the team in the past four years, something Michael Schumacher never did, but clearly Montezemolo has decided that enough is enough. No driver is more important than the team.

The underlying tone of menace was also enhanced by a note that during the technical debrief at Maranello, Montezemolo presented each of the engineers with a knife – to put between their teeth as they fight to resore Ferrari to the top. Swashbuckling stuff and the message is crystal clear.

Alonso has made no response as yet, issuing a tweet at around 20-00 CET, saying “Fantastic birthday!!! Thanks to all..!!!! Happy!!”

The big question however is, can this relationship continue or is there a permanent wedge between Ferrari and its lead driver? And does Alonso have any realistic chance of a Red Bull drive? If not where would he go? And how would Ferrari replace him?

The only top line driver potentially free to move is Kimi Raikkonen, whose manager Steve Robertson was in Budapest for talks with Red Bull and Lotus. He said on Sunday night that he was “close” to sorting Raikkonen’s next contract, but these developments may change things a bit. However Raikkonen was shown the door by Montezemolo in 2009, paid not to race for the team in 2010, as he had a binding contract, so there are bridges to be repaired there and it would seem an awkward fit at this stage.

* According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Ferrari is starting a three day test today at Magny Cours with test driver Pedro de la Rosa. The team is using a 2011 Ferrari, as the FIA Sporting Regulations permit, but it appears not to be a Pirelli test – that would be ironic given that Montezemolo also criticised the Italian tyre manufacturer for changing tyres mid-season and artificially affecting the competition, contributing to Ferrari’s loss of form.

Featured Video
Behind the Scenes at the track
Behind the Scenes at the track
Featured News in ferrari
MORE FROM Ferrari
LATEST FROM THE SCUDERIA FERRARI COMMUNITY
Previous
Next
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

526 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

sOMETHING aLONSO IS MISSING. LOYALITY TO HIS EMPLOYER: aND HE HAS SHOWN THIS OVER AND OVER AGAIN; WITH DIFFERENT TEAMS OVER HIS CAREER:

2

Just some speculation on my part.

This public criticism of Alonso can't be a sudden off the cuff moment. Alonso must have been given many warnings to "toe the company line" and not undermine the Ferrari leadership.

The decision to go public is therefore to prepare the minds of the tifosi for a change.

I recall the Ferrari Kimi episode - when asked Kimi who uses 1 word instead of 10, mentioned "politics". I didn't fully understand what he meant. But I think this Alonso Ferrari saga is throwing some light.

Whatever impression of Kimi's flaws created by Ferrari (unmotivated, comatose, no passion) is not evidenced in Lotus' experience of Kimi. It's clear over the last two years that in Kimi's understated way he's as hungry, driven and passionate for WDC success.

The main difference between Kimi and Alonso was the Ferrari comment that Kimi doesn't communicate. Now Ferrari's criticism of Alonso is that some of his communications are not helpful!

Top F1 drivers are strong characters. Can't expect them to change and be subservient. Ferrari has a well entrenched culture. Can't expect Ferrari to change.

A marriage between Ferrari and a Top F1 driver is like the Hollywood/supermodel marriages. It generally doesnt last for long.

Only championship winning success can prolong the marriage. And as soon as that stops, even someone who acheived so much like Schumacher, gets the boot.

Such is life. It's never ideal. Can't see the relationship lasting - no matter the hard cold logic that Ferrari has no better driver as an option, and FA has no better team as an option. Emotions and passion are just too strong.

3

Alonso's chillhood dream was: first: get into an F1 car -and he did whith years of great efford and family sacrifice-. Second: Be a F1 WC - what he has make twice-. Third: be successful at McLaren -and he did not-. And last: Get to at least three F1 WDCs... as his only idol, Ayrton Senna -and he is suffering whith the opcion of not getting there...

For me, the question is: where can he solve this outside Ferrari and all of a sudden? Only in one team...

And that is not force India....

4

and RBR neather...

So, stay a litttle longer and will see his next move!

5

No truer words have been spoken.

its all politics. Fernando will win a race and it will be all hugs and kisses again. I want to see kimi go to RBR to kick Vettel's butt! 🙂

6

F1 fan your comments are stupid.how come you can talk about loyalty in F1....beside if you look at the point result of the two ferrari drivers since 3years it s says it all.loyalty has nothing to do with showing up and sleeping on the job...

7

Pot... Kettle... Black...

8

Alonso drives his car at 110% of its potential. How can anybody say he lacks in loyalty to his employer? His life seems to be completely focused on driving and getting ready for the job.

I reckon that someone with such dedication to his trade is entitled to speak his mind out without being accused of disloyalty, don't you think?

9

Always makes me laugh how anyone can think you get more than 100% ??

10

You are an atlete and your best is 3:45 in 1500, and all of a sudden you 3:36. That is to get your 110%. It hapens in sport every day, but not whit every atlete. Only the brave do!

11

Their called Alonso parrots..

12

Because a figure of speech is meant to be taken literally ??

13

Well, Marty, obviously I'm not trying to be mathematically precise. It is only a way of saying Alonso gives everything he can. Don't take things word by word, at least in this case. Cheers.

14
Scuderia McLaren

Rofl. Saw this coming a mile off. Late last year I posted a view that this was truly a make or break year for the current make up of Ferrari. For Domenicali, Fry, Alonso, Santander etc. Of course, I was well and truly rubbished then.

I said that, unlike past years, heads WILL role this year if they don’t succeed. Sponsors will get mad, drivers will throw their toys out of the pram and LDM will protect Ferrari’s image by undermining Alonso’s character. Where do u think the whole Raikkonen is lazy PR began!?

Anyway, with a false dawn early on this year, and Alonso’s self aggrandizing all 2012 about not needing the best car to win the title and building expectations, and this subsequent let down, the situation is going to be very sticky indeed. I loved his post Brazil quote… It’s now bitten him hard.

Alonso’s character thrives with “underdog” status. When he has true expectation, he crumbles. The car early on was great, and it was mistake after mistake. It’s strange. This really makes Vettel’s near four titles even more impressive that such a youngster dealt with that pressure. It’s easy to be the underdog.

What will be amusing is if RBR go with Raikkonen and Vettel, McLaren won’t want the Samurai, Enstone won’t either, Mercedes wont, he’ll have to take a seat at F-India or Sauber or Williams. lMFAO.

15

Scuderia McLaren

Spot on

🙂

16

Hey scudmc, I think Ive been saying this for some time too. Fernando is still a top driver but he's burnt his bridges with his games and exaggeration. I think Lotus will be happy to take him if Kimi moved on- but certainly not on Ferrari money!

As I said many times Ferrari and Fernando deserve each other- they are still playing old school games in a new era of F1 - which is more socially aware and Connected in a big way and very interestingly people are learning quickly exactly what was happening within Ferrari since Schumacher more so since Kimi returned :-).

The big question for Ferrari will certainly be -!Will it embrace change- Management/ technical/ Socio-political .

It's starting to address Technical change with Allison but before they return as a force in F1 - they need leadership change- Montizemolo before anybody !. They will face a tough few years ahead with the re- emergence of the Silver Arrows and the rampaging Red Bulls. Lotus too are on the up and up. Until then they need to get Bianci in the no2 seat of that Ferrari and a new No1 seat shortly after ( perhaps that may even be Bianci 2 years from now!

17
Scuderia McLaren

Good follow on points there.

+1

18

It will be amusing to hear reports of yet another television getting trashed...!

19
hero_was_senna

Sorry scud, but your delusional if you think that Alonso would be in a tail end team, he is one of the 3 best in the world and in the same manner as teams taking on Balotelli, knowing he will be temperamental and will be difficult to handle, they will take the risk, because in a race situation, there are none better.

20
Scuderia McLaren

Yeah read that too HWS 😉

And, our hopes are aligned! If this happens, my moniker will change to Scuderia Ferrari!

21
hero_was_senna

Hey Val, always Ferrari, but my point is Alonso is one of the best currently. He may have burnt bridges at different teams but you'd be amazed how easy people forget. Who would have thought he would get back to Renault after leaving the team in 06, saying he felt alone, signed for Mclaren a year before he left?

I also remember Alonso stating that he always wanted to drive for Mclaren because of his hero being Senna. He was quite emphatic that he never wanted to drive for Ferrari, wasn't an ambition of his.

In winter testing 2006, he ridiculed Ferrari because they were testing Vale Rossi, and declared he could take on Rossi on two wheels!!

I consider Alonso a brilliant driver, but also a difficult manipulative person.

I have read somewhere that there is to be an earthquake size announcement at Monza involving Ferrari. Personally I'm hoping its Brawn and Schumi returning to the team to rejoin Byrne and Allison.

22
Scuderia McLaren

Hmmm, I don't think so HWS.

Who would take him if Ferrari kick him out?

McLaren? Hardly, he cost them $100m, directly or indirectly. Lotus (Enstone)? Highly unlikely. Mercedes? There well sorted. They love Rosberg and just bought Hamilton. They have driver harmony. Red Bull? Vettel won't have him.

What's left is Sauber, Force India and Williams.

Ferrari know this, which is why they called his bluff. It was a very poor chess move by Fernando really. He HAS to back track now, and become subservient again, at least until an opening in 2016 sometime. Lol.

By then, I'm sure he'll have left F1 in a huff. Schumacher must be smiling to himself. I know Raikkonen is.

23
Valentino from montreal

Hero , long time no read !

Fernando will soon turn his back on Maranello , and here you are defending him ?? !!

I thought you were Ferrari first , drivers come second ?

In time , Schumacher will speak his mind on this situation ..

In Italy , Fernando will be forgotten in a blink of an eye- Michele is forever ..

24

Diferent style, diferent loyalty.

Once upon a time said Ross Brown about Kimi: "What impressed me was that he worked with his engineers, understood the issues, got on top of the situation and importantly and in the style of Michael, he did it in a quiet way within the privacy of the team.

25

Thanks - I never read that. But I would expect no less from Kimi- he's not a show boater

26

+1

Clearly, Kimi didn't bring the necessary drama queen elements to Maranello

27

Come on!!!

"in the immediate aftermath of a bad result"... Ferrari's lack of management has produced 04 years of bad results. How many years do they expect for Alonso to be patient???

"tone of menace / Montezemolo presented each of the engineers with a knife". GEE!!! This is called "Monte management style"

Ferrari will NEVER win anything win Monte/Domeni. NEVER!!!. Alonso must go NOW. Even Force India is better.

28

If I'm being honest I think that ALO has brought more to the table than Ferrari over the past couple of years. He has literally dragged that car into title contention by the scruff of its neck. Am I right in thinking that the last time that Ferrari built a car that was the equal of the best in the field was 1998 where they tied with McLaren for the best package?

However, ALO would not get very far lining up on the grid in his running shoes would he?

What confuses me about ALO's attitude is simply this: He and everyone else has no idea how 2014 will pan out. Why seek a move now? RBR may well not be the frontrunners next year with all the changes coming on line. Surely you'd want to examine next year's performances and then move to where the results are at the end of 2014?

Could ALO go to Mercedes at the end of 2014 if they build a great car? I know all drivers claim that they don't care who drives alongside them, but I actually believe that HAM would allow ALO into the team next to him. VET has recently said 'anyone, anytime' and then announced that he'd prefer it was RAI over ALO proving that 'anyone anytime' was not entirely true.

29

@Wayne, I was going to say 1998 are you crazy? But then you corrected the post LOL. There is some agreement amongst people that supposedly know about these things that the Ferrari F2002 was one of the most successful Formula One car designs of all time. It was designed by Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and Paolo Martinelli. Here, take a look for yourself! http://youtu.be/RqaJKTRs-Kg

30

Since 1998 Wow, I dint know that you took a sabbatical from 1999 2005.

31
Valentino from montreal

@ Zombie , could'nt have said it better .. You know your MS / Ferrari history !

Thanx for your posts , always a pleasure !

32

Neither 1998 nor 1999 cars were best in the field. The F300 was more than a second off the Mclarens during the first few races. The F399 was no better and again was a second off the pace, and it was Mclaren shooting themselves in the foot that gave Eddie a chance to close in on them.

The F2000 was the first Schumacher car that was really close to the Mclaren's pace. But F2000 had a severe tire consumption issue that gave made the car lose pace to Mclarens in the middle of the race. Had it not rained in Suzuka, Mika would probably have won the title that year.

For a team of Ferrari's stature, the F2001 was the first car that was absolutely the best in the grid, so was F2002 and F2004. The F2003-GA proved difficult to setup, and Michelins tires gave Williams and Mclaren an edge over the bridgestones .

The F2005 was a true dog in every sense. It was the first car fully designed by Aldo Costa, coupled with crippling Bridgestones..it is a miracle how Schumacher took that car to 3rd place in the title. F2006 again started on the backfoot , and was consistently slower until June of that year. Mid season upgrades made the car a real challenger and probably Michael would've won had it not been the engine at Suzuka. His last race in Brazil was sublime proving he was still competitive and could have won in 2007 had Luca not thrown him out of the team.

33

"Am I right in thinking that the last time that Ferrari built a car that was the equal of the best in the field was 1998 where they tied with McLaren for the best package?"

Only if you pretend that the early 2000's never happened. Some of Schumachers Ferrari cars rank up there with the very best in F1 history.

34

Surely you mean 2008, the 98 car wasn't particularly close to what McLaren had.

35

In the world of F1 don't believe everything you read, and even less of what you hear. Sounds like silly season stories to me.

36

"Am I right in thinking that the last time that Ferrari built a car that was the equal of the best in the field was 1998 where they tied with McLaren for the best package?"

I hope you meant 2008...

37

Presume you meant 2008 there

38

I've said it a few times, but I honestly think Alonso and Hamilton have enough mutual respect to work with each other now. It may get a little frayed if they're both still in contention by the end of the season, and there'd certainly not be any hope of team orders, but just think of the heights they could lift each other two and with them both dragging the team along for the ride. I doubt it could last more than a couple of seasons, but as a final drive before Alonso retires it would be an epic opportunity for the two who think they're the best, and don't think Vettel is up on their level, to fight it out. And what better way for them both to rain on Vettel's record than by showing they're not afraid to fight in the same car, as SV has effectively shown with his comments on Alonso joining him, insinuating that it has largely been the car rather than talent alone?

But to say Ferrari haven't built a class leading car since 98 is a bit of a stretch. They've had a least an equally good car as the rest in most years right up to at least 2008. It's only really since then that they've struggled at times.

39

Lewis + Alonso = Nuclear Fallout!

40

We've seen the Lewis/Alonso battle already.

All I want to see right now is Lewis/Vettel or Alonso/Vettel..... #getting some popcorn

41

Sorry I meant 2008!

42

I think it's a whole lot simplier than you're assumptions. Vettel doesn't want a team mate who plays politics, that's where Kimi is great. He gets in the car, drives and doesn't spin things in the press causing issues. Alonso by contrast is always using the press for his gain - this recent attempt seems to have backfired for once.

That alongside the fact Vettel and Kimi are mates is probably far more to do with Seb wanting Kimi as a teammate than the stuff you're going on about.

43

Agree Hamilton and Alonso dream team! Would love to see them as teammates again.

44

I don't think either ALO or HAM need competition from within the team to lift themselves to new heights. They're both balls-out drivers who always wring everything they can out of whatever car is put in their hands. However, as JA said in a previous post, the best tactic to maximise the possibility of winning the WD championship is to have one driver the clear leader and make your second driver the supporting driver. Webber and Massa might not like it, but that's what has put both Red Bull and Ferrari at the top of each season's points over the last few years -- and what has hindered McLaren.

45

VET said he prefered RAI to ALO as a person, not as a driver, (and he was polite enough to say because he knows RAI, not because ALO is a bad guy)so he is not backing on his previous statement.

46

He basically said he doesn't trust Fernando, not all that nice. He probably still considers the Monza 2011 incident as Fernando pushing him off the track, though personally I think it is debatable.

47

This is business for both parties. Nobody is loyal in the true meaning of the word. They are all there to win. Ferrari did not show any loyalty towards Kimi either. As long as you win, all is OK.

48

http://f1bias.com/2012/04/05/truth-about-kimi-ferrari-santander-2008/

Anyone who has read my comments on here over the years knows I'm no Raikkonen fan, but I read this article about Raikkonen and Ferrari and there's some staggering information about what really happened.

It also expalins a lot about why Massa is still driving there.

49

Interesting. Could explain a lot BUT why return to a team that has done that to you....?

50

Thanks for posting that, I enjoyed the read.

51

Loyalty to someone who chose when to race. Lack of motivation, that is why he was sacked.

52

idd - KR was done the minute he got the title. No interest no performance, inconsistency. I will also say that had Ferrari backed massa as their #1 during Kimis time there massa would have beaten him every season.

53

Mr. Monte criticizing ALO and presenting knives to engineers! I think time is ripe for writing memoir and execute his succession plan.

54

Guess it could've been worse ... dead fish in newspaper, or equine noggins in some nice sheets. 😀

55

Today, July 31st, we see the following quote published: "Stefano Domenicali admits that Ferrari has lost its race form just as it appears to have edged a little closer to the front in qualifying." What's a Monte to do now -- hand this one of the "team" a short sword for the obvious reason?

56

Suddenly we see why Ferrari have stuck with Felipe Massa. Alonso, however wants to win. He made a mistake signing long term with the 'Dancing Donkey' and is now reaping the rewards of his greed.

Back to McLaren?

57

The man tried to blackmail Ron Dennis, Dennis called his bluff and the end result was getting wiped out of the constructors.

.

If he ever set foot back in that factory he'd end up in the paint thinly spread over a MP4-12.

58

**J Hancock** you're of course correct on an emotional level. However Ron Dennis, a man I have tremendous respect for, is first and foremost a great businessman. He must be a winner.

What the McLaren team lack currently is a dedicated winner...a man such as Alonso.

As far as emotions go,if my memory serves me correctly I seem to recall when Fernando signed with McLaren all those years ago he stated, and I paraphrase; 'I never could see the magic of driving for Ferrari. McLaren, with it's history of Ayrton Senna is where I want to be'. Does anyone else recall these comments of Alonso?

59

I was exaggerating somewhat with the paint comment. But McLaren wouldn't take Alonso back, his time there exposed him as completely untrustworthy and his attitude appeared to be that he was bigger than the team.

.

Nobody at Woking will have forgotten that, his appearance would be complete poison for morale, no one wants to work for someone who could turn against you any minute. It's not a recipe for good work.

60
hero_was_senna

Yes completely, he was quite emphatic about it, wanted his 3rd WDC there.

Trouble is he was saying how amazing Ferrari is, the family, the atmosphere...

One thing he has proven in F1 is how good he is psychologically, ie he knows what to say to wind drivers up or logically to sweet talk teams.

I'm not too sure I believe anything anymore

61
Thread the Needle

Couldn't see Alonso back at Mclaren, even if they do say they would take him back publicly

62

NOt really

Whitmarsh have admired alonso very much when he was with Mclaren and confessed many times the situation could have been handled much better in 2007

Mclaren do not have top draw driver and are in need of funds from next season. Hence the move is clearly a possibility

63

Why would McLaren take him back? He burnt his bridges in 2007 with the whole spygate episode.

64

McLaren? Why would Alnonso leave Ferrari and go to a backmarker team. He would be better off at Force India.

65

Actualy McLaren was pretty close pace whise to ferrari last race...

66

And don't forgett Renault isn't too keen on him in the aftermath of the Crashgate. As it is the only seats available for the moment are Sauber, Force India, Caterham and Marrussia. So, I guess he'll stay put.

67

1. Renault no longer exist.

2. Has anyone ever proved that crashgate was Alonso's idea ? It was Junior's idea.

3. Personally I think he's exactly what McLaren need. Jenson may net agree !!, but they'd work well together if push came to shove.

68
Get Well Soon Murray

Red Bull?

69

It seems Ferrari are preparing for the post Alonso era. Will they bring in Vettel earlier? A Switch between Alonso and Vettel perhaps? With Hülkenberg as Vettel's Team mate? I cannot imgine that Vettel is as good as Schumacher, but perhaps Vettel and Hülkenberg together would be?

70

Do you REALLY think VET will leave RBR to drive *THAT* Ferrari's car??? VET can be anything but stupid.

72

To reincarnate Ferrari - Montezemolo needs to call Schumi and Brawn one more time asking them to help them for 1 - 2 years, alongside with Massa !

Schumi is free and Brawn is almost free.

IMHO: This is the only one way for the rasing spirit of the Ferrari.

73

What are you smoking? 🙂

74

Sounds more like a way to bury it.

75

Schumacher is too old and Brawn is probably just too bored of F1. After 30+ yrs of racing, both men deserve a quiet retirement.

76

Neat, both as way of paying respects to the greatest ever and his "little brother", as well as setting the stage for the arrival of Seb and Sergio.

77

Times change. The Brawn & Schumi combo was hardly uber-successful for Mercedes was it?

78

@Doobs

Which driver?

79

Agree with Doobs. It's clear who had helped with the development for current Merc car ... It's always someone works and someone takes fruits 🙂

It's like for Coulthard - he had to stay in RBR for one more year and took his fruits in 2009.

80

A certain driver just started reaping the rewards of the development work last weekend

81
Jean-Christophe

There's no guarantee it will bring the same results. You should take into account that back then they had unlimited testing and could afford pounding their private circuit for days. Now they have to rely on wind tunnels and simulators and are behind the other teams who had a head start in that respect as they could not rely on a circuit to test on. Now Ferrari are playing catch up.

82

Where does di Montezemelo think Ferrari would have been these last few years without him? They got rid of Raikkonen because they felt that he couldn't be bothered any more, which is about right. You can hardly accuse Alonso of not trying. If they he think he's not doing well enough then they should find a faster 2nd driver to push him.

83

I hear Webber is available ... sort of.

84

re 'past few years', wonder how many would say LM has done more for the team than FA? If only one were to stay who's bringing the most unique value? For a world class company LM sure sounds like a drama queen at times. If there be shortcomings... he can point to anyone but the head of the company.

85
hero_was_senna

In the history of Ferrari, LdM will leave a stronger legacy. Without question.

He has had a hand in 17 of Ferraris 31 World Titles.

1975, WDC and WCC

1976, WCC

1999, WCC

2000-2004, WDC and WCC

2007 WDC and WCC

2008 WCC

Alonso 11 wins.

In fact I was reading some stats from Joe Saward's blog yesterday. In 106 races with Renault , he won 17, or 16.1%, at Ferrari in 68 races, he's won 11 or 16%. To quote directly " so the problem with ferrari is more to do with expectations than reality"

LDM is putting together a team to win again. Pat Fry reported fundamental flaws at Ferrari from when Brawn left the team, facilities which had dated, simulators that were not at the level of the competition.

Alonso is bitching, quite a diffetence

86

I don't think the issue is with Alonso's driving, everyone agrees it's been stellar. I believe the issue is more with how Alonso speaks afterwards, which essentially boils down to a form of "I am good enough to win, the car needs to be better". While undoubtedly true (though good to keep in mind that many other drivers could say the same), repeating that for three and a half years in public in a team that is all about "team first, individuals second" can make the team boss quite frustrated.

87
hero_was_senna

You'll find all the teams believe its team first, no driver has ever been bigger than the team.

"There is no I in team"

88

+1

you win as a team and you lose as a team. Alonso is undoubtedly a formidable driver, but he appears to believe that it's him that wins and the team that loses.

89

I have no idea what you are trying to say! I certainly wasn't quoting Lewis (what has he got to with this thread/debate?). To be honest I don't remember where I first heard that expression, it was certainly many years ago and long before the world had heard of Lewis Hamilton 😉

90

Ahhh, quoting our greatest hero, Lewis. Who, after a number of unsuccessful years at McLaren, finally turned his back on the team. It's only words...

91

I am with you. Alonso made Ferrari look so much better in the last 4 years then they really are. They had Costa, then Fry and now Allison - no continuity. Domenicali is not really delivering either.

92

Pat Fry's still there and Allison will be working with him.

93

Perhaps one of the problems is that Domencali was put into the position by Montezemelo who wanted a clean break from the Todt-Byrne-Brawn years, and now Montezemelo seems bound to him. I don't know how Domenicali keeps his job, quite frankly.

94

isn't THE FLAV's suspension thingy coming to an end soon?

wonder if the red men would consider him?

95

I have to agree with you there. Domenicali's management skills are no where as good as the team principals of other teams. may be a change at the helm should workout favorably for ferrari

96

+1000 I´ve said that for years. You have the best driver, the best resources, the best team and still fails to deliver a championship for years???? That´s a no-brainer, Domenicali should have been replaced long time ago.

97
Get Well Soon Murray

You can make the same statement for Whitmarsh too. In fact Domencuali is probably doing "less worse" than Whitmarsh is!

98

Because he's not doing anything explicitly wrong?

The technical side aren't delivering strong enough cars, which is why they're being constantly reshuffled and replaced.

Domenicalli is bringing new people in as required, which is all he can be expected to do.

99

I agree, Domenicali should have been shown the door a couple of years ago. As should Massa. I think the fact that both these guys are still there shows quite a lot of weakness and poor leadership from Montezemelo, and then to (publicly) attack the most consistent and talented member of the team seems a bit of a daft move.

Every year Montezemelo hypes the new car as the one to put Ferrari back at the top and it's only Alonso that can actually put it anywhere near the top in a race. This has got to be pretty frustrating for him. Particularly when Massa's performances are inconsistent or just plain poor and he keeps his seat whatever. I think Alonso probably sees squeezing every ounce of performance out the car at most races for the past 4 years as showing more 'loyalty' than just showing up as Massa and Domenicali appear to be doing.

100

Totally agree!!!

101

More news for the four week break. GREAT!

102

Good reporting and analysis James. This unexpected development certainly complicates things a lot, and explains in part the Red Bull-Alonso link. Disatisfaction with Alonso's comments on this year's car must have been brewing before the Hungarian race. Even Kimi,who was given a car he could hardly drive in 2008, and even after he was dumped, refrained from openly criticizing the team. Perhaps Montezemolo's public rebuke of Alonso was made in the knowledge that Alonso has no chance to be with Red Bull next year. He would not risk losing his top driver at this stage as Ferrari has, if Alonso goes, no viable driver option for 2014. I do not believe that Kimi will ever go to Ferrari as long as Montezemolo is Presiden. So, at the end, Montezemolo may have decided that Alonso's comments had a demoralizing effect on the stuff, and simply said to Fernardo that he would not tolerate any more such criticism.

103

I thought about it many times, whether ALO is right or wrong, old Enzo would not have put up with all the criticism Ferrari gets from their star driver. He must be turning around in is grave. But Ferrari did change a lot from those days and I don't mean to imply that it was all for the worse. Yet, I think Vettel and, most likely, Hamilton were the kind of drivers Enzo would prefer.

104

I reckon Enzo would have LOVED Kobayashi!

105
hero_was_senna

Enzo Ferrari loved drivers like Nuvolari and Villeneuve. He spoke to Senna in 1984 when he went to pick up a Ferrari, but the timing wasnt right and he signed Mansell before he died.

He loved fighters, and fighting spirit. I guess he would get a bigger buzz watching Hamilton than watching Vettel

106

I also believe Enzo would favour Hamilton if he had to choose between the two.

107
TheLollipopMan

Alonso's manager also represents Carlos Sainz Junior. He was obviously meeting Horner to discuss next year's Toro Rosso seat, which could be vacated by Ricciardo's possible promotion to Webber's car. It had nothing to do with Alonso, as he knows Vettel won't allow him in the team.

Di Montezemolo should clarify his comments, and apologise to Alonso for such a senile outburst. Talk about a serious case of foot-in-mouth disease!

Ferrari need Fernando far more than Fernando needs Ferrari! Badda-boom, badda-bing!

108

Listen and learn: no driver is greater than a team. There's where LdM is absolutely right. Although Fernando is a very good driver, he's not trully a great one. He will not win any WDC with Ferrari with that attitude. The same he did at McLaren. He's burning the few good bridges left for him.

109

He's not truly a great one?! If Alonso isn't a great driver then no one on the grid is!

Certainly no driver on the grid has driven as well over a season as Fernando did last season.

110

@Colombia Concalvez Could've been certain French driver parking his car on top of the Ferrari at Spa.

111
Colombia Concalvez

Here we go again!, last season was nothing but lucky and benefitting from other racers misfortunes. Tell me, hoe do you managed to loose out a 40 point lucky lead and still loose out ?. Alonso is not that good like the media and his trying to make him

112

What did ALO say that is "burning the bridges"???

113

Why would Carlos Sainz Jr.'s manager be talking to the team principal of Red Bull about a seat at Toro Rosso?

114

Carlos Sainz Jr is part of the Red Bull young driver programme. I know he tested at the Young Driver test at Silverstone, but I cant remember if he drove the Red Bull or the Torro Rosso.

115

He drove both the Red Bull and the Torro Rosso at Silverstone. (And went faster in the TR, which must be a rude shock to all those who imagine the RB is a rocket-ship on a whole different level to the other cars on the grid)

116

He tested both. Even so, as Sainz's Jr. manager, the first person to talk to would be Dr. Marko, not Horner. Horner's job description has more to do with the day-to-day operational management, technology and racing part of RBR as a team. The Torro Rosso and RBR driver policy is mostly determined by Mateschitz-Marko axis, with secondary input from Tost and Horner.

117

Didn't he drive both?

118

Quite. Christian Horner doesn't run the Torro Rosso team.

119

Arguably he doesn't run RB either, Vettel does 😉

120

Because Horner and Marko look after the interests of Red Bull Racing, which Scuderia Toro Rosso exist to feed with new talent.

Franz Tost runs STR, but Horner was in charge when Sainz Jr. ran in his car at the YDT.

There's a long game at play here, as should be the case for any manager of a Red Bull Young Driver.

121

Toro Rosso grooms talent for the senior team, Red Bull, so, of course Christian Horner has a say in the TR driver selection, because he has to consider RB's long-term future.

122

Why do Ferrari need Alonso more than Alonso Ferrari? Quite the opposite. Alonso has nowhere else to go. Red Bull already have Vettel, Mercedes - Lewis and Rosberg, and Ron would never take him back, Lotus have Kimi. There are many drivers in the paddock potentially faster than Alonso who would be happy to drive for Ferrari for a salary far less than Alonso's.

The truth is, Alonso is the highest paid driver on the grid who can't deliver year after year. Ferrari sacked Kimi - their champion - for less.

123

Spot on, Sven.

124

"There are many drivers in the paddock potentially faster than Alonso"

mmm... really?

125

Give anybody that Red Bull really

126

Only one, Vettel.

127

Sven, Red Bull may have Vettel, but they also have a spare seat next year. Lotus do NOT have Kimi yet, so there could well be a seat there next year also. And who's to say "Ron would never take him back"? Alonso's argument with Ron was due to Hamilton, and the latter's no longer in the team. Clean slate.

Your allegation "Alonso can't deliver year after year" is based on what evidence? He's been runner-up in the championship for two of the last three years, driving a grossly inferior car. Ferrari would've been a midfield team during this period without his talent. All the pundits I've read and heard, including James Allen, agree Alonso's done an impeccable job at Ferrari. They'd be fools to lose him.

128

Ferrari would have been nowhere the last few years except for Alonso, and I say that as someone who isn't a fan of Alonso (since his 2003 crash in Brazil).

Ferrari haven't delivered a car capable of winning the championship on merit since 2008. That's 5 years now, with no end in sight, no progress being made.

129

"There are many drivers in the paddock potentially faster than Alonso"

I'm not so sure about that. In my view FA did extract about the max out of that Ferrari, race after race.

130

No he has not Ferrari as an organisation gave too much slack for Alonso and it has backfired on them to the extent they allowed the media to say Alonso is carrying the team towards the end of last season I remember Monte saying Alonso should go and win the title first before deciding who he wants for a team mate.

Massa's under performance makes Alonso look great at the biz end of the championship he was been spectacularly out-qualified by Massa a guy peoplee believe should not be driving an F1 car.

131

Bit hard to tell when his team mate has never reached the heights we saw in 2008. Sure Ferrari are always quick to praise FA, but then again Merc praise Lewis, RBR Seb, Force India PDIR etc etc.

132
nicolas nogaret

well he might have done , if he was a better qualifier

133

Yes, but everybody looks better if they fail to qualify where the car would allow.

134

I think many fans and journos saw this coming..question was when..sure Ferrari didnt have the fastest car last season but some of the comments from Alonso were cringeworthy..this season, the Ferrari was arguably the fastest car overall in the first 5 races

** - I think those journos in the paddock at Brazil last season would have known this was coming

135

"Ferrari was arguably the fastest car overall in the first 5 races" - Good Joke

[mod] his performaces with Ferrari since 2010 to this date is simply marvellous and unquestionable

LDM have no right what so ever to complain or criticze Alonso. Look at Massa's performance Ever since 2010. Massa is good enough driver to put 1 hot lap together yet Ferrari have promised and continously failed to deliver.

Alonso have not made any serious comment about Ferrari yet. Like prost did back in 1991

Ferrari haev underperformed season after season from 2009 to this point. Alonso have all the right in the world to criticize the team.

LDM should apologise to Alonso

Had it been someone else other than Fernando drove Ferrari for the last 3 seasons alongside massa. The team would have not even secured 2 or 3 race wins.

Ferrari are mid table team at best without Fernando. Remember this LDM

136

Perfect!!!

All this seems that Ferrari's "management" is trying to shift focus from their real problems to somewhere else (Alonso's comments in this case). They are trying to deceive the italian media and the tifosi. ALO is not the problem (he is part of the solution). The *real* problem there is LDM/Domenicali. They have to explain why with the best driver, one of the best tech directors (Fry), the best sponsor (Santander - with a ton of money), the team cannot deliver. THEY (LDM/DOM) have to explain that.

137

Very very true - they would be nowhere without FA.

That Italian pride based on nothing is coming out with LDM comments.

138

They seem to be nowhere with him also

139

Most people agree the Ferrari was the best car to have the first 5 races. They just screwed up otherwise they would have won all 5.

Kimi, Vettel, Hamilton could all do what Alonso did in 2012, which was driving a car that was really good in race conditions.

140

On the contrary, if LDM has to apologise to anybody it is strictly to the genuine Ferrari fans, and only for having hired ElFraud, grave error which should be corrected by firing the multi-gated one in a properly fitting manner.

141

“Ferrari was arguably the fastest car overall in the first 5 races” – Good Joke

?! I'd say that was fairly accurate. They had the best compromise on 1lap/race pace of any team. Merc were pure 1 lap, RBR too qually focused, Lotus too race focused. As other have adjusted Ferrari appear to have stood still somewhat.

Ferarri had a great car at the start of the season and didn't capitalise because of car issues/Alonso's error in Malaysia. They could and should have won in Bahrain & Malaysia as well as the wins in Spain and China.

There is no doubt that Ferrari and Alonso should be far closer to Vettel at present than they are.

142

You forget one key thing here mate

Ferrari started slowly in 2012, improved the car mid season and failed towards end of the season.

This season Ferrari started with decent package and failed to develop the car since Spain. On the contrary RBR, Mercedes and even Lotus improved the car at a rapid rate. Hungary is one of the track which can seriously expose the Weakness of any car. Ferrari were easily caught off the guard in Hungary

Many people here and in many other forums are only interested in criticizing Alonso for his valid assessment of the car.

Ferrari are only a mid table team at best without the Genius Fernando Alonso.

143

I don´t think this is about one little isolated comment. But about many isolated little or big things together. And that´s why Luca said enough is enough.

On top of my head I think about a comment Alonso made last year when he said he was fighting against Newey. Pat Fry didn´t like that at all. And made sure Alonso knew it

Alonso´s answer was to tell people in twitter. But Domenically stopped him.

This year Alonso missed the first winter test saying he needed mental and physical readiness. He showed a couple of pics working out in a gym. But he also was in very good company with his girlfriend. I guess the readiness was an excuse to spend time with his girlfriend. After Canada he went on vacations to the U.S. I think drivers have the current Summer break for vacations. And recently he missed the test at Silverstone knowing that Vettel was going to be there. It doesn´t make sense to miss that test.

And probably there are many more things we don´t know about.

I understand Alonso´s frustration with Ferrari and losing patience with them. But still he has to be professional all the time.

144

Maybe you did not see those races but Ferrari was the fastest car overall in the first 5 races, even if it was because the others had to be gentler with their tyres.

Nobody is questioning his performances, just his attitude. Although his performance, for instance, at Monaco, was well bellow pair if you ask me.

145

I actually did not criticise ALO directly, just pointed out a situation that might fit his case. I think it does occasionally, and so does Pat Fry. But it is not the main issue here. The main issue is Alonso's attitude. I ask, does it help Ferrari when he says that he wishes a car other than his Ferrari as a present? If any of you was president of Ferrari, would you have acted any different?

146

@ Ricardo

WDC'S are won after 19 races not just after 5 races. Moreover Ferrari have struggled and made mistakes in the first 5 races (Though Alonso made a mistake in Malaysia)Ferrari committed errors as well (DRS failure in Bahrain and recently in Hungary)

I simply cannot understand how on earth people here can ask questions or even doubt Alonso's performances ever since he joined Ferrari

Ferrari have lost the plot since Spain. The developments which Ferrari brought to the track are always lame and ineffective). Alonso makes a valid point here. Ferrari will not improve the car and they will end the season behind RBR, Lotus and Mercedes.

LDM have no business what so ever to question or even criticize Alonso

LDM have fired many in the last 3 seasons for Ferrari's failures and incompetence. However stefano is still in the job. The recent ploy of criticizing Alonso for Ferrari failures is very risky and will backfire Ferrari big time.

Alonso has performed and delivered, Whereas Ferrari have promised and failed to deliver consistently ever since 2008

147

Actualy you did question his performances in a previous post stating he is not maximizing the quali performance of his car... I wonther what massa is doing then when alonso's quali record over him is one of the best in the history of the sport... You can whach the statistics your self, but I guess you are more interested in being blind and do statements which by the way are way wrong!

148

James, why would they be doing a 3 day test in a 2011 car?

Are more teams doing this kind of testing & skirting around the intention of the rules?

149

Since they admit (again) having correlation issues between the wind tunnel and the current car's upgrades, they may be doing some specific tests on the 2011 car to gain information. It this is the case, it doesn't matter if they test an old, and legal, car as they wouldn't be testing parts for the 2013 car, but instead trying to understand their correlation problems.

150

I'll bet they are doing wind tunnel correlation work. They seem to have got stuck on that front.

Meantime Alonso has not said anything terrible about the team, more like encouragement to do better. LDM spat his dummy out because he can not criticise Dom - because LDM appointed him. Italians hate to lose face 😉

151

No they don't, that's the Asians.

Italians invented the phrase "voltafaccia" -"about face".

152

This is obviously something that needs to be banned for next season. In season testing returns anyway, so no need to allow additional tests with older cars.

153

Pardon my ignorance but are the teams allowed to test 2014 mechanical components using a 2011 car?

155

If they test and reject the parts, and they never see the light of day, are they really 2014 components..?

156

Define a 2011 car. 2011 chassis? Engine? Aero? Gearbox? (not sure what the rules explicitly say). There is obviously some benefit as it doesn't cost peanuts to run an f1 car for 3 days - they aren't doing it for the fun of it!

157

Good question on what constitutes a 2011 car. I read that for the Pirelli test they did (with a 2year old car) the car was a 2011 chassis with 2013 areo parts including nose, sidepods and rear wing. They had a couple of decent weekend's after that too. I think it should be defined as the exact car that finished the 2011 season for example, also when does the 2years run from as the car that starts the 2011 season is not the same or as advanced as the car that they used at the end of the season.

Very big grey area I think, what else would you expect from the F1 rule makers!

159

Maybe they want to check how Kubica is doing.

Cheers

160

I can understand Alonso's frustration with the team and don't exactly see anything too critical of them in his statements. If you remove his performances from the equation over the last four years and replace him with a driver the equal of or only marginally better than Massa, I'd imagine that a lot more heads would have rolled by now.

Ferrari have a strong lead driver in Alonso, what they need is stronger leadership of the team.

161

Kinda ironic that di Montezemolo is publicly lambasting the only part of his precious team that has actually delivered over the last few years.

162

It looks to me like the expectations of the early part of the season (generated by results) have destroyed team harmony.

With the speed of the car, Alonso should have had 3 x wins and 2 x 2nds in the first five races. That's verging on season domination. When you consider Ferrari haven't dominated a race weekend since Singapore 2010 you can understand their frustrations.

Instead, since the Spainish GP it has been a path of no improvement as competing teams solve their problems and find gains.

Whether it's the new tyres or wind tunnel issues, it is clear that there is a lot of finger-pointing happening at meetings and no one is taking the blame for the lack of progress, and as a consequence performance issues cannot be addressed.

If they cannot show up to Spa with the type of form reversal McLaren produced last year, their season is over. Considering how they began the season, that will be a massive let down for Ferrari with far reaching consequences.

163

Slagging the team members who are all still working flat out behind the scenes despite the lack of results and who are just as frustrated, probably doesn't help Alonso's cause.

164

Exactly. While Montezemolo is handing out knives for team members to "hold between their teeth" he should remember the one guy who's always had a "knife between his teeth" - namely Alonso.

169

Agree. This is the third year he's hauled mediocre machinery up into the top three.

171

Ditrih need show , and hi can pay . Senna Prost duel steel the best in f1 history but how long?

172

Di Montezemolo pubicly critizises his lead driver for publicly critizising the Ferrari car.

Where is the consistency there ? Clearly there is going on a lot more behind closed doors.

Fact is, Ferrari never gave Alonso a car which had a fair chance to win the WDC.

Fact is, Ferrari seems unable (lets see the Spa updates before final judgement) to develop the car in season for the second year now. Must be an extremely frustrating observation especially now Mercedes (with help from Aldo Costa?) is doing a very good job on that.

Fact is, LdM knew with Alonso he hired an animal with killer instinct. Thats what he wanted so sit on it now.

Presenting a knife is not bringing solution. Since restructering the team last year it has gone further backwards rapidly. Repairing that is no quick fix but, hopefully Allison can turn things around but I would doubt so.

173

Mercedes goo work during the Pirelli test starting to bear fruit I'd say...

174

Perhaps the knife was for the engineers to fall upon (as the Japanese would do), for failing to bring timely, effective, upgrades to the car? 🙂

175

>Di Montezemolo pubicly critizises his lead driver for publicly critizising the Ferrari car.

+1.

And publicly criticises (/ threatens?) his engineers for not producing a fast enough car, which oddly enough is the precise same criticism that his lead driver made.

We've all (I think) been assuming that Alonso isn't going anywhere because he's under contract. Which he is, right up until the moment that LdM sacks him. If on the other hand he actually wants to be sacked, you'd have to say that Luca seems willing to co-operate.

James, what happens if Allison gets cold feet? Is he locked in now? I can't help wondering if this pantomime is what he thought he was signing up for...

176

Allison worked with Byrne with the designs of the 2000-2004 Ferrari's. All Championship winners.

He joined Renault for 2005, and again won championships with Alonso. So he knows the team and he knows the driver.

177

The more I read comments on JA, the funnier it gets...

178

He's worked at Ferrari before

179
Roger Blackwell

That knife thing is hilarious and probably counterproductive overall. I'm sure just as many ROFL'ed as took it as motivation.

If LDM wants to get their attention he should have a pallet of pineapples delivered to all the key players. Two pallets for the wind tunnel guys.

180

I've always been a Ferrari fan, but frankly I wouldn't blame Alonso one bit if he wanted to leave now.

Posting an article on your website which puts on record what should have been a private conversation is ridiculous. Especially when it says they've 'tweaked his ear' and 'reminded him of all the great champions that have driven for Ferrari' - it's totally unprofessional. It also does more damage to the team than Alonso's completely justified and actually quite restrained complaints about the car.

183

I can understand LDM's frustrations with the samurai. Ferrari had the overall best package up until the British Grand Prix yet Fred failed to capitalise.

I think LDM is starting to realise that if you want a championship you need a Vettel or Hamilton (preferably Vettel).

184

Exactly, plus Kimi or Schumi. And getting hold of new real talent (Carlos Sainz Jr) without losing it (Sergio Perez).

185

You mean you need a Newey 😉

186

How many championships did Newey win in the 2000's with a top team?

187

That would be none, but you already knew that.

188

Did Newey design the Merc?

189

Pirelli designed the Merc 😉

190

Adrian Newey guides the direction of the car, but he neither designs it (Rob Marshall) or does the aero (Peter Prodromou).

He's but a masthead.

191

No Martin, he didn't mean Newey, who is struggling with KERS!

192

I think he meant Vettel.

193

Alonso is acting like a spoiled child and it's about time LDM put him in his place. He is the highest paid driver on the grid, of course Ferrari are having problems atm but his comments help nothing except make things worse.

No driver is or will ever be bigger than Ferrari that's something he has to get through his head or leave.

194

What is Alonso said so offensive to Ferrari? that they are the 4th fastest car at the moment? are ferrari above any criticsm? ferrari have failed miserably for 4 years to give him anything worth his talent. As for the money he earns, he deserves every penny plus don't forget that Santander and their many, many millions are no there for the beauty of LdM. Perhaps LdM should get himself in his place...

195

Precisely so both, point A to and point B.

197

I don't think it's ever been about the money with Alonso, he's a creature that will do anything to win (and he's done some debatable things to do so). If he can't win with Ferrari then so be it, but that great line from Moneyball rings true with him, he hates loosing more than he loves winning. One or two of us on here have suggested that Alonso would court a Red Bull drive if Vettel moves to Ferrari. I must admit though I never thought they would ever be together there (and still very much doubt they will be). Also if you want my opinion, along with Vettel, he deserves to be the best paid.

198

If Ferrari really want only drivers who put the team before their own interests, then they can forget about employing any of the top drivers in the future.

199

Schumi never criticised the team.

200

Looks like even Fernando's patience is running out. This just shows the overall frustration building up in the whole team. The worst is already behind the team. They've lost 2 titles in the last race in recent years. Things can only get better I suppose.

James, I read on bbc site that Ferrari feel Fernando is not getting the most out of the car in qualifying. I don't think that's correct as Felipe is not out qualifying Fernando. What do you think about that? Is Fernando a poor qualifier?

201

I think that Alonso's patience is running out due to the fact that he sees that his friend Lewis started winning with a new team.

He just wanted the same - to win and to win earlier than Merc starting wins WDCs.

202

Might be true but I will wait for the next 2-3 races before I say that Lewis is going to win consistently. Hungaroring can be a one off cause of the overtaking opportunities.

I for one believe Fernando never had a problem with Lewis even back in 2007. The issue was with Ron. Anyway this is F1 and who knows next year Ferrari may actually come up with a car that will win them multiple championships with the new rules.

Lewis is best placed for 2014 amongst drivers but so is Fernando. I love both of them cause they deliver when the odds are against them. Don't be surprised if Fernando wins in Spa. He's never won there before and he's under fire, its the perfect setting for him.

203

He sees a fast Red Bull with two good drivers capable of beating him regularly. He sees a fast Lotus with a consistent Kimi and Romain back on form. He sees a Merc with a much improved race pace driven by two drivers that are on form. Put that all together and he sees himself fighting for places in the minor points for the second half of the season.

204
Colombia Concalvez

I was thinking exactly the same

205

I think Alonso is 10/10 in the race and 9/10 in qualifying, on par with Kimi. Vettel and Hamilton would be 10/10 in qualifying and 9/10 in the race.

I am sure that Alonso can take P1 if the car will give him the chance. Massa is very good on a single lap, but is typically behind Alonso, so I think the problem is not Alonso, it is the car.

206
unF1nnished business

Agreed, as drivers get older their 1 lap pace seems to be the first thing that goes as it takes a bit longer for them to find their rhythm/pace.

207

Very good analysis +1

208

He admits himself he's not 10/10 in quail, but if you add up his marks in all areas he's one of the top drivers

209

Agreed. As drivers get older they do tend to lose some of that 1 lap pace which is something I've always found interesting. Seb and Lewis have faster 1 lap pace than Alonso and Kimi but overall they are pretty much equal.

211

So you are allowed to run a 2 year old car with tyres other than the current manufacturers? Is there a limit to the amount of days you can do this? What benefit do you get from that, given the age of the car and the different tyres?

212

IF they are playing fair then the only benefit I can see is finding a match between windtunnel and track data which seems to be at the route of much of their troubles.

213

I like Montezemolo's style, he makes me laugh. He reminds me of my dad.

On a more serious note, i wouldnt tip Alonso to leave with next years regs changing dramatically. Who knows whats going to happen next year. So this wouldnt make sense in my view. Although this is all good reading to help us get through the next month until the next race.

214
Christos Pallis

Montezemelo is as bad as Helmut Marko. Get these fools out of their respective teams and let real men with business sense and interpersonal skills run the show. If Ferrari loose Alonso (and I'm not a fan) could see them spiral down for a few years. Hulkenberg or Button only likely options...!

215

As a manager Montezemolo is ultimately right. Drivers come and go but Ferrari stays as long as F1 exists.

216

LdM has his faults, but if you look at Ferrari road cars of the early 90's, 348 for example, they were just bad cars. The cars of the last decade+ (F430, 599, 458, F12 berlinetta, even the FF and Cali) have been fundamentally good to great cars.

The Mclaren may be superior objectively, but not much else gets close in terms of desirability and quality to the 458 (whatever fanbois and haters may say).

He has to get some credit for making the road cars a priority, unlike old man Ferrari, who viewed his customers with genuine contempt (Causing old man Lamborghini to complete with him after feeling

disrespected).

217

Gotta love auto correct.

218

Eleven businessmen with wallpaper paste that wouldn't melt in their mouths? Boring! I love the partisan opinions; the passion. Bring on more of it!

219

You obviously don't know who Marko is. As for Montezemolo, he was responsible for two of Ferrari's rebirths, first helping Enzo in the seventies and then in the 90's (ok, it took him longer this time). By the way, he chose Marko before turning to Lauda, only because Marko was nearly killed in an F1 car and never recovered. Yet you call both fools...

220

Love the knife to put between teeth bit.

Thought all F1 folk carried knives to stab each

other in the back.

221

Does anyone still think Ferrari are the team every driver wants to drive for?? - I think not

222
unF1nnished business

Only if they're winning! With any legendary sports organization i.e. Ferrari, Real Madrid, Yankees, there is more glory to the win, however, more finger-pointing when they don't!

223

People want to win...do they want to drive the car that gives the best chance.

224

Well at the moment looks like Merc/ Red Bull/maybe even Lotus- so they are the teams to beat. Beyond simply winning I don't think in any of those teams do you get reprimanded for "letting off steam"..

Further with 4 years and arguably a driver that has excelled in at least 2 of them - they got nowhere. So answer is - its a nothing team with a huge history. Question is do you want to keep loosing in a historically great team full of politics and old fashioned leadership. Good luck

225

@F1fan - it could take 100years if you don't have the best in the team - Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and bespoke Bridgestone tyres. Can we all please stop drawing comparisons- that era is gone and it takes more than a great driver to win- which is precisely my point- Ferrari themselves keep ramming this same mentality into their people and its just not working- different formula, different key technical people, different tyres, different drivers- it's not working and will never work this way- when will they learn to move On -Mercedes are on the up and up, Red Bull will continue to know how to win and Lotus will get stronger with new investors. Ferrari will get left behind if they don't change their way of working.!

226

I didn't say publicaly

227

Schumacher took 5 years to win the title. Its not easy.

228

Not publicly reprimanded...........!

229

I like Luca for he's just like Bernie >>> an old school, hands-on type of individual that always takes the bull by it's horns and you just have to look at what the team has achieved during his reign to see that he's the right kind of individual you would like to lead you into battle.

Now, from the looks of it, Ferrari is a difficult environment to work in where the employees are forbidden to criticize the team especially in public.

Yes, everybody can understand Alonso's frustration especially after losing narrowly last year but taking into account the fact that Alonso knows the team mode of operation and more so what they did to Prost, maybe he was secretly hoping he would get fired and thus avoid going to court over breach of contract.

Unfortunately for Alonso, he is loved too much at Maranello and that's why he only gets his ears pulled.

Meanwhile, could Alonso's uneasiness be an indication that Ferrari may not have the best engine in 2014. I mean it would be bonkers to criticize a team that has an ace up their sleeve from 2014.

As for the 3 day French test, it's no coincidence that Ferrari's last all round solid car was in 2008 before the in season testing ban kicked in.

P.s.

Uh, so Alonso shares a birthday with my old man whilst I share a birthday with Aryton >>> wicked.

230

Great point about in season testing ban.

All of Ferrari's systems were built around limitless testing, their infrastructure, and 2 test tracks.

Max Mosley, who had am axe to grind with Ferrari, and Todt since, as he and LdM had a major falling out in 2008 have been happy to restrict testing.

The effect of this, which was highlighted by Pat Fry when he joined, was all the other teams had CFD and simulators that were years ahead of Ferrari's systems, which means Ferrari has to catch up. De La Rosa confirmed this about the simulator when he joined.

So yes, Ferrari is making changes, but it's always been said by the Newey's and Brawn's of this world, that it takes between 2 and 3 years to change the system. So Fry is nearly completing his second year, I'd expect massive progress next year.

231

I think you have things a bit mixed up.

Testing restriction was initiated by the teams via FOTA as a cost saving measure.

232
unF1nnished business

It's Ayrton.

233

No driver in history shares my b'day. Unless Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson gets the Red Bull drive next year 😉 Could be worth a rumour in the break.

Happy B'day Mr Goferet 🙂

234

@ Glennb

Thanks mate but actually my b-day is in March.

235

It's widely known that Ferrari's strength was belting their cars around Fiorano with no restrictions. That's why they've always pushed against the testing bans.

236

This could be perfect for Mark Webber. I know how much he loves Porsche, but Ferrari were already very keen for Mark Webber's services in 2011 and 2013. With Fernando Alonso out, Ferrari may be keen to give Mark Webber an offer he cannot refuse. And I'm sure Porsche would not stand in the way, realising that Mark will come to them after a couple of years with Ferrari to finish off his F1 career and get the title that he undoubtedly deserves.

It was an interesting race on the weekend, and for once Mark got a decent start from the dirty side of the grid. Mark could have given himself a great chance to challenge for the win in the race by delaying his first pitstop. It appeared obvious, that as soon as he pitted he would catch up to Alonso quickly and be delayed. Therefore he should definitely have stayed out a little bit longer for his first stint, and given himself more flexibility for the race (and even gone for a two stop race to give him second position at the very least).

After Mark's second stop, it was bizarre, he was flying and all of a sudden he backed off by a second or so a lap. Again, one can never be sure with Red Bull - because, yes, they do absolutely want Mark to score as many points as possible BUT not at the expense of Seb Vettel.

And then again after his last stop, even taking into consideration the traffic he had, his lap times were wildly inconsistent. Then Red Bull gave him the message he was free to chase Seb Vettel and Kimi, but this was after it was obvious, he had held back for far too long to be able to challenge, so seemed to be a Red Bull media message. (Red Bull are famous for telling everybody they treat Mark the same as they treat Seb, but the reality is way, way different).

Bottom line, it is clear that Mark Webber is on Seb Vettel's pace, and at his good circuits (Melbourne, Malaysia, Monaco, Spain, Nurburgring, Hungary, Italy, Silverstone) still often faster. So, Ferrari should make a move for Webber; Porsche would not stand in the way of Mark. Go for it Mark! Go for it Ferrari!

237

If Alonso gave the nod, Mark would have been in the Ferrari seat this year, But Alonso knows that Webber is a 'no quarter asked, no quarter given' a very far but ruthless driver. Webber is not a puppy dog'fetch the ball' Fido as Massa is. The problems I see at Ferrari are these;

a. Massa, the guy as a number 2 driver in a top team has become a beacon of unreliable carbon fibre hopelessness. Ferrari management behind closed doors have given Alonso a a list of candidates for the 2014 seat. In retrospect I doubt that Alonso would be happy with anyone on offer. Montozemolo wants the constructors so bad but finally Ferrari realize that they can never get there with a weak second driver pairing.

b. The Ferrari engine/ powertrain PROBABLY isn't anywhere near as competitive as the Renault or Merc for next year. Nobody knows not even the press. Alonso would know this for sure. Maybe he would have serious doubts about any future title chances. Let's also not forget that Honda power will be involved in 2015.

238

MW to Ferrari? Not bad for a No2 driver.....

239

Excellent choice!

And mighty Fiat will blow little Bug sky high if they stand in the way!

240

Something reminds me of the captain of the Costa Concordia.

Perhaps it's just the Italian connection.

241

Who is the Captain? Alonso?

He is not the captain....it is Domenicali. Alonso is an employee. Domenicali needs to know how to connect all the folks and tools he has to deliver the win, not Alonso. If you understand what management is.

242

Employed as....? Employed to do what?

243

No & no. Domenicali is also an employee.

Try LDM.

244

Alonso at Ferrari is like Lionel Messi playing football for Liverpool. The best in the world, plying their trades at teams that were once the best but now just live on their history. I fully understand why Alonso is frustrated, Ferrari have remained so focused on their history they've been overtaken by the other teams. Much like Liverpool FC.

245

To be fair this Ferrari does handle like a truck. Maybe Ferrari should be less precious.

Alonso is definitely wasting his talent at Ferrari. Deserves a better car for sure

Having said that it's more likely to see him at mclaren than kimi at Ferrari

246

From what I've been hearing last couple of days, you may be closer to the truth than you possibly imagine..

247

Pairing Sergio and getting thoroughly schooled won't go down well with ElFraud's fanboys but that's the Price to pay for interfering with the natural order.

248

How so? Kimi left Ferrari on good terms unlike Fernando, who burnt his bridges at McLaren.

249

Kimi left on good enough terms i suppose... Maybe Ferrari/Lotus driver swap? Kimi for Alonso?

250

Okay now am confused for I wonder whether Alonso may really end up working with Newey???

Yes, Alonso and Prost's careers have had a similar trajectory so this leaves having doubts e.g.

Both Prost and Alonso raced for Renault then went off to Mclaren, only to leave for Ferrari and ultimately ending up working with Newey.

Maybe I should place a bet.

251

It seems that Alonso has all the political nous of Prost.

Whats even funnier is that Prost left all his teams on bad terms, seems like Alonso is carrying on the tradition

252

Timely intervention by the Boss!!!

Frankly Alonso may be a very good driver, but I was growing tired of so many reports claming he outperformed in slow car, maximised his results in slow car i.e what do other drivers do on a raceday? take a stroll in the park?

He needed a tap on the head to get his act together and now he has got one!

Lets see how this unfolds...

253

Maybe, maybe Alonso needed a tap on the head.... But why did Ferrari (LdM) chose to go public like this ?

It could and should have been settled behind closed doors...... unless they want to split.

254

Well Alonso keeps criticizing his team publicly, so his got told in his own way. BTW, Luca is the boss, and he just told entire Ferrari team "this is unacceptable" (abt their current status), special dig at Alonso because of Alonso's comments.

255

Think 2012....like him or not, he was by far the best driver on the grid. He really did miracles. I am not saying he is a superman, but last year was something you do not see very often.

256

Best is one possible explanation (for the early part of the season), extremely lucky is another one...

257

What?? Miracles??? Taking advantage of others misfortunes yes...

258

"but last year was something you do not see very often"

What?... somebody finishing second?

259

No point to argue...enjoy life

260

His car was on par with the RBR on Sundays. Ferrari only lacked on Saturday qualifying but their super starts always nihil'd that.

Many people bought the hype Alonso spread how the car was 4th fastest. It was as good on race day as the RBR, sometimes even faster.

261

No, no miracles, just a car that was poor in Quali trim, but one of the fastest in Race trim.

This means he got to slice forwards through the field. It was NOT a "dog of a car" .. like this year's, it is often the fastest or roughly equal to, he is definitely NOT Superman, he got beaten by a Rookie in an identical car remember.

262

2012 was that way because of Mclarens reliability and Redbull adjusting to new regulation immediately they did it was all over for Ferrari.

263

I don't dislike him and I agree about 2012 (miracles!) but only for the start of the season say about 4-5 races. Ferrari were by and large "on pace" from Barcelona last year.

264

Last year's Ferrari was the best (if not best, atleast 2nd best) in race trim. They were very fast in the first half also. Added to that, they were very fast off the grid and had a bullet-proof reliability. Compare that with any other car.

Agree that Alonso performed well; but he ain't God last year.

265

And I almost forget, don't get me wrong, the 100 points or so Alonso scored on those last six or seven races are a remarkable tally, it is only that Vettel scored some 150 which is amazing and is usually brushed aside with that, most obnoxious of statements: oh, but he had the best car!

266

Yes, you don't see guys picking up places because other cars have problems. Not these days. The fact is Ferrari as a team scored more points than Red Bull while, at the same time Vettel recovered 40 points from Alonso. Of course by then Massa was in such a bad position nobody really noticed he scored almost as many points as did Alonso while having to get out of the way from his team mate. The car was not that bad and the championship was Alonso's to loose. But everybody is entitled to their own opinion.

267

I can't see who would replace Alonso if he was to leave Ferrari now, there isn't anyone as good available. Unless it's a Alonso to Red Bull, Vettal to Ferrari type scenario. But that's unlikely to happen either. I can't see Raikkonen going back to Ferrari, so that doesn't leave a top driver to take Alonso's place.

268

VETTEL!!! He said many times about his desire to drive a Ferrari. Now is the time... 😎

269

"so that doesn’t leave a top driver to take Alonso’s place"

That depends on your definition of a top driver.

270

Currently I see the top drivers as VET, HAM and ALO. You could include RAI and BUT as former World champs. All currently contracted to respective teams. Can't see RAI back at Ferrari, and I can't see who out of the rest of the drivers can make the step up and be a team leading driver.

HULK looks like a good prospect for the future, but I don't think he's currently a lead driver. Perhaps I'm wrong.....

271

Button always wanted to work for Ferrari and seems like McL want to bring Magnussen (spelling!!) in for next season.

272

Even thou Button is a former world champ and on his day can be the fastest driver, I see him struggling in an almost competitive car, so he's no ALO, HAM or VET who can get results with uncompetitive cars.

273

Don't despair: I think you should read the following suggestion:

23. Posted By: Jay Bopara

274

That might just work!

275

tut tut, i think Kimi will have a laugh at Fernando's problem! He might know what is coming next.

Does this mean Fernando will go back to Enistone for the third time? And will we have Kimi and Ricardo in the Red bull next year?

It's Silly season people it's nearly as intresting as the racing!!

276

You bet! I love the silly season, rumours and politics of F1, they're as interesing as racing itself...

277

If Kimi goes to Red Bull, then Alonso at Lotus is not such a bad move. If you gave him a choice between a Ferrari and a Lotus, I suspect we both know what the answer would be, and it ain't the car in red.

278

It is very kind of all parties involved to have given us F1 obsessives something to talk about during break.

I’ve thought for a while that both Ferrari and Mclaren have been far too lenient on allowing drivers to criticise the teams cars, this kind of response has been a long time coming.

I can imagine the reality will be a very simple private acknowledgement from Alonso to Montezemolo that he went too far. All will be forgiven and the team will move on.

But for the sake of the summer break why not talk up the possibility that Ferrari have actually already lost faith in Fernando and that they are building a new team around the last driver to win a world championship with the team. With the recent announcement of the Hiring of Allison coupled with Kimi’s relationship with Pat Fry from his time at Mclaren, is it possible Ferrari have taken the decision that now is the time to change. Alonso has failed (thus far) to succeed over 4 years not many drivers are given that long to deliver (apart from Schumacher )

It may be a very Hollywood scenario but Kimi returning to Ferrari, could be exactly what the team needs, having had 5 seasons to reflect on what went wrong this time it could work.

As for Alonso, current form may dilute his perceived value a little but in my scenario where it is Ferrari tiring of him rather than the opposite I can imagine him taking a sabbatical over racing elsewhere. RBR would surely see greater commercial value in Kimi over Fernando, and significant risk in team unrest in hiring Fernando. Lotus would be an option, but may also feel he isn’t right for the team anymore.

Thank you Red Bull, Ferrari and Fernando for giving us something to think about in the break. Please don’t ruin it by announcing peace before the week is out!

279

+1.

280

Ha ha. Very well put. However, it would be insane for Ferrari to drop their pilot. For someone with political ambitions, Luca di seems to have surprisingly little political nouce. His intervention is dousing the flames with fuel... he needs to cool the situation. Alonso is a proud chap, he won't like this public ticking off about nothing.

IMO the way forward

- huge public charm offensive by Luca to pacify Alonso.

- Massa and Smedley sent home, now, before Spa.

If Kimi can't be got alongside FA, then young Jules Bianchi replaces Massa with immediate effect. I know that is taking a huge chance, but Jules looks to be up for it. Give him time to grow within the team, and there is at least a good chance he will be the Alonso of the future.

An alternative for Luca to consider: demoralise Alonso within the status quo, then as with Kimi, make Massa the standard bearer for Ferrari. That was a big joke first time round, even more hilarious now.

281

Massa must be relieved the fireworks are not on him for a change.

282

Ferrari likes Massa for his loyalty to the team, IMHO.

283

Yeap, but unfortunately you do not win races with loyalty.

284
unF1nnished business

+1 - good one!

285

Good for Luca!!! Showing the world who the boss is!!!!

No driver should bash his car/team in public. It is ok to say something like "there is room for improvement" but not much more than that. Drivers should be politically correct when talking to the media. And in the case of Alonso he should be more mature. And he should know better. He has been there for almost 4 years.

I said this same thing about Button when he was complaning too much about his car early in the season. The debates and complaints should take place behind closed doors.

As for De La Rosa test, well it seems to be public so if FIA doesn´t say anything I guess it´s ok

286

@ Anne, and Jon Wilde, why shouldn't drivers criticise their cars/teams? Churchill said “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” Only fools surround themselves with yes-men. If Di Montezemolo wants criticism to be kept behind closed doors, then he should be a good leader and set the example. Publicly lambasting Alonso is pure hypocrisy and dooms the team to the possibility Alonso will quit.

287

Read carefully. I said all critisism, debate pointing finger,etc must take place behind closed doors. Since Alonso decided to do in public so now the team is lambasting him in public as you put it. And now Alonso has to face this media scrutiny. I don´t think Alonso will quit. I think he is learning a lesson.

288

We are in the all P.R. era in sports, politics, entertaiment,etc. And Churchill was not. Besides Chrchill was a public official.People paid his salary. He had other kind of responsibility and so did his cabinet members. In a company like Ferrari cat fights, big egos and prima donna behaviour are not allowed in public. And it is Luca who pays everyone´s salary. And there are sponsors who might not be happy. Imagine a Microsoft worker saying he wishes his company to be like Apple while talking to the media. Well Bill Gates is not going to congratulate that worker for saying that. That worker doesn´t have the right to create that public controversy.

Look for the appropiate words while addressing the media. Be polite and politically correct. Think carefully about the words you´re saying. That´s all I´m asking Alonso to do. And he should take responsibility for his own mistakes on and off the track. He never does.

And I don´t think Luca´s comments came for one little thing. It seems he was fed up with many things. And might not know all those things

289
TheLollipopMan

Anne, you failed to answer my question and justify your argument. Now, read carefully... I asked: "why shouldn’t drivers criticise their cars/teams?"

Why is it okay for LDM to publicly criticise the team, and Alonso cannot?

And please don't give us the "he's the boss" spiel. Churchill was the Prime Minister of Britain and yet he was open to critique. Likewise, LDM should be setting a positive example for his employees to follow.

No wonder Ferrari are falling apart.

290

Kimi will be back at Ferrari to replace Massa. Fernando will be regulated to #2 status to show him what happens when he shoots his mouth off. Eventually Fernando will want out of his contract at no cost to Ferrari! Clever man that Luca!

291

Kimi was beaten BY MASSA, right??? Why do you think Kimi will make ALO number 2??? Keep dreaming.

292

If you read his message you would understand why. If you did read it. Read it again and think about it.

293

Perfect, providing Kimi and Felipe swap drives.

294

Not sure about the swap. Who wants Felipe?

295

I think it's fairly obvious that Alonso is sending the message that they better build him a better car... or else. He's lost patience, he's not getting any younger, and he only has a window of maybe 3 more years or so in relatively peak driving form in which to win a third championship. He's using the clout he has built over the past three years, in which the public perception has been that he has dragged a thoroughly undeserving car into title contention. Ferrari is used to being the ones whose car flatters the driver (even during the Schumacher era, as many still question his reputation as a driver on the fact that he had such a dominant car), and now they have to deal with an unusual card being played against them in the ever political environment in the team.

I don't think Montezemolo's comments are as much a sign of the relationship breaking down as much as it is just simply him trying to take control. Alonso has always been Montezemolo's choice. Montezemolo dumped Kimi from the team to make room for him. Montezemolo has constantly praised Alonso's quality as a driver and made a number of comments acknowledging his dragging the team into contention when they probably shouldn't have been. I think, in reality, Montezemolo sympathizes with Alonso's mood. But this whole situation was a power play by Alonso to use the perception of Ferrari's competitive position to his advantage, and this was simply his way of quashing it and regaining control. This was necessary, because one wonders who really is in charge at Ferrari these days, given that the team really seems to have been a bit aimless from the competitive/technical side the last three seasons. Couple Montezemolo's comments with the just confirmed arrival of James Allison to essentially take over the car, I think the message that was sent yesterday by Ferrari is one of leadership taking charge.

Alonso is not going to leave Ferrari. Neither side has another direction in which to go in the next couple of years, which is realistically all the time left in which Alonso can hope to maintain championship form. Vettel is tied to Red Bull for two more years. Hamilton has found his place with Mercedes, and Rosberg has emerged as a top driver who has cemented his place alongside him there. There are serious doubts about Lotus' funds and operational capabilities, and Kimi will not be returning to Maranello as long as Montezemolo is around. I think that a McLaren reunion would not be as far fetched as many think, as Whitmarsh has spoken publicly about his admiration for Alonso and his regret over the fact the situation didn't work out. But Alonso will not consider them simply because they are not the team they used to be, and they will have a lame duck year next year and at the very least one development year with a new Honda engine in 2015. So the two sides are married to each, and now it's about clearing the air with the frustration at the team's competitiveness and taking the next step forward.

296

Agreed, very well said.

297

Well said

299

Ferrari hired Alonso because he's a champion AND an outspoken, dominant, driving personality. They missed Schumachers complete 'alpha' mentality. Massa is very passive, Kimi is virtually comatose in terms of public passion. When Ferrari announced Alonso one of the first things they praised in the media was his ambition and willingness to push the team...

So for them to act like its a surprise when the guy is true to form and starts speaking his mind and pushing everyone with threatening, dominant mind games is totally pathetic.

Ferrari seem to want to hire individuals and then panic when they have an opinion. They are schizophrenic in the extreme. Is it all about passion as they claim? Or is it all about toeing the party line and keeping quiet? They can't have both.

I'm not the biggest Alonso fan but surely they knew what they were getting. A driver who just never gives up and has monumental ambition. A driver who took the baton from Schumacher only to find himself facing Hamilton and now Vettel as younger 'torch-bearers' for dominant force in F1.

Alonso's frustration is very well hidden (compare the public frustration of Hamilton with his previous team) but Ferrari displaying buyers remorse at Alonso is disingenuous.

300

I found it always funny. Driver pushing team. If that is something team requires that is the alarm sign for something is wrong.

If team technical knowledge is so degenerative that they have to turn to driver - who is lets face it, dummy in the class - they are not going to build a competitive car.

Top teams are top teams for a reason. They have a car, they add a driver and they are fast. Yes there is some minor feedback. But assuming a driver will lead to a great car is totally misleading.

Schumacher had a super car not because he had unfinished diploma in social behaviour and aero-engineering, but because he had the best experts around him who did not have to be reminded how to do their job.

301

The greatest ever hasn't yet passed his baton to anyone, although in natural (top-shelf + gate-free) order the main candidates are obviously Seb, Kimi and Lew.

302

+10

It's puzzling why Ferrari responded so publicly.

I can only guess that it is to prepare the tifosi for a driver change.

LdM must be close to pulling the plug on 2013 development and refocus on 2014. Alonso probably wants out. He is such a racer at heart, it must be soul destroying to push when he knows his team has given up.

To win the WDC title, Ferrari is now not just fighting RB, but also Hamilton Mercedes, and Kimi Lotus. Ferrari of course has a chance - but it's looking less than a 15% chance.

303

Well....you can still have an opinion, but why express in public? Will it solve the problem? Will it motivate the team? So yes, opinions are important, but they need to be properly used.

304

His only public pronouncement was that he'd like to have the other car - which is a fairly minimal display of frustration compared to virtually every other driver...

My point was however that Ferrari praised Alonso's willingness to speak his mind and push the team when he signed up. Now they're complaining about it. They knew what they were getting and are not sure how to handle it. They wanted a powerful personality who would not toe the party line but they also can't handle it.

It's like marrying someone because they are a brilliant conversationalist and then complaining that they don't shut up all day!

305

I fully back you on this opinions.

306

There were question marks over Alonso's capabilities for a while especially during Saturday qualifying. Only one person from the team raised this openly and then Alonso started throwing all his toys out of the pram.

The media especially the British media projects Alonso as the best but the fact is there is no proper bench mark right now. Hamilton virtually destroyed him at McLarens. Sadly Massa has been destroyed beyond repair by the team in order to help Alonso to win the Driver's Championship.

Ferrari doesn't really criticise its employees in public; they tend to protect them. It looks like either things have gone too far or things have been blown out of proportion by the media.

If Alonso doesn't get the Red Bull seat (which he won't), he may try to go to Lotus.

307

Yes, and McLaren used different tyre pressure on Alonso's car. FIA stewards had to check his car to assure it was not tampered by the team. "We are basically racing Fernando", remember???

308

Hamilton was hardly a rookie in the true sense of the word. A Mclaren protege for how many years? Ron Dennis's love child.

If things had been handled differently at Mclaren, Nando and Lewis would be multiple drivers and constructors champions.

309

So Hamilton virtually destroyed Fernando at Mclaren.........care to elaborate?!?!

I must have been watching a different championship.

310

It's hilarious, isn't it?

Despite finishing level on points, Alonso being frozen out of the team from Hungary onwards, AND Alonso beating Hamilton at the driver's circuits of Monaco, Silverstone and Spa people still persist with this "Hamilton smashed Alonso" myth.

312

Hamilton was a rookie and still finished above Alonso.

313

Self-evident to all and sundry except alonsisti.

314

You have to take it in the same sense when they say that Alonso carries 3/10's of a second with him, Alonso can build a team around him and win..

315

+1. And for the good of Lotus one hopes he doesn't get there either.

316

"Hamilton virtually destroyed him at McLarens"

Ehh Alonso and Hamilton finished the season equal on points.

317

I said it many times during the last couple of years: personality of Alonso leaves a lot to be desired. But those who want to know, they know - no need to reiterate (Crashgate, Spygate, etc).

I am thinking about qualities of a true leader here. Ultimately, he went to Ferrari in order to win his 3rd title. A multi-year contract with Ferrari would give at least one strong chance to clinch the title when everything goes perfectly right (car, strategies, reliability, operations, etc). I think this is what Alonso had in mind.

Now he understands that time is running out and Ferrari is not getting any better at all. They are moving backwards not forward. Next 2-3 years it will be about Mercedes and Red Bull and I am sure that Alonso is aware.

He needs to do something. I would struggle to find any motivation to give my absolute best knowing that the team is not doing the same.

I think Alonso has 2 paths really:

1. Make Ferrari the team where he is going to take that title and for this he needs to collaborate with LDM on several fronts: hire Newey, possibly replace Domenicali with Ross Brawn and let them focus on building the winning team. See the plan how the team will get on top of wind tunnel issues and really get on top of qualifying issues. There must be a clear plan to address all these areas. If things stay the same or just minor changes will be made (Allison), then there is no hope.

2. If step 1 doesn't work, then get a seat with either Mercedes or Red Bull.

I think true leadership is not about complaining, it is about making all things possible to win. I think a true leader would make the step 1 work, a wannabe would proceed with step 2. I think Schumacher had something extra and made step 1 work for him.

318

All this talk about leadership by Alonso is not worth a pinch a salt.

What you need is an Adrian Newey for an engineer and a pure racer like Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel. Simple!

319

alonso is a great driver who brings a lot of politics into the sport. other drivers are not as brave when it comes to politics.