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Montezemolo gets tough with Alonso: Where do they go from here?
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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.

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526 Comments
  1. F1fan says:

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

    1. AlexD says:

      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.

      1. simon says:

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

      2. 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?

      3. KRB says:

        Guess it could’ve been worse … dead fish in newspaper, or equine noggins in some nice sheets. :-D

      4. Youngslinger says:

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

      5. Cali says:

        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.

      6. hero_was_senna says:

        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.

      7. Scott says:

        Thanks for posting that, I enjoyed the read.

      8. Youngslinger says:

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

    2. Wayne says:

      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.

      1. Ricardo says:

        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.

      2. JCA says:

        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.

      3. Chris M says:

        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.

      4. Quercus says:

        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.

      5. Gul says:

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

      6. **Paul** says:

        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.

      7. Wayne says:

        Sorry I meant 2008!

      8. Grant says:

        We’ve seen the Lewis/Alonso battle already.

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

      9. Quade says:

        Lewis + Alonso = Nuclear Fallout!

      10. David Hope says:

        Presume you meant 2008 there

      11. Andrew M says:

        “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…

      12. David says:

        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.

      13. Andrew Carter says:

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

      14. SteveS says:

        “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.

      15. Veena says:

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

      16. Zombie says:

        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.

      17. Valentino from montreal says:

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

        Thanx for your posts , always a pleasure !

      18. Randy_Torres says:

        @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

    3. H.Guderian says:

      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.

    4. Marpabel says:

      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.

      1. deancassady says:

        +1
        Clearly, Kimi didn’t bring the necessary drama queen elements to Maranello

      2. Elie says:

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

    5. Scuderia McLaren says:

      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.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        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.

      2. Valentino from montreal says:

        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 ..

      3. Scuderia McLaren says:

        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.

      4. hero_was_senna says:

        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.

      5. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Yeah read that too HWS ;)

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

      6. W Johnson says:

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

      7. Elie says:

        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!

      8. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Good follow on points there.

        +1

      9. Pete says:

        Scuderia McLaren
        Spot on
        :)

    6. Thalasa says:

      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?

      1. Marty says:

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

      2. Thalasa says:

        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.

      3. The Real JC says:

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

      4. Elie says:

        Their called Alonso parrots..

      5. Javier Marcelo says:

        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!

    7. Arno says:

      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…

      1. Me says:

        Pot… Kettle… Black…

    8. All revved-up says:

      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.

      1. Dan says:

        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! :)

      2. Javier Marcelo says:

        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….

      3. Javier Marcelo says:

        and RBR neather…

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

  2. Gudien says:

    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?

    1. ngwe_f1 says:

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

      1. Ricardo says:

        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.

      2. Get Well Soon Murray says:

        Red Bull?

      3. Grabyrdy says:

        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.

      4. Randy_Torres says:

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

      5. Yago says:

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

    2. Thread the Needle says:

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

      1. krischar says:

        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

    3. J Hancock says:

      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.

      1. Gudien says:

        **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?

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        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

      3. J Hancock says:

        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.

  3. F1fan says:

    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?

    1. Nick_F1 says:

      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.

      1. Jean-Christophe says:

        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.

      2. CarlH says:

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

      3. Doobs says:

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

      4. Nick_F1 says:

        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.

      5. dj says:

        @Doobs
        Which driver?

      6. Alberto Dietz says:

        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.

      7. Zombie says:

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

      8. Andrew Carter says:

        Sounds more like a way to bury it.

      9. JTW says:

        What are you smoking? :-)

    2. H.Guderian says:

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

      1. sergiu says:

        +1!

  4. John Gibson says:

    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.

    1. AlexD says:

      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.

      1. John Gibson says:

        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.

      2. H.Guderian says:

        Totally agree!!!

      3. Woody says:

        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.

      4. Optimaximal says:

        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.

      5. Get Well Soon Murray says:

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

      6. Monikin says:

        +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.

      7. sniper says:

        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

      8. Devon says:

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

        wonder if the red men would consider him?

      9. Andrew Carter says:

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

    2. Antti says:

      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.

      1. Tim says:

        +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.

      2. rad_g says:

        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…

      3. Tim says:

        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 ;-)

      4. hero_was_senna says:

        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”

    3. cc says:

      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.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        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

    4. SH says:

      I hear Webber is available … sort of.

  5. JohnBt says:

    More news for the four week break. GREAT!

  6. dimitris says:

    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.

    1. Ricardo says:

      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.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        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

      2. Ricardo says:

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

      3. Dave Aston says:

        I reckon Enzo would have LOVED Kobayashi!

  7. TheLollipopMan says:

    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!

    1. Sven says:

      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.

      1. Hansb says:

        “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.

      2. Ricardo says:

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

      3. nicolas nogaret says:

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

      4. **Paul** says:

        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.

      5. Rockie says:

        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.

      6. Chris M says:

        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.

      7. TheLollipopMan says:

        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.

      8. Galapago555 says:

        “There are many drivers in the paddock potentially faster than Alonso”

        mmm… really?

      9. F1fan says:

        Only one, Vettel.

      10. Richard says:

        Give anybody that Red Bull really

      11. Alberto Dietz says:

        Spot on, Sven.

    2. Jim says:

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

      1. TheLollipopMan says:

        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.

      2. Optimaximal says:

        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.

      3. Phil says:

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

      4. Doobs says:

        Arguably he doesn’t run RB either, Vettel does ;)

      5. Denise says:

        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.

      6. Andrew Carter says:

        Didn’t he drive both?

      7. Tutti says:

        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.

      8. SteveS says:

        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)

    3. Rudy says:

      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.

      1. H.Guderian says:

        What did ALO say that is “burning the bridges”???

      2. Lewis says:

        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.

      3. Colombia Concalvez says:

        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

      4. rad_g says:

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

  8. Cakes says:

    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

    1. krischar says:

      “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

      1. Ricardo says:

        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.

      2. Yago says:

        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!

      3. Krischar says:

        @ 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

      4. Ricardo says:

        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?

      5. Anne says:

        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.

      6. **Paul** says:

        “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.

      7. Krischar says:

        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.

      8. Alberto Dietz says:

        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.

      9. K says:

        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.

      10. snailtrail says:

        Very very true – they would be nowhere without FA.

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

      11. Ricardo says:

        They seem to be nowhere with him also

      12. H.Guderian says:

        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.

  9. Steve says:

    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?

      1. Sebastian says:

        Maybe they want to check how Kubica is doing.

        Cheers

    1. aezy_doc says:

      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!

      1. Clear View says:

        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!

    2. Baruni says:

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

      1. James Allen says:

        No you’re not!

      2. Doobs says:

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

    3. Fireman says:

      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.

    4. jpinx says:

      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 ;)

      1. Doobs says:

        No they don’t, that’s the Asians.
        Italians invented the phrase “voltafaccia” -”about face”.

    5. JTW says:

      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.

  10. Warren G says:

    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.

  11. Chris M says:

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

    1. Paul L says:

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

      1. Amadis says:

        +2

    2. MichaelG says:

      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.

    3. Doobs says:

      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.

    4. Multi 21 says:

      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.

  12. Fernanrari says:

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

  13. Hansb says:

    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.

    1. CarlH says:

      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.

      1. puffing says:

        +1.

    2. Roger Blackwell says:

      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.

    3. toleman fan says:

      >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…

      1. James Allen says:

        He’s worked at Ferrari before

      2. Brad says:

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

      3. hero_was_senna says:

        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.

    4. JTW says:

      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? :-)

    5. Doobs says:

      Mercedes goo work during the Pirelli test starting to bear fruit I’d say…

  14. anon says:

    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).

    1. Martin Hussey says:

      You mean you need a Newey ;-)

      1. Ricardo says:

        I think he meant Vettel.

      2. simon says:

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

      3. Optimaximal says:

        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.

      4. Rockie says:

        Did Newey design the Merc?

      5. Doobs says:

        Pirelli designed the Merc ;)

      6. anon says:

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

      7. hero_was_senna says:

        That would be none, but you already knew that.

    2. Alberto Dietz says:

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

  15. Dux says:

    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.

    1. Nigel says:

      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.

      1. Doobs says:

        Schumi never criticised the team.

    2. Chris says:

      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.

    3. gumo says:

      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…

      1. puffing says:

        Precisely so both, point A to and point B.

  16. Anop says:

    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?

    1. James Allen says:

      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

      1. Anil says:

        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.

    2. AlexD says:

      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.

      1. John Bt says:

        Very good analysis +1

      2. unF1nnished business says:

        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.

    3. Nick_F1 says:

      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.

      1. Colombia Concalvez says:

        I was thinking exactly the same

      2. Jake says:

        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.

      3. Anop says:

        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.

  17. alexyoong says:

    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?

    1. Witan says:

      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.

  18. Jon says:

    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.

  19. Christos Pallis says:

    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…!

    1. Ricardo says:

      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…

    2. JimmiC says:

      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!

    3. JCA says:

      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).

      1. JCA says:

        Gotta love auto correct.

    4. Sarvar says:

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

  20. Peter Doff says:

    Love the knife to put between teeth bit.
    Thought all F1 folk carried knives to stab each
    other in the back.

  21. Elie says:

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

    1. AlexD says:

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

      1. Elie says:

        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

      2. Youngslinger says:

        Not publicly reprimanded………..!

      3. F1fan says:

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

      4. Elie says:

        I didn’t say publicaly

      5. Elie says:

        @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.!

    2. unF1nnished business says:

      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!

  22. goferet says:

    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.

    1. Optimaximal says:

      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.

    2. Glennb says:

      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 :)

      1. goferet says:

        @ Glennb

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

    3. unF1nnished business says:

      It’s Ayrton.

    4. hero_was_senna says:

      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.

      1. James Allen says:

        I think you have things a bit mixed up.

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

  23. Jay Bopara says:

    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!

    1. simon says:

      Excellent choice!

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

    2. Youngslinger says:

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

    3. Tony theJ says:

      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.

  24. Peter C says:

    Something reminds me of the captain of the Costa Concordia.

    Perhaps it’s just the Italian connection.

    1. AlexD says:

      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.

      1. Peter C says:

        No & no. Domenicali is also an employee.
        Try LDM.

      2. AlexD says:

        Employed as….? Employed to do what?

  25. mjsib says:

    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.

  26. IP says:

    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

    1. MikeyB says:

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

      1. IP says:

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

    2. Alberto Dietz says:

      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.

    3. hero_was_senna says:

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

  27. goferet says:

    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.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      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

  28. Harshad says:

    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…

    1. AlexD says:

      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.

      1. Ricardo says:

        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.

      2. Ricardo says:

        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!

      3. Joel says:

        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.

      4. Harshad says:

        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.

      5. Rockie says:

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

      6. Steve B says:

        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.

      7. K says:

        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.

      8. Me says:

        “but last year was something you do not see very often”

        What?… somebody finishing second?

      9. AlexD says:

        No point to argue…enjoy life

      10. Brad says:

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

      11. andre says:

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

    2. Hansb says:

      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.

      1. Harshad says:

        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.

  29. Jon says:

    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.

    1. simon says:

      Don’t despair: I think you should read the following suggestion:
      23. Posted By: Jay Bopara

      1. Jon says:

        That might just work!

    2. Joel says:

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

      1. Jon says:

        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.

    3. Me says:

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

      That depends on your definition of a top driver.

      1. Jon says:

        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…..

    4. H.Guderian says:

      VETTEL!!! He said many times about his desire to drive a Ferrari. Now is the time… 8-)

  30. ashboy says:

    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!!

    1. IJW says:

      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.

    2. Sid says:

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

  31. Jon Wilde says:

    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!

    1. Phil Glass says:

      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.

    2. Alberto Dietz says:

      +1.

  32. Gul says:

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

    1. unF1nnished business says:

      +1 – good one!

    2. Sarvar says:

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

      1. H.Guderian says:

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

  33. Anne says:

    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

    1. TheLollipopMan says:

      @ 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.

      1. Anne says:

        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.

      2. TheLollipopMan says:

        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.

      3. Anne says:

        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

  34. Sensei.GT says:

    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!

    1. Alberto Dietz says:

      Perfect, providing Kimi and Felipe swap drives.

      1. Anop says:

        Not sure about the swap. Who wants Felipe?

    2. H.Guderian says:

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

      1. Kimi4WDC says:

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

  35. Paige says:

    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.

    1. Chris C says:

      Well said

    2. Brooks says:

      Agreed, very well said.

  36. AuraF1 says:

    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.

    1. AlexD says:

      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.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        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!

      2. puffing says:

        I fully back you on this opinions.

    2. All revved-up says:

      +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.

    3. Alberto Dietz says:

      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.

    4. Kimi4WDC says:

      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.

  37. Rob Newman says:

    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.

    1. Hansb says:

      “Hamilton virtually destroyed him at McLarens”

      Ehh Alonso and Hamilton finished the season equal on points.

    2. Alberto Dietz says:

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

    3. Larcxy says:

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

      I must have been watching a different championship.

      1. Veena says:

        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..

      2. Rob Newman says:

        Hamilton was a rookie and still finished above Alonso.

      3. Alberto Dietz says:

        Self-evident to all and sundry except alonsisti.

      4. Multi 21 says:

        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.

    4. H.Guderian says:

      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???

      1. Larcxy says:

        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.

  38. AlexD says:

    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.

    1. Giorgio says:

      Step 2 is more easier and attractive for him :)
      to winning WDC, but after many statements he used to do during his Ferrari era, that’ll hurt his moral image a bit..
      I’d say he has got tough task to deal with..

    2. krischar says:

      You cannot compare schumacher’s stint with Ferrari and Alonso

      It was a ERA where Ferrari covered all the basis and Ferrari had too much political influence in F1. Schumacher waited for years in Ferrari and it worked out for him very nicely indeed. Ferrari had a very clever team not just schumacher delivered them 5 WDC’s on his own (Which Alonso tried twice now and failed)

      Alonso hardly was too critical about Ferrari, he made soft statement and LDM reacted in the worst possible way.

      Alonso cannot go and push each and every member of the technical crew to improve the car. Why stefano and others are there ? jsut to get a pay check and lay the blame on team members. The latest ploy is very risky. Ferrari have tried to blame Alonso which will backfire them seriously

      The entire paddock knows how well Ferrari have perfomred ever since 2008. (gary anderson, benson, Dc and even davidson have documented the issue) Poor, slow and terrible cars were produced time and time again

      If anything this is decision time for alonso. Risk the future with assumption (Ferrari will recover), Else take a gamble and see if it works with any other team. much like lewis did from Mclaren to mercedes

    3. aveli says:

      improvements come about because of complaints.

      1. aveli says:

        i have read your interesting link and learned that it supports my idea that improvements come about because of complaints.
        your link complains about the poor performance of current leaders and how better leader are needed.

    4. Jon says:

      Ferrari have tried to hire Newey in the past, and failed because he doesn’t want to move to Italy! Can’t see why Brawn would want to go back to Ferrari, he was part of the dream team in the Schumacher years.

      I think the fundamental issues within Ferrari are the wind tunnel, and there apparent lack of ability to rectify the issues between that and production.

      1. aveli says:

        ferrari leaned on politics instead of common sense when they failed to promote brawn to team principal. brawn has since won the championship as team principal in a team named after him and is enjoying further success as team principal with the team now named mercedes while ferrari’s political choice languishes in nearly. as the saying goes, nearly is not good enough.

    5. W Johnson says:

      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!

      1. AlexD says:

        I agree with you. People demand way too much from Alonso. It is clear that Vettel joined a very strong and structured team that is the best on and off track. People know that they have Newey. Nobody is demanding Vettel to lead the team, but for some reason they demand it from Alonso. Get real….if you do not think that Alonso did more at Ferrari then Vettel at Red Bull, then…what can I say…

      2. justafan says:

        Acctually Vettel leads the team …

      3. SteveS says:

        “It is clear that Vettel joined a very strong and structured team that is the best on and off track.”

        Some remedial history is clearly in order. Red Bull was a joke of a team when Vettel joined it, having never won a single race as Red Bull or as Jaguar. It has become arguably the best team in F1 since then, but that is attributable in large measure to Vettel. People say he has to go to a bad team and turn it into a winner, but he has already down that with Red Bull.

      4. Colombia Concalvez says:

        +1

      5. aveli says:

        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.

  39. Witan says:

    The public remarks by Alonso seem quite mild and the ‘new car’ line seems more like the answer that brilliant ace Galland gave to Goring about what the Luftwaffe needed: ‘a Spitfire’.

    It was probably in the same sardonic vein too rather than a serious demand.

    And that suggests that Montezemelo overreacted to it under the stress of a team losing its way and its shine.

    What did he expect from his expensive, incredibly skilled driver whose last race was hindered by a slow car further hampered by a DRS set for practice not the race. Not the first fairly elementary mistake this season which signals internal malfunction.

  40. For sure says:

    I must admit I hated the guy for beating legendary Schumacher, but that’s what he is paid to do..
    Now I kinda feel for the guy, he never had a car close enough to fight for the title since 2007.
    Now people are saying he whines but really, if you are performing like he was and not going anywhere, it would be very hard for you to not get frustrated.. If Luca really put team’s interest above pride, he wouldn’t risk damaging the relationship with Alonso..

    1. AuraF1 says:

      All drivers ‘whine’ – they want the best car and clearly only a few of them ever have that at any given time. It’s unfair really – every great champion has been a ‘whiner’ – those who stoically keep quiet about bad cars tend not to be remembered!

    2. Alberto Dietz says:

      No amount of spin will change the undeniable fact that the greatest ever was never beaten in 2005-2006. Those still fooling themselves otherwise are kindly referred to massdampergate, as well as Ferrari’s 2005 holiday and Japan’s 2006 blown engine.

      1. For Sure says:

        I agreed that he is the greatest ever but that’s (Alonso beat him) is not the point I am trying to make..

    3. Fan says:

      Come on – he never had a car close enough to fight for the title? I stopped reading after that…

      1. For Sure says:

        Mate, I said since 2007 (sorry I meant he had a great car in 2007), you could argue that 2010 was a good car.. But still,
        one good car in like 6 years for someone who considered one of the best, that’s very bad luck..

      2. Fan says:

        In 2012 ALO came within 3 points of the WDC. the next closest driver was RAI who was 70 points behind ALO. The 2012 Ferrari was more than just a “good” car – it was among the best cars on the grid that season. In 2010 ALO was 4 points off of VET at the end of the season. Both the 2010 and 2012 Ferrari were quite capable of taking the WDC, but ALO failed to capitalize. My issue is with the comment that ALO never had a car close enough to fight for the title since 2007.

        You can feel bad for ALO, but don’t feel bad for him because he never gets a car that gives him a chance. He has had opportunities and needs to spend some time looking in the mirror before blaming the team.

      3. Warren G says:

        @ Fan – In 2005/6 Renault won the WCC, which means the second driver had a car good enough to score big points, earn podiums, win races etc.

        Since 2010 Alonso has thrashed Massa by over 100 points each season and has dragged himself into contention for the WDC on two occassions. Ferrari have been nowhere near the WCC, and as Massa has proven in the past, give him a good car and he’ll provide good results.

        A car good enough to genuinely compete for the title will have both drivers regularly on the podium and will compete for the WCC as well.

      4. Anop says:

        I’m sure Fernando can look anyone in the eye and blame the team for losing him the 2010 title. Can Ferrari blame Fernando for losing any title? Don’t think so and It’s only my opinion.

      5. Multi 21 says:

        Perfectly said.

      6. justafan says:

        Alonso crashed in Spa and those points would have secured the title. Two years later he drove into Kimi in Suzuka. Those points again cost the title.

  41. Horno says:

    Would this be what Kimi meant with a “stupid deal”, going back to the Scuderia?

    1. Kimi4WDC says:

      It does have a ring to it :) Would be so funny.

  42. Thread the Needle says:

    Luca is obviously raging about Alonso trying to dump Ferrari for Redbull for next year.

    I’m not sure who Ferrari could get, kimi wouldn’t want to go back, vettel is happy at redbull for now anyway, hamilton is settling in well at Mercedes, so maybe they are stuck with Alonso

    A man with a passion like Luca won’t allow Ferrari to be treated like this and no doubt will be putting the wheels in motion to find a new lead driver sooner rather than later

    Still can’t believe Luca made that statement about Alonso, unbelievable

    1. Alberto Dietz says:

      Unfortunately for Luca, he’s at last realizing his own, real mistake: that of hiring the multi-gated one in the first place.

    2. Me says:

      There are other drivers.

  43. ngwe_f1 says:

    Alonso should just shut his mouth and do what he is paid to do. If he is not happy with the performance of the car/team then he is free to leave. Hamilton did, and he is a happier man. Simples.

    1. Hansb says:

      Lets not talk about the times Hamilton openly criticized the McLaren team.

    2. krischar says:

      Why alonso need to shut his mouth ?

      Ferrari promised and failed to produce even a competitive car

      Many here seems to have the opposite view

      Ferrari have failed, despite that Alonso came lost the WDC twice from very close range. Alonso has done more than what is expected out of him.

      It;s the Team Ferrari have failed time and time again. Beaten by the drinks company when it comes to car development

  44. Keith says:

    Crazy and off the rails, very bad PR and management for such a high profile team, I guess that’s the Italian blood and passion of Ferrari.

    Unfortunately for them and Alonso, Red Bull, MB and Lotus are laughing their heads off at all this and watching Ferrari self destruct!

    I really do hope Lotus with Kimi or MB with Hamilton can now take the championship from Vettel, 4 years in a row is sad for the sport.

    1. Alberto Dietz says:

      On the contrary, eight years in a row will put Baby-Schumi on top of even the greatest so far, a more challenging prospect for everyone else involved.

  45. Timo says:

    James,

    You were absolutely right in yesterday’s piece about ALO playing a dangerous game by flirting with the RBR rumour.

    ALO was probably thinking that Ferrari would pamper him and rush to please him, but instead he just has had a public dressing down. ALO must surely now realize that he needs to swallow his pride and play by the rules until 2016 unless he wants to go back to Lotus or Mclaren (which is possible now that HAM has departed and Ron is not in charge of the racing team).

    Poor chap – ALO. He has tried to copy RAI’s every move without enjoying the same level of success (since 2006 that is). He signed with McLaren when RAI was still there, indirectly forcing RAI to move to Ferrari. When that didn’t work out, he forced RAI out of Ferrari. And now that RAI is looking like moving to RBR, he just couldn’t help but insert himself into the frame. He even copies RAI’s hat style!

    Jokes apart, I think ALO fears that there is tremendous potential that his legacy as the best driver in this generation could be threatened. A) HAM could end up becoming a multiple world champion if the Mercedes engine turns out as strong as expected. B) RAI could become a multiple world champion if he signs for RBR, and Newey is able to pull out another brilliant new design. C) VET could win even more world championships with RAI as a teammate, which would silence critics who think that VET is an ordinary driver in a superior car. If any of these scenarios play out — ALO’s legacy will be that of being part of a golden generation of four great drivers — not the one true great of his generaiton that he wants to be.

    Lots at stake.

    1. Ed Bone says:

      Alonso wants to win. So does everyone in the Ferrari team.

      We should not criticise their public frustration.

      The real issue is how quickly are they are going to get back to winning ways.

      Because if they dont, Fernando wont stay, that is for sure.

      Personally Id like to see Alonso at Red Bull, or a Newey-class engineer at Ferrari.

      That would superchrage the championship.

      :-)

    2. SteveS says:

      Remind me again, what high quality teammate did Alonso have while winning the 2005 and 2006 championships in the best car? (A car equipped with the illegal mass damper as well)

      He has no legacy as “the best driver of this generation”. The English media tout him as such in an effort to reflect glory back on their own golden boy, Hamilton. In reality his titles are as good (or as bad, if that’s the way you wish to see it) as Vettels.

      1. Truth or Lies says:

        Nicely put.

        I must admitt I am always amazed why some UK journalists seem to praise Alomso so highly. Just one example, in Autosports rate the driver feature this Monday they gave Alonso an 8 for his efforts in Budapest and Massa only a 6, yet their weekends were very similar.

        This is a running theme, whereby Alonso is always lauded as a superior driver in an inferior car.

      2. Phil R says:

        I’d say 25 seconds is probably worth an extra 2 out of 10.

      3. max says:

        Well said, many journalists refuse to ackowlede the mass damper, won’t mention any names!! Its was circumstantial, he “won” in 05 because of an unreliabe mclaren AND mass damper, he “won” in 06 because of a mass damper and driver who was physically finished, and last season he benefitted from so many misfortunes of others, but again SOME journalists refuse to acknowledge circumstances!

      4. James Allen says:

        True, but you could say that about any champion – there is always a reason why others didn’t win and they did.

        Not sure what your point is

      5. David Goss says:

        You can always find an excuse why someone wins the title, if you really want to. Top of my head:

        - 2007: Kimi only won because Hamilton and Alonso were infighting at McLaren
        - 2008: Lewis only won because Glock screwed up on the last turn
        - 2009: Jenson only won because of the double diffuser
        - 2010: Vettel only won because Ferrari screwed up Alonso’s strategy
        - 2011: Vettel only won because he had the best car and the team favoured him
        - 2012: As above

        See?

      6. max says:

        You can say that about ANY CHAMPION?! 

        how much did schumacher benefit?! He had two retirements in a row in 2000, hakinen was a very good driver in the best car.
        races in which he benefitted: brazil (hakinen’s retirement)
        2001 best car for HALF season as bmw were also superior at some circuits with SUPERIOR MICHELIN tyres
        benefitted in 2001 catalunya and monte-carlo 2001
        2003: 2nd class car, circumstances AGAINST him many times infact! still managed to win

        Kimi had to fight almost by himself, massa was not giving up eve till turkey in fact.
        benefitted in: shanghai & interlagos

        Alonso vs kimi 2005:
        benefitted from 1. mass damper 2.imola (kimi retired form lead) 3. nurburgring (kimi retired from lead) 4. magny cours (kimi’s engine in practice) 5. silverstone engine blew in quali 6. hockenheim (kimi retired from lead)
        You can clearly see from these circumstances kimi could have had 30+ points and that was enough to overhaul alonso!

        2006: benefitted from 1. mass damper 2. superior michelin tyres 3. schuey demotion at monte-carlo (why didnt he get the same treatment in hugaroring 2007??) 4. safety car in turkey and ferrari pitting masa first! 5. shanghai (team orders) 6. schueys engine faliure 7. schuey’s engine again!

        2012 

        benefitted from: 1. melbourne, schuey and other retiring ahead of him  2. schu,grosj&butt all having damage, PEREZ clearly not wanting to threaten a lost chance of a ferrari seat stayed 2nd this is well know JAMES! 3. catalunya, lewis’ penalty in quali 4.schu’s quali penalty 5. valencia Vet AND grosj retiring despite being way ahead of alonso! 6. marina bay, lewis’ retirement 7. yas marina VET quali penalty 8. Massa’s fixed grid penalty
        I havenet even mention all the team orders and other retirements ahead of him JAMES! you can clearly see what my point is!

      7. justafan says:

        Alonso won fair and square in 2005 and 2006. And certainly not because a driver was physically finished, whatever that may mean. You simply don’t like the guy, right?

      8. Phil R says:

        Can you explain to me which part of the mass damper, located in the nose and not exposed to the air stream, affected aerodynamics?

        It was officially banned on the basis that it was a moveable aerodynamic device. Other teams such as McLaren also had such a device. Ferrari couldn’t perfect it though, in much the same was as they couldn’t perfect active suspension in 1993 and exhaust blown diffusers in 2011, which also promptly got banned…

    3. Endres says:

      Never do I remember hearing either RAI, VET, BUT, MAS, ROS, or Shui for that matter, ever say anything negative about their teams. WEB and HAM have had few borderline moments but nothing like this.

      Says alot about ALO, perhaps he’s more of a spoilt sport than everyone makes him out to be?

      Earning 20mil, (tax free), driving for Ferrari, suck-it-up buttercup and enjoy your life!

    4. Grant says:

      :D
      Well said mate….

      The honest truth though is that, even if he doesn’t get any silverware hereon, we know he’s one of the greats.

    5. aveli says:

      why do you think ron dennis is not in charge of race team? his name may not be down as team principal bu ti suspect all major decisions go through him. it was he who let hamilton go remember? not the team principal.

  46. holly says:

    Montezemolo has now the perfect scapegoat, Alonso.

    Alonso has done more than 1 miracle for Ferrari in the last years, and all this talk about him talking down the car is nothing but manipulation. He had tons of prise for the team and the car over the years, one example, Monza 2012, he said that he had the best car that weekend.

  47. P King says:

    How about an out-of-left-field idea:

    Pedro De la Rosa is doing the 3 day test because he will replace Alonso at Monza, where Alonso will get the sack.

    “TheJudge13″ blog is suggesting that a driver announcement, on a scale equivalent to an earthquake of magnitude 9, will take place at Monza. Readers of the blog are busily guessing what that means.

    1. Endres says:

      No chance, none.

  48. All revved-up says:

    This cannot end well. Both sides will need to cut their losses and move on.

    It is not Alonso’s character to be meekly “toeing the politically correct corporate line”. You can’t tame a wild stallion, and expect it to be a free spirit at the same time.

    Alonso is aggressive in his driving, what he expects of himself and what he expects of others.

    Both parties need to find a marriage that works. Once dirty laundry is aired in public, it is very difficult to rebuild a cohesive team atmosphere.

    Alonso must be fuming that LdM has now portrayed Alonso as a very difficult person to work with. Other team principals will be negotiating with Alonso with a certain caution.

    Can Alonso fit well with Lotus?

    Ferrari must have some ulterior reason to respond so publicly. Perhaps to prepare the tifosi for a driver change.

    F1 is better than any soap opera!

  49. Kingszito says:

    * According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Ferrari is starting a three day test today at Magny Cours with test driver Pedro de la Rosa”.

    @James I thought the Summer break is compulsory and has started already? Are teams allowed to test while on summer break?

    1. James Allen says:

      Teams start at different times
      It’s two weeks in next four

      1. aveli says:

        that’s right james but has ferrari not had more test than all the other teams?

  50. Bjornar Simonsen says:

    This is a complicated issue where both parties are in the wrong and the right.

    Alonso has put in a superhuman effort in the last few years, only to not get it rewarded in the end. No human alive can keep up that level for so long without loosing something.

    But then Alonso probably doesn’t get the most out of the car in qualy, as many feels. I think that he sometimes overdrive the car in qauly and probably loose 0.2 of a sec.

    So both parties can blame themselves for what is happening but i hope they can work it out.

  51. Dean says:

    Alonso isnt doing anything different than the last few years: saying the truth. Big upgrades rarely work and his car is slower than the others, period. But Montezemolo probably lost his mind scolding Alonso like that. Hes about the only performing part of the scuderia in Maranello.

    If I was Alonso id calmly ring Ecclestone, and get him to broker a deal with Red Bull, and let Mateschitz and Santander sort out the finances with Montezemolo, who we all wish well the coming years trying to attract a star driver.

  52. Sleeves says:

    When Jean Todt was the boss at Ferrari, he preferred Kimi compared to Alonso!
    It gave them the title! Is it not an exaggeration that a driver must be a “team leader”?
    Many, James Allison included, said that a team needs a driver who is fast and always gives max. Then it’s easier to draw correct conclusions and develop the car.

  53. Amit says:

    Hi james

    with aerodynamics not being the most important aspect of the f1 car next season wht according to u will be the most imp.
    a) how the car treats its tyres.
    or
    b) the car with the most powerful engine.

  54. Dean says:

    The most baffling aspect of this episode, is Montezemolo giving his engineers a knife?? Has he been drinking? Is that how you stimulate the tech heads of the most iconic team in F1? He wouldnt last one round in The Apprentice.

  55. Ryan says:

    Well Montezemolo hired the guy… The guy at the center of crash-gate, spy-gate, pit lane blocking, childish and useless mind games with his rivals, the guy who has publicly disrespected and insulted every team he has ever raced for and the guy who insisted his team break the seal on his team mates gearbox to gain an unfair advantage. Honestly, Alonso hasn’t a shred of fair sporting decency or honour in his body. So why is Montezemolo surprised that Alonso would say something about his current team that is massively offensive and morale shattering? He hired the guy. Now, he should fire the guy… But he should do it the way Alonso does it: Dirty. Fire him at the end of the year, replace him and then pay him his contract anyways so he cannot race for another team.

    1. Marpabel says:

      +100

    2. clyde says:

      Formula 1 teams don’t operate in the simplistic way you choose to illustrate your point

  56. All revved-up says:

    Regarding driver choices for Ferrari, perhaps Rosberg or Webber?

    This would remind me of the times when there was no top driver at Ferrari – eg Berger/Alesi? Top 5 perhaps – but not Top 2.

  57. i somehow support alonso in all of this. no doubt that behind closed doors the rhetoric may even be stronger. alonso has been demonised for venting his disappointment in the public arena for what was, really, a toned down criticism.

    it is hard for folk on here to really understand the level of frustration that sometimes boils over. webber’s comments after quali were far more acidic and targeted, and rightly so. i would suspect that even if he wasn’t leaving that he would’ve still said the same. compare his comments with alonso’s and you will see that this is all very much lightweight stuff.

    there are two schools of thought re ‘dirty laundry’ and ‘freedom of speech’ and sometimes it takes the latter approach to remove the inertia and take the steps needed to move upwards and onwards. then again it might just be a huge pisstake. who actually knows?

  58. Alexis says:

    Funny how they never have a bad word to say about their slothful and inconsistent second driver.

    1. Chris Trebble says:

      Massa’s loyalty is repaid in kind, not something that you can say about Alonso really.

    2. Marpabel says:

      Question of loyalty maybe?

  59. Matt W says:

    Alonso is showing a stunning lack of respect for his team. Ferrari drivers simply don’t criticise the car or the team, it is part of their culture and has been for decades.

    Unfortunately he has form for this, his relationship with Mclaren and Renault both broke down due to his teamwork flaws.

    I’d also argue that he has to take some responsibility for the poor car. He is the lead driver and it is his feedback that will be leading development. If you look at his history, he won two titles with cars that were under developed by the end of the season. He also seems to have a pattern of cars falling away in performance as the season goes on. Surely his ability as a lead driver, developing a car that fits his needs has to be more closely examined.

    It is a shame as I still feel he is a fantastic driver, but this perception that he is the most complete driver surely needs to be re-assessed.

    1. clyde says:

      Amost the entire paddock think he is the most complete …. They could be right :-)

      1. Matt W says:

        That’s my point, should Alonso fail to win a 3rd title I think his legacy needs to be reassessed, particularly if Vettel is a 4x champion (at least) during the same era.

        Alonso has all the resources of Ferrari at his disposal and is the lead direction of the team. You would have expected the most complete driver on the grid to have achieved more in his time at Ferrari.

      2. clyde says:

        Reassesed by who ???
        The man is trying to win the derby on a donkey
        :-)

      3. Matt W says:

        Alonso should be leading the development of that donkey. If he is sat back expecting the design team to do the work without his input then he isn’t the most complete driver.

        Likewise, if he has been giving input, the team have been going in the wrong direction.

      4. clyde says:

        I think you’ve got it wrong mate …. He was voted the best driver by all the team bosses last year.
        Perhaps you know something that they don’t :-)

      5. clyde says:

        Also by the way even God cannot turn a donkey into a race horse :-)

      6. Matt W says:

        I have no argument with that, what I’m saying is that should the Ferrari/Alonso partnership fail to bear fruit then perhaps Alonso won’t be seen as the best driver of his generation. That’s what I mean by the perception of him being the most complete driver will be re-assessed.

      7. clyde says:

        Perhaps …. Only time will tell !

  60. David Hope says:

    Ferrari haven’t been terrible of late, just not as good as they were in the dominant 2000s. Apart from Red Bull they have been the best team overall since 2010.

    That said, they haven’t been the fastest team anytime, whereas Mclaren have had fast spells – e.g. end of last year.

    So apart from Red Bull, Ferrari is the best bet. Mercedes could shake it up though, given how much they have spent buying up all the talent in F1!

  61. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

    Fernando knows the performance of the new turbo engine of Ferrari.

    He knows that Ferrari is a luxury tomb for him.

  62. Ryan Eckford says:

    It seems like Ferrari are heading in a similar direction to Ducati in MotoGP.

    I am very disappointed in Luca di Montezemolo, as well as Stefano Domenicali into their attitude and the teams attitude to fixing their faults, and give their drivers a good car. Alonso is trying his absolute best to tell them what needs to be done to make the car more competitive, but it is not getting through to Ferrari.

    It seems, and this is a trend in all motorsport, two and four wheels that English speaking people are better at developing good solid aerodynamics, and better at understanding problems and fixing them.

    Along this line, most Italian people have shown little form in motorsport when it comes to improving machines in motorsport, and this comes down to poor and unprofessional philosophies, as well as poor work standards. It must change NOW and FAST!!!!

    This is both for Ferrari and Ducati. I hope this message gets to Italy.

    1. Kirk says:

      Well, a bit off topic, but Ducati now belongs to Audi and next year they will change everything in the MotoGP team, so at least in that side your message is being listened but by Germany

      1. Ryan Eckford says:

        Indeed, but the Italian people within these organisations need to learn that their mentalities just do not cut it when it comes to the pinnacles of motorcycle racing and of motorsport.

    2. aveli says:

      ferrari had their wings clipped ever since f1 rules were changed to make it an even playing field. especially banning testing. the have done well to stay fighting up front.

  63. jeroen says:

    James,

    You seem to say that Alonso has been critical in the past of Ferrari? I can’t recall anything but him being supportive, even when at times the team made big mistakes. You also say this is something Michael Schumacher never did. Again what is this based on? I do remember Schumi’s borderline and irritated like comments on Ferrari during his first 4 years with the team.

    1. puffing says:

      Rightly so.

  64. Col72 says:

    “* 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”

    Why are Ferrari spending 3 days developing the 2011 car ? I assume they realise they will not win the 2011 championship,so they must be running 2013/4 developments. Can teams bolt all their 2013/4 parts onto a 2011 chassis and circumvent the testing ban that way ?

    1. AlexD says:

      This is to test the new wind tunnel correlation…

  65. A public rebuke from ‘the boss’ never bodes well for future harmony twixt driver and team (re Ron (Canada) and Lewis) so if ALO was just ‘testing the water’ he sure as hell now knows the temperature !) so we could see the 2014 grid thus…ALO to Red Bull, Kimi to Mcclaren, Jenson to Ferrarri, Di-Ri to Lotus etc etc or maybe Di-Ri to Ferrari, I know Jenson has indicated he will prob see out his career at Mcclaren, but the lure of a Ferrari offer in the same year as a poor Mcclaren may be too much to resist, the silly season has certainly started !!

  66. Tim says:

    This is a very interesting political powerplay between two extremely dominant characters used to getting what they want.

    Alonso has a history of reaching the end of his tenure with teams with destabilising comments:

    1. Benetton to McLaren – announced the move over a year in advance, then accused the team of not supporting him towards the end of 2006
    2. McLaren to Renault – obviously Spygate, fell out with Ron and Lewis, contracted terminated early
    3. Renault to Ferrari – Crashgate, say no more
    4. Ferrari to ???

    I admire Alonso greatly. I’m not a fanboy at all, but he has that fiercely independent, arrogant streak all great champions have. He’s watched Vettel overtake him to multiple titles, should have won two titles already with Ferrari, and now sees this year’s title slipping away.

    LdM has shown his normal autocratic approach. This guff about Ferrari being bigger than any driver may have worked in Enzo’s day, but Luca is not Enzo, and frankly a driver cares nothing for mystique.

    This will either blow over (which somehow I doubt, as Alonso will not take this lightly), or it will initiate a move away from Ferrari by Alonso. Question is, how realistic is it for Horner and Marko to risk upsetting the golden one by recruiting Alonso?

  67. Guillermo says:

    Alonso going to Red Bull just doesn’t seem a realistic scenario. Surely Alonso, Red Bull and LdM are just playing tactical games. Alonso is just pushing to get Ferrari to improve, Red Bull wants leverage to negotiate with other drivers and LdM wants to show he’s the boss, not Alonso.

    Ultimately, it just shows how difficult it is to win in F1. Pretty much every driver on the grid apart from Vettel thinks they should have had more wins and more championships than they’ve had.

  68. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    I guess Montezemolo is furious.

    ALONSO cannot go out, he is:
    - pushing for a better car in Ferrari, and
    - if not possible the latest, pushing for a Raikkonen’s style buy of the contract (difficult)

    For me ALONSO is right, and worthy as a driver.

    Ferrari is wrong: not a enough car again, and the cult of personality on Alonso.
    IMO Ferrari needs to put a good driver beside ALONSO to measure the car objectively, and they has the opportunity to do so.

    The big problem behind this is that nobody put Ferrari on top with the new engines-regulations for 2014, and therefore Alonso is anticipating all those frustrations to come.

    Good news for the other teams.

  69. Michael S says:

    Actually Alonso got tough with Ferrari first… For the highest paid driver on the grid not to mention they just went out and got him James Allison he needs to be a team player. Yes, people will claim the car is not the fastest, but acting this way will not make the car faster but will bum out all the guys at the factory working to make you a winner Fernando.

    1. AlexD says:

      But what did he say wrong, really? I am sure yiu and me say worse things every day and nobody notices…

      1. Jake says:

        In the real world, criticising your company and it’s products publicly would have you out on your ear. It is not a question of whether Alonso is right or wrong, it is just not tolerated. I would be very surprised if there is not a clause in his contract that prohibits him from airing his grievances publicly, the penalty for the transgressor instant dismissal.

      2. aveli says:

        ferrari is in f1 to promote the ferrari brand in order to sell ferrari sports cars to the world so am not surprised that they are not so happy with negative campaigns. it goes against their ethos. they are supposed to tell the world that ferrari is the best sports car in the world and never say that other sports cars are better than ferrari.

      3. AlexD says:

        Then make better cars…

      4. clyde says:

        Hes waited four years!

  70. Darren says:

    I think everyone is reading too far into this. I don’t think Alonso’s drive is at all at risk.

    He has been getting a bit gobby recently with regards to the car, LDM is just reminding him that he drives for Ferrari and criticising the car is very much a taboo. Although Prost got sacked for comparing it to a truck did he not? I think the only way they would get rid of Alonso was if Vettel makes himself avaliable to them, and even then I don’t know.

  71. dean cassady says:

    All this stuff is the media taking hold of anything, to make a salable story, and guess what? Judging by the rabid commentary, it worked.
    Alonso is political and the Alonso PR enterprise should be well known to people paying attention.
    Alonso is also a phenomenal driver, and could win with the fastest car.
    Ferrari have been wayward since the end of the Brawn-Todt era.
    Alonso’s options are slim. In my opinion, there is no realistic possibility of Red Bull taking on Alonso, unless they had no possibility of one of the other top tier drivers (Kimi, Vettel, Hamilton).
    Eventually, he whining to the press, and public carrying on had to be dealt with; it is relevant that only Montezemolo, within the Ferrari organization, has to be the one to put Alonso in his place, in his arrogance, Montezemolo is the only one who would have effect.
    So, despite his phenomenal talent, Alonso really has no where else to go, he’s actually burned a lot of bridges along the way.
    I think it is poetic justice that Ferrari sacked Kimi, the last winning Ferrari driver, to get the ‘well-motivated’ Alonso, who has yet to deliver!

    1. Brad says:

      I respect your opinion on F1 matters, although i dont agree with all of them, like the Vettel with the vanity claim. That last sentence of yours is just pure gold!

  72. Fellowes says:

    No driver is bigger than Ferrari – true – but not many would argue that Alsonso is the most complete driver at the moment. Monty would be quite foolish to let him go when he has limited alternatives.
    Also I think Alonso shouldn’t consider an RB move – Ferrari and Mercedes are the smart choices for the next few years.

  73. W Johnson says:

    James,

    I recall your readers submitting a heap of negative comments about McLaren and Ron Dennis (the usual cliches) in response to losing key talent such as Paddy Lowe and Lewis Hamilton. The critique was a catalogue of drivers moving on (blah, blah, blah), and in Lewis Hamilton’s case this was becuase of the team’s perceived inability to provide a championship winning car even though Lewis Hamilton won in 2008.

    Even Ferrari with all its wealth and resources is facing the same challenge of keeping their star driver motivated and content with their lot.I was told that this was never the case with Ferrari because of their passion for racing etc. Humbug.

  74. alexyoong says:

    This is not time for polemic… sometimes I feel some bloke in the Ferrari press office just sits down and whips this stuff out in five minutes, it always seems so ill thought through. Here, LDM is falling foul of his own advice. This really is the most unprofessional outburst.

  75. Oz Geeza says:

    Luca d M,was not voted as the best business
    Manager in EU for nothing.
    Every CEO in any field and that include the
    Presindent of USA, gets reports/ advise from
    subordinates within organisation and makes
    decission accordingly.
    Luca d M,has balls you bet when it comes to
    decission making,he disposed of Aldo Costa a
    born and bred Ferrari man and some others to
    some an exceptionally capable man,brought in
    Pat Fry and others in his view the team was
    going stale,perhaps his only regret he persevered with Domenicali for to long.
    Fact, no man is an “Island”and that incude
    Luca d M,who knows may be its just what Doctor
    ordered, with the lstest media speculation and
    to prove the point win every race from now on.

  76. Dave says:

    So tired of Ferrari’s politics all the time. That’s why I support Lotus and RBR. Teams that get on with it and race. There is enough politics going on with Bernie, the FIA and the media. Ferrari is not as great as people give them credit for. Their glory days are in the past. Personally, I enjoy seeing them struggle (other than when Kimi was there, of course).

  77. Chris George says:

    I still can’t fathom why Massa is in the second car.
    He clearly can’t push Alonso (and it’s always good to have a teammate that can at least throw up some sort of a challenge) and to my knowledge he is not the world’s greatest development driver.
    I think sticking someone like a Hulkenburg in that second car might go part way to improving Ferrari’s fortunes, even if it doesn’t solve all their issues.
    I’m not a Ferrari fan and Massa is a nice chap but if Montezemelo and Domenicali want to start winning again this seems a pretty good (and kind of obvious) place to start. There not just wasting a second seat but also the talent of those required to support it, Rob Smedley for example….I mean if Alonso is feeling demotivated how must the other side of the garage feel?

    1. Anop says:

      Good point. I bet the one happy about all this is Felipe as it takes the spotlight away from his below par performances.

      Any changes at Ferrari should start with Felipe. Not sure why Luca is not talking about Felipe.

  78. Zombie says:

    I never thought much of Massa’s intelligence until now. But the way he has safeguarded his job at a top team despite poor performance year after year, and the way he continues to remain non-controversial shows he has a sound head on his shoulders.

    Look at the situation Alonso has put himself in : 1. He fought at Mclaren and was shown the door, so that option is out. 2. He criticized Renault saying they favor Fisi, and was later involved in the infamous race-fixing, so that option is gone too. 3. Vettel will likely veto any move of Alonso joining RBR. After all, who wants a political co-worker ? 4. He put Ferrari under bus when they are down. Knowing Alonso’s impatience, this was expected. 5. Mercedes have 2 sound drivers and wont need Alonso’s services.

    This leaves Alonso as “damaged goods” on the grid. His only options are 1. Williams 2. Sauber 3. ForceIndia 4.Caterham. Driving for any of those 4 teams will seal his fate for good.

    Lesson for the rest of us : never make the mistake of criticizing your employer while you are still working for them.

    1. Anop says:

      Fernando to a Caterham? Nice one but I’m sure if that happens he will still be on the podium.

  79. Gareth says:

    Personally I would like Alonso back at Mclaren, true they have bridges but so did Prost and he worked as their advisor back in 96. Mclaren desperatly need a driver to push them and Button although good is not great and doesnt seem to be able to focus the team around him.
    At Ferrari somethings not right, I wonder if Alonso has secretly signed with someone as it seems unusal for Montezemelo to be so public with his lead driver who really has put that car in places it should not be, whilst Massa who has underperformed again recently doesnt have any such comments coming in his direction. I see Red Bull taking the easy option for 2014 by signing Ricardo, he will prove no threat to Vettel, allowing him to nicely wrap up title number 5 before moving to Ferrari for 2015.

  80. Fan says:

    ALO has always talked down the car. All throughout last season he was constantaly saying that the car was not equal to the other on the grid bolstering his image and ego with the insinuation that it was only through his efforts alone that Ferrari was in contention. I thought it was bad then and its bad now. As a driver you suit up each weekend and do the best you can with the equipment you got. You provide feedback to aid in the development of the car. You are part of the development team. You don’t go out and trash the car and the efforts of the team that put the car together.

    I don’t like ALO because of the head games and politics. He is not a team player and VET is right not to want him in a Red Bull. ALO only cares about ALO and when things aren’t going his way he throws all his toys out ans storms off. Seems like Ferrari is tired of it too.

    Also I think one has to question whether he is truly as great as people claim. One of the criticisms of VET is that he never did well in a poor car. Well ALO is here in a poor car and getting poor results. Should we not ask whether he is a great a driver as he claims?

    1. Paige says:

      Vettel never did well in a poor car?

      He won in a freakin’ Toro Rosso!

      1. Anop says:

        Yes but that Toro Rosso started on pole. Let me put it this way – Vettel can only win from pole. Stats below:

        Vettel: Poles 39 Wins 30
        Hamilton: Poles 30 wins 22
        Kimi: poles 16 wins 20
        Alonso: poles 22 wins 32

      2. clyde says:

        So did Damon hill in an Arrows if not for his hydraulics giving up on the last lap One swallow does not make a summer …it still didn’t make him the best.
        Alonso consistently gets good results from a lame ferrari

      3. Paige says:

        Well, I happen to think a lot of Damon Hill as a driver.

  81. Rod Aguirre says:

    This Montezemolo has some nerve. Ferrari has had the best driver of the era for 3 years and have been unable to give him a decent car. Massa is no slouch and should really be the measuring stick for how bad the Ferrari is.
    If I were Alonso I’d either go to McLaren or retire. McLaren is in a different spot now with Button very likely to get along great with Alonso and no Ron. For one reason or another Alonso seems destined to always be in the wrong team.

  82. Grant says:

    Did Alonso not finish in the podium just two GPs ago?

    Did he not finish a close 2nd in WDC last season?

    If it was Button complaining about car performance I’d understand, but the Ferrari has always been there competing (much better than Merc in last three years).

    No other team has been as consistent as the Redbull throughout a season in recent times.
    So if that’s what he wants then Redbull is the only place to go.

  83. aveli says:

    alonso has been out of the news since his lastpodium. if he thinks he cant get in tge news with his driving what a great way topushhimaelf back into the headline?

  84. Roberto says:

    One of the key elements that nobody has noticed is that normally Montezemelo praises Alonso and speaks loud about how good a team player and motivator he is, never has he a bad word, so wtvr happen in the aftermath of the race was realy awfull and i don´t think it was the case of his manager going to RBR motorhome, which is something ordinary, how many times Billy Webber went to other teams facilities being MSC manager?. Maybe ALO try to play hardball and it backlashed him, maybe it was a genuine meeting for Sainz Jr. who knows? at the end something har happened on sunday that Montezemolo on his lead driver birthday sent such a public message of congratulations. I think only the lack off good seats available will make ALO put his better smile until a good offer comes to the table. We´ll see also at some point one victory that will “erase” any o fthis with the usual PR saying “after the blip on hungary we spoke and reunited and became stronger blablabla”

  85. Witan says:

    Of the top teams two have a fairly autocratic leadership style and both seem to be suffering from non-performing development teams.

    I am sure there is a correlation.

    The best teams will allow dissent and argument with clear limits as to how far it can go until they know the boss will say stop.

    That limit cannot be no dissent or at the other extreme total anarchy.

    Getting the balance right unleashes the talent and energy of the team.

    Getting it wrong leads to big, big problems, as it either has them rushing around in all directions aimlessly fighting internal civil ‘wars’ or has them cowering from the boss and his henchmen and simply saying yes sir, no sir, anything you say sir.

    I have run big complex international teams and I know how difficult it is, but the rewards are tremendous.

  86. Martin (not Whitmarsh) says:

    Ferrari are in F1 to sell cars. They cannot have their drivers publicly stating that they would like “someone else’s car” for a birthday present.

    If I were the ad agency for McLaren Automotive or Porsche, I would have that quote in an ad campaign in a flash.

    When asked what Ferrari could do during the summer break to get back on track, he supposedly said “pray”. How is that going to motivate the team knowing that their lead driver has given up on them with only half the season gone?

    Di Montezemelo is right to “tweak the ear” of Alonso but whether he should do so in public is debatable. It might just have thrown more fuel on the fire.

    for now they are in a bad marriage and have to make the best of it as neither party has other options.

    1. Jake says:

      Agree with everything apart from McLaren, they are worse at the moment. Ross should rock up and in front of the media hand Alonso the keys to a Merc saying “There you are, now you can at least drive a decent car after work”… :-)

  87. CH says:

    Alonso to RBR
    Kimi to RBR
    SV to Ferrari

  88. Dave says:

    This is a storm in a tea cup and pretty soon will be forgotten about. All Alonso did was tell the truth – his ideal birthday present would be a faster car because his current car isn’t fast enough to challenge for the championship at the moment.

    Alonso has a contract til 2016 and has previously stated he will end his career at Ferrari.

    Alonso is going nowhere. He has tried hard all season and wrung the neck out of a car to produce good results if Luca Montezemolo wants to criticise anyone in the team it should be Felipe Massa who yet again is failing to deliver and should retire.

  89. Rafael says:

    Luca di Montezemolo (and Stefano Domenicali) are the problem at Ferrari. Their thinking is based on the premise that due to Ferrari’s rich history (particularly in F1) and its iconic status in motorsports the team should automatically be granted position over its rivals. They’re the kind of people who believe that they are better than everyone else simply because they have wealth and position. Yes, Ferrari’s greatest period of success (1999 – 2004) was under Luca’s presidency, but that had more to do with the Todt-Schumacher-Brawn-Byrne partnership than his own leadership. All Luca did at the time was sign the paycheques and tag along the photo ops.

    Fernando has always been very professional w/ Ferrari, despite the disappointments there have been no tantrums like the ones he threw during his earlier years in Renault and McLaren. He didn’t say anything in particular other drivers in his position wouldn’t have said, and certainly anything Michael wouldn’t ever say. If anything, Fernando has every right to be furious and frustrated w/ the team – their incapability to produce a car that is consistently fast allied w/ their tactical errors at crucial moments (e.g. Abu Dhabi 2010) have cost Fernando championships. Yes, Fernando has also had his fair share of mistakes, but bar 2011, he’s been exceptional fighting for the title and finishing ahead of people who had much better machinery (e.g. Webber, Hamilton, Button). I remember Abu Dhabi 2010, where the best Domenicali (or was it Stella?) could tell him after they botched the timing of his stop (not to mention they had a dead slow car that weekend) was, “we know you have a lot of talent… So show us, use all of your talent to overtake him (Petrov).” If I were Alonso, I would have tossed my steering wheel point black at his face after the race! Those are the type of comments made by someone who is incompetent.

    Finally, what’s with Luca handing out knives to his engineers? Wasn’t it just a few years ago (2009) that he also resorted to that kind of drama by brining along a monk’s hood again at another engineer’s meeting to call for “humility”? We all know how that year turned out.

    1. James Allen says:

      That’s a bit harsh. Montezemolo put the team together and had huge success

      He’s the decision maker so he deserves credit for the 2000s domination. Todt was his employee

      1. Dai Dactic says:

        Harsh it may be – but at least it’s comparatively well written and does your post justice! Both were enjoyable and welcome relief from the endlessly negative tyre drama which has spoilt the 2013 season.

        As for L di M, I hope he ratchets up the ‘entertainment’ during the holiday season.

      2. Witan says:

        I think Todt and Brawn were a team with Schumacher and probably kept the autocratic tendencies of Montezemolo in check.

        Domenicali is a nice bloke but he doesn’t have Todt and Brawn’s clout and hasn’t got the same tripartite strength around him.

      3. clyde says:

        By that yardstick he also deserves the blame for the failure of the last 5 years!

      4. Zombie says:

        James, I completely agree with you. It was Luca who saw what Todt had achieved in WRC and LeMans. Luca built a team brick by brick much like what RBR did in the last 6 years. Lets not forget, Ferrari road car division was producing dismal cars in the late 70s and much of 80s ( baring limited edition 288GTOs and F40 ). Luca completely changed the image and structure of the car company by making it modern and prepared for the future than living on past glory.

        I strong believe Luca’s words were not just retort for Alonso’s “wanting to drive a faster car”. Probably the story that Alonso’s manager spoke to RBR was not for Sainz Jr but for Alonso, and Ferrari probably got a wind of this which flipped LdM. Whatever it is, Vettel will sooner or later join Ferrari, and Alonso will need to wait until then to join RBR.

      5. Rachael says:

        It was Cesare Fiorio who showed that rally team managers could make successful F1 team managers. The same Cesare Fiorio who was the inspiration and driving force behind Lancia’s success in rallying. The same Lancia team that changed world rallying beyond recognition in the 1970’s.

        Fiorio joined the Ferrari team in 1989, after a particularly bleak period in the mid-eighties, and helped transform the team, bringing success with Mansell and Prost as drivers.
        Unfortunately, Fiori was made a scapegoat by the faceless men at Fiat and sacked early in 1991 for the car being slow. At the end of the year the same Fiat management sacked Alain Prost for saying the car was too slow.

        The irony is that Ferrari then endured a further five barren seasons, until Jean Todt recruited the (Benneton) dream-team of Schumacher/Brawn/Byrne et al.

      6. AlexD says:

        I agree with you, James. Success has many fathers while failure is an orphan. I think you said it right, he is eventually responsible for the earlier successand he is the same way responsible for where Ferrari is now, Domenicali is his emoloyee. Still puzzled why Luca doesn’t make more radical changes.

      7. Rachael says:

        It is pretty obvious that the difference between the teams is Adrian Newey. Cesare Fiori pointed this out himself two years ago. http://grandprix247.com/2011/09/28/newey-is-the-difference-says-ex-ferrari-boss/

        In 1990 Fiorio led Ferrari to their most successful season between 1979 until 2000.

        Yet he is largely a forgotten figure in Ferrari’s history, because he was unfairly sacked in 1991.

        His replacement, Jean Todt endured two wins in three seasons, until the “dream-team” was recruited for what was then an astronomical amount of money. Todt has since been hailed a genius.

        But, the real genius was Rory Byrne, and other than Adrian Newey, there aren’t too many geniuses around.

    2. ShaBooPi says:

      I agree and James lets be honest, the Schumacher era also had Ferrari using its weight to gain favor on many fronts. They had significant testing ability back then and that was in my opinion the biggest advantage. Alonso came about and proved to be a great development driver and that was why the small Renault team was able to beat Ferrari. Ferrari testing and political weight covered and fixed mistakes.

      Now the game is different, testing is limited so the clowns on here and elsewhere that posts Alonso’s old comment about 6/10ths of a second only show their ignorance. Now Luca has no testing abilities, all he has is his team. His team have a big name and a great driver, everything else is average at best. How can we prove this? Lotus who in recent years were even in financial danger have come from the brink to be faster than them. Ferrari can’t even get their wind tunnel correct. You just said James that Luca deserves credit for hiring the Schumacher era, so should he not get credit for putting a team in that can’t even get a proper wind tunnel over 3 years?

      With these key factors and the fact that now there is an anomaly in Red Bull, a y eam with massive resources, it isnt as easy as in 2000. Mercedes even came from nowhere to have a better car than Ferrari this year, what does that tell you about Ferrari? So all LDM has now is his stupid boardroom games. I’ve lived in Italy for years, love their history but even It A lians know this team is living in the past. Casual fans don’t even know who LDM is, so he should shut his mouth instead of attacking the driver that has made his pathetic cars look decent these years. There would have been no championship races these last few years were it not for Fernando. I’m all for the Prancing Horse improving, but its time the Limping Ass posing as a horse wakes up.

  90. SteveS says:

    A lot of people are getting carried away over results from Hungary. Which is silly, since it’s an odd-ball circuit where overtaking is very difficult and this years race was conducted under unusual weather conditions. I wouldn’t make ANY assumptions about the title race on the basis of the Hungarian GP, either bad (as in the case of Ferrari) or good (I see Hamilton now thinks he can win the next nine races!)

    Last year it was won by Hamilton, with Vettel and Alonso finishing fourth and fifth.

  91. Sarvar says:

    To the question “what are you gonna do during the break?” ALO is reported to answer “I’ll pray”. If that’s true he won’t for sure earn credits at Ferrari. He could have told better something like we’ll be freakingly busy with engineers to find extra speed up to next GP…

    1. clyde says:

      Maybe you should apply to be his PR manager :-)

  92. SteveS says:

    Whatever his merits as a driver (I think they are exaggerated) the fact is that Alonso has been poison as a person wherever he has gone. I don’t believe for an instant that Red Bull would take him even if he offered to drive for free. The same is true for McLaren. Mercedes would never take him. What about going back to Renault, or “Lotus” as they call themselves now? I don’t think they’d really want him, but if Kimi jumps to RB they may feel they have little choice.

    1. John Gibson says:

      The only team that Alonso has parted company with on poor terms is McLaren and both sides have long since admitted that they should have handled things differently. I don’t get much of a sense of a lot of bad blood there these days.

      Brawn courted Alonso extensively for 2010, as is well documented. I see no reason why Renault/Lotus wouldn’t take him again, other than their inability to pay him what he wants.

  93. KOBAYASHI says:

    Montezemolo’s loosing it. Bawling out your lead driver instead of getting on with producing a better car…shut up Luca!!

    1. JK says:

      and why they give the test role to PDR, and not you?

  94. John M says:

    Alonso has always been a selfish driver. All of them are to an extent, but Alonso has consistently shown it’s all about him.

    I’m not denigrating his driving skill. He is clearly one of the best in F1. He has elevated the Ferrari cars of the last couple years.

    That being said, I’m not surprised at all that he is not a team player when it boils down to it. Management at Ferrari should not be surprised by this either. They should have known well enough what they were getting when they signed Alonso. Due diligence and all. If they thought they were going to change the spots on a leopard, they are one of many in history (not just F1) who have failed at doing so.

    1. AlexD says:

      Multi 21?

  95. Veena says:

    Kimi – I told you..
    Massa – Thank god, its not me
    Alonso – Am I that disloyal to my employer?

    So Webber to Ferrari for a year or two with number one status, Kimi to RBR and Alonso to Lotus.

  96. Sleeves says:

    Do not underestimate Luca di Montezemolo!
    He is an accomplished leader and a racer, he was team manager when Lauda recruited.
    Imagine what a legacy he has brought forward, he if anyone knows what it takes to succeed!
    Do also feel sorry for today’s drivers, they have started in karting and now they’re F1 stars, some of them multi-millionaires in the early 20s! How could you ask for mature statements, when all they know is racing cars.
    Would be interesting to hear the questions about the world economy, the situation in Egypt, etc., from the press. The same applies, of course, tennis stars, etc.
    Sometimes it lacks drivers who are older and mature.

    1. Rachael says:

      It’s amazing how short people’s memories are when it comes to the pre-Schumacher era.

      Between the departure of Lauda and the arrival of Schumacher, there were 18 seasons in which Ferrari returned the following results:
      37 race wins out of 283 races
      3 WCC out of 18 seasons
      1 WDC out of 18 seasons

      Pound for Pound, it could hardly be considered successful, compared to McLaren & Williams in the same period.

      1. Sleeves says:

        It is right that Ferrari had many tough years, but then was not Luca di Montezemolo at the helm. Below is taken from the web.
        He was instrumental in Niki Lauda’s championship victories in 1975 and 1977, and on the back of his successes became the youngest ever senior manager in the FIAT empire.

        He worked in a number of roles through the 1980s, including a role organising the Italia ’90 World Cup, and his fame and popularity increased. After Enzo Ferrari’s death in 1988, the legendary marque was left rudderless and in 1991 Montezemolo was brought back to return the company to its former glory. He turned Ferrari’s debts into profits and, after a rocky period in the early-1990s, built a multiple championship-winning F1 team around Jean Todt and Michael Schumacher.

  97. Nige says:

    I think this a massive over reaction. Runner up twice to a RedBull with an inferior car. I believe Alonso has shown great loyalty to Ferrari and deserves the occasional out burst. Ferrari need to get their act together and he quite rightly is bringing the issue to the front with his comments. Lets face it he’s tried everything else.

    1. SteveS says:

      You can’t really say it was inferior. It was down a little bit on speed to the RB, but made up for that with superior reliability. Which is why at seasons end things were so very close.

      1. Nige says:

        I think most would agree the redbull is the car to beat. The stopwatch confirms this. As does most wins most poles most fastest laps most championships. And Vettel has been able to fully exploit it which is confirmation of how good he is.

  98. Richardc says:

    It,s time for cards on the table! FA did drive well last season but he also had some very good luck. Combine the two and that is why he ended up where he did. This season is I believe a truer reflection on the outright performance of the Ferrari. Of course he wants it to go faster , dont all F1 drivers? For some reason people think that just because it is Ferrari or Maclaren, They will win!?! Ask the people at Williams! Sorry Fernando I have no sympathy for you, get on with it and do what you are payed for. If not, leave and let another driver have a crack at it.

  99. robert smith says:

    who can blame Alonso? He has held up his end of the bargain and Ferrari hasn’t held up theirs. Ferrari hasn’t produced a championship caliber car for seven years now. Yes, 7 years. Sure they got close a few times, (2008, 2010, 2012) but it was primarily the drivers and not the car that got them there. Alonso is right to be frustrated. And let’s not forget that Ferrari threw everything they have into producing the best car this year and in 2010, to no avail.

  100. clyde says:

    In 2010 when Alonso got a undeserving car to the last race needing a 4th place finish to clinch the title only for Ferrari to make a strategy blunder of epic proportions I don’t recall Alonso blaming Ferrari .
    in 2011 the car was a lemon
    in 2012 the car was way off the pace and slow on development yet if not for grojean he would have won the title .
    I think FA has driven brilliantly and exhibited extreme patience for the past four years and got nothing but excuses from Domenicalli
    As for LDM hes a senile old fossil. You don’t rebuke your lead driver in this fashion for a few light remarks especially when you cant produce a decent car for the last 5 years.:-)

  101. Truth or Lies says:

    James, does anyone really know why Luca Di Montezemolo laid into Alonso so harshly?

  102. Dino says:

    LdeM is a really bright politician, so his making this sort of comment is absolutelly intentional to put the Tifossi on his side against Alonso, no less.

    Is De la Rosa having track time just in case Alonso is fired before Spa?

    Maybe I’m a little carried away, but I can’t see this coming better for any of the parts involved. Maybe there has been a completely break of the relationship between the two, and LdeM plan is to put someone elese in the car and show how he performs as well as Alonso… And Bianchi in for next year. The message will be that Ferrari wins with anybody. I can’t see any other meaning to the boss words.

  103. Dean says:

    Vettel allowed Webber to stay after he tried to sabotage the Germans title bid in Brasil 2012 and many more on track shenanigans between the two. EIther Vettel has a big heart, or he doesnt jave as much say in who his teammate will be as others might think.

    It also shows that Mateschotz and Horner dont necessarily want a great friendship between teammates, and can deal with animosity, probably better than anyone else in the paddock.

    The more I think about it, the more an Alonso move to Red Bull would make sense.

    1. Well, Webber got the boot, didn’t he?

      I’m pretty sure he going to Porsche because he had no serious option in F1 aside from mid-grid teams.

      1. justafan says:

        No, Mateschitz wanted Webber to stay. It was Webber’d decision to leave.

      2. Yes, that’s the official version.

  104. Andrew Carter says:

    Alonso went to Ferrari expecting to fight for titles and in the last 4 years he’s only fought for 2 (he’s out of it for this year, Ferrari have just fallen too far behind again) and being in the hunt for last years is still a surprise with how bad that car was.

    Ferrari have the biggest resources of any team on the grid, except maybe McLaren but thats debatable, and yet in this 5 year rules cycle only once have they produced a car capable of being a regular winner. If Alonso is not happy at that and his patience is wearing thin, no body should be surprised because it’s definitely not him that’s under-performing.

    1. Richard says:

      McLaren have the biggest resources? No way. RBR and Merc on the top spot with Ferrari 2nd

      1. Andrew Carter says:

        My statement is based on reports from multiple journalists over years that fully supports the notion that McLaren and Ferrari are the biggest teams out there (they certainly have more employees on the F1 team than all of the others).

        What’s yours based on, gut feeling?

  105. BurgerF1 says:

    The first of many storms in a teacup over the next 4 weeks. How I hate this time in the season!

    I can’t think of any driver in any team, who hasn’t at some point in time, criticized the car and/or team to a point where management acknowledge publically that they’ve rebuked that driver.

    Schumacher, somewhat ironically, may come the closest to angelic status in this regard.

    1. Jon_C says:

      Exactly! Finally someone has said it! Storm in a teacup especially when we arrive at the break!

  106. JL says:

    calm down Fernando, it took 5 years for Schumi to win, and then he won 5 in a row !

    1. TL says:

      Kimi won championship on his first year…according to german newspaper bild ferrari has made an offer to Kimi which is better than RBR has made to him.

      1. dimitris says:

        That would certainly explain Alonso’s sudden interest for Red Bull, especially if he was not told beforehand, and explains the whole situation regarding Montezemolo’s rebuke. It also explains Kimi’s comment that his choice may appear as stupid to some. We are in for a thriller!!!

    2. anon says:

      Except Ferrari were a complete shambles when he went there. They hadn’t won a drivers championship since 1979. They had to be rebuilt from the ground up and he achieved it.

      Alonso parachuted into a team that was good enough for a 1-2 finish in the first race of 2010. They gave him cars good enough to win championships with in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

      1. clyde says:

        Ha Ha

      2. AlexD says:

        Yeap….so maybe Massa will win then if the car is good.

  107. Brace says:

    So next news is on Rosco and Hami? Next race can’t come soon enough and I’m afraid it’s anything but close.

  108. Mikeboy0001 says:

    I’m not a fan of Alonso, dislike him ethics as a man, but I try to be fair in my judgements, and therefore I greatly respect him as a driver, top class.
    Having stated that, I don’t think Alonso said anything out of the ordinary.
    In fact when Alonso speaks, I often pay close attention, as he’s very acurate on the situation with the car and F1 in general, seems almost an F1 analist
    So to me it seems Montezemolo is essentially criticizing Alonso for not being stupid, for having a brain and using it.
    From all I remember, Alonso always spoke very highly of Ferrari as a team, and the only thing he’s ever pointed out where the weaknesses of the car on a particular weekend, in a very truthful way
    I guess to Montezemolo no-one can say the earth revolves around sun, and not the other way around!!!

    1. AlexD says:

      Have the same thinking about Alonso as you – an awful personality and a phenomenal, best driver. I think it is not about what Alonso said publicly, it might be something he said to the team or LDM…something we do not know. It might be he was saying this for some time already. I do not think LDM reacted to this very normal comment Alonso made.

  109. andrew says:

    Wait a second, here!

    Ross Brawn is stepping down at Merc…?

    Ferrari has a new designer.

    What is Michael Schumacher doing…helping his wife’s business????

    Stranger things have happened.

    1. kal says:

      if only lol!

  110. bronwyn collier says:

    Kimi said a curious thing at the drivers press conference, along the lines of people might think the move he makes for next year looks “stupid” from the outside. That made me wonder if he was going back to Ferrari as moving to Red Bull or staying at Lotus wouldn’t look stupid! I was surprised the press didn’t say much about that comment at the time.

  111. Sleeves says:

    Kimi have received an offer to drive for Ferrari in 2014!

    1. Olli K says:

      Yeah, according to German Bild-magazine they have made offer to Kimi before Hungarian GP.

    2. AlexD says:

      I just do not see this happening. I think Alonso would find a way to leave Ferrari and I think that Ferrari would take Kimi until Hamilton or ideally Vettel is available. I just do not want to believe that Hornet will allow Vettel and Alonso to drive for the same team. Not going to happen!

      1. bronwyn collier says:

        My guess is that Olli K is right and Ferrari have made Kimi and offer and Alonso is not happy. I can’t see Red Bull taking him on though so he might have to stay at Ferrari with Kimi. That would be an interesting scenario for the onlookers!!!

    3. BlackBull says:

      Apparently, the Ferrari offer to Kimi has been confirmed from several sources. Also, it’s been made long before the Hungarian GP.

      But wait, that’s not all. The latest rumour is that Kimi has already signed.

      As unlikely as it seems, it’s not totally impossible. The word is that Kimi is very highly regarded at Ferrari, except maybe by LdM. Also, Kimi has always said that he’s in good terms with the team and holds no grudge to them. Ferrari aren’t signing with Massa anymore, so they need a replacement. Suddenly FA is talking to RBR. Kimi tells everyone that his future decision may look stupid to some.

      You put the pieces together.

      1. Sleeves says:

        I hope you are right!
        Would be fantastic!

  112. Aaron says:

    Fernando – Ferrari is bigger than you!

  113. Olivier says:

    Some observations:

    1. Monte and Alonso are both frustrated. Monte because he can’t deliver the car to Alonso. Alonso because he can’t get the team to work for him. >> Remedy: James Allison

    2. To add to Monte’s anguish. Ferrari hasn’t won any championships yet. Neither Driver’s nor Constructor’s championship. >> Remedy: Ferrari desperately need a second solid driver. Get Kimi, the Hulk or Rosberg.

    3. Monte must be really annoyed that no one is considering Ferrari as a serious contender in 2014. >> Remedy: Fix your team.

    4. Alonso is highly regarded in the paddock, yet his options to join another top team seem very limited. Red Bull is flattered but will stick with Vettel (and Raikkonen). >> Remedy: Here’s Alonso’s chance to show his true Greatness and transform the Scuderia into another championship winning force again. If not, his other best option is Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton doesn’t mind having Alonso as an opponent. Rosberg would move to Ferrari in this scenario.

  114. chris green says:

    Montezemolo presented each of the engineers with a knife – to put between their teeth as they fight to resore Ferrari to the top.

    that’s a typo error

    should read – Montezemolo presented each of the engineers with a knife to stick into each others backs. ha ha

  115. John Turner says:

    Interesting that JA says that he saw Button/Di Resta’s manager coming out of a meeting with Red Bull, and surely other must have done too, but it’s caused hardly any Publicity at all, and potentially either of the two would be a better fit for Red Bull.

    I think someone’s PR machine has gone in overdrives, but I don’t get what Alonso has to gain, Red Bull might be looking to de-stabilising Ferrari, in which case it’s working, although Ferrari aren’t really their biggest Rival at the moment, and the Kimi Chatter doesn’t look to destabilising Lotus too Much.

  116. hodo says:

    I think Fernando has been the stand out performer for a few years now (and I am not a fan), i believe he has extracted the maximum more consistently than any other driver….BUT…I also believe that the F1 world has been sensationalising his achievements because of Massas form. I dont think the car has been anywhere near as far off the pace as it is made out to be. It is just as easy to overly praise Alonsos form as it is to underestimate just how bad Massa has been. Never recovered from the accident in my opinion.

    1. krischar says:

      If you remember Bahrain 2010 GP, First race for massa after the accident in 2009. Massa has Out qualified Alonso and put the Ferrari in front row

      Now please do not come up with excuses like massa is worse because of accident or confidence or the hockhenheim 2010 non-sense.

      I am no fan of massa quite the opposite yet he drove very well for Ferrari when he had the quickest car at his disposal. Ofcourse massa lacked consistency through out his career

      Ferrari have failed to produce a top draw machinery like the did in 2008 (F2008), ever since 2009 the CAR was a red truck like prost pointed out in 1991. Alonso can wring a lap time out of any abysamal machinery. Alonso Did it with Minardi, Renault and Ferrari

      Ferrari are not good enough, i will not blame massa for his poor performances.

      Remember this, unless Ferrari can beat RBR and newey they will not win anything no matter who ever drives for the team.

      1. hodo says:

        I dont disagree with you that its not a great car just pointing out that Massas inability to drive a car thats not right for him is making Alonso look far better by comparrison and i believe his achievements are overinflated as a result (not to take anything away from him). When Massa is on form he can be great and bahrain is a track he has always excelled at however his good races are now few and far between and i dont think he has recovered the consistency of 08, recent example would be the consecutive crashes in monaco, canada and germany.

  117. Dean says:

    Gerhard Berger is quoted in German media, that he thinks Fernando would be crazy not to try and drive for Red Bull in 2014.

  118. geek says:

    James,

    Any truth in kimi to Ferrari 2014?

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s an insurance policy….

      But I don’t see him returning

  119. Michael says:

    If Alonso gets booted then his career will effectively be over. I don’t think he’ll go back to Renault/Enstone yet again, but he’ll have nowhere else to go.

    I have to say you can’t blame Ferrari though. It has been many years of excuses now and a point inevitably arrives when it’s time to try something different. Maybe they even feel they should have won 2010 and 2012. Alonso’s a top driver but if he had had one fewer unnecessary shunts those seasons then we wouldn’t be having this conversation now. Maybe Maylasia this year was one too many for them.

    I guess only they have the data to tell who is better between Alonso and Kimi.

  120. Dan says:

    the move hes talking about is turning down RBR. Hes happy where he is. Has his freedom. RBR will want too much from him and he doesn’t like to be hassled. Lotus now have the money to build a top car. 2014 will be interesting.

  121. A.N. Other says:

    If Luca was a real leader he would take the blame himself.

    But he is not a leader. He is a member of the wealthy ruling
    class and he has never known what it is to struggle from humble beginnings.

    I could buy a Ferrari tomorrow morning if I wanted to, and
    I could pay cash for it. But the sad truth is that a Ferrari these days is just an expensive FIAT, and Luca is a pretender to the abilities which the Commendatore,
    Enzo Ferrari, had in spades.

    Luca deserves to watch his entire team melt down around him, and I believe that is what will happen.

    Alonso is a great driver and Ferrari has not supplied him
    with adequate machinery. That’s not Alonso’s fault and
    Luca comes across like a twit for taking Alonso to task,
    when he should instead have been taking the team which designs the car to task many months ago.

    1. DanAbnormal says:

      [Mod] At the time of LDM being brought in Ferrari was in the weeds. Their road cars were crap, their F1 programs were crap and their brand had been diluted in ways that make the Abu Dabi theme park look absolutely tasteful by comparison.

  122. krischar says:

    People trying to compare his years at Ferrari with Schmui’s years at Ferrari. Well it took 4years for MS to win his 1st with Ferrari. MS struggled against Newey cars several times too hill/Villeneuve/hakkinen. Is JV better than Schumi? Nope just a lucky average driver in a fantastic car. Vettel is just another driver in a fantastic Newey car

    1. F1fan says:

      Not comparable, Villeneuve 1 title, Vettel 3 titles.

    2. TimW says:

      I agree totally with your assessment of Villeneuve, but I think Seb is much better than Jacques. He just needs to win with another team to prove it.

  123. TimW says:

    Remember all those “Vettel to Ferrari in 2014″ rumours a while back? It seems to me that this is the real story. We know from past experience with Kimi and Michael that as soon as LDM thinks there is a better driver out there he will start to criticize you publicly, no matter how big a superstar you are. I think that both Ferrari and Red Bull are now in a situation where Seb is their number 1 choice and Fernando the second best option, Is there a contract for Vettel at Ferrari that requires Fernando to not take up an option for next year? Maybe that’s why Luca has started with the insults, to help Fernando make up his mind to go, thus leaving the way open for Seb.
    Red Bull, meanwhile will be doing everything they can to encourage Vettel to stay, but will need a contingency plan if he does leave. I think that if Seb commits to Red Bull long term they will go for Ricciardo as his team mate. A one year deal would bring Kimi in, and if he goes at the end of this year Fernando will do a straight swap, probably with Ricciardo as team mate. All of this ignores Santander’s influence of course. Perhaps with Spain’s massive financial problems they aren’t able to pay enough to dictate Alonso’s retention, or maybe they won’t continue with the sponsorship programme at all.
    It will be interesting to see if the big announcement at Monza will be about drivers, sponsors, managenment or technical staff.

  124. Vig says:

    I am no Vettel fan, but no one can stop Vet from winning 5 titles in a row.
    There are lots of similarities between Schumacher and Vet (known fact available in wiki), this one is exception, SCH won 5 titles in a row at latter stage of his career, whereas Vet will do at the beginning. Vet will end up winning 2 titles at the end of his career in Ferrari to even things out between him and his idol.

    This is the truth, no one can stop it.. Everyone just deal with it.. Also Alonso. :P

  125. chris says:

    Lots of differing comments chaps,but why is everyone so convinced that alonso cant return to McLaren,seems to me that they probably need each other,mclaren also needs a new sponsor at end of this season and thats not going to be easy with current results,would be much easier with fernando on board,whitmarsh has said an announcement will be made at the end of this season,that could and probably does mean that no deal is currently in place,he cant go to red bull with vettel there,it just wont happen,this is F1 after all…….

  126. nicolas nogaret says:

    monty orders investigation of race pace in hungary ?

    who does he think he is kidding ? what does every team do after every race !!!

    and now he says alonso was correct …maybe he has just noticed that if alonso goes there is no other top driver available to replace him !

  127. Goob says:

    When talent is lacking, tensions rise… it’s natural.

    Alonso has always had a question mark over him – he has been beaten by Massa and a rookie on many occasions…

    Time to face reality at Ferrari.

  128. Marcus in Canada says:

    James, if Alonso is worried about Ferrari’s ability with the new era F1 engines and is looking elsewhere, is there ANY chance of McLaren-Honda…?

  129. VISI says:

    “No driver is bigger than the team”…

    I have often wondered if we F1 fans actually watch the sport to support our chosen drivers or a team? I may be mistaken but I feel, unlike say football, F1 fans back a driver/s first then the team (of course this is not to the exclusion of enjoying the entire racing spectle in its entirery). I for one back Alonso before Ferrari – if he moves to RB or Lotus, I will watch him with just as much interest. Pretty sure Hamilton, Vettle, Kimi, Webber fans feel the same way, no?

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