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Ferrari waiting on Alonso’s fitness for US Grand Prix as Raikkonen tries 2014 seat
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Posted By: James Allen  |  09 Nov 2013   |  9:19 am GMT  |  156 comments

Fernando Alonso and his Ferrari team will not know until Monday whether he will be able to race in the US Grand Prix at Austin next weekend.

The Spaniard has to undergo a medical check in order to be released to fly to the US on Tuesday, after his spine-jarring incident in Abu Dhabi, where he went off the track while exiting the pits alongside Jean Eric Vergne. He flew over several high kerbs and jarred his back, necessitating a visit to the hospital after the race.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport’s Pino Allievi, were Alonso to fail his medical check, Ferrari would draft in Jules Bianchi, who races with Marussia but is part of the Ferrari young driver programme. With Ferrari locked in a tight three way battle with Mercedes and Lotus for the lucrative second place in the constructors’ championship, that would be a high pressure assignment. The team also has Pedro de la Rosa, who has acted as a ‘super-sub’ in the past for McLaren, when Juan Pablo Montoya was injured.

The noises from Spain and Italy are that Alonso should be passed fit and everything should be normal.

Despite Alonso saying pointedly during the Thursday press conference in Abu Dhabi that his relationship with Ferrari “Was perfect, is perfect and will be perfect,” Allievi notes that Ferrari did not welcome the fact that the photo of Alonso in a neck brace en route to hospital was disseminated by Alonso’s manager Luis Garcia.


Despite Alonso’s protestations to the contrary, things are tense between team and driver, not helped by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo giving Alonso’s “ear a tweak” in July, after photos of his manager meeting with Red Bull boss Christian Horner were published. Montezemolo did not refer to that in his unprecedented attack on a senior Ferrari driver, reserving his ire for Alonso’s repeated criticisms of the Ferrari car.

Alonso had picked that moment to shake the tree, because it left time for the team to react and reorganise itself technically to ensure that it doesn’t suffer a repeat of this season where the team has failed to keep pace with development

Although there are some in the paddock who feel that Alonso will not race in 2014, informed sources close to the Spaniard say that he will certainly drive for the team next year and will be looking around for the best move for 2015. McLaren’s senior management and incoming engine supplier Honda are keen to explore the option of Alonso, but he wants to see what kind of car they produce next year after they fell even further behind this year than Ferrari.

Meanwhile Ferrari’s “insurance policy” driver for next season, Kimi Raikkonen, had his first visit yesterday to Maranello since he left the team at the end of 2009. He had a brief meeting with Montezemolo and team boss Stefano Domenicali and met some of the staff.

His other priority was to try the proposed seat for 2014. This is very important at this stage as the packaging of the new hybrid powertrains puts a real squeeze on hip space for the drivers and although Raikkonen is still under contract with Lotus (despite them not paying him) it was important for Ferrari to know that they don’t have any problems accommodating Raikkonen.

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156 Comments
  1. AlexD says:

    I am sure there are people starter that I am and they have a lot more insights and understanding of the situation.

    Alonso wants to win the title and he is more than capable of doing so in a good car. I do not know what is going on at Ferrari, but if he is indeed looking for better options and is even considering McLaren, it means that Ferrari is in a very bad shape.

    Fry was supposed to give a car capable of the title. This job belonged to Costa before. Nothing happens really and Ferrari falls in development behind Lotus, Mercedes…not to mention Red Bull.

    The wind tunnel is new and nobody really knows how it is going to work. Ferrari is notoriously slow in qualifying…for years already.

    Alonso is very intelligent and so he would really understand whether winning at Ferrari is just a matter of time and so he will stay and try his best or he knows….it is not going to happen because of what Ferrari is internally and so he will try to find another team.

    1. Fireman says:

      It’s simple. Alonso’s problem is that his ego doesn’t fit in Ferrari. That’s all and that’s why he’s moving soon.

      1. rockman says:

        I believe that Alonso wants to stay in 2014, and prove to everyone specially LDM that he will convincingly beat Kimi. He will then look for a seat elsewhere in 2015 perhaps McLaren, who knows?

        An extremely motivated Alonso is what we’ll see next year for sure.

        I just hope it a bit of a mix up next year. Fingers crossed!

      2. Fireman says:

        I hope it’s just pure racing between these guys and not politics.

      3. Sebee says:

        Well, looks like Kimi is already playing #2 and following Ferrari team orders already.

        Kimi is out for rest of 2013 for back surgery to either; have the back surgery for Alonso, donate his back to Alonso, or to have his backbone removed in order to be more yielding in 2014. Choose the one that you prefer.

        Kimi, please stay awake during the procedure to ensure none of the options happen. Don’t have the surgery in Italy or overseen by Ferrari doctors. :-)

      4. Rafael says:

        Enough with the ego talk already. Every single F1 driver has a massive ego – it’s part of what makes them what they are. Also, for all of this talk about Alonso’s ego not fitting in Ferrari, well… since 2010, his efforts have consistently made Ferrari perennial title contenders, regardless of the machinery it produced; so by all means, he has every right to be proud (or “have a massive ego” as you would like to imply) and demanding since he seems to be the only one carrying (and punching above) his weight in the entire team.

      5. Fireman says:

        Well, it’s doesn’t fit. Alonso feels entitled and bigger than the team. That doesn’t work at Ferrari.

      6. H.Guderian says:

        Nowadays he *IS* bigger than the team.
        Ferrari is no bigger than Force India or Willians. They do not deserve to be fighting with Mercedes and Lotus toe-to-toe.

      7. clyde says:

        Oh his ego doesn’t fit in ….well that’s a revelation after driving a underperforming donkey for four years and almost winning the title twice. :-)

      8. Me says:

        There’s no way he could have won the title in an underperforming donkey.

        That Ferrari was nowhere near as bad as people made it out to be, he finished a couple of points behind Vettel, you can’t do that in a bad car no matter who you are.

      9. Doobs says:

        Me; Felipe didn’t so well.

      10. Mitchel says:

        Of course!

        They should have ego-fittings as well as seat fittings :)

        For Mansell’s hips in the ’95 McLaren, see also: Alonso”s ego in the ’07 McLaren..

      11. Ego? I’d rather call that a championship edition. A winner’s attitude. Absolutely understandable to be mad. It is really strange that some media outlets choose to depict Alonso as the bad guy.
        Good guys don’t win. Unless you are Red Bull.

      12. Fireman says:

        No. Winners attitude is not feeling entitled. Winners want to do pure racing, not politics. Winners give credit when it’s due. Alonso is the complete opposite of this.

        He can drive, yes. Only he’s ego is in the way.

      13. Arnie S says:

        Good guys don’t win in RBR. Ask MW

      14. H.Guderian says:

        hahahahahah……

        +1.000.000

    2. Gabrielle says:

      I think Ferrari overestimated Fry’s skills on the design process of a new car. As far as I know he doesn’t have a strong background on that area (altho. I’m pretty sure he held the hole of tecnical directore for some season at McLaren). But of course the problems on the wind tunnel didn’t helped them.

    3. Richard says:

      Every driver wants a fast car, and one that performs well in the current formula with tyre balance, downforce, low drag, etc. Everyone including the Ferrari management was expecting Alonso to win in 2010, but he was let down by poor strategy on the day at the last race in Abu Dhabi. Alonso knows that he is running out of time to get his third championship, and Ferrari’s track record has not been good.

      1. Javier Marcelo says:

        exactly. The question is werther he will have more chances somewhere else (McL, Lotus) or have to stay and transform Ferrari eventually.

        will see at mid 2014 season…

    4. Bru72 says:

      Ferrari should never have got rid of Aldo Costa. Look what he has done at Mercedes, they are now ahead of Ferrari

    5. charles says:

      I think Alsono needs to go, and Ferrari bring in Hulkenburg.I think Kimi will be very happy with this.Hulkengurg gave Alonso much problems to pass this year.I hope Ferrari see this, and it will also save them some money,but they may loose Sanderson,but hopefully Marlboro will step up.

      1. Javier Marcelo says:

        You clever boy… Your F1 team would be terrific!!!
        my goodness…

  2. Spyros says:

    Hopefully, all will be well and Alonso will race in Austin. Having said that, seeing what a youngster would make of a front-line car wouldn’t be too bad, either.

    Is Kimi’s visit to Ferrari OK by Lotus? Or are they looking for a reason to say that their unpaid driver is in breach of his contract?

    1. Aleksandar says:

      for a contract to be valid you have to respect it both ways, not sure as to what did Lotus do to uphold their end of the bargain!

      1. Richard says:

        They did at least provide him with a car capable of getting him on the podium albeit by tyre strategy rather than speed.

      2. Elie says:

        Ok so wel just forget the €15m we both agreed to.
        Further the Lotus did not get on the podium by itself. Even Grosjean who says Kimi doesn’t socialise with dmits he learned a lot from him

      3. Richard says:

        Elie: Your words not mine! Lotus of course have had their finance problems, and if funds are temporarily short then it makes good sense to keep the normal salaries going to keep the team going, and pay the millionaire driver when funds are available. I don’t think Lotus have forgotten Raikkonen for one minute, however the episode does not make for team harmony it seems. Cars of course don’t drive them selves, but put yourself in the team managers shoes, and I suspect in those circumstances you would probably do the same. One thing I do not agree with is the way they told Raikkonen to move over.

    2. Equin0x says:

      Would it be funny if Ferrari paid the balance of Raikkonen’s owed salary and we see Kimi in the red car at COTA, fighting Lotus for 2nd position in the WCC lol
      I know its far fetched but we’d see how good or bad this Ferrari is at the moment, Alonso not racing in 2014? Can’t that happening he’ll be at Ferrari if not then Mclaren, they’re obviously having trouble with Perez’s funding at the moment.

      1. Basil says:

        That would be legendary!!!

      2. Sebee says:

        You know…word is McLaren has an open seat and title sponsor spot with Vodafone leaving. Santander McLaren [insert-engine here] with Alonso has a ring to it. :-)

    3. Stephen Taylor says:

      Yes I am sure it will be fine . Am sure Lotus will have been made aware of this.

  3. Random 79 says:

    Does anyone know for certain why Alonso’s manager released that picture?

    It’s not a good look.

    1. German Samurai says:

      Would have been Alonso’s idea.

      Now he has an alibi if he gets beaten again by Massa in qualifying. “My back was hurrrrting I fought like a samurai while sufferrrrrring in the the car.” Throw in something about Vettel succeeding due to luck as well.

      1. Anil says:

        Tbf Alonso is clearly setting the car up for race pace, compared to Massa who is nowhere in the races, particularly over a longer stint.

      2. Basil says:

        Ah, the famous German cynicism.

      3. Ramsés says:

        Yes is the same excuse Kimi tried to used to explain being beaten by Grosjean.

      4. clyde says:

        not luck buddy….best car

    2. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

      Marketing

    3. AlexD says:

      to prevent a penalty?

    4. Rob Newman says:

      To get sympathy from fans.

    5. Rob Newman says:

      To get sympathy from fans. An excuse for not qualifying well in the next two races.

      1. Joe_in_Miami says:

        Sure. You would have qualified much better. Too bad Alonso has beaten Massa 14 to 1 on qualifications over 4 years. Where were your comments then? How biased can someone be?

    6. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Did he go for these checkup scans because of back pain after the event or because the G-meter reading meant it was mandatory?

      It’s not a good look ;) but maybe the strapping down etc is because it is pre-scan and you have to be locked in a static position before being passed through the scanning machine. Or perhaps health and safety gone mad, you know what they are like nowadays.

      ;) You see it’s not enough for Red Bull to win the title, nope, so in true Darth Vader/Emperor style they have to take out their closest rival by using their junior team to shove him off the road.
      MultiPunt-18-3. ;)

      1. Random 79 says:

        Nice theory about the scan, but wouldn’t that shiny silver blanket kind of spoil the readings?

        He does kind look like Darth Vader just before the surgery though…Darth Alonso in 2014 anyone? ;)

    7. f1_fan says:

      its kind of ridiculous of ferrari to feel angered or whatever with the pic, i dont see what the fuss is about me personally think alonso was simply having fun by wrapping himself up.

      1. Random 79 says:

        If there’s one word to describe what that looks like it would not be fun, but that’s just me.

        I think Ferrari has two problems with the pic:

        First, like many teams now they probably like to control all the PR stuff they can.

        Second, Alonso looking weak makes Ferrari look weak.

  4. Phil Glass says:

    Would be great to see Bianchi in the Ferrari.

    As for A and R, both with bad backs, lol, but I’m banking on their utter domination of F1 next year

    1. Elie says:

      Agree on both counts- I actually thought Bianci was the perfect guy to replace Massa. Yeah Ferrari def must be feeling like veterans with both 2014 drivers into their mid 30′s and have back issues!- Im sure tge boys in the paddock will be dropping the lines at some point- great one for Seb to use. :)

  5. Jock Ulah says:

    Now that the 2013 WDC/WCC is sorted, time to focus on the play of personality to maintain F1 focus and interest . . .

    Or, judging from the majority of blog responses over the year, maybe ‘personality’ is the glue which binds the sport and the racing has always been relegated to a poor second?

  6. Don says:

    Why does Ferrari always have to push their greatest assets out of the ‘family’?

    How many times has Ferrari scored own goals by isolating a World Champion drivers ?? Prost, Raikkonen and is Alonso next??

    I’ve been a Ferrari fan for over 20 years but this not wanting to eat ‘humble-pie’ and admit they haven’t given Alonso a competiteve car is ridculously petty.

    When is somebody in Ferrari call an end to his driver-bashing when things aren’t going well?

    What’s that saying again … a good carpenter doesn’t blame his tools…

    1. FragrantGimp says:

      >Prost

      Prost wasn’t great in ’91 and he was a pain in the rear for Ferrari. They made the right call.

      >Raikkonen

      In hindsight they made the wrong choice, but considering how unsure they were (let alone anyone else) in regards to Felipe’s well-being, the choice was definitely the best one at the time. Massa outperformed him during their time together and had a much stronger relationship with the team, whereas Kimi only really got along with…Felipe himself.

      >Alonso

      If anything happens, it’s because of Alonso’s own ego. He’s still incapable of admitting Vettel’s greatness, or his own shortcomings, and that alone is just as bad as Ferrari’s developmental problems.

      >I’ve been a Ferrari fan for over 20 years

      As a fellow long-time tifoso, it really is a shame to see that you understand so little about the team, or about the 3 drivers you mentioned earlier in your post.

      >a good carpenter doesn’t blame his tools

      You should be telling that to Alonso and not to Ferrari.

      1. Ace says:

        Every driver has shortcomings but you can’t seriously berate Alonso after his performance last year, can you? He’s admitting Vettel’s greatness but through gritting his teeth because he knows how close he’s come to beating Vettel twice. It’s very difficult to do it openly otherwise you’re admitting defeat to yourself psychologically.

      2. fan says:

        I berate him after his performance this year.

      3. Andrew Carter says:

        Say what you want about Prost in 91, but the Ferrari still handled like a truck. Its interesting to note that the senior management was sacked within weeks of sacking Prost as Di Montezemelo started building the “Dream Team”.

        Kimi’s an interesting one, is it his fault for not being forceful enough in demanding developments go his way or Ferrari’s for not listening to him close enough.

        I’m with Alonso on this, he went to Ferrari to win titles and has repeatedly been hampered by a car that starts out OK and looses pace relative to the opposition as developments fail to work anywhere near as expected. Though his qualy performance isn’t great, and to be honest never has been, Alonso has been driving brilliant these last few years and last year in particular I’d say he drove arguably the greatest season any driver ever has, so his criticism of the team his wholly deserved.

      4. Elie says:

        And Abu Dhabi 2010- was it the cars fault he could not pass 6th place Lotus for the title. He will never “get that monkey off his back ”

        Last year he was brilliant this year he had been anything but .. ! Maybe he does need a break.. Kimi has proved it doesn’t hurt ! And it may actually lengthen ones F1 career

      5. Martin says:

        The truck reference was to one race in Suzuka where a damper failed in the car. It was more about a political fight for control in the team. Prost was fired before he became too powerful.

      6. Kiran says:

        So, bored of hearing this. Let’s get it straight.
        Massa’s only claim to fame: he beat Kimi – yeah even he surprised himself.
        Checkout few of his pre and post interviews.

        And by the way for your post -> a clear case of mismatch on priorities, you are more worried about relationships and PR, many prefer talent.

      7. JEZ Playense says:

        What a joke! You really think that any of the drivers could have won the title this year in that Ferrari? If so you are watching a different race series than me!

      8. Elie says:

        > Raikkonen- wrong -he got on well with everyone at Ferrari except Montezemolo. The Ferrari was very under steery and was set up to Felipes pref ( thank MS for this ) – yet he still won races in it. Ferrari shot him in the foot rather than treat him like the champion he was / is .They had an agenda to bring Santander/ FA and evidence of his popularity is the fact he was resigned. Ferrari can wipe the humble pie off their faces and start dealing with the truth thank you very much or they can sink to the bottom like a lead sinker if they dont

      9. Mingojo says:

        I’m not sure I can take your comments seriously after what you wrote above about Fernando not able to overtake Petrov in Abu Dahbi 2010.In the same race Lewis struggled to overtake Kubica, the reason was basically how these cars were set up for the race, however you prefer to say something typical from a tabloid paper.

      10. Rich B says:

        dumping prost was one of the most stupid decisions they’ve ever made. he was comfortably beating his teammate and their success dropped when he left.

      11. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        That’s for sure, dumping Prost was a massive mistake.

        Seems like when there is a weaker, perhaps also Italian, team manager, such as Domenicalli, then Di Monty feels the need to wade in and make a mess of Ferrari with shockingly poor man management.

        He never did it when Todt ran the Ferrari show and they were organised enough to build the team Schuey eventually joined.

        Either that or di Monty, upon realising he has been failing to produce a decent car for a while, needs to cause this distraction to deflect attention from himself and preserve his own job.

        Now they are doing it again with Alonso who has made them look far better than they really are for four years on the trot.

        Double the points of Massa each year making the mid-field Ferrari look like a front runner, then when he has done everything so tries to kick start and push the team, di Monty falls for Horner’s gamesmanship and wrecks it again when he should be solving Ferrari’s core engineering and development issues.

      12. Timmay says:

        Agree – that locked Ferrari into 4 years of dire uncompetitiveness. Not saying they would have beaten Williams Renault because plainly they wouldn’t have. But they wouldn’t have been 4th either.

      13. Alex says:

        Geez , you are wrong in all counts , spoken like a true tifoso that fail to see that his team is crap and what in the hell has to do Vettel greatness with the fact that Ferrari has failed to give Alonso a good car ? ???? Some people have nerves ….

      14. Rob Newman says:

        It is good to read an opinion of a true tifoso who understands the value of Ferrari. It is sad they don’t have the right drivers – the reason why I turned my back on Ferrari soon after they got rid of Schumacher.

        Ferrari’s downfall started when they went after Santander money.

      15. Alberto Dietz says:

        Game, set, match Rob Newman.

      16. Don says:

        Ah now…. as we’re both Ferrari fans for 20 years we’re still allowed have different views … but I’m sure we both agree it’s onwards and upwards for the Prancing Horse. ;)

      17. FragrantGimp says:

        I certainly hope it is, Don. As much as I respect Vettel, it’s about damn time we got back to the front.

      18. Rockie says:

        “>Raikkonen

        In hindsight they made the wrong choice, but considering how unsure they were (let alone anyone else) in regards to Felipe’s well-being, the choice was definitely the best one at the time. Massa outperformed him during their time together and had a much stronger relationship with the team, whereas Kimi only really got along with…Felipe himself.”

        This is just wrong opinion Ferrari started the Kimi is lazy and not motivated thing, I dont know what they were thinking Kimi 1 wdc and 2 wcc, so where Massa out-performed him am yet to understand.

      19. thinktank says:

        You are wrong on RAI’s departure. Here is the story:
        http://f1bias.com/2012/04/05/truth-about-kimi-ferrari-santander-2008/

      20. Daniel says:

        Thanks for this. Finally know the truth.

      21. Spyros says:

        Prost wasn’t a great driver a year and a half after winning his 3rd championship? Really?

        How did the second Ferrari fare that year? It was being driven by a young fellow, named Alesi, who almost beat Senna in the US GP the year before, driving a Tyrrel, of all things. The year before that, Prost was still in contention for the championship until Suzuka (second to last race of the season), while the other Ferrari, being driven by a fellow called Mansell, wasn’t really anywhere…

        I don’t think you can dismiss Prost that easily, no matter how badly his ‘truck’ comment hurt Ferrari fans.

        Ferraris in those days were really innovative technologically (they got a semi-automatic, paddle-shift gearbox a year or two before the rest), but in an era where reliability was absolutely horrible, Ferrari was decidedly more horrible than the rest… so it was understood that the extra risk the team took by bringing forward more innovations, would pay off if and when everything worked well. Instead, Prost was dismayed to find that his car was both unreliable AND slow. Simple as that.

      22. clyde says:

        @ FragrantGimp
        you may be a Ferrari fan for 20 years but was not around in 91 for sure.

        As for your opinion on Alonso ….He has performed miracles in the stumbling donkey that you tifiosi proudly call a prancing horse :-)

      23. clyde says:

        @ fragrantgimp
        Prost was probably driving close to his best in 91 and beating his team mate jean alesi comfortably
        Raikonnen …Ferrari is eating humble pie now

        Alonso has outdriven the stumbling donkey which the tifiosi proudly call prancing horse and almost won the WDC twice in the last four years and you say he has ego ….
        Your conclusions are truly mindboggling :-)

      24. Tim says:

        @clyde

        You don’t think Alonso has a teensy weeny bit of an ego?

      25. clyde says:

        @tim
        all great drivers do :-)

  7. Cedgy says:

    Would love to see what Jules Bianchi is capable of doing in a Ferrari!

    1. Alex Trickle says:

      Agreed, it would be interesting to see Bianchi in a car capable of point scoring and also see how he would compare to Massa.

      James: If Bianchi did race at Ferrari next weekend who would race for Marussia? Gonzalez?

  8. James says:

    Lol, of course he’ll race.

    1. C Lin says:

      Absolutely, he just want to tickle the team.

  9. Rob Newman says:

    It is nothing but a small bruise. He will be driving next weekend for sure. The media will make a big fuss about Alonso’s red posterior in the US. After the race the media will go all crazy saying how well Alonso drove with a sore bum and then will talk about that for weeks, months and years. Some TV stations will do a Masterclass on that as well.

    It is no secret that he is not very much loved at Ferrari at the moment with no signs of any improvements. I don’t know why some people are still blaming the car. After all it was a Ferrari which set the fastest time in Abu Dhabi. The car is fantastic. Nothing wrong with that.

    Some people are excited about Kimi’s arrival but only time will tell if he can make a difference. If he fails, it will be Exit F1 Part Deux for Kimi.

    1. Tim says:

      I don’t know why some people are still blaming the car. After all it was a Ferrari which set the fastest time in Abu Dhabi……

      Context is everything :-)

      1. clyde says:

        ha ha on soft tyres on the 44th lap

      2. Tim says:

        I thought it was later in the race. Either way, I was pointing out to the original poster that the fastest lap [in Abu Dhabi] meant very little, in terms of out right pace of the Ferrari.
        The Red Bull is clearly the class of the field at the moment, any suggestion to the contrary is laughable.

    2. NickH says:

      ‘After all it was a Ferrari which set the fastest time in Abu Dhabi. The car is fantastic.’

      So it’s better than the red bull? I would like what you are smoking. It set quickest lap cos he was on soft tyres for a short stint at the end

    3. Elie says:

      They built him a good car in 2007 and that worked out ok. If they don’t they can kiss his him goodbye because he’s not hanging round for no one anymore. Look what he’s done at his time with Lotus. Give him a car that’s “ok” & he will probably win.

    4. Stephen Taylor says:

      Are you a medical expert?

    5. KARTRACE says:

      Do you really follow what you say ?

    6. KRB says:

      The car is fantastic?!? Rob, a silly thing to say. The context behind Alonso’s fastest lap in Abu Dhabi, that you conveniently left out, is that Alonso was on the soft tire, having pitted late (lap 44) for them.

      It’s like saying the Lotus is fantastic, b/c Kimi set the fastest lap in India. Or the Sauber was fantastic in Spain, b/c Gutierrez (!) set the fastest lap.

      We really need a new stat, that tallies up who scored the fastest lap on each lap of a race (i.e. whose 1st, 2nd, 3rd … nth lap was the fastest?). Of course the race winner should always lead in that stat, but I’m sure there would be sometimes where that doesn’t happen.

      1. H.Guderian says:

        COME ON!!!
        He is being ironic (I guess).

    7. Fireman says:

      It will be exit for Kimi whether he makes it or not. I doubt he’ll race more than two to three years. That’s why his contract is two years plus one option.

      I really hope he wins at least one WDC more. No politics, pure racing.

    8. Amritraj says:

      I think you need to revisit your understanding of F1 if you suggest that because Ferrari set the fastest lap in Abu Dhabi, on fumes in the gas tank, on fresh Soft tyres and on a completely rubbered in track, it is a great car!

      That things are not well between Alonso and Ferrari (and James and Alonso ;), is for all to see.

      To suggest Ferrari is a great car and Alonso is not performing is just beyond comprehension.

      1. Rob Newman says:

        Now you are telling me they have sorted out their tyre issues as well?

      2. rockman says:

        Haha good one. Although there has been a massive media love in with Vettel lately.

        Perhaps James was refused an interview by Alonso recently?

    9. J.Danek says:

      “It is nothing but a small bruise.” —

      ROb I think this is a very irresponsible thing to say, even in the context of blog post comments that impact no one except the readers. You’re not a medical doctor, right? And even if you were, you haven’t examined Alonso so how could you possibly make that pronouncement?

      Furthermore, it’s being reported elsewhere that Alonso actually has suffered not just a back injury, but also a concussion that approximates a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and that, while he is to be evaluated by Ferrari’s team doctor(s) on Monday, the actual approval to participate in Austin will be given (or denied) not until TUESDAY, when Alonso will be evaluated by FIA F1 medical delegate! This is a very serious distinction and indicative of a potentially much more serious situation that what’s been alluded to thusly, and perhaps it shines some light on why Alonso’s mgmt would release a picture of him in distress, given Ferrari team seem to be trying to downplay his injuries and cover-up the fact that he has a Tuesday FIA medical evaluation for the TBI…

    10. Ramsés says:

      You are seeing another F1

  10. Anil says:

    As a Ferrari fan, I can’t help but be hugely frustrated at the way they’ve treated drivers in the past. Schumacher and LDM clearly ended on bad terms, Kimi was effectively kicked out and now I wonder what the Alo-Ferrari partnership will look like in the future.

    Of course, much of this would be avoided if they provided Alonso with a faster car, but oh well. Make no mistake though, Alonso wants nothing more than to win a WDC with Ferrari and vice versa; let’s just hope they give him the tools for it.

  11. C Lin says:

    Imagine Alonso not racing in Austin because of back pain & Raikkonen not turning up because he still have not been paid…

    I remember Raikkonen racing with back pain in Singapore & got a podium after some injection so Alonso can still race with some medical intervention. As for Raikkonen, maybe Bernie can transfer some $ to pay his unpaid salaries & he could still race in Austin.

    OK let’s go racing!

    1. jakobusvdl says:

      The best way for Kimi to secure his Lotus salary is to make sure they finish ahead of Mercedes and Ferrari in the wcc.
      Time for him to stop sulking and get back to performing

      1. KARTRACE says:

        Where in the world people continue goods delivery while unpaid. No ways….

  12. Sarvar says:

    James, I do remember and loved to hear your irony “Lucky you are” to Alonso’s “Was perfect, is perfect…”
    It was a perfect fit)))

    1. Elie says:

      Ha yes that was brilliant !

  13. russ foley says:

    Put the KING in his car. Then maybe we can see if Vettel is really that good or is it his car.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I’d like to see that too, but it won’t happen.

    2. Elie says:

      King Kimi will be in the car in 2014

      1. H.Guderian says:

        YES. And the “King” will be defeated like he was against ***MASSA***.

        But the excuses are ready:

        1) Kimi’s back injury.
        2) The car not suits his driving style.

  14. JEZ Playense says:

    Many people are excited by Kimi.

    Most of the worlds press believe him to have performed an amazing comeback -look at his return compared to others?.

    Then there are his results for the past two seasons which speak for themselves.

    Then there were the teams that approached him with a seat for 2014 – Red Bull, Lotus and Ferrari (all the top 3).

    Ferrari are many things though stupid is not one of them. Those guys at Maranello resigned Kimi (with the attendant loss of face) because they know he is the most likely available driver to score points next year for their team.

    1. J.Danek says:

      Well said, JEZ. Ferrari wouldn’t have decided to employ Kimi if they didn’t think he still has ability to be very competitive, and Iceman wouldn’t have signed w/ ‘em if he didn’t believe they have the capacity to produce a competitive car.

      Yes of course he wants a good salary (and to actually have it paid), which necessitated leaving Lotus and going to a properly-wealthy team, but Kimi is motivated by the opportunity to win more than by the money, no? So surely he must evaluate Ferrari as a potential winner (that can also pay his salary, of course).

      Frankly, I can’t wait! (though OF COURSE I empathize w/ Massa and am sad to see him go, as would any human w/ ability to empathize feel badly for a sportsman who is compelled to leave not by his own choice…)

    2. H.Guderian says:

      NOPE!!!
      They hire KIM because they thought they will loose ALO. That’s all.

  15. Elie says:

    The shunts over the kerbs were nearer the 15g loads and not the 24+g loads first suggested. But he will still be sore till a few days before the race. But reality is he didn’t need to do what he did on track to beat JeV and lately he’s been doing too many clumsy things on track that a driver of his calibre does not normally do.
    He will definitely race and will definitely struggle with an uncompetitive car.
    But if Ferrari have done a good job on their 2014 car- with Rory Byrne and James Allison working on it- I think next will be really exciting for Ferrari.Kimi knows how to make the best of a new product and first race of 2007 proved that, again first race 2013 he did it again.Bring on Melb 2014!

    1. Phil Glass says:

      except he had to get ahead of JEV and Massa who was on his tail. P5 depended on it. He didn’t expect JEV would try to drive him offtrack. The way he launched that car was terrific.

      When its time to act, you can count on FA!!

  16. cometeF1 says:

    First, I hope Alonso’s condition is not as bad as the picture suggest. That said, I would be more than a little surprised not to see him race in Austin. I don’t know if it is all hype or what, but if it isn’t, all is not well between Ferrari and Alonso.

    If Jules was to race though, I would enjoy the chance to follow how well or not he might do. Marc

  17. RodgerT says:

    James, do you reckon that part of the agreement that Kimi came to with Lotus in regard to his salary payment included allowing him to start working with Ferrari so soon?

    I recall that McLaren and Mercedes had to come to an understanding just to get Hamilton in December last year and I don’t recall ever seeing a driver who is switching teams to be doing meetings and seat fittings before the end of the season before.

    1. Lotus are in breach of contract. Therefore, there is nothing compelling Kimi to turn up and drive for Lotus any further. There is also nothing preventing him from meeting with his new team. Being in breach of contract means that any clauses in that contract become null and void. Kimi is now free to do what is in the best interests of Kimi – if that is still towing the Lotus line in the belief that they WILL actually pay him then fine. However, if he either believes that the money is not going to be paid or that the sum is not significant to him, given his new Ferrari contract, then taking time off to have the operation and getting in early and on good terms with Ferrari would do his future prospects much good (and also remove some points from Lotus so that Ferrari might gain a few more in the constructors title in the last couple of races).

      I obviously don’t know all the facts that Kimi is juggling with but I would have skipped town on Lotus months ago.

  18. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Omg! Does this Alfonzo Samuronzo ever stop playing games?! He’s fine for god sakes. I mean he only got a 25g hit through his spine. Big deal! ;)

    Ih an before I forget, “Singapore 2008″… It’ll never go away. Even Machiavelli would be proud of how that win went down.

    1. Spyros says:

      Aw come on, that wasn’t too bad… plus it was never proved that he was involved.

      However, his “make me No1 or I’ll tell FIA about those Ferrari designs”, that he told Ron Dennis when he was at McLaren, was a teeny bit more serious..! :D

    2. Daniel says:

      +1 zillion!

    3. JohnBt says:

      [Omg! Does this Alfonzo Samuronzo ever stop playing games?! He’s fine for god sakes. I mean he only got a 25g hit through his spine. Big deal! ]

      So I trust that you have been a professional F1 driver?
      And have taken a 25g hit before on the kurbs similar to Alonso. Which year was your drive and for which team?

      I don’t think you’re a true F1 fan, more like prejudice.
      McLaren will be podium less this year so is it the car or the incompetent drivers or both?

      1. Spyros says:

        Hint: a smiley with one eye closed usually means “I’m being sarcastic”…

      2. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Thanks Spyros… I wasn’t going to bother explaining.

      3. puffing says:

        Scuderia McLaren was consciously bashing Alonso, even insulting him, nevertheless.

    4. clyde says:

      Only 25g …heh heh

  19. Vortex Motio says:

    What is the reason for Alonso “…to undergo a medical check in order to be released to fly to the US on Tuesday…”?

    Bruising of skin or muscles 10 days in the past would not prohibit a driver’s performance enough to require medical check.

    Alonso’s injuries must be more significant, such as skeletal or nerve injuries, or concussion.

    Are Alonso’s real injuries known?

    1. Spyros says:

      Well, if he really drove another 10 or however many laps there were left AFTER sustaining skeletal or nerve injuries, I’d be really impressed..!

      1. Robert says:

        I have fallen while skiing, separating my shoulder and getting a bad concussion, and skied back over 3 chairlifts and 4 peaks to get back to the mountain base for treatment – using only one arm and being very dizzy and in great pain. Because it had to be done.

        So yes, even if he was rather badly injured he could well have made himself complete the last 10 laps…I am sure FA is a lot more fit and tougher than I am.

    2. Anil says:

      Isn’t it just FIA policy that a driver take certain tests and precautions after having an incident that results in a certain impact?

    3. Vortex Motio says:

      Apparently (per reporting at the TheJudge13) Alonso is recuperating from a concussion, and after the Ferrari medical check on Monday, then FIA docs will examine him on Tuesday to clear him for the race.

      That would explain the weird hospital picture, (brain scan or whatever) to diagnose severity of concussion.

    4. J.Danek says:

      Vortex, you are possibly onto something, as it’s being reported elsewhere by credible sources that Alonso IS more seriously injured and that the back is a secondary concern to a concussion/traumatic-brain-injury.

      I have also seen reported that, while Ferrari scuderia team doc(s) may check-up Alonso on Monday, he actually will be evaluated on TUESDAY by FIA doctor(s) who are responsible for granting ultimate yes/no for him to participate in Austin, TX, USA race.

      I DO wish Ferrari would be more straightforward about this. There is simply no reason to not be transparent, unless there is discord b/w the driver and team and driver’s mgmt and the athlete’s health is possibly in jeopardy if team has its way. Very distressing…

  20. Mitori says:

    James, a bit off topic, but do you think Raikkonen’s form/motivation drop of could have something to do with the constructors championship?
    There is a lot of money at stake and Ferrari is the team that WILL pay him for his services.

  21. Equin0x says:

    Oh yeah what success was that? They never won the title with him there and the success actually only picked up when Schumacher joined. In all honesty Schuey would have blown Prost away to mars in 1996 if Prost accepted Ferrari’s offer to rejoin the team for that season. Prost drove in an era of slow drivers until Senna came along he is overrated just like Alonso, both would get destroyed by a fast driver in his prime ie Vettel, Senna, Schumacher.

    1. Elie says:

      He out qualified Senna a few times and beat him on track even more in the same car . Prost is one of the greatest F1 drivers and certainly better than most out there now.. Just how much we will not know. Vettel has not been tested against a champion in the same machinery and some of those champions – Alonso/ Hamilton and Raikkonen have actually beaten him in lesser cars.

    2. rockman says:

      So you’re saying Alonso and prost are both overrated, and schumie would’ve blown prost away to Mars.
      Yet it was Alonso who stopped the schumie domination?
      You sure contradict yourself there buddy.

      1. Rockie says:

        Alonso didn’t stop Schumi domination the rules did Alonso lucked in as far as am concerned and the press needed a feel good story hence the shout about him.
        07 showed the world what they needed to see about Alonso!

      2. Joe_in_Miami says:

        Yes, with everything against him he still lost the WDC by 1 point.

    3. Eff1osaurus says:

      what on earth have you been smoking?

      Prost was one of the best drivers of his era, racking up 28 wins and breaking Jackie Stewart’s record of 27 wins in an era when we had fewer races than we do now, and much worse reliability. Prost also drove against, and beat, some of the accepted great names like Lauda, Senna, Piquet, Mansell to name a few…and by the way, if titles were won, as they are now, based on TOTAL points, then he beat Senna in ’88, winning 7 and finishing 2nd in 7…consistent AND fast…

      That Ferrari didn’ win the title with him in ’90 is due thanks to Senna driving him off the road – which he admitted to afterwards. Methinks had Prost managed to get the lead, it would’ve been all over bar the shouting…also, look at how he performed against Mansell, whom was known as Il Leone by the tifosi for his fighting spirit…i recall Mansell sulking and wanting to retire after Silverstone where Prost started behind him and went on to win while he (Mansell) retired.

      In fact, in the movie Senna, Prost clearly said had there been a #1 and #2 driver as we have now, he would have likely won the title…but he was racing not only Senna but his own teammate – as it should be. The situation of #1 and #2 is the enduring legacy of Herr Schumacher where teams think they must have one main driver and a clear number 2.

      The ’91 car was handled poorly and did not like bumpy circuits – witness Prost’s drive in the French GP at Magny Cours when he went against the superior Williams Renault of Mansell as to how good he drove and how the car performed well on smooth asphalt.

      Ferrari shot thier own foor off when they fired him as they went backwards from there…ironically Cesare Fiorio was fired not long after…

      Tell me Prost is overrated…so 51 wins (record until Schuey broke it) and 4 titles not enough? Also, Prost had the record for fastest laps if i’m not mistaken, with 35 until Schuey broke that too…so, not so slow then?

  22. yst_01 says:

    Statler and Waldorf.

    Allison, Byrne, against Vettel/Newey.

  23. JohnBt says:

    I think injuries like 28g impact does hurt. I’ve noticed F1 drivers usually will say it’s not as bad as it looks, but sometimes its more serious than reported. They don’t wanna look like wussies for the fear of being looked down upon, it’s machismo thingy I’m sure.

    I’ve never supported Alonso on his polemics and so on but enjoy and respect him for his racing skills, hard to deny that. Just hope Alonso recovers soon for the race but I don’t think he will be 100% and maybe some painkillers will help like what Kimi had in Singapore.

  24. clyde says:

    Hi James in a lighter vein take a look at this video

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20131108/f1/131109830

    A F1 driver really needs a strong neck :-)

  25. Fireman says:

    Well that’s it for Kimi.

    The backsurgery ends up Kimi’s season: http://www.ts.fi/moottoriurheilu/f1/558601/The+backsurgery+ends+up+Kimis+season

    1. DK says:

      This is indeed very disappointing news. I was waiting to see what he can do in the battle of LWB and SWB Lotus cars in the last two races. I wish him well anyway. What a sad ending with Lotus F1 team.

      Looks like there will be a field day for conspiracy theorists !

    1. puffing says:

      Well, is it then that Fireman, Jocke and TomiPL are nicknames of the very same dude?
      Besides, is or should be this a usual procedure in this site? Sometimes I suspect that the same hand is behind a group of anti’s names.

      1. Fireman says:

        No, I can guarantee that I’m writing here only with this one nickname. Thank you for asking :)

  26. Turbo says:

    What’s wrong with Kimi’s back? Is it a Disc injury in the lower back L5/S1?

    Hope recovery goes well for him and his back 100% for pre season testing.

  27. pablo says:

    Ferrari is riding a horse!! not a f1 car..Ferrari is a shame.

  28. greg says:

    Wait for the reason kimi’s doctor can’t do the op and as the lotus seat will be filled he will be in a Ferrari if not in the USA, he will be in Brazil.

  29. Stone the crows says:

    That picture tells me that Alonso was receiving the appropriate care and precautions given the situation. I’m not an Alonso fan but I hope he is well and not seriously injured.

  30. Wahida Hood says:

    So….

    1. Both Alonso & Kimi look poised to sit out the rest of the season since the WDC is over… or maybe 1 not happy with the car & 1 with the team… so both have their own grievances, why bother??…

    2. Ferrari will be having 2 drivers with back issues next year… ??

    3. The 3 way fight for the WCC runner up… tough call because even Mercedes have Brawn issues… unless Mercedes can work out their problems, this is their chance to steal the runner up trophy from Ferrari & Lotus because Mercedes have 2 very good drivers with no personal grievances against the team…

    Suddenly there’s so many dramas in F1…. huh..

    1. Random 79 says:

      Yep, go Marussia! :)

  31. jimbo says:

    I’ll believe the Kimi-Alo pairing when we really see it on the track. I still think, somehow, Alo will find a way to not to face Kimi at all costs. He has way too much to lose after enjoying Santander’s #1 preference and Benson’s pumping him up as the most complete driver since the invention of the wheel. Kimi is not a driver he should test his luck with if Ferrari will no longer give him the #1 status. Probably Kimi has been thinking about this for several years and despite his quietness he will possibly enjoy beating the sh*t out of Alo in an equal car and status more so than winning another WDC.

  32. Wahida Hood says:

    Did u guys read Alonso’s twitter:
    “Packing the bag for Austin, with some pain, but eager and confident to help the team. I will try to give 100% as always,”

    Very “Massa-ish”…. Looks like someone is trying to get Daddy Ferrari’s attention….

  33. Derek Nickels says:

    I can’t believe how a F1 team can get away with not paying a driver. In my opinion any money earned from manufacturers championship should be withheld until payment made,or the drivers payment taken from it. Lotus,you disgust me,especially after the DIRTY way you took the name off of Caterham.

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